Goodbye AVI - Part 3

This is the last in the three part series on converting the Lode Runner Online: The Mad Monks' Revenge extra cut-scenes from their original AVI format into the 1994/5 era propriety Presage format - the same format the other cut-scenes use in Lode Runner: The Legend Returns.

*Mad Monks' Revenge bonus ending scene*

The post-credits cut-scene was by far the most time consuming due to all the separate elements. Twenty-three to be precise compared to three for Reef World and four for Astral World. You can see the separate elements in the image below.

Control room elements
There are 23 separate areas of the video

Notes:

  1. electrical cord being pulled from the wall is also a part of Jake
  2. the robe before Jake grabs it is a separate element. When the robe begins to move, it is a part of Jake.
  3. the door shut is a part of the background and opening/opened is only used. The push button illuminating is a part of Jake.
  4. only the eyes and head are used, the rest of the body is a part of the background
  5. only the eyes are used, body is a part of the background

I also had to a small extension to the cut-scene file to support the masking at the end when the lights go out. Apart from this, the process to convert the video was the same as the previous two.

Extending the background

As mentioned in the previous posts in this series, the AVI videos have different dimensions to the Presage cut-scenes. The videos are the same width but 20 pixels shorter in height. For both Reef and Astral worlds, this isn't an issue as an extra 20 pixels of the background world will be drawn. Not a major issue and you won't even notice. The problem with the ending is it doesn't use a world and you'll most certainly notice the 20 pixel shortfall.

Only one solution was an option - add another 20 pixels to the background. Adding letterboxing would have been the easiest method but was ruled out since no other cut-scene has them. 10 pixels was added to both top and bottom. If you didn't read it here, you probably wouldn't have noticed Microsoft Paint was involved. Using MS Paint took me about a day spread out over a couple of weeks.

Background extension
Original at the TOP and the extended background on the BOTTOM

Layering

Monk entanglement
Optical illusion

Keen-eyed viewers may have noticed the laying quirks in the original video (rather reminds me of Escher's 'Relativity'), first occurring 2.2 seconds into the scene: the middle monk directing the hunt for Jake Peril reaches his right arm up but the monk to his right leans over and is typing away on the console. I'm guessing the individual elements were joined together in the wrong order when compiling the final video.

Escher's 'Relativity'
Escher's 'Relativity' - 1953

Nutritional info

Cut-scene size breakdown;

  • 74.6kb; background electrical hum sound effect
  • all other sound effects were already present in the game data files, just not used
  • 268.5kb; foreground, graphics and image/animation data
  • 343.1kb total compared to 1.69mb for the original AVI
  • 293 megabytes of storage used in the conversion process
  • 31,731 files spread over 75 folders
  • the finished sequence is built from 23 separate cut-scenes - each individually tested in the game

Summary

I haven't gone into a great deal of detail but I hope you've found this series informative. I'm very pleased with the results of all three videos. Very time consuming but well worth it. A few kilobytes could possibly have been saved here and there but would have cost me more time and ultimately wasn't worth it.

Previous: Week #5 update

Next: Week #6 update

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Author

Quark Robot

A massive Lode Runner fan. You may have guessed that.

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