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Habibrobert

Just got my first Atari

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Hello everyone,

 

I am very new to this site and new to Atari as well, so forgive me if I am posting this question in the wrong section. I just received an Atari 2600. I plugged it in for the first time today and it turned on just fine. I was particularly curious about the color to black and white switch on the console. Obviously all TVs are color these days, but I was still curious what would happen if I would flip the switch towards the black and white setting. I tried that and nothing happened. I was wondering if the image was supposed to be in black and white? I know its not a big deal, but I am just curious if that setting is broken, or did it do what it was supposed to do...nothing? I was using this on a CRT TV from the 90s using the coaxial adapter instead of going through an RF box.

 

My other question was, when I plugged in the controller in the "right controller" input, I was not able to play the game, the screen just had the game on it and I could not move on the screen. But when I switch to the left controller, everything worked. I was just curious if that is how it is supposed to be? Or is something wrong with the system? I tried reading about this in the manual, but it didn't seem to say anything about that.

 

Sorry if these questions are very elementary, but I am learning!

 

Thanks very much for your time.

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It depends on the game. The early games (like Combat, for example) would change to a black and white version of the game when you flipped the b/w switch. As to the controller question, that also depends on the game. Most games use the left controller port, but a very few games used the right controller port instead, although most games used both controller ports when playing a 2-player game. Your system is probably just fine.

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The function of the B/W switch (just like the function of the orange joystick button) was determined by the game program... In the early days it often selected an alternate color scheme that would contrast better on B/W sets - though the colors were not necessarily black and white when viewed on a color set. In some later games the switch was used for completely new purposes like toggling between menus within a game.

 

The left and right joystick functions were also determined by the game program. The standard seemed to be Player One = Left Joystick. Nothing was plug and play. Enjoy your 2600!

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Even the reset button seems to be set by the game. I have a game that uses it as pause. I think it's Strat-O-Gems but don't hold me to it. Other games use reset to get to the menu while Princess Escape uses it to restart the world that you were just on rather than the first world.

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In Raiders, the right controler was used to choose items from your inventory,

Edited by Tanman
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In Raiders, the right controler was used to choose items from your inventory,

Oh, I see now why I could not progress in the game :). Better I'll go to download the manual.

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I am very new to this site and new to Atari as well, so forgive me if I am posting this question in the wrong section. I just received an Atari 2600. I plugged it in for the first time today and it turned on just fine. I was particularly curious about the color to black and white switch on the console. Obviously all TVs are color these days, but I was still curious what would happen if I would flip the switch towards the black and white setting. I tried that and nothing happened. I was wondering if the image was supposed to be in black and white? I know its not a big deal, but I am just curious if that setting is broken, or did it do what it was supposed to do...nothing? I was using this on a CRT TV from the 90s using the coaxial adapter instead of going through an RF box.

 

 

Yep, that switch will affect some games but not others. Generally, there's rarely any reason to use it except on the game Space Shuttle (where it is part of how you control the game), unless you just want to see monochrome graphics on your TV.

 

My other question was, when I plugged in the controller in the "right controller" input, I was not able to play the game, the screen just had the game on it and I could not move on the screen. But when I switch to the left controller, everything worked. I was just curious if that is how it is supposed to be? Or is something wrong with the system? I tried reading about this in the manual, but it didn't seem to say anything about that.

 

 

Yep, that's normal.

 

You usually only need the right control port when you want to play against another player (if the game supports it), if you are using joysticks or the driving controller. I think Wizard of Wor is the exception, where the 2nd port is actually used for player 1.

 

Other than that situation, there are a few games that require 2 controllers. Star Raiders uses a special keypad in port 2, along with a joystick in port 1. Raiders of the Lost Ark requires 2 joysticks, as described above.

 

Games that use paddle controllers (Kaboom, Warlords, and Breakout to name a few) work differently, as paddles come in pairs wired together, and you can plug 2 into the same port (which allows for 4 player games, when the game supports it)

 

Sorry if these questions are very elementary, but I am learning!

 

No worries. If you have other questions you feel too shy to ask here, feel free to PM me and I will try to answer them.

 

I hope you get years of enjoyment out of your new console.

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You usually only need the right control port when you want to play against another player (if the game supports it), if you are using joysticks or the driving controller. I think Wizard of Wor is the exception, where the 2nd port is actually used for player 1.

 

A handful of Atari's early titles from the late '70s use the right joystick for Player 1 in single-player games, such as Air-Sea Battle, Star Ship, Basketball, Home Run, and Slot Machine. I think the idea was that using Joystick #2 as the default joystick allowed you to leave your paddle controllers connected to your console, saving on wear and tear as well as the hassle of disconnecting/reconnecting controllers every time you wanted to switch between paddle and joystick games. I actually wish they'd have stuck with it. Or made the second controller jack the standard for paddle games (Tac-Scan by Sega does this).

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Thank you all for helping me out! Its great to know that my console is working the way it should! Serious- thanks very much for the kind gesture, I will definitely PM you if I'm feeling shy. Thanks again for all the help!

Edited by Habibrobert
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Congrats! Is this your first time experiencing the 2600? It must be a trip to be holding and playing video game history if it is your first time. I just got a 7800, and I'm real excited about it, hence the screen name. I never played 7800 games until recently and I am very impressed. If not for the 7800's lack of a better sound processor and competition from Nintendo and Sega, the 7800 could have been a huge hit. Enjoy it!

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Glad you joined our ranks. lol The Atari 2600 is a great system that had held up very well over the years.

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You will enjoy your 2600 that is a guarantee,Riddle Of The Sphinx is another game which used other switches to perform tasks,it appears not too popular with people today because like Raiders Of The lost Ark it may have seemed very complex back at the time but i like both games and still play them both today.

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