CROSS CHASE - A universal 8-bit library and game
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Cross Lib and Cross Chase

by Fabrizio Caruso (


This is a personal project whose goal is the creation of:

  1. the universal 8-bit abstraction layer "Cross Lib" for coding universal 8-bit games
  2. the "universal" 8-bit game "Cross Chase" that has to be a fun and that should run on (nearly) ALL 8 bit computers, consoles, handhelds and scientific calculators. The game will be the proof of concept of how flexible the library is.


The main goal is to get the library and game to work on most 8-bit architectures but other systems are also considered.


  • Intel 8080 and its derivatives
  • MOS 6502 and its derivatives
  • Motorola 6809 and its derivatives
  • Zilog 80 and its derivatives


  • Intel 8088/8086
  • PDP11


  • PPC
  • Intel 386
  • Motorola 68020


We also support any current architecture for which GCC can produce a working binary.


How is it this done? This is achieved by having "Cross Lib" provide APIs for the game code. The game and library code are separated:

  • the game code only depends on the APIs interface and
  • the APIs do not depend on the game code. Therefore it must be possible to re-use the same library for other games/programs.

The program is written in ANSI C and currently compiled with

Previous versions used

  • WinCMOC for 6809 targets ( WinCMOC has been abandoned because it uses an old CMOC version that has broken pointer to functions and because it is no longer maintained by its author.

For other targets, the following compilers and dev-kits may be included in future versions of the tool-chain:


The game should be as portable as possible. Therefore the following coding choices and design rules are applied:

  1. ANSI C (for the game logic);
  2. strictly separated input/output and hardware-dependent code from the game logic;
  3. input for keyboard/joystick and output for sound and display are provided by CrossLib

Some target(s) may get specific graphic code with re-defined characters, software/hardware sprites and music/sound effects.


(as of 2018/09/04)

Modern 32/64-BIT PC versions

There is a ncurses version that can be compiled for multiple platforms for which an ANSI C compiler and ncurses are available, including Windows and Linux. For example:

  • Cygwin/Windows or Linux (gcc + ncurses, e.g., cygwin/Windows or Linux)
  • Windows 32/64 bit console (mingw-gcc + ncurses, e.g., x86_64-w64-mingw32-gcc)

32-BIT versions

  • linux386: ELF linux for Intel 386
  • linux68k: ELF linux for Motorola 68020
  • linuxppc: ELF linux for PPC

16-BIT versions

  • pc8086: Intel 8088/8086 PC
  • pdp: PDP 11 v7 (work in progress)

8-BIT versions

For most targets, more than one version is built, in order to support different hardware configuratins and expansions (e.g., memory expansions, second CPU, 80-col display card, etc.).

  • abc80: Luxor ABC 80
  • abc800: Luxor ABC 800 (work in progress)
  • ace: Jupiter Ace
  • alphatro: Alphatronic
  • apple2: Apple //
  • apple2enh: Enhanced Apple //e
  • aquarius: Mattel Aquarius
  • atari5200: Atari 5200
  • atari: Atari 400/800/600XL/800XL/1200XL/65XE/130XE
  • atari_lynx: Atari Lynx
  • attache: Otrona Attache
  • aussie: Aussie Byte
  • c128_8502: Commodore 128 [8502 CPU]
  • c128_z80: Commodore 128 [Z80 CPU]
  • c16: Commodore 264 series (16/116/+4)
  • c64: Commodore 64
  • cbm510: Commodore CBM 510
  • cbm610: Commodore CBM 610
  • camputers_lynx: Camputers Lynx 48k/96k/128k
  • coco: Color Computer / Dragon 32/64
  • coleco: Colecovision
  • cpc: Amstrad CPC
  • cpm8080: CP/M Intel 8080
  • cpm: CP/M Z80 with adm3a/vt52/vt100 terminals
  • creativision: VTech Creativision
  • eg2k: EACA EG2000 Color Genie
  • einstein: Tatung Einstein
  • enterprise: Enterprise 64/128
  • fp1100: Casio FP-1100
  • g800: Sharp PC-G800
  • gal: Galaksija
  • gamate: Gamate
  • gx4000: Amstrad GX-4000
  • kaypro: Kaypro 2X
  • kc: Robotron KC-85/2/3/4
  • lambda: Lambda 8300
  • laser500: Laser 500
  • m5: Sord M5
  • mc1000: CCE MC-1000
  • microbee: Microobee
  • msx: MSX
  • mtx: MTX 512
  • multi8: Mitsubishi Multi 8
  • mz: Sharp MZ 80/700
  • mz2500: Sharp MZ 2500
  • nascom: Nascom
  • nc100: Amstrad NC-100/150
  • nc200: Amstrad NC-200
  • nes: Nintendo Enterteinment System
  • newbrain: Grundy Newbrain
  • oric: Tangerine Oric 1/Atmos
  • osborne1: Osborne 1
  • osca: OSCA v6z80p
  • osic1p: Ohio Scientific Challenger 1P
  • oz: Sharp OZ-700
  • p2000: Philips P2000
  • pc6001: NEC PC 6001
  • pce: PCEngine
  • pet: Commodore Pet
  • pps: Peters Plus Sprinter
  • pv1000: Casio PV1000
  • pv2000: Casio PV2000
  • px4: Epson PX-4/HC-40
  • px8: Epson PX-8/HC-80
  • rex: Xircom Rex 6000 (work in progress)
  • rx78: Bandai RX-78
  • samcoupe: Sam Coupe
  • sc3000: Sega SC 3000
  • sg1000: Sega SG 1000
  • sms: Sega Master System (work in progress)
  • sos: S-OS
  • spc1000: Samsung SPC 1000
  • spectrum: Sinclair Spectrum 16k/48k/128k
  • srr: Exidy Sorcerer
  • supervision: Watara Supervision
  • svi: Spectravideo 318/328
  • ti82: Texas TI 82
  • ti83: Texas TI 83
  • ti8x: Texas TI 83 Plus (work in progress)
  • ti85: Texas TI 85
  • ti86: Texas TI 86 (work in progress)
  • tiki100: TIKI 100
  • trs80: TRS-80 Model I/III/IV
  • ts2068: Timex TS 2068
  • vg5k: VG-5000
  • vic20: Commodore Vic 20
  • vz200: VTech VZ200
  • x07: Casio X-07 (work in progress)
  • x1: Sharp X1
  • z1013: Robotron Z1013
  • z88: Cambridge Z88
  • z9001: Robotron Z9001, Robotron KC 85/1, Robotron KC 87
  • zx80: Sinclair ZX80
  • zx81: Sinclair ZX81


Z80-based targets:


It should be possible to write more universal games using "Cross Lib".

The future main features of "Cross Lib":

  • better separation and dependences with the game
  • better support multi-target input/output


The tool-chain and CrossLib will produce a game with simple black and white ASCII graphics and no sound if none of these is available. If colors, graphics and sounds are available the tool-chain and CrossLib will produce a game with some simple sound effects and with some possibly colored graphics.

Atari 800 Spectrum 48k Vic 20 MSX Oric 1/Atmos Amstrad CPC ZX81 title zx81_title Vic 20 title C16 title C16 hints C16 first level


CrossLib provides an abstraction layer for sound, input, display, etc.


Sound abstraction is achieved by providing common APIs for the (few) sounds that CrossLib provides.


Input abstraction is also achived by common APIs that support either keyboard and/or joystick input for each possible target.


Display abstaction is provided by (at least) two levels of abstraction:

  • Common APIs that, for each target, implement one of several graphics modes;
  • Generic graphics modes that may be shared among a few targets.

So, for each target, at least one of the following modes has to be implemented:

  1. memory-mapped graphics (display can be implemented by writing bytes into video memory)
  2. conio-like (display is performed by either direct conio APIs or a wrapper that provides conio APIs, e.g., ADM3/A, VT52, VT100, etc.)
  3. TGI (CC65-specific graphics APIs)
  4. Z88DK Sprites (Z88DK-specific sprite APIs)
  5. CPCRSLIB (Amstrad CPC-specific graphics APIs)
  6. bit-mapped (display is implemented by writing into video memory and each bytes corresponds to one or more pixels)
  7. buffered (stdlib-only "graphics" for targets with just stdlib support)

A graphic mode may implement the concrete graphics by either calling low level graphics instructions (e.g., writing into video-memory) or by calling higher level instructions (e.g., using control codes).

For example for a CPM target with ADM3/A control codes, we use

  1. CrossLib APIs that call
  2. conio.h APIs that call
  3. ADM3/A control codes

For a target with direct or indirect video memory (e.g., Commodore 64, MSX, etc.), one may use:

  1. CrossLib APIs that implement
  2. Direct (or indirect) writes into video memory

Remark: For some targets multiple implementations are possible (C64 may use conio APIs as provided by C65, memory-mapped graphics, TGI APIs)


This software is provided 'as-is', without any express or implied warranty. In no event will the authors be held liable for any damages arising from the use of this software.

Permission is granted to anyone to use this software for non-commercial applications, subject to the following restrictions:

  1. The origin of this software must not be misrepresented; you must not claim that you wrote the original software. If you use this software in a product, an acknowledgment in the product documentation would be appreciated but is not required.

  2. Altered source versions must be plainly marked as such, and must not be misrepresented as being the original software.

  3. This notice may not be removed or altered from any source distribution.