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Rogue for Atari 8 bit?

rogue atari 8 bit 130xe

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#1 Fingolfin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:02 PM

Does anyone know if there is a working version of Rogue for Atari 8 bit computers? (not A-Rogue, but Rogue)

 

The only versions I've found are .cas and .xex and none of them work properly/fully in emulation on Atari800MacX or on my stock 130XE (the .xex files; no real, hardware cassette option): all of the versions of the games play but none allow you to access your pack*, the contents of which are fairly important for the function of this game.

 

Am I missing a control option? Are the commonly circulating copies flawed or "incomplete-ware"?

 

This looks like it could be an amazing game.

According to what I could find this game should be compatible with 400/800, XL and XE.

 

Thank you very much for reading and considering my question!

Thank you for any help or insight you all might have!

 

Apologies if there is an answer to this question posted previously elsewhere; I searched google, AA and atarimania and some .rom and .xex sites but could find little more than the non functioning versions of Rogue and 1 youtube depicting Rogue working on an Atari 8 bit computer.

 

* To clarify, when the white cursor + symbol is moved over the pack contents nothing happens; there is no menu popping up for accessing/using the pack item contents.


Edited by Fingolfin, Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:37 PM.


#2 jmccorm OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:50 PM

+1, Interesting

For reference, can you link to one of the copies that you have tried and are complete except for the pack option?

#3 Fingolfin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:38 PM

Atarimania has one .cas and Fandal and Homesoft have .xex flies. Again all will start and run except for being not being able to equip what is in your pack like armor, weapons, etc.

You may need to redo a search for the downloads but the Rogue files I've found are at these sites. 


Edited by Fingolfin, Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:39 PM.


#4 Kr0tki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:15 PM

When running a program released in Europe, make sure to switch to an European TV system.

Edited by Kr0tki, Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:15 PM.


#5 jmccorm OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:14 PM

When running a program released in Europe, make sure to switch to an European TV system.

 

Confirmed, and that seems to be your answer. Kr0tki nailed it!

 

Fingolfin,

 

I don't know what your level of experience is, so at the risk of being too verbose:

 

You said you used the Atari800 emulator on the Mac?

On Windows PCs, you'd hit ALT-Y to go to the System Selection options.

(If that doesn't work on your Mac, then go to File, then Configuration, then choose Select System.)

Under Video System, change it from NTSC to PAL.

 

(If you are more advanced, you may want to create a special command-line argument just to launch this one program.)

 

Under Altirra, NTSC-50 is another option that you might consider.

Of course, be sure to change back to normal NTSC if you load other programs. I don't you'll have this problem (accidentally loading other programs in PAL) under the Atari800 emulator unless you go and save your configuration after you changed the Video System type.

 

On your real 130XE in the US, the answer is more difficult, and it may not be worth pursuing... unless you are exceptionally motivated to do so?


Edited by jmccorm, Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:20 PM.


#6 Fingolfin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:19 PM

KrOtki,

 

Thank you very much for the suggestion and reminder!

 

You're absolutely correct: running the available copies of Rogue via Atari800MacX with PAL settings does work and allows full access to the pack contents (i.e. the gear you need to progress and survive in the game); running the existing .xex and .cas copies of Rogue via Atari800MacX with PAL settings results in pack access and the game seems work perfectly.

 

Very cool indeed! Even though I'd always prefer playing 8 bit games on original hardware, I am glad to know how to make Rogue work through emulation!

 

Thanks again KrOtki!

 

Unfortunately I don't have PAL hardware only a stock 130XE NTSC so I cannot test that angle.

 

So next question, does anyone know if there's an NTSC version or a PAL hack version that works on NTSC hardware?

 

It would appear at a quick glance playing with the Atari800MacX settings that NTSC prevents accessing pack contents and as this is a GUI type of input system within the game not being in synch with the graphics/icons throws off the game mechanics.

 

If anyone knows how to track down a NTSC capable version of Rogue that would be greatly appreciated! 



#7 Fingolfin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:20 PM

 

Confirmed, and that seems to be your answer. Kr0tki nailed it!

Yes indeed, with PAL settings in emulation Rogue runs perfectly via Atari800MacX!

Both .xex and .cas file versions work with PAL settings; should have tried that, though I'm really more interested in trying to run Rogue on an NTSC 130XE.  

However, I realize that may not be possible.  Or practical.

 

Can always play Rogue with PAL settings in emulation!

 

And thank you very much for your suggestions on optimizing emulation setup jmccorm! 

 

Question: Are there any PAL emulators that'll run on NTSC hardware to facilitate what I'm trying to do?

 

Possibly a better question: How is it that some PAL games run well on NTSC and some don't or only partially do?

 

 

FWIW: My knowledge of emulators and Atari hardware and software is decent though a bit limited and rather incomplete in certain areas.  

My knowledge and love of Atari games is a lifelong passion and hobby: I'm no expert by any means but I've been playing Atari and other computer, video game systems and arcade games for over 40 years: it's what keeps me so young! (That and having Elvenblood :grin:  ).

My knowledge is entirely made up of NTSC machines, although I think my refurbished 7800 has a bios that runs both PAL and NTSC games on an NTSC TV.

I recently signed up here because I want to learn more...hopefully!

 

Thanks to all for having patience with me and this post!


Edited by Fingolfin, Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:49 PM.


#8 jmccorm OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:39 PM

So next question, does anyone know if there's an NTSC version or a PAL hack version that works on NTSC hardware?

If anyone knows how to track down a NTSC capable version of Rogue that would be greatly appreciated! 

 

There may not be an NTSC version for you to track down, but I'm willing to be pleasantly surprised.

Your question of running PAL in the US is a well-worn topic. Here is one recent discussion.

 

I caught your edit. To add:

 

Forgive me if it came across that I was questioning your credentials. My intent was to find an appropriate and common technical level for us to discuss the topic.

 

The problem is usually one of timings. PAL is based on 50 refreshes a second and NTSC is based on 60 refreshes a second. The end result of this is that when you take software that is designed for a PAL environment and place it on NTSC hardware, there may not be enough CPU cycles (in the time it takes to draw one line, or the time it takes to draw a single screen update) left over for the CPU to do all the other things that don't involve the display. (NTSC hardware will always try to update the screen at 60 cycles per second, regardless of if you're running NTSC software or PAL software. If you find a way to force it down to 50 cycles, you'd no longer be producing a standard NTSC video signal, and all sorts of other things can and do end up breaking.) [Side note: because the game worked in Altirra in a special NTSC-50 emulation mode, a partial conversion to PAL hardware may work, but you'd be in poorly charted territory. You'd have to find a guru on that topic.]

 

So it boils down a hardware issue. Usually. (Getting the system to report that it is a PAL system typically won't cut it. There are fundamental design differences that cause this.) The more that a PAL game pushes the timings to the limit, the greater the chance that there will be a compatibility issue. So if you've got a PAL text adventure or a utility, it'll probably work great. If you've got an exciting game with lots of video optimizations, it is far more likely to have problems on NTSC hardware.

 

I skimmed the suggestions in the other discussion. I believe they boil down to either:

  • Replacing the GTIA and ANTIC chips and then changing the components involved in clock frequency to convert your NTSC Atari into a PAL Atari
  • Converting the power input and/or video output of a real PAL Atari so that you can use it in the United States

There may be more exotic answers for this (I haven't checked if something like a modern-day Atari 1088XEL will do both, but you'd be talking some real $$ to go that route.) I don't believe you're going to find an easy A/B BIOS hack to switch your Atari 8-bit between running in PAL and NTSC modes. If I was dead-set on playing PAL software on real hardware, I'd probably point you in the direction of running an authentic PAL Atari 8-bit and matching PAL TV or compatible monitor. Given all the choices, continuing to use your emulator on the Mac is cheaper and easier.

 

It is also possible that somebody somewhere can find a way to get the software to run on normal NTSC Atari hardware. That's probably not a good bet to make, though. If someone does this for you, you should consider yourself extremely fortunate. If I had a piece of software that I wanted to incentivize someone to convert, I might even publicly create a bounty for the effort. (A bounty is far from typical, but then again, so is finding someone to attempt a PAL to NTSC game conversion for you.)

 

Hope this helps answers some of your questions,

team jmccorm


Edited by jmccorm, Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:27 PM.


#9 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:25 PM

There are a couple of handfuls of competent coders on AtariAge who make childs play of PAL to NTSC conversions. You could post a thread asking the question. Who can convert this... and the title



#10 Fingolfin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:43 PM

Thank you very much jmccorm for the very thorough breakdown on PAL vs. NTSC frame rates, GPUs and CPU cycles.

 

I just finished reading the thread you provided a link to; interesting reading and a few different approaches look possible for converting/modding NTSC Atari 8 bit machines to PAL.

 

I do have an NTSC 800XL in storage that needs some work anyway (very poor video quality; far worse than my refurbished 4 port 5200 using a stock RF and power supply :-o  ), so maybe I'll look into converting that to PAL.

 

Please, to all reading this, I am definitely not asking anyone to make, convert or create anything.

Please no!

That was never my intent!

 

I am trying to learn and understand as much as possible about a game I think seems great that until a few days ago I didn't know ever existed on Atari 8 bit machines (I used to play a version of Rogue on an older Mac).

 

Again if there is an existing way for Rogue to work on an NTSC machine that would be great but although I'm an eternal optimist, I can also be realistic that that may not/may never happen.

 

Thank you very much to all who've read, considered or responded to this thread.  :)



#11 Fingolfin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:50 PM

There are a couple of handfuls of competent coders on AtariAge who make childs play of PAL to NTSC conversions. You could post a thread asking the question. Who can convert this... and the title

The Doctor, thank you very much for your suggestion.

 

Finding an NTSC conversion of Rogue PAL would be fantastic!

 

I definitely don't want to create work for anyone or put anyone out or even ask a favor if it is a difficult task but if there are 6502 coders here @ AtariAge who might see converting Rogue PAL to NTSC as a challenge, fun or worthwhile for whatever reasons of their own, then, The Doctor, would you please point me in the right direction?

 

I would like to make sure I place my request in the right forum and address the right folks/coders: The Doctor and others at AtariAge, where would it be best to post a question and ask about a PAL to NTSC conversion of Rogue?

 

Hope that makes sense... 

 

And thanks again! 


Edited by Fingolfin, Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:00 PM.


#12 dakidski OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:16 AM

The video Fingolfin linked to is the Mastertronic Rogue. Frankly not a very good port. ( http://www.atarimani...rogue_4431.html )

Epyx made a much more playable and enjoyable Rogue, but it wasn't released for A8.

Imho A-Rogue looks better, and it has an inventory option? (  )



#13 Fingolfin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:02 PM

A few last thoughts on the PAL Rogue by Mastertronic...

 

Thank you again to all who have read and considered this thread!

 

It started a bit bumpy...feel like a dunce for not trying PAL mode in emulation. Thank you again Kr0tki for your help.

Had tried a number of different emulator settings like OS options and memory settings but did not think to try PAL setup in order get the GUI aspect of the game to work properly. 

Must remember to check or track down country/region of origin or distribution when trying out e versions of Atari games, whether for testing/playing on real Atari hardware or in emulation. 

 

Special thanks to those who posted: jmccorm, Kr0tki, _The Doctor__ and dakidski.  

Thank you very much for sharing your insights, knowledge and perspectives on the issue(s) of Atari 8 bit Rogue!

Very interesting indeed.

 

I have learned a lot from you all by way of this post: some of the technical differences and similarities between NTSC and PAL machines (i.e. computers, video game systems, tvs and monitors), some specific Atari NTSC and PAL hardware and software differences, and a fair amount about both Mastertronic's Rogue (PAL) and Atari Arogue (NTSC).

Plus I've learned more about the AtariAge forums community and the wide range of knowledge, expertise and talents that exist as well as the interesting and welcome diversity present.

 

I'll start with dakidski's post.

I agree: the version of Atari Arogue is a superior dungeon exploration/adventure game.

Overall it is both a better game in terms of playability/re-playability and a better representation of Rogue as a genre/subgenre.

Most importantly: it is much more fun to play. And you can actually play and survive (w/ decent odds) for a while (e.g. a few levels) experiencing some character development!

Atari Arogue (NTSC) offers a very cool dungeon crawler, mini D&D-like experience.

 

I learned a lot from jmccorm's posts: he provided good info on NTSC and PAL and Atari related angles of the issue(s); his posts led me to more Atari 8 bit Rogue research and the thread he linked concerning NTSC and PAL here at AtariAge, then onto Atarimania for their NTSC and PAL info, and to a few other interesting links as well for NTSC and PAL info, both generally regarding NTSC and PAL technology for all kinds of video related electronics, and specifically for Atari hardware.

 

Through googling NTSC and PAL related questions, I went to a few different monitor and tv manufacturers websites and to home theater user groups websites for answers concerning TVs and monitors; found out that NTSC vs. PAL issues vary widely between different TV manufacturers: although some TVs/monitors handle both, most seem not to without additional hardware (I believe the term used was a PAL converter(?)).

Some TV and monitor manufacturers are apparently more open to dual NTSC and PAL use than others...if you're curious, google your TV/monitor with "NTSC and PAL" added; you should be able to quickly find an answer.

Found out my only PAL video option without additional hardware or modification is an older Sony LCD monitor (same one I use for connecting my 4 port 5200 because of the RF and analog tuner!), an MFM-HT75W.

 

Also Atari 8-Bit Computers: Frequently Asked Questions had some good, useful and interesting info in section 1.15 on NTSC and PAL.

 

At this point I don't imagine trying to mod my NTSC gear or acquire an Atari PAL machine; although even more curious and interest is piqued to explore PAL and NTSC hardware running side by side at some time in the future, cannot see focussing resources and time on that right now...but I am open and interested in any PAL diehards out there who'd care to convince me otherwise (that I should check out PAL sooner/immediately).

 

Certainly not going to mod/acquire PAL abilities for Mastertronic's Rogue (PAL)...as dakidski stated, it is not a very good port.

 

It's gameplay is poorly balanced and doesn't really give a player a fair chance: in the hour plus I played Rogue (PAL) in emulation, I died over a dozen times, often as soon as starting the game I was attacked and was either a) killed immediately or b) left with 0 strength so my next random encounter meant game over.

The graphics are somewhat cool and the animation is good but the game just seems off (vs. other versions of Rogue I've played); the odds seemed stacked/programmed against the player and there are many, many very-all-too-brief games played. I thought Mastertronic's Rogue (PAL) might be like the Apshai games, but it isn't and it isn't really that much fun.

 

The one thing I do think is truly remarkable about Mastertronic's Rogue (PAL) is the GUI gameplay interface!!!

It uses an icon to direct player movement with the joystick and even more GUI-like is the pack inventory system which allows you to use the joystick to move the cursor over items and bring up menus to equip or use items. The player's joystick acts like a mouse.

I don't know of another 8 bit game (on any platform) that used a graphical user interface for gameplay purposes as Mastertronic's Rogue (PAL) does. This seems extraordinary for 8 bit software development and really the only place I ever remember seeing anything like it is in some 8 bit educational software that used very simple icons/graphics and a joystick or paddle to interact with users instead of direct keyboard input.

 

Use of a GUI is standard in 16 bit machines, but in 8 bit I'd never seen it as it is used in Mastertronic's Rogue (PAL) in direct gameplay. I certainly cannot recall a vintage/80's era 8 bit entertainment piece of software that did/does so.

 

Do any of you all know of other vintage/80's era 8 bit software titles that use graphical user interfaces to click on an icon and bring up a response/menu/etc within gameplay or as a direct and primary program function?

 

If _The Doctor__ or anyone else thinks it is worth asking the AtariAge community for a NTSC hack for Mastertronic's Rogue (PAL), I'll do it because I think this is a unique and special game (just not a particularly good one).

 

That said, I definitely do not want to make a difficult/obnoxious challenge or be a "gimme pig" and ask anyone to do anything for free that they wouldn't be inclined to undertake freely.

I genuinely started this thread a) trying to learn more about Mastertronic's Rogue (PAL) and b) to get Mastertronic's Rogue (PAL) to work on my NTSC hardware.

 

Again, thank you all very much for reading and considering this thread!







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