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1979 Protoview



The 1978-1979 school year was significant for me.


Other than seven people to whom I'm related, I no longer know anyone I'd ever met prior to the school year of 1978-79. Anyone I knew, peers or otherwise, before that school year, is either dead or is now 28 years in the past and I've got no hope of getting in touch with them and even less hope that they'll remember me.


I almost got into just how many friends I've made and kept each year since 1979, but the amount stops growing in 1991 and has remained exceedingly small ever since. Now, before I depress myself, what the fuck was my point . . . ?


I had one, I swear.


Oh, yeah, the Videogame line-up of 1979!!! Anyone with whom I've ever played a videogame, other than my family, I met after 1979. That's all I wanted to say. I honestly had no intention of getting into counting the number of friends I've made since then but what a nice, cheery way to start an entry! :_(


In 1979 there were still five, count 'em, FIVE systems on sale to the general public: the Atari VCS, Odyssey^2 by Magnavox, The Bally Professional Arcade, the ??? Channel F and the APF M1000.


The APF M1000, or MP1000, was about to morph into the Imagination Machine in 1980 and then it would die a horrible death. 1979 marks the last year a game was released for just the original console portion and that game was:


Space Destroyers (APF MP1000, 1979) which I don't have, so don't even go there.


Fairchild Semiconductor stopped selling the Channel F in the US in 1978. A company named Zircon bought the rights and began selling the system with seven games that hadn't been released previously. According to some sources I've read, Zircon did this in 1982, other sources say 1979. Have I kept track of those sources? No, because, damn it, I'm a time traveller, not a frackin' historian. For the sake of getting the Channel F "out of the way" as well as keeping it out of the log jam of systems that's going to occur farther down the timestream in 1982, we'll be covering its remaing US games, this year, with two special mystery games, one from across space and the other from across time.


Zircon Channel F

#19 Checkers

#21 Bowling

#22 Slot Machine

#23 Galactic Space Wars

#24 Pro Football

#25 Casino Poker

#26 Alien Invasion


The other two are surprises, but you won't have to wait too long.


No, I'm not telling you right now! You'll have to wait. Or guess. And, no, they've got nothing to do with porn! Jeez, ya pervs . . .


Bally Professional Arcade had a short year, but it was easy to find almost all of them.

Amazin' Maze / Tic-Tac-Toe

Astro Battle aka Space Invaders

Bally Pin aka Astrocade Pinball

Blackjack / Poker / Acey Deucey

Star Battle


Odyssey^2 had a fair sized crop.

Alpine Skiing

Computer Intro


Hockey / Soccer

Invaders from Hyperspace

I've Got Your Number

Out of this World / Helecopter Rescue

Showdown in 2100 A.D.


War of Nerves


And last, but certainly not, well, you know, the Atari Video Computer System had a biggish year:


BASIC Programming


Canyon Bomber



Human Cannonball

Miniature Golf

Sky Diver

Slot Machine


Video Chess


Now, there's been some question about many of the Atari games and the actual year of the release vs. copyright date. For instance, Superman is copyright 1978 by Atari but 1979 by DC comics. Maybe they wrote it in 1978 and got permission to release under DC license in 1979? I have no idea. I went through Atari Age and the Digital Press Collector's Guide for my dates, I wrote down the games for that year and moved on. I wasn't Mr. ErrorChecker. So, if there's a game in the wrong year, please let me know. I won't necessarily move it, but I'm curious enough to know about it.


I'll say it again, mostly to remind myself, this is for fun. If I spent too much time playing historian I'd never get to play anything.


Speaking of history, as I understand it, the Intellivision was only test marketed in 1979 and only in Fresno, California. It didn't go nationwide until 1980. So, despite all the games with 1979 copyrights, I'm not playing INTV until we start 1980.


Back in October, I said I'd be done 1978 by Thanksgiving 2005. ROFLMFAO! I guess I'm neither psychic nor very smart. I'll finish when I finish, but it may get a little tricky over the summer with some other stuff going on.


Next entry we'll skip right over the APF MP1000 (I don't have the one cart, Space Destroyers, from 1979) to the Channel F's first Mystery Game! Be sure not to avoid it!


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I bet you a dollar that you and your kids will have the most fun playing "Sky Diver" :evil:


No bet! I already know you're right! ;) We love that game, mostly for the kicking legs when we fail. We're also fans of Human Cannonball and Circus Atari, oddly enough, for the exact same reasons. ;)

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Say, did we already have "Space Zap" for the Astrocade or is this still coming in the future?



Hmm, nope, not until the far flung future of 1981 does Space Fortress (The home version of Space Zap) come to the Astrocade. I still need to make a list for 1980 to 1984 but that will come later.

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Have you tried the Pac-man game? Send me a PM if you want to try the latest version.


Frank mentioned in the Tetris game by Peter Trauner is Frank Palazzolo, he has done some work on MESS, and me as you already knew and also Sean Riddle.


Peter wanted to show it was possible to make Tetris for this system, he was never interested in the prize, I guess that's the reason it wasn't finished (no sound and missing some features). Another reason is that the binary is the same size as the available ram on his favorite computer (I'm guessing a VIC 20).


No more attempts on Tetris has been made as far as I know.

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It got me 2 months to get to this post. Why? Because I had to cover all the computer games from 1978, and, finally in 1979, I went through all arcades and pongs before moving on to the consoles. In fact, I still have to read about a few less known consoles (that you don't seem to have played) before joining you in the next entry.


Anyway, kind of strange that after two months without visiting, I start reading this entry and it's sooooooo depressing! And I was in such a good mood! lol


Talk to you soon!

(Here I am talking alone again.)

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