BBC B, emulators and classic videogames

BBC pages
General (this page) File sectionPictures Hi-scores and Game cheats


Beebarc v0.03 has been released.

bbcim v0.83 has been released. It has better option handling/error messages, no segmentation faults in gcc 2.7.x when giving invalid files and other changes for 2.7.x, compiles easier on MAC's (-ed works I think), various cleanups in code etc.

OS1.2/BASIC2 Rom extraction from !65Host is here for non Acorn computers!

The indefatigable Darren Salt made this program in c: RipRoms which extracts
the BASIC and OS1.2 roms from !65Host (arc archive)
To extract files from an arc archive you'll need
 nspark.tar (c)
The relevant file (as listed by nspark -l) is "!65host/!RunImage".

(also available via

In case you're interested, RipRoms is based on the following:

In an early version of !65Host the roms are distributed as follows:
-First, the first part of the BASIC rom in a 16K=256* (16*4 bytes).
 Of each group of 16 double words 0 to 16 are used for the basic rom,
 the rest is ARM code.
-Second, the os rom is one contiguous 16K block.
-Third, the second part of the basic rom is contiguous, following the OS rom.

Hence a table of 256 b of how many doublewords in a 16*4 block are basic
data and the starting addresses is enough to allow extraction of the roms.

In the 1.61 version (on which RipRoms works) this is similar.

Doc's, questions etc.

Before emailing me about anything, read all the relevant documentation (i.e. the bbcfaq, filesection, the doc's included with bbcim and fdc)
My highscores (all on my BBC, not an emulator):

Planetoid : 888.150 wave 53.
Playing time: 1 hour 7 minutes!
(in october 1984 (after that I didn't play it for over a decade) it was
ca. 440.000). Planetoid on radar only: 297.675 Just improved to an incredible 417.650 ! Fortress : 268.000 (1984 or 1985) Meteors : 42.900 still crap compared to the 498K score (see highscore page). I can't seem to get beyond 40 odd K. Positron : 456.260 (much more is easily possible but it's boring) Snapper v1 : 158.620 Snapper v2 : 184.330 Some not so high scores: Hopper : 25.064 (about 32K in the old days) Arcadians : 25K or so, ca. 35K in the old days Thrust : just under 100K, I haven't quite mastered the reverse gravity yet (and fail at level 12).
Some more game info that's totally useless:
Killer Gorilla has a an interesting bug: On the first screen jump to the left into the fire and you'll end up near the gorilla, unfortunately quit dead.
Did you know that the machine code in Planetoid is approx. 6.6K, in Rocket Raid 4.2 K (both excl. init code) and in Hopper a measly 2.4K?

Game versions

See the bbc faq for info on game versions and aliases

1. Reading and writing 5 1/4 BBC disks on a PC:

You can use anadisk (simtel: msdos/diskutil/ to read disks and FDC (my improved version of FDCDEMO) to read and write disks. I removed 3 bugs:
1) the drive was not reinitialized after eg. DD
2) FORMAT didn't work for any format with minsector<>1.
3) ASCII conversion in SHOW was wrong
and added various commands (single side reading/writing, CATalogue of files on side 0/1, ignore errors).
Commands: DDINHD, CYL 80 (only for 1.2M drive) (try also without DDINHD), DOUBLESTEP (for 40tr disk in 1.2M drive), FD0 if the 5 1/4 drive is your first drive, and for double density : DD, SECTORS 18. Now you can read thedisk with 'READ filename' (both sides), READ0 reads side 0, READ1 reads side1 or write a file to it with WRITE/WRITE0/WRITE1.
For assembler programmers: here's the source of fdc (all changes from fdcdemo have comments, except for the rearranging of the source code in a logical order (instead of alphabetic ordering by the command names)) fdc source code (also contains e-mail address of original author).

3. Emulator no go's:

See the bbc faq. Comment: Match day also doesn't work on my BBC, the screen is messed up with parts of men etc. Is this because of different 6502's? I thought the program was corrupted on disc but I got another copy from someone else with the same problems. The same problem occurs with Stryker's run. I have two copies neither of which run on my BBC.

6. Wanted

I need help with the following:

7. Emulation:

The general emulation FAQ (contains lots of information on available emulators and where to get them for eg. the BBC and the HP 41 and HP 48)

from the newsgroup news: comp.emulators.misc.

9. Other interesting pages:

BBC pages:
  1. Robert Schmidt's BBC page excellent! Mirrors my BBC archive.
  2. NO LONGER AVAILABLE, where's the new page?James Fidell's xbeeb page.
  3. Aussie 80's retro page Emulators and programs for C64, Apple 2, Spectrum, BBC, Vic20, CPC.
  4. BBC archives:
For a description of available BBC emulators see the comp.em.misc.FAQ and Robert Schmidt's emulator information pages for up to date information.

Where to find BBC B emulators:

  1. Beebem (X11 and windoze). v0.06 has sound! Runs at BBC speed on a P90 (at least, and only under linux).
    See also Robert Schmidt's page for an enhanced version of beebwin.
  2. NO LONGER AVAILABLE, where's the new page?xbeeb page (X11, by James Fidell). v0.3 has sound (not as good as beebem's I'm told).
  3. PC: Tom Seddon's bbc emulator
  4. information).
  5. !65host: Free, but needs to be patched on Risc PC's.

Classic videogames:

  1. Newsgroup
  2. Index of classic game screenshots. Great. I wanted to know what 'blue max' looked like for a long time.
  3. The Classic Home Videogames Museum.
  4. The electric playground: classic corner
  5. IRC channel #classic page.
  6. Williams arcade classics information: CD with the original defender (Planetoid), stargate, sinistar and more. With background information. Recommended.
  7. Linux game tome information on games available for linux with classics like xgalaga, thrust.

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