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Favorite frying results


Colmino
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Way, way back in the early 80s, I had randomly discovered "frying" (now that I know what to call the technique) and had tried it on most of my collection. I was just remembering this trick when I sadly realized that there really wouldn't be a convenient way of trying it out with the Harmony cartridge - or in any event it wouldn't be a good idea.

 

I couldn't help but recognize that most of the usable results when frying tended to make the game dramatically easier in some respect. Here are the examples I can recall:

 

Asteroids: Put the game in a mode where every asteroid was colorless, and originated from the right-hand side of the screen only. This meant that all one had to do to survive was aim to the right and keep firing.

 

Pitfall II: Although initially visually corrupt, you could move the character a bit, which would cause him to fall. The game would sort of re-sync at this point, fixing the graphics, and you would now be situated at what was meant to be the very end of the game, where you could immediately rescue Quickclaw and collect the rat.

 

Anyone have any favorites?

 

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I seem to remember trying it with Maze Craze (before I even knew there was a term for what I was doing) and getting the maze to be a grid where you could just go straight across to the exit. It could be a false memory too. This was way back in 1982 or 1983. I never found it useful for any other game. I just remember a lot of glitchy graphics.

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I remember something happening if you reset Adventure during your bringing in the chalice. I think the music slows down. It's been a long time.

 

This is correct, and I used to do it all the time. It's not actually frying in the traditional sense, and it's not "dangerous" the way frying is speculated to be. The victory sound is reduced to 1/3rd its normal speed.

 

Also: After hitting reset, if you push down on the joystick, the character will appear at the bottom, and you can navigate around the room with the number in the middle.

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My favorites:

 

Outlaw game variation #0, which was actually a fun variation with a wall and the "getaway" feature only seen officially in variation #2. And then, once I got to see a whole bunch of other variations, all the way up to #99. I discovered how to tap those variations intentionally, and created my first (and so far only) hack, Outlaw 100. Nukey Shay then ran with some ideas we tossed back and forth and produced Outlaw 48, which offers every sensible combination of Outlaw's features (some of the variations seen in Outlaw 100 aren't really playable). So frying really can help improve a game!

 

E.T. turns into Nihilist E.T. There are no phone pieces to be found, and no zones except for the "Call Elliott" zone. Poor E.T. wanders around lost and alone, and eventually dies, unable to get back home.

 

Centipede starts you on a mostly empty screen.. and at the very top of that screen. If you come down, you find yourself back behind that invisible wall, but if you go up, you can go higher and higher until you either reappear at the bottom again, or you make the game literally explode... on-screen that is, not the game cartridge. My guess is something tries to divide by zero and all hell breaks loose. If you then reset the game at that point, the game gets a grey background, just about everything appears backward, and you have to aim a little off to one side to actually shoot anything.

 

Video Pinball and several others, including Pac-Man and Pitfall, are very hard to fry. Usually you end up with stripes across the screen and a steady drone like a high-pitched alarm. But with VP, once it fries "properly", the flippers are usually garbled and the sound effects become very trippy. Usually the game blanks out when you lose the ball, sometimes even just when the ball hits those garbled flippers.

 

I once caused my laser base in Space Invaders to be invisible and invulnerable to enemy fire.

 

I think I've seen that one too. Another Space Invaders frying effect I've only seen once was, either player shooting the shields awards points to Player 2.

 

Way, way back in the early 80s, I had randomly discovered "frying" (now that I know what to call the technique) and had tried it on most of my collection. I was just remembering this trick when I sadly realized that there really wouldn't be a convenient way of trying it out with the Harmony cartridge - or in any event it wouldn't be a good idea.

 

The Atari 2600 emulator Stella has an option to simulate frying, so you can maybe relive some of these memories without frying your hardware... in any sense of the word.

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My favorites:

 

E.T. turns into Nihilist E.T. There are no phone pieces to be found, and no zones except for the "Call Elliott" zone. Poor E.T. wanders around lost and alone, and eventually dies, unable to get back home.

 

I actually just today hooked my old 2600 up (really rotten image a-la RF but slightly better than I was dreading), and E.T. was the first game I put in, largely because I knew it played audio immediately and I wanted to test/configure/balance my TV-out -> PC-in -> headphones solution.

 

I think I'm going to try this one out. It sounds like fun. ;p

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I nevr knew about most of the hacks, but I always liked getting the double shots in Space Invaders.

 

 

Is holding Reset as you power on the Atari considered "frying"? That's how I got double shots in Space Invaders and I always thought that was an intentional feature.

 

 

Technically that is not a "fry". Frying was purposely turning on and off the console quickly to try and get the cartridge to boot in an anomalous condition. Some interesting results often occurred and some of them repeatable. The Harmony cartridge does not support "frying" because it is basically a boot loader that allows the user to choose which rom image to load into memory.

 

However, the Space invaders doubleshot is completely supported by the harmony cart. Simply highlight the Space Invaders rom as normal, and instead of using the fire button on the joystick to load the rom, simply HOLD down the reset switch. This will simulate it powering on with the reset button held down, and you will start game 1 in doubleshot mode.

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The Atari 2600 emulator Stella has an option to simulate frying, so you can maybe relive some of these memories without frying your hardware... in any sense of the word.

 

I don't see that option anywhere on Stella 4.2. Where is it? Edit: Oh, I found it. It's Backspace.

 

I used to love frying games back in the day. I considered it an extra game variation (or sometimes many game variations). Some games just didn't fry well, though. (Most M-Network games didn't have interesting frying results, if memory serves. A lot of the earliest Atari games didn't do anything interesting, either)

 

It's been way too long. I don't remember any specific effects for specific games, beyond ones mentioned here, and the "infinite" lives trick on Phoenix. I seem to remember Fast Eddie doing something interesting, but I can't remember what.

Edited by Raiu
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Figuring out what you could do with resets was just as much fun as frying, to me. There were the long-distance bullets in Combat, the occasional free points in Missile Command, leaving the roll-over counter on something besides "1" in Video Pinball, and so on.

I agree, and I find these more interesting because they are actual bugs in the game that you can reproduce, as opposed to frying, which was more random in its behavior (although still quite fun).

 

..Al

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For Adventure, it wasn't frying at all that changed the victory music. And it wasn't pressing reset either. It was pressing select immediately after winning.

That is correct. The reason is that the game uses 3 frames to move and handle all the game objects and variables when a game is in progress (a game is in progress immediately when the number screen is shown). The sound effects routine and it's counters are updated on only 1 of those 3 frames. When the game is won, the display is only using one frame from the loop (specifically, the one frame that sets up the object display cache, picks 2 objects to display, checks console switch input, and sound effects). So any sound in progress is sped up when the game is inactive. Reset and Select do not clear the sound effect variables.

 

Frying Adventure allows you to get the side panels to appear at random spots, tho (the side panels are ONLY positioned during the normal powerup sequence and never done a second time - frying a game starts up from a random address). So you could create shortcuts if panels are positioned too far to the sides or directly in the center. Unfortunately, frying could also dump you into a non-existent room that could be quite difficult to navigate out of until it links with a valid one.

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That is correct. The reason is that the game uses 3 frames to move and handle all the game objects and variables when a game is in progress (a game is in progress immediately when the number screen is shown). The sound effects routine and it's counters are updated on only 1 of those 3 frames. When the game is won, the display is only using one frame from the loop (specifically, the one frame that sets up the object display cache, picks 2 objects to display, checks console switch input, and sound effects). So any sound in progress is sped up when the game is inactive. Reset and Select do not clear the sound effect variables.

 

The 20fps nature of Adventure confounded me for a while. I had uploaded a video to Youtube which included a clip of Adventure, but 60fps is still a relatively new thing there, and 20fps was very incompatible with Youtube's native 30fps (the rest of the video was 60fps), so it is only recently that the clip is able to be played correctly.

 

It's actually pretty remarkable just how few 2600 games run at anything less than 60fps, given how eager devs are these days to use the extra processing afforded by lower framerates. Presumably this is because the 2600's limitations mean that there is not often any benefit. Still, I point to a case like Space Attack, which is a better game on the 2600 than the Intellivision original, mostly thanks to the slicker 60fps presentation.

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