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Atari 8-bit Gremlins


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#26 qix_maniac OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:18 PM


That is a lot of free time to click 216 times to increase your bid?????


I looked at the bid history, and it looks like 216 bids in 5 minutes... are you sure that's correct? Feels like a scam :)


Yes, I'm going to report the trouble maker to ebay ;) and get his ID suspended

#27 qix_maniac OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:19 PM

hahaha looks like trouble maker did same thingfor worm war :D

#28 charliecron OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:25 PM

Same here..

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 130653602549
eBay Auction -- Item Number: 220962461345

#29 fibrewire OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:29 PM

Damn scammer, how dare (s)he bid on something 216 times!!! :-D

Does someone know where the Gremlins artwork is?

#30 Chris Strong OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:47 PM

Wow, sure a lot of rude and aggressive people on this site. I can see why everyone uses psuedonyms now.

Nobody really expects you to drop everything and do it now.


One user did. That's what ticked me off...I should have just walked away and kept my mouth shut, but I had forgotten how these online forums have degenerated into sort of a mob-attack mentality. To a point, I'm willing to put up with it for the good users here, but once you multiply the jerks by the time-sink aspect, it's just not worth it. The last time I was really involved in an online Atari group was back in the FIDOnet days, and things were a lot more civil then.

That cartridge shell is interesting. I thought that style only came in grey.


This is the original, you'll note the Warner logo on the bottom. "Atari Corp" apparently just had the mold shop mill out the Warner logo and insert "Atari Corporation" inside. Almost no 8-bit innovation came after 1984, just selling stuff that the Warner-run Atari had already paid for and shelved. The entire Atari history is a study in corporate mismanagement...even the parts of it I like.

Not as cool as this Gremlins one - both have been already imaged and posted online.


Gremlins was already released for the 5200. This is just proof that it existed. I would expect to find all 5200 games except CounterMeasure had been developed for the 800.

I assume somebody has already worked out these backswitched cartridges and how the memory maps out?

I doubt it. Assuming it's a bankswitched cartridge, it would be the first one from the Warner era. The mapping might be the same as in the later XEGS cartridges, but it's not certain.


I thought it was obvious from the two IC's and the pull up resistors that it was a bankswitched cartridge. It's the 20K-32K board, I know this is documented somewhere. I pulled it out again and it has a 1984 copyright date and is CO25689-001.

Less crying, more dumping, please.


I think dumping this is an excellent suggestion, thanks!

#31 Kylev OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:04 PM

Mr. Strong,

Please don't let the rudeness of some cause you to leave this forum permanently. I find the idea of a "never released" piece of software fascinating. I realize this may not be earth-shattering, but it is interesting that someone has possesion of this game in a form that was intended for use on an Atari 8bit computer.

I fully understand that hobbies don't always rank high on the priority list. Please take care of the important things first. If you then find time to satisfy some of the more curious souls on this forum, I think you will find them most appreciative. I will be, at the very least.

Russ

#32 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:24 PM

Gremlins was already released for the 5200. This is just proof that it existed. I would expect to find all 5200 games except CounterMeasure had been developed for the 800.

There are a few quite unique ones wihtout any sort of 400/800 counterpart either in prototype or released form:

Frisky Tom
Looney Tunes Hotel
Mini Golf
Microgammon
Blackbelt
Battlezone (original version)
RS Baseball
RS Soccer (although a copy might exist)
Vanguard
Space Dungeon
Xari Arena
Xevious
Kangaroo (Jim did his conversion later for APX but it wasn't an official project)
Spitfire
Sport Goofy
Road Runner
Meebzork
A.E (well the Atari version anyway)

Some of these might be because they weren't far enough along on the 5200 to begin porting to the 400/800, but some of these were finished and/or released which means that they were never planned for conversion. I wonder why?

#33 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:52 AM

Hey Chris,

Over the many years I've been on the net and starting out in comp.sys.atari.8bit (I think that was the newsgroup) posting under Paul 'Mclane' Irvine we had many people with bad attitudes, just let it pass by you. As for the hassles of moving, tell me about it, when I was something in the real world I had to juggle moving many times with a very very busy full time job, being freshly married and so on and so forth so some of us do understand your lack of time and prioritising real life stuff first.

Yes, I'd love to see the game but just knowing its out there is almost as good, with the time scales getting greater and the likelihood of some stuff ever coming to light its great when someone finds / displays / dumps them but at least we know this and some other rare stuff is in safe hands so maybe one day you might share the joy but if not I'm still pleased to know its out there.

Paul...

#34 Defender II OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:16 AM

Damn scammer, how dare (s)he bid on something 216 times!!! :-D

Does someone know where the Gremlins artwork is?


@fibrewire
Did you break your mouse doing all that clicking? :rolling:


@Chris,
Thank you for showing us this cartridge.
Don't take their rude comments seriously,
Bruce does nice work.

Edited by Defender II, Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:22 AM.


#35 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:08 AM

If I had to guess I'd say that the only difference is going to be that the * and # selections on the title screen are going to be changed to Select and Option. Then again I'm not sure if all 8-bit conversions did that, Moon Patrol didn't for example (http://www.atarimani...atrol_3514.html)

#36 David_P OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:40 PM

Sounds like a great find. Hope you get the chance to unpack and find more goodies!

I'm also envious of your collection of never/semi-released stuff... but my collection is already at the limit of available space, and is nowhere near as exciting...

#37 JohnBuell OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:31 PM

Chris, I for one would just like to say thank you for sharing. It's the collectors who DO have the time and the money that make all of this worth while, because you are the ones doing the real preservation of history. I'm just buying up stuff I never had as a kid. ;)

#38 Chris Strong OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:25 PM

Thanks to all the decent users here, I guess there really are a lot of you out there. The first "do it right now, dammit" poster caught me at a bad time on a bad day; I've not done much Atari in the past several years, yet only that morning I had received a rude email from an Atari user demanding I send some photos (of the inside of a machine I have in storage) right away, and accusing me of lying otherwise. Then I get here and find the same attitude and similar accusations.

I guess I am a bit of a dinosaur, I remember when the Atari HCD crowd was basically all nice folks; the sort of people who would mail you a PERCOM ROM or whatever and just mention how much you owed them in the letter...or just send it for free. I started seeing this nasty crowd it in the 2600 cartridge collectors and I guess it has just spread. This is why I don't do 2600 that much, I just don't want to put up with them. I know it is a minority, but they are a very vocal minority.

I don't even have an EPROM programmer right now (well, I have two but don't have a computer that can work either one)...So even the most basic parts of this will be some time. Then I need to figure out how the memory maps in this cartridge. It's asymmetric, with one 2764 and one 27128 as I recall. I'm not a hoarder (or I would have never mentioned this), I want to share the data. But I did think about doing a "release" myself at first...at which point everyone could freely copy it anyway. But I don't think there is enough interest for me to bother...it makes more sense to send them to Bruce, as I suspect he has some of the boards. And he sells them at about what it would cost me to produce them. Plus he's a real nice guy to boot.

Even if I was to have the ROMS read tomorrow, work will have to be done to figure out how the banks switch (though like I said, I know for a fact I've seen a schematic of this), so to set up a binary file that can be run, there would have to be some modification done to the code, and I've not looked at 6502 assembly on the Atari for 20 years! The closest I've come is teaching some classes in 68xx11 series embedded CPUs.

I've had this thing for 6-7 years, I'm in no rush to satisfy some jerk user here. It's been in a box since I last saw it in 2007, it can wait a few more months.

I noticed some posts by the great Claus Buchholz (doing his memory upgrades to the 800 for fellow students in High School kept gas in my car) and some users were even being rude/sarcastic to him...if they'll be rotten to that man, I guess it's equal-opportunity rotten behavior. I owe that man at least one beer. Or a tank of gas.

Now, on to this.


Gremlins was already released for the 5200. This is just proof that it existed. I would expect to find all 5200 games except CounterMeasure had been developed for the 800.

There are a few quite unique ones wihtout any sort of 400/800 counterpart either in prototype or released form:

Frisky Tom
Looney Tunes Hotel
Mini Golf
Microgammon
Blackbelt
Battlezone (original version)
RS Baseball
RS Soccer (although a copy might exist)
Vanguard
Space Dungeon
Xari Arena
Xevious
Kangaroo (Jim did his conversion later for APX but it wasn't an official project)
Spitfire
Sport Goofy
Road Runner
Meebzork
A.E (well the Atari version anyway)

Some of these might be because they weren't far enough along on the 5200 to begin porting to the 400/800, but some of these were finished and/or released which means that they were never planned for conversion. I wonder why?


You make some really good points here, and I was not clear. I meant the big licensed ports, the sort they did to the 2600 and 5200 at the same time with the combined advertising. Like Dig Dug or The Last Starfighter.

But even then, there are some mysteries here.

Atari never marketed their RealSports brand to the PC's, so that does not surprise me. And I know they wanted the 5200 to have some unique titles; I think Space Dungeon--like CounterMeasure--was one of those. Same with the CTW titles. Atari did do that one Disney release for the 800 (Mickey In The Great Outdoors), but no others.

Now Kangaroo....what happened there? Are you sure it was 5200 first, and then APX? It sounds like you've worked it up, and that's interesting as I thought it had gone the other way. The APX version was not very good graphics by the 8-bit's standards, but to be fair the arcade game is not that great. I have a certain fondness for it though; not sure why. But it is one of the arcade games I decided to own.

But things like Battlezone, Xevious and Vanguard. Those should have been released for the 800. I wonder if they were also in development, like Berzerk, Jr. Pac and Gremlins, and just got lost in the shakeup.

I know there was a constant battle in the early days of the 800 in marketing, between people who wanted to sell it as the world's best game machine and others who wanted to sell it as a business tool. Perhaps some title decisions (such as RealSports) was because of this?

And there are examples of games the other-way around, like Millipede. Developed for both but (as I recall) only released for the 800.

I just can't help thinking a lot of those 5200 titles were destined for the 800 as well.

Road Runner...I've never seen it. Is it like the Atari arcade game? If so, that might have been one of the few games that could really use the analog joystick, and not be just another digital stick game kludged into the 5200.

#39 Stephen ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:03 PM

8-bit crowd is usually pretty tame. Stay far the hell away from the Jag crowd :)

#40 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:04 PM

Same with the CTW titles. Atari did do that one Disney release for the 800 (Mickey In The Great Outdoors), but no others.

I think CBS had the rights to the CTW titles on the 400/800. A few 5200 protos have shown up, so it appears that Atari was going to put them out on the 5200. Probably due to there being no real 3rd party 5200 support.

Now Kangaroo....what happened there? Are you sure it was 5200 first, and then APX? It sounds like you've worked it up, and that's interesting as I thought it had gone the other way. The APX version was not very good graphics by the 8-bit's standards, but to be fair the arcade game is not that great. I have a certain fondness for it though; not sure why. But it is one of the arcade games I decided to own.

I'm sure that the 5200 version came first. Jim Literman told me he saw the 5200 and asked Atari if they were going to do an 8-bit version and when they said no he ported it (correcting the color problems with the strawberries) and released it under the APX label. AFAIK Kangaroo had an offical 400/800 part number (RX-8074) so why they decided not to release it is a mystery. Maybe they wanted a few 5200 exclusives.


But things like Battlezone, Xevious and Vanguard. Those should have been released for the 800. I wonder if they were also in development, like Berzerk, Jr. Pac and Gremlins, and just got lost in the shakeup.

Probably. Although it's odd no protos have been found.

I know there was a constant battle in the early days of the 800 in marketing, between people who wanted to sell it as the world's best game machine and others who wanted to sell it as a business tool. Perhaps some title decisions (such as RealSports) was because of this?

Could be. I have a hunch RS Baseball wasn't released on the 400/800 because it made real use of the keypad which would have been awkward on the computer. John Sehgers said he had a copy of RS Soccer for the 400/800 on a disk somewhere, so they were at least considering it.


And there are examples of games the other-way around, like Millipede. Developed for both but (as I recall) only released for the 800.

Yes, I think Millipede is the only one though.

Road Runner...I've never seen it. Is it like the Atari arcade game?

Oddly enough no. It's basically a sliding puzzle game. I have no idea why they didn't port the arcade game like they did to the 2600. Perhaps it's because the arcade game didn't come out until 85 (in development in 84) and the protos for the 5200 date back to 83.

#41 Chris Strong OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:20 PM

I just replied to a question from a member, and I decided to post it in this discussion.

He had asked if the cartridge was brown all the way through, or a painted grey cartridge. My reply is below:

It is brown all the way through. If it was not obvious, you could tell because when I took it through airport security in San Jose, they insisted on X-raying it. I was unwilling to send 25-year-old UV EPROMS through what is basically an unregulated CAT scanner--and thankfully one of the TSA guys was an ex-semiconductor industry worker and understood the issues, but they made me open the carts and one of the tabs broke off. That's why I keep it apart now, I'm afraid if I assemble it again I won't be able to take it back apart without breaking it; 1-2 tabs were gone before I got it.

The other brown cart I have is similar. Again, the molds for the grey cartridges were modified, the line that says "A Warner Communication Company" was milled out of the molds before the grey ones were made, that's why they have the strange grey bar across the base where mine has the Warner logo. The brown carts match the brown plastic on the XL series computers.

John Seghers was at the last Classic Gaming Expo in Vegas. I asked him about the Atari 800 Gremlins, and he said he programmed it first, then converted that code for the 5200 version. He was surprised to hear it was considered lost. He also confirmed that it had been on a bankswitched "supercart".

He said he also programmed RealSports Soccer for the 800, but that appears to be totally lost, at least for now. Edited to add: This would suggest that he cannot find the disk mentioned by Tempest above.

I've got about 2/3 of my Atari collection unpacked now. I am afraid I'm not really reading these forums anymore, this discussion totally killed my enthusiasm for the online Atari community...I'm afraid to even mention things for fear of being called a liar or a braggart, so I guess I'll just keep it to myself. I have found a number of spare and duplicate items I'll be auctioning on ebay over the next few months.

Edited by Chris Strong, Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:20 PM.


#42 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:43 PM

So Gremlins started on the 800, interesting. Thanks for the update. :)

#43 thegamezmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:46 PM

I just replied to a question from a member, and I decided to post it in this discussion.

He had asked if the cartridge was brown all the way through, or a painted grey cartridge. My reply is below:

It is brown all the way through. If it was not obvious, you could tell because when I took it through airport security in San Jose, they insisted on X-raying it. I was unwilling to send 25-year-old UV EPROMS through what is basically an unregulated CAT scanner--and thankfully one of the TSA guys was an ex-semiconductor industry worker and understood the issues, but they made me open the carts and one of the tabs broke off. That's why I keep it apart now, I'm afraid if I assemble it again I won't be able to take it back apart without breaking it; 1-2 tabs were gone before I got it.

The other brown cart I have is similar. Again, the molds for the grey cartridges were modified, the line that says "A Warner Communication Company" was milled out of the molds before the grey ones were made, that's why they have the strange grey bar across the base where mine has the Warner logo. The brown carts match the brown plastic on the XL series computers.

John Seghers was at the last Classic Gaming Expo in Vegas. I asked him about the Atari 800 Gremlins, and he said he programmed it first, then converted that code for the 5200 version. He was surprised to hear it was considered lost. He also confirmed that it had been on a bankswitched "supercart".

He said he also programmed RealSports Soccer for the 800, but that appears to be totally lost, at least for now. Edited to add: This would suggest that he cannot find the disk mentioned by Tempest above.

I've got about 2/3 of my Atari collection unpacked now. I am afraid I'm not really reading these forums anymore, this discussion totally killed my enthusiasm for the online Atari community...I'm afraid to even mention things for fear of being called a liar or a braggart, so I guess I'll just keep it to myself. I have found a number of spare and duplicate items I'll be auctioning on ebay over the next few months.



Sorry to read about you're bad experience. It's the many that suffer for the few. Take care.

#44 davidcalgary29 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:12 PM

I've got about 2/3 of my Atari collection unpacked now. I am afraid I'm not really reading these forums anymore, this discussion totally killed my enthusiasm for the online Atari community...I'm afraid to even mention things for fear of being called a liar or a braggart, so I guess I'll just keep it to myself. I have found a number of spare and duplicate items I'll be auctioning on ebay over the next few months.


The grouches and sourpusses may have loud voices (and posts), but that doesn't mean that they're representative of the majority of the people on this site. Please feel free to share away! And do provide us with links if/when you decide to auction off your finds. :)

#45 Koopa64 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:25 AM

I know this is a bit off-topic, but was Gremlins originally an Atari 8-bit/5200 game, or was it ported from another computer? Is the Apple ][ version the original?

#46 Stormtrooper of Death OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:29 AM

I only had the 5200 converted version that i played on my Atari 130xe.

#47 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:05 AM

I know this is a bit off-topic, but was Gremlins originally an Atari 8-bit/5200 game, or was it ported from another computer? Is the Apple ][ version the original?

I believe the 8-bit version was first. None of the Atarisoft versions were ever the originals.

#48 TwiliteZoner OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:33 PM

I just replied to a question from a member, and I decided to post it in this discussion.

He had asked if the cartridge was brown all the way through, or a painted grey cartridge. My reply is below:

It is brown all the way through. If it was not obvious, you could tell because when I took it through airport security in San Jose, they insisted on X-raying it. I was unwilling to send 25-year-old UV EPROMS through what is basically an unregulated CAT scanner--and thankfully one of the TSA guys was an ex-semiconductor industry worker and understood the issues, but they made me open the carts and one of the tabs broke off. That's why I keep it apart now, I'm afraid if I assemble it again I won't be able to take it back apart without breaking it; 1-2 tabs were gone before I got it.

The other brown cart I have is similar. Again, the molds for the grey cartridges were modified, the line that says "A Warner Communication Company" was milled out of the molds before the grey ones were made, that's why they have the strange grey bar across the base where mine has the Warner logo. The brown carts match the brown plastic on the XL series computers.

John Seghers was at the last Classic Gaming Expo in Vegas. I asked him about the Atari 800 Gremlins, and he said he programmed it first, then converted that code for the 5200 version. He was surprised to hear it was considered lost. He also confirmed that it had been on a bankswitched "supercart".

He said he also programmed RealSports Soccer for the 800, but that appears to be totally lost, at least for now. Edited to add: This would suggest that he cannot find the disk mentioned by Tempest above.

I've got about 2/3 of my Atari collection unpacked now. I am afraid I'm not really reading these forums anymore, this discussion totally killed my enthusiasm for the online Atari community...I'm afraid to even mention things for fear of being called a liar or a braggart, so I guess I'll just keep it to myself. I have found a number of spare and duplicate items I'll be auctioning on ebay over the next few months.


Take time to recharge Chris. There are too many good people on here to completely blow off this board. I look forward to additional looks at your collection.

Take it easy.

#49 thegamezmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:14 PM

Too bad about your bad experience Chris. I know a lot of people would love to buy one. Again sorry about the problems. But I still think there's more good people here that support you than the other.

Edited by thegamezmaster, Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:15 PM.





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