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[HEX-Editing] How to extend a countdown to three minutes and spread it over different rooms

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[HEX-Editing] How to extend a countdown to three minutes and spread it over different rooms Empty [HEX-Editing] How to extend a countdown to three minutes and spread it over different rooms

Post  Late goodbye Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:01 pm

(Updated on Jan 30, 2021)

===

Howdy everyone! Finally, i've got something noteworthy to share.

As we know, the key to creating a memorable showdown is a high level of tension. Stage 8-5 in SORR is a prime example: You have a ticking bomb, three minutes to go, and all hell breaking loose around you as you fight your way out of the building. That freaking stage had me at the edge at my seat, and having to sit through the dreaded "Ending 2"-Scene after failing on my first try was a truly soul-crushing experience. But i digress.

With all the features SORR-Maker provides, the countdown is still limited to 99 Seconds - not enough to create a level of drama worthy of a final stage, if you ask me. However, i just so happened to accidentally stumble over a work-around that will enable us to prolong the player's suffering to agonizing three minutes. Twisted Evil

Before i move on to my description, i want to mention i've uploaded two barebones-stages (with butt-ugly placeholder-graphics), which already have the 3-minutes-countdown in place. As long as you don't delete the counter, it won't reset after saving the stage again, so you should be good to build your stage on top of it:

https://www.mediafire.com/file/c71zqzkfx0j2zqt/stage1x_countdown.7z/file

If you still want to know, let's move on: First of all, backing up our stage file is always a good idea. Even though i haven't corrupted one of my stage-files yet, it's still possible - so do yourself a favor. Once we're done, we open SORR-Maker and bring up the level we wish to have the extended countown for. We place the according event and set the counter to 25 seconds - will make it easier to find it later.

We fire up a hex-editor (my weapon of choice is "HxD") and open the smk-file of our level. Depending on the way the level scrolls, we have to look for the following line in the left column:

000001B0 (stage scrolls left)
000001C0 (stage scrolls right)

The line will consist of zeroes, except for one field. The "03" we see in the screen cap represents the 25 Seconds we entered before.

[HEX-Editing] How to extend a countdown to three minutes and spread it over different rooms Clipbo15

To my knowledge, the only valid entries range from 00 to 05, but given my limited expertise, there's no way for me to be sure there's more hidden settings available. Now, we can make the following entries:

00 - 01:39 minutes
01 - 01:15 minutes
02 - 00:50 minutes
03 - 00:25 minutes
04 - 02:59 minutes
05 - 02:59 minutes


I don't know about all the other scroll types at this point, but this hack will behave nicely with collision maps, which should cover most occasions. Either way, we change the value to either 04 of 05 and save the smk-file. Upon reopening the level in SORR-Maker, right-clicking the countdown-event will produce the following result:

[HEX-Editing] How to extend a countdown to three minutes and spread it over different rooms Clipbo16

But worry not. Upon starting the level, it will look like this:
[HEX-Editing] How to extend a countdown to three minutes and spread it over different rooms Clipbo17

I've only tried it with SorMaker V5.1 so far, but i'm pretty confident that this method also carries over to V5.2 (Update: It does.). I also haven't experienced any crashes or other problems with this yet. There's one detriment, however: I've yet to discover any way to carry over the time limit to a different room. So, if you're courageous enough to explore and stumble over a solution, we'll be happy to see it. (Update: Found it.)


Okay guys, have an awesome rest of your day and a good start into the year 2021.

===

(Update from Jan. 30, 2021)

Not sure why it slipped past me the first time around, but we may have struck gold here. In short: Yes, the countdown can be stretched out over different rooms - which is quite amazing, since SorMaker doesn't support that feature out of the box. Before i go into explaining, i want to point out i've placed a download file again, with an example readily set up. I hope you don't mind the placeholder graphics - they couldn't be uglier if i tried: https://www.mediafire.com/file/lrpngi0m14vp6c6/stage1x_countdown-transfer.zip/file

It turned out the hidden values behind the level countdowns - which we identified as 04 and 05 through a HEX-editor - serve a two-fold purpose: When used with no countdown being placed before, they will start a new one with three minutes on the clock. However, if a countdown has already been established in the last room, the values 04 and 05 will merely call the timer, and the amount of time left on the clock will continue to decrease. Let me show you on a chart:

[HEX-Editing] How to extend a countdown to three minutes and spread it over different rooms Clipbo18

Oops! Seems like i wasted valuable time venturing into stage1d - should've headed straight to stage1e, it seems. The rooms highlighted in red are time-critical: The countdown is placed in Stage1b, and will steadily decrease until we reach Stage1f. To accomplish that, we require a constant string of countdown-events with the aforementioned values 04 or 05 (they both work) "HEXed" into each room in between. If we manage to reach stage1f in time, the ticking clock will be cut off, since the stage contains no more countdown event. With a layout like that, we're actually able to make only parts of a level time-critical.

[HEX-Editing] How to extend a countdown to three minutes and spread it over different rooms Snapsh11
3 Minutes? Yeah, piece of cake,...

[HEX-Editing] How to extend a countdown to three minutes and spread it over different rooms Snapsh12
...if i wasn't playing like utter garbage today.

[HEX-Editing] How to extend a countdown to three minutes and spread it over different rooms Snapsh14
This.. may.. not.. end.. well.

[HEX-Editing] How to extend a countdown to three minutes and spread it over different rooms Snapsh13
Down in a blaze of glory. (sorry, couldn't help it)

You may have noticed by now, but in case you didn't: This method works with every countdown value we can assign to the countdown-event: 25 sec., 50 sec., 75 sec., 99 sec., and 180 sec.

I hope this information will be of use to you. I'm pretty sure that some amazing stuff can be done with this.


Last edited by Late goodbye on Mon May 09, 2022 7:50 pm; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : New insights gained)

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Post  Don Vecta Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:03 pm

Nice find! Might be useful for some scenes.

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Post  Iceferno Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:25 am

Wow, incredible information, thanks for sharing.

You know, if a SOR4 demake gets made on here, I've often wondered about a countdown for the Mr Y fight. It could be as if the plane starts to dip because Y is fighting you and you have to beat him in 3 minutes. lol

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Post  Late goodbye Sat Jan 30, 2021 2:39 pm

Happy to help, man; already looking forward to the first results.

Don't forget to check my follow-up - things get even better! Very Happy

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