Mega Man... on the ATARI 2600!

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Steve Halfpenny
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Mega Man... on the ATARI 2600!

Post by Steve Halfpenny » Sun May 06, 2007 7:07 pm

"Several Northwest Atari 2600 enthusiasts recently put together a playable Mega Man 2600 demo that was commissioned for the I Am 8-Bit art gallery being held in Los Angeles through May 12th. The project was spearheaded by David Galloway, with contributions by Bob Montgomery, Tommy Montgommery, and Fred Quimby. A mix of batari Basic and 6502 Assembly was used to complete the project in a very tight deadline. While not a complete game, Mega Man 2600 is still quite playable and has been enjoyed by many visiting the I Am 8-Bit gallery."

Not sure if anyone else has seen this but here's one of the most impressive home brews I've ever seen. If you know the limitations of the 2600, you'll appreciate how impressive this really is. I think this more than deserves coverage in Retro Gamer.

Check out http://www.atariage.com/ for links including incredible video footage.

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AllYourBase
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Post by AllYourBase » Mon May 07, 2007 3:45 am

Pretty impressive stuff. How big are those games like 4k?? :lol:
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TMR
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Post by TMR » Mon May 07, 2007 6:38 am

AllYourBase wrote:Pretty impressive stuff. How big are those games like 4k?? :lol:
Stock VCS cartridges are 4K but there are literally hundreds of bank switching schemes that can expand the ROM and sometimes RAM to much larger sizes. Getting something down to 4K isn't always the hardest thing to deal with when coding on the VCS, more often it's trying to make the thing do what you want it to - the first video isn't that hard to do (two missiles as the ground objects, the ball as the bullet and both players as Megaman) but the second video is much harder...

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stvd
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Post by stvd » Mon May 07, 2007 12:48 pm

I've seen a clip of this before but I doubt if the game is actually running on an Atari. More likely it's an emulator.

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TMR
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Post by TMR » Mon May 07, 2007 2:40 pm

stvd wrote:I've seen a clip of this before but I doubt if the game is actually running on an Atari. More likely it's an emulator.
Which is a somewhat moot point - there aren't many emulators generally that allow something that wouldn't be possible on the real hardware since that's pretty much the point of emulators and, when it's something that needs cycle-perfect timing like VCS code does, the emulators tend to be pretty close to the mark.

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stvd
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Post by stvd » Mon May 07, 2007 6:51 pm

True. I'm just saying that it's not running on an Atari.
It's emulated. Most emulators can run faster if required and flicker-free too.
So although the demo is impressive, the chance of it looking like that if it were running on a VCS are zero.

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TMR
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Post by TMR » Mon May 07, 2007 7:43 pm

stvd wrote:So although the demo is impressive, the chance of it looking like that if it were running on a VCS are zero.
If you read the linked AA thread, there is interlacing during the boss battle which is "masked" by the way the footage is recorded; the refresh rate of a 2600 in NTSC mode is 60FPS, most Windows video formats are only 30FPS so the emulator blends two frames together. If you watch when the two characters pass over each other, the colours merge together and form purple because of it.

But the in-game footage isn't interlaced and my memory of the VCS hardware tells me that it's not breaking any hardware restrictions (two sprites for Megaman, two missiles for the moving objects and the ball object as a bullet since it's the same colour as the background), so barring it refreshing (not moving, i hasten to add) faster on the real hardware that really is how it'll look on a 2600 and the emulator is adding nothing to the equation.

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Dudley
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Post by Dudley » Tue May 08, 2007 2:22 am

Being picky, most windows video formats can be any FPS you damn well like, just people choose to use 30FPS.
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TMR
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Post by TMR » Tue May 08, 2007 6:05 am

Dudley wrote:Being picky, most windows video formats can be any FPS you damn well like, just people choose to use 30FPS.
Well okay true, but either way this footage is at 30FPS and therefore the boss battle was "de-interlaced" and the ingame footage will look better on a real machine. =-)

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seabass
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Post by seabass » Tue May 08, 2007 3:14 pm

In true Mega Man spirit, it looks like the bosses are pretty damn tough altough it does look like you barely got any room to dodge ^_^
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