Pitfall II for MSX

Page 1/3
| 2 | 3

By SkalTura

Champion (346)

SkalTura's picture

24-10-2021, 14:33

I've been playing Pitfall II (original cartridge) on my Atari 2600 lately, and eventhough I hadn't played it in several years, it's still pretty simple to get to the end of the game without "dying" too often.

But the MSX adaptation is (in my opinion) pretty poorly done...
The colors are way to bright in the beginning part of the game, and the timing for the bats is often not correct.
I've even died in the last part when the bat was all the way up with it's wings up.
And the score on top of the game is also just some text, instead of the more graphic score of the original Atari version.

Why is this MSX version so off from the original ?
I know the original Pitfall II cartridge for the Atari 2600 has a special chip, but surely the MSX is much more powerful and shouldn't have limitation that make the same so different in appearance ?

Login or register to post comments

By gdx

Enlighted (4811)

gdx's picture

24-10-2021, 14:44

SkalTura wrote:

the timing for the bats is often not correct.
I've even died in the last part when the bat was all the way up with it's wings up.

I have often played the MSX version (tape version on floppy disk), I have never had this.

Edit: Oops, it was Pitfall not Pitfall II.

By AxelStone

Prophet (3057)

AxelStone's picture

24-10-2021, 16:21

I don't think that MSX version is bad, is quite similar to the original, apart from some gameplay issues as you mention. You can try in any case the SG-1000 version, that will load perfectly in MSX.

Try also A5200 version, for me is quite good, probably the best version.

By SkalTura

Champion (346)

SkalTura's picture

25-10-2021, 07:21

I will try the SG-1000 version, see if that one works better, thanks.
Would be awesome to have an Atari 2600 emulator for MSX(2) though...

By SkalTura

Champion (346)

SkalTura's picture

25-10-2021, 12:30

Just checked, but the SG-1000 version is not the same as the Atari version.
Looks more like Pitfall 1 than it does Pitfall II...

By st1mpy

Paladin (838)

st1mpy's picture

25-10-2021, 18:11

They are both Pitfall II but different versions I think. There seem to be 3 types of pitfall ii games: Activision's original Pitfall ii, Sega's remake for Arcade and sg-1000 (coleco had both this and the original one?), and then Super Pitfall (Famicom, pc-88, trs-80 coco3).

By ducasp

Champion (465)

ducasp's picture

25-10-2021, 19:39

SkalTura wrote:

I will try the SG-1000 version, see if that one works better, thanks.
Would be awesome to have an Atari 2600 emulator for MSX(2) though...

Impossible (with playable frame rates) for many reasons, but the major reason is the way graphics works on the 2600, where CPU is talking to TIA constantly (and thus, lots of CPU power is used to drive graphics) every scanline, changing registers constantly. It is worlds different than the tile based VDP from MSX or even bitmaps mode in 9938... You can't do it fast enough, a conversion to generate tiles / data in vram...

The other reason is that even though clocked quite a bit lower, its CPU has almost the same raw power of a z80, so, you have a non native instruction set that you need to translate, and if no translation was needed, you would be close to the limit.

Even though an electrical car can do wonders with a huge ammount of electrical power from its battery, a Ferrari Testarossa won't do anything other than move using the small electric motor made to start its engine (thus, very slow, very poorly). This doesn't mean the Ferrari is not a powerful car, just that it is not suited to work with that. Same thing for an MSX, it is not suited to work on code that is racing the CRT beam (by the way, that video is an amazing explanation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJFnWZH5FXc ) even though it can do wonders and things that are way more elaborated if used with code that is made for tile based video presentation.

That is why Atari 2600 emulation requires a way more powerful device to properly emulate it, as you need to simulate the TIA / CPU interaction and create a frame from that, which is not something a MSX has enough power to do 60 times over a second (or 50 for pal region).

By PingPong

Prophet (3793)

PingPong's picture

25-10-2021, 20:04

the atari 2600 approach required high cpu usage. it was a failure, as shown by the very modest gfx quality compared to SG-1000, C64, Coleco, ZX spectrum etc.
they all go in the opposite direction. indipendent hw to perform display tasks.

By gdx

Enlighted (4811)

gdx's picture

26-10-2021, 02:13

I not noticed collision issue with bats on Pitfall II. Can you make a copy of your ROM and tell the size and the crc32 of the resulting file?

By SkalTura

Champion (346)

SkalTura's picture

26-10-2021, 07:35

I'll do that this coming weekend.
I will also try to make a picture/video of the screen when it happens, so you can see that the bat is not even close to Harry's head...

By st1mpy

Paladin (838)

st1mpy's picture

26-10-2021, 08:53

When that happens, are you playing with a setup that doesn't introduce delays? (No conversion on TV out like av to hdmi or joystick converter etc)

Page 1/3
| 2 | 3