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BlockMaster

Blue frogs in the Time Pod NEW : Now (maybe) solved!

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Incidentally, troflip, author of SCI Companion (a tool used to create SCI0 games), is making an update to his tool so that we will finally be able to make VGA SCI games! ALSO, he's working hard on a decompiler which will allow us to examine SQ4's or any SCI game (up to SCI1.1) scripts so we can discover just how to trigger this event. Or even re-enable it if it's not already. :) :)

 

http://sciprogramming.com/community for more details.

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I am amazed. I am friggin amazed at the fact that this thread has been revived, with actually a new theory. Wow. *applauses* The shoulder! Why didn't I think of that earlier? I never tried many things on the shoulder, and yes, it might be triggered Under certain circumstances. I am so excited for this. I think this might still be in the game! You might call me crazy, but in the past, I posted on an old thread, (can't recall WHICH) the fact that I seem to remember hearing the narrator say this in-game. The first thing that I thought, the first time, when I heard that line in the RESOURCE.Aud, was timepod, Xenon. I might be wrong on the Xenon part, but I am pretty sure I did hear this line in the time pod! I think, and it's just a theory, that it's a rare occasion thing, where you need to look at Roger's shoulder multiple times tp trigger it. Or it is random, because I'm pretty sure I triggered it first try once... I'm going to research on that. It would be ironic if someone finds how to trigger it, after all this time, and that it's actually still in-game.

 

- BlockMaster

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Progress update : No matter how many things I tried on the shoulder, a hundred times each, it still didn't pop up. A weird note : When you click the talk icon on your shoulder in the released version, it gives generic talk messages. When you do it in the BETA, it says : you talk to yourself. So in the beta, the shoulder is actually registered as an interactive object, a function they could've removed between that time and the final release. Also, in NRS time code patch, he renabled the Time-O-Matic menu, which is activated... guess how... by using the HAND icon of Roger's left shoulder! Did he accidentally renabled the "Blue Frogs" too, if that line was supposed to be triggered when looking at his shoulder, at the time when his shoulder was actually an object?

 

BlockMaster

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The teleport menu, with all the time codes. I posted earlier in this thread the script of it. NRS reactivated it in a patch, where you need to click on Roger's left shoulder to open a menu with all the time codes.

 

BlockMaster

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Ah, I did not know that. Incidentally, troflip (author of SCI Companion that I mentioned earlier) was kind enough to provide the source for SQ4 and SQ5 courtesy of his (in progress) SCI script decompiler. HE said it's not complete yet and some portions are still in asm and not all of it is included, but it should be much easier to get a grasp at what is going on in the time pod room. I've looked over it already. The frog instance is there just like it is viewed in SCI Viewer, but it contains a method called DoVerb that seems to have something to do with time codes (so what you say makes sense here, BlockMaster. The shoulder, the blue frog, and the time code menu are all connected). Other than that, the frog instance is never used anywhere. I don't even know if it has to be used anywhere or not. Having worked on SCI0 fangames, I know that to use instances you have to declare them and then specifically use them in the code somewhere. It might be the kind of thing where the game automatically looks for these kinds of instances for icon interaction responses without needing to use them like an SCI0 parser game does. I'll dig into it more and see what I can see...

 

Here they are for your perusal! I recommend viewing the files in Notepad++ and changing the Language syntax highlighting to C++ (even though it isn't, it's close enough). The files are all renamed to .TXT, but if they were to be decompiled with SCI Companion and worked with and recompiled, they would be .SC files. A lot of the code is full of unnamed variables and procedures that are given names like "global112" etc, because he hasn't been able to get the original names out of the compiled script as they no longer exist. However, he mentioned he might be able to get most of them by another means. Anyway, lots of unnamed variables.

 

EDIT: I see now that the frog instance isn't even initialized while the other instances are. That's probably what NRS added in his version. Which means that the blue frogs line should exist in his version. I'm going to do some tests with it.

 

EDIT 2: I just tried using Roger's left shoulder with the hand in the Time Pod in NRS's patched game, but it doesn't do anything. Am I missing something?

SQ4Source.zip

SQ5Source.zip

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:( Confirmation from someone in-the-know:

 

 

 

About the blue frog stuff, it is not possible to trigger that response. The frog object is a Feature, that is to say, a part of the pic that responds to commands (without being a view). A Feature usually has some sort of graphical representation, but in other cases one must resort to pixel hunting (there's a debug feature in LSL5 as welll). In this case, the Feature is placed on Roger's left shoulder, as the text implies (or rather, it is his shoulder).
Now, the reasons why you can't get the message in the released version:
 
  • The frog feature is not initialized at room start-up, so the game system doesn't know it's there
  • Even if the frog feature was initialized, another feature (restOfPod) takes precedence over it, so the game system doesn't care it's there
  • The doVerb method of the feature disregards which icon was used - and doesn't call its superclass - so the default handler for the "look" cursor isn't run.

A little ScummVM-fu can solve the first two problems and enable the teleport code (indeed, I've done so). A hex-editor might solve the third and cause the message to be displayed.

 

So that rules it out completely. Only hope left is NRS's patched version...

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So... how do I say this properly... I'm going to go straight to the point : I'm an idiot with Space Quest Collection directories and Dosbox. I have no idea how I am supposed to update my patch path or Sierra.INI to install the patch. I am clueless. I tried the Windows directory to sq4's files, in Space Quest collection, where I did put the patch, as suggested on the website, but it didn't work. I then tried the dosbox directory/game directory. Didn't work either. I don't know if it's Space Quest Collection that is making it impossible to achieve. If someone knows how to do this... please tell me. I can't test anything if I can't make the patch work. Thanks in advance,

 

BlockMaster

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It should just be a matter of dropping the 531.hep file into the game folder if you're playing the CD version (from the collections) or dropping the script.531 file into the game folder if you're playing the disk version. Can you post the contents of your RESOURCE.CFG file?

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Here : 

 

 videoDrv  = VGA320.DRV
 soundDrv  = ADL.DRV
 audioDrv  = AUDBLAST.DRV
 joyDrv    = NO
 kbdDrv    = IBMKBD.DRV
 mouseDrv  = STDMOUSE.DRV
 memoryDrv = ARM.DRV
 mode = real
 CD = yes
 audioSize = 32k
 directory = \SIERRA\SQ4
 minHunk   = 206K
 patchDir= \SIERRA\SQ4
 audio=. 

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Should just be able to drop the HEP file into the SQ4 folder.

 

I just tried it. The time cheat works, but the blue frog line still isn't processed. Every interaction triggers the warp menu instead. It just was plain removed. But we can soon fix that with the possibilities of SCI Companion 3. :)

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SIERRA.INI is not used for the DOS version. patchDir= \SIERRA\SQ4 is your problem. All the "." or ".\" means is the current directory regardless of path. Depending on your DOBox mountings "\SIERRA\SQ4" may not exist. It would mean that you had a SIERRA sub director with a SQ4subdirectory under that. If your patch files are in a "PATCHES" folder  then patchDir=.\;.\PATCHES willget the game to look in the game's base folder and in a PATCHES subdirectory. This is why the new installers help. It is done for you automatically.

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The patch is a script file, which looks exactly like any other .HEP, except the letters are not capitalized. I tried making a PATCHES folder and redirecting to it, with still no success. By the way, I'm doing all this in Windows. Windows 8, to be precise, in my Space Quest Collection folder on my C:\Program Files\Sierra folder, not in DosBox. DosBox is only used by the Space Quest collection to run the game. I don't think running this patch on Space Quest collection is possible. Already tried to install NRS's one before, but all narrator's sounds were cut, so I removed it. I don't know if it is my computer or what, but something isn't right.

 

Depending on your DOBox mountings "\SIERRA\SQ4" may not exist.

I don't have any dosbox mountings that I know of. This is on Windows Space Quest Collection.

 

 

SIERRA.INI is not used for the DOS version.

This isn't the dos version, it is the Collection dosbox version, so is there something that I am supposed to do with SIERRA.INI?

 

Also, the website explaining how to install the timer fixes, as linked on spacequest.net archives, is not hosted anymore, so I'm running out of ideas. Maybe there's just no way I can get this to work with my computer configuration.

 

BlockMaster

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Which Space Quest Collection is this? One of the old ones or the 2006 Vivendi released one? It is possible with every version of an SCI game (excluding extremely old KQ4 and LSL2 copies) to drop files in the game folder and patch it. If it's not working something else is wrong. Probably with folder mounting/redirecting issues. If it runs in DOSBox then it's the DOS version.

 

At this point you're better of using Collector's installers from Sierra Help Pages to install a fresh copy of the game as it'll set everything up in order for you where patch files will work.

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I don't have any dosbox mountings that I know of. This is on Windows Space Quest Collection.

 

By that I assume that you have the 2006 VU collection. Those releases are real nightmares. This is about the KQ 2006 VU release, but all four had very similar issues.

 

http://sierrahelp.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=657

 

They were missing games, missing files, poorly configured games with the dosbox.conf hardcoded into that funky launcher. And to cap it all off it uses a VERY old version of DOSBox that creates a host of problems on its own. Just use the new installer. It corrects all issues with this piss poor release.

 

http://sierrahelp.com/Patches-Updates/NewSierraInstallers.html#Collections

 

If you have one of the other collections, download the one that matches the collection version you have.

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So based on the fact that the trigger for the line was removed in the official release of the game, it seems that blue frogs on the narrator's shoulder did not, in fact, make him happy. I still find it a bit odd that the line was recorded in the studio for the CD version and added to RESOURCE.AUD anyway, but then again, a lot of unused lines were recorded such as the unused smell-taste messages for the Time Pod.

 

At least we have found somewhat of an answer to the whereabouts of the evasive Blue Frog.

 

Hopefully we can find other "missing lines" with the new SCI Companion as well. For instance, there's another line in SQ4 on the central screen of the streets of Xenon that I still have not figured out how to trigger - "You're starting to show your age."

 

Oh, there's also a Monty Python And The Holy Grail reference in Conquests Of The Longbow as well, in the room with the tapestry in the Abbey. As with the above, I haven't figured out how to trigger that one either.

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Hopefully we can find other "missing lines" with the new SCI Companion as well. For instance, there's another line in SQ4 on the central screen of the streets of Xenon that I still have not figured out how to trigger - "You're starting to show your age."

Oh no, a new blue frogs story begin... ;)

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