The PANTHERA (model #652) is a pinball machine that we do not have, but that we well known ! With a Visual Pinball (VpinMame) emulation, we used this model to study the functioning of the SYSTEM 80.
We have chosen this model for several reasons facilitating this study:
- The small size of the game PROM (1 KB - 2 x 512).
- The simplicity of the table (only one level, a single ball).
- The variety of mechanisms (bumpers, hole of capture, turnarround, different types of targets).
- The game rules are simple and easy to remember.
- It is one of the first model of the series.
- Emulation works fine and the table does not have many bugs.
The initial goals that we set, were to see opportunities for:
- Remove the delay at the start of the SYSTEM 80.
- Migrate a PROM of game SYSTEM 80 to 80A (to get a 7 digits display on the Black Hole).
Associated with the thorough review of PROM U2 & U3, this study allowed us to determine:
- The structure and encoding of the RAM 5101 (for the SYSTEM 80, 80A, 80B).
- The principles of the basic operation of the SYSTEM 80.
- The internal organization of the game PROM, its role and the language used.
- The basics of TGOL language (read the article) and its encoding.
- The fundamental software differences between SYSTEM 80 and 80A.
The FASTBOOT function was the first result of this study and tested for the SYSTEM 80 on the PANTHERA. Very quickly, the FREEPLAY function was added there. Finally, more complicated, the translation to SYSTEM 80A was made with the display of the scores on 7 digits. As can be seen in this photo, the test mode of the SYSTEM 80A works correctly with the PANTHERA. Also note that indicator tables figures remain switched off. This is normal because it is one of the peculiarities of the SYSTEM 80A, where tables lamps have been permanently deleted. The blinking of the scores is indeed sufficient to identify tables and was duplication on the SYSTEM 80.
The display in 7 digits by migration to SYSTEM 80A will therefore remain at the stage of the laboratory for PANTHERA. It will be applicable on the latest models of the 80 series, for which these lamps were already unmounted and missing figures of the backglass (Pink Panther, Volcano, Mars, Black Hole, Haunted House, Eclipse).
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