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X-man proto.


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#1 highinfidelity OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 9, 2004 4:07 AM

Hi Tempest, don't know if you still remember that, but we've been in contact via Email like 1yr ago about a discussion that was going on on the Atarinvader board (wich no longer exists, it seems... :sad:)

It was about two prototypes I had found: a "DataAge" Frankenstein's Monster and an X-man EPROM in an Apollo cart. You were uncertain about the authenticity of the latter, and the last time you wrote you were intentioned to collect news about how GameX protos were made...

Did you find any news in the meanwhile???

#2 YOK-dfa OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 9, 2004 4:42 AM

If you are interested in weird X-man cartridges see this thread:

http://www.atariage....6249&highlight=

Cheers,
Raymond

#3 highinfidelity OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 9, 2004 5:25 AM

Thanks but it's not my case: mine is a blank APOLLO cartridge with a custom board and an EPROM inside.

What makes me think that it's a prototype and not a copy is that it was find together with the DataAge one (which is undoubtable a prototype) and that it has its years... I mean: if I'd find it today on eBay I would bet my ass that it's a homemade fake, but time ago not everyone had an EPROM programmer at home... The Apollo cart could have been chosen because it's easy to unscrew and - as Tempest said - "many minor companies grabbed everything that was around": they couldn't invest in a custom cartridge line.

My theory is that back in the eighties both protos were sent to some spcialized magazine to be reviewed, and there they've been forgot in some cellar, where they aged well...

#4 YOK-dfa OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 9, 2004 5:46 AM

Although maybe not directly comparable, both your and mine X-Man do show the progress from a finished game towards a finished end product. I guess my copy of X-man would be manufactured later then yours, but still before the final design was realised.

One thing i don't understand in your comment is the remark about the casing. GameX is supposed to be an empty company that was being used by Spectravideo to release the adult orientated X-Man. Why would they use Apollo cases? It makes sense for a small company (for the reasons you give), but not for GameX, which is supposed to have the much bigger Spectravideo behind it.

BTW i don't know the situation in your country, but over here in Holland i knew a lot of people who (indirectly) had access to eprom programmers in that time. Most of my friends who owned consoles all had home-made X-in-1 cartridges that they bought from 'friends' or 'collegues'

Cheers,
Raymond

#5 highinfidelity OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 9, 2004 7:18 AM

HEH, I'd really like to know! The only thing I can say is that that cartridge is extremely easy to open use re-use and use again. It could be a good choice for testing games under developement. Maybe. Maybe it's just a copy...

Effectively (and unfortunately), I still don't know today anyone who owns an EPROM programmer, but of course it could be that I have a weird circle of friends...

Did you open your cart? It would be interesting to compare a scan of the chips that there are inside...

#6 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 9, 2004 7:26 AM

I honestly don't know what to make of your proto. It seems like a test copy of X-Man. I'm guessing they just used whatever case was handy which is why it's in an Apollo case. Then again the programmer for X-Man may have been an Apollo employee (didnt Ed Salvo do Texas Chainsaw Massacre as well?) and had the equipment lying around. I'm fairly certain the programmer for X-man was a freelancer and not a regular Spectravision employee (did they have any regular empolyees?).

I need to do a write up of it for my page. Got any pictures of it? I know you had sent me some but I've lost them.

Tempest

#7 YOK-dfa OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 9, 2004 7:39 AM

Did you open your cart? It would be interesting to compare a scan of the chips that there are inside...


Yep i did. No pictures though. I still plan to take some, but i have to wait until i get my hands on a scanner or digital camera

Cheers,
Raymond

#8 highinfidelity OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 9, 2004 8:09 AM

@ YOK-dfa: please do it ASAP, I'd really like to see if the two share common components...

@ Tempest: no surprise, I guess the pictures have gone together with the Atarinvader forum... :sad: I'll scan again the cart, board and chips front & rear: I would be very pleased to contribute with this little thing. Your site kicks ass!!! :thumbsup:

#9 Marco OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 9, 2004 11:51 AM

I'm fairly certain the programmer for X-man was a freelancer and not a regular Spectravision employee (did they have any regular empolyees?).


Could it be that Spectravision had one or more 'straw' companies to release games that were not meant for the general public?

Cheers,
Marco

#10 r_type2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 9, 2004 4:13 PM

I second this theory Marco!
Cheers,
Eric

#11 highinfidelity OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 11, 2004 10:06 AM

I took the scans, Tempest. Would you PM me your Email?




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