I got a couple Atari games for my birthday. Also a Samsung Tab which I used to make this video.

15
Mar

Xenophobe

I recently obtained a copy of Xenophobe for Atari 7800. Many people hate this game. They hate the Nintendo NES version even more. The NES version is a distant memory for me, but the arcade version and the Atari 7800 version remains fresh in my mind.

As a kid of the age of 10 or 11 I used to sneak to a local Drug Store that had the arcade version. The three player, split screen co-op was awesome to me, though I never got to play the game with anyone but myself. This Star Trek/Alien inspired game had a true and tested plot: Rid the space station (or planet) of Xenos. Xenos are aliens that look like the aliens from the Alien movies. They hatch from hangs, click to you, turn into big acid spitting giant aliens. Along the way you pick up new weapons and other items. The play mechanics are similiar to Metroid. If I remember correctly you can even initiate a count down timer to blow up the spacestation. Someone should make a sequel or something.

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Don’t even think of trying this Atari 7800 controller mod.  What I really mean to say is don’t follow MY instructions on how to do it.  As you will screw it up.  Not because the information in wrong, but I did this half-assed.  Anyways, in case you don’t know SEGA Genesis controllers make a great substitute for an Atari 2600 controller.  However, that isn’t true for an Atari 7800 controller because it has 2 action buttons (left and right) but only the left button gets mapped to the SEGA Genesis controller.  This makes games like Double Dragon difficult to play, and Xevious is infamous for bunk reviews simply because who ever did the review either used an Atari 2600 controller, or a SEGA Genesis controller, and attempted to play with just one functional button.

So anyways, following instructions I found on www.atariage.com I got parts from eBay and rather than make an adaptor like I promised to do, I decided to modify a SEGA Genesis controller instead.  The controller is a crap one that I got at a thrift store, with a 2 foot long cord, and sticky buttons.

So here are the parts I got from Hong Kong:

This is the sacrificial SEGA Genesis controller:

Crappy or not, the pins were labeled!  Yay SEGA!

This is the circuit you need to make.  My soldering skills are not the best, and I was rushing.  You need to make two of these circuits.

This is the last steps before I started craming it all together:

And guess what it worked:

 Once I get the remaining parts in I’ll make the actual adaptor!

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See this:

$4 4 x 220659728433 D Subs Male/Female
$3.55 1 X 320537735690 10 D-Sub Hoods
$1 1 X 260807379026 30 PNP Transistors 2n3906
$1 1 X 250840393958 50 620 ohm resistors
$1 1 X 260807469052 50 1k ohm resistors

It’s a shopping list. Rather than mutilate a SEGA Genesis controller for use on the Atari 7800, I’ve decided to take the sensible approach by simply making an adaptor. Plug in the SEGA Genesis controller into the adaptor and plug the adaptor into the Atari and I should be good to go, right? Well sorta. It’s a wee bit more complicated than that. All of the parts are coming either from Hong Kong or Thailand so its going to take 2 – 3 weeks just to get the parts – just enough time to actually build up the gumption to complete this project.

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This evening I got to spend more time with Double Dragon for Atari 7800.  I had anxiously waited for this game and thus far I’ve been pretty impressed.

Tonight I got more experience with the controls – they are unique from all other versions of Double Dragon sans the Atari 2600 which has a similar control scheme.  In the arcade version you have your standard punch, kick, and jump button and pressing certain buttons together creates additional moves.  Since the 7800 has only two buttons the additional moves are performed by holding the controller in a particular direction then pressing a button.  For example a head butt is performed by pressing down and towards an enemy and pressing punch.  The spinning kick is performed by pressing down and away and pressing the kick button.  The whole system is kinda clunky but I blame the controller and not so much the game.  The 7800 joystick controller is not very forgiving and this game, being as action packed and quick as it is can be brutal.  To my dismay and out of desperation I did find a cheap way to advance in the game… Simply keep doing spin kicks, especially on the lower left hand side of the screen.  The enemies will crowd there and you can beat them quickly.

Yeaterday I posted that I was impressed this version could have three enemies on the screen at once, but early in stage 3 you can have four enemies on the screen!

Using my cheap trick I made it to the third stage.  The layout of the second and third stage is near exact to the arcade – something the NES version could never claim to have.  You can climb the chain link fence and jump over the broken bridge.  The second stage didn’t have the industrial theme however – instead it was the forest theme from the third stage and the third stage had the music from the first stage.  But mentioning the music reminded me that the game has the boss theme music from the arcade – again something the NES version didn’t have.

I also got to experience weapons, the knife, the whip and bat to be exact.  They were functional but didn’t help me kill the enemies any quicker.  I did not encounter any barrels or dynamite.

I fought Lindas tonight and the green boss at the end of the second stage – again taken from the arcade version.  There is very little difference between the bodies of the Lindas and the other characters except they show more skin.  Abobo looks great but boss Abobo looks even better.

Since I got to see more of the game I have concluded that the backgrounds in this game are above par.  The programmers made good use of contrasting colors in the sky scrapers and tree lines to really give you an illusion of depth and distance.

I will need to play Double Dragon for Atari 7800 more to make a final conclusion about it but outside of the clunky controls it has been a skull crushing adventure!

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As promised, Double Dragon for the Atari 7800 has finally arrived.  Here are some quick impressions: 1.  The controls are awkward – not saying they are bad but when you’re used to NES controls you have a specific expectation.  2. The game has spirit of the arcade game – you can feel the programmers put an honest effort into it.  3. More enemies than the NES version… This has three at the same time, the NES had only two.  4. The music is limited and repetitive but its Double Dragon no doubt.   More details soon…

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I finally obtained a copy of Double Dragon for Atari 7800.  I have never played it and have only seen a few seconds of video from it.  I am looking forward to the experience but for now I am loving the box art.

Crafted by Activision, this box art is scary in a good way.  It has a comic book feel to it – it is really dark and drips of danger.  I can’t tell if these guys are truly thugs or washed up members of a metal band.  Either way they look as though they just finished off several Heinekens and bags of Corn-nuts.

Marian is going to need more than the morning after pill once these thugs are done working her over.  She doesn’t appear to be fighting very hard against her captors and her club-wear was asking for trouble.  And I suspect that this is exactly what the defense attorney for the Shadow Warriors (or in this case the Black Warriors)  will say.

Peace Vatos!  We shall meet for the first time in few days!

Take a trip down memory lane with these coupons for Atari games.

First up we have an official Atari Jacket. I’ve never heard of Murphy’s Mart, and I’m not sure if it was exclusive to this retail chain or not.

Next we have a $2 off coupon for select Atari games from Kay-Bee toys. Featured are Pole Position, Mario Bros., Enduro, and Pitfall!. The coupon implies that it isn’t just for these games, but it does limit you to six titles only.

Next is a coupon from Big B. This one features $5 off all Atari titles.

And finally we have an exciting full page Atari ad for Kay-Bee toys. This ad shows off the Atari 2600 Jr., the 7800, a bunch of games, and accessories. $27 off of the wireless controllers!

Enjoy my video review of Food Fight for Atari 7800. This game is incredible!

Here is my video review of Mario Bros. for Atari 7800