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Tursi

Dragon's Lair is sold out!

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Really? Wow, how did you get the TI to recognize such a big cartridge?

 

Bad language. ;)

 

We've done up to 2MB by using a simple banking scheme - think NES mapper chips. This is just an extension of that same scheme using programmable logic.

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Received mine a couple days ago, but just had no time to do it justice until today. Finally unboxed and played for a couple hours. Just amazing. So much more so when you've got it in your hands.

 

Here's a link to my unboxing and first playthrough earlier this evening: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/399145072

 

Hah! Thanks for the link, it's fun to watch others try it out. Agreed that practice mode probably isn't the best for first video, since it shows off the whole sequence and no deaths. ;)

 

The mode differences are:

- Practice mode: you can not die. Game will pause if you miss your input. (If you get the input beep, you were in time. If it's quiet, you were late ;) ). In some scenes, like the elevator drop, you don't get the option of skipping certain moves for more points. No score awarded anyway.

- Easy mode: wrong direction inputs are ignored (however, because the joystick read takes time, a bad input can sometimes cost your only chance to enter the right input, so you can't just roll the stick). Initial scene score is not awarded, but move scores are.

- Hard mode: all inputs are registered normally, for better or for worse. Full score is available.

 

Hints are legal in all modes and won't affect your score.

 

Not sure if you noticed, but the spare cartridge labels also include the newer style labels, a separate sheet under the black labels there. At least, it's supposed to. ;) Main reason for a spare black label is they gave me extra and it was easier to cut it that way.

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Figured, too, it was time to give an update here. So far I've built and shipped up to order 69. Unfortunately, I ran into a lot of bad flash chips in the order I got last year - more than 35% won't program for me. This means, basically, I have about 5 blank flash chips left.

 

To try and address this issue, several weeks ago I changed the layout of the PCB and ordered a bunch of pre-manufactured boards. This was a panic reaction and was not as well thought out as it should have been... although I had built a prototype I had only partially tested it, and I ran into a few issues bringing the boards up, which I tried to resolve while getting the last few hand-built boards out. (Part of the panic reaction, of course, was failing to realize that if I could order boards pre-built, I could /just/ order flash chips too... But this does save my assembly time.)

 

The good news is that I think that all the issues are resolved. I have programming software that appears to work, I resolved the issues with the board acting oddly, and I worked around a dumb hardware bug I built on it (the first 128k is write protected. Not a big deal on the final cart but a bit of a problem when you need to program it!! I changed the layout of the code to deal with that, and finished testing that tonight.) The last test is just waiting for me to pick up some new compact flash cards tomorrow, and start burning again.

 

I'm down to the wire in terms of the license, which expires at the end of this month. Because I don't want to violate the terms of the license, and because frankly I'm ready to move on to something new, I'm going to run into the last phase here. Assuming programming works 100% tomorrow night, I'm going to call in /all/ remaining orders, so we can resolve them before the end of the month. I've got a lot of boards, so I will probably be able to make a few extras for people -- but I do NOT have extra boxes or cartridge shells, so any extras will be PCB only (and priced accordingly, watch this space).

 

I'll close down all order requests on March 29th and focus solely on fulfilling the ones I have. I've been pretty quick so far because I've been invoicing after I have built the carts, but since there are currently a good 70 orders pending, you can expect it to take a little longer to fulfill. I'll continue to record as batches go out, so people can track progress.

 

Anyway, don't do anything till I update tomorrow night. Hoping for good news! :)

Edited by Tursi
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You have done a fantastic job here Mike. The results of your package and cart see BETTER than anything than what a commercial software house would have put out. The TI community is damn lucky to have you.

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Well, it mentions the TI-99/4A but shows a photo of the earlier 99/4 (no A). I'd change that.

 

That's because the Wikipedia entry for the TI-99/4a shows that image.

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Hah! Thanks for the link, it's fun to watch others try it out. Agreed that practice mode probably isn't the best for first video, since it shows off the whole sequence and no deaths. ;)

 

Yeah, I actually muddled about with Easy mode for about an hour prior and a half hour after the Practice Mode run, but having very little Dragon's Lair experience (never really had an arcade anywhere near me, in my youth, and only ever dabbled briefly in this or that port), I cut the highlight video linked down to just the unboxing and Practice run for concision's sake.

 

Thanks for the details on the modes, and for the game itself, of course! I look forward to finally beating a Dragon's Lair. And more importantly, an arcade style Dragon's Lair, rather than one of the platformers.

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Depending on if you can get the problem solved, and how much the extra PCB boards are, I might be able to convince my boyfriend to buy one from you, Tursi. Let us know how much it'll be.

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Excitement so thick... you can cut it with a knife..

 

Technology high on the leading edge of life...

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Sorry for running late... the programming is working. It's slow, though not much slower than building by hand was.

 

Bedtime now - I'll update after I sleep. But looks like we'll be going ahead with it!

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I see you can buy Dragon's Lair 1-3 for Nintendo Switch for $20. I just paid twice that amount in customs for the TI version. :)

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I see you can buy Dragon's Lair 1-3 for Nintendo Switch for $20. I just paid twice that amount in customs for the TI version.

 

The Switch is 2017 technology. This TI 99/4A cartridge is bleeding edge 2019 tech. Can't really blame Nintendo if they simply can't keep up with the heady, futuristic world of TI, and command the according next gen prices.

 

I'm picturing an illustration of the console wars with Sonic and Mario in fierce combat, while somebody drops a PEB on both of their heads.

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Is it possible to still place an order for this? I'm not new to TI, but just getting back into my first love and new to the forums here. I would love to order one of these!

Edited by patrickmcmichael

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Is it possible to still place an order for this? I'm not new to TI, but just getting back into my first love and new to the forums here. I would love to order one of these!

Send tursi a private message

 

Sent from my LG-H872 using Tapatalk

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(I really expected to know sooner - I'm still proving out the new carts. I wrote five today and they were all less than 100%, but I found one reason maybe why...)

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Today was a fairly nerve-wracking day as I accidentally discovered that the new carts, which seemed fine, had problems on QI motherboards. However, I finally found two good reasons why, and now have 100% validation on both original and QI consoles. With that, I'll go ahead with the promised invoicing, but I'll make a separate post here so we can link back to it as needed.

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Thank you and trust me building things myself I know how things look like they should be going smoothly and then you run into huge bottlenecks... I appreciate your vigilance on this. respectfully glen planamento Glen's retro show on YouTube

Edited by Glen's Retro Show

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