After years of programming on the Commodore 64, I recognized that the
Atari VCS console contains a similar CPU and decided to develop a new game
and create cartridges from it. To get started with VCS (or "Stella" as it
was called internally back then) programming
I decided to develop a small little game without too many usage of sprites.
I also wanted to learn about playfield programming and the general check
of the input ports. I remembered a game project from around 1998 on the
Commodore 64, where a friend and me worked together: he did the gamecoding
and I programmed the introscreen, the documents and did the design.
The intro starts with the "Mental Kombat" logo and the "Press Fire!" message dropping into sight from the top border along with some sound effects. The colors of the copyright text at the bottom should remind you of the game's origin: the Commodore 64.
Just as you'd expect it from a real arcade-machine: "Press Fire!" is flashing of course... ;-)
After pressing at least one button the following sequence prepares the players to get ready:
The additional sound of a bell starts the battle and the program continues...
The players move the cursor (in the game it's flashing) in the middle of the screen. The cursor will then change places with the next tile in the moving direction. Example: If Player 1 pushes the cursor to the left, it will move one position left and therefore change places with the red square.
The little cursor below the players number at the bottom (in the game it's flashing, too) indicates, which player has to move next.
After some movement the screen could possibly look like this:
You see that player 2 has lost lost one bit of his energy, but player 1 has only got his last bit of energy remaining. As a warning to the player the energy bar will flicker when it is near to the end.
And some moves later again, Player 2 could have won the match:
The game consists of 4 KB (4096 Bytes)
of coding, graphics and sounds. The development was performed on a Pentium-PC
using a normal Text-Pad as editor and DASM V2.0 by Matthew Dillon as compiler.
Testing was done using z26 V1.46 and V1.52 by John Saeger on PC aswell
as on an original Atari VCS with a plugged in Arcadia/Starpath Supercharger.
To deliver this game on the original platform there will be a limited run of 100 numbered and signed cartridges at first and afterwards an unlimited run of as many carts as requested. Every ROM of the limited edition is slightly different, because it shows the individual number of the cart in the Introduction sequence.
There was a label-competition held at AtariAge.com and everybody was able to enter the contest by sending a labeldesign. My favorite picture was designed by Jason Parlee and will be used for every cartridge.
The label for the unlimited cartridge will of course look a bit different, because the serial number and signature are only available in the limited version. This means that there will be as many carts produced as requests appear, but only the first 100 carts will be numbered, signed and boxed.
Every of the limited games will contain
one red and one yellow headband with printing on the frontside. Every band
will be 120 cm long and will fit every head.
|02||Albert Yarusso (AtariAge.com)||USA|
|06||Russ Perry jr. (2600 connection)||USA|
|07||John K. Harvey||USA|
|10||Randy Crihfield (Hozer VG)||USA|
|14||Stephan Freundorfer (Man!ac)||Germany|
|16||Joachim Hesse (PC-Action)||Germany|
|26||Kai Darius Kohl||USA|
|37||Marco Kerstens||The Netherlands|
|38||Joe Santulli (Digital Press)||USA|
|46||Collector's Cards and Games||USA|
|48||Mr. Atari||The Netherlands|
|49||Wolfgang Meck (Retro-Magazin)||Germany|
|50||Classic Gaming Expo 2002||Las Vegas, USA|
|51||Classic Gaming Expo 2002||Las Vegas, USA|
|52||Classic Gaming Expo 2002||Las Vegas, USA|
|53||Classic Gaming Expo 2002||Las Vegas, USA|
|54||Classic Gaming Expo 2002||Las Vegas, USA|
|55||Classic Gaming Expo 2002||Las Vegas, USA|
|56||Classic Gaming Expo 2002||Las Vegas, USA|
|57||Classic Gaming Expo 2002||Las Vegas, USA|
|58||Classic Gaming Expo 2002||Las Vegas, USA|
|59||Classic Gaming Expo 2002||Las Vegas, USA|
|62||Jarett Waite (Packrat VG)||USA|
|68||Jens Fickermann (Telespielomat)||Germany|
|69||Kai Darius Kohl||USA|
|94||Sandy Hüner||The Netherlands|
|97||Steffan Ros||The Netherlands|
I thank the following people for their documentation, help and testing of the program:
This game for the Atari 2600 was written
in 2001-2002 and is (C) by Simon Quernhorst.
The URL www.quernhorst.de is owned by my brother, who is not to be connected
with the development of this Atari 2600 game, so don't bother him with mails.
Atari is a registered trademark, 2600 and VCS are trademarks of Atari Corporation.
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