Update: Download link https://www.cemetech.net/downloads/files/2178

So I planned to return with something Illusiat-related, since Illusiat 20th anniversary is on the horizon, but the Illusiat 1+2 remake or Illusiat 13 revival finally never happened. That said, I still got something somewhat similar, RPG-related: Darkblasters!


Back in late 2012, when the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition color screen z80 calculator got announced, I wanted to experiment with layered text sprites. Games like Serenity and Metroid Pi used this technique, although the latter did not use the shifted method. In the process, I wanted to attempt making an RPG like Illusiat 6/Nemesiat, but with larger maps while being (hopefully) smaller.

I eventually got the color calculator model before pushing this RPG engine further, so only the walking engine was done and in 2014 it was posted in Omnimaga downloads section. I have recently uploaded it to TI-Planet, Cemetech and Ticalc.org as well. (As it turn out, layered text sprites would not work on the CSE, making a direct port of this engine impossible. )


Almost 9 years later, it's being revived as Darkblasters! It features four dungeons, a town and a forest, all with over 390 rooms to explore, some magic spells and items, but no shop and in-game currency. There will be no experience points, so your max HP/MP will go up every battle, along with your skill points. Magic will get stronger the more you use it. You'll also not be able to enter buildings in the town, but you will be able to talk to NPC's.

My goals:
-Keep the game and its RAM usage as small as possible
-Hopefully keep it in one file, unlike my entire RPG calculatography.
-Make sure that the speed remains fast enough for 15 MHz calcs. 83+ will be playable, but not the most optimal experience.
-Keep compatibility with the TI-82 Advanced and TI-84 Plus-T models. (This is why the game remains in pure TI-BASIC)

So far, what is implemented are the 390 rooms, connection between each area, magic animations (although they're currently separate from the game), the intro text (same) and everything shown in the screenies above. The file size is 5753 bytes right now.

EDIT: 4th screenshot was removed as it's out of date now and I added a 5th one showing the menu. Here's the old one: https://i.imgur.com/vg1rRTs.gif . Battle animations were implemented into the game except enemy animations, you can escape battles (although it doesn't check for boss fights yet) and the in game menu is done. The size is now around 8 KB.

1) I love the name
2) I love the graphics
3) I love the speed!

Well done as always DJ! This is among your most impressive work Smile.
This looks very neat! I can't wait to see what you'll do with this next. Keep up the good work! Very Happy
Hey I was just checking if this technique is possible on the CE?
tr1p1ea wrote:
Hey I was just checking if this technique is possible on the CE?

It's not, because the Text( command whites out all the pixels in the letter's "box" , meaning you cant layer text commands to create sprites:
Thanks people!

As for CE/CSE text sprites, this technique will not work due to white pixels from Text() command not being saved as transparent. I believe horizontal text sprites might work, though, but those are much slower and some players might not like the smaller screen size. I once tried porting JWinslow23's TI-BASIC Bejeweled clone to the CE and this was the result (and it was slow): https://www.cemetech.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=238627#238627

By the way I use this to generate layered text sprite combos: https://www.omnimaga.org/files/Our-TI-PC-Products-Music-and-Calculator-Videos/Our-TI-programs-and-utilities/TileFinder.zip

EDIT: Here is a complete battle in action, although not with the real stats:
-There are now two actual monsters
-You start with 500 HP instead of 300
-All battle commands and enemy moves are implemented, except one boss attack pattern.
-You can now activate switches to open new paths
-NPC's are implemented, including those who give items.
-You can grab items from the ground.
-Some random optimizations to save space or increase speed, because the game is over 11 KB now.

I made a Youtube video:
Boss fight!

Note that the stats are placeholders and I still need to fix the a wall magic spell. It kept stopping working entirely for no reason over and over again so I gave up and altered it, but the battle system I am using makes it near impossible to keep it under control and from glitching out.
I noticed there's no mirage OS header in V1.0.0. If you do another release, can you add a ":" so DarkBlasters will be recognized by mirageos?
20 years minus 7 days ago, I released my first ever TI-83 Plus RPG, Illusiat. Today, after over 16 years without releasing an original RPG for calculators, I am finally releasing a new one: Darkblasters!

Inspired by Lufia, Quest 64, Dragon Quest, Illusiat and Mana Force series, Darkblasters is a role-playing game meant to showcase pure TI-BASIC graphical capabilities while trying to keep speed as fast as possible. It features over 390 rooms to explore, NPC's, some items and magic spells, many monsters and sprite-based graphics. No ASM/Axe/Grammer lib were used, in order to ensure full compatibility with 15 MHz z80 calculator models that lacks official ASM support.

A long time ago, mankind became nearly extinct after the entire world population did the Tide Pod
eating challenge simultaneously. From the dead rose a new illness that transformed animals into
monsters and many humnan survivors into Darkblasters, evil mages that look like knights.

Today, the Darkblasters stole the three crystals protecting the Kingdom of Walritia. You must defeat
the mages before they take over the world.

Here are the download links:
Oxiti8 wrote:
I noticed there's no mirage OS header in V1.0.0. If you do another release, can you add a ":" so DarkBlasters will be recognized by mirageos?
Oh yeah, about that, I was still deciding if I was adding a DCS or MOS header, but finally didn't to save space. However in the next release I'll add a Mirage header. Smile
Amazing work as always DJ! I can't believe how quickly you knocked this out once you got going!

PS lol at the backstory Very Happy
Since the first complete release, Darkblaster got a lot of optimizing updates and now I am making the town much smaller, as it was kind of too big. The NPC's are now easier to find and now the game supports multiple events per map column.

Also, if you save your game in the town, then you will now always respawn in the middle when reloading your game regardless of your position before. This won't happen if you save outside Walritia. The game also now shows up in MirageOS and the next version will have a DCS7 icon.
This game is really cool! Nice work!
Darkblasters has been updated with various optimization suggestions by mr womp womp on Discord (I took screenshots of them on my phone last night so that I could retrieve them after my 10+ hour sleep) and a few other minor ones. I would like to thank him for his help finding more stuff to optimize. Smile No other changes happened to the game, so it should run like the previous version! I also added an animated screenshot to the download page:

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