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CRTGAMER
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Game List of Unusual Hardware Cues

by CRTGAMER Thu May 02, 2013 12:27 pm

I read a recent article concening the history of an older game called Maniac Mansion. One thing that caught my eye is the mention of the Commodore 64 disk drive. During the game, It would spool up with the red access light turning on. This happened right before any cut scene, the drive indicating that something is about to happen.

Ron Gilbert Maniac Mansion Programmer wrote:The Commodore 64 version unintentionally added more trepidation due to the idiosyncratic hardware. Everything could not fit into memory, so before the cutscenes started, the disk drive would spin up. Players would freak out because they knew something was about to happen. That weird Commodore 64 disk light became the Pavlov's dog thing for people playing the game, because whenever it came on they'd tense up.

This got me thinking of what other games might have an undocumented hardware quirk that would help in game play. Dreamcast Skies Of Arcadia hardware indicator rattle is a more well known, the drive would make a noise right before a random battle which occurs all too often.

Are there any other games that does this?
Please post any game that has a hardware quirk as in the examples I mentioned, I'll keep this OP updated. Be sure to go into detail what happens in the game and what the console does to enhance detection in a game. Not looking for cheat codes or anything, just hardware indicators to use in a game.

CRTGAMER wrote:Game List of Unusual Hardware Cues
Hardware warns that something new is about to happen in a game

COMMODORE 64 - MANIAC MANSION
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Floppy drive access light before cut scene

DREAMCAST D2
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GD drive head access noise before a random encounter

DREAMCAST - SKIES OF ARCADIA
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GD drive head access noise before a battle <Reaction Is Allowed>

PSP - JEANNE D'ARC
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PSP drive spooling before enemy power up or magic

SATURN - SHINING THE HOLY ARK
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Saturn drive makes noise before enemies appear <Reaction Is Allowed>
Last edited by CRTGAMER on Wed May 22, 2013 6:17 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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dsheinem
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Re: Hardware Indicator Games List

by dsheinem Thu May 02, 2013 12:54 pm

doesn't any game for any system with a noisy drive and/or a loading light count? not sure what you are going for here...
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Re: Hardware Indicator Games List

by BoneSnapDeez Thu May 02, 2013 1:06 pm

With something like Skies of Arcadia it's not subtle at all.

I can't think of any more examples though.
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Re: Hardware Indicator Games List

by SNKnicotine Thu May 02, 2013 1:55 pm

I'm not sure if this counts but in Jeanne D'arc when the player or enemy is about to use a power-up or magic attack the PSP goes crazy and sounds like its turbo charged.
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Re: Hardware Indicator Games List

by CRTGAMER Thu May 02, 2013 2:43 pm

SNKnicotine wrote:I'm not sure if this counts but in Jeanne D'arc when the player or enemy is about to use a power-up or magic attack the PSP goes crazy and sounds like its turbo charged.

Thanks for the input. The Player control portion is kind of the opposite affect, the hardware spool up of the PSP happens after something is done. However, interesting that the enemy also gives warning thru the PSP hardware, added to the OP. :D

Looking for before situations, a hardware indication to warn a player that something new is about to happen.

@ dsheinem - True that most any game continuously accesses the drive as a game progresses. BoneSnapDeez is on the right "track", the hardware giving a clear warning something different is about to take place in a game.
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Re: Hardware Indicator Games List

by dsheinem Thu May 02, 2013 3:23 pm

CRTGAMER wrote:
@ dsheinem - True that most any game continuously accesses the drive as a game progresses. BoneSnapDeez is on the right "track", the hardware giving a clear warning something different is about to take place in a game.


I'm pretty sure that a loading light or disc spinning noise ALWAYS means something is about to take place in the game, so I still don't get it. Is a random encounter the only time the disc spins in Skies of Arcadia? What about before cutscenes? Is the sound different? Can you stop or react to either in any meaningful way? And if it spins when other stuff happens too, I don't know that it is technically an "indicator" of anything. Are you going to specify different lengths of spinning to indicate different lengths of cut scenes?

You want a list that says

SYSTEM--GAME--INDICATOR--EVENT

?

I could list every PSP game here, every DC game, etc. as well as multiple things that take place in each of those games.

Stupid thread is stupid.
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Re: Hardware Indicator Games List

by BoneSnapDeez Thu May 02, 2013 3:29 pm

dsheinem wrote:
CRTGAMER wrote:
@ dsheinem - True that most any game continuously accesses the drive as a game progresses. BoneSnapDeez is on the right "track", the hardware giving a clear warning something different is about to take place in a game.


I'm pretty sure that a loading light or disc spinning noise ALWAYS means something is about to take place in the game, so I still don't get it. Is a random encounter the only time the disc spins in Skies of Arcadia? What about before cutscenes? Is the sound different? Can you stop or react to either in any meaningful way? And if it spins when other stuff happens too, I don't know that it is technically an "indicator" of anything. Are you going to specify different lengths of spinning to indicate different lengths of cut scenes?

You want a list that says

SYSTEM--GAME--INDICATOR--EVENT

?

I could list every PSP game here, every DC game, etc. as well as multiple things that take place in each of those games.

Stupid thread is stupid.


Have you played Skies of Arcadia on Dreamcast? The disc doesn't simply spin before a battle, it grinds. And from what I recall you still have a second or two before the battle actually loads so you can heal up or whatnot if unprepared. So the grinding is almost like a "heads up" in a sense. I really can't think of a game that has such a drastic "transition" between two scenes, it's nothing like the usual loading/disc-whirring you'd expect.
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Re: Hardware Indicator Games List

by dsheinem Thu May 02, 2013 3:34 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:
dsheinem wrote:
CRTGAMER wrote:
@ dsheinem - True that most any game continuously accesses the drive as a game progresses. BoneSnapDeez is on the right "track", the hardware giving a clear warning something different is about to take place in a game.


I'm pretty sure that a loading light or disc spinning noise ALWAYS means something is about to take place in the game, so I still don't get it. Is a random encounter the only time the disc spins in Skies of Arcadia? What about before cutscenes? Is the sound different? Can you stop or react to either in any meaningful way? And if it spins when other stuff happens too, I don't know that it is technically an "indicator" of anything. Are you going to specify different lengths of spinning to indicate different lengths of cut scenes?

You want a list that says

SYSTEM--GAME--INDICATOR--EVENT

?

I could list every PSP game here, every DC game, etc. as well as multiple things that take place in each of those games.

Stupid thread is stupid.


Have you played Skies of Arcadia on Dreamcast? The disc doesn't simply spin before a battle, it grinds. And from what I recall you still have a second or two before the battle actually loads so you can heal up or whatnot if unprepared. So the grinding is almost like a "heads up" in a sense. I really can't think of a game that has such a drastic "transition" between two scenes, it's nothing like the usual loading/disc-whirring you'd expect.


so maybe he's after "unsual" hardware indicators...as in unusual for the platform and thus functioning as an actionable cue? Otherwise "disc spins forever and makes a racket while light blinks" would be something to list for any PS2 game that loads an open world (e.g. GTA games), and that seems dumb.
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dsheinem
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Re: Hardware Indicator Games List

by dsheinem Thu May 02, 2013 3:35 pm

I'm also not sure why a list of these is a "guide" :twisted:
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Re: Hardware Indicator Games List

by Hatta Thu May 02, 2013 4:04 pm

This reminds me of something Douglas Hofstadter said about books. Essentially his complaint was that you can always tell how far away from the end of the book you are, which takes away a good bit of suspense. There is, in effect, a hardware indicator that you're nearing the ending. This was before ebooks, so his suggestion was to pad out books with an arbitrary number of blank pages so you're surprised when you get to the ending. Silly idea, but it seemed tangentially relevant.
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