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Random Terrain

Member Since 23 Apr 2001
OFFLINE Last Active Yesterday, 6:49 PM

Topics I've Started

Realistic pinball physics on the Atari 2600?

Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:42 AM

How were the pinball physics handled with Midnight Magic? I noticed that the flippers don't exactly act like real flippers when the ball hits them, but it's better than what I can do since I don't know where to start.
I'd like to make a DPC+ pinball example program for the batari Basic page so new users can start working on their own pinball games without needing to reinvent the wheel.
I know this is the assembly language programming forum, but this is usually where the big brains hang out. I'd have to know how to make a ball bounce and move in a realistic way and interact with the flippers in a realistic way. I'm not even sure how many animation frames should be used for a flipper.




7800 and NES Reviews from February 1986

Fri Sep 8, 2017 1:52 AM

Below are Atari 7800 and Nintendo Entertainment System reviews from the February 1986 issue of Computer Entertainer The Newsletter (The Video Game Update):


Atari 7800 Game System Shown!


One of the biggest surprises of this CES was the showing of the Atari 7800 ProSystem videogame unit and cartridges. Almost two years after its splashy press debut, the 7800 will be available next month. (MSR $79.95 for the console with controllers and POLE POSITION II cartridge; approximately ten games to be available at about $15 each.) Atari also showed a smaller, lighter version of the 2600 game console (MSR $49.95). Commenting on demand for video games, Atari's executive vice president and head of the company's entertainment electronics division, Michael Katz, said "Some people have said the video game market is dormant, but Atari is proving that the opposite is true. Well over a million Atari 2600's were sold in 1985, convincing us that there is a strong demand for video game entertainment and a large trade-up market for the new 7800."

The Game System That Refused to Die

The Atari 7800 could be called the game system that refused to die. First announced in June of 1984, the sophisticated 7800 was eagerly anticipated by gamers looking for the next technological leap. After Jack Tramiel took over Atari in July of 1984, those gamers pursued Atari with letters, phone calls and petitions. Some of them called us regularly, hoping against all odds that Tramiel would put the 7800 on the market. Now the wait is over. The 7800, with its greatly enhanced sound and graphics, plays its own superb cartridges, along with all Atari 2600 cartridges. (No adaptor is required.) Initial 7800 games to be available include MS. PAC-MAN, GALAGA, CENTIPEDE, JOUST, MOON PATROL, DIG DUG, and ROBOTRON: 2084. Other titles promised are 3-D ASTEROIDS. XEVIOUS, FOOD FIGHT, BALLBLAZER, and RESCUE ON FRACTALUS. Atari also says that additional 7800 titles are in development. When we asked or specifics, we were told that discussion of future titles planned for Fall '86 would be "premature" at this time. We will keep you informed about plans for 7800 games as we learn about them, and we intend to review software for the unit.


The NINTENDO ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM was introduced to the New York City area a little before Christmas, 1985 by Nintendo of America. If you thought video games were dead, guess again. The NES was a big success in New York, featuring arcade-quality graphics, superb sound, and a whole lot of fun. It is an adaptation for the American market of the Nintendo Family Computer System, which has sold over 6 million units in Japan. The U.S. version includes the main game console, two controllers, a light gun, R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy), and two cartridge games. The system can be connected to a color TV or monitor.

Superb Graphics and Sound

Nintendo has announced 26 titles for the NES, not all of which are available right now. These include the two that come with the system: DUCK HUNT (an old pizza parlor favorite) and GYROMITE. The games include sports simulations, arcade classics such as DONKEY KONG and MARIO BROS., programmable games, action contests, and games that work with the robot or the light gun. Both games that come with the system feature superb graphics and sound. The graphics are better than the old ColecoVision system, and gameplay can match any computer system currently on the market.

Duck Hunting with Light Gun

Nintendo's Light Gun is used with DUCK HUNT, a cartridge that contains three games for shooting at one duck, two ducks, or clay pigeons. As the game begins, your trusty hunting dog is sniffing out ducks. When he finds one, he barks realistically and jumps into the brush to flush the duck out. The duck flaps out of the brush and flies around the screen, while you have three shots to hit it. A successful shot results in flying feathers and your dog's nosedive into the brush where he retrieves the duck and holds it up for you to see. The disrespectful mutt laughs hysterically if you miss the duck. The two-duck game is similar, giving you three shots to hit two ducks. Both games start with slow ducks that move progressively faster in later rounds. If you choose clay pigeons fired into the sky, you'll have to hit two of them with three shots. This can prove difficult since the targets shrink rapidly in size as they move into the distance toward a mountain range.

Playing With the Robot

In GYROMITE, you must use R.O.B. to help Professor Hector the mad scientist, defuse all the bombs in his lab. This game for one or two players uses the robot, two gate controllers, and two gyroscopes. You must set the spinning gyroscopes on the gate controllers to open the gates so the Professor can get to the bombs. Small, bird-like creatures called Smicks complicate matters: they're out to make a meal of the Professor. In the second game on the cartridge, Professor Hector is sleep-walking through his lab. You must use R.O.B. to open and close the gates so that the Professor can reach the far side of the lab safely, avoiding the ever-hungry Smicks.

A Real Winner

Nintendo seems to have a real winner on their hands with the NES. It's a top-quality entertainment system that offers a lot of play value for the price. Availability will spread gradually through major U.S. cities over the first six months of 1986, with full nationwide distribution sometime after June.
Recommended. (MSR $159.95)  --Joe Blenkle


Attached File  aa_nes_7800.png   1.77MB   13 downloads


Let's figure out when most people could buy VCS Superman

Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:36 PM

There seems to have been a small run of Superman cartridges in December of 1978 to go with the movie premier:




But most people couldn't get their hands on it until sometime in 1979.


The gamasutra article below has many release date errors, but it also has release dates that are correct, so each release date needs to be triple checked. This is what it says about Superman:



"Superman was released in mid-1979, beating Adventure, which was released for Christmas that year."


Does anyone have any personal memories seeing the game in stores or receiving it for a birthday in June or July? Have you found any ads in newspapers or magazines that might give us a month in 1979?

What is player0x? It's not a register. Is it a keyword?

Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:53 PM

What is player0x? It's not a register. Is it a keyword? A variable? Or is it called something else? I'd like to know the official name for things like player0x, player1x, player0y, player1y, missile0x, missile1x, missile0y, and missile1y.




Can the boom sound from arcade game Astro Blaster be recreated on the 2600?

Sun Jul 2, 2017 8:06 PM

I'm talking about the boom sound you hear when you shoot the enemies in the 1981 arcade game Astro Blaster. I grabbed a little clip of the arcade game sound from a video made by Old Classic Retro Gaming so you can hear it without sitting through a bunch of other stuff:


If you played the short video, you can hear that it's kind of a deep, muffled boom. I know I probably can't legally use the arcade game sound in an Atari 2600 game or in an Atari 2600 batari Basic example program, but it would be nice to know if it's possible to recreate. I've tried various things, but I don't know enough about sound to figure it out. This is the best I've come up with so far and it doesn't even sound close:


Attached File  crappy attempt at astro blaster boom sound.bin   4KB   41 downloads


If the 1981 arcade game enemy death boom sound can be recreated on the Atari 2600, we could use the technique to make similar boom sounds and legally use the sound effects in games.



Update (2017y_07m_04d_0306t)


This one is based on a sound from Moonsweeper:


Attached File  crappy attempt at astro blaster boom sound 02.bin   4KB   31 downloads


I think that's the best I can do.