Monday, 26 October 2015

Madness from my sick bed

Struck down with a stomach bug today, unable to sleep much and trying to keep my mind off my physical ailments, my thoughts turned - naturally - to porting projects.

Now I have to warn you that this idea was borne from a stomach ache and nausea-induced haze, so you'll have to forgive the madness.

Of course plenty of clones of arcade games were produced on all of the 8-bit microcomputers back in the day. But what if one were to take one of those clones, and port it back to the original arcade hardware!?!

 Why on Earth would you bother? I hear you ask. And as I sit here gradually recuperating after a couple of pieces of Vegemite toast and some paracetamol, even I must admit that the idea sounds sillier by the minute.

Regardless, I did try to entertain the idea briefly. And I was thinking a good candidate would be one that came from the same CPU - to greatly reduce the effort required - and obviously similar hardware architecture. The only one that sprung easily to mind was a couple of rather decent Joust ports on the Coco; Lancer and Buzzard Bait (I did have a preference back in the day, but can't recall which).

Both the arcade and Coco are 6809 machines with a bit-mapped display, although the pixel mapping differs somewhat. I would imagine there's sufficient ROM and RAM space on the arcade platform. So not too far-fetched; it's worth noting that the arcade Tutankham didn't require a lot of patching to run on the Coco3! What it would require though is a pretty comprehensive reverse-engineering of the Coco code in order to account for the pixel mapping differences.

Maybe one day someone will pay me to complete absolutely pointless ports?

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