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Everything posted by Kr0tki

  1. Here's Computer Entertainer incl. the Video Game Update at Archive.org, in the form of three huge PDFs. Someone at AtariCompendium.com has split them into separate issues. Several issues are missing from this collection. But there's one more issue available separately at Archive.org.
  2. Nope. The proto is non-comparable, it would require comparing disassemblies to determine the differences.
  3. Popeye RLS.1 is identical to the 1st final version of Popeye. (There were 2 versions of Popeye. The 1st one had a minor bug in that if you STARTed the game and then pressed Reset, the game would return to the title screen and play the title music, but then it would start playing the 1st level music. The 2nd release fixed that bug.) Star Wars RLS.2 is a 12KB cartridge, just like the final version - the 1st and 2nd 4 KB blocks are identical. Compared to the final version, RLS.2 is way different, but I haven't noticed any differences in gameplay.
  4. I had some time to finally examine the ROM dumps. Turns out, Rockball is a 12 KB game. The final ROM dump of Rockball (published here) contains the same data in the 1st and 2nd 4 KB blocks. The 9-7 proto posted above differs from the final ROM only in that the 1st 4 KB is empty (zeros). So in reality it is the exact same version as the final one. As a side note, is Sept. 7th the correct date for this prototype? I'm seeing at AtariProtos that the 9/7/83 prototype is described as different from the final version, which conflicts with my findings. Which entry at AtariProtos corresponds to the ROM posted above?
  5. Garbage data is usually a duplicate of other areas of the cartridge, or sometimes parts of another cartridge; sometimes it's plain text source code. This one is neither. The earlier proto is also all zeroes in this area.
  6. I don't know. But it's notable that no other area of the cartridge is different, which means, if there is a code that accesses the $3F09-$3F88 area, it must have already been in place in the 3-9 proto, because no such code was added in the final version. But then, why such code would exist in the 3-9 proto, if the area in question was all zeroes at that time?
  7. While there is some level layout reuse between different difficulties, most of the levels are unique - you cannot simply state it's four times the same levels.
  8. Wha? I haven't played it, but this seemingly in-depth website claims the SNES version has 125 levels.
  9. Well, you are not missing much. What I quoted is about as much valuable information as there is in the whole article - the rest is one half a blatant self-serving autopromotion, another half a manual on how to play Lemmings. "Świat Atari" was literally the publishing arm of Mirage Software, with the company's founder being the magazine's editor-in-chief. Mirage tended to use the magazine for drumming up the hype for the games they released, and this article is no exception.
  10. No, I don't have time to dig deeper... The 3-9 prototype ROM only differs from the final version in the area of $3F09-$3F88, which is all zeroes in the proto, and filled with something in the final. This something is not code nor graphics data, and I was not able to force the game to use this ROM area with a few minutes of playing, so I don't know if this difference has any effect on the gameplay.
  11. Looking at the interview with the developers, my understanding is that they did the 8-bit version first. That would make your assumption rather probable. 🙂 I checked all disk and file hacks of Gyruss from the AtariOnline archive - they all load to$8000-$BFFF and are mostly identical in that area to the 4-23-84 proto, with a few bytes different here and there.
  12. BTW Tempest, the AtariProtos page for 5200 Dig Dug has "1982" in the year field; and the "Dig Dug 185" prototype is listed with the date 7/4/82. Shouldn't that be 1983 in both cases?
  13. A bit late reply, but - your dump is correct, and while it is an overdump, it is otherwise identical to the known 1-20-83 prototype.
  14. The "old" Monty ROM occupies 16KB of memory at $8000-$BFFF (it's actually a 12KB cartridge, so $8000-$8FFF and $9000-$9FFF are duplicated), and the Parker Bros disk release loads into different memory areas, and is different enough to assume that the PB release and the ROM are not directly related. The 5200 version is layed out differently, so it's not directly related either. BTW the 5200 version does not contain the errors of the old 8-bit ROM. The Databyte releases actually load into $8000-$BFFF and, after loading, that memory area is 100% identical to the old ROM. There also exist old DOS file hacks that load to $8000-$BFFF (along with supplementary initialization routines loaded into other areas) and are identical to the old ROM (or differ in a few bytes for unknown reasons). Curiously, none of the hacks are based on the correct PB release. (I'm judging from the contents of the AtariOnline.pl software archive - it is rather comprehensive.) So, in my view two options are possible: a) Source of the old ROM is a leak from PB, that was then hacked to file by pirates (most likely by Steve and Bruce, who famously released their version under the title "Preliminary Monty 16K"); and Databyte later went the lazy route and based their releases on a cracked file (same as what Atari Corp. did when they released "Centipede" on tape - they simply used Glenn's hack from Atari 5200). Maybe the known ROM file itself was re-created back from one of the DOS files at a later date, who knows. b) Source of the old ROM is the Databyte release - maybe they screwed something up and made the releases buggy, and all the hacked DOS files, and the ROM file, originate from the Databyte disk or tape. But this seems unlikely. The Databyte releases are from 1986, the PB release is from 1984, but none of the known file versions are based on the PB release. How would that be possible that no one would make a file version of Monty between 1984 and 1986?
  15. Yes, more or less. Though given that the differences between the new ROM and the old one are significant, it is not possible for the old ROM to be a hack of the new one. I believe that the old ROM is some kind of a WIP leak, on which all the hacked "Preliminary Monty 16K" DOS files are based; and I would not be much surprised if the official Databyte releases turned out to be based on one of those hacked DOS files - we've seen such cases before. Consult the maps for the C-64 version - the uncorrupted Atari version is identical. -------- Now about Gyruss, it's an interesting case again: most if not all known DOS file hacks of Gyruss that are floating around, show the same colours on stage 1 as the 4-23-84 proto, so they are not actually based on the final version.
  16. With Monty the story is much more interesting. The known ROM image of Monty that is available on the Internet, e.g. at Atarimania, has a few bugs that were not present in the final US disk version by Parker Bros: 1. It lacks the sound when the dagger is used, 2. The leftmost room on the 9th level of the pyramid is broken, (as seen on these maps - click the "poziomy 1/3/4" links) 3. The room immediately below the aforementioned room is also different than in the final version. What is interesting, the UK releases by Databyte (both disk and tape) contain the same bugs. Also, all cracked file versions of Monty (known as Preliminary Monty) that I've seen, also contain these bugs. And what is even more interesting, this new proto image of yours does not contain the bugs. It is "more final" than the known ROM image! Now, since you had reviewed the Monty proto on your website years ago, I had always assumed that the known ROM image was dumped from that old prototype and then shared. It is stated in your review that the old proto held the label "Atari 400 Monty 12K.RLS.1 5/30/84". But the new prototype, judging from the filename that you assigned to it, has the same date. This is quite confusing and raises some questions: 1. Is the old known ROM a legitimate prototype at all? 2. Did you base your original review on an actual ROM dump from the prototype cartridge, or was it mistakenly based on this buggy ROM that was obtained from elsewhere? 3. What was first: the supposed old ROM proto or the Databyte releases? Which is based on which?
  17. Matt, the ROM image of Mr.Do!'s Castle that you are comparing the proto to, is in fact a cracked ROM - that's why you are seeing the 3-byte difference. deathtrappomegranate uploaded a dump of his original Mr. Do!'s Castle cartridge back in 2012, and it was discovered at this time that the popular ROM of Mr. Do floating on the net was a crack. So grab the correct ROM image from deathtrappomegranate's post and compare the proto with it - you will discover that a) the proto ROM is an overdump with first 8KB empty; and b) it is identical to the final version.
  18. Release rate in "Tommingi" is implemented inversely compared to the Amiga original, in that the minus button increases the rate; so "0" means the highest release rate.
  19. I doubt any music work has been ever started, but let's ask @jhusak anyway.
  20. There was never a full version of "Tommingi", only a WIP demo with 7 levels. The most complete version is the two-sided disk release at Atarimania, which contains an actual ending screen, whereas the versions at Fandal and Homesoft simply loop the levels indefinitely. When "Tommingi" was being previewed in the 1/1994 issue of "Świat Atari", it was supposed to be released in that year's November, with more levels, colour graphics (still 4 colours though) and digitized music by Jakub Husak.
  21. That's because the popular cracked disk image of Mr. Dig contains some additional, unrelated, files: ANDRU.BAS (unreadable, but can be found elsewhere) and QB.OBJ (Andrew's game).
  22. The only one with a helicopter, tunnels and water that comes to my mind is "Buried Bucks" aka. "Chopper Hunt".
  23. Your 5-21 prototype is an overdump, containing the same 16 KB twice. I'm attaching the correctly-sized one. When compared against the 5-8 proto, the only differences are in the $0264..$0292 range. This is a routine that clears the playfield and the player/missile graphics, and it is called at every screen change, such as before displaying the title screen, at game start, when switching between the cockpit view and the map view, or when going into or out of hyperspace. In the 5-8 proto this routine clears the playfield first and then the PMG, which results in a graphical glitch at the moment of switching from the cockpit view to the map view: sprites remain visible on the map view for a brief moment. In the 5-21 proto this routine is modified to clear the PMG before the playfield, so that the glitch does not occur anymore. There are no other differences between these two protos. Last Starfighter, The (1984-05-21)(Atari)(proto).bin
  24. Well, there's one difference between your description of 2-13 and this 1-18 proto. The 2-13 version "starts up on the main title screen instead of the cockpit screen" (which is the same behaviour as in the well-known Atari 8-bit leaked beta), while the 1-18 proto starts on the cockpit screen. That seems chronologically confusing though - the 1-18 proto and the final version start on the cockpit screen, while the version inbetween does not. EDIT: I've found another independent review of the 2-13 prototype at Digital Press, where it is mentioned that it did not contain the Lucasfilm splash screen, it allowed to select any level up to 99, and it did not allow skip ahead levels after completing a mission (again, same behaviour as in the 8-bit leaked beta). But the 1-18 prototype contains the Lucasfilm screen, only allows to select levels up to 16, and allows to skip up to 3 levels after a mission (though it still does not contain Ace pilots). So if the Digital Press description is correct, then the 1-18 prototype is closer to the final version than the 2-13 one!
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