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Champ Games - Galagon (aka Galaga) 2600


johnnywc

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8 hours ago, TF14 said:

Another impressive example of what can be done on the Atari 2600 - really amazing. Any estimate of what it would have cost to produce this cart back in the early 1980's (compared to the 4k carts)?

I think back then only something like a Cray 1 might have had similar CPU power as the simple ARM build into the cart. So you probably would have needed an extra room and several million dollars. :) 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cray-1

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But if I understand correctly about the ARM games, only about 20% of the 70mhz processor is available for use by the game? So would there have a been a processor back then that could be the equivalent to a cut down ARM. Or would it still be too powerful for the time?

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3 minutes ago, Big Player said:

But if I understand correctly about the ARM games, only about 20% of the 70mhz processor is available for use by the game? So would there have a been a processor back then that could be the equivalent to a cut down ARM. Or would it still be too powerful for the time?

Actually, all 70mhz is available, but the ARM is typically only used during VBLANK and overscan (before and after the screen is drawn) so the full power is only utilized about 20% of the time.  With that said, certainly a Galaga clone could have been written to use less of the ARM if needed, but the Champ Games version was designed to use all the resources available.  As I mention above, most of the mechanics and gameplay of Galagon were already done back in 1983 with Galaxian.  A version using the DPC chip and extra ROM/RAM that was available at the time would have certainly been able to make an acceptable and affordable Galaga clone IMO.  (well, at least less than a million dollars :P )

 

Now, other Champ Games such as Mappy, Zoo Keeper, Qyx, and RobotWar probably benefit the most from the ARM and a similar and affordable port would have been near if not impossible back in the day.

 

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3 hours ago, Big Player said:

But if I understand correctly about the ARM games, only about 20% of the 70mhz processor is available for use by the game? So would there have a been a processor back then that could be the equivalent to a cut down ARM. Or would it still be too powerful for the time?

Don't underestimate the really HUUUGE performance increase over the past 40 years. According to Moore's Law, the number of transistors in e.g. a CPU doubles about every two years. Over 40 years that's 2^20 (~1,000,000).

 

Since the CPU prices are staying about constant, that means a CPU which costs $5 today, would have costed ~$5,000,000 (today's money) back then. Even 20% of this doesn't seem very affordable. :)

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  • 5 months later...
On 1/24/2023 at 9:51 PM, insertclevernamehere said:

Does anybody else’s physical cart of this game only display a 4 digit score during gameplay? As soon as my score gets to 5 digits, the screen only displays a “-“ in the 10,000’s column.

Hi there!  This is the first time I've heard of this issue (unless everyone else who owns the game is scoring less than 10,000 points ;) ).  Can you post a screenshot or provide any other info that may help me debug this?  Feel free to send me a PM and I can work on it directly.  It may be an issue with the cart itself (may need a re-burn).

 

Thanks!

John

 

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8 hours ago, johnnywc said:

Hi there!  This is the first time I've heard of this issue (unless everyone else who owns the game is scoring less than 10,000 points ;) ).  Can you post a screenshot or provide any other info that may help me debug this?  Feel free to send me a PM and I can work on it directly.  It may be an issue with the cart itself (may need a re-burn).

 

Thanks!

John

 

Hi John,

 

I cleaned the contacts of my console and the cartridge last night just in case and played again now.  Still acting the same.  The high score table goes doolally too and hopefully the video I will add will work.  I reached out to Al yesterday but not heard anything yet.  I will also take the cart to a retro gaming store tomorrow and test it on another 2600.

 

Many thanks for your response.  Love your games.

 

Cheers,

 

Adam

1AB30FFF-3093-4EB7-B6D7-83E247792D47.jpeg

Edited by insertclevernamehere
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5 minutes ago, insertclevernamehere said:

I cleaned the contacts of my console and the cartridge last night just in case and played again now.  Still acting the same.  The high score table goes doolally too and hopefully the video I will add will work.  I reached out to Al yesterday but not heard anything yet.  I will also take the cart to a retro gaming store tomorrow and test it on another 2600.

I responded to your email, but I'll reply here as well.  Could certainly be a bad cartridge -- looks like you bought it about three years ago.  Did the game just start exhibiting problems now, or did it work fine previously?  Curious to see if it displays the same behavior when you test it on another system.  I'd be glad to exchange the cart, of course, and I can include a replacement cart with your outstanding order that I'm working on now.  Is that a four-switch system you're playing the game on?

 

 ..Al

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19 minutes ago, Albert said:

I responded to your email, but I'll reply here as well.  Could certainly be a bad cartridge -- looks like you bought it about three years ago.  Did the game just start exhibiting problems now, or did it work fine previously?  Curious to see if it displays the same behavior when you test it on another system.  I'd be glad to exchange the cart, of course, and I can include a replacement cart with your outstanding order that I'm working on now.  Is that a four-switch system you're playing the game on?

 

 ..Al

Many thanks Al.  It's a 6 switch but I've never been interested enough in figuring out if it's a heavy or a light sixer.  Just taken a photo below.

E1C18A10-AFE2-4E11-B2E9-C496B5B00F81.jpeg

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2 minutes ago, insertclevernamehere said:

Many thanks Al.  It's a 6 switch but I've never been interested enough in figuring out if it's a heavy or a light sixer.  Just taken a photo below.

That's a light sixer, the heavy sixer has a thicker bezel and it's more curved at the corners.  It's also rather heavy. :D

 

 ..Al

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  • 5 months later...

I just placed my order for the cartridge tonight on the Atari Age store.  Afterwards I decided to read through the thread here, and discovered the cart won't work on my Retron 77.  As a purchaser of the physical cart is there any way for me to also get a digital copy of the final game to use on my Retron?  If not I'll make due with the demo, but I thought it was worth asking.

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7 hours ago, Lantesh said:

I just placed my order for the cartridge tonight on the Atari Age store.  Afterwards I decided to read through the thread here, and discovered the cart won't work on my Retron 77.  As a purchaser of the physical cart is there any way for me to also get a digital copy of the final game to use on my Retron?  If not I'll make due with the demo, but I thought it was worth asking.

ChampGames are selling digital ROMs at their website. You even get a discount if you already bought the cart at AA.

 

BTW: Have you tested the demo ROM successfully on your R77? There are consoles out there with faulty RAM. These do not work well with the Community Edition of Stella, which is required for all ARM driven games.

Edited by Thomas Jentzsch
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6 hours ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

ChampGames are selling digital ROMs at their website. You even get a discount if you already bought the cart at AA.

 

BTW: Have you tested the demo ROM successfully on your R77? There are consoles out there with faulty RAM. These do not work well with the Community Edition of Stella, which is required for all ARM driven games.

So far I have only tested the original Galaga demo, which worked great.  I have not tested the final Galagon demo yet.  I'll do that today now that I found the download for it.  By the way, what is the reason for the name change?  I saw that you could buy both the different names as cartridges, with the one labeled Galaga priced more than double that of Galagon.  I'm assuming the higher cost was for licensing the name.  I was totally fine going for the Galagon version for the cost savings.

 

I'm actually on my second Retron 77.  My first one died shortly after I bought it.  I wonder if that was one with the bad RAM.  I've had my second one for maybe about 2 years now, and it seems to still be working great.  I don't actually have a real 2600.  When I was a kid I had the Sears Tele-Games version.  Someday I'd like to pick one of those up again just for nostalgia, but for actual play I love the convenience of the HDMI output on the Retron.

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Hi there,

 

4 hours ago, Lantesh said:

So far I have only tested the original Galaga demo, which worked great.  I have not tested the final Galagon demo yet.  I'll do that today now that I found the download for it. 

I have tested Galagon on my R77 and it works without issue so hopefully you have the same results! 🤞

4 hours ago, Lantesh said:

By the way, what is the reason for the name change?  I saw that you could buy both the different names as cartridges, with the one labeled Galaga priced more than double that of Galagon.  I'm assuming the higher cost was for licensing the name.  I was totally fine going for the Galagon version for the cost savings.

We could not secure licensing which prompted the name change.  However, a small batch of Galaga branded materials were printed so AtariAge is offering them for sale; the higher price is because of the limited quantity (I think there are < 40).  As far as the games are concerned, they are exactly the same except for the title screen logo.

4 hours ago, Lantesh said:

I'm actually on my second Retron 77.  My first one died shortly after I bought it.  I wonder if that was one with the bad RAM.  I've had my second one for maybe about 2 years now, and it seems to still be working great.  I don't actually have a real 2600.  When I was a kid I had the Sears Tele-Games version.  Someday I'd like to pick one of those up again just for nostalgia, but for actual play I love the convenience of the HDMI output on the Retron.

I used to play mostly on my R77 as well because of the HDMI, but recently I have switched to a real system (4-switch) with an UAV mod (composite and S-video output) and a Retrotink HDMI converter.  Works great, picture is awesome, no slowdown or overheating issues you get with the R77, plus I can easily use an AtariVox for speech in Wizard of Wor Arcade and Gorf Arcade. :music:  The setup is a bit expensive of an investment but worth it IMO.

 

Good luck and thanks for the support!

 

John

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46 minutes ago, johnnywc said:

Hi there,

 

I have tested Galagon on my R77 and it works without issue so hopefully you have the same results! 🤞

We could not secure licensing which prompted the name change.  However, a small batch of Galaga branded materials were printed so AtariAge is offering them for sale; the higher price is because of the limited quantity (I think there are < 40).  As far as the games are concerned, they are exactly the same except for the title screen logo.

I used to play mostly on my R77 as well because of the HDMI, but recently I have switched to a real system (4-switch) with an UAV mod (composite and S-video output) and a Retrotink HDMI converter.  Works great, picture is awesome, no slowdown or overheating issues you get with the R77, plus I can easily use an AtariVox for speech in Wizard of Wor Arcade and Gorf Arcade. :music:  The setup is a bit expensive of an investment but worth it IMO.

 

Good luck and thanks for the support!

 

John

Thanks John.  I appreciate the info.  My brother is pushing me to buy the some original hardware.  So I may eventually do that.  He lives with me, and has a 7800.  So I can use that for now when I want to.  Here we are, two middle age guys living together again, playing our Atari cartridges.  It's like we are kids again, lol.

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15 hours ago, Lantesh said:

Thanks John.  I appreciate the info. 

You're welcome!

15 hours ago, Lantesh said:

My brother is pushing me to buy the some original hardware.  So I may eventually do that.  He lives with me, and has a 7800.  So I can use that for now when I want to.  Here we are, two middle age guys living together again, playing our Atari cartridges.  It's like we are kids again, lol.

That's great!  I have three brothers around my age and we loved playing Atari together as kids.  We all live pretty far apart but when we get together we always find time to play a game or two. ;) 

 

Have fun and thanks for the support!

John

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
17 hours ago, envytomdead2 said:

Does Galagon not work in retroarch on Android(Stella 6.6)? I downloaded the demo and although the game starts up ok, the controls don't work. I can't move or shoot. This is with both the touch controls and a Bluetooth 8bitdo M30 controller. The same rom works fine on my retron 77 (6.5.3)

 

 

Just copy these files in the ZIP into the same folder that you have the games in the archive.  Make sure they have the same exact name ( minus the extension ) as your game.  This will allow the game to work.  Basically what I did is I loaded the games in Stella on the PC and went into the settings and forced the controller type and saved the settings ( .pro ) file.  Stella for retroarch will read these files in if they have the same name as the game.

 

I had opened an issue for this somewhere.. but I forget where.  :lol:  I'm hoping to look into it once I'm done with Atari800 and Hatari for retroarch.  Stella is next on my list of things to look at.  Nothing fancy.. probably just a few minor touchups.  ( Unlike Atari800 and Hatari ).  :lol:

 

Here it is.. love the tag they gave it.. (rolls eyes).  core bugs - not retroarch bugsinvalid: won't fix

 

They could "fix it" by connecting some of the stella functionality back to the retroarch core options.  So more accurately it's an issue exacerbated by the retroarch interfae


https://github.com/libretro/RetroArch/issues/12467#issuecomment-1405660334

 

RetroStella.zip

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5 hours ago, Shannon said:

 

 

Just copy these files in the ZIP into the same folder that you have the games in the archive.  Make sure they have the same exact name ( minus the extension ) as your game.  This will allow the game to work.  Basically what I did is I loaded the games in Stella on the PC and went into the settings and forced the controller type and saved the settings ( .pro ) file.  Stella for retroarch will read these files in if they have the same name as the game.

 

I had opened an issue for this somewhere.. but I forget where.  :lol:  I'm hoping to look into it once I'm done with Atari800 and Hatari for retroarch.  Stella is next on my list of things to look at.  Nothing fancy.. probably just a few minor touchups.  ( Unlike Atari800 and Hatari ).  :lol:

 

Here it is.. love the tag they gave it.. (rolls eyes).  core bugs - not retroarch bugsinvalid: won't fix

 

They could "fix it" by connecting some of the stella functionality back to the retroarch core options.  So more accurately it's an issue exacerbated by the retroarch interfae


https://github.com/libretro/RetroArch/issues/12467#issuecomment-1405660334

 

RetroStella.zip 1.89 kB · 2 downloads

That did it! Thanks so much!

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