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Mezrabad

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Everything posted by Mezrabad

  1. Cool! That makes absolute sense, if they are breathing then they can snore. Heck, I've snored while I was wide-awake (at the dentist during a root canal). I wonder if unconscious people dream? I've never actually been "unconscious" through head trauma, but I've seen someone pass out from pain (No, not while I was torturing them.). They said it was different than being asleep, but that's all I remember. Thank you, TROGDOR, for your resourceful research and your erudite explanation. But, ya know, stars or birds might've dispelled any possible ambiguity.
  2. Well, I wasn't able to bring any chronogaming equipment with me for the summer, but I was able to bring some screenshots that I've finally "processed" and moved to the computer in this place that's hooked up to the net. (Neither of my PCs seem to work with the network here. They've become paperweights.) So . . . Boxing (APF MP1000, 1978) Oh, so, here's the obligatory menu screen. Ya gotta love the alliterative appellations. Slugger Sam, Horrible Harry, Jabbing Joe. This game is from a simpler time when such names could cause amusement for us. Heh. Boxing for the MP1000 kinda reminds me of playing something on the TRS-80. Remember how some, if not most, (hell, if not, all) of the games with graphics on the TRS-80 didn't really have "graphics" per se? The were just ASCII characters or rectangles arranged in such a way that looked like graphics? The Tandy CoCo was probably the same way. Anyway, these graphics look like they're made of not-so-little rectangles, just like Tandy's stuff. Two boxers, differentiated by a slight tan on the left one, start the game out in their corners (er, line segment terminals?) and . . . come out fighting! The stick on the APF controller is squeaky, so since this is actually more action oriented than most of the other games there's a lot more squeaking going on. The stick moves them from side to side, the side buttons launch a punch and pushing the stick forward blocks an incoming punch. Hey, we're looking at the first 2d fighter!!!! See Mr. Paler stick his arm up like that? I call that the "Mr. Fantastic Punch" for some reason. The way it's animated, it looks more like squares are being added as extensions to his arm than it looks like he's moving it. I should still mention that the animation is pretty detailed, stretchy arms not withstanding. The boxers "dance" from one leg to the other as they "float like a butterfly, sting like ..." um, Mr. Fantastic. I call this the octopus shot. Overexposing the picture lead to the combining of the two organisms into one eight-legged beast with two heads. Horrible to behold yet impossible not to stare at. This game supports two players and, impressively, supports ONE player. Yes, they've provided the three nemesi mentioned (Harry, Joe, Sam) to pose as punching bags. I'd love to describe them as three delightfully distinct opponents, each with exciting nuances that differentiate them from one another, but it seems I lack a "sense" for such subtlety. Either that or they are all exactly the same. (EDIT from corrective post I made later: Boxing: I mentioned before that there are three AI driven boxing opponents with different alliterative names yet indistinguishable fighting habits. THAT was an incorrect statement. I played it again yesterday and say that each computer opponent has a boxing style primarily concerned with their offense. Horrible Harry punches every 3rd beat. (one, two, PUNCH, one, two, PUNCH). Slugging Sam swings every other beat (one, punch, one, punch) and Jabbing Joe stabs at the air every beat (jab, jab, jab, jab). Just thought I'd mention it as I wasn't kind when I spoke of the variation in opponents before. (Hey, it'd been a month or so since I'd played it. Gimme a break.) END EDIT) Here's the blocking feature in action. Blocking is when one boxer holds up their hand and the other boxer's stretchy arm extension thing can't penetrate. Oh and here's what everybody is waiting for. The shot that shows one brute hitting the other so hard it DEFORMS HIS HEAD! Reporter: "Rocky, do you think you've suffered any brain damage?" Rocky: "I don't see any." This came out in 1978, just two years after Rocky. (Best Picture, 1976) but since my chronomachine couldn't handle going back to 1978 (after having already moved on to 1979) I can quote things from Rocky II even though it didn't come out until 1979. Makes me want to yell "YO, ADRIAN, I DID IT!!!" Or if Creed had won . . . From what I understand, when someone is unconscious from being hit in the head many times, they're not really "asleep" so those "ZZZs" are really misinformative. Can anyone give us the details on being unconscious? I try to put a little science into each and every post. We had fun with this, squeaky controllers and all. I can't remember anything about the actual sound effects for the game; it's the squeaky controllers that stand out in my mind. I don't know what I'll look at next. This entry was supposed to be the casino cart (slots!), but I didn't take any screenshots sooo, we'll see what we got.
  3. Mezrabad

    Tick . . .

    Hehe. My family and I are spending the summer about 1600 miles away from where all my stuff is, and my stuff can't be brought a long. Chronojuice builds up with time so I should have enough of it when we get back in late August, early September.
  4. Mezrabad

    Tick . . .

    The clock has stopped. Out of chronojuice. I should be able to restart again in September. All my chronogaming equipment is in storage for the summer. In the meantime, I hope to update www.chronogamer.com with all of my entries from here while I'm away. Take care, michael / mezrabad / chronogamer
  5. Got it today, along with a bonus copy of VF2! So, happy ending! Yay!
  6. We used to play the 2600 game Adventure with the sole intention of putting all objects but one and a dragon into the yellow castle (blink-o-rama) and then we'd try to catch the bat, get eaten by the dragon while holding the bat and then fly around the kingdom by controlling the bat (over walls, etc.). We "invented" (meaning we did it on our own, but I'm sure we weren't the only ones) of playing games "Ghandi Style". Which is when you run around trying to get as far as you can with out killing anything. I remember doing most it with an arcade game called Front Line if I remember correctly, but I suppose it would also be fun with some other games, too. The fun part was laughing at the person playing while they treid to do their best Ghandi imitiation "In the world of an eye for an eye we would all be blind!" (said with Indian accent).
  7. Sorry for the hiatus, real life and such, yada yada yada. Slot Machine (Channel F - Zircon, 1979) Jerry Lawson, the designer of the Channel-F, in a panel discussion at CGE 2004 revealed that he'd made Slot Machine for his mother, who was fond of going to the casinos and playing the slot machines. I don't know if he gave it to her for Mother's Day, but in honor of the sweet sentiment: Happy Mother's day to all the mother's out there who tolerate videogames in their homes. Yeah, it's like a week away, what's your point? I don't have this cart for the Zircon Channel-F, myself. The last one I saw on ebay sold for $73 loose, which is when I decided that the MESS experience was good enough for me. Something I thought was particularly interesting about this cartridge is that it has a sort of title/intro screen. If I knew how to make an animated GIF out of MESS screenshots, you'd be able to see the marquee lights circling the welcome to big casino. Slot Machine is the earliest example of a slot machine program that I've seen but is predated by Slots on the Casino I cartridge for the APF MP1000. (I haven't played that one yet, but I'm happy to announce that I now have it, so someday I will.) This is a very simple cartridge, something your mother would be able to figure out. You set the amount of money in your "purse" anywhere from $1 to $99. Then you choose your bet by pushing the stick in one of the four directions for $.05, $.10, $.25 and $.50. Then you start feeding the machine by pressing down the plunger to start it and then to stop it. I have no manual for this, but the winnings seem slim for all but three in a row, which I was only able to "achieve" with the bottle graphic and it won me about $30. At the time it was enough for me to wrap my winnings of about $95 back around to winnings in the mid $20s. The "F" stands for "Fun". All in all this game is easy to play but, for me, not very fun in that I just can't get into playing a slot machine, much less playing one with pretend money. Anyway, the story behind it is more interesting than the game itself and I think it's cool that this guy was able to make a game for his mother and then have it published on his system. Recently, I was fortunate enough to have been paying attention to eBay and was able to win all but one of the rest of the APF carts from 1978. So, we're going to reset the chronometer to 1978 for a few days while we take care of those. Please look forward to it!
  8. Perhaps this was a usage of the word "asap" of which I was not previously aware? Since the 27th, I haven't heard anything, nor have I received such.
  9. Yay! the 1up account worked. He apologized profusely as he'd been really busy and forgot, but he's getting it out asap. Kevincal, you were right that he'd make good and that he was very busy. Thanks again for piping in because that was enough to keep me from getting all paranoid.
  10. Heh. Let's make this the "hey, I know you haven't gotten your Tempest 2000 yet, but let me just mention to you that you should've bought mine" thread. I think Clint got a New Xbox 360 and has become devoted to it. LOL He's got a good reputation and I'm a patient person, but I'm going to be out of town soon so there is a clock ticking (and I don't even know that he knows that I paid him on April 6th as he doesn't seem to be communicating.) I bet if I got an Xbox360 Live account I could track him down.
  11. Thanks for your reassurance. He's been to his 1up blog recently, so I guess he's not dead. I wish he'd answer my emails though. (or at least just let me know he's sent the darn thing.) I think Indiana must be having troubles with their mail. There are two packages I've been waiting on for two weeks that haven't reached me from Indiana yet. (and one from Wisconsin.)
  12. k :-/ Has anyone heard anything from Clint Thompson in the last few days? He hasn't answered my emails or pm. He hasn't been on the boards since April 12th and I've yet to receive Tempest 2000, though I sent him my $12 on April 6. I am not suggesting he ripped me off for $12, however I am, frankly, a little worried about the guy. It just doesn't seem like the behavior of someone who's been coming here since 2002. I guess I've been a little paranoid about people dying suddenly ever since we lost Bargora. Anyway, doesn't anyone know him personally? Is he okay?
  13. It allows the FAQ author to replace older versions easily; upon updating a FAQ, they can just send it to the designated hosting sites. With unrestricted hosting, the FAQ author never knows how many sites might be hosting older, outdated FAQs... thank you for explaining that. I never knew and it always annoyed me. I just don't want CNN to pull an "embrace, absorb, digest and excrete" move on gamefaqs, ie, turning it into something unrecognizable with the previous content stripped of any credit to the original authors and then wanting to charge $19.95 for an annual subscription.
  14. I got the TG-16 et al today. It's simply . . . beautiful. *sniff* I love you man! *sniff* *sniff* <big manly bear hug>
  15. I think it is interesting that the ad talks about the Atari changing colors to protect your TV from burn-in. I wish systems did that now when the games were on pause, since we have a whole new tech of TV that's at burn in risk.
  16. A friend of mine just pointed me to the Spore video (google video) and I'm obsessed with it now. We want a console released just to play Spore 24/7 in some super hard-core/detailed version of the game. (call it SporeBox, or SporeStation, or Sporvolution). I'd forgotten about Evolva. There used to be a game online modeled after the idea of evolution and multiplayer. I think people played it by created text files that described the attribute of an organism (according to certain rules) and submitted to a main server that tabulted how many of each persons critters survived to the next rung on the evolutionary ladder. Wish I could remember the name.
  17. For those of you playing along at home this is Videocart #21-Bowling, for the Zircon Channel F. I wonder if they actually changed its name to the "Zircon Channel-F"? All of the carts released during what is known among Channel F fans as "The Zircon Era" have the Zircon Empire's name and address on the back of the cart. I'll scan a picture of it one of these days. Bowling (Channel F, 1979) The Title (system, year) format was one of the ways of presenting the cart title that Flack suggested, and I like it. Thanks Flack! We've seen a few interpretations of Bowling over the years. RCA Studio II, APF and the Odyssey^2 all had their own takes on the sport. It was one of the few games that didn't suck completely on the RCA Studio II and the other two systems didn't exactly get it wrong either. It felt like I wasn't able to do splits on those systems, though, that could mean I'm just not very good at splits. I could never do seven-ten splits in real life, either. Channel-F Bowling gets all the technical aspects of the sport correct. The scoring is accurate, no "15-for-a-spare-30-for-a-strike" fudging here. The game keeps track of the pins you earn after a spare or a strike and adds them appropriately. It also handles splits. I was surprised when I was able to spare a seven-ten-six split. They don't show the six (or is the four?) pin sliding over from the right to knock the seven, but the seven pin did go down. Also, like every other Bowling game, it is possible to curve the ball. At any point after you roll it, you initiate a hook or a slice by pushing the joystick the way you want the ball to go. You can't un-do the curve either, so you have to be careful not to curve the ball when you initially roll it, or it will go straight into the gutter. Hmm, gutter. That reminds me, I'd better talk about the graphics. The graphics are Channel-F level graphics. (I'll post screenshots later, so check back often!) The pins look like air hockey paddles, which is better than just a square. In fact, I bring up the pins because they were Good Thing. The rest of it was very sparse, like PONG sparse. The designers did go the extra mile by providing a frame record at the top right of the screen, displaying the strikes, spares and opens for each frame played. So overall, points away for graphics, but points added for screen layout. The thing about Channel-F Bowling that didn't work the most, was the speed of the ball and the fact it can't be adjusted. It's fast, especially for my four year old. It was hard for her to get a bead on it when she was preparing to roll it and it was hard for her to curve it when she wanted to, once it went sailing up the alley. I'm not saying that this makes the game bad, per se, but it makes it harder to play with my kids, which is bad. CORRECTION! EDIT: Actually what's bad is trying to play these games without having directions for game settings. The speed of the ball CAN be changed! We were playing 2 player and I must've been hitting speed 2 in response to the "S?" question, thinking it had no effect (the directions on the cart say nothing about it). But G=2 and S=1 was fine for my little girl, provided she didn't twist the joystick around the wrong way and throw everything into the gutter. /EDIT Also on this cartridge is a Bowling variation called Splits. In Splits the program sets up random configurations of shots that can be hard to make. It's a neat idea and makes for good practice. I gotta give them credit for including it on a Bowling cart first. Despite this addition, this isn't the title I'd pop in if I wanted to play a Bowling game. In the Bowling system wars, I'm going to have to consider the Odyssey^2 to currently hold the title of "Best Bowling Game, So Far". Odyssey^2 Bowling is pretty, has a four player option and is the most fun. Next entry it's back to the MESS emulator for Slot Machine.
  18. Checkers (Channel F, 1979) This was what the U.S. got instead of the Saba Schach game I wrote of a few days ago. Checkers? Don't misunderstand me, I like the game of checkers, it's what most people learn before moving on to Chess and I'm no exception. The US gets Checkers and not Chess? It just seems wrong, insulting even. How does it rate as a checkers game? Not bad. The controls make enough sense that one can jump right in. My only complaint is that the AI always gets to go first and there's no option for two people to play against each other. Of course, the big plus is there IS an AI to play against! It just isn't a huge challenge and I'm not aware of any difficulty settings that can be changed. It should be noted that I don't have the Checkers cart. It's pretty rare and the few times I've seen it on ebay it was in big lots with other stuff and was going for a pretty penny. A pretty penny I wasn't willing to part with, especially since it was emulated well enough for a game of Checkers. With regards to sound: Thankfully, there's very little sound. What they do choose to use is really annoying. When the computer player picks a piece to move, the piece blinks and you hear a high pitched "beep beep beep". I don't know if it would be so painful coming out of the actual console, but coming out of my TV it hurt me the first time I heard it. I turned the volume way down after that. Here's the screens from the MESS version. Nothing terribly impressive to look at but not un-fun to play. If you're a kid and no one wants to play checkers with you, this isn't a bad cart to have. Next entry, we go Bowling!!!
  19. I was interested, but I can't read your auction post because it's in all capital letters.
  20. Mezrabad

    1979 Protoview

    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.
  21. Mezrabad

    Tetris for Channel F

    No, no. I guess I wasn't clear. The game added rows to either player if the other player removed multiple rows at one time. We even switched sides to make sure and tested it by alternating playing poorly vs. well. I think it was a slippery slope thing. If you're doing well, not only are you doing well, but your making it harder for your opponent to do well. I don't think it was a bug at all, but rather part of the design. I may have made it sound like a bug because we weren't sure when it happened. Since we had no instructions and it isn't covered at Gamefaqs.com, I was talking about it like, I dunno, some kind of black box behavior.. We know that it happens, we're pretty certain it's supposed to happen, we just weren't sure what we were doing to cause it to happen.
  22. This is not an April Fool's Day prank, but since it is April Fool's Day, I think it would be entirely appropriate to talk about something one wouldn't expect to find for the Channel F. I'd been trying to come up with ways to talk about the odd hack or homebrew every now and then. I don't want to do it too often, because it does fall outside of the chronology, but on odd dates and stuff, Friday the 13th, Feb 29th, April Fools and whenever, I'll do them for the heck of it. Tetris (Channel F, 2004 - Peter Trauner) Who says there are no good games written for the Channel F? Title page. I don't know who Frank is, but the other two are easy to figure out. If I remember correctly a gentleman named Fredric Blåholtz issued a challenge and a reward to get homebrewing started for the Channel F. He wanted someone to program a Channel F version of Tetris and he offered a complete collection of Channel F carts to the person who did it first. I believe there was a thread that spoke of this on Atari Age's forums. Tetris in action. There are probably ways of making a real live Tetris cart but I haven't made one. The screenshots are what it looks like on the MESS emulator when output to my TV. We used Playstation controllers to play it, which worked well enough. The play is two-player, head-to-head. A single player game starts if you wait long enough after the second player loses. The score is simply the number of blocks emitted by the, um, block emitter. Unexpectedly, the winner of a two player game is determined by who survives the longest, not by the score. There are no scoring bonuses for taking out more than one row at a time, but, there does seem to be a way to punish your opponent for not doing as well as you. I was doing pretty well and my son started complaining that the game was adding rows to the bottom of his side! We weren't able to isolate the behavior completely, but it seemed to happen whenever I was able to get rid of two or more of my bottom rows. End round shot Is it fun? Of course it is, it's Tetris! There's no sound that I was able hear, so you might call it quiet fun. Anyway, there it is: a game that doesn't take any stretch of the imagination to be fun on the Channel F. Who woulda thunk it? Next Entry I'll start working on US released games for the Channel F starting with #19 Checkers.
  23. Mezrabad

    Schach for Channel F

    Well, when I drink it makes other people look smarter and better looking, but when I play video games it's the other way around.
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