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About Monk

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  1. Lots of good points already said, but I will give my humble thoughts as well into the mix, for whatever they might be worth. I tested this thing on a real C64 with a bright CRT television, expecting, if not a perfect conversion of the great arcade classic, at least a game that can somewhat compete with the excellent Atari 8-bit version (I don't have Atari 7800, so I just use my Atari 800 XL to play Joust - it's better than the Atari 2600 version, so I have no complaints). However, this C64-version of Joust (that was recently 'found') is atrocious. The gameplay itself is not that bad, actually, it does play like Joust, normal 'Joust reflexes' work just fine with this game. But holy cow, how did they mess up so much? The border being almost white (brightest grey, I think), really hurts the eyes immediately, and makes it hard to focus on the game. It's like putting bright lightbulbs around your monitor and then trying to see what's going on (try this on a bright CRT television for maximum effect). Atrocious! Why did they do that? The border should've been black. What were they thinking? Maybe the dev's monitor was breaking down or really bad, so they chose these atrocious, overly bright colors (why yellow instead of orange? C64 is perfectly capable of creating good-looking Joust-graphics, but they just messed it up for some reason). They should've tested on a normal CRT television back in the day. This color thing is really murder on the eyes, because besides everything else, it makes the game really ugly. Ugh. The sounds - HOW do they mess up the sound so badly? The SID can do wonderful sound effects, I don't think there's a soul in the Universe that unironically denies this. And yet here we are, the sounds are like someone did some quick random routine that pokes SID a little bit and that's it. How do they mess up the sound _THIS_ bad? My beloved C64 deserves better, dagnabit. Thank goodness for my lovely Atari 800 XL, otherwise I wouldn't have a great home port of this game to play on a real system. Arcade version is of course wonderful, especially with my 'authentic' arcade controllers, but a home computer port is sometimes just so nice, when you can play it on your real computer instead of relying on emulation. Every sound effect was so bad that even I could make better ones. Probably in BASIC, too. Give me Pokey's classic sound effects any day. I don't want to even touch this C64-version any more than I already have, and I feel I have been somehow contaminated. Disgusting. This game could be so good on the C64, there's no reason why it shouldn't - the C64 is perfectly capable of a single-screen game with sprites flying around, and re-creating the coin-up graphics 'relatively well', everything considered. Just look at BMX Simulator for similarly 'orange' theme, and the graphics look just fine. Sometimes there's no justice in the world.. (I am now a bit curious about that Atari 7800 version, perhaps I'll give an emulator a go and check it out - but between the optimal coin-up version and the excellent Atari 800 XL-version (calling it 'Atari 8-bit' can be a bit confusing), I am not sure I need more versions..) There seems to be a lot of love for the Atari 7800 - and as I recall, it has lots of colors and not many sprite limitations, so technically it could do marvels. However, its sound chip seems to be the same or similar to Atari 2600s.. In any case, Atari 7800 seems fine, but why no love for the Atari 800 line of computers? Personally, I just love my Atari 800 XL so much, I feel a bit miffed that no one mentions how great its ports usually are. Joust is brilliant, and the newer things like Scramble and Time Pilot are just superb fun all around! Also, I don't think you can categorically say some version is "the most fun", because 'fun' is incredibly subjective, and how do you even measure two separate 'funs' anyway? What's not 'fun' about the C64 or Atari 800 XL-version of Frogger? I love them both, they're great fun'! Even if TO YOU, Atari 7800-version is more fun, it doesn't mean that's universally so - it could be that to me, it's more fun to play on an actual system than emulator, for example.. I kinda doubt the claim that Atari 7800-version of Joust plays BETTER than the Arcade (at least until I can confirm it for myself). Arcade is usually the vision come to life, the most optimal and optimized version of any game - after all, they did need to appeal instantly to audience with short attention spans and quarters in their pockets. In any case, yeah, C64-version of Robotron is bad, maybe even worse than any other version I've played - Atari 800 XL-version, however, is pretty darn good, and an excellent game in my opinion. Super Famicom-version is nice also, though it's called 'Smash TV' or something like that.
  2. I wonder if Park Patrol would be possible for Atari 8-bit computers. I also wonder if 'Death Race' would be possible for Atari 2600.. I mean, it exists for VIC-20, C16, Atari 8-bit computers and C64 (was fun to play all versions in a row this morning on real computers), and Enduro is almost the same thing already, so yeah. I also wonder what Impossible Mission for Atari 8-bit computers might look like.. Hm, I am off-topic, aren't I? Sorry about that. I just wasn't sure where to put these particular wonderings.
  3. Freedom. Free flow of ideas and thoughts. Free discussion without arbitrary restrictions and limits. I am just pointing out and reminding of very important core values of human expression and conversational thought and idea exchange. If every idea has to be scrutinized that deeply before it's allowed to come out, many great ideas would certainly be destroyed. I see the point of pestering programmers with unreasonable ideas and expecting them to just manifest some unfeasible or unintelligent garbage into reality. I get that programmers have a lot of work already, and they don't need people to constantly bug them about ideas that would take a lot of work and might be mostly, if not completely unfeasible anyway. However, having everyone to go through all this very strict and limiting process every time they have an idea, is also unfeasible, unrealistic and confining. The OP seems almost a bit condescending and Ivory Tower-style dictating of what and how things should be done. It seems like killing the freedom to just express ideas. There's such a thing as 'Brainstorming', where you just let all ideas and thoughts come freely, no matter how silly or unfeasible or out-of-this-world, you just let it all come, and because of the freedom, your imagination and spirit get inspired to produce, amidst the crazy, stupid and wild stuff, also some real gems that might be spiritually fetched from the far ends of the cosmos (not that cosmos has 'ends')! This style of producing ideas is universally greatly valued, because it removes the restrictions and frees people to pour in real gems amidst all the other stuff. A limitation might make the ideas better in quality, but since it would basically kill the flow, it would also stop the great gem ideas from ever being thought of, let alone expressed. Any attempt at expressing freedom of ideas, in my opinion, is detrimental to the very basis of the flow that gives you great ideas in the first place. I say, let's let imagination be free and unrestricted and ideas come and flow in all forms, sizes and ways, and just find the gems amidst the chaff, and it's all good. A programmer doesn't HAVE to use or program any idea, so I don't see the harm in freely expressing ideas. I do agree that no programmer should ever be DEMANDED or PESTERED with ideas, especially against their consent. But that goes beyond the whole concept of 'let ideas flow freely'. Programmers don't have to go to places where ideas flow, and no one has to pester a programmer about an idea. I don't know what prompted this thread, but I can only imagine it must've been some frustrated programmer that someone is pestering with unfeasible and silly idea after another, until they can't take it anymore and had to write this post. I get it, I do a bit of programming myself, and it would be very groan-inducing indeed if someone were to come to me and start saying what I should add to some game, demo or other program I am making, when I see those ideas would be either stilly, unfeasible or take a lot of work to implement and yet offer no value, etc. I get it. However, I also get the other side, as I also love imagination, creating pictures, graphics, pixel art, music, instruments, sound effects and all kinds of things like that. I like to let my mind wander and wonder, I like to let my imagination inspire me, I like dreaming about wild ideas that can probably never be properly expressed or manifested into programs (at least by me), so I do get also the 'wild dreamer side'. We don't need to impose restrictions on each other - we just need to understand each other, and then let each other be free. Let the idealist dreamers flow their stupendously marvellous and yet silly or unfeasible ideas all over the place, don't get impatient or angry about that. Let the programmers stay in the mundane reality and channel whatever they choose into their work and understand how hard it is to program and what toil the idealists might be asking of them. Let's just understand both sides, let the idea people freely and without restrictions flow the ideas at least SOMEwhere, and then let the programmers freely choose whatever they want to implement or use. That way, everyone benefits. I could very well write the very opposite of the original post, about programmers trying to understand the idealists's wild and crazy imagination that might not be very well grounded on the mundane realism of this world, because that is what makes great ideas possible, but maybe it's not feasible..
  4. You mean, "K-Razy Kritters"? http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-k-razy-kritters_2843.html It's just as easy to get the names correct as it is to get them wrong, so why make the wrong choice?
  5. Oh, I thought this thread was about logos on the Atari computers and systems (game and corporation logos, for example), not the programming language. I guess the fully capitalized "LOGO" threw me off - had it written as "Logo", I might've realized we're taking about a name of something (like the programming language). In any case, I always wondered about that 'Lucasfilm Games' logo of the old, and wanted to see what it might look like if Atari 8-bit computers could've used similar colors, but in higher resolution, so I created a 'mock-up' (or Monkup, if you want)-version of it. P.S. Sorry, this has nothing to do with the Logo language, admins, feel free to delete this post.
  6. "Yar's Revenge" "Yar's Revenve" Good Lord. The name is "Yars' Revenge", the apostrophe is in the wrong place in both accounts, and the latter word is 'Revenge', not 'Revenve'. Why do so many people STILL get this wrong after so many decades, when it's so easy to research and find the actual name, when you have the internet at your fingertips? Have some respect, and type the names correctly. Surely it's not too much to ask, is it? "Yar's Strike" should be "Yars' Strike". It's not about an individual Yar, it's the whole RACE of Yars. Why do people still not know this? How long does it have to take until people get it right? "It's a remake from the classic Yar's revenge from the atari 2600. " So much wrong here. It's a remake _OF_ the classic "Yars' Revenge" (apostrophe in the wrong place, 'Revenge' should be capitalized) ON (or even FOR) the Atari 2600 (Atari should be capitalized, as it is a NAME, have some respect, please!) Do you think you can just type "from" instead of the correct articles in english and get away with it?
  7. I think many people knew about this one, though. Having said that, there's something magical about this game. Its beautiful use of color with the smooth flashes and all are eye-pleasing, the sound is quirky and inspiring / exciting, and the gameplay is just difficult enough that you have to really start focusing on later levels, but yet easy enough to be rewarding, if you do your best. I don't usually like platformers, but in this game, you can drift into 'Zen-mode', where you don't even exist anymore, the game just 'is', and playing of it just 'happens' - there is not thought, no plan, no future, no past - and even this moment doesn't exist. And yet, it's more than just 'reactions', you are fully there, in the game, and collecting those ever-changing shapes is all that 'is', if anything can even phase into existence at this point anymore. There are a few 'Zen-games', as I call them, that allow you to just become 'pure focus', and which only allow you to wildly succeed if you can keep this focus that transcends time and space. Another similar 'Zen-game' is 'Uuno Turhapuro Muuttaa Maalle' on the C64 side; it's simple - even simpler than Fast Eddie - and yet you can fall so easily. The haunting and repetitive music helps. I love these simple games that you don't have to read 8 pages of manual to know how to play, and where your gameplay isn't interrupted by some idiotic, badly-written 'cutscene' (especially when unskippable), or changing the gameplay between levels, or some bonus screen, or overly long level advance sequences. You can just keep playing and playing until you can't play anymore. Modern games could learn SO much from these old classics. Fast Eddie is the perfect game, when you have a few of minutes of extra time - you can stop playing at any second you wish, and yet you can stretch the gameplay more and more, as much as you have time. Games often try to be things they're really not, and fail miserably. They try to be too fancy, cram too many things into it, or utilize some fancy gimmick or some kind of '3D' stuff to dazzle the eye and puzzle the mind. This game knows exactly what it wants to be, and it DELIVERS fully and maximally. Gameplay doesn't really get tighter than this - even the level curve is perfect, it starts ridiculously easy, and very gradually becomes tougher to inspire the player to hone their skills and delve deeper into.. aagh, now I really want to play this again.
  8. This is certainly an underrated gem. I never knew a brilliant pinball game existed for Atari 2600! I just played it today for the first time - in the emulator, it seemed like a nice game. On the real Atari, though, this game really comes to LIFE! The bright flashes, the amazing palette changes, the sound .. aah! What an astonishing classic, I only wish I had known about this much sooner. It's arguably even better than David's Midnight Magic, which is a rip-off of an old Williams pinball (the name of which I forgot - they have two very similar ones, but the other is almost identical in many ways), just like 'Pinball Dreams' rips off 'The Terminator' pinball machine almost exactly as well. I wonder if Atari 2600's marvelous pinball game is also a rip-off of something, or completely original.. By the way, this game is always listed as "Midnight Magic", but ends up saying "MIDNITE MAGIC" on its own screen! So which is it, and whom are we to believe, the game itself, or some secondary source?
  9. Now that I have tested the new version, here are my thoughts: I finally got to the UFO level, yay! The difficulty curve seems much better now (or I have gotten better..). However, the ramping up of difficulty seems to happen very suddenly, instead of gradually. Or maybe that's just a 'player's perception'. I got killed about 3 times in a row as soon as I reached the 'Jet' level (I forget the years), it suddenly became a struggle to even dodge anything and the UFO level was just impossible. I got glimpse of it, and that was the end. I don't get the year change from 2001 to 2077 - I mean, it's not like this is our Earth world / dimension / Universe, and the game has to somehow conform to what we are experiencing in real life! It's a parallel dimension at least, being a computer / video game, and it can make up its own rules - it's not like we have time-traveling spaceships in the sky fighting jets anyway, so why can't we have UFO-based defence grid in 2001? Someone said that when they live to exist in actual 2077, the game has to be changed again. Why? Then they got a response about 'UFO appearing in the sky'. There's so much wrong with all this. First of all, the UFO phenomenon is not new, and UFOs have been 'appearing in the sky' all throughout this planet's weird history. The Kenneth Arnold sightings in the forties were just the 'popularized recent modern history' versions, but all kinds of phenomenon have been recorded in the skies as far as people have existed on this planet (and even before, as otherplanetary visitors are not dependent on people being on this planet for their visits - and they are perfectly capable of recording events as well). So why would yet another UFO appearing in the sky change ANYTHING? Secondly, this is a clear misunderstanding of what the game's aircraft are all about. They're not visitors attacking Earth, but they're Earth's "Current Defense System/Grid/Network/Establishment/etc." First Earth people defend themselves against this Time-traveling space pilot using primitive, propeller-based aicraft, and when the time traveler leaps forward in time, the aircraft encountered always represent a bit higher tech advancement level, so the 'UFO' stuff is just logical continuance of this from 'modern time' into 'future time'. Therefore, the 'UFO ships' are not just 'appearing in the sky' - they're the 'current year defence network' - therefore, it's not enough for 'UFO ship to appear in the sky' in 2077 - the whole Earth defence network would have to become UFO-based by 2077, for this game not to 'have to be changed again' (not that it has to be, anyway). It's just sad that even game developers won't allow an imaginary game world where NOTHING is like in the 'real world' anyway, to have a bit of fantasy and imagination about the year 2001. "There was no UFOship-based defence network, so we can't allow a game to depict that there was!!11" Who was the brilliant mind that decided this? Just let the game exist in a parallel universe, where in 2001, there WAS a UFOship defence network, please! It's fine for the arcade and DS version, so why not the Atari? Come on, stop worshipping this 'revulsion realism', and leave the revisionism for historians. Other than that, it's a brilliant game, and I love playing it, and I want to thank everyone involved - THANK YOU - it's another classic to boost my Atari collection and make me appreciate this lovely computer evermore.
  10. As I have 'decorated' my living room with functional computers and consoles, I often enjoy playing 'the same' or 'similar' game on various different platforms. The usual treasures I have found are things like 'Pharaoh's Curse' (VIC-20, Atari 800 XL, Commodore 64C, Amiga 1200), 'Death Race' (Commodore 16, Atari 800 XL, Commodore 64C), "Cops 'n Robbers" (VIC-20, Atari 800 XL, Commodore 64C, Commodore 16), and even things like "Spike's Peak", "Moon Patrol" and "Gorf" (these have versions also for the Atari 2600jr. - surprisingly, the VIC-20-version is the most difficult!) So one fine morning, I happened to wake up my C16 with 'Space Pilot', and as it was a better experience than I remembered (have to respect them being able to cram this kind of thing to a C16 and being able to make it fun), I started wonder what other versions of the original 'Time Pilot' idea exist for my beloved systems. I can't express the joy and wonder I felt when I found out about this excellent Atari 8-bit port! It was like a dream come true - now I have another wonderful addition to the 'multi-platform game library'! It works so easily and perfectly, and the conversion is really magnificently done, I can't praise this enough! I haven't tried this new version yet, though, but I can't wait - yesterday, I almost reached the third (or was it fourth?) era, died together with the 'endboss aircraft' with my last ship, so maybe with this version I can finally reach the stars! (Figuratively speaking) Thank you so much for expending so much effort just to port something wonderful to a beautiful computer system - it's so great to have more possibilities for fun with these old systems! This is one of those amazing things in life, where even I, who am usually pretty harsh and direct with my criticisms and won't hold back or falsely praise about something (I can't stand the naked emperor), can't really find any criticism without resorting to some kind of unfair nitpicking. This is a brilliant port, and also incredibly fun thing to play.. just sublime! My dear Atari 800 XL getting all these goodies feels like it's a childhood Christmas all over again.. the old C16 'Berks' games were ported so beautifully that lately I have played the Atari versions more than the original C16 ones, and now this! Ahh! This Time Pilot port deserves all the praise it's getting, and more.
  11. I have the Behr-Bonz cartridge, and I can ABSOLUTELY recommend it, it's fantastic in all possible ways! It's very fast, too. You turn the computer on, the list of games is immediately there. You choose a game, it's immediately running! I don't know how they did it, but even when you press reset, it's instant, and choosing another game - immediate. Using this wonder is 'zero waiting' at all times. The game selection is also sublime; pretty much almost all the best games are there, just one or two keypresses away. The only downside is, the games are fixed, you can't customize it, and there are many great classics missing, that I would really love to play from time to time. Some of the better Defender-clones, for example. You also can't boot to a 16k, 8k or any other memory configuration for your own programs or loading games from disk or SD2IEC. I have a 16k memory expansion that would let me play some of that stuff, but it would be a hassle to do the 'remove-n-insert-n-remove-n-insert' every time I want to switch between Behr-Bonz and the expansion. So I am also looking for some kind of "super solution" that would let me play ANY game I want with the least hassle possible. I am aware that some games I might never be able to play on my real VIC-20, because they only exist as .TAP-images or such. Cops 'n Robbers is one of my favorites - I know it's not technically a very good game, but we played it on C64 a long time ago, and always told ourselves, we would be happy, if we could create a game like that (and nowadays, I might, but I am not sure). I am also wondering if it would be possible to have some kind of 'extension' for the cartridge port, that could fit two (2) or more cartridges in it, that could then be switched easily instead of having to do the whole 'remove-n-insert'-routine. I know those used to exist in the past, but I mean - would such things be available these days, and what might the price range be.. VIC-20 is an excellent computer, and a lot of fun to use. It has a 'smooth'-ish square wave, and a very quirky and unique noise wave, which is why I sometimes even use VIC-20's sound capabilities for my own programs, demos, games, etc. Some of the game versions are not quite up to par, when compared to Atari 2600, Atari 8-bit computer or C64 versions, but some games are surprisingly good. Demon Attack is great, but Atari 2600 version is just that much better (it's fun to use the same TV for both and switch between the systems for comparison).
  12. People do so much hard work to create these ports. However, do we really need them? It's like some people are hell-bent on trying to remove the reasons to own, use and play a real Atari 2600. Many Atari 2600 games are perfect as they are, any port or conversion just wouldn't feel right. There's also the simplicity of them sometimes, that works beautifully on the Atari console, but becomes a bit odd on the C64 side. I play Crackpots on the Atari because it gives me nice colors, unique and wonderful sounds, and good, simple playability. The C64 version takes almost all of this away, removes the impact of the 'flash' when a pot hits a spider (something is still there, but it doesn't seem as interesting), and gone are the chunky and nice graphics, replaced with something pretty generic-looking. The sunrise is nice, but it's just not the same. Addition of (not-so-interesting) music is like that awful background addition in 'Demon Attack''s C64-version. It is unnecessary and creates a different mood than you might want to exist in when playing this game. It's like taking the worst of both worlds; 1) Taking a very simplistic game that works wonderfully on Atari, but seems too simple for the C64 2) Makes it more complicated by adding unnecessary bells and whistles that distract from the experience Less is more. A sculpture is not done by adding more and more stuff, but chipping away from the stone until only the beautiful statue is left. A better idea would be to get inspired by these old games, and then creating something 'expansive' from that basic idea or feel, that's original and fits the C64 better. Just taking an old, simple game and 'C64izing it' is a terrible idea, it almost never works, and the end result is just not as fun, interesting, immersive or inspiring to play, and it lacks the 'feel' of the early 1980s and Atari 2600's massive color palette. It would be better to make a more complex game that utilizes the C64's strengths properly, and doesn't try to mimic some other machine's strengths (that it can't reach, like that sunrise palette). Instead of porting Yoomps and Crackpotses (?), why not just get inspired by something a bit more involving, and then continue where it left off - expand it, where Atari 2600's limitations stopped the original, etc. Add something original, unique and valuable to it, something with a personality, not just a simple hair color change, for crying out loud. I have to question the motivation for these ports. Why port something you can just play on the original system? Just to show the machine can do it, even if it's not as fun to play? If you are going to port, either do as identical port as possible, or enhance it properly - don't do this half-arsed easy idea of taking a simple, easy-to-port game and then adding bells, whistles and other unnecessary stuff and call yourself a genius. Sure, it's hard work, but I think this hard work could be producing something more interesting, maybe something new and more expressive of self and C64, instead of a 'simple port stuffed with cosmetic crap on top'? Just an idea. I am sure that even people that praise these ports and 'love them', and also random people that never played on old systems much before, will eventually always rather go back to the original and play that, and get much more out of it than these modern ports that are done 'just because we can'.
  13. This is a neat discussion area, but why are the sub-area titles so inconsistent and lacking? Some are just 'High Score Clubs' (why?), and there are only a handful of systems listed. Why these particular ones? I understand the omission of 2600, 5200, 7800, Lynx, and Jaguar, since they have dedicated areas of their own. Also, is this about 'consoles only', or are computers allowed to join? (Aquarius is certainly a computer, if I remember correctly) However, why are these systems not listed?: - Neo-Geo - Sega Saturn - Sega Dreamcast - Super Famicom (you have Genesis, but not SNes?) - Arcades - Amiga CD32 - Nintendō 64 - Sony Playstation - Sony Playstation 2 What about all the hand-held devices? Gameboy, Game Gear, etc.? I mean, Lynx is already there, so why not others as well? Just wondering.
  14. I love these two pictures so much, especially on my real Atari 800 XL, that I really wanted to find the original images. And finally I was able to! Here's the 'Fairey Wood' original picture: [ The forest image is originally called "Deep Forest - Clear", and it's one of Mark Ferrari's amazing "color cycling" artwork. This guy -loves- dithering and color cycling. He is the individual that created Loom graphics for Lucasfilm Games (later LucasArt Games), and his 'color cycle art' page can be found here: http://www.effectgames.com/demos/worlds/ There you can find lots of other art as well. There's also a 'Rain' version of this image that has color-cycle-animated rainfall and such. These pictures even come with ambient sound (water flowing and such)! And you can adjust the 'time of day' to make the image darker or brighter. The other image is some kind of demoscene art, I think. [ This is a good example of how added detail can actually detract from the viewing experience, because it shuts off your imagination and your psychological need to 'co-create' the visuals when you look at something that doesn't have a lot of detail. I guess 'impressionism' had the right idea sometimes. There's also an old Japanese disciple about this that explains how it's a spiritually deeper experience, when the viewer is engaged by omitting too much detail. This higher-resolution version has more detail, but doesn't feel or look as good to my eyes as the Atari version (especially viewed with my Atari 800 XL), as it kind of let me 'continue creating the image' in my mind while looking at it. I don't know if anyone here really understand my ramblings about this topic, but these are wonderful pictures anyway. Ilminet's hard work also makes it easy to start observing how little is really needed to create a completely recognizable image, and how forcing a picture to use a bit different colors can actually create a whole new, sometimes even better experience than the original picture. I hope it's okay to reply this way, just giving the originals and some thoughts and insights instead of adding another converted masterpiece (my apologies), but I thought this would enhance this thread in a bit different way, as it is a bit relevant and hopefully offers a bit of perspective that could add to the enjoyment of these magnificent Atari images. I am REALLY excited to watch these images on my real Atari to realize just how great the 8-bit computer is, and how it can show me things I never thought possible. It's a really wonderful thing that Ilminet-san has did for us all in my opinion.
  15. Yes please, I love colors. Thank you very much! (Sorry, couldn't resist) Oh yeah, the 'picture' rule. Well, I'll just attach my first test with this software - it can't be compared, but maybe it's something. [ Kanojo.xex
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