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How do I control duration of momentary contact Pushbutton?

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Hi this is my first post here.

I am in the process of making a NeoGeo Pocket Color Mini Arcade.
It was the competitor to the Gameboy Color and has a lot of great
arcade style (Street Fighter, King of Fighters) fighting games. I wanted to make it faithful to a
Neo Geo MVS cabinet.

The actual handheld has only two buttons. In the software of many of the games, tapping the A button activates a light punch, while holding it for about 1/3 of a second will activate a Heavy punch. The same goes for Button B which is Kick.

In the Mockup picture above I wanted the red button to be light punch, the Green Button to be Heavy Punch, Yellow Light Kick and Blue Heavy Kick.

I am unsure about the true timings so I will need to do a little trial and error on a bread board to get it right.

I was wondering if it was at all possible to make it so that if I press one button to close the A button circuit for a short duration per one button press.

Then a seperate push button to activate the A button circuit for a longer Duration.

What componenets would I need? Do I need to learn how to program a microcontroller?
I was looking at a 555 timer chip and am not sure if that is what I need in this case, and it looks like the timing is controlled with varying the resistance and capcitors in the circuit. I am unsure if monostable or astable modes would be apropriate for this or what they mean. I just learned those two words today.
Thank you for just reading this.
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