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#1 ulij20 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:14 PM

I read several topics, in which "frying" (flipping the power switch to "off" mode for a split second to access weird versions of Atari games) was referred to, and decided to make a topic about it. What are some games you have "fried" and what weird results did it produce?

I already mentioned my "Pitfall II" experiences (starting right next to Quickclaw, making for a much easier game), and the original Pitfall (starting at the top of the screen and having Pitfall turn black) and "Adventure" (having certain objects appear on the "Level Select" screen and being unable to find them in the game that followed). A few times, when I did this to "Raiders Of The Lost Ark", I started out in the Treasure room (where you obtain the Ankh, Chai, and Hourglass) and there was a distorted version of the sound effect that you hear when you lose a life. What was happening that Indy's body, which was so long it went off the bottom of the screen, was waning slowly.
The funniest frying experience I had in "Raiders", the title screen appeared, along with the theme from "Raiders" playing (which happens at the start of every game). What was so unusual was the the FLUTE MUSIC was playing, only about an octave lower - in the same octave as the "Raiders" theme! My brother and I were doubled over laughing!

In Yar's Revenge, I would sometimes start on the advanced levels in the game, where the shield was pink or gray. One time, it was the purple shield.

In Haunted House, there were several weird versions, but the one that stands out in my mind is that when you were hit, you heard a slightly different sound effect, pretty much the first few "notes" of the sound effect. Almost as funny as the aformentioned flute music in ROTLA.

The other one I can remember is Superman, where you started out on the hidden screen, where the characters in the game were stored until the bridge explodes. Everything was rapidly blinking on and off and the roar of Lex's helipack was heard along with the helicopter. For some reason, however, the Kryptonite pieces weren't in there. They always start out in the city.

So, what are some of your memorable "frying" experiences?

#2 FujiSkunk OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:59 PM

My most amusing episode of frying was with Outlaw. The game officially has 16 game variations. Frying usually produces a 17th variation, #0, that features two players, a wall, and the "getaway" trick.

Once, however, frying gave me variations #26 through #99! Each of these was some new mix-up of the game's available features, including many that were amusing, yet unplayable. There were walls that couldn't be shot through. There were one-player games that used the six-shooter, and after those six shots, the player could never replenish, since the target never fired. There were moving cactii. And other such fun. After #99, the game cycled back to #0. Sadly, only the original 16 could be cycled through after that, and I haven't seen those variations since.

Frying is another way to get the two-shot ability in Space Invaders. Sometimes your base ends up invisible, also.

Frying Asteroids yielded a rather monotonous version where the asteroids were always white, and the enemy ships always followed the same path and fired in the same direction.

Frying E.T. will give even people who like the game reason to despair. Only one zone ever appears, the call Elliot zone. Poor little E.T. is stranded!

Frying Centipede was often a scary experience. You started above the playfield. If you came down, you could be anywhere you wanted on screen, at least until you went below the invisible barrier that keeps you in the lower third of the playfield. But if you went higher, you went through some weird warp that either wrapped you back below the playfield, or completely crashed the game, giving the impression something was actually wrong with your Atari.

I've fried plenty of other games, but those are the ones that stand out in my memory.

By the way, user "batari" is working on a stella hack that emulates frying. Check out this thread.

#3 Zonie OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 14, 2005 1:32 PM

Anyone install a NC pushbutton to do this?

#4 caleiam OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 14, 2005 1:33 PM

I might have done this with my Raiders of the Lost Ark. I turned it on and nothing happend so I tried it again and it started out with Indy climbing down a lader and just standing on a mound. No matter what I pushed it just kept playing the same music and Indy just stood there.. This could just be a newbie mistake but I figured in the game I would get to move around a bit

#5 candiru OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 14, 2005 1:56 PM

I might have done this with my Raiders of the Lost Ark.  I turned it on and nothing happend so I tried it again and it started out with Indy climbing down a lader and just standing on a mound. No matter what I pushed it just kept playing the same music and Indy just stood there.. This could just be a newbie mistake but I figured in the game I would get to move around a bit

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A lot of Atari games are simple enough to pick up and figure out without the manual. This isn't one of them. This game uses both controllers and the right stick is used to move Indy around. Here is the manual.

#6 ulij20 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 14, 2005 2:44 PM

Frying Asteroids yielded a rather monotonous version where the asteroids were always white, and the enemy ships always followed the same path and fired in the same direction.

Oh yeah, the "Albino Asteroids", as I called it. I'd almost forgotten about that. The game would be silent for a few second and then the music (which sounds suspiciously like the music in "Jaws") would start up.

Just thought of a few other ones. Demon Attack had several interesting variations. One would produce huge demons and when you shot at them, they'd change to regular demons and the colors were red, yellow, and green, which is not a regular color for the demons (there's a red, yellow and blue, but the red in these demons was not as bright).
On at least two occasions, there were "mutating demons", when the demons would change into all the demon variations in the game. That was always the coolest.

In "Tunnel Runner", frying the game would give you an unlimited supply of lives. I hear that after the 127th board, the game goes nuts. I guess I never made it that far. I got sort of bored, because in the later stages, the colors of the mazes didn't vary as much.

In "Swordquest Earthworld", frying would give you six keys, and all the treasures, including the Warrior's Sword. However, I don't know if you get an extra Warrior's Sword after completing the game.

In "Fathom", frying would produce a version of the game where you could fly to the right (I forget whether any fireballs came out of any of the mountains) so you could see all the colors of the mountains. The furthest board I got up to without frying was, I believe, the sixth or seventh level, where the mountain was light green at the top and medium green at the bottom.

Edited by ulij20, Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:08 PM.


#7 BassGuitari ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:45 PM

I've fried Pitfall and Star Ship, both games yielded cool, but unfortunately unplayble results.

In the Pitfall game, "Ninja" Harry (he's completely black) dropped from the right side of the screen. The timer and Activision logo are scrambled (the score might have been too, I don't remember). You can run around and jump and climb the ladder and stuff, but you can't leave the screen. There also was a single log that rolled continuously across the screen.

In the Star Ship game, space is orange instead of black, your crosshairs are black, and you can move around and fire with the left joystick (instead of the right). There are no stars, nor is there a score counter. If you move up and to the left a bit, a cluster of flickering black blocks appear (I guess moving around till you find them works too), looks a bit like an Asteroid, a Robot, Fighter, and UFO all mashed together. You can shoot at them, but nothing happens, and they never move towards you. When these blocks (black holes? :D ) are in firing range, a score counter appears in the normal position at the top-right corner of the screen.

Again, unfortunately, neither of these games are really playable when fryed.

Edited by BassGuitari, Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:50 PM.


#8 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:55 PM

I also heard that if you kick your Xbox really hard, you can get 500 extra lives while playing any game. Real cheats and cheat gadgets are OK, but 'frying' sucks.

#9 danwinslow OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:30 PM

And there you have it, from Dr. Opinion himself.

#10 Mindfield OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 14, 2005 5:21 PM

Frying was cool. I thought I'd discovered some cool new thing back in the day -- I remember trying it on pretty much every game I had. (Except Bridge. I didn't like Bridge. it was an inherited collection)

I was actually amazed when I learned several years ago that others did it too, and that it wasn't entirely uncommon.

#11 frogstar_robot OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 14, 2005 6:45 PM

My favorite game to fry was Parker Brothers Frogger. You got a weird version of the theme music and "mutating" objects on the screen that constantly "morphed". I don't remember how playable it was though; it's been years. Frying Pacman would often let pass through maze walls but you could only move up and down relative to your starting position. You couldn't move right or left.

#12 batari OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 14, 2005 7:06 PM

My favorite game to fry was Parker Brothers Frogger.  You got a weird version of the theme music and "mutating" objects on the screen that constantly "morphed".  I don't remember how playable it was though; it's been years.  Frying Pacman would often let pass through maze walls but you could only move up and down relative to your starting position.  You couldn't move right or left.

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That's exactly what happens with the Stella frying hack I'm working on. I'll post a screenshot (.png format - hopefully it will work) - is this kind of like what you remember?

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#13 frogstar_robot OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:22 PM

My favorite game to fry was Parker Brothers Frogger.  You got a weird version of the theme music and "mutating" objects on the screen that constantly "morphed".  I don't remember how playable it was though; it's been years.  Frying Pacman would often let pass through maze walls but you could only move up and down relative to your starting position.  You couldn't move right or left.

View Post

That's exactly what happens with the Stella frying hack I'm working on. I'll post a screenshot (.png format - hopefully it will work) - is this kind of like what you remember?

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It's an awful lot like it! Try to get your hack accepted upstream. I'm a Linux man myself and would love to roll up a binary of what you've done.

#14 moycon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 14, 2005 11:09 PM

I was the fry master as a kid.

I say to hell with folks that say frying will ruin the Atari. I discovered frying early on by mistake actually and after, that frying became a part of playing Atari for the life of my Atari days.

Some of the ones I remember.

H.E.R.O. - Fry the game. You will see a miner sitting. You will not be able to see yourself, but you can hear yourself. Let the time run out. You will here the "death sound" and you will start the level over.... With 256 lives!! (I guessing 256...A lot of lives anyways)

Popeye : This ones fuzzy. But you fry the game until your lives are screwed up looking. Again you will have lots of lives. Probably 256

Phoenix : This is another game that when fryed gives you a ton of lives. Can't remember the specifics other than it's very easy to pull off.

Combat : This one took awhile. But if fryed the vehicles would be on screens they shouldn't be. Tanks in the clouds. One big Jet vs. 3 smaller jets. Etc.... Very weird.

Enduro : Fry until the road is distorted. Sometimes there is a pocket is big enough to hide in. The cars won't be able to hit you.

Most games when you fry them just produce distorted graphics or unplayable games. But some side effects are pretty cool! Been so long I can't remember them all.

#15 Foxsolo2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 15, 2005 8:48 AM

I first discovered frying back in the summer of 1982 when by accident I discovered the double bullet mode of Space Invaders. I was 11 and had rushed in to get my latest fix of Atari and flicked on the game too fast and the rest was history. After that I experimented with all my other games to come up with the phrase game number 0 for the new games that I found. I found the following:-

1 Combat - A new complex tank maze that was only available before in the pong games but now had normal bullets.
2 Outlaw - A non moving wall that the cowboys could shoot at with unlimited bullets.
3 ROTLA - Indy in different rooms at the start of the game, Indy reduced to dots as he moved around the game, no snakes, no money to name but a few.
4 Airsea Battle - No time limits to rounds.
5 Pitfall - No timer, no logs, no treasure, black Harry.
6 Atlantis - No enemies.
7 Pole Position - No cars on the track other than yourself.
8 Asteroids - The white rocks as already stated by others.

There were a lot more that I cannot remember at the moment and I stopped when I read several reports that frying damaged your system. Was that ever proved to be a fact?

#16 ulij20 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:23 AM

5  Pitfall - No timer, no logs, no treasure, black Harry.

I wouldn't mind all of the above except for number three. That way, you'd have a better chance of scoring a perfect game (though you'd still have to worry about falling into the lakes or tarpits, being eaten by the crocodiles, and being bitten by the snakes or burned by the campfires.

There were a lot more that I cannot remember at the moment and I stopped when I read several reports that frying damaged your system.  Was that ever proved to be a fact?

Proven.

I'm not sure if it damages your system or not, but I imagine it might wear out the power switch faster than normal. I guess it won't hurt too much if you just don't overdo it.

#17 Lord Thag OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 15, 2005 11:28 AM

Haven't done this in years, but I seem to remember getting similar effects by jimmying the cart in the cart slot (so that it just barely made contact), then turning the system on. Reapeatedly doing this produced all kinds of weird effects like the above mentioned stuff. Anyone else ever do it this way? It would probably be much less harsh on the system. Dunno. Like I said, it's been years...

#18 stephena ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 15, 2005 11:55 AM

It's an awful lot like it!  Try to get your hack accepted upstream.  I'm a Linux man myself and would love to roll up a binary of what you've done.

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Please send me a copy of the source to look over. It sounds quite cool, and (assuming it doesn't affect any other part of the system) I'd be willing to put it into the Stella codebase.

Also, could you enclose all info you have, such as which version of Stella you modified, etc? That way, I can quickly create a 'diff' to see exactly what's changed.

Finally, would you actually want to put it in the codebase? It would mean that you'd have to release the code under the GPL license ...

Hope to see the code soon,
Steve (Stella maintainer)

#19 batari OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 15, 2005 5:24 PM

Please send me a copy of the source to look over.  It sounds quite cool, and (assuming it doesn't affect any other part of the system) I'd be willing to put it into the Stella codebase.

Also, could you enclose all info you have, such as which version of Stella you modified, etc?  That way, I can quickly create a 'diff' to see exactly what's changed.

Finally, would you actually want to put it in the codebase?  It would mean that you'd have to release the code under the GPL license ...

Hope to see the code soon,
Steve (Stella maintainer)

View Post

I modified what I think is the latest version, 1.4.2.

I need to do a little more work before I send the code along. I don't have a problem with the GPL, it's mostly because of the way I coded it. Right now it's at the proof-of-concept stage, as I put the frying code into the TIA core and hijacked keybindings from other functions since it was easier to do, as I wanted to see if my ideas worked at all.

I plan to clean up the code and write it in a proper manner. The frying core should probably have its own .hxx and .cxx files and its own events and keybindings.

Also, I think I will make the frying more flexible. I've been able to replicate most of the described effects but some are elusive. The issue is that the actual mechanism behind frying is not fully understood so in this sense it's more of a "estimation" than an emulation. Therefore I think that for now I will implement a few dozen different frying schemes and let the user have control over them until/unless we know definitively what causes the strange effects. I can think of a bunch of possible schemes, and I'll make the most reliable one the default.

One question I have is if it is acceptable to modify the M6502 files. My thought was that if the 6502 registers are to be modified by frying, proper programming would dictate that it's done here. If it's not a good idea to modify M6502, though, I can just as easily use mySystem->m6502().[register] within the to-be-created Frying.cxx file. Let me know what's better.

#20 stephena ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 16, 2005 7:45 AM

I need to do a little more work before I send the code along.  I don't have a problem with the GPL, it's mostly because of the way I coded it.  Right now it's at the proof-of-concept stage, as I put the frying code into the TIA core and hijacked keybindings from other functions since it was easier to do, as I wanted to see if my ideas worked at all.

I'd still like to see a copy of the source, if you don't mind. I won't integrate it into the codebase until you're ready, but I'd still like to try it out in Linux (which is my main system).

I plan to clean up the code and write it in a proper manner.  The frying core should probably have its own .hxx and .cxx files and its own events and keybindings.

That sounds like a good idea. And having its own events and keybindings would be necessary. But at this point, I'd just be happy to get a class that contains a function to do the 'frying'. You don't have to worry about the event handling stuff; I can take care of that. In fact, the EventHandler class is already very different in CVS than from 1.4.2, so any patch you provide will be out of date anyway.

One question I have is if it is acceptable to modify the M6502 files.  My thought was that if the 6502 registers are to be modified by frying, proper programming would dictate that it's done here.  If it's not a good idea to modify M6502, though, I can just as easily use mySystem->m6502().[register] within the to-be-created Frying.cxx file.  Let me know what's better.

I'm not sure on this one yet. I'll soon be starting work on an integrated debugger, and some required methods will be for directly modifying the M6502 registers. So at that point, I will have probably created a formal way for you to do what you want. In the meantime, whichever way that impacts the codebase as little as possible is fine.

I think that right now, it's better to have the Frying.cxx file access the registers in M6502 directly, maybe by making Frying.cxx a 'friend' class of M6502. Just be aware that this *will* change when debugging section is complete, and we provide a more correct and formal way of accessing registers.

Anyway, there's no rush. I expect to release the new version of Stella sometime in June. It will most likely be 2.0, since there are many big changes (integrated GUI and debugger, etc). Having this 'feature' available for 2.0 would be nice, since it has great nostalgic value.

Also, feel free to move this to my development email address (stephena@users.sf.net).

Thanks,
Steve




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