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Tidus79001

Tengen Gauntlet on the Atari 7800 Pro System

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Lynxpro said:

 

It's a bit more than that. I can't remember if it was a single, Dual, or Quad POKEY in the Gauntlet arcade games. They also had the YM2151 and the TI Speech Synthesis Chip but they also had a 6502 dedicated to managing the audio chips and the coin slot while the 68010 was the main CPU. 

Single POKEY and YM2151 only plus speech.  we can use Atarivox here.

Edited by Synthpopalooza
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13 hours ago, Synthpopalooza said:

Single POKEY and YM2151 only plus speech.  we can use Atarivox here.

 

From what I've heard, the AtariVox sounds like a Votrax and nothing similar to the clear speech synthesis of the TI chips. You'd be better off sampling the speech and having the TIA play it back but it would cost RAM and also CPU overhead. But the AtariVox would take up the 2nd Joystick Port and unless one was going for a conversion of NES Gauntlet, that wouldn't be very fun. 

 

Now if someone came up with a way to move the AtariVox over to the Expansion Port, or figured out a way to connect multiple joysticks to the Expansion Port, then you'd have a whole new ballgame. Since the Expansion Port was designed to control an external Laser Disc Player - like how they were also done on computers via RS232 - I've thought the basic joystick I/O would be doable much like the 2-Joystick Parallel Port Adapters that were available back in the day for the Atari ST and the Amiga... in order to play games like Gauntlet II [and Leatherneck]. Others have said that still wasn't possible, just like with the 5200's allegedly weak Expansion Port. Lately I've questioned that after seeing a major diagram over in one of the Atari 8-bit groups on Facebook that claimed the 5200 Expansion port could handle RAM, an ANTIC, POKEYs, a PIA, and other things generally thought to be impossible...

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No and no.  The 5200 expansion port is completely different and yes, you can easily add an external POKEY to it, RAM is pretty limited, due to the address window you can "touch".

 

The 7800 expansion port is literally a raw level video input, and from the looks of it, designed for an external MARIA in that regard.  There is no real connection to the CPU, so unlike the 5200, you can't set address and data lines or observe a read/write signal (which along with a clock signal, that is also present, is enough for a external chips with a small address window (like a POKEY for instance).

 

 

reface-1622425642743-86.GIF

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3 hours ago, Lynxpro said:

Now if someone came up with a way to move the AtariVox over to the Expansion Port, or figured out a way to connect multiple joysticks to the Expansion Port, then you'd have a whole new ballgame.

Quadtari, perhaps?

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On 6/4/2021 at 2:56 AM, electronicsibley said:

Quadtari, perhaps?

Quadtari doesn't support multiple fire buttons.  You'd need something like the MultiJoy on the A8's. Supposedly, it can do multiple fire buttons and it certainly can do more than the Quadtari. Its supporters claim it'll also work with the 7800's RIOT just as it does with the A8's POKEY. Of course, they also said that the 5200 is missing some of the A8's internals [much like lacking native light pen/light gun capabilities] so the MultiJoy allegedly won't work it with that console.

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On 6/4/2021 at 12:39 AM, CPUWIZ said:

No and no.  The 5200 expansion port is completely different and yes, you can easily add an external POKEY to it, RAM is pretty limited, due to the address window you can "touch".

 

 

And how much - or how little - RAM would you speculate could be touched via the 5200's expansion port? Getting it anywhere closer to 64K for the system would finally allow more A8 titles to be ported to it. I'm amazed at the apprehension of folks to advocate for an internal expansion board considering how popular it is to AV mod it [that goes for the 7800 as well, come to think of it... the great external vs. internal expansion methods].

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On 4/6/2021 at 12:13 AM, Tidus79001 said:

Just wanted to hear from people who have programmed for the Atari 7800 as to their opinion if the system would be as capable of handling the game as well as did the NES.  The closest thing we have is Dark Chamber's and the is the poor mans version of Gauntlet by far.  Also the Sega Master system did version that is very faithful to arcade.  Just curious how Atari's own 7800 could have fared given proper resources for a Gauntlet title.

Not a 7800 expert myself, not even sure of the exact specs from memory but the best looking 8 bit chunky pixel mode Gauntlet conversion I have seen is for the Amstrad CPC models (160x200 resolution with any 16 colours in any combination anywhere on screen from a palette of 27 colours). If you add hardware sprites and hardware scrolling and rework the graphics to some C64 improved sprites and character graphics I was working on you get an idea of what it could have been like, between Gauntlet 1 on C64 and CPC (basically the positive points of both conversions in one game....the Amstrad Z80 struggles with the 16k video RAM size). I don't seem to have Dark Chambers for my 7800 any more so a bit screwed looking at ebay prices as Gauntlet type games are one of my fav genres! Hell I was going to do an Amiga 1200 port of Gauntlet in the mid 90s with the help of the author of Multi Gauntlet Emulator DOS arcade emulator as he disassembled the 68k code and worked out the graphic layout in the ROMs.

 

It doesn't look like the 7800 multicolor sprites of Popeye have to accommodate the stupid fixed 2/3 color for every sprite the C64 has to put up with which helps a lot,

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4 hours ago, Lynxpro said:

 

And how much - or how little - RAM would you speculate could be touched via the 5200's expansion port? Getting it anywhere closer to 64K for the system would finally allow more A8 titles to be ported to it. I'm amazed at the apprehension of folks to advocate for an internal expansion board considering how popular it is to AV mod it [that goes for the 7800 as well, come to think of it... the great external vs. internal expansion methods].

 

It was something stupid like 1K or smaller, last time I did the back of the envelope calculation.  Internal mods for both are pretty easy to make, but not to install.  And installing something like that, requires a bit more skill than attaching a couple of wires for an AV mod.

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17 hours ago, CPUWIZ said:

 

It was something stupid like 1K or smaller, last time I did the back of the envelope calculation.  Internal mods for both are pretty easy to make, but not to install.  And installing something like that, requires a bit more skill than attaching a couple of wires for an AV mod.

 

Well, that sucks. I guess the external POKEY could've been used in whatever musical keyboard they were planning for using that Port. I'll leave the talk about internal PCBs for the 5200 threads...

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On 6/30/2021 at 1:41 AM, Lynxpro said:

Quadtari doesn't support multiple fire buttons.

Just assign "use potion" to one of the buttons on the console itself? :)

It's not super important which player uses the potion, is it?

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1 hour ago, Asaki said:

Just assign "use potion" to one of the buttons on the console itself? :)

It's not super important which player uses the potion, is it?

Each character uses the potion differently. It's more effective for the Wizard compared to the Valkyrie and the Warrior. 

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On 6/4/2021 at 2:25 AM, Lynxpro said:

 

From what I've heard, the AtariVox sounds like a Votrax and nothing similar to the clear speech synthesis of the TI chips. You'd be better off sampling the speech and having the TIA play it back but it would cost RAM and also CPU overhead. But the AtariVox would take up the 2nd Joystick Port and unless one was going for a conversion of NES Gauntlet, that wouldn't be very fun. 

 

Now if someone came up with a way to move the AtariVox over to the Expansion Port, or figured out a way to connect multiple joysticks to the Expansion Port, then you'd have a whole new ballgame. Since the Expansion Port was designed to control an external Laser Disc Player - like how they were also done on computers via RS232 - I've thought the basic joystick I/O would be doable much like the 2-Joystick Parallel Port Adapters that were available back in the day for the Atari ST and the Amiga... in order to play games like Gauntlet II [and Leatherneck]. Others have said that still wasn't possible, just like with the 5200's allegedly weak Expansion Port. Lately I've questioned that after seeing a major diagram over in one of the Atari 8-bit groups on Facebook that claimed the 5200 Expansion port could handle RAM, an ANTIC, POKEYs, a PIA, and other things generally thought to be impossible...

Personally I love the NES version of Gauntlet, the music, graphics and sounds are amazing.  Love the whole quest to find the correct path to the vault and all the power ups for each of the characters.  The only think that would have been better is 4 players, but for what Tengen managed to achieve on the NES really does an admirable job of recreating the arcade experience on a home console and expanding upon it.  Ideally if I could have any very of Gauntlet on the Atari 7800 it would be Tengen's NES version, but have 4 player support and the character voices that were absent from it.

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Posted (edited)
On 11/6/2018 at 8:57 AM, Tidus79001 said:

I would love to see the Atari 7800 tackle this with Pokey once the 7800 XM is completed. I actually prefer some elements of this release over the arcade version. It was a bit disappointing that the NES got Atari arcade titles while the 7800 was being starved for games. Yes, I know that that Atari Corporation, and Atari Games were separate companies, but you would have thought that considering their shared history, and mutual dislike of Nintendo's anti competitive & monopolistic business practices that Atari Corporation, and Atari Games would have banded together against Nintendo. Oh well, a guy can always dream of what it could have been like :)

Are you sure it would need a POKEY?

 

https://javatari.org/?cart=https://atariage.com/forums/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=855334

 

gauntlet.bin

Edited by RushJet1
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Wow.. that sounds great!  Making the TIA sing like that is a wonderful skill.  Thank you for sharing that!

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On 7/4/2021 at 8:21 AM, Tidus79001 said:

Personally I love the NES version of Gauntlet, the music, graphics and sounds are amazing.  Love the whole quest to find the correct path to the vault and all the power ups for each of the characters.  The only think that would have been better is 4 players, but for what Tengen managed to achieve on the NES really does an admirable job of recreating the arcade experience on a home console and expanding upon it.  Ideally if I could have any very of Gauntlet on the Atari 7800 it would be Tengen's NES version, but have 4 player support and the character voices that were absent from it.

 

Then you should try Tengen's Gauntlet IV for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. They used the arcade source code for the main game but they also included a "Quest Mode" game similar to the NES version but with the arcade-esque graphics.

 

I really wish Atari Corp would've arranged for Atari Games/Tengen to port Gauntlet IV to the Jaguar and had that as the console's pack-in. But alas, Atari Corp and Atari Games were feuding over royalty payments at the time which is why the Jag only received a couple of Atari Games/Tengen/Time Warner Interactive titles during its commercial lifespan [as opposed to the Lynx which had so damn many Atari Games titles on it]. Once Time Warner forced both of the parties to settle and get Atari Games/Tengen developing for the Jag/Co-Jag, it was already too late.

Edited by Lynxpro
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On 7/5/2021 at 12:45 AM, RushJet1 said:

 

As impressive as that is, the TIA is only 2-channel. The arcade original had POKEY, the YM2151, the TI speech synthesis chip, and a 6502 to boss all of those audio chips around and control the coin slot while the 68010 and the graphics chips did practically everything else.

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On 6/30/2021 at 3:37 AM, CPUWIZ said:

 

It was something stupid like 1K or smaller, last time I did the back of the envelope calculation.  Internal mods for both are pretty easy to make, but not to install.  And installing something like that, requires a bit more skill than attaching a couple of wires for an AV mod.

 

It's the wrong forum but Curt really wanted to do a board for the 5200 that would plug into the ANTIC socket and add 64K+ of RAM and a PIA for SIO support. But he was still working on the XM prior to his untimely passing so he only shared that rough idea with others.

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