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Atari Flashback Portable FAQ and Compatibility List

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No.  Games need to work with the existing buttons.  Keyboard controllers use the 2600's capacitators (just like the paddles do).  Paddle games can be reprogrammed to use the existing buttons on the portable, so can keyboard games if they are not utilizing all of them (Star Raiders only used 3 keyboard buttons, so it was easy to reprogram the console switches for those).  Basic Programming uses all keys on both controllers (24).

 

But you knew that already.

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1 hour ago, Nukey Shay said:

No.  Games need to work with the existing buttons.  Keyboard controllers use the 2600's capacitators (just like the paddles do).  Paddle games can be reprogrammed to use the existing buttons on the portable, so can keyboard games if they are not utilizing all of them (Star Raiders only used 3 keyboard buttons, so it was easy to reprogram the console switches for those).  Basic Programming uses all keys on both controllers (24).

 

But you knew that already.

how stupid :(

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2 hours ago, Nukey Shay said:

No.  Games need to work with the existing buttons.  Keyboard controllers use the 2600's capacitators (just like the paddles do).  Paddle games can be reprogrammed to use the existing buttons on the portable, so can keyboard games if they are not utilizing all of them (Star Raiders only used 3 keyboard buttons, so it was easy to reprogram the console switches for those).  Basic Programming uses all keys on both controllers (24).

 

But you knew that already.

Huh. I actually didn’t know that. For some reason, I had assumed the keyboard controllers worked like the joysticks. I guess because the key presses seemed like they would be discrete input values like the joysticks and unlike the continuous values from the paddles. 

 

I learned something new today. :)

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If anyone is taking requests, I think it would be great to have a joystick hack of the Birthday Mania ROM. 🙂

1. This is a paddle game (left port)

2. Left difficulty switch in A=narrow blast, B=wider blast

3. Reset starts new game

4. Select not used

5. B/W switch, Color position shows and plays Happy Birthday screen, B/W position skips intro screen

6. Right difficulty switch in A=single blow mode, B=continuous blow mode

 

 

Birthday_Mania_Robert_A_Tokar.bin

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29 minutes ago, Arenafoot said:

Were these hacked by you?

No, it's an old hack I found in a "nongood" atari pack and a similar one Thomas had from long ago he converted to F8 for me recently and I just compiled it. They do not work in Stella without setting the bankswitching to F8. However, they work great on the FBP.  They are very close to the complete game. You can see some information in this post along with what remained to finish the game:

 

 

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36 minutes ago, Swami said:

No, it's an old hack I found in a "nongood" atari pack and a similar one Thomas had from long ago he converted to F8 for me recently and I just compiled it. They do not work in Stella without setting the bankswitching to F8. However, they work great on the FBP.  They are very close to the complete game. You can see some information in this post along with what remained to finish the game:

I just updated the original post concerning this.  I would guess that the ROMs were converted from 'FE' scheme, but the actual code to do FE bankswitching is still in there.  And Stella is detecting this and thinking the ROM is FE.  Maybe if those bytes were NOP'ed out, it would detect as F8 automatically.

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2 hours ago, Arenafoot said:

Were these hacked by you?

And I also finally broke down and got a FBP, which is how I checked them. The 2016 model with Frogger on the front due to the larger screen and better d-pad, but lesser rechargeable battery compartment access. I found I liked the My Arcade ones okay that I bought to play during the uber-repetative streaming commercials, although, for the My Arcade I wonder, "why put what are mostly 4-way games on these things and not have a dpad that does 4-way decent?" Makes pac-man, dig dug and dig dug 2 annoying. For the FBP, it is okay, but fine precision in games like Centipede, Star Strike, Aardvark, etc., is gone and it's hard to find the last few dots in Alien.

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I had an atari flashback portable for 3 months, but one month ago my screen was just white. everything else worked fine, so I was confused. I tried to find a youtube video to help me, but there were no videos about repairing this portable. I hope someone can help me try fixing my portable.

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Today it is worse than before. It won't turn on unless it is charged, and when it is on, it is just a white screen. can someone help me fix this portable, buying an other one is hard, and fixing it myself isn't going to work.

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7 hours ago, board 3659 said:

Today it is worse than before. It won't turn on unless it is charged, and when it is on, it is just a white screen. can someone help me fix this portable, buying an other one is hard, and fixing it myself isn't going to work.

You probably need to return it and get another or contact AtGames thru their website.

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Bought an used Atari portable deluxe and PacMan flickers are ugly I haven't modified the unit in any way. 

Please help

Delmero

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7 hours ago, delmero said:

Bought an used Atari portable deluxe and PacMan flickers are ugly I haven't modified the unit in any way. 

Please help

Delmero

The game itself flickers. It's a technical limitation of the Atari 2600.

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52 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

The game itself flickers. It's a technical limitation of the Atari 2600.

To the point of being unplayable? it's one of the games that's built-in on the console.

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Has anyone actually seen an Atari Flashback Portable (2019 edition) out there in the wild yet ??

 

Can’t see any overexcited YouTube reviews or images on Google, showing off the new 3.2 inch screen and woodgrain ☹️
 

... and can’t see any realistic chance (at all) it’ll make it to the shores of the UK 🇬🇧 any time soon, definitely not before Christmas ☹️☹️ 
 

Guessing they’re all still on a slow boat from China or the large stores are holding then back until they get rid of their old (2018) stock.
 

Woe is me (guessing I’ll not be playing Beamrider, Gyruss or Galaxian on Chrimbo morning) 🎅🏻 

 

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22 hours ago, delmero said:

To the point of being unplayable? it's one of the games that's built-in on the console.

It's unplayable for some of us, but not for others.

 

The hardware of the 2600 is very, very primitive; it was not designed to display so many complex objects on the screen at once. It provides two 8-pixel bitmapped sprites, two 1-pixel "missile" sprites, a 1-pixel "ball", and a 40-pixel "playfield" (I had to check Wikipedia since I wasn't sure I remembered correctly). 

 

However, throughout the years we've learned more and more about how to get the most out of the hardware. Ms. Pac-Man and Jr. Pac Man are both much better and more playable (although there is still some flicker). Even better, some newer modern homebrew versions do a much better job. Here's a good place to start looking for a good version:

 

https://atariage.com/forums/topic/277992-pac-man-4k-old-vs-new-clarification-2600/

 

 

 

Edited by Miner_1979er
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21 hours ago, delmero said:

To the point of being unplayable? it's one of the games that's built-in on the console.

Have you played games like this on a vintage Atari machine? It sounds like you're coming at this with modern eyes, which could be disappointing if you don't know what you're getting into. 

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1 hour ago, Flojomojo said:

Have you played games like this on a vintage Atari machine? It sounds like you're coming at this with modern eyes, which could be disappointing if you don't know what you're getting into. 

Mmmm maybe, my partner has a standalone PacMan portable that you can see alright, and yes I saw Pacman circa 1981 in a B&W TV it looked great. I'll give it another look, and I'm not returning the portable.

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The official Atari Pac-Man actually looked nicer in black and white than in color. 

 

The unofficial homebrew Pac-Man port on the Flashback Portable is an arcade-perfect dream in comparison. It's like this, right? It flickers because that's how the very crude Atari 2600 hardware displays multiple things at once. Some Atari emulators tone this down (Atari Vault lets you turn off flickering for Asteroids, for example) but that's not faithful to the old look. 
 

 

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16 hours ago, HowdyThere said:

Has anyone actually seen an Atari Flashback Portable (2019 edition) out there in the wild yet ??

 

Can’t see any overexcited YouTube reviews or images on Google, showing off the new 3.2 inch screen and woodgrain ☹️
 

... and can’t see any realistic chance (at all) it’ll make it to the shores of the UK 🇬🇧 any time soon, definitely not before Christmas ☹️☹️ 
 

Guessing they’re all still on a slow boat from China or the large stores are holding then back until they get rid of their old (2018) stock.
 

Woe is me (guessing I’ll not be playing Beamrider, Gyruss or Galaxian on Chrimbo morning) 🎅🏻 

 

 

I saw one this past week at a reasonable price. (40usd) However I only picked up last years model about two weeks ago. Would be interested to know if the specs have changed or is it just a larger screen and cosmetics.

 

 

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On 11/9/2019 at 12:07 AM, original_gamer said:

 

I saw one this past week at a reasonable price. (40usd) However I only picked up last years model about two weeks ago. Would be interested to know if the specs have changed or is it just a larger screen and cosmetics.

 

 

Where, at what store?

Edited by TrekkiELO

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