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In defense of Pac-Man...

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The real killer is the way Pac Man moves in the original 2600 version. If they just made his speed, rotation and motion curves like those in the arcade version, I believe many of the other inaccuracies would have been mostly forgiven.

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HI Tod. Why did you assemble,and not just use the original Rom? Your Pac version was disappointing BITD, but we've read about the restrictions you were under, so it's all good. Many of us played it endlessly!

I think he wants to hack his own game. :D

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The real killer is the way Pac Man moves in the original 2600 version. If they just made his speed, rotation and motion curves like those in the arcade version, I believe many of the other inaccuracies would have been mostly forgiven.

 

Please explain how you've convinced yourself that the "real" problem with 2600 Pac-Man is something that nobody ever mentions. Your complaint doesn't even make sense on its own terms, since 2600 Pac-Man's speed is perfectly fine, there is no "rotation" in any version, just immediate snapping to the direction of motion, and no "curves", just a subtle snapping from one tunnel to the next when preemptively pressing toward your next turn.

 

Even if this mythical arcade movement existed in the 2600 version, we'd still be stuck with the completely wrong maze, wrong colors, insane flicker, and BONG BONG BONG sound effects.

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And don't forget, thanks to that game, we had numerous Pac-Man clones afterwards on VCS. Thanks to Pac-Man those companies/programmers learned from this game and took their efforts to the next level. eg Ms. Pac-Man, Alien, Cat Trax, Mouse Trap.

Pac-Man paved the way, a bit like Elvis

 

We wouldn't have needed those clones if the original was satisfying though.

 

The Beatles, Beach Boys, etc didn't get into recording because they thought Elvis sucked and they wanted to fix it, so not quite the same thing :)

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Exactly...Pac-Man never sucked (1/2 year number 1 in the US game charts).

 

Mind you, the Mods thought R&R sucked.

Edited by high voltage

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Not a good analogy, songs are covered (cloned, ported) all the time in the music industry.

 

ok then, if Pacman was a hit song, then the 2600 version is a cover sung by William Hung..

Edited by zzip
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I never thought the 2600 Pacman was that bad until I played Pacman 8k. Pacman 8k is gorgeous. Even Tod Fry was impressed by that game. Maybe Darrell Spice will do a Pacman 16 or 32k that will melt my mind. I'd love to see a panel with the homebrewers who keep on breaking new ground and the people who worked on these systems back 40 years ago.

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Like this? Removing the reflect register calls provided the minimum space needed to show all 4 directions. That was one of the space-saving techniques which did not work out I mentioned earlier.

http://atariage.com/forums/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_id=92720

 

It's amazing how much such little thing can totally change the feel of the game. Visually it looks so much more like the arcade, but I noticed that it highlights the other differences in more stark contrast and now the original sounds seem more out of place. I still love the design of the original vcs pacman, even if he can only face left and right... His eye and his 3 frames of mouth animation give him a lot of personality (I also get a kick out of how he does a little moonwalk, when he eats a ghost while traveling left)

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Pursuant to him asking about the source code, anyone else think it would be awesome if Tod re-tooled his Pac-Man game after all these years? Different maze, 4-way Pac animation maybe, etc. Yeah, we've all seen and played the various hacks and more recently, Dintar's exceptional arcade-like Pac-Man versions... BUT! There's still room for one more, isn't there?

No, really - I'm being serious here. Whatever tweaks or changes, but with *his* vision applied. Something he might have done a little differently, had there been more time and feedback given way back when.

Just dreaming aloud here, but can even see his new or tweaked cartridge being sold by him personally at these retro gaming shows, with an autograph and a little story behind the phenomenon and debacle we know as VCS Pac-Man and VCS Pac-Man 2017, 2018 or whatever year it would be released. :)

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I think it would be cool to see Tod get back into it with any project, new or old. :)

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Atari 2600 Pacman appeared in Cannonball Run 2 in a scene in which a guy tried to play it with a ruler. It also appeared in You Can't Do that on Television in one episode. The sounds of Pacman have been used in various movies and tv shows when people play unseen video games.

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The sounds of Pacman have been used in various movies and tv shows when people play unseen video games.

 

That always bugs me. A guy picks up an Xbox controller and the 2600 Pac-Man sounds start. Like they're afraid that if they use any other sounds, viewers won't realize the characters are playing a video game. It's the same thing with pinball. No matter how modern the machine in the scene is, the sounds are always bells and chimes like it's an EM machine from the 60's.

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That always bugs me. A guy picks up an Xbox controller and the 2600 Pac-Man sounds start. Like they're afraid that if they use any other sounds, viewers won't realize the characters are playing a video game. It's the same thing with pinball. No matter how modern the machine in the scene is, the sounds are always bells and chimes like it's an EM machine from the 60's.

 

You only notice foley art when it's bad.

 

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Pursuant to him asking about the source code, anyone else think it would be awesome if Tod re-tooled his Pac-Man game after all these years? Different maze, 4-way Pac animation maybe, etc. Yeah, we've all seen and played the various hacks and more recently, Dintar's exceptional arcade-like Pac-Man versions... BUT! There's still room for one more, isn't there?

 

No, really - I'm being serious here. Whatever tweaks or changes, but with *his* vision applied. Something he might have done a little differently, had there been more time and feedback given way back when.

 

Just dreaming aloud here, but can even see his new or tweaked cartridge being sold by him personally at these retro gaming shows, with an autograph and a little story behind the phenomenon and debacle we know as VCS Pac-Man and VCS Pac-Man 2017, 2018 or whatever year it would be released. :)

 

X2! It would be awesome to play, particularly so imo if Tod leverages the sounds and palette (yes blue/yellow and BW) of his original and adds new features he can fit in 8k. That would be more interesting than a port closer to the arcade because Atari pacman themes are cultural as per the observation of the sounds used in movies.

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I have a feeling that some people would have loved the game if Pac-Man was purple, burped fire, and was unmovable. You just sit in the center and burp fire at the ghosts as they flicker by.

 

Atari 2600 Fanatic: "To me, Atari 2600 Pac-Man with the purple unmoving fire-breathing Pac-Man is the real Pac-Man. When I finally saw the arcade version I was like 'WTF! Why does it have all of those dots? I came here for Pac-Man, not the Morse code game! Where is the fire breathing? Why is Pac-Man moving? Why is Pac-Man YELLOW!!! This is scaring me! I'm going back home to my Atari!'"

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A while back somebody made a hack of atari 2600 pacman without the ghosts along with several hacks of activision games to make them easy to win.

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Pursuant to him asking about the source code, anyone else think it would be awesome if Tod re-tooled his Pac-Man game after all these years? Different maze, 4-way Pac animation maybe, etc. Yeah, we've all seen and played the various hacks and more recently, Dintar's exceptional arcade-like Pac-Man versions... BUT! There's still room for one more, isn't there?

No, really - I'm being serious here. Whatever tweaks or changes, but with *his* vision applied. Something he might have done a little differently, had there been more time and feedback given way back when.

Just dreaming aloud here, but can even see his new or tweaked cartridge being sold by him personally at these retro gaming shows, with an autograph and a little story behind the phenomenon and debacle we know as VCS Pac-Man and VCS Pac-Man 2017, 2018 or whatever year it would be released. :)

I'd be more interested in him finishing off a certain Quest series. He mentioned about doing that at PRGE 2015 when he was hanging out at the AA booth.

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Maybe Darrell Spice will do a Pacman 16 or 32k that will melt my mind.

 

Thanks, but after seeing DINTAR816's masterpiece I don't see the need :)

 

I'd love to see a panel with the homebrewers who keep on breaking new ground and the people who worked on these systems back 40 years ago.

 

Are you free this weekend?

 

Atari Anniversary Series: Old Consoles Never Die

Speakers: Tim Lapetino, Howard Scott Warshaw, Darrell Spice Jr., John Champeau and Al Yarusso

Description: Part of our Atari 2600 Anniversary Panel Series, "The Art of Atari" author Tim Lapetino will moderate this panel exploring the continued appeal of writing new games for the Atari 2600 and other classic game consoles. Tim is joined by Howard Scott Warshaw, creator of two of the most iconic Atari games ever written: E.T. and Yar's Revenge. Also on hand are long-time homebrew game designers Darrell Spice Jr. and John Champeau whose games, many of which are published by AtariAge.com, push the boundaries of what was thought possible on the 2600 hardware. Al Yarusso, the owner of AtariAge, will round out the panel.

 

Join this conversation spanning 40 years of gaming history and you will leave with a better understanding of the foundation of the modern video game industry.

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It's pretty easy to roll the score in Pac-Man, I've done so many times - Yes, I played the hell out of that cartridge when I was younger. It's only 5 digits. 6 if you count the hundred-thousands digit which is not displayed (it's keeping track behind the curtain, tho).

 

Need a better definition of "Kill screen", however. There are certainly tricks that you can use to cause the game to behave in strange ways...such as going though walls or getting all 4 ghosts stuck in a tunnel indefinitely (for as long as the round lasts). But if you mean where the game just decides to end abruptly, that will happen when the attract mode timer counts up too high. Sort of like Berzerk's kill screen. In this game, however, this timer is reset to zero when moving the stick...so the only way to see it happen is if you get the ghosts stuck in the tunnel first, and just wait it out.

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Hi Kurt,

 

 

Dennis Debro commented nearly half of it. Don't know if he ever got around to finishing it. Odd thing, every site that had the file appears to be offline...but this is the most-recent file I had from him:

 

Attached is the latest I had though still not done. I haven't had a lot of time to devote to my hobby lately.

 

I'm not sure of the state of this file. It may not assemble because it is WIP.

PACMAN.ASM

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