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Brad_from_the_80s

Atari Flashback X Custom Firmware for USB roms and boxart

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OK, ordered the Y-splitter from your link, inexpensive and easy.

 

If I understand correctly, I can download a firmware updater, and manage to install it through powering up the unit from a more or less normal USB to Micro USB charging cable to my computer, easy-peasy. Then once the firmware has been updated, just use the Y-Splitter to both plug in the unit and plug in a USB thumb drive with all the extras on it.

 

That's very doable. I was afraid that when they removed the SD slot, it was going to require physically soldering in a port or something, and I'll be honest, that worried me. Not my skill set.

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11 hours ago, Batchman said:

OK, what you all have managed to do here is mega-cool. I can see I'll be investing in a X Deluxe whenever I find one at a good price in my area!

 

With the Deluxe, how involved is the process of getting to be able to update, add thumb drives, and so on? While I was once into hardware enough to wire external hard drives into an iMac, these days I am completely clueless, and I have no access to things like Linux, so I'm just trying to get an idea of how difficult it is going to be.

 

But may I then say, I am very interested in all forms of joystick + 1 button games, whether they be other consoles or arcade or whatever ... so personally, I'm hoping they're all in Nexus! This has been a really cool thread to read through over the past couple/three hours!

I have a new unit coming in the mail now. I'll make a how to video.

Pretty sure you just need the otg adapter and a flashdrive. I dont even think you need to press reset or flash official firmware at all anymore. Thats just for the older units. I think. Which, to be fair, was a huge PITA for some.

1st thing I need to know is what firmware version your unit has currently.

Edited by Draxxon

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Hi Draxxon,

 

There are some suggestions for Atari800 content coming in over in the thread where I asked about favorites.  There are some I remember and some I never played.  Here are  some I tested tonight and fully approve, but they have some special considerations.  Bacterion!  is a pretty good game from a magazine - similar to the Planetary Defense title already in there, so no art.  It hung on me once, but then I played all the way through a long game with no issues.  Since it is a magazine game I think it may be a bug in the original code.

 

The other three are Home Brew/Hacks.  Those are really excellent Moon Patrol and Bosconian versions!  Popeye looks great too.  Albert and Bosconian are Pal, so need the lines below in the retroplayer.ini.  Bosconian - there was a 128K NTSC version, but I think (?) it will not run in our emulator which is configured as 800XL 64K (what a real Atari 800XL had, I think).  For whatever technical reason they could fit the PAL one in 64K.    

 

[Albert.xex]
atari800_ntscpal=PAL

[bosco64pal.xex]
atari800_ntscpal=PAL

 

There are many more suggestions, but I am waiting to see if anyone else chimes in (and when I have some time) to start testing through them.

 

Oh yeah, I experimented a little more with BASIC programs, and now I realize this:  If you add the ataribas.rom as your cartridge, then just "Run Atari Program" and pick a .BAS file, then it will run.  So I also attached a couple more BASIC programs for your folder.  I will try to find some more of those from old threads and so on.

PopeyeHackFinalNoReally.xex Albert.xex Bacterion!.xex bosco64pal.xex MoonPatrolReduxV4.xex Acrobat.bas StuntClown.bas

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OK, this Home Brew game (AtariBlast!) blew me away.  I'm hoping (not sure) this can be made to load through the menus.  However, for now you can put it on your drive - enter the A800 emulator UI and select it as your cart, then do a warm reset and it seems to run OK.  Amazing!  BTW, I am shocked this 1MB cartridge will run, but apparently it is a "banked cartridge" that loads in chunks?

atariblast.car

 

I wonder if anyone ever created box art for it?

Edited by rocketfan
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I'm busy with Baby's 1st birthday this weekend. 
As soon as I get time, I'll get everything added to the pack.

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Ok, got a bit of free time.

AtariBlast.car

 

AtariBlast.car in the main menu tries to load (you can see the 2600 difficulty switch settings pop up. It black screens, but it doesnt get stuck on the black screen, you can exit with the menu button. The OSK will NOT appear, and rewind actually rewinds. (I'm guessing Gen+GX is trying to load it??)

 

if you change the extension to .xex, it still does NOT load from the main menu. It gets stuck in the deadly black screen of death.

Edited by Draxxon

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2 hours ago, Velvis said:

Have the 800 versions of Miner 2049er and Bounty Bob been added yet?

Its on the top of my list. I haven't forgotten you bud. i was busy with the capture card and making promo vids and family stuff.

 

Edit: Velvis, here they are, drop it on the flash drive and copy over the ini file.

i didnt have time to test them. so, i guess you are our official tester now :) 

rom_a800.rar

 

 

Is is really not too hard to add new games. Ill make a how to video, one day.

Edited by Draxxon

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drop the correct extension rom in the correct folder. you dont have to make art if you dont want to, but it will be blank.

just copy the format of the other games art. same size, same naming conventions.

 

Here are the steps...

HB_Game.a26 goes in /rom_hb

Large art is 183x255 and is named HB_Game.a26.png

small art is 122x170 and is named HB_Game.a26.s.png

the art goes in the same /rom_hb folder with the game

also in the folder is a file called all-games.ini

open it and edit it with notepad. create an entry for the new game.

to do that easily just copy and paste another entry and just edit the key parts.

[Homebrew Game]                                   The games display name in the main menu
File=/rom/DigDug.xex                              points to the rom file (its always File=/rom/ no matter what folder you are in. In this case it is NOT File=/rom_hb/
Platform=Atari                                         you can type anything in here, this system doesnt use or show it. 
Sort=Dig Dug                                          this is the name it uses to put the game into alphabetical (or any tyoe of order, ex Sort=1, Sort=2, etc.)
Year=2021                                              again, anything can go here. not used
Genre=paddle                                       can be left blank or "=atari" or "=paddle" or both (Genre=atari, paddle) It sorts games in the main menu.
Description=                                           fill it in if you want to, i dont. I hate to.
Note= \                                                  special note you can add if you want to your game description.


and your done. now do that 1600 times. :) 

 

those words are in bold to show you just the key things that need changed from a copy paste to get your game running. Clearly dont make them bold when you do it. Seriously all you NEED to change is the rom name, but if you change those 4 key things, your games will be entered well enough to work with the rest of this pack. If a name of a file is wrong and doesnt match the others, it wont show up/work. (Platform= and Year= are ways to sort roms that this unit doesnt implement. Did the Sega Flashback use them, maybe?)

 

 

Edited by Draxxon

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Hi Draxxon,

 

More updates.  Here is a new runcommand script update for /emulator.  This adds .car and .bas for a800.  (so now .xex, .car, .atr, .bas all map to a800).

 

I think you have to leave the .car extension (or .atr, or .xex) alone so the emulator knows how to process them - they are all pretty different formats.

 

I am learning - the emulator must "auto-load" the BASIC cartridge when it recognizes a .bas extension (which makes sense) so all you really have to do is point at a .bas and it can be loaded like any other game, even direct through the menu.  I have some games to go through and when I find a few good BASIC games I will share them, but I'm not sure how "popular" those are going to be.

 

Also attaching a couple more really good home brew games.  A very accurate Asteroids (pull back for hyperspace, push forward to thrust) and a version of Space Harrier that is really good!

 

There are now quite a lot of suggestions for the best classic 800 games also.  I want to verify they work right and will provide them to you once they are proven out.  Maybe by Sunday sometime.

 

Oh yeah, the "Albert.xex" game will come up fully playable if you give it 128K to work with by adding the line "atari800_system=130XE<space>(128K)" in the appropriate retroplayer.ini file like so:

 

[Albert.xex]
atari800_ntscpal=PAL
atari800_system=130XE (128K)

 

runcommand

space-harrier-black(64K).car AsteroidsEmulator.atr

Edited by rocketfan
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21 hours ago, Draxxon said:

Its on the top of my list. I haven't forgotten you bud. i was busy with the capture card and making promo vids and family stuff.

 

Edit: Velvis, here they are, drop it on the flash drive and copy over the ini file.

i didnt have time to test them. so, i guess you are our official tester now :) 

rom_a800.rar 352.43 kB · 2 downloads

Miner & BBSB seem to play fine. I know on later levels you need to press keyboard numbers to pick elevator floors. Is it possible to bring up a keyboard to do so?

 

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Can I ask about the possible interest in a couple of arcade titles that would need slight adjustments of mapping to be used on the Atari Flashback units?

 

Phoenix and AstroBlaster ... both may have been four button games (not sure), but easily could be played with joystick for left and right, fire button, and (like the Phoenix cartridge for the 2600) joystick down to activate shield/warp functions. (To tell the truth, I never used the shield anyway ... any time I tried, it always seemed to end right when another shot was coming to destroy me.)

 

If there's no interest, that's fine, but no harm in asking if there would be any.

 

(While I would like the 2600 version of Phoenix to be available, I'd also love to have the even better arcade version, as well ... even if it will be another half week before I have a Flashback 10 to play with.)

Edited by Batchman
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Velvis, yes, select brings up the on screen keyboard.

 

Batchman, yes. I'm okay with doing that as long as they run on mame2000.

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On 2/26/2021 at 11:10 PM, Draxxon said:

warlords and Arkanoid work for MAME with a joystick. the screen isnt the right size though. I went ahead and added Warlords to the Atari Arcade folder.
I included Arkanoid for FBAlpha with correct screen size if you want to try paddles on it, but there is no config menu, they will work or they wont.

NEXUS PADDLE TEST (ARKANOID FBA & MAME, ARKANOID 2 MAME, WARLORDS MAME)

I put the games in the legends flashback theme for the test, that has the mame2000 retro settings so the games will skip the mame hit left,right screen.

NEXUS_PADDLE_TEST.rar 19.46 MB · 6 downloads

 

 

this is a stand alone test, stick it on a fresh usb drive, dont copy over your files with this.

Is there a way to speed up the paddle in Arkanoid FBA? Also will Warlords run under FBA?

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I have no idea on paddle speed in FBA.

Warlords isn't in the FBA set we are working with.

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11 hours ago, Batchman said:

Can I ask about the possible interest in a couple of arcade titles that would need slight adjustments of mapping to be used on the Atari Flashback units?

 

Phoenix and AstroBlaster ... both may have been four button games (not sure), but easily could be played with joystick for left and right, fire button, and (like the Phoenix cartridge for the 2600) joystick down to activate shield/warp functions. (To tell the truth, I never used the shield anyway ... any time I tried, it always seemed to end right when another shot was coming to destroy me.)

 

If there's no interest, that's fine, but no harm in asking if there would be any.

 

(While I would like the 2600 version of Phoenix to be available, I'd also love to have the even better arcade version, as well ... even if it will be another half week before I have a Flashback 10 to play with.)

 

astrob1.png

phoenixa.png

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ATARI FLASHBACK X - NEXUS V.0.2.5 (Atari800 .bas, .atr and .car file extension support added. Atari800 PAL compatibility added. Atari800 128K support added. Atari2600 3D box art added.)

Edited by Draxxon

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3 hours ago, Batchman said:

Very excellent! Thank you very much for all you do!

I'll second that! 

 

BTW, I tried Phoenix with that suggested mapping of down for shield and it works great. The same approach can be used to play arcade Satan's hollow with the shield mapped to pull down.  (use shollow2.zim - shollow.zim won't start).  Also, arcade Tutunkham is very playable by mapping both left and right fire to the fire button.

 

I'm providing an updated atari800 core today (attached).  This one sets sound at 90% volume which seems to help some games that had slight "buzzing noise" issues such as the space-harrier game.   Also, this has a hack to allow smart-bomb to be dropped in Defender and Dropzone.  If you enter the keyboard and select the "ssp" button you will see that it becomes uppercase "SSP" this indicates the "start makes space" hack is enabled.  Then pressing start during gameplay will generate a keyboard "space" to do your smart-bombs in those games.  You can also use it to drop bombs in the scramble game, but it is pretty awkward for anything you have to do that frequently. I really just wanted Defender and Dropzone to be more playable, because I like those games a lot.  Still no hyperspace, but I really never use that.  I'm hoping those games will make into a future Nexus update (along with about 50 others I tested and am recommending for A800). 🙂  

 

Note - the reason I did not enable that hack all the time is I was worried it might create weird side effects in some games, and there are already too many to test!

 

 

atari800_libretro.so

Edited by rocketfan
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Draxxon, a couple minor suggestions (to take or leave).  You might consider changing the "Atari Vault" section to "Atari Nexus" or at least incorporate your Nexus logo from that video you did.

 

Also, I like your VCS toggle icons for shutdown and restart, but I wish the one to get back to the Vault/Nexus was not using the same icon.  Could that one have more a Vault/Nexus logo on it or something?

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Okay, I've had some similar thoughts.

How 'bout this?

 

1. Use the Legends Ultimate Arcade launcher backgrounds as the Nexus Skin

2. Move the Current AFB9G/Nexus skin to the Atari Flashback Section
3. Change "Atari Vault" to "Atari Nexus" or "Atari Flashback Nexus" (What should it say across the top of the background?)

4. Change the return switch to Box Art with the Nexus Name and logo (Metatron's Cube), and move it back to the 1st spot in the game list. like it was in v1.




 

Edited by Draxxon

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3 hours ago, Draxxon said:

Okay, I've had some similar thoughts.

How 'bout this?

 

1. Use the Legends Ultimate Arcade launcher backgrounds as the Nexus Skin

2. Move the Current AFB9G/Nexus skin to the Atari Flashback Section
3. Change "Atari Vault" to "Atari Nexus" or "Atari Flashback Nexus" (What should it say across the top of the background?)

4. Change the return switch to Box Art with the Nexus Name and logo (Metatron's Cube), and move it back to the 1st spot in the game list. like it was in v1.




 

That all sounds great to me!  Only I like the theme graphics in the Vault.  I will probably copy that into my drive someplace to keep it around.

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