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The Atari 7800 is a criminally underrated system filled with fun games and hidden gems.

nkarafo

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Holy crap, skimming through it looks like most games used some form of mega chip. I thought it was a few dozen big games but I guess even the small titles used them.

It's good that Nintendo was able to make their use widespread. Makes the console more appealing.
Makes sense if you think the console lasted almost till the end of the 16bit generation. It wouldn't do it with games like Popeye, Donkey Kong and Tennis.

In Europe, both the Master System (which was probably the best use of 8bit tech) and the NES co-existed with the Mega Drive and SNES until the PlayStation took over. That means 4th gen consoles never fully replaced the previous gen. I don't think this ever happened again. I still have magazines from 1995 and they all still had reviews of NES/MS games.
 
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RoboFu

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Having done some homebrew tinkering for both the NES and 7800 the big difference is the NES PPU is set up better for tile based games. its PPU scrolling is superb compared to a lot of other consoles at the time.
The 7800 could do more colors and technically bigger sprites but doing more is a hinderence to performance which is why you didnt see many games flaunt that.
the MARIA graphics chip just draws the screen. unlike the NES PPU which was made to use bitmaps and tiles MARIA gave you more access to directly draw what you want but dosen't help you do anything else. You have to create your own tile drawing fucntionality if you want to make a tile based game. This is why you see so many janky 7800 scrolling games and barely any bidirectional scrolling games.

On the flip side if you wanted to do a vector based game it is easier on the 7800 where you needed a special char ram cart for the nes and set up the screen tiles in that ram as a frame buffer and draw to the char tiles in ram to be able to mimic drawing to the screen directly. ( battletoads used this trick for the intro scaling)

Basically the 7800 has to brute force many of the things the nes did better such as tile based scrolling which made it so you couldnt do as much because half the computing power was going just to custom drawing routines.
The Nes pulls away with its array of different cart mappers and sound.

The 7800 was held back by atari not wanting to put money into better carts and added programming complexity.
 

MvCSpiderman

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Makes sense if you think the console lasted almost till the end of the 16bit generation. It wouldn't do it with games like Popeye, Donkey Kong and Tennis.

In Europe, both the Master System (which was probably the best use of 8bit tech) and the NES co-existed with the Mega Drive and SNES until the PlayStation took over. That means 4th gen consoles never fully replaced the previous gen. I don't think this ever happened again. I still have magazines from 1995 and they all still had reviews of NES/MS games.
I recall Europe cancelling the NES before the US but maybe I'm mistaken. Unless your talking about game releases only and not console discontinuation.

In that case PS2 would probably be the longer one. 2013 still had new game releases.
 

Agent X

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Here's a cool video comparing many games that appeared on the Atari 7800 and NES:


I don't necessarily agree with all of his conclusions, but it is interesting to see the differences between the versions. Many of these were adaptations of arcade games or computer games. The 7800 and NES versions were almost always handled by different developers.

Although he generally seems to prefer the 7800, surprisingly this video does not show the Famicom version of BallBlazer (which was not released on the NES in the US), only the 7800 version. This is one of the few games featured in this video where where one version of the game (in this case, the 7800) is widely regarded as superior in every aspect.
 

MvCSpiderman

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Here's a cool video comparing many games that appeared on the Atari 7800 and NES:


I don't necessarily agree with all of his conclusions, but it is interesting to see the differences between the versions. Many of these were adaptations of arcade games or computer games. The 7800 and NES versions were almost always handled by different developers.

Although he generally seems to prefer the 7800, surprisingly this video does not show the Famicom version of BallBlazer (which was not released on the NES in the US), only the 7800 version. This is one of the few games featured in this video where where one version of the game (in this case, the 7800) is widely regarded as superior in every aspect.

The Video actually does a good job showing the differences despite missing several games.

-The 7800 Winter games seems to have better animated sprites visually and it also has better animated and a higher quantity of doves.
-Xevious 7800 has textured backgrounds
-7800 has no flicker in action games
-Computer ports and pseudo 3D run better on 7800

-NES has more detailed character and enemy sprites in nearly every game.
-NES is more colorful in most games.
-NES scrolls graphics better under most circumstances.

I would wager the NES would have trouble with a game port like Outrun but the 7800 would have a respectable version.

But I also would wager the 7800 would have trouble with a port of Street Fighter II, but the NES would play a respectable version of it.

The priorities are entirely different.
 
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Agent X

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So more of an underutilized system than an underrated one?

That's a good way of putting it.

While they had many good games, they could have been better if Atari had invested in bigger cartridges and custom chips, like Nintendo and Sega and their developers were doing. Atari had the POKEY chip for sound in two games (BallBlazer and Commando), and a few late releases had a bit of added RAM, but that's about it. They also had extreme difficulty getting top-level developers and publishers to even consider making games for the system, let alone actually making them. Some of this was due to Nintendo's heavy-handed business practices restricting their licensees from making games for competing system, but some of it was also a result of Atari management's notorious stinginess and not wanting to pay big bucks for big talent.

Here's the 7800 timeline in a nutshell:

1984: System was developed and intended for release along with 10 games, but the general release was canceled. Apparently, there was a very limited test market release of the system and at least 3 or 4 of the games.
1986: System releases, along with the aforementioned 10 games, all of which are home versions of 1979-1983 arcade games. Some of these games were criticized for being "old" games that already appeared on multiple systems previously, but a few were games that had not seen prior home release. Furthermore, almost all of the games were regarded as the best home versions up to that point in time.
1987: In true Tramiel Atari fashion, almost nothing came out for the entire year--a dubious tradition that they would later repeat with the Lynx and Jaguar. A handful of computer ports arrived late in the year.
1988: More ports of computer games. along with a handful of old or obscure arcade games (including a few early Nintendo titles, as the result of a lawsuit).
1989: "Hold on a minute, guys...companies were still making arcade games after 1983? We should try adapting some of these games." Some of the conversions were surprisingly good, but many people played them on the NES two or three years earlier. Less emphasis on computer game ports.
1990: A few "modern" arcade conversions early in the year. No more computer ports. Shifted heavily towards developing new and original games, trying to reach genres that they were previously deficient in, but most stores were phasing out the system by now, so a lot of these games became difficult to find.
1991: Wrapping up the last developments of 1990, but they were quite clearly focusing on the Lynx.
1992: Game over.

The system was officially discontinued on January 1, 1992. However, a few years ago, there was a prototype of Toki that was discovered, which was being developed in 1993. I cannot fathom why this game was still in development more than a year after the official announcement of its discontinuation I also can't figure out in what part of the world it would have been sold, because the 7800 market was stone cold dead in the US by the end of 1990, and I don't think it survived much longer in Europe or anywhere else. You can see some info on the Toki prototype here:


Also, in 1990, Atari Corp. (who did video game consoles and computers) struck a licensing agreement with Atari Games (the arcade game company that split off from Atari Corp. in 1984...also released home games under the Tengen brand) to bring several of their arcade games to the 7800 and Lynx. This deal benefited the Lynx, which received many excellent arcade conversions, but nothing from this deal was ever officially released for the 7800. Prototypes of games like Klax, Rampart, and Pit-Fighter have been found. I believe some other games like Gauntlet and Paperboy were also supposed to be ported over, but no prototypes of those games have materialized.
 

MvCSpiderman

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I found some more differences between the priorities.

Here is Space Harrier on the Atari 8-bit computer which is much weaker than the 7800, with odd colors for some reason:


Here is the NES version:




Now before you say anything check these out.

Here's is Rampage on the NES:


Here is the 7800 version:




It's very clear Atari wanted you to have an arcade machine while Nintendo wanted you to have a family computer.

It would be amazing if more third parties were allowed to convert arcade ports to the 7800.
 
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SF Kosmo

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It's truth for the 7800.
And then the next paragraph out of your mouth:

I didn't even say anything about that [the 7800]
Like how many fucking times do we have to go around in this circle to where you will stop defending the 7800 from attacks I didn't make.

You said that the 7800 vs. NES in terms of software vs. hardware advantage (in scrolling) was like comparing hard drivin' on the SNES to a 3D Playstation game,

I WASN'T TALKING ABOUT 7800, I said that about the interim systems like 5200, Sg-1000, and Colecovision.

Like do you have Memento-brain? How can you literally quote me saying I'm not talking about 7800 and then forget that the sentence before and after?

Like there's something wrong with you here. I don't know how to spell this out to you anymore clearly. No matter what I say you're going to pretend I'm talking about something different.
 
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RoboFu

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I found some more differences between the priorities.

Here is Space Harrier on the Atari 8-bit computer which is much weaker than the 7800, with odd colors for some reason:


Here is the NES version:




Now before you say anything check these out.

Here's is Rampage on the NES:


Here is the 7800 version:




It's very clear Atari wanted you to have an arcade machine while Nintendo wanted you to have a family computer.

It would be amazing if more third parties were allowed to convert arcade ports to the 7800.
Space harrier was not a good port. It was basically a port of the SMS game which just used tile animations.

games came out on new that used irqs to switch between the nes 4 tile screens to create 3D pole position type effects for games like rad racer and 3D world runner.

 
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MvCSpiderman

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Now that I look at Space Harrier on Mega Drive, I'd argue that the Mega Drive may have been more a successor to the 7800 than the Master System.

Sonic aside, Sega never seemed to have been chasing Nintendo's coat tails as much with the Mega Drive than with the Master System.

The Master System had answers to all the same games, Alex kid was a direct response to Mario, and many attempts to port fast arcade games failed miserably.

The Mega Drive however, that system was handling fast paced arcade games like nobodies business and the SNES couldn't keep up. But it was worse at the games Nintendo excelled in.

Even with the 3D chips, one may say Virtua Racing looked worse than Star Fox, but VR ran at double the speed.

Its clear post SMS Sega and Atari had the same mindset. For better or worse.

Just look at how bad the Master System port of Space Harrier is, from SEGA themselves!


It's unbelievable how bad this port is. How does the Atari XL have the best port of the game among all the older systems?
 

MvCSpiderman

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Space harrier was not a good port. It was basically a port of the SMS game which just used tile animations.

games came out on new that used irqs to switch between the new 4 tile screens to create 3D pole position type effects for games like rad racer and 3D world runner.

Slow, barely any objects on screen, flicker.

I mean the graphics are smooth, I'll give it that. Especially the checkerboard.
 

RoboFu

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Slow, barely any objects on screen, flicker.

I mean the graphics are smooth, I'll give it that. Especially the checkerboard.
That Atari xl version of space harrier doesn’t even do the correct checkerboard ground. The same technique was use on a few atari 2600 games.

Check out Solaris for instance.

But again the differences are that some consoles like the nes and sms didn’t have the ability to draw directly to the screen out of the box like computers did back then. The trade off was the ability to better scroll and sprite movement than you could other wise.
 

MvCSpiderman

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That Atari xl version of space harrier doesn’t even do the correct checkerboard ground. The same technique was use on a few atari 2600 games.

Check out Solaris for instance.

But again the differences are that some consoles like the nes and sms didn’t have the ability to draw directly to the screen out of the box like computers did back then. The trade off was the ability to better scroll and sprite movement than you could other wise.
What do you mean sprite movement? You can move more sprites on screen with direct draws.
 

RoboFu

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What do you mean sprite movement? You can move more sprites on screen with direct draws.
Actually not really. Consoles like the nes, snes, sms, genesis etc have hardware that draws a finite amount of sprites on screen with no performance hit to the graphics processor.

It’s why you see some old console games like ikari warriors have janky enemy animations on the Atari 7800. These consoles are getting around their limits by actually drawing the sprites to the background every other frame to a bg tile to get more sprites on screen.

nes could actually do that with cart updates though I think guanlet just had tile graphics for its enemies.

guantlet is one that comes to mind.


That Atari xl version of space harrier takes a lot of downgrades to draw all of that on one non scrolling screen. Colors ,resolution, sprite animations. Not a real raster effect of the ground just a vector fill.

but the game itself lends itself to one screen drawing like that. The dos version was pretty good as well.
 
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dave_d

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I found this source with only a few errors supposedly:


Holy crap, skimming through it looks like most games used some form of mega chip. I thought it was a few dozen big games but I guess even the small titles used them.

It's good that Nintendo was able to make their use widespread. Makes the console more appealing.
Wasn't the deal without bank switching (IE MMC chips) the max cart size was something like 32K? (IE Pretty much any game newer than 85 required at least a 32k cart including any port of a disk game. I'd call it tiny but then again didn't the 2600 need to do bank switching for anything over 4k?)
 

MvCSpiderman

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Actually not really. Consoles like the nes, snes, sms, genesis etc have hardware that draws a finite amount of sprites on screen with no performance hit to the graphics processor.

It’s why you see some old console games like ikari warriors have janky enemy animations on the Atari 7800. These consoles are getting around their limits by actually drawing the sprites to the background every other frame to a bg tile to get more sprites on screen.

nes could actually do that with cart updates though I think guanlet just had tile graphics for its enemies.

guantlet is one that comes to mind.


That Atari xl version of space harrier takes a lot of downgrades to draw all of that on one non scrolling screen. Colors ,resolution, sprite animations. Not a real raster effect of the ground just a vector fill.

but the game itself lends itself to one screen drawing like that. The dos version was pretty good as well.

The issue with what you say is the 7800 can move more sprites on screen than the NES. I understand that the Atari XL has to compromise for it's impressive Space Harrier port, but the 7800 is much more powerful and developers can also draw directly to the display.

Grid sprites with size limitations will always be worse without additional workarounds, as seen in Ikari Warriors, but the sprites and other graphics improve outside if that. It's why the 7800 is better at Ballblazer and the NES is better at Commando.
 
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RoboFu

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Wasn't the deal without bank switching (IE MMC chips) the max cart size was something like 32K? (IE Pretty much any game newer than 85 required at least a 32k cart including any port of a disk game. I'd call it tiny but then again didn't the 2600 need to do bank switching for anything over 4k?)

nes accessed char and tile graphics on Roms on the cart.
Bank switching just routes the to different rom banks on the carts.
By switching back and forth you can create animations. This is how most nes games did background tile animations.

you could technically create a cart today with almost unlimited rom banks and have super fluid animations.
 
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Isleofsancroy

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And then the next paragraph out of your mouth:


Like how many fucking times do we have to go around in this circle to where you will stop defending the 7800 from attacks I didn't make.

Actually you did, but you got mixed up. You're the one having the mental crisis here, I had already told you more than once you were screwing up and quoting the wrong parts of posts, if you actually went back and listened to me instead of doubling down on trying to downplay everything Atari you could have went back to fix your mistake or reclarified whatever strange argument you were trying to make, but you didn't.

Not my fault you now have no idea where you are in your own bumblings. (Even then the A8/5200 can hold it's own anyway, another thing I already said earlier you didn't bother to read.)

I would love to see that.

Also, with no enhancements it would mean the Atari 7800 would sound like an Atari 2600. That's pretty depressing.

Sound has nothing to with graphics. Also I was talking about the NES having no enhancements, not the 7800, that already doesn't have any. There's no game the NES does that the 7800 can't do before enhancements but considering it's barely much stronger than a colecovision without enhancements I thought that would be obvious.

Of course, it does have the multi-colored sprite advantage.
 

Isleofsancroy

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That's a good way of putting it.

While they had many good games, they could have been better if Atari had invested in bigger cartridges and custom chips, like Nintendo and Sega and their developers were doing. Atari had the POKEY chip for sound in two games (BallBlazer and Commando), and a few late releases had a bit of added RAM, but that's about it. They also had extreme difficulty getting top-level developers and publishers to even consider making games for the system, let alone actually making them. Some of this was due to Nintendo's heavy-handed business practices restricting their licensees from making games for competing system, but some of it was also a result of Atari management's notorious stinginess and not wanting to pay big bucks for big talent.

This doesn't seem true and I don't understand why this mindset prevails to be frank. Atari didn't have much money in 1985, the ST was playing craps at the casino and it ended up working for the first 3 years. They were already stretched thin getting support and making software for that, marketing it, and distributing it. Then you had them redesigning the 2600 and getting software for that, manufacturing new ROMS for the 5200, paying GCC so they can now spend money manufacturing the new 7800, and hire people to make games, while also paying money to find developers to support the system, while also marketing and distributing the 7800 itself. That's actually a lot more money spent than you think on multiple products that weren't guarantee to work, and all ended up succeeding financially.

While Sega wasn't super rich they had a bunch of hit arcade games, had wealthy connections since Sega had ties to its American founding before moving to Japan, and dived into other stuff locally in Japan. They had much more money and ended up doing worse.

Nintendo was basically richie rich and no one saw it coming.

It's easy to just blame Jack without really considering what was actually happening in the early days, because he's notorious for being stingy, but that doesn't work this time imo. Atari Corp was a brand new company that had to pay Warner a set amount by a set time as a condition for the deals that were dealt, while also having to juggle 4 products. Actually 6, because the Atari Corp made new 8-bits as well. Actually 7, because there were two versions of the ST iirc.

They invested more as they grew financially and sold 1 million consoles (7800) by 1988, which was below original expectations by analysts (who didn't predict Nintendo) but was a great deal better than Sega who sold 1.5 million by 1992, so honestly I think they did a good job when considering what little they had. Not forgetting the numerous disadvantages they had out the gate too.

The system was officially discontinued on January 1, 1992. However, a few years ago, there was a prototype of Toki that was discovered, which was being developed in 1993. I cannot fathom why this game was still in development more than a year after the official announcement of its discontinuation I also can't figure out in what part of the world it would have been sold, because the 7800 market was stone cold dead in the US by the end of 1990, and I don't think it survived much longer in Europe or anywhere else. You can see some info on the Toki prototype here:

It was likely in development before the discontinuation.

You are right however about Europe, as the XE Game System was Atari's flagship console for that region. The 7800 was mostly a US, Canadian, and low income console. Wait New Zealand, it was there too. But strangely Atari never really tried in Japan, for computers this made sense but for consoles I'm not too sure why they never bothered seriously attempt it, not even once.
 

SF Kosmo

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Actually you did, but you got mixed up.
You need to listen when people explain what they're saying.

You're the one having the mental crisis here, I had already told you more than once you were screwing up and quoting the wrong parts of posts, if you actually went back and listened to me instead of doubling down on trying to downplay everything Atari you could have went back to fix your mistake or reclarified whatever strange argument you were trying to make, but you didn't.
I'm not downplaying all things Atari. I adore the 2600. I think the 5200 was the wrong system at the wrong time, but the 7800 was underrated and could have done better if Atari didn't delay and bungle the launch.

You keep taking things I said about the 5200 or Coleco and then pretending I was talking about the 7800. It's really insane.

You keep droning about these made up arguments about shit I never said and then you completely ignore my point about a 700% boom in software in one year devaluing the price of games. Or that the computer landscape didn't change, and the NES succeeded anyway.
 
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Isleofsancroy

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You need to listen when people explain what they're saying.

No, you need to admit when you're wrong, and humble yourself instead of continuing to derail the thread by pretending that I'm the one who got mixed up.

and could have done better if Atari didn't delay and bungle the launch.

Which never happened, they didn't delay anything. Atari Corp went right to work getting software ready and preparing to launch it as soon as they got it from GCC, incorrect as usual. Just like how you are also incorrect on the NES coming out first not that it matters because once again, and you continue to ignore this same point over and over again, Atari was already disadvantaged BEFORE EITHER CONSOLE was released.

I also don't take kindly to accusing me of something due to your own incompetence:

You're literally refusing to acknowledge the fact that the NES hardware had advantages over earlier consoles or that a 700% year over year explosion of software contributed to devaluing game prices at retail.

Which I already addressed multiple times and you never substantiated your position or countered mine, here's the latest one from post #96:
This shows how you keep devaluing your argument, you don't actually pay attention to what I write, you just throw random statements on a keyboard with authority thinking you're right without checking yourself. I never mentioned toy stores, not did I say toy stores were selling computers.

I said the computer price war transferred to console hardware, which then moved to console software as well, I've said this multiple times over and over and even with breakdowns a 2nd grader could follow, yet you still can't comprehend this. There wouldn't be a massive glut of software at retailers if:

A. There wasn't a price war causing many software houses to hesitate on cutting prices which left a lot of their previous best sellers sitting on shelves as the cheaper games were selling at faster rates.

B. The best selling games that did cut their price overestimating demand and over producing cartridges because they thought those lower prices would result in high sales long-term, which new entrants also believed which is why several of them jumped in at the lower prices that were selling, or existing companies rebranding or porting additional games.

There's a reason why most of the games that were on clearance were the same sets of games. Just like there's a reason when the Atari landfill was undug you saw multiple copies of the same sets of games.

Another thing you don't consider when talking about the quantity of games outside the above two points is that many software houses had released games on all 3 systems, or had recently decided to do so. This means points A and B were multiplied and that's where the implosion came from. None of this would have happened as it did, if the computer price war did not impact console hardware prices, which would also impact console software prices.

Also I mentioned this before in point B but just to hammer this home, don't forget all the rereleases, rebrands, and ports to capitalize on the bubble, mostly on the 2600. You never really considered this, but I feel you just looked at the number of 2600 game releases by year online, and then decided it was easier to immediately jump to random conclusions instead of doing research.

This has nothing to do with toy stores selling computers, which i never even brought up.

But you never responded to this because not only do you not have a response, but you never actually read it. This isn't up for debate, that's the only possible explanation because you kept accusing me of not understanding this very same topic multiple times afterwrd, and yet you never even had a real position in the discussion.

The reason why you didn't read it is because you where to busy derailing the thread with your pointless bumblings. The reason why you kept throwing around insults and saying I was mixing up what systems you were talking about was not because of my actions, but because you are an incompetent, I even pointed this out multiple times, here's an example of you screwing up quotes:

I didn't even say anything about that, that's not even the segment you quoted

Now you can either substantiate your positions and actually respond to my points with counter-points, or you can just stop here. Because all you have been doing so far is not substantiating your points while pretending I never made any, derailing the thread.
 

Isleofsancroy

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the MARIA graphics chip just draws the screen. unlike the NES PPU which was made to use bitmaps and tiles MARIA gave you more access to directly draw what you want but doesn't help you do anything else. You have to create your own tile drawing fucntionality if you want to make a tile based game. This is why you see so many janky 7800 scrolling games and barely any bidirectional scrolling games.

This only applies for tile-based games however, you can create the illusion of a tile-based game without actually using them which makes scrolling easier, but you still have to do more work on the sprites. But because of the flexibility of not being restricted to 26x26 or other size limitations like the NES, you can create your own Z-axis engine much easier for the creation of 3D games. Most games weren't tile-based anyway so I actually think the industry was held back by the NES popularity because you had later competition, specifically NEC and SEGA, imitated that format which created way too many similar games for way too long while other consoles and computer games were making much more impressive software even with smaller teams. There's a reason why computers hit 3D 5 years earlier than consoles did and why many arcade games never touched a home console until the 3D consoles were out.

The NES did one thing really really well, the 7800 could do almost everything else really well except for that one thing, but it still wasn't bad at that either.


The 7800 was held back by atari not wanting to put money into better carts and added programming complexity.

If F18 Hornet is anything to go by they didn't need better carts, they just needed more people working on games. The 7800's most impressive games showing it's technically more flexible and capable than the competition were done out of the box, usually with standard cart sizes. One person brought up a very shoddy looking late baseball release, but that was made by 1 or 2 people quickly under time constraints.

Many of even the most lazy and unplayable NES games had teams of 10 people or more. The consequences of small teams are that some games can turn out great if the programmers are inventive and knowledgeable, but you would also have your stinkers if the programmers weren't up to snuff..
 
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DT MEDIA

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Back to the main topic on this thread, here are some videos of Atari 7800 indie/homebrew videogames.

The first is Galaxian, created by Bob Decrescenzo, the wizard behind Pac-Man Collection. This is a work-in-progress but already appears to be a perfect translation of the 1979 arcade classic. This is just the sort of game this console was made to play, and it does an excellent job. I can't wait for the finished cartridge to arrive.

The next video shows Popeye, a translation of the 1982 Nintendo arcade classic, created by "Daryl1970" from the AtariAge forums. It appears that POKEY sound is being used, which is always a big plus in my book. This is shaping up to be another killer translation, but I wouldn't be surprised if the finished game only appears as a free digital download. AtariAge isn't about to get into any legal tangles with Nintendo.

Our third title is Baby Pac-Man, Midway's arcade sequel that combined video and pinball. It was a fun novelty at the time, although the use of only a single maze felt like a step backwards from Ms. Pac-Man. That said, this is an outstanding home translation, the only one ever made, in fact. The recreation of the pinball board is flawless and worth the price of admission all by itself.

Finally, we have one of the best indie titles for the 7800, Ricki & Vikki. It took four years to create and was released in 2018. It's an action-puzzler that shows off probably the best graphics on the console, with bright colors, excellent character designs and little touches like animated water.
 

Isleofsancroy

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From the Daily Observe 1986 Jun 15 1986

"Retails for $179, and Nintendo is said to be averse to the price0cutting wars wars that crippled the first video game boom."
In reference to the concerns of retailers for stocking game consoles, how strange. I wonder what this price-cutting war thing Nintendo is referencing is? How odd, almost like it was talked about as part of the crash in this very thread somewhere, but somehow there was one I believe who said this wasn't the case multiple times. I can't quite put my finger on who though.



Finally, we have one of the best indie titles for the 7800, Ricki & Vikki. It took four years to create and was released in 2018. It's an action-puzzler that shows off probably the best graphics on the console, with bright colors, excellent character designs and little touches like animated water.

I never got the hype for Ricki for gameplay, but graphically to me the best graphics will always be F18 Hornet for the open world polygon 3D shown in the first two gifs on the first post.


People have always wanted to see 3D homebrews and it's a shame we only got 2 pseudo 3D games but i don't think neither were polygonal.

But if we aren't talking about graphics overall and are focusing on 2D in particular, there is a chance that it is the best graphically among the other 2D games. They did a really good job graphically
 
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Isleofsancroy

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Whoops I spoke too soon, someone has ben working on a first person rpg, it's not polygonal but it has the 3D effect.


Looks just like it came from an early Amiga or St game. Very impressive, even have the torch effects.


Also this random demo of Link in the xelda overworld is also impressive:

 
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Whoops I spoke too soon, someone has ben working on a first person rpg, it's not polygonal but it has the 3D effect.


Looks just like it came from an early Amiga or St game. Very impressive, even have the torch effects.


Also this random demo of Link in the xelda overworld is also impressive:

Wow.

I love this type of stuff. Having wasted weeks on Dark Chambers on 2600 something like this Zelda demo would have been an amazing upgrade.

Instead I had an XE and bug hunt. 😢
 
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Isleofsancroy

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Wow.

I love this type of stuff. Having wasted weeks on Dark Chambers on 2600 something like this Zelda demo would have been an amazing upgrade.

Instead I had an XE and bug hunt. 😢
Strange, the XE has quite a few Zelda style games on it, some from even before Zelda. Some are even rpgs.

Also bughunt, that was disappointing.
 
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Strange, the XE has quite a few Zelda style games on it, some from even before Zelda. Some are even rpgs.

Also bughunt, that was disappointing.
The only games we had were bug hunt, missile command and flight simulator (loved the dog fight mode).

It was not well stocked by me. But if you have any suggestions I am ready to be educated 😀
 
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Isleofsancroy

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The only games we had were bug hunt, missile command and flight simulator (loved the dog fight mode).

It was not well stocked by me. But if you have any suggestions I am ready to be educated 😀

XE has hundreds of games.

But anyway I'm currently making a thread like this one on that. A lot of people will be surprised at what the A8/XE can do.

But from the sounds of it seems like you're not talking about the XE computer but the XE Game System since those three were launch games for the gun/keyboard bundle. That's even better because you can just throw the cartridge in and play, the XE game System is just a more powerful Atari 800 and is compatible with the library, and it has it's own stuff too.

Or If you are talking about the computer, not sure how you ended up with bughunt. You can step on that one.
 

Ozzie666

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XE has hundreds of games.

But anyway I'm currently making a thread like this one on that. A lot of people will be surprised at what the A8/XE can do.

But from the sounds of it seems like you're not talking about the XE computer but the XE Game System since those three were launch games for the gun/keyboard bundle. That's even better because you can just throw the cartridge in and play, the XE game System is just a more powerful Atari 800 and is compatible with the library, and it has it's own stuff too.

Or If you are talking about the computer, not sure how you ended up with bughunt. You can step on that one.

Always a sucker for those pastel colored buttons. I know it sounds silly, But as a Kid, I loved the way the XE looked. So looking forward to being educated in that thread!
 
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Isleofsancroy

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Always a suck for those pastel colored buttons. I know it sounds silly, But as a Kid, I loved the way the XE looked. So looking forward to being educated in that thread!
Wait, you aren't the, huh?

Well anyway, yeah lots of great games on the XE.
 

6502

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XE has hundreds of games.

But anyway I'm currently making a thread like this one on that. A lot of people will be surprised at what the A8/XE can do.

But from the sounds of it seems like you're not talking about the XE computer but the XE Game System since those three were launch games for the gun/keyboard bundle. That's even better because you can just throw the cartridge in and play, the XE game System is just a more powerful Atari 800 and is compatible with the library, and it has it's own stuff too.

Or If you are talking about the computer, not sure how you ended up with bughunt. You can step on that one.
It was grey micro with detachable keyboard, grey atari joystick and zapper. I think it just had XE on it (uk). I shall await the thread.
 

Isleofsancroy

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It was grey micro with detachable keyboard, grey atari joystick and zapper. I think it just had XE on it (uk). I shall await the thread.
That sounds like the XE Game System(XEGS) to me, but they all share the same games anyway so have at it when the thread is finished. New people interested in the Atari 400/800/XE/XL wouldn't go wrong either buying a Micro or XEGS, both are great, though XEGS would be faster to get running since its a console.
 
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It was grey micro with detachable keyboard, grey atari joystick and zapper. I think it just had XE on it (uk). I shall await the thread.


You're referring to the XE Game System, or XEGS for short. It is essentially the 8-bit 65XE home computer with a detached keyboard and sold for the console market in 1987. Apparently it did pretty well, certainly nowhere in the same universe as Nintendo, but enough to make a little profit for Atari Corp. A number of older games were released on cartridge, but a few new games were created as well, including a new version of Mario Bros which is really good (and much better than the old 8-bit version).

XE refers to the 65XE and 130XE home computers, which were released by Atari Corp in 1985. They're commonly called the XL/XE or simply Atari 8-bit.

As for software, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of software titles released on the 8-bit. You can play those on XEGS, but you need to attach a floppy disc drive.
 
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Havoc2049

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From the Daily Observe 1986 Jun 15 1986


In reference to the concerns of retailers for stocking game consoles, how strange. I wonder what this price-cutting war thing Nintendo is referencing is? How odd, almost like it was talked about as part of the crash in this very thread somewhere, but somehow there was one I believe who said this wasn't the case multiple times. I can't quite put my finger on who though.



I never got the hype for Ricki for gameplay, but graphically to me the best graphics will always be F18 Hornet for the open world polygon 3D shown in the first two gifs on the first post.


People have always wanted to see 3D homebrews and it's a shame we only got 2 pseudo 3D games but i don't think neither were polygonal.

But if we aren't talking about graphics overall and are focusing on 2D in particular, there is a chance that it is the best graphically among the other 2D games. They did a really good job graphically
F-18 Hornet looks cool here and there when you take off and land on an aircraft carrier or fly by buildings and desert mesas. Overall though, it isn't really a flight sim and is more of a on rails 3D shooter. The horizon doesn't even move when you go up and down or turn your jet left or right, which is odd. The action is rather blah as well. F-14 Tomcat and Ace of Aces are far better flight sims and games on the 7800. Too bad Rescue on Fractalus was never finished for the 7800.
 

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This thread makes me want to make a 7800 game now. Lol which is bad because I’m busy with actual work. Lol
 

Isleofsancroy

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Overall though, it isn't really a flight sim and is more of a on rails 3D shooter.
It's an open flight sim where you can go anywhere you want in any direction as long as you have the fuel to get there whether on the ground or in the air. To say it's an on rails 3D shooter is a complete misunderstanding of what the game is because there's nothing on rails about it. The most impressive part is that the game is polygonal and doing this on a game console designed in 1983 designed with a focus to have a good ratio of power and cost.

Whether the game is better than Aces or Tomcat in combat is another question. All of them have their fans.

As for software, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of software titles released on the 8-bit. You can play those on XEGS, but you need to attach a floppy disc drive.
I don't know why you're bringing up the floppy drive as a requirement, a large amount of Atari 8-bit games are on cartridges. A floppy drive is optional and adds to the fun but you don't need it for most of the games. It's still a good idea though lots of good stuff on that format.

Almost all cartridge games will work on the XE. There are some very early 800 games that were tied to OS-A that won't work on XE but you can get around that with translator disks, but translators only work on floppies not cartridges. But it's just a handful of titles, you have access to hundreds of cartridges otherwise.
 

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It's an open flight sim where you can go anywhere you want in any direction as long as you have the fuel to get there whether on the ground or in the air. To say it's an on rails 3D shooter is a complete misunderstanding of what the game is because there's nothing on rails about it. The most impressive part is that the game is polygonal and doing this on a game console designed in 1983 designed with a focus to have a good ratio of power and cost.

Whether the game is better than Aces or Tomcat in combat is another question. All of them have their fans.
You can only fly forward in F-18 and move up/down and left/right on the screen. Each of the four missions are in a strait line from the start to the end.

Gameplay from Mission 1

Mission 2 in the manual
 
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Isleofsancroy

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You can only fly forward in F-18 and move up/down and left/right on the screen. Each of the four missions are in a strait line from the start to the end.

You seem good faith to me but my friend, a mission map of what you do for a mission has nothing to do with the gamefield.

The first gif in the OP already disproves that, but what's more is I can go behind that 3D (with limited texturing when very very close to it) building and flip the camera the other way so I'm facing the backside. This can happen on the ground or in the air, though it's much easier on the ground.

On rails would mean I have zero control of the plane or very close to that. I clearly have control of the plane. I can also go off the path which on rail-games force you into.

Here's another example that shows the movement on the playfield and changing of direction:



To give context, this is where the 2nd gif in my OP starts, at the hangar or tunnel. Which is also where you start the 1st level, you can clearly turn away from the hanger and change directions.

As I said, you can go nearly anywhere you want to as long as you have the fuel to get there for the most part. The controls definitely aren't as flexible and dynamic as some of the other flight games on the system, but the point was that this is a technical achievement that's very impressive for a system designed in 1983 to be cost efficient, and I don't understand the need to downplay that with opinions that aren't even related to the subject matter. Some like the gameplay some don't but it's still a playable game that shows what can be done graphically on the 7800. A wide map filled with polygons at a surprisingly consistent frame rate is something no other game machine in its price range could do, and certainly no other consoles at the time. NES and Master system actually would have problems with scaler games as too, not just 3D.

Myself i think the gameplay is fine, nothing super spectacular but can be fun at points. Certainly not a bad game, but the graphical experience is where the real wow factor comes in.

Certainly, you don't have inch by inch 360 control of the plane, and due to technical limitations you don't have swarms of enemies and polygonal cars and tanks running amok on the roads, and even though the frame rate is surprisingly consistent it's still slow, but for a 1983 cheapo machine the game, that most home gaming systems couldn't replicate, is pretty dang impressive. it shows that other early 3D games could likely run well on the system that's smaller in scope, and could probably handle an impressive port of games like Galaxy Force. This is speaking on technical achievements once again.
 
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Attention: I have published an essay on my new Ko-Fi page about the Atari 7800. An earlier draft of this essay was published in my 2017 book Pop Life. I wrote and revised a new draft for this article and I think it's pretty good. I was definitely trying to sound like Bukowski or Hunter S. Thompson with this one.

If you enjoy my writings, please send me a couple bucks as thanks. Every little bit helps and I really could use the coffee money to stay awake ("sleeping while parenting" doesn't exist).

Atari 7800 Controllers, or You Bastards Have Broken My Hands
 

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You seem good faith to me but my friend, a mission map of what you do for a mission has nothing to do with the gamefield.

The first gif in the OP already disproves that, but what's more is I can go behind that 3D (with limited texturing when very very close to it) building and flip the camera the other way so I'm facing the backside. This can happen on the ground or in the air, though it's much easier on the ground.

On rails would mean I have zero control of the plane or very close to that. I clearly have control of the plane. I can also go off the path which on rail-games force you into.

Here's another example that shows the movement on the playfield and changing of direction:



To give context, this is where the 2nd gif in my OP starts, at the hangar or tunnel. Which is also where you start the 1st level, you can clearly turn away from the hanger and change directions.

As I said, you can go nearly anywhere you want to as long as you have the fuel to get there for the most part. The controls definitely aren't as flexible and dynamic as some of the other flight games on the system, but the point was that this is a technical achievement that's very impressive for a system designed in 1983 to be cost efficient, and I don't understand the need to downplay that with opinions that aren't even related to the subject matter. Some like the gameplay some don't but it's still a playable game that shows what can be done graphically on the 7800. A wide map filled with polygons at a surprisingly consistent frame rate is something no other game machine in its price range could do, and certainly no other consoles at the time. NES and Master system actually would have problems with scaler games as too, not just 3D.
Have you ever played F-18? Those mission maps are the entire playfield, with invisible walls on each side of a narrow playfield. There are no turns in F-18. F-18 is not a free flight game. There is only forward movement, with ability move up down left and right. No loops or turning/circling back. Yes, you can flip the screen after landing on the ground and fly back in a strait line, but that's about it. Yes, it's cool that it has polygons in the game, but since the horizon and polygons are static and you can't circle around a polygon object, it isn't that impressive or super taxing on the hardware. F-18 also came out in 1988, so it wasn't even that impressive for the time.

Here is a full plytrough of the game. I will say that landing on the aircraft carrier does look cool for an 8-bit game.
 
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Isleofsancroy

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Have you ever played F-18? Those mission maps are the entire playfield, with invisible walls on each side of a narrow playfield. There are no turns in F-18. F-18 is not a free flight game. There is only forward movement, with ability move up down left and right. No loops or turning/circling back. Yes, you can flip the screen after landing on the ground and fly back in a strait line, but that's about it. Yes, it's cool that it has polygons in the game, but since the horizon and polygons are static and you can't circle around a polygon object, it isn't that impressive or super taxing on the hardware. F-18 also came out in 1988, so it wasn't even that impressive for the time.

Not they aren't, and your entire post is nearly worthless as it's only there to dismiss the impressiveness of the graphics for the hardware its running on and in comparison to its contemporaries and direct competitors. I don't understand why you're doing this though.

You went from on-rails to "only fly in one direction in a straight line", and it took multiple posts for you to admit that you can turn and change directions, which no one would have known if I hadn't shown it was possible with the gif. Even now you say there are no turns while admitting you can turn. How much sense does that make? I also already said you don't have full control of movement inch by inch so what's the point of bringing that up again?

I have a gif clearly showing the game starting from the first hanger and moving far off to the west because the maps are wide open. Yes they do have limits, but it's not as narrow as you keep saying, no you aren't flying around GTA sized cities, no it's not a Chuck Yeager, It's also not Ace Combat, but remember you started this whole discussion saying the game was on-rails which would make people reading this thread immediately think of games like Star Fox where you go in one direction and barely control the vehicle. It was the wrong description period, just like when you said you only go in one direction, that was also a bad description. No turns is another one unless your going to play semantics on the word turn.

The whole point was that it was impressive for a game released on a machine that was designed in 1983 compared to its CONTEMPORARIES, and looking up info about GCC, it's possible the 7800 may have been designed as early as 1982, and it can do a game like this by a small team of developers that didn't have much time to put it together? That's pretty impressive when focusing on the topic and comparable hardware for the time. Imagine what they could have done with SMS or NES sized teams if they were able to do F18 with limited resources? That's the point. It proves technical prowess while also only showing us a glimpse of its full potential. This is especially true when comparing it with other consoles of the time, the NES and the SMS which have nothing comparable.

Yes, it's cool that it has polygons in the game, but since the horizon and polygons are static and you can't circle around a polygon object, it isn't that impressive or super taxing on the hardware.

I don't understand why you think that because all the polygons are static (which is false because some vehicles you shoot are polygons and they move. I showed one of these being shot in a previously posted gif) and you can't 'circle' around polygons (but can look at the front, back, left, and right side of polygons) that it's not taxing on Atari Hardware designed in 1983 to be cost efficient?

Is there some other magical game that's in 3D that's more taxing? What does this even mean? Either you know of some hidden release that pushes polygons better, or you made a mistake here and meant to be comparing this game running on 1983 hardware to some newer machine which wouldn't be comparing it with its contemporaries wouldn't it?

Let's go over this again:


Wide map, moving off path, turning to the south.




Directional movement, polygons, low-level texturing, and baked shadows. Oh and I think the gates my be polygons too or at least some of them.

I think for a cost efficient machine that was about to originally release in 1984, originally designed in 83 or even 82, this is pretty impressive. The fact the other consoles couldn't do this is pretty telling in itself. I don't think that's a controversial statement that needs to be downplayed. It also runs at a low but fairly consistent frame rate which shows the machine is being taxed in some way otherwise it would run at a higher rate.
 
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