2600 games via StellaDS

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SpiceWare
Posts: 120
Joined: April 8th, 2015, 7:04 pm

2600 games via StellaDS

Postby SpiceWare » October 20th, 2022, 11:23 am

Over at AtariAge an old topic was resurrected as StellaDS has seen a new update, apparently the last version was released in 2012. StellaDS is a port of the Atari 2600 emulator for the Nintendo DS.

The new version (known as PHOENIX EDITION) has better speed, compatibility, accuracy, and has support for DPC+ games like my Xmas game Stay Frosty 2. The DPC+ games need a DSi, which has a 2x faster CPU than the original DS.

I was intrigued, so asked if it would run on my 3DS XL. Yep! I then asked for how to install it as I'd never messed with homebrew on the 3DS before. A link was provided with instructions to install TWiLight Menu++, which has instructions for the 3DS, DSi, and Flashcard. Took a while, over an hour as my 3DS was not yet running custom firmware, but was easy to do. Would have gone quicker if I wasn't keeping meticulous notes about each step.

StellaDS PHOENIX EDITION can be found here.

StellaDS doesn't yet support the newer CDF/CDFJ/CDFJ+ games so it won't run Draconian, my port of Bosconian.

Space Invaders
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Stay Frosty 2
NOTE: StellaDS doesn't do the music very well, so set Right Difficulty to A to turn off in-game music - your ears will thank you ;)
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Space Rocks
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SpiceWare
Posts: 120
Joined: April 8th, 2015, 7:04 pm

Re: 2600 games via StellaDS

Postby SpiceWare » November 10th, 2022, 11:36 am

I never played Intellivision back in the day. Everyone I knew had a 2600. Then we started migrating to computers, a VIC 20 for me for Xmas 81, and the consoles became relegated as "toys" that our younger siblings played with.

The guy who ported StellaDS also ported few other emulators to the DS, including an Intellivision Emulator.

I have tried an Intellivision emulator in the past, but didn't get into it - I suspect a big part was lack of keypad overlays, which made gameplay difficult to figure out. Enter NINTV-DS:

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Onscreen overlay was awesome - I really got into Advanced Dungeons and Dragons and managed to finish it on easy after playing it a few times:

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Took a few more days of working my way up through each level before I finished it on Hard:

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I really enjoyed it. I doubt I'd have played it back in the day, even if I knew somebody with an Intellivision, as I'd bought a VICModem about the time Intellivision's AD&D was released and I was busy calling BBSes. Soon after I wrote my own BBS for the VIC, and ported it to the 64 and 128 over the years. With the newer computers my BBS gained some unique abilities for the time: real-time music at 300 baud, sprites, animated characters, ability to play online games using the joystick, etc.

I've downloaded the manual for the sequel, Treasure of Tarmin, and plan to get into it this weekend.

SpiceWare
Posts: 120
Joined: April 8th, 2015, 7:04 pm

Re: 2600 games via StellaDS

Postby SpiceWare » November 27th, 2022, 10:39 am

StellaDS now supports 2600 games that use CDF or CDFJ! Enhanced audio not yet working, so Draconian and Mappy have just the normal TIA generated sound effects without any speech samples or music (respectively).


Draconian:

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Mappy:

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Lode Runner:

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scotland
Posts: 2541
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:33 pm

Re: 2600 games via StellaDS

Postby scotland » November 28th, 2022, 5:45 pm

This is an awesome topic. I've not done anything like this on my Nintendo hardware but maybe I will.

SpiceWare
Posts: 120
Joined: April 8th, 2015, 7:04 pm

Re: 2600 games via StellaDS

Postby SpiceWare » November 29th, 2022, 11:39 am

scotland wrote:I've not done anything like this on my Nintendo hardware but maybe I will.


I never considered jail-braking any of my hardware before. Latest update adds the enhanced audio for CDF/CDFJ. It's still rough, but helpful for Draconian as you'll now hear the "Spy Ship Sighted" audio alert when the Spy Ship appears. It's an important alert because letting the Spy Ship escape results in the dreaded "Condition Red" all-out attack by the enemy.

I'd really love a version that targeted the 3DS specifically due to the 3DS's higher resolution display (800 x 240 vs 256 × 192). The 256 isn't quite enough to 2x the 2600's horizontal 160 pixels, and not every game fits 192 vertically, so scaling artifacts do occur - such as when flying left/right in Draconian the stars will change size. 3DS's faster processor(286 MHz vs 67 MHz for DS and 133 MHz for DSi) would also be useful as the ARM enhance games drop their frame rates on occasion.

SpiceWare
Posts: 120
Joined: April 8th, 2015, 7:04 pm

Re: 2600 games via StellaDS

Postby SpiceWare » December 4th, 2022, 3:52 pm

SpiceWare wrote:Enhanced audio not yet working, so Draconian and Mappy have just the normal TIA generated sound effects without any speech samples or music (respectively).


Speech and music are now working in StellaDS! This includes Pitfall 2, Stay Frosty 2, etc.


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