Hopefully I can entice you to dig out your Vectrex and have some vector fun, playing your favourite Vectrex games or looking at new goodies for the Vectrex. And to get you interested I have added a few new things, too. The Christmas mode option of ‘Word War VI’ has been finally debugged and enabled so now you can play as Santa and drop presents as a side-quest.
For the vector arcade fans I’ve added two historical mementos to try out: translations of the earliest development Tempest romset I am aware of named ‘Aliens’ and a Battlezone romset hack, the ‘Aliens’ romset was named and survived because of Clay Cowgill; and the Battlezone hack was developed by him, too. This ‘Battlezone Plus’ has faster game play including, weirdly, a precarious teleport feature like Asteroids. This hack is also somewhat interesting technically since it is not a simple romset swap but needs a tiny bit of hardware help for bank switching.
To play something new – and really nice – I’ve also ported the current ‘Bloxorz’ source (6809 binary and source are on GitHub) to run natively on the VecFever. And added a few things to polish it – do try this out, it is a really nice puzzle game ! I’ve also adapted a version of XHyperoids/SDLroids and made it a bit more Asteroids-like but this game, at least for me, feels a bit off. Still, always nice to look at new vector goodness…
However, since all of the above once again is running natively on the VecFever I got the feeling that I should get some new Vectrex 6809 things up for once, too. Which is not that easy to do – it runs all the 6809 code I knew of after all – but then I did remember that there was actually one vintage case which was interesting and was not supported: the Lineart demo !
Now this one is quite interesting: once upon a time there was a Vectrex multicart. which did allow to immediately flash new binaries and try it out on the Vectrex – aptly named – the VecFLASH. It could upload up to 32KB binaries into 15 banks in the initial version (plus one for the menu to complete the 16x32KB=512KB flash) and run them. And a demo. group actually looked at this multicart., realized that they could take advantage of that extra space, and developed a tech. demo exclusively using this extra capacity. So they used four ‘slots’ of this multicart and manually managed to jump around in the VecFLASH to be able to create a whopping 4x32KB native Vectrex demo.
So the latest firmware now also supports both a dedicated cart. mode just to start the Lineart demo real quick but also a full VecFLASH cart. mode where it runs the entire menu and 15 additional cart. binaries in the flash slots. Probably a bit weird but it just seemed like a bit of fun to even emulate another Vectrex multicart…
- added VecFlash hw emulation for the 4x32KB Lineart demo.
- scrubbing main page list for 5-button controller support, if used for menu via expert option
- fixed: single-frame gfx corruption after loading (firmware updates init., sd-card sram cart. options load)
- improved micro sd hot swap handling
- WWVI: Christmas mode option added
- Asteroids Deluxe: Speed: Faster, NMI-Hack option added
- Lunar Lander: code updated, ‘Terrain: Fast/Precise’ drawing modes option added and landing platform positions improved
- exposed ‘LIVES’ DIP switches for Aliens, Vortex and Tempest
- Bloxorz added
- Hyperoid added
- ‘Battlezone Plus’ romset hack added
- ‘Aliens’ prototype romset added
- added complete VecFLASH serial (16 banks of 32kb) multicart. emulation
- fixed: autostart reset behavior for a few, specific 6809 cart.
- fixed: Wormhole score patch