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Pac-Man 4K (old vs new) clarification 2600

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To clear up the constant confusion of the homebrews of Pac-Man 4K for Atari 2600 (​assembly versions):

 

​They each are separate works of art and assembly magic.

​I see the "New Pacman (2016)" pictured in YouTube Videos and even the Flashback Portable box image, when the cartridge / game being talked about is "Pac-Man 4K (2008)".

 

​-"Pac-Man 4K (2008)" cartridge is sold in the AtariAge Store for $25. It was programmed by Dennis Debro in 2008 as a challenge to himself to see how arcade close a Pac-Man could be made in only 4K. The final binary is not posted in Dennis' thread - his final binary is on the AtariAge Store cartridge in NTSC, PAL50, & PAL60.

The entire blue maze has black wherever the white "dots" are drawn.

post-29575-0-44645400-1524332664.jpg

post-29575-0-01684000-1524337977_thumb.jpg

pacman4k_2008.bin

 

​+"New Pacman 4K (2015)" is DINTAR816's 1st assembly homebrew challenge to himself to get Pac-Man in 4K. It includes arcade-close sound - waka-waka eating sound, arcade-close music, cut scene animation with music, and more.

​The blue maze is solid on the left and right and center "monster pen", even where the beige "dots" are drawn, by using mid-line color changes.

post-29575-0-50438000-1524334342.png

Latest New Pacman 4K: Thread & Downloads Link

 

Graphic hack: Score Font, Seperated eaten Eyes: pacmak2600_4k_ntsc_DINTAR816_2016_gfx-hack.bin

 

Starpath Supercharger audio of above graphic hack:

theofficialpacman_superchargers.wav

 

 

 

 

+"New Pacman 8K (2018)" is the newest of DINTAR816's 2nd assembly homebrew that expands his Pac-Man 4K to more arcade-accurate gameplay. It includes a title screen introduction of the characters, arcade-close sound - waka-waka eating sound, arcade-close music, better cut scene animation with music, intelligent flicker where moster ghosts become solid, and more.

Latest (Oct. 11, 2018) has cornering speedup like the arcade!

“Left Difficulty A” makes the maze a darker blue. I like this best.

“Right Difficulty A” is Speedup making it faster at the start. I prefer the slower default because you notice the behavior of each monster is just like playing the arcade!

Latest New Pacman 8K: Thread post with latest download Link

 

post-29575-0-92618800-1524336146.jpg

 

Discussion (comments, suggestions, etc.) of DINTAR816s 8K version at: Thread & Downloads Link

Edited by iesposta
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This version of Pac-Man is amazing!

Is there any chance of a two player version on the horizon?

 

As far as I can tell the only two player version of Pac-Man is the original 1982 Tod Frye version, maybe I'm wrong?

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This version of Pac-Man is amazing!

Is there any chance of a two player version on the horizon?

 

As far as I can tell the only two player version of Pac-Man is the original 1982 Tod Frye version, maybe I'm wrong?

Here is the Author DINTAR816s thread to ask questions, suggestions, etc. Link

 

Make sure to try the Latest 8K version, now with cornering speed-up at my link above in the first post. His thread’s first page points to an old version 5.

 

I’ll link the new 8K version here also:

Latest New Pacman 8K: Thread post with latest download Link

Edited by iesposta

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​-"Pac-Man 4K (2008)" cartridge is sold in the AtariAge Store for $25. It was programmed by Dennis Debro in 2008 as a challenge to himself to see how arcade close a Pac-Man could be made in only 4K. The final binary is not posted in Dennis' thread - his final binary is on the AtariAge Store cartridge in NTSC, PAL50, & PAL60.

Thank you for this post. I have to admit to being somewhat confused by this all myself. I have a version of "Pac-Man 4K" marked 'FINAL' but it obviously isn't; the eyes on the ghosts are completely different shaped. I am not quite sure when or where I got it from but I feel as if I've had it in my Stella folder for a while. Now at least I can update my Harmony Cart with the most current ROM releases of each version.

 

Also of note, I really enjoy the Ms. Pac hack entitled "Pac-Man Arcade" (or "A Better Pac-Man" depending when/where you got it from). As great of technological marvels that the three homebrews are, "Pac-Man Arcade" really feels like a 1980s era Atari release. It is the version of Pac-Man that we really should have gotten the first time around.

 

 

.

Edited by SS
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Also of note, I really enjoy the Ms. Pac hack entitled "Pac-Man Arcade" (or "A Better Pac-Man" depending when/where you got it from). As great of technological marvels that the three homebrews are, "Pac-Man Arcade" really feels like a 1980s era Atari release. It is the version of Pac-Man that we really should have gotten the first time around.

 

Indeed.. because it is of course, 1980's developed VCS Ms. Pacman, with a facelift. I think Rob did that hack in what... in 1999? 19 years ago at this point? I remember there not even being an Atariage.com around then. :)

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Indeed.. because it is of course, 1980's developed VCS Ms. Pacman, with a facelift. I think Rob did that hack in what... in 1999? 19 years ago at this point? I remember there not even being an Atariage.com around then. :)

It's old enough that I bought my copy from Hozer! :o

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Speaking of hacks, I like “Ms Pac-Man black” that makes the blue background black like the arcade.

Just that one change makes it feel so much better.

 

The “New Pacman 4K” final is in DINTAR’s thread.

The one posted here is my edit to make the eyes like they are in the 8K version, along with a more arcade score font. I had suggested to not use the standard shaped numbers, but he already had made his own arcade-like font. So there are differences from the 8K score font in my “Graphic Hack New Pacman 4K”.

 

Some people only have a Supercharger, so that is the audio of my 4K hack.

Supercharger games can be 6K so if one would have been made, it would have more arcade-like enemy movement. That would fall between the challenge to get everything into Atari’s imposed limit of 4K and the available 8K technology that was already being used in Asteroids 2600.

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Just to be complete, you might want to mention the very first attempt to make a truer Pac-Man port. I may have the details wrong and please correct me if I am, but Ebivision made a test version for one of the conventions. It wasn't complete, but playable and much better than the original Atari version. As I understand, he got spooked about possible C&D letters, so decided to put just enough a twist on it to make it different... that turned out to be Pesco.

 

I think the ROM from Ebivision is still floating around someplace, but the code was not re-used for any of the other versions of Pac-Man out there.

Edited by MissCommand

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Just to be complete, you might want to mention the very first attempt to make a truer Pac-Man port. I may have the details wrong and please correct me if I am, but Ebivision made a test version for one of the conventions. It wasn't complete, but playable and much better than the original Atari version. As I understand, he got spooked about possible C&D letters, so decided to put just enough a twist on it to make it different... that turned out to be Pesco.

 

I think the ROM from Ebivision is still floating around someplace, but the code was not re-used for any of the other versions of Pac-Man out there.

The ebivision Pac-Man got hacked into Hack 'Em and Ms. Hack 'Em, so in a way, the code was reused.

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The ebivision Pac-Man got hacked into Hack 'Em and Ms. Hack 'Em, so in a way, the code was reused.

 

Yes, you are right. I checked the original thread and Nukey Shay does mention using Ebivision Pac-Man as the basis for his Hack'Em series.

 

And the "convention" I mentioned above was the 1999 Classic Gaming Expo.

Edited by MissCommand

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* The hack based on Pesco was abandoned

 

I could allocate memory to track a 4th beastie, and even allow the logic loops to handle a 4th...but it would just wander around invisibly since its flicker code was/still is completely foreign to me.

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* The hack based on Pesco was abandoned

 

I could allocate memory to track a 4th beastie, and even allow the logic loops to handle a 4th...but it would just wander around invisibly since its flicker code was/still is completely foreign to me.

Do you mean hacking Pesco into 4K Pac-Man, or that Hack’em doesn’t use any Pesco code?

 

If the former, limiting to 4K a Pac-Man hacked from Pesco doesn’t make sense because Hack’em benefited from bankswitching and we really love the versions and Hangly Man.

 

I hope that doesnt mean Hack’em wasn’t a hacked Pesco?

Edited by iesposta

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It isn't a hacked Pesco. It's a hacked Ebivision Pac-Man (just as the posts above say). I just wanted to state it myself in this thread in case somebody points at this:

http://atariage.com/hack_page.php?SystemID=2600&SoftwareHackID=294

 

Not only does the software page here mention the wrong game as the basis, it's also not the latest version (because I continued to make changes even after those pages were no longer updated).

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16k, dated 10/4/2006, post 415 in the development thread

 

Direct link:

http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_id=61452

 

Development pretty much over at that point (once Debro started doing his homebrew, and especially later when Dintar816 revealed his homebrew).

No way to compete with either of those.

Edited by Nukey Shay
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Thanks Nukey. :thumbsup:

 

Ditto that. I stopped at 9/22/06 release being the latest.

A lot more work went in after that.

 

 

9/24/06: Variable monster speed...

- I used the last 2 free bits of ram (2 & 3 in HiScore+2) to add a new variable that

counts by 3 frames. When the first 4 levels are played AND the long timer is low,

the monster movements are skipped 1 of 3 frames checked AGAINST the regular frame

counter. This solves the problem of inconsistant monster speeds caused by trying

slowdown effects with the existing 4/4 frame count routines :) This could also

be slowed down again...but 2/3 against 15hz (blue monster in tunnel) is way too

slow IMO. Unlike the arcade game, the player is unaffected (because I found it to

handle too sluggishly using the slowdown). The sprite collision loop is seperate

from the movement routines...so collisions might be slightly better while the

slowdown is active. Search for the "All_movement" label to see where this was

added.

- More gibberish added to the power-up routine, which displays a screen full of the

game sprites at various positions before switching to the grid display.

- I eliminated the redundant button press routine (that deals with level continue),

the original routine in the display bank handles both instances.

 

9/25/06: Making flippy-floppy...

- 2 more bankswitches added to the front of the display. This picks up nearly 300

spare bytes (223 from the top of the display kernal, and another 69 by cutting

the duplicate digit/paused bitmaps). This only "cost" an additional 5 cycles,

which took the place of 5 that were being wasted when repositioning the score

display sprites.

 

9/29/06: Ticking away...

- Energizer order altered in the blink routine (to share it's tables better).

- Reorganized maze gfx to occupy new unused areas, in order to get rid of the digit

lookup table (and then expanded digit gfx to use 8 bytes each...although the 3

trailing bytes are unused). This saves a bit of time, since it now only needs the

accumulator to calculate the bitmap offsets...leaving the Y register uncorrupted

(saving 5 x 9 cycles in the worst-case score display scenario). Hopefully, this

change is enough to kill the jitter due to the (possible?) CuttleCart timing lag.

 

9/30/06: Filling up space...

- Character name table expanded. Now the first 2 characters can be unique for each

monster (in the regular game). Also, the "C" character for "Micky" in Hanglyman

is no longer stretched, and names are preceded by periods rather than dashes.

- Branch used for new "medium" monster speed moved before the loop (so it only needs

to be calculated once per frame rather than 4 times). The drawback is that the

monster eyes will also slow down while this is in effect...but it's not really a

big deal, because this slowdown only happens on the first 4 levels. I may move it

back if no timing jitters reported on the CuttleCart front (the original location

is just commented out).

- Although timing is really tight on monster-positioning lines, there is enough time

to add an additional ASL instruction after the color is loaded (which is then

AND'ed with the frame counter, and the result used to set the reflect register.

This additional ASL means I was able to use bit0 for this instead of bit1...and

a greater range of colors is available for NON-animated sprites (like the fruit

objects). Fruit colors altered...points sprites brightened.

NOTE: Bit0 used to be used to set a common bit for all lethal monsters. This is

no longer needed, because a lethal monster is always given a color value of 2

(and the multiplex routine then loads the correct value).

- The new 1/3 counter was indirectly causing problems with the "random" movements,

because it's value was not consistant from game to game (since it's used to tell

the program when NOT to move a monster, the game would use 1 of 3 patterns based

on that! Clearing the counter when exiting attract mode (and when pressing the

button to begin a board) corrected the problem.

 

10/01/06: ...and scraping up time...

- Trying to discover new INTIM limits for "worst cases". I'd confirmed that there's

a lot of free time in the program area now...no jitters w/6 WSYNC's added even

when all 4 monsters are fast-moving eyes. So, I went to work on the multiplex.

Matching the center sprite flash with the energizer blink picks up some, and

getting rid of the small setup loop gathers much more (so that the playfield GFX

was cleared 1.5 lines too soon). I moved these lines down to happen a bit later

to at least finish the current line (so the lower maze border is back to being

only 1 scanline). I will fix if I can find something consistant to place before

it. Savings from the matching center sprite flash might possibly be enough to fix

the CuttleCart "GO" message jitter though (since that was a worst case, and it

sounds as though it only happened while this message was onscreen).

 

10/02/06: I walk the line...

- A correction for the above. Rather than clear the playfield gfx ram (9 cycles), I

just cleared the color register (3 cycles)...then moved that instruction to hit

just prior to the bankswitch to the multiplex macro. A consistant 2 scanlines on

the bottom during active games, but it did skew a bit when the center object is

onscreen at the start of a demo game. So the demo mode branch was also moved to

the top of the Show_Addl_Sprites label, which corrected the time difference :)

Since the playfield gfx isn't cleared by this routine now, I just moved those

instructions to the program area which has more than enough time to burn.

 

10/03/06: PAL woes...

- The above change caused an extra scanline to appear intermittantly during regular

play in the PAL (312 scanline) build. Bugfixed...but the screen will appear at

a lower position now. Some BIT instructions which were used as small jumps have

also been replaced (to make timing a bit more consistant...except where it WAS

used to provide matched timing). Dunno much about PAL (read: too lazy to learn

about that too), so I'm crossing my fingers and toes here.

 

10/04/06: 7800-iffy

- Attempting to get rid of random dots above leftmost monsters. The STY GRP0 line

in Ind7c has been moved 2 lines up. This MIGHT reintroduce phantom dots for the

7800 tho...feedback needed. Original line left in place and commented out in case

it does.

- Moved the low-level slowdown effect, so that eyes are not affected. This saves 3

bytes...and the program appears to be doing well for cycle time.

 

 

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