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Kisekae UltraKiSS (latest version: 1.0) by William Miles
(downloadable as installation packages for Windows, Linux, MacOS)

This viewer is different from other KiSS viewers in two important respects. Firstly, it isn't intended solely as a KiSS viewer. What the author had in mind was an image manipulation program, for which the layered KiSS format was a suitable base. Secondly, although the viewer itself is free, the editor as a whole is a commercial product, and the editing tools in the free beta versions will stop working after a certain date. What this means for KiSS fans is that the features added in this viewer - FKiSS5 and support of other sound/image formats, to name a couple - are not standard (F)KiSS, and must not be expected to become part of standard KiSS viewers. Calling the added syntax "FKiSS5" was to give it a label, not to suggest that KiSS viewer programmers should implement it. Sets using the extra features of UltraKiSS will mercilessly break the standard viewers. However, the viewer itself is meant to be backward compatible in the sense of supporting all previous FKiSS levels, so that it can open any normal KiSS set.

UltraKiSS was written in Java, and will run under any OS that has a Java VM. It supports all standard FKiSS levels up to FKiSS4, which means that Windows, Mac and Linux users can now make and view FKiSS4 sets. Some FKiSS commands have had their options extended to deal with old FKiSS issues (like whether FKiSS actions should be able to move an object beyond the playfield boundary) and the new FKiSS5 syntax allows loops, nested if-endifs, indexed variables, string variables and string manipulation. Most viewers double as KiSS-making tools to some extent, but UltraKiSS is a complete editor; as well as a viewer, it contains a text editor, an image editor (under construction), a palette editor that I've found incredibly convenient, an archiver, an internal media player for most of the formats supported (the rest requires the separate installation of the Java Media Framework), and a debugger (also under construction). The helpfiles include a complete FKiSS syntax reference. Among the formats supported are MP3 (for smaller soundfiles), BMP, JPG, and animated gifs, of which the frames can be referenced by letframe() and setframe(); archive formats supported include zipfiles; it is now possible to make a KiSS set without using any of the traditional KiSS file formats. As long as the artist maks it clear that such a set is not playable on other viewers, UltraKiSS is a program worth checking out. Lastly, recognizing the fact that the Internet is still the main source of KiSS sets, UltraKiSS will, if there is an Internet connection, open a set straight from the web!

System requirements: at least 266 Mhz processor, 128MB RAM. All this memory and CPU power is needed not so much by the viewer itself as by the sets it runs; I've successfully started UltraKiSS on a PC with 16MB RAM, only to find there was no memory left to open a KiSS set! To avoid bugs in older Java versions, the viewer needs at least version 1.3.1_03 of the Java 2 runtime (version 1.4 is preferable), and, optionally, Java Help and the Java Media Framework, all downloadble from Sun Microsystems. The viewer itself can be downloaded from its own site, Kisekaeworld.

Archive support: internal (the Archive Manager)
FKiSS: 5
CKiSS: yes
Enhanced palette: yes
Bugs and idiosyncrasies:

The more features a viewer has, the more bugs can creep in. Most of the bugs that have turned up so far have been corrected; there still is a cosmetic problem with transparent cels (when they overlap, the transparent background becomes visible). UltraKiSS has a problem with huge sets and/or very fast alarms, the kind of set only PlayFKiSS can handle; this is mainly due to the Java version, using the latest Java version can double the graphic performance. FKiSS4 support may not be 100% correct. Many features simply haven't been tested thoroughly yet. Be sure to check "UltraKiss Known Issues" under "Release Notes" in the documentation.

- Like John Stiles' Mac viewer, this viewer supports negative object coordinates.
- Like a number of viewers, this viewer has a setting to allow the user to drag objects off the playfield, but here the option is on by default.
- To allow smooth playing of media files, this viewer has multiple event handlers, so it can carry out two or more tasks at the same time. This means it can also carry out two FKiSS commands at the same time, rather than one after the other. If one command depends on output from the other, this can be a problem! For FKiSS-intensive sets, set the number of eventhandlers under "Options|FKiSS" to "1" (the default value is 2).
- This viewer is extremely configurable; the default values for the minimum and maximum fix value are 100 and 32767, but they can be altered. Artists using UltraKiSS to write backwards-compatible sets should make sure they use the default values when testing the set.

Click here for a screenshot.

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