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Rom Variants Auto Racing etc.


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#1 JDog514 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:01 AM

Hello,

 

I am an avid Intellivision fan and have all of the CD's and other Roms that I know of. Is there an easy way to tell which Roms I have in regards to variants such as Auto Racing? Also, is there an easy way to obtain these variants since I'd like as many as possible? Thank you very much.



#2 IntellivisionDude OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:27 PM

The only thing i can add is my version of the game where you press right to turn left and press left to turn right is a red label version. And my version where right is right and left is left is a white label version. But i can't guarantee that all red label and white labels are the same. 

 

Personally i always preferred the version where you press right to go left since that is the version i had as a kid. 



#3 intvsteve OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:27 PM

Red label auto racing? Pics? Never heard of that before.

 

As to the ROM variant... I think I've seen both from Mattel. The 'natural steering' version came later. That's the one where you steer as if you were sitting in the car. So pressing left on the disc acts like turning the steering wheel left, right acts like steering right, and pressing the 'down' direction on the disc is oversteering. We also had this version, so it's the one that seems more natural.



#4 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:31 PM

Weren't these steering options selectable prior to game start?

#5 IntellivisionDude OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:16 AM

Red label auto racing? Pics? Never heard of that before.

 

 

Oops i meant Blue. Not sure where my head was at, Brain fart. lol



#6 intvnut OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:09 AM

Red label auto racing? Pics? Never heard of that before.

 

As to the ROM variant... I think I've seen both from Mattel. The 'natural steering' version came later. That's the one where you steer as if you were sitting in the car. So pressing left on the disc acts like turning the steering wheel left, right acts like steering right, and pressing the 'down' direction on the disc is oversteering. We also had this version, so it's the one that seems more natural.

 

Actually, I believe it's the other way around.  The original is the "realistic steering" one where pressing left turns to the car's left, and pressing right turns to the car's right.    The "intuitive steering" one, where pressing left turns left relative to the screen, came later.

 

Reference:  http://www.intellivi...ports.html#auto

 

 

DEVELOPMENT HISTORY: There were two versions of Auto Racing released due to a running change made during manufacturing. In the original version, steering is realistic -- it is oriented to the car. For example, if your car is moving downward on-screen and you want to turn right (that is, toward the left of the screen), you press right on the hand controller disc. Mattel received complaints about how difficult this was (even the instruction book warns that it takes some getting used to), so a running change was ordered to make steering intuitive -- to orient it to the screen. In the above example, to turn toward the left of the screen, you press left on the hand controller disc, even though the car is actually making a right.

 

Both versions had their advocates -- intuitive steering being easier to play; realistic steering being a better simulation of driving. One programmer likened it to the difference between driving an automatic and driving a stick. Unfortunately, there's no way to tell which version is which from the package; you either have to check the instruction book, or just plug in the cartridge and play.

 

 

Weren't these steering options selectable prior to game start?

 

Well, the handling of the car (how tightly it steered and how quickly it accelerated) were selectable, but not the game mechanic of realistic vs. intuitive per se.

 

However, there is an easter egg of sorts in the later version.  If you press and hold 1+4+9 (I think) on the right-hand controller and tap reset, it'll switch the "intuitive" version back to "realistic".

 

Evidence in the disassembly of the "intuitive" version:

.

        MVII    #$0058, R0                      ; 5029   02B8 0058  Key pattern 
        MVII    #$0170, R1                      ; 502B   02B9 0170
        MVII    #$0002, R2                      ; 502D   02BA 0002
        MVII    #$01FE, R4                      ; 502F   02BC 01FE  Read right-hand controller
        CMP@    R4,     R0                      ; 5031   0360       \_ If equal, branch around
        BEQ     L_5035                          ; 5032   0204 0001  /  subsequent MVO@

        MVO@    R2,     R1                      ; 5034   024A
L_5035:

.

The pattern $58, if I interpreted it correctly, needs one button pressed in each of the first three rows and at least one button pressed in the leftmost and rightmost column of the keypad.  1+4+9 should work, as should any combination of:

  • 1 vs. 3
  • 4 vs. 6
  • 7 vs. 9

as long as at least one button comes from the left group (1,4,7) and at least one button comes from the right group (3.6.9).  So, 1+4+9, 3+4+9, 3+6+7, etc.  There's 6 different combinations that should work.

 

Digital Press backs me up on the cheat code, based on Chris Hawley's copyright kludge file:  http://www.digitpres...vautoracing.htm

 

Not that Digital Press is a perfect resource here; Chris Hawley's kludge file is more reliable. DP do seem to get the realistic vs. intuitive backward.  And of course, I believe the "Basketball Mini Game" Digital Press mentions is bogus.  I don't think anyone's ever seen or verified that.  But I did test the above and it seems to work.  If anyone has an Auto Racing that has a basketball game built in, let me know. One reason to think it's bogus is that you would never need to press that many buttons to get it to fire.  You'd need at most 4+9+0+ disc at SSW.

 

If anyone does seem to have a version w/ Basketball in it, I'd love to dump it.  However, that one's otherwise an urban legend.

 

That serves as extra confirmation to me that the "intuitive steering" version came later. 

 

EDIT: I went digging through my archives for Chris Hawley's Copyright Kludge file (which I had seen go by at some point):

--------------------------------------------------
 
 Mattel Intellevision games:
 
 Transcribed verbatim off an old photocopy,
 we called them "Copyright Kludges" back then.
 The date style marks this compilation as the work of
 Chris Hawley
 [Notation: hold down indicated keys during powerup.]
 
                 Kluge file for Games- Updated 8107.13
 
 ROULETTE:               left = 13       right = 123
 SKIING:                 left = 57       right = 57
 WORD FUN:               press  43210 during word rockets mode
 ARMOR BATTLE:           left = 3        right = 9
 HORSE RACING:           left = 69       right = 69
 BOXING:                 left = lower two action keys and wheel direction 7
 SPACE ARMADA:           left = 46    OR    clear-enter
                           right = lower two action keys
 AUTO RACE:              pres  169 on any keypad to get real steering
 STAR STRIKE:            left = 19    OR    37
 FRENCH CASSETTE:        left = 19       right = 80
                           during introduction (menu #0); then exit to
                           monitor (menu #6)
 DEMO CASSETTE:          type "dei" (lower case) during space battle
 
--------------------------------------------------

Even then... the Word Fun one seems bogus for similar reasons to the "Basketball Mini Game" one.

 

EDIT 2:  The Word Fun one is NOT bogus!!  It's just really, really subtle!  ZOMG....

 

This is the code that looks for you to press, in sequence, 4,3,2,1,0:

.

        MVII    #$0005, R2                      ; /8EE   02BA 0005
        SDBD                                    ; 58F0   0001
        MVII    #$0033, R3                      ; 58F1   02BB 0033 0000
        CMPI    #$0008, R0                      ; 58F4   0378 0008
        BGE     L_5911                          ; 58F6   020D 0019

        MVII    #$0167, R4                      ; 58F8   02BC 0167
        SDBD                                    ; 58FA   0001
        MVI@    R4,     R1                      ; 58FB   02A1
        SLL     R1,     2                       ; 58FC   004D
        SLL     R1,     2                       ; 58FD   004D
        SLR     R1,     1                       ; 58FE   0061
        XORR    R1,     R0                      ; 58FF   01C8
        SDBD                                    ; 5900   0001
        CMPI    #$4688, R0                      ; 5901   0378 0088 0046
        BNEQ    L_590C                          ; 5904   020C 0006

        MVII    #$0006, R2                      ; 5906   02BA 0006
        SDBD                                    ; 5908   0001
        MVII    #$0035, R3                      ; 5909   02BB 0035 0000
L_590C:
        MVO     R0,     G_0167                  ; 590C   0240 0167
        SWAP    R0,     1                       ; 590E   0040
        MVO     R0,     G_0168                  ; 590F   0240 0168
L_5911:
        MVO     R2,     G_0166                  ; 5911   0242 0166
        MVO     R3,     G_0165                  ; 5913   0243 0165
        MOVR    R5,     R7                      ; 5915   00AF

.

What it does is increase the "word list" slightly to include the author's initials.  It let me launch a "J" when "K_M" was onscreen!  The Intellivison Lives site lists Kevin Miller as the author... is his middle initial J?

 

I haven't completely worked out what it's doing, but I'm convinced this kludge is real.

 

EDIT 3:  It seems to add KJM and DEI to the word list... working to confirm.


Edited by intvnut, Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:04 AM.


#7 pimpmaul69 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:38 AM

 

Actually, I believe it's the other way around.  The original is the "realistic steering" one where pressing left turns to the car's left, and pressing right turns to the car's right.    The "intuitive steering" one, where pressing left turns left relative to the screen, came later.

 

Reference:  http://www.intellivi...ports.html#auto

 

 

 

 

Well, the handling of the car (how tightly it steered and how quickly it accelerated) were selectable, but not the game mechanic of realistic vs. intuitive per se.

 

However, there is an easter egg of sorts in the later version.  If you press and hold 1+4+9 (I think) on the right-hand controller and tap reset, it'll switch the "intuitive" version back to "realistic".

 

Evidence in the disassembly of the "intuitive" version:

.

        MVII    #$0058, R0                      ; 5029   02B8 0058  Key pattern 
        MVII    #$0170, R1                      ; 502B   02B9 0170
        MVII    #$0002, R2                      ; 502D   02BA 0002
        MVII    #$01FE, R4                      ; 502F   02BC 01FE  Read right-hand controller
        CMP@    R4,     R0                      ; 5031   0360       \_ If equal, branch around
        BEQ     L_5035                          ; 5032   0204 0001  /  subsequent MVO@

        MVO@    R2,     R1                      ; 5034   024A
L_5035:

.

The pattern $58, if I interpreted it correctly, needs one button pressed in each of the first three rows and at least one button pressed in the leftmost and rightmost column of the keypad.  1+4+9 should work, as should any combination of:

  • 1 vs. 3
  • 4 vs. 6
  • 7 vs. 9

as long as at least one button comes from the left group (1,4,7) and at least one button comes from the right group (3.6.9).  So, 1+4+9, 3+4+9, 3+6+7, etc.  There's 6 different combinations that should work.

 

Digital Press backs me up on the cheat code, based on Chris Hawley's copyright kludge file:  http://www.digitpres...vautoracing.htm

 

Not that Digital Press is a perfect resource here; Chris Hawley's kludge file is more reliable. DP do seem to get the realistic vs. intuitive backward.  And of course, I believe the "Basketball Mini Game" Digital Press mentions is bogus.  I don't think anyone's ever seen or verified that.  But I did test the above and it seems to work.  If anyone has an Auto Racing that has a basketball game built in, let me know. One reason to think it's bogus is that you would never need to press that many buttons to get it to fire.  You'd need at most 4+9+0+ disc at SSW.

 

If anyone does seem to have a version w/ Basketball in it, I'd love to dump it.  However, that one's otherwise an urban legend.

 

That serves as extra confirmation to me that the "intuitive steering" version came later. 

 

EDIT: I went digging through my archives for Chris Hawley's Copyright Kludge file (which I had seen go by at some point):

--------------------------------------------------
 
 Mattel Intellevision games:
 
 Transcribed verbatim off an old photocopy,
 we called them "Copyright Kludges" back then.
 The date style marks this compilation as the work of
 Chris Hawley
 [Notation: hold down indicated keys during powerup.]
 
                 Kluge file for Games- Updated 8107.13
 
 ROULETTE:               left = 13       right = 123
 SKIING:                 left = 57       right = 57
 WORD FUN:               press  43210 during word rockets mode
 ARMOR BATTLE:           left = 3        right = 9
 HORSE RACING:           left = 69       right = 69
 BOXING:                 left = lower two action keys and wheel direction 7
 SPACE ARMADA:           left = 46    OR    clear-enter
                           right = lower two action keys
 AUTO RACE:              pres  169 on any keypad to get real steering
 STAR STRIKE:            left = 19    OR    37
 FRENCH CASSETTE:        left = 19       right = 80
                           during introduction (menu #0); then exit to
                           monitor (menu #6)
 DEMO CASSETTE:          type "dei" (lower case) during space battle
 
--------------------------------------------------

Even then... the Word Fun one seems bogus for similar reasons to the "Basketball Mini Game" one.

also if anyone has the rumored "easier version" of basketball that too needs to be dumped. that is like my holy grail of rom varients. i actually would play basketball if there was an easier version. it is just too damn hard.



#8 intvnut OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:47 AM


What it does is increase the "word list" slightly to include the author's initials.  It let me launch a "J" when "K_M" was onscreen!  The Intellivison Lives site lists Kevin Miller as the author... is his middle initial J?

 

I haven't completely worked out what it's doing, but I'm convinced this kludge is real.

 

EDIT 3:  It seems to add KJM and DEI to the word list... working to confirm.

 

Some screen shot evidence that the Word Fun "kludge" exists.  Took me longer than I care to admit to capture it.  Click to view the animated evidence.

 

dei_optimized.gif

 

kjm_optimized.gif

 

One last detail:  the 43210 kludge only seems to hold for a word or two, so if you want to reproduce, you need to keep typing 43210 every word or two.  Plus side:  You can type it on either controller, it seems.

 

This one is not like most of the kludges on Hawley's list:  Type 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 in sequence, one at a time.  It's not a "press and hold them all and hit reset" kludge.


Edited by intvnut, Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:58 AM.


#9 intvnut OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:50 AM

also if anyone has the rumored "easier version" of basketball that too needs to be dumped. that is like my holy grail of rom varients. i actually would play basketball if there was an easier version. it is just too damn hard.

 

Well.. I do have two variants of Basketball in my ROMs collection.  No idea if one is easier than the other off-hand, although I may have analyzed them previously.  Right now... it's waaaay past my bedtime.



#10 IntellivisionDude OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 25, 2014 9:46 AM

 

Actually, I believe it's the other way around.  The original is the "realistic steering" one where pressing left turns to the car's left, and pressing right turns to the car's right.    The "intuitive steering" one, where pressing left turns left relative to the screen, came later.

 

Reference:  http://www.intellivi...ports.html#auto

 

 

 

 

Well, the handling of the car (how tightly it steered and how quickly it accelerated) were selectable, but not the game mechanic of realistic vs. intuitive per se.

 

However, there is an easter egg of sorts in the later version.  If you press and hold 1+4+9 (I think) on the right-hand controller and tap reset, it'll switch the "intuitive" version back to "realistic".

 

 

I'm pretty sure i tried that Easter Egg and it didn't work. i'll try it again some time. 



#11 IntellivisionDude OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:23 AM

 

However, there is an easter egg of sorts in the later version.  If you press and hold 1+4+9 (I think) on the right-hand controller and tap reset, it'll switch the "intuitive" version back to "realistic".

 

I haven't completely worked out what it's doing, but I'm convinced this kludge is real.

 

EDIT 3:  It seems to add KJM and DEI to the word list... working to confirm.

 

 

 

I'm pretty sure i tried that Easter Egg and it didn't work. i'll try it again some time. 

 

 

I stand corrected. I tried this Easter Egg on my White Label intuitive version and it did switch back to realistic. I still prefer realistic. 



#12 pimpmaul69 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:19 PM

nm

Edited by pimpmaul69, Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:21 PM.


#13 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:53 PM

I stand corrected. I tried this Easter Egg on my White Label intuitive version and it did switch back to realistic. I still prefer realistic. 

 

I also prefer "realistic."  That's what I had as a kid.  I recall my cousin complaining about the controls, but I got used to it, and liked the way that the manual explained away as being "realistic."

 

    -dZ.



#14 mdoerty OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:04 AM

I need the manual variation for auto racing.
I also need the Electric Co. Math variation.

My fave ROM variant is the timer version of Astrosmash.

#15 mr_me ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:06 AM

Sorry to bring up an old topic, but there is some conflicting information with Auto Racing.  There are two variations of this game, but which came first?

 

realistic  -  always press right on the disk for a right turn

intuitive -  to make a right turn pressing on the disk depends on the direction your car is pointing (ie traveling south press left for a right turn)

 

Intvfunhouse.com has copies of the instructions and the original version has "intuitive" steering.  The G3 and G5 instruction revisions that I've seen have realistic steering.

http://intvfunhouse.com/games/auto.php

 

Intellivisionlives.com contradicts itself.

http://intellivision...ports.html#auto

"There were two versions of Auto Racing released due to a running change made during manufacturing. In the original version, steering is realistic -- it is oriented to the car. For example, if your car is moving downward on-screen and you want to turn right (that is, toward the left of the screen), you press right on the hand controller disc. Mattel received complaints about how difficult this was (even the instruction book warns that it takes some getting used to), so a running change was ordered to make steering intuitive -- to orient it to the screen. In the above example, to turn toward the left of the screen, you press left on the hand controller disc, even though the car is actually making a right."

 

http://intellivision...ts/autorace.txt

STEERING [ORIGINAL CARTRIDGE RELEASE] Steer your car with the Direction Disc. When you first start playing AUTO RACING, your impulse will probably be to use the Disc as if it were a steering wheel, where you would always press the left side to turn left, etc. However, THE DISC ORIENTS THE CAR TO THE FOUR SIDES OF THE TV PICTURE: to point the car toward the top of the screen, press the top of the Disc. To point it toward the left edge, press the left side, and so on.

 

STEERING [REVISED CARTRIDGE RELEASE] Use the Directional Disc to steer your car. The car will go straight ahead when the Disc is not touched. To turn left, press the left side of the disc; to turn right, press the right side.

 

So "intuitive" came first and then revised for "realistic" steering.

 

Well I have a late version of Mattel Auto Racing (trayless box and G5 instructions), it plays with the revised "realistic" steering.  I wanted to use the 1-6-9 trick to try the "intuitive" steering but it doesn't work.  I then see a note on Intvfunhouse that this trick only works with the "older" intuitive version of the game.  But why would the original version have two types of steering and the revised version only have one.  And then as IntellivisionDude points out the white label version (which should be the latest) has the older "intuitive" steering and the 1-6-9 trick.

 

So I am guessing the original programmer set it up with "realistic" steering, but somehow it was decided and changed to "intuitive" steering before release.  The programmer, preferring "realistic" steering, hid the 1-6-9 trick in the game to change steering type.  The original instructions for "intuitive" steering even say that you'll instinctively try "realistic" steering.  After release Mattel decided to go with "realistic" steering and a manufacturing change.  The programmer rather than keeping an option for switching steering got rid of the 1-6-9 trick; "realistic" steering only.  Then when Mattel was out of the business, somehow the original "intuitive" steering games showed up as white label cartridges.  I wonder what the instructions for the white label cartridges had for steering?
 



#16 intvnut OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 3, 2015 3:41 PM

Sorry to bring up an old topic, but there is some conflicting information with Auto Racing.  There are two variations of this game, but which came first?

 

realistic  -  always press right on the disk for a right turn

intuitive -  to make a right turn pressing on the disk depends on the direction your car is pointing (ie traveling south press left for a right turn)

 

Intvfunhouse.com has copies of the instructions and the original version has "intuitive" steering.  The G3 and G5 instruction revisions that I've seen have realistic steering.

http://intvfunhouse.com/games/auto.php

 

Intellivisionlives.com contradicts itself.

http://intellivision...ports.html#auto

"There were two versions of Auto Racing released due to a running change made during manufacturing. In the original version, steering is realistic -- it is oriented to the car. For example, if your car is moving downward on-screen and you want to turn right (that is, toward the left of the screen), you press right on the hand controller disc. Mattel received complaints about how difficult this was (even the instruction book warns that it takes some getting used to), so a running change was ordered to make steering intuitive -- to orient it to the screen. In the above example, to turn toward the left of the screen, you press left on the hand controller disc, even though the car is actually making a right."

 

http://intellivision...ts/autorace.txt

STEERING [ORIGINAL CARTRIDGE RELEASE] Steer your car with the Direction Disc. When you first start playing AUTO RACING, your impulse will probably be to use the Disc as if it were a steering wheel, where you would always press the left side to turn left, etc. However, THE DISC ORIENTS THE CAR TO THE FOUR SIDES OF THE TV PICTURE: to point the car toward the top of the screen, press the top of the Disc. To point it toward the left edge, press the left side, and so on.

 

STEERING [REVISED CARTRIDGE RELEASE] Use the Directional Disc to steer your car. The car will go straight ahead when the Disc is not touched. To turn left, press the left side of the disc; to turn right, press the right side.

 

So "intuitive" came first and then revised for "realistic" steering.

 

Well I have a late version of Mattel Auto Racing (trayless box and G5 instructions), it plays with the revised "realistic" steering.  I wanted to use the 1-6-9 trick to try the "intuitive" steering but it doesn't work.  I then see a note on Intvfunhouse that this trick only works with the "older" intuitive version of the game.  But why would the original version have two types of steering and the revised version only have one.  And then as IntellivisionDude points out the white label version (which should be the latest) has the older "intuitive" steering and the 1-6-9 trick.

 

So I am guessing the original programmer set it up with "realistic" steering, but somehow it was decided and changed to "intuitive" steering before release.  The programmer, preferring "realistic" steering, hid the 1-6-9 trick in the game to change steering type.  The original instructions for "intuitive" steering even say that you'll instinctively try "realistic" steering.  After release Mattel decided to go with "realistic" steering and a manufacturing change.  The programmer rather than keeping an option for switching steering got rid of the 1-6-9 trick; "realistic" steering only.  Then when Mattel was out of the business, somehow the original "intuitive" steering games showed up as white label cartridges.  I wonder what the instructions for the white label cartridges had for steering?
 

 

It wouldn't surprise me if there was a mix of material out there after the running change.  I just pulled a blue label -G1/ plastic tray off the shelf and it's "realistic steering."  (Manual missing, sadly.)

 

I couldn't get that shell open (don't have my security screw bits handy), but I did dig up a bare board Auto Racing I have.  (Realistic steering.)  It's on a 2610-3229 Rev A PCB, and it has two 2K ROM chips on it, whose part numbers end in "-128" and "-228", and a date code of 8203. 

 

If you can find an "Intuitive steering" version, perhaps we can settle this by looking at its ROMs.

 

I wouldn't be surprised to find out both were in the market in parallel.

 

And I still think it's more likely "Intuitive" comes later, as it has an Easter egg to switch to "Realistic."  Why would they remove the Easter egg, rather than just swap the default?


Edited by intvnut, Thu Sep 3, 2015 3:45 PM.


#17 mr_me ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 8, 2015 10:51 AM

I have two Mattel Auto Racing, both are realistic steering.  One is a loose cart with triangle screws that I can't open.

 

The other has phillips screws and the G5 revision of the instructions.  Here are the cartridge details.

Single ROM chip marked AMI, C11944, 1113-0090, 8203DAW

Circuit board marked 2610-3229 REV F,  Mattel Inc c1980, 6-02

 

Why would they take out the easter egg?  I'm guessing it's because nobody liked intuitive(directional) steering especially the programmer.

 

 

Edit:

I still wouldn't mind trying out intuitive/directional steering one day.


Edited by mr_me, Tue Sep 8, 2015 10:58 AM.


#18 intvnut OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 8, 2015 4:40 PM

I have two Mattel Auto Racing, both are realistic steering.  One is a loose cart with triangle screws that I can't open.

 

The other has phillips screws and the G5 revision of the instructions.  Here are the cartridge details.

Single ROM chip marked AMI, C11944, 1113-0090, 8203DAW

Circuit board marked 2610-3229 REV F,  Mattel Inc c1980, 6-02

 

Why would they take out the easter egg?  I'm guessing it's because nobody liked intuitive(directional) steering especially the programmer.

 

 

Edit:

I still wouldn't mind trying out intuitive/directional steering one day.

 

Ok, so same date code (8203... third week of 1982).  At least, I presume that's the date code.  Date codes are typically YYWW, two digits for year, two digits for week.

 

Hmm.



#19 freewheel OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 9, 2015 7:09 PM

Welp, you guys got me to dig out a game that I've always kinda hated. I am TERRIBLE at this game. Crash, crash, crash. It just isn't much fun for me - I loathe the concept of forced acceleration and brake as needed. Should be the other way around. But, I do have 4 copies, so I figured I'd try to help:

 

First, it turns out that in all my years of security bit collecting I've never owned this particular triangle bit. Grrr. So I can't get ROM pics of anything. That being said... all  4 copies I own are blue-labelled. 2 different shell styles but that's the only distinction. And they ALL play "realistic". Which is absolutely horrible, in my books. The "intuitive" style seems much more natural for a strictly top-down perspective like this. Firing it up in jzintv doesn't help me to decide though. I really would need to try this with the disc. If only there was a readily available multi-cart... :P

 

I have several versions of the instructions - G2, G5, and French-Canadian. And they all describe "realistic".

 

My take on this from Keith's site, and from comments he's made countless times over the years, is that "realistic" came first. Customers complained, and "intuitive" came out - while leaving in "realistic" as an easter egg. Which is why we'd see "intuitive" in white-label releases. The only evidence of it being the other way around is a .txt file of instructions, that was produced in 1998 for the first CDs. I think it's very likely someone just messed up their memory when typing that out. I think intvfunhouse might have looked at the manual numbers and assumed that G2+ came later, therefore intuitive came first? But I see no actual evidence of that. I'm also extremely doubtful that anyone would go to the trouble of removing an easter-egg mid production. Mattel never wasted time changing code unless there was a serious backlash. No one would be screaming for the removal of an easter egg that 0.001% of the customers even knew about.

 

And from memory as a gamer in the early 80s, people definitely would have found "intuitive" exactly that. The concept of controlling yourself from a first-person perspective is still foreign to a lot of people, unless you're actually IN a first-person perspective. It's why the Resident Evil games got so much flack from casual gamers. It's just not intuitive. So I'd much sooner believe that realistic got consumer complaints, especially in the early days of gaming.

 

The real answer would be to find out what the white-label instructions (the cheap, stapled at the top ones) say. Those are the last production runs for sure. Although who knows if INTV Corp. got that right....



#20 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:44 AM

Welp, you guys got me to dig out a game that I've always kinda hated. I am TERRIBLE at this game. Crash, crash, crash. It just isn't much fun for me - I loathe the concept of forced acceleration and brake as needed. Should be the other way around. But, I do have 4 copies, so I figured I'd try to help:

 

First, it turns out that in all my years of security bit collecting I've never owned this particular triangle bit. Grrr. So I can't get ROM pics of anything. That being said... all  4 copies I own are blue-labelled. 2 different shell styles but that's the only distinction. And they ALL play "realistic". Which is absolutely horrible, in my books. The "intuitive" style seems much more natural for a strictly top-down perspective like this. Firing it up in jzintv doesn't help me to decide though. I really would need to try this with the disc. If only there was a readily available multi-cart... :P

 

I have several versions of the instructions - G2, G5, and French-Canadian. And they all describe "realistic".

 

My take on this from Keith's site, and from comments he's made countless times over the years, is that "realistic" came first. Customers complained, and "intuitive" came out - while leaving in "realistic" as an easter egg. Which is why we'd see "intuitive" in white-label releases. The only evidence of it being the other way around is a .txt file of instructions, that was produced in 1998 for the first CDs. I think it's very likely someone just messed up their memory when typing that out. I think intvfunhouse might have looked at the manual numbers and assumed that G2+ came later, therefore intuitive came first? But I see no actual evidence of that. I'm also extremely doubtful that anyone would go to the trouble of removing an easter-egg mid production. Mattel never wasted time changing code unless there was a serious backlash. No one would be screaming for the removal of an easter egg that 0.001% of the customers even knew about.

 

And from memory as a gamer in the early 80s, people definitely would have found "intuitive" exactly that. The concept of controlling yourself from a first-person perspective is still foreign to a lot of people, unless you're actually IN a first-person perspective. It's why the Resident Evil games got so much flack from casual gamers. It's just not intuitive. So I'd much sooner believe that realistic got consumer complaints, especially in the early days of gaming.

 

The real answer would be to find out what the white-label instructions (the cheap, stapled at the top ones) say. Those are the last production runs for sure. Although who knows if INTV Corp. got that right....

 

 

That's precisely what the IntellivisionLives site claims.  I always assumed this to be the case, since I had Auto Racing back in the day and had that "realistic" steering.  As a matter of fact, I don't even recall ever seeing the "intuitive" version until I came back to the Intellivision fold a few years ago.

 

I know as a fact that my copy of the Auto Racing from 1980 or 1981 had "realistic" steering.  I distinctly remember turning my head and hand-controller trying to follow the orientation of the car whenever I came upon a curve.  I also recall the manual explaining that this was "realistic" because you steer in the direction that the car is facing, not based on screen orientation.

 

My cousin hated it and cursed at it every time we played.  My friends hated it.  My father played with me, but I am sure he secretly hated it as well.

 

Being such a nerdy kid, it seems that I was impressed by the fact it said "realistic" in the manual, and therefore justified the pain; as if I were a race car driver.  I tried and tried and tried, and really enjoyed the game much.  However, I too secretly hated it.

 

      -dZ.


Edited by DZ-Jay, Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:46 AM.


#21 1980gamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:06 PM

This and Space Battle were the only 1 player games I had for a long time.  Well, until Astrosmash came out (and I was able to get it!)

 

So I got pretty good at auto racing.  I only wish the cars would go faster and I could start the game without hitting enter on a second controller!  WTF

 

I had a broken controller for a while and I couldn't even play one of the few one player games!



#22 mr_me ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:42 AM

Here is the smoking gun evidence that Auto Racing was originally released with "intuitive/directional" steering and then changed to realistic steering.  Look at any instructions book for realistic steering (G2,G3,G5) and at the end under "winning tips" you'll see the following.

 

"Steer by pressing the Disc on the edge that approximates the car's direction. If you press the "east" side of the Disc when the car is going "west," you'll lose all control of the vehicle."

 

That's "intuitive/directional" steering in the realistic steering instructions that they forgot to remove.  Therefore, the "intuitive/directional" steering game and instructions (1113-0820) was released first.  Not sure why there was any doubt the instructions with the lowest part number suffix (or no suffix) is the original; there are lots of examples with other games where that is the case; I'm not aware of one where it's not.

 

So the instructions 1113-0820 are "intuitive/directional" steering.  Revisions G2,G3,G5 and the Canadian bilingual version are all realistic steering.  The change must have been been done early in the production life of Auto Racing as games with "intuitive/directional" steering seem to be rare.

 

I don't think  Intellivision Inc. versions of the games are indicative of anything.  They were selling stock that Mattel did not sell or did not want to sell.  Intvfunhouse has a picture of an Intellivision Inc instructions book and its the G5 version.  Intellivisiondude has a white label game and it plays with "intuitive/directional" steering.  They might have packaged games with the wrong instructions and didn't know or care.



#23 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:24 AM

Hold on, I'm confused now. I thought that what you just described was "realistic" steering, whereby you press a direction relative to the orientation of the car. That is, if the car is going west and you press east, it will turn right and go up the screen.

My understanding was that "intuitive" steering is relative to the screen orientation. That is, pressing east when the car is going south will cause it to turn left and head east.

I may be dense, but I don't see your "smoking gun." :dunce:

#24 intvnut OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 11, 2015 8:52 AM

Here is the smoking gun evidence that Auto Racing was originally released with "intuitive/directional" steering and then changed to realistic steering.  Look at any instructions book for realistic steering (G2,G3,G5) and at the end under "winning tips" you'll see the following.

 

"Steer by pressing the Disc on the edge that approximates the car's direction. If you press the "east" side of the Disc when the car is going "west," you'll lose all control of the vehicle."

 

That's "intuitive/directional" steering in the realistic steering instructions that they forgot to remove.  Therefore, the "intuitive/directional" steering game and instructions (1113-0820) was released first.  Not sure why there was any doubt the instructions with the lowest part number suffix (or no suffix) is the original; there are lots of examples with other games where that is the case; I'm not aware of one where it's not.

 

So the instructions 1113-0820 are "intuitive/directional" steering.  Revisions G2,G3,G5 and the Canadian bilingual version are all realistic steering.  The change must have been been done early in the production life of Auto Racing as games with "intuitive/directional" steering seem to be rare.

 

 

Hold on, I'm confused now. I thought that what you just described was "realistic" steering, whereby you press a direction relative to the orientation of the car. That is, if the car is going west and you press east, it will turn right and go up the screen.

My understanding was that "intuitive" steering is relative to the screen orientation. That is, pressing east when the car is going south will cause it to turn left and head east.

 

Let me see if I understand.  Also, I'm going to use the word "directional" in place of "intuitive", just because we can all argue which mode is more intuitive than the other.  ;)

  • The 1113-0820 documentation (which has the lowest part number) documents directional steering:  press east on the disc to steer toward east, west on the disc to steer toward west.
  • The G2, G3, G5 documentation all documents the game as having realistic steering: press left on the disc to turn counterclockwise, right on the disc to turn clockwise.
  • The Winning Tips section that appears in all versions of the documentation is only consistent with the directional steering.

mr_me's hypothesis is that the 1113-0820 documentation represents the oldest, original version, as it's internally consistent, while the versions that follow are not.  When they made the running change from directional to realistic steering, they only changed the part near the front describing the controls, and missed changing the Winning Tips section to be consistent.

 

I admit, it's a very strong argument, assuming I've understood it correctly.

 

While we're at it, perhaps there are better terms for the steering styles?  Absolute vs. relative?


Edited by intvnut, Fri Sep 11, 2015 8:56 AM.


#25 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:34 AM

While we're at it, perhaps there are better terms for the steering styles?  Absolute vs. relative?


I am partial to "relative to car orientation" vs. "relative to screen orientation." At least to me it is explicit. "Relative" does not really qualify to what it is relative.

By the way, my confusion was on the "Winning Tips" description being identified as "intuitive" (or directional, or relative to the screen, or whatever).

However, after reading it again, I see I was wrong. I agree, it does seem to be a compelling case.

If this is true, then it means that they made the game with directional steering, printed the manuals accordingly; then changed the game to make it "realistic" by default, updating only part of the documentation; then released it quickly, overshadowing the original in numbers.

That is bizarre. Ignoring the documentation evidence that mr_me pointed out, it seems rather strange that Mattel would make a running change from "intuitive" (which is easier to play) to "realistic" steering (which is more accurate from a simulation and "purist" perspective).

Why would people complain so loudly, enough to cause Mattel to react, to make the game harder to play in the general case? It seems much more plausible that the change would have been the other way around.

Then again, the documentation changes seem to attest it. Hmmm... It is a conundrum.

dZ.




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