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Author Topic: Want to modify or create a cheat code for an atari game  (Read 2787 times)

gukingofheart

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Want to modify or create a cheat code for an atari game
« on: September 30, 2019, 12:28:55 am »
When it comes to cheat codes for a lot of atari games, they mainly offer Infinite Lives.
What would I need to create a better code?

Or if not that, what about modifying the graphics or something of an atari game?
Just looking for a way to change a game, and not spend more then a few days trying to do so.

Jorpho

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Re: Want to modify or create a cheat code for an atari game
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2019, 10:57:17 pm »
To be clear: are you talking about games for the Atari 2600, or games published by Atari for some other system?

What would I need to create a better code?
That depends entirely on what exactly you want to do and what game you want to modify.

Infinite-life cheats are easy – they're just a matter of setting and holding a particular value in RAM, or possibly of finding (and removing) the instruction in the ROM that decrements the number of lives remaining.  Most other things are not necessarily that simple.

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Just looking for a way to change a game, and not spend more then a few days trying to do so.
If you haven't done anything like this before, don't expect it to be easy.
This signature is an illusion and is a trap devised by Satan. Go ahead dauntlessly! Make rapid progres!

FAST6191

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Re: Want to modify or create a cheat code for an atari game
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2019, 07:06:48 am »
If you haven't done anything like this before, don't expect it to be easy.
While doubtless many here could cook up an eminently possible project that would take a month of free time learning to even start to comprehend the scope/formulate an approach I have long maintained there is a lot you can do without that. Or if nothing else you can do a fair bit with a tile editor, and maybe even start directing a tracing session in a weekend, and that opens up a lot of potential. Similarly if we have all possible Atari games here then if one somehow is obfuscated and compressed somehow then the option to move onto another arises.


Anyway "better" cheat is somewhat subjective -- infinite lives to bypass the coin-op effect might be exactly what it needed to make a game play for me where the option to turn things blue is less useful, even if it is harder. Infinite items, ammo, health or time is usually quite easy (save for those games where time or something needs to get low to trigger an event, in which case most people try to instead trigger a refill or plus whatever).

The more limited nature of the atari does change some things as you have a little less overhead to play with, but it does also mean some of the more annoying things to work around will likely not be there (if compression is all but unheard of on the NES then chances of it being on an Atari game...). Doesn't need a whole different approach to other devices though as things will still work the same.

gukingofheart

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Re: Want to modify or create a cheat code for an atari game
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2019, 03:49:17 am »
How do you modify the graphics of an atari game?
Don't need to create infinite lives, as I found a site that already has those codes.

goldenband

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Re: Want to modify or create a cheat code for an atari game
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2019, 01:30:49 pm »
There's a disassembly of Pitfall! here:

https://www.romhacking.net/documents/521/

If you install the programs necessary to compile it, you can make pretty much any change you want to the graphics (or anything else). The color and shape of the graphics are given at separate locations in the disassembly, because (without getting into a lot of detail) that reflects how the Atari 2600 works.

I can't help but notice that your goals are pretty vague. Are you looking to do this because you have a specific goal you want to accomplish, or do you just want to do it for the bragging rights?

(I ask because, if it's the latter, people who mainly want the trophy at the end -- and aren't genuinely interested in the nuts and bolts of getting there -- don't usually find ROM hacking to be a good fit for them.)

Metal64

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Re: Want to modify or create a cheat code for an atari game
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2020, 09:42:42 am »
How do you modify the graphics of an atari game?
Don't need to create infinite lives, as I found a site that already has those codes.

To modify graphics of an atari game, use programs like Bit Hacker or Hack-O-Matic III.