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PolePosition PAL Fix


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#1 ProWizard OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:44 PM

Hi Folks,

I'm working on a special PAL 'hack' of Pole Position. The PAL version is too easy (you have PLENTY of time because PAL version runs slower). I adapted the timer.

Some folks (and I) were playing Pole Position in the HSC on this forum and we needed to have a PAL version that gets comparable scores with the NTSC version. To keep track of the right version (we work with screenshots) I colored the sky of this version PURPLE.

Ok... here comes the fix.

1. The timer settings are approx. 93% of the NTSC (original) version. Also extra time settings after completed lap are 93% of original settings now.

2. The finish FLAG bug is fixed. Yeah. I could not found a working xex version of Pole Position in which the finish flag did work properly (it was garbaged) hehe. This is fixed now :D

3. The screen is purple (only for HSC purpouse)

4. There is Version number on the screen (also for HSC purpouse) This is V03

5. The Qualifaction timers (to get pole position or whatever start position) are altered.

In original version:

58"50 or less = Poleposition
60"00 = 2nd position
62"00 = 3rd position
64"00 = 4th position
66"00 = 5th position
68"00 = 6th position
70"00 = 7th position
73"00 = 8th position

In my version
54"50 = 1st position (this might be 'easy' ... but in harder level it is still hard enough to get pole position!)
56"00 = 2nd position
58"00 = 3rd position
60"00 = 4th position
61"00 = 5th position
63"00 = 6th position
65"00 = 7th position
68"00 = 8th position

Please leave feedback here.

I'm only "fixing" this game. I can not add other options or features. I don't have the source version so I work on sector/hex editors and all that sh*t.

Did this 100% on real atari 8bit equipment, using BlackBox and Qmeg OS (using 2 atari's at the same time to compare different versions)

I hope you have fun with it.

If you want original timed and colored version, but WITH the final flag fix... let me know, I might have some time to do it on the original game too.

Greetz
Marius

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#2 therealbountybob ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:07 PM

This is great work Marius, not only do we get a challenging version of pole position on this side of the atlantic, at long last, now there is finally a file version with the flags fixed :thumbsup:

If anyone wants to play take a look in the High Score Club - link below, we're playing a team pole position event, there's still plenty of time to join in. :)

#3 Philsan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 14, 2010 2:30 AM

Hi Marius.
I would like to have the original timed and colored version with the final flag fix!

#4 ProWizard OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:26 AM

Hi Marius.
I would like to have the original timed and colored version with the final flag fix!


@philsan

Ok. give me some time. I have to 'hack' things back then ;)

#5 Philsan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:29 AM


Hi Marius.
I would like to have the original timed and colored version with the final flag fix!


@philsan

Ok. give me some time. I have to 'hack' things back then Posted Image

Thank you!
Out of curiosity, what is the cause of flag 's bug?

#6 ProWizard OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:56 AM

This is the ORIGINAL Poleposition, but with the Flag Fixed.

BEWAREWhen you are looking for the PAL-Fixed PolePosition... please download attached file in Opening Post of this thread!

@philsan

The guy (girl) who originally converted the ROM version into a file, made a mistake in the DLIST conversion. At the moment the flag is shown the screenmemory locations of the two lines of where the flag is shown (ANTIC 4 modus) where the same as in the cart version. That is wrong (ofcourse!) so I changed that.

First I thought the flag where player missile graphics. But then I realised (since there are two full lines of garbage) it must be character mode, since two complete lines of garbage got me the idea of a link to wrong screen memory.

That's it.
Cool eh?

Marius

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#7 ProWizard OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:22 AM

OH and I forgot to explain on other thing about the bug.

In the ROM version the flag data is stored somewhere around $B2EA ... (Routine top copy screen data of FLAG on $A888 and up).

The flag is blinking. So in the ROM version FLAG data is copied to $0660 and up... and when the flag is gone it is replaced by zero's (also on $06xx area)

BUT...

In the file version it worked different. Blinking flag was not realised by copy screen data all the time... no: blinking was realised by changing display LIST.

BUT....

Besides of an ERROR in the DL (using the wrong values) the right screen data was also not included in File Version.

In datasoft version they did this right. After studying both files I found this out, and fixed the original Pole Position version (Atari version, not datasoft!)

That's it.

A lot of work, but learned a lot ... again!
Greetz
M.

#8 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:09 AM

The PAL version is too easy (you have PLENTY of time because PAL version runs slower). I adapted the timer.


Great work, but TOO EASY?? I find it hard enough!! Maybe I should practice more!!

#9 ProWizard OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:16 AM

Ehmm.... I meant that the ORIGINAL pole position is "too easy" ... well "rather easy" on PAL computer.

When you think it is 'hard' on PAL... hehe try it on NTSC... you'll probably gonna cry :D

#10 Divya16 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:48 PM

Hi Folks,

I'm working on a special PAL 'hack' of Pole Position. The PAL version is too easy (you have PLENTY of time because PAL version runs slower). I adapted the timer.

Some folks (and I) were playing Pole Position in the HSC on this forum and we needed to have a PAL version that gets comparable scores with the NTSC version. To keep track of the right version (we work with screenshots) I colored the sky of this version PURPLE.

Ok... here comes the fix.

1. The timer settings are approx. 93% of the NTSC (original) version. Also extra time settings after completed lap are 93% of original settings now.

2. The finish FLAG bug is fixed. Yeah. I could not found a working xex version of Pole Position in which the finish flag did work properly (it was garbaged) hehe. This is fixed now :D

3. The screen is purple (only for HSC purpouse)

4. There is Version number on the screen (also for HSC purpouse) This is V03

5. The Qualifaction timers (to get pole position or whatever start position) are altered.

In original version:

58"50 or less = Poleposition
60"00 = 2nd position
62"00 = 3rd position
64"00 = 4th position
66"00 = 5th position
68"00 = 6th position
70"00 = 7th position
73"00 = 8th position


I think your cut-off times are wrong. I just got pole position in NTSC Atari grand prix with 58"57:

Attached Thumbnails

  • ppgppp.JPG


#11 ProWizard OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:34 AM

I think your cut-off times are wrong. I just got pole position in NTSC Atari grand prix with 58"57:


Probably is the original documentation from pole position wrong then.

I read there: 58"50 = pole position.

but.. I have to admit: in the code of the game I never could find that "50 ...

In only found 58, 60, 62 etc.

I'm curious what would have happened when you got 58"60 ... or 59"00

I can't change this problem. when you played the original rom and raced 58"57 you probably would have had pole position too. It is a 'flaw' in the code.

Thanks!
Marius

#12 Divya16 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:00 AM



I think your cut-off times are wrong. I just got pole position in NTSC Atari grand prix with 58"57:


Probably is the original documentation from pole position wrong then.

I read there: 58"50 = pole position.

but.. I have to admit: in the code of the game I never could find that "50 ...

In only found 58, 60, 62 etc.

I'm curious what would have happened when you got 58"60 ... or 59"00

I can't change this problem. when you played the original rom and raced 58"57 you probably would have had pole position too. It is a 'flaw' in the code.

Thanks!
Marius


Well, getting 58"71 gave me 2nd place. So Pole position cutoff is somewhere between 58"57 and 58"71.

#13 Mathy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:11 PM

Hello Marius

Why not have one version that autodetects if the computer it runs on is NTSC or PAL?

sincerely

Mathy

#14 Rybags OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:08 PM

It does, for the Playfield colours at least.

Weird that it was one of the extremely rare games that bothered to do so, yet didn't worry about the timing constants (and funnily enough they totally botched the NTSC colour set).

#15 orpheuswaking OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:09 PM

Ok, or you could do the reverse and fix the NTSC version to run more like the PAL ;-)

#16 ProWizard OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:36 AM

@Mathy

i've been thinking of that too. It is rather easy to do, so perhaps I'll do it indeed.

@orpheuswalking

that's is too difficult without having the source code of the game.

As I wrote in the openingpost the only thing I did was editing the 'original' .xex file with an hex editor. I changed some values and added flag-information data. That's it.

The game is using DLI/VBI for synchronisation/timing. That's why there are differences between 60Hz and 50Hz computers. It's not that easy to let PolePosition run on a NTSC computer like it was a PAL system.

My PAL version is simply a bit harder because the player has less time. So the score/lap is more comparable with the same game on NTSC machines.

That's all.

It is rather easy to create a NTSC version with a nice BLUE screen. If interested, let me know. But we have to beware for zillion versions of PolePosition. Perhaps Mathy's idea is the best: create just one PolePosition with NTSC/PAL detection and let that do the rest.

It is even possible to ask the player a question: do you want original timer-settings or do you want a PAL adjusted timer? That is a good idea!

I think I'll go for that.

Greetz
M.




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