Well, to say this project has taken awhile is a pretty big understatement! But here it is.. read on and enjoy!
- ROM Patch Download - You will need to have existing Major Havoc ROM images, then patch them using these instructions and files.
- Current Known Issues - Known bugs and issues, also you can submit new issues here.
- PCB Conversion - If you want to play this game on your original Hardware you need to do a couple mods
- HBMAME Homepage - Major Havoc The Promised End is supported on HBMAME as of version 0.207
'Major Havoc - The Promised End' is a ROM-Hack/Extension/DirectorsCut of the 1983 Atari classic game 'Major Havoc' which was created by Owen Rubin and a team at Atari (hint - original Atari team is listed in the new Attract mode) right before the 'Great Game Crash' of 1984.
For many of us old timers (I was 13 then), Major Havoc came out at a time when arcade games were really getting interesting and Major Havoc is the perfect example... it was one of the last VECTOR games created by Atari, it had an awesome cabinet design, a great set of controls and supreme gameplay which was highlighted by a very diverse, deep and varied story arc and ruleset.
However, with all of that, the pinnacle of the story arc for the game was 'reaching the homeworld and freeing your people'... and... due to Atari pushing Major Havoc out the door prematurely, the part of the game never happened. Along with that point, many other ideas that Owen had
for the game had to be cut (hai Star Castle!) due to game profitability. While you can't really fault Atari for trying to make a game profitable for Operators, rewriting this game in the 21st century basically allowed us to target the home player/collector who won't be needing to shovel quarters into a game to play it.
With all of that and not going into a ton of history... my good friend Bryan Roth and I were determined to try and make it to the end of Major Havoc, but the reality was that we didn't have that many quarters. So in the end, we
did what any arcade fanantic would do and bought a Major Havoc game PCB out of the classifieds in the back of 'Replay' magazine. It was spendy in 1988... I think it was $150 for the bare PCB. Luckily I worked fixing arcade and pinball machines
so we had access to an old Star Wars upright cabinet and Bryan bought it and we spent time getting it so you could switch between Star Wars and Major Havoc.. Bryan mounted a nice Tempest spinner on the lip of the control panel and we
were off. We played until we got to the repeating levels but still not sure there was no end, we hacked the ROM images (using the trusty old PROMQueen module and a C-64 to DASM the code) to give us 0x7f (128) lives. Bryan played up until like level 33 or so
and we finally figured out there was no homeworld. When I was in College in 1989, using the old Newsgroup access in the computer labs, we found others online that were curious about this and there were lots of tales of mystery, secret warp codes.. black warp codes, black transporters.. nice but unfortunately not true.)
Over the years in my spare time, I continued to disassembly the Major Havoc code to understand it... in the end, wrote a tool to disassemble all the source and the vector images and made a compiler that would compile it up again. I confirmed there were no hidden secrets. :-(
Along the way, hanging out with the tight knit community of R.G.V.A.C. allowed me to eventually get in contact with Owen Rubin himself and tell him of my fantastical story.. I think he felt bad and he helped answer many quesions about the codebase and allowed me to fill in the gaps fully. We joked about finishing the game, this was around 2001 or so.
In 2017, I emailed Owen and asked if he wanted to spend some time with me on getting this done and he agreed so I started coding and recoding to get things in order... it has taken a lot of time (2+ years and counting) but this project is almost complete and that is why you are here most likely.
In general, the new game has many new features and a few bugfixes, read about each in the sections below....