Skip navigation

DX-Ball 2 - Unused powerups?

Forum NavigationHome > Forum Index > Arcade Games > DX-Ball 2 - Unused powerups?
Level 3 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Posted on August 31, 2015 at 11:51 am

I found something on google images about DX-Ball 2, and it shows two unused powerups with no names. One is labeled as a curved arrow icon, and another one is a magnet icon. Both of the unused powerups are red, which means a bad item.

I wonder what they mean, especially the magnet icon.

Here's a link to the picture l

brachka.livejournal.com/41087.htm

Level 9 Human
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on August 31, 2015 at 11:31 pm

I'm questioning the magnet too. I'm guessing the arrow could have been something like flipping the board upside down ? I wonder if Seumas ever wrote any code for these two...

Level 3 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Posted on September 1, 2015 at 1:18 am

For the magnet, I've thinking a few theories:

1. The ball will slightly "repel" to the paddle, just like two magnets repelling each other. For instance it's the opposite of Catch/Grab Paddle

2. The ball homes in to the bricks, but it's unlikely since this is a bad item.


However, its's just my thought, and it remains a mystery :)

For the arrow, I guess it's similar to "Gravity" from Amiga Megaball, cause they look similar.

Level 9 Human
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on September 1, 2015 at 11:53 am

I recall Z-Ball from Retro64 had a repel ball power-up for the paddle, along with an attract ball power-up. I question if a power-up like that was ever planned for DX-Ball 2, though, as it would require an advanced physics engine to create that effect. As for the Gravity power-up, I never played MegaBall – how does it work ?

Level 3 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Posted on September 2, 2015 at 2:05 am

As far as I know, Gravity from MegaBall will make the ball fall downward in a curve without touching the top of the board. It's just like when you threw something up in the air and falls back

Level 9 Human
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on September 3, 2015 at 8:46 pm

Ah, Yeah. I can definitely imagine that. Thanks.

Level 3 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Posted on September 28, 2015 at 10:28 am

I discovered that these two unused powerups were still embedded in the PowerUps.IMG file. I opened that file using DXImage Editor and scrolled through the icons, then eventually found the red magnet and the curved arrow encoded there...

This possibly means that these two were already a BETA powerup since original DX-Ball, since DX-Ball 2 recycles the same graphics for the powerups.

I wonder if Mike Welch ever made a code for those two... :)

BTW, by using DXImage you can also swap and change the icons for the powerups by renaming their titles in the coding. For example, you can change Fireball icon with the Setoff Exploding icon. So, the next time you see a dynamite, you'll get a fireball, instead of blowing up exploding bricks...

Level 9 Human
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on September 28, 2015 at 3:31 pm

I believe DXImage was primarily written as a complement to DXBoard, so that players could design their own brick- and background graphics for custom board-sets. However, I don't think Longbow were ever involved with the application, as opposed to the board-set editor by NOPeR. So even though a board-set editor was being considered before Seumas passed, it was never really their intention that players would have access to modify graphical assets or alter the power-ups. Although some forms of modification may be deemed acceptable, I think the image-set editor crossed a line in terms of respecting the software.

Level 3 Human gamer and programmer
Alignment: Good
Location: Belgrade, Serbia. Probably in front of my computer.
Posted on November 19, 2015 at 7:55 am

I found a text about reverse-engineering the original DX-Ball (link: http://habrahabr.ru/post/147339/ I used the translate feature of Chrome to read it). I didn't read it to the end, but when I scrolled to the bottom of the page, the two powerup icons were there. I scrolled up a bit, towards the end of the text, and it said the powerups were in the game's files, but unused. They were in the original DX-Ball too!
And about what the powerups do, maybe the arrow could be an alternative icon for Falling Bricks, while the magnet would remove the effects of the ball catcher.

Level 3 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Posted on November 19, 2015 at 9:45 am

I recently browsed around the web and stumbled upon Amiga's MegaBall upon which DX-Ball is based on.

Regarding those unused powerups, the Magnet is known as "Magnetism" in MegaBall, which make the ball attract and repel to the paddle's edges upon touching it (it's just like, magnets repel each other in the same polarity), thus losing its accuracy upon bouncing back, increasing the chance of losing a life. I wonder if powerup like that was ever planned on DX-Ball but was cancelled for unknown reasons. It was probably replaced with Super-Shrink (that cause your paddle to become tiny), which also make it harder to catch the ball.

For the arrow, it's still unknown yet but zephyr said it could have been something like flipping the board upside down so the the paddle is on the top and score in the bottom

Level 3 Human gamer and programmer
Alignment: Good
Location: Belgrade, Serbia. Probably in front of my computer.
Posted on November 20, 2015 at 8:53 am

I've just managed to run Megaball through WinUAE and there is a curved arrow powerup, called gravity ball. I've had no luck getting it though

Level 3 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Posted on November 21, 2015 at 12:16 am

I've just managed to run Megaball through WinUAE and there is a curved arrow powerup, called gravity ball. I've had no luck getting it though

I think that make sense, since DX-Ball was based on MegaBall, then the unused powerups are possibly a leftover from BETA development.

If only Mike Welch was a member here, he may explain it in detail :)

Level 3 Human gamer and programmer
Alignment: Good
Location: Belgrade, Serbia. Probably in front of my computer.
Posted on November 21, 2015 at 6:13 am

I've just managed to run Megaball through WinUAE and there is a curved arrow powerup, called gravity ball. I've had no luck getting it though

I think that make sense, since DX-Ball was based on MegaBall, then the unused powerups are possibly a leftover from BETA development.

If only Mike Welch was a member here, he may explain it in detail :)

We can ask on the Blitwise forums, but I don't have an account there. :P
Anyway, I got the powerup and what it does is it makes the ball slower the closer it is to the top of the level, and faster the closer it is to the bottom.

Level 3 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Posted on November 21, 2015 at 6:50 am

That's not very bad powerup. I thought the effect would be; the ball falls back down when it reach certain height without bouncing off on the top. Probably due to the icon it suggests, a curve

What about Magnetism? have you tried it?

Level 3 Human gamer and programmer
Alignment: Good
Location: Belgrade, Serbia. Probably in front of my computer.
Posted on November 21, 2015 at 1:56 pm

That's not very bad powerup. I thought the effect would be; the ball falls back down when it reach certain height without bouncing off on the top. Probably due to the icon it suggests, a curve

What about Magnetism? have you tried it?

It can be bad, because when the ball gets near the bottom it goes so fast it's very hard to catch it.
Yep, I also got Magnetism a few times - it makes the ball avoid the paddle, and always go towards the edges of it, usually causing it to fall. Megaball has much more unforgiving powerups than DX-Ball does.
BTW, the full version of Megaball is now free on Al Mackey's old site - there's a link on the Links section of the Blitwise site. I didn't manage to get WinUAE to work (so much configuring and tutorial following for nothing made me rage quit), so after a quick Google search I managed to find a preconfigured installation of WinUAE with the Megaball 3.0 (old version) demo. The levels are the same as in the Super DX-Ball Megaball set and its not the newest version, but hey, at least it works.

Level 3 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Posted on November 21, 2015 at 11:44 pm

That's not very bad powerup. I thought the effect would be; the ball falls back down when it reach certain height without bouncing off on the top. Probably due to the icon it suggests, a curve

What about Magnetism? have you tried it?

It can be bad, because when the ball gets near the bottom it goes so fast it's very hard to catch it.
Yep, I also got Magnetism a few times - it makes the ball avoid the paddle, and always go towards the edges of it, usually causing it to fall. Megaball has much more unforgiving powerups than DX-Ball does.
BTW, the full version of Megaball is now free on Al Mackey's old site - there's a link on the Links section of the Blitwise site. I didn't manage to get WinUAE to work (so much configuring and tutorial following for nothing made me rage quit), so after a quick Google search I managed to find a preconfigured installation of WinUAE with the Megaball 3.0 (old version) demo. The levels are the same as in the Super DX-Ball Megaball set and its not the newest version, but hey, at least it works.


Like I'm saying in the previous comment, the ball repels to the edge :)
I think this effect requires an advanced physics to work in DX-Ball, so I think that's why it's removed and replaced with the simpler Super Shrink, in a same way that making us difficult to catch the ball
In case of Gravity Ball, I'm sure it is clear that it replaced by Fast Ball, since both alters the ball speed.

By the way I also tried MB on my friend's old Amiga, and aside from the unforgiving powerups, this game is also a way more difficult than DX-Ball
The ball is already fast from the start, the paddle is so tiny and the mouse is very slow, of course :(

Level 3 Human gamer and programmer
Alignment: Good
Location: Belgrade, Serbia. Probably in front of my computer.
Posted on November 22, 2015 at 6:11 am

Regarding the hardness of Megaball, do you play DX-Ball on Kid-mode or on normal? I usually play on Kid-mode, but the original one doensn't have it so I just play it like that. I think in Megaball the ball is a bit faster than in DX-Ball, and the paddle is the same starting size as in DX-Ball normal mode. I've never used an Amiga - I played MB through an emulator, so I guess getting to play it with a PC mouse with 1800 DPI made the game a bit easier for me. It's indeed much harder than DX-Ball.

Level 3 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Posted on November 22, 2015 at 9:50 am

I usually play with Normal mode, but when it's time for recording, testing my sound mods or just too lazy to concentrate, I switch to Kid-Mode

Regarding the difficulty of MegaBall, I think because of the old mouse on the Amiga which still use a ball sensor