This programmer was a sick puppy. There's a secret handshake back door way to cheat this silly program, and it looks like the deal isn't shuffled right.
If you wiggle the joystick a specific way u can win next hand by always getting a Royal Flush, the highest rank. And the cards u later draw are predetermined at the time you first get dealt. Save states in emulation proves this mood killer.
Vegas Poker, Death by Solitaire, and, Stellar Shuttle. All draw or function wrongly on a variety of emulators (Vegas Poker is good on newer emulators). All have a blend of not 1 or 2 things in common, but 3 things in common, otherwise more troublesome titles I would have spotted by now. The recipe is ...
1. Player/missile graphics aka Sprites on other hardware
2. Artifacting meant to forge multicolor on NTSC hi res
3. Customized Display List and/or Display List Interrupts
heart of the matter looks like things break when player/missiles overlap regions of artifacting.
This game title is about gambling, so let's form a betting pool as to when or what year that a fully functioning emulator will first be made available. Reminder it's already been 36 years since 1979, and about 12 years since computers became wickedly over-capable.
To be precise I can't see the copyright msg in PAL video mode either, it requires pre-XL and NTSC video, and even then it's appearance is intermittent. Slow motion ain't needed to see it, just hitting Reset over and over rapidly does the job. This is closest I've seen to "frying" (model 2600 terminology) a cartridge on model 800. Copyright msg got Blanked Out and was never meant to be seen?
Player - Missile employed to generate large fields of white background (pink is a bug in old emulators), clever.
Message "COPYRIGHT 1981 U P I" can be glimpsed only when booting OS/A or OS/B, msg not seen when booting XL or XE. Press Option at any screen that says "Push Trigger To Deal" for to go into "SET UP MODE", customize 13 parameters using the joystick, then press Option again to see "SETUP ENDED".
This game uses tricks to draw hi resolution in multicolor. Artifacting is Optional, affecting only the frilly borders around cards and dialog boxes. It's a mystery whether the authors preferred artifacting or not. The music plays at 2 speeds depending on PAL vs NTSC.
Red and Dark are likely the pen color, switched via DLI. The background is Green Game Table and the white rectangles are player missile, switched between Left side and Right side, via the same DLI. Various emulators make the white cards look either white, or pink like in the screenshot here. If white were the background it probably wouldn't look varied in color across emulators.
Compare this to all the other card games out there for Atari 800, and boy could they have learned things from this (early) 1981 program.
Incredible program here in 16K cartridge. People with real gambling issues should avoid. I never saw such polish in an 8-bit video poker, this program has multi-voice music and arcade sound effects that go beyond hypnotic.
Atarimania calls this a "10" in Rarity, credits Atari and has NO date. If you look carefully, maybe put an emulator into slow motion, the message "COPYRIGHT 1981 U P I" gets flashed on screen momentarily when booting.
I got into this program because of my rant on the Ultima IV page about Artifacting, and I can't completely figure out how this is drawn, because my emulators are garbage when it comes to artifacting.
Artifacting is supposed to never take place on anything other than hi resolution 320 width mode. All color 160 wide displays should be showing no artifacts. This game reacts to artifacting being turned on/off but looks like it's still artifacting with artifacts off. Game uses the trick of DLI display list interrupt to change color, because lettering at the sides changes between black and red simultaneously as black and red cards are dealt, and I'll bet the cursor and word "DRAW" are made from player missile graphics because vertical streaks are seen when booting. Otherwise, clueless in vegas, save for the fact that emulators don't do artifacting at all right. Agree?
|Rarity reflects true prototype availability.|
Many thanks to Alfred for the dump!