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Atari Flashback Portable FAQ and Compatibility List

Atari Flashback Portable FAQ Compatibility List

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#1 Flojomojo ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:01 PM

The 2016 Atari Flashback Portable is great, it has a rechargeable battery, an AV out port, many built-in games, and an SD card slot for adding even more games! All for about $50. It's generated a lot of enthusiasm, as well as many questions. 

 

Does the Atari Flashback Portable have a cartridge slot?

No, it has a slot for an SD card, which is better. SD cards are smaller, cheaper, and can hold more information. 

 

What cards are compatible?

Most name-brand SD cards, 8GB or smaller in size, should work with this unit. Note that the entire Atari 2600 library is only a few megabytes in size, these games are tiny by today's standards. 

 

My Atari Flashback Portable doesn't recognize the card! What can I do to fix it?

Make sure it's formatted properly. Many AtariAge members have found that the SD Association's Card Formatter utility produces better results than the built-in utilities in Windows or Mac OS. 

 

My Atari Flashback Portable isn't reading the list of games on the SD card, or when I select something, it boots me out! What am I doing wrong?

Per AtGames' instructions, you must put your Atari VCS (or 2600, if you prefer numbers) ROM files into a folder called Game.

 

Yes, and?

AtariAge members have learned that your ROMs must be unzipped .BIN files, with the following format: the first initial should be a capital letter, followed by all lowercase letters. For example, Spaceinv.BIN will work, but SPACEINVADER.BIN will not. Either a .bin or .BIN suffix should work fine. Place your ROMs into a folder called Game in the root of your 8GB or smaller SD card, and they should be detected by the unit. 

 

Can I change the box art for my custom ROMs, like with the AtGames Sega Genesis/MegaDrive portable? 

While the menu software looks the same, the MDB utility does not produce a file that is recognized by the Atari Flashback Portable.

 

The Atari Flashback Portable looks a lot like the AtGames Sega Genesis/MegaDrive portable. What's different?

It's different inside, and the battery isn't user replaceable (not as easily, anyway). The two units share a similar housing, but are not compatible with each other except for standard accessories like the MiniUSB charging cable and the optional AV out cable. 

 

Can the Atari Flashback Portable play every Atari VCS ROM ever?

No, but it can play a lot of them. Some of them won't be compatible because of 2-player requirements, others are no fun without paddles, some require the player to use the right joystick (which doesn't exist on the portable), and others have technical quirks. Fortunately, the AtariAge community has come together to share what they've found, and has built a compatibility list. This compatibility list is derived from the AtariAge ROMs list, found here. Please share any other findings by posting in this thread. If you use a different ROM source, please note the name you used. If you're uncertain about how to add your findings to the spreadsheet, just make a comment in the thread and a community member will update the list as convenient. Alternately, check out Arenafoot's comprehensive rundown of compatibility here.

 

Neat! Where can I get some of or all those ROMs to play on my Atari Flashback Portable?

Right here on the totally tubular AtariAge! To make things easier, here is a set of renamed the ROMs available for download so they will work with the Flashback Portable: Attached File  Game.zip   2.24MB   2723 downloads. Radical! But wait, there's more!

 

Cool. Anything else? 

Wicked awesome AtariAger Arenafoot has modified that Game folder with non-working ROMs removed, and homebrews and hacks added in. Games that have been modified to work with the portable are labeled "portable." Unzip the archive, and place the Game folder in the root of your SD card: Attached File  AFBP_2016_02_12.zip   2.74MB   1477 downloads

This file was last updated February 12, 2017 to include a working DKVCS. Major props to Nukey Shay for that and other work in making these games work on the Portable. 

 

What are these ugly little ._ files next to my ROMs?

You'll likely only see this if your SD card has been in a Macintosh. The ._ files come from Mac OS, and are easily removed with the dotclean utility. 

 

Can Atari VCS ROMs be modified to play on the Atari Flashback Portable?

Yes! Visit this AtariAge thread for a a large number of games that have been modified just for compatibility with the Atari Flashback Portable. There's also a wish list thread for those that haven't yet been addressed. 
 

Wouldn't it be better to just have a more compatible emulator?

Maybe, but for those of us who waited 39 years for an official, affordable, portable Atari VCS, this is still pretty cool. If enough people buy it, maybe there will be updated versions in the future! There's a speculation thread for talking about new releases in this product line. 

 

My Atari Flashback Portable screen is scratched, right out of the box!

Are you sure? The unit shipped with a plastic screen protector firmly stuck on for protection. Unlike the similar sticker on the Sega handheld that had Sonic on it, the Atari Portable's screen protector is clear. Peel it off from a corner and enjoy a better view of the screen. 

 

My Atari Flashback Portable has different games!

There are some pre-production units in circulation with Jungle Hunt, a Flashback-specific version of Space Invaders, and two other games on them. Apart from the different onboard games, they're functionally identical, and you can add the "missing" ROMs to either machine.

 

What's up with the different-looking version of Space Invaders on some units? 

The Flashback-specific version of Space Invaders was custom made for the AtGames Atari Flashback TV console, and is different from the vintage 1980 Atari VCS version. It was designed specifically for the Flashback unit, and is unlikely to work on an original Atari VCS console or emulator. Note that you can load the original 1980 Atari VCS Space Invaders ROM on the SD card.

 

Where's the Frogger music? I remember music in Frogger. This looks different, too. 

The version of Frogger on the 2016 Atari Flashback units was created especially for this release. The original arcade game contained musical themes which are no longer available for licensing. Note that you can load the original 1982 Parker Brothers Atari VCS Frogger ROM on the SD card. 

 

Why is there a black and white/color switch, and why doesn't it stay BW unless I hold it down?

This switch was added to enable functions that rely on the BW/color switch for game functions, such as Secret Quest.

 

I don't like the way you formatted that compatibility list. I can do better! 

Great! Suggestions are welcome. We've locked the top headers to protect against vandalism/cluelessness, but if you post in this thread, an editor should make the changes for you. 

 

I don't like the list of ROMs you posted! I want a different set!

Great! Zip up your "custom playlist" and post it in the thread below. If enough people like it, maybe it will show up in this top post!

 

I want to play the Atari Flashback Portable on my television. How do I do that?

There's an AV Out mini-jack port on the top of the unit. Here is a picture of the type of cable you need (thanks for the gnarly picture, Asaki!). With a typical stereo audio cable, video would be right/red and audio would be left/white. 

 

How about some links?

 

AtGames releases these things all the time, should I just wait for the next one?

Maybe. These are generally seasonal releases, and the 2016 version is no longer available for sale directly from AtGames' online store. The 2017 version looks very similar, featuring an onboard lineup of 70 games, featuring Namco games. It will include a homebrew version of Pac-Man, and the original 2600 versions of Dig Dug, Galaxian, and Xevious. The Activision games Pitfall, River Raid, and Kaboom are featured on the display box as well. Everything we know about this to date is posted here. The extent to which the emulator and compatibility will change is currently unknown. 

 

Have you played Atari today?

Why yes, yes I have. The Atari Flashback Portable lets me bring the chunky retro gaming experience everywhere my active lifestyle needs to go. 



#2 Moo OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:12 PM

760+ 2600 ROMS? I didn't know there was that many. I'd like to see what the number would be with duplicates removed tho.



#3 Flojomojo ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:26 PM

A lot of the duplicates in the list are Sears releases. They are generally the same thing with a different label. Also see https://en.m.wikiped...tari_2600_games

#4 Arenafoot OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:00 AM

760+ 2600 ROMS? I didn't know there was that many. I'd like to see what the number would be with duplicates removed tho.

http://atariage.com/...ere-answer-470/

 

421 Released in the US

when you add the other games not released in the US - it is 470

no homebrews or hacks included 



#5 Flojomojo ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:51 AM

I found a diagnostic menu on the Atari portable. Hold down the big three buttons (A, R, S) while starting up and you get a RAM check, a sound check, and a button check. 



#6 Inky OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:17 PM

The "Elevator Action" entry...  What is meant by "Very Glitchy?"  It's an  about 75% complete prototype.



#7 Flojomojo ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:39 PM

The "Elevator Action" entry...  What is meant by "Very Glitchy?"  It's an  about 75% complete prototype.

 

It looks like Elevator Action in the screens I've seen. It looks like a dog's dinner on the portable. 

 

b9Fmloi.jpg



#8 Inky OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:00 AM

 

It looks like Elevator Action in the screens I've seen. It looks like a dog's dinner on the portable. 

Gotcha.  Makes more sense.



#9 Arenafoot OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:19 PM

 

 

Click HERE to share your findings with the AtariAge community! 

I see there are a few "Self-Published" (Homebrew) titles listed (only a few). Do we add other homebrews that are missing (to the list), for those who have a portable to try them on???



#10 Flojomojo ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:39 PM

I see there are a few "Self-Published" (Homebrew) titles listed (only a few). Do we add other homebrews that are missing (to the list), for those who have a portable to try them on???

 

I copied that list from the AA list because that seemed like the best source to me. If you want to add more, it might be helpful to post a link or ROM so someone can test it. A few people have PM'ed me their stuff to see if it worked. I suspect thenvaguy would be willing to test one-offs that aren't on the list as well. 

 

You should be able to add missing titles to the list. Please be careful not to muss up what's already there. :-)



#11 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:00 PM

760+ 2600 ROMS? I didn't know there was that many. I'd like to see what the number would be with duplicates removed tho.

 

Atari + Sears (no dupes) = 172

 

And if you count 3rd party, variations, rebrands, homebrews, hacks, tests, evaluations, nda release candidates, and other unobtainables, it comes out to just over 15,119



#12 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:10 PM

Ok I have my Portable in and ready for testing.

 

I was wondering if there is a place to pick up some Berserk hacks, like the Mr. Roboto hack.  See if that one works better.



#13 Flojomojo ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:28 PM

Ok I have my Portable in and ready for testing.
 
I was wondering if there is a place to pick up some Berserk hacks, like the Mr. Roboto hack.  See if that one works better.

As always, AtariAge is the place to start and you usually don't have to go anywhere else for Atari stuff.

https://atariage.com...twareHackID=217

There's a list here. I would not be surprised if most of these are Pepsi Invaders type swaps that won't change the game function on the portable. It would be cool if you could try as many as you can, though.

#14 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:40 PM

You rock!!

 

Berzerk Hacks: Test Round 1

Ancipital_Hack - Starts with the lines off to the side, but clears up.  Firing works.

BerserkArena - Starts with the lines off to the side, but clears up.  Firing works.

BerserkNeo - Starts with the lines off to the side, but clears up.  Firing works.

BerserkVE - Crashes on startup.

bunnyBZRK - Starts with the lines off to the side, but clears up.  Firing works.

Doomzerk - Starts with the lines off to the side, but clears up.  Firing works.

DrWhoDalek - errors like regular berserk.  Or seem like I did.  I learned that if you hit the buttons briefly it will fire.

OttosRevenge - Starts with the lines off to the side, but clears up.  Firing works.

PaczerkVoices - Crashes on startup.

QuickDraw - Like DrWho Dalek is tricky getting it to fire.  With a lite hit of the buttons you can fire but again tricky.

Mr. Roboto Hack - Works!!!  :D  (That was my favorite)

THX - tricky firing.  Fires with hesitation.

 

Berzerk (regular) - So here's what's happening:  It is almost like the character has to calibrate.  I put the D pad in all direction with brief tapping on the fire button, then all directions with holding the fire button down, and it seems to get past his funk and able to fire.  Weird.

 

--------

 

Berzerk Hacks:  Test round 2

Ancipital_Hack - Starts with the lines off to the side, but clears up.  Firing works. (Same)

BerserkArena - Starts with the lines off to the side, but clears up.  Firing works.  (Same)

BerserkNeo - Starts with the lines off to the side, but clears up.  Firing works.  ((Same thought there are times it is tricky to get it to fire.)

BerserkVE - Crashes on startup.  (No change)

bunnyBZRK - Starts with the lines off to the side, but clears up.  Firing works. (Same.  Firing in this easy)

Doomzerk - Starts with the lines off to the side, but clears up.  Firing works. (Had some trouble second time around)

DrWhoDalek - errors like regular berserk.  Or seem like I did.  I learned that if you hit the buttons briefly it will fire.

                        (Second time started good, but hit a snag on firing down on the second screen.   After a second or so it

                         cleared up again.)

OttosRevenge - Starts with the lines off to the side, but clears up.  Firing works.  (Same)

PaczerkVoices - Crashes on startup.   (no change)

QuickDraw - Like DrWho Dalek is tricky getting it to fire.  With a lite hit of the buttons you can fire but again tricky.

                     (A bit tricky to fire here as well.)

Mr. Roboto Hack - Works!!!  :D  (time firing went pretty good, snag on the downward firing.)

THX - tricky firing.  Fires with hesitation.  (same the second time around.)

 

Berzerk (regular) - Couple of things you can try:

1) Move and then shoot.

2) quick move in a direction and hit fire button

3) move around the various directions and then shoot.

 

--------

 

The good news is, some of these Berzerk hacks work better than others.



#15 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:45 PM

Testing trick:

 

Since this is looking for a folder called "Game" I change the regular folder to "GameA" or some other name.  Then I put the small group of files I want to test in a folder I name "Game".  I keep multiple folders on the card but just name "Game" to a folder I want to load.

 

That way I don't have hundreds of game images to scroll through.



#16 Flojomojo ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:55 PM

Holy macaroni! Very exhaustive!

Which one do you recommend most?

#17 thevnaguy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:12 PM

 

I copied that list from the AA list because that seemed like the best source to me. If you want to add more, it might be helpful to post a link or ROM so someone can test it. A few people have PM'ed me their stuff to see if it worked. I suspect thenvaguy would be willing to test one-offs that aren't on the list as well. 

 

You should be able to add missing titles to the list. Please be careful not to muss up what's already there. :-)

Yep, I have been working through homebrews and updating the list :)



#18 Flojomojo ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:25 PM

Sorry I keep writing "thenvaguy" instead of "thevnaguy," obviously I'm a little dyslexic.

#19 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:49 PM

Holy macaroni! Very exhaustive!

Which one do you recommend most?

 

Thanks!

 

Tried a few others:

 

Pf-wall (Pink Floyd) - too close to the original, firing didn't work.

 

I would have to say my favorites are Mr. Roboto for the music.   It is apparent it has snags on firing, but the music masks the error sounds as the action sounds are replaced with the music.

 

**  Also I am finding that running around for a second generally frees up the character to fire his gun.   Of course there are the times you get error noise or not.

 

Best one so far though strange as it seems :  bunnyBZRK  :P



#20 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:11 PM

Other hacks I tried tonight:

 

Space Ace_Hack (orig. Pigs in Space) - Worked.

Star Trek Vector - Worked

Venture 3 - (Venture with the third level added) Worked

Venture II - (Fan made sequel to Venture)  Worked

Westworld _Hack - Another Berzerk hack - Worked.   Again, run for a second, then firing works.

Wolfenstein 2600 - (Hack of Venture)   Worked.

 

Also tried regular Coleco Donkey Kong earlier and that worked.



#21 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:00 AM

Tried Vector Joust on the Portable.  Comes highly suggested as it actually helps clear up what is happening in the gameplay.

 

Tried to two other cutting edge games:

1) Flappy - The gameplay works, but the pipes are not lined up.  So a Horizontal placement problem in the emulation.

 

2) D.K. VCS - Crashes when the game starts, but what he has for the intro screen is just amazing on the 2600!



#22 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 17, 2016 6:25 AM

So far all versions of DK 2600 are crashing at startup.  A common thing for games that try to use voice like some Berzerk hacks I tried.

 

CGE Adventures crashes on startup.



#23 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:54 PM


Tried to two other cutting edge games:

1) Flappy - The gameplay works, but the pipes are not lined up.  So a Horizontal placement problem in the emulation.

 

So far on Flappy if you back it up from version R2 to R0 that older version work closer to what the game should be.



#24 ComputerSpaceFan OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:51 PM

Anyone know if Cybearg's AMAZING Fix It Felix Snr runs on the flashback portable? I absolutely love it!



#25 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:54 PM

I'll give it a quick try...

 

Trying the NTSC version seems to work.  Actually they all work and are playable.  Just the NTSC has red colors and the pal version has blue, which is the usual in all the playtesting I've done.  Oh wait, that was Heartbreak.  Ok, trying Fix it Felix now...  :P


Edited by doctorclu, Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:00 PM.






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