CHEAT MODE unlimited lives, edit one byte changing the sequence "$CE $28 $13" into "$AD $28 $13". So the file we see here now gets its offset $B65 changed from $CE into $AD for unlimited lives.
I've concluded there is only one version, impressively compact it's under 5.3KB originally worked on OS/A only. 6 bytes were edited to remove OS/A dependency, 3 instances of the RTI sequence "$4C $3E $E9" were changed into universal "$4C $62 $E4". The variation across different files is appended garbage and particular loaders. Our file here preserves (what's left of) the original disk loader in over the last 1000 bytes, it sits there unused.
My favorite crack version is to strip off all loaders and garbage which I'm sure weren't created by the author. Most loaders bring the program into one memory bank (above "DosTop") then copy it to the intended memory bank, a common practice (on games made for 16K RAM machines) to allow the file to be loaded from the std DOS menu without corrupting DOS's loader. But the emulator does not need this, elegant it is to have the game in its native segment from $0600 to about $1AAF depending on how many trailing zeros you include. Anyone wanting to run my file on physical Atari hardware should at this point have the burden on them to convert the file or install on a boot menu. Finally, the most elegant way to trap the Reset button is to add one segment that puts the 2 byte game address into vector $000C,$000D. Megalegs begins running at $0600 and resets there too. Often to make reset trapping work, other failed attempts at reset trapping must be deleted, such as these "loader" patches.
Great game. While most Centipedes have either blocky character graphics OR else fine scrolling, Megalegs has both. The game is played with coarse scrolling but the centipede seen on the title screen after first loading is very fine and fast scrolling.
I use this game to demo the massive glitch in the latest versions of emulator Atari800MacX 4.3.0 through 4.6.0 - I can't read the name Dubno because it's so blurry and the insect seems to have 4 antennas because it's out of focus. Blurry fine scrolling! I rewind to emulator v4.2 or less and see Dubno and 2 antennas.
One more case of "the latest version" of something (atari emulator in this case) NOT being the greatest.
BTW Megalegs is 5.5KB code + data, like the tiniest game that's this fun.
Wow! I am really happy this site exists & a detailed page—including scans of the packaging & manual—exists for this. I loved this game & it’s one of the first purchases I made on my own from “The Computer Center.” It was a computer store locoed at 31 West 31st Street in NYC. One of the only places I could go to to find games for my Atari 400 with a 410 tape drive.
I remember it came in a zip locked bag—like lots of indie games back then—and I remember seeing demo machine in the middle of the store hyping the game. Not too clear who I spoke to since I was merely 13 at the time, but pretty sure I was introduced to Michael Dubno when I asked who made it, “He did!”
I also appreciate this game for another reason. Macy’s was having an Atari Computer system promo contest for the new Atari 400/800 version of “Centipede.” Since I owned Megalegs, I decided to practice every day to get better at the game for the contest. When the day of the contest came, I went to Macy’s with my dad & remember winning 2nd place. Won a Centipede cartridge, t-shirt & a Kraftwerk “Computerworld.” LP.
If Michael Dubno is reading this, thanks for programming this game. And than you “Computer Center” for being around & publishing a game like this!
I worked at one of the first computer shops along with Mike Dubno. He was an amazing programmer, and I was the store's big gamer. I remember telling him over and over that it would be great to make a game like Centipede (it was my favorite at the time). He wasn't one who went to arcades, but one evening after work I took him there, where he studied the algorithms of the coin-op version and not too long after, we were selling Megalegs. Very playable -- but the difficulty ramps up too fast. Amazing in its day and still quite fun today!
Almost no one knows this great game. Until you see it, you might think that it's another Millipede clone. It's not. The play action is so fast and smooth, with exceptional sound f/x, you will believe you're actually playing a coin-op game. This game was available not only on cassette, but disk as well. Some programmers verge on genius..and Dubno is one of them. Megalegs was one of my top '10' favorites. I wish I had a working copy of it today!