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Atari800 version 4.0

  • Thanxalot guys for the 4.5 update of retropie and the 4.0 update for the Atari800 emulator!!

    I directly installled the non-libretro version of the emulator, startetd up my favorite game M.U.L.E for the Atari 800 and encountered a problem after leaving the player-setup menu, that a paddles controller is chosen (active) automatically when I hit the start button. There is no way to enter the game - no joystick is found. I tried to change the controller settings within the emulator, but nothing works.
    I tried different joystick models. It does not work ... the libretro version is working ... 3.x

    Any ideas?

    Cheers, retox

    P.S.: Who ist maintaining the Atari800 emulator for retropie?

  • Global Moderator

    @retox said in Atari800 version 4.0:

    P.S.: Who ist maintaining the Atari800 emulator for retropie?

    The emulators are taken from their upstream project, they're only installed and pre-configured in RetroPie. Few emulators have patches added explicitely by RetroPie - mostly to account for the PI's build environment.

    EDIT: since this is a new major version, have you tried clearing/renaming the atari800.cfg file first ?

  • @mitu : Thanxalot for your fast answer, I will try this this evening and will report back ... retox

  • The upstream libretro atari800 hasn't been updated in 10 months or so. I've had a pull request waiting for a month.

    I have a fork (see in my signature) that has four joystick support for MULE and other games, and fixes the broken keyboard.

    I am pretty sure regular Atari800 has been at 4.1.0 for quite a while now, at least if you updated from source. It was working fine under RetroPie 4.4.

    Also @retox, if you like the Atari 8 bit games, you may want to look at the Atari 8 bit guide and helper script also in my sig.

  • @mitu Yeeeeees ... although the .cfg file was updated in the header showing version 4.0 I followed your advice and deleted it. What should I say: You were right! Joysticks were working from scratch! I always get a cold turkey when I can't play M.U.L.E!

    Thank you so much for no more trembling and cold sweats ... ;-)

    Best wishes from Berlin, Germany ..... retox

  • @rkoster

    Hi Raph,

    thank you so much for your kind response. I'm desperately waiting for the 4.xx libretro version of the Atari800 emulator, although it does not really make sense after all, because you have to use a keyboard anyway for SELECT, OPTION and START. But anyway, leaving the program just with the joystick is quite convenient.

    I followed the links to the script and I must say that I'm really owerwhelmed by your contribution. It's unbelievable how much effort you have put in details of gaming and especially graphics on the Atari 800. I alway wondered how to change to proper graphics in Drol and Loderunner and there are so many other games that I will dive into after having read all the follow-ups of your thread. I will print out your efforts and will read them thoroughly in my vacation. Unbelieveable! Thank you so much for this!

    I also followed the "emulator path" and found out that there is indeed a 4.10 raspberry version of the Atari800 emulator out (see: []
    ) and I don't understand why the retropie team didn't include the latest version into the 4.5 version of retropie. Compiling the version of the emulator today from source didn't change the version, it's still on 4.0.0. But 4.0 is really stable and is looking good so far. The Atari 600XL (with an upgrade to 64kB RAM later) was my first computer, this is why I'm so concerned about the emulator and the system in general.

    I bought myself a FPGA Computer last year and love the MISTer Project also very much. I can only advice you to check out there site under:

    In case you haven't heard of the project yet, get yourself the hardware and enjoy this wonderful device. You won't get closer to the originals than this.

    May be we could stay in touch? I will be in vacation next week, but after reading your stuff I will report to you with my progress on the graphics front ;-)

    'Til then, all the best to you and again thank you for responding to my problem.

    Best wishes, Joern

  • @retox

    Honestly, the main things that change from the libretro lr-atari800 (built off 3.1.0) and the standalone 4.0 or 4.1.0 versions is the color handling and NTSC code. The vast majority of other changes are about Falcon and ST support, which is completely unexplored for RetroPie (plus Hatari works quite well).

    So I would suggest just running the libretro one, or if you love MULE, my fork of it (see signature). My changes have been submitted to libretro, so they will hopefully eventually be in the official RetroPie install, if you would rather wait.

    If you like the work I did on automatic script handling of BASIC games, OSa and OSb, and the artifacting solution, that's all using the assumption that you are using the lr-atari800 emulator, so version 3.1.0, and you do not need to install my fork to get that stuff. I haven't tested it thoroughly with the standalone emulator.

    In both the fork and in the current lr-atari800, you do NOT need to use a keyboard for SELECT/OPTION/START. They are mapped to the controller.

    I started the project of porting 4.1.0 to a libretro core, but stalled out. Maybe someday.

    I'm familiar with MISTer. I still have my working 130XE setup though. :)

    As far as reaching me, there is no PM support here, but just tag me in a reply to this thread, I'll see it. :)

  • @rkoster

    Hi again Raph,

    thank you for writing, again!

    I have some questions concerning your last post.

    How can I change , or I mean, where are the main functions (SELECT/OPTION/START) mapped to joystick? I never knew about this feature!
    I really would like to install your fork, but I don't know how to do it!
    Could you guide me through the process in short? And maybe how to install the script, too?

    My problem with the original 3.10 libretro-version of the Atari800 is, that it's not possible to change the emulator to PAL.
    The game is running much faster in NTSC and though I'm from germany i'm used to the "slow play and slow music" :-)
    That's why I sticked to the non-libretro version.

    My Atari 600XL with it's peripherials is in the basement. On our next ATARI 8-bit Club meeting I will discuss a possibilty to reactivate it with a modern graphics adapter hack with DVI-output and a way to put the games on an interface with a SD-card reader for the Atari 600XL cartridge slot. I also own an Atari ST. I once had a C64, too ... but I never liked it as much as my Atari.

    MiSTer is getting better with each release and the graphics and sound quality are really superb.

    I'm also waiting for the new raspberry 4 version of retropie, but I will wait a little longer until all problems are solved and everything works like it should.

    We are living in such a great time ... ;-)

    Best wishes, Joern

    P.S.: By the way, where do you live?

  • @retox Apologies for the terse reply, but I have a busy day today!

    Instructions for installing my fork are here:

    The mapping in lr-atari800 is in the docs here now, I added them a few weeks ago. SELECT is mapped to Select; START to Start; OPTION is mapped to L1.

    PAL works in lr-atari800, as far as I know, but I haven't done tests on it.

    To install my script, follow the instructions here:

  • @rkoster

    Hi Raph,


    Best wishes, Joern

  • @rkoster

    Hi raph,
    I followed your instructions ssh'ed into retropie and downloaded the atari800 binary with your commands:
    "cd ~
    sudo wget
    sudo cp /opt/retropie/libretrocores/lr-atari800/ /opt/retropie/libretrocores/lr-atari800/
    sudo chmod a+x
    sudo mv /opt/retropie/libretrocores/lr-atari800/"

    I started M.U.L.E and hoped to be able use the button commands (and the virtual keyboard) because I'm running retropie on a Retroflag GPI case where I have no option to
    use a cabled physical keyboard.

    I'm not really a linux user and think that I'm missing something. Do I have to do something else in order to use your fork?

    I read the advices before I write, but I didn't find anything which helped me ...

    Best wishes, Joern

  • No, that's all you need to do. Even better, the changes I made have now been integrated into the core, so you should get them just by "Update from source" from the RetroPie menu.

    Check that you have the controller set to "ATARI Joystick" and not "RetroPad" in options. (Select-X, then choose Options). That's what enables the buttons.

    The keyboard fixes I made weren't to the virtual keyboard, btw, but to the actual keyboard; the virtual keyboard got better as a side effect.

  • @rkoster
    Raph, this is great! Thank you so much! Everything is working as you said BUT: I found no way to trigger the virtual keyboard with the Y Button.

    **"User 1 - 2 device types MEANS that USER1 can use 2 different device types (either joystick OR keyboard)"?

    None - Input disabled.
    RetroPad - Joypad - Don't use this, switch to ATARI Joystick for joypad usage.
    ATARI Joystick - Joypad
    ATARI Keyboard - Keyboard - For keyboard usage

    Controller tables
    Joypad and analog device type table
    If your controller is set to “Atari Joystick” you will have the following mappings:
    User 1 Remap descriptors RetroPad Inputs ATARI Joystick
    Y Virtual keyboard ON/OFF"**

    I changed the joystick type to ATARI joystick under retroarch, nothing else ... with Y pressed keyboard won't appear. All other keys are working fine. I don't get it.
    I also tried this on my "Raspberry Desktop" setup with an XBox Controller. Same problem - no keyboard. I there something else to do?
    The problem is that I only have two "shoulder buttons" on the GPI Case. And I need SPACE for the ROM path. (This is mapped with L2 as I read)
    On the Desktop I use the non-libretro version 4.0 anyway, because of the PAL/NTSC problem with 3.10.

    Without a virtual keyboard life doesn't make sense anymore ;-)

    Best wishes ... Joern

  • I just checked on my install and it looks like it's not on Y, the docs are wrong. It's currently hardcoded to L3.

  • @rkoster

    Raph, hardcoded means that one can't change it through a config file? I copied the Atari config file from the desktop system(with Rom paths) to the GPI case (although it uses a different password). Games are running now but I can't save the config file under the Atari800 emulator (it shows an error). Maybe the file permissions are wrong? How can I fix this? Linux is a bit tricky ... ;-) What would be my best option? Maybe buying a bluetooth keyboard?

    Thanxalot ... Joern

  • @retox Yes, that means it cannot be changed or remapped. I have filed a bug and I might have a chance to fix it this weekend, it's a tiny change.

    To see if the file permissions are wrong, type

     ls -l /opt/retropie/configs/atari800/atari800.cfg

    And you should see something like

    -rwxr-xr-x 1 pi pi 2584 Aug  7 09:38 /opt/retropie/configs/atari800/atari800.cfg

    The front end tells you the permissions. drwxrwxrwx is the format -- directory, read, write, execute, read, write, execute, read, write, execute. A dash means "no."

    sudo chmod 755 /opt/retropie/configs/atari800/atari800.cfg

    should fix any permissions issues.

    A bluetooth keyboard would certainly work, and I do recommend having a way to work on your Pi with a keyboard. But you probably don't need one for most moment to moment play; playing most games that need keyboards with the virtual keyboard on a portable feels unrealistic to me. The Atari800 emu virtual keyboard isn't great to start with and I think it'll be near impossible to read on a portable.

  • @rkoster


    thank you so much for your patience and kind support. I really admire guys (of course people in general) who help others and care about things without any material or commercial background. I'll try to to my best to behave like this in the physical world (but I suppose you, too ;-))

    I'll stick to your website and your posts and hope that we will hear from each other once in a while. I will keep reading about linux, the Atari Emulator scene and feel really good about what is happening these days with this bunch of possiblities I always dreamed of and which really came to life. I'm so thankful for this. At the end of the month I will visit old friends and we're having a Midimaze party (Midi Network Game for the Atari ST) like in the old days, I will present my MISTer unit and the GPI case and will tell people about your Atari graphics post for the Retropie Project.

    I'll be in the country over the weekend here in Brandenburg and hope that you and your familiy will have a great weekend, too!

    Again, thank you so much for everything

    Best wishes, Joern

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