Erase this comment and the last one, when I mess up this bad I wanna curse in punctuation like when Alley Cat misses the girl. After fully unscrambling the 1986 cassette tape, it is identical to the "1985" file version, I jumped to conclusion like that guy in the movie Office Space. BUT this entire experiment was flawed because my 1985 file version was pirate (the original scan is missing here now) so my file could just have easily been converted from the same cassette tape years ago. Anyway, fewer files for now, that's good.
I just decrypted this tape made year 1986, and tho based upon the 1985 SynSoft version, it's not identical. Besides being fragmented in about 50 segments (just to confound would-be hackers), it has been further optimized, recompiled, and made many hundred bytes shorter than 1985. I hope they didn't introduce any new bugs, so this could be the final/best version. I xfered this tape to .xex file, and made the 9 lives cheater copy of it, and edited the "1985" to say "1986" for sanity sake.
song is based upon "Alley Cat" by Bent Fabric and his Piano 1962. i think the game plays it in a different key and there are note and rhythm differences, like the part where the game doubles up syncopated rhythm, and of course the robotic cat skreech is unique. song has been heard in numerous movies and tv commercials, wiki sez it's popular with ice cream trucks esp. in latino america.
This Americana tape is the 1985 SynSoft version, rereleased on cassette. All versions run best in NTSC, title music is torturous too slow in PAL.
CHEAT MODE 9 lives, cassette Americana SynSoft 1985. Edit 6 bytes, changing
offset $5AF from $A9 to $A2
offset $5B0 from $03 to $09
offset $5B1 from $8D to $8E
offset $764 from $A9 to $A2
offset $765 from $03 to $09
offset $766 from $8D to $8E
New topic not heard mentioned in a long time: the original 1983 Synapse versions are chock full of "illegal" 6502 instructions, like Opcode $AF = "LAX" which loads a memory operand into A and X registers simultaneously. These codes don't run on some emulators nor many "revision C" hardware processors. The removal of such questionable Opcodes was one of the changes made from Synapse to SynSoft in 1985.
The Synapse DOS file download here now (32594 bytes long) ain't so hot. It begins with a crude ASCII comment about "chips" and if you boot XL or XE you can glimpse this crude thing as a first loading screen, not good for an otherwise family friendly game. This file is segmented 155 slices and no space was saved, it loads itself into one memory bank then spends time copying itself to a different bank. The segment utility was buggy and made this file load 2 different values into memory location $5F00, first a 0 at the end of a segment, then with $10 at the start of the next segment, the $10 is needed at $5F00. And this file doesn't flicker the A in "WILLIAMS" on title screen, I know maybe it's Bill's middle initial, or conjuring the faulty neon sign look nice, but I mention it because I located another Synapse 1983 version that does not single out the A. There are at least 19 differences between the 2, proper reset button handling being another one of them. With that many differences, the 2 Synapse games might be beta vs finished, but which is the beta?
I recommend the 1985 or 1986 release so we're all using the same game, I have the 1985 SynSoft version in a file which was definitely optimized and recompiled, more than 2000 bytes shorter. It has the "A" singled out too.
CHEAT MODE 9 lives, 1985 SynSoft version. Search for 2 instances of the sequence "$A9 $03 $8D $25 $38", change both $03 to $09. Normal gameplay stops awarding extra lives at nine, so nine makes a nice game. One nine is what you see on title screen and the second nine is for in game.
CHEAT MODE 9 lives, 1983 Synapse version. Search for 2 instances of the sequence "$A9 $03 $8D $A5 $02", change both $03 to $09. Normal gameplay stops awarding extra lives at nine, so nine makes a nice game. One nine is what you see on title screen and the second nine is for in game. Concerning file 32594 here now the two offsets are $3B6A for in game and $3D04 for title screen.
The file here now 1983 Synapse 32594 bytes long can be cleaned up. I removed the crude malware at its start (-453 bytes from offsets $002 thru $1C6), defragmented it, made sure $5F00 received the $10 value, made it load into the correct address by renaming its main segment from "$1F00 thru $9E52" to "$1B00 thru $9A52", and canceled the block copy routine by changing the run address from $0400 to $0421. The improved file became 32685 bytes long.
What's this title music called, and by whom?
Will always stay one of the ten best arcade games ever for Atari 8bit, and the download/vote popularity will always reflect that. Cats are one of the 10 best animated entertainments in real life too.
Let me drop a bit of advice for building a better emulator. 1920x1200 flatscreen resolution is the cat's meow, any VGA based (4:3 640xN) video looks crisper with 1920x1200 rather than the more popular 1920x1080 resolution. The store shelves here are full of 1920x1080 or worse, and they stock zero 1920x1200. Higher than 1920x1200 can slow a computer way down and most computers about year 2004 or older don't support any higher any way.
Another one of my top ten Atari games. Even with a small handful of Atari games to his credit, all of what Bill Williams did was gold. Fun graphics, great sound, even greater replay value.
The game has a very charming quality, as you play the hapless title character, dealing with ferocious canine, hostile neighbors, and spurned lovers -- all while trying to survive same time. I always loved the milk drinking segment the most, yet it also the one I also got killed on more than any other section.
Punkydudester - 10/12/2014
Definitely one of the Best games of all time for the Atari computer.
An absolute classic. For me, probably the greatest Atari XL game of them all because it was so diverse, had interesting game play and a wonderful sense of humour. The sleeping dogs level had a great amount of tension, the graphics were excellent and so was the sound. Terrific fun, one I always enjoyed playing.
One couldn't had asked for more from a game.
What a wonderful game! Alley Cat really raised the bar on what could be accomplished in the Atari 800 arcade game world. Delightful concept and graphics, hilarious sounds and game play and some of the most unique level designs ever. This game is difficult, but also extremely playable, that perfect combo that keeps you coming back time and time again. Bravo Bill Williams and Synapse!!
My all time favorite 800xl game. I still to this day play this game. I still have my working 800xl computer. I just never liked the ending level with the hearts, and the dog milk LEVEL!! argggghhh!
I have to agree with everything you guys said...out of the literally thousands of Atari 8-bit games I've played over the years, this one is definitely in the top 10. Totally original concept and it's programmed so well that it was almost unimaginably good at the time. I used to have a lot of friends back then who were Apple II fanatics...then they saw this game. Most definitely a classic.
I still rember how much I loved this game. The sounds were amazing and crazy, very nice graphics too. The fantastic thing about this game was the idea behind it. It was (for me) the first with "games in a game". I played it with a friend of mine and we tried to discover all of the "mini-games". Hard to master, but not unfair. A true classic.
This was probably the first game that convincingly emulated the look and feel of a cartoon on a home computer. Whether you're chasing birds and mice, going diving for a snack in the goldfish bowl, fighting with the dog, clawing at the laundry or trying to impress a lady cat, this game really captures the spirit of cartoon cats such as Tom, Sylvester or Top Cat. Colourful graphics, amusing sound effects and a really entertaining play. A masterpiece!
The screenshots cannot do justice to the incredible animation of Alley Cat. The cat is 'alive' with movement right down to the twitching tail. It's an impressive feat considering the pixel resolution used. The humor is wonderful. This is probably the cutest game ever made for the Atari 800, and a great departure for anyone fatigued by monsters exploding in space. Alley Cat is a very fun game, and is actually several different games in-one. But what really makes this game a must-have is the audio effects. From the metallic clunk of the trash can lids to the humanoid "hi-yah" when a shoe is thrown at you - to the mewls of the kitty, Alley Cat is a tour de force of Atari audio chip programming with such tighly controlled high-pass filter sweeps as to give the impression of audio samples. Maybe they are audio samples! Alley Cat is worth having just for the bubbles-under-water sound when the cat goes diving. I've never heard the Atari makes sounds like this before or since Alley Cat.
This is one of the few games I have ever played that has actually made me crack up laughing - such is the humour to be found in this game, with the cartoon type violence and animation. It was ahead of the pack all those years ago for its use of graphics personality and arcade type puzzles and still stands up today for those virtues. Mieoww!