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Jack-Ass Tramiel

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About Jack-Ass Tramiel

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  1. This reminds of Level 2 of Lucky Wander Boy.
  2. Great summation on the overall state and near-future of the gaming console industry. I think the best thing to do would be for a third-party hardware developer to revive the 2600 as a $20 mini console device. For example, it would be a control pad with a card reader -- you buy a pack of collector cards that are the size of credit cards. You swipe them and the game loads up on the mini console, and you play it through your TV. The cards would have the original 2600 cartridge box art and basic gameplay instructions printed on them. What does everybody think of this idea?
  3. I predict the Yar ship will appear. Maybe some of the Space Invaders. A character from Adventure -- perhaps the bat.
  4. Sheesh, how disturbingly racist this comic would be perceived today, though that wasn't the intent originally. And the "BIG GAME HUNTERS" page scan: "Ride the wild joystick!" ????? WTF????! And, incidentally, that cartoon illustration of the happy man holding the giant pencil...can we say "phallic much"?
  5. Well Infogrames/Atari should take the websites using the Atari name on a case-by-case basis. If it is clearly a fan site dedicated to the classic Atari, they should leave it alone. If it's a site capitalizing by selling copyrighted or trademarked stuff (i.e. unauthorized T-shirts with the Fuji logo), then they will probably have to stop that. They should acknowledge on their site and official PR that they recognize and appreciate the Internet fanbase for the classic Atari. Their aim is to establish and re-enforce the trademark and name for the current video-gaming generation and technologies. I think this is perhaps why the Fuji logo is slightly different (apart from updating it with a modern look). As for the hardware, didn't they (or was it Hasbro) release the specs to all the Atari game console and computer hardware to the public a few years ago? I could see a revived version of a 2600, but in a radically different form. For example, it could be in the size of a control pad which you hook up to a TV set. Instead of cartridges, it has a card reader and you swipe plastic cards through it to load a game. You can buy a deck of these game cards, or they're given away as freebies. This 2600 could be a $19 throwaway type of product. I doubt that Infogrames/Atari would produce such a unit. Another company could do it, and license the ROMs from Infogrames/Atari.
  6. How bizarre. Infogrames probably needs to come up with an official policy regarding the history and rights pertaining to the prior incarnations of "Atari". My suggestions: They should openly acknowledge on their site and literature that the company they are now is not the same classic Atari, but that they are very proud to carry on the name and tradition. Secondly, they should officially release all the software/code produced by Warner Atari and Tramiel Atari that they now technically own to the public domain -- these probably wouldn't include games like Pac-Man, due to licensing issues, though. Still, such a move would immediately put the new Atari in a good light within the gaming community. That alone would be great PR for them -- for example, if they released the entire Atari 2600 catalog of non-licensed games they fully own the rights to. As for the licensed games, perhaps Atari 2.0 could state that they're willing to release the classic Atari game console versions to the public, but it's up to the original license owners of these games -- like Dig Dug, Kangaroo, Vanguard, etc. -- to give the final blessing. This may have to be a case-by-case effort on the part of classic Atari fans to petition the license owners of these games.
  7. The levels are stored by various levels of indirection. There are a lot of low-byte-only tables which point at different areas in the ROM where little parts of the graphics data is stored. And the offsets to those tables are loaded from other tables. Quite complicated... Therefore it won't be easy to hack the level layout (if possible at all). And even if you are able to change the graphics I am quite sure that the gameplay has also to be adjusted. Yes, this is pretty much what I suspected when I examined the disassembly. I came to a same (though not as technically detailed) conclusion. In layman's terms, I figured that the layout was "scrambled" and spread throughout the code, done this way in order to save on memory usage. I'm glad you've confirmed this, putting any doubts I had to rest.
  8. Well here are at least the covers for every issue: http://retrogames-r-us.tripod.com/Atari/Web/
  9. What would you see if you could reach Stage III of Lucky Wander Boy? Heh.
  10. I've had the damnedest time trying to read the DK disassembly of the ROM. Specifically, I'm not sure where the game level data is located. But my guess is that the programmer did some clever tricks in order to store the layouts. If I could figure out where the layouts are located, then maybe I could attempt to hack the levels. Would anybody here know how to read the disassembly? If somebody could direct me to where they think (or know for certain) where the game level layout data is located, then maybe I could do something with it and attempt to create the levels that are roughly based on the two other levels of the arcade version.
  11. http://www.luckywanderboy.com/ Site has an excerpt from the novel, which chronicles the protagonist's efforts to cure his grandmother's cancer by playing Microsurgeon.
  12. Sorry, but there is no DK hack. That picture of the cement factory is a proof-of-concept that I put together with a paint program. From that picture, I attempted to redo the rivet level to look like my cement factory test. But, as I detailed in my post above, I concluded that this is impossible to do. I was also going to redo the first board to make it resemble the jumping jackhammer screen. Instead of moving elevators, the platforms would be stationary. The barrels would be changed to springs that would not bounce but, instead, rain down from random points as they move across from the left to right of the girder below Kong. Unfortunately, I concluded that the first level, too, would be impossible to modify. I'd like to hear from somebody who has also tried to hack the level layouts of Donkey Kong, and who could either confirm or refute my conclusions. (I hope that I am wrong because, after all, then I could create my hack.) To date, I have neither come across a level hack of Donkey Kong or somebody, like me, who has tried to modify the level design.
  13. Highly recommended. This novel deals with classic videogaming as its main theme, and there are even elaborate, philosophical examinations into Atari 2600 games (including Adventure), and classic gaming culture. There's even a scene set at the site where those Atari cartridges were buried in a landfill! I'm a rather tough critic, but this definitely is the most profound work of fiction based on video games that I've ever read. The freaky ending made me go "WHOA". Lucky Wander Boy, author D.B. Weiss. Came out last month, and it's only in softcover format for $13.
  14. A year ago I attempted to hack the rivet level into an approximation of the cement factory level. (See below.) Unfortunately, upon studying the code, I discovered that the rivet level could not be altered much. Floors #2 to #5 are the same -- the code stores the information for one floor (specifically, half of it), then simply replicates it four times -- and mirrors it -- to create the multiple floors.
  15. Translation: "It's not a bug -- it's a feature of the game!"
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