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ZauberBall'23 - Release Version - ABBUC SWC2023


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Dear Atari-Fans,


This is the release version of Zauberball’23, my contribution to this year’s ABBUC SW-Contest 2023. In the release version, there are some important additions, namely an animated scene in the wizard’s house, and a closing scene when all levels have been colored. Also, the game ends as soon as all game levels have been completed. So the game has a defined end and can be ‘won’.


NTSC-Version: zBall23(NTSC).xex

PAL-Version: zBall23(PAL).xex


Zauberball is a reinterpretation of the game Wizball, known from the C64, with new gameplay, graphical and acoustic elements, such as new background graphics, additional parallax effects, many extra colors of the Atari palette, countless moving objects and enemy sprites. Filters and alternative POKEY clock rates were used for the sound effects, which makes the sound effects sound more transparent.
Compared to the original version of Wizball, the game flow of Zauberball was slightly revised to allow for an easier start difficulty level. I think that the game is not a copy of the original, but rather is an independent variant with its own charms.


Game Description:
A game with a mix of 'Shoot 'em up' and strategic elements, for Atari 8-Bit PAL/NTSC/64k RAM, 1-2 players (joysticks). The space bar in the start screen displays a short game instruction.

The player controls the magic ball, which initially only jumps. By collecting bonus elements '(B)', you can acquire additional powers ('Power-Ups'). A flashing 'Power-Up' in the status bar at the bottom of the screen can be selected by quick left-and-right movement on the joystick ('wiggle'), or a short circular motion.


    Anti-Gravity (Magic Ball floats)
    Beam (Shield up/down)
    Bidirectional Shot (left & right)
    Satellite (Satellite for collecting color)
    Laser (goes through all obstacles)
    Wiz Spray (Magic Ball fires in all directions)
    Cat spray (Satellite fires in all directions)
    Bomb (takes out all enemies on the screen)
    Yin/Yang (makes Magic Ball and Satellite 'indestructible')


The most important 'Power-Up', the satellite 'Cat(ellite)', can be controlled by holding down the fire button and is needed to collect color. Through the volcano craters on the ground, you can switch between six different game levels, in each of which red, green, or blue color can be collected. From the primary colors red, green and blue, the required target color can be mixed in the fourth color pot. The amount of required colors is displayed in each game level by a stripe next to the color pots. The right strategic decision about 'Power-Ups' and the collected colors determines success.

Goal of the game: Color all six game levels with three target colors each. Gray color drops increase the energy of the satellite, orange and purple put the satellite out of control ('mutant').

Bonus Round: After each completed color follows a bonus round, which serves to collect extras and points. If you survive the whole bonus round unscathed, there is even an extra life.

Wizard's House: By left/right movement and fire button of the joystick, a permanent extra can be chosen. These are immediately available again after losing a life.

Status Display: At the top of the screen, score, energy of the satellite 'C' and number of enemies 'W' are displayed. At the bottom of the screen, the number of the current game level, the available basic color in it (red, green, blue), the available extras (as pictogram), the currently selectable extra (flashing), the collected amount of basic colors (in the three pots, red, green, blue), as well as the target color to be mixed (in the pot far right).

Game Options: You can choose between one or two magic balls, as well as a solo and team mode. In solo mode, the satellite is controlled by holding down the fire button, in team mode, the second player takes over control of the satellite. If two magic balls are chosen, both players switch roles with each new life and scores are counted separately for both players.

Space Bar: Pause mode, continue with fire button.

Break Key: Ends the current game and returns to start screen.

Important Notes:
It is very important that you turn off the continuous fire function of your joystick for this game, if your joystick has such a function (e.g., Quickshot, Competition Pro, etc.). If continuous fire is activated, neither can the shots be fired accurately, nor can the satellite be controlled correctly, because the fire button must be held for this, whereas with a continuous fire function the button is always switched on/off in intervals.
Important for a successful game play is that you first shoot some enemies and collect a bonus element ‘B’. You will see that the first extra on the left in the bar at the bottom of the screen starts blinking. You can activate this extra by wiggling left/right on the joystick, or with a short circular motion on the stick. The first extra on the far left in the bar allows the ball to float instead of bouncing. This already makes the control easier. Next, you should collect three more 'B’s and choose the third extra. This activates the satellite. Now you can shoot the color drops, collect the falling color drops with the satellite and finally color in the game level with the color. You will see, once you have got the hang of it, the game is quite entertaining. Especially the two-player team mode is highly recommended if you have a second player at hand.


I hope you all will have a lot of fun,









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great job! very colourful and the music is also v.impressive style for pokey 🙃

an unusual 'oddball' of a game, i remember it being released for the other 8bit machines and i couldnt fathom the object of the game. i still enjoyed bouncing around and shooting tho haha

..time for a proper go now methinks


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Yes, I agree the music is great.  Nice colorful title screen is very fun to see.  Gameplay is very smooth and responsive and brings me back to the days of Wizball :).  Excellent game with a lot of depth there.  Wobbly pause screen effects are terrific! Could have also easily been at the top spot in the contest.  Just lots of top notch entries this year.  Many thanks for bringing this to the A8!

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6 hours ago, MrFish said:

I'm using Opera and Windows 7. Nothing's upside down, but it was a little jerky. I just used the control to download it and play on my machine directly; no problems with that.

I just opened up Firefox (on the same machine) and it played fine in the browser.


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I hope you have all figured out how to activate a power-up?

Once a 'Power-Up' is flashing in the status bar at the bottom of the screen, it can be selected by quick left-and-right movement on the joystick ('wiggle'), or a short circular motion on the stick.

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These days, I have discovered a nice introduction to Wizball, comparing original C64 and Amiga Version.

Also background information and gameplay is explained in the video. The origin of Zauberball is going back to 87/88. Personally, I found Wizball exciting and since no official port for A8 was planned, I thought there should be an alternative also on the A8 platform. Zauberball is not identical to the original and is a little easier to play than the original. It is some sort of re-interpretation with new aspects of gameplay and graphics.


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11 hours ago, C3PU said:

I also found a nice comparison of available versions of Wizball on various hardware platforms.

Unfortunately, they forgot to mention that now there is also Zauberball on the A8 🙂


Considering the video was made a year ago, it seems they would have needed to be time-travelers or fortune-tellers!

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ZeroPage Homebrew is playing ZauberBall'23 on tomorrow's ZPH stream LIVE on Twitch highlighting the rest of the incredible ABBUC 2023 entries in the final part of our special! Hope you can join us tomorrow!




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Dear Atari-Fans, have you already gathered have some experiences with the gameplay of Zauberball? It would be good to know what you think about the difficulty level? Is it just right, or is it too hard? For those who prefer to have it easier, it should also be considered that it would be boring if everybody completed the game in just a single afternoon. Feedback is always welcome, and it might not be the last version of Zauberball 🙂

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First goes just then.  It's been a long time, I'd forgotten you have to select the powerup by button/wiggle.

Pretty good, I've not gotten far.  Maybe a bit harder than C64 Wizball.

The delay when you change level or die then re-emerge is a bit too long IMO.


Mention of port comparisons - from memory the Amiga version was a big disappointment compared to the original, so far I would rank this one above it at the least.

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OK, I played the C64 version and probably did worse.

My perception of the difficulty is probably out because I played both with the keyboard and not a stick or gamepad.

This game probably isn't suited to keyboard since you're controlling the cat also a good deal of the time and it's just not as easy that way.


Have to say though having not played the C64 one for multiple years - top effort on getting this looking and playing very similarly to the original.

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