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foone @Foone
, 17 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
The classic Gravis Gamepad for the PC! A four-button d-pad controller heavily inspired by the Super Famicom (the JP version of the SNES) controller... BUT IT HAS A SECRET.
Open it up and you see it's very simple inside: a couple resistors, transistors, capacitors, and a 555 timer. It's all very simple.

And there's a huge hint on this picture.
Pick up the board and WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?
See those diagonal spaces in the middle?
There's no buttons there, obviously.
But clearly they planned to put them there!
The hint, btw, is this.
There's marks for there to be two more buttons on this PCB, even if they didn't actually put any pads for them on the other side.
The Gravis Gamepad did add start/select buttons, but only with the Gravis Gamepad redesign, which redesigns it to look like a PS1 controller.
I suspect the reason they didn't actually add those buttons is simple: There's literally no way to make them work as a standard PC joystick.

The gravis gamepad "cheats" a little and actually presses buttons A/B on joystick 1 and A/B on joystick 2
But there's no way to go beyond 4 buttons, without getting into proprietary encoding schemes, which naturally won't work on every game.
So for the GamePad Pro, they had a neat double-sided connector:
There was a switch on the bottom that selected regular gameport or GrIP mode.
GrIP was also used with the GrIP Game System.
As for what GrIP is, it's a completely different protocol for the IBM PC gameport.
Instead of 4 axises, 4 buttons, and a complicated timer based system to calculate axis positions, it only uses 2 "buttons"
button 1 is a clock signal, button 2 is individual bits of a serial signal. It's around 20kilobits/s, and supports up to 10 buttons and 4 gamepads.
so games had to be specially coded to support this, or if you were on windows, there was a driver that supported it, allowing any game to use it.
boy, life was complicated before we just had USB and this shit became easy.
A neat thing about the GrIP system multiport: You could plug non-GrIP joysticks into it, the ones using the old analog protocol!
It'd read their input and wrap it into a GrIP packet, so you could use it with GrIP supporting games or Windows 95.
anyway, I remember using one of the non-USB Gravis GamePad Pros back in the day.
The software was great, you could optionally map the buttons to keyboard keys and such.
So I remember using it to play SNES games a lot, in emulators.
It's like a SNES controller, but with two extra buttons: L2 and R2.
So I mapped them to the "save state" key and "load state" key in my emulator, and cheated like crazy.
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