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Everything posted by Mezrabad

  1. Mezrabad

    Memory Matches, Channel F

    a $40 scientific calculator would've kicked butt back then, except for not being able to bring it to class.
  2. Mezrabad

    1973 End of an Odyssey

    Hey! Thanks! What a nice thing to say, I can't believe I missed this comment! Sorry it took so long to respond! Thanks! I'll try to keep it up, but, jeez, it's getting hard with my chief playing partner (my son) not home for summer vacation everyday anymore! Maybe I should take him out of school, say he's sick or something . . . (hehe, I'm kidding, of course.) I'm glad you enjoyed it and I agree, it is amazing what they did with what they had.
  3. Mezrabad

    Memory Matches, Channel F

    I'm sure I should say "undersupported", but I'm a little bitter over the keyboard controllers. As a controller they're not bad at all, in fact, with Brain Games I'd say they're pretty responsive and worthwhile. I need to find out more information, but as I understand it, they were only developed because Atari was afraid of getting sued for calling the 2600 a "Video Computer System" when there was no keyboard for it. Let's just say, I was an original recipient of Basic Programming. My parents got me the cart with the keyboard controllers back in the day. I think they paid about $60 for it, which made it a very expensive birthday gift for me at the time. Especially since my birthday (being in December) could always kind of "cut into" my Xmas "take" if it was a little pricey. I was devastated by the level of functionality available in Basic Programming. I could have gotten three other games for the amount they spent on BP and I don't remember ever seeing another game for those keyboard controllers (at least never something I was interested in getting, which is a shame because I would've liked Brain Games a lot.) Anyway, my "Persona", up in the blog, hasn't had that heart-breaking experience, yet, and says he's looking forward to Basic Programming. I'm setting him up to also be devastated, as I was. His only solace will be that he enjoyed Brain Games. Yes, I'm recreating my childhood videogame dramas here with happy endings. It's therapeutic, or something.
  4. Mezrabad

    Brain Games

    !!! Hmm, I didn't notice that. You're right, of course. Low-res for the scores and high-res for the sequence numbers. From what I've read Atari was scrambling to come up with keyboard games because of the Odyssey^2. Maybe they used the low res for the scores because they could copy the code from a previous game? In this case, "time" might have been harder to come by than code space. Interesting though.
  5. Mezrabad

    Outlaw aka Gunslinger

    Do we have to !?
  6. You may want to consider getting a VecFlash. Here. It's a Flash-able Vectrex Multicart.
  7. Accuracy isn't something I have the ability to achieve with too fine a granularity, at least, not for this era. I'm pretty sure my so-called "1978" games came out during that year according to what I've read and the copyrights I've pulled off the manuals and carts. However, I've no earthly clue in what order they came out. You do bring up an interesting point. We haven't come across a lot of flicker so far. I guess Baseball is good evidence that the programmers' toolboxes were getting more varied since the launch titles. Software generations were quicker back then, weren't they? Programmers learnt new tricks for a console and put them in the next project, just like they do now, but the period was shorter. Games took less time so they and the programmers improved more quickly. I'm just speculating. I would enjoy seeing these games with your programmer's eyes. I don't have the knowledge to look at something and say "heeey! look they're using a <insert algorthymic term here> there! Wow!", but I'm glad you point it out as it allows for more appreciation of the cart in the hardware/software context of the time. So, thanks.
  8. Mezrabad

    Celestial Ceasars

    That sounds like a cool game! Almost like a prototypical Master of Orion. (well, without the tech tree, or the different races, or the economic model. Okay, maybe it isn't like Master of Orion, but it's in space!) Nice description and making the movie is a really cool idea which I'll try to imitate someday.
  9. My son is going to be 8 in two weeks. He's had access to a Gamecube since he was 5 and has enjoyed all of the games below. Some would be considered inappropriate by some parents, so do your homework, you may want to stick to the ESRB ratings. Kirby's Air Ride (no brainer, kids love this one.) Super Smash Bros Melee (ditto) Godzilla Destroy All Monsters Pikmin (Challenging for him, but he enjoys it.) Animal Crossing (not so much lately) Super Monkey Ball 1 + 2 (the minigames in SMB 1 are awesome.) Super Mario Sunshine Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles (very fun with multiple players) Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (This was a big-time "learn to read" motivator.) Phantasy Star Online (I don't let him play online but we have fun playing multi) Metroid Prime (He has always enjoyed this, but it is considered inappropriate to most.) Spider-Man (possibly inappropriate) Crazy Taxi 2 (possibly inappropriate) Pokemon Channel (he's not so into this) As good, stimulating learning games go, I would push Pikmin and the Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. As good "play with Mom and Dad" games go: I would suggest Super Monkey Ball (My preference is the first one), Phantasy Star Online and Animal Crossing. Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles is fun but can be tough for the less experienced. If I could only get three for my son right now, I'd get him Kirby's Air Ride, Super Smash Bros Melee and Super Monkey Ball. All which are great to play when he has friends over to play the 'Cube and they're pretty cheap at the moment.
  10. 959829[/snapback] Okay, thanks for the information. I hope that AtariAge can handle the influx of DP refugees, um, I mean, evacuees. I wonder if we started giving names to the DDOS attacks (DDOS Wilma, or DDOS Katrina) if we'd qualify for federal aid.
  11. Mezrabad

    Slot Racers, Atari VCS 1978

    Yeah, my son is quite a tolerant soul and a good sport, too. Winning or losing doesn't necessarily affect how he feels about playing a game again. Atari VCS Basketball, for instance. I win most of the time, now, but he still likes it enough to ask to play it. I agree, a lot of us old timers are very lucky to have been born right around the birth of this hobby. My only fear is that when we're really old, something amazing may happen in the industry of interactive entertainment (I dunno, holodecks? or direct visual cortex input stuff) that we're going to be too old to enjoy.
  12. Mezrabad

    Slot Racers, Atari VCS 1978

    I had found out that Robinette wrote Slot Racers via Atari Age a couple of years ago, before I had actually tried it again and enjoyed it. I was shocked! I had such good memories of Adventure and such lousy memories of Slot Racers. I'm very glad that playing it again has allowed me to append my memories of it with some positive notes. I've yet to play Rocky's Boots but I'm a big fan of Robot Odyssey. What else has Warrne Robinette done that has a similar flavor to Adventure and Robot Odyssey? (I assume Rocky's Boots is kinda in between those two.) I'm hesitant to mention who's written each of these games when I write the main entry since most consumers (in 1978) didn't know what individuals wrote which games until the Adventure easter egg and the advent of Activision. I'm just being anal, I know.
  13. Mezrabad

    Space War, Atari VCS 1978

    Yeah, I had looked forward to getting it and playing it again, but I think I've been "spoiled" by having had unlimited access to the Cinematronics version via MAME. I hear there's a hack of Space War with the ships in the shapes of the original Spacewar! I should load that up and give it a shot.
  14. Mezrabad

    Space War, Atari VCS 1978

    I know, the thrust^3 method isn't good strategy, but my son really likes the fact that he can get his ship to go really, really fast. My friends, in my youth, also always seemed to like doing that, too. I'm pretty certain some of my current retrogaming friends would play it as it was meant to be played, I just don't have any living near me. Hmm, a different rev of Spacewar on FB2? If I had an FB2 I'd definitely check that out for you, but alas, I do not. Not yet, anyway. Hmm, the docking one . . . I'll try what you suggest. I don't think I remember trying the difficulty switches on that variation, now that you mention it. I will say that it is rather nice to "zone out" while making minute course corrections and getting closer to the target each time. I do like the docking one (which I neglected to mention), it's just that by the end of the two minutes or so, I'm like, "okay, that was fun, what's next?". This is probably the problem with trying to play all the games (chronologically, in order), I feel a bit of a need to move along if we're both not having an absolute blast. My problem, really, not the game's.
  15. Mezrabad

    I toured NCSoft today.

    The Altair computer factory would've been cool! My trip was closer to the latter variety, and certainly no disappointment. Since, there were a few non-gamers with me (hell, they invited me), the tour stayed pretty "pedestrian". While it was really cool to have Lord British himself give a little lecture on the Ultima series it was merely an "Honor" than mind-blowing. I mean, there was nothing he said that I hadn't read a dozen times already. (though, it was nice to be able to make references to "insider" information. When he was talking about Ultima VII he said he was really happy with the level of detail they'd been able to add to the world and I said "Like baking bread!" making reference to the whole controversy that had surrounded Ultima IX when they had almost not included the ability to bake bread.) Most of the easter egg stuff that I might've found new and interesting would've been pointless trivia to the "normal" people that were also on the tour with me. I'm not complaining, it was still the culmination of a 14-year mania of mine. It was great just to shake Robert and Richard's hands and say "I've really enjoyed your work, it's great to meet you." There were times when I was totally "geeking-out", though, especially seeing all those Ultima artifacts hanging on the wall. That was pretty-mind blowing. (Especially seeing an Original Aklabeth.) (Thanks for responding by the way. I posted this in a forum over at DP and not a single person responded to the post! Though one sent a very nice PM.)
  16. How much is pretty much based on what they cost in the Digital Press Guide. Why am I selling them? A number of reasons I guess. I don't need them anymore. I never intended to keep them forever, I was just buying them to play them with the understanding that I'd be selling them someday, otherwise I could never have afforded them. They take up a lot of space. With the money I could buy other games. Just curious, but why would you ask why I was selling them? I'm not offended, it's just not a question I see asked much of sellers. I haven't been updating this post because no one had emailed me expressing any interest. Most of the actuall selling has been taking place over at my blog in Digital Press. I'll edit this one to indicate what has sold.
  17. I'm chronogamer on ebay with 100% positive feedback if you need references. There's also some feedback on me over in the feedback forums at Digital Press. I'll update this with more information daily as I get my act together. Right now, I can only accept Paypal payments (cash, no credit cards). Buyer pays exact amount of shipping. We split the packaging costs (if any) and I pay for the insurance / confirmation. If interested in anything, ask about it via email and I'll email you pictures and a better description. Then you can make an offer if still interested. Let me know you sent an email by leaving a message in this thread. send email to michaelmccourt(at)hotmail(dot)com Extra Games 1972 Baseball (complete) SOLD Invasion (complete) ONE SOLD(two of these) Handball (complete) SOLD Fun Zoo (complete) SOLD Volleyball (complete) ONE SOLD(two of these) Wipeout (complete) SOLD Volleyball (missing instructions but I'll provide a copy) Wipeout (missing one car token) Systems Odyssey S.N. 1097808 Run-2 (Silver Magnavox Logo+Shipping Carton) Description and Price: http://www.digitpress.com/forum/weblog_entry.php?e=1655 Odyssey S.N. 11424841 Run-2 Odyssey S.N. 10971432 Run-2 The above systems all work fine and contain all the accessories EXCEPT the cardboard box for the darn switch box. *The Silver Logo one is Rarer than the others and contains most of the documentation. Shooting Galleries all have gun, box, instructions with all overlays and carts. They all work Shooting Gallery (#1) Some box wear SOLD Shooting Gallery (#2) Some box wear Shooting Gallery (#3) Hole worn in one corner of box. 1973 Extra Games Interplanetary Voyage (complete) SOLD Interplanetary Voyage (missing two cards) Basketball (complete) SOLD W.I.N. (complete) SOLD Brain Wave (missing ten thought-tiles) SOLD W.I.N. (box, overlays (poor) and 3 pads and pencils) Carrying Case, includes packing instructions and Magnavox AC adaptor. SOLD
  18. Mezrabad

    1978 Protoview

    Oh, I completely agree. Most of my free time is spent on family and that's how it should be. By "redoubling my efforts" I meant it more in the sense that when I find myself up at 10pm, after my wife and children are asleep, I would feel so much better about what I was doing with my free time if I were actively exploring these games. Too often, I find myself getting lazy and more likely to space-out watching Fear Factor or Blind Date (from which I get nothing). Usually at the end of such evenings I'll say "crap, I could've been playing insert chronogame here, instead of gelling my brain to the comic antics of real people trying to win money". So, in essence, I'd like to do exactly what you're suggesting, move videogames up ahead of reality TV! Heheh.
  19. I'm glad you brought that up. I am a VCS programming neophyte, but I was thinking it must have been tough to do the whole fourplayer AND enemies. There's not a lot of flicker if I recall correctly, either.
  20. Mezrabad

    1977 Retroview

    Thanks! I'll always say that I'm doing this for my own "journey of exploration" but it's comments like yours that make it so much easier to keep doing it!
  21. Mezrabad

    1977 Retroview

    Thanks! Sky Diver was 78? Y'know that would make sense. I guess I need to check my lists it was a while ago when I made them. EDIT: Okay, the Sky Diver instructions say copyright 1979 but the Dare Diver cart says program contents copyright 1977. Argh! To be "safe" I think I'm going to keep it in 1979 but acknowledge that it might have been a '78 game. (I am looking forward to this one, too. My son and I like the way the legs kick after the splat. Heh.)
  22. Mezrabad

    1977 Retroview

    Y'know, you're probably right. It was a way of sneaking the VCS into the home as an educational tool. I wonder if there was ever a conversation with the programmers where they offered resistence and were told, "look, the launch line-up has to have something we can describe as 'the first of many educational titles'. Don't make it fun, just make it."
  23. Mezrabad


    I know! It's very surprising, isn't it? We not only bought them but we paid $20 to $40 dollars for them! In 1977 money that was a lot of money! Believe me, though, we bought them and liked them. Many of these games (Combat, Air-Sea Battle, Surround) we played everyday after school for weeks! Of course, the main word to notice in that last sentence wasn't "weeks", it was "we". These games weren't really a blast playing as one player. What made them a blast was playing them with friends. Even Star Ship, a game I really just didn't get, was a great deal more fun when I was playing the two-player games with my son, despite each game only lasting 2 mintues and 16 seconds (or 4 minutes and 32 seconds for some variations) I see your point, about a 2-3 minute game being boring, but look at it this way: all the games I've already talked about up to this point? That's all there was! Compare Combat with any home videogame that had come before it and it beats them all handily. Even PC games hadn't kicked in yet (The Apple II, Commodore PET and TRS-80 started in 1977, but they didn't really have what anyone would call a game library until 79-80.) Anyway, honestly, some of these games were really fun when it was hard to compare them to anything else. Some of them still are, but only if you play with someone else.
  24. Mezrabad

    Star Ship

    Since you requested it, yes you are wrong here. A parsec is in fact just a measurement of distance. 3.2 light years is correct though. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsec I think around 1977 it was just an "in" buzz word, as you don't get to hear it this often these days Greetings, Manuel Cool! Glad to be shown I'm wrong, especially if it means learning something cool. I think I got my definition from a friend who played some kind of tabletop space RPG. I'll blame my ignorance partly it on him and partly myself for not checking on it in two decades. I'm still content in knowing George Lucas screwed it up more than I did. (Of course, they didn't have the Wiki back then, either.)
  25. flame, flame, s'all the same. I'm obesessively compulsivly playing through everygame, chronologically and writing about it in my blog. That being said, I find it extremely difficult to ignore the four current gen systems sitting under my nice big HDTV. If I boxed all of those however, you can bet I would suddenly be wanting to play Shenmue, or Fatal Frame all of a sudden.
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