Marble Madness

Lack of Interest

Here I thought there was a vast Marble Madness community, waiting to burst out and be heard. I missed the target on that premise. As it stands now, this community blog has existed for over two months, and I am still the only member. I guess I'll let this site simmer for awhile, maybe it will catch fire.
Marble Madness

High Score

I have replaced the track ball shafts on my Marble Madness cabinet. After some breaking in, they are approaching the quality that I remember back when Marble Madness first came out. They still are not quite there. During the practice race, I remember being able to pull off 6000 point jumps. The best I can do now is 4500 points.

But I am getting good scores. I just got done with a 167,590 point game. I had a dummy second player giving me an additional 5 seconds after each race. So that helped pad the score. But still, I only died once and had 64 seconds left on the clock when the game was done.

Have a prosperous new year!
Marble Madness

1984 Was Not a Good Video Game Year

Marble Madness was released in 1984. Outside of that, nothing good came from that year. It was the year that ushered in the video game slump that would last the rest of the decade. In the arcade, just a bunch of games starting with the word "Super" or "Vs.". Here is an article that goes a bit into depth about this video game black hole that was 1984.
Marble Madness

The Arcade Machine is Here

The reason behind me starting up this community is because I purchased an arcade Marble Madness machine. I picked it up yesterday. The seller had about 10 classic arcade machines in his basement. This is my first machine.

The machine worked fine in the seller's basement. After a 50 mile trip, muscling it into the condo, then plugging it in, I received a "6502 no response" error. After throwing a tantrum and then pouting, I went on line and found what this error was referring to. The number 6502 was referring to a CPU. I also learned that corrosion is a constant problem with chips like this. All I did was pull the chip out, then plugged it back in. This refreshed the contacts enough so I now had a working Marble Madness machine. Here's how it looks in my bedroom.

The track balls were sluggish. They obviously haven't been tuned up in quite some time. From the manual, you shouldn't have more than 3/8s of an inch of wear on the shafts (see diagram). One trackball had 3/4s of an inch of wear, while the other was right at the 3/8 inch mark. So replacement shafts are on order. I also have another trackball scheduled to arrive, I bid and won a used 3" trackball for $10 plus shipping. This one will probably need new shafts as well.

Even with the sluggish trackballs, I managed to get a score around 102,000. After a shaky start, we are off and running.
Marble Madness

Rolling Madness

In my travels through the internet, I found the game, "Rolling Madness". From what I have played and the credits the author gives, I am guessing, he took the original Marble Madness roms from the arcade game, and ported them directly over to an OpenGL engine. You play fairly exact replicas of the original levels from the arcade game. The physics and patterns seem to be subtly off, but not enough to lose the flavor of the original game.

Rolling Madness was released back in May, so this is fairly recent project. I couldn't find a linux port, but the author tried to code the game platform neutral. So a linux and OS-X port are possible.

The author tried to produce a 3D perspective. The camera view follows the ball and is not statically locked like in the original. You can go back to classic, locked camera view by toggling the F5 key.

You can play the game with your mouse, but that is not recommended. You definitely need to go get a trackball. I just checked CompUSA's and Newegg's web sites, and they do have some capable trackballs for sale. The bigger, the better. If you want to go upscale, get an actual arcade track ball and interface it with your PC. Happ controls has done most of the work for you. You will still need to build a housing for your Happ controller, but this is as good as your going to get.

So for those that have Windows, and you want a taste of Marble Madness action, Rolling Madness is your download.
Marble Madness

First Post

Welcome to the Marble Madness Community site. Yes, I will improve things once I get a clue on how things work around here.

In the meantime, post away. Must be a member to post.

--- your friendly moderator
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