VOGONS


First post, by BSA Starfire

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I've been having a lot of fun playing some really old games recently and also some more modern recreations of old games that I expect many folk haven't played, these are reprogrammed/re-imagined Atari and Intellivision games running on NOAC systems, that's a Famicom/NES on a single IC.

The two unit's I have been playing are the TV Power Play Intellivision 25 in 1 plug and play system (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaE-IMpuX9Q) & the Jakks Pacific Atari 10-1 plug and Play Joystick(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuuoRO2MFrE&t=630s). both these little units contain a NOAC(Nintendo on a chip), it's pretty much a Famicom/NES recreation chipset as used in many clone consoles of the Famicom. It just seems so weird to me that these old games from the early 80's were remade on yet another console from the early 80's and then repackaged into either a replica of a 70's era controller or in the Intellivision's case what looks almost like a Dreamcast controller. It's honestly very surreal to play Asteroids, missile command and Yar's Revenge on a tiny Famicom clone inside an remade Atari joystick made in 2002. But weird in a fun way 😀
I actually really like the Intellivision one and have spent a good few happy hours with the reprogrammed renditions of Shark! Shark!, Buzz Bomber and Astrosmash.
These little units are so convenient too, just 4 AA batteries and plug in the RCA A/V plugs and that's it.

I wonder who programmed these games to Famicom? The internet hasn't given me any information and I am curious, it must have been a lot of work to make all these conversions. And how many commercial(or otherwise) game coders were around even in 2002/2003 who knew the old Famicom/NES and could be called on to make these? To the best of my knowledge the last Famicom games were released in 1994, that's nearly a decade before these were made, so what development tools were around by then? I know there are other NOAC Intellivision and Atari unit's out there too(Atari Paddles, Intellivision 10-1 and VS, Atari Flashback1 is also a NOAC and has 7800 games running on Famicom), so that adds a load more games made outside of what I've been playing, so it must have been a pretty big project?
Anyone know more about these things or have info about how the conversions were made and by whom I'd love to learn more. I have a special love of the Famicom and also the Atari 2600 and Intellivision so these quirky little things really interest me.

Best,
C

286 20MHz,1MB RAM,Trident 8900B 1MB, Conner CFA-170A.SB 1350B
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Reply 1 of 5, by thepirategamerboy12

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At least for the Intellivision ones, it's generally agreed upon that a Chinese company called Nice Code Software did the NOAC ports. They're a company mostly known for making very poor plug & play games. Their Intellivision NOAC ports are very lacking compared to the originals, and they'd actually later modify them to have different graphics and sounds to include on other more generic NOAC plug & plays.

Reply 2 of 5, by shamino

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The NES is ill-suited to imitate Atari hardware because they're designed completely differently. I don't know much about the Intellivision but I would guess it's just as problematic for that system. Somebody was tempted to do it anyway because the NOAC chips were already sitting there and cheaply available, but it wasn't a good idea.
They're the kind of things that really annoy purists because it feels like the original systems are being misrepresented, but if you don't take them seriously then maybe they're fun to play around with anyway. 😀

I remember some discussion on AtariAge back in the day about the programming of the NOAC ports on the first "Atari Flashback". Curt Vendel was involved in the development and I think had some stuff to say about it, but I don't remember anything specific. Maybe you can find some interesting posts over there from back then. Generally though the attitude towards it was pretty negative.

The "Flashback 2" and I think some successors used a modern recreation of the Atari 2600 hardware that is compatible with the original ROMs, so those should be a lot better.

Reply 3 of 5, by darry

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shamino wrote on 2021-06-23, 03:14:
The NES is ill-suited to imitate Atari hardware because they're designed completely differently. I don't know much about the In […]
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The NES is ill-suited to imitate Atari hardware because they're designed completely differently. I don't know much about the Intellivision but I would guess it's just as problematic for that system. Somebody was tempted to do it anyway because the NOAC chips were already sitting there and cheaply available, but it wasn't a good idea.
They're the kind of things that really annoy purists because it feels like the original systems are being misrepresented, but if you don't take them seriously then maybe they're fun to play around with anyway. 😀

I remember some discussion on AtariAge back in the day about the programming of the NOAC ports on the first "Atari Flashback". Curt Vendel was involved in the development and I think had some stuff to say about it, but I don't remember anything specific. Maybe you can find some interesting posts over there from back then. Generally though the attitude towards it was pretty negative.

The "Flashback 2" and I think some successors used a modern recreation of the Atari 2600 hardware that is compatible with the original ROMs, so those should be a lot better.

The Atari 2600 and NES at least both use a CPU that is derived from the MOS 6502 . The Intellivision uses something completely different, AFAICR .

Reply 4 of 5, by BSA Starfire

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Thanks for the information, that's just what I wanted to know. Seems "nice code software" were incredibly prolific on NOAC/Famiclones. I agree these units are not for the purists of today(saying that I've been a Atari VCS 2600 gamer since 1981 and always owned one since that time), and I kinda get a kick out of them,It's the weirdness I like about these things, it's just fun to mess with something that sort of feels like it fell out of an alternative universe! Plus they cost about the same as a bowl of noodles these days and even when new they were only the noodles and a few beers.

286 20MHz,1MB RAM,Trident 8900B 1MB, Conner CFA-170A.SB 1350B
386SX 33MHz,ULSI 387,4MB Ram,OAK OTI077 1MB. Seagate ST1144A, MS WSS audio
Amstrad PC 9486i, DX/2 66, 16 MB RAM, Cirrus SVGA,Win 95,SB 16
Cyrix MII 333,128MB,SiS 6326 H0 rev,ESS 1869,Win ME

Reply 5 of 5, by shamino

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darry wrote on 2021-06-23, 03:17:

The Atari 2600 and NES at least both use a CPU that is derived from the MOS 6502 . The Intellivision uses something completely different, AFAICR .

True about the CPUs, but the graphics and sound are still very different, and that really gives each system it's personality. None of the original programming would be of any use on a NOAC because everything the CPU interacts with works completely differently.
With systems of that era the quirks of the particular hardware dictated how the games got designed, so porting from one to the other was problematic at best.

BSA Starfire wrote on 2021-06-24, 18:02:

Thanks for the information, that's just what I wanted to know. Seems "nice code software" were incredibly prolific on NOAC/Famiclones. I agree these units are not for the purists of today(saying that I've been a Atari VCS 2600 gamer since 1981 and always owned one since that time), and I kinda get a kick out of them,It's the weirdness I like about these things, it's just fun to mess with something that sort of feels like it fell out of an alternative universe! Plus they cost about the same as a bowl of noodles these days and even when new they were only the noodles and a few beers.

I still have some unopened Radica "Space Invaders" thingies which really have a few different games on them. I bought them when they were on clearance because the joystick is very good, and they made for a good conversion to being an Atari joystick. But I did play around with the original built-in games on one of them for a while. I liked Phoenix, and should probably look up the real game sometime.