Vectrexmad! notified me of the ‘Reconstructing Warrior: Vectorbeams, Natural Magick & Business Intrigue’ paper by Thomas R. Rousse. Very interesting read – and one particular thing mentioned was that Outerworld Arcade’s Timothy Shiels created a Warrior romset for a custom four joystick control panel using four digital joysticks.
If you do not know the story: the game was very likely initially developed using two joysticks per player where you could move and attack at the same time – similar to the Robotron 2084 setup but for two player combat.
A patched romset using four joysticks is available on the Outerworld Arcade site so I have added support to the Warrior emulator for it (wa_4j_v2): a new input option switches between the normal romset (one joystick, one button per player) and the ‘4 joysticks’ one where you can move around and wield the sword at the same time. I’ve added the custom romset (well, the differences to the original) to the emulator so there is no need for a second romset.zip.
The buttons of the controller are mapped onto the ‘sword’ digital joystick exactly as implemented in other games like QB-3, Robot Arena or Black Widow. Since I was changing the options code anyways I have also exposed the ‘game timer’ dip switches as a new option.
And since Laurence Bennion also created a ‘UV’ warrior overlay in the meantime I’ve also overhauled Warrior to look as gorgeous as possible with his overlay as of v1.3: changing the previous, optional ’38Hz’ output (the original arcade refresh rate) to use 95Hz instead to dramatically increase the brightness for use with the overlay.
The result looks very nice, here is how it looks (almost – hard to take a photo of the uv/vectrex ensemble: the warriors are drawn sharper) on my main Vectrex:
p.s.: starting with v1.4 you can press ‘2:’ during attract to pause the emulation to get a static image – much easier to take long-exposure photos since the uv overlay is very dark