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BassGuitari

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BassGuitari last won the day on March 15

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About BassGuitari

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    Glorified Toaster
  • Birthday 01/31/1985

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    Remember how bright the future used to look?
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    Male
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    Fiorina 161
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    Music, vintage instruments, history, World War I, vintage video games and computers, football, the Green Bay Packers.
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    DINA - Defender, Montezuma's Revenge, Frogger II, Meteoric Shower, Frenzy, Choplifter, River Raid, Time Pilot, Zaxxon, Strike It, Wing War

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  1. Apple controllers (aside from the earlier 16-pin ones that connect directly to the motherboard) have DB-9 male connectors, which is what Atari controller jacks are. You can't even plug them in.
  2. I found one of these in my basement over the weekend and just wanted to be sure I wouldn't damage anything I plugged it into. My DINA is what I currently have hooked up, so I tried it on that (it works with 2600 joysticks just fine), but no joy, on any of the controller's switch settings. 🤔 I'll try it out with other systems when I get some time.
  3. Probably a rookie question, and I think I already know the answer, but will the Amiga/Atari ST version of the Gravis GamePad work on an Atari 2600? I assume "yes" since 2600-compatible joysticks work on STs and Amigas, and examining the pinouts of various 9-pin systems appears to confirm this, but I was wondering if the GamePad's ST/Amiga switching circuitry would cause any issues. And I've heard of theoretically compatible controllers damaging systems they weren't intended for (like Genesis controllers on a Commodore 64).
  4. My first Intellivision (and just the second-ever system I acquired when I started collecting, actually...120+ systems ago!) was a Sylvania. It was cool because it was one of my first first-hand experiences with "Golden Age"/Pre-NES consoles. Compared to the 16/32/64-bit systems and PC games I was familiar with, it was so foreign and interesting to me, with the disc/keypad controllers, the weird little cartridges that plugged into the side, and the games themselves. So the Intellivision, along with my Odyssey 2, was one of the gateways to classic console gaming for me. I've since collected every major variant of the Intellivision except for the Super Video Arcade--including the Tandyvision. My memories of them are sort of interchangeable, I guess, since they're all the same console (except for the Intellivision II, which is still close enough). I always admire all the woodgrain on the Tandyvision, and the fire buttons on mine are really nice as Intellivision buttons go. One Tandyvision-specific memory I have isn't an actual memory of the console itself, but early on in my collecting career--probably not too long after I got my original Sylvania--when I was researching and reading about classic systems, I idly wondered to myself how/why somebody would have purchased a Tandy instead of an Intellivision (or Atari or Odyssey or whatever), and what it would have been like having that as your main game system.
  5. All paddle controllers have the racquets on them; the earlier ones have an Atari emblem (or "Sears") printed next to them, while the regular ones say "paddle." There was actually quite a bit of cross-pollination with heavy sixer and light sixer components as Atari transitioned to the L6 and used up H6 parts, controllers, power supplies, boards, cases, 01 Combats, manuals, and so on. Systems (both heavy and light) with "incorrect" controllers, Combats, or paraphernalia--and even "frankensixer" systems, combining H6 and L6 boards and cases--were not that uncommon.
  6. Eh, I'm using the definition loosely. Essentially just "not the real thing." I don't know if I like the Video Arcade more than the Video Computer System...but I like it at least as much. 😅
  7. Back in the day when Sears sold rebranded video game consoles, they were often dismissed as knockoffs by people who had the genuine articles from the likes of Atari and Mattel. Even today, Sears consoles are typically filed under "clone systems" without a second thought. While several Sears models like the Video Arcade and original Pong were simply rebranded cosmetic variations of licensed hardware, quite a few others had a little something extra. Super Pong: More than merely an Atari Super Pong with a Tele-Games badge and woodgrain grill, the Sears unit features handheld controllers and a speed switch, a combination of features that wouldn't be seen on an Atari unit until the Super Pong Pro-Am Ten, a year later. Super Pong IV: Analogous to Atari's Super Pong Ten, the Sears console not only predates it by several months, but leapfrogs it with four handheld controllers (two hardwired + two plug-in, versus two console-mounted + two plug-in) and a speed switch. It's actually more functionally equivalent to Atari's ultimate Super Pong system, the Pro Am Ten, and the standard game start switch actually makes it slightly more elegant than even that, which requires games to be started/reset by turning the system off and on. (Note: The Super Pong IV wasn't a "sequel" to the Super Pong, but a concurrent deluxe model.) Speedway IV: Not really a "clone" so much as an Atari design based around a game chip licensed from Universal Research Labs stuffed into a Super Pong IV case, Speedway IV does offer a substantial quality-of-life improvement over URL's original dedicated race car game (that being the Video Action Indy 500): handheld controllers--with generous cord lengths. If that sounds trivial, consider that the Indy 500, a four-player console, had all of its control dials mounted to its enormous case. (Sears did also previously release an actual clone of the Indy 500, licensed and built by URL: the original Speedway. But this one actually removed the Tennis game, playing only the Hockey and Race games, and oddly making it one of the few "Pong consoles" that doesn't actually play Pong.) Motocross Sports Center IV: Essentially two game systems in one, the Sears version of Atari's Stunt Cycle console not only boasts every Evel Knievallian feature of its name-brand cousin, but also stuffs in the entire 16-game lineup of the Pong Sports systems (or Ultra Pong, for Atari purists)--minus only the trippy gradient backgrounds--complete with four detachable handheld paddle controllers. Not a bad deal! Super Video Arcade: One criticism of the original Intellivision system that persists to this day--apart from the controllers themselves--is that the controllers are tethered to the console by fairly short coiled cords and cannot be removed from the console. The Super Video Arcade rectified that by straightening/lengthening the cords and attaching them via common 9-pin jacks, and is often sought out specifically for that reason.
  8. Oh man, even in that condition, somebody got that for a steal! It would be very interesting if it was a conversion. To my knowledge, Atari never offered any kind of "upgrade" service on any of their Pong units. Seems like this would have to have been a Pong Doubles board re-populated with the Super Pong chipset (which, comparing the boards, doesn't actually look possible), wired up to the Game Select switch (interestingly, Pong Doubles has a space on its board for the Molex connector for this) and dropped into a Super Pong case. Doesn't seem worth the bother since the converted console is mostly Super Pong parts at that point anyway. In any case, there wouldn't be any way to tell without getting a look at the board.
  9. Tetris - Commodore 64: With its bizarre Gigeresque art style and strange music, this version is so odd and distinct from every other official version of Tetris I've seen that it's hard to believe it was actually an official port. In a way I actually respect that about it, but the plain, undetailed block graphics look like a perfunctory BASIC game superimposed against the sci-fi artwork, and I'm not a fan of "insta-drop" control styles (which IIRC this one uses). Additionally, it lacks many of the options and features found in other ports of the game, and control becomes problematic as the game speeds up. The C64 version is still fun--it's still Tetris, after all--but of all the versions of Tetris I could play, I would choose the Commodore version only by virtue of my Commodore being the system I had handy at the moment. (Or if I was just in the mood for something funky.) Defender - IBM/PC: A few different versions of Defender came to mind when I tried to consider the "worst." The Game Boy Color version is a fairly faithful adaptation of the arcade original, but is hard to play on account of its tiny sprites. The Intellivision port is an admirable and distinctly Intellivision effort that is somewhat undercut by its difficult control (the disc always gets me killed; a rare instance of the Intellivision controller being an actual impediment to gameplay for me). For a moment I even considered the Atari 2600 version, with its primitive graphics, flicker-related idiosyncrasies, and lack of independent smart bomb and hyperspace controls, before I immediately remembered that it's one of my most-played 2600 games. 😆 But the PC version takes the cake for me as the ultimate balance of ugly audiovisuals, janky physics, and bad control. (I don't hear much good about the Game.com version, but I've never played it.) Galaga - SG-1000: I have to start by saying this isn't actually a bad game. It's actually pretty good, considering (not great, but good). But it's a very weird port of Galaga. Licensed, adapted, and re-titled Sega-Galaga by Sega, the SG-1000 port feels very different from other home versions (of which this was actually the very first, for what that's worth!). To wit: the aliens can only move in eight directions; the Galagas can deploy tractor beams irrespective of how many aliens are still left; there are no Challenging Stages; the aliens are generally less aggressive and can be quickly obliterated before they can even settle into formation (a tedious but necessary tactic, as they become very fast and hard to track in later stages if allowed to attack); the sprites are sharp and well-defined but only single-colored; sound is chirpy and lacking polyphony. You can breeze through this game in a zen-like trance until around Stage 34 or 35, when the game decides it's had enough of your shit. 😜 (I've heard the version included on Arcade Classics for CD-i is pretty bad, but I haven't played it.) One of my all-time favorites is the original Resident Evil 2 for PS1, and while I haven't had the opportunity(?) to play them, there are some pretty...uh...questionable interpretations for the Game.com and 99X handheld formats. 😝
  10. I scored a Telstar Marksman system this week (CIB and apparently barely used!) and found several interesting glitches and quirks. This got me wondering about "easter eggs" or glitches in dedicated consoles. So far I know of: Telstar Marksman: ----------------- - Shoot The Score: After a shooting game is over, the final score that bounces around the screen can be shot! Doing so will register a "hit" and the score will reappear at the top center of the screen as during normal gameplay, but no point is recorded. (This glitch doesn't work with the paddleball games.) - Easy Points: During "score intermissions" in the gun games, shoot the orange shot counter number for easy points! But be careful, because misses count, too! - 15 Birds With One Stone: By switching games in progress, points scored in paddleball games carry over into the shooting games as shots fired and hits made, making it possible to end the game with more hits than shots. To achieve the best "impossible" score, run up a paddleball score of 0-14 for the right player, then quickly switch to a gun game and make your first (and only) shot to end the game with a score of 1-15--that is, 15 hits out of 1 shot! (And a hit ratio of 1500%!) - Low Score Wins: Occasionally when powering the system on, Tennis will immediately begin "in progress" with 16 points for the left player. Since the games end when a player reaches 15 points, it's possible for the right player to win the game with a losing score! (The left player's score rolls back to 10 after 19.) AY-3-8500 systems ------------------- - Hidden game: Moving the game selector switch between Hockey and Squash reveals an undocumented game, unofficially called Handicap. This is a variant of Hockey that gives the right player a third paddle. Odyssey -------- IIRC some of the analog Odyssey systems allowed for internally adjusting and customizing the size and dimensions of the paddles (or athlete figures for Odyssey 500), ball, and center line but I'll have to check on this. Anybody know of any other glitches, easter eggs, or secrets hiding out in dedicated consoles?
  11. The kinds of games available were dictated by the self-contained game chip used (typically the AY-3-8500 or some variant), not necessarily a limitation of the gun itself. The Telstar Arcade's/Gemini's gun games used color sprites, for instance, albeit on a black background. And the colored score digits on the Telstar Marksman can be shot, as well. But as I understand it, you're correct about how those old guns worked and the conditions they required, and to your point, even many color consoles like Telstar Marksman displayed their gun games in B/W. 1. Yes. 😜 At first, anyway, which is really what I was originally talking about. Just a year into the system's life, Atari had 20 different cartridges available and four different controllers to play them with. Even Magnavox took shots at this to make the Odyssey 2's hardwired joysticks seem like a plus. 2. Not blame; it just seems curious to me that in 1977-79 Atari didn't develop some version of what, at the time, was an industry standard. Sure, it would have been primitive--everything was then. Even if the games were just stylized colored blocks doing different things on a dark background, it's not hard to imagine the ways Atari would/could have spiced them up to their standard (explosion sprites, sounds, colorful screen freakouts, etc) or the game types they might have implemented. The standard Target and Skeet, of course, but maybe stuff like whack-a-mole, quick-draw, second player steers/cloaks/manipulates the target with a joystick, a spin on Skeet where different kinds/sizes of targets fly across the screen at different speeds, etc. Maybe set to the classic early Atari 2:16 time limit. Sprites could have been dressed up as cowboys, aliens, robots, ducks, animals, soldiers, combat vehicles, or whatever else as the theme dictated. Heck, take away the background stars and Star Ship could have been a gun game (parts of it, anyway). TLDR; I think interesting--albeit still primitive--things could have been done with the technology available in the late '70s, and the reasons Atari didn't pursue gun games were probably unrelated to technological capability or design/creative limitations. Maybe gun games would have been better off being shoehorned into Ultra Pong or Video Pinball (as Coleco had done with Telstar Gemini), or even their own dedicated console. In any case, it almost certainly wouldn't have been very long-lived or developed past one or two cartridges (which didn't stop Atari from coming up with Indy 500 and the Driving Controller). Still, it's a tantalizing "what if?" 1. That's probably true, but it doesn't account for, say, Video Olympics. Pong was hardly an arcade chart-topper anymore, but variants of it still dominated home consoles. It was *the* standard home video game, and consumers expected it. Light gun games were approaching that level. (Pong of course was also Atari's biggest IP and probably the thing they were most known for at that point, but I digress.) 2. The joystick was emphasized from the beginning, but it was unequivocally established as the standard by 1980. If Atari was ever going to experiment with a light gun, it would have been in those early years. (Of course Atari Corp. released Sentinel many years later, but that was a completely different company, using a gun controller that was designed for a completely different console.) 3. The Keyboard Controllers predate the release of Intellivision and were largely phased out by the time it launched nationally. IIRC the only reason the keyboard controllers happened at all was because Marketing wanted them, and so they were never meaningfully supported. The paltry number of keypad-compatible games released thereafter were marketed with their own gimmicky variations of the controller, and were intended for use specifically with those controllers.
  12. Given the proliferation of light gun games in the late '70s, both in arcades and home video game units, and also given Atari's predilection for specialty controllers, it's surprising that Atari didn't release a light gun peripheral* for the Video Computer System in the early days of the console. The perfunctory Target and Skeet games found on various Telstars, TV Scoreboards, and other consoles bearing some permutation of the name "Video Sports" were practically industry standard by the end of the decade. It's interesting and unfortunate that Atari didn't come out with their own light gun and release cartridges with not only their own takes on those primitive shoot-the-block games, but also ports of their own arcade games like Qwak! and Outlaw**. (*Yeah, there was the XE gun many years later, but that wasn't even designed for the 2600, and it is classified as a 2600 peripheral essentially by virtue of the existence of Sentinel.) (**Ironic that the VCS cartridge called Outlaw was a port of Taito's Gunfight. 😜) Given the relative rarity of XE guns and 2600 players who own them, it makes sense that no light gun homebrews exist (to my knowledge). Are there any light gun adapters (such as Sega>Atari) in development? I've heard of people rigging up their own, but nothing readily available from the likes of Edladdin or AtariAge. It seems like both light gun adapters and light gun games would need to happen simultaneously for either to exist. (A game+adapter would be an epic homebrew package!)
  13. This is interesting considering, at least early on, Atari also advertised in the likes of Playboy magazine, and some of the earliest television commercials depict grown middle-aged men freaking out about the console. And I'm not sure how much Don Knotts or Carol Channing would have resonated with children in the late '70s (I could see Kareem Abdul Jabaar and Pete Rose, though).
  14. Interesting. My two-board systems come in fine on power-up but the signal drifts (colors start to wash out, sound gets staticy) and I have to redial Channel 13, and then it's fine again for a while. I'll have to do this three or four times until the system reaches its maximum temperature, at which point the picture is slightly fuzzy and washed out but acceptable. They seem to behave differently on different TVs, too. On some TVs, Channel 4 actually works better than Channel 13; on others, it doesn't work at all. And some TVs do the Channel 13 thing better than others. I haven't experienced the power switch thing, though. I'm guessing that's related to the three-voltage power supply used with the single-board version of the system (which is similar to what the Colecovision uses, right?).
  15. I'd give up the XEGS because 1.) the 5200 is awesome and 2.) I also have an 800. 😜
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