Jump to content
IGNORED

Star Keeper - General Collector’s Discussion


Lambda
 Share

Recommended Posts

All things Star Keeper (for the collectors!)


I realize that Star Keeper is a homebrew game, but at this point all copies have been put into the hands of collectors. I also realize that this may limit this threads discussion to the 100+ owners/collectors since this game cannot be dumped to ROM.

That being said, this thread is meant to be about all things Star Keeper. I’m passionate about having this game for a few reasons:

1) the game is fantastically crafted and well put together

2) I’m a hobby developer and love seeing other people’s work.

The creator of Star Keeper (87Arts) has stated that he had never really done NES dev work before. He dove right in and crafted his own mapper (which is why the game cannot be dumped to ROM), (presumably his own PCB), coded the game, published and distributed it all on his own. This is a great feat for someone new to developing.

 

This thread is intended for general discussion by all collectors regarding a range of topics. Feel free to ask questions and share information about this game! 
This thread is an appreciative nod to 87Arts, from all of us who love having this game in their collection (and most importantly, Playing it!)

I have been asked questions about this game by many individuals/owners. In light of this, here are some questions and food for thought regarding some discussions that we may all benefit from:

How many levels are there?

How can I tell the difference from GE, LE, and SE copies?

Whats the cheat code all about?

Has anyone seen the physical PCB themselves after taking the cart apart?

Has anyone beaten the game?

Was the boss fun?! Is there a boss?!

General thoughts on playability and fun factor?

What is a copy going for these days?

...and anything else you might think of.

Star Keeper Collectors: discuss it all here!!

 

 

Ill start by sharing something new I had uncovered:

 

I discovered a bug in the games enemy spawning routines that allowed me to hijack and loop the spawning process... essentially allowing all players to rack up infinite (or the top limit) of lives! From what I’ve seen nobody has hunted down or documented a bug for this game so far.

More information can be found on that here:

 

Looking forward to what everyone has to contribute about this game!

(If this topic is wrongly placed, moderators can feel free to let me know, and I’ll happily migrate the thread. Logic here was that all games are now owned by collectors, and it will mainly be collectors answering questions and discussing here).

BB6918DE-7244-4DD5-90F9-1B3418E4C4C5.jpeg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Homebrew Team · Posted

Thanks for making this thread, I hope it leads to more fan threads for other great homebrews! 

I hope you don’t mind if I use your thread to share my acquisition story. I’ve posted in a number of places around here about various homebrew collecting milestones, and for me Star Keeper was a fun one because it was one of if not the first homebrew I acquired through some serious detective work. I got my copy a couple of years ago on NA. I was just getting my feet wet in homebrew collecting, and was taking stock of the handful of “which homebrews are good” threads. One that came up a lot was Star Keeper. By then I knew it was difficult to find, so I poured over old seller threads and looked for members selling a copy. Any relevant hits in search were a few years old, but I messaged those members asking if their copy was still available and for sale until I found someone.

The story behind the making of this game and the mystery surrounding its developer adds so much to this game’s aura.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Scrobins Thanks for sharing!! Love hearing acquisition stories!
If you happen to remember me from the NA forums (I was only there for a year or so before the migration here), I was hunting a copy down, and you happened to respond and point me in the right direction. You are the very reason why I own one of my 2 copies. A million times, thanks for that and being such an awesome dude. You didn’t even know me but you reached out to help, and for that I’m very grateful.

The mystery surrounding this developer is indeed intriguing. Through a bit of detective work, I realized he has a YouTube channel with a limited number of uploads... but his cousin is on there too, and a bit more active. Would love to ask some questions to either of them and get some more info on how this game was born.

I know I play my copy a bit haha, and if you do too, you may have heard of the cheat code hidden in the manual.I think I know the code. I’ve been hunting a way to implement it, and have had no luck. Fortunately though, today, I discovered a bug in the code design! If you still play the game and are looking to beat it, see my intro post here and follow the link. I describe in that thread, a way to take advantage of the bug I found and essentially gain infinite 1-ups! 🙂 

Also, a question I have for you: If you still play, how far have you gotten? This game is relatively difficult as you advance... I can’t seem to get past Level 3, Wave 2 without using my infinite lives bug hah

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think one or both of you guys messaged me trying to shake my copy loose.  I still have it!  😄

The sad thing is I've only played it once not long after I bought it.  I've got a backlog of homebrew games building up fast, some that I haven't even played at all.  I definitely need to rectify that soon.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@arnpoly haha it’s very possible I could’ve been one of the guys who messaged you! I went by the same name under the NA forums a couple of years ago which is when I acquired my copies... but I messaged quite a few people that I knew had copies and made a slew of offers before someone finally bit 😃

I like having this one in my collection for the fact that there’s no way to play besides loading the physical cart. I’ve even taken the game down to the local retro shop and popped it in the toaster so that some of the guys there would be able to give it a shot. Definitely a fun game in my opinion.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I own a copy of the regular edition from the Ebay sale.  I have beaten it, but unfortunately it has been over 5 years so it is hard to remember any details.  It is a very difficult game in the later worlds.  I think there was about 6 worlds and a final boss that is comparatively easy to beat and should only take a few tries at most.  He is the moon character you see at the beginning.    I can make a small contribution to this thread, a picture of the end screen.  Because of this thread I'm going to have to play through it again,  I'll try to take some more pictures this time through.  This is one of my favorite NES games including commercial releases,  he is such a talented developer I really wish he would release another game.  I talked to him a few years ago and he said he was developing another game so you never know, but I think he is likely one and done.

IMG_20200128_014930.jpg

DSC_0003.JPG

Edited by Plasma Man
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Plasma Man

Great info! Thanks for sharing, it’s good to see people have gotten through the entire game and beat it. I assumed there to be about 5-6 worlds as well based on what I’ve seen so far. As @Scrobins stated, the mystery surrounding this developer definitely adds to the intrigue of the game. 

If you wind up making another play through, and you need some free lives to get through it, feel free to check out the bug I documented on Level 2, Wave 1. (See my first post in this thread and follow the link). You can essentially kill tons of enemies without needing to take any risks at all, and rack up a few lives before advancing to make things easier on yourself.

Im still attempting to uncover how to apply the cheat code in the manual. The code seems to be there, but I haven’t run into anyone who’s implemented it yet. 
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Plasma Man said:

I was hoping to take more in level shots with some enemies but doing so means certain death.  I sacrificed a couple of lives to capture some enemies in stage 7 and 8.  Black background is stage 7 and red background is stage 8.

 

Is Stage 8 the final stage? I can never beat that level.  It's as far as I can get.

Yes this game is great. Definitely one of the best homebrews. It could easily pass as an original retail release. The soundtrack is nice too.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Plasma Man

Thank you!! The level shots are awesome to have!! Gives players who haven’t seen that type of progress a good chance to appreciate what’s ahead.

@acromite53

You both should check out the glitch and use it for free lives if you’re having trouble advancing. I’ve been grinding and am up to  nearly 50 lives now. The picture attached shows 42 but I’ve gotten another 7 since I took it 🤣

B154D3AA-739B-45B6-830D-2BBCE448F4CE.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So here’s a question for any collectors out there...

(Forgive me if you disagree with the ethics of this, but I cannot help but asking the question... the programmer in me is going crazy to know...)

Has anyone opened the cart to view the physical PCB?!

*** Please note: the developer (I believe) has stated that he does not wish the game to ever be in ROM format, and I in no way want to disrespect that wish. I would never reverse engineer or dump the ROM. As a community member/fellow dev I would never disrespect anyone’s wishes regarding their own IP..

 

BUT... that doesn’t stop my curiosity in wanting to desperately see that PCB! 😂

it’s truly a work of art in my opinion.. (get it? 87Arts😃)..
 

Ive tried to open the cart (both of mine), and the same situation occurs with both... the 4 screws come out with ease. The fifth center screw will not budge. It’s odd that this occurred with both of my carts... it’s almost like the screw are loctite’d in 🧐... If that’s the case and he really did want to keep all of us out of the shell... then I’ll go no further and request everyone else follow suit and leave well enough alone. 
 

but again... I can’t help asking the question...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, acromite53 said:

Is Stage 8 the final stage? I can never beat that level.  It's as far as I can get.

Yes this game is great. Definitely one of the best homebrews. It could easily pass as an original retail release. The soundtrack is nice too.

Yes it is the final stage.  The trick to that stage is to always keep moving and take out the Dark Master, he is the only enemy to my knowledge that has a different drop rate for power ups.  He drops hearts, speed and invincibility like 80% of the time.

darkmaster8.png

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Plasma Man 

Great info. 
 

quick question for you. Do you enter the Boss battle against Blue Moon directly after stage 8, wave 2? Or is that battle considered separate with a following stage that you can continue from?

 

also, any info on the boss himself? Hit count, weakness/vulnerability, etc.? Any info would be appreciated! Great work!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Lambda said:

@Plasma Man 

Great info. 
 

quick question for you. Do you enter the Boss battle against Blue Moon directly after stage 8, wave 2? Or is that battle considered separate with a following stage that you can continue from?

 

also, any info on the boss himself? Hit count, weakness/vulnerability, etc.? Any info would be appreciated! Great work!

The boss is in a separate stage.  If you lose, the battle just restarts over and over again.  The boss was more difficult then I remembered.  Took me quite a few tries to beat this time.  I recorded the final boss and end credits,  I will be posting it shortly.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, Plasma Man said:

Here is the final boss and credits video.  I don't think I will be doing another complete playthrough for at least another 5 years,  I'm exhausted. 😅

Awesome work!!!

Definitely have earned some well deserved relaxation 🤣 this game would definitely fall under the category “NES Hard”, in my opinion!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thought I would add a few more pics of different stages.  Here is stage 5 & 6.  5 is black background and 6 is purple.  Stage 5 has a really neat mechanic of these blocks that shoot electricity from one to another, if you touch the bolt you will lose a heart..  You can move them closer together by shooting them until they touch and disappear.

 

IMG_20200129_183334.jpg

IMG_20200129_183245.jpg

IMG_20200129_180141.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Plasma Man  these photos are FAR from litter! They are MASSIVELY appreciated, since most of this game is largely undocumented, and the artistic factor is strong. I, for one, greatly appreciate your effort and hope you’ll keep contributing to all of the knowledge here. My hat goes off to you, sir!👍

 

so I’ve picked up on another few tidbits while running tests on this game:

for those unaware: the Speed power up will actually DECREASE the Y axis range of projectiles from the high powered water gun by what appears to be roughly 30%!!!
 

if you start a level on a fresh life and gain a high powered water gun, note the range that each shot makes. The spread is massive!! If you collect an “S” or Speed power up, the range of spread on this gun is decreased wildly! Interesting to note!

ive also uncovered new details about the bug/glitch on Level 2, Wave 1 that I will be posting soon. It requires a bit of a write up.

Edited by Lambda
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Lambda said:

@Plasma Man

for those unaware: the Speed power up will actually DECREASE the Y axis range of projectiles from the high powered water gun by what appears to be roughly 30%!!!
 

if you start a level on a fresh life and gain a high powered water gun, note the range that each shot makes. The spread is massive!! If you collect an “S” or Speed power up, the range of spread on this gun is decreased wildly! Interesting to note!

I never noticed this.  Just tried it now and the spread is definitely reduced by significant amount,  good find.  I find the reduced spread a big advantage, makes it much easier to land multiple hits on a single enemy.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/28/2020 at 9:19 PM, RegularGuyGamer said:

Overall, I never got into the gameplay. I sold it for a heafty price and was glad I got rid of it, personally.

Out of curiosity, what was it that turned you off regarding the gameplay? Totally a subjective question, but it might help out others though if they’re looking to get their hands on a copy, since the gameplay can’t even really be fully experienced without owning a cart (no ROM), and the price is high!

To each, their own. Right? 🙂 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...