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Draft Atari manual to The Last Starfighter

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#1 jmccorm OFFLINE  



  • 355 posts

Posted Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:49 PM

Hi! I've been tied up lately, but I came across something that I thought I'd share right quick. I hope that it is not widely known? It is a draft copy of an official Atari manual for The Last Starfighter cartridge for the Atari Home Computer and Atari 5200.


Attached File  Last Starfighter 800 Manual.pdf   11.75MB   144 downloads

Attached File  Last Starfighter 5200 Manual.pdf   5.39MB   44 downloads


SOURCE: http://www.cliffhous...games/games.htm



#2 lightman OFFLINE  


    Star Raider

  • 52 posts

Posted Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:51 PM

I think this is awesome. Thank you!

#3 lbaeza OFFLINE  



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  • Former NRXA8-staff
  • Location:Chile con Carne

Posted Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:31 PM

Cool, thanks for sharing. Never seen this one. I compared it to the official Star Raiders II manual found on Atarimania, and they are very different from each other.


Kind regards,


Louis BQ

#4 Stephen OFFLINE  



  • 7,375 posts
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Posted Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:45 PM

Excellent - reading now.

#5 Rybags OFFLINE  



  • 15,963 posts
  • Location:Australia

Posted Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:18 PM

Thanks.  It's a pity the deal fell through in the day.  I didn't mind the movie and the leaked game was great despite the obvious too easy parts which were mostly addressed in the official SR2.

Having a game so close to completion but never released in the day - it's a worse tragedy than having a great game that technically could have been done but wasn't (with the usual piracy and too few sales prospects excuses).



    River Patroller

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  • Location:Coral Gables, FL

Posted Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:28 PM

Excellent! Thanks!

#7 jmccorm OFFLINE  



  • Topic Starter
  • 355 posts

Posted Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:33 PM

I'd love to claim credit, but the extent of my effort was to recognize the importance of someone else's effort and then to promote it here on their behalf. Apparently, it was no accident that this early draft copy of The Last Starfighter's manual was preserved.


Gary Stark is credited as the co-designer of The Last Starfighter. He's also given co-credit for the audio and graphics. He worked at Atari as a project manager (although some of the other documents lead me to believe that he still practiced some relevant technical skills). From the outside, it seems a little bit difficult to pin down the extent of his involvement in each area. Apparently, most of his effort was on the coin-op side, but there was this consumer project for the Atari 800 (Atari 5200), and he was also involved with a Cookie Monster Crunch, an educational cartridge for the Atari 2600.


As it turns out, Gary preserved and republished the documents from his own projects (as well as a few other) during his time at Atari. It looks like he made these documents available sometime around 2015 (and his webpage doesn't appear to have been updated since early 2016). I only managed to stumble across his documents when I was doing some research for the parody project that I'm working on. As an owner of Pit Fighter, Guardians of the Hood, and Thunderjaws arcade PCBs, I greatly enjoyed reading the design and development documents that he preserved and shared from the coin-op side of the house.


I sent Kevin Savetz an email and recommended Gary Stark as the subject for an interview in the ANTIC Atari 8-bit Podcast. All the way around, I think that Gary Stark would have some fantastic stories that we'd all like to hear. Kevin is just the guy to make it happen in the best possible way. (I'm also hoping that Gary is sitting on some source code and that Kevin might persuade him to give it the abandonware treatment.)


All around, Gary Stark seems like a good guy. I'm eager to learn more!

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