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Good question. The slow vertical movement was not an issue in my opinion. If you take the original pac-board, which is taller than it is wide, and compres the graphics so that it is wider than it is tall, then the vertical movement will appear slower even though if it was the same speed as the uncompressed board. That would provide more accurate and balanced mechanics than artificially speeding up the vertical movement so that it matches the horizontal movement. A bunch of people complained and so he changed it, but I suspect that the original movement had timings more accurate to the original arcade board. I still need to load both ROM versions into my Harmony cart and try it myself. If the game play on Pacman 4k turns out balanced and not too difficult when it releases in the Atariage store, I may just sell my old Pacman Arcade (melody enhanced) back for store credit. Seriously, I had no idea of this games existence.

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In first post I don't see a PAL60 version (only PAL50).

Would it be possibile to release it?

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Is this correct? The cart being sold in the Store is newer than any posted ROM?

The video shows start music, when did that get added?

I'm just asking because maybe I missed and cant find the newest ROM.

 

If it is not available that's okay too, I just enjoy the 2600 / 7800 "scene" more because more work is shared, and oftentimes source code also! And I like the fact that I can play Air Raid even if I'll never own Air Raid.

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Very good question. Judging by the fact the thread was already 3 years old before I bumped it, there may well have been some behind the scenes tweaking compared to the last publicly released version. I have confidence that Albert would not have added it to the store if it wasn't 100% ready for release. I'm curious too. So far, I've not seen a single Youtube video. I'll probably make one myself when I recieve the cart if someone else doesn't beat me too it. Atariage store needs more gameplay videos of it's games.

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@iesposta: They've already added more stuff to the ROM since it showed in the store. Check the thread "Pacmam 4k with cutscenes." The version in the store presumably doesn't have these elements added. That's the other problem with buying homebrews: they are constantly being tweaked, so by the time the cart arrives in the mail, there's already a better version on the Internets... :P

Edited by stardust4ever

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I've noticed that the maze colors are off. I made a rom with more acurate colors, and made some minor graphic changes. I've attached it to this post, along with a pic that compares the arcade PacMan with the homebrew and to my hack of it.

pacman4k.bin

post-34936-0-36799500-1360022494_thumb.png

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Pacman is a great game, Period. It's like asteroids. Humans like to "clean up" spaces like eating away at the dots and clearing a maze. All the fun of cleaning up the chaos, and getting a rush out of it. Plus, getting back at those ghost bullies.. It's a great combo: solid concept, solid gameplay, perfect execution. That's why it's a quarter eater.

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@iesposta: They've already added more stuff to the ROM since it showed in the store. Check the thread "Pacmam 4k with cutscenes." The version in the store presumably doesn't have these elements added. That's the other problem with buying homebrews: they are constantly being tweaked, so by the time the cart arrives in the mail, there's already a better version on the Internets... icon_razz.gif

 

So, does the cart have the cutscenes or not?

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The version in the video definitely looks similar to the one with cutscenes Nukey Shay posted. The version in the video has the same opening tune, the 5200 style ghosts, and the point values for the ghosts.

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So, does the cart have the cutscenes or not?

No, the cart available in the AtariAge store does not have cutscenes.

 

However, the two versions of the 4k ROM are divergent, meaning the sutscenes version was tweaked from a beta version of the 4k ROM. There are some slight AI bugs regarding ghost behavior that are still present in the "cutscenes" version that are not present on the AtariAge cart release. The bugs arise from the need to remove parts of the original code to make room from the cutscenes. Some of the bass/noise effects were also eliminated from the intro melody, creating a monotone rather than polytone sound when the game is first started. Also, I believe the third cutscene is absent from the "cutscenes" ROM, as there was no room left to add it in. My personal recommendation is to buy the cart in the AtariAge store and download the "cutscenes" version for play on the Harmony cart. For $5 extra, you can upgrade your Pacman 4k cart to a Melody enhanced board. That way, if you should decide you like the "cutscenes" ROM better, or if a better ROM version is released in the future, you can send your cart back to Albert and have him reflash it. But I'm happy with the official 4k cart release as it is currently in the AA store.

 

There was also talk of expanding the existing Pacman 4k code using bankswitching, to develop a Ms Pacman ROM hack based on the 4k engine, but the original author is finished with the project (his original goal was to create an arcade accurate port of Pacman using the original design constraints, including a 4k limit on ROM size, and overall he was satisfied with the final product), but further attempts at expanding the ASM code to support bankswitching is prooving difficult, so any further efforts to develop a future expanded Ms Pacman version seems to be largely suspended indefinitely. Also bear in mind that the original port of Ms Pacman is fairly good by VCS standards, so there's less motivation to create a new version.

 

Don't forget about the older Pacman Arcade hack either. It's less hardcore than Pacman 4k and still includes the "Teddy Bear" mode of Atari Ms Pacman. For the Record, my Pacman Arcade cart has seen very little playtime since I recieved Pacman 4k in the mail back in fall 2012.

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Don't forget about the older Pacman Arcade hack either. It's less hardcore than Pacman 4k and still includes the "Teddy Bear" mode of Atari Ms Pacman. For the Record, my Pacman Arcade cart has seen very little playtime since I recieved Pacman 4k in the mail back in fall 2012.

 

There's also the newer hack of that hack that adds the cutsenes. I like that hack quite a bit. I also like the 8k hack of the 2600 Pac-Man. But you were talking about ones on cart, which those aren't.

Edited by BrianC

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No, the cart available in the AtariAge store does not have cutscenes.

 

However, the two versions of the 4k ROM are divergent, meaning the sutscenes version was tweaked from a beta version of the 4k ROM. There are some slight AI bugs regarding ghost behavior that are still present in the "cutscenes" version that are not present on the AtariAge cart release. The bugs arise from the need to remove parts of the original code to make room from the cutscenes. Some of the bass/noise effects were also eliminated from the intro melody, creating a monotone rather than polytone sound when the game is first started. Also, I believe the third cutscene is absent from the "cutscenes" ROM, as there was no room left to add it in. My personal recommendation is to buy the cart in the AtariAge store and download the "cutscenes" version for play on the Harmony cart. For $5 extra, you can upgrade your Pacman 4k cart to a Melody enhanced board. That way, if you should decide you like the "cutscenes" ROM better, or if a better ROM version is released in the future, you can send your cart back to Albert and have him reflash it. But I'm happy with the official 4k cart release as it is currently in the AA store.

 

There was also talk of expanding the existing Pacman 4k code using bankswitching, to develop a Ms Pacman ROM hack based on the 4k engine, but the original author is finished with the project (his original goal was to create an arcade accurate port of Pacman using the original design constraints, including a 4k limit on ROM size, and overall he was satisfied with the final product), but further attempts at expanding the ASM code to support bankswitching is prooving difficult, so any further efforts to develop a future expanded Ms Pacman version seems to be largely suspended indefinitely. Also bear in mind that the original port of Ms Pacman is fairly good by VCS standards, so there's less motivation to create a new version.

 

Don't forget about the older Pacman Arcade hack either. It's less hardcore than Pacman 4k and still includes the "Teddy Bear" mode of Atari Ms Pacman. For the Record, my Pacman Arcade cart has seen very little playtime since I recieved Pacman 4k in the mail back in fall 2012.

 

I'm not seeing the melody board option when I add it to my cart. Am I missing something?

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I'm not seeing the melody board option when I add it to my cart. Am I missing something?

 

The upgrade option has been removed due to the number of upcoming games that require the Melody board.

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I've noticed that the maze colors are off. I made a rom with more acurate colors, and made some minor graphic changes. I've attached it to this post, along with a pic that compares the arcade PacMan with the homebrew and to my hack of it.

I didn't even notice this update at all. I'll have to fire it up next time I play my Atari.

 

There's also the newer hack of that hack that adds the cutsenes. I like that hack quite a bit. I also like the 8k hack of the 2600 Pac-Man. But you were talking about ones on cart, which those aren't.

To be honest, people can continue to modify the game code until the cows come home, creating dozens of variants with miniscule differences, and that is the nature of homebrew, especially if it's open source and anybody can edit it. Just like there's a million hacks of Super Mario Brothers out there, but most don't hold a candle to the original. Specifically regarding Atari Pacman, the original sucked badly, so what really matters is that we have a playable version of the game that has the same addictive qualities of the arcade version. I also remember one of the WIP ROMs I tried out that was three years old, and I actually thought the slower vertical movement was a little easier, although I've gotten used to the ramped up nature of the cart release. Normally after a few warmup rounds, I typically hit the first or second orange, and very rarely I make it to the Apple/Tomato stage. Not like it matters because I just start a new game, and somehow it's the same stage over and over yet it never gets boring. The idea of an arcade game is not to "beat" it (it's impossible), nor is the intention to play forever, but you just play the game as the difficulty ramps up so that you lose all your lives, and after you get your butt kicked, you pop in another quarter (or simply hit the red button) and try to beat your old score. Edited by stardust4ever

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The bugs arise from the need to remove parts of the original code to make room from the cutscenes.
Not exactly. After further optimization in beta dev, I threw in some suggestions regarding what to use the extra romspace for. Some were used, others discarded (if the AA cart does not feature a pink monster pen door and displayed point values for fruits, those are two that are in the intermission version which didn't make the cut for the cartridge). Dennis continued to tweak the game and add the bassline for music (while I was trying to cram in the intermissions on my own). Hence, the intermission version does not have the final code tweaks and 2-channel sound. I'm unsure if some of the additions I did contributed to the errors, though (a good chance that they did).

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When I was talking about the newer hack of the hack, I was referring to the hack of Ms. Pac-Man into Pac-Man, not to Pac-Man 4k. Pac-Man Arcade Enhanced.

 

I tried the intermission version of Pac-Man 4k on harmony cart. The ghosts do change direction the majority of the time, but sometimes don't when they are near the power pill Pac-Man eats (I also had the same behavior on the Pac-Man 4k new version Dennis Debro made available for download). I couldn't get a ghost to follow me up the tunnels near the ghost cage, though they did follow me downward (same behavor on Pac-Man 4k new, as well). However, the hack in the forums on one of the older versions to make the colors closer to the original doesn't have the ghosts changing direction at all. Pac-Man 4k new is the version that first has the faster vertical speed and still has the old eyes (which I like better than the 5200 eyes).

Edited by BrianC

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I've noticed that the maze colors are off. I made a rom with more acurate colors, and made some minor graphic changes. I've attached it to this post, along with a pic that compares the arcade PacMan with the homebrew and to my hack of it.

I hate to tell you this, but that is a very old version of Pacman 4k. I compared this ROM with the one from the original post which dates back to 2008. There are a total of 13 miscompares:

1) 434=0x1B2 to 437=0x1B5 (4 bytes)
2) 553=0x229 to 553=0x229 (1 bytes)
3) 2581=0xA15 to 2581=0xA15 (1 bytes)
4) 3493=0xDA5 to 3494=0xDA6 (2 bytes)
5) 3496=0xDA8 to 3498=0xDAA (3 bytes)
6) 3503=0xDAF to 3509=0xDB5 (7 bytes)
7) 3514=0xDBA to 3520=0xDC0 (7 bytes)
 3526=0xDC6 to 3527=0xDC7 (2 bytes)
9) 3529=0xDC9 to 3531=0xDCB (3 bytes)
10) 3537=0xDD1 to 3538=0xDD2 (2 bytes)
11) 3540=0xDD4 to 3542=0xDD6 (3 bytes)
12) 3548=0xDDC to 3549=0xDDD (2 bytes)
13) 3551=0xDDF to 3553=0xDE1 (3 bytes)

The new ROM currently on the AtariAge cart release has fixed graphics; also pacman eats pellets faster vertically than he does horizontally. This older ROM reflects the slower vertical speed. The "cutscenes" ROM was buried in another thread, but I am attaching it again here since it is of relevance to the discussion. The date stamp on the original cutscene_NTSC file is October 22nd, 2012. Like I said earlier, the noise/bass portion of the intro music was removed from the ROM to make room for the cutscenes. The intro music on the official AA cart sounds much better. I also stumbled across a MsHack_NTSC in my downloads folder, date stamped April 22nd, 2013 that I somehow don't remember downloading. It's awesome and appears to be a Ms Pacman based on the Pacman 4k engine but inflated to 16kb, complete with cutscene animations. Ms Pacman moves really fast in this version, making it easy to evade the ghosts. I apologize I forgot who did what, but maybe Nukey can speak up about the differences between the Pacman 4k cutscene ROM and the official release better than I can.

Pacman4k(intermission)ntsc.zip

MsHack-NTSC.zip

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I agree MsHack is awesome, but it's actually a hack of HackEm, which is a hack of the Ebivision Pac-Man. The version of Pac-Man 4k Dennis Debro posted on this page is actually newer than the one on the first post. The one on the first post still has the old vertical movement.

Edited by BrianC

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Like I said earlier, the noise/bass portion of the intro music was removed from the ROM to make room for the cutscenes.
...and like I mentioned earlier, no it wasn't - it simply didn't exist in the assembly file I was using. Bassline was one of the last things Dennis added before releasing it on cart. It was not present in the assembly file I was trying to cram intermissions into.

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I'm curious why the final went back to the 5200 eyes. It's not a major thing, but I did like the eyes from the earlier versions better. Definitely an impressive port. It's amazing how a better port of Pac-Man than the Atari 800 version was done in only 4k.

Edited by BrianC

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It's amazing how a better port of Pac-Man than the Atari 800 version was done in only 4k.

Fortunately a better Pac-Man for A8 was made last year (not in 4KB though...).

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