A8DS - An Atari 8-bit Emulator for the DS/DSi/XL/LL

wavemotion

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Welcome to the newly rebranded A8DS (formally XEGS-DS).

https://github.com/wavemotion-dave/A8DS

Given that the emulator never really supported cartridges like the XEGS and given that it turned out to be a much more capable general-purpose Atari 8-bit emulator, I've decided to rebrand the XEGS-DS emulator (last version was 2.9) into A8DS (new version 3.0):

1683284865619.png


To go with this new release is a new keyboard handler and a nice clean set of keyboard skins included:

1683285048867.png


These new keyboard skins can be picked using the GEAR icon. We have skins that cover the Atari 800 XL, XE and older Atari 400 styles so you can pick the one that best suits your tastes (the keyboards all function identically). This is a big improvement from the aesthetically unpleasing grid-layout that was included previously. Due to the limited screen resolution on the DS/DSi, a few keys had to be repositioned to optimize the space available. I think the placement still captures the stylings of the original machines.

Otherwise all the same Atari 8-bit goodness is included in the emulator. Be sure to read the updated readme.md on the main github page for how to setup and use the emulator.

In general this emulator supports:

  • XEX and .ATR files (dual disk drive emulation for both read/write access)
  • Default is 128K XL/XE but also supports RAMBO 320K, 1088K and a backwards-compatible Atari 800 48K machine for the few games that don't play nicely with 'modern' Atari hardware.
  • PAL vs NTSC handling
  • Key mapping so you can get the DS configured comfortably for the game you want to play
  • Various artifacting modes to make those games utilizing the modes to look right


1683286085649.png
 
Last edited by wavemotion,

wavemotion

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https://github.com/wavemotion-dave/A8DS

V3.1 : 08-May-2023 by wavemotion-dave
  • Added CAR and ROM support for the more popular cartridge types up to 1MB.
  • Added new D-Pad options to support joystick 2 (for games like Wizard of Wor) and diagonals (Q-Bert like games).
  • Improved keyboard handling so CTRL key is now sticky.
  • Improved menu transitions to reduce audio 'pops' as much as possible.
  • Auto-rename of XEGS-DS.DAT to A8DS.DAT to match new branding.
  • Squeezed as much into fast ITCM_CODE as possible with almost no bytes left to spare.
  • Other cleanups and minor bug fixes as time allowed.
@RocketRobz - at your leisure, you're free to swap XEGS-DS for the newly rebranded A8DS. It will still launch and load .XEX and .ATR files. It will also now load .CAR (Atari 8-bit cartridge files) should you wish to add that file extension (which I'm guessing is otherwise unused).
 
Last edited by wavemotion,

wavemotion

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https://github.com/wavemotion-dave/A8DS

V3.2 : 13-May-2023 by wavemotion-dave
  • Enhanced configuration - unfortunately your old config save will be wiped to make way for the new method.
  • Global options - use the GEAR icon before a game is loaded and you can save out defaults for newly loaded games.
  • Key maps - set any of the DS keys to map into various joystick, console buttons, keyboard keys, etc.
  • Screenshot capability - press and hold L+R for ~1 second to take a .bmp snapshot (saved to a time-date.bmp file)
  • New Smooth Scroll handling so you can set your scale/offset and then map any button to shift vertical/horizontal pixels (set keys to VERTICAL++, HORIZONTAL--, etc). The game will automatically smooth-scroll back into place when you let go of the pixel-shift button.
  • Improved cart banking so that it's as fast as normal memory swaps. This should eliminate slowdown in Cart-based games.
  • A few bug fixes as time permitted.
 

Chillimonster

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Life’s been kinda hectic for me over the last couple of weeks but hopefully gonna get chance to try this over the next week or so.

Thanks for all you do for the DS community. It keeps the DS relevant and proves what a fantastic device it is.
 
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wavemotion

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https://github.com/wavemotion-dave/A8DS

Two quick releases - spending a lot of my spare time on this now! I've reworked the readme to include a ton more information on using this emulator - the Atari 8-bit is pretty wide-ranging and there is some work needed by the game player to make games look as good as possible. I've added more tools to make that happen.

V3.4 : 16-May-2023 by wavemotion-dave
  • Default to using ATARI OS if bios files found.
  • Altirra OS updated to 3.33 and Altirra BASIC to 1.58
  • High Score saving added - save 10 scores per game.
  • Improved PAL vs NTSC color palette
  • Several config bugs that necessitated another quick release. Sorry!
V3.3 : 15-May-2023 by wavemotion-dave
  • Switched to CRC32 (from md5sum) to save space and now allow 2500 game settings to be stored.
  • Added additional cartridge banking schemes so more games run.
  • Added ability to change/save a cartridge type in settings.
  • Tweak of VERTICAL+ and VERTICAL- to offset by 16 pixels (was 10).
  • Reduced memory footprint to allow for better future expansion.


image.thumb.png.9235c4caa082854ef2968232cae7d50e.png


image.thumb.png.4fc1257120d053ba0255cc78cd8885e4.png
 

wavemotion

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https://github.com/wavemotion-dave/A8DS

V3.7 : 04-June-2023 by wavemotion-dave

  • Update to Screen Blur to have just 3 settings: NONE, LIGHT and HEAVY. Default is LIGHT.
  • Improvements to memory layout to gain back additional resources.
  • Fix for 576K COMPY RAM so that it properly handles separate ANTIC memory access.
  • Minor fixes and cleanup as time permitted.
This is probably it for a while... just a few minor cleanups. A bit of spit-and-polish. I've got some other projects that call for attention so I'm going to let this one sit for a bit.
 

Indy13

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wavemotion

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You guys should use the new smooth scroll features! Set your screen in options to get the playfield perfectly centered and then assign a button to Vertical+ or ++ to instantly shift the screen when you press the button and have it automatically smooth scroll back. This allows most A8 games to play while compensating for score or status areas that would otherwise render off screen.

IMG_3485.jpeg


IMG_3486.jpeg


You can, of course map a button to shift the screen downwards (Vertical- or —) in case of info rendered at the top. It’s usually only necessary on the games that cram a lot of info on the screen vertically and bump against the DS 192 pixel limit.
 
Last edited by wavemotion,

ber71

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In case anyone find this useful.
Many raw cartridge dumps, specially from the tosec collection, have the .bin filename extension, but can be loaded when renamed to .rom. At least, that worked for me with a star raiders dump.
:grog:
 

BigGangster

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Hello, I tried out the A8DS Emulator on MelonDS. Yeah, an emulator within an emulator. Everything looks and runs very well except for the audio. I couldn't hear the audio of the game.
Post automatically merged:

Also, I have proof to show you what it looks like. Here's a video of me pressing keys to control as Mario.
 
Last edited by BigGangster,

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