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Games that don't need more than 64KB if run from cart


Philsan
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There are big games that don't need more than 64KB if run from cart (in other words, games that need only 64KB if run from cart).

 

For example Atari Blast! (cart 64KB - xex 1024KB), Commando (64KB-320KB), Crossbow (64KB-256KB), Space Harrier...

 

Do you remember other games?

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Atari Blast! will run on a 16K computer if from cartridge, and Commando only needs 256K ram to run from a file, the Commando+ with re-done title screen and title screen music requires 320K. And I don't think there is a rom version of Commando+. I also noticed a Tower Toppler file saying it requires 320K in the file name, but both it and standard Commando file run fine on my 256K XL

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@shanti77 - I did download that file. However, I am not sure how to convert the bin file into a cartridge image that can be run from Ultimate Cart. When I try to drag the bin file onto romtocar.html, it does not detect the file as something that can be converted into an Ultimate Cart-compatible cartridge type. While the bin file appears to start up

 

As an aside, thanks again for the Bosconian port. We had lots of fun playing the 64K version at our retro gaming group last month. I made the mistake of not creating a bootable copy of the 128K version so we could not get it to boot from DOS. I have corrected this by creating a Picodos disk with the 128K version.

 

Bob C

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Does anyone have a cartridge image of Bomb Jack? I have heard about it, but I do not have a 320K Atari. I could run it in Altirra, but I would rather use real hardware.

 

Bob C

http://atarionline.pl/v01/index.php?ct=katalog&sub=B&tg=Bomb%20Jack#Bomb%20Jack- atr versions, on cartridge it use title "Bomb Jake", but game is 100% that same

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Sikor,

 

That is helpful, but those are all xex or are versions that require 320k of memory. I was interested when hearing of a cartridge image that would allow me to run the game on my 64k XEGS.

 

Bob C

Hi,

 

BJ was developed at the time to make use of the then new (2008) Corina cartridge which has onboard SRAM which you can read about here: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/135561-corina-new-cartridge-architecture. The executable file was made available also for users with expanded RAM.

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I noticed that Altirra did detect it as a Corina cartridge. I still had problems playing it in Altirra using the bin file. It appears I will not be able to play Bomb Jack on my actual hardware since I do not intend to upgrade its memory. Thanks for the information.

 

Bob C

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Many game cartridges use the first lower 32K RAM area for the screen, player/missile base, storage of variables and arrays, place for self modifying code, etc. Plus anything store compressed needs to be loaded into RAM. Cartridges the occupy 16K that cannot be switched off cannot use the RAM under the cartridges from addresses 32768 to 49151. Not sure the ones we are using are switchable.

 

None of the cartridge I produced so far required over 64K. Some will run on 48K machines. Tempest and Secretum Labyrinth games takes advantage of RAM under the OS ROM to store self-modifying program code that runs much faster. Tempest uses all the other RAM for digital sounds that had to be copied to RAM first because trying to back switch each time a nibble had to written to the pokey registers would had gobbled up too much CPU. Venture requires a 32K RAM, but lets say 48K since some of the RAM will be mapped to the cartridge area.

 

The other "16K for 16K" cartridges are 16K ROMS that run on 16K RAM machines. This is to allow easy porting to the 5200. Titles include "Delta Space Arena", "Amok Bots", "Megaoids", "Laser Blast X", "Surround'Em", and "Tile Smashers." Using compression routines also allows more to be packed onto a cartridge, but needs RAM to load into.

 

We decided not to make anything to take advantage of computers with over 64K because not everybody has an Atari 130XE, or modified their computer with RAMBO or Ultimate 1meg. I was using executable versions of Tempest and Secretum Labyrinth that ran on my 130XE, but these were for my personal use before I started using my own flash cartridge.

Edited by peteym5
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None of the cartridge I produced so far required over 64K. Some will run on 48K machines. Tempest and Secretum Labyrinth games takes advantage of RAM under the OS ROM to store self-modifying program code that runs much faster. Tempest uses all the other RAM for digital sounds that had to be copied to RAM first because trying to back switch each time a nibble had to written to the pokey registers would had gobbled up too much CPU. Venture requires a 32K RAM, but lets say 48K since some of the RAM will be mapped to the cartridge area.

 

The other "16K for 16K" cartridges are 16K ROMS that run on 16K RAM machines. This is to allow easy porting to the 5200. Titles include "Delta Space Arena", "Amok Bots", "Megaoids", "Laser Blast X", "Surround'Em", and "Tile Smashers"

 

We decided not to make anything to take advantage of computers with over 64K because not everybody has an Atari 130XE, or modified their computer with RAMBO or Ultimate 1meg. I was using executable versions of Tempest and Secretum Labyrinth that ran on my 130XE, but these will not be released for a few more years.

They are discussing how games use the bank switching method to run larger ram consuming games etc on machines with limited memory, not games that are on cartridge that can run on such small amounts of ram already.

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I noticed that Altirra did detect it as a Corina cartridge. I still had problems playing it in Altirra using the bin file. It appears I will not be able to play Bomb Jack on my actual hardware since I do not intend to upgrade its memory. Thanks for the information.

 

Bob C

What bank switching scheme does Corina use?

 

To port something to use extended RAM banks, you will need to set it up for "PORTB" bank switching instead of $D5xx bank switching, and if 8K banks were used on cartridge, 2 will need to be combined into 1 16K RAM bank. If anything must be mapped in memory at all times like display list, screen, DLIs, VBIs, that would need to be moved outside the bank switching area. May take some work to disassemble a game, find out where stuff is mapped, and change addresses, and re-assemble it.

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I don’t know what banking scheme the Corina cartridge used. I only know this from looking at Altirra. While the Zip file has the banks saved as files, I don’t have the knowledge, tools, or time to do this. Since there isn’t a cartridge in a format readable by the Ultimate Cart, I’ll have to be satisfied in using the XEX file in Altirra.

 

Bob C

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Found this. http://atariage.com/forums/topic/135561-corina-new-cartridge-architecture/

 

Corina was used by GR8 software. I tried to approach GR8 to manufacture my games for the European region around 2010. But I never got a response from them. KJMANN also warned me to stay away from them because they would not allow me to encode the Bank Switching scheme myself, I would need to turn all my source code over to them. Plus they have some sort of deal where they only produce an X number of cartridges and they post the game up on their website. So I said "No source for you!" after finding all this out. I thought GR8 went out of business. But enough about that.

 

One reason why I can think that a cartridge game would be a big EPROM and use extended RAM is it will have an enormous scrolling screen area that is constantly being updated. Like a 256x256 Antic 4 set up using all 4 banks on a 130XE. Frequently changes to the playfield. I had something like that in mind for Jungle Quest, but decided to go with using standard memory so that the game will play on a 64K machine.

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Pete, for your information, GR8 Software released for free its great software, offering it in great packages for collectors (three examples here) with nice prices. Bomb Jake source code is available too.

 

A very different policy compared to yours...

 

Therefore, please don't criticize GR8 Software, one of the best contemporary software house (unfortunately closed because of people's involved lack of time).

 

I bought all GR8 games, even though they are downlodable for free.

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