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Everything posted by Mezrabad

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.)
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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.)
  10. 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."
  11. 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.
  12. 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.)
  13. 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.
  14. Mezrabad

    Basic Math and Blackjack

    It's not fun? I thought when Sears released the cart they called it "Fun with numbers" [gee, where have I heard that name before?] That's right! Could no body come up with something different from "Fun with Numbers"? Grant it, as someone who could've been considered "into math" (730 on my math SAT, um *cough*25yearsago*cough*) I can find numbers to be fun. I totally geeked-out on NIM. But couldn't they come up with something better than "Fun with Numbers"? Couldn't THREE different companies come up with something different than "Fun with Numbers". How about "Digital Challenge!" or "Murder by Numbers!" or "Numbers Ate My Brain!" Ironically, this makes Analogic (Odyssey by Magnavox, 1972) look a heck of a lot better in comparison, at least they gave that game some flavor. A somewhat interesting sci-fi premise, something on the screen that was actually moving . . . geez. I wonder if there was anyone in 1977 saying: "gosh, remember back in the old days when the Odyssey was enough to entertain us? Man, I miss old school videogames, when one overlay, a deck of cards, roulette tokens, a gameboard, a pair of dice and controllers with which you could bludgeon someone to death, (pause to breath) were enough to keep us entertained on a rainy day . . . (wistful sigh)"
  15. Mezrabad

    Air-Sea Battle + Little Girl

    They sure do! I've also noticed that they've got a great level of scalibility when it comes to difficulty, that goes beyond even the two switches. Combat, Surround and Air Sea Battle and Video Olympics all offer so many different games and levels of difficulty that anyone who can hold a controller can "get it" and play. It also was nice to play one with someone who wasn't just killing time before I'd let him play Super Smash Bros Melee. I think I'll invite my daughter to play more often. She's able to appreciate the Atari games because she hasn't been tainted by the modern era.
  16. Mezrabad

    Death Race auction

    Oh, crap! Did you get it okay?
  17. That was a great read and a great way to explain the "basic ideas" to a non-programmer like me!
  18. Mezrabad


    Ah, you're right, those are much easier to understand. Thanks! (I always over complicate instructions. It's why I'd make a terrible teacher!)
  19. Mezrabad

    Indy 500

    I'm pretty shocked I'm not able to find more pictures of this stuff. I broke my ankle in 8th grade and spent a (glorious) week on the couch playing Adventure. It was one of those typical parental photo ops that parents usually take advantage of, but for me, nada. As a result of this I make sure to take a picture of my son and daughter playing videogames every so often. So I can say to them when they're older: "See, here's you playing Surround on the Atari VCS! You were actually born in 1972 but fell through a time warp shortly after this picture was taken. I'm not really your father, I'm your younger brother. Oh, stop your crying!"
  20. Mezrabad

    Death Race auction

    Um, was the seller able to get your cabinet out of Houston quickly enough? Cat 3 Hurricanes like to eat arcade cabinets for breakfast.
  21. Hey, sure! sorry I didn't see this message until now. I'll get right on it.
  22. Mezrabad

    Spitfire - Fairchild VES

    Wow, I hadn't thought about it that way. Sheesh! Mahjong variants are as numerous as grains of sand on a beach! On the other hand, I could limit myself to US Releases with the occasional Mahjong if it came well recommended. Too many games. I'm going to have to live a long time.
  23. Mezrabad

    Spitfire - Fairchild VES

    It does look like a port of the Ace Arcade from 1976 though. Greetings, Manuel Hey! It sure does! Damn, see? That's the trouble with limiting myself to one branch of the videogame family tree - home videogames - when simultaneously also developing were computer videogames, handheld (and tabletop) videogames and, of course, arcade videogames. I'm not seeing/talking about the big picture. Maybe I'll go through the arcade videogames of the 70s after I go through the home videogames of the 70s. Maybe not. Maybe I'll just take the route of pretending I was a shut-in all those years and never saw an arcade videogame. Heh. Of course, I was refering to the airplane portion of the Atari VCS Combat, but it would be stepping out of the scope of the blog to refer to a game that didn't exist yet. Ace looks like a much closer relative, though. Hey, the controls look like that of a tank game! Interesting.
  24. Mezrabad

    First First Week

    What the FRACK? He not smart enough for Special ED so they make him stay in the regular classes? That makes NO sense!!! I fume with you. On a positive note, congrats for the praise you've been getting! My wife teaches and I know it means a lot to her when someone takes the time to compliment what is essentially a huge part of her identity. At least you have something to smile about as you make those 210 26-page long booklets.
  25. Emergent gameplay, maybe? Nothing in the design or the instruction manual that says "Grab a magnet and travel with the bridge downwards though the whole map". How about moments when the bat flies through with the arrow and kills the dragon for you? How about when you get swallowed by a dragon and then the dragon gets picked up by the bat and you fly around the universe? Playing that game late night in whatever year I got it was very exciting for me. Here was a multi-screen universe in which "going" somewhere meant having to go through other places. There was "travel time". Having to "go find the black key" to get in the black castle by searching for it "somewhere else" gave the game a sense of "place". This wasn't a game I was playing on my TV, this was another place in which I was moving around in by controlling a square using a mechanism hooked up to my TV, which I saw through my TV. I was taking part in a quest in a place that existed beyond my living room. Honest. This game was designed to be a graphic analogy for the first text adventure game "Adventure". Warren Robinette described it as such in a powerpoint presentation which I can no longer find . He said he wanted to translate typed phrases like "go north" into a simple joystick direction. "take object" or "drop object" translated into the simple act of bumping into something or pressing a button to drop it. Instead of typing "use sword to slay dragon" you actually did it. Likewise to use a key. You weren't selecting an action from a menu, you weren't typing in the correct verb-object combination you were doing it. Think about it: no lifebars, no menus, no inventory screen, no overlays of any kind, just you and the environment in which you struggled to survive and triumph. Any other games come out like that recently? Yeah, Ico. Any others? None that I can think of. There were also other things wandering around this little universe performing functions outside your range of perception. If you leave an object out, the bat might take it and replace it with something else, perhaps an object much less needed than the one you left when you go looking for it. Dragons wander around looking for something to guard. You may think, "okay, the dragon is guarding x, I'm safe from that one" but suddenly you see the bat fly by with x and the dragon chasing it. Suddenly the dragon is now chasing you and you don't have your sword? What do you do? How do you trick him? Can you grab the bat and "convince" the bat to pick up the dragon and "save" you? THERE WAS NOTHING LIKE THIS when it came out. NOTHING. Not at home at least. Sure, there were text adventures on your TRS-80 or Apple ][ which you owned if you were lucky enough to have a parent into personal computers, or even Aklabeth if you were really lucky. But, an in-color graphic arcade adventure? Simple enough to play an entire game of in 10 or 15 minutes? NOTHING LIKE IT. It was simple. It was elegant. It was the first. It had endless replay value for me then and now. Maybe it isn't for everyone, but respect the design in its historical context and that should be enough to make you go "cool" even if it doesn't make you want to play it for hours on end. damnit, I took too long to write this so some of my babbling is redundant. live with it and grow.
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