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Messages - MacDLSA

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... been a long time I don't write here.

From the information we have available since almost 40 years we know that Dragon's Lair was presented in March 1983 at the "Amusement Operator Expo" in Chicago, where Starcom exhibited a few prototype cabinets in a non-final version. The picture sot at these cabinets went around the world, being published in numerous magazines of the sector, including our italian "Video Giochi, Jackson" which had the opportunity to show it integrated in an article specifically created to describe, in broad terms, the world of Laser Disc Games at that time (VGJ nr.16, June 1984? more than a year after the US presentation !).

Seen from the perspective of a "first-time" enthusiast, THAT Dragon's Lair presents notable differences with the version they later put into production and distributed throughout the World. In general, it can be seen that Cinematronics had thought of re-using his "Cosmic Chasm" cabinet slightly modified in order to accommodate the electronics of Dragon's Lair.

With the news that can be found on the web starting from 1997 (the year of creation of the excellent Dragon's Lair Project site) we know that cab, electronics, disc content and external graphics have undergone several changes before the final version went into production .

Several prototype cabinet games were created and released in the USA, some of which were positioned in certain places defined as "strategic" to allow the public to play, and so receive some feedback. These cabinets had the same "flat" control panel as Cosmic Chasm, but all black and with the game instructions printed on the panel; the monitor had a near-to-horizontal inclination; the LED display located immediately above the screen showed the 4-digit score referring to a single player and with the lives in the center; the ?marquee? panel had a translucent blue Dragon's Lair writing on a black background.
Subsequently, the control panel was adapted to the different inclination of the monitor and modified so as to "hook" to the plexiglass above it, the scoreboard was "expanded" for  2-players and the game instructions were later removed and recorded directly onto the disc to be displayed on the screen during the "attract mode".

As regards electronics, it is important to know that the first LaserDisc player used was a gigantic Pioneer PR-7820 (the only player I have ever seen that has fixed optic while it was the motor-spindle-disk system which had to move itself... !!!) . On the "software-side", the disc which was supposed to play + the related program were quite different from the definitive ones: different organization of the animated sequences and location of the decision points in which to make the moves. Nonetheless, for each "room" there were several possible paths to take in order to complete them successfully.
In practice, a little more interactivity which for various reasons was, however, judged "unsuitable" for the definitive version which was shortly to "go out".

Since at least one of these discs still exists and is in the possession of a lucky (US) collector, we know that in its first prototype stage the game had a very short duration, with few playable scenes. Duration which was subsequently extended, with animated sequences programmed to be moved in order to make the gameplay more "immediate", less complicated but also more limited and devoid/cut of a lot of material which was considered "lost".

Fortunately, as most of you here at DLF know, at the beginning of the millennium a group of enthusiasts managed to restore the contents of a video tape (!!!) in which were recorded 8 minutes of prototype sequences ! As an epilogue to this work, a ?Limited Edition? LaserDisc was put into production in 2002, in which the aforementioned ?unpublished? scenes also appeared at the end of the known original sequences.
Everything was then made playable on properly hardware equipped with "standard" electronics and through the use of special EPROMs to replace the original ones on the mainboard.


I confess that I've already had the idea of getting my hands on a Dragon's Lair prototype for a few decades... and I'd say that this wish has finally been realized !
I'm going to show you a Dragon's Lair completely similar, let's say 99%, to the AOE'83 proto.
It's the result of several years of research into existing furniture components, specially made pieces and others restored/reconstructed.
My Cinematronics DL also "participated" in that project, donating some of its parts like the coindoor (but another one, Cinematronics "1st press", is already on the way, to be restored and "fill the hole").

>>> Thanks to Alessandro Bolgia and Matteo "Teo/Italiandoh" Marioni who actively contributed to this project <<<

High Score - Are you the best ... around? / Re: [Moon Patrol]
« on: April 02, 2022, 11:06:25 PM »

Game played and officially recorded (.inp file) with WolfMame0.106 during a tournament in 2010 on the Italian site "Retrogaming History".

Score let's say "close" to that half million I made in 83.

( It was clear that I had been seriously "disturbed" at the end of that game. I don't remember well but sure there was my daughter, who was 4 at the time, hanging around me ...  :P :-* )

Arcade Lifestyle / Re: Updating my little arcade garage
« on: April 02, 2022, 08:30:56 PM »
HI Marco,

Yes, it's been a long time.  :)
Thanks for sharing your update, some impressive well done work in there!
And my favorite one from your list is ... Quantum!  :spaceace: :spaceace: :spaceace:

Hey Bruno !
How are you doing?

Sorry again if I have not been very present, even if I still kept reading on DLF !

Thnks, again... my Quantum is a sort of "big job"... just think that to make the control panel like the original I asked for a quote to do it in metal, with its THREE folds and the "double fold" of almost 150 °... Well, they had "shot" me € 250  :o :o :o .
Then, I did it by myself WITH WOOD ! MDF panels and plywood strips stacked to each other, plus a simple "one-folded" metal strip. All for a cost of about € 20 and dozens of hours of work, but the result was rather encouraging...

Arcade Lifestyle / Re: Updating my little arcade garage
« on: April 02, 2022, 08:20:28 PM »
Thats fantastic, thanks for sharing. :spaceace:

Thanks to you !

Arcade Lifestyle / Re: Updating my little arcade garage
« on: April 02, 2022, 08:16:50 PM »
"the 50-years-old crisis"


Nice collection. The work on putting off 1 laminate of your space invaders reminds me to my DK Jr. Since the wood has swelled due to water damage, I had to putt off one laminate layer too.

Thanks, Andreas.
Hehe, yes... I removed the top layer of the top panel because it was completely swollen by moisture, then planed, grouted and varnished what remained.
The bottom was also completely swollen and as I touched it fell apart, so I completely destroyed it and replaced it with solid 19mm MDF panels firmly screwed from inside to the sides.

About that "50-years-old crisis" I have to say my first thought was to buy a motorcycle (it's a classic  ;D ) but wife and daughter's opinion were QUITE "different"...  :evil:. Well.. let's try to be satisfied..  :lol: :wink: :'( :P ::) ;D

Arcade Lifestyle / Updating my little arcade garage
« on: March 30, 2022, 05:28:27 PM »
Hi Bruno, hi all there.

I haven't posted anything here for a long time, so I take the opportunity to do so as I will be home for a month or so due to knee surgery.

A couple of years ago I came up with what we call "the 50-years-old crisis" which led me to want to expand my small gameroom.
- First I fixed my 2007 Dragon's Lair - repro with new and better artworks and including a frontend in which to choose all the "moves-based" arcade laserdisc games emulated by Daphne and Singe.
- I then also rearranged the PC inside my "2001: A Space Odissey" 's Monolith multigame cabinet in order to have, in addition to the GroovyMame, also the Sega Model2 and all the arcade laserdisc games emulated so far, including the ALG, FireFox, Freedom Fighter, etc...
- I then built an Atari Quantum - repro, with vertical monitor and with control panel adapted for 2 players + trackball to be able to enjoy all those fantastic games of the Arcade Bronze & Golden Era.
[all the cabinets mentioned are equipped with PC QuadCore + ATI Radeon + CRT Emudriver> 15khz and 20" CRT Color TV auto-on modded]
- I recently restored a Space Invaders Midway in medium / bad condition ... after having peeled off all the "rotten" parts, redone the bottom, rebuilt all the missing parts and filled practically everything else, I completed everything, considering I have a very tight budget, with cheap electronics (a 20" Color TV, a 60-in-1-vertical board, Jamma-3 harness and a generic PSU) and adhesive vinyl.
- In the meantime I have also built several other "little things" on commission ...
> three "midi-cabinets", in 1.1: 5 "kickpanel-free" scale: "Defender", "Robotron" and a "Williams-Multigame", all with 14" Hantarex CRT and "19-in-1-horizontal board;
> a Dragon's Lair - repro (in the end result even better than mine) with a 20" CRT color TV, Arthur + Dexter inside;
> a "Street Fighter II C.E." type stand-alone ControlPanel with an additional trackball module;
> a gigantic "table-top" (absolutely non-portable... but oh, they wanted it that way...) with a 20 "CRT screen, PC with Groovymame.
- I also rebuilt the electrical plant of my small gameroom in order to have a dedicated line, UV LED lighting and fluo painting on the joints of the tiles to have the fluo/blue glow effect, which is very "80's".

Not having enough space here, I uploaded around 150 pics and clips in "AmazonPhotos" at this link:



Dragon's Lair / Space Ace / Re: Dragon's Lair cabinet from scratch?
« on: July 25, 2021, 06:23:04 PM »
I recently built my 2nd Cinematronics-repro dedicated Dragon's Lair and I found on Amazon a vynil very similar to the "morocco", at a 1/2 of its price and withOUT any exaggerated shipping costs &/or US import taxes/feed to pay.

90cm width, for cabinet sides:
60cm width, for all the other panels:
[ fortunately both are abundant in size so the "60cm" is 61... pretty enough for 598mm panels  :wink: ]

But the Atari/Euro cabinet has a kind of "grainy" cover for all panels and it's identical to the mold that was used to cover the chipboard to make it become "rough black melamine".
Unfortunately here in Italy I have not seen this product in the various "brico shops" for years and it seems that even the companies that cut the panels for the joinery/home furniture manufacturers have supplanted its production.
It may be that there remains the opportunity to find those thin and rigid melamine panels to be glued on the surfaces of the cab panels but even in this case I cannot pronounce myself, having never seen any more around.

Both seems almost SO rare, so I think I'm going on the "self-made" street, as it will be for almost the 90% of the Cinematronics cabinet, including, of course, the rarest part: the "raised logo" coindoor.

'Business' Area : Buy/Sell/Trade / Re: Cinematronics Dragon's Lair parts
« on: February 23, 2021, 09:11:13 AM »
Thnx for your answer, dyno. You got PM

'Business' Area : Buy/Sell/Trade / Cinematronics Dragon's Lair parts
« on: February 21, 2021, 06:38:40 PM »
Hi there.

I'm goin' to start another "US DL from scratch" and I'm looking for:
> ONE plexy+scoreboard(+speakers)
> TWO marquee bent plexyes
> TWO plastic bezels for the original 19" monitor

Anyone have any of those for sell ?

Here is the poster of the greatest italian arcade event of the year !

>Arcade games: up to 40 cabinets (many originals, including 3 Dragon's Lair, 2 Space Ace and 1 Time Warp, and jammas) and flippers
>Trade market

>GREAT !< Nibbler's Tournament, on two original European Olympia cabinets !

Guest stars this year on Sat.19th will be Nibbler's best players on the planet: Francesco Romeo, Enrico Zanetti and, in Internet connection directly from Ottumwa, during the celebration for the 35 'anniversary of Twin Galaxies, TimMcVey, current world record holder !
There will be, among all the other things, the projection of the movie "Man vs. Snake", of which the organizing association "Retro Campus" will have some DVDs (if they do not sell them all before the event...) also subtitled in Italian, Spanish, Swedish, German and French, just for the event !

November, 18-19 (from 9:00 to 23:00) and 20 (9:00-17:00)

"AUDITORIUM" - Via 1 Maggio, nr.1
37010 Pastrengo (VR), Italy

[ by RetroCampus association, arcade division ]

Meetings, Exhibition, Events... / Re: Arcade Italia - The Event (1016)
« on: October 03, 2016, 10:56:44 PM »
Yep, Bruno: three TAF, the one beside the other :) . I played on the "TNG", not because I like flipper but I like Star Trek :D .

Hey, I played two games on the Atari Space Ace and I scored 572602 in both... so it seems I'm not quite rusty  ;)

Meetings, Exhibition, Events... / Arcade Italia - The Event (1016)
« on: October 01, 2016, 10:50:24 AM »
Hi Bruno, hi DLFans :) !

I forgot to post it before... on 3 and 4 of September we had the annual "Arcade italia - The Event".

Bad pictures and low-quality clip... but an extremely Hi-Quality of the main protagonists: 60 machines, including at least 20 and more original cabs, Jammas (and PRE-Jamma !), 10 flippers, electromechanicals and jukes.

Arcade Italia Staff also organized, like the last year, some"cultural interludes" in which some experts talks about video game history, vintage magazines, building and restoring of cabs (in fact there also was also our Marco"vernimark"Vernillo who entertained the audience chatting about the 100% restoration of original cabinets !).

Really excellent !
And, as the last year, I went there and... nothing... I talked for hours with all the present friends present and I was able to play only 3 or 4 games  :'( ;D !
Oh, hehe... I also "tested" the "EuroDL" (in which there was Sidam version eproms, LaserAce interface, Pioneer LDV4300D and LDG SoftwareCorner disc with appropriate framehacked eprom) when Matteo"italiandoh" and Stefano"csw" were trying to fix it, 'cause it had *serious* problems in some of its logic components...

Hey Bruno !

Yep, it has to be coded "telling" the TV electron beam to trace informations, (scan)line per line, and it has to be done during the retrace periods (VBI).
However, it hasn't many instructions to use and addresses are relatively few (the 6507, VCS' CPU, is a "castrated" version of the famous 6502).

Oh, yep, I (we) considered Adventure and also Dark Chambers and even Secret Quest (the game wanted and produced by Nolan Bushnell in the 1988/'89), but there's too much "movement-freedom" (yep, we thought to go in the "limited-movements" direction and considered horizontal 2d platforms as "ideals"...).
Obviously, with an Adventure hack or a similar game, we'll have an "essential" graphic... and it's not good for a DL game ;) .
Gateway to Apshay is an extraordinary game ! I played and finished it on my C=64 in the '85 or so :) ! And, btw, I could tell that, for the history of the videogames, Adventure had inspired Gateway to Apshai, while the other two VCS games mentioned before and many more to come, as "The Master of Magic (C = 64), has all been inspired by this last  ;D !

Hi there, DLF people.

Sorry, Bruno... I'm here since the 2006 but I know I don't post anything interesting since long time :'( :'( .
Well, hope you'll forgive me if I'm now writing a "little request" here, which is not properly "little"...

I come straight to the point, without much "boggles"... [ see the picture below ]

So, is there any daring european programmer (Assembler) around here who would bring himself to face the challenge?
I already heard some americans (since, way back, the 2009...) from AtariAge but no one seems to like the idea...
Simply, it seems to me that there isn't a person who could be actually both a huge fan of the game and good assembler programmer to "port it" to the AtariVCS/2600 :shock: !
[ Yeah, I'm a huuuuuuge fan of both AtariVCS and Dragon's Lair... but I haven't any kind of assembler programming abilities  ;D :-\ ! ]
As I said some time (years) ago, through the Daphne Team (in which I am inside since years...), I had a conversation with A.Foster (thanks to Teo, who made me know him !), chief of LLC Partners (the holders of the Copyrights of the game) that gave me "carte blanche", recommending me in any case to send him any kind of "demo".
I've already shown him some drawings, sprites, map and a gameplay hint, but he said to do not absolutely disclose nothing "sensible" before I find someone who can realize the game! Yeah ... it's needless to say that the game in question is a "goose that lays golden eggs" and that any attempt to use the name and characters is under control anywhere on the net (they already "stopped" several rights violations... in one way or another they come to know almost everything...).
And... nothing, I repeat here the point discussed on AtariAge: absolutely excluding an FMV (due to the very restricted capability of the console), it remains that it would be a great platformer, very similar to Pitfall II, or at least it was my (our) basic idea since the beginning !

I (better say "we", since Mr.Foster knows the question) considered the idea to "port it down" from the various Coleco/C=64 version... and also the others, allow me to say, INFAMOUS releases for NES, SNES and GameBoy...
No, seriously... WHY we've to further outrage a game that deserves much more than this ?
I designed maps, sprites and I think we have all the necessary "ingredient" for a good layout for the game, then, if it has to be a "deep hack of Pitfall 2" or a completely re-written game, well... we could even decide it.
I repeat, I say Pitfall II because in the way it was conceived and planned by the great Mr.Crane it already responds almost fully perfect to the gameplay for a Dragon's Lair platformer, obviously with game situations and appropriately modified and adapted characteristics...

So, please take a look at those maps that I made (very) long ago:

This is the complete map of Pitfall II for the C=64 (VCS version only differs in graphics, the layout is the same).

This is a "mixed" map of Pitfall II and Dragon's Lair

... and this one is VCS' Dragon's Lair full map (but without sprites like characters, weapons, enemies, holes, secondary walls and the correct path to the Lair... it's just to show you ;) ).
[ the map is based on a mockup I made years ago : I "took" it from the map of the original SEGA coin-operated "Pitfall II - The Lost Caverns" game, especially to give someone an "input" for another possible game for the VCS which could probably be one of the greatest hits for our beloved console. In fact SEGA's arcade game was never "fully" ported to any home system... even the ColecoVision &/or MSX versions are *VERY* crappy and almost different from the coin-op !  ;) ]

At this point, I ask again :

is there any daring european programmer (Assembler) around here who would bring himself to face the challenge ?

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