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The Official 2600 Easter Egg and Programming Mysteries Thread


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#76 shadow460 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 5, 2015 11:17 PM

It's probably on the main page's entry for Subterranea, but here goes. Fight your way to the third Hexuplex and wipe out all the Aerobots. When the crystal appears, shoot it a number of times (either 33 or 43 I think) and it will change to the initials MK for Mark Klein. If you shoot it again, it'll change back, keep shooting it a LOT and the initials will re appear then disappear again on the next shot. I can't remember right off, but I vaguely recall reading that Subterranea's difficulty will reset at a certain point.

Dragonstomper: Find the flashing castle and unlock it, then defeat the two maniacs inside to receive a Paper. This item will let you cross the bridge without paying 600 in gold. (It actually serves as ID that the guard is asking for).

Tunnel Runner: Some of the doors have a weird symbol beside them. If you face one your score will increase but this only works the first time you look at it. The symbols are actually the letters db on one side and cb on the other, for the programmer Dick Balaska and his wife Cindy. Also rotating the joystick in a full circle will teleport you to a random location, but this only works once per maze. If you lose a life, it'll work again. I honestly thought this was a bug when I first found it. Oh, if you're missing the white insert, read it for some updates to the game.

 

Yars Revenge: I can confirm through gameplay that the HSWWSH is triggered by the Ghost of Yar, NOT by repeatedly tagging the Swirl.

No Escape: Again, I'm not sure if this is a bug, but notice how the Furies move when you throw a stone. Use this to guide them into falling bricks. Also, after so many waves, the difficulty resets.

 

Demon Attack: I have a picture label and a text label version. One ends at wave 84 and the other doesn't.

Robot Tank/Space Shuttle: We discussed it a while back and found that one or the other (or both) has two different bankswitching schemes.  One version works on a 7800 while the other doesn't.

River Raid II won't run on a six switch console.
 



#77 Chris++ OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:31 PM

Yars Revenge: I can confirm through gameplay that the HSWWSH is triggered by the Ghost of Yar, NOT by repeatedly tagging the Swirl.

 

All you have to do is blast the Swirl, then push Game Select. You don't have to bother with the line. So the Swirl certainly has something to do with it, although you're right that repeatedly shooting it doesn't trigger the Easter egg (I admit I've never heard that one before).



#78 wiseguyusa OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:58 PM

Were the cheats in Combat intentional or bugs?



#79 Foxsolo2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 15, 2015 2:20 PM

Were the cheats in Combat intentional or bugs?

 

I believe they were bugs rather than intentional easter eggs ;)



#80 MarcAtari OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:55 AM

I'm not sure if this qualifies as an "easter egg"or not, but I discovered a hidden room in Superman (for the 2600).

It was in the disassembly of the game, called the Null Room, where the game puts all the items that wind up out of play (like when you drop a bad guy into the jail for example)

 

If you use Stella or other emulator, you can change the room number to number 0, which puts you into this hidden room.

 

I posted two videos here...

 

and

 

I also found similar things in Adventure and Haunted House...if anyone is interested...

 

Marc

 



#81 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:11 AM

Looks like the developers simply set the room number to 0 to hide invisible items. I don't think its a deliberate EE.

 

But a nice find. :)



#82 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:24 PM

Neat!   I wonder what else is hidden in some of these old games?  



#83 enthusi OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:53 PM

Well. they were probably not “put into room 0“, but each object has a byte pointer where it is. 0 for nowhere which can also nicely be checked. The room display code then happens to parse the 0 objects for the 0 room. Not using that screen ingame was likely the fastest way.

#84 MarcAtari OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:24 PM

def not an EE, but the room is not an accident either.

it's defined as an actual room, called the null room, and the exits are all pointed to itself. and, when an object is supposed to be put out of game play, it is assigned to that room. the object continues to do what it does (like bad guys still walk around in it, etc) you just can't ever get there. and, the objects can't ever leave on their own either. so it really is a "jail" in a way.

 

when you overwrite location $9B with the number 0, you assign Clark's room number to the null room. It is given the graphics pointer of Subway, and color orange, so it is definitely a deliberate choice of the programmer to make it a room.

 

The clever part is that with only 4 or 5 lines of definition code to make the null room, the programmer gets the advantage of saving quite a lot of game play code by just throwing items in there that put out of play...then it doesn't matter how they walk around, they never interact with anything anyway...kinda slick.

 

anyway, hope you enjoy.

 

in Adventure, there is a similar room...it is the game select screen which has a number 1, 2, or 3 in the center. If you overwrite the player's game position to this room, you wind up in it and can't leave.

 

I wonder if Raiders has this...I haven't looked at it yet.

 

Haunted House has one, but it is not a deliberate programmer null room for that purpose...it is just a quirk that if you set the floor to 4 (which is actually floor 5), you wind up in a weird place.

 

fun stuff...



#85 bradhig1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 7, 2016 10:50 AM

According to 2600connection website.  There is an easter egg in the original Haunted House.  An extra object can be revealed when solving the game!  Get the urn, and go right against the exit wall (w/o ending the game).  Push up against the wall and drop the urn.  With a match lit, move DOWN+RIGHT, grabbing the urn and ending the game instantly. 

 

I can't trigger it and I think it has something to do with the Ultimate Easter Egg in HAT. 



#86 Deteacher OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 2, 2017 12:53 PM

The only "easter egg" I've ever discovered was in the game "Turmoil."  Not much of an egg, but I found out if you went down a tunnel to grab the prize, then hit reset as soon as you grab it, the game will start over, but you will still receive the points for the prize as soon as the game starts.

 

Nothing fancy, but I was proud to have discovered it, nonetheless.  :)



#87 MayDay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:10 PM

Someone was asking about Pole Position recently, but I figure this is a good place to discuss it since that thread is locked.  First- a bit of backstory.  I got a second-hand Atari as a kid, but the left joystick button never worked.  Later figured out the input needed resoldered a bit and got it working.  But as a kid, there are only so many games you can play without the button on controller one, and Pole Position was one such game.  Because of that, my Dad, brother and I play it constantly without using the brake and basically could play through perfectly nearly ever time.

 

The mystery of the extra car isn't that much of a mystery really.  On certain playthroughs, you will pass a car right at the end of the lap one.  At the end of the game, you have an extra 50 points if you have a perfect playthough.  What is a mystery to me is why it plays differently in emulation than it does on hardware.  Specifically, late lane changes and double lane changes are rather rare on hardware, maybe one or two each per game.  On emulation, I just had a double change happen on 7 of 8 consecutive cars.  It also appears to send cars through slightly faster in emulation- I think it might be possible to score slightly higher in emulation than on hardware, although I can't seem to play a perfect game because of the increased difficulty.  Another difference is controls- it seems harder to move right than it does left in emulation, and makes squelching the tires far more likely.  This was never an issue on hardware.

 

The imperfect 0 for speed is a known emulation error, but I've never heard anyone speak to the rest of this.  Does anyone have further insight?



#88 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:45 PM

It's odd that the game would be behave that differently in emulation.  I wonder if Pole Position isn't using some odd undocumented behavior that works on a real 2600 but isn't properly emulated?  



#89 Arenafoot OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:15 PM

What is a mystery to me is why it plays differently in emulation than it does on hardware.  Specifically, late lane changes and double lane changes are rather rare on hardware, maybe one or two each per game.  On emulation, I just had a double change happen on 7 of 8 consecutive cars.  It also appears to send cars through slightly faster in emulation- I think it might be possible to score slightly higher in emulation than on hardware, although I can't seem to play a perfect game because of the increased difficulty.  Another difference is controls- it seems harder to move right than it does left in emulation, and makes squelching the tires far more likely.  This was never an issue on hardware.

 

The imperfect 0 for speed is a known emulation error, but I've never heard anyone speak to the rest of this.  Does anyone have further insight?

I've noticed this too. Especially later on in the game, when the enemy cars are switching lanes - indeed it is much harder in emulation than on real hardware. I dunno why.......and would like to know why.

 

It's odd that the game would be behave that differently in emulation.  I wonder if Pole Position isn't using some odd undocumented behavior that works on a real 2600 but isn't properly emulated?  

It seems as if it is.



#90 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:21 AM

And I would be very surprised if it is.






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