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root42

New Harmony user: any advice, hints…?

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I am waiting for my shipment, but at least it already arrived in Germany. Hope that customs wont hold it too long.

 

I got my 2600 from a goodwill auction for 40 including about a dozen games and a couple of (slightly broken) joysticks. I did a composite mod and replaced the clickers in the joysticks.

 

I played a bunch of games already, but want to have the Harmony for the Homebrew titles, especially Donkey Kong. Any other stuff I should definitely try out or do?

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One thing is to organize your roms. There's plenty of ways to do it and it will make things much easier when you go to play a specific game. Also try not to add duplicate roms or a bunch of versions of the same homebrew. It will just clutter things up. There's a tool that works with your computer to alphabetically arrange your roms on the SD card. It's the only way to do it that I know of, unless something has changed in the past year. I've had my Encore for quite a while now and I'm still refining my rom set. Just don't wear yourself out. Add a few games at a time and just enjoy playing them. If you go overboard and add every game ever created, you'll spend all your time looking for something you want to play, instead of playing. Also, if you don't have a savekey, get one. Quite a few homebrews use them to save your score and some even save your game progress. Just remember to have fun!

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If you have not already get ROM HUNTERS complete archive ROM set for 2600 - read description at link, download and extract to root of you SD card.

 

http://www.atarimania.com/rom_collection_archive_atari_2600_roms.html

 

To clarify, lately the archive is a RAR file. WinRAR handles it just fine, Inside there are a couple different folders. I prefer to extract only the one called "HC" (Harmony Cart) to my SD card. THAT folder, in turn, has basically every commercially-released 2600 ROM arranged in both alphabetical order by title, plus another set of copies arranged by publisher. So for instance, YARS' REVENGE is found in both the "Atari - Sears" folder under company names, and again with all the other "Y" titles in the alphabetical folders. Incredibly handy and well-organized!

 

In addition, the collection has NTSC versions of many games which were originally released as PAL-only, plus PAL copies of many games originally released as NTSC only.

 

All in all, it's simply the best - and best-organized! - collection of 2600 titles out you're going to find in one place.

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plus another set of copies arranged by publisher

Yes this is the set I downloaded and I have my ROMs arranged by publisher on my Harmony. I would recommend downloading this set.

 

Are there homebrews that come pre-loaded on the Harmony? It's been years since I bought mine and I thought it came with Juno First and a couple of others.

 

Also if you poke around the forums, there are some homebrew ROMs out there. I think the final versions of Scramble and Super Cobra were uploaded by Champ Games.

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Thanks, I will try it out! Right now I have to check if I need to change my Harmony firmware. Got the cart now, version 1.06. I think that's the latest. But I THINK it might be NTSC, since it looks very weird on my TV...

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I would advise;

Definitely organize your files. It's a daunting task, but for me its become a hobby of sorts. I started with three custom directories. Favorites, Arcade Games, Sports. Then separated it by pal/NTSC, Hack/Homebrew...etcetc...
Just don't, like get obsessed about it. :P

Also, sometimes the file you are trying to run doesn't work and you're like..."WTF"? Just seek out a different version. I damn near cried when Bump N Jump didn't run. Then I found a different file here @ AA and it runs like a charm.


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I downloaded the ROM HUNTERS archive which is nicely organized. In parallel I added a Demos and Homebrew folder. Those ROMs are so few that for now I can just dump them in there.

 

For the wife I also put Donkey Kong VCS on the top level, because that's her favorite game, and the reason I bought the Harmony in the first place. ;)

 

One thing that buggers me is that the font is barely readable on my TV. The highlighted line is ok, but the rest of the menu looks very fuzzy. I think my composite mod might not be optimal.

 

I will hook up the VCS to my capture setup and record some examples in the coming days. Other than that I am absolutely happy and the games and demos are awesome. Although I have about a dozen real carts, the Harmony makes everything quite a breeze. Plus the homebrew games really rock.

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