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Monk

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  1. You mean, "K-Razy Kritters"? http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-k-razy-kritters_2843.html It's just as easy to get the names correct as it is to get them wrong, so why make the wrong choice?
  2. Oh, I thought this thread was about logos on the Atari computers and systems (game and corporation logos, for example), not the programming language. I guess the fully capitalized "LOGO" threw me off - had it written as "Logo", I might've realized we're taking about a name of something (like the programming language). In any case, I always wondered about that 'Lucasfilm Games' logo of the old, and wanted to see what it might look like if Atari 8-bit computers could've used similar colors, but in higher resolution, so I created a 'mock-up' (or Monkup, if you want)-version of it. P.S. Sorry, this has nothing to do with the Logo language, admins, feel free to delete this post.
  3. "Yar's Revenge" "Yar's Revenve" Good Lord. The name is "Yars' Revenge", the apostrophe is in the wrong place in both accounts, and the latter word is 'Revenge', not 'Revenve'. Why do so many people STILL get this wrong after so many decades, when it's so easy to research and find the actual name, when you have the internet at your fingertips? Have some respect, and type the names correctly. Surely it's not too much to ask, is it? "Yar's Strike" should be "Yars' Strike". It's not about an individual Yar, it's the whole RACE of Yars. Why do people still not know this? How long does it have to take until people get it right? "It's a remake from the classic Yar's revenge from the atari 2600. " So much wrong here. It's a remake _OF_ the classic "Yars' Revenge" (apostrophe in the wrong place, 'Revenge' should be capitalized) ON (or even FOR) the Atari 2600 (Atari should be capitalized, as it is a NAME, have some respect, please!) Do you think you can just type "from" instead of the correct articles in english and get away with it?
  4. I think many people knew about this one, though. Having said that, there's something magical about this game. Its beautiful use of color with the smooth flashes and all are eye-pleasing, the sound is quirky and inspiring / exciting, and the gameplay is just difficult enough that you have to really start focusing on later levels, but yet easy enough to be rewarding, if you do your best. I don't usually like platformers, but in this game, you can drift into 'Zen-mode', where you don't even exist anymore, the game just 'is', and playing of it just 'happens' - there is not thought, no plan, no future, no past - and even this moment doesn't exist. And yet, it's more than just 'reactions', you are fully there, in the game, and collecting those ever-changing shapes is all that 'is', if anything can even phase into existence at this point anymore. There are a few 'Zen-games', as I call them, that allow you to just become 'pure focus', and which only allow you to wildly succeed if you can keep this focus that transcends time and space. Another similar 'Zen-game' is 'Uuno Turhapuro Muuttaa Maalle' on the C64 side; it's simple - even simpler than Fast Eddie - and yet you can fall so easily. The haunting and repetitive music helps. I love these simple games that you don't have to read 8 pages of manual to know how to play, and where your gameplay isn't interrupted by some idiotic, badly-written 'cutscene' (especially when unskippable), or changing the gameplay between levels, or some bonus screen, or overly long level advance sequences. You can just keep playing and playing until you can't play anymore. Modern games could learn SO much from these old classics. Fast Eddie is the perfect game, when you have a few of minutes of extra time - you can stop playing at any second you wish, and yet you can stretch the gameplay more and more, as much as you have time. Games often try to be things they're really not, and fail miserably. They try to be too fancy, cram too many things into it, or utilize some fancy gimmick or some kind of '3D' stuff to dazzle the eye and puzzle the mind. This game knows exactly what it wants to be, and it DELIVERS fully and maximally. Gameplay doesn't really get tighter than this - even the level curve is perfect, it starts ridiculously easy, and very gradually becomes tougher to inspire the player to hone their skills and delve deeper into.. aagh, now I really want to play this again.
  5. This is certainly an underrated gem. I never knew a brilliant pinball game existed for Atari 2600! I just played it today for the first time - in the emulator, it seemed like a nice game. On the real Atari, though, this game really comes to LIFE! The bright flashes, the amazing palette changes, the sound .. aah! What an astonishing classic, I only wish I had known about this much sooner. It's arguably even better than David's Midnight Magic, which is a rip-off of an old Williams pinball (the name of which I forgot - they have two very similar ones, but the other is almost identical in many ways), just like 'Pinball Dreams' rips off 'The Terminator' pinball machine almost exactly as well. I wonder if Atari 2600's marvelous pinball game is also a rip-off of something, or completely original.. By the way, this game is always listed as "Midnight Magic", but ends up saying "MIDNITE MAGIC" on its own screen! So which is it, and whom are we to believe, the game itself, or some secondary source?
  6. Now that I have tested the new version, here are my thoughts: I finally got to the UFO level, yay! The difficulty curve seems much better now (or I have gotten better..). However, the ramping up of difficulty seems to happen very suddenly, instead of gradually. Or maybe that's just a 'player's perception'. I got killed about 3 times in a row as soon as I reached the 'Jet' level (I forget the years), it suddenly became a struggle to even dodge anything and the UFO level was just impossible. I got glimpse of it, and that was the end. I don't get the year change from 2001 to 2077 - I mean, it's not like this is our Earth world / dimension / Universe, and the game has to somehow conform to what we are experiencing in real life! It's a parallel dimension at least, being a computer / video game, and it can make up its own rules - it's not like we have time-traveling spaceships in the sky fighting jets anyway, so why can't we have UFO-based defence grid in 2001? Someone said that when they live to exist in actual 2077, the game has to be changed again. Why? Then they got a response about 'UFO appearing in the sky'. There's so much wrong with all this. First of all, the UFO phenomenon is not new, and UFOs have been 'appearing in the sky' all throughout this planet's weird history. The Kenneth Arnold sightings in the forties were just the 'popularized recent modern history' versions, but all kinds of phenomenon have been recorded in the skies as far as people have existed on this planet (and even before, as otherplanetary visitors are not dependent on people being on this planet for their visits - and they are perfectly capable of recording events as well). So why would yet another UFO appearing in the sky change ANYTHING? Secondly, this is a clear misunderstanding of what the game's aircraft are all about. They're not visitors attacking Earth, but they're Earth's "Current Defense System/Grid/Network/Establishment/etc." First Earth people defend themselves against this Time-traveling space pilot using primitive, propeller-based aicraft, and when the time traveler leaps forward in time, the aircraft encountered always represent a bit higher tech advancement level, so the 'UFO' stuff is just logical continuance of this from 'modern time' into 'future time'. Therefore, the 'UFO ships' are not just 'appearing in the sky' - they're the 'current year defence network' - therefore, it's not enough for 'UFO ship to appear in the sky' in 2077 - the whole Earth defence network would have to become UFO-based by 2077, for this game not to 'have to be changed again' (not that it has to be, anyway). It's just sad that even game developers won't allow an imaginary game world where NOTHING is like in the 'real world' anyway, to have a bit of fantasy and imagination about the year 2001. "There was no UFOship-based defence network, so we can't allow a game to depict that there was!!11" Who was the brilliant mind that decided this? Just let the game exist in a parallel universe, where in 2001, there WAS a UFOship defence network, please! It's fine for the arcade and DS version, so why not the Atari? Come on, stop worshipping this 'revulsion realism', and leave the revisionism for historians. Other than that, it's a brilliant game, and I love playing it, and I want to thank everyone involved - THANK YOU - it's another classic to boost my Atari collection and make me appreciate this lovely computer evermore.
  7. As I have 'decorated' my living room with functional computers and consoles, I often enjoy playing 'the same' or 'similar' game on various different platforms. The usual treasures I have found are things like 'Pharaoh's Curse' (VIC-20, Atari 800 XL, Commodore 64C, Amiga 1200), 'Death Race' (Commodore 16, Atari 800 XL, Commodore 64C), "Cops 'n Robbers" (VIC-20, Atari 800 XL, Commodore 64C, Commodore 16), and even things like "Spike's Peak", "Moon Patrol" and "Gorf" (these have versions also for the Atari 2600jr. - surprisingly, the VIC-20-version is the most difficult!) So one fine morning, I happened to wake up my C16 with 'Space Pilot', and as it was a better experience than I remembered (have to respect them being able to cram this kind of thing to a C16 and being able to make it fun), I started wonder what other versions of the original 'Time Pilot' idea exist for my beloved systems. I can't express the joy and wonder I felt when I found out about this excellent Atari 8-bit port! It was like a dream come true - now I have another wonderful addition to the 'multi-platform game library'! It works so easily and perfectly, and the conversion is really magnificently done, I can't praise this enough! I haven't tried this new version yet, though, but I can't wait - yesterday, I almost reached the third (or was it fourth?) era, died together with the 'endboss aircraft' with my last ship, so maybe with this version I can finally reach the stars! (Figuratively speaking) Thank you so much for expending so much effort just to port something wonderful to a beautiful computer system - it's so great to have more possibilities for fun with these old systems! This is one of those amazing things in life, where even I, who am usually pretty harsh and direct with my criticisms and won't hold back or falsely praise about something (I can't stand the naked emperor), can't really find any criticism without resorting to some kind of unfair nitpicking. This is a brilliant port, and also incredibly fun thing to play.. just sublime! My dear Atari 800 XL getting all these goodies feels like it's a childhood Christmas all over again.. the old C16 'Berks' games were ported so beautifully that lately I have played the Atari versions more than the original C16 ones, and now this! Ahh! This Time Pilot port deserves all the praise it's getting, and more.
  8. I have the Behr-Bonz cartridge, and I can ABSOLUTELY recommend it, it's fantastic in all possible ways! It's very fast, too. You turn the computer on, the list of games is immediately there. You choose a game, it's immediately running! I don't know how they did it, but even when you press reset, it's instant, and choosing another game - immediate. Using this wonder is 'zero waiting' at all times. The game selection is also sublime; pretty much almost all the best games are there, just one or two keypresses away. The only downside is, the games are fixed, you can't customize it, and there are many great classics missing, that I would really love to play from time to time. Some of the better Defender-clones, for example. You also can't boot to a 16k, 8k or any other memory configuration for your own programs or loading games from disk or SD2IEC. I have a 16k memory expansion that would let me play some of that stuff, but it would be a hassle to do the 'remove-n-insert-n-remove-n-insert' every time I want to switch between Behr-Bonz and the expansion. So I am also looking for some kind of "super solution" that would let me play ANY game I want with the least hassle possible. I am aware that some games I might never be able to play on my real VIC-20, because they only exist as .TAP-images or such. Cops 'n Robbers is one of my favorites - I know it's not technically a very good game, but we played it on C64 a long time ago, and always told ourselves, we would be happy, if we could create a game like that (and nowadays, I might, but I am not sure). I am also wondering if it would be possible to have some kind of 'extension' for the cartridge port, that could fit two (2) or more cartridges in it, that could then be switched easily instead of having to do the whole 'remove-n-insert'-routine. I know those used to exist in the past, but I mean - would such things be available these days, and what might the price range be.. VIC-20 is an excellent computer, and a lot of fun to use. It has a 'smooth'-ish square wave, and a very quirky and unique noise wave, which is why I sometimes even use VIC-20's sound capabilities for my own programs, demos, games, etc. Some of the game versions are not quite up to par, when compared to Atari 2600, Atari 8-bit computer or C64 versions, but some games are surprisingly good. Demon Attack is great, but Atari 2600 version is just that much better (it's fun to use the same TV for both and switch between the systems for comparison).
  9. People do so much hard work to create these ports. However, do we really need them? It's like some people are hell-bent on trying to remove the reasons to own, use and play a real Atari 2600. Many Atari 2600 games are perfect as they are, any port or conversion just wouldn't feel right. There's also the simplicity of them sometimes, that works beautifully on the Atari console, but becomes a bit odd on the C64 side. I play Crackpots on the Atari because it gives me nice colors, unique and wonderful sounds, and good, simple playability. The C64 version takes almost all of this away, removes the impact of the 'flash' when a pot hits a spider (something is still there, but it doesn't seem as interesting), and gone are the chunky and nice graphics, replaced with something pretty generic-looking. The sunrise is nice, but it's just not the same. Addition of (not-so-interesting) music is like that awful background addition in 'Demon Attack''s C64-version. It is unnecessary and creates a different mood than you might want to exist in when playing this game. It's like taking the worst of both worlds; 1) Taking a very simplistic game that works wonderfully on Atari, but seems too simple for the C64 2) Makes it more complicated by adding unnecessary bells and whistles that distract from the experience Less is more. A sculpture is not done by adding more and more stuff, but chipping away from the stone until only the beautiful statue is left. A better idea would be to get inspired by these old games, and then creating something 'expansive' from that basic idea or feel, that's original and fits the C64 better. Just taking an old, simple game and 'C64izing it' is a terrible idea, it almost never works, and the end result is just not as fun, interesting, immersive or inspiring to play, and it lacks the 'feel' of the early 1980s and Atari 2600's massive color palette. It would be better to make a more complex game that utilizes the C64's strengths properly, and doesn't try to mimic some other machine's strengths (that it can't reach, like that sunrise palette). Instead of porting Yoomps and Crackpotses (?), why not just get inspired by something a bit more involving, and then continue where it left off - expand it, where Atari 2600's limitations stopped the original, etc. Add something original, unique and valuable to it, something with a personality, not just a simple hair color change, for crying out loud. I have to question the motivation for these ports. Why port something you can just play on the original system? Just to show the machine can do it, even if it's not as fun to play? If you are going to port, either do as identical port as possible, or enhance it properly - don't do this half-arsed easy idea of taking a simple, easy-to-port game and then adding bells, whistles and other unnecessary stuff and call yourself a genius. Sure, it's hard work, but I think this hard work could be producing something more interesting, maybe something new and more expressive of self and C64, instead of a 'simple port stuffed with cosmetic crap on top'? Just an idea. I am sure that even people that praise these ports and 'love them', and also random people that never played on old systems much before, will eventually always rather go back to the original and play that, and get much more out of it than these modern ports that are done 'just because we can'.
  10. This is a neat discussion area, but why are the sub-area titles so inconsistent and lacking? Some are just 'High Score Clubs' (why?), and there are only a handful of systems listed. Why these particular ones? I understand the omission of 2600, 5200, 7800, Lynx, and Jaguar, since they have dedicated areas of their own. Also, is this about 'consoles only', or are computers allowed to join? (Aquarius is certainly a computer, if I remember correctly) However, why are these systems not listed?: - Neo-Geo - Sega Saturn - Sega Dreamcast - Super Famicom (you have Genesis, but not SNes?) - Arcades - Amiga CD32 - Nintendō 64 - Sony Playstation - Sony Playstation 2 What about all the hand-held devices? Gameboy, Game Gear, etc.? I mean, Lynx is already there, so why not others as well? Just wondering.
  11. I love these two pictures so much, especially on my real Atari 800 XL, that I really wanted to find the original images. And finally I was able to! Here's the 'Fairey Wood' original picture: [ The forest image is originally called "Deep Forest - Clear", and it's one of Mark Ferrari's amazing "color cycling" artwork. This guy -loves- dithering and color cycling. He is the individual that created Loom graphics for Lucasfilm Games (later LucasArt Games), and his 'color cycle art' page can be found here: http://www.effectgames.com/demos/worlds/ There you can find lots of other art as well. There's also a 'Rain' version of this image that has color-cycle-animated rainfall and such. These pictures even come with ambient sound (water flowing and such)! And you can adjust the 'time of day' to make the image darker or brighter. The other image is some kind of demoscene art, I think. [ This is a good example of how added detail can actually detract from the viewing experience, because it shuts off your imagination and your psychological need to 'co-create' the visuals when you look at something that doesn't have a lot of detail. I guess 'impressionism' had the right idea sometimes. There's also an old Japanese disciple about this that explains how it's a spiritually deeper experience, when the viewer is engaged by omitting too much detail. This higher-resolution version has more detail, but doesn't feel or look as good to my eyes as the Atari version (especially viewed with my Atari 800 XL), as it kind of let me 'continue creating the image' in my mind while looking at it. I don't know if anyone here really understand my ramblings about this topic, but these are wonderful pictures anyway. Ilminet's hard work also makes it easy to start observing how little is really needed to create a completely recognizable image, and how forcing a picture to use a bit different colors can actually create a whole new, sometimes even better experience than the original picture. I hope it's okay to reply this way, just giving the originals and some thoughts and insights instead of adding another converted masterpiece (my apologies), but I thought this would enhance this thread in a bit different way, as it is a bit relevant and hopefully offers a bit of perspective that could add to the enjoyment of these magnificent Atari images. I am REALLY excited to watch these images on my real Atari to realize just how great the 8-bit computer is, and how it can show me things I never thought possible. It's a really wonderful thing that Ilminet-san has did for us all in my opinion.
  12. Yes please, I love colors. Thank you very much! (Sorry, couldn't resist) Oh yeah, the 'picture' rule. Well, I'll just attach my first test with this software - it can't be compared, but maybe it's something. [ Kanojo.xex
  13. These pictures are absolutely fantastic, and breathe 'new life' to my old Atari 800 XL - although I consider it plenty alive anyway. The first time I saw some of these pics on the real Atari, I was mesmerized and maybe even 'gobsmacked'. Wow! So cool to see the old Atari pull off something so fantastically beautiful. I mean, I always love when Atari can show off its vast color palette, show the C64 a world it cannot enter. I consider C64 and Atari 800XL good friends, sitting on the same table without problems, and it's sad that some people make them machines of war instead of co-creators of wonders and excitement. And yet, it's always fun to witness the older machine surpass the newcomer! (It happens on many occasions, and I especially love the raster and plasma effects in games and demos - they just add that much more spice and awe. I always missed the colors I had used to seeing as a Commodore 16 owner, when I switched over to the C64 side. I loved and still love the Commodore 64 experience (I hope no one here takes offence), but Atari gives me the colorful magnificence the C64 was always robbing me of. I never felt the C64 is lacking in colors per se - it has a very capable palette with well-chosen 16 colors that have brought me joy since childhood. But there was always 'something' missing, and I couldn't figure out what it was as a kid, but nowadays I know - my first computer, the C16, let me see things the C64 couldn't give me. With Atari computers, those things are back - Atari is like a combination of the good sides of the C64 and the good side of the C16! The C16 lacks memory and sprites, but Atari has those things! It's like C16 is a kid's computer, and Atari is the 'adult version' of that, it can directly compare its achievements and games to the C64, where C16 struggles too much. For example, C16 has table-based noisewave, whereas Atari computers have proper, neverending properly random noisewave. (I know that nothing is ever 'fully random', but I leave that question to the philosophers) For the longest time, I had to accept that Atari's vast color palette could only be used in a few ways: - Raster effects (some people call these 'rainbows' - but I LOVE them!) - Plasma effects (Drunken Chessboard shows off this stuff nicely) - 'Selection' colors, meaning that every game (and different levels within a game) can look a bit different, color-wise, where C64 games look 'samey' due to always having to use the same 16 colors But now, with this great new tool and technique, Ilmenit has given Atari (and me) a fourth option: - Amazingly colorful, beautiful fullscreen pictures that you can look at endlessly and just admire at what this eight-bit wonder can still do. So I had to get my hands on this stuff - and although I failed to produce anything too interesting, and the process is too slow for my PCs (and take up too much electricity), these pictures have really touched me deeply, and I got inspired to also try to convert the same image to Commodore 16 and Plus4 (which I don't have, alas), so here are the results. By the way, some people do not adhere to the 'picture in every post' rule. [ Photo of the image on Atari 800 XL and CRT TV. I think it was either 2 or 200 million evaluations - in any case, it sook a really long time, and I just had to give up at some point. [ The raw output image after all those evaluations. Is there an easy way to see how many evaluations it's at, without 'continuing' the process (takes so long just to draw the 'preview' image)? [ Commodore 16 emulator screenshot. This conversion was counted in seconds. [ Commodore 16 Photo from a real C16 and CRT television. A bit too dark, but you can get the impression. Multicolor screenmode. (Multicolor FLI would take too much memory) [ Commodore Plus/4 Emulator screenshot. More memory affords a higher-detail graphics mode, this is Multicolor FLI. Without having the real machine, I don't have a photo of this. I am not going to add the original photo just yet, because I want to accomplish two things; 1) I want people to be able to evaluate the graphics without a 'perfect' image to compare it to, just pure 8-bit computer beauty, and see if it resembles anything discernible without the help of an actual photo. 2) I'd be interested if someone can recognize this individual based on these eight-bit computer-graphics. (Not '8-bit computer graphics', but graphics of 8-bit computers, hence the hyphenation) So there we have it - a fantastic tool for people with fast computers and skills to 'adjust' the images before conversion, and to figure out the exact right settings to use for conversion, but I am sadly not one of those people. But I'll be glad to be an admiring audience with these jaw-droppingly beautiful images, and watching them on my real Atari 800 XL with tear in my eye. Thanks so much for this magnificent tool and giving my Atari such mesmerizing beauty. I hope people are OK with me including also the Commodore 16 (and Plus/4) program files, photos and screenshots. Femaleface.xex Femaleface.prg Femaleface2.prg
  14. Well, sure, that is a very logical, reasonable and good explanation. But remember, there's the 'good reason' and then there's the 'real reason'. If your first computer or moped was a piece of crap, it doesn't mean you still automatically somehow treasure and cherish it necessarily. There's more to this story than that immediate explanation. This might become a bit 'esoteric', so people that can't handle that sort of stuff, are advised to avert their eyes. You've been warned. Now, while there are most certainly various reasons to love or like, appreciate or treasure, drool over or get excited about Atari 2600 (and other older systems), it's never quite the same with the modern systems, no matter how 'powerful' they are in realtime 3D-projection rendering (Yes, all '3D' graphics are just two-dimensional projections, even those that use '3D-glasses' or 'virtual reality helmets' or whatnot). Why people get very tingly, excited, nostalgic and almost teary-eyed, when they talk about Atari 2600, but can talk about their latest PC technology without any emotion? The real reason is that every time something is manufactured, there's a quality to it. If some genius, for example, lovingly creates and designs a work of art, pouring his finest self into it and makes it into some beautiful utility or machine, it can serve people faithfully for generations without causing problems or breaking down. If some factory employee is tasked to design a new, 'fashionable and trendy' product for maximum profit, and it's built by robots (either the 'human NPCs' or actual, metallic monstrosities), it can cause many problems and in the end, even turn against its user. When some visionary group comes together to create something they have always wanted to create, the result will have this 'finest self' radiation in it that makes it a pleasure to use and excites the user. All older computer systems have this, because seventies and eighties were not yet as corporatic hell as today's world, and there was room for creativity and individuality, and a little bit craziness - free-flowing fluidum and energy was the norm in these small companies, so creativity flourished and people were able to make their visions come true, as they gave birth to their work of love. This is how the Amiga, for example, was born - a group of wacky, weird visionaries with mutual goal poured their ideas and energy into the machine, so it became a really good creative computer for creative people, Heck, I still use my Amiga to create pretty much all my pixel graphics, from sprites to backgrounds to just 'fun pictures' and animations, and whatever I may require or want to do. Atari 2600 was born in a similar way, and it also radiates that 'atmosphere', 'feel', 'excitement' or 'energy' - it's difficult to put to words, because this physical world lacks much of 'esoteric vocabulary' to describe these very real things. Everyone knows that it just FEELS better to use a real machine than emulation. Why is that? There's a deep reason, even if you don't agree with me what that reason is, but it's very, very real difference that even the most lunkheaded deniers usually agree - it JUST does feel better to use a real Atari or real C64 or real Amiga than emulator (or even Dreamcast). People in this world are very nostalgic, but they're not comfortable in explaining this nostalgy in any other way than 'because it was my first machine' or 'because it can do so much with so little'. Some of these reasons are almost completely cold, pragmatic, intellectual and sound good on paper. But we all know there's a deep, unexplainable FEELING attached to this whole phenomenon. Someone here even mentioned that "it's almost emotional", sort of admitting that it's really a feeling, that's the core reason for all this nostalgy and admiration of the older computers. Mere memories could not create this kind of enthusiasm, there's just something very 'feelable' about these older systems, while the newer systems lack it completely. Multiple things happened simultaneously, so it's easy to just pick one of the surface reasons and be happy with the explanation. Oh, modern games are just corporate cash-cows, when older games had better playability, etc. While this is of course true, the thing is, back in the day of Atari 2600, an individual programmer could envision a game, design and write it all by himself, while creating also exactly the kind of graphics that the vision requires, and the end result was something wonderful, colorful and exciting. He could pour all his finest self into a game, and the player would -feel- the game creator's excitement. These old games have great playability (maybe out of necessity), but they also have a lot of 'feel' to them. They look nice and colorful, and they are still the epitome of what makes video games so interesting and mesmerizing - great sounds, great color effects, simple but charming sprites, especially on a bright CRT television, mesmerized kids back then, and they still mesmerize me even now. Make a modern computer put out zillions of polygons with shaders and effects and enormously high resolution, and even HDR, on a huge monitor, and my soul will yawn out of boredom and wonder when it can see an Atari 2600 game again. I am sure that all that 'it was my first console' and other explanations do play a part in some people's fascination for the machine. But it can never explain it all. For example, I never had an Atari back in the day, I only saw Commodore computers as a kid, and Amigas as a teenager - it took a long time for me to start seeing the wonderful worlds that the other systems express, and I intuitively always compared everything to the Commodore experiences. If something sounded even a bit like SID, it was exciting to me (so I got excited about old synths, OPL2 and OPL3 chips, and Atari 2600 sound as well), and so on. I didn't think a console as old as Atari 2600 could be of much interest to me, but then I accidentally found an Atari 2600 emulator for my Dreamcast. So I started going through some games on a whim and out of curiosity, and - whoah! Atari's games started to mesmerize me even through Dreamcast (of course it was connected to a bright CRT television). So I found a new appreciation for the Atari 2600, and started wanting to get a bit more authentic about it, and wondered how close those emulators get. So I got some joysticks that had 'inbuilt Atari 2600', but they were done so badly, I got angry about it, and now I wanted REAL Atari 2600! One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I had Atari 2600 jr., Harmony Cart (although it had some problems in the beginning), and I was LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOVING it! It certainly had that 1970s and early 1980s 'magic' to it, that's so hard to explain - it completely and totally seduced me, and I am very grateful for being able to own a functional Atari 2600 jr. that runs those great Atari 2600 games so nicely on my CRT television (that's shared with C16 and VIC-20, though). I am telling this story just to give an example of someone that never had Atari 2600 back in the day, and _STILL_ fell madly in love with those wonderful games, the great sound (Nothing can sound better to my ears than Atari 2600 'Enduro'), the amazingly high amount of beautiful colors (makes me wonder why C64 only had 16, I almost feel duped!), and of course the perfectly honed playability that so many Atari 2600 games had. I began finding versions of games that are actually better than the C64 counterparts, which used to be the only versions I even knew about. For example, 'River Raid' has a bit tighter gameplay and more exciting soundworld, although it's very similar, and I do like the C64 version as well. I am sure there are still plenty of gems that I haven't even found yet, that I hope to stumble upon soon. But my 'favorites' list is long and growing, and I feel more complete having been able to experience this wonderful console and its glorious games. It's a terrible thought to never have played these masterpieces. So in my opinion, there's AT LEAST something deeper than the usual explanations, there's something 'esoterically magical' about Atari 2600, there's something 'unexplainable' or at least 'lacking in vocabulary to explain' about why people love Atari 2600 so much. It's not just those 'cold reasons', there are very, very warm reasons indeed, and it's just undeniable, that it just feels GOOD to play those games on real Atari system. But hey, that's just MY opinion.. -- Someone mentioned, how Atari 2600 games demand or require imagination, and this got me to thinking. Old Japanese painters and artists knew that if you put too much detail in your work, viewer's imagination doesn't get engaged. I think this is how impressionism was eventually born, at least possibly. I dont remember the word for it, but if you can provoke the imagination by leaving just enough detail out, the experience for the viewer will be deeper, and closer the 'Zen-type' reality. I often use the game 'Bruce Lee' as a good example - the graphics are blocky, but in my opinion, not TOO blocky. The blockiness of the graphics have been used in a very wise, ingenious way, in that they make you think and wonder and imagine. They provoke and engage your imagination, they invite you to finish what the game's creators started. When you walk over the 'bombs' in the more orange-ish rooms (at least in C64 version), I think the manual says they're actually trees that grow very fast and then diminish. But it can also look like clouds of smoke (especially with the explosive sound). So you can basically experience them in multiple ways simultaneously. This wouldn't be possible, if they were CLEARLY rendered as trees OR smoke. You could only see them as smoke or trees, and your imagination wouldn't get engaged. It's a richer experience, when more of your faculties are involved while playing. Modern games or artists don't realize or remember this anymore. They try to make everything as 'realistic' as possible, or create a 'style' (that's usually weird and quirky, although it can look nice sometimes - but too often it's just twisting and exaggerating and uglifying things or putting funny animals or weird creatures in and call it 'creativity'). Atari 2600 games, perhaps partially by necessity, do a -= WONDERFUL =- job in this imagination provoking and engaging, and as the end result, you are actually playing in an 'elevated' state of mind/spirit, you are actually in a better mode than when playing some ugly-realistic modern war game, just shooting and killing all over the place in a gruesomely realistic way. In Atari 2600 gameplaying, you can actually fly some Cosmic Ark in space inbetween very unrealistic, but also very amazingly exciting-looking star sceneries, and then save unbelievably cute sprite animals and creatures, or you can think of a backstory of each passenger you pick up while driving a Cosmic Commuter ship. Atari 2600 really makes you think, and its games really engage you in a deeper level than modern games. They only know how to add polygons and shaders, graphics and mechanics, tweak this or that power, make different lightning bolt visuals, or whatnot - but they don't know how to -fully- engage a player, including the player's imagination. It's almost funny, how decades earlier, they accomplished that so well, and afterwards, never again. This is one of the reasons, why Atari 2600 offers a more full experience than modern games usually do. And why players can get deeper 'into the games', or let the games become a deeper part of themselves. Btw, what ARE all those Bruce Lee (the game) background graphics? I don't know, and I like to keep it that way, because only then, they can be ANYTHING, and different things each time I play - and they can exist only in a dreamy netherworld of imagination and dreaming, where they're something that just can't be put to words. In a way, it was a blessing that the graphics were in some ways 'limited', because they at least engage the player in a deeper way. Even when drawing art, it's often better to 'imply' than 'fully draw'. This way, your mind, your imagination or your soul will 'finish' the artwork. Bill Watterson was very good at this - if you look at Calvin & Hobbes, he draws JUST enough to get the implication there, but doesn't always finish every line, and the end result is engaging and marvellous. I am sure he loves playing Atari games..
  15. Well, sure, that is a very logical, reasonable and good explanation. But remember, there's the 'good reason' and then there's the 'real reason'. If your first computer or moped was a piece of crap, it doesn't mean you still automatically somehow treasure and cherish it necessarily. There's more to this story than that immediate explanation. This might become a bit 'esoteric', so people that can't handle that sort of stuff, are advised to avert their eyes. You've been warned. Now, while there are most certainly various reasons to love or like, appreciate or treasure, drool over or get excited about Atari 2600 (and other older systems), it's never quite the same with the modern systems, no matter how 'powerful' they are in realtime 3D-projection rendering (Yes, all '3D' graphics are just two-dimensional projections, even those that use '3D-glasses' or 'virtual reality helmets' or whatnot). Why people get very tingly, excited, nostalgic and almost teary-eyed, when they talk about Atari 2600, but can talk about their latest PC technology without any emotion? The real reason is that every time something is manufactured, there's a quality to it. If some genius, for example, lovingly creates and designs a work of art, pouring his finest self into it and makes it into some beautiful utility or machine, it can serve people faithfully for generations without causing problems or breaking down. If some factory employee is tasked to design a new, 'fashionable and trendy' product for maximum profit, and it's built by robots (either the 'human NPCs' or actual, metallic monstrosities), it can cause many problems and in the end, even turn against its user. When some visionary group comes together to create something they have always wanted to create, the result will have this 'finest self' radiation in it that makes it a pleasure to use and excites the user. All older computer systems have this, because seventies and eighties were not yet as corporatic hell as today's world, and there was room for creativity and individuality, and a little bit craziness - free-flowing fluidum and energy was the norm in these small companies, so creativity flourished and people were able to make their visions come true, as they gave birth to their work of love. This is how the Amiga, for example, was born - a group of wacky, weird visionaries with mutual goal poured their ideas and energy into the machine, so it became a really good creative computer for creative people, Heck, I still use my Amiga to create pretty much all my pixel graphics, from sprites to backgrounds to just 'fun pictures' and animations, and whatever I may require or want to do. Atari 2600 was born in a similar way, and it also radiates that 'atmosphere', 'feel', 'excitement' or 'energy' - it's difficult to put to words, because this physical world lacks much of 'esoteric vocabulary' to describe these very real things. Everyone knows that it just FEELS better to use a real machine than emulation. Why is that? There's a deep reason, even if you don't agree with me what that reason is, but it's very, very real difference that even the most lunkheaded deniers usually agree - it JUST does feel better to use a real Atari or real C64 or real Amiga than emulator (or even Dreamcast). People in this world are very nostalgic, but they're not comfortable in explaining this nostalgy in any other way than 'because it was my first machine' or 'because it can do so much with so little'. Some of these reasons are almost completely cold, pragmatic, intellectual and sound good on paper. But we all know there's a deep, unexplainable FEELING attached to this whole phenomenon. Someone here even mentioned that "it's almost emotional", sort of admitting that it's really a feeling, that's the core reason for all this nostalgy and admiration of the older computers. Mere memories could not create this kind of enthusiasm, there's just something very 'feelable' about these older systems, while the newer systems lack it completely. Multiple things happened simultaneously, so it's easy to just pick one of the surface reasons and be happy with the explanation. Oh, modern games are just corporate cash-cows, when older games had better playability, etc. While this is of course true, the thing is, back in the day of Atari 2600, an individual programmer could envision a game, design and write it all by himself, while creating also exactly the kind of graphics that the vision requires, and the end result was something wonderful, colorful and exciting. He could pour all his finest self into a game, and the player would -feel- the game creator's excitement. These old games have great playability (maybe out of necessity), but they also have a lot of 'feel' to them. They look nice and colorful, and they are still the epitome of what makes video games so interesting and mesmerizing - great sounds, great color effects, simple but charming sprites, especially on a bright CRT television, mesmerized kids back then, and they still mesmerize me even now. Make a modern computer put out zillions of polygons with shaders and effects and enormously high resolution, and even HDR, on a huge monitor, and my soul will yawn out of boredom and wonder when it can see an Atari 2600 game again. I am sure that all that 'it was my first console' and other explanations do play a part in some people's fascination for the machine. But it can never explain it all. For example, I never had an Atari back in the day, I only saw Commodore computers as a kid, and Amigas as a teenager - it took a long time for me to start seeing the wonderful worlds that the other systems express, and I intuitively always compared everything to the Commodore experiences. If something sounded even a bit like SID, it was exciting to me (so I got excited about old synths, OPL2 and OPL3 chips, and Atari 2600 sound as well), and so on. I didn't think a console as old as Atari 2600 could be of much interest to me, but then I accidentally found an Atari 2600 emulator for my Dreamcast. So I started going through some games on a whim and out of curiosity, and - whoah! Atari's games started to mesmerize me even through Dreamcast (of course it was connected to a bright CRT television). So I found a new appreciation for the Atari 2600, and started wanting to get a bit more authentic about it, and wondered how close those emulators get. So I got some joysticks that had 'inbuilt Atari 2600', but they were done so badly, I got angry about it, and now I wanted REAL Atari 2600! One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I had Atari 2600 jr., Harmony Cart (although it had some problems in the beginning), and I was LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOVING it! It certainly had that 1970s and early 1980s 'magic' to it, that's so hard to explain - it completely and totally seduced me, and I am very grateful for being able to own a functional Atari 2600 jr. that runs those great Atari 2600 games so nicely on my CRT television (that's shared with C16 and VIC-20, though). I am telling this story just to give an example of someone that never had Atari 2600 back in the day, and _STILL_ fell madly in love with those wonderful games, the great sound (Nothing can sound better to my ears than Atari 2600 'Enduro'), the amazingly high amount of beautiful colors (makes me wonder why C64 only had 16, I almost feel duped!), and of course the perfectly honed playability that so many Atari 2600 games had. I began finding versions of games that are actually better than the C64 counterparts, which used to be the only versions I even knew about. For example, 'River Raid' has a bit tighter gameplay and more exciting soundworld, although it's very similar, and I do like the C64 version as well. I am sure there are still plenty of gems that I haven't even found yet, that I hope to stumble upon soon. But my 'favorites' list is long and growing, and I feel more complete having been able to experience this wonderful console and its glorious games. It's a terrible thought to never have played these masterpieces. So in my opinion, there's AT LEAST something deeper than the usual explanations, there's something 'esoterically magical' about Atari 2600, there's something 'unexplainable' or at least 'lacking in vocabulary to explain' about why people love Atari 2600 so much. It's not just those 'cold reasons', there are very, very warm reasons indeed, and it's just undeniable, that it just feels GOOD to play those games on real Atari system. But hey, that's just MY opinion..
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