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Atari/Legends Flashback Expansion Builds


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Atari re-released many of their older carts as XEGS versions, with a tan cartridge and XEGS label.  Also, they released for the first time several games that used a bank-switched 32K cartridge format.  Here is a list of the 32 "official" XEGS carts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Atari_XEGS_games

So the XEGS section if Nexxus includes these 32 games plus a few additional 32k homebrew games in the XEGS bankswitched cartridge format.

 

By the way, I loved Wavy Navy back in the day because I was a Galaxian fan and it was a great clone.  It was ported from the Apple II version and uses bitmapped graphics instead of player missile graphics that the Atari supported.

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45 minutes ago, rra said:

Atari re-released many of their older carts as XEGS versions, with a tan cartridge and XEGS label.  Also, they released for the first time several games that used a bank-switched 32K cartridge format.  Here is a list of the 32 "official" XEGS carts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Atari_XEGS_games

So the XEGS section if Nexxus includes these 32 games plus a few additional 32k homebrew games in the XEGS bankswitched cartridge format.

 

By the way, I loved Wavy Navy back in the day because I was a Galaxian fan and it was a great clone.  It was ported from the Apple II version and uses bitmapped graphics instead of player missile graphics that the Atari supported.

Ah, awesome, thanks for the additional info.   I see that both One on One basketball and Summer Games have dedicated cartridges.  Cool!

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23 hours ago, rra said:

I loved Wavy Navy back in the day because I was a Galaxian fan and it was a great clone.

I just played it, and I really like it!  It has a pretty steep difficulty curve as the levels increase.

 

Wavy navy could be a good example as a tutorial for anyone who wants to try out the import capability.  The good thing about 8-bit NTSC games (along with 2600 games) is they can be imported and played with no other special edits.

 

importwavy.zip

 

I am attaching a zipped up folder with almost everything you need, including a game description as assisted by the comment from @rra above.  The folder does NOT have the rom - which you need.  Find your own rom!  I suggest find a .xex US version, which is what worked for me.

 

Unzip the folder to the root of your flash drive.  Add your rom file to the folder and rename it so it has NO SPACES and also you MUST ADD an extra .gme extension, for example: WavyNavy(1983)(US).xex.gme

 

Start your Nexus modded flashback and enter the Atari 8-bit computer section.

Select Import.

If all goes well you will now have the game with box art in place in the 8-bit section.

 

 

I usually take punctuation out of rom names.  TBH, a lot of punctuation can work, but spaces and square brackets are definitely verboten, because they cause the menu system in all-games.ini to get out of whack.  I have it on my list for the next update to improve the import to sanitize the rom names by automatically removing spaces and replacing square brackets with parens to take away one more manual step.

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On 4/2/2024 at 12:20 AM, rocketfan said:

#1 - Karaoke was put back in in the previous update, and is still there in the 1.7 version.  TBH, when I dug out my AFB9 it had an old version with some of that stuff on there and made me want to bring it back.  Also, in truth I have been having better luck with large uploads, so it's not as much a problem as at one time.  The video game related movies are cool in their way, but they massively blow up the size of the build for just a few low quality movies.  Also, the playback was lacking controls and they did not play well on AFB98 for whatever reason.  In the end, I'm not interested in adding back the films, but you could do it yourself.  The video files go in the amv section just like games.  I can tell you roughly the type of conversion I was running.  Something like this in linux: 

 

ffmpeg -i Atari_DigDug.mp4 -vf scale=640:480 -b:v 1000k  -ar 22050 CrazyAtariDigDug.mpg

 

I'm sure there are Windows utilities to do the same sort of conversions, but I'm no expert in that world.  For widescreen content you would use 720x480 or similar.  The .mpg format is compatible with the core,  -b:v 1000k sets a really low video bit-rate, and -ar 22050 a lowish audio rate which was needed for smooth playback through the core.

 

#2 that's a tougher question.  Now several cores, at least 5200, 7800, Colecovision, let you (optionally) use the fire button of the second controller.    That same mod could be added to other cores, but just hasn't.  A couple of people have built custom controllers with just an extra button that ties in to a second 9-pin connector which just closes the right pins (8 and 6 I believe) on the second port.  Also, if the system type (like Colecovision) does not need the start button, that can be used - although the position is awkward for anything where you have to use it very often.  I do find it OK for like the smart bomb in Defender though.

 

For real Atari 2600 hardware you can hook up a Sega genesis pad and use it.  I have done it myself - they work!  Some folks have done mods to games which allow two button games to be played on a 2600 with those Sega controllers.  There is a big thread somewhere here on AtariAge about it.  Sadly though, the pads don't come close to working on the flashbacks.  I'm not sure why, if the flashbacks work with original Atari Joysticks and Paddles you might think it should work - but it does not.  I'm more a software guy.  Maybe someone out there understands the hardware and knows why?  For one thing though, I think the signal levels from the Flashbacks are just not the same.

 

I try to remember the main goal on Atari flashbacks was not supporting random emulation, but supporting 2600 games using something close to original Atari Controllers and paddles.  It's not perfect, but they did pretty well. 

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions. Can't tell you how much I appreciate it!

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  • 2 weeks later...

@OrangeKryptonite I appreciate your feedback and input!

 

I have been away for a week visiting the in-laws in FL.  I don't have AtariAge hooked to my phone or anything, so I was basically "off-grid" haha.  In the meantime, I got a PM that one Nexus user who is having trouble exiting Pico-8 on the Flashback 9.  It's hard for me to believe it does not work - should be the menu button to exit?  I have a vague memory maybe some things like that are finicky on the flashback 9?  I have mine stashed again and will dig it out, but just wondering if anyone out there would confirm or deny?

 

Also, I got more feedback on the media/movies.  A suggestion was to make a separate download with that "expanded" section.  One of my concerns is that the content might get a bit more attention and put the other downloads at risk.  Like when the downloads were "disappeared" off AtariAge, that was a big bummer after putting so much work into it.  This represents a lot of hours of effort from many individuals in these builds.  I hate to risk it for something that a lot of people would not use vs. the games.  However, I noticed a bunch of cool old 80's Atari commercials I will add from the "Atari Museum" aspect of the device.  Anyway, I'm planning to take a look at the player to see if there's anything I can do in terms of improving the experience and also add those commercials.  On the longer movies - I do have the old movie content but I don't think I have it in the final form.  I can put it back into a section pretty quickly though.  I will probably make a download available but like Brigadoon, the version with the films may only appear temporarily on very special occasions.  Stay tuned.  🙂

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, rocketfan said:

, I got a PM that one Nexus user who is having trouble exiting Pico-8 on the Flashback 9.  It's hard for me to believe it does not work - should be the menu button to exit?  I have a vague memory maybe some things like that are finicky on the flashback 9?  I have mine stashed again and will dig it out, but just wondering if anyone out there would confirm or deny?

I just played several Pico8 games on a Flashback 9.  The menu button on the joystick exited all of them just fine.

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3 hours ago, rra said:

I just played several Pico8 games on a Flashback 9.  The menu button on the joystick exited all of them just fine.

I was the user who sent the PM to RocketFan asking about the Pico games on the flashback 9.  I did a little bit more investigating.

 

I tried JETPACK, CENTIPEDE, and AMIDAR. All 3 of these games played fine. I was able to exit by pressing the MENU button ( the left most on the front of the joystick )

 

However, when I tried some other games...   for example     PICO FROGGER and SPACE INVADERS ...

I cannot exit.  I press MENU button but it does not exit.

 

In fact, when I first choose either game ( PICO FROGGER or SPACE INVADERS ) a message comes up before gameplay that says that the

START, SELECT, and REWIND features are not compatible with this game

 

Could it be that the MENU button is not compatible either?

 

 

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2 hours ago, timdu said:

However, when I tried some other games...   for example     PICO FROGGER and SPACE INVADERS ...

I cannot exit.  I press MENU button but it does not exit.

I can confirm the same with Space Invaders and Pico Frogger.  I found a workaround in Space Invaders.  After you lose all your lives, then you can press Menu to exit.  Can't do that on Pucofrogger.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, rra said:

I can confirm the same with Space Invaders and Pico Frogger.

Thanks @rra I can see looking at the build that those use the "older" pico8 emulator.  At some point a standalone emulator "fake08" was added which is compatible with a lot more games.  A workaround that will most likely work is to change those games and their artwork to the fake08 emulator.  @timdu To do that just change the extension from .p8 to .f8 on the rom file and the artwork files (three total) and ALSO you must edit the all-games.ini to change the rom entry for each game changed.  I can't remember why I didn't just change everything over, but maybe a "not broken don't fix it" approach.

Edited by rocketfan
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In PicoFrogger once you lose all your lives the only way out of the game is to turn the console off and then back on. I also noticed that in the main menu for the Pico 8 section there is no selection to get back to the Legends Deluxe menu. You have to select Nexus and from there The Legends Deluxe.

 

Just my two cents worth.

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11 hours ago, rocketfan said:

Thanks @rra I can see looking at the build that those use the "older" pico8 emulator.  At some point a standalone emulator "fake08" was added which is compatible with a lot more games.  A workaround that will most likely work is to change those games and their artwork to the fake08 emulator.  @timdu To do that just change the extension from .p8 to .f8 on the rom file and the artwork files (three total) and ALSO you must edit the all-games.ini to change the rom entry for each game changed.  I can't remember why I didn't just change everything over, but maybe a "not broken don't fix it" approach.

I renamed the files as you suggested and edited the all-games.ini file with the respective changes and I am happy to report that everything is working fine!

 

 

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13 hours ago, magnusfalkirk said:

there is no selection to get back to the Legends Deluxe menu

This is all good feedback.  That's probably because at some point (maybe one build back?) I pulled it from the Legends flashback which does not have the "two-layer" section setup and didn't fix up the "goto's".

 

That and switching out the emulator globally can be done sometime soon.   Maybe it's time to add some games.  There are always more good ones!  

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I am enjoying the selection of the PICO-8 games. The fake08 emulator is doing a very nice job of emulation. I also figured out how to add a game. I just added ZOOKEEPER. ( created / programmed by PAHAMMOND )

It is a lot of fun.  

 

I can try to add his other games as well.

 

https://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/?uid=33292

 

Once done, do you want me to create a ZIP file of my modified ROM_PICO8 folder that I have on my SD card?

 

 

Edited by timdu
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12 hours ago, timdu said:

Once done, do you want me to create a ZIP file of my modified ROM_PICO8 folder that I have on my SD card?

Yes, please!  Some of his games are in there already, but I think a few are missing!

 

I have pulled down a lot of new carts for testing as well, so what I find working will get added to expand the section.

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Hi All, Could anyone tell me what brand/make of SD Card can be used with the Legends Ultimate Flashback (2019 Model)?

 

I've tried a couple of different ones including a SanDisk Ultra 32GB micro card. The system does not recognize either of them.

 

When switching on, system goes to the main menu and will not allow access to the SD Card option. Unable to install the CFW.

 

I'd also like to add a shout out to RocketFan and all the other great people here that turned these systems into so much more!

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Older Generation Guy said:

Hi All, Could anyone tell me what brand/make of SD Card can be used with the Legends Ultimate Flashback (2019 Model)?

 

Hello and welcome!  The Sandisk card should be fine and good choice.  I've also used "Microcenter" cards from Amazon with very few problems.  I guess the mostl likely issue is you may not have re-formatted the card as a FAT32 filessytem?  Most cards come out of the box formatted NTFS, but the Flashbacks won't recognize anything but FAT32.

Edited by rocketfan
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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been getting busy with warmer weather activities and have not been on much recently.  I wanted to provide a quick update though.  I do have a bunch of media related items and appropriate artwork put together, but still wanted to see if I could get the media core to support some other formats.  If not I will have to convert it all to .mpg, which is the only reliable format so far due to limited codec availability on the device.  Anyway, it should not be too long before I post an update including the "limited run" special version with the films for those who want it. 

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@rocketfan,the Nexus doesn't support the Sharp 68000. Can you think of any games that would make support of it useful? From my understanding the system mostly has close to arcade conversions and shooters (like the TG-16). Are there any plans to add additional systems to the LFB this year?

https://www.giantbomb.com/profile/stealthrush/lists/stealthrushs-top-100-favorite-x68000-games/357548/

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On 5/10/2024 at 9:37 AM, CapitanClassic said:

Are there any plans to add additional systems to the LFB this year?

I was thinking we just about have everything that is workable on these covered, then you mention a system I never heard of!  There is a pre-built core for the Sharp 68000, so I will give it a try.  I'm not sure how much performance it needs, it sounds like it was high-end for it's day.  I'll let you know what I find.

 

PS - recently saw Ghostbusters Afterlife. It was good!  (I think that's still Bill Murray on your avatar?)

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

@CapitanClassic I had some time off and available today so I took a look at the Sharp 68000 emulation.  After fiddling with BIOS a bit, I got several games to start.

 

It was a mixed bag.  Galaxian I could see it running and in "demo mode" but it would never respond to the controller.  A second game came up and ran but seemed a little janky in that the emulation was somehow slow  - I think the in-game music was slowing things down.  A third game I believe called Hellhound (a decent looking shooter) seemed fine, though I'd say not quite perfect sound and I can't swear it's running as fast as it should. 

 

So I'm one for three.  On the other hand there are 351 games in the pack I downloaded, so even if that batting average continues there could be over 100 playable games.  I'd say yes, at this point I'll add a section to the Legends flashback for sure, and probably a few one-button games will be available for Atari Nexus as well.

 

It won't be too soon, I'm really busy with warm weather activities and my pretty old mom has been needing a lot of assistance lately.  I will post some updates as I make any progress though.

 

Totally different topic:  It seems like "Legends Ultimate Flashback" is an appropriate name, but a bit of a mouthful, and also leads to confusing Google search results with the Legends Ultimate having about a million hits.  Some people have starting referring to the "Legends Nexus" or something like that.  I was thinking better and clearer names might be:  "Atari Nexus", and just "Legends Nexus" going forward?  Maybe I made a mistake combining the two topics, but really 80% of the work applies to both packs. 

 

Any opinions or other suggestions?

Edited by rocketfan
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I like Atari Nexus (will you get false positive hits for AtariAge’s old name, but not as many) and Legends Nexus for the projects. The only thing that might be misnamed for the Atari Nexus, becauseI think it includes one-button games from other systems (like C64, NES, etc).

 

Since I own both the AFBX and the LFB, I like to keep the non-Atari products off the AFBX. I do understand some people wanting to play C64 games (and other one-button games) on their systems though. Are the emulator cores between the two projects (Atari/Legends) compatible anyway though? I guess the advantage is that the AllGames.ini has already been filtered for one-button games. That alone makes it useful to include, since even the small percentage of people that will hack their system with custom firmware, even fewer will alter the default setup.

 

As for what is missing, I cannot think of much. There used to be a post showing which emulators were included, but I think it got deleted. If it could support anything that the libretro core supports, then if Atari ST (Falcon) hasn’t been attempted yet that would be an interesting addition. I remember playing Captain Blood and Carrier Commander bitd. Not sure if the ARM would be fast enough, but the core is Motorola 68k, so I don’t see why it couldn’t.

 

I have been messing around with the Famicom Disk System, and will probably be doing some testing with the LFB system again. I don’t remember why they were removed, Ie was it because the FDS bios was missing disksys.rom, or unsupported emulator (not FCEUmm or Nestopia), not sure if just button-mapping for eject/flip disk were missing.


Take your time. Updates once a year are more than enough.

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2 hours ago, CapitanClassic said:

I like Atari Nexus (will you get false positive hits for AtariAge’s old name, but not as many) and Legends Nexus for the projects. The only thing that might be misnamed for the Atari Nexus, becauseI think it includes one-button games from other systems (like C64, NES, etc).

 

Since I own both the AFBX and the LFB, I like to keep the non-Atari products off the AFBX.

Since you say you like to keep the non-Atari products off the AFBX do you have a copy of the Nexus Pure build? That build has nothing but Atari roms, from the 2600 to the XEGS to the A800. Here's the link to archive org just in case you don't have it: https://archive.org/details/nexus-pure-sep-25-2022

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On 5/24/2024 at 4:15 PM, CapitanClassic said:

Are the emulator cores between the two projects (Atari/Legends) compatible anyway though?

Yes, almost all the cores are the same.  The Colecovision cores are different at this point though.  Coolcv is in use on the Legends Nexus and a customized Gearcoleco core with button pads activated by the difficulty switches on the Atari Nexus.

 

Atari ST is probably worth a look to see if it works at all and if some games could work.  I have only tried it on a different system.  It's a difficult core IIRC because of sort of needing a keyboard.

 

I don't remember what went on with Famicom Disk System games.  I suspect they were not starting correctly, but that's just a WAG at this point.  Be aware that some cores need BIOS in the /tmp directory on these systems.  You can see some examples in startup.sh where some things get linked into /tmp for that reason, though some of those are custom hacks, some others are because certain cores think of that as their so called "system" folder.

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@CapitanClassic I just took a look and there is one single FDS game in there:  Moero Twin Bee

 

So, thinking back I just suspect a lot of the games were also available on NES/cart, and maybe many are in Japanese?

 

Not sure!  Anyway, use that one game as an example and it seems like it must work.

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