TITLE:Cho Ren Sha 68K
RELEASE DATE: August 18th, 1995
DESIGNER:Koichi Yoshida (AKA Famibe no Yosshin, 0x4015)
COMPOSER:Ruzarin "Loser" Kashiwagi
PLATFORMS:Sharp X68000, Windows, Atari Falcon

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Taking Screenshots in Cho Ren Sha 68K

A properly proportioned screenshot from the game, depicting the player weaving in and out of rocket fire.

And now for a niche how-to: Taking screenshots in Cho Ren Sha 68K.


Because, screenshots for this game tend to come out slightly distorted. Even the Shmuplations article linked in the sidebar falls victim to this. Note that this applies to the Windows version specifically. (At the top of the page is a correctly proportioned screenshot, in which the player weaves through an Itano Circus slung by those furiously spinning enemies I have affectionately named "Pirouettes.")

Cho Ren Sha was originally released for the Sharp X68000 and ran at a base resolution of 256x256 pixels. The Windows version, by contrast, ran at 640x480. To do this, the game was stretched to 512x512. While this leaves plenty of horizontal space, there isn't enough vertical space, so the game comes out slightly squashed. It's slight, and negligible in motion, and doesn't affect the gameplay at all, but it becomes obvious when looking back on screenshots, and it's more than a little annoying. You can't change the screen resolution (to, say, 800x600) or enter a windowed mode, either.

There is a way to circumvent these limitations, but it takes a bit of explaining...


Fire up the game and play it. Obviously.
Continue playing, without taking any screenshots, until you get a Game Over.


Use your replay!

If you've been playing (and dying) for any length of time, you'll notice that the game replays the last game played as a demo after waiting for a while at the title screen. This version of the game is indistinguishable from the game as it looks while being played. Meaning that you can take screenshots here without having to worry about taking your hand off the controls, which is already a plus. But it gets better.


Shrink the game screen.

Although the screen resolution is fixed, the game resolution can be toggled between 512x512 and the original 256x256, which naturally isn't squashed at all. Use F2 to enter 256-pixel mode, and F4 to switch back to regular mode. Now you can take screenshots without any distortion. You can also press the [1] key in replay or regular play to freeze-frame the game and zero in on the image you want to capture (this is different from regular pausing, which is tied to the [Q] key and displays a "PAUSE" message over the screen.)


Resize in post. To get a screen at the intended size of 512x512, just crop out the black borders and resize the image by 200% in any old image editor. I used MS Paint for this, of all things. Resizing screenshots of the menus is slightly trickier, since you can't eyeball the borders of the game screen. As a guideline: in 256-Pixel Mode, the vertical borders are 112 pixels in size and the horizontal ones are 192 pixels.

And there you have it, a perfectly un-squashed Cho Ren Sha screenshot.


Alternatively, you could just play the X68000 version.

The game was released as freeware, and one of the downloads on the creator's page is a virtual disk image containing the game files. Either copy it onto a floppy and pop it into your machine or run it as-is on the emulator of your choice (I use Win68K High Speed, which runs smoothly on my $200 laptop but still has a few sound issues, at least for me.)

Hope you enjoyed this extremely specific webpage!
(Not sure who this'll help...)