I just got Star Castle on Mame, and it is an ok game.
So you downloaded the Star Castle ROMS and ran them in an emulator - this is exactly why I didn't release the 2600 version on a melody cart, and presumably why my not releasing the game frustrated more than a few people.
Actually I should say that I had them downloaded years ago. As part of my classic gaming preservation project. A time capsule if you will. This is a digital archival project to help ensure that the classic gaming code survives into the next century long after we're dead. I have different drives than what are available at retail, much lower density and much slower speeds. These are expected to go 40-50 years without a refresh. And I have a drive from 1980 that still works perfectly too with no refreshing. But that is from a different project. It really depends on how they are stored.
All that aside, I just fired it up in mame to see what the fuss was all about. To check the accuracy of conversion between the arcade and 2600. If I seriously played any more than a handful of these games it would consume far too much time to do anything else. My pc gaming mostly consists of X-plane and Orbiter. Perhaps a few select 2600 & Arcade games. But nothing more.
Aaaaaaaaah, so you have a classic gaming preservation project do you?
Do you have the rights to Star Castle?
Have you purchased the ROMS for all your games?
Do the current copyright owners know of your preservation project and have Atari, Midway, Sega, Taito, Konami, Warner Communication... given you permission to possess their copyrighted property?
I've got news for you, there are probably millions of "preservationists" just like you, and believe it or not these games are still viable commercial properties. Just look in the iPhone App store, they're in there for sale, where emulators are not allowed.
It doesn't matter when you did it, it doesn't matter why you did it, it doesn't matter if you even play them, but if you didn't purchase the games and if the copyright owners haven't given you permission to possess them it's stealing, it's against the law, and you did it... and it sounds like you've got a nice collection if you can just go pull a less than popular game like Star Castle from the archives to "fire it up in mame to see what all the fuss is about".
Look, I'm not here to single you out or even come down on piracy so hard. I'm a professional game developer and piracy is a very serious issue in our industry.
The bottom line for me is that piracy is not only rampant but commonplace, and there is nothing I can do to protect my work, particularly on a naked system like the Atari 2600, so if I'm going to sell it I'd better make damn sure I get all the money I want up front. After that, I want everyone to have it, legally, for free.
That's the way it is, thanks for making my point.