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Atari 7800 Q*Bert Prototype Revealed!


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#1 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 1:04 PM

/images/news/Qbert7800.jpgWe're pleased to announce the revelation of another long-lost Atari prototype, this time featuring a game for the 7800: Q*bert! Parker Brothers, who owned the rights to publish game console and home computers versions of Q*bert, licensed Q*bert to Atari for use on the 2600 as well as for the 7800. Until now, no proof had ever surfaced that any development for a 7800 version of Q*bert had commenced, much less having reached a state where the game was playable. Thanks to the efforts of several classic gaming enthusiasts, we're now able to share with you this new 7800 prototype. Curt Vendel of AtariMuseum.com discovered the source code to Q*bert earlier this year, in a batch of printouts he acquired from an ex-Atari employee. He then passed along these printouts to Ken Van Mersbergen, who scanned in the source and got it compiling. And finally, Ken Siders polished the binary a bit to remove some obvious bugs and make the game playable. To download the binary and view some screenshots, please have a look here.

I have also attached the binary to this message. Enjoy!

..Al

Attached Files



#2 Gregory DG OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 1:07 PM

Mmm--kay... :)

#3 Clint Thompson OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 1:20 PM

Boy... it sure is ashame I don't have a emulator on this mac here to try it out. hmmm

#4 Atariboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 1:23 PM

Is that the right format to load into a CC2? Can't remember.

#5 Ferris OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 1:24 PM

APRIL FOOLS!!!


If it's not.... then holy christ, today is a great day.

#6 Atariboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 1:31 PM

Sounds real

#7 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 1:34 PM

Boy... it sure is ashame I don't have a emulator on this mac here to try it out. hmmm


A new version of MESS was released for OS X recently, and it actually works quite well! However, it does not take screenshots properly, so I had to use the Windows version to take the screenshots that I posted here. Having decent 7800 emulation under OS X makes me happy!

..Al

#8 birdie3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 1:37 PM

April Fools or not..

HALE-FREAKIN'-LUIA!!!

8)

#9 Bruce Tomlin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 1:38 PM

First though: April Fools. Hey, there's a binary, I can download it. Hmm, 32K, and in a hex editor it looks real. Okay, so it doesn't have an A78 header, but the one off of Joust was handy.

Holy crap. Folks, either someone has been HARD at work making an April Fool's joke, or this is the real thing. It actually plays! I died on the second level.

#10 Bruce Tomlin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 1:46 PM

I think the coilys are missing.

#11 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 1:49 PM

I think the coilys are missing.


Yeah, I don't think any of the enemies are present besides the red balls (I mentioned this on my brief writeup of the game here--second paragraph).

..Al

#12 Gamemaster_ca_2003 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 1:54 PM

Man This might be Ligitimate. If it is April Fools Please continue development.

#13 Bruce Tomlin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 2:13 PM

I just noticed that this came from scans of a source code listing? Any chance of the source code getting released?

#14 pctechie OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 2:15 PM

How do we know this isn't a fake? It looks like a fake. And its April 1

#15 Bruce Tomlin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 2:21 PM

How do we know this isn't a fake?  It looks like a fake.  And its April 1

Because it runs? See the main AA page.

Here's one with an a78 header to make it easier to run on an emulator.

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#16 Lost Monkey OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 2:29 PM

The graphics are really nice.. 8)

This would be worth finishing.. unlike that Turbo proto...

:D

#17 birdie3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 2:30 PM

I got to Wave 2 board 1 with my keyboard. Yehaw!!!

#18 Ferris OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 2:51 PM

If this is real I'd like to see Curt and Ken give us some more background as to how they came to find this awesome game and if they know what the CX-designation was for this title.

The April Fools joke may be that, if this is 110% legitimate as it seems it is, that they held on to this until April Fools day to confuse people even more, and the April 1 release its self is the April Fools Joke. Got it?

#19 Allan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 3:22 PM

Oh dammit. I just tried it on my Cuttle cart II and it just says April Fools. Dammit I wish this was real. Well you got us good.

Allan

#20 Goochman OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 3:24 PM

Kenfused posted a Q*Bert style avatar recently ;)

#21 Ferris OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 3:34 PM

Told ya it was some sort of elaborate april fools joke. My guess is Ken or someone has been working on a Q-Bert 7800 game and instead of posting a "work in progress" thread they turned it into a goodass april fools. If it were real Curt and Ken would be making a great bit of hype about it on their sites, etc.

Good job Al! :D

#22 Danno OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 3:35 PM

Oh dammit. I just tried it on my Cuttle cart II and it just says April Fools. Dammit I wish this was real. Well you got us good.

Allan

So how does that explain why it runs in every emulator?

#23 Lord Helmet OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 4:13 PM

Wasn't this how beef drp started out...?

#24 birdie3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 4:22 PM

How did you get it to say "Happy April Fool's Day" or whatever the message is?

#25 Allan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2005 5:13 PM

Oh dammit. I just tried it on my Cuttle cart II and it just says April Fools. Dammit I wish this was real. Well you got us good.

Allan

So how does that explain why it runs in every emulator?


I was just joking. It might say it somewhere in the game but I haven't found it yet. It is fantastic though. Nice job.

Allan




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