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Monk

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Everything posted by Monk

  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. "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?
  4. 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.
  5. 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?
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. 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'.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. These pictures are absolutely fantastic, and breathe 'new life' to my old Atari 800 XL - although I consider it plenty alive anyway. The first time I saw some of these pics on the real Atari, I was mesmerized and maybe even 'gobsmacked'. Wow! So cool to see the old Atari pull off something so fantastically beautiful. I mean, I always love when Atari can show off its vast color palette, show the C64 a world it cannot enter. I consider C64 and Atari 800XL good friends, sitting on the same table without problems, and it's sad that some people make them machines of war instead of co-creators of wonders and excitement. And yet, it's always fun to witness the older machine surpass the newcomer! (It happens on many occasions, and I especially love the raster and plasma effects in games and demos - they just add that much more spice and awe. I always missed the colors I had used to seeing as a Commodore 16 owner, when I switched over to the C64 side. I loved and still love the Commodore 64 experience (I hope no one here takes offence), but Atari gives me the colorful magnificence the C64 was always robbing me of. I never felt the C64 is lacking in colors per se - it has a very capable palette with well-chosen 16 colors that have brought me joy since childhood. But there was always 'something' missing, and I couldn't figure out what it was as a kid, but nowadays I know - my first computer, the C16, let me see things the C64 couldn't give me. With Atari computers, those things are back - Atari is like a combination of the good sides of the C64 and the good side of the C16! The C16 lacks memory and sprites, but Atari has those things! It's like C16 is a kid's computer, and Atari is the 'adult version' of that, it can directly compare its achievements and games to the C64, where C16 struggles too much. For example, C16 has table-based noisewave, whereas Atari computers have proper, neverending properly random noisewave. (I know that nothing is ever 'fully random', but I leave that question to the philosophers) For the longest time, I had to accept that Atari's vast color palette could only be used in a few ways: - Raster effects (some people call these 'rainbows' - but I LOVE them!) - Plasma effects (Drunken Chessboard shows off this stuff nicely) - 'Selection' colors, meaning that every game (and different levels within a game) can look a bit different, color-wise, where C64 games look 'samey' due to always having to use the same 16 colors But now, with this great new tool and technique, Ilmenit has given Atari (and me) a fourth option: - Amazingly colorful, beautiful fullscreen pictures that you can look at endlessly and just admire at what this eight-bit wonder can still do. So I had to get my hands on this stuff - and although I failed to produce anything too interesting, and the process is too slow for my PCs (and take up too much electricity), these pictures have really touched me deeply, and I got inspired to also try to convert the same image to Commodore 16 and Plus4 (which I don't have, alas), so here are the results. By the way, some people do not adhere to the 'picture in every post' rule. [ Photo of the image on Atari 800 XL and CRT TV. I think it was either 2 or 200 million evaluations - in any case, it sook a really long time, and I just had to give up at some point. [ The raw output image after all those evaluations. Is there an easy way to see how many evaluations it's at, without 'continuing' the process (takes so long just to draw the 'preview' image)? [ Commodore 16 emulator screenshot. This conversion was counted in seconds. [ Commodore 16 Photo from a real C16 and CRT television. A bit too dark, but you can get the impression. Multicolor screenmode. (Multicolor FLI would take too much memory) [ Commodore Plus/4 Emulator screenshot. More memory affords a higher-detail graphics mode, this is Multicolor FLI. Without having the real machine, I don't have a photo of this. I am not going to add the original photo just yet, because I want to accomplish two things; 1) I want people to be able to evaluate the graphics without a 'perfect' image to compare it to, just pure 8-bit computer beauty, and see if it resembles anything discernible without the help of an actual photo. 2) I'd be interested if someone can recognize this individual based on these eight-bit computer-graphics. (Not '8-bit computer graphics', but graphics of 8-bit computers, hence the hyphenation) So there we have it - a fantastic tool for people with fast computers and skills to 'adjust' the images before conversion, and to figure out the exact right settings to use for conversion, but I am sadly not one of those people. But I'll be glad to be an admiring audience with these jaw-droppingly beautiful images, and watching them on my real Atari 800 XL with tear in my eye. Thanks so much for this magnificent tool and giving my Atari such mesmerizing beauty. I hope people are OK with me including also the Commodore 16 (and Plus/4) program files, photos and screenshots. Femaleface.xex Femaleface.prg Femaleface2.prg
  14. 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..
  15. 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..
  16. 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?
  17. 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 (:
  18. 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.
  19. 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?
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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