Let’s Play: Tower Toppler on the Atari 7800

Tower Toppler

We take a look at the unique platformer Tower Toppler.  It came out on quite a few platforms (and was also called Nebulus) we’re looking at the Atari 7800 release which came out in 1988.

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NEC PC Engine LT

NEC PC Engine LT

We take a look at NEC’s portable, but not mobile, handheld console, the PC Engine LT.

The LT fitted a slightly strange niche in the gaming market, coming halfway between NECs CoreGrafx home console and their GT handheld.  It had a similar footprint to the diminutive CoreGrafx and had a built-in screen like the GT (although larger and far better quality).  But the LT was not mobile like the GT, there were no batteries, you needed to have a PSU plugged in.

In this sense it’s more akin to the Nintendo Wii U in spirit, more about freeing up the household TV than taking games with you.

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Transferring Game Boy PocketCamera Photos to a PC

The Nintendo Game Boy PocketCamera was designed to take photos that only really look good on the original Game Boy’s greyscale screen.  But still you want to view these masterpieces on your PC, how do you do it?

Using an Arduino based project created by Brian Khuu (here) we make our PC pretend it’s a Game Boy Printer and then convert the data to a useable picture.

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We take a look at Outrun Ports

Outrun is probably one of the best loved Arcade racers out there.  Designed by Yu Suzuki in 1986 it utilised the hardware created for the earlier Hang On and Space Harrier titles.

Because it was an incredibly popular Arcade machine it was ported to many consoles, we take a look at it on:

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Lets Play: Venture on the Atari 7800

Venture was released by Coleco in 1982 as a launch title for the ColecoVision.  It was a conversion of the 1981 Exigy arcade machine.  For it’s time it was considered to be both technically and artistically superb, winning an award for it’s graphics on release.

Coleco eventually released it on the Atari 2600 and Mattel Intellivision home systems.  We’re taking a look on the Atari 7800.

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Sony MPF520-1/04 PC FDD to Amiga conversion

The external floppy drive that I was using with my CDTV died and replacements were a little expensive (ok, they weren’t that bad but I was impatient).  So I figured, how different could an Amiga FDD be from a PC one?

Turns out there are a couple of differences, the signals on pin 2 and pin 34 are reversed (Density Select, Ready Change) and the drive needs to identify as DS0 if it’s the internal drive on a normal Amiga or the external drive on the CDTV (PC drives don’t because they’re generally picked up using cable select).

How this works will vary depending on your drive, but for my Sony model it was very simple.  It requires two wires, two track cuts and a jumper change.

Basically we need to cut the connection that pins 2 and 34 are on, and then put a wire from 2 to a solder point that was pin 34‘s original destination and between 34 and a solder point that was pin 2‘s original destination.

You should be able to work out where they are from the pictures, be careful when cutting to only cut the one track and don’t cut yourself.

If you want to revert the drive you can just run a wire between the pins and their original solder points.

The jumper is at the back of the drive, next to the motor.  If it’s on 0 and 1 (nearest the motor) then it’s set to be DS0, if it’s on 1 and 2 then it’s DS1.  If you want it to be internal on an Amiga or external on a CDTV then it needs to be DS0, if you want it external on an Amiga then set it to DS1.

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