Simon 64

Simon is a homebrew game for the Nintendo 64 by JL_Picard, Dextrose user and fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It took me quite some time to get a hold of, but I found a full release of the game which you can download here (Password: simonn64).

The gameplay is identical to that of the Simon game by Ralph Baer from the late 70’s. You see a colour flash on the screen, and press a button that corresponds to it. From there, a sequence starts building up and you have to memorize the series of colours in the correct order until you lose. Simple enough. The scheme is fairly simple: red is Start, blue is A, green is B, yellow is any C and Gray is the D-pad. This gives it one more variation compared to the classic Simon game. Note that this version of Simon for the Nintendo 64 doesn’t have two of the same colour appear consecutively, so this balances out the 5-colour scheme. The Z trigger can also be used to skip that sequence and add another colour to the end of the list.

Transcript
SIMON.TXT

Simon for N64 v0.1a
by JL_Picard
for Presence of Mind '99 Coding Compo
run by DEXTROSE (http://www.dextrose.com)

Ok its shit. I know its shit, u know its shit!
I did it at literally the last second.
I was gonna do a REALLY cool game but didnt have time, etc., blah.
I will continue working on this and the REALLY cool game in the future.

Object: to complete the game by paying close attention to the pattern
that the CPU repeats.  The colors / sounds correspond with certain buttons on
joypad #1.
You'll figure it out, people who played this Milton Bradley toy as a kid
should remember. If you miss a pattern, the game is over.

I *WILL* update this, theres plans for multiplayer and better sounds and etc.

Greets to LaC, bpoint, ACTRAiSER, Hartec, WT_Riker, jovis, datawiz, nagra,
ste, ^Acid^, _Sage_, Fractal, KidStardust, _Silver_, wild_fire, cforman,
Titanik, nil, lem, Stumble, Locke^, loom, Twinsen, Sispeo, oman, Redbox,
Con-Mango, Count0, Steve, Silo, Pips, Neptune, tc1, RBubba
and anyone else I may have forgot at this very late hour (sorry!)

-JL_Picard @ 4:46AM

hOt-nEwS.TxT

          .________________________________________________________.
  __      |                                                        |
 /_/\  ___|__¦______ ______________¦_______________________  _ _/\_|______
 \_\/  \·    |     /_\______  /·   |    \_______   _ /    /_________    o/
  +:    \\   |    /    ______//          \     /   //    /    /    /   //
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  .·      |                        ¦                       \/      | \/
          |                                                        |
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          |                                                        |
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  \//      \/          \\/    _____/    /    /    //   /\    \\ /    \  /
  /_________\_____|______\_______ /    /________ /____________\___/\___/
          |       ¦             \/             \/                  |Sk¡n 
          |________________________________________________________|

                         dA uLTiMaTe dEMo BBS for:

    aMiGa · pC · mAC · aRCHiMEdEs · cONSoLe · aScII  ( c64 & aTaRi sOOn )


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      sEArCHiNg fOr mORe gRoUPs!   eSpEziAllY c64, aTaRi aNd aRChiMeDEs!

                                dA sYSOPs aRe:
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                                     pASo

                          -----  nO RaTiOs !!!  -----

pom99.txt

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ÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ `--------------------------------------' ÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ

              <- The N64 Demo Competition that delivers ->

THEÀYARD.NFO

                                                  .:..        ...
        __ _                                       : ... ...  : : . ... ...
       _\ _____   __  __           ___    _ __   ... : : : :  : :.. : : : :
   ._. ___)    \_ \/ / (______   _( _/______ /_ .: :.: ··· :..:   :.: ··· :.
   | | \       _ )_ /  ._     \_/  _)      /___.._ ___           ___ _..___.
   | |  \_      \\\/   l/   _  /   `     _//___||_))_(·tHe·yARd!·)_((_||___|
 <-| |---/________\____/    /_/__________\---------------------------------- ->
   | | located in +49 /______/ running on 8 nodes with analoge/isdn/telnet
 · | |._.
 : | || | ·consoles/amiga/graffiti/ascii/hiphopmp3/pc/classicgames/linux/drugs.
 : | || | :                                                                  /|
 : | || | : ahs whq · arcade whq · bgirl whq · srz whq · lp! ghq ·        _ / |
 : | || | : phunk ghq · omen ghq · menace ghq · __             __ _  __   //  |
 : | || | :  soia ghq · pph ehq ·   _ /__  _____) \________  // _____) \__/   |
 : | || | .  ·zANEr··diPSWiTCH·  ____/  (_/   _    /  ._  (_ / /    _        ·|
 . | || |._.   ·hAsH··cRAZY·   _/   /    /   _)  _/   l/  _/__/     )        :
 _ | || || | _                 \___   __/____\___\_____\     /_________ ._   ||
 (_|_||_||_|_)- -------[aBHO]--- -(___\- ---------- -/_______\- ------/_|_)___|

file_id.diz

Presence of Mind `99 GAME entry
Simon for N64 - V.0.1
by Jean-Luc Picard

I also noticed a few differences in how the game runs on an emulator in real hardware, done as a simple thought experiment. For context, this was done using the Project 64 emulator.

Simon being played on real hardware

I believe that this is the real way of playing the game, since it was probably originally tested using a CD64 or similar device. The whole thing runs smoothly, but one thing that you’ll notice is that there is a strange distortion at the bottom of the screen. This doesn’t appear on the emulator version, so I don’t know where it’s coming from.

Simon being played on an emulator

This one has a few odd problems. When the player repeats the sequence back to the game, there isn’t any sound. The other thing that’s strange is that when there’s a new colour appearing on screen, the colour doesn’t load entirely. It’s as though there’s a vsync problem.

General issues

This would be just fine for a game of this genre, but there are a few pretty serious issues with the game:

The main problem is that there’s a chance of getting a black screen instead of one of the five colour prompts. This breaks the game since there isn’t any button associated with this null value by forcing the player to lose. You can use the Z trigger to skip it, but the null colour still stays in the sequence so you’re stuck.

What makes this worse is that there’s no way of restarting without resetting. If you lose, there’s no way of getting back to the title screen without restarting the console. This makes it quite annoying if you’re trying to set a personal record or if you’re just terrible at the game.

A small problem that I found (that might not even be a real thing) is that I found quite a bit of pattern repetition in groups of three. For example, if a sequence started with Start, B, C; the next three buttons would also be Start, B, C. Of course this could just be coincidence, as it has a 1/64 (1/43) chance to occur, but it happened to me thrice in just a few games.

Simon 64
Simon 64
Simon is a homebrew game by JL_Picard for the Nintendo 64 that follows in the tracks of the famous Simon game (and clones) from the late 1970's.

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