Not only Konami’s Time Pilot and Namco’s Galaga have been ported and vectorized but also all vintage romset variations thereof plus the ‘Gatsbee’ hack, eleven romsets total. More a result of my own curiosity while I was digging into the code of these arcade games since the gameplay differences of the romset variations are usually negligible, if any. So I recommend to play either Centuri’s or Atari’s Time Pilot (the licensed Time Pilots have a nicer attract). And for Galaga the original, latest Namco romset rev.B. Plus a quick look at Gatsbee which is a slightly different game based on Galaga code and uses an 8-way joystick.
I have to say I am very pleased with how well these two games turned out on the Vectrex: they are both a lot of fun to play and work just great. For Time Pilot spinner support has been added and to me it is the absolute best game to play on the Vectrex with the Atari Driving controller. Thanks again Jérôme for coming up with the idea !
Besides the new games the firmware has also two bigger structural changes: the main page handling is now optional, an expert option even, so only visible if enabled. The default now is for the apps to reside on the volume. The reason is simply that preferences differ and if you prefer to sort everything yourself now you can do so easily. To help with this all applications have also now been renamed and pre-sorted into folders. Also helps if you are running out of memory on the VecFever Mark I: easier to see what you do not want/need.
So from now on the ‘Apps’ folder in the firmware zip is now outside of the System folder by default. If you do use the main page simply copy/move it into the System folder.
The other change is subtle: now the VIA6/User line on the connector port is not used anymore wherever possible. Before it actually had to work for native applications or firmware updates to work. (There are some repro-Vectrex pcbs out there which have a non-standard user line). Also might help with an odd 6522 replacement or connector issues, this pin is on the very outside of the connector so might experience a bit more physical stress. At least the arcade games will still work then until the Vectrex is repaired…
- added: Galaga (Namco), Galaga (Namco Rev.2), Galaga (Midway Set 1), Galaga (Midway Set 2),
Gatsbee, Gallag and Nebulous Bee
- new Z80 core optimization (also a bit smaller bin. sizes)
- fix: Asteroids/Asterock crashed when entering brightness options 2nd time around
same fix applied to Armor Attack (extra calibration option)
(bug introduced in v2.57)
- fix: under specific, rare circumstances after a menu context switch
(e.g. entering game options or exiting game) the list could scroll up one entry
- fix: 2nd pass optimization (added in v2.50) for very long vectors was broken
for specific boundary condition
- major internal memory and call param. rearrangement to free memory for 6809 code
- Vectrex-GPIO6 now unused and masked off for all native apps and the 'please wait' cart.
(previously only for menu)
- Vectrex-GPIO6 pull-up now expert option (e.g. ScopeTrex, FredTrex), default again pull-down
for Vectrex (was previously pull-down until v1.31, then pull-up until v2.55)
- main page options now hidden behind expert flag, if main page disabled
- main page disabled by default
- 'fast exit' expert option for apps moved from 'main page' to 'general' option and now
also used for apps started from the volume (formerly main page only)
- fix: autostart reset for apps was broken for the new 'raster' arcade games
- moved digital spinner and atari driving controller support from cart. into the vf lib.
- added digital spinner, atari driving controller and 5-button controller support to
the various Time Pilot apps
- new: main page can be enabled/disabled (expert option)
if disabled the expert 'options entry' selection using a vf button is still honored.
However, the options cannot be locked against unwanted access at the moment since this
setup is meant as a simpler 'multicart.mode'.
- all 6809 main page cart. now wrapped by native app to support menu options handling
for Rocks 'n' Saucers/DX the wrappers also calculate the 6809 calibration parameters
from the global menu values (if expert option 'extra calibration' is not enabled)
- the entire 6809 main page options handling has been removed from the firmware
- temporarily starting a vectrex cart. (for options handling - e.g. RnS brightness+calibrations)
added to vf.lib
- expert option 'extra calibration' moved from 'main page' option to 'general'
- all main page apps' filenames renamed and sorted into subfolders
- top level option selection now remembered per app also if manually started from volume
(previously only via main page)
- added Time Pilot, Time Pilot (Atari), Time Pilot (Centuri) and Space Pilot
- fix/help: emulated Vectrex cart. ignore 2nd joystick so an AtariVox plugged in does not
confuse them (the vintage 6809 cart. will still show the problem, of course)
- fix: Scramble player shot, Veccy Bird pillar sound (boundary condition for
audio reg. stream caching optimization introduced in v2.51)
- serial menu option entry default changed to 'Vector Terminal'
- Donkey Kong v1.2: hiscore entry page entry chars stabilized (zref for the lot of them)
- Bomb Jack v1.2: Bird and Enemy Difficulty options fixed (mangled before)
- vf lib object cached brightness boundary case fixed
- German hiscore init. text for multiple entries fixed