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Tyrian
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TOPIC: Tyrian

Tyrian 7 years, 8 months ago #1347

For those of you who either weren't around and on the gaming scene at all in the early '90s, or were religiously restricted to Mac games in the early '90s, may I strongly recommend this great little DOS gem, subsequently open-sourced and ported to STL and from there migrated to OSX.

mac.softpedia.com/get/Games/CocoaTyrian.shtml

For those of you who ~do~ know Tyrian, well... I probably don't need to encourage you to click the link as well.
This was actually the game that most inspired Galaxxon Legacy, and while I do like some of my own spins on the mechanics and graphics, I can concede Tyrian's design is still far tighter.

A few tricks for newcomers:
- set the graphics quality to Pentium (one up from the default High) via Options or the in-level Escape menu ASAP, but feel free to knock it back to Low for Assassin (Episode 1 final stage) or anywhere else they try to put you in spotlight-mode.
- Don't forget to read the data cubes. Even the junkmail can be fun.
- There are various hidden stages; keep an eye out for glowing orange spheres.
- Once the basic game starts to lose its luster, Google "Tyrian Cheats". Trust me on this

Edit:
One quick side note- the game does seem to get a bit confused by gamepads. The first few times I tried mine (configured through USB Overdrive X), it jammed on direction-right until I restarted the app. Some combination of plugging in after startup, going to Options->Joystick->Calibrate and pushing pad-right during gameplay seemed to un-jam it, though, so with some massaging, gamepads are apparently an option.
Last Edit: 7 years, 8 months ago by seanstar.

Re:Tyrian 7 years, 8 months ago #1349

Excellent game, thanks for the post.

Re:Tyrian 7 years, 8 months ago #1352

I remember hearing about this game back in the day - never got to play it. Thanks for this, I had no idea there was a Mac version available now.

Re:Tyrian 7 years, 8 months ago #1354

One quick side note- the game does seem to get a bit confused by gamepads. The first few times I tried mine (configured through USB Overdrive X), it jammed on direction-right until I restarted the app. Some combination of plugging in after startup, going to Options->Joystick->Calibrate and pushing pad-right during gameplay seemed to un-jam it, though, so with some massaging, gamepads are apparently an option.


This is a quirk of how USB OD handles devices. When initialized, the devices are assumed to be at 127 on the 0-255 axis. If the controller is a PSX controller type that has both a Digital and Analog mode, pressing any DPad button will automatically "jam" the controller into the positive X-axis (right). To alleviate this, open any other game you have, then rotate the DPad a few times, and the system should then see the controller as 127 on both X and Y axes with the Dpad. Conversely, if you have Analog mode activated for a PSX/PSX clone controller, rotate the left analog stick a few times and release, and that alone should solve the issue of a stuck DPad (DPad is referred to as Hat Switch in USB OD when both DPad and analog sticks are present and Analog mode is activated.

The above steps are basically mini-calibrations for that particular system boot period. Reboot the system and you need to recenter the calibration as noted above. I found all this out the hard way trying to play WoW and UT99/UT2K4 with my Dual Shock controllers.

Re:Tyrian 7 years, 8 months ago #1359

The pad in question is a Japanese SNES clone (Elecom JC-U1608TWH). The D-pad registers as a hat switch to some apps, and straight up buttons to others; no analog functionality. Of course, that may be part of the issue- OD assuming analog-right is set to something (because I never configured those inputs) and the pad never being able to send it any other signal... *shrug*
I've also never seen the problem with other apps I've configured via USB OD, and I've further encountered odd lag and missed keystrokes trying to play with an external USB PC keyboard that don't happen using my laptop's built-in keyboard. Hence suspicion that something in the game may be noticing USB and reacting oddly...
Last Edit: 7 years, 8 months ago by seanstar.

Re:Tyrian 7 years, 8 months ago #1364

Hence suspicion that something in the game may be noticing USB and reacting oddly...


If you use USB OD and the game in question has its own driver level USB polling mechanism, as Emulator Enhancer does, you need to create an override for that game, then uncheck the "enabled" checkbox so that when the game is launched only it has access to the device(s) instead of USB OD trying to wrangle control away from the game.

Re:Tyrian 7 years, 8 months ago #1384

Yeah, I know. The game is certainly not coded to ~use~ USB, but since the whole Mac conversion was an independent amateur project, and uses SDL (which iirc has some controller input components), I wouldn't be surprised if there is some unintended interference/artifact that just hasn't been noticed enough to merit a fix.

Re:Tyrian 7 years, 8 months ago #1416

2 more points:
- I can now vouch even a 266MHz G3 laptop is plenty to enjoy Tyrian. Mechanics are a bit sluggish, but everything is smooth even down on OSX 10.3.
- I'm seeing murmuring online of a Tyrian iPhone/iPad app. Anyone able to give a review?

Re:Tyrian 7 years, 8 months ago #1418

I had a look, and it seems that only the "Lite" version is available. But that seems to give you the whole game, so I'm not sure what the difference between versions is.

Quick impressions (from one minute playing):
- Interface has been adapted quite well for touch controls -- you can tap the components of the HUD, which is shown on the left of screen, to change weapons, bring up menu, etc.
- Shooting is automatic and continuous, leaving you to control ship movement with your finger. You can tap a position on the screen and the ship will move there, or drag around the screen for more precise moment-to-moment controls.
- You can bring up a keyboard easily any time you are not actively playing a level.
- Seems to run smoothly, but this was only the opening level -- I don't know how well it copes with the increased number of objects on screen later in the game.

Re:Tyrian 7 years, 8 months ago #1426

Hm. If it's autofire, I'm curious how it deals with limited-ammo sidekicks and with the on-first-shot special weapons particularly in Arcade mode. Are there any manual triggers?

Re:Tyrian 7 years, 8 months ago #1435

Here's a screenshot:


You can toggle the main weapon on and off by tapping the top left (red) box. Sidekicks can be used by tapping the middle-left (yellow) box (so that's your manual trigger). And the menu is accessed via the little blue icon in the bottom left.

I had a look in the options menu, and it seems you can adjust the detail -- I was playing on "normal," but there is also "low," "high," and "iPhone 3GS" (which is probably "really high"). You can also change the controls from direct to relative -- only problem was I didn't seem to be able to move the ship along the y-axis under this scheme (ie. only left and right motion).
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Last Edit: 7 years, 8 months ago by mossy_11. Reason: removed duplicate image

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