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New Atari 2600 Game Discovered - 28 years later


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#26 atari2600land OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 3, 2011 8:24 PM

Red Sea Crossing II.

#27 AlvinKarpis OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 3, 2011 8:26 PM

So they potentially have more cartridges in their possession?



:-o

#28 awhite2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 3, 2011 8:27 PM


How does the donor know so much about the original company?


The company that produced the game was a family run business. The original donor was part of that family. He provided information and put Sydric in touch with other family members that provided additional info. Here is the link to the page with the company info http://www.pcmuseum....file.asp?id=519.

This game was donated about a week ago. Sydric contacted me immediately and provided what info he had as well as some pics. Over the next few days Sydric got in touch with the family members and obtained the other info. He then waited until G4 could run the story before releasing news to the AtariAge community.


So they potentially have more cartridges in their possession?


I was told by Sydric that they don't have any more carts. I also asked about a box. I was told that there was a box produced for the game. Unfortunately they don't have the box any more. So this story could end one day like Air Raid - with a box being discovered.

I was told that the company went door to door in early 1984 attempting to get retailers to carry the game. At most a few hundred carts were sold to retailers in Southern Ontario. I have lived in various parts of Southern Ontario all of my life. I have been collecting since the mid-1980's. I built most of my collection from local flea markets, thrift stores and private sales. I've never heard of this game until last week.

Edited by awhite2600, Mon Oct 3, 2011 8:28 PM.


#29 sydric OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 3, 2011 8:32 PM

So they potentially have more cartridges in their possession?


At this point in time the answer is no (Of course I asked!)....I was told it was very doubtful there are any more.....the box for the one I have was also already discarded. The family is going to look but I was told it is doubtful there are more. If they are, believe me, you guys will be the first to know!

Right now my main concern is getting it archived to share. Everyone is welcome to come and play it either October 15 during our next public open house, or October 22nd during our next "Game Night".

#30 Andre81 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 3, 2011 10:20 PM

Everyone is welcome to come and play it either October 15 during our next public open house, or October 22nd during our next "Game Night".


I suggest to have it dumped before you share it with the public. I don't want to see it being "lost".

#31 disjaukifa OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 3, 2011 10:21 PM


Everyone is welcome to come and play it either October 15 during our next public open house, or October 22nd during our next "Game Night".


I suggest to have it dumped before you share it with the public. I don't want to see it being "lost".


Actually might not be a bad idea to dump it, put it on a Harmony cartridge and have the game displayed in a display case . . .

#32 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 4, 2011 12:40 AM

Incredible.

Miracles still happen, I guess.

"Only" a couple of hundred were sold at most?

And not one of them popped up in all these years?

Amazing.

And many, many thanks for sharing.

This cartridge type doesn't even come close to SuperVision carts and also differs from SpaceVision shorties.

I'll see if a can find a similar looking cartridge type in my Brazilian cart pictures archive.

8)

Edited by Rom Hunter, Tue Oct 4, 2011 1:08 AM.


#33 Nathan Strum OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 4, 2011 1:28 AM

"Only" a couple of hundred were sold at most?

And not one of them popped up in all these years?

Ah yes, but there's a big difference between selling to distributors, and whether or not the distributors were able to unload them.

#34 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 4, 2011 1:35 AM


"Only" a couple of hundred were sold at most?

And not one of them popped up in all these years?

Ah yes, but there's a big difference between selling to distributors, and whether or not the distributors were able to unload them.

Ah, sorry.

I overlooked this.

Yes, in that case it could very well be one of the very few copies left in existence.

Which only makes it even more interesting IMO.

BTW: AFAIK no known Thai, Taiwanese or Brazilian cart matches this cartridge type.

8)

Edited by Rom Hunter, Tue Oct 4, 2011 1:51 AM.


#35 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 4, 2011 2:40 AM

Sydric,

Can you tell us more about the game?

Can it be played by 2 players simultaneously or by 2 players alternately?

I assume it can also be played by 1 player against the computer, right?

Also, does it offer an onscreen demo run before start-up?

8)

Edited by Rom Hunter, Tue Oct 4, 2011 2:42 AM.


#36 Ite OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 4, 2011 3:18 AM

Looks fake as if it was made today.

#37 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 4, 2011 3:56 AM

Looks fake as if it was made today.

Yes, and the whole story was made up, a game was programmed and a new cartridge type was created.

Now move along.

8)

#38 sydric OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 4, 2011 4:17 AM

So here's a picture I took last night next to a Pac-Man cart to show how much shorter it is than most 2600 carts.

Posted Image

Here's another interesting fact about this game. I tried to get some good quality game footage for EP, so I connected a 2600 to the RF of a VCR and used the video out to connect to a Mac to capture the footage. My Mac refused to "sync" with the signal. I tried another 2600, same result. I tried a different VCR, same result. At first I captured what I could off a CRT screen but of course there was all kinds of "banding" appearing with the refresh rate, so it was suggested that I capture the footage from an LCD TV which is what I ended up doing. What you don't see is the weird "garbage" at the bottom of the screen. It's almost like closed captioning information, or "macro protection". So, while it works on a TV just fine, it threw my image capture device for a loop. That's why the gameplay footage I have captured is quite fuzzy. I did try an image stabilizer with no better results (although I'm not 100% sure the battery in it is working). I suspect, based on what I heard from the family, that the programmer wasn't 100% sure what he was doing. This was his first and only 2600 game. Obviously, once we get the ROM dumped we can hopefully understand what is happening here but it's interesting to say the least. I know it's not my setup because I plugged Earthworld in and it captured fine.

#39 Ite OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 4, 2011 4:18 AM

Looks fake as if it was made today.

Yes, and the whole story was made up, a game was programmed and a new cartridge type was created.

Now move along.

8)


I don't know the story doesn't add up...

The group was hoping to capitalize on the video game market that was booming at the time. They had hoped to get the game out for the 1983 Christmas season, but delays in the programming precluded that and the game missed the Christmas window. After it was finally finished in early 1984, Peter remembers taking the game out to retailers door to door to purchase copies of the game. They had no distributor, and in the end sold only a couple of hundred copies at most. By then, the video game market had collapsed.


They sold "only" a couple hundred copies. Yet nobody on Earth remembers it? Of all the Atari game collectors out there you would think someone would own a copy if there were a couple of hundred released...

#40 Ite OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 4, 2011 4:20 AM

So here's a picture I took last night next to a Pac-Man cart to show how much shorter it is than most 2600 carts.

Posted Image

Here's another interesting fact about this game. I tried to get some good quality game footage for EP, so I connected a 2600 to the RF of a VCR and used the video out to connect to a Mac to capture the footage. My Mac refused to "sync" with the signal. I tried another 2600, same result. I tried a different VCR, same result. At first I captured what I could off a CRT screen but of course there was all kinds of "banding" appearing with the refresh rate, so it was suggested that I capture the footage from an LCD TV which is what I ended up doing. What you don't see is the weird "garbage" at the bottom of the screen. It's almost like closed captioning information, or "macro protection". So, while it works on a TV just fine, it threw my image capture device for a loop. That's why the gameplay footage I have captured is quite fuzzy. I did try an image stabilizer with no better results (although I'm not 100% sure the battery in it is working). I suspect, based on what I heard from the family, that the programmer wasn't 100% sure what he was doing. This was his first and only 2600 game. Obviously, once we get the ROM dumped we can hopefully understand what is happening here but it's interesting to say the least. I know it's not my setup because I plugged Earthworld in and it captured fine.

Why does the label look brand new and a photoshop job?

#41 sydric OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 4, 2011 4:27 AM

Why does the label look brand new and a photoshop job?


I don't think it looks brand new at all! Here's a scan I did:

Posted Image

Does this look new to you? The brown spot near the top of the head and to the right are screw holes underneath. Again, I invite you - and anyone else, to come and examine this cartridge.

I suspect the main reason this thing has never surfaced before is because while they sold some to retailers, it's still unknown how many copies made it into the hands of consumers - and also this was only sold in Ontario, Canada.

#42 sydric OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 4, 2011 4:42 AM

Here's another picture I just took - showing the dust on the inside of the cartridge.

Posted Image

#43 Ite OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 4, 2011 5:00 AM

Oh ok those pics make it look more real. Sorry about that bud.

#44 nofrills100 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 4, 2011 5:06 AM

The label does look pretty clean aside from the glue and rust stains (which if you really wanted, could be recreated), but considering the donor was family with the original producers - the cart was probably kept as an example on a shelf or in a box, and barely used, hence being in such good condition.

I gather Sydric is an honest guy, but what about the donor? - having said that, unless he starts leeking these onto ebay, I guess he doesn't really have any reason to fake a cartridge.

#45 sydric OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 4, 2011 5:11 AM

That's ok - I understand, with all of the fake stuff out there, that people would question it. I'm ok with it - I know what we have is real, and I am more than happy to stake my reputation (and the reputation of the museum) on it. I'm just excited that we have the chance to capture this and preserve it. It is truly exciting! I can't wait for people to try it out. Somebody asked about the gameplay. From what I have played, it is TWO PLAYER ONLY - I have not found a mode to play against the computer on (at least, not yet). Although the majority of the footage shows the main player as an "ET" type alien, there are actually 4 different aliens you can be. I cycled through them on the gameplay footage capture to show them.

#46 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 4, 2011 5:13 AM

I watched the video and you can totally see the strings. Fake! Not a real alien!

#47 sydric OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 4, 2011 5:17 AM

I gather Sydric is an honest guy, but what about the donor? - having said that, unless he starts leeking these onto ebay, I guess he doesn't really have any reason to fake a cartridge.


He's a grandfather - a very nice man. We originally met him in the summer when he brought his daughter and her children and they toured the museum for several hours. His wife went to school with one of our volunteers' wife -- that's how there is a connection. When I spoke to him, he was honestly quite surprised anyone would be interested especially after all this time, but at the urging of his wife to clear things up around the house (and after he saw all of the video games we have) he thought we would be the perfect place to keep the cartridge. Even George, our volunteer that brought in the cartridge, was quite surprised at my reaction to it all (he says he wishes he captured the look on my face when I first saw the cartridge). Last night was our volunteer night and George asked me if I would want a Commodore 64 game that one of his former students sold in baggies in limited quantities - I told him that computer software just doesn't have the same appeal as carts! :)

#48 nofrills100 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 4, 2011 5:20 AM

Sydric - indeed it seems legit :thumbsup:

#49 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 4, 2011 5:21 AM

That's ok - I understand, with all of the fake stuff out there, that people would question it. I'm ok with it - I know what we have is real, and I am more than happy to stake my reputation (and the reputation of the museum) on it. I'm just excited that we have the chance to capture this and preserve it. It is truly exciting! I can't wait for people to try it out. Somebody asked about the gameplay. From what I have played, it is TWO PLAYER ONLY - I have not found a mode to play against the computer on (at least, not yet). Although the majority of the footage shows the main player as an "ET" type alien, there are actually 4 different aliens you can be. I cycled through them on the gameplay footage capture to show them.

Two player only.

That's interesting.

So both players play simultaneously, right?

By watching the video it looks like one player is collecting the dots, while the other player is chasing him around.

Is that correct?

Also, does the game display an auto demonstration mode before starting the game?

8)

Edited by Rom Hunter, Tue Oct 4, 2011 5:33 AM.


#50 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 4, 2011 5:25 AM

Last night was our volunteer night and George asked me if I would want a Commodore 64 game that one of his former students sold in baggies in limited quantities - I told him that computer software just doesn't have the same appeal as carts! :)

But I'm sure the guys of Gamebase 64 are more than willing to add that game to their database.

8)

Edited by Rom Hunter, Tue Oct 4, 2011 5:28 AM.





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