Hidden features in Break Out (Ascii, 1983)

Door mars2000you

Enlighted (5486)

afbeelding van mars2000you

27-03-2019, 08:40

Exploring the BASIC code of this hybrid game (BASIC + machine language) has led me to some surprise; it has hidden features that are out of reach because you need to press CHR$(5) when you have been proposed to PLAY AGAIN after having lost all your balls. This is included in line 560 of the BASIC program.

But which key needs to be pressed???? I think the only solution is to modify the ROM, I've choosen CHR$(27), the ESCAPE key as accessible key for everyone.

You need to patch the ROM as following:
Address D21h - replace 16 by 0F
Address D22h - replace 29 by 1B
Address D23h - replace 20 by 29

By pressing ESC when the question PLAY AGAIN ? is displayed, you will access to an hidden menu with command line:

E)ditor S)ave L)oad G)ame
COMMAND>

E leads to an Editor - The program will ask the SCENE you want to edit, only scenes 1 to 10 can be edited by using the cursor keys and the spacebar (back to the menu by pressing the E key , switch to next editable scene with the N key , back to the menu with the N key if you are on the scene 10)

S allows to save on tape (probably only the 10 first scenes).

L allows to load the scenes previously saved on tape.

G allows to go back to 'normal' game.

That's not all! The menu can be extended with a secret command (or password): MSX.PASS - It will add the foillowing line:

P)attern C)ontinue N)ext

You enter here in a trainer mode!

P allows you to choose the SCENE (between 1 and 120) that you want to play as first scene

C (continue with current scene) and N (next scene) are useful when you have lost all your balls: press first ESC and the hidden menu will be displayed again!

If you want to remove the additional line of the menu, you need to enter the command MASK and the trainer mode will be invisible!

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Van Manuel

Ascended (15600)

afbeelding van Manuel

27-03-2019, 08:44

Nice find!

Van gdx

Prophet (2910)

afbeelding van gdx

27-03-2019, 09:12

Nice find!
CHR$(5) is probably [CTRL]+[E].

Van mars2000you

Enlighted (5486)

afbeelding van mars2000you

27-03-2019, 09:39

gdx wrote:

Nice find!
CHR$(5) is probably [CTRL]+[E].

It does not work, at least on emulator, as you go back to the game! I guess it does not work on a real machine too, otherwise these kinds of extras would be mentioned somewhere on the net since many years!!!

Van gdx

Prophet (2910)

afbeelding van gdx

27-03-2019, 12:36

I just try with OpenMSX, it works.

Van mars2000you

Enlighted (5486)

afbeelding van mars2000you

27-03-2019, 12:32

Not on blueMSX ...

Edit: actually, it works also on blueMSX. For some reason with another game, I had choosen CTRL as joystick button ....

Anyway, I prefer the ESC key !!!!

Van Pencioner

Paladin (911)

afbeelding van Pencioner

27-03-2019, 12:28

In real machine Ctrl+E works of course (Ctrl+letter gives codes: 1 for Ctrl+A, 2 for Ctrl+B and so on). Nice interesting find, by the way Smile

Van gdx

Prophet (2910)

afbeelding van gdx

27-03-2019, 12:31

It is very surprising, Ctrl+E also works with CocoaMSX.

Van mars2000you

Enlighted (5486)

afbeelding van mars2000you

27-03-2019, 12:33

I've just edited my answer.

Van gdx

Prophet (2910)

afbeelding van gdx

27-03-2019, 12:42

We can modify the game to save on disk now! Smile

Van mars2000you

Enlighted (5486)

afbeelding van mars2000you

27-03-2019, 12:42

Before that, you need to make the game compatible with disk. I think it pokes too much in the 'dangerous zone' ! Wink