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Spoiler! Video Whizball Easter Egg

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Videocart #20, Video Whizball, FCF 1978

 

WOW!

 

I haven't got the instructions for this Videocart so I felt I should come up with a setting for this ancient gaming gem.

 

Here's the scenario: two squares, (call them "Blue" and "Green") -- enemies from the day they were born -- spit their hatred for each other across a field of battle about which huge lumbering red squares roam (We'll call them "Reds"). To express their hatred for one another, Blue and Green may spit across the field to try to hit one another and force the other to temporarily retire from the field of battle (presumably to wash their face). Meanwhile the Reds roam freely, bouncing off the walls and each other in their mindless wandering.

 

Up to four hulking Reds can stalk the battlefield at a time. Reds can crush our two smaller antagonists if they happen to rumble over them. Fortunately, Green and Blue have an unlimited army of clone replacements. All are ready to fight after a short mourning period. All are filled with the same hatred for the other hue. Unfortunately, while either Blue or Green is down, their respective gate stands unguarded. This gives their enemy ample opportunity to use their acid spit on the Reds, and force one or more through their enemy's gate. Direct enough Reds through that gate, and victory is acquired!

 

The Reds have a speed, direction and an apparent momentum that our antagonists can change by spitting on them. Each spit hit slows a Red down and will begin to force it back towards the enemy. To aim, Blue and Green not only can move themselves up and down in front of their gates but they can also twist themselves diagonally to allow their Spit missiles to traject at an angle to rebound off the walls of the battlefield.

 

If Blue is at his gate and a Red is accelerating towards him (because Green is spitting at the other side of it) Blue can spit with all his might and try to deflect that Red, or at the very least, slow it down. Blue can also maneuver so that, with a diagonal spit, that Red may deflect from its current course, bounce off a wall and propel itself, with all initial momentum plus what Blue has given it, back towards Green.

 

Later levels allow a slight control over the trajectory of the spit missiles. Other levels put numbers on the huge Red squares. Their significance is still a mystery to me . . .We have great fun with this game.

 

One of the nice design elements is the spit physics. Each Square may only have one spit missile in play. This missile will deflect off the playfield walls, but disappear when it hits a Red or the Enemy. The connotation being that if a Red is bearing down on your Square, your Square will develop rapid fire as its shots begin to disappear at a faster rate as the Red gets closer. This gives you defensive power when you most need it. Conversely, as you try to control Reds on the other side of the field, near your enemy's gate, your Square spits at a slower rate and each shot needs to be more carefully considered while your enemy gains the defensive advantage that you just lost by spitting the Red into your enemy's area.

 

Really, this is game is whole bunch of good and one we'll be playing again. (EDIT in 2021: No we never did play it again together, though I did take it out to look at it again.)

 

An interesting thing about this cart is if you start a game and not touch the controllers the computer starts playing itself. There isn't a two-player game to select, just don't touch one of the controllers and the other square will start playing the game. The enemy AI in this doesn't suck either. This game should win an award or something. I haven't played all the games from 1978 yet, but I think I'd give this the Game of the Year Award, or, at the very least, I'd give it a strong nomination.

 

Here are some screenshots. The one with the name in the center is an actual Easter Egg and most likely the first Easter Egg in a commercially sold game. Just FYI. (EDIT in 2021: This did come out two years before Atari's Adventure)

 

blog-1571-1133494925_thumb.png    blog-1571-1133494938_thumb.png    blog-1571-1133494947_thumb.png    blog-1571-1133494917_thumb.png

 



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Sounds like it has very interesting & unique gameplay. Might be somehting which could be duplicated as a 1K mini-game even, although you'd have to update the graphics.

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So this Easter Egg is two years before the Adventure Easter Egg.Looks like the Adventure info page needs to be updated...

Some of these old games are just so simple and bizzare that they are good to play.

Keep on "Chronographing"!

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Yes, this is a revelation. It really surprised me with how fun it was. A gem of a game that's foundered in obscurity for too long. I really don't think you could do it properly on the Atari 2600 but it might be worth a try. I'm glad you liked it too!

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Yes, this is a revelation. It really surprised me with how fun it was. A gem of a game that's foundered in obscurity for too long. I really don't think you could do it properly on the Atari 2600 but it might be worth a try. I'm glad you liked it too!

 

Surprise and revelation fit my reaction to it, too. I've even taken it out since playing it for Chronogaming continued to enjoy it. I don't have the programming chops to port this to the 2600, but if I did, this would be the one I'd do.

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Whoa! This IS a good game! I was getting whipped by the AI, but finally got the hang of it and turned the score around!

 

The numbers on the red squares are the points they are worth when shot through a gate. The higher the number, the more you should focus on that square. The numbers will slowly increase while the squares are in the playing field.

 

On the easter egg, how do you make it show? :?

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On 10/1/2012 at 9:55 PM, Nelio said:

Whoa! This IS a good game! I was getting whipped by the AI, but finally got the hang of it and turned the score around!

 

The numbers on the red squares are the points they are worth when shot through a gate. The higher the number, the more you should focus on that square. The numbers will slowly increase while the squares are in the playing field.

 

On the easter egg, how do you make it show? :?

Oh crap... I didn't describe how to do it, did I and I have NO clue anymore how I did. Damn. Now I have to look and try to find out.

 

I did learn that Spitfire has an Easter Egg in it, but that it's not something can trigger while playing it on the original hardware. I seem to remember triggering the Easter Egg for Whizball while playing on an actual TV and not while using an Emulator. Lots of information out about this stuff now and I remember reading the steps to make the Whizball egg appear, but now I guess I'll have to watch a YouTube video. xD

 

Edited by Mezrabad
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okay, found it! Play game 14 to 11 points. Then set a new game right away Game 43, to 67 points (maybe someone's birthday?) and the programmers last name appears.

 

 

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Dang... This game!!!  Besides the built-in Pong game (which is the ultimate version of pong imho), this is THE reason to own a Channel F.  But the asking price for this one on e-to-the-bay is Ridiculous.

 

If anyone here has one and will consider trading or ...well... Something... Please PM me.

 

Come to think of it... Anyone here know how to burn a ROM for a Channel F?  I wouldn't mind turning a cheaper cart into Video Whizball and making my own label.

 

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