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Hard Head by Activision for Atari 2600


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#26 Nic Hills OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 3:32 AM

It was purchased as part of a huge haul of retro gaming stuff i bought about a month ago, I do not know the history of the cart or where it has come from... If I can find out more I will let you know



#27 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 4:51 AM

It was purchased as part of a huge haul of retro gaming stuff i bought about a month ago, I do not know the history of the cart or where it has come from... If I can find out more I will let you know

 

Welcome to AtariAge, Nic.

As you probably already know by now, your cart is the first found PAL version of this prototype game since 1983. 

The NTSC version was found in 1998 (together with another NTSC Activision prototype game) and that one seems to be an earlier version than yours.

Your game was always known as Unknown Activision Game #2, but thanks to you sharing this it now finally has a title.

 

8)


Edited by Rom Hunter, Fri May 19, 2017 4:53 AM.


#28 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 7:24 AM

I will try to get a video made today with gameplay and post a link in here :) without instructions it is hard to work out what I am supposed to do, from the little I played on it the other day it was very responsive and played well but I just didn't know what i was meant to be doing LOL

 

I have instructions on how to play it on my Prototype page.  I hope you don't mind that I used pictures from your auction.

 

http://www.atariprot...n2/unknown2.htm



#29 Nic Hills OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 8:52 AM

Gameplay footage video - - please share wherever you think collectors will see it - as i am selling it I want as many collectors to find out about the sale as possible



#30 Nic Hills OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 8:53 AM

I know the video thumbnail is quite spammy - but I have a very limited time to get the word out there about this game boing on the market... please share the vid with anyone you think may be interested



#31 Nic Hills OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 8:55 AM

Thanks Tempest but i didn't see your message about your instructions before making the video which shows my feeble attempt to play the game LOL



#32 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 8:59 AM

Great find! icon_thumbsup.gif
 

Any new code could be implemented into the old NTSC version which would be cool. That or just fix the scanline count if it's not something game breaking.

The 4K ROM of the NTSC version is completely used (except for 3*2 bytes), so the PAL version must have been optimized for space to fit in the extra display. The graphics of the big alien "mother ship" at the top are reused, but we need space for the colors and the display code.

Therefore I am pretty sure the PAL version is more complete.



#33 maibock OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 9:06 AM

looks like a fun game! albeit with annoying sound effect :)

 

thanks for sharing man..



#34 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 9:08 AM

In the video we can spot more differences to the NTSC prototype:

  • The player's alien is not dropped from the top of the screen, it just appears at the bottom
  • the little tune at the beginning is gone.
  • there is a demo mode

Now I wonder if the PAL version is really newer. Did they they sacrifice the big alien for those differences or vice versa...? icon_ponder.gif


Edited by Thomas Jentzsch, Fri May 19, 2017 9:34 AM.

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#35 Nic Hills OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 9:41 AM

Glad to share guys - happy you enjoyed the footage - if you could share the video and listing link on any other gaming forums - Facebook pages etc to get the word out that this super rare game is on sale I would appreciate it - I plan to do a live stream on my youtube channel when it finishes which should be fun

 

all the best

 

Nic



#36 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 9:56 AM

In the video we can spot more differences to the NTSC prototype:

  • The player's alien is not dropped from the top of the screen, it just appears at the bottom
  • the little tune at the beginning is gone.
  • there is a demo mode

Now I wonder if the PAL version is really newer. Did they they sacrifice the big alien for those differences or vice versa...? icon_ponder.gif

 

Interesting questions.  Although I'd think the demo mode would point to it being newer.  You'd also think that they wouldn't do the PAL version until they were done with the NTSC version since they were a US based company. 



#37 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 1:03 PM

Makes sense.

 

Hopefully the ROM will eventually be dumped and released. Then we can compare the code.



#38 Shawn OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 7:18 PM

Makes sense.

 

Hopefully the ROM will eventually be dumped and released. Then we can compare the code.

 

If the 4k is full it could get fleshed out to 8K bankswitching to include everything and not make any sacrifices to keep it to 4k. They might have been forced to keep to 4k for budgeting but thankfully this tech is now so cheap it just doesn't matter anymore :)



#39 Nic Hills OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 8:16 PM

 

and already in the database

if this is the database you are referring to http://www.atariprot...n2/unknown2.htmcould you correct the error - the database states that the cart is in Germany, when it is in the UK (also a credit would be nice) :) as I can assure you i am in the UK and the cart is sat right here on my desk... the original link on this thread was simply the german ebay site showing my international listing...


Edited by Nic Hills, Fri May 19, 2017 8:18 PM.


#40 panamajoe OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 1:03 AM

if this is the database you are referring to http://www.atariprot...n2/unknown2.htmcould you correct the error - the database states that the cart is in Germany, when it is in the UK (also a credit would be nice) :) as I can assure you i am in the UK and the cart is sat right here on my desk... the original link on this thread was simply the german ebay site showing my international listing...


I was refering to the Atarimania database by Romhunter - what you are refering to is the Atariprotos database by Tempest. Either way i can correct none of them, sorry!

#41 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 1:05 AM

...but both are following this thread and will get this right soon. icon_smile.gif

#42 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 3:29 AM

Anyone noticed the slightly corrupted Activision copyright animation in both versions?

This seems to be an odd variation of the well known logo animation (e.g. in Enduro, Pitfall II, H.E.R.O. etc.), where the copyright text is squeezed into just 40 instead of the usual 48 pixel. I haven't seen this in any other game.

BTW: The evolution of this (and other) logos would IMO be worth a separate thread.

#43 Mayhem OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 4:35 AM

Well, the bidding on this has blown up, so that's me out of even contemplating buying to dump this heh.



#44 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 4:55 AM

IMO one bidder (g***r(1)) looks quite suspicious.

#45 Shawn OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 6:32 PM

IMO one bidder (g***r(1)) looks quite suspicious.

 

Doesn't matter cause it looks like some other guy and 0**0 (gee I wonder who that is :P ) are both battling for the top bid right now. I wouldn't pay $3500 for this cart but I'm not exactly in a position to do so even if I did think it was worth it.


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#46 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 6:34 PM

if this is the database you are referring to http://www.atariprot...n2/unknown2.htmcould you correct the error - the database states that the cart is in Germany, when it is in the UK (also a credit would be nice) :) as I can assure you i am in the UK and the cart is sat right here on my desk... the original link on this thread was simply the german ebay site showing my international listing...

 

Fixed it.  I can credit you if you want, I just didn't want to put your name out there without your say so.



#47 Supergun OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 9:20 PM

 
Doesn't matter cause it looks like some other guy and 0**0 (gee I wonder who that is :P ) are both battling for the top bid right now. I wouldn't pay $3500 for this cart but I'm not exactly in a position to do so even if I did think it was worth it.


100% agreed. It's nowhere near that neighborhood. It's already been dumped. Granted, the data may be slightly different, perhaps even a bit further along, but there's nothing absolutely mind blowing here. The name was the biggest gain to be had, and it's already been obtained, and for free.

This is escalating in price purely because of over hype, exageration, and spectacle. Place it on eBay, make a video, spam every website & forum community. This isn't & never was about finding this cartridge the right home. Oh please. It's about fetching the most money it can.

For decades now, the word rare has been overused to the point of silliness. And now, over the past several years, the same thing has happened to the term holy grail. Whatever happens to be the most unique item a person finds during the course of their interest in the hobby, automatically becomes the next holy grail.

Again, yes, this was a great find & a rare item indeed. But it's significance & position in the main scope of things is far less then it's being made out to be; and for all the wrong reasons.

#48 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 21, 2017 1:58 AM

100% agreed. It's nowhere near that neighborhood. It's already been dumped. Granted, the data may be slightly different, perhaps even a bit further along, but there's nothing absolutely mind blowing here. The name was the biggest gain to be had, and it's already been obtained, and for free.

This is escalating in price purely because of over hype, exageration, and spectacle. Place it on eBay, make a video, spam every website & forum community. This isn't & never was about finding this cartridge the right home. Oh please. It's about fetching the most money it can.

Again, yes, this was a great find & a rare item indeed. But it's significance & position in the main scope of things is far less then it's being made out to be; and for all the wrong reasons.

 

I agree that the cart is not worth that amount of money, certainly compared with other prototype prices.

And the game itself has already been dumped almost twenty years ago.

On the other hand: it's an unreleased Activision game, it's fully playable and most probably more complete than the NTSC version, and it's the only PAL version known to exist.

That must be the trigger for some people, I guess.


BTW: I don't agree with you that it's about fetching the most money it can.

Nic was asking 30 GBP for it in his first Atari 2600 Games Haul video and I think he is completely honest and open in his information.

8)


Edited by Rom Hunter, Sun May 21, 2017 2:56 AM.


#49 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 21, 2017 2:40 AM

 

On the other hand: it's an unreleased Activision game, it's fully playable and most probably more complete than the NTSC version, and it's the only PAL version known to exist.



8)

Exactly, it's not a dump, its an original Activision cart from 1983, more complete and THE ONLY ONE IN THE UNIVERSE.

Without a doubt a very valuable cart, beats those Nintendo comp carts for sure.


Edited by high voltage, Sun May 21, 2017 2:41 AM.


#50 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 21, 2017 5:01 AM

Exactly, it's not a dump, its an original Activision cart from 1983, more complete and THE ONLY ONE IN THE UNIVERSE.

 

Don't know about that.

If we could trace down the programmer (now the title is known), perhaps we'll find out he/she has more of these in the attic.

8)


Edited by Rom Hunter, Sun May 21, 2017 5:34 AM.





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