.: Games for Atari 600/800XL :.


About the games I wrote

A long time ago (still in school then, approx. between 1983 and 1986) I started programming games on the Atari 800XL. They were released as listings in magazines called HOMECOMPUTER, COMPUTRONIC and CPU, all published by Tronic-Verlag. There were no CD-ROMs or diskettes accompanying magazines at that time, so people had to type out the listings from the magazines. I used the built-in programming language BASIC but reached it's limitations quite soon. So I began working out parts in Assembler.

The games are put together on a disk image which you can download. In order to run these games, you have to download an ATARI-Emulator and set it up correctly (see bottom of this page). I've also uploaded a file containing the BASIC source code for each game so you can see how source code looked like then. However, these source code files are not meant to be run, because some contain errors due to conversion problems from the Atari Emulator to modern computer world. Use the disk image mentioned above to run them.

People interested in this magazine can hop to Mr.Bacardi's Homepage (only in German), which is dedicated to the Tronic-Verlag.

So here comes the list of games available in the disk image. This is real low tech!

The Games

Old Surehand
(March 1984)
oldsurehand.bas
Old Surehand screenshot
Oil Panic
(May 1984)
oilpanic.bas
Oil Panic screenshot
Tank Battle
(written together with Jens H├╝ttmann)
(May 1984)
tankbattle.bas
Tank Battle screenshot
Tombstone City
(June 1984)
tombstonecity.bas
Tomstone City screenshot
Mutation
(November 1984)
mutation.bas
Mutation screenshot
Atlantis
(February 1985)
atlantis.bas
Atlantis screenshot
Cosmische Arche
(February 1985)
cosmischearche.bas
Cosmische Arche screenshot
Magic Fire
(April 1985)
magicfire.bas
Magic Fire screenshot
Vulkan
(February 1986)
vulkan.bas
Vulkan screenshot
Jack the Digger
(August 1986)
jackthedigger.bas
Jack the Digger screenshot

Atari Emulator

There's a command-line open source emulator for Atari 800XL available at Sourceforge.net, which works on several operating systems. If you're on Linux it's likely there's a package in the repository of your distro. If you use Ubuntu that would be:

sudo apt-get install atari800

For Windows users there's a front end called Atari800Win Plus. It uses the emulator mentioned above as it's core.

Apart from the emulator itself you'll also need the BASIC language and the Operation System ROMs for the emulator, which are not part of the downloads mentioned above. Download them from the Atari800 emulator project page at SourceForge.Net and unzip it to a location of your choice.

How to start the games

atari800

If you use the open source emulator here's an example start command:

atari800 -xlxe_rom ATARIXL.ROM -basic_rom ATARIBAS.ROM -xl -basic jensberke.atr

If startet successfully you should see "READY". In order to list the contents enter these commands:

DOS <PRESS ENTER>
A <PRESS ENTER>
D1: <PRESS ENTER>
You should see a list of file names. Remember the name of the one you want to start. Let's assume that's "VULKAN.BAS", then the commands are:
B  <PRESS ENTER>
RUN "D1:VULKAN.BAS" <PRESS ENTER>

Atari800Win Plus

Note: I haven't tested this for years because I don't use Windows anymore. But that's how it worked around the year 2000.

First, install the ROM. Just open Atari800Win Plus, goto Menu "Atari -> Settings" and select the ROM files there. In order to load the disk image and start a game, try this:

In the help of the emulator you'll find information about the keyboard layout, especially where the ATARI keys Start, Select etc. are simulated with.