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Games Entertainment

Video Game Atlas 32

Via Joystiq, a very worthy site that's sure to stoke the fires of nostalgia. is an altas for games old and new, with extremely impressive stitched together screenshot displays. Some of my personal favorites include Zebes, The Maniac Mansion, and the FFI Overworld.
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Video Game Atlas

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  • Sweetness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Elranzer ( 851411 ) on Monday March 21, 2005 @12:52PM (#12000321) Homepage
    Reminds me of the maps they use to have in Nintendo Power (early Nintendo Power, before they sucked).
  • Wow, MM (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Propagandhi ( 570791 ) on Monday March 21, 2005 @01:02PM (#12000480) Journal
    That Maniac Mansion stitch really reminds me of the headache that game gave me the first time I tried to play it. I was quite young and keeping track of a 3D house layout with nothing but those 2D room layouts to guide me was. . .a little much.

    Still, I imagine that learning experience (and others like it) really helped me learn to "think in 3D" (I'm sure there's some psyche term for this, but I don't know it). Kinda reminds ya that videogames of today don't make you think as hard as the old ones did... Less imigination required on the part of the user.
    • Re:Wow, MM (Score:5, Funny)

      by snuf23 ( 182335 ) on Monday March 21, 2005 @03:58PM (#12003040)
      Be thankful for training like this. Even a genetically altered super human can fall into patterns of two dimensional thinking if not exposed to LucasArts adventures.
      The next time you are deep in the Motari nebula facing off with Admiral Kirk you will look back on your Maniac Mansion training and know exactly what to do.
      • I'm crying now.. if only Lucasarts had taught me how to take a joke! :(

        Ahh well, I'll still know how to navigate Maniac Mansion. You can never take that away from me.
  • It's a nice idea, but the site is horribly designed. Yuck.
  • Modern 3D games (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ford Prefect ( 8777 ) on Monday March 21, 2005 @01:25PM (#12000872) Homepage
    You can do something similar to generate top-down, non-perspective views of more modern games like Half-Life, which has a whole bunch of development features for making map 'overviews'.

    Unfortunately, despite the original Half-Life's apparently seamless world, there are plenty of overlaps between different maps, so it's highly unlikely anyone could build a sensible map of Black Mesa that way.

    Half-Life 2 might be more promising, and I believe it's got the same overview commands - I think I need to experiment to find out if City 17 really could be 'mapped' in this manner, even if it were to prove rather difficult to navigate through the highly-3D building mazes present with the 2D map produced...
  • Now you can take your whole collection of Mega Man sprites to destinations unknown!
    • Oh come on now. Megaman stages are so small, they almost don't need maps.

      I would have liked to see the Phantasy Star series maps all drawn out. There used to be a separate hint book that came with those games at a pricey $40.

  • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Monday March 21, 2005 @02:07PM (#12001550)
    Yes, I know how, but I'd be interesting in hearing what they had to go throw to acquire each of the screens, what did they use to "stitch" the images together, etc.

    I know the article was about pictures, but I'd like to digress to "music" as this reminds me of when I "ripped" the music for the Apple ][ version of "Karateka" (also by Jordan Mechner, his "ground breaking" precursor work to Prince of Persia.)

    There was a article in the magazine "Nibble" about "pseudo duel voices" from the Apple squeeker. (Yeah, us Apple fans were always jeolous that the C64 had REAL 4-voice FM music.) Anyways, After looking at the boot code, and seeing that it re-mapped the CTRL-RESET vector, it was easy to change it to dump into the "monitor" when pressed after beating the game . I wrote a small little assembly program to scan memory tucked away at $0300, looking for a sequence of bytes. Since the speaker output was at $C030, and the 6502 was little endian CPU, scanning for 0x30 0xC0 would reveal the assmebly code for the "music" code. And Since the code had a "RTS" (return to caller), you could search for a "JSR" (Jump to Sub Routine) via 0x20 0xSS xSS, to see who called it.

    I finally found the code and the data. Amazingly, the data for the notes matched the info in the "Nibble" article. I decoded the notes, and transcriped it in a MIDI file.

    To me, the process was more fun then the actual product. Guess that's one defintion of what makes a person a geek / engineer. LOL.

    Is there any place on the net to talk bout game ripping?

    • by snuf23 ( 182335 ) on Monday March 21, 2005 @04:20PM (#12003312)
      The SID chip [] was a 3 voice electronic synthesizer. Emulators have never quite matched the sound, and you can even purchase a hardware PCI card (Hard SID) if you are so hardcore you need that you need the original sound. In fact, Denver band Mr. Pacman [] uses a Commodore 64 to get the true '80s sound they need.
      There are SID emulators as well as SID collections such as The High Voltage SID Collection [].
      Remixes of old video game music is also all over the web. Check out [] for excellent remixes. The ones by Perhaps a Doobie and particularly amusing. Check out the Monty on the Run Hi-Score theme and the 1942 High-Score theme. Classic stuff.
  • Not a lot of games listed, but I would like to see more scanned from old game magazines. I don't know if that is illegal.
  • Holy crap! (Score:5, Funny)

    by aftk2 ( 556992 ) on Monday March 21, 2005 @02:35PM (#12002004) Homepage Journal
    Guardian Legend []? Faxanadu []? DRAGON WARRIOR []?!?

    Sorry, boss - I didn't realize trying to download a 100 ROMs at once would completely saturate our company pipe. But see, there's this site, Slashdot - and it linked to this site, vgmaps...
  • by potus98 ( 741836 ) on Monday March 21, 2005 @02:46PM (#12002159) Journal

    Wow this takes me back to my younger geek days! I remember using colored pencils to hand draw maps for certain games. I would collapse the maps onto a minimum number of pages by arranging them very similar to the vgmaps site. I took great care to achieve proper scale and proportion as I documented the levels. I can mentally see my map for Area 3 of SMB2 captured here []

    All those hours wasted! Wow, I wish I had saved those maps. Every door, every chain, each spike, man did I need a life!

  • by HTH NE1 ( 675604 ) on Monday March 21, 2005 @04:04PM (#12003103)
    I did a few stitch-togethers for games in MAME. Somewhere I have the maps of Jr. Pac-Man (including intermissions), Tutankham, and Congo Bongo.

    Been thinking about putting together the map for the Atari 2600's Pitfall, but haven't had the time to play it to get the whole thing. Plus the problem that travelling underground takes you (if memory serves) three screens at a time across the map, so there'd be three underground maps to create. A complete Pitfall 2 map though would be more interesting.

    I like to do the same thing with animated shows that do long pans over a single plate.
    • Try google. I can't access the actual pages from work, but I know that someone named Ben Valdes made a very nice map for Pitfall 1. You can probably find all this on

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham