Sonic 1: Widescreen Edition

Discussion in 'Showroom' started by vladikcomper, Jun 17, 2022.

  1. vladikcomper

    vladikcomper Well-Known Member Member

    Dec 2, 2009
    I know the release of Sonic Origins will likely make years of slowly crafting this little project somewhat obsolete (its Sonic 1 version is undoubtedly going to be on a different level), so I'm going to release this as-is~

    Sonic 1: Widescreen Edition
    for the Mega-Drive

    The title says it all. It's a Sonic 1 hack which revamps game engine to support widescreen. And I mean proper and stable widescreen support to the best hardware can do (and as you may guess, increased draw distances come with noticeable penalties on the old hardware).

    However, don't get your expectations too high, as this is nowhere near the levels of perfection Sonic 2 Community's Cut and Taxman's Sonic 1 remaster achieve.

    The base game is exactly the same, with almost no level-design accommodations to wider screen. However, there are tons of quality improvements, optimizations, bugfixes and your favourite Spin Dash is here!

    The main point of this hack is not to fully remake Taxman's Sonic 1 on Mega-Drive, but to draw more attention to widescreen Mega-Drive emulation in general (seriously guys, it's about time we get more widescreen hacks!)

    How to get widescreen emulator

    Now, obviously the original hardware and its emulators don't support widescreen, so to play this hack you'll need GensPlusGX-Wide emulator available through Retroarch. And don't you worry, you can install it and get things going in a couple of clicks!

    1. Launch RetroArch, select "Load Core > Download a Core".
    2. Find and install "Genesis Plus GX Wide" core.
    3. Now you can use this core to play this hack!


    Known issues
    1. With no adjustments to boss arenas, some of the bosses are much easier in widescreen. Most notably Spring Yard and Final Zone bosses;
    2. Some objects-heavy portions of Special stages have disappearing sprites at the edges of the screen. This one is unavoidable. Sonic 1 Special stages already pushed hardware to its limits and with increased draw distances, there aren't enough video-memory to draw all the sprites when there's to many of them;
    3. Ending sequence scene is slightly off-center. I didn't have time to properly extend level and fix this.

    - ...Wait a minute! We've had heyjoeway's Widescreen ROM patcher for years now, that's not news!

    That's right. Joye's Quick & dirty autopatcher has been around for years and it's extremely valuable in that it supports both S1 and S2 ROMs as well as the majority of hacks (given engine's base drawing code isn't too modified). However, there's only so much a patcher can do. As the result, ROMs are playable, but quite far from being polished...
    NOTICE: Please don't think ROM autopatcher is of bad quality. It's incredibly impressive because of its flexibility and heyjoeway put a lot of efforts into it. It's just the limitations of technology (ROM patching) and emulator quirks.
    The issues may seem minor to moderate, but it takes months and years to refactor engine and fix them.