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Maze Craze and Championship Soccer Prototypes


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#1 Schizophretard OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:33 AM

I bought a lot on ebay that includes a Light Sixer, an 8 game holder, Surround, Indy 500, Stampede, Combat, Asteroids, Pac-man, and these two prototypes. With shipping I paid $38.90. I'm ignorant about their rarity and value. Did I pay too much or was it a deal(pretend the other stuff wasn't included)? It was worth it to me but I'm just curious.

First thing I noticed was that they are heavier than other carts. It feels like if you added about two silver dollars in a Combat cart. Can someone give me perfect directions about how to open them and put them back together? I would like to scan the insides but don't want to break them.

They are missing their end labels. Would I be correct to assume that they were blank text labels?

I noticed that the gold contacts don't look as corroded as many of my carts. They look like they haven't been played much.

Can someone provide a link for other prototypes with these titles? The only place I thought to look was www.atariprotos.com but I couldn't find these titles.

In the ebay description it says,"I know next to nothing about video game systems" and they were described as "Championship Soccer (no original label), and Maze Craze (no original label)" I find that interesting. They are both 1980 games, I found them together, and they end up with a seller that didn't know what they were. That makes me wonder if these two carts left Atari together and have been together since 1980. That would be kind of cool. It would be like a prototype marriage. Till bit rot do you part.

I haven't played these two titles in forever, so I don't know what to look for to see how complete they are. The only thing I noticed after a quick look was that Championship Soccer didn't have as many variations when I hit the select switch. I'll double check to be sure. Anything I should test out?

Any info or links would be helpful. Thanks.

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#2 Schizophretard OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:38 AM

I figured out what is up with the game variations for Championship Soccer by reading the manual. It only has the two-player games(1 through 27). The single-player games against the computer aren't there(28 through 54). The difficulty switches change the goal sizes. I think the next thing to do is play all through games 1 through 27 to test the GAME MATRIX but I have a feeling all 27 are complete. I need a second player. This will be a good way to get the wife to play. :D

#3 Crazy Climber OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:19 AM

I bought a lot on ebay that includes a Light Sixer, an 8 game holder, Surround, Indy 500, Stampede, Combat, Asteroids, Pac-man, and these two prototypes. With shipping I paid $38.90. I'm ignorant about their rarity and value. Did I pay too much or was it a deal(pretend the other stuff wasn't included)? It was worth it to me but I'm just curious.

C'mon dude, you have been here long enough to know you got a great deal :roll:

#4 Schizophretard OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:29 AM


I bought a lot on ebay that includes a Light Sixer, an 8 game holder, Surround, Indy 500, Stampede, Combat, Asteroids, Pac-man, and these two prototypes. With shipping I paid $38.90. I'm ignorant about their rarity and value. Did I pay too much or was it a deal(pretend the other stuff wasn't included)? It was worth it to me but I'm just curious.

C'mon dude, you have been here long enough to know you got a great deal :roll:


But not much about prototypes. I remember Jr. Pac's thread about Jungle Hunt but that is about it. I honestly am unsure about how much they are worth. Sometimes I'll see a 5200 lab loaner with a BIN of about $150 but I don't know how accurate that price is. I don't know the average price these go for, if the title of the game adds or subtracts value... And the rarity confuses me. In the rarity guide prototypes are P. That doesn't give me a number. If I were to guess I would say maybe 7 or 8. Anyway, how great of a deal? Thanks.

#5 Schizophretard OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:27 AM

I figured out how to open them and put them back together.

Here is Maze Craze:

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#6 Schizophretard OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:41 AM

And here is Championship Soccer:

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#7 Schizophretard OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:43 AM

Can anyone tell me about those little "cuts" on the 4k lines? Those normal?

#8 CPUWIZ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:27 PM

Those look like internal pirate copies or review copies.

#9 Schizophretard OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:56 AM

Those look like internal pirate copies or review copies.


Please explain. Thanks.

#10 Schizophretard OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:09 AM

Here are all the differences I have noticed so far between the released version and the prototype of Championship Soccer:

Start up for released version: When you turn on the game there is no sound, the clock stays on 3:00, when you hit the fire buttons the players don't kick, the game goes into a screen saver, and when you hit reset you can hear the referee's whistle.

Start up for prototype: When you turn on the game you automatically hear the referee's whistle, the clock counts down, when you hit the fire buttons the players can kick but they can't move, and there is no screen saver.

Game variations for released version: two-player games(1-27) and single-player games(28-54).

Game variations for prototype: two-player games(1-27) only.

Scoring for released version: The screen changes to a fireworks screen, the crowd is cheering, and the referee whistles.

Scoring for prototype: The referee whistles.

Difficulty switches for released version: a= big goal, b= little goal, left difficulty switch = orange team's goal, right difficulty switch = blue team's goal.

Difficulty switches for prototype: a= little goal, b= big goal, left difficulty switch = blue team's goal, right difficulty switch = orange team's goal.



How many Championship Soccer prototypes are known to exist? If this is a work in progress then would I be correct to assume that I am holding one of the first carts that displayed vertical scrolling on the VCS for the first time? That would be pretty awesome!

#11 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:28 AM

Very cool. As far as I know this is the first Championship Soccer proto to be found. Prototypes of early Atari games are pretty rare, and it's even rarer that they have differences. I'm not sure about the vertical scrolling thing though.

To answer your question from your PM: Yes WIP games are generally worth more than the final versions, but only if the game was released. If the game is unreleased then obviously the more complete it is the more it's worth.

#12 Crazy Climber OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:14 AM



I bought a lot on ebay that includes a Light Sixer, an 8 game holder, Surround, Indy 500, Stampede, Combat, Asteroids, Pac-man, and these two prototypes. With shipping I paid $38.90. I'm ignorant about their rarity and value. Did I pay too much or was it a deal(pretend the other stuff wasn't included)? It was worth it to me but I'm just curious.

C'mon dude, you have been here long enough to know you got a great deal :roll:


But not much about prototypes. I remember Jr. Pac's thread about Jungle Hunt but that is about it. I honestly am unsure about how much they are worth. Sometimes I'll see a 5200 lab loaner with a BIN of about $150 but I don't know how accurate that price is. I don't know the average price these go for, if the title of the game adds or subtracts value... And the rarity confuses me. In the rarity guide prototypes are P. That doesn't give me a number. If I were to guess I would say maybe 7 or 8. Anyway, how great of a deal? Thanks.

Okay, maybe my response was a little D-baggy but seriously, a system/games PLUS two proto's for $40 shipped? I don't think you need confirmation that you got a good deal, was a decent deal WITHOUT the proto's :) As far as actual value, proto's can be a strange market. Many factors can determine how sought after/etc. On the low end I would say $50-$75 on the high end I would say $100-$150 for those 2 titles. I'm no expert though, just going on what I have seen over the years.

#13 Dino OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:14 PM

I'll add to CC's comment that if these are different from the released versions, then you may add a little more to his prices.

#14 Schizophretard OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:39 PM

Very cool. As far as I know this is the first Championship Soccer proto to be found. Prototypes of early Atari games are pretty rare, and it's even rarer that they have differences. I'm not sure about the vertical scrolling thing though. To answer your question from your PM: Yes WIP games are generally worth more than the final versions, but only if the game was released. If the game is unreleased then obviously the more complete it is the more it's worth.


If this is a first then it is a good thing I bought it from someone that knew nothing about Atari. If it didn't sell he might have threw it away.

I studied your site but is there a list somewhere of every prototype that has been found, how many of each title,...? Something kind of like ROM's database for prototypes? They seem to be rarer than I thought. I was imagining a scenario where while making a game they would make hundreds of prototypes for each step in a game's creation for testing and sharing with other programmers for ideas.

Thanks for explaining the value. The value of a work in progress is that it is a step in the making of a game and the value of an unreleased game being as complete as possible is getting to play a new game. That makes sense.

The reason for my vertical scrolling comment was this interview on Digital Press. In it is says:

Bill Kunkel: Steve was a great guy who programmed Pele’s (Championship) Soccer for the 2600 and was the first person to do vertical scrolling. He told me: “One of the head programmers asked what I was doing and I said a vertically-scrolling soccer game and he said, ‘You can’t’ do a good vertical scroll on the 2600.’ I’m glad he waited to tell me because by then I had already done it!

I also found it said a different way on Steve Wright's website. It's an excerpt from "Confessions of The Game Doctor" by Bill Kunkel:

Anyway, Steve was showing off his soccer game and I admitted to being blown away.
"I've never seen vertical scrolling on the 2600 before," I observed, causing a smile to break out across Steve's face.
"Funny you should mention that," he told me. "I'd been fiddling with the vertical scrolling for quite a while before I finally nailed it. So I went to one of the programmers upstairs and told him that I was doing a vertically scrolling soccer game on the 2600. He just shook his head. 'You can't do a vertical scroll on the 2600,' he informed me. 'The machine can't execute it.'
"I just smiled and said: 'Glad we didn't discuss this last month!' And I thought to myself how happy I was that I hadn't known I was attempting the impossible or I might never have accomplished it."

It sounds like he was the first to do a vertical scroll. If that is the case and this is the first Championship Soccer prototype found then it seems reasonable to conclude that this cart displayed vertical scrolling on a VCS before it was done with every cart of every vertical scrolling game that is known to exist. There are many vertical scrolling games on the VCS. It seems like this would be an important step in their evolution.

How many Maze Craze prototypes have been found? What kind of things should I look for to see if there are any differences in it?

#15 Schizophretard OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:00 PM




I bought a lot on ebay that includes a Light Sixer, an 8 game holder, Surround, Indy 500, Stampede, Combat, Asteroids, Pac-man, and these two prototypes. With shipping I paid $38.90. I'm ignorant about their rarity and value. Did I pay too much or was it a deal(pretend the other stuff wasn't included)? It was worth it to me but I'm just curious.

C'mon dude, you have been here long enough to know you got a great deal :roll:


But not much about prototypes. I remember Jr. Pac's thread about Jungle Hunt but that is about it. I honestly am unsure about how much they are worth. Sometimes I'll see a 5200 lab loaner with a BIN of about $150 but I don't know how accurate that price is. I don't know the average price these go for, if the title of the game adds or subtracts value... And the rarity confuses me. In the rarity guide prototypes are P. That doesn't give me a number. If I were to guess I would say maybe 7 or 8. Anyway, how great of a deal? Thanks.

Okay, maybe my response was a little D-baggy but seriously, a system/games PLUS two proto's for $40 shipped? I don't think you need confirmation that you got a good deal, was a decent deal WITHOUT the proto's :) As far as actual value, proto's can be a strange market. Many factors can determine how sought after/etc. On the low end I would say $50-$75 on the high end I would say $100-$150 for those 2 titles. I'm no expert though, just going on what I have seen over the years.


I know it is a great deal without the prototypes but I was buying it only for the prototypes. So I basically paid $20 per prototype. That is a great deal for how much I wanted them but I didn't know how much of a great deal it was for the average price. Because Maze Craze and Championship Soccer are rarity 2's, I thought that maybe their prototypes wouldn't be too desirable to most people. Also, since I was the only bidder there may have been some collectors that saw them and weren't interested. Now that I know what I know $150 seems low. If someone offered me that I wouldn't sell. It is easier for me to come up with $150 than to find these prototypes again.

#16 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:16 PM

I think Wonder would be interested in these.

If you're able to dump the ROMs then these can be examined closer.

8)

#17 Schizophretard OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:17 AM

I think Wonder would be interested in these.

If you're able to dump the ROMs then these can be examined closer.

8)


They aren't for sale but I'm definitely going to get them dumped. Not just because I'm curious about the exact differences but because I believe it is important to preserve all ROMs. After Christmas I'm going to try to buy a dumper or pay someone to build one. I just hope there is a simple way to dump. If I can't get a dumper I may just send it to someone to dump but I would prefer to own a dumper because like I said before I would like to start buying carts that you need for your database.

#18 Crazy Climber OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:35 AM

Now that I know what I know $150 seems low.

Yeah, prototype prices are all over the place. Dino is right, if it has major differences it can be worth a LOT more. For a basic lab loaner of a released game though prices seem to be around the $100 mark give or take.

#19 Schizophretard OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:37 PM

Now that I know what I know $150 seems low.

Yeah, prototype prices are all over the place. Dino is right, if it has major differences it can be worth a LOT more. For a basic lab loaner of a released game though prices seem to be around the $100 mark give or take.


Then I guess this Championship Soccer is worth more but I don't want to focus on the economic value too much. I'm not looking for this thread to end in a PM sent!. I'm more interested in learning more about them, learning more about prototypes in general, and historical aspects of them. Is there some kind of rarity guide, FAQ, or article that paints a clear picture of the known info about prototypes?




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