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Flashback Portable: Needed Controller Hacks


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#26 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:22 PM

Alright Nukey I'm doing a quick video of how the latest Star Raiders hack is doing.  You are welcome to join me here...

 

 

(Or just watch it when you get around to it.)  :D


Edited by doctorclu, Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:22 PM.


#27 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:37 PM

Results from the test:

 

Player 1 difficulty = Switches computer

Player 2 difficulty = Switches Shields

Mono /Color = Selects galactic map vs. Forward view.

 

And for whatever reason the D-pad is not working.  :/

 

So if there is any way we can wake the D-Pad up, and possibly make it where the default for the Mono switch is Forward view (color mode) and you hold down that button for the Galactic Map (or Mono mode) I think that will cover a lot.


Edited by doctorclu, Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:57 PM.


#28 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:37 PM

On the D-Pad not working:

Looked in the Star Raiders manual:

3. USING THE CONTROLLER 
   
        Use your
        Joystick Controller and Video Touch Pad with this ATARI Game
        Program cartridge. Plug the Video Touch Pad firmly into the
        RIGHT CONTROLLER jack at the back of your Video Computer System
        game. Plug the Joystick Controller into the LEFT CONTROLLER
        jack...

Nothing out of the usual there.  Would have been silly if they made the joystick where the player 2 controller would have normally been.

 

There are games that people have hacked, like Big Bird's Egg Catch, that was a keyboard controller game hacked to joystick controls.    And those hacked games work fine on the AFP.

 

But in the case of Star Raiders, it is the only game I know that was reading both a joystick and keyboard controller at the same time.  Could it be possible that the scanning routine (?) used in this game originally for both controllers is confusing the controller emulation of the AFP, causing the D-Pad to be unresponsive?


Edited by doctorclu, Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:38 PM.


#29 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:16 PM

Both controllers and the console switches are sent through spaghetti code and saved to ram...so it's a matter of weeding though it to fix the bugs (such as the map appearing by default). If the Dpad on the portable is not working even on the original game, there could be some other issue it is having (with the ram locations used?) Are any other games glitchy?

#30 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:35 PM

There are a few where the dpad is not working.  There is a complete compatibility list here...

 

https://docs.google....wYNI/edit#gid=0

 

In summary, here are games that had the D-Pad not working (which I list in case you are familiar with them or know how they were programmed to find a common bug in the emulation...)

 

 

Game of Concentration -Atari

Sentinel- Atari

Shooting Arcade- Atari

Secret Agent -Data Age

Asteroid Fire -Home Vision

Canyon Bomber -Atari

Codebreaker -Atari

Frisco -Home Vision

G.I. Joe - Cobra Strike -Parker Brothers

Gamma-Attack -Gammation

Oscar's Trash Race -Atari

Racing Car -Home Vision

Super Challenge Baseball -INTV

Human Cannonball -Atari

Bachelor Party -Mystique

Bachelor Party/Gigolo -Playaround

Eli's Ladder -Simage

Super Challenge Baseball -M Network

Super Challenge Football -M Network

Kool Aid Man -M Network

 

And I will say I greatly apologize for getting you to help this far and not realizing the joystick didn't work.   Kinda sucks.  Was hard to tell until we had a way to switch from galactic map.

 

If you are up for a challenge looks like the Dpad is unresponsive on Star Raiders and I will be happy to help test any revisions to get that to work on the Atari Flashback Portable.  (As it stands now, you created a great hack for those that have a Atari and Harmony Cart but don't have a keyboard controller so kinda cool!)

 

OR...  :)

 

There is one game I know the Dpad works and could use a similar hack to activate the weapons of Joystick #2 : Spy Hunter.

 

Got three votes that would like to see that fully working on the AFP.   Right now you can drive along, shoot cars, and bump off cars, but it is not really Spy Hunter until you have smoke screen, oil slick, and missile.   (It is kinda Bump and Jump... with guns.) 


Edited by doctorclu, Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:42 PM.


#31 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:25 PM

BTW Nukey, I enjoyed what work you did on Star Raiders so much I actually won a Novice game.  Got like Scout 3rd class or something like that. 



#32 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 1, 2017 1:05 AM

Some of the games listed are not made for a directional controller...so those can be ignored unless hacks exist to change them. Something common among the others are frequent successive reads done with SWCHA/SWCHB and/or DDR flow control (SWACNT/SWBCNT). Could this be the problem?

#33 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 1, 2017 2:30 AM

First 7800-detection attempt. I gather that the portables' switch operates similarly...so try loading the game with the firebutton held (to force 7800 mode) if this does not work. Also cut down on the frequency of port reads to see if that helps the Dpad.

Attached Files



#34 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 1, 2017 10:44 AM

Some great results, here is the video showing what improved...

 

 

Results:

 

It works, it plays!   Good work Nukey!!


Edited by doctorclu, Sun Jan 1, 2017 11:04 AM.


#35 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 1, 2017 12:24 PM

I really liked what was learned in this case...

 

There are a few where the dpad is not working.  ...

 

In summary, here are games that had the D-Pad not working (which I list in case you are familiar with them or know how they were programmed to find a common bug in the emulation...)

 

 

Game of Concentration -Atari

Sentinel- Atari

Shooting Arcade- Atari

Secret Agent -Data Age

Asteroid Fire -Home Vision

Canyon Bomber -Atari

Codebreaker -Atari

Frisco -Home Vision

G.I. Joe - Cobra Strike -Parker Brothers

Gamma-Attack -Gammation

Oscar's Trash Race -Atari

Racing Car -Home Vision

Super Challenge Baseball -INTV

Human Cannonball -Atari

Bachelor Party -Mystique

Bachelor Party/Gigolo -Playaround

Eli's Ladder -Simage

Super Challenge Baseball -M Network

Super Challenge Football -M Network

Kool Aid Man -M Network

 

 

Some of the games listed are not made for a directional controller...so those can be ignored unless hacks exist to change them. Something common among the others are frequent successive reads done with SWCHA/SWCHB and/or DDR flow control (SWACNT/SWBCNT). Could this be the problem?

 

... Also cut down on the frequency of port reads to see if that helps the Dpad.

 

And now we know.   The Dpad not working in this case and in the case of others with a directional control was excessive reads and just reducing that a bit.



#36 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 1, 2017 1:43 PM

The readout missing from the production model may be due to bits 6&7 being set in VBLANK when this is no longer needed? The rank missing when you win is a glitch in the hack, tho...need to track that down.

#37 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 1, 2017 1:48 PM

BTW keep in mind that this is hacking against incomplete emulation...so what works in one ROM may not in another.

#38 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 1, 2017 2:45 PM

The readout missing from the production model may be due to bits 6&7 being set in VBLANK when this is no longer needed?

 

One thing I want to do is narrow down the games effected by the increased screen migration between the pre-production and production models.   Might help us understand what might be happening.   Not all games were effected obviously.



#39 SoundGammon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 1, 2017 10:42 PM

Nukey,

 Could  Game of Concentration -Atari   be hacked to play like Flag Capture?

 

Move an X over the square and press button to reveal what's underneath?



#40 KevinMos3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 1, 2017 10:54 PM

FYI, Nukey's Missile Command Arcade hack loads and seems to display fine, but the controller does not work properly on the FBP, making it unplayable.

 

 

 

There are a few where the dpad is not working...

...

Kool Aid Man -M Network

...


OR...  :)

 

There is one game I know the Dpad works and could use a similar hack to activate the weapons of Joystick #2 : Spy Hunter.

 

 

Kool-Aid Man works fine on my FPB.  You have to start the game with one of the console switches (I don't remember which at the moment), so ppl commonly mistake even the actual cart as not working.  :)

 

Spy Hunter fourthed... although I mentioned it earlier, so I don't know if this vote counts.  ;)


Edited by KevinMos3, Sun Jan 1, 2017 11:01 PM.


#41 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 2, 2017 4:27 AM

The Missile Command hack wouldn't...it uses a second controller to fire.

 

Fixed the rank display (I think), corrected the scanline jitter during the "complete" message for warping, and removed the offending bits sent to VSYNC:

Attached Files



#42 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 2, 2017 5:04 AM

...or this if the 7800/portable map button got messed up with the previous one :P

Attached Files



#43 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 2, 2017 8:09 AM

Kool-Aid Man works fine on my FPB.  You have to start the game with one of the console switches (I don't remember which at the moment), so ppl commonly mistake even the actual cart as not working.  :)

 

I've updated the compatibility list and changed Kool-Aid man from "unplayable" to "flawed" with the bit of advice that you gave above.



#44 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 2, 2017 8:44 AM

...or this if the 7800/portable map button got messed up with the previous one :P

 

Ok, here is the test video here..

 

 

End result:

 

Screen migration, still there, is there anything that can be done about it?   Certainly don't blame Nukey for trying.

The ranking is working again!


Edited by doctorclu, Mon Jan 2, 2017 8:53 AM.


#45 atarifan88 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 2, 2017 12:18 PM

Would it be possible for Nukey to switch the "smart bomb" button for Defender 2 from the player 2 fire button to one of the difficulty or b&w switch?  Please? :)



#46 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 2, 2017 2:09 PM

I've looked at Concentration years ago...and gave up on it almost immediately. Can't recall what the issue was that stopped me from going any further (or like this game, just a complete lack of any commented disassembly existing - even a partial one - to help me get a start on what is going on). It's like being lost in the forest...every so often you get a glimpse of something you think may be familiar, but have to backtrack if this is a false assumption. Which isn't very fun if it's not very interesting to begin with.

Edited by Nukey Shay, Mon Jan 2, 2017 2:10 PM.


#47 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 2, 2017 2:40 PM

I got this comment on the Star Raiders 2600 for the AFP Test 3 video above.   The answer I gave there might help some here.

 

Comment/Question:

I tried the latest ones posted to Atari Age (the same thread where you posted this video) and they are missing the status bar. Where did you get the revision 3 bin that you are testing?
 
Answer:
So as I mentioned in the video I am testing the game on the Pre-Production Atari Flashback Portable. These were the ones ATgames sold as soon as they started selling these which were a small batch that had Space Invaders and Jungle Hunt. These also, come to find out, were more faithful (but not perfect) in displaying Atari games as I showed in this video. Sadly the production models (that don't have Space Invaders) had a bit more screen migration downward which is why you didn't see the status bar.

Edited by doctorclu, Tue Jan 3, 2017 1:47 AM.


#48 atarifan88 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 2, 2017 6:38 PM

I've looked at Concentration years ago...and gave up on it almost immediately. Can't recall what the issue was that stopped me from going any further (or like this game, just a complete lack of any commented disassembly existing - even a partial one - to help me get a start on what is going on). It's like being lost in the forest...every so often you get a glimpse of something you think may be familiar, but have to backtrack if this is a false assumption. Which isn't very fun if it's not very interesting to begin with.


Any idea how we could get the smart bombs on Defender 2 to work on the AFP?

#49 Arenafoot OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 2, 2017 10:02 PM

FYI, Nukey's Missile Command Arcade hack loads and seems to display fine, but the controller does not work properly on the FBP, making it unplayable.

 

 

Kool-Aid Man works fine on my FPB.  You have to start the game with one of the console switches (I don't remember which at the moment), so ppl commonly mistake even the actual cart as not working.  :)

 

Spy Hunter fourthed... although I mentioned it earlier, so I don't know if this vote counts.  ;)

 

 

 

I've updated the compatibility list and changed Kool-Aid man from "unplayable" to "flawed" with the bit of advice that you gave above.

I tried both Kool Aid Man ROMs listed here at AA (NTSC & PAL) and both are not playable on my "Production" model. Yes, you have to hit the game reset button to start the game on real hardware, but if you hit the reset button on the portable, it goes to the Kool Aid Man crashing into the wall scene. Once the game starts, Kool Aid Man is stuck in the upper left hand corner and is not playable.

 

Kevin, is yours a "Pre-Production" model? Maybe that's why it works on yours?



#50 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 3, 2017 4:40 AM

Does that same happen for the Kool Aid Man Hack that fixed the glitch when Stella was a young'un?




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