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Flashback Portable: Needed Controller Hacks

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Some other people (including myself) were wondering if Galaxian is fixable for the portable? That seems to be the only major arcade title left that doesn't work. The problem being that you can't destroy the ships up in space until the come down after you. Does anyone have time to look into this? Nukey?

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Some other people (including myself) were wondering if Galaxian is fixable for the portable? That seems to be the only major arcade title left that doesn't work. The problem being that you can't destroy the ships up in space until the come down after you. Does anyone have time to look into this? Nukey?

 

Well that and Spy Hunter.

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Nackgammon: The original Backgammon is listed as "perfect", but does it support the 2-player variations? In any case, I hacked it to use the same directional controller (left/right/trigger) for both players...and threw in the Nackgammon variations 9-12. Select/Reset unchanged, Color has no function.

 

 

EDIT: Difficulties swapped to remove "hard" captions during regular gameplay.

 

I'll be honest, not too familiar with Backgammon much less testing a second player option. But can say the controls works and the screen looks fine.

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Well that and Spy Hunter.

Yes. Almost forgot about Spy Hunter. If Defender 2 was fixable, I would think Spy Hunter is. Galaxian is in worse shape by far!

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The ram portion is set as all zeros in his assembly files. These should be $FF's so the portable can detect that it's using SARA, and not just a standard F8 banked rom. I followed Mr SQL's advice of using all $FF's for Defencder 2, and it ran perfectly.

 

See if this boots...I know it needs some fixing due to the deleted VBLANKs and lack of smart bombs, but I think it should be detected as F8SC.

Defenderarcade(portable).bin

Edited by Nukey Shay
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Loads!

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A controller hack I'd love to see for the FBP involves the great 2600 port of Beamrider. One problem I've always had with using a joystick to play the game, which is worse with the FBP's little d-pad, it's accidently pushing up and using up one of the three valuable torpedoes. I'd love to see torpedoes remapped to another button. For that matter, the situation with asteroids is even worse with mistakenly pushing up or down and thrusting or going into hyperspace at the wrong time

...

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On an unrelated note, I think it'd be great if the next version of the FBP had the shoulder buttons from the Genesis model and put them to use as save state and load state...

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On an unrelated note, I think it'd be great if the next version of the FBP had the shoulder buttons from the Genesis model and put them to use as save state and load state...

I don't know what buttons you're referring to. There are no shoulder buttons on the portable.

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For that matter, the situation with asteroids is even worse with mistakenly pushing up or down and thrusting or going into hyperspace at the wrong time

That's actually a pretty good idea. Never looked at Beamrider, but here's Asteroids back direction remapped to the color switch for the portable. The only other thing changed is both players use the same control (so 2p games have some purpose).

 

Got all of Bob's changes for Defender Arcade into the setup I used for Defender 2.

Asteroids(alternatecontrol).bin

Defenderarcade(portable).bin

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Thanks Nukey! I think it helps to even have thrust on a separate button...

 

You're right Bill that must have been my imaginary Genesis portable....

 

Maybe automatic save state when you press (or press and hold for a certain amount of time, like a full second) menu, default restart on save state? (people can always opt out of save state by just pressing reset...)

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Come to think of it, I don't even like pulling down for shields in the excellent Phoenix port, and I think that would be improved with a separate button... But the problem is worst in Beamrider where a mistaken press uses up something very limited and valuable (to knock out the mother ship at the end of the round).

 

Is there a version of Thrust that works well with the FBP? Because of the extreme delicacy needed with the controls, I'd imagine thrust with a separate button would be even more helpful there than with Asteroids...

Edited by doug0909

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Maybe you should exchange your AFP. I have played Asteroids quite a bit on mine, and I've never hit hyperspace accidentally.

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Maybe automatic save state when you press (or press and hold for a certain amount of time, like a full second) menu, default restart on save state? (people can always opt out of save state by just pressing reset...)

 

It's looking like the premium console SKUs will have functionality like that (and then some), but, at the moment, I'm not sure what will make it into the handhelds this year. It might only be very minor updates, although there is a small chance we'll be moving to a different portable hardware base that will allow for those features (there's been a greatly enhanced handheld platform sitting in the wings since around 2014, but a variety of factors have kept it from coming to market as of yet).

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Maybe you should exchange your AFP. I have played Asteroids quite a bit on mine, and I've never hit hyperspace accidentally.

Exchanging my almost five decade old reflexes would probably help more...

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Awesome thanks Bill, can't wait for a flashback with save states.

 

One other thought... I'm a bit of a classic and twitch game addict, but I'm really not a purist, especially with the 2600 (as a kid I greatly preferred the flicker and scan line free graphics on my Odyssey 2). Since I began collecting I've really grown to appreciate the fantastic gameplay in the better 2600 titles. However... The flickering and scan lines still bug me. So I'm wondering: (1) Has anyone developed an emulator that gets rid of scan lines and/or papers over the flickering? And (2) for that matter has anyone developed an emulator which allows you to overlay the graphics completely with something higher res without impacting gameplay? I've always wondered why we didn't see #2 with all the emulators, as it'd allow artistic people to build on old games beyond what hacks allow graphically and perhaps without the technical skills...

 

And if the next Atari Flashback has an option for the exact same gameplay with new, higher resolution graphics, I think that'd be revolutionary...

Edited by doug0909

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What was wrong with the dot placement in Alien? The guide mentions that they don't line up...but they never did vertically (missile reuse for the dots).

Each dot appears double, and sometimes the double of the dot appears in the adjacent row so it looks like there's still a dot in a row that you've already cleared.

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That's actually a pretty good idea. Never looked at Beamrider, but here's Asteroids back direction remapped to the color switch for the portable. The only other thing changed is both players use the same control (so 2p games have some purpose).

 

Got all of Bob's changes for Defender Arcade into the setup I used for Defender 2.

Defender Arcade seems to play nicely (though I'm not overly familiar with it) but Asteroids is all flickery (actually I remember more flicker on the actual Atari system than when playing with the built in our stock Rom... Maybe something in the emulator cuts flicker and your hack loses that?). Edited by doug0909

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Don't know what the portable is doing, but Asteroids (the original game) does flicker. Pretty noticeably too. The rocks are displayed on a separate frame from everything else.

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And (2) for that matter has anyone developed an emulator which allows you to overlay the graphics completely with something higher res without impacting gameplay?

I was reading about those $30-ish mini arcade machine things, and they do that. Multicade? My Arcade? I can't remember which, or maybe both.

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Nukey, thanks for all of the great fixes. I need to download these latest fixes for Raiders, Enduro and Star Raiders. Riddle of the Sphinx (Imagic) also uses a 2nd controller for inventory control, any chance to add that to your list? Plaque Attack (Activision) has acharacter offset/vblank issue that makes it unplayable as well. It would be great to have the complete Activision and Imagic libraries 100% on the handheld. Thanks again!

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BTW flickerless asteroids happen even if the game is loaded as a .bin from the SD. The included paddle games also share this trait. Let's call this "Special handling".

 

Rules so far:

Special handling to specific roms - yep
Non-persistent color switch (7800-similar)
Frequent port read (SWCHA/SWCHB) - avoid
VBLANK - remove for production version
Mirrored RIOT addresses - not supported
On cart ram - use $FF to fill
Illegal opcode use - not supported
Early HMOVE - not supported
+1 cycle by branch over page - Nope

 

Any others?

Edited by Nukey Shay

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