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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43
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3answers
5k views

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 ...
42
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11answers
8k views

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 ...
42
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2answers
10k views

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, ...
38
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6answers
10k views

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, ...
36
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1answer
7k views

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, ...
31
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4answers
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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 "...
26
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3answers
5k views

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 ...
26
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6answers
6k views

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 ...
25
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2answers
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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 ...
24
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2answers
4k views

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 ...
22
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6answers
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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 ...
20
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3answers
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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 ...
20
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4answers
5k views

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 ...
20
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
18
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1answer
5k views

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 ...
18
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1answer
3k views

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 ...
18
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
16
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
12
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1answer
613 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, ...
12
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1answer
899 views

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 ...
11
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1answer
633 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: ...
10
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
10
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1answer
1k 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 ...
9
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1answer
611 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 ...
9
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2answers
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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 ...
8
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2answers
2k 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 ...
8
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1answer
416 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 [...
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3answers
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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 ...
8
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1answer
458 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 ...
8
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1answer
872 views

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 ...
7
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2answers
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 ...
7
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1answer
475 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, ...
7
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
7
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1answer
290 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 ...
7
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0answers
148 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 ...
6
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1answer
268 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 ...
5
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3answers
529 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 ...
5
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1answer
598 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
284 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 ...
5
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0answers
241 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 ...
4
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1answer
506 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
610 views

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. ...
4
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2answers
466 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 ...
4
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0answers
170 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
307 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 ...
3
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
2
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1answer
286 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
244 views

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 ...
1
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2answers
551 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 ...