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Breakout second level?


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#1 flammingcowz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:42 AM

OK I have sat here for hours playing Breakout trying to get to the second level. Some versions of it that have different layouts after the first level, but I don't remember where I played them. I'm just curious about the original Breakout for Atari.

I can get to the last few squares but end up using the last of my lives just trying to get them. It's really starting to annoy me :mad: . I can beat the first level of Super Breakout easily. Why is this one so much harder? And what's the second level like?

#2 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:13 AM

This shows what happens:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRAPnuwnpRs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRAPnuwnpRs

#3 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:06 AM

Super Breakout has less horizontal area for the ball to travel (since the bricks occupy only PF1/PF2...regular Breakout also uses PF0). IIRC, the ball(s) in Super Breakout also shift around a little bit to try to prevent it from being locked in a repeated pattern for too long. So yeah, the wall is a little easier to eliminate.

But anyway...
When the game detects a collision between the player's paddle and the ball in the original Breakout game, the very next thing the program does is check the 2 bytes of the player's score. If it's equal to 432 (i.e. the point tally for an entire wall of bricks eliminated), a ram location is updated to instruct the game to "refill" the entire wall when the collision routine has finished.

lda    #$04  ;2 check score...
       cmp    $CC   ;3 first digit=4?
       bne    LF4A4 ;2 branch if not
       lda    #$32  ;2
       cmp    $CD   ;3 next digits=32?
       bne    LF4A4 ;2 branch if not
       lda    #$C0  ;2 set "flags"...
       sta    $DE   ;3 to reset wall later
LF4A4:

Because the original Breakout checks for a specific point value in this comparison, the wall is refilled only once in a game. You can still "serve" any balls that you have left, but there will be no new bricks to hit once the second wall has been eliminated. This is true for all the game variations in the cartridge.

Super Breakout uses a ram location to act as a brick counter (a point value comparison would not work there, because the point value for hitting bricks varies in this game). The wall can be reset indefinately in a game for that cartridge.

#4 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:29 AM

Also...
There is a small problem with how the ball is deflected in the original Breakout game. When the ball hits the top border, the horizontal width register of the player's paddle is set to be smaller. This could have led to a problem of never being deflected to the right as the paddle hits it later on...so the programmer had the deflection angles skewed to the left slightly. This is not much of an issue while the paddle is still wide, but becomes difficult to intentionally deflect the ball to the left later when the paddle is short (easy to miss the ball completely when trying for a left deflection).

#5 Luc OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:15 AM

Because the original Breakout checks for a specific point value in this comparison, the wall is refilled only once in a game. You can still "serve" any balls that you have left, but there will be no new bricks to hit once the second wall has been eliminated. This is true for all the game variations in the cartridge.


This is correct, and thus the highest possible score in Breakout is exactly 864 which means: you have beaten the game and have finally broken out! (of whatever it was you were imprisoned in) :-) I guess an ending screen would have been nice.

Breakout..png

#6 flammingcowz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:52 AM

Wow and I can't even beat the first level. I'm going to keep at it and make this the second Atari game I definitely beat

#7 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:53 AM


Because the original Breakout checks for a specific point value in this comparison, the wall is refilled only once in a game. You can still "serve" any balls that you have left, but there will be no new bricks to hit once the second wall has been eliminated. This is true for all the game variations in the cartridge.


This is correct, and thus the highest possible score in Breakout is exactly 864 which means: you have beaten the game and have finally broken out! (of whatever it was you were imprisoned in) :-) I guess an ending screen would have been nice.

Breakout..png

So Breakout only has two screens and that's it? I never knew that as I always played Super Breakout. Interesting.

#8 Syntaxerror999 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:03 AM

Pretty sloppy programing. That has to be the worst oversight in gaming history.

#9 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:39 AM

The Breakout variation on SB is kinda boring, tho. The original cart is better at that, because of all the additional options. But I agree that an "ending" would have been good for it - and easy to accomplish since it had a little unused space in 2k. Just disable the missile sprites @864 so that the side walls disappear (i.e. you've broken out).

#10 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:43 AM

Pretty sloppy programing. That has to be the worst oversight in gaming history.


The 2-wall limitation is not an oversight at all...the game was intentionally programmed that way (it's even mentioned in the manual). They could have very easily used a brick counter instead.

#11 maiki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:45 AM

I never got into any of the two Breakout games. It gets extremely boring after a short while. I also do not like the way the ball breaks the bricks. Very weird. If I had to choose this type of game it would be probably Off The Wall. Althoug it does not support the analogue paddles so again not the best choice. Someone please code Arkanoid 2600...

edit: Or Fireball is decent one!

Edited by maiki, Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:53 AM.


#12 Syntaxerror999 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:37 PM


Pretty sloppy programing. That has to be the worst oversight in gaming history.


The 2-wall limitation is not an oversight at all...the game was intentionally programmed that way (it's even mentioned in the manual). They could have very easily used a brick counter instead.

I see... Was the arcade game the same?

Edited by Syntaxerror999, Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:38 PM.


#13 davyK OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:07 PM

The original Breakout has 4 player options - thinks its 2v2 - has anyone actually tried them out?

#14 fiddlepaddle OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:11 PM

I never got into any of the two Breakout games. It gets extremely boring after a short while. I also do not like the way the ball breaks the bricks. Very weird. If I had to choose this type of game it would be probably Off The Wall. Althoug it does not support the analogue paddles so again not the best choice. Someone please code Arkanoid 2600...

edit: Or Fireball is decent one!


I've recently been playing "Brickyard" on the Astrocade, a pretty good version of breakout. It has a mild gravity, and the ball deflects at many different angles so you don't get into the situation where you keep going over the same paths again and again.

#15 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:12 PM

I see... Was the arcade game the same?


Not precisely...Atari's original arcade version features 8 rows instead of 6 for a point total of 448 per wall (2 rows of 1, 3, 5, and 7-point bricks each). But yeah, the 2-wall limitation exists there for an (intended) top score of 896.Supposedly, a glitch when playing against another player allows player 1's wall to accidentally be transferred to player 2 should player 1 lose after player 2 has already cleared his 2 walls...so suiciding player 1 brings the glitch total up to 1344 (the score will not show the thousands-digit)...assuming that player 2 can clear the full round with his remaining serve.The arcade also features 3 serves instead of 5.

#16 cvga OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:57 PM

Breakout was one of the two games I received for Christmas (1980?). The other was Combat (the pack-in with my atari). I was never a big Combat fan so I got really good at Breakout. I used to be able to finish both walls on one ball somewhat frequently. I don't play it often now but still have a soft spot for it.

#17 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:36 PM

Nearly the same here...Breakout was the 3rd title I bought IIRC. The best part was that gameplay skill was transferrable to the arcade game. Not many direct 2600 ports can claim that. Q*Bert was close, but missing an enemy and it "feels" a bit different.

#18 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:27 PM

I never got into any of the two Breakout games. It gets extremely boring after a short while. I also do not like the way the ball breaks the bricks. Very weird. If I had to choose this type of game it would be probably Off The Wall. Althoug it does not support the analogue paddles so again not the best choice. Someone please code Arkanoid 2600...

edit: Or Fireball is decent one!


Sure maiki,
BREAKANOID is here!

The playable demo includes the first three levels of the game and it's free, but you'll need a Harmony cart to play it on a real 2600 :)

flammingcowz,
to turn up the fun and make it easier to hit the last few bricks in Breakout, select the game variation where you can put English on the ball while it's in play (BREAKANOID has this feature on by default).

Nukey,
excellent breakdown of the routine Breakout uses to check if the screen is cleared, very interesting!
I use a optimized variation where I only check when there's a collision in the top row to save cycles for the power-ups stuff.

I include a BREAKANOID level editor with the game where it's possible for players to either design a Breakout style ending on the last level by leaving some of the bricks out of the top row (checksum never sums) or let it loop back to the beginning like Arkanoid.




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