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Pole Position for Apple II?


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  • 1 year later...
On 10/23/2019 at 5:25 PM, R.Cade said:

That doesn't look like a C64 game to me, at least not by Atarisoft "standards". The sprites appear to more than 2 colors - actually more than 4. It's certainly possible by using multiple overlayed sprites, but out of character.


I wouldn't say it's completely out of character. I've seen many Atarisoft ports for various systems, and in fact there are quite a few of them on the C-64 which outdo their Atari 8-bit counterparts. Pac-Man is one of those that doesn't... it's clearly based on the Atari 8-bit version and does nothing to improve on it. But Donkey Kong for the C-64, while something may have gone wrong with the speed and aspect ratio, is more colorful than the Atari 8-bit version which essentially shows software sprites in 4 colors, and also has more correct screen layouts (as does the TI-99 version of it as well). Ms. Pac-Man takes advantage of multicolor sprites, so the ghosts have blue eyes on the C-64. Dig Dug also offers multicolor sprites. Track and Field, on the C-64, has bigger sprites, smooth scrolling and is also more colorful with the colors being truer to the arcade original. And Mario Bros. I actually consider the best home port on a non-Nintendo system (except for MAYBE the later Atari XE version by Sculptured Software), while the Atari 8-bit version suffers from strange graphics and a low framerate.


As for Joust, as far as is known now, the 8-bit version of Joust was made for Atari by GCC, and some other programmer (presumably the one who also did "Popeye" on the C-64) converted that into a C-64 version. That version is meanwhile available to download, but I'd consider it a prototype since if you play it, you'll realize that something's severely off with the sound. I took a peek into the code, and as far as I can see, the sound that's now in that C-64 version is a hack which uses the sound data actually intended for the POKEY and somehow converts it so that the SID puts out SOMETHING... but it doesn't even come close to the arcade sounds. The sprite graphics, however, seem to have been retouched a bit. I can't see 4 colors anywhere, but there are three per sprite, which again fits in perfectly with the C-64's multicolor sprites. The two common colors are white (sword) and blue (rider's head) and the variable color is the body of the ostrich. On the Atari 8-bit version there are 2 colors per sprite... the white sword and the ostrich color which is the same as the rider's.


The trouble Atarisoft had with the C-64 version was that GCC wasn't paid to do a C-64 version, only the Atari 8-bit version, so taking their code and converting it to the C-64 probably violated their contract.


As for Pole Position, I think as well that a good port should have been possible on the Apple II, given the other racing games released there. It would probably have been lacking in the sound department (similar to the ZX Spectrum version) and there probably would have been no smooth scrolling on the background... 


Here is an attempt to convert an arcade screenshot of Pole Position to the Apple II graphics format using Dithertron. They probably would have used solid colors instead of dithering though..




And the TI-99 version of Joust, if there had been one, might have looked very much like the Colecovision version since both systems share the same video chip:


Quellbild anzeigen

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