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How to change difficulty of Atari 2600 games



  • Hi

    I have seen a post that touches on this subject a bit but not one that has given any specific instructions on how to do this so I thought I would ask for some help.
    I'm new to retropie and could use some basic instructions on what I need to do to be able to change the difficulty levels for Atari2600 games, more specifically Adventure (I love that game but can currently only play level 1) I have put as much information as I know about my setup below. Thanks in advance.

    I'm using the following set up
    RasberryPi 3 Model B
    Offical Rasberry Pi power supply
    I'm using retro pie V-4.3.8



  • @tanglewood23 You can find the default bindings for lr-stella at the following post: https://retropie.org.uk/forum/topic/7809/retropad-bindings-for-atari-2600/5

    If you are using the standalone version of stella, then you can press TAB on a keyboard to bring up the options menu where you can check or remap the bindings.



  • @dudleydes Thanks for the reply, that was the original forum post that I read but it still wasn't clear to me at the time. After reading your post I've done some more investigation and understand it a little bit better. I was using a Nintendo 64 controller so it didn't help that half the buttons weren't available to me. I am using lr-stella so went into the retroarch setup and also noticed that the L1 and L2 buttons were there only two that had keyboard mappings not the L3 & L4. I stratched my head for a bit as everytime i changed the mappings it wouldn't save them and also just defaulted back to the retroarch.cfg config even if i tried loading a new config. I think it might be something to do with the image i used for my build and would need to amend it all via the command line.

    In the end I managed to resolve the issue by using my Xbox One controller which had all the buttons available to be mapped. The difficulty buttons were not mapped to the L keys though. They were mapped to the select button which works by just cycling through all the difficulties.

    I am now enjoying getting eaten by dragons/deformed ducks on multiple difficulties.



  • @tanglewood23 l1/r1 and l2/r2 are setup for difficulty a/b and b&w/color. L3/r3 dont have anything because there arent any more controls to assign to them.



  • @tanglewood23 The Select button lets you choose a game variation while L1/L2 will toggle difficulty for the left controller. You won't see this feature in Adventure as it has 3 skill levels but no difficulty option.

    A better example is Space Invaders where Select will cycle through the 112 game variations - invisible aliens, zig-zigging laser bombs and so on. If you press L1/L2 once you have started a game, then your spaceship will toggle between regular and large sizes. R1/R2 will do the same for the second player using the right controller.

    L3 and R3, if your controller has these buttons, will let you toggle between colour and black and white, though this is pretty irrelevant today.



  • @dudleydes the color and b&w switch got used in later games for pausing or showing maps and stuff like that.



  • @dudleydes these are games that use the color/b&w switch

    Beany Bopper (pause function)
    Bump 'n' Jump (background music on/off)
    Cosmic Ark [later version] (disables 'background stars' effect)
    Fast Eddie (pause function)
    Ghost Manor (selects protagonist's gender)
    Journey Escape (turn star field effect on/off)
    Off the Wall (pause function)
    Phasor Patrol (turn shields on/off)
    Quest for Quintana Roo (pause function)
    Riddle of the Sphinx (various functions)
    Seawolf (??)
    Secret Quest (turn status screen on/off)
    Snoopy (pause function)
    Space Shuttle (primary thrusters, but difficulty switch performs same functionality)
    Starmaster (Galactic Chart on/off, but either difficulty switch will perform the same functionality)
    Super Cobra (pause function)
    Turmoil (pause function)



  • @dudleydes @edmaul69

    That's great, thanks both. I think this post has definitely made it clear on how to change the difficulty as well as other settings.

    I think this thread can be marked as resolved.

    Thanks again.


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