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Riatoju
08-25-2019 at 01:25 AM
7 Comments
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Dragster Overdrive Cheat!


I developed a cheat that allows the tachometer to max out without blowing out the engine. It also adds a new challenge to the game play as it's possible to achieve a variety of scores. My personal best is 5.61. I strongly believe 5.57 is possible using this cheat.

Enter the following codes in the Stella emulator.

0f3c2a90

0f3c31f0

0f3c4ea0


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Comments
  1. Barthax's Avatar

    Documenting a cheat like this is awesome. I imagine you'll get 5.57 easily if you stop accelerating & just use clutch.

    Documented the cheat on the discussion page of the EMU version: https://www.twingalaxies.com/game/dragster/atari-2600-vcs/emu-game-1-difficulty-b-fastest-time#discussion

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  2. lexmark's Avatar

    " I strongly believe 5.57 is possible using this cheat."

    Thanks, Hector.

    I strongly believe that if you cheated even harder, then a 5.51 is possible.

    But who would be dumb enough to cheat that hard!


    john

    .

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  3. Barra's Avatar

    5.57 is possible without any sort of cheat

    https://www.speedrun.com/Dragster

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  4. nads's Avatar

    I gave this a Try, more so for some fun and look what happened...

    5.54 @ 2.33


    I kept playing for a Bit, and hit 5.54 over a dozen times, Pretty cool to see that time come up!

    Nice Work Hector!

    Thanksdatagod thanked this post
    Updated 08-25-2019 at 04:32 AM by nads
  5. Riatoju's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by nads

    I gave this a Try, more so for some fun and look what happened...

    5.54 @ 2.33


    I kept playing for a Bit, and hit 5.54 over a dozen times, Pretty cool to see that time come up!

    Nice Work Hector!


    Thanks for doing that, that's pretty awesome. My goal was to see what the fastest time was under an impossible condition, that being having the tachometer at maximum throughout the entire race. The only problem was now I was left to do shifting which also plays a major role in increasing your speed. I figured if I shifted into 4th gear early it would solve things, and I had hacked the game to allow me to start the race in that manner and was able to get times up to 5.44. Unfortunately that ruined the test I was trying to do.

    During the dispute it came up that if you could play the game with the tachometer at it's maximum setting the entire game you could achieve a 5.54. So I was disappointed when all I got was 5.61s because all that would be left is 5.57s when the conditions were right, such as that frame counter seed which so far I'm learning can either cause you to start the race at 0.00 or 0.03!


    Since you were able to get a 5.54 it means this should be an impossible time under normal circumstances as that is likely the limit of what you can achieve if you could play the game and kept the tachometer full almost the entire time. Obviously shifting changes that which makes this a little more natural. But what you did does help because now I can study it and try some different tests.

    Right now I'm just beginning to tackle the main algorithm, I already uncovered all of the key elements the algorithm uses to calculate a score. Such as where in memory shifting, distance, speed, the tachometer, the count down timer, the frame counter, the frame counter seed, are located. The problem is it looks more complex and messy than what we all been seeing during the dispute. Alot of what is being calculated is being used for different things in the game such as graphics from what I am observing but I could be wrong, that's the point of all of this.

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  6. Riatoju's Avatar

    For the record, I been ignoring what is in the dispute and everything published by all the other people who researched this game. Mainly because I wanted a fresh approach. I wanted to do this free of bias and find out on my own what is possible and what isn't. Also I enjoy puzzles and the challenge of this, I am learning so much when it comes to Atari game design and the things Activision did to make games was amazing....This game is extremely complex for something so simple. If I wrote this game in C on a modern device it would be easy. But the Atari's limitations meant the programmer (David Crane) had to use every trick in the book, he had to outsmart the game and push every section of code and subroutine to it's limits. I have hardcoded projects before but this is extremely hardcoded.

    One thing you guys have to keep in mind, when putting sprites on the screen, you don't really get to say I want this in x or y like with the NES. You draw it one scanline at a time, you have to kill time in your code just to place things just right and do the same on the next scan line. That's why during the dispute whenever you seen a hack of the game it was usually so fucked up. Because people started inserting code and ruining the perfect timing. This game uses alot of NOP (No Operation) instructions! I never got the point in those until I opened this game up. Every instruction has to be perfectly timed, you have to know how many cycles it takes and how many you are allowed to do before you end up screwing up the whole delicate balance. It's really something that needs to be published so it doesn't get forgotten in time.

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    Updated 08-25-2019 at 07:35 AM by Riatoju
  7. Riatoju's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by Barthax

    Documenting a cheat like this is awesome. I imagine you'll get 5.57 easily if you stop accelerating & just use clutch.

    Documented the cheat on the discussion page of the EMU version: https://www.twingalaxies.com/game/dragster/atari-2600-vcs/emu-game-1-difficulty-b-fastest-time#discussion

    The clutch only becomes handy once you reach a maximum speed, and can't really accelerate anymore without blowing out your engine. It will lock in your speed, which is very handy. Before people tapped on the gas near the end of the race to prevent slowing down.

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