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Hack Midnight Magic to use paddle controllers?


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#1 ComputerSpaceFan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:51 AM

Having played Video Pinball back in the day and not enjoying it, I never paid any attention to Midnight Magic nor Bumper Bash. I just tried Midnight Magic and I am in love! This is awesome pinball, especially for the 2600!

My only complaint is using a joystick. I read here someone considered hacking Midnight Magic to allow using the paddle controllers. I know you can control the flippers if you hook up a paddle controller but there is no way to launch the ball (at least not that I can find).
Actually they mention using "the footpedal controller" (whatever that is) and it allowed using paddles and made the game much better. There's even a pic!

Does a hack exist to allow paddle control of Midnight Magic that enables you to launch the ball? Or is there a way to do it that I can't find? I even tried hooking up a joystick to Player 2 but that didn't work.

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#2 A.J. Franzman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:02 PM

Interesting that the cover art appears to show the use of paddle controllers. I wonder if there are any remnants in the code for launching the ball with them (or console switches).

#3 Feralstorm OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:38 PM

Pretty sure the box art is carry-over from the original "David's Midnight Magic" computer game. I guess it's accurate enough if the paddle buttons still operate the flippers. :)

#4 Emehr OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:41 PM

Midnight Magic is one of my all time favorites on the 2600. I remember playing it with the paddles just to see if it would work. Of course, lack of plunger control brought a quick end to that experiment. If I had the ambition to hack it, I would make it so that when you press both buttons the plunger goes down. Let go of either button to bring it back up (same as pushing up on the joystick). Release both buttons to launch. If the plunger is at its apex, releasing the buttons does nothing. This would give the player the same amount of control as if a joystick were being used.

Basically, the paddle "fire" buttons are the "left" and "right" joystick directions. Using joystick terminology, I would go with this pseudo-code during "plunger mode". The left part of the argument is the joystick input (or paddle fire buttons) and the right hand side of the argument is the equivalent action.

left || right == up
left && right == down
(!left && !right) && !plungerAtApex == fire

Hope that makes sense.

#5 Legend OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 11, 2010 9:40 PM

I'd love to see a hack that allows you to use the paddles to play this game. All the pinball games for 2600 actually. The controls for bumper bash is a big part of what makes it my favorite 2600 pinball game even though some others have more interesting tables.

#6 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:34 PM

But how would you control the plunger then? Both ports would be occupied in 2-player games, so that's out. IMO it would be a good candidate for a Sega controller hack...you get 2 buttons and the stick remains the same for purists (and maybe to check into adding "english"). Plenty of free space to work that in. Acceptable?

#7 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:49 PM

Does this work? Buttons backward?
(I'm unable to check...since Z26 always reports INPT1 as pressed).

Edited by Nukey Shay, Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:25 AM.


#8 Legend OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:13 AM

But how would you control the plunger then? Both ports would be occupied in 2-player games, so that's out. IMO it would be a good candidate for a Sega controller hack...you get 2 buttons and the stick remains the same for purists (and maybe to check into adding "english"). Plenty of free space to work that in. Acceptable?


Bumper bash let you control the plunger and flippers with just one set of paddles

#9 accousticguitar OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:16 AM

Does this work? Buttons backward?
(I'm unable to check...since Z26 always reports INPT1 as pressed).

Does not work. The left flippers stay up all the time (Kroc cart).

#10 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:41 AM

Paddles it is, then :)
The updated routine fits squarely into the old spot, and allows either controller to be used. Down on a stick will still pull the plunger and flip both flippers like the original game...with left and right controlling the corresponding side individually (which is the same bit positions set from paddle buttons). Holding both paddle buttons will also pull the plunger.

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#11 Legend OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:41 PM

Works beautifully! Any chance of of giving the paddle treatment to other 2600 pinball games or maybe some of the more noticeable pinball hacks that change the table layouts? The Midnight Magic 3d hack would be cool to have this control scheme also.

Edited by Legend, Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:00 PM.


#12 Bakasama OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:20 PM

I know it's a little late but I don't think there's need for hack. I remember somebody using a DB 9 splitter with a 7800 on Centipede. It allowed him to use a controller for two player co-op mode. Then he would "merge" the two players in a corner to get double firepower.

A player could just use DB 9 splitter that lets the player to hook up two controllers on one port and just use the joystick to launch the ball and the paddles to work the flippers.

#13 Legend OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:37 PM

A player could just use DB 9 splitter that lets the player to hook up two controllers on one port and just use the joystick to launch the ball and the paddles to work the flippers.


As far as playability is concerned, I personally feel that using just the paddles to operate the flippers and launch the ball makes for an easier and more fun experience. Otherwise, you'd have to use the joystick to launch the ball, then quickly drop the joystick and grab the paddles to control the flippers. This just seems cumbersome and awkward in my opinion.

#14 ComputerSpaceFan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:13 PM

AMAZING! That totally works! Awesome work, Nukey! :thumbsup: :D

#15 Bakasama OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:32 PM

As far as playability is concerned, I personally feel that using just the paddles to operate the flippers and launch the ball makes for an easier and more fun experience. Otherwise, you'd have to use the joystick to launch the ball, then quickly drop the joystick and grab the paddles to control the flippers. This just seems cumbersome and awkward in my opinion.


Well, that depends how you set the controllers. One setup could be like you use the joystick adjust the kicker with your hands, then put the stick down and use your feet to hit the button while holding the paddles in your hands. When you lose a ball, just repeat those steps again. Then again, I do like trying oddball control setups. I don't think making a hack is a waste of time, a lot of us at this point in time just like finding new ways to play our games.

#16 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:19 PM

Works beautifully! Any chance of of giving the paddle treatment to other 2600 pinball games or maybe some of the more noticeable pinball hacks that change the table layouts? The Midnight Magic 3d hack would be cool to have this control scheme also.

How many other pinball games are there? Video Pinball is the only one I can think of at the moment (and is already so much unlike table pinball that the lack of a 2-button hack is the least of it's issues IMO).

MM-3D with the controller hack and timer correction follows...a changelist is included if there are other gfx hacks based on this or the PAL originals.

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#17 Legend OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:49 PM

How many other pinball games are there? Video Pinball is the only one I can think of at the moment (and is already so much unlike table pinball that the lack of a 2-button hack is the least of it's issues IMO).


Not too sure how many others there are. (just tried checking, I guess there are only the 3 pinball games for 2600 )You're kinda right about video pinball not being very traditionally "pinbally" although your paddle hack would make it a little better.

I only know of two midnight magic hacks that change the table enough to warrant some treatment. The space invader MM hack and the Borg Wars MM Hack. Both are in the database. (sorry, on closer inspection, I guess they don't really change the table layout)

Maybe some homebrew pinball games will eventually show up using paddle control to widen the 2600 pinball library.

Edited by Legend, Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:32 PM.


#18 Bakasama OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:16 AM

This maybe a bit off topic but is there anyway to change the layout and colors of the playfield?

#19 Legend OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:35 PM

Just wanted to say thanks to Nukey for this simple, yet awesome hack. I've been playing quite a bit more of midnight magic in the past few days because of it and the paddle controls make it that much more enjoyable.

The only thing to make it better ( besides new tables of course) would be some sound effects for the ball when it hits the flippers and ricochets off the walls. Maybe a sound effect for just the flippers themselves when the triggers are pressed.

The idea of putting some "English" on the ball also would be really cool.

Edited by Legend, Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:50 PM.





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