7800 Tutorials and Guides

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Once you've read through an understood the 7800 Software Guide and 7800 Assembly Quick-Start, the documents listed in this entry will help you master more advanced topics.

MARIA Documents

Atari 7800 Color Documentation covers how the 7800 generates its colors, with specific consideration to color selection for homebrew authors.

Maria Display Structure Overview is a graphical overview of DL and DLL memory structures used to create the display.

Importing Bitmap Graphics into Assembly Source Code with BMP7800 covers the utility from Bob DeCrescenzo (aka PacManPlus)

Maximizing 7800 Sprites discusses techniques that can be used for games that need a maximum number of moving objects.

TIA Sound Documents

Eckhard Stoiberg's Atari 2600 VCS Sound Frequency and Waveform Guide covers TIA musical frequencies.

The Perceptual Tuning Primer covers an easy technique to keep TIA music sounding in tune.

The Tune2600 Introduction covers using Thomas Jentzsch's Tune2600 utility to select your notes.

TIA Arpeggio Tips provides helpful information for implementing arpeggios in your music.

External Hardware Documents


Atari's internal POKEY C012294 Documentation covers POKEY in formal manner.

Detecting POKEY provides one method of detecting the presence of the POKEY chip.

The POKEY Note Table is a handy guide to note frequencies by Bobby Clark, aka Synthpopalooza. Both 8-bit and 16-bit modes are covered.

XM, The 7800 Expansion Module

The XM Developers page has the official XM developer information.

The YM2151 Programming page has technical information on the YM2151 and the XM.

The OPM Instrument Collection page is a good source of instruments for the YM2151.


AtariVox for the 7800 covers details for accessing the AtariVox peripheral.

High Score Cart

The HSC Layout describes the NVRAM layout for the HSC Cart.

Miscellaneous Documents

The A78 Header Specification covers the purpose and various fields in the A78 header.

The Atari 7800 BEAD Executable Specification covers how 7800 B78 executables are formatted.

The 6502 Instruction Set reference lists 6502 opcodes, valid modes, cycles, etc.

6502 Beginner Tips contains useful information and references if you're new to 6502 assembly.

6502 Advanced Tips contains information for seasoned 6502 coders.

Introduction to the MAME debugger covers basic usage of the built-in MAME debugger.

Eckhard Stolberg's ATARI 7800 BANKSWITCHING GUIDE is the bank-switching bible for the 7800.

Debugging On Ancient Game Platforms has suggestions on what to do, when your homebrew project isn't going so well.