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.
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
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:
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
[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
MVO R0, G_0167 ; 590C 0240 0167
SWAP R0, 1 ; 590E 0040
MVO R0, G_0168 ; 590F 0240 0168
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.