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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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 ...
Devolus's user avatar
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44 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 ...
Dailey's user avatar
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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, ...
Badasahog's user avatar
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43 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, ...
wizzwizz4's user avatar
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39 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, ...
rwallace's user avatar
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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 "...
fadden's user avatar
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26 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
rwallace's user avatar
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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 ...
Brian H's user avatar
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26 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 ...
Brian H's user avatar
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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 ...
Cactus's user avatar
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22 votes
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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 ...
Badasahog's user avatar
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21 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 ...
rwallace's user avatar
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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 ...
pmarflee's user avatar
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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 ...
wizzwizz4's user avatar
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18 votes
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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 ...
Vpirate21's user avatar
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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 ...
Maury Markowitz's user avatar
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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 ...
wizzwizz4's user avatar
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18 votes
2 answers
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What was the first arcade game to use a microprocessor instead of discrete logic?

Many authors credit Space Invaders as the first blockbuster game to have been written with an onboard microprocessor (Taito used Intel's 8080 for game logic), but there is also references to Taito's ...
JAL's user avatar
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15 votes
2 answers
911 views

Drawing Asteroids DVG vector objects

I'm trying to draw the vector objects from the original coordinates of the Asteroids arcade game, starting with the ship from here, but I'm having trouble figuring it out and getting weird results. E....
Martin's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
2k views

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 ...
Kitten's user avatar
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12 votes
4 answers
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Identify a vertical arcade shooter from the very early 1980s

I'm trying to identify an arcade game that I remember playing. At the bottom was the player's rocket that you could move in left-right direction and possibly also a small amount up and down (not sure ...
Torsten's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Help identifying an arcade game from the late 1980s

I'm looking for an arcade coin-op game from the late 80's that I remember seeing as a child. Game in question is a puzzle-action featuring a penguin pushing blocks of ice over smooth ice. After a few ...
vic's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
683 views

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, ...
wizzwizz4's user avatar
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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 ...
rwallace's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
789 views

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: ...
fadden's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
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Atari Centipede Video and the GBS-8200 didn't seem to work - looking for ideas

So I ordered the GBS-8200 (It's a v4.0) and tried to use it to convert the 15KHz RGBHV monitor output to VGA. I did a direct connect to P11 with Red, Green, Blue and Hsync and Vsync and Video return ...
Rich Maes's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
2k views

What are the technical differences between the Midway 8080 and Taito 8080 hardware boards?

In my research on 1970s-era arcade machines, I've noticed that both Midway and Taito created games which used Intel's 8080 microprocessor. However, each company had their own host boards which ...
JAL's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
1k views

1980s arcade game with overhead perspective and line-art cut scenes

This is a long shot. I saw this game around 1990 at an arcade in eastern Europe. The place had all western machines (e.g. Rampage, Gauntlet, Tron, Donkey Kong Jr, etc) so I believe it was also a ...
aquaticapetheory's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

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 ...
Joel Sickmeier's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
2k views

"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 ...
R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
979 views

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 ...
Petruza's user avatar
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10 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 ...
AlphaCentauri's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
687 views

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 ...
rwallace's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
909 views

How did Ridge Racer the arcade game store its music?

For both Daytona USA and Sega Rally (released around the same time but produced by SEGA), the arcade machines had sort of a synthesizer soundtrack with no CD-ROM involved. Only the home ports of those ...
J Poley's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Arcade games in Apple IIc's ROM

Is there a website where I can find the old games that where pre-installed in the Apple IIc ROM? When I could not get an OS disk, I could still have some fun with my Apple IIc by playing those arcade ...
alainlompo's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

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, ...
Badasahog's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
472 views

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 [...
Châu's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
4k views

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 ...
Pac-Kong's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
4k views

Converting from 15 kHz RGB to VGA for an 80's Atari Centipede arcade machine?

I have been hunting around to find a replacement flat panel monitor to replace the honking CRT in a 1980's Atari centipede machine. The existing monitor supports 15 kHz RGB which is not really ...
Rich Maes's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
819 views

Identify those arcade games from a 1983 Brazilian music video

This is a music video, recorded around 1982/1983, from Kodiak Bachine, considered to be the first Brazilian synthpop musician. At 5:39 you can see what looks like an arcade game: and at 5:50 another ...
Renan's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
rwallace's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
307 views

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 ...
Devar-TTY's user avatar
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7 votes
0 answers
333 views

Bloodsport: Which version of Karate Champ is it?

In the movie "Bloodsport", there's a sequence which is famous among video game players, where Frank Dux and Jackson "fight" through a Karate Champ arcade game machine. Now I'm ...
Jean-François Fabre's user avatar
7 votes
0 answers
183 views

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 ...
Red732's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
516 views

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 ...
Cactus's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
511 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=...
rwallace's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
900 views

Help me identify a vertical shooter from the 80's, please

Just reaching you guys because I'm completely unable to identify the game, and I haven't seen it in any compilation neither in Mame, etc. The following data are based just in my memories from the 80's....
user26311's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
504 views

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 ...
Châu's user avatar
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6 votes
0 answers
583 views

Are the details of the Galaga entrance patterns deterministic or random?

I've been playing a lot of Galaga lately on a Namco Revision B board, and I'm running into an interesting game detail that has probably been documented or examined by others or could be divined by ...
GGMG-he-him's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
618 views

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 ...
Walter's user avatar
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