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I cant beat Rikki & Vikki (And it's not b/c I suck)


Cousin Vinnie

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Man- I'm hoping against hope that there's a work around for this, but I have discovered a terrible and weird bug in my copy of the game, and I was wanting to know if this was common and if a solution exists. 

I will be rocking the game just fine, but then after awhile, the game starts to change its gameplay mechanics... rendering the game unbeatable. The blocks you are supposed to pick up and carry and throw and jump on start to automatically get picked up by the fox... you cant throw them, carry them, or jump on them. If you touch them, the toon will pick it up. 

The weirdest thing is that when I turn the game off and on again, sometimes the bug carries over into the new session. I've tried a new controller... no dice... so but I'm stumped.

WHADDYA THINK SMART DOODZ

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I had this same issue. @Trebor gave me the following:

 

The reason it is happening:

 

"This sounds like one of your controller ports has its two-button inputs wandering high. If you're playing in single player mode, both controller ports can move your character so any "dirty" input on the second port could cause this behavior."

 

Try playing the game with only one controller plugged in on the left side.  If the issue continues, swap out that controller with another.  This should help isolate the controller with the wandering high input.

 

I had the atarivox plugged into port two, so when I removed it the issue stopped. So if you keep that plugged in like I did it seems to cause issues, but to be safe try to keep everything unplugged from port two and see if it helps. 

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I got a phone call from a pair of very agitated glitch police, who refused to hang up until I left my secret moon base to steal WiFi and resolve it.

 

This issue has already been documented and added to the game's troubleshooting guide, which is in the first post of its thread →  right here ← but I think we need to be extra clear, as the copied & pasted advice above is mostly but not fully correct.

 

↓↓↓↓↓↓

 

Rikki & Vikki allows the use of either controller port to move your character when playing as Rikki or Vikki Alone. While this usually doesn't cause any issues, some owners may experience ghost button presses similar to the ones in Xenophobe and Rampage. These can be mitigated by having two-button controllers connected to both ports when playing. If you have an AtariVox connected, try removing it.

 

↑↑↑↑↑↑

 

Specifically, the problem is caused by the absence of two pulldown resistors in each ProLine or ProPad or Non-Wrist-Damaging-Compatible-Input-Device. So you should have two of these plugged into both ports, and nope a CX-40 won't do - two ports, two plugged in controllers, each with two buttons (2-2-2). Of course, if this doesn't solve the issue then something else might be drifting out of spec in your console. These things are gonna hit forty years old soon, and some maintenance might be required.

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6 hours ago, Silver Back said:

I had this same issue. @Trebor gave me the following:

 

The reason it is happening:

 

"This sounds like one of your controller ports has its two-button inputs wandering high. If you're playing in single player mode, both controller ports can move your character so any "dirty" input on the second port could cause this behavior."

 

Try playing the game with only one controller plugged in on the left side.  If the issue continues, swap out that controller with another.  This should help isolate the controller with the wandering high input.

 

I had the atarivox plugged into port two, so when I removed it the issue stopped. So if you keep that plugged in like I did it seems to cause issues, but to be safe try to keep everything unplugged from port two and see if it helps. 

 

3 hours ago, TailChao said:

I got a phone call from a pair of very agitated glitch police, who refused to hang up until I left my secret moon base to steal WiFi and resolve it.

 

This issue has already been documented and added to the game's troubleshooting guide, which is in the first post of its thread →  right here ← but I think we need to be extra clear, as the copied & pasted advice above is mostly but not fully correct.

 

↓↓↓↓↓↓

 

Rikki & Vikki allows the use of either controller port to move your character when playing as Rikki or Vikki Alone. While this usually doesn't cause any issues, some owners may experience ghost button presses similar to the ones in Xenophobe and Rampage. These can be mitigated by having two-button controllers connected to both ports when playing. If you have an AtariVox connected, try removing it.

 

↑↑↑↑↑↑

 

Specifically, the problem is caused by the absence of two pulldown resistors in each ProLine or ProPad or Non-Wrist-Damaging-Compatible-Input-Device. So you should have two of these plugged into both ports, and nope a CX-40 won't do - two ports, two plugged in controllers, each with two buttons (2-2-2). Of course, if this doesn't solve the issue then something else might be drifting out of spec in your console. These things are gonna hit forty years old soon, and some maintenance might be required.

 

 

Thank ya fellas!

Yeah man- Im worried about these things getting so old. I only play the Atari in a vacuum tube that acts as a Faraday cage. And instead of moving the joystick with my hands, I only softly coo at it. 

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On 2/19/2022 at 12:45 PM, Cousin Vinnie said:

 

 

 

Thank ya fellas!

Yeah man- Im worried about these things getting so old. I only play the Atari in a vacuum tube that acts as a Faraday cage. And instead of moving the joystick with my hands, I only softly coo at it. 

I confirm that plugging in a second controller will prevent this. The same thing happens on my 7800 after about 20min of game play. In Xenophobe (Where I first happen to mention it somewhere in these forums...), the second player just suddenly shows up. In R&V, the character will start to do odd stuff like you stated. So I have to remember when playing those games, to plug in a second 2 button 7800 controller to prevent this. It is also possible to add in the pulldown resistors manually to the system to prevent this, but then you need to wire up a switch to disable them when wanting to play 2 player games. I find it easier to just plug in a second controller and call it good.

 

Another odd thing to mention, is that my 7800 has done this for as long as I can recall. I used to wonder why the second player would suddenly show up in Rampage back in the day and now we know why. So I don't think the age of the console really has much to do with it. More like a possible issue in some TIA chips back then that made it past QA since it doesn't manifest immediately.

 

Also, I believe that is another way to correct for this, is to replace the TIA, but those are getting to be more expensive per unit than POKEY chips these days.

 

 

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9 hours ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

More like a possible issue in some TIA chips back then that made it past QA since it doesn't manifest immediately.

:thumbsup:

 

There is documented nearly 200 uniquely stamped TIA chips manufactured.  There are at least 12 different versions of the NTSC TIA chip.  Several of the 12 are known to have been leveraged for the 7800 console. Couple that with some sketchy QA, there are bound to be some issues that went unnoticed or circumstances not taken into account.  Some of those issues are detailed in the aforementioned link.

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I had this issue with my 7800. As I have a switchable internal Atarivox, I added the two resistors to the switch so when the Avox was enabled, it also loaded the lines of the joystick as if a second stick was present. This makes the problem go away when playing single player. As I have to swtich the Avox off to play two player anyhow, the resistors are then lifted and the second stick works fine. It would be easy to just make a dongle to go into port two between an external atarivox for those running one who are experiencing the problem.

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On 2/19/2022 at 1:45 PM, Cousin Vinnie said:

Yeah man- Im worried about these things getting so old. I only play the Atari in a vacuum tube that acts as a Faraday cage. And instead of moving the joystick with my hands, I only softly coo at it. 

Softly and worded in the most supportive, positive way - mention how bad the port of Karateka was and the CPU will snap in half.

 

 

On 2/21/2022 at 10:02 AM, -^CrossBow^- said:

Another odd thing to mention, is that my 7800 has done this for as long as I can recall. I used to wonder why the second player would suddenly show up in Rampage back in the day and now we know why. So I don't think the age of the console really has much to do with it. More like a possible issue in some TIA chips back then that made it past QA since it doesn't manifest immediately.

I don't think it's an issue with the TIA at all - rather how the 7800's input block is designed an lack of clarity in the programming manual. The inputs for the new buttons on a ProLine were meant for paddles, not digital presses. Moreso having an indeterminate state without a controller plugged in runs contrary to what every other platform does.

 

When we were wrapping up Rikki & Vikki this is one of the things I thought might be an issue, then looked at what Rampage and Xenophobe did and thought I was okay - because these were official titles from back in the day and probably went through some thorough approval process. Now I know better. You can (sort of) mitigate this by using the dump to ground feature on the paddle pins, but then you have to worry about rise time with long cords.

 

Bleh.

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5 minutes ago, TailChao said:

I don't think it's an issue with the TIA at all - rather how the 7800's input block is designed an lack of clarity in the programming manual. The inputs for the new buttons on a ProLine were meant for paddles, not digital presses. Moreso having an indeterminate state without a controller plugged in runs contrary to what every other platform does.

Except that replacing out the TIA in 7800s that do this does seem to correct the issue. I only didn't bother with mine because TIAs are starting to get harder to get now also and actually cost more per unit from Best Electronics as an example than even the Pokey does. So plugging in a second controller prevents the issue from happening and I'm fine with doing that on my personal system for the few games that exhibit the issue.

 

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1 minute ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

Except that replacing out the TIA in 7800s that do this does seem to correct the issue. I only didn't bother with mine because TIAs are starting to get harder to get now also and actually cost more per unit from Best Electronics as an example than even the Pokey does. So plugging in a second controller prevents the issue from happening and I'm fine with doing that on my personal system for the few games that exhibit the issue.

I understand that, but this is still "indeterminate behavior" - you're just getting chips with paddle pins that don't wander around as much. That's different from a chip defect.

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