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Airball... never released, but reviewed. Anyone know any details?


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#1 gorfcadet ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:43 AM

Copied from nesworld.com:

Airball (Tengen)

"It's a new fantasy adventure game where you are turned into a pink bubble gum-like ball by an evil wizard. Find your way through 250 rooms of the mansion in search of the spellbook that can return you to human form so you can defeat the wizard!" - EGM20 (pg 94). Thanks Adam L!
"Among the independent, unlicensed companies, Tengen plans RBI Baseball III for the upcoming year, as well as Airball, an action game in which your character is cursed by an evil wizard and is turned into a bubblegum bubble with a slow leak." - Game Players Magazine March 1991 (pg 32).
$24 / $39: buy/sell price in Funco ad - Game Informer Nov/Dec 1991 (pg 18).
--- Two demo carts were discovered a few years ago, and the box pic was found in the Feb 1992 issue of GamePro. Although it wasn't released for the NES, you can find a review of the Atari 7800 version in Jul/Aug 1989 issue of GamePro.
--- The box scan below is a close-up from an ad in GamePro Feb 1991. It features much of Tengen's lineup, including two other unreleased NES games.
Pix: All ... ad ... box ... cart 1... cart 2... 2 ... 3 ... 4 ... 5 ... 6


So Gamepro reviewed the 7800 version and it was Atari/Tengen. Anyone know anything about this one? Curt, I don't suppose this is in one of your hard drives or boxes of discs? Circa 1989. The nes version never made it out either. Its sad that the print gamer mags are mostly gone. Mystery games like this and Nintendo's vaporware sequel to nes Donkey Kong are likely lost to time. DK really saddens me 'cause since I was a kid reading Nintendo Fun Club News and the Player's Guide, I desperately wanted to know what it could possibly look/play like.



#2 Pacmania OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:49 AM

Not sure if its the same game but there is an Airball for the XL/XE and the ST





#3 8th lutz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:03 AM

Not sure if its the same game but there is an Airball for the XL/XE and the ST

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0zd16XYaGo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ey4Zlb2qxDs

That is the same game the Atari 7800 was supposed to get.

Atari had Atari 7800 games on their master list that were rumor mill and some of them were released or rumored for the Atari st or Atari Xe games also. Airball is one of the games Atari had planned to be multi platform.

Edited by 8th lutz, Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:19 AM.


#4 gorfcadet ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:14 AM

Yeah those look like the ones fom the picture at nesworld. Anyone ever play it on any of the systems/computers where it saw release?

#5 DracIsBack OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:20 AM

Yeah those look like the ones fom the picture at nesworld. Anyone ever play it on any of the systems/computers where it saw release?


Yeah - I have the XE cart. It's ok, but I find it a bit hard and it doesn't really grab me.If I remember right, that GamePro review is for the XE version

Edited by DracIsBack, Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:21 AM.


#6 Cebus Capucinis OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:38 AM

Looks like it needs pixel perfection movement on a couple screens, which makes a game frustratingly hard. I got annoyed just watching the videos seeing people get to the same screen, only to fail because they were exactly 1 pixel too far over.

#7 gorfcadet ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:11 AM

It looks super frustrating in those videos. Sometimes the ball seems to explode for no reason.

#8 DracIsBack OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:24 PM

It looks super frustrating in those videos. Sometimes the ball seems to explode for no reason.


It's sometimes really hard to avoid these prickly tiles in the game. I wanted to like airball because it had a depth that Atari games on 7800 or XE didn't typically have at the time with 150 rooms to explore. But reality is I never found it much fun.

#9 gorfcadet ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:46 PM

That stinks. It makes me wonder what else was hiding away in limbo when the axe fell on the 7800 back in the day. Tengen had a number of good titles on the nes. Road Runner, Rolling Thunder, and Toobin were in that time period in addition to the awesome nes Ms. Pac Man and Tetris.

#10 8th lutz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:42 PM

That stinks. It makes me wonder what else was hiding away in limbo when the axe fell on the 7800 back in the day. Tengen had a number of good titles on the nes. Road Runner, Rolling Thunder, and Toobin were in that time period in addition to the awesome nes Ms. Pac Man and Tetris.

I know when the 7800 was discontinued, there was arcade ports of Toki, Road Riot 4wd, and Steel Talons planned and there was no prototype found yet. There hasn't been a more advance prototype of Ramport or Pit Fighter found.

The sadder part is Atari had a numbered part listing for 7800 games and a good amount of them weren't released or have a prototype copy found.. Arcade ports of Millipede, Jr. Pac-Man, Crystal Castles, Moon Patrol, Toki, Road Riot 4wd, and Steel Taloons was planned for the 7800, but there was no prototypes of those games yet going by Atari's Master List part on 7800 games.

Computer ports of Thunderfox, California games, Defiektor, Eliminator, Prince, Star Breaker, Xenon, Capone, Nine lives, Bad Lands Pete, and Black Lamp were planned for the 7800, but there was no prototypes planned yet based on Atari's 7800 master part list.

The 7800 also was supposed to have Atari Lynx ports of Chip's Challenge, Blue Lightning, and Gates Of Zendocon, but no prototypes were found either.

#11 Curt Vendel OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:59 PM

I will check my folders and see what I can find out, but I have found all of the 7800 games that were on the workstations and were recovered, but you never know, there are still a few boxes of backup DAT and 8MM workstation tapes that I haven't gotten to reading, so... but I've got a lot of other things on my plate that need attention first.

Copied from nesworld.com:

Airball (Tengen)

"It's a new fantasy adventure game where you are turned into a pink bubble gum-like ball by an evil wizard. Find your way through 250 rooms of the mansion in search of the spellbook that can return you to human form so you can defeat the wizard!" - EGM20 (pg 94). Thanks Adam L!
"Among the independent, unlicensed companies, Tengen plans RBI Baseball III for the upcoming year, as well as Airball, an action game in which your character is cursed by an evil wizard and is turned into a bubblegum bubble with a slow leak." - Game Players Magazine March 1991 (pg 32).
$24 / $39: buy/sell price in Funco ad - Game Informer Nov/Dec 1991 (pg 18).
--- Two demo carts were discovered a few years ago, and the box pic was found in the Feb 1992 issue of GamePro. Although it wasn't released for the NES, you can find a review of the Atari 7800 version in Jul/Aug 1989 issue of GamePro.
--- The box scan below is a close-up from an ad in GamePro Feb 1991. It features much of Tengen's lineup, including two other unreleased NES games.
Pix: All ... ad ... box ... cart 1... cart 2... 2 ... 3 ... 4 ... 5 ... 6


So Gamepro reviewed the 7800 version and it was Atari/Tengen. Anyone know anything about this one? Curt, I don't suppose this is in one of your hard drives or boxes of discs? Circa 1989. The nes version never made it out either. Its sad that the print gamer mags are mostly gone. Mystery games like this and Nintendo's vaporware sequel to nes Donkey Kong are likely lost to time. DK really saddens me 'cause since I was a kid reading Nintendo Fun Club News and the Player's Guide, I desperately wanted to know what it could possibly look/play like.



#12 gorfcadet ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:20 PM

Totally Curt, no worries. I hesitated to make a thread about this because I was worried stuff like this was common knowledge and I was just late to the party. If you ever need funding for a new project you could probably sell tickets to sit in your office and let us watch you wade through the days and weeks of backup files. Tape backups! Oh the pain! Kinda like opening Capone's vault, but potentially more awesome. Looks like there are far better protos and alphas to be found than Airball. I really thought it was a basketball game at first. Blue Lightning and Road Riot. Love those games, but on the 7800, they could have been realllllly bad.
Its crazy seeing stuff like this and remembering those old gamer mags and thinking, "yeah, what happened to that game?"

#13 thursday83 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:26 PM

I see "Tag Team Wrestling" on that list of never released shit for the 7800. I would love to see what that was about.

#14 8th lutz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:34 PM

I see "Tag Team Wrestling" on that list of never released shit for the 7800. I would love to see what that was about.

I didn't see tag team wrestling on the list, but Atari Team Wrestling. Atari Team Wrestling from what I gathered is the title that became Mat Mania Challenge.

Here is a couple of the list: http://www.jaguarsec...showtopic=13953

It is similar to the Digitpress version of the Atari Master list for the 7800.

Edited by 8th lutz, Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:35 PM.


#15 8th lutz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:38 PM

I know when the 7800 was discontinued, there was arcade ports of Toki, Road Riot 4wd, and Steel Talons planned and there was no prototype found yet. There hasn't been a more advance prototype of Ramport or Pit Fighter found.

The sadder part is Atari had a numbered part listing for 7800 games and a good amount of them weren't released or have a prototype copy found.. Arcade ports of Millipede, Jr. Pac-Man, Crystal Castles, Moon Patrol, Toki, Road Riot 4wd, and Steel Taloons was planned for the 7800, but there was no prototypes of those games yet going by Atari's Master List part on 7800 games.

Computer ports of Thunderfox, California games, Defiektor, Eliminator, Prince, Star Breaker, Xenon, Capone, Nine lives, Bad Lands Pete, and Black Lamp were planned for the 7800, but there was no prototypes planned yet based on Atari's 7800 master part list.

The 7800 also was supposed to have Atari Lynx ports of Chip's Challenge, Blue Lightning, and Gates Of Zendocon, but no prototypes were found either.

I forgot to mention about Midnight Magic, and Lode Runner being computer games with no prototypes found either.

#16 DracIsBack OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:50 AM

Of all prototypes, I hope Electrocop turns up one day. I know it was demoed at CES but only artwork has been found so far.

#17 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:10 AM

http://www.atariprot...0/7800rumor.htm

These are all the 7800 games that I know of that there is at least evidence that they existed at one point.

I need to remove that Gauntlet entry though since that's been debunked.

#18 legeek OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:29 AM

The ST version blew me away back when it came out. In rooms that were dark (until you got a flash light or candle), you could still kind of make out the scenery due to the HUGE color palette, heh. I've never beaten it, but I really enjoyed exploring the castle. I still mean to go back and complete it, probably via Amiga Emulation.

#19 thursday83 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:09 AM

Atari Team Wrestling - yes, I stand corrected. However, I thought that this was based on a different arcade game, not what ended up being Mat Mania Challenge, I did think it was a totally separate entity.....but I could be wrong on that as well.....

#20 thursday83 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:11 AM

Road Riot 4WD, this would also have been a nice addition to the library. Reported done, it's a bummer that it didn't make it to existence.

#21 Mitch OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:22 PM

Computer ports of California games, planned for the 7800, but there was no prototypes planned yet based on Atari's 7800 master part list.


The programmer still has his source code for this one. He's posted on here a few times about it and Impossible Mission. Last I heard he was trying to recover the data off of old floppies.

Mitch

#22 Jinks ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:28 PM

Calf games 7800 would be awesome and road roit 4wd!! Somebody trakem down!!!

#23 KevinMos3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:03 PM

Road Riot 4WD reported complete? If that were ever found, it would be the holy grail for me. I love that game so much I actually own the arcade machine.

#24 Trip_Cannon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:40 AM

Atari Team Wrestling - yes, I stand corrected. However, I thought that this was based on a different arcade game, not what ended up being Mat Mania Challenge, I did think it was a totally separate entity.....but I could be wrong on that as well.....


I'd like to know what the heck happened along the way of the development of Mat Mania.. The arcade game was a pretty fun wrestler in its time.. The 7800 port has little to nothing to do with the arcade... It's like half way through the developers said "eh, f--k it!"

But even so, it's like, why pay for the licensing if the game isn't going to resemble the arcade whatsoever...

#25 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:02 AM

I'd like to know what the heck happened along the way of the development of Mat Mania.. The arcade game was a pretty fun wrestler in its time.. The 7800 port has little to nothing to do with the arcade... It's like half way through the developers said "eh, f--k it!"

But even so, it's like, why pay for the licensing if the game isn't going to resemble the arcade whatsoever...

My guess is that they already had the license but no game to put it in and decided to stick it onto Atari Team Wrestling.




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