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Is there a Pac-Man 5200 to 8Bit conversion?


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#1 SS OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:01 PM

Having never owned a 5200, for all these years I was under the impression that the 5200 version of Pac-Man was identical to the A8 cartridge. Imagine my surprise recently when I discovered that not only does 5200 Pac-Man add the intermission scenes but also that the ghost AI is a bit improved as well. I have found many 5200 games that have been converted to A8 but not Pac-Man. Is it possible that 5200 Pac-Man never has been converted and, if so, why hasn't it? It seem odd that such a popular game never made the transition.

#2 Goochman OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:04 PM

There is a conversion out there somewhere but the Datasoft disk release has the intermissions also - not 100% sure if that is the 5200 version or not.



#3 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:05 PM

It's definitely hacked to the A8 since the '80s because I had both versions.

 

Look here:

http://atariage.com/...onversion-list/

 

And try looking at these:

http://www.atarimani...tter_P_8_G.html

http://atarionline.p...t=katalog&sub=P

 

This is also interesting:

http://atariage.com/...info-and-price/



#4 NE146 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:17 PM

I've always wanted someone to hack the 5200 version so it had the much better dot-eating "wakka-wakka" sound effect that some of the 8-bit versions have. 



#5 tep392 ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:39 PM

I've always wanted someone to hack the 5200 version so it had the much better dot-eating "wakka-wakka" sound effect that some of the 8-bit versions have. 

Remember this post. ;)

 

http://atariage.com/...s/#entry2076748



#6 SS OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:47 PM

It's definitely hacked to the A8 since the '80s because I had both versions.

 

Look here:

http://atariage.com/...onversion-list/

 

And try looking at these:

http://www.atarimani...tter_P_8_G.html

http://atarionline.p...t=katalog&sub=P

 

This is also interesting:

http://atariage.com/...info-and-price/

 

Thanks Bryan but none of those seem to be the 5200 Pac-Man.  When I first discovered the Datasoft version, I thought that it was indeed the 5200 one because it includes the intermission scenes.  However, the "munch" sounds are slightly different on the 5200 version than on either the A8 or Datasoft ones and the ghost AI is slightly smarter on the 5200 as well.  

 

I see that the "Glenn 'The 5200 Man' Conversion List" discussion does list Pac-Man but also has a (?) next to its name.  Neither of the downloadable files in that discussion have Pac-Man included either.  Also, neither Homesoft or AtariMania has a 5200 Pac-Man conversion posted.  It seems strange but I'm really thinking that this is one game that possibly never got a 5200 to A8 conversion.



#7 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:06 PM

I have it on floppy somewhere... I'll report back.


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#8 SS OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:17 PM

I have it on floppy somewhere... I'll report back.

 

Thanks Bryan.  That would be great!



#9 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:56 PM

Thanks Bryan.  That would be great!

Well, I dug though my box of disks and it didn't turn up. That doesn't surprise me much since my stuff is still a mess since I shipped everything back from Costa Rica. The games disks were the ones I pulled out the most so they're probably inside a slow cooker somewhere.

 

The file was called PAC5200.EXE and I remember how much better it was than the cart version. Maybe it's on a Holmes disk somewhere.


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#10 NE146 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:12 PM

I actually don't! Maybe I missed it the first time around or I just have a bad memory.. thanks man, checking it out now  :)


Edited by NE146, Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:12 PM.


#11 SS OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:47 PM

Maybe it's on a Holmes disk somewhere.

 

Holmes may well have the Holy Grail boxed up somewhere in all that mess of his but I just do not have either the time or the patience to dig through it all!   :P

 

Thanks for looking around for me anyway.


Edited by SS, Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:48 PM.


#12 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:54 PM

I'll post an update if I find it. It wouldn't be hard to re-hack it, though.



#13 TheGreatPW OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:07 PM

Having never owned a 5200, for all these years I was under the impression that the 5200 version of Pac-Man was identical to the A8 cartridge. Imagine my surprise recently when I discovered that not only does 5200 Pac-Man add the intermission scenes but also that the ghost AI is a bit improved as well. I have found many 5200 games that have been converted to A8 but not Pac-Man. Is it possible that 5200 Pac-Man never has been converted and, if so, why hasn't it? It seem odd that such a popular game never made the transition.

 

Yes there was a 5200 conversion for the Atari 8-bit and I'm pretty sure it was by "The 5200 Man."

 

How do I remember besides having the intermission?  It had the "#" and "*" as part of the selection on the main screen but the players would use the "Select" and "Option" buttons instead.  Having heavily played the 5200 version, you knew in an instant it was a conversion.

 

Qix was another 5200 conversion that was commonly distributed back then.

 

It's way better than the cartridge version by a mile because of the intermissions.

 

It's more ironic when they re-released Pac-Man for the XE Game System, it was the same old 400/800 version (box and all) with a sticker stating compatibility with the XE Game System.  Couldn't they spare the extra RAM to get the intermissions in at least and a new box like they did with Eastern Front 1941?

 

I remember all those 800 owners being stunned that their more expensive 800 computer's version of Pac-Man was inferior to the 5200.  Disbelief especially because Atari computers commercials for the 800 use to heavily promote Pac-Man at the time.

 

It's important to note that I don't remember 400 owners being disappointed though but that was probably because the street price of a 400 was around $199 while the 5200 street price was about $249 at the time.  Plus many 400 owners got Pac-Man free with specials, promotions, etc.  Of course the number of 400 owners I knew growing up was much more than 800 due to the lower street price.  By the time the 5200 hit $199 street price, the 400 was around $179.  When the 5200 hit $159, the 400 was $129 and so on and so forth.


Edited by TheGreatPW, Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:08 PM.


#14 SS OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:44 PM

 

Yes there was a 5200 conversion for the Atari 8-bit and I'm pretty sure it was by "The 5200 Man."

 

How do I remember besides having the intermission?  It had the "#" and "*" as part of the selection on the main screen but the players would use the "Select" and "Option" buttons instead.  Having heavily played the 5200 version, you knew in an instant it was a conversion.

 

 

 

This is what I am looking for.  I can tell right away if a file is the A8 version because it'll always say "select" and "option" rather than have the 5200's "#" and "*" symbols.  The Datasoft release has the intermission scenes included and even slightly tweaked munching sounds but it doesn't play as fast or as smart as the 5200 version does.  I even found a "© Atari" version on the Holmes site called "PACMAN2.COM" that appears to be exactly the same as the Datasoft one.  The US Gold release seems to be cassette-only but otherwise exactly the same as the Datasoft disk release.

 

Surely if the 5200 conversion is out there, SOMEONE must have a copy that they can pass along.  I have looked everywhere that I can find but have come up completely empty.  I feel like a Bigfoot hunter; sightings are reported but no physical evidence has been found.


Edited by SS, Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:45 PM.


#15 ClausB OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:02 PM

I did an 8-bit port of the 5200 Pacman when researching my Analog article on the 5200. I'll look thru my floppies for it.

#16 SS OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:53 PM

I did an 8-bit port of the 5200 Pacman when researching my Analog article on the 5200. I'll look thru my floppies for it.

 

Thanks ClausB.  That would be really great if you could find it.



#17 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 7, 2017 6:57 PM

I found the disk. I'll get the file as soon as I get an SIO2PC setup going.

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#18 SS OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 7, 2017 7:23 PM

Thanks again Bryan.  I am very interested to see if this is indeed the 5200 version or one of the Atari 8Bit prototype versions.



#19 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 7, 2017 8:39 PM

Hmm... this version is odd. It has the improved Datasoft eating sound. It has the full attract mode and animations. The ghost behavior seems like it's the more advanced 5200 version. The copyright is Atari 1982. There's also 4 extra characters on the right side of the maze.

 

It looks like it loads just below $4000 ($3FD0), which would make sense if this started as a 5200 image.

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#20 SS OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 7, 2017 9:17 PM

That one *is* odd.  It is yet another A8 Pac-Man variant variant that I have not run across before.  I thought that I had seen them all.  It doesn't seem to be the file that Datasoft used because of the extra characters on the side of the screen that you mentioned and it doesn't seem to have the directional glitch that the Datasoft release has (although I didn't play past the fourth screen).  It is also not the 5200 version because the "munch" sounds are different and the ghosts don't move as fast or as smart as the 5200 game.  I have an Atari branded proto file that is very close to this one but it doesn't have those four extra characters on the right of the screen.  

 

Thanks for the update and for posting the file.  You say that this is the version of Pac-Man that you've had since the 1980s?  Atariprotos.com doesn't have an entry for A8 Pac-Man.  I wonder if Tempest knows anything about all of these multiple versions?



#21 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 7, 2017 9:27 PM

I would say I got it somewhere around '83 probably. I think I got my first disk drive in '82 and a few disks from a friend in that year, and then I met someone with more software (& BBS connections) the following year. I seem to recall getting this pretty early on. There was a lot of trading going on in my area. I actually knew the computer store owner who was sending 5200 carts to Glenn, although I didn't know about that at the time (I later directed Kevin Savetz of the Antic podcast to him for an interview). I don't think this is a Glenn conversion though, since Glenn didn't usually make unnecessary changes to the game.

 

It's possible this is a skilled hack/mash up of the A8 and 5200 game. It also may have been leaked from someone with connections. I have no idea, but further comparisons with known versions might shed some light on that. It's possible that the Datasoft eating sound was taken from this version or some version related to this one.



#22 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 7, 2017 10:26 PM

For comparison, here are the 5200 and A8 carts. This looks a lot different.

 

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#23 SS OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 8, 2017 8:12 AM

For comparison, here are the 5200 and A8 carts. This looks a lot different.

 

 

Blinky's movement pattern and speed at the beginning of the game is completely different on the 5200 than it is on all of the A8 versions that I have run across.  If you move Pac-Man to the left and then head down to the bottom right corner of the board at the beginning of the game, watch Blinky to see what I mean.  Blinky will always be the first ghost to find you in the corner but his way to get there differs.  In the A8 games, Blinky will head to the top of the maze and then head down the right hand corridor but will take a left to travel past the "home" box before heading to the bottom corner.  In the 5200 version he will also head to the top of the maze but then will not detour towards home on his way down but will instead go straight down the corridor and end up in the bottom right corner.  He moves slightly faster in the 5200 version as well. 



#24 ClausB OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 8, 2017 10:37 AM

I looked thru my ATRs and couldn't find the executable, though I did find some source code to the 8-bit patch for it. Whenever I hook up a real drive again I'll look at my other disks.

#25 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 8, 2017 5:35 PM

Okay, the ghost behavior is definitely like the A8 cart but it has the 5200's cycling attract mode and intermissions, so this is some kind of hybrid. Plus, this one has the different eating sound which isn't seen again until the Datasoft release. It's only about 14K, while the A8 version is 8K and the 5200 version occupies about 23K out of a 32K cart.

 

Here are the possibilities I see:

 

1. Someone really went to a lot of trouble to implant most of the 5200 upgrades into the A8 game (all except the improved A.I. and faster speed).

2. Perhaps the original A8 Pac-Man had these features and Atari trimmed them out to make the game 8K, making this a proto.

3. This is an early upgraded 5200 Pac-Man build, making this a proto that was possibly modified to the A8, or not assembled for 5200 hardware.

4. This is somehow related to the Datasoft version.

 

I had pretty much forgotten about this game, but when I have time I really want to do some code forensics.

 

Does anyone have a good copy of the Datasoft version?

 

EDIT: This appears to be a cassette of it??

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