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For Posterity: Sirius & Plutos using XM Memory

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Hi guys:

 

Here is Sirius and Plutos hacked to use the XM's memory.  @Albert, once the XM comes out you can use these with a standard 128K board for people who have the XM.  I put in a call to set up two 8K banks of RAM in $4000 and $6000 to mimic the 16K needed to run these games.

 

 

NOTE: These will NOT run at all without the XM (unless you happen to have 16K of RAM on board, that is) - they do work, however in A7800 when you specify the XM module. "A7800.EXE a7800 -skip_gameinfo -cart XM -cart2 PlutosXM.A78"

PlutosXM.A78 PLUTOSXM.BIN SiriusXM.A78 SIRIUSXM.BIN

Edited by PacManPlus
Updated to fix the signing.
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Just played them on A7800, and the report:

188-03: Has sound, but no real video.

v4.0: Has video and plays well, but no audio.

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Very nice - c64 style graphics convert nicely to the 7800 due to the double-width sprite mode of the c64

 

If you want to play them in J7800 use the following links:

 

Plutus

https://raz0red.github.io/js7800/?cart=https://atariage.com/forums/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=744054

 

Sirius

https://raz0red.github.io/js7800/?cart=https://atariage.com/forums/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=744056

Edited by mksmith
Updated Links
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6 hours ago, SlidellMan said:

v4.0: Has video and plays well, but no audio.

For Sirius, audio is present. Plutos does not have audio.

 

Side note:  When playing these games, the Player 1 difficulty switch matters:

Plutos = Number of players (Left = 1 Player | Right = 2 Players).

Sirius = Challenge setting (Left = Beginner | Right = Advance).

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@PacManPlus, for someone who doesn't know the programming background on these, in layman's terms, what does this give the player/user the originals cannot with this extra memory? (Asking for a friend ;) )  

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Hey Bob, I think these need to be re-signed. The lack of sound in A7800 v4.0 is due to the new "mute before 7800 mode is activated" feature, and in this case when the bios runs the signature check its failing and locking the console into 2600 mode. Since there really isn't a 2600 mode in A7800, the only real consequence is the mute never getting lifted lifted. After signing them, the sound works fine in A7800. (it also works fine if you run A7800 without a bios)

 

I need to do something so the bad-signature 2600 mode lock is a bit more obvious in A7800

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3 hours ago, Kaboomer said:

@PacManPlus, for someone who doesn't know the programming background on these, in layman's terms, what does this give the player/user the originals cannot with this extra memory? (Asking for a friend ;) )  

It just allows the game to use the XM RAM instead of forcing it to be on-board.

 

22 minutes ago, RevEng said:

Hey Bob, I think these need to be re-signed. The lack of sound in A7800 v4.0 is due to the new "mute before 7800 mode is activated" feature, and in this case when the bios runs the signature check is failing and locking the console into 2600 mode. Since there really isn't a 2600 mode in A7800, the only real consequence is the mute never getting lifted lifted. After signing them, the sound works fine in A7800. (it also works fine if you run A7800 without a bios)

 

I need to do something so the bad-signature 2600 mode lock is a bit more obvious in A7800

Thank you for checking that out; I actually am signing it, but I'll do it using the newer signing utility and re-post.

 

@Albert or @Mitch , may I have the ability to edit the first post please?  Thanks!

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Thanks, Al!

 

First post has been updated.  Sound in both now - sorry about that!

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These are great, Bob, thanks! I've never played either of them before. I quite like Plutos. That game rocks. :) 

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5 hours ago, Kaboomer said:

@PacManPlus, for someone who doesn't know the programming background on these, in layman's terms, what does this give the player/user the originals cannot with this extra memory? (Asking for a friend ;) )  

 

As a player it gives you nothing.  It makes cartridges cheaper to make since they don't need extra memory on the boards.

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22 hours ago, HammR25 said:

As a player it gives you nothing.  It makes cartridges cheaper to make since they don't need extra memory on the boards.

Aha. That's what I was wondering...as a player, what it does! Thanks!

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Good to have this answered as I asked before about exactly this but didn't get a direct answer. I was wondering if the the XM would automatically take over the work without SRAM on the game pcb for these titles that need it or pokey. A little disapointed it's not automatic and hacks are needed but at least the there is this workaround you have made, Bob. 

 

 So does this mean Commando, Ballblazer and any POKEY enabled homebrew would also need to be hacked to be on a vanilla pcb with just an eprom (and pld for new boards) to have the XM do the work?

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21 hours ago, Shawn said:

So does this mean Commando, Ballblazer and any POKEY enabled homebrew would also need to be hacked to be on a vanilla pcb with just an eprom (and pld for new boards) to have the XM do the work?

I believe so, yes.

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Commando and Ballblazer would need to be hacked for sure, because they use [email protected] instead of the XM's [email protected] Same for any other homebrew that uses the old 4000 location.

 

While the dev bios doesn't have it, I believe it's possible for the bios to have some facility to manually enable [email protected] or basic [email protected], prior to running the cart. I haven't seen the end-user bios, so no idea if this is already a thing or not.

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On 7/2/2020 at 12:50 AM, RevEng said:

Commando and Ballblazer would need to be hacked for sure, because they use [email protected] instead of the XM's [email protected] Same for any other homebrew that uses the old 4000 location.

 

While the dev bios doesn't have it, I believe it's possible for the bios to have some facility to manually enable [email protected] or basic [email protected], prior to running the cart. I haven't seen the end-user bios, so no idea if this is already a thing or not.

 

While it would have been very nice to have the XM be able to take over the work with the standard game binaries, I guess it's just something we have to deal with. Not a lot of games will be involved but the ones that are tend to be staples in the 7800 library. Oh well, I'd rather get the XM as what it's gonna be than have any further delay working somthing like running those binaries with ram and pokey support in their native forum. Hacks for use with the XM it is. Now if I could just get my hands on the damn thing....lol..

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The bios could conceivably read the ROM’s checksum and compare it to known values for that handful of games. But it would probably be easier to just hack the game ROMs.

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17 minutes ago, bizarrostormy said:

The bios could conceivably read the ROM’s checksum and compare it to known values for that handful of games. But it would probably be easier to just hack the game ROMs.

Until there's a relatively-available flash cart of some sort, most of us won't be running any hacked roms, homebrew WIP games, or anything but our usual library of published 7800 games, XM or not. 

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On 7/3/2020 at 3:22 PM, DrVenkman said:

Until there's a relatively-available flash cart of some sort, most of us won't be running any hacked roms, homebrew WIP games, or anything but our usual library of published 7800 games, XM or not.

I believe that's where the XM's SIO port will be beneficial, possibly allowing SIO2PC capability to load games from a PC's hard drive.

 

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Just now, mytek said:

I believe that's where the XM's SIO port will be beneficial, possibly allowing SIO2PC capability to load games from a PC's hard drive.

 

I hope so ... I think that will require the user to install the SIO port (got one, thanks to @foft's recent efforts) and a PIA chip, which isn't otherwise used by the XM. I might be wrong though - @Curt Vendel could possible clarify.

 

But in any case, since XM's aren't yet shipping to pre-orders, and I missed that boat, I have hopes that @batari will come through with "Concertino" or the full-on Concerto before I'm likely to get an XM into my hands. 

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12 hours ago, DrVenkman said:

I hope so ... I think that will require the user to install the SIO port (got one, thanks to @foft's recent efforts) and a PIA chip, which isn't otherwise used by the XM. I might be wrong though - @Curt Vendel could possible clarify.

Well let's just say that it would make total sense to support SIO2PC or real floppies via the SIO, otherwise what's the point in having it. Also to not include the PIA chip would be silly, since BEST still sells them for just under $2 a piece. As for the SIO jack, yes that's a bit pricier, but that too should be included otherwise what's the point? It kinda comes down to setting the standard from the get go as to what interfaces are always known to exist on the XM, and this will drive new home brew games to be offered in the format that can use it. Economically speaking, that would be the most inexpensive media for distribution.

 

Sorry for the off topic post 🤐

 

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18 minutes ago, mytek said:

Well let's just say that it would make total sense to support SIO2PC or real floppies via the SIO, otherwise what's the point in having it. Also to not include the PIA chip would be silly, since BEST still sells them for just under $2 a piece. As for the SIO jack, yes that's a bit pricier, but that too should be included otherwise what's the point? It kinda comes down to setting the standard from the get go as to what interfaces are always known to exist on the XM, and this will drive new home brew games to be offered in the format that can use it. Economically speaking, that would be the most inexpensive media for distribution.

 

Sorry for the off topic post 🤐

 

Well, I kind of agree but so far as I can tell, production boards will have the pads and locations for an SIO port and PIA chip but the aren’t part of the base spec. If the user installs one, software and/or the BIOS will have to have provision to use them. 

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