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About Ballblaɀer

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    Chopper Commander

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    MD, USA

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  1. Thanks for all the ROM dumps! Can you please share your process for dumping multicarts that don’t have switches for selecting games (e.g. carts that require console power cycling to cycle through the games)? I have a small stack of them that I’d love to try to dump with my Atarimax Maxflash Programmer, but... I don’t know if it’s possible.
  2. I will check to see which manuals I could donate to the cause. Maybe I can ship some to be scanned and sent back to me. PM if you wanna discuss. There's an international Flag Capture "Big Book" manual. I've not come across another one. I've also seen a Home Run international "Big Book" style; I wasn't able to buy it, but I saved an image of the sale listing if you should need more proof than my word. Keep up the good work...
  3. First one appears to be a Planet Patrol variant. Second one looks like Mission 3,000 A.D.
  4. Totally agree. I've got some things that I've wanted to put into higher quality cases, but I haven't wanted to spend the stupid prices (and even stupider shipping prices) from the one place that I know has what I want. It's possible that even shipping from overseas might end up cheaper than what I would have to spend elsewhere. Will send a PM soon.
  5. I was not able to get the dumper (or my 2600) to recognize anything in the double-left switch position. If I was confident that I could get the cart open without damaging the label I would certainly try -- I'd love to see what's going on inside a 3-in-1.
  6. @Al_Nafuur - 🤔 ? @Tempest - I tested for that (P0 collisions off, emulation at 1000%), and Snow Hunter does *not* have that display bug... but then again, I don't think Mountain Man (ITT Family) has it either.
  7. FYI, in case you don't follow the 2600 forum as closely as this thread. NTSC Snail Against Squirrel plus some new PAL hack ROMs dumped and shared. Enjoy!
  8. I've hunted down some pretty unusual 2600 stuff over recent years of collecting. Much of what I focus on these days are international releases, and lately I have a special affinity for 2600 stuff from SE Asia. There are still unusual and unknown things to be found, somehow, even after all these years. Some things aren't found because they're legitimately scarce, some things are hard to track down due to language and other similar barriers, and still other things remain hidden unless some nut like me comes along and spends far too much to import them from far-off lands. Bit Corporation was a trademark of developer/publisher 普澤股份有限公司 (Pu Ze Company, Limited), founded in 1980 and headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan. In addition to manufacturing clone consoles, they produced nine original games for the 2600 between 1982 and 1983, as well as four ColecoVision games and a handful of titles for the Famicom/NES. While their 2600 titles are comparatively unknown in North America, the rest of the globe is more familiar with them; Bit Corporation licensed and otherwise distributed their products to numerous countries over multiple continents. Thanks to Bit Corp's licensing agreement with CCE in Brazil, NTSC versions of all nine games were already dumped and available... but CCE re-programmed them with their own logo/copyright, so they were not the "original" releases. Last year I dumped a Bit Corporation 8-in-1 NTSC multi-cart. Before then, ROM dumps of only three of Bit Corp's nine games were available in their original NTSC format. After I shared my dump of the multi-cart, one Bit Corp game remained unavailable in its original, unaltered form: Snail Against Squirrel. No NTSC cartridge from Bit Corp containing this game was known to exist. I'm very glad today to be able to share a previously unknown -- and very odd! -- 3-in-1 (?!) NTSC cartridge featuring... Snail Against Squirrel! Bit Corporation - CN407 - 3-in-1.zip The first two games on the cartridge are byte-for-byte matches with the known Bit Corp NTSC versions of Space Tunnel and Bobby is Going Home. Snail appears to be identical to the CCE release apart from the copyright -- it would be great if someone with more time than me right now could confirm. Regardless, by dumping and sharing this ROM, the known library of NTSC games from Bit Corporation is now complete! A few notes: - The title on Bit Corporation boxed games and standalone carts (PAL) is "Snail Against Squirrel", but this new cart's label reads "Snail On Squirrel". My guess is that it was shortened for space/design reasons only; the game's title also appears as "Snail On Squirrel" on a Bit Corp sales flyer for their nine games. - Odd that they used artwork for Space Tunnel and Bobby is Going Home on the label, but they used a screenshot for Snail Against Squirrel. One wonders why they didn't use the SaS artwork here. - The cartridge part number (CN407) implies that other similarly numbered NTSC carts (CN401, CN402...) may exist. The hunt never ends! AS A BONUS HOLIDAY GIFT... Bit Corporation - CP405 - 4-in-1.zip I've also dumped and shared (PAL) Bit Corp cart CP405 -- this contains three new ROMS: - Laser Blaser (PGP223) -- a hack of Home Vision's "World End" or... maybe vice versa?; finally (among other changes), you can play this game without listening to the 13-second intro tune every time you reset! - Turtle Race (PGP211) -- a hack of Activision's "Freeway"; unusual in that it's both a significant graphics hack (guide your turtle past sailboats... sailboats that make motor noises...) AND an audio hack (Freeway's horns are removed). - Snow Hunter (PGP225) -- a hack of Home Vision's "Ski Hunt" or again... maybe vice versa? -- all the non-player, non-playfield graphics are slightly different. Eskimo Jump (PGP224) is identical to the known ROM "Frostbite (Unknown) (PAL).bin" but is included for completeness' sake. Season's greetings to all who are celebrating!
  9. "Invader - 2" is World End (with Home Vision copyright) The Jo Jo cart contains Battlezone. The label-less "Activision" cart contains Ms. Pac-Man. I haven't been able to get the "Galaxian" cart to work, yet.
  10. When it comes to Atari 2600 and international compatibility there are three puzzle pieces that work together: the cartridges/ROMs, the consoles (specifically their TIA chips), and the televisions. Hopefully I get all of the following right; I welcome corrections or additions. 2600 cartridges can contain NTSC, PAL, or (very rarely, only in France) SECAM format ROMs. ROMs themselves are not PAL-M, PAL-N, etc. Those suffixes (e.g. -M, -N, etc.) differentiate between frequencies of the PAL broadcast standards' audio carriers and color subcarriers [link goes to a table on Wikipedia explaining the differences]. The ROM programming specifies only the field refresh frequencies (i.e. 50Hz, 60Hz, etc) of the video signal to be generated. The programming is what defines whether a ROM is NTSC or PAL. (SECAM is a discussion for another day. ) Any cartridge manufactured in Brazil should contain an NTSC ROM. NTSC ROMs work nicely with Brazil's PAL-M analog broadcast standard because the number of scanlines that they use are identical (525), and the frequencies of the color subcarriers for the chrominance information of the video signal are close (3.579545 MHz for NTSC, compared with 3.575611 MHz for PAL-M). A number of Brazilian consoles contain hardware that transcode an NTSC TIA's video signal so that the color output is exactly to the PAL-M standard. But even without that transcoding hardware, cartridges containing NTSC ROMs should display on a Brazilian TV without the picture rolling. Bottom line: it would be surprising to find a cartridge from Brazil that *didn't* contain an NTSC ROM. Brazil's PAL-M broadcast format is an outlier, however -- ALL other PAL variants use 625 scanlines, including the PAL-N broadcast format used in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Because of the difference in scanline numbers, cartridges containing NTSC ROMs would not be guaranteed to display entirely correctly on all analog Argentinian television sets. It would stand to reason that Argentina would therefore prefer both PAL consoles and cartridges that contained PAL ROMs, but... clearly, cartridges containing NTSC ROMs were also being manufactured and sold there. The only in-depth discussion that I've ever seen about this subject (i.e. the 2600 in Argentina) is on the Retrogaming.com.ar forums, like in this thread, and this one. It is mentioned that most consoles in Argentina have NTSC TIA chips, and that many contain additional hardware that transcodes the signal to the proper PAL-N format for their televisions. One user states that only a few clones contain PAL TIA chips. It's also stated that some consoles have hardware to manually adjust the console's color output. The reason provided for the existence of cartridges containing ROMs of both formats is that older TV sets in Argentina were 50Hz only, with no vertical/horizontal holds. For consumers with these older sets, cartridges containing PAL ROMs would have been necessary to play with a stable picture. Really looking forward to the NTSC Lilly Adventure ROM dump!
  11. Congrats on the sale! Was super weird for me to see one of these pop up for sale here just two days after a similar one arrived in my mailbox. Can confirm: Turbo is Enduro (PAL), most likely from Thailand. My suspicion is that ZERO is somehow related to the Gundam art rather than being a company name, but it's only a hunch as I haven't found any exact matches to the artwork or to ZERO, yet.
  12. More carts just in from Thailand. There's a couple I can't get to work yet. Need to give them a better cleaning and try again!
  13. I just realized that I never posted my first ever Activision patch! Thanks, @Machine -- I'm super proud to be a "Dragster Hackster".
  14. Carbomb = Bank Heist (PAL) I've got another load coming from Thailand as we speak. Exciting times.
  15. Yes, it’ll be a regular 4K dump with the MaxFlash. Big thanks for hunting this down and sharing with us all!
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