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unoclay

I just came in here to say Space Dungeon is excellent

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I've been collecting, haphazardly, for 5200 since, well, launch (my grandparents got it for us back in the 80s).  Im not a purist on a quest for all games; i find collecting to be more fun as a sporadic, now-and-then hobby.  No point in stacking games up faster than i can enjoy them.  (i say that with a WALL of games behind me...my wife would laugh to read this, but you guys know what i'm getting at, i bet.)

 

Had a copy of Space Dungeon laying in my "acquired cheap, play someday" pile (also includes H.E.R.O. and others).  I dont rush to play new things (unless it was very expensive and i need to test it).  Finally popped it in last week, not expecting much.  Even as a hardcore retro enthusiast, i'd never encountered this game (arcade or otherwise) and didn't expect much---figuring on something like Berserk, maybe.  

 

Wow.  Twin stick shooters are among my favorite genre (if not #1) and Robotron on 5200 hasnt blown me away (its good/ok, but a little too damn difficult to enjoy with 5200 clunky controllers).  And here is a hidden gem, Space Dungeon, what a really truly great port.  I mean, its hard--and often cheap, when enemies spawn from a door right next to you--but its doable--i can get to level 3 fairly reliably, which is often 10-15 minutes of playtime--kind of a lot for an Atari 1980s game.  And moreover, given that i (barely) have working Wico and an original controller working--i can actually enjoy this one the way its meant to be played.  

 

It easily leapt toward the top of my "Favorites" list for 5200...i probably have around 25-30 carts.  Hot take, its really high up there, along with (nostalgia) Pac Man, River Raid, Pitfall II, and a handful of others.

 

What a gem.  Glad i took a chance on that $3 cart!

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It is one of my favorite games. I have never beaten the first level. Do you clear all the rooms and collect all the treasure before going to the next level?

 

Advice would be appreciated 😂 

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More to See 

On Level Three, etc 

 

Agreed and I doubt you'll find anyone here to argue against the game, it is a lot of fun and wasn't on any other systems as far as I can recall.  I always loved the pixel carnage as you work on a bigger enemy and it sprays apart.  

 

I share your feelings for 5200 Robotron too. It seemed pretty fantastic BITD, but now I am annoyed by its clunky movement and control , always causing cheaper deaths than the coin-op version.  So, it is fun, but trying to get a high score is frustrating. 

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10 hours ago, fred said:

It is one of my favorite games. I have never beaten the first level. Do you clear all the rooms and collect all the treasure before going to the next level?

 

Advice would be appreciated 😂 

You can "duck out" and progress to the next level just by entering the COLLECT BONUS box.  Of course, this game is the ultimate in risk/reward when it comes to points.

 

I had to look it up about entering all the rooms - I thought that would automatically advance you to the next level as well but instead it nets you a 10,000 bonus (which equals an extra ship.)

 

With two fully-working controllers, playing Space Dungeon is classic video game heaven.  I do gotta admit that time has diminished my opinion of Robotron for the same reasons mentioned but I still would take it it over the 7800 version.

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36 minutes ago, TeddyBear89 said:

  I do gotta admit that time has diminished my opinion of Robotron for the same reasons mentioned but I still would take it it over the 7800 version.

Some have stated 7800 Robotron is better than the 5200 version. I'm not sure I ever played the 7800 version to compare - why do you prefer 5200 > 7800 Robotron?

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5200 Space Dungeon is great and it was a home console exclusive. There is a bit of slowdown, which is my biggest issue with 5200 Robotron, but Space Dungeon is an awesome game. I use my Edladdin twin stick controller instead of the 5200 controller holder.


Btw, 7800 Robotron is my favorite, due to its smooth play. When you pair this version with the Edladdin controller, it’s a truly amazing port.👍

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19 minutes ago, Cafeman said:

Some have stated 7800 Robotron is better than the 5200 version. I'm not sure I ever played the 7800 version to compare - why do you prefer 5200 > 7800 Robotron?

The 5200 version wins in all three categories:

 

1. Graphics - the 7800 is blocky and gets a little choppy (although not as bad as the 5200) when there is a lot happening

2. Sound - while the 7800 system as a whole suffers from inferior sound capabilities, the 5200 sound is pretty near arcade-perfect.  Or at least how I recall it

3. Controls- I primarily use Gemsticks for my 2600/7800 gaming and these sticks are pretty rigid.  In using two joysticks (the preferred method) you'd need to really secure them into some type of homemade set-up to keep them from popping out in the heat of play.  I know that Atari made a plastic coupler (like the 5200) for this but imagine it would lead to the same frustrating issue of the sticks just not being secured enough.  The much-softer touch needed for controlling your guy on the 5200 is the better way to go.

 

Props to the 7800 version for being able to use one controller but it really isn't the same playing experience.

 

Just one dude's opinion, of course.....

 

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12 hours ago, fred said:

It is one of my favorite games. I have never beaten the first level. Do you clear all the rooms and collect all the treasure before going to the next level?

 

Advice would be appreciated 😂 

I think its a risk reward choice as mentioned above.  I like clearing many rooms, because, you want to get as many treasures as you can, which allows you to stack up extra lives.  It gets really interesting with the thief on level 2---he's carrying items (an actual NPC in 5200 game!!) and you can steal them back from him.  Plus, it has a proto-"DARK SOULS" aspect---when you die, your items drop where you were, and you can go back and get them!   F'n great!!!

 

I am using a WICO for my firing control (right hand) and an original 5200 controller for movement (left hand).  I just put one on each side of me on the couch and use the couch texture to keep them still.  Not perfect but its workable.  

 

----Exhausting forum topic question....related to Space Dungeon....., but, the guys i used to use for controller repairs seem to have disappeared.  I missed out on some of the recent new controller options and not sure if i will afford the Edladdin upcoming 5200 controller (i expect it to be 100$+).  Welcome suggestions of who can do reliable repairs these days or other ideas.  Not seeing a subforum for this common topic (maybe i missed it).  

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I used to dig BOTH Robotron and Space Dungeon and still have one of the twin controller holders (I sold the other one last year while unemployed but I still have one left) and if they are laid on a flat surface they are great to use in this configuration, of course I would love to get my hands on one of those homemade (3-D printed, in black) 7800 twin stick controllers for my CX24 sticks I own OR maybe one of @edladdin's Super Twin 78s with my last remaining Redemption 5200 7800 unit (and yes I AM still waiting for his 5200 sticks to be ready, I will be one of the first to buy one), but yes I HAVE (back when I was at my prime gaming-shape-wise in 1983-86) cleared level (visited every single room and collected every treasure) after level on Space Dungeon and even had my own little strategy for clearing those pesky corner zappers in most rooms (and yes they will zap you before you know it so watch out for them), and then it was almost more easy after that. I also was good at rolling over the scoreboard (at one million points it goes back to zero) on occasion on SD, I hope to get back to that gaming shape I used to be in mentally, even at my age and diminished mental capacity, as I turned 54 back on Tuesday, and especially with this COVID-19 outbreak still going on and with half of Washington state readying itself for Phase II (of 4) of reopening the economy, and social distancing and masks now the "new norm" that is even now being required in most public places.

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23 hours ago, BIGHMW said:

even at my age and diminished mental capacity, as I turned 54 back on Tuesday, and especially with this COVID-19 outbreak still going on and with half of Washington state readying itself for Phase II (of 4) of reopening the economy, and social distancing and masks now the "new norm" that is even now being required in most public places.

 

Hey man, 54 isnt that old, hang in there!   Yeah COVID is sure still a problem here back in Philly, wife is a front-liner at a hospital and its scary stuff.  Hang in there.  At least us gamers can look at lockdown/social distancing as a chance/excuse to get back with our gaming hobby!

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On 5/23/2020 at 9:47 AM, unoclay said:

 

Hey man, 54 isnt that old, hang in there!   Yeah COVID is sure still a problem here back in Philly, wife is a front-liner at a hospital and its scary stuff.  Hang in there.  At least us gamers can look at lockdown/social distancing as a chance/excuse to get back with our gaming hobby!

I work over at Safeway (I clean the cutting room in the meat department weeknights 7-10 pm) and yes it IS essential so we're definitely on the frontlines, and I am hanging in there or at least trying to. Thanks for the encouragement.

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Oh that box art is great---i dont recall seeing those in the Art of Atari book (maybe they're there, but the book ignores way too many 5200 covers.  Great book, but biased to 2600 like everyone else ;'] )

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14 hours ago, unoclay said:

Oh that box art is great---i dont recall seeing those in the Art of Atari book (maybe they're there, but the book ignores way too many 5200 covers.  Great book, but biased to 2600 like everyone else ;'] )

While the box art that we’ve come to know and love is not captured in the book, they did include this sketch concept art (pg. 269).

 

F46B73B7-5254-454F-9C17-E72A6E110358.jpeg

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I took some time off to actually play some 5200 games last night, and this thread inspired me to put some time into Space Dungeon.  I've definitely lost my touch over the years, but it was still really fun.  I had forgotten how much I hate those rooms with the corner lasers.

 

Then I got distracted by Centipede when my brain went into its usual "how was this done?" mode.  I'm happy to say that I think I figured it out, and I have a whole bunch of new ideas for graphics techniques that I want to apply to future homebrew projects.

 

Probably play some more Space Dungeon tonight, and Blaster, which is just amazing.

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My 5200 library was pretty small as a teenager, but Space Dungeon was and remains in the Hall of Fame for the system.  I like to leave Level 1 and Level 2 with a completely wiped board - all rooms visited, all enemy killed - before proceeding onward to Level 3.  But its a hellscape after that...  Those creatures that release bullets when you pop them... They really turn the chaos up a notch, and definitely make it impossible to slowly annihilate everyone in sight.  Even sprinting for the exits, I don't think I've ever lived to long enough to see Level 6.

 

We're definitely scheming on a "Super Twin 52" version of the upcoming 5200 controller for exactly this reason. 

FWIW, I prefer the 7800 version of Robotron 2084 with a Super Twin 78.   So smooth!

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I was playing Space Dungeon a week or so and began to daydream that someone might hack or homebrew this game to take it to the next level.  How cool if the levels were not all simple rectangles?  What if they were odd shapes and you did not know the exact dimensions, so there was a real sense of exploration.  Also:

 

1. Capture that element from Gauntlet, where you could truly clear a room or zone by destroying spawn centers. Its vaguely dissatisfying that every room is always respawning. 

 

2. Expand gameplay besides just murder everyone and steal all their stuff with:

a. powerups

b. keys to hidden places

c. some kind of overarching quest

 

I mean, you'd still murder all these aliens and steal all their stuff, but it seems like there's another layer of gameplay possible in this concept, without sacrificing the driving intensity, ala Space Dungeon + Adventure.

 

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3 hours ago, edladdin said:

I was playing Space Dungeon a week or so and began to daydream that someone might hack or homebrew this game to take it to the next level.  How cool if the levels were not all simple rectangles?  What if they were odd shapes and you did not know the exact dimensions, so there was a real sense of exploration.  Also:

 

1. Capture that element from Gauntlet, where you could truly clear a room or zone by destroying spawn centers. Its vaguely dissatisfying that every room is always respawning. 

 

2. Expand gameplay besides just murder everyone and steal all their stuff with:

a. powerups

b. keys to hidden places

c. some kind of overarching quest

 

I mean, you'd still murder all these aliens and steal all their stuff, but it seems like there's another layer of gameplay possible in this concept, without sacrificing the driving intensity, ala Space Dungeon + Adventure.

 

d. Warps to different areas and/or levels!

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It was ported to the 400/800 back in the 80's and I fell in love with the game then.  Still one of my favorites on the 5200.

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I love the idea of a homebrew expansion of this game.  Different room shapes ala Tempest or something.  Gates inside levels that require keys, and a risk/reward for better treasures behind those gates.  Def a way to stop respawning.  Even, dare we imagine it...BOSSES?

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Posted (edited)
On 5/22/2020 at 10:36 AM, Cafeman said:

Some have stated 7800 Robotron is better than the 5200 version. I'm not sure I ever played the 7800 version to compare - why do you prefer 5200 > 7800 Robotron?

I have both. To me, graphically the 7800 version has better sprites, moves smoother and looks more like the arcade version.  However I prefer playing the 5200 version because of the dual stick controller holder.

Edited by rayik
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Anyone interested in a friendly high score competition for Space Dungeon?  Take a run at the game (or 20) and post a screenshot here of your best score?

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