History


MAH v1.0 was originally released for free on August 9, 2015.



MAH v1.1 was released on December 14, 2016, and brought the following changes.
1. Made it easier to slow down Guardian A.
2. Touched up Guardian B.
3. Made some minor optimizations.
4. Changed secret message (the old one said "NEW GAME WITH THIS?" referring to the scrolling engine of the ending - eventually, that engine was used for QUOD INIT EXIT IIm).
5. Improved intro images.
6. Added some more information to the manual.



MAH v2.0 is a massively reworked and expanded version that is going to be released in Q1 2018. The size alone of the humongous list of changes below should give immediately a clear idea of how much the game has evolved.

GENERAL

1. Simplified and optimized code massively (by both adopting more efficient solutions and rewriting many parts in machine language), with huge gain in terms of speed and memory.
2. Improved memory management.
3. Removed screen transitions between program parts (they were not worth the memory they needed).
4. Restyled logo.
5. Replaced KERNAL loader with the COVERT BITOPS Autoconfiguring Loader/Depacker V2.26.
6. Added a separate loader for each part to speed up loading when a part is launched manually (disk version).
7. Added flashy and functional dir art to disk.
8. Adapted to the GMOD2 cartridge.
9. Adapted to C64BBF.
10. Deleted/renamed files.

FRONTEND

1. Made it work entirely in SBM + sprites.
2. Replaced text items with icons.
3. Replaced copyright line with cycling logos.
4. Added quit & return to BASIC function ([RESTORE] key).
5. Added hiscores reset option ([DEL] key).
6. Added music.

MANUAL

1. Increased scrolling speed.
2. Added half a second delay after initial whole-page scroll (to make skipping a single page easier).
3. Updated/extended/corrected text.
4. Removed legalese stuff from text.
5. Touched up charset.
6. Made various minor changes.

INTRO

1. Improved/redrawn graphics.
2. Improved/extended texts.
3. Changed disappearance effect.
4. Made music play through interrupts.
5. Introduced music groove on the next-to-the-last image.
6. Kept logo shown and music playing during first part of game loading (if the device the game is loaded from supports it).

GAME

1. Renamed:
     * phase A -> phase B(ITWALL), sub-phase B(ITBRICKS);
     * phase B -> phase B(ITWALL), sub-phase P(ASSWORD);
     * phase C -> phase P(ORT);
     * phase D -> phase C(HANNEL), sub-phase K(EYS);
     * phase J -> phase Q(UARANTINE);
     * phase E -> phase S(WITCH);
     * bitwall (as in "level") -> layer;
     * Ghosthriller -> Ghostease;
     * Ghonster -> Ghostorment;
     * autopatch -> autofix;
     * Malefica -> Magna (meaning of 'M' in "MAH").
2. Added phase D(ECRYPTION), with a new guard (Zig-Zagger, 3 new sprites + logo sprite reused).
3. [terminal] Added progress chart.
4. [terminal] Added display of the next layer defenses in a fashion similar to the Reflex interface of the C64 game Sláine.
5. [terminal] Touched up color scheme.
6. [terminal] Changed game over and pre-ending messages.
7. [terminal] Made shield in logo flash.
8. [terminal] Made hiscores live, i.e. the player's entry is added to it in real time (if the score is good enough).
9. [terminal] Fixed pause (a variable was trashed).
10. [phase B] Blocked icons from appearing on the first layer (for a softer approach to the game).
11. [phase B] Made clones flicker, so that they can be distinguished from the reference guards (which makes it possible to predict whether a guard will bounce against a border or disappear and reapper on the opposite one).
12. [phase B] Made Peekpoker freeze as soon as it starts turning into the Super Peekpoker.
13. [phase B] Made patrols easier to see when the Super Peekpoker is active.
14. [phase B] Touched up the graphical design of Super Peekpoker (and, consequently, of satellites).
15. [phase B] Added halting of guards and disabling of clones to prizes of home bonus.
16. [phase B] Added shine effect to the area surrounding and including the home character during the home bonus flash effects (this makes it easier to notice when the home bonus can be taken).
17. [phase B] Changed totally bitbricks effect: instead of animating a single character containing several small 0s and 1s, two static characters, one depicting a big 0 and the other a big 1, are used and the bitwalls rows are randomized constantly (this produces an infinitely better randomization and looks better on LCDs).
18. [phase B] Made thickness of trail and Peekpoker "arrows" even, so that they match nicely the new bitbricks, eliminate the odd-looking trail corners, and possibly make targeting icons easier to the eye.
19. [phase B] Changed partly the color scheme for less eye-straining and clearer visuals (especially on LCDs).
20. [phase B] Flipped horizontally one of the password symbols to make it more distinguishable from another one.
21. [phase B] Redrawn background pattern for when combosses are active and avoided its vertical flipping.
22. [phase B] Changed palette of comboss in subphase P.
23. [phase B] Fixed Super Peekpoker mode break handling (due to an unwanted change of the Peepoker sprite, the mode could end as soon as it started).
24. [phase B] Fixed occasional and almost unnoticeable sprites jerks just before switching to the next screen.
25. [phase P] Added a new ghost (Ghosthrill, 3 sprites) and changed the parameters of the others.
26. [phase P] Ensured that no element of the combination is ever 0 (i.e. invisible).
27. [phase P] Changed head color of the crawlers.
28. [phase P] Changed currents graphics, so that they display better on real C64s (especially when connected to LCDs) and match the speed of the pull the Peekpoker is subject to.
29. [phase P] Fixed points displayed on exit (they were not updated one last time).
30. [phase P/C] Lowered phase Q counter position.
31. [phase C] Halved number of keys depending on the layer number (this makes it easier to complete subphase K).
32. [phase C] Added sub-phase B(OSSFIGHT), with 4 new big and animated guards (antiviruships, 7 sprites each).
33. [phase C] Improved palettes for combosses.
34. [phase C] Moved points counter to the usual position.
35. [phase C] Improved logic of horizontal positioning of keys.
36. [phase C] Fixed disappearing of caught/lost keys when the Peekpoker horizontal position was greater than 250 (a +5 offset caused their position to go beyond 255).
37. [phase C] Fixed graphical glitch of caught key icon, which at times triggered fake (and unfavourable) collision detections (the sprite was zoomed immediately but placed at the correct position only later, so for a short while the sprite was drawn in the wrong place and could even collide against the Peekpoker, causing a collision that was exchanged for a collision against a comboss).
38. [phase C] Fixed handling of collisions against combosses (the same collision was counted multiple times, with the consequence that the penalty for the collision was applied as many times in a fraction of second).
39. [phase C] Fixed a color check (the high nybble of a value taken from COLOR RAM was not masked out).
40. [phase C] Fixed visual jerks when back from pause during subphase K (a couple of variables were trashed).
41. [phase Q] Added simple flash effect when the Cobermann chases the Peekpoker.
42. [phase Q] Fixed handling of jail opening (if the lock was opened while Cobermann was still mutating and colliding, the jail opening was cancelled).
43. [phase S] Made it easier to hit Guardian B's dyadem.
44. [phase S] Removed flickering of the Peekpoker (it was not consistent with the rest of the game).
45. [phase S] Gave the Peekpoker a cross hair look for easier aiming.
46. Changed pause/unpause key to [F1].
47. Added hack modes (difficulty levels) - the player can choose between "normal" and "assisted" (easy).
48. Removed phase C initial transition (it was the only phase that had one, so it was inconsistent and consumed precious memory).
49. Added fade-out of sprites at the end of phases (except for phase C, where objects are moved out of the screen).
50. Unified phases exit transitions into a single new one that also keeps on playing music.
51. Added exit transition to terminal.
52. Reworked numbers printing (now they print cyclically, without needing manual restart).
53. Removed sprite used for the pause screen.
54. Reworked game-loader.
55. Quadrupled the time-based points assigned upon game completion.
56. Embedded default hiscores.
57. Changed abort key from [RUN/STOP] to [RESTORE].
58. Added return to frontend from terminal (while choosing the name or the hack mode) by means of [RESTORE].
59. Reworked memory map (apart from a few KERNAL areas in zero page and between $200 and $333, the game uses the whole RAM).
60. Reworked variables allocation.
61. Reworked variables initialization (used a general function for clearing).
62. Moved all HCS routines to separate source files.
63. Fixed collision detection at the beginning of some phases (previous collisions could be mistakenly considered).
64. Fixed music playback started from ROM vector (the order of the code blocks was inverted).
65. Fixed comments/labels.

ENDING

1. Touched up credits graphics.
2. Changed hidden message.

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