New Atari 2600 Homebrew - Improved Q*bert

Started by TrekMD, January 09, 2021, 20:54:21 PM

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AA member Silvio Mogno has released a new version of Q*bert for the VCS that makes quite a few improvements from the original version released by Parker Bros. This is not a hack of that version but a entirely new version.  This Improved Q*bert has better animation of the enemies, the score at the top, and more polished graphics.  Heck, even the pyramid is symmetrical this time around! The music and sound seem to be like on the Parker version, however.  Silvio has included Ugg and Wrong Way as well as various elements from Faster Harder More Challenging Q*Bert.  One of those elements is blue Sam who "ice" freezes cubes that make Q*bert slower when he jumps on them (he gets cool and slow for a short time).  The game is still a WIP, so more changes will be coming.  In the meantime, check out some pictures and a video of the game in action.

In case you don't remember what the Parker Bros. version looks like, here is a video for comparison.

Here is the thread from AA about this new version:
Improved Q*Bert for the VCS - with playable demo binary

Going to the final frontier, gaming...


I am glad to see an update for Q*Bert.   


Own: Jaguar, Lynx, Dreamcast, Saturn, MegaDrive, MegaCD, 32X, GameGear, PS3, PS, PSP, Wii, GameCube, N64, DS, GBA, GBC, GBP, GB,  Xbox, 3DO, CDi,  WonderSwan, WonderSwan Colour NGPC


The speed of it and the smoothness of the animation is really amazing.

Going to the final frontier, gaming...


Silvio has posted a major update of this game today.  The name also has a new name now: rubyQ.



Here's attached the demo version of rubyQ, as shown on ZPH. As a demo, there are some limitations:

    one player only game
    no Turbo mode
    game plays only first two levels, after rolls back to level 1

I figured out how to solve the graphical glitches viewed on ZPH show. I think they are fixed. Let me know if they are yet present (and report any other bug).

Now some (not so accurate instructions).


Differently from his noble cousin, rubyQ has a tougher life because his blocky pyramid is full of hazards:

    red balls: fall from top of pyramid and go down randomly hoping to hurt rubyQ
    pink ball: like red balls, but when comes to last pyramid row becomes Sssnake!
    Sssnake: always trying to catch rubyQ. It can be defeated with a perfect timed jump on a disc, not too early because it will not be deceived and will go waiting rubyQ on pyramid top
    Plonky: falls from top of pyramid and goes down randomly clearing cubes. It can be catched by rubyQ.
    Flashing Plonky (only on funky and mad modes): like his brother, but changed cubes on a locked color that can be only cleared by Sssnake jumping on them
    Elfie, Gobblie: on 3th and 4th screen of each level they jump from left and right side of pyramid making rubyQ life even worse
    Icy (only on funky and mad modes): falls from top of pyramid and goes down randomly icing cubes. Iced cubes remain cold for a while before turning in initial state. If rubyQ jumps over an iced cube he becomes cold and moved slower for a while. Icy can be catched by rubyQ.
    Stormy (only on mad mode): falls from top of pyramid and goes down randomly electrifying cubes. Electrified cubes remain "hot" for a while before turning in initial state. If rubyQ jumps over an electrified cube he becomes confused and joystick control will be reversed! But you can attract Ssnake on an electrified cube to make him confused and jumping in a random mode, possibly falling from pyramid
    discs: a way to escape from hazards, particularly from Sssnake. But in funky mode they change one position up a time every some seconds. And in mad mode they change position randomly. Position change is imminent when discs start flashing
    teleporting cubes (only in mad mode): placed randomly on pyramid can be hazards or very smart escape ways. If rubyQ or any other enemy jumps on a teleporting cubes it will be teleported on another random teleporting cube. A couple of teleporting cubes (the entering one and the exiting one) can be cleared only by rubyQ. On level 1 there is only a couple of teleporting cubes but every level a new couple is added

The only good thing that can be happen to rubyQ is hitting a green ball: a limited time bonus starts so rubyQ can freely jump on cubes without hit or being hit from an enemy. But it still can fall from pyramid!

After clearing a screen you will be rewarded with a bonus score, depending on how fast you did the job and on how many discs your left.

In funky and mad mode every 4 screens there is a 20 seconds bonus screen with multiple Plonky falling from top: you can try catching them or go to color the pyramid. Beware the pyramid is all black so dont' fall down!

Don't forget to position your CX-40 joystick with fire button up!

Two players mode (not in demo version):

You can play with a friend trying to go for harder levels. Screen end bonus score goes to who colored last cube.

Turbo difficulty (not in demo version):

If you are a videogame expert you can play the game at maximum speed. Very addicting.

Graphics modes:

If you don't like Interlaced mode because the flickering you can choose Classic Mode with zero flicker or Black mode with a cube side shadowed (this mode experienced graphical glitches on ZPH show).


Press joystick fire button to put game on pause, press another time to resume. So if you cat claims for food you don't have to loose your world hiscore play.

rubyQ_demo_08_22_2021.bin 32 kB · 15 downloads


    Changing cube color: 25 points
    Jumping in a warp cube: 50 points
    Making Sssnake falling: 500 points
    Hitting green ball: 100 points
    Hitting Plonky: 300 points
    Bonus score after each screen: from 1000 to 0 points, depending on how fast your did the task plus 250 points for each disc left

I hope you'll enjoy!

Silvio Mogno

Going to the final frontier, gaming...