ANMA's Frantic sources on Github

ANMA's Frantic sources on Github

by ro on 28-03-2021, 13:25
Topic: Development
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Once upon a time, somewhere in the nineties, the Dutch MSX developers group ANMA released "Frantic", a vertical scrolling platform game for MSX2 machines. Recently the group has refactored all sources of this game, added detailed comments in the files and published it for everyone to see. Here's what happened.

Occasionally we see veteran MSX software developers appear here on MRC reminiscing on the days of old. Sometimes this visit results in updating or re-releasing earlier published software. A good example of this is Parallax Software who recently donated all of their made games to the MRC download database. Another good example is ANMA, known for their scene demos and MSX games.

The Dutch software developers ANMA made waves earlier here on MRC, talking about their earlier releases and taking questions. They also donated some of their software to the MSX-scene, for everyone to use. Think about their music tracker RED for example. One of their games, Frantic, got its complete source files published earlier on GIThub by main coder André Lighthart, or Stompetower as we know him here on MRC. It includes all assembly code, graphics and music files. But some sources were missing and that's where Thom Zwagers stepped in.

André and Thom collaborated past year to update code, get old sources back by reverse engineering, and refactoring all the assembly code using Grauw's Glass Assembler. Assembler source files were enriched by adding comments for clarity. The whole project got all parties super exited, just like thirty years ago. The result is a full set of project files which can be used to rebuild Frantic. It even allows you to extend this game with new levels if you like.

Other resources used to get this job done are YAZD disassembler, HxD Hex Editor and Disk Editor, Visual Studio code, and the "MSX2 Zakboekje van Wessel Akkermans" book.

At Github, you can find all this updated material to build your own Frantic game version or just to have an inside look at the game. It's there, it's free and it's great!

relevant link: Frantic sources at Stompetower's Github location
relevant link: Discuss Frantic sources on the forum

Words by Ro and Meits, image by Hamlet

Comments (4)

By wyrdwad

Paladin (929)

wyrdwad's picture

28-03-2021, 15:46

Frantic is a really cool game, if EXTREMELY unforgiving. Cool to see more people get introduced to it, though, potentially! I would say this is easily ANMA's best game, and one of the more interesting puzzle platformers on MSX in general.

-Tom

By Whizzy

Master (208)

Whizzy's picture

28-03-2021, 21:58

Amazing work Shocked! , especially the reverse engineering and still be able to read and comprehend all that code after so many years !

Reminds me that i have to put something online also... Wink

By Manuel

Ascended (17868)

Manuel's picture

28-03-2021, 22:21

Cool, it was extremely easy to build it and it took just a second or so.... I bet it took a lot longer back then Tongue

By stompetower

Expert (94)

stompetower's picture

29-03-2021, 16:05

Yes, that took a lot more time on the MSX-2. Using GEN80.COM and all files on a floppy disk, it took somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes, just to assemble FRANTIC2.BIN (the main game code). Shocked!