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Why are there so few tandy trs-80 games out there?


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#1 gooner73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 1, 2012 11:26 AM

Hi all

been looking at getting a trs 80 model 2, which i can pick up in the uk easily enough, but there are so few games available anywhere!!!

i never owned one at the time, i had atari, but always remember the tandy stores here in the uk being full of their games for their computer.
And yet there are a pitiful ammount on ebay and elsewhere, and even then they are not any of the decent titles.

Is there any particular reason for this?
even on the ti-99 there are plenty of carts knocking about, but why not on the trs?

many thanks :?

#2 thegoldenband OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 1, 2012 12:02 PM

Hmm, the TRS-80 Model II was a business computer that didn't see any substantial gaming action AFAIK. Are you sure you don't mean either the TRS-80 Model I/III (which had a modest but fun game library), or the Color Computer 2? Model I/III games were all on disk and I suspect there was a lot of piracy; I wouldn't expect to see many on Ebay at all.

CoCo carts do show up a bit less than one would expect, and part of that might be that the installed base seemed to be fiercely loyal -- a ton of people are still hanging on to their stuff even now, including me!

#3 gooner73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 2, 2012 5:03 AM

Hmm, the TRS-80 Model II was a business computer that didn't see any substantial gaming action AFAIK. Are you sure you don't mean either the TRS-80 Model I/III (which had a modest but fun game library), or the Color Computer 2? Model I/III games were all on disk and I suspect there was a lot of piracy; I wouldn't expect to see many on Ebay at all.

CoCo carts do show up a bit less than one would expect, and part of that might be that the installed base seemed to be fiercely loyal -- a ton of people are still hanging on to their stuff even now, including me!


Hi ,
yes its the uk version of the coco 2.

just seem to be none around!

#4 macgoo OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 2, 2012 2:42 PM

Probably because few people bought one in the UK, same deal with Apple II in the UK, although Apple were ripped a new one by Commodore in Europe for their overpriced RRP policy at Apple.

#5 doctorclu ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 3, 2012 6:48 AM

Let's see, the Model 2.. which could generally run games of the 3 and 4 if I remember correctly.

Good computer. We used to play the Scott Adams text adventures (with voice module), I think I had a copy of Starcross for the TRS-80 at one time, and I thought there was a game of Spyhunter for the Trash-80.

We had the TRS-80 4P (portable) in school you see. Oh, and there was a Flight Simulator because we used to play that on the Model 2.

#6 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 3, 2012 7:18 AM

Let's see, the Model 2.. which could generally run games of the 3 and 4 if I remember correctly.

Not as far as I know. They were completely different systems. Didn't the model 2 use 8" floppies?

The only games for the model 2 were those that ran in CP/M which means mostly text adventure games.

#7 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 9, 2012 1:13 PM


Let's see, the Model 2.. which could generally run games of the 3 and 4 if I remember correctly.

Not as far as I know. They were completely different systems. Didn't the model 2 use 8" floppies?

The only games for the model 2 were those that ran in CP/M which means mostly text adventure games.


@Matt: Correct.

I don't think any games were actually released commercially for the Model II. I've read that maybe Zork or some of the Scott Adams games were, but I've never found any evidence to support that (which isn't to say it doesn't exist, only that I haven't found it :P ). A lot of the Model I/III games and semigraphics stuff fall well within the capabilities of the Model II, but they would have to be ported from the ground up. Consider also that the Model II runs the odd-duck TRSDOS-II, so even if you had a Model II somehow equipped with a 5.25" drive, Model I/III software running under TRSDOS would still be incompatible.

As Matt said, the best bet for games on a Model II is CP/M, but good luck finding any in the 8" format. It's interesting to learn there was a flight simulator for it though.

But regardless, this thread is about the Color Computer! :-D And for what it's worth, I've never seen Color Computer stuff in the wild here in the States, either, barring the ratty boxed copy of Galactic Attack I got a church rummage sale 15 years ago. All my Color Computer stuff I got either from fellow classic gamers or eBay. It's a shame they've gotten so tough to find (which is strange because they really aren't rare or anything, these were relatively popular systems) because the Color Computer really is a cool little machine.

If you've got a cassette cable, you can play the audio files of cassette games straight from the headphone jack on your computer. It's the same thing as loading a tape, if you don't mind going that route. It's putzy and finicky getting the volume levels right, but once you know what you're doing, you should be able to play shit-tons of games, and for free. Most of the cartridge games have been converted to a cassette file now, too. You'll need a Cas2Wav program to convert the .cas files into .wavs to run on your CoCo, though.

See here for a whole pile of Color Computer games in cassette format:
http://goyim.dyndns....coco/Cassettes/

As long as you've got the Color Computer, a set of cassette cords, a joystick or two, and a way to convert .cas files to .wav files, this should take care of the rest, games-wise.
(Note that some games require 32K and/or Extended Color BASIC. A few will only run on a Color Computer 3. The attached index in the above link should tell you which are which.)

Edited by BassGuitari, Thu Aug 9, 2012 1:14 PM.


#8 gooner73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 9, 2012 2:01 PM



Let's see, the Model 2.. which could generally run games of the 3 and 4 if I remember correctly.

Not as far as I know. They were completely different systems. Didn't the model 2 use 8" floppies?

The only games for the model 2 were those that ran in CP/M which means mostly text adventure games.


@Matt: Correct.

I don't think any games were actually released commercially for the Model II. I've read that maybe Zork or some of the Scott Adams games were, but I've never found any evidence to support that (which isn't to say it doesn't exist, only that I haven't found it :P ). A lot of the Model I/III games and semigraphics stuff fall well within the capabilities of the Model II, but they would have to be ported from the ground up. Consider also that the Model II runs the odd-duck TRSDOS-II, so even if you had a Model II somehow equipped with a 5.25" drive, Model I/III software running under TRSDOS would still be incompatible.

As Matt said, the best bet for games on a Model II is CP/M, but good luck finding any in the 8" format. It's interesting to learn there was a flight simulator for it though.

But regardless, this thread is about the Color Computer! :-D And for what it's worth, I've never seen Color Computer stuff in the wild here in the States, either, barring the ratty boxed copy of Galactic Attack I got a church rummage sale 15 years ago. All my Color Computer stuff I got either from fellow classic gamers or eBay. It's a shame they've gotten so tough to find (which is strange because they really aren't rare or anything, these were relatively popular systems) because the Color Computer really is a cool little machine.

If you've got a cassette cable, you can play the audio files of cassette games straight from the headphone jack on your computer. It's the same thing as loading a tape, if you don't mind going that route. It's putzy and finicky getting the volume levels right, but once you know what you're doing, you should be able to play shit-tons of games, and for free. Most of the cartridge games have been converted to a cassette file now, too. You'll need a Cas2Wav program to convert the .cas files into .wavs to run on your CoCo, though.

See here for a whole pile of Color Computer games in cassette format:
http://goyim.dyndns....coco/Cassettes/

As long as you've got the Color Computer, a set of cassette cords, a joystick or two, and a way to convert .cas files to .wav files, this should take care of the rest, games-wise.
(Note that some games require 32K and/or Extended Color BASIC. A few will only run on a Color Computer 3. The attached index in the above link should tell you which are which.)




many thanks!

#9 Vic George 2K3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 9, 2012 2:26 PM

I don't consider the Coco to be a really fun computer, even with the time that my family actually owned one, which was in the late 1980s to early 1990s.

Like all of Atari's competitors, it was basically copying much of what it was doing for games. It had its Space Invaders, its Galaxian, its Missile Command, its Pac-Man. It also had its own original games.

Overall, though, it didn't really say it was a computer I wanted to get or buy, not as much as the Atari 8-bit personal computers did.

I'd say good luck trying to find the games.

#10 gooner73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 9, 2012 3:56 PM

I don't consider the Coco to be a really fun computer, even with the time that my family actually owned one, which was in the late 1980s to early 1990s.

Like all of Atari's competitors, it was basically copying much of what it was doing for games. It had its Space Invaders, its Galaxian, its Missile Command, its Pac-Man. It also had its own original games.

Overall, though, it didn't really say it was a computer I wanted to get or buy, not as much as the Atari 8-bit personal computers did.

I'd say good luck trying to find the games.



Thanks, it was after watching vids on youtube and seeing some really good clones of atari type games that i became interested.
they were quite popular over here, but nothing like c64 or amstrad etc, but there were always loads of games knocking about in shops.
It just seems weird that of all the vintage machines, games for this have disappeared off the face of the earth!
I mean over here we had a short lived machine called the dragon 32 (which is almost the same machine actually!) and there are still loads of games available, alot of them new, for a very fair price.
would just love to play some of the games on real hardware.
My all time love is the 800xl, but love trying out the ones that i never had a chance to play back in the day.

#11 AtariLeaf OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 9, 2012 6:58 PM

CoCo carts do show up a bit less than one would expect, and part of that might be that the installed base seemed to be fiercely loyal -- a ton of people are still hanging on to their stuff even now, including me!


* Raises hand * :D

#12 gooner73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:16 PM


CoCo carts do show up a bit less than one would expect, and part of that might be that the installed base seemed to be fiercely loyal -- a ton of people are still hanging on to their stuff even now, including me!


* Raises hand * :D



actually atarileaf , the videos i watched were yours! loved em all! really made me want to try the tandy coco for myself, just can't get any games. :(

Edited by gooner73, Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:17 PM.


#13 7800Lover OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:45 PM

All I know about the TRS-80 was the one I got from my uncle. All he had for it was one cartridge (Chess) and two manuals, Getting Started with Color Basic and Going Ahead with Extended Color Basic.

I'm assuming that based on the fact that he had only 1 cartridge was that games for the system were uncommon.

#14 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:30 PM

The CoCo didn't have a lot of cartridge games and the first ones were designed for the 4K machines.
3rd party support was pretty good though and there are hundreds of games for the CoCo, almost all on cassette or disk.

Since the CoCo cassette interface was 1500 baud, most 16K games loaded in under a minute, 32K games required about 2 minutes, 64K took 3-4 minutes.
The only games I know of that take longer are dumped CoCo3 carts. The dump of Robocop is the worst by far and takes almost 12 minutes to load.

There are 469 games listed here and that's not all of them:
http://www.lcurtisbo..._game_list.html

#15 Jaynz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:22 AM

The CoCo was my first 'paid project' computer, and I had a number of games for the system. The main problem is that a LOT of the machine's catalog (for the first two versions, anyway) were ONLY available on cassette, so their survivability was extremely low. By the time the disk drives got to be common, the hobbiests had either moved on to the C64, or started with the 'big' Tandy PC machines which started to show up.

#16 jhd OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:42 PM

By the time the disk drives got to be common, the hobbiests had either moved on to the C64, or started with the 'big' Tandy PC machines which started to show up.


That was me. I had tons of games on cassettes and maybe 10-15 cartridges (including Color Logo and EDASM+). I never got a disk drive for the Coco because of the expense. I knew a small handful of other local people with Cocos, and none of them had a disk drive either.

When I started University (1988), my Parents bought me a Tandy PC for Christmas. The Coco was soon retired and then sold. I may still have a box of tapes somewhere in the basement. :ponder:

#17 Jaynz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:48 PM

Yeah, I went to the C64 for a little bit, but really the end of the CoCo III saw me move to Turbo Pascal development on the PC platform. I do miss the fun and simplicity of the CoCo sometimes, but the expense in tracking one down and getting everything to work on it (particularly when compared to classic consoles) just makes it prohibitive. I am glad to see that a good chunk of the catalog has been made available for emulators, though, even if a lot of the second-tier classics (much less my games) are likely gone forever. :(

#18 thegoldenband OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:06 PM

I am glad to see that a good chunk of the catalog has been made available for emulators, though, even if a lot of the second-tier classics (much less my games) are likely gone forever. :(


Do you have specific titles in mind? The CoCo scene has done a pretty good job of preserving things as far as I can tell, and there isn't much I remember from BITD that I haven't yet come across.

Also, what games did you write?

#19 Jaynz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:10 PM

I did a lot of arcade clones (and, to be honest, I don't remember the names that were settled on for a lot of them, most were pretty forgettable), but the one I got some recognition for "Back in the Day" was Star Fleet, which was basically a cross between the classic Trek game and the Strategic Operations Simulator. My release work stopped at the CoCo II before I went to the PC, and I don't -think- anything went beyond tape.

The company I used (long defunct) was an Indianapolis/Chicago operation that basically just spun and copied tapes for the local Radio Shacks. I can't remember the name of the company to save my life, as my step-mother at the time handled 'that side' of things. (I was VERY young at the time.)

#20 thegoldenband OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:15 PM

Cool! I envy your ability to program the CoCo at such a young age; it stymied me, but then again I didn't have the EDTASM+ cart that would've opened everything up, and was forced to use BASIC which didn't really offer a straightforward way to move sprites around in a way I could understand.

Have you asked around on the CoCo mailing list or looked at L. Curtis Boyle's game archive? Lots of folks on the former site have extensive archives.

#21 AtariLeaf OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:16 PM

I did a lot of arcade clones (and, to be honest, I don't remember the names that were settled on for a lot of them, most were pretty forgettable), but the one I got some recognition for "Back in the Day" was Star Fleet, which was basically a cross between the classic Trek game and the Strategic Operations Simulator. My release work stopped at the CoCo II before I went to the PC, and I don't -think- anything went beyond tape.

The company I used (long defunct) was an Indianapolis/Chicago operation that basically just spun and copied tapes for the local Radio Shacks. I can't remember the name of the company to save my life, as my step-mother at the time handled 'that side' of things. (I was VERY young at the time.)


Like goldenband, I also highly recommend posting on the coco mailing list. There's a LOT of the old timers on there who were around from the very beginning who might remember your stuff even better than you :)

Even the mighty Steve Bjork posts there now and then. Also, I got one of those 8 gig DVD's from Roger Taylor that supposedly has everything including the kitchen sink when it comes to coco software. Your games might very well be on there.

Edited by AtariLeaf, Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:17 PM.


#22 Jaynz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:20 PM

Hmm.. I'll have to look. I know I did a Space Invaders, Pac*Man, Nibbler and Phoenix clone (or an unresaonble facsimile there of). There was a bunch of lighter 'family' games like squares, tic-tac-toe, etc. I did as well on 'demand', basically. You've got keep in mind that I was 10-12 at the time I did these. I really wish I hadn't hit a 'down period' between it and the PC, though. I lost a lot of skill in those couple of years. :S

Now, I'm going "Hey, I should really do the homebrew scene.. oh holy crap where do I start my god they've made everything so insanely complicated these days I wish I had Turbo Pascal again". :)




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