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Video Game Atlas

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the zebes-to-matoya's-cave dept.

Games 32

Via Joystiq, a very worthy site that's sure to stoke the fires of nostalgia. is an altas for games old and new, with extremely impressive stitched together screenshot displays. Some of my personal favorites include Zebes, The Maniac Mansion, and the FFI Overworld.

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Sweetness (5, Insightful)

Elranzer (851411) | more than 9 years ago | (#12000321)

Reminds me of the maps they use to have in Nintendo Power (early Nintendo Power, before they sucked).

Re:Sweetness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12003627)

It should remind you, because Nintendo DID make a atlas of there games. It was called "NES Game Atlas: Nintendo Player's Guide" and had maps and walkthroughs. (It was the solo reason I was able to beat the last castle in the Legend of Zelda 2).

A quick search on google found this website with a quick description

Re:Sweetness (1)

Elranzer (851411) | more than 9 years ago | (#12008692)

I had this NES Atlas, it came with the subscription. But maps of games (even those that didn't appear in the NES Atlas, such as Maniac Mansion) did have maps appear in the regular magazine as well.

Re:Sweetness (1)

xgamer04 (248962) | more than 9 years ago | (#12009300)

I still have this book, but some pages are missing from the front....

Wow, MM (4, Interesting)

Propagandhi (570791) | more than 9 years ago | (#12000480)

That Maniac Mansion stitch really reminds me of the headache that game gave me the first time I tried to play it. I was quite young and keeping track of a 3D house layout with nothing but those 2D room layouts to guide me was. . .a little much.

Still, I imagine that learning experience (and others like it) really helped me learn to "think in 3D" (I'm sure there's some psyche term for this, but I don't know it). Kinda reminds ya that videogames of today don't make you think as hard as the old ones did... Less imigination required on the part of the user.

Re:Wow, MM (4, Funny)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 9 years ago | (#12003040)

Be thankful for training like this. Even a genetically altered super human can fall into patterns of two dimensional thinking if not exposed to LucasArts adventures.
The next time you are deep in the Motari nebula facing off with Admiral Kirk you will look back on your Maniac Mansion training and know exactly what to do.

Re:Wow, MM (1)

Propagandhi (570791) | more than 9 years ago | (#12007517)

I'm crying now.. if only Lucasarts had taught me how to take a joke! :(

Ahh well, I'll still know how to navigate Maniac Mansion. You can never take that away from me.

Poor site design (0)

stardeep (66237) | more than 9 years ago | (#12000793)

It's a nice idea, but the site is horribly designed. Yuck.

Re:Poor site design (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 9 years ago | (#12000933)

It's not just the design, it's the implementation. Someone needs to teach these guys the difference between a / and a \ because at least half the links are broken.

Re:Poor site design (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 9 years ago | (#12007140)

Half? It looks to me like EVERY link is broken, even the ones linked to by the summary.

Re:Poor site design (1)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 9 years ago | (#12000992)

That's one of those sad side-effects of having a page that's aeons old. Seriously... this isn't new news... not even remotely close.

Re:Poor site design (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 9 years ago | (#12003083)

True. But it's still being updated with new content. I had never seen the site before so it was interesting to me.

Re:Poor site design (1)

SengirV (203400) | more than 9 years ago | (#12003499)

I'm color blind, and their mix of "colors" makes it almost unreadable.

Modern 3D games (4, Interesting)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 9 years ago | (#12000872)

You can do something similar to generate top-down, non-perspective views of more modern games like Half-Life, which has a whole bunch of development features for making map 'overviews'.

Unfortunately, despite the original Half-Life's apparently seamless world, there are plenty of overlaps between different maps, so it's highly unlikely anyone could build a sensible map of Black Mesa that way.

Half-Life 2 might be more promising, and I believe it's got the same overview commands - I think I need to experiment to find out if City 17 really could be 'mapped' in this manner, even if it were to prove rather difficult to navigate through the highly-3D building mazes present with the 2D map produced...

Sources? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12000975)

..seems to me like they "borrowed" a number of maps from a number of different sources..

in some cases, these maps aren't in-game maps; they feature mark-up or lists of items which clearly show some degree of input by authors.

I'm not suggesting that they're ripping off anyone; I'm just curious as to whether they got permission from such a diverse set of people..

Adventuring we will go! (1)

DrWily (660114) | more than 9 years ago | (#12001285)

Now you can take your whole collection of Mega Man sprites to destinations unknown!

Re:Adventuring we will go! (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#12003861)

Oh come on now. Megaman stages are so small, they almost don't need maps.

I would have liked to see the Phantasy Star series maps all drawn out. There used to be a separate hint book that came with those games at a pricey $40.

How did they generate them? (5, Interesting)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 9 years ago | (#12001550)

Yes, I know how, but I'd be interesting in hearing what they had to go throw to acquire each of the screens, what did they use to "stitch" the images together, etc.

I know the article was about pictures, but I'd like to digress to "music" as this reminds me of when I "ripped" the music for the Apple ][ version of "Karateka" (also by Jordan Mechner, his "ground breaking" precursor work to Prince of Persia.)

There was a article in the magazine "Nibble" about "pseudo duel voices" from the Apple squeeker. (Yeah, us Apple fans were always jeolous that the C64 had REAL 4-voice FM music.) Anyways, After looking at the boot code, and seeing that it re-mapped the CTRL-RESET vector, it was easy to change it to dump into the "monitor" when pressed after beating the game . I wrote a small little assembly program to scan memory tucked away at $0300, looking for a sequence of bytes. Since the speaker output was at $C030, and the 6502 was little endian CPU, scanning for 0x30 0xC0 would reveal the assmebly code for the "music" code. And Since the code had a "RTS" (return to caller), you could search for a "JSR" (Jump to Sub Routine) via 0x20 0xSS xSS, to see who called it.

I finally found the code and the data. Amazingly, the data for the notes matched the info in the "Nibble" article. I decoded the notes, and transcriped it in a MIDI file.

To me, the process was more fun then the actual product. Guess that's one defintion of what makes a person a geek / engineer. LOL.

Is there any place on the net to talk bout game ripping?


Re:How did they generate them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12002539)

I thought the C64 had 3 voices, and the Atari 800, 4?

Either way, since you're a fan of the old 8-bit days, you might appreciate this [] (Shockwave).

Re:How did they generate them? (3, Informative)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 9 years ago | (#12003312)

The SID chip [] was a 3 voice electronic synthesizer. Emulators have never quite matched the sound, and you can even purchase a hardware PCI card (Hard SID) if you are so hardcore you need that you need the original sound. In fact, Denver band Mr. Pacman [] uses a Commodore 64 to get the true '80s sound they need.
There are SID emulators as well as SID collections such as The High Voltage SID Collection [] .
Remixes of old video game music is also all over the web. Check out [] for excellent remixes. The ones by Perhaps a Doobie and particularly amusing. Check out the Monty on the Run Hi-Score theme and the 1942 High-Score theme. Classic stuff.

Limited amount of maps... (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 9 years ago | (#12001888)

Not a lot of games listed, but I would like to see more scanned from old game magazines. I don't know if that is illegal.

Holy crap! (4, Funny)

aftk2 (556992) | more than 9 years ago | (#12002004)

Guardian Legend [] ? Faxanadu [] ? DRAGON WARRIOR [] ?!?

Sorry, boss - I didn't realize trying to download a 100 ROMs at once would completely saturate our company pipe. But see, there's this site, Slashdot - and it linked to this site, vgmaps...

I remember *drawing* these maps! (4, Interesting)

potus98 (741836) | more than 9 years ago | (#12002159)

Wow this takes me back to my younger geek days! I remember using colored pencils to hand draw maps for certain games. I would collapse the maps onto a minimum number of pages by arranging them very similar to the vgmaps site. I took great care to achieve proper scale and proportion as I documented the levels. I can mentally see my map for Area 3 of SMB2 captured here []

All those hours wasted! Wow, I wish I had saved those maps. Every door, every chain, each spike, man did I need a life!

Re:I remember *drawing* these maps! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12002532)

Why did you do it?
I can understand if you want to share it with others to help them. Was that your motivation?

Re:I remember *drawing* these maps! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12003001)

Maybe he did it just for fun. You do know what fun is, don't you? (And yes I do realize this type of "fun" doesn't better the world, and you know, I am perfectly okay with that. The question is, why aren't you?)

Re:I remember *drawing* these maps! (1)

potus98 (741836) | more than 9 years ago | (#12048651)

Hmmm, some reasons I think motivated me at the time were...

  • I really liked the artistic quality of certain levels. Sure, they look simple by today's standards, but at the time, there were some really beautiful levels (Master Blaster NES for example).
  • To share with friends in an effort to help them progress further in the game. Remember, there was no or www at the time.
  • As I dreamed of one day being a game programmer or level designer, I liked studying what made certain levels so playable.
  • Fun...
  • Profit!

I could contribute... (2, Interesting)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 9 years ago | (#12003103)

I did a few stitch-togethers for games in MAME. Somewhere I have the maps of Jr. Pac-Man (including intermissions), Tutankham, and Congo Bongo.

Been thinking about putting together the map for the Atari 2600's Pitfall, but haven't had the time to play it to get the whole thing. Plus the problem that travelling underground takes you (if memory serves) three screens at a time across the map, so there'd be three underground maps to create. A complete Pitfall 2 map though would be more interesting.

I like to do the same thing with animated shows that do long pans over a single plate.

Re:I could contribute... (1)

bjb (3050) | more than 9 years ago | (#12013417)

Try google. I can't access the actual pages from work, but I know that someone named Ben Valdes made a very nice map for Pitfall 1. You can probably find all this on

Editors, Please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12006044)

Site's dead/dyin--Totally failed it.

When will the Slashdot editors realize that the Slashdot Effect is more than an in-joke? Surprise, you idiots! There's some responsibility that comes with being an editor. If you find a cool link to a small site, you have the responsibility to ensure that the site can "handle" it -- be that afford the extra bandwidth serving or hold up under a slashdot load. Heaven forbid you actually try to contact the webmaster/owner of a potential victimsite! If anything, you count on some cavalier regular to go and mirror the site--again, assuredly without permission.

Or is this another case of the-internet-wants-to-be-free? When will Slashdot and its editors grow up?

Let me guess: -1, Reality

Maniac Mansion Map (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12006233)

The Maniac Mansion Map sure beats the ascii map I drew in the FAQ I wrote for the game back in '96. sion.txt []

It was really tricky trying to create a representation of the Mansion limited to the width of a page and still make it somewhat readable.

Now if only I could get my hands on the prototype of Maniac Mansion that recently surfaced. l []

Re:Maniac Mansion Map (1)

Audigy (552883) | more than 9 years ago | (#12012266)

drop me an email and I'll hook you up. :)

MIssing images (1)

Hapless Hero (786287) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017947)

Now I don't know about any of you but are all the images missing on the site?? All the pages are missing too.

It's 7:21 EST on Mar. 22, 2005.
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