Jump to content

Working Atari 2600/VCS games on VirtualVCS


Recommended Posts

Want to boldly explore some games on the Jaguar?


How about 50 roms with six 2600 roms a piece in each selectable 1 through 6 on the keypad?


Most of these don't work. Out of 300 or so games I hope to find ... about 12 that work halfway decent. If you do test these, let us know what games are playable to some degree or mostly all.


As I mentioned before all of these were selected because they did not have hardware detection in their code but use another method of software hit detection. So it stands a chance of working. (Except for the last four games in image 50 where I threw in some to see how they would display but know they have regular hit detection.)


So far we have Hangman, Flag Capture, and that Mario Brothers fan game that played just about right. :P Astrosmash mostly worked, and Frogger and Gorf are playable in their creative way while missing some display features. So those are some examples of what we are looking for.


I can say for rom vvcs-01-0 the graphical demos at selection 1 (Core demo) and 5 (4K 4U) display a lot of the effects. I'm impressed it worked as well as it did.


Pictures of the games in play (compared to the rom played on my 2600 emulator on my laptop in the lower right hand corner) are in the file "01-0"



Don't have a skunkboard or other rom loader? Do you have a way to load BJL style? You can convert these roms to the BJL format using JIFFI. Also can convert these to CD files, but that would be a lot of CDs. Anyway, no need to be left out of the fun. ;)



  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can tell you not to bother with rom 02-0. (pictures below on how that went).


I skipped ahead to 50-Z which I mentioned before. Most of it was a bust. Then there was this 4K version of Venture. The map screen didn't show the character movement. This is common. But after some playing around I would find myself in a room. I could shoot the bad guys and they could kill me. :o But just couldn't grab the treasure in the room.


It was explained to me that looking for 85 2c means STA CXCLR, which clears all detected collisions. And that looking for that would weed out some games that might still work. So what this means is, while I've weeded out likely ones that won't work (like in Superman and the original six games on this demo, and others) some might work to some level.


Good to know.



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reviewed roms 3 and 4 this morning. Not much to write home about. The more recent homebrews and that display mode does not work well at all in VVcs.


Did run across Amidar which was SOOOO close. Displayed right, worked right, and then crashes like five seconds into gameplay. :P


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good news everyone. *


I've explored through the 50 rom images and found some interesting results. The pictures from those can be found in the attached zip file.


First off, what for sure doesn't work? Game created from Atari 2600 Basic.




Yep just pack it up and go home on those. I saw a title with the blocky text from that dev format and I said "Nope" and moved onto other images. After a while you just get a feel for what works and what doesn't.


Also notice after a while that balls and ammo shots don't display a lot of the time. Kinda curious what is being called where that fails. There are quite a few games where shots can be seen (like Gorf, Astrosmash, etc) so just depends on what the programmer used at the time.


A lot of schemes that try to use some version of text is not a friend to VVcs either.


So what did work? A lot of the displays used in the 70s and 80s, naturally, since that is what was played with when this was being developed.


Examples of what did work?



Astrosmash (Astroblast)

I didn't realize how lucky I got with finding the games in Multi01 pack and the Mario Brothers clone. So many games did not work. Astrosmash is FAST. To Bryan, who programmed the 6507 emulator for the Tom chip and wanted to save cycle times, I can say that some games run a bit too fast. You'll see this on Astrosmash, Space Battle, Gorf, and Sky Diver. SLOW is not a problem of VVcs. :D This game works quite well, keeps score, but though you start with ten lives you loose all lives when you die. That life counter is not completely working for some reason.



Bank Heist is the closest thing to a maze game that actually worked well. The walls are recognized. though things are little off with alignment to the get-a-way car. Still this game is a lot of fun on VVcs.



Things like Hangman, Basic Math and other really early games tended to work. However, if there was any flicker used for small fonts like in Stellar Track, not so much.



Activision games generally played, but did not display exactly right. I kinda like how boxing displayed wrong. These look almost like Transformer robots going at it. Maybe call this "Robot boxing" Hmmm...



Cakewalk is one of those "So close and yet so far" moments. The gameplay is ALMOST there, all displays fairly well. But when your character jumps up to grab the cake it just falls right onto the floor. SOOO CLOSE. And this is such a fun game. But I love the nightmare fuel of the "Hell's Baker" on the opening screen. :D



Cathouse by Playaround software actually works! :o Usually the adult games where found to be poorly programmed and hard to emulate, and yet, here this is.



Circus Atari displayed amazingly well. I was surprised all the balloons displayed at the top because so many others, like Gorf, Megmania, and others don't display. But Circus Atari with the tetter-totter the clowns jump onto is just not quite there and very difficult to rig landing on to. Yes, I tried a joystick version, just that that displays.



Cosmic Swarm aside from display lines is playable as an invisible bullet game.








* Always loved Farnsworth's way of entering a room with that in Futurama.

20180407 vvcs.zip

Edited by doctorclu
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites



Demos did amazingly well all things considered.



Fire Fighter, Malagai, and Amidar/Spider Droid... games that play for a few seconds and crash. There is a lot of trouble with score counters for some reason and Amidar starts with a -0. Figure as it ticks in some points earned in the game it is counter to what should be be and whammo. :P A theory.



Dragon Defender was a bit jittery, but otherwise played, displayed, shot, could be shot, not bad.



Gopher and Gravedigger

Well, you have three carrots/graves normally, displays one but is otherwise playable. Oh, and this is another game where you realize that Bryan's work on saving clock cycles has left PLENTY room to start sacrificing cycles for sound. This game is also a little bit too fast. Which is good. :D



Lasercade is a good invisible Bullet (IB) game. Plays, just doesn't display the laser.



A lot of Mattel games displayed well on Vvcs. Lock N Chase works, as long as you don't mind two of the cops being invisible. :D



Displays beautifully. Now, if only you can guess the question. Yes, that doesn't display. Good luck.



Mogul Manic, Amiga's only foray into the Atari 2600 gaming, actually works on Vvcs. :D Seems to play. Couldn't get it to go very fast in regular emulation and played about the same on VVcs.



Raft Rider/Surround - Displays pretty well, but no hit detection. There is another form of hit detection that does not work that was not filtered out with the "852C" search in the hex code. Also happened on Treasure Below as well.



Works!! Had no doubt actually. Though I have not landed on the pad successfully for a score. (Loads it up, tests it) Yep, that works along with scoring. AND TWO PLAYER IS SUPPORTED. I had no plugged up two controllers till that point.



Space Chase, an Apollo IB game. Otherwise plays fine.



Space Raid (Zaxxon)

Works, IB GAME, when you die game crashes.



Tetris 2600 and G-Z Blocks are two working Tetris games. G-Z Blocks being the closet to working the best. G-Z Blocks also has a two player mode.



Toledo Atom Chess 6502 was the only Chess/Checkers to display all the pieces somewhat. Too bad you couldn't see the cursor. :P



X-Wing Commander/Space Battle

This game works! Saved the best for last. Displays, plays, the only difference in performance from what I played on the emulator on my laptop was:

1) star displays possibly non-existent.

2) Enemy ships not as enlarged since that display feature is not active?

3) Due to the efficient 6507 emulation, FRANTIC pace. :D


Oh it is challenging.


So having found those I'll repackage some multi-roms with the working and mostly working games. And other fun ideas. ;)


More to come.

Edited by doctorclu
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...



Download here.


Gigolo worked when testing for 852c code, and come to find out these adult games were so simple they all at least displayed to a great degree. Game one the projectiles can still hit you. Game two all works fairly well with the exception of the scene in the house. And game three a few things. The brick you carry does not display, but it is there. The bird from above can still demolish the bridge, the bridge creature walks through you, but the gator can still get you. Still pretty fun.



Games 4 and 5 have the missile display bug, and game 6 uses a more complex display/flicker effect so that does not work much at all. Game 4 you can still play somewhat, but shots you fire and those at you are not seen. Game 5 though this paddle game I tried to get a version hacked for joystick, playing without seeing the "missiles" is next to impossible.


More soon.


PS: For those curious, Custer's Revenge does display and play. These packs will feature the more consensual versions of "Westward Ho" and "General Retreat". :D

Edited by doctorclu
  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Decided to add some color to the opening screen for the Women Adult pack and a "not for sale" message. ;)




Download here.


And adding the Adult Pack 02 featuring men as the main character.




Download here.

Edited by doctorclu
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bear in mind, no sound support, so I should start with that.


100%? Probably Sky Diver, Flag Capture, Hangman.


95%? That Mario Brothers 4K game I originally posted. All but the score works there.


90%? AstroBlast (life counter not working) Space Battle (Star field does not display, objects smaller than usual). Both play real fast.


And there are others. Never said I'm looking for games that work 100%, but with the current emulator what works now?


Have to say though Space Battle (should be rom 48 option 5 in the pack of 50 games) is not 100% perfect I've gotten in quite a few rounds already of that game. Vicious fun.

Edited by doctorclu
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can't say all these games are working 100% right, as usual, but had some good rounds with Basic Math, Hangman, and Flag Capture would make a good two player game if you have a friend over and want to play a Atari 2600 game on the Jaguar. That and Sky Diver which I'll add to a pack soon.




Download here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Android taking a picture of a iPod that took a picture of an Android emulating a Jaguar emulating a Atari 2600.




These roms as presented won't run on IrataJaguar on Android. PM me if interested in the adjustment.



  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Hey, doctorclu!


I saw a screenshot of my batari BASIC game Balloon Girl. Apparently it at least got to the title screen. Any sounds? Did it get into the main game?


I'm not against re-writing collision routines and adjusting for what works to make a 2600 Jaguar cartridge game.


That is really nice that you were willing to rewrite the collision routines. Sadly the title screen shown was on my Mac Stella emulator. All the Batari Basic games crash on VirtualVCS (that I've seen so far.)


Cool to see the interest though.


I'm planning on making at least two more game packs. I was just trying to adjust some of the game images for a better experience. :D

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...



Wrapping up the year, I'm releasing a game pack for the VirtualVCS that contains the most working game I found under the Virtual VCS setup: Space Attack by M-Network. It's an early version, and much I want to do on this, but wanted people to enjoy this.


Selectable in this early version of the game pack are the following (since I have not completed the menu screen)



1) Space Attack: Battlestar Galactica graphics hack.

2) Space Attack: Battlestar Galactica graphics hack.

3) Space Attack (original)

4) AstroBlast

5) Sky Diver

6) Astro Chase


The original concept was to create a Battlestar Galactica game pack. The idea was:



Space Attack was the main game. Astroblast is a gunnery cannon (I even have a special graphics hack of it which I need to finish). Sky Diver I was going to hack to be the Galactica shuttle dropping warriors on the Cylon planet (like in the classic BSG episode "Living Legend"). And Astro Chase is a viper flying over a world shooting Cylons.



Overall, the games on 1-3 are completely playable.

4 plays till you die, and then you're done.

5 is completely playable.

6 the shots don't appear. Otherwise works great.


Space Attack and Astroblast are switched in difficult to hard (since M-Network chose that for difficulty A) so those are crazy hard, That said, I've nearly destroyed all the enemies in Space Attack. At this time there is no known way to change the difficulty setting in VirtualVCS, so the setting is always on difficulty setting A.




Happy 2019 everyone!




As added fun I uploaded a video of the first recorded time a two player Atari 2600 game (Sky Diver) was played on a Atari Jaguar! (played against Kevinmos3)


Check it out!


vvcs-Sci-Fi Pack.rom

Edited by doctorclu
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is awesome, and also at the same time makes me sad that Atari didn't have the resources / weren't interested enough in getting this out the door when the Jag was still relevant.


Would be awesome to see this completed and sold in a cartridge with an SD card slot or something. Wonder if we started a patreon to support coders or something, if that would entice people enough to finish such projects.


Granted, I was very young when we switched from the 2600 to the 800XL, so most of my fondest memories were playing 8bit games. But I still invested a ton of money so I could play Adventure II on the 5200, I also got the VCS adapter for it, but don't have any 2600 games to play on it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Would be awesome to see this completed and sold in a cartridge with an SD card slot or something. Wonder if we started a patreon to support coders or something, if that would entice people enough to finish such projects.


I'm liking the Patreon idea. I wonder how much we would need to raise to get a programmer, like say the original programmer Bryan, interested? I know where I work $100 would probably buy about three hours of IT support.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you haven't tried it already, Dungeon II may work. It is 4k and being turn based it doesn't use collision detection. I do some odd stuff with the display which is apparently what causes it to not work on the portable, but if you're looking for stuff to try it may work.


You can get the rom here:



EDIT: For whatever reason, the link goes to where it is supposed to then redirects to a different thread entirely. (Al - forum issue)

Edited by s0c7
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This wasn't a bad suggestion. This one goes in the category of "practically playable". (With some guess work.).




That is to say you can make out what is going on. VirtualVCS has difficulty with duplicate items. We saw this in Gorf, Gopher, and other games where characters repeat. So as you look in the pictures you'll see cases where trees do not duplicate. What you see above is Stella on the Mac to the left and VirtualVCS on a Android phone (under IrataJaguar) to the right. So in this game, if you see a blank space and can't move, probably an invisible tree or something. You have only four directions you can go so try one of the other three.


Spacing with the letters is off (and I TOTALLY mean VirtualVCS, not the game itself).


However, you can move around, attack monsters, and you get a nice "HIT" when you land a hit. Or they do.


Kinda cool. Such a fun game I'll probably play Dungeon 2 on VirtualVCS on IrataJaguar on my Android Phone when on the go. When I'm not playing Hangman. :D. But as a turn based game it is perfect for the on screen D-Pad and buttons.


(On the attached rom Dungeon 2 is option 1). The zipped file is a folder of gameplay pictures.


Dungeon 2.zip

Edited by doctorclu
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's great that it works as much as it does, however not being able to see the menu and stats hurts the playability a lot. Since the upper half of the screen seems ok (no garbage or overlaying of sprites), I have redone the lower half with the same spacing. Hopefully everything will now be readable, if a little weird looking (ex."Ca st"). The missing replicated sprites on the map can be chalked up to fog of war or whatever.


Anyway, if you get time, you may want to see if this works better.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

That worked quite well! :D. How much extra space did you have to add for all the text to look legible?


I tried to modify the opening title screen on VirtualVCS but... not quite there. Need to refine my toolbox a bit more. (and remember how I did it last time,). :P


But in the meantime, you can try out Dungeon 2. A lot more playable now.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...