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Cat Trax for Arcadia 2001 High Score Club: Season 1, Round 1

Arcadia High Score Club MPT-03 Cat Trax Round 1

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#1 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:20 AM

As of today, December 22, 2017, the first season of the Arcadia High Score Club is wrapping up.  The first two rounds were played on the Arcadia Yahoo Group.  During season 3 of the Arcadia HSC, the rules were posted to both the Atari Age forums and the Yahoo group.  The current round (round 7) gives everyone a chance to catch-up on games they haven't played yet or games that they would like to play again for a higher score.  Here is a link to the catch-up round rules:

http://http://ataria...ason-1-round-7/

 

It has become important for non-Yahoo group members to be able to see the rules for the first two rounds, so I'm posting them again here on the AtariAge forums.  The following rules for the first round's game, Cat Trax, were originally posted on October 2, 2017 at 8:50pm to the Yahoo group.  If you're a Yahoo groups member, then you can read the rules here:

https://groups.yahoo...s/messages/2556

Here is the original post:

Season 1, Round 1 of the Arcadia  2001/MPT-03 High Score Club will last about one week. This round ends on Sunday, October 8, 2017 at 10pm MST (aka Monday, 2am GMT). The game being played this round is Emerson's cartridge #1, Cat Trax, a maze game similar to Pac-Man.

Here is a screenshot of Cat Trax being played in the WinArcadia emulator:

 

Cat Trax (Gameplay)(Arcadia 2001).gif

Here is the box for Cat Trax:

 

Cat Trax (Box_01 - Front).jpg

Here is the cartridge for the Emerson version of Cat Trax:

 

Cat Trax (Cart_01 - Front).jpg

Here is the keypad overlay for Cat Trax:

 

Cat_Trax_Emerson_Arcadia_2001_Keypad_Overlay_01.jpg

Cat Trax - Quick-Play Rules

Play Cat Trax on real hardware (PAL, NTSC, and any Arcadia family systems) or use the WinArcadia or MAME emulator.

Visit the Emerson Arcadia 2001 Central website for cartridge images and Arcadia emulators:

https://amigan.yatho.com/

Here is a direct link to the Arcadia 2001 ROM images ("CatTrax.bin" is the filename for Cat Trax):

https://amigan.yatho.com/games.rar

Post pictures of your high scores here.  Play using the default settings Game 1 (warp and gates available) and Option 1 (three tunnel exits on each side of the screen).  Remember, fire button "warps" you to random location in maze.  You can open gates using any of keys in left-most column (1, 4, 7) and you can close gates using any keys in right-most column (3, 6, 9).  For those that don't want more details, then you're set to play-- for more information (including how to earn bonus points), then read on...

Cat Trax - General Overview

I'm using Ward Shrake's "Director's Cut" of his Arcadia 2001 section of the Digital Press Collector's Guide 7 (published in August 2002) for most of the information that is in this section.

Cat Trax is a 4KB cartridge released in 1982 in a long case.  It uses the left-side controller.  The game is by "UA Limited."  This game was intended to be the Arcadia 2001 console group's legalized version of Pac-Man. It was not the first version made; Crazy Gobbler was apparently written before Cat Trax.  The November 1982 Electronic Games had a positive review of this game, in which they note that it was barely finished at that time.

Cat Trax is one of three games known to have been ported over to the Atari 2600 VCS console by "UA Limited" in 1983. (See also Funky Fish and Pleiades).

Cat Trax - Manual

High quality scans of Cat Trax box, manual, cartridge and keypad overlays are here:

https://archive.org/...rtheArcadia2001

For complete information about this game, visit the above link.  I've included the important points form the manual here:

In Cat Trax, three dogs chase a cat around a maze.  In this game, you have the ability to somewhat control the maze by opening and closing gates using the keypad on the Arcadia's controller.  You can also turn the tables on the dog by turning into a dogcatcher.

Object of the Game

1. The game is about 3 Dogs chasing after a Cat.

2. There are 4 different games plus 8 additional options which make a total of 32 possible play combinations. Games and options will be described later in more details.

3. The purpose of this game is to score as many points as possible.

4. Points are achieved when the Cat eats the Catnip (Dots), apple, fish and Dogs themselves, (see VI. Scoring)

5. Each game can be run with 3 Cats continuously.

6. Initially the Cat will be chased by the Dogs. However, it can turn the tables by eating a fish appears randomly in the middle of the screen for a certain period. Then the Cat will change into a Dog Catching Truck and a countdown timing will appear inside the upper past of the doghouse. Within the countdown period, the Dogs can be caught by the Dog Catching Truck and they will be sent back to stay in the doghouse automatically until the countdown timing is finished.

7. When the Cat eats a fish at the first frame, the countdown timing unit will start from 5.0 (actual timing is about 30 seconds). However, if the Cat succeeds to clean up all Catnip (Dots), a second frame will be continued. At this second frame, the countdown timing unit for the Dog Catching Truck starts from 4.0 (actual timing is about 25 seconds). In the third frame, the countdown timing unit for the Dog Catching Truck starts from 3.0 (actual timing is about 20 seconds). And from the forth frame onward, the countdown timing unit will always start from 2.0 (actual timing is about 15 seconds) until the game is over.

8. The apples and fish will appear at random. When eaten by the Cat you get additional points (See VI. Scoring). They will then reappear at random at a later time.

9. You have 3 Cats to run for each game. After all Cats being eaten by the Dogs, the game is over. The highest score will store in the computer memory and appear on the top right of the screen. If it is not the highest, then it will disappear when the Start button on the console is being pressed.

Cat Trax Gameplay Options

We will be play using the default settings:

Game 1 - Warp and gates available
Option 1 - Three tunnel exits on each side of the screen.

Cat Trax (Scoring):

We are playing for the highest score.  10 points are awarded for first place, 9 for second, 8 for third, etc.  If more than ten people play, then I'll figure something out...

Bonus Points

There are a couple of ways to earn bonus points.

Cat Trax - Video Review - (1 Point) - Although I found examples of gameplay footage for this cartridge, I couldn't find any reviews. Anyone who makes a video review of Cat Trax will get a bonus point.

Cat Trax - Documenting Bugs - (1 Point) - Arcadia games can be flaky.  If anyone find any problems, and documents them, then you'll earn one bonus point.  Just in case there are dozens of bugs, you can only earn one bonus point no matter how matter bugs are found.

Summary

I asked if anyone wanted to compete in an Arcadia 2001 High Score Club, and a few people answered the call.  Think of this first round as an experiment.  We'll Play Cat Trax for a week and post pictures of our scores as the week progresses.  You don't have to be a great game player (or even a good one) to participate; this is just a fun way to get us to play our Arcadia/MPT-03 game consoles-- which is what they're for, right?

I hope that this round gets people who love to talk about the Arcadia console family, but don't play it much to grab their (possibly) dust-covered old friend, plug it in and play a few rounds.  For those who don't have a real console, or who don't own this particular game, then play along with us using emulation.

Have a fun first round, everyone!

Adam



#2 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:43 AM

I originally posted this to the arcadia2001consoles Yahoo group on October 4, 2017:

I played a few rounds of Cat Trax this evening on real hardware using an Arcadia controller that works okay, but not great.  I cleared a few rounds and managed a semi-decent score:

Cat Trax - 19, 500 (NTSC Emerson Arcadia 2001 on an NTSC CRT TV)

 

Here's a screenshot of my score:

Cat Trax (Arcadia 2001)(19500)(Adam)(Cropped).jpg

I'm the first one to post a score for this, the first round of the Arcadia High Score Club, which ends this coming Sunday evening.

Now it's your turn; can you beat my score?  That's right: the gauntlet has been thrown!  It's now time to put up or shut up!  Let's see someone beat that!  <Insert generic, over-the-top, you-can't beat me saying here>  If you took one look at my score and thoughts of "puny!" or "pathetic!" ran through your head, then now's the time to show what you're made of!

Don't just collect for the Arcadia console family; play it!

Adam



#3 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:00 PM

Originally posted by ctompkins to the arcadia2001consoles Yahoo group on October 6, 2017:

Dedicated to Adam.

Cat Trax (Arcadia 2001)(21400)(Christopher)(Cropped).jpg

Christopher



#4 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:00 PM

Originally posted by minuous2 to the arcadia2001consoles Yahoo group on October 7, 2017:

Cat Trax (Arcadia 2001)(37960)(James)(Cropped).jpg

37,960 :-)

Although I should point out that it was achieved on a PAL machine :-(

Regards

James



#5 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:04 PM

Originally posted by markwcanon to the arcadia2001consoles Yahoo group on October 8, 2017:

Well I had a very busy week, but at least had to get 1 score in. Maybe more tonight after some fall activities with the kids :)

18880

 

Cat Trax (Arcadia 2001)(18880)(Mark)(Cropped).jpg

But my wife called me on the phone mid game and I didn't use the gates at all as I am not a fan of the keypad :) maybe next game I will lol

Glad you set this up Adam! I mentioned it to some atariage friends and they are interested in the hsc too. Maybe posting about it there too would be good? They aren't fond of using yahoo groups ;)

Mark



#6 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:10 PM

I originally posted this to the arcadia2001consoles Yahoo group on October 8, 2017:
 

Well I had a very busy week, but at least had to get 1 score in. Maybe more tonight after some fall activities with the kids :)
18880


That's not a bad score at all!
 

But my wife called me on the phone mid game and I didn't use the gates at all as I am not a fan of the keypad :) maybe next game I will lol


I haven't really used the gates either. You're right, the keypad is a pain to use, especially if you want to "freeze" (pause) the game, as you have to use the second hand controller. Now that's akward!
 

Glad you set this up Adam!


Me too; it's fun watching people play the Arcadia; you surely don't see that everyday!
 

I mentioned it to some atariage friends and they are interested in the hsc too. Maybe posting about it there too would be good? They aren't fond of using yahoo groups ;)


Yeah, the Yahoo groups aren't for everyone. The day I announced that Cat Trax was the High Score Club game, I was going to announce it on AtariAge in the general classicgaming forum, but then I thought I'd ask Albert if he could setup an Arcadia HSC sub-forum like he did for the Astrocade. He hasn't gotten back with me yet. Maybe he will soon, as he's usually pretty good about that. If I don't hear back from him soon, then I'll just announce the round in the general forum.

 

Adam



#7 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:13 PM

I originally posted this to the arcadia2001consoles Yahoo group on October 8, 2017:

I managed to beat my previous Cat Trax score by a few thousand points:

Cat Trax - 22,400 (NTSC, Real Emerson Arcadia 2001)

 

Cat Trax (Arcadia 2001)(22400)(Adam)(Cropped).jpg

I actually recorded this game, but my camera's battery battery ran out at around 12,000 points.  I should have used a fully charged battery!  After my battery died, I was pretty mad, as I was making a review video.  I've had this happen before when I'm taking videos, and it's always annoying.  This time I decided to do something about it.  I immediately went to Amazon.com and ordered the AC adapter kit for my Camera.  It was $60, but it should be worth it.

Adam



#8 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:17 PM

I originally posted this to the arcadia2001consoles Yahoo group on October 8, 2017:
 

Still waiting on family to go out....did a bit better ;)
26000
Cat Trax (Arcadia 2001)(26000)(Mark)(Cropped).jpg


Mark, you're NOT supposed to beat my score. Okay, back away from the Arcadia unit. Slowly. It's time to shut off your Emerson video game system find something better to do. Maybe go play the NES. Yeah, Super Mario Bros. looks inviting, doesn't it? Or, if you HAVE to play the Arcadia, then try a different game. If you break 30K on Cat Trax, then you're kicked out of this very formal club!

Nah, I'm kidding of course. This small bit of competition in the Arcadia forum is very fun to see happening.

Adam

#9 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:19 PM

Originally posted by markwcanon to the arcadia2001consoles Yahoo group on October 8, 2017:

Lol Adam hahaha!

Sorry but I am after the grand prize now! The massive Arcadia bragging rights! :D
Also I am playing on my liesurevision....maybe that is some form of cheating hahaha

It is quite fun, cat trax is really a good game, especially for pac man fans!

I am hoping to have my 2 sons play a few games with me tonight after the pumpkin farm.
Watch out....my 1 son won a hsc for the c64 playing street defender and won a prototype c64 virtual reality headset last month at the vintage computer festival midwest! :D

Mark

#10 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:27 PM

Note that this thread only includes reposts of the the highlights of the posts that were made to the Yahoo group. I originally posted this final table to the arcadia2001consoles Yahoo group on October 8, 2017:

Season 1, Round 1 of the Arcadia 2001/MPT-03 High Score Club ended on Sunday, October 8, 2017 at 10pm MST. Six people played Cat Trax this round-- which is good start-- special thanks to Mark's two sons for participating with us; that's awesome! I was also very impressed that everyone played on real hardware.

Cat Trax Scores (Final Table)

1st  Mark Canon            60,000 (NTSC)  10 points
2nd  James Jacobs          37,960 (PAL)    9 points
3rd  Milo Canon            27,940 (NTSC)   8 points
4th  Adam Trionfo          22,400 (NTSC)   7 points
5th  Christopher Tompkins  21,400 (NTSC)   6 points
6th  Skylar Canon          17,700 (NTSC)   5 points


Remember that in order to do well in the high score club, then you should play for the long haul. Sure, the better you do, the more points you get, but the more you play, the more potential you'll have to do well if you play often. Don't forget though, it's about having fun and, well, being beaten by Mark, I guess!

No bonus points were awarded for the following:

Video Review - (1 Point)
Documenting Bugs - (1 Point)

I did make a video review of Cat Trax, but I've still got to edit it all together into something (kind of) watchable before I post it to YouTube. I'll try to do that this week. However, since I'm late to the game, I won't get bonus points for the video. Still, it was fun to make, even though my battery ran out while making the video and I was essentially just talking to myself after the camera turned off.

This rounds winner is Mark. Congratulations, man!

I had a lot of fun this round, and watching Mark's score climb higher and higher was nice-- plus he proved that you don't need a PAL machine to get a good score. I've always liked Cat Trax, but giving it some extra play over the last week made me appreciate it even more. It's a nice little game. I've not played the Atari 2600 version of Cat Trax, but I did look at a video for this game. It looks similar, but I wasn't sure if you could open and close the gates, as the player didn't do it. I'm not sure if the gate feature and warp are missing from the Atari VCS release, or if the player just didn't know about those gameplay features

Next Round's Game

The main game for Round 2 of Arcadia 2001/MPT-03 High Score Club is Space Attack, a clone of Galaxian. I'll provide more details about this game when I officially post the start of the round tomorrow. In the meantime, feel free to play Space Attack to "try your evasive action skill to stop the space craft rocketing to destroy you." Ah, now that's quality English straight from the instructions on the cartridge.

Thanks for playing in this round, and I hope to see you all in the next round!

Adam



#11 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:36 PM

I posted a video review of Cat Trax to YouTube on October 14, 2017.  Here is the description for the video:

 

"Cat Trax is game released for the Emerson Arcadia 2001 in 1982. Three dogs chase a cat (the player) around a maze. You have the ability to somewhat control the maze by opening and closing gates using the keypad on the Arcadia's controller."

You can watch the video here:



The video is about 33 minutes long.  It's not exactly the hottest video on YouTube.  As of today (December 22, 2017) only 77 people have viewed the video.  Still, this video was fun to make and I hope that you enjoy watching it.

Adam







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