Tag Archives: machine code

Livewire

There are some people out there who, if you tell them that it’s “impossible” to do something, will do their best to do it anyway — and often prove that original naysayer completely wrong.

Such was the case with Livewire, a type-in machine code listing for Atari 8-bit that came about when ANALOG magazine’s Tom Hudson overheard someone saying that it would be possible to do a good version of Tempest on the Atari 8-bit. Challenge, as they say, accepted — and overcome with aplomb.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Into Deep

Type-in listings were commonplace for the 8-bit home computers, thanks to the fact that most of them booted into some variant of BASIC. And the Atari 8-bit was no exception.

More ambitious programmers would compose games in machine code or assembly language, then convert their programs into DATA statements that could be read by a BASIC program to generate an executable file on a cassette or floppy disk. Into Deep is probably one of the most ambitious examples I’ve ever seen in this regard, and it shows in the final quality.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Water Ski School

My parents, I believe, still own a complete collection of Page 6 magazine, right from its very first issue as a publication primarily intended for the Birmingham User Group, up until its slow demise as an A5-sized subscription-only affair in the twilight years of Atari.

One edition which always stood out to me was Issue 23, whose cover sported a large image of a water-skier performing a stunt he didn’t quite seem to be ready for. The cover image was promoting the big type-in game for that issue: a machine-code game known as Water Ski School. Although I typed in a lot of games over the course of Page 6’s original run, for one reason or another I never got around to doing this one. Seems like a prime candidate to check out on Atari A to Z, then!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Maniac Mover

Type-in listings were a key part of 8-bit home computer culture, both in Europe and across the pond in the States.

The quality of games varied wildly, but it was always an interesting and satisfying experience to type something in to the computer’s BASIC interpreter, save it to a disk or cassette and have something you could enjoy at any time — just like something you’d bought from a shop.

Here’s an example from the latter days of Atari User magazine; a machine code type-in known as Maniac Mover. Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Elevator Repairman

As we’ve seen a few times previously on the Atari A to Z series, the North American Atari-centric publication ANALOG was a prime source of top-quality machine code games that you could type in yourself, then save to a disk or cassette and enjoy whenever you pleased.

Today’s game hails from ANALOG issue number 34 (September 1985), and is a simple but enjoyable arcade game about avoiding elevators and climbing buildings. That main character looks a little familiar, too… though of course any resemblance to certain Italian plumbers, living or dead, is almost certainly unintentional and should not be considered any sort of infringement on established, trademarked intellectual property. Or something. Probably.

Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Bacterion!

One of the best things about the 8-bit age was the prolific public domain scene, with many high-quality pieces of software being published in listing format in magazines.

One US publication that was particularly prolific in this regard was ANALOG (Atari Newsletter And Lots Of Games), which regularly published commercial-quality machine code programs for readers to type in, save to disk or cassette and enjoy at their leisure.

Today’s game hails from those hallowed pages. I give you Bacterion! The Plague of 2369. Nice.