Does River Raid End?

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Kirk Is

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Nov 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/4/98
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Does 2600 River Raid end?

Does it freeze up at a certain score? Is there a place that is
*absolutely* unpassable, e.g. the river is narrower than the plane, or
there is a sharp curve your plane just *can't* do?

How does it generate so much scenery anyway? Some kind of highly tweaked
random number? Does anyone around here have any kind of understanding of
the algorithm?


--
Kirk Israel - kis...@cs.tufts.edu - http://www.alienbill.com
"if time heals all wounds then why do we all have bellybuttons?"

Brian Hammack

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Nov 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/4/98
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Kirk chanted almost zenlike:

KCT| Does 2600 River Raid end?

KCT| Does it freeze up at a certain score? Is there a place that is


| *absolutely* unpassable, e.g. the river is narrower than the
| plane, or there is a sharp curve your plane just *can't* do?

I have long wondered about this too. Surprised no one has answered.

KCT| How does it generate so much scenery anyway? Some kind of highly


| tweaked random number? Does anyone around here have any kind of
| understanding of the algorithm?

Random numbers seem unlikely since the course always procedes the same
way for as long as we have gone (the first four bridges anyway).

* 2qwk! 2.04 * If you can't pay your bills, buy yourself some thrills.

Peter Perpetua III

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Nov 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/4/98
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The Personal Game Programmer by Answer would probably do the job.

Kirk Is

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Nov 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/5/98
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Brian Hammack (brian....@rook.wa.com) wrote:
: Kirk chanted almost zenlike:

: KCT| Does 2600 River Raid end?

: KCT| Does it freeze up at a certain score? Is there a place that is
: | *absolutely* unpassable, e.g. the river is narrower than the
: | plane, or there is a sharp curve your plane just *can't* do?

: I have long wondered about this too. Surprised no one has answered.

I've heard a lot of potential BS regarding this. Like the plane pulls in
to some kind of runway to the cheers of a crowd. Most likely, it gets to
a certain score, then freezes, and its guaranteed to get that score before
running out of scenery.

It would be awesome to rig some kind of game genie, like maybe to disable
*all* collision detection, or at least infinite lives, and just play and
play and play and see what happens. Maybe an emulator could do something
like this easily?? (Of course if it was an impassibly thin river passage,
infinite lives wouldn't happen-- much cooler to just let it scroll and
scroll and scroll)

Does anyone have the technical know how to do this?
And are there any other atari games that generate this much stuff?
Adventure is the only one that comes to mind, and even that's just moving
a few objects around, right?

: KCT| How does it generate so much scenery anyway? Some kind of highly


: | tweaked random number? Does anyone around here have any kind of
: | understanding of the algorithm?

: Random numbers seem unlikely since the course always procedes the same
: way for as long as we have gone (the first four bridges anyway).

Aha-- but computers can't *really* do random numbers-- usually you start
with a seed number, and then generate "pseudo random" numbers via a
complex formula-- usually you don't notice, because they pick a timer
function to seed the process. (e.g. number of milliseconds since last
reboot) So by "random number" I actually meant an algorithm that starts
with a seed and generates more complex results from that seed by using
some kind of formula.

Still, that seems unlikely because it gets consistently (?) harder--
so either threy picked a random number seed that led to a nicely balanced
game, or its tweaked. (like maybe the helicopter,fuel, and boat positions
are generated, but a bias for the river getting narrower and the fuel
tanks getting more infrequent is manually programmed in)

when it comes to romance: sometimes you're windshield, sometimes you're bug.

Dan Meyer

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Nov 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/5/98
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Brian Hammack wrote:

> Kirk chanted almost zenlike:
>
> KCT| Does 2600 River Raid end?
>
> KCT| Does it freeze up at a certain score? Is there a place that is
> | *absolutely* unpassable, e.g. the river is narrower than the
> | plane, or there is a sharp curve your plane just *can't* do?
>
> I have long wondered about this too. Surprised no one has answered.
>

> KCT| How does it generate so much scenery anyway? Some kind of highly
> | tweaked random number? Does anyone around here have any kind of
> | understanding of the algorithm?
>
> Random numbers seem unlikely since the course always procedes the same
> way for as long as we have gone (the first four bridges anyway).
>

> * 2qwk! 2.04 * If you can't pay your bills, buy yourself some thrills.

I just picked up the 5200 version of River Raid and if you don't start the
game, the scenery scrolls by in a kind of demo mode. I watched the scenery
scrolling by for several minutes. It never repeated. It definitely got
almost impossibly hard looking (very tight channels, tons of helicopters,
jets, tanks, oh - the horror!).

I don't think the scenery is random at all. Carol Shaw must have spent
hours planning every inch.

Dan.

-Kev-

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Nov 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/5/98
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On 5 Nov 1998, Kirk Is wrote:

> Brian Hammack (brian....@rook.wa.com) wrote:
> : Kirk chanted almost zenlike:
>
> : KCT| Does 2600 River Raid end?
>
> : KCT| Does it freeze up at a certain score? Is there a place that is
> : | *absolutely* unpassable, e.g. the river is narrower than the
> : | plane, or there is a sharp curve your plane just *can't* do?
>
> : I have long wondered about this too. Surprised no one has answered.
>

> I've heard a lot of potential BS regarding this. Like the plane pulls in
> to some kind of runway to the cheers of a crowd. Most likely, it gets to
> a certain score, then freezes, and its guaranteed to get that score before
> running out of scenery.

I remember Carol Shaw saying in an interview that "The River of No Return"
never ends. But I'll let someone with more journalistic integrity do the
actual reference check... =)

peace,
-Kev-


Brian Hammack

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Nov 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/5/98
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Dan chanted almost zenlike:

DM<M| I don't think the scenery is random at all. Carol Shaw must


| have spent hours planning every inch.

But how many inches did Ms Shaw plot out for us?

<< mushroom >>
[avoiding all the innuendos on THAT concept]

* 2qwk! 2.04 * Realize the joy of irony.

K. Horton

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Nov 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/5/98
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In article <534970865-9...@rook.wa.com>, brian....@rook.wa.com (Brian Hammack) wrote:
> Dan chanted almost zenlike:
>
> DM<M| I don't think the scenery is random at all. Carol Shaw must
> | have spent hours planning every inch.
>
>But how many inches did Ms Shaw plot out for us?

None. She used an LFSR. :-) That's a linear feedback shift register. To
make one of these all you need is a few bytes of RAM, some rotate instructions
and an EOR instruction or three.

Here's some example code:

bytes 80,81,82, and 83h are used for your large 32 bit shift register.

random: LDA 083h
ROR
ROR
ROR
EOR 083h
ROR
ROR 080h
ROR 081h
ROR 082h
ROR 083h
RTS

Every time you run the above code, it will shift all the bits over one place,
and the state of the 28th and 32nd bit will determine the bit shifted into the
first position. These types of LFSR have a unique property in that the bit
order will appear very much random, however the numbers will always progress
in exactly the same order! If you want to try this out for yourself and you
have QBASIC, you are in luck. You can examine this very property using the
randomize and rnd functions. Randomize sets the inital state of the bits in
the register while rnd generates a number using something very similar to the
above.

So, to tie this into River Raid. Here's how I bet you it's done: Taking out
little snippet of code up there as an example.

The 4 bytes are set to some inital value on start. Now, for each say, 8
scanlines (or how ever big a "land feature" is be it a bridge, plane, tree,
road, etc) the random number routine is called. This determines the order in
which they appear on the screen. The "seed" or inital value of 80-83 is saved
in RAM somewhere so that it can be stuffed back in when it's time to re-draw
the screen. For any given original seed number, the above routine will
*always* output the exact same sequence of "Random" numbers. So by
saving say, the second feature shown on the screen and using that for the next
seed number when redrawing the screen, you can make the screen appear to
scroll by basically panning thru the "random" sequence.

All in all a very, very cool application of a simple piece of code.

Note that the above LFSR will produce 2^32 minus 1 distinct states before
wrapping, and that an LFSR of *any* bit length can be made! So say, a 6 bit
LFSR will have 63 states before it will wrap. (2^6-1 = 63). Why 2^n-1 and
not just 2^n? Because one state is illegal: all zeros. If your register gets
stuck in all 0's, it will never break out of this! This is because 0 XOR 0 =
0. Any other inital state will work.


JGrav89894

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Nov 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/6/98
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<<DM<M| I don't think the scenery is random at all. Carol Shaw must have
spent hours planning every inch.
>But how many inches did Ms Shaw plot out for us?>>

Surely, there HAS to be someone here that's beaten River Raid. I was the one
who mentioned the people cheering at "the end", but that was just something my
friend's dad once told me. I have a hard time believing that.

Isn't it cool that we get excited about a 16 year old 4k game?!

********************************************
Jeremy Gravley -Atari 2600 (267 and counting)
Camaros, redheads, & Jimi Hendrix
http://hometown.aol.com/jgrav89894/index.html
********************************************


Kirk Is

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Nov 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/6/98
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JGrav89894 (jgrav...@aol.com) wrote:
: <<DM<M| I don't think the scenery is random at all. Carol Shaw must have

: spent hours planning every inch.
: >But how many inches did Ms Shaw plot out for us?>>

: Surely, there HAS to be someone here that's beaten River Raid. I was the one
: who mentioned the people cheering at "the end", but that was just something my
: friend's dad once told me. I have a hard time believing that.

I heard it too, but elsewhere.

And it might not be a "beatable" game-- it might just become *literally*
impossible /impassable at some point (and realistically impossible well
before then), it might freeze at a certain large score, it might repeat
after a long while. I wish someone could really understand the code! Or
rig it up to have infinite lives or disabled collision detection.

: Isn't it cool that we get excited about a 16 year old 4k game?!

Well, this is my favorite part of RGVC-- not tales of great finds in
grungy thrift stores (which could easily be modified to be Collectible
finds for any hobby just by changing a few brand names-- "I found 'Squeeze
Box' for a buck!" -> "I found a complete Megatron for 80 cents, tech spech
and everything!" ) or even nostalgia tales, but talk about the games
themselves. I still say the RGVC population has the extremes of
collectors and gamers, with most people falling somewhere in between, but
often more towards the collector side.

But it is amazing how such small amounts of code can generate games that
aren't completely understood. Good atari games are like haikus.

What passes for woman's intuition is often nothing
more than man's transparency. --George Jean Nathan

Writermike - OtakuBoy

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Nov 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/6/98
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>And it might not be a "beatable" game-- it might just become *literally*
>impossible /impassable at some point (and realistically impossible well
>before then), it might freeze at a certain large score, it might repeat
>after a long while. I wish someone could really understand the code! Or
>rig it up to have infinite lives or disabled collision detection.

Uh oh. Perhaps this is an indication of aging?

The concept of a "game without end" all of a sudden struck me as odd, even
though back in the classic-game days -- games that I played -- a "game with
end" was the rarity. Today that idea is flipped -- a "game without end" is
the rarity.

Is there even such a beast as a modern endless-game?

ob

Chris Cracknell

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Nov 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/6/98
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In article <71qube$oko$1...@news3.tufts.edu>, kis...@allegro.cs.tufts.edu (Kirk Is) wrote:

>It would be awesome to rig some kind of game genie, like maybe to disable
>*all* collision detection, or at least infinite lives, and just play and
>play and play and see what happens. Maybe an emulator could do something
>like this easily?? (Of course if it was an impassibly thin river passage,
>infinite lives wouldn't happen-- much cooler to just let it scroll and
>scroll and scroll)

~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~


You could take the .BIN file and convert it into a .WAV using Bob Colbert's
Cheetah to play it on the supercharger and be able to modify it's code
on the fly.

Or you could decompile the .BIN change the variable that controls the
number of planes or collisions and then recompile it. It would likely be best
to just give yourself an infinite number of jets since if there is a special
ending, disabling the collisions might also disable the ending.

CRACKERS
(Shouldn't be too hard from hell!!!)

--

Collector of Atari 2600 carts - Accordionist - Bira Bira Devotee - Anime fan
* http://www.hwcn.org/~ad329/crab.html | Crackers' Arts Base *
* http://www.angelfire.com/ma/hozervideo/index.html | Hozer Video Games *
Nihongo ga dekimasu - 2600 programmer - Father of 2 great kids - Canadian eh

Erik Mooney

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Nov 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/7/98
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>It would be awesome to rig some kind of game genie, like maybe to disable
>*all* collision detection, or at least infinite lives, and just play and
>play and play and see what happens. Maybe an emulator could do something
>like this easily?? (Of course if it was an impassibly thin river passage,
>infinite lives wouldn't happen-- much cooler to just let it scroll and
>scroll and scroll)
>
>Does anyone have the technical know how to do this?
>And are there any other atari games that generate this much stuff?
>Adventure is the only one that comes to mind, and even that's just moving
>a few objects around, right?

Awright, you guys got me intrigued. Here's how to disable plane/playfield
collision detection. Patch the binary with bytes 4C ED 12 at location 2E7,
and bytes 4C 68 14 at location 462. In DOS, it'd look like this:
debug riveraid.bin
-e 3E7 4C ED 12
-e 562 4C 68 14
-w
-q

I haven't figured out player-player collisions yet, but that wouldn't quite
work, cause it'd disable player-fuel tank collisions, which are required to
refuel.

Erik Mooney

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Nov 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/7/98
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>It would be awesome to rig some kind of game genie, like maybe to disable
>*all* collision detection, or at least infinite lives, and just play and
>play and play and see what happens. Maybe an emulator could do something
>like this easily?? (Of course if it was an impassibly thin river passage,
>infinite lives wouldn't happen-- much cooler to just let it scroll and
>scroll and scroll)

Here's more info on the same. If you change my first patch to be the bytes
A9 FF 85 B8 EA EA instead, it'll keep your fuel gauge full all the time.
So you can just fly along the left edge of the screen and see all the
scenery. (You have to hold the joystick left to keep the plane completely
off the screen, and of course you'll wanna hold up to keep it moving
faster. Also remember that if you've a fast processor, you can use PCAE
and set it to no max frame rate, to scroll through really fast.)

In DOS, here's the patch:
debug riveraid.bin
-e 3E7 A9 FF 85 B8 EA EA


-e 562 4C 68 14
-w
-q

Also, btw, for the Stella list - this appears to indicate that collisions
are *not* generated during the HMOVE blank lines, which occupy the entire
left edge of the screen. It appears that the enemy planes can fly through
the space occupied by the player's plane, but collisions aren't generated
because the objects are hidden by the HMOVE blank lines.

DukeofL0u

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Nov 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/7/98
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I think alterd beast for the genny is unbeatable. im pretty sure it just
repeats itself.

Kirk Is

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Nov 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/8/98
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Erik Mooney (emo...@SPAMFILTERattila.stevens-tech.edu) wrote:
: Here's more info on the same. If you change my first patch to be the bytes

: A9 FF 85 B8 EA EA instead, it'll keep your fuel gauge full all the time.
: So you can just fly along the left edge of the screen and see all the
: scenery. (You have to hold the joystick left to keep the plane completely
: off the screen, and of course you'll wanna hold up to keep it moving
: faster. Also remember that if you've a fast processor, you can use PCAE
: and set it to no max frame rate, to scroll through really fast.)

This is very cool. But on the left edge of the screen, by plane isn't
"jet-proof" like you imply. This is on Win95-Stella.

Do you know enough about the patches to make an infinite lives hack?

"I'm gonna achieve immortality or die trying"

Erik Mooney

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Nov 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/8/98
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>: Here's more info on the same. If you change my first patch to be the bytes
>: A9 FF 85 B8 EA EA instead, it'll keep your fuel gauge full all the time.
>: So you can just fly along the left edge of the screen and see all the
>: scenery. (You have to hold the joystick left to keep the plane completely
>: off the screen, and of course you'll wanna hold up to keep it moving
>: faster. Also remember that if you've a fast processor, you can use PCAE
>: and set it to no max frame rate, to scroll through really fast.)
>
>This is very cool. But on the left edge of the screen, by plane isn't
>"jet-proof" like you imply. This is on Win95-Stella.

It is in PCAE... mea culpa for not trying it on a VCS or any other
emulator.

>Do you know enough about the patches to make an infinite lives hack?

Those patches just replace a few bytes of code - the one in the top quote
here replaces one of the playfield collision checks with code that stores
"full" into the fuel tank (savvy 6502ers will recognize LDA #$FF STA $B8
NOP NOP.) I made a cursory attempt at figuring out an infinite lives
patch, but the memory location where lives are stored isn't easily
locatable. (when you have 3 lives, not a single RAM location contains 03
or 02)

Erik Mooney

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Nov 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/8/98
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I hacked together an even more cool River Raid patch. The plane graphics
are stored at offset $CC0 (for the normal plane) and $CD0 (for the angled
moving-sideways plane.) If you put all zeroes into those locations, the
game will never draw the plane, which means it can't collide with anything!
The patch to do that in DOS would be:

debug riveraid.bin
-f DC0 DCF 0
-f DD0 DDF 0
-e 3E7 A9 FF 85 B8 EA EA
-w
-q

The 'f' lines fill zeroes into the plane graphics area. The 'e' line is my
infinite-fuel hack again, for those that missed it. You'll run out of fuel
pretty quick if you can never collide with a fuel tank. :) Play and enjoy,
and let us know if the game does ever end.

For a really intensely cool effect, use just the first 'f' line but *not*
the second. (optionally not the 'e' line either). This will blank out the
graphics for when the plane is holding still, but not for when it's moving.
As long as you hold still, you've got an invisible invulnerable stealth
plane! The game is *very* interesting if you play this way, without the
infinite-fuel hack - trying to refuel is quite tricky, but being able to
cloak yourself out of any situation is intensely cool! :)

(again, all this only tested on PCAE)

Kirk Is

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Nov 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/8/98
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Erik Mooney (emo...@SPAMFILTERattila.stevens-tech.edu) wrote:
: I hacked together an even more cool River Raid patch. The plane graphics

Indeed you have. What kind of tools do you use to analyze the ROM code?

I wonder if there are a lot of (even more amusing) hacks that can be made
on Atari games. Save Bira Bira may be one, I believe. If so someone
should rig up a collection.

: pretty quick if you can never collide with a fuel tank. :) Play and enjoy,


: and let us know if the game does ever end.

I think we have a couple "ending" questions here-- here they are,
and here are my best guess answers--

1. Can 2600 River Raid generate an infinite amount of scenery [Yes?]
2. Does it matter? I.e., is it guaranteed to be even possible to
get through certain sections of the game without running out of
fuel when not cheating? [No?]
3. After a certain distance travelled, does the game provide a
visually distinctive ending? [No?]
4. Does the game freeze at a certain score, or at least have the
score become all !!!s, an Activision hallmark? [Probably one of those]

But these are conjecture.

: For a really intensely cool effect, use just the first 'f' line but *not*


: the second. (optionally not the 'e' line either). This will blank out the
: graphics for when the plane is holding still, but not for when it's moving.
: As long as you hold still, you've got an invisible invulnerable stealth
: plane! The game is *very* interesting if you play this way, without the
: infinite-fuel hack - trying to refuel is quite tricky, but being able to
: cloak yourself out of any situation is intensely cool! :)

Now that's the kind of hack I'm talking about-- I'd volunteer web space
for a project like that. You've just made your self a fundamentally new
game.

Though infinite lives would still be very cool-- we could answer question
"2" (does it become physically impossible) with that hack. Here's my
hesitant suggestion if you wanted to keep looking-- Activision has a
fairly well know "6 digit score" or whatever routine. I would guess that
there's a recognizable snippet of code that can print up numbers, possibly
containing bitmaps of 0-9 and "!". And they probably use the same code to
print up the number of lives remaining, because it is a decimal number
(and not just a set of 2 or 3 pictures). Could that be a better starting
place than looking for an encoded 2 or 3 value? I suppose looking for
the "game end" code would be pretty tough, because it just goes into a
freeze...

Anyway, it's really cool what you've done with this ROM.

BTW- I was trying to think of other 2600 games that generate infinite
amounts of unique scenery. "Worm War I" came to mind, but that's so
obviously a result of some kind of algorith it's not even funny, it lacks
all the grace of River Raid's scenery.

Besides: what clod alive hasn't pursued some species of myth and looked a
damn fool in the process? --Michael Detracca, _Captain Zzyzx_

Kirk Is

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Nov 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/8/98
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And one mor question:
5. Does the scenery simply repeat? [Hard to tell]

Luc Pycke

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Nov 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/8/98
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Erik Mooney wrote:
>
> I hacked together an even more cool River Raid patch. The plane graphics

Thank you for all those patches Erik! I was just wondering if
perhaps you could do the same for Road Runner? I'm dying to see all
eight levels in this game, but AFAIK nobody ever got past level 4!
If there's one game that needs to be hacked, it's definitely this one!

Thanks,

Luc.

Erik Mooney

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Nov 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/8/98
to
>: I hacked together an even more cool River Raid patch. The plane graphics
>
>Indeed you have. What kind of tools do you use to analyze the ROM code?

Just PCAE's debugger and a lot of 6507 and 2600 TIA knowledge.

>: pretty quick if you can never collide with a fuel tank. :) Play and enjoy,
>: and let us know if the game does ever end.
>
>I think we have a couple "ending" questions here-- here they are,
>and here are my best guess answers--
>
>1. Can 2600 River Raid generate an infinite amount of scenery [Yes?]

>5. Does the scenery simply repeat? [Hard to tell]

It almost definitely looks like it repeats. I was playing with the
no-plane infinite-fuel patch, and I made note of one particular formation
of four fuel tanks going left to right at the start of a light green
section. A while later, that exact formation showed up again, and in the
next dark section, an unusual thing in the playfield pattern that I
remembered showed up again.

>2. Does it matter? I.e., is it guaranteed to be even possible to
> get through certain sections of the game without running out of
> fuel when not cheating? [No?]

If it does repeat, I'm fairly sure that the game never provides
insufficient fuel to get through. Also remember that you can get through
four or five sections at top speed on one tank of fuel, and you restart in
the current section if you die, with a new supply, so it'd take a very long
fuel drought to make a section completely impassable. And I'm sure the
playfield is never impassable.

>3. After a certain distance travelled, does the game provide a
> visually distinctive ending? [No?]
>4. Does the game freeze at a certain score, or at least have the
> score become all !!!s, an Activision hallmark? [Probably one of those]
>
>But these are conjecture.

I'll leave the game running overnight with something on the fire button
tonight and let you know what happens with 4. It should score a million in
that time :)

>Now that's the kind of hack I'm talking about-- I'd volunteer web space
>for a project like that. You've just made your self a fundamentally new
>game.
>
>Though infinite lives would still be very cool-- we could answer question
>"2" (does it become physically impossible) with that hack. Here's my
>hesitant suggestion if you wanted to keep looking-- Activision has a
>fairly well know "6 digit score" or whatever routine. I would guess that
>there's a recognizable snippet of code that can print up numbers, possibly
>containing bitmaps of 0-9 and "!". And they probably use the same code to
>print up the number of lives remaining, because it is a decimal number
>(and not just a set of 2 or 3 pictures). Could that be a better starting
>place than looking for an encoded 2 or 3 value? I suppose looking for
>the "game end" code would be pretty tough, because it just goes into a
>freeze...

Look at where the decimal number is on the screen - its lined up with the
Activision name, so it's gotta be using a variant of the 6-digit score
routine to display that.

Erik Mooney

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Nov 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/8/98
to
>> I hacked together an even more cool River Raid patch. The plane graphics
>
>Thank you for all those patches Erik! I was just wondering if
>perhaps you could do the same for Road Runner? I'm dying to see all
>eight levels in this game, but AFAIK nobody ever got past level 4!
>If there's one game that needs to be hacked, it's definitely this one!

I was afraid of people asking me for this sort of thing :) Road Runner is
much harder to do. First off, it doesn't look like it uses the collision
registers - if you look closely, the road runner's head can intersect the
truck without causing a problem. Second, the road runner is made up of
many different frames of animation, which would be harder to track down and
blank out than River Raid's two simple ones.

Nurmix

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Nov 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/8/98
to

>Erik Mooney (emo...@SPAMFILTERattila.stevens-tech.edu) wrote:

>: I hacked together an even more cool River Raid patch. The plane graphics


>1. Can 2600 River Raid generate an infinite amount of scenery [Yes?]

>2. Does it matter? I.e., is it guaranteed to be even possible to
> get through certain sections of the game without running out of
> fuel when not cheating? [No?]

>3. After a certain distance travelled, does the game provide a
> visually distinctive ending? [No?]
>4. Does the game freeze at a certain score, or at least have the
> score become all !!!s, an Activision hallmark? [Probably one of those]


This should answer your questions...

From an Electronic Fun With Computers & Games (September 1983 issue) interview
with Carol Shaw, the designer or RIVER RAID:

******************************************************************************

EFwCG: [asking about RIVER RAID] "Can you win this game? Is there some place
you get to at the end, like Nirvana?"

C. Shaw: "That's the thing about RIVER RAID. There is no end. It goes on
forever. We call it the River of No Return. Another thing,
it's always different. In the original game, you could go up
to one million points, and we actually had a few people who
succeeded in getting that high score. This time we decided to
make it 10 million points [refering to the Atari home computer
version]. Also, the 800 version gets a lot harder than the
original one does."

******************************************************************************

So there you go. Mystery solved. :^(

--

Paul Nurminen (aka Nurmix)

_/ Red Light 6 Studio - El Segundo, California
_/ Home of NURVIS MUSIC

* SPAM ALERT! (Replace "ecncomr" with "Nurmix" to email)


Kirk Is

unread,
Nov 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/8/98
to
Nurmix (ecn...@socal.com) wrote:

: ******************************************************************************

: EFwCG: [asking about RIVER RAID] "Can you win this game? Is there some place
: you get to at the end, like Nirvana?"

: C. Shaw: "That's the thing about RIVER RAID. There is no end. It goes on
: forever. We call it the River of No Return. Another thing,
: it's always different. In the original game, you could go up

The 2600 version isn't always different, though. Maybe after some point
far into the game?

: to one million points, and we actually had a few people who

: succeeded in getting that high score. This time we decided to
: make it 10 million points [refering to the Atari home computer
: version]. Also, the 800 version gets a lot harder than the
: original one does."

: ******************************************************************************

: So there you go. Mystery solved. :^(

No, not quite yet.

I tried letting it run with the full cloak cheat. After a while, this odd
bug happened where the score and fuel gauge was shifted to the right, and
boats and jets and the like where starting life in the grass areas. It
might've been a side effect of the cloak patch, however.

"She's immortal!" "You're amoral?" "You're a mural??" "You're a moray eel???"

Alan Watkins

unread,
Nov 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/9/98
to
On Fri, 6 Nov 1998, Writermike - OtakuBoy wrote:

> The concept of a "game without end" all of a sudden struck me as odd, even
> though back in the classic-game days -- games that I played -- a "game with
> end" was the rarity. Today that idea is flipped -- a "game without end" is
> the rarity.
>
> Is there even such a beast as a modern endless-game?

Today the unbeatable games have been replaced by beatable games that can
just keep adding add-ons and extra levels...Wouldn't it have been cool to
plug a 2600 cart into someother cart and that somehow gave you extra
levels? Or a 2600 game genie type thing...that would have been cool!


***********************************************************************
Alan Watkins CSC Undergrad-NCSU www4.ncsu.edu/~awwatkin
Atari 2600 Collector GM - WKNC 88.1 FM Remove NOSPAM to reply
***********************************************************************


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