15th of July: Get your Vectorblade update: V1.12

It has been nearly a year since Vectorblade “gold” was finished. I produced about 120 Vectorblades of my own – and the “world” has been testing Vectorblade since its release.

A complex game like Vectorblade is nearly impossible to get bug free – even with one year of testing and very enthusiastic beta testers.

In the last year “approximately” every month a new bug has been found. Some only small ones, but at least two bugs, which I’d call SERIOUS bugs. But not DEADLY SERIOUS, since to my knowledge no bug exists, that makes it impossible to play – but some bugs are really inconvenient.

Following a list of versions:

  • “VERSION 1.00”
    Cartridges 1-30
  • “VERSION 1.01”
    Cartridges 1-31
    fixed: Immunity 2 games by wheel, was ovewritten bei level rollover
  • “VERSION 1.02”
    fixed: Immunity setting could overwrite multiplyer, that caused the mulitplyer to be “0” whiech effectively was 256 -> huge scores!
  • “VERSION 1.03”
    fixed: bug in boss 4, gamescale positive -> endless loop
    fixed: pause mode glitch, shots can go thru shields
    fixed:in dodger was potential to get the multiplyers mixed up
    added version number to title
  • “VERSION 1.04”
    fixed: debounce of button 4 upon entering highscore from desktop upon first entry
  • “VERSION 1.05”
    fixed: added a tiny bit of delay in the FLASH write routine, and game save RAM read routine
  • “VERSION 1.06”
    fixed: intensity levels to work on “strange” vectrex (CSR)
  • DB “VERSION 1.07”
    fixed: player dead and level clear at the same time, leads to endless loop
    fixed: a small bug in secret display, if an achievement in the same byte had been gotten but no secret yet, a “no secret yet” message was not displayed!
    changed: each level allows now at least ONE attack pattern this way it is not possible to completely ignore enemies in mode easy, when positioned “correctly”
    added: additional “INPUT” option, hidden (due to not having any space left in the config menu, go to the top, pushing up, than “toggles” the input method toggle between joystick (default, not changed) and buttons, button mapping as follows:

    button in title:
    1 Start game
    2 options
    3 high score
    4 achievement
    help not available

    button minestorm:
    1 throttle speed
    4 increase speed
    button 2/3 x movements
    no help available

    button highscore edit:
    1 keep initial
    4 shoot
    button 2/3 letter scrolling
    no help available

    button highscore shown:
    1 help
    2 switch mode
    4 exit

    button achievments:
    1 help
    2/3 scroll
    4 exit

    button config:
    1 help
    2/3 scroll up/down
    4 execute
    you can not do horizontal settings (level edit) scroll to the top/top – to toggle input method (not visible)

    buttons in game:
    button 1 super bomb
    button 2/3 x movement
    button 4 shot
    all 4 buttons pressed = pause

    buttons in pause:
    button 1 help
    button 2/3 y movement
    button 4 exit
  • “VERSION 1.08”
    changed: switch off joystick on desktop in button mode
    changed: icon of “autofire” slightly to make it easier to distinguish with “shot 1”
  • “VERSION 1.09”
    fixed: LIVE -> LIFE
    fixed: debounce of button 4 in joystick mode, to enter highscore
  • “VERSION 1.10”
    fixed: High score stars were not displayed, entered somewhere along those last two revisions 🙁
  • DB “VERSION 1.11”
    fixed: Fixed bug discovered by Ralf Kornmann, if data was saved exactly a multiple of 51 times, and the vectrex was switched off after that, the game data was corrupted
  • DB “VERSION 1.12”
    potentially the shop could be accessed at every level -this was “balance breaking”
  • for non VecFever this version also does not use 0x5555 and 0x5545 to potentially be able to flash the ROM while in “cartridge” form (Brett Walach) (Data in: boss2Code.asm)

The bug, that “bugged” me most was fixed with V1.11 – a bug that could destroy all your gathered acchievements, highscores and saves. After the discovery of that bug I earnestly looked into what could be done to update “YOUR” (the 120 Vectroblades sold by myself) Vectorblade.
Now – six months after that bug was found – I have the means to do so!

Who did get a copy of Vectorblade from me… can now get a free update.

(this includes “ebay”, “presents”, “rewards”, or “simple buys”).
(But only who got it directly from me – since I will verify with my “buyers” list)

All you need to do – is write an email to: “VIDE AT MALBAN DOT DE” – tell me you would like to receive the update and with your current address – and I will send you one of the above shown PCBs with Vectorblade V1.12.
(If you received more than one – tell me how many)

At this point I would like to thank two people:

Sean Kelly (http://www.vectrexmulti.com/)

Brett Walach (https://www.playvectrex.com/)

Why you ask?

Sean Kelly

I asked Sean whether he would be willing to sell me some of “his” Vectorblade PCB’s – since I did not want to solder 120 pcbs again, I told him that I would not try to compete with him or Packrat, that I would need those to get an update to my customers.
He said “no problem, I’ll order them and send them to you” – and he did. When I asked for the price, he said “no charge – you’ll get them for free”. Thx Sean!

Brett Walach

Although above I said Seans PCBs – these new Vectorblade PCBs were designed by Brett. He did one hell of a good job with those. They are beautyfull! (and prefitted to support LEDs, BOM see: https://github.com/technobly/vectrex-cartridge)

ADDITIONALLY he made it possible for me to actually flash those PCBs while “fitted”. I really dig this feature – since Vectorblade versions had an additional update since Sean ordered them. At that time we were still at version V1.11 – but now we are at version V1.12.

Brett gave me one of his special designed interfaces for “our” eprom burner – and now I am able to actually update the PCBs “on the fly”.
(This only works with Brett’s PCBs – I tried my own and Andrew Colemans)

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