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Harrier Attack / Converting from poor tape

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Amazing find @wesmond ! 😃

I'd love to see this archived as part of the Atari Preservation project (www.a8preservation.com).

If you are happy to reach out to @djmat56 or myself, either of us can use our equipment to create a decent WAV/FLAC file and also scan the cover. This can then be shared with @www.atarimania.comand the Atari community.

I use a Yamaha KX-W321 dual tape deck and then pass the audio via phono leads into my laptop and regularly clean the tape heads to ensure I obtain the best quality possible.

It sounds like the problem is your Walkman (which might be on its last legs - terrible pun 😄), as you've managed to load this using Atari equipment.

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And... here's a CAS file. Good as new. Make sure you boot without basic... Then a bit of typing, and use console keys to (attempt to) play

Harrier_Attack.cas

Edited by wesmond
More info
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For those interested on the code side... had to refresh myself with Mapping the Atari for the IOCB call. I used Turbo Basic for BGET/BPUT - and on looking at it, could have done some DPOKE/DPEEK... but anyway. So I did this on an ATR image on an SD Card. To get from tape to the binary disk image:
 

1 POKE 106,96:GRAPHICS 0:FOR I=1536 TO 1541:READ A:POKE I,A:NEXT I:DATA 104,162,16,76,86,228
2 DIM F$(8):F$="D:HX.BIN":FOR I=1 TO 2:F$(4,4)=STR$(I)
3   OPEN #1,4,128,"C:":POKE 850,7:POKE 852,0:POKE 853,96:POKE 856,0:POKE 857,100:POKE 858,4:POKE 859,128
4   X=USR(1536):CLOSE #1:? "BYTES READ = ";:B=PEEK(856)+256*PEEK(857):? B
5   OPEN #1,8,0,F$:BPUT #1,24576,B:CLOSE #1:NEXT I

Which gets us H1.BIN and H2.BIN for the two stages. We make note that the sizes of the stages are 2432 and 11439 bytes, for lines 3,4 and 6,7 below.
Over to Altirra, create a tape, push record on the controls, and...

1 POKE 106,96:GRAPHICS 0
2 FOR I=1536 TO 1541:READ A:POKE I,A:NEXT I:DATA 104,162,16,76,86,228
3 OPEN #1,4,0,"D:H1.BIN":BGET #1,24576,2432:CLOSE #1:OPEN #1,8,128,"C:"
4 POKE 850,11:POKE 852,0:POKE 853,96:POKE 856,128:POKE 857,9:POKE 858,8:POKE 859,128
5 X=USR(1536):CLOSE #1
6 OPEN #1,4,0,"D:H2.BIN":BGET #1,24576,11439:CLOSE #1:OPEN #1,8,128,"C:"
7 POKE 850,11:POKE 852,0:POKE 853,96:POKE 856,175:POKE 857,44:POKE 858,8:POKE 859,128
8 X=USR(1536):CLOSE #1

 

Edited by wesmond
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And the artwork...

1. Cover. The original print I think must be this (https://www.video-games-museum.com/en/game/Harrier-Attack/97/3/32065/boxarts), with what's left of a a pretty thin sticker in the corner to repackage for Atari.
2. Just for "curiosity", I scanned the inside of the cover - blank except for the handwritten number 3! Who knows...
3. The tape face itself gives us a copyright of 1983 - and the white marks at the bottom are tipex! I guess they cover up some loading instructions for ORIC.

 

HarrierAttack.jpg

HarrierAttack-inside.jpg

HarrierAttack-tape.jpeg

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Whoa. Never thought I'll see HA on A8. It was possibly the first game I've ever played on a microcomputer, on a ZX Spectrum at my mom's workplace. Simple, but great game all the same. It's very intriguing what the story behind it is, seeing as Durell didn't really do Atari. Perhaps a hack/prototype? But then, why would it have a box with "Atari" on it...

 

Can you have a look at the beginning of the tape, see if it has a copyright warning printed on the tape itself? It was a rather cute Durell's anti-piracy measure :)

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This is awesome, thanks so much!

 

Do you think this could actually be some sort of prototype? The lack of instructions coupled with the dreadful gameplay hint towards a pre-production copy or something similar.

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1 hour ago, youxia said:

Whoa. Never thought I'll see HA on A8. It was possibly the first game I've ever played on a microcomputer, on a ZX Spectrum at my mom's workplace. Simple, but great game all the same. It's very intriguing what the story behind it is, seeing as Durell didn't really do Atari. Perhaps a hack/prototype? But then, why would it have a box with "Atari" on it...

 

Can you have a look at the beginning of the tape, see if it has a copyright warning printed on the tape itself? It was a rather cute Durell's anti-piracy measure :)

The first one I played too but it was a pack-in game with the Amstrad CPC. 

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Has anyone managed to score any points in it? My highest score is still zero, although I did manage to stay up in the air and not blow up for about 15 seconds, which I count as a triumph. Perhaps there's a knack...

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2 hours ago, wesmond said:

@Atarigrub and @www.atarimania.com - hopefully above is enough - let me know if there's anything more you need!

Fantastic work! Thanks for sharing the CAS and scans.

So strange to have a game that uses the START, SELECT and OPTION keys to play the game! 😄

There are Spectrum inlay instructions here, which may give an idea on the game, although not sure if there is a way to go slower, faster or eject on this Atari version?
https://spectrumcomputing.co.uk/zxdb/sinclair/entries/0002241/HarrierAttack.jpg

Edited by Atarigrub

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19 minutes ago, wesmond said:

Has anyone managed to score any points in it? My highest score is still zero, although I did manage to stay up in the air and not blow up for about 15 seconds, which I count as a triumph. Perhaps there's a knack...

In Altirra, 

 

F2 ... (Start) = fires missile / drops a bomb

F3 ... (Select) = land / go down

F4 ... (Option) = take off / go up

 

Can't figure out how to slow down or speed up the plane.

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Very cool!  Glad you got it dumped!

 

That title font on the cassette inlay definitely screams '1983' :-D

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2 hours ago, zeropolis79 said:

The first one I played too but it was a pack-in game with the Amstrad CPC. 

Me too. I had no idea there was an Atari version either!

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On 4/24/2021 at 6:23 PM, wesmond said:

Hi all,

 

Regarding this game - Harrier Attack by Durell Software:
http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-harrier-attack_37885.html

I can confirm that "something Atari" exists for it, and I got that "something" from ebay. The inlay looks like it was originally an Oric inlay, with an Atari sticker put on top, which has mostly worn off. There are no instructions whatsoever - blank on the inside. Quality of the tape is poor. Evidence of some other machine type before/after the Atari recording. To my surprise though, it loaded on a real 800xl/1010 - start+option, first stage has a couple of reasonably crafted pictures of harriers, and it loads in about 5 minutes. The game itself plays a beep, lets you type your name into some kind of table, and then starts to horizontally scroll a blocky aircraft carrier before (possibly) crashing. (Or perhaps I just don't know what to do with no instructions - keys/joystick did nothing...).

 

I'll get some scans/photos up in due course, but wondered if anyone's got any hints for getting really terrible tapes converted. I have tried half a dozen Audacity recordings from a walkman - method usually works on half-decent types. I can get a reasonably good looking level without clipping, but the quality coming through is awful with swirly frequency sweeps going on. Wav2Cas says...

"initial sync header is too noisy, found unexpected bit transition..." - I'm not surprised, it's a tall order. But I guess there's hope if the 1010 can do it.

Alternatively, if I can load it on real hardware, is there software to get that into a CAS format from the Atari? I used to use Transdisk IV in ages past, although I think that produced a non-standard OBJ file needing the Transdisk loader. So something more accessible than that would be good...

 

Hello,

you're in luck because i saw the ad on ebay and thought it was a fake 

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Ok, this is my best score so far... I've discovered that you *must not* bomb your own ship. And sometimes, you will just get killed as soon as starting the level.

 

Besides that, the program seems to crash after six minutes of playing it.

 

 

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There are people here on AtariAge who normally can fix all of the issues with cassettes and also fix up errors in the code. Amazing work. You might try the preservation thread.

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I think we've already got there in terms of preservation/getting what's actually on the tape. The 1010 loads it reliably - at least one side of the tape. The other side is too swirly and it doesn't pick up the whistle tone. The issues now are just down to the state of the code, which would appear something of an unfinished prototype. It's just curious that there are some efforts (quite nice loading screen, and a hint of rebadging the inlay), yet total lack of instructions... which implies this was never seriously prepared for a consumer release. The instructions on spectrum are pretty clear that speeding up/slowing down for the sake of fuel are important parts of the gameplot, but we don't sem to have that functionality (although it is difficult to be 100% sure with no instructions... Do other keypresses do anything once you're up in the air?)

 

I'm not sure if anyone has the appetite to disassemble the image and see if anything interesting can be found... or whether it feels worth it? I've never played the original versions, so not sure whether this is a supreme classic that the Atari missed out on or not...!

 

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Just reread my post and it could be seen as being ungrateful, apologies if so, I am over the moon that Wesmond took a punt on this and we have a very very very rare title to try and enjoy, its what the people in here are so good at doing, so I am grateful for the work here, just a shame it feels like an unfinished game with so much of the game play just awkward. Shame because Durrell did a few half decent games mostly for the Spectrum and the odd C64 port.

 

This one seems to not be their finest moment :)

 

But props to Wesmond and co for their stirling find and work on getting it going..

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48 minutes ago, Mclaneinc said:

Shame because Durrell did a few half decent games mostly for the Spectrum and the odd C64 port.

 

This one seems to not be their finest moment

"Half decent?" Heh. I'd say that the likes of Turbo Esprit & Saboteur are some of the best games from the Eighties, on any platform. Way ahead of its time, especially the former.

 

Harrier Attack is not of course on this level, being an early effort, but it's still a strangely addictive, fun little game (haven't tried this version yet thou). Which is why it was a big hit back then, probably aided a bit by the post-Falklands patriotism too.

 

Anyway, big thanks to Wesmond for not being a speculector scrooge and releasing this ultra rare thing into the wild :)

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