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Super VCS Bros.
August 22, 2012 9:28 AM   Subscribe

Over at the AtariAge forums, user Sprybug has been coding an Atari 2600 Super Mario Bros. clone to run on the Harmony Cartridge. Some screenshots. The game running on the cartridge. The game running in an emulator. And some previous discussion on the difficulty of programming for the Atari 2600.
posted by griphus (18 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Holy crap that's awesome. Fireballs and everything.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:44 AM on August 22, 2012


Incredibly, it's not even written in assembler but rather Batari, a compiled BASIC for the Atari 2600.
posted by jedicus at 9:47 AM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


That is ridiculous in the best possible way.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:53 AM on August 22, 2012


I...that's amazing stuff.
posted by jquinby at 9:54 AM on August 22, 2012


THANK YOU MARIO!

BUT OUR PRINCESS IS IN

ANOTHER CONSOLE!

posted by Atom Eyes at 10:02 AM on August 22, 2012 [27 favorites]


Man, sometimes I see something posted and I follow a link and I get really excited and forget where I was five minutes ago and think I NEED TO POST THIS TO METAFILTER and then here we are.
posted by cortex at 10:13 AM on August 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


Great post.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:14 AM on August 22, 2012


You should totally do it, cortex, so that somebody else will get to delete it.
posted by jbickers at 10:16 AM on August 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


That's impressive
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 10:16 AM on August 22, 2012


The music is surprisingly good, too.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:41 AM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


That is incredibly impressive! I haven't looked at programming the Atari 2600 in a while, and was unaware that it was possible without delving into assembly! Even better, I see he includes the source, which may be interesting to look at if I ever find the time.

Also, one thing that surprised me - for all the limitations this version has - lower-resolution graphics, moving platforms that stop when you touch them, smaller levels (or rather, levels that are separated into chunks via pipes), etc - it still has one thing that the original did not: bi-directional scrolling!
posted by mysterpigg at 10:48 AM on August 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Back around 2001 when I was doing some VCS hacking I had suggested something like Batari, and everyone laughed and insisted it was impossible. Cool to see that someone went through with the idea.
posted by localroger at 11:04 AM on August 22, 2012


This is stupidly fucking cool.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:14 AM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I presume it's all done in 4KB, the biggest capacity 2600 cartridge. Very impressive.
posted by LordSludge at 12:53 PM on August 22, 2012


LordSludge, over at the Batari site it's clear they are supporting bank switching, which is why the inefficiency can be tolerated. I also assume there are some cool generic kernals available to generate the video.
posted by localroger at 1:00 PM on August 22, 2012


"Grampa, why did it take so long for personal jetpacks to be invented?"

"Well, you see Timmy, back in around 2012 or so, our best & brightest minds were busy working on um...other projects that were...uh...deemed "culturally significant."
posted by ShutterBun at 6:55 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had the same idea of creating tools for crafting traditional 2600 games with the imposed technological restrictions of that gaming system, localroger.

It being the early 2000s, I was going to call the language Dogme 2600.
posted by sleslie at 7:43 AM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


It being the early 2000s, I was going to call the language Dogme 2600.

Oh, I can see that catalog now. Stuff like Super Dark Dancing, a lo-fi DDR-alike where the arrows become increasingly less visible as the game continues and if you miss too many you are executed by the state. Chiptunes by Bjork!
posted by cortex at 8:19 AM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


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