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Galaga For Atari 2600

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Clearly it is strongly derived from the NES version. It's also terrible. Would have been much better to create a version from scratch instead of trying to map NES graphics and sound data directly to the 7800's hardware.

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Because Atari had lazy programmers working for them (all the 'good" programmers either left or got laid off, and started working for the competition or formed/joined 3rd party upstarts like Activision, etc...)

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From my experience, the Tengen titles are all pretty solid games for the most part. I have a nice stack of them in my NES collection. They are probably the only unlicensed developer for NES who really produced games on par with most official 3rd parties. Ironically, Tengen started out as a licensed developer, but Nintendo revoked their license although I forget the details. Then there's the whole Tetris debacle, which I'll save for another thread. Tengen Tetris is one of my favorite NES games too! Fun fact there are two Tetrises and two Ms Pacmans which are completely different from each other in terms of gameplay. In both cases the unlicensed "black cart" version is superior IMO.

Edited by stardust4ever

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I'm no programmer, but I am a big fan of both Galaga and Gyruss. I have home versions of both. I've logged my share of hours with the 7800 Galaga and, so long as I max the difficulty, I have zero complaints about it. I don't play my 2600 Gyruss as much, but I've enjoyed it from time to time.

I LOVE Gyruss. However, it should've used a spinner/paddle instead of a joystick. The same goes for Space Invaders the more I think about it.

 

I love 7800 Galaga. I don't like the NES version. 40k? Isn't the 7800 version 16k? And that includes code for the HSC. The NES audio shouldn't really account for the extra ROM space, or does it?

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From my experience, the Tengen titles are all pretty solid games for the most part. I have a nice stack of them in my NES collection. They are probably the only unlicensed developer for NES who really produced games on par with most official 3rd parties. Ironically, Tengen started out as a licensed developer, but Nintendo revoked their license although I forget the details. Then there's the whole Tetris debacle, which I'll save for another thread. Tengen Tetris is one of my favorite NES games too! Fun fact there are two Tetrises and two Ms Pacmans which are completely different from each other in terms of gameplay. In both cases the unlicensed "black cart" version is superior IMO.

 

Nintendo screwed Atari Games/Tengen with their cartridge fulfillment order and that cost Tengen millions in profit. And thus they decided to put the screws to Nintendo. They went unlicensed yet when the Sega Genesis debuted, they were one of the first companies to sign up.

 

I like to speculate what would've happened if Tramiel hadn't paid GCC for the 7800 and thus Warner gave the project over to Atari Games/Tengen to market...how different things would've been.

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I LOVE Gyruss. However, it should've used a spinner/paddle instead of a joystick. The same goes for Space Invaders the more I think about it.

 

The arcade version used a joystick. Therefore it should have, and did, use a joystick.

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I don't understand what you mean by that. Both the NES and Atari 7800 versions were developed completely independently from each other.

Well exactly that, yes they were obviously independently programmed but the 7800 version is based off the NES version as is jnr and Mario Bros all of which are excellent conversions.

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It isn't. It's terrible. The graphics are grotesquely stretched out, and the sound effects are easily among the worst the 7800 library has to offer. Even the 2600 version sounds better.

Well the graphics are stretched in that manner due to the sprite drawing scale of the 7800 hardware, some of the worst sounds ever?? well it sounds like the arcade version admittedly im not saying exactly before you jump in with some comeback to the contrary but all the movement and jump sounds are in place along with the music, I think your being picky for some reason what that is i dont know or care.

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And thus they decided to put the screws to Nintendo.

"Putting the screws" to someone is an idiom which means applying pressure (i.e. coercing them). The word "screw" in this instance doesn't mean to cheat (as in "screw over") or harass (as in "screw with"). Just saying...

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"Putting the screws" to someone is an idiom which means applying pressure (i.e. coercing them). The word "screw" in this instance doesn't mean to cheat (as in "screw over") or harass (as in "screw with"). Just saying...

 

I thought it was a clever bit of wordplay myself, even if it was mixing metaphors...

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I think the 7800 port of donkey kong is excellent and pretty darn close to the NES version from which i think it was built, If i had owned a 7800 when it was released i would of been totally happy with this version as i loved the nes one in 90'

There's a fair chance I would have liked 7800 Donkey Kong back in the 80's as well, because if I wanted to play Donkey Kong at home back then, it would have been "better than nothing". These days, with MAME as an option, undercooked and incomplete ports like 7800 Donkey Kong are not so much "better than nothing" as they are "Yep, it's Donkey Kong alright... only shittier."

 

A truly good port is "good" regardless of whether it is played in its year of release or 25 years later. In my opinion, examples of such would be 7800 Xevious, NES Contra, 2600 Frogger, Lynx Klax, and Genesis Golden Axe. These ports are not identical to the original games, but they don't need to be in order for their entertainment value to persist through the years; the important thing is that they successfully translate all things "fun" about the original games onto their respective home platforms, with no blunders (such as 7800 DK's goofy graphics and guttural, abrasive sound) or glaring omissions (such as, say, a missing level).

Edited by Cynicaster

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When I was 12 and wanted to play something like Donkey Kong it was either a long bike ride to the movie theater or bowling alley or the Coleco version on the 2600. Never mind the cash to actually play all day.

 

I think younger gamers brought up on HD graphics, online multi-player and the ability to steal every game ever from the internet don't quite get that

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There's a fair chance I would have liked 7800 Donkey Kong back in the 80's as well, because if I wanted to play Donkey Kong at home back then, it would have been "better than nothing". These days, with MAME as an option, undercooked and incomplete ports like 7800 Donkey Kong are not so much "better than nothing" as they are "Yep, it's Donkey Kong alright... only shittier."

Best home console port of Donkey Kong ever:

This version came strait out of Nintendo's Vault, Leaked as Donkey Kong Original Edition on Virtual Console in 2010. Somebody hacked the Virtual console version and dumped the NES ROM. I own a cart version of this game manufactured by RetroUSB, dubbed "DK Pie Foundry." It's got all four levels, albeit some missing animations, but overall it's awesome...

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"Putting the screws" to someone is an idiom which means applying pressure (i.e. coercing them). The word "screw" in this instance doesn't mean to cheat (as in "screw over") or harass (as in "screw with"). Just saying...

 

How about this then? Nintendo cheated Atari Games out of considerable profit with their licensing scheme so Atari Games decided to shove a Neo Geo sized cartridge into Nintendo's collective unused expansion slot in retaliation?

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Best home console port of Donkey Kong ever:

This version came strait out of Nintendo's Vault, Leaked as Donkey Kong Original Edition on Virtual Console in 2010. Somebody hacked the Virtual console version and dumped the NES ROM. I own a cart version of this game manufactured by RetroUSB, dubbed "DK Pie Foundry." It's got all four levels, albeit some missing animations, but overall it's awesome...

See, now that's more like it. Why they didn't just release that on the NES originally is beyond me.

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Famicom DK, as far as I know, was one of the launch games for the system and was made before the developers knew more tricks with the hardware.

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See, now that's more like it. Why they didn't just release that on the NES originally is beyond me.

They could have easily released this version later on during the NES lifespan. Instead they released DK Classics. Telltale sign; it uses the same mapper as DK Classics: CN-ROM. 32k-byte PRG; 32k-byte CHR. There was an ongoing debate on NA as to whether the game was a vintage rework or an in-house modern hack. I put my money on the former. Either way, thank the stars Nintendo decided to leak this ROM, and kudos to the guys that extracted it. Makes me wonder what else Nintendo got stashed away in their "vault".

 

Other NES games got reworked back in the day as well. PAL Super Mario Bros got updated with correct timings and music, when it was rereleased as SMB/Tetris/WC. Mario and Tetris play like they're on steroids when I insert the cart into my lockout disabled NTSC NES. I've played Super Mario Bros too many times over the years. Breaths new life into an old game IMO.

Edited by stardust4ever
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Does source to Galaxian or Phoenix exist?

 

Link to arcade source

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/126098-galaga-for-8-bits/?do=findComment&comment=1525318

 

Atari 8 bit port of the Commodore Pet version

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/126098-galaga-for-8-bits/page-2?do=findComment&comment=3625152

 

The 7800 Galaga Disassembly

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/207905-galaga-14-new-game-disassy/

 

Galaxian PAM code for the 5200

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/121103-pam-galaxian-source-code/?hl=+galaxian%20+source%20+pam

 

Those are some sources to gleam some ideas from.

Edited by doctorclu

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Does source to Galaxian or Phoenix exist?

 

Link to arcade source

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/126098-galaga-for-8-bits/?do=findComment&comment=1525318

 

Atari 8 bit port of the Commodore Pet version

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/126098-galaga-for-8-bits/page-2?do=findComment&comment=3625152

 

The 7800 Galaga Disassembly

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/207905-galaga-14-new-game-disassy/

 

Galaxian PAM code for the 5200

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/121103-pam-galaxian-source-code/?hl=+galaxian%20+source%20+pam

 

Those are some sources to gleam some ideas from.

I wonder how well Galaga would actually play on 2600 when there are excellent ports on NES and 7800. The enemies spread apart and get closer when in formation, something which is impossible to do on the 2600. A 9-sprite display kernel such as that used in Space Inverstigators would likely work for the formations, but a flicker kernel might be necessary for when enemies break the formation. A 30Hz flicker of the enemy formations would work but not be ideal. Formation could use even frames and enemies breaking formation could use odd for instance. Double ship / Double fire power would be simple to pull off as well using sprite replication. Maybe the Galaxian kernel could be studies as this version of the game plays really well on Atari. The more sophisticated flight patterns and movements of Galaga enemies may benefit from DPC+ by offloading the positioning to the ARM CPU.

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I wonder how well Galaga would actually play on 2600 when there are excellent ports on NES and 7800. The enemies spread apart and get closer when in formation, something which is impossible to do on the 2600. A 9-sprite display kernel such as that used in Space Inverstigators would likely work for the formations, but a flicker kernel might be necessary for when enemies break the formation. A 30Hz flicker of the enemy formations would work but not be ideal. Formation could use even frames and enemies breaking formation could use odd for instance. Double ship / Double fire power would be simple to pull off as well using sprite replication. Maybe the Galaxian kernel could be studies as this version of the game plays really well on Atari. The more sophisticated flight patterns and movements of Galaga enemies may benefit from DPC+ by offloading the positioning to the ARM CPU.

 

Is there a work around for the player only being able to have one missile on the screen at a time? To me that is the first thing you would have to solve, having multiple missiles on the screen at once. And I'm not sure that the 2600 truly has the horsepower to keep up with the speed of Galaga.

Edited by briwayjones

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So I'm wondering if Galaga was ever officially ported to the Atari 2600? I know Galaxian was and is pretty much the base code for Galaga, but I was thinking tonight it would be awesome to play Galaga on the Atari 2600.

 

If it wasn't officially ported to the 2600, is there a homebrew or Galaxian hack/modification for Galaga out there? If so, I want to get it and if not, I'm thinking this would be an awesome game to get coded up.

 

I did a search around the forum and didn't come up with anything. If my question has been answered before, please direct me to that thread. Thanks.

Galaga is SO MUCH more complex than Galaxian. The formations are complex, instead of just a couple dives. That would be a challenge for sure. I would rather see somebody do the 7800 version of Galaga RIGHT!

In skimming through this thread, others have mentioned how choppy the 7800 formations are. They are not accurate either. The blue aliens do not swoop around properly.

I didn't have much faith in the 7800, but I have seen some homebrews that have made me appreciate it more, such as Donkey Kong Pokey/Arcade/XM

Better artwork would be a start. I wonder if the color pallet would be large enough in 320 mode? Would 320 mode leave enough cycles for logic? XM (Pokey Sound) could be another nice improvement.

 

 

See, now that's more like it. Why they didn't just release that on the NES originally is beyond me.

I play the Donkey Kong Original version on my Everdrive cart. It really is quirky. The NES sound is awesome, the extra animation and level are a huge improvement. That SHOULD have been a minimum when Nintendo released the game. I was so disappointed. I LOVED the graphics and sound, but the A8 version I owned had more animation, better scoring, better attention to play detail, and an extra screen.

 

I noticed the Conveyor Belt screen doesn't feel complete. The pies come out in a completely random order, so sometimes there are too many on a row, and it creates a lot of flicker.

On the conveyor below Kong, the fireball can traverse OVER the oil can, to the other side. It's not unrealistic, but it's not arcade right.

 

The worst disappointment of the NES "Original" Version is that Kong STILL throws the same 2,lame, crazy barrels on the RAMP screen. No variety.

The barrels fall down the ladders slowly, like the ColecoVision version, so it's not the same excitement as the arcade.

Jumping over two or more barrels is 100 for each, instead of 100, 300, 500/800... Mario can't make a standing jump as easily, and can't really jump WITH the barrel to get out of tight situations.

 

The 7800 HOMEBREW hack (Donkey Kong XM) and the A8 version actually retain many of the key gameplay elements more faithfully.

The graphics of Donkey Kong XM have been updated to be as good as the NES.

 

Donkey Kong is one of my favorite all time games, so I had to chime in. (Don't get me wrong, I do love the updated "Donkey Kong Original" with all 4 screens and animation for NES. Just saying it's not the BEST).

 

So, full circle, back to Galaga, that is why I'd rather see Galaga done RIGHT on the 7800. I think the 2600 would make a mess of it (without resorting to the ARM as a helper), and it's not necessary. Galaxian Arcade is beautiful, and purely VCS powered. A great feat and appropriate for the time. I agree that Galaga would be awesome on the A8 too. I might be a little less colorful than the 7800, but it might surprise us. The A8 is not THAT under powered, compared to the 7800.

 

Just my $3.50...

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