• Hey Famiboards, Episode 5 of the Famiboards Discussion Club is now live! WestEgg, Irene, and VolcanicDynamo discuss the WONDERFUL Super Mario Bros. Wonder! Check it out here!
  • Hey everyone, staff have documented a list of banned content and subject matter that we feel are not consistent with site values, and don't make sense to host discussion of on Famiboards. This list (and the relevant reasoning per item) is viewable here.

News a build of the unreleased Game Boy Color shmup "Katakis 3D" has finally been publicly posted online.

Krvavi Abadas

Mr. Archivist
Pronouns
He/They


(By Obscure Gamers, of Terarelease fame. apparently the owner of the site switched, and said owner wants to do releases again.)

so this is a bit of a legendary collaboration that never made it out there, it was being created by Manfred Trenz (hired by Similis on October 2000) and Andreas Escher. the team who previously made classic titles like the Turrican series over at Factor 5. (pssst, come here @Koren Lesthe )
175923-katakis-commodore-64-screenshot-title-screen.png

"Katakis" was one of their earliest titles they made, a horizontal shooter that was fairly similar to R-Type. to the point that the company that owned the home computer rights to the game at the time eked out a deal with them to do an official conversion on Amiga.
as the title suggests, they brought the game over to the third dimension with proper forward scrolling. using various cool visual tricks such as pre-rendered backgrounds and massive boss sprites.

for the musical end, they brought over a guy from the C64's demoscene of the time. Tufan Uysal.
member_sonic.jpg

under the name "SoNiC" he was working under the group Smash Design, with his experience with the SID chip being put to use by having him initially compose the music on the Commodore 64 before converting it for play on the Game Boy.

despite having such an incredible team on-board, the game failed to find a publisher. and the team sadly went their separate ways.
Manfred would go on to found Denaris Entertainment Software, who you might recognize for the Mario Kart XXL demo that got out there a few months ago.
while Tufan would continue working with the C64. the team at Smash Designs would go on to release a homebrew port of Turrican 3 in 2004. which actually reuses some of the tracks originally composed for Katakis 3D amazingly enough.

one of the prototypes for the game would eventually find it's way to one of the Digital Foundry guys (Audi, specifically) who would stream it on Chris Huelsbeck's (composer of the original Katakis) Twitch channel in 2015.
and now said proto is publicly available for download if you know where to look.
 
Amazing ! At first I thought « Hey, that looks like Iridion the GBA ! ». Then I realized that it is a GBC, not a GBA :eek:

Also, you can guess it’s a Manfred Trenz game with the loading screens right from Rendering Ranger R2 ^^
 
Amazing ! At first I thought « Hey, that looks like Iridion the GBA ! ». Then I realized that it is a GBC, not a GBA :eek:

Also, you can guess it’s a Manfred Trenz game with the loading screens right from Rendering Ranger R2 ^^

This! by the way, I asked my friend to get me Turrican physical on Switch :)
 
likely origin of the rom + music comparision.
it's worth noting that the original owner of that Mario Kart XXL cart also had this game.


as such (particularly combined with the fact OG did a fundraiser prior to release.) it's likely this is where the dump is sourced from.

also, i've made a quick comparision of music from this and the C64 Turrican 3, in case you're wondering how the conversion process went.

Watching the video... how did they even pull this off on a Gameboy Color???
well, most of the the backgrounds are pre-rendered images heavily down-converted to fit the GBC's color limit. for one.
notably, there actually was an officially released game that used a similar technique. Toy Story Racer.


it's not quite as cleanly done due to the nature of it being a kart racer, but it at least made it to store shelves.
the GBC port of Cannon Fodder is another example worth noting, as it featured a full (non-interactive) FMV as an intro using similar techniques.
 
the GBC port of Cannon Fodder is another example worth noting, as it featured a full (non-interactive) FMV as an intro using similar techniques.
I made that video, and you should note that what the video is a reconstruction of what the audio would sound if the was played back perfectly. While the FMV is pretty impressive, the wave playback in the intro is heavily distorted in the actual game.

As for Katakis, while it looks impressive, it's kind of using a bruteforce approach to its graphics. It's relying heavily on pre-rendered looping graphics that it's copying to VRAM. For this it's using the GBC's new DMA which was introduced exactly for copying data quickly to VRAM. There are some clever bits. It's using hardware x/y flip to mirror the graphics and double the effective use of each tile (and then double it again if the level has an upper mirrored part). It's also modifying the background scroll position on each scanline to stretch the image vertically and simulate a perspective shift. But ultimately something like 95% of the ROM is uncompressed graphics which is why it's 2 MB. Not that there's really anything wrong with that approach. There are just a lot less clever tricks involved than what it may seem like.
 


Back
Top Bottom