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tyranthraxus

Did Atari know about the 2-port incompatibility

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Considering that the 2 ports won't work with Pitfall, one of the key games

of the era. Did Atari know that the 2 port wasn't 100% compatible?

If they did, did they make people aware of it like with a pamphlet in the

box or perhaps a warning on Pitfall boxes? Or did they just let the buyer

find out?

 

John

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I didn't know Pitfall! didn't work with the 2-port system. Does it not boot up at all? You've sparked my curiosity.

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Considering that the 2 ports won't work with Pitfall, one of the key games

of the era. Did Atari know that the 2 port wasn't 100% compatible?  

If they did, did they make people aware of it like with a pamphlet in the

box or perhaps a warning on Pitfall boxes? Or did they just let the buyer  

find out?

 

Activision produced Pitfall!, not Atari. At that time, all third-party games were unlicensed, so Atari only took responsibility for their own games, not anyone else's. Atari had nothing to do with the release of Pitfall! on the 5200. They didn't endorse, approve of, or make any sort of profit from the sales of third-party cartridges. They (like other console makers of that time) generally regarded third-party cartridges as unwelcome competition.

 

I don't think they really cared either way whether a competitor's game such as Pitfall! worked properly. Since they had no say over what other companies produced, there wasn't really anything they could have done about it anyway.

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Also K-Razy Shootout doesn't work in the 2 port model. That too is a 3rd party game. It's like Bezerk and has pretty cool sound effects.

 

You can change your BIOS on the 2 port for full compatability - I just recently did.

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Okay I see why Pitfall! doesn't work on the 2-port system. They are trying to read the default interrupt vectors from the BIOS (routine at $8A3B for those keeping score). The problem here is the 2-port BIOS has been shifted by ~22 bytes. So instead of reading the interrupt vectors, they are reading actual code. This is causing the interrupts to go off to bogus routines. This game could be hacked to work on both systems by checking the BIOS and adjusting the vector table read access accordingly.

 

Now I'll have to go and check K-Razy Shootout. They are probably doing something very similar.

 

Edit...

I just looked at K-Razy Shootout and they're doing the same thing. This routine is at location $82DF.

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Check out Mountian King while your at it...Mountain King is the 3rd game reported to not work on the 2 port models.

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Check out Mountian King while your at it...Mountain King is the 3rd game reported to not work on the 2 port models.

 

Yep, same problem. Accessing the default interrupt vectors. Problem located at $4A34.

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I have been working of hacks to these ROMs. I have completed Pitfall! and K-Razy Shootout. Mountain King looks like it may need a re-write to give me 12 bytes to work with. If it does then I'll have to pass on it. Didn't want to get into that type of hack :) I could make the ROMs bigger to accommodate the new 12 bytes. Seems like a waste though.

 

I'll try to finish Mountain King up tonight and post all three. I'm interested to see if they do work on a real 2-port. They seem to work fine in the emulators.

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As promised (even though a little late) here are my hacks of these 3 games. They seem to work fine on Atari800WinPLus but I would like to see how they work on a real 2-port 5200.

 

I have included hack notes for each game. I learned my lesson from my 'Qb' hack and looking into Joe Blade that notes would be nice :) You will also find the source and Dis6502 workspace for K-Razy Shootout and Mountail King.

 

If anyone can play these on a real 2-port please let me know how they play. I have a hard time testing K-Razy Shootout and Mountain King because I've never played them before. This make it hard to determine if I messed up anything.

5200hacks.zip

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Considering that the 2 ports won't work with Pitfall, one of the key games

of the era. Did Atari know that the 2 port wasn't 100% compatible?  

If they did, did they make people aware of it like with a pamphlet in the

box or perhaps a warning on Pitfall boxes? Or did they just let the buyer  

find out?

 

John

 

back to the original question, no, I don't think Atari or 3rd party developers put any direct warnings on the boxes of these incompatable games. I just looked at those box scan here on AA and there's nothing. Maybe they had stickers on the wrapper? Probably not.

 

I think this is interesting because Atari did admit to incompatability of its VCS adapter with the 4-port models. I saw a box of the 5200 vcs adapter on ebay yesterday and it had a clear warning on the front to see back for a list of compatable models and that it would not work with all 5200's.

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If anyone can play these on a real 2-port please let me know how they play. I have a hard time testing K-Razy Shootout and Mountain King because I've never played them before. This make it hard to determine if I messed up anything.

 

 

I just tried all three of these on both a 2 port and 4 port. I played a little ways into the game each time and they seemed to play fine for all of them. Congratulations.

 

Are you planning on building carts of these to sell? Also, I think you should send Sean Kelly a copy of them, so he can include them on the next revision of his 5200 multicart.

 

Mitch

http://atari7800.atari.org

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I just tried all three of these on both a 2 port and 4 port. I played a little ways into the game each time and they seemed to play fine for all of them. Congratulations.

 

Thanks Mitch. That's good to hear. I really didn't want to make Mountain King a 16K ROM just to hold 12 extra bytes :)

 

Are you planning on building carts of these to sell?

 

Nah, I was really interested in seeing why they didn't work. if anyone else wants to though...go for it!!!

 

Also, I think you should send Sean Kelly a copy of them, so he can include them on the next revision of his 5200 multicart.

 

Mitchhttp://atari7800.atari.org

 

Actually I contacted Sean before I started hacking Pitfall! I sent him my hack of Pitfall! before I posted it here. I also sent him an e-mail informing him that I posted the other 2 games here. I haven't heard anything back since the Pitfall! hack (he's probably busy getting ready for CGE2K2) but he is interested in getting these to work in the Multi-cart.

 

I would also like to get a hold of the Super Pac-man dump that he has to see if I can worm through that too.

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Mitch, do you have any other hacked games for the 5200? meaning roms for the emulators out there)

I use the mess emulator, and only half the games work 100%. I never understood why the 5200 is such a poorly emulated system when systems such as the Super Nintendo, Atari 7800 and other more "advanced" systems are emulated to perfection.

Anyhoo, some of my fav games like Space Inv. Galaxian, Moon Patrol, etc dont run very well (if at all) on any of the emulators, and I've tried them all.

 

thanks!!!!

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I too have had lots of 5200 emulation woes - but I now use Atari800win - and have found its much more compatible with more games than MESS...

 

sTeVE

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I'll have to try that emulator again. I know for sure space Invaders and Galaxian do not run on it. I'm also lazy.... :roll: The 800win emulator is very cumbersome and not user friendly. The mess program is far better imho.

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i got my 5200, (2 port) and it came with 7 games, pac-man, pole position, space invaders, star raiders, pitfall II, ect....

And all the games work except pitfall II, and theres nothing wrong with it, could this be dealing with the same problem? I have even cleaned it.

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i got my 5200, (2 port) and it came with 7 games, pac-man, pole position, space invaders, star raiders, pitfall II, ect....

And all the games work except pitfall II, and theres nothing wrong with it, could this be dealing with the same problem? I have even cleaned it.

 

What happens when you boot it up? Do you see a title screen?

 

I'll have to search the net for a ROM since they're not here anymore ;)

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Mitch,  do you have any other hacked games for the 5200?  meaning roms for the emulators out there)  

I use the mess emulator,  and only half the games work 100%.  I never understood why the 5200 is such a poorly emulated system when systems such as the Super Nintendo,  Atari 7800 and other more "advanced"  systems are emulated to perfection.

Anyhoo,  some of my fav games like Space Inv. Galaxian,  Moon Patrol, etc  dont run very well (if at all)  on any of the emulators,  and I've tried them all.

 

thanks!!!!

 

No, sorry, I don't have any hacked ROMs. For 5200 emulation I usually use VSS or Atari800win. MESS 5200 emulation isn't the greatest.

 

Mitch

http://atari7800.atari.org

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i got my 5200, (2 port) and it came with 7 games, pac-man, pole position, space invaders, star raiders, pitfall II, ect....

And all the games work except pitfall II, and theres nothing wrong with it, could this be dealing with the same problem? I have even cleaned it.

 

There shouldn't be a problem with Pitfall II on the 2 port.

I would try cleaning the game again. Try using a pencil eraser first and then isopropyl rubbing alcohol with a q-tip after that.

Sometimes I have to clean a game two or three times before it works if it's real dirty.

Also, some of the Activision games are a little thinner than the Atari games and you have to get them centered in the cart slot for them to work.

 

Mitch

http://atari7800.atari.org

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when i boot it up, theres nothing. the screen changes a little, but its not even changing colors.

And i have cleaned it that way about 6-7 times, and i have dusted it, and i already cleaned my 5200, and the other games work on it, so i have no idea what is wrong.

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Some games just die. It's very, very rare, but it happens. I have a 5200 zaxxon cart that just refuses to work. I tried all the tricks multiple times but it just won't work.

 

Allan

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I have Pitfall for the 5200. It works fine in my 2 port system as does mountain King. I have major problems with K-razy Shoot-Out, though.

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