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Book description

Maybe it was the recent Atari 2600 milestone anniversary that fueled nostalgia for the golden days of computer and console gaming. Every Game Boy must ponder his roots from time to time. But whatever is driving the current retro gaming craze, one thing is certain: classic games are back for a big second act, and they're being played in both old and new ways.

Whether you've just been attacked by Space Invaders for the first time or you've been a Pong junkie since puberty, Chris Kohler's Retro Gaming Hacks is the indispensable new guide to playing and hacking classic games. Kohler has complied tons of how-to information on retro gaming that used to take days or weeks of web surfing to track down and sort through, and he presents it in the popular and highly readable Hacks style.

Retro Gaming Hacks serves up 85 hard-nosed hacks for reviving the classic games. Want to game on an original system? Kohler shows you how to hack ancient hardware, and includes a primer for home-brewing classic software. Rather adapt today's equipment to run retro games? Kohler provides emulation techniques, complete with instructions for hacking a classic joystick that's compatible with a contemporary computer. This book also teaches readers to revive old machines for the original gaming experience: hook up an Apple II or a Commodore 64, for example, and play it like you played before.

A video game journalist and author of Power Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life, Kohler has taught the history of video games at Tufts University. In Retro Gaming Hacks, he locates the convergence of classic games and contemporary software, revealing not only how to retrofit classic games for today's systems, but how to find the golden oldies hidden in contemporary programs as well.

Whether you're looking to recreate the magic of a Robotron marathon or simply crave a little handheld Donkey Kong, Retro Gaming Hacks shows you how to set the way-back dial.

Table of Contents

  1. Retro Gaming Hacks
  2. A Note Regarding Supplemental Files
  3. Foreword
  4. Credits
    1. About the Author
    2. Contributors
    3. Acknowledgements
  5. Preface
    1. Why Retro Gaming Hacks?
    2. How to Use This Book
    3. How This Book Is Organized
    4. Conventions
    5. Using Code Examples
    6. How to Contact Us
    7. Safari Enabled
    8. Got a Hack?
    9. Where to Read More
      1. Supercade
      2. Arcade Fever
      3. Digital Retro
      4. Videogames: In The Beginning
      5. Digital Press Collector’s Guide
  6. 1. Playing Retro Games
    1. Hacks 1–14: Introduction
    2. Buy Retro Games
      1. Online Shopping
        1. eBay.
        2. Online retailers.
        3. Private online trading.
      2. Offline Shopping
        1. Retail stores.
        2. Gaming conventions.
        3. Thrift stores.
        4. Flea markets/Tag sales/Yard sales/Garage sales/etc.
    3. Collect Original “Pong” Systems
      1. Odyssey
      2. Will the Real Pong Please Stand Up?
      3. Being an Informed Consumer of Pong Stuff
    4. Buy and Run an Atari 2600
      1. A Bit of History
      2. Buying an Atari
        1. Necessary hardware parts.
        2. What games to buy.
        3. What to ask the seller.
      3. Running an Atari
        1. Common troubleshooting issues.
    5. Buy and Run Later Classic Consoles
      1. Mattel Intellivision
      2. Colecovision
      3. Atari 5200
      4. Atari 7800
    6. Play with Power: Set Up an NES
      1. First, Some World History
      2. “Toaster” NES
      3. “Toploader” NES
      4. Neo-Fami and Yobo
    7. Make Your NES Work Like New
      1. The Dying Process
      2. Installing the New Connector
    8. Take Your NES Games on the Go
      1. Official Re-released Games
      2. Game Axe Color
      3. Game Theory Admiral
      4. PokeFami
      5. AdoFami (Time Machine)
      6. The Shape of Famiclones to Come
    9. Buy a Famicom from Japan
      1. Family Computer
      2. AV Famicom
      3. Famicom Disk System
      4. Twin Famicom
      5. Famiclones
    10. Buy Retro Games from Japan
      1. Online Import Game Sellers
        1. National Console Support ().
        2. Yamatoku ().
        3. Play-Asia ().
      2. Online Auction Sites
        1. eBay ().
        2. Yahoo! Japan Auctions ().
      3. Or Just Go to Japan
    11. Find, Fix, Play, and Emulate the Vectrex
      1. Collecting the Vectrex
      2. Fixing the Vectrex
      3. Emulating the Vectrex
    12. Collect Classic Handhelds
      1. Why Handhelds?
      2. Web Sites of Note
      3. Popular Handhelds for Collectors
        1. Mattel Classic Football.
        2. Coleco tabletop games.
        3. Nintendo Game and Watch.
    13. Buy Your Own Arcade Hardware
      1. Arcade Cabinet Hardware Basics
      2. Finding a JAMMA Arcade Cabinet
        1. Buying used American JAMMA cabinets.
        2. Buying used Japanese JAMMA cabinets.
        3. Building your own JAMMA cabinet.
    14. Find the Holy Grails
      1. Golden-Age Grails
        1. Chase the Chuckwagon.
        2. Quadrun.
        3. Keyboard Component.
        4. 3D Imager.
      2. Post-NES Grails
        1. Stadium Events.
        2. Nintendo World Championships 1990.
        3. Super Star Fox Weekend.
    15. Find Classic Games for Cheap
      1. eBay and Other Online Shopping
      2. Garage Sales, Flea Markets, and Thrift Stores
        1. Before the sale.
        2. At the sale.
  7. 2. Playing Neo-Retro Games
    1. Hacks 15–19: Introduction
    2. Play Retro Games in All-in-One Joysticks
      1. Jakks Pacific
        1. Atari Classics 10 in 1 TV Games.
        2. Atari Paddle Controller with 13 TV Games.
        3. Atari Flashback 2.
        4. Activision 10 in 1 TV Games.
        5. Namco: Pac-Man.
        6. Namco II: Ms. Pac-Man.
      2. Majesco
        1. Konami Arcade Advanced.
        2. Frogger TV Arcade.
      3. Radica
        1. Arcade Legends: Space Invaders.
        2. Sega Genesis series.
      4. Other Sticks of Note
    3. Play Retro Games on Current Consoles
      1. Publisher-Based Collections
        1. Midway Arcade Treasures.
        2. Atari Anthology.
        3. Intellivision Lives!
        4. Activision Anthology.
        5. Namco Museum.
        6. NES Classic Series.
      2. Single-Series Collections
        1. The Legend of Zelda Collector’s Edition.
        2. Sonic Mega Collection.
        3. Mega Man Anniversary Collection.
      3. Classics to Come
    4. Play Retro Games on Older Systems
      1. Classic Arcade Game Collections
        1. Namco Museum.
        2. Atari Collections.
        3. Capcom Generation.
        4. Konami Antiques: MSX Collection.
      2. Classic Home Game Collections
        1. Activision Classics.
        2. Intellivision Classics.
    5. Play Contemporary Classics
      1. PopCap Games
      2. Newgrounds
      3. Orisinal
      4. Homestar Runner
      5. Point-and-Click Adventures
      6. Hacking the Hack
    6. Find and Play Hidden Classics
      1. Animal Crossing
      2. Metroid
      3. Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike
      4. Donkey Kong 64
      5. Star Fox Assault
      6. Pitfall!
      7. Mortal Kombat Deception
  8. 3. Playing Arcade Games on Your Computer
    1. Play Arcade Games Under Windows
      1. MAME
        1. Starting a game.
        2. More command-line options.
        3. Playing in MAME.
      2. MAME32
      3. MAME Frontends
    2. Run Arcade Games on a Mac
      1. Configuring MacMAME
      2. Running MacMAME
    3. Play Arcade Games Under Linux
      1. Xmame
        1. Gentoo Linux.
        2. Other Linux distributions/Unix flavours.
      2. GXMame
        1. Gentoo Linux.
        2. Other Linux distributions / Unix flavors.
        3. Configure the path to Xmame.
        4. Configure the ROMs directory.
        5. Set gameplay options.
        6. Play a game.
      3. AdvanceMAME
        1. Gentoo.
        2. Other Linux distributions and Unix flavors.
    4. Run MAME on the Xbox
      1. Getting MAMEoX
      2. Installing MAMEoX on your Xbox
      3. Copying the ROM files onto your Xbox
      4. Playing the Games
      5. Emulating Other Systems
    5. Find Legal, Free MAME ROMs
      1. Freeware Arcade ROMs
      2. Homebrew MAME ROMs
    6. Buy Legal MAME ROMs
      1. Capcom Coin-Op Classics
    7. Care for Your ROMs
      1. Downloading ROMs
      2. When the ROM Doesn’t Work
        1. Parent/Child ROMs: I Think I’m a Clone Now.
        2. When it still doesn’t work: verifying ROMs.
        3. Do it for me: CLRMamePro.
    8. Buy or Make Classic MAME Controllers
      1. Buy a Classic MAME Controller
        1. HotRod.
        2. X-Arcade.
        3. SlikStik.
      2. Make a Classic MAME Controller
        1. Planning your controller layout.
        2. Wiring your buttons.
        3. Finish Him!
    9. Add Sound to Your MAME Experience
      1. Whither Samples?
      2. Finding Samples
      3. Installing Samples
    10. Add Cabinet Art to MAME
      1. How to Use Artwork
      2. How to Not Use Artwork
      3. How to Make Artwork
    11. Build a MAME Cabinet
      1. Planning Your Personal Cabinet
      2. Filling Your Cabinet
      3. Controlling Your Cabinet
    12. Make a Self-Booting MAME Disc
      1. AdvanceCD
      2. Uses for Your New MAME CD
    13. Play MAME Anywhere
      1. Why Only Vector Games?
      2. What You’ll Need
      3. Hacking the Hack
  9. 4. Playing Classic Console Games
    1. Hacks 33–52: Introduction
    2. Emulate the Earliest Game Systems
      1. Odyssey
      2. Adventurevision (…really?)
      3. RCA Studio II (…not that you would want to)
    3. Emulate the Atari 2600
      1. Atari 2600 Emulators
        1. Stella.
        2. PC Atari.
      2. Finding Freely Distributed 2600 ROMs
    4. Emulate the Intellivision
      1. Intellivision Lives!
      2. Bliss
      3. Nostalgia
    5. Emulate the Colecovision
      1. Children of ColEm
      2. Virtual Colecovision
      3. A Bit About blueMSX
    6. Emulate the Atari 7800
      1. Do the MESS-Around
      2. Standalone 7800 Emulators
      3. The Atari 7800 Homebrew Scene
    7. Emulate the Nintendo Entertainment System on a PC
      1. RockNES
      2. FCE Ultra
      3. NEStopia
      4. Nessie
    8. Run NES Emulators on the Mac
    9. Run NES Emulators Under Linux
      1. FCE Ultra
        1. Gentoo.
        2. Other Linux/Unix distributions.
      2. FakeNES
        1. Gentoo.
        2. Other Linux distributions / flavors of Unix.
      3. TuxNES
      4. InfoNES
      5. NEStra
    10. Emulate 16-Bit Systems in Windows
      1. Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
      2. Sega Genesis
      3. …And the Rest
    11. Emulate Other Classic Systems on the Mac
      1. Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
      2. Nintendo Game Boy
      3. Atari 2600
      4. Other Systems
    12. Emulate Other Classic Systems in Linux
      1. Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
        1. Debian.
        2. Gentoo.
        3. Other Unix/Linux distributions.
      2. Nintendo Game Boy
        1. Gentoo Linux.
        2. Other Linux distributions.
      3. Atari 2600
        1. Gentoo.
        2. Other Linux distributions.
      1. Sega Genesis/MegaDrive
        1. Gentoo.
        2. Other Linux distributions.
      2. Other Systems
    13. Emulate the Game Boy on Your PC
      1. Emulating the Game Boy and Game Boy Color
        1. Setting up BGB.
      2. Emulating the Game Boy Advance
        1. Deeper into Boycott.
        2. GBA on Mac OS X and Linux.
    14. Play Games on a Smartphone or PDA
      1. The Emulation Scene on Handhelds
      2. Installing Emulators and ROMs
      3. Atari 2600
        1. Microsoft Smartphone.
        2. Microsoft Pocket PC.
        3. Performance.
      4. Game Boy
        1. Microsoft Smartphone and Pocket PC.
        2. Palm.
        3. Symbian.
      5. Play NES Games
        1. Microsoft Smartphone.
        2. Pocket PC.
        3. Palm.
        4. Symbian.
      6. Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
        1. Pocket PC and Microsoft Smartphone.
        2. Symbian.
      7. Play Doom on an MS Smartphone
    15. Play Homebrews on Your GBA
      1. Types of Flash Linkers and Carts
      2. Flash Linker Retailers
      3. Writing Games to your GBA
    16. Play Classic Systems on the GBA
      1. PocketNES
      2. SNESAdvance
      3. DrSMS
      4. Goomba
      5. GBAGI
    17. Emulate Other Classic Portables
      1. Atari Lynx
        1. Getting Handy for Windows/Mac OS.
        2. Handy for Mac OS.
      2. Sega’s Game Gear
        1. Multiple choices for emulation.
        2. Starting with MekaW.
        3. SMS Plus for Mac.
      3. SNK’s Neo Geo Pocket
        1. Little choice for emulation.
        2. Getting NeoPop running.
        3. Mac Users and NeoPocott.
    18. Retro-Hack the GP32
      1. MAME for GP32
      2. Beats of Rage GP32
      3. Go Super-Retro with GP81
    19. Retro-Hack the Dreamcast
      1. A Brief History of DC Hacking
      2. Creating a Bootable Dreamcast CD
      3. Going Old School with NesterDC
        1. Creating the NesterDC disc.
        2. Loading ROM files.
      4. Beats of Rage
    20. Use Console Controllers on your PC
      1. Xbox Controllers
        1. Making an Xbox-to-USB physical adapter.
        2. Building the Linux kernel module.
      2. PlayStation and Other Controllers
    21. Use USB Gamepads Under Linux
  10. 5. Playing with Early Personal Computers
    1. Hacks 53–62: Introduction
    2. Run the Apple ][
    3. Trick Out Your Apple ][
    4. Emulate the Apple ][
      1. Windows
      2. Mac OS X
    5. Become an Apple Guru
      1. First Steps: poking around DOS
      2. Next Steps: learning about the Apple
      3. Driving the Apple
    6. Run a Commodore 64
      1. Emulators and Things Suspected of Being Emulators
      2. Set Up a Real Commodore 64
    7. Emulate the Commodore 64
      1. Windows
      2. Linux
      3. Mac OS X
      4. Getting Software
    8. Emulate Other Classic Computers
      1. Finding and Installing MESS
      2. The Atari Computer Line
      3. Coleco ADAM
      4. The Sinclair Computer Series
      5. TRS-80 and TRS-80 Color Computer
      6. TI 99/4A
      7. PDP-1 and Space War
    9. Type in Classic Computer Games
      1. Finding Listings
        1. Magazines.
        2. Books.
        3. Online.
      2. Tips and Tricks for Typing
      3. Hacking the Hack
    10. Find Classic Computer Games
      1. Buy Classic Computer Games
      2. Download Classic Computer Games
    11. Emulate Classic Computers on the Dreamcast
      1. Burning Dreamcast CDs
      2. Atari 8-Bit Computers
      3. Apple ][
      4. Other Systems
  11. 6. Playing with Text Adventures
    1. Hacks 63–67: Introduction
    2. Play Interactive Fiction in One Minute
      1. Gameplay Basics of Text Adventures
      2. Getting Your Game On
        1. 9:05.
        2. Galatea.
        3. Mystery House Taken Over.
      3. Hacking the Hack
    3. Download and Play Text Adventures
      1. Baf’s Guide
      2. Other Sites
    4. Play the Best: Infocom Adventures
      1. What Made Them Great
      2. Packaging
      3. Buying Infocom Games
      4. The Games
        1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
        2. Trinity.
        3. Planetfall.
        4. A Mind Forever Voyaging.
      5. Other Highlights
    5. Get Covered in MUDs
      1. About MUDs
      2. Before Playing a MUD—the Setup
        1. Find a game.
        2. Start reading the game’s web site.
        3. Find a client you like.
      3. Creating Your First Character
      4. Taking the First Few Steps
    6. Write Text Adventures with INFORM
      1. Remember the Rules
      2. Plan Out Your World
      3. Create the Game
        1. The INFORM skeleton.
        2. Make some objects.
        3. Add in items.
  12. 7. Playing with DOS
    1. Hacks 68–71: Introduction
    2. Run DOS Without Microsoft
      1. FreeDOS
      2. This Old Box
        1. Partitioning.
        2. Installing FreeDOS.
      3. Hacking the Hack
    3. Run DOS Games
      1. When DOS Roamed the Earth
      2. Running DOS Games Using DOSBox
      3. Tweaking DOSBox for Speed and Convenience
      4. Running Games with Proprietary Memory Managers
      5. Tweaking Speed
      6. Running Games that Require CDs
      7. Hacking the Hack
    4. Rediscover Classic DOS Games
      1. The Old Days of DOS
      2. Finding the Classics
    5. Write a DOS Game
      1. Enter DJGPP and Allegro
      2. Installing DJGPP
      3. Installing Allegro
      4. Hello Allegro!
      5. Handling Images with Allegro
      6. Handling Input with Allegro
      7. Organizing Projects with RHIDE
  13. 8. Playing at Game Design
    1. Design Games with ZZT
      1. Jumping Into ZZT Editing
        1. Running ZZT.
        2. Your first board.
        3. ZZT-OOP.
      2. Further Reading
    2. Use Freeware Game Creation Tools
      1. Game Maker
      2. Stagecast Creator
      3. RPGToolkit
    3. Design Web-based Flash Games
      1. Set the Stage
        1. Game requirements.
        2. Prepare the elements.
      2. Begin Coding
        1. Set up global variables.
        2. Launch the missiles.
      3. Make the Game Winnable
      4. Hacking the Hack
    4. Create Your Own Atari 2600 Homebrew Games
      1. Creating Homebrew 2600 Games
        1. Using 2600 custom level creation tools.
        2. Changing graphics in existing games.
        3. Coding 2600 titles from scratch.
      2. The Best 2600 Homebrew Games
        1. SCSIcide by Joe Grand.
        2. Marble Craze by Paul Slocum.
        3. Oystron by Piero Cavina.
        4. Warring Worms by Billy Eno.
        5. Skeleton+ by Eric Ball.
    5. Program for the Game Boy Advance
      1. Welcome to the GBA Dev World
      2. Assembling Your Tools
      3. Getting Dirty with the Code
      4. Managing the Video Buffer
      5. Displaying Images on a GBA
    6. Add Tiles and Sprites to Your GBA Game
      1. Load the Map into Memory
      2. Display the Map
      3. The Refreshing Taste of Sprites
      4. Handling Input
    7. Put Your Homebrews on Cartridges
      1. Cartridge PCBs
      2. Do-It-Yourself PCBs
      3. ROMs: New or Used?
      4. Erasing and Programming ROM chips
      5. Erasing Used EPROMs
      6. Programming ROM Devices
      7. Soldering ROMs to PCBs
      8. Cartridge Cases
      9. Final Steps
    8. Create Packaging for Homebrew Games
      1. Developing Eye-Catching Artwork
      2. Printing: Types and Benefits
      3. Material Selection
      4. Printing Labels
      5. Printing Manuals
      6. Printing Boxes
      7. Alternatives and Exemplary Examples
      8. Final Recommendations
    9. Create Your Own Adventure Game
  14. 9. Playing Around with Other Neat Stuff
    1. Hacks 81–85: Introduction
    2. Learn the Patterns of Pac-Man
      1. General Pac-Maneuvers
      2. A Sample Pac-Man Pattern
    3. Show Off with Super Mario
      1. Get 100 Extra Marios
      2. Enter the Minus World
      3. Jump Over the Flagpole
    4. Hack the Leisure Suit Larry Games
      1. Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards
        1. Defeat the “Age Quiz”.
        2. Turn off the hot tub bubbles.
      2. Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking For Love (In Several Wrong Places)
        1. Bypass the copy protection.
      3. Leisure Suit Larry 3: Passionate Patti In Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals
        1. Defeat the age quiz (again).
        2. Get around the copy protection.
      4. Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work
        1. Bypass the copy protection (yet again).
        2. See more of Chi Chi.
        3. Find Leisure Suit Larry 4.
      5. Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up Or Slip Out!
        1. Peek into the women’s shower room.
        2. Take Cav’s shirt.
      6. Leisure Suit Larry 7: Love For Sail!
    5. Play Retro Versions of Modern Games
      1. Ocarina of Time 2D
      2. Metroid Prime 2D
      3. Codename: Gordon
      4. Doom 2D
      5. Grand Theftendo
    6. Remix Your Retro Sounds
      1. Capturing Retro Audio
      2. Edit Your Audio
      3. Do Something Cool with It
  15. Index
  16. About the Author
  17. Colophon
  18. Copyright