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About orange808

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  1. Celebrity in Denver was the best arcade I knew of. Unfortunately, I don't know of any photos or video of the downstairs arcade, which is a shame. It was absolutely sprawling. Anybody out there have anything?
  2. They're definitely "games", they just aren't fun (at all). Honestly, I'd rather actually play Atari Pac Man or Coleco Donkey Kong--and I never want to play those.
  3. The RND function will "start over" and return the same values after each power cycle on the Apple 2. Warm reboots will not reset the sequence. For almost all of us, early Apple 2 software had very random outcomes playing Oregon Trail. It's an obscure bug. I haven't looked at the source, but you can just add this immediately after you get a keypress (at the title screen or the main menu when the player selects an option): FOO=RND(-1*(PEEK(78)+256*PEEK(79))) I bet later versions of The Oregon Trail included this fix. If not, patching it would be trivial.
  4. One version of The Oregon Trail simply fired bullet straight up the middle of the screen when you pressed the space bar. Animals moved horizontally from one of the screen to the other. I remember it as a "shooting gallery" with three rows. Animals were drawn as white outlines with two frames of animation. I recall a deer, rabbit, and bear. It's one color against a black background. The 2600 can do a three row shooting gallery.
  5. Popularity and quality are not the same thing.. https://techcrunch.com/2014/05/16/the-app-store-is-proof-were-in-idiocracy/
  6. My birthday fell close to Christmas and those of us with that kind of birthday all heard the old "birthday and Christmas" thing. Anyhow, I remember getting Berzerk and Star Raiders that year. My brother got Pitfall! and something else. I don't have the catalog, but I bet I had a numbered list and I know ET wasn't circled at all. That reminds me. VCS Star Raiders certainly hasn't aged well. Loved it that Christmas, though. Makes sense that your parents would guess at the games if the system was brand new. I got the system with Dodge 'Em, Night Driver, Warlords, and Combat. I remember liking Night Driver best that Christmas, because my brother couldn't blow me up. I think that was Christmas 1980, so we were pretty lucky kids. Anyhow, once we had the system, we got more savvy (and older) and started requesting specific games.
  7. That's great! I haven't laughed that hard in a long time! Sure, I liked anything science fiction, but certain franchises captured your imagination more than others. C'mon! Which alien is better? ET or Ford Prefect? There's no competition. Definitely an Ewok line with ET.
  8. Good point, but did your parents run out and blindly purchase you a $30 game? Mine didn't. That's expensive. Big ticket items were requested. They got me what I asked for--and it wasn't hard to figure out because it was circled in the Sears Xmas catalog, written in the margins, and mentioned multiple times! Remember the Christmas catalogs? ET was big, but Siskel and Ebert don't matter. That doesn't mean ET was cool. It was just a popular movie. Mad Max, Dirty Harry, Tron, GI Joe, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Dukes of Hazzard, and Buck Rogers (and Wilma.. Erin Gray..) were cool, not some meladramatic little scared stuffed animal that doesn't even have a laser gun. ET didn't go fast or shoot. I didn't want him on my lunchbox (And Siskel and Ebery didn't choose what I liked. They thought Dangerous Liaisons was better than Bill and Ted. Pfft.. Whatever, man.) Sound "juvenile"? Well, I'm talking about being a ten year old boy. Of course it's juvenile. That's the target market, here.
  9. Who's expectations? That's complicated. The problem was Atari management and an IP that didn't inspire any excitement or high expectations from gamers. Old guys that didn't play video games and viewed the business as a quick money making fad made the sales "expectations". Those were the expectations of the same people that believed Atari computers shouldn't be an open platform for third party software. They didn't know what they were doing--and they weren't trying very hard to figure it out. That was rich disconnected old men making dumb decisions. Their expectations were nothing less than stupid. There's no other word for it. Now, the expectations that *mattered* were gamer expectations. I personally never gave ET a second thought at release. ET was for little kids and old people. It didn't inspire us much. There's no fan fiction, sequels, or video games for the franchise. there is no franchise. It isn't Star Wars or Indiana Jones. It isn't Mad Max, Tron, or Dirty Harry. I remember what was really cool; it wasn't ET. We made fun of ET lunchboxes. It was something you watched and moved on. It was a "phenomenon", but the Baby Boomers and Lost Generation were the ones loving it; us X kids didn't care after we watched it. ET isn't truly inspiring to the mind of a boy; it's just a movie. ET was definitely a misguided license that wasn't marketed properly. It definitely wasn't the kind of game that sells a ton. It was a complex and difficult game for the newly minted "gamer" demographic (I think I might be one of those) packed inside a casual IP. That's not the game's fault. They hired the wrong dev for the IP. I saw ET and thought it was for little kids. There's the first problem, right? Kinda like when Capcom made an awesome adventure game based on Willow; lots of people missed it because Willow wasn't a movie that got us genuinely excited to see it again. ET isn't a lasting character that inspires imagination. Almost everyone I know got the game discounted. The target for the game didn't want the game at release. Most of us discovered it later. I didn't have a ton of money and games were $30. That was a lot of money--and I didn't get games often; I couldn't afford to blow my cash on lame kiddie game.
  10. ET was a popular game in the neighborhood. One set of brothers on the block grabbed a copy at Albertsons for $5, we all tried it, played for hours, and everyone (finally) begged their parents for five bucks. A bunch of us a special trip on our bikes to get copies on a Saturday. We did that with a few games after they got cheap. One kid would get it and everyone else would rush to get one before they were gone (and the marked down games always seemed to disappear fast.) FWIW, I didn't "learn" to appreciate it later. I liked it when I saw it. Of course, it helps that I played it the first time with someone that demonstrated how to win and told me what to do--and what the icons meant. That's what you did when you were the first one to get a good game (worth demonstrating and showing off).
  11. NES standards? What standards? Well, I've played Hydlide, Deadly Towers, and Bible Adventures and they are all unplayable rubbish. Acclaim made a ton of embarrassing crap licenced games (Total Recall, etc, etc). Tiger Heli is a rushed, lazy, and generic port. Donkey Kong 3 is awful. Urban Champion is a joke. I still play ET and I won't ever touch any of those games again. Life's too short.
  12. We all have different definitions of mediocre to low quality games. The games I loved most were adventures with a narrative and you couldn't play them without understanding them. For instance, I no longer have a single moment of patience for repetitive rubbish. Pitfall! is a great example. Boring as heck. Pitfall 2 has a point and I can forgive the tedious climb to rescue Quickclaw, but Pitfall! has nothing to bring me back; I already got my patch. It just challenges me to not fall asleep in the next 20 minutes. And, I have fallen asleep playing it (more than once). It also doesn't help that there's nothing to push me forward besides the clock--and I have to play a virtually perfect long game to threaten my high score. So tedious. ET, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Superman, Adventure, and Dragonstomper all provide a narrative and replay value. Those games never bored me--and I still play them after all these years. I have to figure something out each game, there's always a fresh challenge, and there's a win condition. If I wanted to play for points and high scores, the arcade had better graphics and a high score screen on public display. I love arcade games and there are some great ports on the Atari, but the adventure games were always my favorite.
  13. Of course it isn't. The entire narrative was invented by little children that came of age in the NES era. The ones that played ET at the time were too young to play it (they didn't have any gaming skills) and understand it (read the instructions). That age can vary wildly. The others played it in the NES era and "Atari suckz cuz the NES rulez and the Atari graphicz be so badz". I always consider the source. If you want to see "bad", try to watch just about anything the BBC put on television in the 1970's. Spoiler alert: a bunch of snooty old guys sitting in chairs talking for hours.
  14. At some point, the Harmony software may get open sourced and that will really open up the possibilities, but I think that depends on the amount of Harmony Encore carts in backstock.
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