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Scott Stilphen

Disproving Donkey Kong kill screen rumor

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It’s believed once you reach level 97 on the 16K version, Mario will instantly die when the counter turns over to 00000, but this doesn’t happen. I played the game to level 97, using the ColEM emulator, which is the footage shown here (filmed off an LCD, which is why the quality is terrible).

 

 

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from what I understand: the "kill screen" on dedicated arcade games come from the memory on the PCB getting full to a place where the game crashes.

in emulation on modern hardware negates that problem.

I could be wrong though, if I make it to the 3'rd board on DK I have had one of the best games in my whole life.

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Most kill screens are the result of what's called a byte rollover.  With the nature of 8-bit systems, this typically happens when a byte is maxed out at 255, and then is increased beyond that.  Arcade Pac-Man is probably the most well-known example, as the program only allows for a total of 255 screen.  At screen 256, the program partially crashes, creating the famous split-screen.  Running the game on modern hardware via an emulator doesn't negate the problem, because memory isn't the problem.  

Edited by Scott Stilphen

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