Questions tagged [arcade]

Early arcade games and hardware. Not to be used for modern arcade machines capable of running early games, or for custom (e.g. home-made) machines that happen to be old.

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What was the first games console to be as powerful as the Sega Model 2 board? [closed]

Back in the day, Sega's Daytona USA was the king of arcades. All those polygons flying around at 60 frames per second, it was incredible. It was also hugely expensive. What was the first games console ...
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3 votes
0 answers
188 views

What would "Special Makeup" design have been in the 1988 arcade game, Splatterhouse? [closed]

Upon beating the Namco arcade game Splatterhouse, released in November 1988, the following is shown in the credits along with the expected programmers and artists: SPECIAL MAKEUP DESIGNED ...
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6 votes
1 answer
455 views

Did ancillary LEDs trade arcade game design for manufacturing cost?

Looking at the 1974 arcade game Speed Race, I notice that the cabinet includes ancillary LEDs to show the scores. https://flyers.arcade-museum.com/?page=wide-flyer&db=videodb&id=4056&image=...
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4 votes
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Why was Atari Tank less cloned?

The first commercially successful arcade video game was Pong in 1972. According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcade_video_game the number of units eventually sold was about 19,000. (A lower figure ...
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12 votes
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How common was MADSEL?

I recently completed a software disassembly of the 1980 coin-op arcade game Missile Command. I'm curious whether a feature of the hardware is unique or commonplace. First, a bit of background: ...
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7 votes
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What's the point of the CPS-2 suicide battery?

The CPS-2 arcade board contains a suicide battery that will force the board to kill itself when it runs below a certain power threshold. Supposedly this was created to mitigate piracy of the games, ...
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18 votes
1 answer
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Arcade game: pseudo-3D flying down a Death-Star-like trench

I cannot find any references to this game so maybe someone here will recall it: It was a full-sized arcade cabinet with an aircraft-yoke type controller with fire buttons on the tip of the yoke. I ...
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5 votes
1 answer
340 views

What kind of graphics hardware did Nichibutsu's 1985 arcade game "MagMax" use?

The arcade game MagMax by Nichibutsu came out in 1985 and features for its time an impressive 3D scrolling effect which, in my observation, is not widely discussed yet, although it should be ...
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4 votes
2 answers
536 views

Mid 80's arcade top-down scrolling spaceship shooter with upgradable ship

I used to play an arcade game back in 1987 (first year high school) and I can't remember what it was called. The screen scrolled from the top (very much like 1942) but you flew a spaceship. Some ...
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3 votes
2 answers
318 views

How did Capcom make the decision to produce 1942? [closed]

The classic Capcom game 1942 puts the player in the pilot seat of an American fighter aircraft in WW2, shooting down wave after wave of Japanese aircraft. Capcom is a Japanese company. How did Capcom ...
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42 votes
3 answers
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How was a demo mode implemented in arcade machines

On many arcade machines when running in attract mode, they often show a demo gameplay. I wondered how they did this?I guess those are not pre-recorded movies, so I think that they probably ran the ...
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Were vertical monitor arcade games programmed differently from those with horizontal monitors?

Many classic arcade games like Pac Man (Namco 1980), Assault (Namco 1988), Mercs (Capcom 1990), etc, use a monitor oriented vertically. I assume that they used the same physical hardware, with the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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How does the rotary control button of Forgotten Worlds/Lost Worlds encode rotation?

How does the rotary control button of Forgotten Worlds/Lost Worlds encode motion? How does it create a binary signal for game software to know how far and which direction to rotate the player's game ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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What is language use for level name in level 3 and 5 of Strider arcade game? [closed]

Arcade strider game show level name use different language follow Strider Hiryu (飛竜)'s adventure. But I not recognize languages for level 3 and level 5. Can see titles in this video, Arcade Longplay [...
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How did 1980's 8 bit video game coders create realistic fireballs and explosions?

Back in the 1980's, I tried my hand at programming video games, mostly using Atari's player/missle system which used sprites. I could freehand draw most sprites but couldn't come close to the animated ...
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2 answers
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Why the 50/60Hz speed rule didn't apply for arcades but did for consoles?

Take the NES, the Super NES and say, the PlayStation, they all have something in common : games on PAL regions were about 16.7% slower than their NTSC counterpart. Now if on you play an arcade game, ...
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26 votes
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What was Pong called in Britain?

Pong, the electronic ping-pong game invented by Atari in 1972, was the first really successful video game. In Britain, 'pong' was also slang for a nasty smell, and I remember reading somewhere, a long ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Player 1 / Player 2 input for Space Invaders

According to the Computer Archeology page on Space Invaders, port 1 presents "player 1's shoot/left/right" input to the CPU, whereas port 2 presents player 2. Playing around the code in an ...
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42 votes
11 answers
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Was it actually possible to do the cartoon "coin on a string trick" for old arcade and slot machines? [closed]

In cartoons, you often see characters like Scrooge McDuck with a coin where they have drilled a hole in the middle and attached a string, enabling them to insert the coin multiple times and keep ...
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Why did Gran Trak 10 cost so much?

In 1974, Atari released a driving game called Gran Trak 10. The development prototypes had used real car steering wheels and pedals, but it was realized these were too expensive, so they were changed ...
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8 votes
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Why exactly does MAME (apparently) require different ROMs for different versions of MAME?

I've never heard of any emulator which requires different ROMs based on which version the emulator is. I thought that ROMs were fixed files that were dumped from hardware cartridges or PCBs, and then ...
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1 vote
2 answers
724 views

In Donkey Kong (arcade), is there some way to skip the annoying intro sequence?

I find myself dying constantly in Donkey Kong. Although I don't have to pay money each time, it's still annoying to keep having to watch the intro each time. I've tried pressing all buttons I could ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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How does the Hard Drivin' game engine work?

Hard Drivin' is a classic Atari video game released in the arcades and then ported to many home systems. How does the game engine work? How is the world data handled, how is collision detection done ...
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3 votes
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How can I get MAME to run modified ROMs whose checksums don't match the originals?

In the aftermath of the question about running the arcade Pac-Man ROM on a Sinclair ZX Spectrum I discovered that about the same time that was done, somebody else did the reverse, porting a classic ...
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Could Pac-Man be replicated perfectly on the ZX Spectrum?

We all know that various ports of Pac-Man exist but my question is just for one specific computer. Could the Spectrum, with time and proper knowledge, run the Arcade version of Pac-Man despite it's ...
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7 votes
0 answers
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Need help checking an ADC0808 / ADC0809 chip in a arcade shooting game

Main Question: How can I check a ADC0808 chip to determine if it needs to be replaced or if my issue is something else? Any advice you can offer is SO appreciated! ADDITIONAL INFO When the arcade is ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Can you program an arcade game and have MAME or another emu run it?

I know Mame works with drivers for each game or hardware, and it checks for specific ROMs, and I guess it might check also for some checksum to verify the ROMs integrity. Is there some way you could ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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Did Atari make more money from arcade games or consoles?

Atari was originally an arcade game company, starting at the beginning of the seventies with Computer Space and Pong. In 1977, they entered the console business with the VCS a.k.a. 2600; in 1979, they ...
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38 votes
6 answers
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Why did early arcade games use vertical displays?

Surprisingly many early arcade games, such as Pac-Man, Galaxian and Galaga, mounted their displays vertically, in portrait rather than landscape orientation. (From the perspective of the electronics, ...
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7 votes
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How did the Donkey Kong arcade hardware provide 128 sprites?

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donkey_Kong_(video_game) The Donkey Kong hardware has the memory capacity for displaying 128 foreground sprites at 16x16 pixels each and 256 background ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What version of Space Invaders is this?

I would like to know which manufacturer/version is the Space Invaders game that I show playing in the video linked below. The game setup is similar to Galaxian/Galaga but it is not. It also feels ...
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9 votes
2 answers
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Where did the standard arcade font originate?

Nearly anyone who has seen an early arcade game from any company has probably seen this or a very similar font. Who created it and where, and why did it become so widespread, ending up in games from ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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How well can a NEO GEO theoretically run Sega´s Super Scallers Games?

The Neo Geo had a remarkable capacity to scale sprites, as we can see in fighting games, but it does not have any racing, flight or any game that simulated a non ray casting pseudo 3D to my knowledge. ...
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25 votes
2 answers
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Details of video memory access arbitration in Space Invaders

I am working on an FPGA implementation of the original Space Invaders arcade machine and I'd like to implement access arbitration between the CPU and the video system. I can imagine several ways of ...
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26 votes
6 answers
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Why weren't discrete x86 CPUs ever used in game hardware?

Please don't point out APUs with x86_64 cores used in current generation game consoles, these are not part of the question I cannot recall a single arcade system or game console that ever used x86 ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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How were arcade games developed?

For some systems, such as the Super NES (SNES), there existed a development kit, which consisted of specialized hardware. I believe this kit allowed the developer to present recently assembled machine ...
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20 votes
3 answers
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Did arcade monitors have same pixel aspect ratio as TV sets?

It is well known that when emulating classic games on modern displays, you need to be careful not to distort the aspect ratio. Generally speaking, CRT screens were 4:3, and specific pixel aspect ...
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20 votes
4 answers
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Unlicensed home computer ports of arcade games

During the 1980s, it was quite common to see unofficial ports of popular arcade games released on home computer systems. For instance, Acornsoft (the software division of Acorn Computers) released ...
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42 votes
2 answers
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Why does the original Donkey Kong update the screen in a curtain closing pattern?

For those of you who don't know, Billy Mitchell, the former Donkey Kong world record champion was caught cheating due to differences between the original Donkey Kong format, and MAME. In other words, ...
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22 votes
6 answers
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How do arcade ROMs work

The way I understand it, ROMS are like virtual games, and emulators are like virtual game consoles, or handhelds. What I don't understand is how there are ROMs for arcade games, which don't have ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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When was Breakout developed by Steve Wozniak?

The classic game Breakout was developed in 1975-76; famously, the first version of the circuit board was designed by Wozniak over the course of four nights, though Atari subsequently redesigned it for ...
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10 votes
1 answer
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"Holographic"/3D arcade games

This is vague, but I remember seeing several different arcade machines, probably in the early 90s, with various sorts of "holographic" 3D displays. By that I mean that they produced depth perception ...
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24 votes
2 answers
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How did Z80 multiprocessing work in the Namco Galaga hardware?

Galaga was a popular arcade game developed and released by Namco (Midway in N. America) in 1981. It had amazing, fast, smooth 2D-sprite graphics, and relied on Namco hardware that utilized 3 Z80 CPUs ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Why did Nintendo change their copyright title between Donkey Kong Set 1 and 2?

Early American Donkey Kong arcade machines used US Set 1 and the game title had "1981 Nintendo" as the copyright. Later US boards used Set 2 and Nintendo changed the copyright title to "1981 Nintendo ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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6 Player X-Men Arcade Cabinet Compatibility

I've got a 6-player X-Men Arcade cabinet and I was wondering what other boards might be compatible with it. Can I use any Jamma compatible board? Will the dual monitors just mirror? Here's a link to ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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What API did the POKEY module provide?

The POKEY module was used in many, many Atari arcade games, including most that contained the Atari Math Box. It could be used to sample potentiometers, scan matrices of switches and, more famously, ...
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35 votes
4 answers
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What API did the "math box" provide?

Some classic vector arcade games, such as Battlezone and Red Baron, were based on the 6502 CPU. The processor wasn't fast enough to do the 3D computations, so a co-processor commonly known as the "...
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20 votes
1 answer
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Why does Ms. Pac-man turn upside down?

Ms. Pac-man is a game where you navigate a small yellow circle around a maze, collecting dots and fruit whilst avoiding brightly-coloured monsters, or ghosts. This time, however, the yellow dot has an ...
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18 votes
1 answer
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Why can you not move on the last level on Dig Dug?

The objective of Dig Dug is to eliminate underground monsters by inflating them until they pop, or by squashing them with large rocks. Once all of the monsters have escaped or been defeated, the level ...
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36 votes
1 answer
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Why does the kill-screen glitch occur in Pac-man?

Pac-man is a game where you navigate a small yellow circle around a maze, collecting dots and fruit whilst avoiding brightly-coloured monsters, or ghosts. As long as there was at least one 'man left, ...
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