The Let's Play Archive


by slowbeef

Part 41: Snatcher in VRAM

SatansBestBuddy posted:

... okay, I wanna see this. (The Snatcher in VRAM)


pSX basically lets you spy on all the stuff Playstation has in memory and is ready to draw with. This is helpful if you have a texture atlas or a sprite sheet or something and you need to know where a particular thing is being drawn in a bigger graphic.

Policenauts runs in 320x240 resolution on the Playstation... except for the end credits where it inexplicably changes to 640x480. (Especially ridiculous, considering the art assets it renders are 320x240 and it actually has to upscale them for the new resolution.)

It uses double-buffering, so you'll see two versions of what's being drawn.

See those weird four lines in the lower right? Those are alpha (transparency) values. They're used to make the colony's Godrays in the upper left of the composited background (caused by the sun reflection off of Beyond's mirrors). You can see that the squad cars and mechs are sprites drawn on top of the background.

Now though, let's see the training room.

You can see all the targets below - the game loads them all into memory, but it only draws one. Along the top row you can see the Ed caricature, the Snatcher, "Now Printing" (which I don't think is every actually used), and two more photorealistic targets. Along the bottom is the Redwood caricature, the Circle target, the Man target, and one more photorealistic target.

One of them is that game critic, but I don't know who the other two are supposed to be.

So yeah, imagine you're seeing just the game graphic of the Circle target, you hit F11, look down and see a weird multicolored skull. (I actually thought it was an alien.)

edit: ...Huh! You know it might be pretty easy to copy those photorealistic images over the Circle/Man/Ed targets and have the game render it, just to see who it's supposed to be.