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Activision Descriptions - Completed!


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#26 leearco OFFLINE  

leearco

    Chopper Commander

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Posted Mon Jul 18, 2005 11:47 PM

Boxing
Hit with your left jab or right cross to score points. You have 2 minutes to either score a 100 points and win the fight or finish with the highest score in the 2 minute round. Your target is your opponents nose which reels back with a good successful hit. You can choose to fight one or two players and if you are player one your white or black for player two. Don't get caught between your opponent and the ropes as you can get pounded repetitively with a left/right/left/right etc combo.
This is old school boxing with no white towel or no referee. So keep your guard up and your wits about you and never give up.

#27 Lord Helmet OFFLINE  

Lord Helmet

    AtariAge Anomaly

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Posted Tue Jul 19, 2005 7:09 AM

Robot Tank:

Robot Tank is Activision's attempt at the Atari arcade game Battlezone. This game, like many of Activisions games, is quite fast paced, and features gamplay that requires quick reflexes as you doge enemy fire while trying to squeeze off the perfet shot at the enemy tanks. An indirect hit will cause dammage to your tank, possibly causing your tanks to become slow and cumbersome, or even disrupting your sight or radar capabilities. Like another Acivision title, Enduro, Robot Tank requires you to play during different enviornmental conditions. Score high enough, and you can add another Activision patch to your colleciton. In this case there were 2 different "Tank Corps" patches, each one reflecting a different range of score.

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Actually there were 3 different patches:

Medal of Merit - 48 tanks
Cross of Excellence - 60 tanks
Star of Honor - 72 tanks

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Woops...that was a typo...gracias!

#28 Lord Helmet OFFLINE  

Lord Helmet

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Posted Tue Jul 19, 2005 7:35 AM

Starmaster:

The first person space shooter was a popular genre on the Atari 2600. Activision’s entry into the fray is Starmaster. While other games (Atari’s own Star Raiders) complex controls required a keypad to control the functions of your starship, Starmaster used the 2600’s color/black and white switch to toggle your star map screen off and on. This allowed for a deeper game play experience, while still keeping things simple.

Your job is simply to defend all of the starbases in the area by destroying enemy ships. Taking hits while battling out the enemy would result in your ship taking damage. Your warp drive could be destroyed, weapon systems disabled, shields eliminated, or radar destroyed. The only way to repair this damage (and refuel your ship) is to dock with a local starbase.

Your game ends when either all enemies are destroyed, or your ship is eliminated. Any Mission Evaluation score of Star Master in the game qualified you to be inducted into the "Order of the Supreme StarMaster." Sending a picture of your score to Activision would result in your receiving a Starmaster patch commemorating your excellent score!

#29 LarcenTyler OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 19, 2005 8:31 AM

Beamrider
Beamrider is a unique take on the 'space ship shooter' theme that was common on the Atari 2600. Most notably is that the game is drawn to look 3-Dimensional, with objects that actually get bigger or smaller depending on how close to you they are. You are the pilot of a starship that must defeat evil aliens which have encased the Earth in a strange field of glowing beams. To do so, you must battle your way through 99 treacherous sectors, with the number of enemies and dangerous objects you must avoid increasing as you go. You have your blaster which can destroy most enemies, and your torpedoes which can destroy some objects, as well as destroy the enemy mothership at the end of each sector, giving you an opportunity to earn extra points. The game seems simple enough, but the challenge is very high, even in this day. Players who made it to Sector 14 or higher and scored at least 40,000 points were eligible to receive a special 'Beamriders' patch from Activision.


Dolphin
Dolphin is a unique style of game in that you need to use your ears as well as your eyes to be able to play the game fully. You are in control of a dolphin who needs your help in swimming through the ocean, through schools of seahorses, and being able to get the good currents (the arrows which are going in her direction) while dodging the hungry squid and the bad currents (the arrows going against her.) You will hear a set of beeps before each school of seahorses appears, this is the dolphin's sonar. You must listen to the pitch to determine where you can swim through. The higher tones mean you must swim closer to the surface, while the lower tones mean you have to swim closer to the ocean floor. Colliding with a seahorse slows your dolphin up and makes it easier for the squid to get to her, but she can protect herself by guiding the squid into currents that slow it up, and occasionally, a seagull will fly by overhead, and if the dolphin touches it, she will gain the ability to drive the squid off by ramming into it. It's a truly unique game and still remains fun to this day. If you got at least 80,000 points and sent a photo of your score to Activision, you would get a 'Friends of the Dolphins' patch, while getting a secret high score, which would reveal a secret message, and then sending a photo of it to Activision, would get you a 'Secret Society of Dolphins' patch.


Double Dragon
Double Dragon is Activision's attempt at porting the popular (at the time) arcade game to the Atari 2600. Naturally, a lot of sacrifices had to be made, most notably with the graphics, which means that the characters look very bizarre in terms of the colors used for them. In addition, with the one-button setup, they had to compress a lot of the fighting moves into the setup by combining the button presses with joystick movements, which can feel a little awkward at times, but this is usually due to the poor collision detection. The game can be played with one or two players simultaneously, and there is also a one-on-one fighting mode for two players.

#30 Lord Helmet OFFLINE  

Lord Helmet

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Posted Tue Jul 19, 2005 10:04 AM

Tennis:

If only all sports games were this simple yet fun to play! Like Activision’s other sports entries Ice Hockey and Boxing, Tennis is as exciting as a sports game can get on the 2600, especially when played against a buddy rather than the cpu. The intuitive gameplay allows you to hit the ball in many angles, depending on where on your racket you hit the ball. The game is scored just like real tennis, meaning a set between two good players can be extremely competitive and last quite a while if the score is continually tied up at “deuce.” Like many Activision titles, Tennis plays at a fevered pace. Hey, it may not be Wimbledon, but it’s still a quick fix for tennis fans!

#31 Lord Helmet OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 19, 2005 10:14 AM

Chopper Command

This side scrolling shooter in the vein of Atari’s Defender poses a challenge for even the best classic gamers. You control a chopper, your mission: defend the caravans of trucks from the enemies bomber jets and helicopters. The caravans come in groups of three trucks, with 3 enemies patrolling the skies over each caravan. Once you shoot down a patrol, that caravan is safe…until the next level, when the enemy patrols come after your caravans again, this time faster and more accurately.

Several of Activision’s shooters boast a really cool laser effect for the players shots. Chopper Command uses this effect, with shots that start out a dark blue, then intensify to white as they fly further from your chopper.

A score of 10,000 points or more at the cadet level earned you a prestigious Activision patch, a special Chopper Command Commandos emblem!

#32 Lord Helmet OFFLINE  

Lord Helmet

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Posted Tue Jul 19, 2005 1:28 PM

Freeway:

Why did the chicken cross the road? Activision programmer David Crane must have believed it was so you could outscore your opponent in his game!

Your job is to guide your chicken across lane after lane of rush hour traffic. You get a point for every chicken that makes it. Look out for the cars and trucks on the highway though! They’ll smash into you without a second thought! Good thing your chicken is invincible though, as evidenced by the fact that he never dies, only flies backward, further away from your goal.

Two players can play at the same time in a race against the clock to see how many chickens each can get across the freeway. If you Scored 20 or higher on one of the tougher game variations, and Activision sent you a patch as proof of your membership in the “Save the Chicken Foundation.” PETA would be proud of you :)


Edit: feel free to get rid of the PETA line if ya want! It's just a joke!


Edit: I swear I didnt plagiarize this:

http://www.atariage....areLabelID=2702

The description starts off the same...whoda thunk it?

Edited by Lord Helmet, Tue Jul 19, 2005 2:41 PM.


#33 Lord Helmet OFFLINE  

Lord Helmet

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Posted Tue Jul 19, 2005 1:34 PM

Gosh I feel like I'm spamming these. It's a slow week at work, so I have free time!

You guys feel free to come up with better ones than I have for the ones I already did!

:)

#34 Shaggy the Atarian OFFLINE  

Shaggy the Atarian

    Stargunner

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Posted Tue Jul 19, 2005 7:17 PM

Another question out of curiosity, will you be wanting these descriptions for other platforms or just the 2600 for now? I ask because all the Activision carts I own have been reviewed, although I have Rampage for the 7800. Thanks

#35 LarcenTyler OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 19, 2005 7:19 PM

Space Shuttle
Space Shuttle was truly a technical achievement for the Atari 2600 in the sense that it pushed the gameplay style to the limit, and it required the user to make use of just about every switch on the Atari 2600 console (special overlays, one for the six switch model and one for the four switch model, were included with the game, as well as a reference sheet and a huge manual.) Simply put, the task of just taking off was a very big task in that the player had to monitor several things, make sure everything was set up properly, and then make sure they didn't make a mistake, otherwise the whole thing would be aborted. After that, the player would find themself in outer space, where the excellent graphics are really shown to the fullest. The goal would be to dock with a space station before returning to Earth, in which case the player would have to make sure they had their shuttle set up properly to avoid burning up in the atmosphere or crashing upon landing. A player who managed to complete four dockings and return with at least 4,500 units of fuel would earn a 'Space Shuttle Pilot' patch from Activision upon submitting a photo demonstrating said requirements were met. If a player was truly good enough, and completed 6 dockings and returned with at least 7,500 units of fuel, they would get a special message, and sending a photograph of that would allow them to receive a special 'Space Shuttle Commander' patch.

#36 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 19, 2005 8:05 PM

Another question out of curiosity, will you be wanting these descriptions for other platforms or just the 2600 for now? I ask because all the Activision carts I own have been reviewed, although I have Rampage for the 7800. Thanks

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Just focusing on the 2600 at the moment, although ultimately I would like to have nice descriptions for _all_ the games in our database; 2600, 5200, 7800, Jaguar, Lynx, Atari 8-bit computers. :)

..Al

#37 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 19, 2005 8:10 PM

Gosh I feel like I'm spamming these. It's a slow week at work, so I have free time!

You guys feel free to come up with better ones than I have for the ones I already did!

:)

View Post

No need to apologize, the whole reason I started these threads was to get descriptions for these games. I'm not going to complain about prolific writing. :D

..Al

#38 LarcenTyler OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 20, 2005 1:37 PM

Plaque Attack
Plaque Attack is truly a unique video game simply based on the theme of the game. You control a floating tube of toothpaste, and on the top and bottom of the screen (supposed to be the gumlines) are teeth, which are the targets of your 'enemies' if you will. Various foods, from hamburgers to ice cream cones to candy canes, will come at you from different angles. Your goal is to squirt them with a burst of toothpaste before they decay your teeth. If a tooth is touched, you still have a few seconds before it is decayed (in which case it vanishes) so you can shoot the food off. As you earn more points, you earn more teeth inside your mouth. Naturally, if all your teeth become decayed, the game is over and it's time for a trip to the dentist! If you earned at least 35,000 points and sent a photo of your achievement to Activision, you would get a 'No Plaque Pack' emblem.

#39 sdamon OFFLINE  

sdamon

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Posted Wed Jul 20, 2005 2:01 PM

Cosmic Commuter
Programmed by John Van Ryzin before H.E.R.O, but released a year afterwards. It's a fun, fast-paced shoot-em-up in which you dodge or shoot obstacles, pick up passengers, and try to avoid running out of fuel. It was released in 1985, a year after the Great Videogame Crash, and is one of the rarer Activision games for that reason. The cartridge features a simple blue and white label that is quite different from that of any other Activision game.

Seaquest
This is an excellent shoot-em-up from Steve Cartwright, who programmed numerous Activision classics such as Frostbite and Megamania. In it, you control a yellow submarine who must find us numerous waves of sharks and enemy subs, all while trying to rescue friendly divers. It has excellent graphics for a 2600 game, and it's also noteworthy for it's very satisfying sound effects. Like many of the best 2600 games, it starts slowly and ramps up to become quite frantic in it's later waves.

H.E.R.O.
Considered by many to be one of the finest games for the 2600, H.E.R.O. was released in 1984, the year of the Great Videogame Crash. For that reason, it wasn't able to reach the same large audience as that of Activision's earlier masterpieces. The gameplay involves guiding R. Hero through caverns filled with flying critters, tentacles, moving walls, and other dangers. He's equipped with a jetpack, laser beam, and a limited supply of dyanmite, all of which will be needed to negotiate a path to his ultimate goal, the trapped miners. Control is perfect, the concept is quite unique, and the gameplay is highly addictive. The game was programmed by John Van Ryzin, who also programmed Cosmic Commuter for Activision.

Edited by sdamon, Wed Jul 20, 2005 2:03 PM.


#40 LarcenTyler OFFLINE  

LarcenTyler

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Posted Wed Jul 20, 2005 7:22 PM

Kaboom!
Kaboom! is considered to be one of Activision's signature games, and it shows because it's simple but fun. You have the Mad Bomber, a guy decked out in classic prison garb, moving back and forth dropping bombs like crazy. You are in control of three buckets of water, which must catch each bomb. If you miss a bomb, any onscreen bombs (including the one you missed) will explode, you lose a bucket, and the Mad Bomber will smile at you. One might say this was the first case of 'someone setting them up the bomb!'


Crackpots
Crackpots has nothing to do with any type of illegal drugs in any way. Instead, you're given the task of defending an apartment building against mutant bugs that are crawling out of the sewers. As Potsy, a gardener, your only defense against these creepy crawly creatures is to drop flowerpots on them as they come out of the sewer and head for the windows. The patterns vary for each color of bug, and if six or more bugs get into the building, part of the building will be eaten away, and you will have to replay the level. It seems simple enough, but it gets very fast and fun in the later levels.

#41 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 20, 2005 9:18 PM

Just posted another update. Over half of the Activision titles are now complete! Great work, everyone! :)

..Al

#42 panda_racer OFFLINE  

panda_racer

    Moonsweeper

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Posted Thu Jul 21, 2005 12:50 AM

Stampede

In Stampede you are a coyboy who must rope up as many calves as he can. When you start the game you have three freebies, that is you can miss up to three calves before the game ends. The four different calves travel at different speeds, brown are fast, tan/yellowish are meduim fast, pale yellow are slow and the black angus doesn't move at all (but is worth the most points). If you sent in a picture of your score of 3,000 points or higher to Activision back in the day, you'd get a Trail Drive patch.

*note: i'm not sure of the exact colors of the meduim fast cows because my television hates me...

#43 panda_racer OFFLINE  

panda_racer

    Moonsweeper

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Posted Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:06 AM

Dragster

Dragster may be one of the shortest videogame ever produced by Activision, or anybody. In Dragster you must get your dragster to the finish line. Using the joystick you must rev, clutch, and shift your way to victory but if you rev too much your engine will blow! If you broke 6 seconds and sent in a picture of your score to Activision way back when, you'd get a world class dragster patch!

#44 panda_racer OFFLINE  

panda_racer

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Posted Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:23 AM

Checkers!!!!!!

Activision's checkers is a visualy pleasing version of the classic boardgame. It also follows the same rules as the boardgame, if you can jump you must, if a piece is jumped it is removed from gameplay, etc. There are no neat patches for Checkers, but who needs a patch when you can have the satisfaction of beating a 25 year old computer!

#45 panda_racer OFFLINE  

panda_racer

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Posted Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:00 AM

Bridge

hmm.. i just looked it up and it does have a description, and it appears to have been there for a while.

Barnstorming!

also has a description!

Fishing Derby

In David Crane's Fishing Derby your objective is to catch more sunfish than your opponent. But it's not just between you and the other fisherman, a big black shark is underwater and waiting to steal your catch! You can go for the small ones at the top for less points, but more fish, or you can go to the very bottom for the big haul and risk the shark getting it. unfortunatly, there is no sweet Activision patch for this game.

River Raid II

David Lubar's River Raid II, the sequel to the Carol Shaw hit, is much more technical than the original. This time around you have to take off and land your plane, use radar and even refuel in mid air. Altitude also matters now, as you use your missles on helicopters and jets and your torpedoes on enemy sea vessels, tanks, water towers, landing strips, buildings, and bridges. No patch for this game.

#46 panda_racer OFFLINE  

panda_racer

    Moonsweeper

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Posted Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:08 AM

fighter pilot
has a description already!

anyways.. enough descriptions for one night from me...

#47 LarcenTyler OFFLINE  

LarcenTyler

    River Patroller

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Posted Thu Jul 21, 2005 8:04 AM

Skiing
Skiing is one of the few games that replicate this familiar winter sport on the Atari 2600, and does it very well at that. You can either take on a slalom run, with time penalties assessed for any missed gates, or go for a downhill run, where the objective is to ski the given distance as quickly as possible. The first four game variations for each game type are preset, whereas the fifth one generates a random course each time, providing for a new challenge each time you play. Players who could beat a time of 28.2 seconds on game 3 could earn an 'Activision Ski Team' patch.

#48 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 21, 2005 5:27 PM

fighter pilot
has a description already!

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Yeah, that one will need to be updated once we have a description for Absolute's Tomcat F-14. :)

..Al

#49 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 22, 2005 9:07 PM

Just added the latest Activision descriptions. Only six more games need descriptions,

Frostbite
Ghostbusters
Kabobber
Private Eye
Rampage
Sky Jinks

After these are done, I can focus on the Imagic games, and choose another company. I'm thinking Parker Brothers. :)

..Al

#50 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:09 PM

For Pitfall II you might want to add this to the "Did You Know" section.

David Crane designed a custom chip, the Display Processor Chip(DPC), that made Pitfall II's advanced graphics and audio possible. The DPC was designed to be used in other games, but the video game crash occured before it could be utilized again. He received a patent(# 4644495) for it.

In an interview with Good Deal Games, David Crane has this to say about the DPC:

MT> As well as software, you have contributed to many hardware breakthroughs including the designs of two integrated circuits used in video games. Please tell us about the Display Processor Chip (DPC) and your innovative method of bank selecting. ...

DC> My background is in hardware design. I found hardware work to be a welcome change from thousands of hours of programming and that led to the designs you mentioned. I would have to go into a highly technical explanation to delve into those two chip designs, but their intention was to try to extend the life of the 2600 even further. The hope was that the machine's capabilities could be expanded by putting extra hardware into the cartridge. The DPC chip added more graphic capability as well as 3 channel music (plus drum), and made Pitfall II possible. Unfortunately, the 2600 business died before any other games could take advantage of that technology.


Edit - corrected DCP to DPC

Edited by SpiceWare, Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:40 PM.





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