Please select a section:

Vega - an _VERY_ interestig italian arcade game made by Olympia in 1982. Olympia - founded by Livio Leante - was one of the best known companies in the italian coin-op scene. Administration site was in Milan, but all the work of construction and distribution, however, was carried out at another site located in Bari. The company went bankrupt in the mid 80s. The hardware is "obfuscated". PCB contains 5 40-pin ICs with removed marks. Schems are as mysterious as the pcb pics i got - no info about the major ICs.

After looking at pinout i have identifed all of them as:

- i8035 (mcu)
- AY 3-8910 (sound)
- PPI 8255 (i/o)
- INS 8154 (i/o + ram)
- DP 8350 (crt controller)

AY is used only for generating sfx. Afaik there's no music. Sound chip is connected in unusual way - AY data lines are tied to address bus and AY address/data write selection is connected to mcu R/W line. So, writing any data to address NNN within range mapped to AY - results in setting AY address register to value NNN. Reading from address MMM store MMM in AY data register. Weird, isn't ?
Graphics hardware consist of four different "blocks":

- text layer - 1bpp fonts with hardcoded (PROM) color for each character. Bullets and some type of enemies are made of characters on text layer.
- four "type1" sprites - simple format, 32x32 pixels, horizontal flip, direct color (1r1g1b + extra unknown bit). Used mainly for enemies (spaseships)
- single "type2" sprite , used for player's ship/explosion only- 32x64 object made of 32x4 slices.
- background layer made of 16 different 32x32 tiles. Tilemap (128x8 cells (4096x256 pixels), animated (flashing stars and texts) ) is hardcoded inside one of eproms used as a lookup.
Currently i'm rewriting the video hardware emulation - making a scanline renderer.


Screens from MAME driver.

Game cabinet.

Real game footage.

© 2016 Tomasz Slanina