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Do Multi / ultimate carts work on the 8K or 16K Atari 400?


hunter44102
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Some very early games like Star Raiders and Asteroids would work with 8K Ram.

 

The vast majority of cart games want 16K Ram. Some (many?) later ones like the Lucasfilm cart releases by Atari need 40K Ram - this being largely due to the games being lazy ports where the Rom is just used like a virtual disk drive.

Some cartridges want 64K or more but there aren't many.

 

Most older games run direct off the Rom and the Ram is mainly for screen and working variables.

Some games do a bit of both - it's less work to convert a disk game which does access to disk to cartridge by just doing "sector input" by selecting the relevant bank then copying the data into Ram.

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If you still have the shield on your 800 it will press the return to menu button on the Ultimate cart. The foam rotted on mine and it detached so I just leave it out when using the Ultimate cart. I imagine that the 400 will have a similar issue.

Edited by CZroe
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Something not mentioned is about the 'pirated' carts and how do these differ from the original copy?

 

You have those version carts/games which were converted so as to run - say as a Binary file - like using Binary Load to load/run them from a DOS disk. This of course, requires more than 16K of RAM present? to run... I'd guess.

 

Then you have the other version - which would run off some disk menu system (eg. Rob.C menu/etc) therefore their loading address is different to a Binary Load file.

These 2 types are hacked as such to run - (no doubt in most? cases - there are anti-pirating routines in place - that need to be disabled - for the game to run as per normal) typically for 48K and plus RAM in mind. Just maybe? (I'm not a techie type) they could have been made to run on 16K RAM? but weren't. But possibly some? Multi-game cart systems have an option - that could enable some 16K games to run?

 

Harvey

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