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The One UK magazine, death of the Panther from Lost Dragon

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#1 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:16 PM


#2 Willard OFFLINE  



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Posted Sat Sep 27, 2014 1:45 PM

Never knew that the panther dev kits had actually been sent out to third parties already and that some people (such as psygnosis) were already working on games for it. That's interesting that some major third parties were getting a head start on the panther when Atari had to finance most of the Jaguar releases.


I wonder if Atari would've done better or gone down faster had they released the Panther in '91 or '92. People were getting ready for the next generation by the time the Jaguar  and 3DO came out (the companies just majorly screwed up in different ways), the Panther would've had to be pretty special to make an entry against the SNES and Genesis. However, the cost and time to make impressive games was probably less in the early16-bit than the early 32-bit generation so maybe Atari wouldn't have had a huge post-launch software drought. I imagine the panther getting a ton of amiga games and having a library similar to the CD32!


Previous reports suggest that several games including Trevor McFur, Raiden and Cybermorph had been programmed for it. But the article gives the impression that only a few minter demos were in a satisfactory state of completion to show to the magazine (unless Atari was holding back so as not to have their ideas copied by competitors).


I don't understand hardware specs so it'd be interesting to know how close the panther and the Jaguar were, and if the panther could have handled everything that was released on the Jaguar (two separate matters, but since most games underutilized the Jaguar the panther probably really only needed to be 75% of the jaguar to do anything that was actually released on the Jaguar).

#3 Jagosaurus OFFLINE  



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Posted Sat Sep 27, 2014 4:49 PM

Very cool :)

#4 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:58 PM

More from Minter regarding Panther to come yet, just give me time. :-)

Very glad people are liking whats gone up so far.Always great to hear from people who've never read the articles before.

#5 SoulBlazer OFFLINE  



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Posted Sun Oct 5, 2014 12:57 AM

Wow, look at that facial hair Minter was sporting! :lol:

#6 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 5, 2014 12:09 PM

Fingers crossed very tightly, but i might just have something in pipeline for Panther fans just yet, not from a mag scan either.Nowt groundbreaking, but hopefully folk might enjoy.

#7 Zerosquare OFFLINE  


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Posted Wed Oct 8, 2014 7:46 PM

Wow, look at that facial hair Minter was sporting! :lol:

No wonder he likes sheep and other wooly animals :P

#8 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 4, 2014 11:36 AM

Emailed a contact over claims Domark were well into converting Pitfighter to Panther, when Atari pulled the plug.Long shot, but we'll see....



@Willard:Regarding Atari releasing Panther-According to Atari UK's marketing manager, reason Panther was canned was due to it taking too long to get finished, where as the Jaguar was ahead of schedule and thus IF Atari had gone ahead and launched the Panther, there'd only of been a 6-9 month period before they were ready to launch the Jaguar....

#9 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 13, 2014 3:35 PM

Might be getting 'close' to finding out IF Domark really were working on Pitfighter for the Panther, just had an email in:

' I remember the Pitfighter stories. There is
 only one guy who might know this, I will ask next time I talk to him, but
 that's not very often..'
Fingers crossed and we might be able to shed some light on another Lost Atari console game, before too long.

#10 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 28, 2015 7:06 AM

Update/closure on the hope of learning more from Domark etc regarding any Panther games they were working on.

Nothing ever came back from the contacts the 2 Ex-Domark guys i interviewed for Classic Console Magazine, so Pitfighter remains a 'strong rumour' within Domark offices that someone in the building had started converting it to the Panther.
I also contacted one of the Domark founders-no reply.
Jeff Minter never replied to my emails regarding Panther, nor emails from Unseen64 regarding Unity etc.
So that too was a dead-end, we only have his chat with Edge about the tech demo's being used as test bed for routines for his planned Star Raiders-esq game.

#11 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 3, 2016 10:44 AM

Thread bump, but it wasn't unti i started throwing all my old games magazines into recycling, my memory was jogged about the claim The One made about Domark heavily into coding Pitfighter on the Panther....

Complete and utter cobblers, not a shred of truth 2 it.
I asked Lee Actor about the claim when i interviewed him for Grumpy Old Gamers:
And he quashed the claim there and then and a second Ex-Domark Source has kindly confirmed it as well.
Just where The One got the claim from and why it's still trotted out as an actual Lost Panther game by some to this day, without any deeper investigation, i sadly cannot tell you :-).
But yep, please strike Pitfighter from any Lost Panther Game claims.
Probably would of worked very well on the platform, but was never started.

#12 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 11, 2016 10:32 AM

Unseen64 have started scanning in 1st of the many, many UK magazine press clippings i sent him, (so far no Atari related items, only PC/PSP/PS1/PS2 etc related AVP/Aliens/Predator games)...

But hopefully it should not take a huge amount of time before the interview where Jeff talks of how he got involved with Panther, plans for his Panther game, go up.

#13 JagChris OFFLINE  


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Posted Wed May 11, 2016 5:48 PM

I thought you said you weren't a journalist? Why are you behaving like one?

#14 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 11, 2016 10:36 PM

Sites like Unseen64, GTW, Core Design, AVP Galaxy archive material like old UK magazine scans in order to preserve information on Beta/unreleased games, as well as reviews etc of released games and that way people who were previousily unaware of what was planned/featured and said, get to find out about them and where possible what the reality was behind the press claims.
They rely on volunteers to put in the time to provide material they haven't got, contact people they are unable too or simply don't have the time to speak too.
I've recently moved, downsized my collection, would you rather i simply threw all the magazine interviews, Beta screens, concept art, canned version shots etc in the bin, rather than have it archived?.
GTW is using the information for a future Atari article Frank is writing.
Luca (unseen64) for his site and upcoming book he and site staff are writing.
Betaphasegames plan to use misc interviews of mine.
Your 3DO site used an interview of mine.

In the case of Unseen64, Luca isn't familiar with the Jaguar or Panther, yet plans to cover the VR headset and Panther in the book, he tried contacting likes of Jeff Minter, but never had a reply, so is relying on what Jeff has said about Panther in past interviews.

Would you rather Luca just put out unconfirmed claims Pitfighter was headed to Panther? Or should he go with 2 sources confirming it was never started?.

I simply provide the material the writers need, they write the articles..

I also strongly believe information should be freely available, so if people don't want to buy a book or magazine, they can find info on line, hence giving same info to multiple sources.

That doesn't make myself or anyone else who does similar a journalist.

If you look at various sites etc Chris, you'll notice people asking for folks to pass on any information/material they have relating too...

It shouldn't really require such a lengthy reply to point that out, most sites either give a contact email for folks to send info to or ask people to post info up.

Believe it or not sometimes people even contact likes of myself asking if they can use material for their projects or can I get in touch with people I've contacted to find out information they are after.

It's part and parcel of being there for the community, not personal gain or trying to get a job in the industry....

But thanks for asking.

Edited by Lost Dragon, Wed May 11, 2016 10:51 PM.

#15 lotek_style OFFLINE  



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Posted Thu May 12, 2016 3:05 AM

I wonder if it's possible to get the binaries (The Antelope Demo) for preservation?

#16 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 12, 2016 3:35 AM

Luca (unseen64) contacted Jeff Minter to see if he would be willing to chat about the Panther work he did and to see if there remained any code Jeff would be willing to see preserved via Unseen64, but he had no reply.
I'd (via sheer luck) had a contact with a few people that had never replied to Luca (Jaguar Conan, Lobotomy, Terry Greer etc etc), so he approached me, i mentioned we'd tried to get Jeff for ST Gamer, but also had no reply.
Frank Gasking, over at GTW met Jeff sometime after, at a Retro event, mentioned the Unseen64 interest, passed on my contact details to Jeff (whom i'd met years earlier at 1st B.I.T:Live event), but again nothing ever came back from Jeff.
So, sadly we've hit dead end, despite repeated efforts and hence Unseen64 having to rely on quotes from magazine articles of the time for the footnote section Panther will be getting.
The reason i approached so many Ex-Domark/Tengen people was in hope we might of found early Pitfighter Panther code, only to be told it was never started.

I also approached Joel Sender, Ex-atari Corp, who lists being involved in the development environment for Panther on his C.V, but never had a reply, Martin Brennan did reply, but said he was so busy at work, he had no time to answer questions.

So, sadly the Panther won't be getting the coverage we had hoped for when Unseen 64 approached likes of myself for help.

I guess much of what was coded has sadly since been lost :'(

Edited by Lost Dragon, Thu May 12, 2016 3:48 AM.

#17 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 7, 2016 1:20 PM

Joel was also kind enough to say this regarding the Panther:




"Unfortunately, that was a very long time ago so I don't have a lot of clear memories about the Panther. I believe it was developed by a group in England. I worked out of Atari's Lombard office (a suburb of Chicago) and we received an early prototype of the hardware. Our role was to give some feedback on the hardware and the development environment. If memory serves, the development environment would have been on the Atari ST using the GNU compiler. Again, that was a long time ago so I may have those details wrong.


I recall the hardware capability being average, but probably not anywhere near good enough to make a splash. The Super Famicom had already been released in Asia and my recollection was that the Panther hardware was really not that much better. At the time, there were also a lot of rumors of 3D hardware coming out in a few years from a number of different companies (including Atari)."



All Joel's personal opinion of course, but at least we can now add another name to who did what regarding the console.



Another piece of the jigsaw as it were, but it might of been better if asked a number of years ago, as like ATD, people understandably have trouble remembering just what was done, as so many years have passed since they worked on the hardware.

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