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Monk

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About Monk

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  1. Well, sure, that is a very logical, reasonable and good explanation. But remember, there's the 'good reason' and then there's the 'real reason'. If your first computer or moped was a piece of crap, it doesn't mean you still automatically somehow treasure and cherish it necessarily. There's more to this story than that immediate explanation. This might become a bit 'esoteric', so people that can't handle that sort of stuff, are advised to avert their eyes. You've been warned. Now, while there are most certainly various reasons to love or like, appreciate or treasure, drool over or get excited about Atari 2600 (and other older systems), it's never quite the same with the modern systems, no matter how 'powerful' they are in realtime 3D-projection rendering (Yes, all '3D' graphics are just two-dimensional projections, even those that use '3D-glasses' or 'virtual reality helmets' or whatnot). Why people get very tingly, excited, nostalgic and almost teary-eyed, when they talk about Atari 2600, but can talk about their latest PC technology without any emotion? The real reason is that every time something is manufactured, there's a quality to it. If some genius, for example, lovingly creates and designs a work of art, pouring his finest self into it and makes it into some beautiful utility or machine, it can serve people faithfully for generations without causing problems or breaking down. If some factory employee is tasked to design a new, 'fashionable and trendy' product for maximum profit, and it's built by robots (either the 'human NPCs' or actual, metallic monstrosities), it can cause many problems and in the end, even turn against its user. When some visionary group comes together to create something they have always wanted to create, the result will have this 'finest self' radiation in it that makes it a pleasure to use and excites the user. All older computer systems have this, because seventies and eighties were not yet as corporatic hell as today's world, and there was room for creativity and individuality, and a little bit craziness - free-flowing fluidum and energy was the norm in these small companies, so creativity flourished and people were able to make their visions come true, as they gave birth to their work of love. This is how the Amiga, for example, was born - a group of wacky, weird visionaries with mutual goal poured their ideas and energy into the machine, so it became a really good creative computer for creative people, Heck, I still use my Amiga to create pretty much all my pixel graphics, from sprites to backgrounds to just 'fun pictures' and animations, and whatever I may require or want to do. Atari 2600 was born in a similar way, and it also radiates that 'atmosphere', 'feel', 'excitement' or 'energy' - it's difficult to put to words, because this physical world lacks much of 'esoteric vocabulary' to describe these very real things. Everyone knows that it just FEELS better to use a real machine than emulation. Why is that? There's a deep reason, even if you don't agree with me what that reason is, but it's very, very real difference that even the most lunkheaded deniers usually agree - it JUST does feel better to use a real Atari or real C64 or real Amiga than emulator (or even Dreamcast). People in this world are very nostalgic, but they're not comfortable in explaining this nostalgy in any other way than 'because it was my first machine' or 'because it can do so much with so little'. Some of these reasons are almost completely cold, pragmatic, intellectual and sound good on paper. But we all know there's a deep, unexplainable FEELING attached to this whole phenomenon. Someone here even mentioned that "it's almost emotional", sort of admitting that it's really a feeling, that's the core reason for all this nostalgy and admiration of the older computers. Mere memories could not create this kind of enthusiasm, there's just something very 'feelable' about these older systems, while the newer systems lack it completely. Multiple things happened simultaneously, so it's easy to just pick one of the surface reasons and be happy with the explanation. Oh, modern games are just corporate cash-cows, when older games had better playability, etc. While this is of course true, the thing is, back in the day of Atari 2600, an individual programmer could envision a game, design and write it all by himself, while creating also exactly the kind of graphics that the vision requires, and the end result was something wonderful, colorful and exciting. He could pour all his finest self into a game, and the player would -feel- the game creator's excitement. These old games have great playability (maybe out of necessity), but they also have a lot of 'feel' to them. They look nice and colorful, and they are still the epitome of what makes video games so interesting and mesmerizing - great sounds, great color effects, simple but charming sprites, especially on a bright CRT television, mesmerized kids back then, and they still mesmerize me even now. Make a modern computer put out zillions of polygons with shaders and effects and enormously high resolution, and even HDR, on a huge monitor, and my soul will yawn out of boredom and wonder when it can see an Atari 2600 game again. I am sure that all that 'it was my first console' and other explanations do play a part in some people's fascination for the machine. But it can never explain it all. For example, I never had an Atari back in the day, I only saw Commodore computers as a kid, and Amigas as a teenager - it took a long time for me to start seeing the wonderful worlds that the other systems express, and I intuitively always compared everything to the Commodore experiences. If something sounded even a bit like SID, it was exciting to me (so I got excited about old synths, OPL2 and OPL3 chips, and Atari 2600 sound as well), and so on. I didn't think a console as old as Atari 2600 could be of much interest to me, but then I accidentally found an Atari 2600 emulator for my Dreamcast. So I started going through some games on a whim and out of curiosity, and - whoah! Atari's games started to mesmerize me even through Dreamcast (of course it was connected to a bright CRT television). So I found a new appreciation for the Atari 2600, and started wanting to get a bit more authentic about it, and wondered how close those emulators get. So I got some joysticks that had 'inbuilt Atari 2600', but they were done so badly, I got angry about it, and now I wanted REAL Atari 2600! One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I had Atari 2600 jr., Harmony Cart (although it had some problems in the beginning), and I was LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOVING it! It certainly had that 1970s and early 1980s 'magic' to it, that's so hard to explain - it completely and totally seduced me, and I am very grateful for being able to own a functional Atari 2600 jr. that runs those great Atari 2600 games so nicely on my CRT television (that's shared with C16 and VIC-20, though). I am telling this story just to give an example of someone that never had Atari 2600 back in the day, and _STILL_ fell madly in love with those wonderful games, the great sound (Nothing can sound better to my ears than Atari 2600 'Enduro'), the amazingly high amount of beautiful colors (makes me wonder why C64 only had 16, I almost feel duped!), and of course the perfectly honed playability that so many Atari 2600 games had. I began finding versions of games that are actually better than the C64 counterparts, which used to be the only versions I even knew about. For example, 'River Raid' has a bit tighter gameplay and more exciting soundworld, although it's very similar, and I do like the C64 version as well. I am sure there are still plenty of gems that I haven't even found yet, that I hope to stumble upon soon. But my 'favorites' list is long and growing, and I feel more complete having been able to experience this wonderful console and its glorious games. It's a terrible thought to never have played these masterpieces. So in my opinion, there's AT LEAST something deeper than the usual explanations, there's something 'esoterically magical' about Atari 2600, there's something 'unexplainable' or at least 'lacking in vocabulary to explain' about why people love Atari 2600 so much. It's not just those 'cold reasons', there are very, very warm reasons indeed, and it's just undeniable, that it just feels GOOD to play those games on real Atari system. But hey, that's just MY opinion.. -- Someone mentioned, how Atari 2600 games demand or require imagination, and this got me to thinking. Old Japanese painters and artists knew that if you put too much detail in your work, viewer's imagination doesn't get engaged. I think this is how impressionism was eventually born, at least possibly. I dont remember the word for it, but if you can provoke the imagination by leaving just enough detail out, the experience for the viewer will be deeper, and closer the 'Zen-type' reality. I often use the game 'Bruce Lee' as a good example - the graphics are blocky, but in my opinion, not TOO blocky. The blockiness of the graphics have been used in a very wise, ingenious way, in that they make you think and wonder and imagine. They provoke and engage your imagination, they invite you to finish what the game's creators started. When you walk over the 'bombs' in the more orange-ish rooms (at least in C64 version), I think the manual says they're actually trees that grow very fast and then diminish. But it can also look like clouds of smoke (especially with the explosive sound). So you can basically experience them in multiple ways simultaneously. This wouldn't be possible, if they were CLEARLY rendered as trees OR smoke. You could only see them as smoke or trees, and your imagination wouldn't get engaged. It's a richer experience, when more of your faculties are involved while playing. Modern games or artists don't realize or remember this anymore. They try to make everything as 'realistic' as possible, or create a 'style' (that's usually weird and quirky, although it can look nice sometimes - but too often it's just twisting and exaggerating and uglifying things or putting funny animals or weird creatures in and call it 'creativity'). Atari 2600 games, perhaps partially by necessity, do a -= WONDERFUL =- job in this imagination provoking and engaging, and as the end result, you are actually playing in an 'elevated' state of mind/spirit, you are actually in a better mode than when playing some ugly-realistic modern war game, just shooting and killing all over the place in a gruesomely realistic way. In Atari 2600 gameplaying, you can actually fly some Cosmic Ark in space inbetween very unrealistic, but also very amazingly exciting-looking star sceneries, and then save unbelievably cute sprite animals and creatures, or you can think of a backstory of each passenger you pick up while driving a Cosmic Commuter ship. Atari 2600 really makes you think, and its games really engage you in a deeper level than modern games. They only know how to add polygons and shaders, graphics and mechanics, tweak this or that power, make different lightning bolt visuals, or whatnot - but they don't know how to -fully- engage a player, including the player's imagination. It's almost funny, how decades earlier, they accomplished that so well, and afterwards, never again. This is one of the reasons, why Atari 2600 offers a more full experience than modern games usually do. And why players can get deeper 'into the games', or let the games become a deeper part of themselves. Btw, what ARE all those Bruce Lee (the game) background graphics? I don't know, and I like to keep it that way, because only then, they can be ANYTHING, and different things each time I play - and they can exist only in a dreamy netherworld of imagination and dreaming, where they're something that just can't be put to words. In a way, it was a blessing that the graphics were in some ways 'limited', because they at least engage the player in a deeper way. Even when drawing art, it's often better to 'imply' than 'fully draw'. This way, your mind, your imagination or your soul will 'finish' the artwork. Bill Watterson was very good at this - if you look at Calvin & Hobbes, he draws JUST enough to get the implication there, but doesn't always finish every line, and the end result is engaging and marvellous. I am sure he loves playing Atari games..
  2. Well, sure, that is a very logical, reasonable and good explanation. But remember, there's the 'good reason' and then there's the 'real reason'. If your first computer or moped was a piece of crap, it doesn't mean you still automatically somehow treasure and cherish it necessarily. There's more to this story than that immediate explanation. This might become a bit 'esoteric', so people that can't handle that sort of stuff, are advised to avert their eyes. You've been warned. Now, while there are most certainly various reasons to love or like, appreciate or treasure, drool over or get excited about Atari 2600 (and other older systems), it's never quite the same with the modern systems, no matter how 'powerful' they are in realtime 3D-projection rendering (Yes, all '3D' graphics are just two-dimensional projections, even those that use '3D-glasses' or 'virtual reality helmets' or whatnot). Why people get very tingly, excited, nostalgic and almost teary-eyed, when they talk about Atari 2600, but can talk about their latest PC technology without any emotion? The real reason is that every time something is manufactured, there's a quality to it. If some genius, for example, lovingly creates and designs a work of art, pouring his finest self into it and makes it into some beautiful utility or machine, it can serve people faithfully for generations without causing problems or breaking down. If some factory employee is tasked to design a new, 'fashionable and trendy' product for maximum profit, and it's built by robots (either the 'human NPCs' or actual, metallic monstrosities), it can cause many problems and in the end, even turn against its user. When some visionary group comes together to create something they have always wanted to create, the result will have this 'finest self' radiation in it that makes it a pleasure to use and excites the user. All older computer systems have this, because seventies and eighties were not yet as corporatic hell as today's world, and there was room for creativity and individuality, and a little bit craziness - free-flowing fluidum and energy was the norm in these small companies, so creativity flourished and people were able to make their visions come true, as they gave birth to their work of love. This is how the Amiga, for example, was born - a group of wacky, weird visionaries with mutual goal poured their ideas and energy into the machine, so it became a really good creative computer for creative people, Heck, I still use my Amiga to create pretty much all my pixel graphics, from sprites to backgrounds to just 'fun pictures' and animations, and whatever I may require or want to do. Atari 2600 was born in a similar way, and it also radiates that 'atmosphere', 'feel', 'excitement' or 'energy' - it's difficult to put to words, because this physical world lacks much of 'esoteric vocabulary' to describe these very real things. Everyone knows that it just FEELS better to use a real machine than emulation. Why is that? There's a deep reason, even if you don't agree with me what that reason is, but it's very, very real difference that even the most lunkheaded deniers usually agree - it JUST does feel better to use a real Atari or real C64 or real Amiga than emulator (or even Dreamcast). People in this world are very nostalgic, but they're not comfortable in explaining this nostalgy in any other way than 'because it was my first machine' or 'because it can do so much with so little'. Some of these reasons are almost completely cold, pragmatic, intellectual and sound good on paper. But we all know there's a deep, unexplainable FEELING attached to this whole phenomenon. Someone here even mentioned that "it's almost emotional", sort of admitting that it's really a feeling, that's the core reason for all this nostalgy and admiration of the older computers. Mere memories could not create this kind of enthusiasm, there's just something very 'feelable' about these older systems, while the newer systems lack it completely. Multiple things happened simultaneously, so it's easy to just pick one of the surface reasons and be happy with the explanation. Oh, modern games are just corporate cash-cows, when older games had better playability, etc. While this is of course true, the thing is, back in the day of Atari 2600, an individual programmer could envision a game, design and write it all by himself, while creating also exactly the kind of graphics that the vision requires, and the end result was something wonderful, colorful and exciting. He could pour all his finest self into a game, and the player would -feel- the game creator's excitement. These old games have great playability (maybe out of necessity), but they also have a lot of 'feel' to them. They look nice and colorful, and they are still the epitome of what makes video games so interesting and mesmerizing - great sounds, great color effects, simple but charming sprites, especially on a bright CRT television, mesmerized kids back then, and they still mesmerize me even now. Make a modern computer put out zillions of polygons with shaders and effects and enormously high resolution, and even HDR, on a huge monitor, and my soul will yawn out of boredom and wonder when it can see an Atari 2600 game again. I am sure that all that 'it was my first console' and other explanations do play a part in some people's fascination for the machine. But it can never explain it all. For example, I never had an Atari back in the day, I only saw Commodore computers as a kid, and Amigas as a teenager - it took a long time for me to start seeing the wonderful worlds that the other systems express, and I intuitively always compared everything to the Commodore experiences. If something sounded even a bit like SID, it was exciting to me (so I got excited about old synths, OPL2 and OPL3 chips, and Atari 2600 sound as well), and so on. I didn't think a console as old as Atari 2600 could be of much interest to me, but then I accidentally found an Atari 2600 emulator for my Dreamcast. So I started going through some games on a whim and out of curiosity, and - whoah! Atari's games started to mesmerize me even through Dreamcast (of course it was connected to a bright CRT television). So I found a new appreciation for the Atari 2600, and started wanting to get a bit more authentic about it, and wondered how close those emulators get. So I got some joysticks that had 'inbuilt Atari 2600', but they were done so badly, I got angry about it, and now I wanted REAL Atari 2600! One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I had Atari 2600 jr., Harmony Cart (although it had some problems in the beginning), and I was LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOVING it! It certainly had that 1970s and early 1980s 'magic' to it, that's so hard to explain - it completely and totally seduced me, and I am very grateful for being able to own a functional Atari 2600 jr. that runs those great Atari 2600 games so nicely on my CRT television (that's shared with C16 and VIC-20, though). I am telling this story just to give an example of someone that never had Atari 2600 back in the day, and _STILL_ fell madly in love with those wonderful games, the great sound (Nothing can sound better to my ears than Atari 2600 'Enduro'), the amazingly high amount of beautiful colors (makes me wonder why C64 only had 16, I almost feel duped!), and of course the perfectly honed playability that so many Atari 2600 games had. I began finding versions of games that are actually better than the C64 counterparts, which used to be the only versions I even knew about. For example, 'River Raid' has a bit tighter gameplay and more exciting soundworld, although it's very similar, and I do like the C64 version as well. I am sure there are still plenty of gems that I haven't even found yet, that I hope to stumble upon soon. But my 'favorites' list is long and growing, and I feel more complete having been able to experience this wonderful console and its glorious games. It's a terrible thought to never have played these masterpieces. So in my opinion, there's AT LEAST something deeper than the usual explanations, there's something 'esoterically magical' about Atari 2600, there's something 'unexplainable' or at least 'lacking in vocabulary to explain' about why people love Atari 2600 so much. It's not just those 'cold reasons', there are very, very warm reasons indeed, and it's just undeniable, that it just feels GOOD to play those games on real Atari system. But hey, that's just MY opinion..
  3. Bootable ATR-disks are fine - I have a SD2SIO-device, that can load pretty much all those ATR disk images. However, I also happen to have a SIDE2-device, that allows me to make directories and have a 'best games' list in one directory, for example. It would be nice to have this disc collection also as xex-files, so I could just create a directory for them, and put them all there. That way, they would still be 'all in one place', although the highscore saving thing would probably not work with xex-files. But those things don't always work anyway - I played International Karate on the C64 the other day, over 30 minutes straight, and got 105300 (the highest score I ever got, my previous record was 67500). The version I played was supposed to save the high scores, but in the end, it didn't work. Thankfully, I took a photo of it (: That's just the nature of these older computers, not everything sophisticated, like highscore saving, will always work. But that's okay. Back in the olden days, we didn't have that feature, but we did have cameras even then. So we can always just take a photo of our high score, and it'll be just as good (and more nostalgic, perhaps). What I am trying to say, is that it doesn't matter if there's no highscore saving, the 'score' competitions were based on the honour system anyway. Who would cheat on that stuff and falsely claim high scores they never got? What kind of satisfaction would anyone get from that? I worked hard for that International Karate score, and I do feel good about being able to get such a score, even if no one in the world believes me. I know I did it. (I don't recommend it, though, it seriously took so long that the music looped a few times, and my hands were starting to hurt like crazy from that intense joystick waggling, and I lost concentration at some point, which lead to the ending of the game). Anyways, it's excellent that you are still working for these old computers that I happen to love so much - Jetboot Jack wasn't one of my favorites (it was too difficult for me as a kid), but I'll certainly revisit it on both Atari and C64 now. If you make any games for any of the following platforms, I would be delighted to play them on my real machines (no emulation): - Commodore 16 - Atari 800 XL - Atari 2600 - Commodore 64 - Commodore VIC-20 - Super Famicom - DOS with AdLib support (I have a real OPL3 in my DOS machine) - Amiga 1200 (or Amiga 500 with a WHDLoad version for my Amiga 1200 (: ) - Sega Dreamcast As a sidenote, I just played 'Paperboy' on the C64, and then on Super Famicom, and I have to say, the C64 version was better. I just wish Atari 8-bit computers also had a version. What a weird game that is - can anyone imagine doing a modern game today, where all you do is cycle around a neighbourhood and throw newspapers at people's houses? (: Back then, 'anything' was possible in a game, and that's one thing I really love about these old, innovative times and computers - the older systems offer so many different worlds and activities that the modern games lack. So when you got a new game, you were excited, because it could be ANYTHING! Nowadays, if you get a new game, it's a very narrow, limited selection of things you do. BTW, would something like Maniac Mansion be possible on the Atari? I don't mean identical, but something similar, where you explore an exciting mansion with some word commands at the bottom?
  4. Nojeee, are you really the original author of these delightful C16 games? You actually kickstarted my childhood! I remember standing in a bookstore that had a tiny computer section, having enough money to buy one game, and looking at the small selection of the C16 games. I had just purchased a C16, but I only had one game for it (Mr. Puniverse), so I was allowed to buy another game after awhile. It was so hard to pick a game based on the cover alone, but the delightfully colorful covers took me to 'another world' in my mind, to a place of colorful euphoria and wonderful excitement - and of course, computer games! I had played some C64 games in my friends' places before - Wizard of Wor, Dino Eggs, Spy Hunter and the like - and I had no idea C16 wasn't compatible with the C64. When I saw those Berks covers, they really made me want all of them - but alas, I could only buy one. They told me I could return a game and replace it with another one, though, so I figured, if I buy one game, and return it and replace it with another one, I will get to play two games for the price of one! So I bought Berks III. I played it a lot, but it was very difficult, so I decided to change it for the other, magical-feeling cassette with an exciting cover. And that's how I ended up with Berks, and played it throughout my Commodore 16-years quite a lot. Even nowadays, when I got the game again, I notice it's always a great fun to play, the gameplay is just so well crafted and fluid, and the C16's abilities have been nicely utilized. I especially love the smooth, colorful flashing of the little guys. I never played anything quite like Berks on other systems - it seemed very unique. Thank you for giving the child version of myself so much hope, joy and delight - without the Berks games, it would've been much more miserable and depressing time. It's a great privilege to be able to communicate with the mythical 'coder' behind a wonderful classic game that I loved so much as a kid. (I originally came here to review the Atari version of 'Major Blink', but I wanted to create a separate post for expressing my gratitude for uplifting my childhood) P.S. The 'cool bears' are really funny (:
  5. Some people already replied, but I'd like to give my viewpoint as well. I am in the strange land between 'knowledgeable about the VIC-20' and 'also wanting some help and resources'. I have the Behr-Bonz and an old Expansion memory cart (can't use both simultaneously), and I use the SD2IEC device, as with small files, like these, you don't need anything fast. Well, that depends on which games you think 'hold up well', and in fact, what you actually mean by 'holding up'. Maybe we can start by defining the terms and drilling into the core of this whole thing; Any game that was good in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s or 2000s, is still just as good. This is the statement that I live by. Anything that seemed to be good back 'then', and is now complete crap, was ALWAYS crap, but it just dazzled people (in some way) into thinking that it was good. A good game made in 1978 will be a good game in the year 297 789 551. (I am sure it will still exist because of some sort of interplanetary and perhaps even inter-dimensional emulation. I mean, only the physical gets destroyed, data exists 'everywhere' and thus is very difficult to completely eradicate, especially after ther internet goes truly 'Universal' (or more like, joins the already existing Universenet, but that's perhaps a topic for another post)) Therefore, any good VIC-20 game will always "hold up". It's difficult to know how to compare 'holding up' (such an esoteric, and difficult-to-define term) between platforms. Does Pharaoh's Curse's C64 version 'hold up' as well as Atari 800 XL's version of the same game? I can't even compare 'holding up' between games on the same platform. Does Impossible Mission hold as well as Wizard of Wor? How can this be measured? Holdup-o-meter? The Commodore VIC-20 has good games and bad games. It also has mediocre games, just like any platform. I wasn't that interested in the VIC-20, except as a weird curiosity that I never got to see as a kid (I always saw commercials on TV, but then I saw C64, and the rest was history). However, one day, I decided to delve into it a bit deeper, and see what the fascination is all about. I had thought it's like a poor man's Atari 2600 (which has surprisingly excellent and colorful games with magnificent sound made for it). The first difficulty was 'how can I load a game into a VIC-20 emulator'. It was surprisingly complicated, compared to C64-emulators and even Atari emulators. Once I got it figured out, I just started going through all kinds of games, and I started noticing a beautiful charm about them. I liked the games, it was like something between Game & Watch and C64 (charmwise, that is). I also watched the LGN review of VIC-20, and started realizing I had been missing out on something by never experiencing the system. Eventually, after finding many games that I liked a lot, I started itching to test how it would feel to play them on a real VIC. After many hardships, I finally achieved my goal and now own a real VIC-20 - a real beauty with its smooth, white curves and brown function keys. It's such a fun thing to program (simple programs in BASIC, at least), and to type on, and I love the 'feel' a lot. To me, the games 'hold up'. You just have to have a separate VIC-mode, or perhaps attitude towards them. If you don't expect the graphics to look as good as C64 or sometimes, even Atari 2600 (those colorful 'rainbows' and raster bars are usually missing - but the games can be very cool, like 'Demon Attack' proves - same game, better on the Atari, but the VIC-20 version is pretty darned amazing anyway). I also have a soft spot for Pharaoh's Curse - it has just such atmospheric graphics on the VIC. Then again, I also happen to love the Atari 800 XL's expression of that game, as well as the Commodore 64's effort. An I even stumbled upon the Amiga conversion that my Amiga 1200 gladly lets me play, too. (Though it's very similar to the C64 version) What do you mean by 'last year'? Mobygames lists it as 2014 game. I want to check it out, nevertheless. This I don't really understand. I have those adventures in the Behr-Bonz cart (which is wonderful and amazing and great and ooh.. it's SO fast, you can't even blink before a game is loaded), but.. just out of curiosity, I decided to check other versions as well. Atari 800 XL showed me its interpretation, which was a bit difficult to read. Then I saw the C64-version - THAT HAS GRAPHICS !! (and most pleasant colors and most clear text) - and can't really figure out why the heck anyone would play any other version. The C64 versions of these adventures are clearly superior. Why play the VIC-20-version, when you can play the C64-version? I only checked one of the games, though, this might not apply to all of them. I am not mocking anything, I just honestly would like to know. (To me, it is like playing the C64-version of Golden Axe, if you can play the Arcade version, or even the Amiga version). I am not sure how Intellivision sounds (I've only emulated it a bit, as the games mostly seem either too weird or too garbage, but Tron is pretty good), but I am sure it doesn't have VIC's quirky noise wave. The interesting thing about the sound of these old machines, is that their sound chips are sort of unique and quirky. From the first listen, you'd think they all give the same pulse wave, etc. But when you really study this, you will notice that C16 square wave looks different to VIC-20 square wave (and sounds slightly different, too). To me, the most interesting sound wave is the noise wave, though. Sadly, for the Atari 2600 jr., The C16 and the VIC-20, it's not 'randomly generated', but table-based. Kind of a bummer. It will sound 'repetitive' instead of 'random'. As good news, though, C64's and Atari 800 XL's noise wave is 'randomized', and combining these noise waves in various ways is always fun, you get really cool sounds. (I made all kinds of different noise waves on the C64 alone the other day, using all three channels for noise, but varying pitch, varying filter, cutoff, etc., and of course did the same with Atari 800 XL BASIC commands, as it has four sound channels, so you can create quite interesting noise wave combos).. The peculiar thing about VIC-20 is that its noise wave is the MOST weird of all! It hardly even sounds like noise sometimes. I have no idea how the heck it's generated, but it's softer and more 'electric'-sounding, perhaps more 'round'-sounding? than the others. Atari 800 XL has a very crunchy and explosive, almost ripping noise wave that C64 can't imitate, but then, the C64 has those filters and despite the 'softness' of the noise wave, can create really cool effects (playing the lowest possible note without and with filter creates neat variations). So anyway, VIC-20's sound capabilities are a little weak and limited, as you can't have three notes freely playing together, for example, but there are different 'ranges' that you must utilize, and I think if you play noise, it can 'affect' the other sound (not sure about this), etc. I could talk about sound experiments and these wonderful 8-bit machines all day long, but suffice to say I plan to utilize these sounds in my own productions, and have already created an EoTB-like "lightning" background for one production, and utilized a VIC-20 noise wave fluctuation for my adventure game. I also learned how to utilize a C16-palette to draw pics that I can show on my real C16, but that's a topic for another discussion. (C16 has a -weird- palette, when you really get down to it - so many 'similar' colors, and yet not very dark colors at all) (I'd like to learn to do the same to Atari 800 XL and VIC-20 - I saw a fantastic 'Pharaoh' pic that someone called 'Mike' had drawn for the VIC, but the PRG download didn't work, and I am still not sure how to do graphics for the VIC) Wow. Did you ever try the Atari 2600 version? What makes you think the VIC-version is the best? To me, it's pretty much the same game, but I'd rather play the Atari version, as it looks better. As a sidenote, VIC-20's version of Gorf is the only one I have trouble completing. Well, Atari 800 XL's version is difficult, too. But even the Arcade version is easier, and the C64-version can be completed without any problems. BTW, here's my VIC-20 in action.
  6. The first computer I ever saw in real life, was a Commodore 64 'breadbin' model. This experience has left a very deep nostalgic imprint upon my very self. I had since the privilege to use a few other breadbin C64 units, until my friends started having the C64C version. I remember seeing my first C64C on a store window, and mistaking it for a C128 at first. It was so weird and exciting to see a familiar computer in a 'modernized' shape and brighter shade! My friends didn't believe me, when I told them about it, until, of course, they got those C64Cs themselves. Eventually, I managed to materialize such a wonderful computer-entity into my own possession as well, and the fun times I had with it can probably never be surpassed by anything. (I'll probably look out the UFOship window, watching the Earth shrinking away into the distance, and nostalgize about the C64 times of my childhood..) My programmer friend also had a 'breadbox' version, with a completely smooth front from all the programming (keeping hands there while typing had 'smoothed' the surface). I am explaining all this, so the readers can better understand my difficulty on choosing; in a way, I hold two conflicting preferences in me simultaneously. On one hand, I prefer the C64C, because it looks sleek, it's brighter, it's more 'friendly'-looking, and more modern. I prefer it, because it was the only "MY C64" that I ever had during those childhood and early teenage years. It was my beloved, cherished gateway to a wonderful world that most people back then didn't even know existed. I even lost my moden and BBS-virginity to the C64C (one of the very most exciting times I ever had, when the connection happened the first time and I was able to read text from someone else's computer in my very own C64 screen!) The C64C is the computer that gave me the first opportunity to express myself by sprites and simple BASIC programs, where tiny sprite guys run around the screen and things happen (for example, 'Batman' and 'Ninjas' and such). It's still nostalgic and good computer, and there's nothing wrong with it. Everything that works with the breadbin, works with the model C. It's nice, it's nostalgic, it's perfect and it's the go-to machine for me even to this very day, when I want to see something on the real machine (I don't use emulators much these days). It's clearly the winner. HOWEVER! The breadbin model OOZES the 'spirit' of the early eighties so powerfully, it has such nice childhood memories for me, and I always envied my programmer friend for his amazing skills and intimate understanding of the computer, and amidst that admiration process, I sub-consciously also admired the breabox C64, and imagined how much fun it must be to use it to program all that stuff. He was a very neat individual, so everything was arranged in a very pleasing manner, with the C64 in a perfectly aesthetically pleasing setting in the middle of it all (or a little to the side, actually). I don't have a breadbin model at the moment, and from time to time, I find myself yearning for it - it's just so sweet, it's so lovely, it's so 'original' and more 'real', because it's the actual C64 that people used and talked about for years, before the model C, a mere production line copy, finally appeared. The model C can never take the place of the old beauty that shines such thick atmosphere (the model C shines too, but it's a thinner energy). (I don't know if anyone understands what I mean by all this, but it's so esoteric that there is no vocabulary for it, making it impossible to explain) I definitely consider the breadbox more 'C64' than the model C, which almost seems like a step towards emulation, mimicking the original so perfectly in so many ways, and yet having very different-looking motherboard and case. I am reminded of a classic 911 Porsche and the late 1980s version of it that looked -nothing- like the classic one. It was sleeker, more modern, had lights that opened up from the surface, like K.I.T.T., etc. And the engine was probably just as powerful. But somehow, it wasn't quite 'it' anymore, although it was still a Porsche. The change in the C64 is not as drastic, and not as visually unpleasing, but there's some kind of similarity that makes me think of that. In any case, the breadbin model is the real deal, the most wonderful, soulful, original, radiating beauty that has stood the test of time in all ways possible. It is clearly the winner. So, as the reader can see, the only way I can choose is to choose both. The C64C may be technically more robust and compact, but the original has 'that something' about it, that invites you a little bit more strongly. C64C has lots of wonderful good points, that really speak to me, and make me feel like I am home when I use it, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. But the breadbin is also full of wonderful good points, that really make me want to own one, and be amazed as to how 2010s stuff can work so nicely on a 1982 system. I can't choose just one - I prefer both. I know it sounds like a cop-out, but it's really an impossible choice. Now, a sidenote; as some people have mentioned, the case with the C64C is a bit less straightforward as some other people previously stated. I have seen -= PLENTY =- of C64Cs with 6581 SID chip originally (not modified). I've also seen plenty of C128s with 6581 SID chip in them originally. I've also seen many C64Cs with 8580 SID chip, and like someone here mentioned, a good rule of thumb is indeed to look at the keyboard. The font is different in the 8580 versions, and the graphical symbols are printed on TOP of the key, instead of the lower SIDE of the key in the 8580 models. This rule has never failed me, but then, I haven't really seen THAT many C64Cs. To me, comparing C64 'breadbin' and C64 'model C' is like comparing the time-traveling DeLorean from Back to the Future and K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider. Which car would you really rather own? I mean, the other one can travel in time and thus make you rich and whatnot (but you could endanger your own existence, etc..). But the other one is the fastest car in existence, near indestructible, a friend, companion, assistant, can do so many things for you, has telekinesis ability, and the most advanced A.I. one has ever seen. Of course with a time machine, you could go to a future where such cars are the norm, but what if the future is a dystopia, a wasteland? And what would you do with a car in the past anyway..? Hm, this is becoming a bit sidetracked now, so I better end my post here. The way I experience the different C64s is somewhat similar to how I experience the old "C64 vs. Atari" thing. When they both bring me so much joy and pleasure, sitting neatly and in a very friendly manner on my table, side by side, sharing the same TV, I can only see them as complementing each other, not being each other's rivals. It's fun to check the same game for both platforms, and experiencing the differences. (I just recently got SIO2SD for the Atari, so I am experiencing a much larger world of delight than before, ahh, that Joust-version is so good! (I used to play the Atari 2600 version before)) Look, how friendly they are.. playing nicely right next to each other. I think one of the reasons why I like having the C64C, is that I already have the 'breadbin look' covered on my other table. And it's a beautiful look, isn't it?
  7. Aah! I wanted an easier way to play Atari ST tunes than using "WinJam" (which is, frankly, a bit user-unfriendly). If I use my Amiga 1200 to draw something, I like having hours of inspiring audio waves punching my eardrums, and I have handy key shortcuts for Winamp, but not WinJam. Also, as I have been re-discovering the joys of the REAL during these recent years, as opposed to 'emulation' (which I still appreciate and marvel, but let's face it, if you have the choice, REAL always beats emulation, at least in some aspects (though I am aware that emulation can 'enhance' things, like resolution, etc.), and if nothing else, then at least 'feeling' and 'authenticity'), and as wonderful as the SNDH collection is, and as great as WinJam is in many ways.. ..after realizing how much more fun (a) real VIC-20, real C16, real C64, real Amiga 1200, real Dreamcast, real Atari 800 XL (the list goes on) (is) are, suddenly 'emulated YM2149' left be a bit cold. I wanted to hear the REAL Atari ST, the real audio, authentic sound and the proper feel and energy that only a real machine can provide. If the SID sounds and feels so much better on a real C64 than emulation, why shouldn't this be true for Atari ST as well? So I started searching ... and found this! SNDHRECORD! It's a dream come true.. I think the SOASC guy was a bit nuts, but he had the right idea, letting a real machine record the authentic sound for posterity for those, who can't or won't be able to have the real machine to play those tunes for them. I'd like to thank everyone that was involved with this project - recording must not have been easy! What a wonderful gift to the world! This inspires me to want to start dabbling with the Atari ST music a bit more.. MaxYMiser seems like a nice tracker for this purpose, though slightly too cryptic for me to really understand it properly yet. I've only composed two Atari ST songs, and I do love the chip. Of course coming from the Commodore side of the veil, I miss the filter, but you can't have everything, and Atari ST sound chip has its own, unique, quirky sound that I have grown to love so much. Also, it presents another challenge, which can be fun! Plus, I don't have to make decision as to what to use the filter for, I can focus on other things. So many of the Atari ST songs sound just so amazingly good - for example, almost anything that Tao has composed.. I can't wait to be able to properly explore the other composers and hear what they have concocted. Perhaps I should purchase a real Atari ST as well. The more real machines I have, the less satisfied I feel about the emulation of the others, even if the emulators are great. There's something about the 'feel' of the real machine, plus being independent of 'certain OS' is always great fun, like a vacation from work! As Grazey so gracely expressed: Great stuff indeed! P.S. My real machines so far (besides PCs): Atari 800 XL, Commodore 16, Commodore VIC-20, Commodore 64C, Commodore Amiga 1200 (030), Sega Dreamcast, Nintendō Wii, Nintendō DS, Atari 2600 jr. All have either some kind of SD/CF-solution with lots of stuff installed, or just 'enough good ones'. C16 gets by nicely with just 1541 II disk drive, but C64C needed an 1541 Ultimate II. Atari 800 XL would need SIO2SD, but for now, it has SIDE2, which runs almost all games I want to play, and some demos, too (plus, it plays my own songs). SD2IEC was good enough for VIC-20 until I ordered the Behr-Bonz. The Amiga obviously has a hard drive (could replace it with a CF IDE-drive, just like I once had), Wii has a hard drive, DS has a SD-card, and Atari 2600 jr. of course utilizes the Harmony Cart. The Amiga is loaded with 192 MB memory and a TFT monitor for 640x480 and 160x200-stuff, plus a bright CRT television for other resolutions. After all this, it feels somehow annoying to just emulate Atari ST - can't watch demos on a bright CRT on authentic resolution, because Steem doesn't let me change the resolution to something like 320x256 or such. A great emulator, but IMHO all emulators should mimic MAME in the configuration department; it lets you use any resolution your gfx card and system can handle (I am using Soft15kHz and a card that supports even 256x224 and other quirky resolutions for Super Famicom (and NES) and arcade games, with VGA2SCART-cable that lets me output VGA port's signal directly to a SCART port on a bright CRT television - looks great, and the emulation is very good, but I really want to see what a real Super Famicom looks like). Anyway, sorry for this long digressing almost-rant or something, but I just wanted to make a point about how much I appreciate this project, because I have grown to appreciate "REAL" over "EMULATION" so much lately. Thank you.
  8. Monk

    2600 Vs Vic 20

    Sorry, but -= NOTHING =- in the Universe beats Enduro Atari 2600 sound! SID cannot produce that kind of juicy, metallic bass-sound. Please get me right - Sound Interface Device can do very amazing things, and is very flexible for all kinds of interesting sounds and in my opinion, it's the best and most interesting and atmospheric synthesizer that I have ever known about. I love the SID, and composing with it, creating sound effects and instruments with it, and just generally toying around with it (and especially four of them simultaneously with my HardSID PCI Quattro). But ENDURO .. has just such marvellous sound that I often play it just to feel those euphoric, soul-massaging sounds that nothing I have ever heard elsewhere can come close to duplicating. Emulation is nice, but not quite it. Only a real Atari can produce _THAT_ sound. SID cannot. Had you chosen some other game, I'd have possibly agreed with you (though Atari 2600 sounds are just generally so incredibly awesome that I regret not having found Atari in the eighties - Atari 800 XL sounds are also something exciting and blasting in a way that SID can't quite reach. The Asteroids-style very low and crisp noise wave just doesn't exist in SID. SID's noise wave is somewhat 'softer' and 'rounder' (hard to explain), only Atari can bring that kind of juicy sharpness to it). SID pretty much beats everything - except certain, juicy and amazing Atari sounds. SID can do many things, but it cannot duplicate certain, soul-caressing Atari's aural magnificence expressions. Atari's sound chip can't do the things SID can do, but SID also can't do the things Atari's sound chip can do. They're both great, and I love it all - but if you are saying SID is somehow without any question the all-encompassing master of the 8-bit aural world, I have to disagree with you on certain specifics, even though generally I would agree with that. Enduro's sound .. aaahh.. it's just something that can't be explained - you have to hear it yourself. And this is coming from someone who loves the SID chip more than any soundmaking device ever, except Atari's sound chips..(and I am not saying I love Atari's sound chips more, I am just saying those certain sounds they can produce are just something out-of-this-world!) Yes, I love SID chip even more than Amiga's sound chips..as lovely as they were for me during certain time period, they couldn't really emulate SID all that well, and samples begin to be boring after awhile, especially when compared to "live sound". The problem with samples is that they're 'static' in a way, and if you loop a sample, it will loop faster at higher pitch, and slower at lower pitch, so having a 'live sound' like in SID means this doesn't happen, so any 'loop' will have the same speed at every pitch (a luxury I could only dream of with samples back in the day). When some Atarians say that Atari's sound chip is better for sound effects, and SID is better for music, some SID-fanatics have been quick to point out the logic that what is better for music, has to also be better for sound effects. But now I see what they meant - SID just can't make sound effects like the Atari 2600, as great things as the SID can do. So in a way, it's true - Atari's sound effects can sometimes sound better in a way that SID just cannot reach. And SID certainly fits musicmaking very well. SID is great, and "the best" in most occasions, but there are certain specific ways that the Atari's sound chip is better than SID. And ENDURO is certainly one of them. By the way, I don't think Enduro would suffer visually all that much by being converted to C64 - it doesn't have that many slow, soft or smooth color transitions, and the C64 does have quite nice color selection to use for all kinds of visual effects. Enduro's graphics are relatively simple, so what the hypothetical C64-version would lose in color slides, transitions and such, it would gain in resolution, multicolored sprites, actual hires sprites and graphics, (even 320x200 with hires charset, etc.) and so on. But where it would really and truly lose, is the SOUND. It would be just a loss. Besides, they'd botch it up by trying to make it too fancy.. Enduro's charm is partially that it's so simple, and it oozes this incredible atmosphere (together with the incredible sound) that makes everything feel so good that it's impossible to duplicate - that would be lost in transition. Also, when you 'clarify' a bit 'hazy' and simplistic graphics, you destroy the imagination, and thus worsen the graphics. When the graphics are simple, your imagination 'finishes' the graphics, and also keeps it 'alive' - one day it might look different than some other day, because your imagination 'finishes' it in a different way. With completely 'finished' graphics, there's no room for imagination, and thus the graphics become more 'dead' and stale. Simple graphics provoke the imagination, and although this doesn't mean you start seeing shades and shapes that aren't there, it means a certain experience, where you become the co-creator of the game's graphics instead of just being a passive receiver of someone else's soulless brilliance of their painstakingly learned pixel-techniques. Too Long; Didn't Read? Ok.. SID is the best music and sound chip out there, except for a few specific instances, where Atari completely overrules SID's sovereignty, and shows that it, too, can be the MASTER. And Enduro is one of these instances.
  9. After some more extensive testing, it looks like the interference is not as bad as it was previously. I can hardly notice it in many games, and in some that I can notice it in, it's not that distracting after all. Sometimes I really have to try hard to be able to see the interference (depending on the game), and in other games, it forms a different pattern, that somehow fits the game graphics nicely. So I decided not to try to open up the Harmony Cart or do any aluminium folio-modifications to the Atari 2600 jr., I mean - the pixels can still be seen clearly and the games are still awesome and atmospheric, so it doesn't matter all that much. Plus, when I concentrate on the game and the atmosphere, sound and graphics, I often forget that the interference even exists at all. The few games that really display the interference in an almost distracting way (Pitfall!, for example), can always be purchased as separate cartridges anyway. Atari 2600 jr. is a wonderful, magical machine, and Harmony Cart complements it perfectly! Old games benefit from CRT televisions, and interference often goes together with RF signals, so it just adds to the charm in a way that a modern TFT-lifestyle cannot emulate. So what's a little interference every now and then in a few games.. just added charm, basically.
  10. By the way, did you know that you can actually create any kind of file structure on the SD? You can even make it so that you can have those "few favorite games" right there, selectable, when you turn on the Atari, so it's going to be much faster than having to take a physical cartridge, switch it with the previous cartridge, etc. You don't have to use a menu with ALL the games - you can customize directories and even put the games right there in the main menu, quickly selectable. I have many customized menus - for example, I have "Best Games" menu (basically it means 'Monk's favorites'), I have "NTSC Games" and "PAL Games" menus, then I have different sortings, like "Alphabetically sorted" and "Sorted by Company" (so it's easy to play every Activision game quickly if I want, for example), and so on. Of course it's going to be slow, if you just dump ALL the games there, and then try to find your few favorites from there. But if you use CUSTOMIZATION and just make things the way you want, there's no reason to use the separate cartridges - which are a hassle, in my opinion - unless you have an interference problem and don't know how to correct it. Thankfully, it can be corrected with aluminium foil .. but I still am unsure as to how to do it 'elegantly', as in can I somehow open the Harmony Cart and line its innards with aluminium foil, or can I put the foil around the cart and have the solution work, or do I have to try to make some kind of 'inner faraday cage' around the module section (if that's even possible, everything being so TIGHT), or whatnot. The last and the least desirable solution is to just permanently remove the cover / lid and just wrap everything around the cart in the foil. I got this solution to work a long time ago, but I am only thinking of it as the last resort. Thankfully not every game suffers as badly, and with some games, you hardly notice it. Perhaps I could just purcahse those games as separate cartridges, where the interference is most annoying and noticeable. Having said that, I had great fun yesterday playing many of my favorite games that I had missed so much .... and the interference didn't really make it any less fun, although it was a little bit annoying with some games. For most of the time, it was just fun gameplaying, and I blessed the creators of Harmony Cart in my mind. Such a great device! I wish there was some kind of 'intelligent + elegant' solution though, where I'd just need to blu-tack some aluminium foil around some small component on the motherboard, and that'd solve it once and for all..But I guess life isn't supposed to be easy.
  11. It doesn't remove the interference. I guess my explanation wasn't completely clear. I mean, the combination of higher quality RF-cable with the other TV being so tiny (it's really small) made the interference less noticeable. With a larger TV, the interference is very annoying, as usual. If you have read this thread, you should know that the problem is not in the RF cable itself, but it's between Harmony Cart and the Atari. Even the other 'multicarts' produce this interference effect, not only Harmony Cart. However, with the pictured aluminium foil solution, the interference can be eliminated. I just tinkered and experimented with my old aluminium foil, but I guess it's too wrinkly, because I couldn't find any solution with it that would've worked. I plan to buy new aluminium foil next month, so I can continue testing, and hopefully find some kind of -elegant- solution to the problem. It'd be kind of sad to have to keep the Atari open, and not be able to use it properly (I am not even sure how to use the 'Select / Reset' buttons without the lid, it has been a long time). I wish I could either 1) Open the Harmony Cart, put aluminium foil inside, and close it or 2) Know, -what- bit exactly inside the Atari is the one that reacts to Harmony Cart this way, so I could perhaps just put some aluminium foil on top of that, or something. I don't really understand electronics very well, so this is always stressful and difficult for me .. I plan to somehow arrange a video-modded NTSC-Atari 2600 jr. to exist on my table some day, but that's far in the future, if it happens. If it was as simple a solution as you suggest, don't you think I would just have done that, instead of writing these posts - and started a 195 post-long thread about the problem? If a simple cable could've fixed it, this thread would not exist. I mean, come on. Give me some credit.
  12. Hm, I can't edit my post. Anyway, it seems I typed too soon - the interference is back! It seems that because the cable I was using was of such high quality, and the TV I was using was so tiny, that I couldn't quite make it out. But with a 'normal' RF cable and a large TV, the interference is very noticeable. I compared with an original 'Cosmic Ark' - even with the 'normal' RF cable, its picture is so clear and good, that I couldn't wish for more. With Harmony Cart, however, the intereference is again there. Before I open up the Atari 2600 jr. and start applying some aluminium foil, I'd like to know; - - Is it somehow possible to neatly open up the Harmony Cart, and re-seal it back, so I could put aluminium foil inside? I mean, surely it can -somehow- be done, but I mean, is there a handy, user-friendly way to do it? I could also look into the C208-thing (I have no idea what that is though). It's odd, as many Atari 2600s as I have handled, I have -never- seen one, that would be interference-free with Harmony Cart (without the aluminium foil applied). Am I really that unlucky? Do they all have loose C208s, or are PAL Atari 2600s really missing the capacitor? Well, at least I know how to fix this with the aluminium foil.. The downside of the aluminium foil solution is that I have to keep the lid off, so it looks a bit ugly on the table. It'd be a neater solution, if I could open up the Harmony Cart and put the aluminium foil there. But I am not very handy, so I don't dare start tinkering with it unless I know it can safely be opened and closed without harm.
  13. The new Harmony Cart arrived! It's almost a disappointment, that there isn't any interference this time. I guess this other Atari 2600 jr. is better built. Too bad my self-fixed half-paddles didn't quite work properly - gotta get a proper 'paddle', I guess. Also, sound doesn't work in that small TV anymore - this was a bit of a shock, since it always worked before, but I didn't use it, because there was no way to listen to it with headphones only (there are RCA-output cables that come out from the TV, but using them doesn't mute the TV's speakers). However, with Atari 2600 jr., I don't see any other options but to use the television's volume. So I've been playing in silence, which is a shame, because of Atari's absolutely wonderful sound that I love so much. In any case, it seems that either something has been done to eliminate interference between 2010 and now, or the interference-phenomenon is very 'individual Atari-specific', and might have something to do with the C208 becoming loose in the system. In any case, everything seems to work (besides the Paddles and my TV's sound), and Harmony Cart is a GREAT, wonderful device, and it was shipped incredibly quickly all the way from USA to Northern Europe. Thanks, Fred, this is very much appreciated! It's so cool to be able to use my old collection from the handy menu and just choose games and play them - as well as watching demos. Ahh!
  14. That's an interesting piece of information. The solution I found was more crude; I simply covered the Harmony Cart in Aluminium Foil - I had to open the casing of the Atari 2600 jr for this to be possible, but it worked. If this ever happens again, I am thinking I could possibly open Harmony Cart itself, and then just use blu-tack or something to install some aluminium foil on the inside, and then put it back again. I don't know what C208 is, or if the Atari 2600 jr has it, but if some capacitors on the motherboard seem loose or detached, that seems like an obvious and simple solution, thanks for the notification. As far as Sega Genesis / Megadrive's 'precizeness' [sic] goes, well.. the word is 'precise', not 'precize', and I don't think graphics can be 'precise' or 'not precise' - only different resolutions and color depths. In my opinion, anything that was created with a television / arcade monitor in mind, always looks the best in a bright CRT television (or an arcade monitor). So far, every system I have tried, has looked the best on my brightest CRT television, using the VGA2SCART-cable and as authentic (or good-looking) resolution as possible (with soft15kHz), even old DOS games and demos. The exception happens when the resolution exceeds the usual 'lores', and needs something like 640x512 - but sometimes, even that looks better on the TV - for example, Sega Dreamcast's SCART-output looks much better and more pleasant to my eyes than emulated Dreamcast's output on a TFT monitor (even in a uch higher resolution). The glory of CRT for the win! It's not a coincidence that pretty much all emulators of 'older systems' nowadays have some sort of "TV emulation" effect implemented. Especially 'lores graphics' look just so glorious on a proper, bright, CRT television (of course of the TV is dim, it's not going to look that good). Someone talked about Atari 2600's pixels looking too blocky on a monitor, so that it would look somehow wrong. I somewhat disagree, as to me, big pixels are aesthetically pleasing. People have made art out of small bricks that have become large mural-type wall 'paintings' and such, and to me, they look just fantastic. Still, a real machine on a real, bright CRT television, is always going to be the best combination in my opinion. Of course modern systems that are designed to run on a high-resolution TFT monitor, might look better with that particular setup. But Sega Megadrive is certainly not one of those systems.. in my opinion, Sega Megadrive's graphics can be done true justice by a bright CRT television - I'd be glad to trade any 'precizion' [sic] to the excitement that the properly bright and TV-"blurred" graphics instill on the player/viewer/experiencer.
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