Hey Arcaders!

The Atari 7800 Prosystem was a great machine- that never saw it’s full potential. The system was slated to come out in 1984- where it would have been promptly been a hit. With GCC ( A company we have talked about in a earlier post ) working on the system specs and most of the original lineup- the machine boasted updated graphics, as well as Atari 2600 compatibility, it could have been a runaway hit. But then the crash hit that year. In July of 1984, the company was sold and splintered off- the home division was purchased by Jack Tramiel- founder of Commodore. One of his first decisions was to shelve the Atari 7800. Fast forward to 1987, the NES is gaining in popularity. So, old Jack thinks for a moment… He realizes he has a solid competitor sitting on a shelf- the 7800. And he realizes- he can do ports of some of the NES library-  While the creator of the NES version would be restricted from making a competitive version of an NES game, the original arcade copyright holder was not precluded from licensing out rights for a home version of an arcade game to multiple systems. Through this loophole, Atari 7800 conversions of Mario Bros., Double Dragon, Commando, Rampage, Xenophobe, Ikari Warriors, and Kung-Fu Master were licensed and developed. That included Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. For a bit more information- check out this video


And- it looks like a direct copy of the NES release. It plays fine- the Mario sprite could have faired better. But- what holds it back is the sound. You see, to keep costs down, as well as helping with 2600 compatibility- the 7800 gets its sound from the TIA chip- The same chip that makes the 7800 compatible WITH THE 2600. But- the designers had a workaround- to put a FM sound chip on the cartridge board- giving better sound and range. Sadly- only two cartridges  used it- Ballblazer, and Commando. So, Donkey Kong sounds like a tinny mess. give it a listen.


2012 was a big year for Donkey Kong ports! Not one- not two- but THREE homebrew ports of old DK were released for testing. Two were on the 2600, but the one were talking about today is on the 7800!

User tep392 released this jem- and has continued working on it up until last year!  Here’s what his port brings to the table!

– POKEY sound! I borrowed heavily from the 8-bit version. I had to create the tunes that play at the end of the rivet screen. Both versions are there and the game alternates between them as you progress through the levels. You can also now hear Kong beat his chest as you try to save Pauline.- “How High Can You Get?” screen is present and accounted for.
– Intro and between level animations. Kong starts the game climbing the building with Pauline, hops across the girders and finishes with a laugh at Mario. He will escape with Pauline at the end of the Girder, Cement and Elevator levels.
– Cement (Pie) factory! This screen has turned out pretty good. Kong moves across the top conveyor as Mario works his way up the screen while avoiding the fire balls and cement containers.
– Graphics have been updated on all screens. New menu and score line. Sprites have been made more like the arcade thanks to Defender_2600.
– AI for firefoxes and fireballs has been updated. It is now arcade perfect on Cement and Rivet screens. Barrel tossing on Girder screen and Bouncer patterns on elevator screen have been updated to replicate the arcade as well.
– Modded colors to be a more like the arcade, thanks to KevinMos3 and Trebor’s help.
– HSC support has been added!

Better sound! Better sprites! Pie factory level! and much more! You can download the demo over at Atariage  .

Check this one out if you can!

Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!

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