Sep 30, 2009

Custom Display for Paradroid

A hack for the game Paradroid (1985):

(watch in full-screen)

This game is set on a spaceship with 20 decks. There is an off-screen with a full deck, somewhere in the RAM, but only a small part of it is visible on the display while playing. ICU64 reads directly from the off-screen and visualizes it whole in a custom display.

This case wasn't so trivial as was the 'Boulder Dash':

(read more on this and other future applications at lemon64)

Paradroid uses sprites (in a swap mechanism) and splits the screen using raster effects. But it's done now, proving that any game can be hacked like this.

(During this hack several missing features from ICU64 were pointed out and they are on their way now)


  1. Your work is inspiring!
    Please keep it up, I follow your blog closely.

  2. la musica in sottofondo cos'è? The last ninja? Mi è familiare..

  3. To federico:
    Yes, the music is from Last Ninja 2 (1988) and the composer is Matt Gray.

  4. cool!
    Any chance you will port this to Emu64?

  5. @selmiak:
    The VICE version of ICU64 is generic and can be used with other emulators. Unfortunately is not so generic to connect with Emu64 (the next version will be). Still be aware that you'll not be able to see the memory accesses since such a thing needs support from the emulator (the VICE 2.1 have such an option).

  6. O my Gods!
    I used to love Paradroid - it was entirely original.
    And to see it go full-screen, jaw-dropping!
    I don't think that improves the game at all, but it gives an incredible glimpse into the internals of a machine at work. I used to PEEK and POKE all night long and occasionally did full screen hex dumps to try and get a handle on what was happening in there, but never in REAL-TIME!!

    This makes me smile!

  7. @ mathfigure:
    I bet thorsten (Emu64 Coder) can code something up, so that ICU64 can connect with Emu64. He can do everything. At least it occurs to me like that =)

  8. @selmiak:
    A well designed emulator should be implemented as a service (without any user interface), providing only an API.
    The user interface should be implemented by external programs (like ICU64) that could visualize anything they want (not only video and sound) and could support any specialized hardware of the host.
    In that way the emulator will work as a platform for many developers (not only for the developer of the emulator) and the user could choose the UI and the tools that he likes among many that will exist.

  9. This is wonderful!

    It's not often that new possibilities arise like this. I was searching for a 6502 emulator which would allow me an inside view of what the machine was doing and render a visual representation of the system as a whole across time.

    You have achieved this and so, so much more!

    An inspiration. Keep it up.