Author Topic: The Atari 8-bit thread  (Read 14728 times)

Offline Havantgottaclue

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The Atari 8-bit thread
« on: February 20, 2012, 22:31:23 PM »
First retro thingy I went to was at the rugby club in Leamington Spa some years ago. I went with an Atari 800XL in my backpack, along with a CF card reader I'd recently bought from a very amenable Polish chap who still trades on eBay now. Found a telly to plug it into up there and it had a steady trickle of visitors all day. I'd heard that the day before, Archer McLean had been there and was asking whether someone had brought a copy of Dropzone for the A8. Had I been there that day, I may well have ended up meeting the great man and see him play Dropzone on my Atari. As it was I had to be content with Frank Gasking (I think) hammering Blue Max and Shaun Scott (I'm sure!) bashing away at Zybex!

Anyway, I digress. The thread of A8 magnificence. I didn't own one as a youngster so I'm still something of a dabbler, but here are a few of my faves to get us started:

Yoomp! A great game, unavailable on any platform and potentially quite difficult to port at any kind of speed on other machines. Very, very compulsive.

Rainbow Walker An unusual and very colourful arcade game - hard to believe, from the screenshots, that it hails from 1983. Still, I suppose the A8 was a mature platform by that time.

Dropzone Of course

Alley Cat Another very original arcade game with loads of colour and variety.

Recently I tried to get into Necromancer, which I've heard good things about, but it's not the kind of game that makes a lot of sense if you just dive into it. Anyone else played it?

The recently released conversion of Space Harrier is a really impressive effort - it's got the speed and definition, but some of the colour schemes are a bit dowdy. A fantastic achievement though.

Offline TL

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Re: The Atari 8-bit thread
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2012, 22:59:12 PM »
I had an 800XL for a while with a 1050 disk drive and a few games on disk but sold it as it just seemed to gather dust. It just never grabbed me as much as the other Atari machines I guess but I don't think it helps that computers take up loads of room and I have just become more of a console man, my ST only comes out when I take it to shows for 4-player Gauntlet 2.

That said the only emulator I actually have on my PC is for the A8, helps me a lot when writing articles for Atari User, and I have found many titles that I enjoy. I do actually really want to get an XEGS at some point because I think it looks just so damn cool!



My favourites have to be:

Tempest Xtreem
Dig Dug
Pacman
Star Raiders 2
Bombjack
Dropzone
Space Invaders
Qix
Space Harrier
Xenophobe
Commando
Pastfinder
Missile Command
Pole Position
Joust

Offline Greyfox

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Re: The Atari 8-bit thread
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2012, 13:31:18 PM »
Nice to see a starter on the Atari 8bit range of things here..

my favs on the system

1. Alley Cat
2. Bruce Lee
3. Zorro
4. Conan
5. Pole Position
6. Hijack
7. BC's quest for tires
8. Realms of Impossiblity
9. Stranded
10. Miner 2049er
11. Bounty Bob Strikes back
12. Internatioanl Karate
13. Shamus 1 & 2

to many to list , these are just a small few..also loved allot fo the stuff created by English Software Chop Suey and the likes..

Offline Havantgottaclue

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Re: The Atari 8-bit thread
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2012, 23:03:37 PM »
Okay, more A8 love is required then!

Here's the well-known Ninja. On the C64, the version I played as a youngster (and one of the few games I completed - only because it was very, very easy!), only 1 enemy ever attacked at once. On the A8, you can be attacked by two enemies.

Ninja 100% Completion Video by Jimmy Lee

What's remarkable about that video is how little skill seems to come into play. The player's strategy seems to boil down to using the shurikens - if that fails he just wades in with repeated high kicks. I notice also that he really "games" it at one point - going in and out of a room to reset the position of the shurikens so they're easy to pick up rather than taking the chance of getting close in while low on energy - cheeky!

I do like a good demo. I'm particularly impressed by the following one because it is based around ASCII characters - I can't even begin to imagine the complexity of the calculations that are going on underneath. Doing it with bitmap modes is one thing - at least then you're simply calculating values and plotting them to a grid - here, the engine is having to do that and then determine what character to display aswell. The music is interesting - lots of trademark crunchy Atari sounds. Not surprisingly given its low-tech aesthetic it runs on a stock 64k Atari.

Atari XL/XE - Unfused (demo)

Offline TL

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Re: The Atari 8-bit thread
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2012, 23:49:03 PM »
I love that second demo!  8)

I have been looking for ages for a video of the demo I had on my 800XL and I found it:

Asskicker - A classic Atari 8bit demo by Shadows

Always found this demo incredible

Offline TL

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Re: The Atari 8-bit thread
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2012, 23:53:26 PM »
I am also still amazed by the A8 version of Tempest 2000 called Tempest 2000, the music and speech is out of this world.

Tempest Xtreem


Offline Rogue Trooper

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Re: The Atari 8-bit thread
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2012, 21:34:30 PM »
Fantastic to see some A8 love on here, seems criminally neglected in likes of Gamestm Retro section and indeed RG magazine.

Won't post more just yet, in case this thread really is dead.

Offline TL

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Re: The Atari 8-bit thread
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2012, 21:35:48 PM »
Quote from: "Rogue Trooper"
Fantastic to see some A8 love on here, seems criminally neglected in likes of Gamestm Retro section and indeed RG magazine.

Won't post more just yet, in case this thread really is dead.

You post away mate!

Offline Rogue Trooper

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Re: The Atari 8-bit thread
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2012, 21:50:19 PM »
O.K loading from tape was a nightmare and i had to use mail order (good old Silica Shop) or get parents to drive miles to find an store selling A8 games, but, by god fond memories of the 800XL.

Chimera, Dropzone, Thrust (friend brought it over, C64 version on 1 side of tape, C64 on the over), Elktraglide, Desmonds Diamonds, Warhawk, (music of) Jet Set Willy, Ninja, Zybex, Blue Max, Ghost Chaser, Red Max, Alley Kat, L.A Swat, Miner 2049'er, Mountain King...so many.

Yet it often seemed to be treated so poorly by software houses:Arkanoid and Green Beret were awful, Elite never appeared, nor did last Ninja.Moving to C64, was quite shocked to see how inferior Dropzone and Elktraglide seemed and how poorly Zzap 64 rated Ninja and Red Max.

Later years, gutted to see the A8 range never being mentioned in likes of Edge or Gamestm Retro pages or indeed being over looked to such a degree by Retro Gamer magazine, a situation that's little improved even now, sadly.

Offline TL

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Re: The Atari 8-bit thread
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2012, 23:25:15 PM »
It seems that the video of Tempest Xtreem for the A8 has been deleted and now there is only the video of this demo version on You Tube which is missing a few things like the speech  :(

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tODAXAg7u8o

Another A8 homebrew and arcade conversion that has really impressed me is Bomb Jake (Bomb Jack)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfKMnZVN24E

Offline Rogue Trooper

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Re: The Atari 8-bit thread
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2012, 23:57:06 PM »
Gob smacked by Tempest Xtreem music.

Not a Bomb Jack fan per say, but have to say Bomb Jake looks superb.

Offline TL

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Re: The Atari 8-bit thread
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2012, 00:03:08 AM »
Quote from: "Rogue Trooper"
Gob smacked by Tempest Xtreem music.

Not a Bomb Jack fan per say, but have to say Bomb Jake looks superb.

If you look in the downloads section I put the SAP player there that allows you to play POKEY music on a PC, included with it is the Tempest Xtreem music  :D

Offline Rogue Trooper

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Re: The Atari 8-bit thread
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2012, 00:22:51 AM »
1 Virus too many and a deep rooted loathing of Vista! meant PC was sold off, iPad user from there on in.

Any Atari 8 Bit music in MP3 format anywhere? could download that to the other non-PC online device in the house.

Offline TL

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Re: The Atari 8-bit thread
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2012, 00:37:15 AM »
Quote from: "Rogue Trooper"
1 Virus too many and a deep rooted loathing of Vista! meant PC was sold off, iPad user from there on in.

Any Atari 8 Bit music in MP3 format anywhere? could download that to the other non-PC online device in the house.

Fair enough. I have some stuff like JSW, Warhawk, Ballblazer and Pacmania in MP3 that I can email you if you like?

 

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