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About CommodoreDecker

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    Star Raider

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  1. (this might be a thread that, like the horse at the glue factory, has been whipped to death... my apologies if that's the case...) As much as I adore the composite modification one can employ, assuming one removes all the proper resisters and solders in the new wires correctly (I still need to fix the audio disparity on mine between POKEY and TIA), does anyone still find charm in using the one official connection method it was designed with? Grainy and fuzzy or not, it does soften the blocky edges. Even for other systems (SNES, etc), I find myself using composite or RF and not doing HDMI hackery as the end result may look sharper but is counterbalanced by looking worse and more blocky. Dithering too loses some luster. That said, as the 2600 has 2 channel sound and modifying it accordingly has yielded some spectacular results in the stereo age. At least for many games bur before I meander even more, is there a mod for the 7800 that will separate TIA sound channels? Could a mod that takes 4-channel POKEY sound and "stereo-ize" it be done? (Okay, that's probably too niche an idea...)
  2. Solar Fox, Wizard of Wor, and Omega Race have held up the best for me. Gorf, especially with its Galaxian round, just feels tedious rather than fun. The round where critters spiral out and the boss level at the end (inversion of Space Invaders) are still fairly fun...
  3. At times some of his quips are amusing. But oftentimes it's too forced. Certainly iconic, given the sheer quantity... His Swordquest video was utterly first rate as far as documentaries go... 0:53 starts the documentary, which has a lot less over-the-top pottymouth than you'd believe: (yeah, I'm shocked too... virtually no toidymouth...) If only they had 8K ROM for Pac-Man and a couple more weeks to refine ET, since they're scapegoated for the downfall of the industry. Given the number of other games that were genuinely bad, it may have been unavoidable. Pac-Man was decent at the time, though it could have been better. ET pushed the system's boundaries and was ahead of its time. I still play it more than many games today, even with its nitpicks (that wait for the ship to arrive is nail-biting but the sound effects in stereo are way-cool...) Earthworld was cool. Fireworld was and surprisingly fairly lame. I didn't get to the others at the time... Waterworld, when I finally got to play it, felt uninspired... still would wanted to have seen Airworld, the series was cool on its own (the comic were cool)
  4. Dang. It's either an easter egg or a double entendre, which is merely a different sort of easter egg... I'm just amazed the button is in the correct corner. But that's no way to hold a joystick.
  5. Undoubtedly, "Mangia" is the most original video game ever. A little bizarre, but original nonetheless. That said, it should have been much more popular.
  6. Yay! I actually bought it a couple weeks ago. While the standard sound edition is above "excellent" quality and especially considering the 2600 sound chip's limitations, the edition with POKEY enabled is still leagues above in tonal quality and what should be standard issue for the 7800 (instead of how the console was released.)
  7. That's definitely weird, that resistors and those lovely Tantalum capacitors that explode when they wear out would be needed - especially when placed in front of the shielded area where the microchip resides behind... maybe the chips they used require less power, hence resisters, and the capacitor could be there to lessen the power-up stress of electricity flowing through. While merely and solely academic, it'd be fun to see a schematic for their design. I've not seen that very often. Or the resisters are used as a bug fix, not unlike how you can open up an old computer and sometimes see a wire affixed between two chips over the board rather than using a new PCB layout...? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tantalum_capacitor#Failure_modes_and_self-healing_mechanism As for item legitimacy, I'm pretty sure they're the real deals.
  8. What would the Pitfall games be utilizing in the 2600's circuitry that the other still-working games don't use? (e.g. scrolling? ) That could yield a clue. It's not all games, so whatever's going on is definitely a more concise issue than a generalized one. Is it possible to remove the mod and try the ailing games again and see if the problem persists? The composite mod could be defective in some way...? Or there's still a chance of a small short circuit at or adjacent to a solder joint. Are the 2600's chips socketed? One could have become just loose enough to wreak havoc on some games yet not others...
  9. Now that's cool. Please count me in as well if it's not too late. Thanks!
  10. Given the blocky nature, I thought it was a peace symbol and all the swirling bright colors, which also gave me the munchies, made me think it was anti-hippie for a while. Turn off the volume, light up some incense, and put on some Jimi Hendrix to get the full effect...
  11. 100% agreed. He would push game boundaries with Raiders, and E.T. as well... I've not played the latter... But "Raiders" was always fun and "E.T.", while having quirks, isn't anywhere near as bad as its reputation. Okay, ET is green and not brown and a little something else, and the random chance element in waiting for the ship to come back and hoping no human pops up in the last few seconds is as rewarding as it is unnerving... In general, "High ratings = really really good" is not always the best correlation to make. I don't recall "Raiders" getting the highest of marks either, but not as bad as ET.'s It'd be awesome if a beta still existed where we could see the actual code, instead of its obfuscated form (which looks brill BTW). Changing it from a port into something original probably made this a "killer app" on par with Space Invaders. His story in telling its development (see YouTube, in a video in a series where some company reps don't put in the same level of information and entertainment he does...) It's so complex yet so simple at the same time. And has the necessary factor of being engaging. A+ for me. The array of bricks that Yar (I named mine "Tasha") eats through, in the even numbered-rounds where they rotate in and out, is sheer brilliance. The use of source code as an asset to draw the safety zone with is eminently clever, especially when working with limited RAM (1/8th byte!!) and ROM space (was Yar's 2K or 4K?) The flicker adds to an ethereal effect. On top of color rotation and using the Atari's palette to its full potential, it reminds why the 2600 succeeded when others failed - despite having superior capabilities elsewhere and more RAM on top of that. HSW knew how to get the most out of it. The 2600's sound unit reveals its weaknesses in other games, but in this one it all feels so natural. The sounds are well-used, despite being only two-channel. The 2600 was to have two internal speakers but to save costs they ported those to the RF output. A modification can restore the "stereo" effect they weren't thinking much into at the time... Try this game in a 2600 with the composite sound mod and in a 5.x or 7.x speaker system set to 'stereo full'. That is real immersion, with an ethereal, out-of-this-world sensation that's thick with excitement. It still astounds to this day. Also, compare any of HSW's games to standard fare like "Kangaroo" and HSW's really knows which octaves to use, as well as which speaker to use. Everything about this game is so well-designed... It is one of the all-time greats of video game history and always a go-to.
  12. The last I'd read it's a bit of a challenge but I'd be there on day one as well. The real cartridges will likely last decades, if the friction between the cartridge edge pins don't get worn down from excessive insertions/removals. And, of course, the lifespan of homebrews on cartridge - are those on flash RAM like what's in USB drives (e.g. 4 to 5 year lifespan?) or are they hard microchips that will last decades? (not to mention real hardware; emulation won't be 100% and there's that lovely lag factor that does impede some games. "Fatal Run" is just more responsive on the real machine, though the joypad I bought may not be the highest of build quality - but I wouldn't do a wireless controller! Those have too much lag...
  13. ^^this The 7800's arcade ports are THE best. (The only one that is questionable might be Mario Bros, but the XEGS has the only competing version and was never put on the 5200) Wishing "Millipede" existed as "Centipede" is nigh on perfect. Even with the 2600 sound chip.
  14. Well, In favor of the 7800: 1. The 7800 has a superior graphics handling chip (as said) 2. The 7800 and 5200 use identical main processor 3. Homebrews on the 7800 look better than the 5200, and 4. many of those have options for a POKEY or equivalent sound coprocessor 5. The 5200 controllers have nonstandard connectors 6. The 5200 controllers break a lot 7. It plays 2600 games directly (add in the stereo and composite video hacks and games like Yars Revenge and E.T. are more astounding than ever) 8. The sound isn't as much crap as it is "limited" and even then, how the game uses available octaves can make all the difference (e.g. Yars Revenge still blows my mind) 9. The 7800 has games like "Ninja Golf", "Commando", "Baby Pac-Man' that's the truest to the arcade machine (even pinball), and "Fatal Run" In favor of the 5200: 1. It has a lot of ports from the Atari 800 computer line (as the 5200 is the same apart from a few BIOS changes) 2. Homebrews between both A800 and 5200 are likely easier to develop 3. It's bigger 4. You can open the top and put your drinks in there like a caddy. Preferably warm drinks or drinks you want warm 5. It has games like "Gremlins", which reminds playability can be more fun than just how many colors appear on screen at once I'd have gotten a 5200 myself except the 8-bit computer line has the same games. Granted, the 5200 and its cartridges look a lot more cool than the 8-bit line (which have their own charm with the snazzier mechanical shroud covering the pins to prevent dust)
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