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Author Topic: Porting E.T. (Atari 2600) to the NES?  (Read 3427 times)

ShadowOne333

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Porting E.T. (Atari 2600) to the NES?
« on: October 02, 2017, 12:50:52 pm »
Hello there, RH community.

Lately I've been reading a lot about E.T. for the Atari 2600 (yeah, that infamous game), and I stumbled upon two very interesting things.

The first is a very in-depth analysis and code-fixing of the original Atari 2600 version of the game, which deals with a lot of issues like pixel-perfect detection for the holes which ET falls into.

The document can be found here:
http://www.neocomputer.org/projects/et/

However, the REAL meat of it all is that the whole game has been disassembled and its source code has been shared online:
https://pastebin.com/AaSYZTHt

Yeah, that's right, a disassembly for the most beloved game of all time!
It uses the same ASM language as the NES, which is 6502
And and FYI, the source code is available through Wikipedia itself, so no rule breaking here.

So, with the current information I gathered, I was wondering...
Would a port of the Atari 2600 version to the NES be something someone would want to see?
More so with the applied fixed from the first document I posted.

I'm not saying I'd do it (because I have very... VERY rough ASM knowledge, basic stuff at best), but I was wondering if someone shares the same idea and wishes to see this in/famous game into the NES.
I for sure would love to finally experience it from start to finish in my NES :P

Psyklax

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Re: Porting E.T. (Atari 2600) to the NES?
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2017, 05:15:35 pm »
Would a port of the Atari 2600 version to the NES be something someone would want to see?

No.

But it would certainly be feasible, though the way video and sound is done on the NES is significantly different to the 2600, so it wouldn't exactly be a walk in the park. The question is if you'd want it to be just like the 2600 version or improved. I would have to say the latter, because lord knows it needs improving. With the increased power of the NES you could actually tell the player what the hell is going on, which would be nice. :)

firedropdl

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Re: Porting E.T. (Atari 2600) to the NES?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2017, 11:33:24 am »
Yes.  Absolutely man.

I just gave somebody some crap the other day for saying ET was one of the worst games ever made again.  I keep hearing kids say that.  (I heard it on the internet so it must be true).

I had the game when I was a kid.  I liked it.  I didn't love it, but it was a nice change of pace from all the other games.  It just got boring after a while when you figured it out, even with the randomizer.  (It wasn't hard to play if you read the instruction manual, but I can see how you'd have a problem playing on emulation without the manual).

One guy online says it was the worst game ever made and that it was single handedly responsible for the video game crash and everyone starts repeating that like a bunch of lemmings.  Half of the Atari 2600 library at least would be better qualified for the worst game ever made title.  Pac-Man would be a better title to blame if you're only going to blame it on one game.


I'd love to see this on the NES.   Either in its current form with some bugfixes or with improvements, or both.

KingMike

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Re: Porting E.T. (Atari 2600) to the NES?
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2017, 11:42:55 am »
I don't know if it was a guy on the Internet that started it.
I do remember reading that game as well as 2600 Pac-Man blamed for the video game crash even in an early '90s game magazine. Which certainly predates most of the world using the Internet.
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Bregalad

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Re: Porting E.T. (Atari 2600) to the NES?
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2017, 03:21:46 pm »
Would a port of the Atari 2600 version to the NES be something someone would want to see?
No, the original is already ugly enough. The NES has Action52 though, which is pretty awesome (by your standards).

Quote
It uses the same ASM language as the NES, which is 6502
Having the same CPU means virtually nothing. This is the only thing the 2 machines have in common. I'm sure we had this discussion already recently, but the search function is failing me.

standigz

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Re: Porting E.T. (Atari 2600) to the NES?
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2017, 03:51:35 pm »
It's been done already, albeit the only way to get it is to buy it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1bTcgXrX6M

ShadowOne333

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Re: Porting E.T. (Atari 2600) to the NES?
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2017, 04:34:12 pm »
It's been done already, albeit the only way to get it is to buy it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1bTcgXrX6M
I'm aware of that one.
Thing is that the port feels odd to me for some reason, and also the standalone E.T. ROM/cart is no longer on sale.
Only way to get it would be to buy the 4-in-1 bundle.

standigz

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Re: Porting E.T. (Atari 2600) to the NES?
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2017, 04:38:03 pm »
It's not? ugh, that's one of the reasons I dislike undumped stuff... no way to guaranty permanent availability.

Looking back at my post it seemed somewhat terse.  I don't mean to belittle any interest or effort. A freely available alternative would probably be enjoyed by many.

I find atari ports to be novel and fun on the NES.  I already enjoy the Pitfall! homebrew and the dumped Atari Flashback games.   

ShadowOne333

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Re: Porting E.T. (Atari 2600) to the NES?
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2017, 04:49:14 pm »
It's not? ugh, that's one of the reasons I dislike undumped stuff... no way to guaranty permanent availability.

Looking back at my post it seemed somewhat terse.  I don't mean to belittle any interest or effort. A freely available alternative would probably be enjoyed by many.

I find atari ports to be novel and fun on the NES.  I already enjoy the Pitfall! homebrew and the dumped Atari Flashback games.

I believe the reason why no one dumped the ROM out of that port is because it was a homebrew game that was being sold by the original creator.
People paid for the thing and are not interested in dumping it and making the ROM available for free.
The NES homebrew port is available... Somewhat, only through the 4-in-1 cart.
Apparently the original one sold-out or something, so now it's only available in that one cart, but I don't care about any of the other 3 games lol

Psyklax

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Re: Porting E.T. (Atari 2600) to the NES?
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2017, 07:03:31 pm »
It's been done already, albeit the only way to get it is to buy it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1bTcgXrX6M

Well at least one person dumped that game... the guy in the video. He's playing it in FCEUX - and the moron just maximised his window instead of doing proper full screen, so it appears in a tiny box in the centre. But anyway, did he just dump it himself for his own personal benefit? Or is it out there?

p.s. I completely understand why people wouldn't want to distribute a ROM if the dev is selling it himself and it would cut into his money, that's fair enough. Just pointing out that at least THAT guy definitely dumped it.

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Re: Porting E.T. (Atari 2600) to the NES?
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2017, 09:04:33 pm »
Well at least one person dumped that game... the guy in the video. He's playing it in FCEUX - and the moron just maximised his window instead of doing proper full screen, so it appears in a tiny box in the centre. But anyway, did he just dump it himself for his own personal benefit? Or is it out there?

p.s. I completely understand why people wouldn't want to distribute a ROM if the dev is selling it himself and it would cut into his money, that's fair enough. Just pointing out that at least THAT guy definitely dumped it.
In the first twenty seconds he claims to have personally worked with the developer on the game's creation.
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Psyklax

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Re: Porting E.T. (Atari 2600) to the NES?
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2017, 04:26:36 am »
In the first twenty seconds he claims to have personally worked with the developer on the game's creation.

Forgive me for not paying attention to the video and what he says in it. :) Still, he has a ROM...

Zoinkity

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Re: Porting E.T. (Atari 2600) to the NES?
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2017, 08:28:43 am »
As far as quality PacMan was certainly the worst 2600 game I ever played.  There were plenty that weren't good, but geesh.

E.T. gets the blame not so much because it was riddled with terrible glitches I still remember to this day, but because they also made the ridiculous decision to produce more carts than there were systems on the presumption people would run out and buy one just to play the game.

It's hardly the fault of the game, or a game.  It's the fault of a daft company that made foolish decisions on a grand scale while driving off their best talent.

E.T. wasn't a wretched game.  When it didn't throw you into the middle of an area where you couldn't move, or randomly throw you down holes, or spawn things on top of you, or move in strange ways, it was actually fun.  So hey, go ahead and take a whack at it.

firedropdl

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Re: Porting E.T. (Atari 2600) to the NES?
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2017, 11:04:42 am »
I've never played ET in an emulator for more than a minute or two, but I can tell you that I never once experienced being thrown in an area that I couldn't move on real hardware.  I didn't randomly fall down holes either, although the hit detection could have stood to be more accurate.  Once you played for 5 minutes you knew how to avoid the holes 99% of the time and the only time you'd fall down them is if you screwed up while being chased.  I don't recall anything spawning on top of you either, except for the ship when it came to pick you up.

I'll give you the weird controls though, but it was a pretty ambitious Atari 2600 game with one button that was programmed by one dude in a few weeks.  I think it's pretty amazing the game was playable at all.  I'm sure we can thank cocaine for that.



Yeah.  Atari made a TON of mistakes.  Ending those cocaine parties and becoming more like a "business" was one of them.  Not having any sort of lockout for their system in an age without copyright law president on their side was another.  I'm sure the Colecovision expansion that allowed you to play 2600 games on it wasn't helping matters any more than 5 knockoff versions of the same crap games were.


I just kind of get a little pissed any time I see somebody make a video with "The Top XX Games of All Time" or whatever.  It almost always has ET, and it's almost always some smug little prick half my age that grew up in the XBox/PS2 generation of games.  "Wow.  This game looks like crap compared to Halo.  I agree.  This is the worst game ever made!"  Seriously, millennial dude, go kill yourself.  lol


Jorpho

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Re: Porting E.T. (Atari 2600) to the NES?
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2017, 10:54:31 pm »
It's a topic that's been pretty much done to death over the years.  I remember Digital Press did a little Youtube series on games worse than E.T., but alas, the videos have been taken down.  http://www.ataritimes.com/index.php?ArticleIDX=638 and https://www.polygon.com/2014/6/3/5775026/e-t-myth-worst-game-ever emerge.

but because they also made the ridiculous decision to produce more carts than there were systems on the presumption people would run out and buy one just to play the game.
I thought they did that with Pac-Man and not E.T., but the Polygon article says otherwise.
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KingMike

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Re: Porting E.T. (Atari 2600) to the NES?
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2017, 01:54:26 pm »
I believe the reason why no one dumped the ROM out of that port is because it was a homebrew game that was being sold by the original creator.
A bit of a double-standard to say they won't dump a homebrew game but will dump corporate-produced games.
But I suppose because it's a homebrew they won't dump for one of two reasons: either they feel more sympathetic to a homebrew dev who they see as a person than a corporation who they see as faceless.

Or, of course, scarcity and collecting for resale is probably a factor too.
I've heard collectors weren't too keen on dumping Nintendo World Championships in the early 2000s because they were afraid it would devalue the cart (though on the contrary it has gone up since then.)
I think a gray NWC was worth around $3000 in 2000 (that's about $4,300 after inflation), gold maybe $6000. Now it's, double that at least, maybe triple (beyond simply inflation).
Likewise Stadium Events jumped from $1000 loose (when it was properly dumped in 2003) to about $3000 last I checked.
Having the ROM dumped certainly hasn't reduced their value.
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ShadowOne333

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Re: Porting E.T. (Atari 2600) to the NES?
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2017, 02:10:14 pm »
Yeah I do feel like it's a double standard as well.

My way of understanding their thinking is that they see the creator as some sort of indie dev who needs as much support as possible for his work.
If they were to dump the ROM and post it online, that would diminish the amount of people who could be interested in purchasing the homebrew game... in theory.

I don't follow that kind of thought.
The way I see it, making the game available to people as a ROM would give it a more widespread notoriety instead of being limited to the only 10 guys that managed to buy it originally.
If more people were able to play the ROM, it would catch on faster and reach new people like the black plague, and hence more people would gain interest in said homebrew ROM.

Zoinkity

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Re: Porting E.T. (Atari 2600) to the NES?
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2017, 07:31:59 pm »
Flip side to that is all homebrew get restricted to very limited runs by comparison to commercial titles.  Not terribly easy to get ahold of a copy of, say, Super Russian Roulette, regardless if you were going to dump it or not.

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Re: Porting E.T. (Atari 2600) to the NES?
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2017, 12:36:16 am »
A bit of a double-standard to say they won't dump a homebrew game but will dump corporate-produced games.
But I suppose because it's a homebrew they won't dump for one of two reasons: either they feel more sympathetic to a homebrew dev who they see as a person than a corporation who they see as faceless.

Or, of course, scarcity and collecting for resale is probably a factor too.

I have to assume it's the latter, since refusing on moral grounds to dump a homebrew that itself massively infringes someone else's IP (and brings essentially nothing new to the table in so doing, i.e. it's just a clone)...

...well, it's hard to imagine how someone could take that stance, and then look in the mirror without feeling completely ridiculous. But far stranger things have happened in the 21st century retrogaming scene.

Psyklax

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Re: Porting E.T. (Atari 2600) to the NES?
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2017, 03:33:31 am »
I have to assume it's the latter, since refusing on moral grounds to dump a homebrew that itself massively infringes someone else's IP (and brings essentially nothing new to the table in so doing, i.e. it's just a clone)...

...well, it's hard to imagine how someone could take that stance, and then look in the mirror without feeling completely ridiculous. But far stranger things have happened in the 21st century retrogaming scene.

Tell me about it... People have strange ideas. Especially with this: not only does it infringe on the ET movie, but the code is basically copied from Atari's game. At least we're not charging for our work! :D