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In defense of Pac-Man...


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#151 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:00 AM

yeah. well. so. 

does anyone know where I can find a disassembly of the good old 2600 PacMan?

lots of details i don't remember :)

 

All I could find using Google is this:

 

benfry.com/distellamap/

 

 

Update

 

There is PacMan8k.asm at a copy of bjars.com:

 

web.archive.org/web/20170202183805/http://www.bjars.com/disassemblies.html

 

I don't know if that is the same Pac-Man or something else, but here it is just in case:

 

Attached File  pacman8k.asm   214.63KB   27 downloads



#152 NE146 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:12 AM

Pretty sure Nukey would have it. Give him some time to chime in. :)



#153 bradhig1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:36 AM

The exec at Atari didn't even pressure Tod Frye to even make it as arcade accurate as possible. They just wanted a two player mode and a children's mode.    I read that Tod shied away from a black background because they were already had people complaining about screen burn in from playing games with black backgrounds and probably some caused by pong consoles in the mid to late 1970s as well.     We used to play it all the time.  I used to try to eat power pellets after eating all the ghosts from one so the eyes couldn't turn back into ghosts.  



#154 G-type OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:43 AM

I used to try to eat power pellets after eating all the ghosts from one so the eyes couldn't turn back into ghosts.  

 

You miss out on a lot of points by not getting to eat them again.



#155 pacman000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:47 AM

yeah. well. so. 

does anyone know where I can find a disassembly of the good old 2600 PacMan?

lots of details i don't remember :)

Hello Mr. Fry; I enjoyed your game. :)



#156 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:01 AM

Hello Mr. Fry; I enjoyed your game. :)


How does everyone know that's actually Tod Frye and not just a fake account? He only has a single post so far.

The exec at Atari didn't even pressure Tod Frye to even make it as arcade accurate as possible. They just wanted a two player mode and a children's mode.


True, and I solely place blame on Atari's management for this. They were in a spot where they believed they could do no wrong, and that's never a good position for a company to be in.

#157 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:23 AM

Don't new accounts need to be approved? Hopefully if someone applied for the name Tod Frye and used his image someone would look into it.



#158 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:31 AM

Don't new accounts need to be approved? Hopefully if someone applied for the name Tod Frye and used his image someone would look into it.


Approval for most sites is "go click on the link we just emailed to you" and "can you find the street signs in this picture?", not an extensive background check.

#159 Karl G ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:36 AM

I would have thought that there would be an annotated disassembly somewhere online, but I was unable to find it.  Here's a disassembly I produced from the ROM via Stella, for what it's worth.

 

Attached File  pacman.asm   84.96KB   17 downloads



#160 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:48 AM

Approval for most sites is "go click on the link we just emailed to you" and "can you find the street signs in this picture?", not an extensive background check.

It's a little more thorough on AA. 



#161 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:17 PM

It's a little more thorough on AA.


It involves blood tests and stool samples. The samples are taken to a cemetery at midnight and a sickening ritual is performed. If the person is lying, he or she will grow a nose on their forehead with little eyeballs where the nostrils should be.



#162 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:38 PM

Reminder: this is the game that is under discussion here. 

 

 

Make it full screen, turn up the sound, watch the whole thing ... I would find this impossible to defend. 



#163 christo930 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:43 PM

Reminder: this is the game that is under discussion here. 
 
https://www.youtube....h?v=nCPpgt0s70U
 
Make it full screen, turn up the sound, watch the whole thing ... I would find this impossible to defend. 



I can only see 2 of the ghosts. I guess the video is only 30FPS.

Edited by christo930, Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:15 PM.


#164 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:52 PM



Make it full screen, turn up the sound, watch the whole thing ... I would find this impossible to defend. 

 

Assuming Tod is really here and now we can discuss the design of game from the other side, do we need to continue posting statements like that?



#165 hizzy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:24 PM

I like this interview:

 

 

It's interesting that he has no problem with the maze layout. Start watching at 1:25. It's a novel perspective :)



#166 christo930 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:33 PM

Look at the 4k homebrew release. It is better and more faithful to the original in every way, though it might not have been possible to make this 2 player, a child's version was probably possible. Despite the flicker, it is does not induce a headache for me, probably due to the different colors. It includes the different fruits, the sound is MUCH better and more accurate, the maze layout looks the same, it includes intermissions, the ghosts have their home bases and are all different colors, Pacman is yellow and faces all 4 directions. Had I got this as a kid, I would have been so happy.

Obviously the home-brewer has a lot of advantages, but it does prove that it could be done.
I do wonder why the two player mode was so important to them. It is not really a two player game in that you aren't both playing at the same time. Taking turns playing it and comparing scores would have been a great trade-off if it meant getting a much more faithful port. The problem with a child's version is I don't think you can play a 2 player game with different difficulty levels. Maybe the a/b switch would have been a good idea. By the time I got this game, my older siblings were adults and no longer lived with us and my little sister would have only been 5 years old and so I ended up playing this game by myself a lot.

#167 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:43 PM

Obviously the home-brewer has a lot of advantages, but it does prove that it could be done.
I do wonder why the two player mode was so important to them. It is not really a two player game in that you aren't both playing at the same time. Taking turns playing it and comparing scores would have been a great trade-off if it meant getting a much more faithful port. The problem with a child's version is I don't think you can play a 2 player game with different difficulty levels. Maybe the a/b switch would have been a good idea. By the time I got this game, my older siblings were adults and no longer lived with us and my little sister would have only been 5 years old and so I ended up playing this game by myself a lot.


Back then, 2 player games were players alternated turns where common. Yeah it was pointless because single games generally lasted less than 10 minutes and you could pass the joystick. I'm guessing it was done for one of these reasons:

- justify selling an extra joystick (I don't recall if the 2600 shipped with one or two)
- Early on, Atari used the "number of game modes" on the cart as a selling point. Let's say you made 16 variations on your game. If you added a two player mode to each, that doubled it to 32 and they could advertise "32 games in one" or something on the box. This practice fell out of favor 1981 or 82 as people demanded more quality over quantity.
- Advertising a game as 2-player might help it sell to parents with more than one kid, even if it didn't need to be two player.

#168 christo930 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:06 PM

Back then, 2 player games were players alternated turns where common. Yeah it was pointless because single games generally lasted less than 10 minutes and you could pass the joystick. I'm guessing it was done for one of these reasons:

- justify selling an extra joystick (I don't recall if the 2600 shipped with one or two)
- Early on, Atari used the "number of game modes" on the cart as a selling point. Let's say you made 16 variations on your game. If you added a two player mode to each, that doubled it to 32 and they could advertise "32 games in one" or something on the box. This practice fell out of favor 1981 or 82 as people demanded more quality over quantity.
- Advertising a game as 2-player might help it sell to parents with more than one kid, even if it didn't need to be two player.

Great point! I'm forgetting that Atari's customer was not me, it was my parents! My dad played Asteroids, but other than that, neither of my parents ever played any video games, but they WERE the ones shelling out the cash, at least when I was 12. later I had to spend my own money.

It shipped with 2 joysticks and 2 paddles (in one).

Edited by christo930, Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:08 PM.


#169 JBerel OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:34 PM

I remember the period well. There was a ton of hype out there about when the first home version of Pac Man would be available. It seemed to take for frickin ever. There were other games hitting the home market on Atari, Intellivision, Magnavox and the first crude home computers. That's why there was that law suit about Munchkin. It seemed PacMan was mired in licensing hell for a long time, while other stuff came and went. I'm sure the corporate culture had a lot to do with the delivered game. I've been where Mr. Frye was many times. You're not given the tools you need to be successful and then they just want it fast and cheap. You remember the contractor rule? You can have it fast-cheap-good.  Pick two.

 

About 6 months before Atari released Pacman on the 2600, I felt like "the man" when I got a copy of Scarfman for my dad's TRS-80 model 3. It worked at the time.

 



#170 RamrodHare OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:03 PM

I understand if some of you don't like Pacman, but you should still show some respect for the work that Tod Frye did. Most people only think of this one game and completely forget that Tod did much more.  I know, this iss the internet and talking sh*t is apparently a requirement. I've been guilty of it myself. I know everyone is entitled to their opinion and that's fine. I just don't think there's any reason to be so rude.  Overall, this community is pretty friendly and laid back, so some of the comments I've read in this thread really disappointed me. :(



#171 ZylonBane OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:07 PM

Look at the 4k homebrew release. It is better and more faithful to the original in every way, though it might not have been possible to make this 2 player, a child's version was probably possible. Despite the flicker, it is does not induce a headache for me, probably due to the different colors. It includes the different fruits, the sound is MUCH better and more accurate, the maze layout looks the same, it includes intermissions, the ghosts have their home bases and are all different colors, Pacman is yellow and faces all 4 directions.

 
No, the 4K version does not include intermissions. The 8K version does.



#172 christo930 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:47 PM

 
No, the 4K version does not include intermissions. The 8K version does.

The one I have that is called 4k does have at least one intermission. I just double checked it and the file size is 4k. So yes, it does have at least one intermission.

Edited by christo930, Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:49 PM.


#173 KaeruYojimbo OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:21 PM

The one I have that is called 4k does have at least one intermission. I just double checked it and the file size is 4k. So yes, it does have at least one intermission.

 

There are so many Pac-Man homebrews out there, it's hard to keep them all straight.

 

The one being sold in the AtariAge store as Pac-Man 4K doesn't have intermissions.

 

The most recent one developed by DINTAR816 has both 4K and 8K versions. Both versions have intermissions, but I believe the 8K version is the "release" version.

 

There are also the Ebivision Pac-Man, which was retooled into Pesco,  Arcade Pac-Man, which is a hack of Ms. Pac-Man, and Pac-Man 8K, which is a hack of the original 2600 Pac-Man.


Edited by KaeruYojimbo, Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:25 PM.


#174 christo930 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:20 PM

 


There are so many Pac-Man homebrews out there, it's hard to keep them all straight.
 
The one being sold in the AtariAge store as Pac-Man 4K doesn't have intermissions.
 
The most recent one developed by DINTAR816 has both 4K and 8K versions. Both versions have intermissions, but I believe the 8K version is the "release" version.
 
There are also the Ebivision Pac-Man, which was retooled into Pesco,  Arcade Pac-Man, which is a hack of Ms. Pac-Man, and Pac-Man 8K, which is a hack of the original 2600 Pac-Man.


This is the one I am talking about. It is a pretty amazing port, though I also like the 8k version and I really like the pause feature of the 8k version. I'ts put away at the moment, but I'm pretty sure there was another 8k version besides the Ms Pac Man hack that I bought at Philly Classic 2.

#175 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:50 PM

Mr Frye, Pac-Man made me buy a 2600, and started my video game collecting habits.....nuff said.






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