The Guardian Legend

Sequel of The Game => Work => Topic started by: C-Dawg on January 14, 2015, 11:27:24 AM

Title: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on January 14, 2015, 11:27:24 AM
VIDEO SHOWING GAMEPLAY:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=9726IzhjW-s (https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=9726IzhjW-s)

Did you enjoy the old-school NES platform/adventure games?  Blaster Master?  Legacy of the Wizard? The Guardian Legend?  If so, then you'll enjoy this project as well.

(http://www.purezc.net/Projects/224_nhbvg6.png)

============ WHAT IS THIS? ===================

I am coming here to let you guys know about a project I am working on: "Zodiac: The Guardian Story."  It is a game drawn in NES-style sprites, where the action usually takes place in a huge side-scrolling labyrinth divided into coordinates, like Metroid without scrolling, but occasionally puts the player into shoot-em-up levels, or "Corridors" to complete the game.  The action is brutal, old-school platformer and NES shoot-em-up quality.  Be quick or be dead.

The playable portions of the game are complete, and there is something like 30 hours of gameplay there.  I have a bit of work left to do on the ending credits -- and so, so many bug fixes.  Here's a link to the project:

http://www.purezc.net/index.php?page=projects&id=224

Now, warning: this game is being built in Zelda Classic, a very peculiar but fun engine that was designed to make Zelda games.  It's not ideal, but it is what I was familiar with so many years ago when I started working on the project.  That said, the engine has a scripting feature that allows you to add your own features using a C+ -like code, so I've been hard at work modifying the engine.  At this point, it is not easily recognizable as a game that started life as a Zelda 1 clone.

(http://www.purezc.net/Projects/224_nhbvgx.png)

============ WHY DO I CARE? ===================

I'm reaching out beyond the ZClassic community to see if people are interested in giving it a whirl and reporting the bugs. Within the ZClassic, the capabilities I'm adding to the engine are impressive enough that the game may get a "pass" on some quirks that would annoy most end users.  Or, players might accept those quirks as necessary parts of that engine and move on.  I'd like to see how someone who is not familiar with ZClassic feels about it. If anyone here is interested in giving it a shot, that could generate some feedback from someone coming at the game with nothing other than fond memories of the NES games that inspire it. Feedback like that will be very valuable as I move into the bug-stomping, balancing, and polishing of the game.

This is not an attempt to profit or sell anything.  The game is free, and it's being done strictly for my own amusement.  However, I still want to make a product that will appeal broadly.

============ WHATS UP WITH THE MUSIC? ===================

Placeholders.  VGMusic mixes of various older games are being used at the moment to set the mood.  I'm working at getting some original MIDIs mixed up for this game, but since that's beyond my expertise, I'm left asking for help from friends or looking at artists from the website-formerly-known-as-8-bit-collective.  If anyone here is a MIDI artist, I'd love to know you better.

(http://www.purezc.net/Projects/224_nhbvhi.png)

============ HOW DO I PLAY THIS .QST FILE NONSENSE? ===================

Just this file:

https://www.purezc.net/index.php?page=projects&section=downloads&id=557

You should probably configure your controls and sound, too.  I like to play with SFX at one-half the volume of the music, and configure a 4-button controller in the style of the original SNES, but your tastes may vary.

============ WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW? ===================

Just about everything else you need to know is recorded in the current draft of the game manual.  You can read it here:

http://www.purezc.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=66216

The one thing that it does not cover, and may not be obvious to people playing Zelda Classic for the first time, is how you save.  The save option appears after you die.  If you don't want to die, you can press F6 to end the game and bring up the save screen.  If you simply quit the application without doing this, you will not save and that sucks.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: arseniy on January 14, 2015, 11:52:53 AM
It is not a platform based? Doesn't look like top view, but maybe a position of hero confuse and make it look like platformer.

Ah and how to run ZodiacGS (01-12-15).qst?
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on January 14, 2015, 11:57:44 AM
It's a platformer.  Basically, you have the Corridors that are shoot-em-up flying levels, and the labyrinth between them is a tile-based side-scroller like the love child of the original Metroid and Legacy of the Wizard. 

Unlike each of those games, though, there's at least an attempt at a coherent plot moving the player along.

EDIT: I was wondering if I should post instructions about how to run it.  Because the game uses the Zelda Classic engine, you have to download that program.  Zelda Classic uses ".qst" files to store the data.  So, you need to download the exe file from here:

http://www.purezc.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=64855

And then you download the .qst file and put it wherever.  When you boot up ZClassic (not ZQuest, that's the editor tool), you will be greeted with a boot up screen like the original Zelda.  Make a new save file, then press the button assigned to "A" inside ZClassic (not necessarily "A" on your keyboard, mind) and then you will get the option to browse to the .qst file you want to associate with that save file.  Once you've loaded it up correctly, the save file icon will change from Link to the Guardian, and from there you just press start to play.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: arseniy on January 14, 2015, 11:59:53 AM
how to run that ZodiacGS (01-12-15).qst?
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on January 14, 2015, 12:03:35 PM
how to run that ZodiacGS (01-12-15).qst?

Hah, we're playing with each other's edits.  I put some instructions above when I noticed your post edit.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: arseniy on January 14, 2015, 12:13:31 PM
I don't know what is A button and where to change controls
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on January 14, 2015, 12:16:04 PM
I don't know what is A button and where to change controls

I believe you can see the control assignments in the option menu.  Press "ESC" to bring up the menu.

Also, if I recall correctly, A is mapped to either CNTRL or ALT by default.  I have long-since remapped the buttons to a controller, so I do not remember.

Along those lines, please also make sure that A, B, L, and R are mapped in the following pattern:

A  B
L  R

Sort of like a SNES controller.  This is because A and B are your item slots, L is jumping, and R is used for dashing later on.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: arseniy on January 14, 2015, 12:16:44 PM
I think you should add some clear instructions. I found how to run the game but trust me, most of people are not able to solve such things like this.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on January 14, 2015, 12:17:56 PM
I think you should add some clear instructions. I found how to run the game but trust me, most of people are not able to solve such things like this.

Absolutely.  The idea, when it is complete, is to draw up a manual in the style of the old NES games in a PDF that will come with the quest file explaining how to run it.  For purposes of this thread, hopefully, the discussion between us will ensure people see exactly how to run it! 

Thanks for the help!
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: arseniy on January 14, 2015, 12:27:09 PM
I've beaten the boss but nothing happens. The background keep scrolling.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on January 14, 2015, 12:28:39 PM
Do you know what you were doing when that happened?  I've had some reports of that happening, but I've been totally unable to replicate the bug on my end.  I can't tell whats going on with the code, but it's an intermittent problem and most people find it works if they try again.

They shouldn't have to, but hey, like I said, it's still a work in progress.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: arseniy on January 14, 2015, 12:48:10 PM
As for the first level I'd say it has nothing common with TGL and reminds me of gameplay from other project posted here Rikerok Saga. Unfortunatelly stopped. I don't play SHMUPs, so I don't know where you two took this inspiration. Or maybe it only seems similar because I don't play/like SHMUPs much usually. And TGL is only SHMUP I really liked a lot.

P.S.
Also the boss didn't had explosions. Don't know if there should. Also previous thing like miniboss just dissapeared after a while and big ship appeared suddenly. I thought it was because just a demo.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on January 14, 2015, 01:59:11 PM
As for the first level I'd say it has nothing common with TGL and reminds me of gameplay from other project posted here Rikerok Saga.

I'll check out that demo; sounds good!  I agree that I didn't really set out to copy the mechanics of TGL exactly; I'm not concerned about the technical details of how the ship moves and how many hit points the enemies have, that kind of thing.  It's more of a game that takes some inspiration for how TGL added zest and excitement to a dungeon crawler by interspersing it with Corridors and lots of intermediate bosses and minibosses.

Once its done, though, the idea is that if you liked TGL you will probably like Zodiac, too.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: arseniy on January 14, 2015, 02:07:31 PM
He didn't post his progress unfortunatelly. He posted some early demo, then worked some more with it but did not posted any updates since then :'(
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on January 14, 2015, 02:13:58 PM
Well, I can't promise much in the way of competing with his project as a direct sequel to TGL, but I can promise that my project will actually be completed. :)

Just for reference, I just finished coding up the final boss for the game.  All that remains to be done to make the game proper playable from start to end is to do some of the ending bits -- fleeing the exploding asteroid after the final Corridor, some dialogue before the final boss, dialogue and events right after the final boss, and then the end.  We're essentially done.

From there, it's mostly just going to be months of fine tuning and tweaks to bugs or game mechanic annoyances.

My beta testers are currently taking about a week of solid playing to get from the beginning of the game up to the end areas, so there's tons of gameplay here.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: deepshock on January 14, 2015, 08:12:46 PM
Good luck, C-Dawg. I'll give this game a shot for sure!  :bluelander:
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: arseniy on January 15, 2015, 02:36:57 AM
I tried again but same happened. The boss dissapeared and nothing happens after, level keep scrolling.
Maybe because of win XP?
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on January 15, 2015, 11:28:17 AM
Probably not that.  I wonder what the deal is?  Do you have a specific way of finishing off the boss?  Do you always kill the yellow bits first?  Or not?  Or in a specific order?

It's a shame not to get past this, because there's probably 40 hours or so of gameplay behind that dork in the actual game.  It's not polished yet, but the game's all there.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: arseniy on January 15, 2015, 12:51:33 PM
I killed him with normal bullets. First 4 turrets then middle.

40 hours of gameplay, that's crazy much.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on January 15, 2015, 03:58:01 PM
I killed him with normal bullets. First 4 turrets then middle.

40 hours of gameplay, that's crazy much.

Prove me wrong ;)

Perhaps the bug is coming from hitting the yellow parts first.  Try focusing only on the pink vulnerability point.  I will try to revisit this bug again as soon as I get home tonight.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: UserK on January 16, 2015, 04:25:31 AM
Dawg! That's 100% oldschool!  :)
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on January 16, 2015, 09:35:19 AM
Been rock'n it since the nineties, anyway.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on January 20, 2015, 11:28:28 AM
The playable portion of this game is now complete.  All I have to do at this point is script the ending credits and cinematic, and then go back and squash bugs, improve gameplay, etc.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: arseniy on January 20, 2015, 01:28:47 PM
And make it launch by itself.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on January 20, 2015, 02:31:40 PM
Yeah.  Well, what I plan to do is this.  The game will download as a ZIP file that will have three sections:

1. Manual and Readme
2. Game Data (including Zelda Classic, if the owners don't mind)
3. A shortcut to ZClassic.exe.

I should be able to pre-load a bunch of blank saves, so that a new player only has to click the shortcut and then select a file and go.  Im not sure that I can pre-load the button configuration, though.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on February 10, 2015, 11:22:39 AM
I continue to plug ahead with fixing all of the bugs and quirks.  If you havn't check out Zodiac yet, it's a great time to do so so I can incorporate your concerns and issues into my to-do list.  Bosses are getting redone to be more visually impressive, challenging, and interesting.  Gameplay mechanics are constantly being tweaked for the better.

If you are on the fence about helping out, here's the current draft of the instruction manual you can view on-line:

http://www.purezc.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=66216

Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: arseniy on February 10, 2015, 11:59:07 AM
Was that bug fixed where I could not pass far than level 1?
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on February 12, 2015, 12:11:10 PM
I thought so, but my testers say it does happen on occasion.  So I'm overhauling the original boss entirely and replacing it from the ground up.  If you can't find the spiders, burn the house down, I always say.

EDIT: Okay, I've now uploaded a new version that has completely revamped this initial boss.  I don't think it's possible for the game to hang on it anymore.  If you check it out and report things you like and don't like, that'd be appreciated!
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on March 23, 2015, 02:08:47 PM
The game continues to improve.  I have now re-vamped all of the Zodiac weapons to have charged modes that have secondary uses.  By the end of the week, I will have replaced every normal enemy in the game with a more interesting and challenging version.  Coding continues apace, and I continue to encourage people to give it a shot so I can keep getting bug reports.  I update versions every 2 - 3 days.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on March 31, 2015, 10:12:55 AM
The enemy update is now complete.  There are a few minibosses here and there to upgrade, and I'm re-vamping some of the later game major bosses to be more challenging and consistent.  If you haven't checked out the project yet, now is a great time to do so and give me feed back on the enemies!
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: arseniy on March 31, 2015, 01:21:06 PM
Does it has map?
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: arseniy on April 01, 2015, 05:35:26 AM
I think on top of the main post you should put a clear instructions how to launch the game and controls.
I posted to some public and few people who tried game could not figure out how to launch the game.

Also how to save progress? I beaten small boss on walk levels who gave me rockets and visted recovery rooms. But after close the game progress lost.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on April 01, 2015, 09:21:54 AM
Arseniy, for detailed explanations you can read the manual, located here:

http://www.purezc.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=66216

I will put a link in the Opening Post.

I do not use the map function for the game.  The idea is to make the player work things out using the coordinate system instead. 

There is a way to save.  When your character dies, you will get the option to save.  Alternatively, you can press F5 to automatically quit the current game and go to the save screen.  IF YOU JUST TURN OFF THE GAME WITHOUT SAVING THEN YOUR PROGRESS WILL NOT BE SAVED.

Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: arseniy on April 01, 2015, 09:55:43 AM
Oh. Too bad it has no map. So confusing.
Could there be more player friendly way to save game? Also you did not mentioned the F5 in manual.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on April 01, 2015, 11:17:08 AM
Oh. Too bad it has no map. So confusing.
Could there be more player friendly way to save game? Also you did not mentioned the F5 in manual.

Good point!  I will add F5 to the manual.

As for the no-map feature... each area in the game is a solid rectangle from 0,0 to 7,F, so a map would show you where you had not yet explored but not much else, really. 
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: arseniy on April 01, 2015, 11:31:14 AM
But that's the whole point of the maps! :redlander:
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on April 01, 2015, 11:38:34 AM
But that's the whole point of the maps! :redlander:

Hah!  Good point. 

Here's the technical skinny on maps.  The program I'm developing in does have a map feature.  I don't want to use it, however, because I am doing things with the code and game design that would make the automated map feature do weird and unexpected things.

However, there's nothing stopping me from coding up a custom map solution.  That is, I can add a script that duplicates the map system and displays that when the player hits the map button.  It would be independent from the subscreen.  If this is a common request (for maps) then I may look into that down the road in development.  More people need to play so I know what to prioritize, though!
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on April 02, 2015, 08:57:32 AM
Bump: I have updated the opening post to include some more information and a video showing gameplay to entice more people to try it out.  The more who play, the more bugs I can detect faster!

Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: arseniy on April 02, 2015, 09:50:52 AM
The video has no sound.
Might be more intresting to have vid where you enter the fly stage also. So players can see both modes.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: arseniy on April 03, 2015, 10:27:08 AM
You really need some very clear step by step instruction how to launch the game. A guy reported me he could not launch the game tho he is used to emulators.
Most people are lame at those things. Your instruction is for people who are used to that Zelda engine but it's not for general public.

I think you need separate instructions only for launch game + controls in addition. Most people wont read long fancy manual. Need a short separate straight to the game instruction without background story etc.
And it sould be in text so other language gamers could translate it by copy-paste in translator.


Don't think about people like smart users. Most are not. Need very clear step by step instruction.

I think you could put a link like "Instructions how to launch the game and controls are here". Or something.
Here, before the description, not after.
(http://data3.floomby.com/files/share/3_4_2015/18/JKGhduqnIEGJBsK5lMYkyQ.png)
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on April 07, 2015, 09:24:35 AM
I take your point, Arseniy, but I feel like there's really no way I can make sure people stop and read how to load the file for sure.  I mean, right now I have:

1) Described how to load the .qst file in the opening post of this thread;
2) Discussed loading the file with you in this thread; and
3) Provided a link to a manual showing you screenshots and step-by-step instructions to load the file.

I don't know that putting the information on the top of every page discussing the game everywhere is gonna get the job done if what I've done already hasn't.

The better option is to arrange it so that the game auto-loads and none of this is necessary.  That's possible, but it won't be done until the game is bug-free and polished because it will involve the ZC devs making some tweaks for me.  If they're willing.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: newstarshipsmell on May 05, 2015, 01:00:02 PM
You really need some very clear step by step instruction how to launch the game. A guy reported me he could not launch the game tho he is used to emulators.
ZC can be pretty confusing for first-time users. Unfortunately, I don't think it's really possible to set it up to simply launch with the game.

Possibly C-Dawg could simply offer it with a complete copy of ZC, with his custom quest replacing the default 1st.qst file, so that when players start a new quest and begin playing, it simply loads his quest instead. Potential issues with that:

I'm not sure it will load his custom sprite for the quest icon in the main menu (so it might remain NES TLOZ Link, instead of turning into your commbot) since it seems to be the act of selecting a custom quest that loads/replaces the menu sprite.

Also, I'm not sure how ZC handles beating the game on the default quest. The original TLOZ on the NES, which the engine aims to emulate perfectly, returns you to the main menu after the endgame credits, and loads a 2nd quest in the saveslot you were using, starting over at the beginning of the game. ZC has 2nd, and custom 3rd and 4th quest files as well, and if the engine is hardcoded to start the player on 2nd.qst after finishing the endgame credits - well, that would be flawed, regardless of whether it loads TLOZ master quest, loads a 2nd.qst file that is simply a copy of the Zodiac .qst file, or has been removed completely. Shipping it without that .qst file included might cause the engine to crash after running the credits, or display an error message, perhaps corrupting the gamesave in the process. I have no idea.

Regardless, it's still not possible to launch the custom quest directly, bypassing the ZC intro and main menu, so people are still going to have to contend with that.

Anyways, I wrote up a very detailed set of step-by-step instructions with screenshots for every step, which I'd posted over on TIGSource. Here it is. Feel free to link to it here or there if you're promoting the game elsewhere - feel free to copy it and paste it elsewhere as well:
http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=45741.msg1109271#msg1109271

I've never run the Mac or Linux versions, so I have no idea how they differ from the Windows version.

Quote from: newstarshipsmell
Guide to starting a new game (in Windows, either with ZC 2.50 or 2.50.1)

Download the ZC 2.50.1 or 2.50 archive:
http://www.purezc.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=64855 (2.50.1 from Dropbox)
http://www.zeldaclassic.com/downloads.php (2.50 from Armageddon Games)

Download the Zodiac, Story of the Guardian archive:
http://www.purezc.net/index.php?page=projects&id=224
Click on Download Demo, and on the subsequent screen, click on Download (N.NN MB).

Unpack the zc-250-win.zip / zc-2-50-1-win.zip archive wherever you like - it doesn't install itself.

Copy the 224_ZodiacStoryoftheGuardian-PUBLICBetaMMDDYY_NNN.zip archive inside the Zelda Classic folder, and unpack the quest zip file there.

Run zlaunch-w.exe.

Click on Launch ZC. After launching ZC, you can close this window, or leave it open. It's just a launcher that sets command-line options for the actual ZC program. Settings are pretty self-explanatory.
(http://i.imgur.com/XRz69F5m.png) (http://i.imgur.com/XRz69F5.png)

The first time you run ZC, you'll see this. Click OK.
(http://i.imgur.com/Lq7ABTbm.png) (http://i.imgur.com/Lq7ABTb.png)

Press ENTER:
(http://i.imgur.com/BhuyTyem.png) (http://i.imgur.com/BhuyTye.png)

Press ENTER:
(http://i.imgur.com/HynQaGLm.png) (http://i.imgur.com/HynQaGL.png)

Press ENTER with the heart on REGISTER YOUR NAME:
(http://i.imgur.com/v4bIiF6m.png) (http://i.imgur.com/v4bIiF6.png)

Type in whatever (8-character limit) and press ENTER:
(http://i.imgur.com/T1bqsilm.png) (http://i.imgur.com/T1bqsil.png)

You should see something like this:
(http://i.imgur.com/QSh9gMBm.png) (http://i.imgur.com/QSh9gMB.png)

Pressing ENTER at this point will load the default quest. To load a custom quest, you must press "A" rather than "Start" (i.e. ENTER) - but the game engine is referring to a button A (as in, A and B buttons) not the A key on the keyboard. By default, ALT is mapped to "A" and CTRL is mapped to "B".

To change the keyboard/controller input mappings, press ESC (or click anywhere on the screen.)
The screen will grey out and you'll see the menu bar. Click Settings, Controls and then Key Buttons...:
(http://i.imgur.com/kCh4k55m.png) (http://i.imgur.com/kCh4k55.png)

Change these to whatever you like. While you're at it, go back to Settings > Controls and click on Joystick/Gamepad... to configure your controller, if plugged in.
(http://i.imgur.com/uUTWYOxm.png) (http://i.imgur.com/uUTWYOx.png)

Once you're done, you should be back at the Quest menu (if the screen's still greyed out, press ESC again, or click on GAME and CONTINUE) with your Name you just registered. With the heart cursor next to your name/save file, press "A", whatever key/button you just assigned to A. You should see this:
(http://i.imgur.com/NTOMZPCm.png) (http://i.imgur.com/NTOMZPC.png)

Press "A" again. You'll see the Select Custom Quest popup. Click Browse:
(http://i.imgur.com/qsNGGhgm.png) (http://i.imgur.com/qsNGGhg.png)

Click on the ZodiacGS .qst file and click OK:
(http://i.imgur.com/O0wVwvsm.png) (http://i.imgur.com/O0wVwvs.png)

Wait for a couple seconds - the window will be unresponsive for a few. When this confirmation popup appears, click OK:
(http://i.imgur.com/FdEQMX2m.png) (http://i.imgur.com/FdEQMX2.png)

You have now loaded the quest properly. You can immediately start playing it by pressing ENTER (with the heart next to it):
(http://i.imgur.com/vXoowtMm.png) (http://i.imgur.com/vXoowtM.png)

Once you've assigned a custom quest to a game save, it will stay that way - you'll skip most of the above steps to resume playing later. You just need to get to the menu screen, select your quest, and press ENTER to resume it.

Guide to continuing/saving/retrying your game

Just like The Legend of Zelda, you have the option to Continue, Save or Retry when you die:
(http://i.imgur.com/gKwg0vrm.png) (http://i.imgur.com/gKwg0vr.png)

You can also force this menu at any time by pressing F6 and clicking Yes to the confirmation prompt:
(http://i.imgur.com/KBDGWVZm.png) (http://i.imgur.com/KBDGWVZ.png)

Continue: Resume play from the last continue point*, retaining any progress since last save.
Save: Save progress up until death/F6 selection, and return to the main menu. Resuming the quest will start you off at the last continue point.*
Retry: Discard all progress since last save and return to the main menu. Resuming the quest will start you off from the previously saved continue point.*
* ZC confusingly uses two different kinds of "continue" points. There can be multiple "soft" continue points within an area, and when you F6/die and Continue, you'll resume from the last one of these soft continue points. However, each area of the game contains only one "hard" resume point, which is where the player will appear when loading the game from the main menu (after selecting either Save or Retry, or resuming the game after closing/relaunching the engine.) These points are (as far as I know, in this quest) also always "soft" continue points as well, but you will not always resume from the same location depending upon whether you Continue or instead Save/resume from the main menu. This is hardcoded into the engine, I believe, and not something that can be changed.

Your health bar will always reset to full when resuming a game, but your energy bar will remain where it was when you died/F6'ed.

Please note: there is some inconsistency in how the save/continue points work, presently. In some levels, when you quit/continue|save/resume, you'll resume from the level entrance; in other levels, you'll resume from the last door you entered/exited. And to top it all off, some of the inside rooms may still have continue bugs, where if you quit/continue|save/resume inside of them, you'll resume from a room in a completely different level. Please report those, if you find any. The continue points are another area listed for overhaul.

Guide to updating the Quest Version

C-Dawg is updating the quest demo version fairly frequently with bugfixes and additions/improvements, so... if you just want to give the quest a try, simply follow the above steps and play it through on one version. If you really dig it and want to help hunt for bugs to report, then you may want to update your quest version while you're playing through the game, as new demo versions become available. Read on if you so wish...

Once you've assigned a particular custom quest file to a particular game save, there is no way to change which quest file is assigned to the game save, within ZC. (You can reassign the quest associated with the game save prior to saving any progress, but not afterwards.) However, you can easily swap the actual .qst files out, so ZC will look where the old one was and load the new one instead.

If a new version is posted, go ahead and download the .zip to your Zelda Classic folder.

The Download Demo link on the main Quest Project page (http://www.purezc.net/index.php?page=projects&id=224) always links to the newest demo (to see a list of all demos available for download, click on the View All Demos (http://www.purezc.net/index.php?page=projects&section=downloads&pid=224) link.) You can also subscribe to the project (for updates) by clicking the Follow Project (http://www.purezc.net/index.php?page=projects&section=form&follow=224) link (though you'll need to register, obviously.) On the little Receive Notifications popup, click Yes, and you'll get alerts at the top right next to your username when you visit the site.

Once you've saved the new demo to your folder, navigate to the folder. Close ZC if you left it open. Click on the old quest file and press F2 to edit the file name. Press CTRL+C to copy it. Press ENTER. Press DELETE. Press ENTER. Now click on the new quest file and press F2. Press CTRL+V. Press ENTER. You're done! ZC will now load the new quest in place of the old one, so you can go ahead and relaunch it and resume your game. The actual game save data is stored in a separate file, so deleting the old quest file won't delete your progress.

Keep in mind, though, that there is presently a bug with the game, which may or may not prevent you from accessing the final level. Two of us have discovered, while playtesting, that some of the corridors keep re-opening on us, after we've beaten/closed them. This interferes with the game reacting to completion of the corridors correctly, a necessary task for reaching the final area, so the only way to proceed at that point is to "cheat" and move through a closed gate to reach a cutscene that opens the final level. This may be happening because we've both swapped quest files during playthrough, or it may be happening for some other reason. If you reach this point in the game and experience this bug, feel free to PM me and I'll walk you through the workaround to access the final level. ETA: This has apparently been resolved in the most recent Demo, v434 released on 02-15-15, so you can probably disregard the preceding paragraph if you're playing on this or later demos.

Also, some global variables may be changed by the quest author, i.e. C-Dawg, between versions, in which case you may have to start over from the beginning on a brand new game save from the new demo version. (Or you can just ignore the update and continue playing through on the version you already have.) If this is the case, he will (probably) state this very clearly in the demo description, so players know not to attempt swapping it in place of earlier versions to resume a previous game.

If you become physically stuck anywhere, e.g. by warping/entering a door and appearing somewhere obviously wrong/inside a wall, please report it. You can press F6 and select CONTINUE to at least resume the game from your last continue point, without losing anything you picked up. In general, if you find a bug in some room, it's helpful to report it with the area name and room coordinates (rather than "somewhere in Aquarius near that one boss," etc.) and if you feel a screenshot would help, press F12 to take a snapshot of the game - it'll be in your Zelda Classic folder with a file name like zeldaNNN.png.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on June 15, 2015, 10:47:42 AM
Updated the game with new player physics and new music, among numerous other bug fixes.  In the home stretch now!  Anyone who wants to provide feedback for inclusion is running out of time. :)
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on August 04, 2015, 08:49:13 AM
Polished beta testing is more or less complete.  There are some quirky things remaining, but nothing with a good effort / reward ratio at this point.  The only things left to do are:

1) Add additional content (alternative endings, boss rush, TGL mode)
and
2) Correct any major bugs someone finds that none of my testers located, of course.

And -- you'll like this, Arsiney -- I have a solution to the quest loading problem.  Go here:

https://www.purezc.net/index.php?page=projects&section=downloads&id=557

If you get the drop-boxed documents, everything you need is right there and you just have to point and click.  Run the "!!!!RUN ME!!!!" file and start a quest and off you go.  There's no need to muck around with the qst loading screen at all.  Now, you probably still want to configure your sound and controls (I use 50% SFX to music ratio and I configure controls like an original SNES controller) but that's up to your tastes.

Couldn't be easier!
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: arseniy on August 04, 2015, 01:57:49 PM
I think the first level is really too hard for the first time player.
The new begining is really great, it shows player that he might have a way bigger weapons power later.
Maybe a transition between fighting with backup fighters could be different, but I am not the one who should give feedback on it.
Thanks, I will show the demo again in some russian retro public.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on September 03, 2015, 10:18:20 AM
For those who want to watch other people play instead of playing it yourself, we now have a Lets Play in progress.  You can check the first video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-R12t5BTYk

The Let's Player uploads new segments every 2 days. 

Note that the version he is playing does not have the bonus features I'm finishing up on my side:
4 endings, from worst to best, obtained by taking alternate plot routes through the game;
Boss Rush mode; and
Fighter Rush mode (we know it as TGL mode)
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: arseniy on September 03, 2015, 12:36:59 PM
OKay that's really cool! It takes so long before you go into the ship mode. He played for half hour and didn't. And he plays better than me. The game wasn't easy last time I played it.

[EDIT] I browsed through his lets play and I see spaceship mode only in 10th video. And they are all around half a hour so to meet the ship mode have to play around 4 hours. Oh.. I was hope it'll be a bit more often.
The background is really lovely. Looks like inspired by The Guardian Legend organic stages? Tho there are lot of this type of stages in SHMUPS but that definatyelly look like it would fit TGL 16 bit.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on September 03, 2015, 01:24:15 PM
Arseny:

Well, the LPer actually stumbled right past the first Corridor without finding it in the first video where he goes to Aries.  Even so, yes, there's a really big gap between when you start the game and when you start coming across Corridors regularly.  That's by design.  Because Zodiac has more things going on than TGL did, I need to spend more time teaching the player about other aspects of the game.  I don't toss in the Corridors until later.  Even so, remember that this game is taking people 30 - 40 hours to finish, so finding a corridor 4 hours in isn't that bad, really.

But, yeah, Zodiac isn't TGL.  It just borrows some themes and insights from that game, and, I think, improves on them in a unique direction.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: arseniy on September 03, 2015, 01:57:08 PM
22 corridors sounds pretty good! :redlander:
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: C-Dawg on September 03, 2015, 02:14:30 PM
Yeah, see, I keep trying to impress upon you how large this game actually is.  The LPer is maybe 1/10 of the way through the game so far.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: Charly on January 14, 2017, 02:03:38 AM
Er... I can't play the music while playing the game. Any reason? Although I have the latest demo version, but the audio doesn't seem to play.
Title: Re: Zodiac: The Guardian Story
Post by: arseniy on June 23, 2018, 03:02:19 AM
I wish this was finished BTW