This is about an Apple II version of Portal,
the cake acquisition simulator released in 2007
(not the similarly named contemporary Apple II game released in 1986).
Note: this project is just for fun and is in no way endorsed by Valve, etc.
While attempting to travel to the future to get a copy of Portal 3.
I accidentally traveled to alternate-1987 and obtained a copy of
Portal 1 for the Apple II!
In actuality I originally just planned to do the end credits.
But the Apple II high-res mode has the perfect Aperture Science
orange and blue colors, and one thing led to another...
Watch the video where I give it a playthrough:
Sorry for the repeat of the grainy end credits, the emulator sound isn't
that great but I couldn't figure out a way to sync up the emulator text
with the actual sound.
If you don't want to sit through all of the above, here's just the part with
the Apple II playing
"Still Alive" from the end credits.
Sorry for the lousy video quality, as I currently
do not have a monitor capable of properly displaying 80-column
Also I apologize for the noisy people in the hallway toward the end.
For comparison, I eventually made a
much better version with Mockingboard/Electric Duet sound:
I have an Apple IIe platinum which was a fairly late/high-end
Apple II model. It has a 1MHz 65C02 and 128kB of RAM.
It's currently the 30th anniversary of the release of the platinum
The disk image is available here, you can play it on your Apple II,
your favorite emulator, or even in
an online emulator
(note, the online emulator is of a regular Apple II (not IIe) so lower case
text comes out as gibberish, and the 80-column mode used for the
"still alive" part won't work)
Portal-appleII is written mostly in Applesoft BASIC.
The full source code can be found as part of my apple II dos33fs utilities:
https://github.com/deater/dos33fsprogs and look in the "glados3.3"
The source code (pre-tokenization) can be seen here if you're curious:
5 June 2018
I finally finished the huge project of making an Apple II / 6502 Assembly
version of "Still Alive", which you can see
here. It actually has a lot of the code needed to do a full
assembly language port of the game, but I think I'm too lazy to attempt
22 February 2017
Slowly making progress on getting AY-3-8910 music synched with
lyrics, see the Pi-Chiptune Player
page for more details.
4 February 2017
I have been working on this, though a bit slowly. Am currently
sidetracked trying to get a Mockingboard (AY-3-8910) version of
"Still Alive" going.
16 January 2017
You all are wearing me down, I might start working on an assembly
language version. The semester is starting though, so this is more
of a long-term project.
Also I'll probably start on the end-credits first (I really want to
add Mockingboard AY-3-8910 support).
15 January 2017
As many have asked by now, yes I suppose I could run some numbers
on various Applesoft compilers and assembly vs raw BASIC.
I'll write up the results once I do some more experiments.
It's a shame Kansasfest
doesn't have a peer-reviewed paper track.
14 January 2017
Too much peer pressure. Maybe there will be an assembly version.
Or maybe I'll follow through on an idea I had to make an Applesoft
profiler/optimizer and see if I can speed up the BASIC code.
Yes I'm aware there are BASIC compilers and Beagle Bros software
that does similar stuff, but I'm weird and I'd like to run stock ROM
BASIC if possible.
Interpreted Applesoft BASIC is horribly inefficient in places
(on a GOTO, from what I understand,
it does a linear search *each time* to find the destination line.
So having subroutines at low addresses can help performance, etc).
13 January 2017 (continued)
For those of you suggesting I should make an assembly language version
of this: I'd love to. But I'm up for tenure this coming year, so unless
you have a plan for how I can either get a peer-reviewed academic paper
from the work, or else some sort of federal grant, then I should probably
be working on less fun projects :(
13 January 2017
Now I feel like I should get a joystick for my IIe so I can test on
actual hardware. I'm *not* getting a mouse, because that will give
the IIe a programmable timer and then I'd feel obligated to write
a multi-tasking UNIX-like OS for the machine.
12 January 2017 (continued)
I added joystick support for aiming. Much faster, but it really hurts
the framerate, especially on level 19. I'm hitting the limit of what
I can do in reasonable time under Applesoft.
12 January 2017
Yes, the cursor is painful to move with the keyboard.
Some commenters on comp.sys.apple2.programmer have convinced me to add
joystick/paddle and/or mouse support. That should be doable, but I can
only test in the emulator as I currently don't have actual joystick/mouse
Although having a mouse in slot4 is going to make it a bit harder to
add Mockingboard soundcard support.
10 January 2017
Full playable version and video released! Was fun, but I've experiments
to run and there's research to be done.
9 January 2017
More wrestling with hires color issues. Have the engine for Level 1
more or less finished though.
8 January 2017
A lot of progress, though have to admit much of the time was spent
trying to get a companion cube that looked OK. Gave up on having
the heart be purple as again the hi-res graphics is such a pain.
I'm impressed anyone ever got useful colors in hires mode.
7 January 2017
Finally figured out how to get XDRAW (xor-draw) to generate orange/blue
instead of purple/green. Hint: the insane Apple II hi-res mode has
two values for the color black.
6 January 2017
Have minimal gameplay going. Most of the trouble is trying to
get pseudo-sprites working from Applesoft and dealing with the horrible
NTSC artifact issues with the HGR display.
5 January 2017
Got the music working. Implemented from scratch based on some sheet
music I found. Applesoft is not fast enough to drive the speaker
(at best it can make a sad groaning noise) so had to use an assembly
language routine for the sound. It's still slower than I'd like.
As part of this work I wrote an auto-translator that takes a text file
of music notes (similar to the QBasic PLAY command) and generates a BASIC
file that plays said music.
4 January 2017
Got the text version of still alive going.
I used as a reference code by Thomas Moss (spinneretsystems)
who has a nice
286 QBasic version.
I fixed up some minor issues with the ASCII art and transcription.