Atari 800 Emulator


NUON Lover!
Reaction score
I searched the older messages and was surprised no one had talked about this. So I'll start this off.

So, about 16 years ago an Atari 800 emulator was written for the Nuon. I was lucky enough to reach the developer on Facebook about a year or two ago who seemed surprised, almost like he was seeing a ghost, that I was playing with the emulator.

So I started playing with Atari 800 for the Nuon which you can find here...

...shortly after playing with the Atari 2600 emulator for the Atari Jaguar. I learned that by comparing in a hex editor the disk image for MULE (game in the emulator) and look for key characters you could paste another disk image in the place of MULE.

I used this to create two new games under the Atari 800 emulator. Return of Heracles which the downloads can be found here:

And I created another image for Bubsy: Kitt'N Kaboodle here:

--Bypassing Basic and Booting the Atari 800 ---
First thing to remember, the Atari 800 emulator has an Atari 800 XL image built into it, so that means like on an Atari 800 XL you need to hold down OPTION (to bypass the built in basic programming language on the Atari 800 XL), or in the cluster of buttons to the right of the A and B buttons it is the left most button of that cluster otherwise known as "Left-C". After playing around with it and numerous unsuccessful loads, here is how to make this work 100% of the time....

Load up Atari 800, get past the developer warning screen, hit A.
Let it load and error out as on that load you didn't hold down Option (Left-C) and bypass Basic. While holding "left-C" press and release both of the bumper buttons. I would continue to hold "Left-C" for a few more seconds.

This gives the Atari 800 XL a warm reset. The computer then loads (now without Basic) and the game loads as it should.

--Controller Problems --
Pretty quick you realize something is not quite right with the controllers.

On Bubsy Kitt'N Kaboodle the main character continues to jump uncontrollably. As you play it up, down, left, and right are working, but the fire button continues to work like it is stuck or being held down.

In Return of Heracles I couldn't get any further than "Select a hero" needing a up or down movement on the joystick. If the fire button is not working, or working as if held down, it might be interfering with the joystick control movement.

So sadly, that is all I tinkered with importing roms to try out. Was really bummed by Return of Heracles as I had someone on Atariage hack a version that would help the program skip past the one part that needed keyboard input. Being a turn based game, the lack of speed would not have been an issue and been a fun game on the Nuon. And that brings us to the next topic...

The developer mentions "The emulation is SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!" How slow is that? I'd say about 20% normal speed of a Atari 800. Sounds like by what he said the emulator was proof of concept it could work, but not optimized.

I was going to say that aside from being added on a home brew compilation disc put out by the Nuon dome, Atari 800 did not receive any forum interest. Then I realized that this forum has been the forum only from 2005 onward. I say "only" because the earlier years when the initial interest of the Nuon was going on probably saw the most activity on the message bases. And more than likely when Atari 800 for the Nuon was released for the first time I'm sure there was a lot of excitement. Wish the early Nuon dome messages were archived somewhere. :/

--In Conclusion--
That is all I have for now on Atari 800 and a bit about what I was able to figure out that I figure some would find interesting. How to get it to load consistently, and how to copy and paste an Atari 800 disk image over the MULE disk image.

Of course, the source code is there, which is the next logical step. To play with the code, recompile, and make other editions. I played with this a bit, and though I have the Nuon development software maybe since I mainly use a Mac I had a few more hurdles (with Wine and other PC emulators) to jump through to get that to work. Not to say I won't play with that eventually.

------ Fun Personal Note-----------------
This last year I had loads of fun creating Bubsy: Kitt'N Kaboodle (which is a graphics hack of Fast Eddie) for the Atari 2600, Atari 800, 5200, Vic-20, and Commodore 64. It was through trying to get it to work on the Atari 2600 emulator for the Jaguar that the hex editor trick was learned. And it was a blast, through the controls were not entirely there and the game ran at the above mentioned 20% speed to see Bubsy jumping around on a Nuon screen, thanks to the Atari 800 emulator on the Nuon. I can now say "Yes, Bubsy* is on the Nuon. Kinda." :p

*Bubsy is a platformer character by Accolade originally seen on the Genesis, Super NES, Jaguar, and Playstation and featured in my avatar image.
Last edited:

The Helper

Necromancy Power over 9000
Staff member
Reaction score
Bumping this for Great Justice! I would dearly love to see the Atari 8 bit computers emulated on NUON. I know this is a big future thing since we need to be able to have a hard disk type solution but being able to emulate this would be so Awesome!
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
  • jonas jonas:
    Oh, I see. I thought Chinese version of A-levels :D
  • jonas jonas:
    I've been using the translate app a lot on my phone. take a photo, translate. take another photo, translate again :D
  • jonas jonas:
    it also has voice translation, my colleagues sometimes use that
  • jonas jonas:
    You came during the 0 covid policy right? How'd you get through quarantine? Did you have some help with the apps and green codes?
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    If you have any Chinese you need help with, let me know.
  • vypur85 vypur85:
    @jonas Those were the things I did too. Translate app and VPN are always the most important things to have to survive. Lol.
  • vypur85 vypur85:
    Yea I came last year. I was quarantined for about 30 days. Fml. The first day of my quarantine was the eve of Chinese new year last year. Fml again... Lol.
  • vypur85 vypur85:
    @tom_mai78101 IIRC you're from Taiwan right.
  • The Helper The Helper:
    I thought China had cracked down on having any foreign teachers?
  • vypur85 vypur85:
    Yeah I've heard of the news before. My school is still actively hiring foreign teachers. Not sure how things work now.
  • The Helper The Helper:
    yeah it is hard to get reliable information about that kind of stuff
  • The Helper The Helper:
    but you are doing it so it is still doable
  • vypur85 vypur85:
    I think it doesn't affect existing foreign teachers. Then again, its still weird that my school is hiring.
  • The Helper The Helper:
    Happy Monday people hope everyone has a fantastic week!
  • Ghan Ghan:
    Happy Monday?! That's a contradiction.
  • jonas jonas:
  • jonas jonas:
    please put this in the news section, it's crazy
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    Technically, you can post in the Headline News. Just posted your news there.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    I'm not aware of you not being able to post news.
  • jonas jonas:
    I think technically I can I just forget how
  • The Helper The Helper:
    Happy Thursday!
  • The Helper The Helper:
    Happy Friday Night!
    Happy Friday night!
  • vypur85 vypur85:
    Happy Sunday. Sigh. Work day tomorrow.

    The Helper Discord

    Staff online

    Members online


    Hive Workshop NUON Dome World Editor Tutorials

    Network Sponsors

    Apex Steel Pipe - Buys and sells Steel Pipe.