ParaJVE emulates an ever-growing set of vectrex peripherals and devices,
that can be plugged in the first and/or the second gameport (depending on the peripheral
type). To change the peripheral attached to one of the two gameport, select the new
device menu item in the gameport menu : either
[Controls-> Game Port #1->...]
[Controls-> Game Port #2->...].
The devices currently attached to the two gameports will have a check mark before their
associated menu item. At any time, there can be only one device plugged into a gameport
(attaching another device will unplug the old peripheral first) when a gameport has
no device plugged-in, the
Empty device (fake device place holder) is used.
The basic peripheral for the vectrex is its joystick (made of two analog
axis, along with four fire buttons). This device is of course emulated, and unless
you change it, a joystick is plugged by default in each gameport.
To support the joystick(s), ParaJVE maps some of your keyboard's keys (hitting these
keys will make the emulator act as if the corresponding joystick button/axis was operated).
To change the current key-mapping and tweak it to your needs, select the
Key Mapping] menu item. Then, in the
tabs, click on the buttons you want to configure, and simply hit the key you want to
be bound to that button.
The default key-mapping
| Target Component
|| Mapping for
| Mapping for
|X Axis : LEFT
|X Axis : RIGHT
|Y Axis : UP
|Y Axis : DOWN
|Action : Button 1
|Action : Button 2
|Action : Button 3
|Action : Button 4
ParaJVE can also handle any gamepad physically connected to your computer and map it
to a virtual vectrex joystick (instead of using the keyboard). To use a physical controller
within ParaJVE, it must have been connected before the emulator started (otherwise
ParaJVE will not see this controller as available). Every detected controller will be
listed under the
[Controls-> Game Port-> Controller] sub-menus.
To assign a physical controller to one of the two vectrex gameports, select the associated
sub-menu entry. A dialog will then appear, letting you configure the mapping between
the controller buttons/axis and the virtual joystick. Once validated, you can use your
controller to play in the emulator.
The vectrex games can poll the joystick using two different modes : either Digital,
or Analog. These modes do not change the way the buttons work (they are always
polled as being either pressed or released) ; the difference lies in the way the axis
coordinates are handled.
Digital Mode :
The Digital mode is the default one in ParaJVE, because it is the standard
used by most games. This mode does not take advantage of the (accurate) analog
values of the joystick, it only cares for the general direction in which the axis
For instance, it doesn't matter if you have the stick fully moved to the right or just half-way,
as in both case the system will only note that the X axis is right-oriented.
While operating in Digital mode, ParaJVE will use the four directions keys
to control the joystick axis (as defined in the key mapping configuration).
Analog Mode :
A few games make use of the vectrex joysticks analog capabilities (Hyperchase,
Star Sling 4K and Patriots III to mention a few). This means that
these games will not only care about the direction of the joystick axis; they will
also look at how far the joystick moves along the axis, and will use this
value to adjust the actions taken.
ParaJVE cannot handle this mode with just four directions button (as it does in
digital mode) ; that's why it will use the Mouse moves to emulate this mode.
To enter Analog mode, you must first have a (virtual) joystick plugged in
the target gameport, and operating in digital mode (this is the case by
default). Then, double-click anywhere in the emulator window. As a result, the
Analog mode will be activated (the mouse cursor vanishing is an indication),
and from now on, every mouse move will be converted as an analog move in the
corresponding virtual joystick. This will last until you switch back to digital
mode, by clicking any mouse button.
Note that double-clicking the left mouse button will enter analog mode for the
joystick plugged in the first gameport (if any), while double-clicking with the right
mouse button will operate on the joystick plugged in the second gameport, if any.
The lightpen is a legacy peripheral that was supported by a very small
set of original games. It is a kind of pen, dragged around
the screen by the user, that detects the light emitted by the display beam. This
device is emulated within ParaJVE (since version 0.6.0) by using the Mouse moves.
When starting one of the four embedded games that requires the lightpen, this device
is automatically assigned to the appropriate gameport, so it is immediately available.
If you launch an external ROM that makes use of the
Lightpen - MailPlane, anyone? ;) -, you will have to
plug it manually (using the
[Controls-> Game Port #2->
LightPen] menu item) to activate its emulation.
When the lightpen is plugged in, the Mouse Pointer is replaced with a Cross that
figures the position of the lightpen on the screen. By default, the lightpen is
considered inactive (it cannot detect the light beam) as long as no mouse button is
pressed. It becomes active when either (or both) the Left or Right mouse button(s)
is(are) pressed. If the Right mouse button is pressed, the lightpen operates in
accurate mode (that means that its precision is greater than normal, but also that
it is likely to loose track of the light more easily if you move the mouse too fast).
The PS/2 adapter is a connector (created in 2007) that provides a way to
connect a PS/2 keyboard into the vectrex second gameport (and let the vectrex program
access the keyboard hits).
When the Keyboard Adapter is plugged into the game port, it remains inactive
until you press the engagement key (
PAGE_UP by default). Once the keyboard
has been activated, it will intercept any keypress (including the keys already mapped
to joysticks or the general keys) and forward them to the gameport. This will last
until the keyboard is disengaged (by pressing
PAGE_DOWN by default).
ParaJVE does not embed any game making use of this adapter so far, so its emulation
for the time being is aimed at homebrew developers that wish to write some code that
uses this adapter.
The VecVoice is a passive peripheral, as it does not require any user
action to carry out its task (it is a sound synthesizer that is entirely driven by
the vectrex program, through the gameport signals). Therefore, 'using' the VecVoice
emulation is as simple as pluging it into the second gameport, and let the VecVoice-enabled
games operate it!
So far, the only embedded game that makes use of the VecVoice is
and launching this game automatically instructs ParaJVE to plug the VecVoice in the
gameport, so you don't even have to do anything to have it working. However, if you
happen to launch an external ROM that makes use of the
VecVoice, you will have to plug it manually (using the
Port #2-> VecVoice] menu item) to enjoy its emulation.