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ubersaurus

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About ubersaurus

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  • Birthday June 12

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  1. Oh yeah I think I was in that store last October. Most Japanese stores require you to be a Tokyo resident to sell game stuff, so I imagine they don’t get much In way of foreign carts.
  2. For what it's worth the folks I have encountered who like the original Primal Rage, REALLY like the sequel. So it really must be an acquired taste!
  3. One more thing, re: Bingo. Jack Wright told me this weekend that he also doesn't remember seeing it anywhere while he worked out of the Swannanoa manufacturing plant, but he doesn't discount that as necessarily not having been produced there. Joyce Weisbecker did remark to me that RCA folks typically went all out on their pre-release marketing mockups of materials as it made it more likely for a product to move forward if it looked like it could be ready to go on store shelves soon. So with these points in mind, it does seem likelier to me that the existing Bingo copies floating around are indeed among those marketing mockups rather than anything that was mass produced.
  4. When I visited Hagley library yesterday, I was able to make some high quality scans of the Coin Arcade instruction cards. Might be helpful for emulation/archival purposes. Most intriguing was coming across the schematics of the VIP II hardware, which I have already provided to Marcel and Ed Keefe for their respective uses. Met up with Joyce Weisbecker while I was there, who provided me with some nice context to the documents we looked over and sat down for a lengthy interview of her history with the FRED line and her general philosophy on video game design and what can make it interesting. Additionally, she shared Joe's theory on why the console was called the Studio II (as not even he was sure): his reasoning was that "Studio" could have been an initial reference to a broadcast studio, since RCA owned those, and that someone who scheduled programming was called a programmer... and therefore maybe it got the name to appease an executive involved in the broadcast side of the business. He said that the name focus tested poorly but since it didn't get changed, he suspected it was a decision out of marketing's hands. Got a few more names of folks who were connected to the project in some way to try and track down... rca arcade instruction card scans.pdf
  5. Final game of 1979: Video Chess! Considered an impossible game at first for technical reasons, Larry Wagner and Bob Whitehead nonetheless found a way to make it work. Also includes an overview of Atari's 1979 and the home console market in general that year!
  6. Minor update: I recently was able to get in touch with another former Fairchild engineer, and while we haven't arranged an interview yet he volunteered that he, Rich Olney, wrote Blackjack alongside two other staffers. So add his name and that game to the list.
  7. Update to the post a while back regarding Jack Wright's VIP adapter and getting around the lack of an R/W line on the cart slot. It seems that it wasn't a full VIP system (Maybe a 180?). Wright said that he wasn't able to find any of his documents from that era, but his memory suggests the card had ROM code to tell the processor to read computer machine code typed in from the keypads, put it in the system RAM, and then run it. Without the design for it or the SII on hand, he speculates that it might have had a pin on the cart slot that allowed him to add a cassette recorder connection on the card that would allow saving programs to tape and reading them back like the VIP does, or an unused pin on the cart slot he wired up himself to the necessary connection on the Studio II circuit board to allow for connecting a tape recorder.
  8. I’m glad you enjoyed! You should look into the multicart for the machine - easiest way to play those Studio III games like Pinball and Star Wars on it!
  9. Incidentally I was revisiting the CGE 2004 panel Jerry Lawson and Rick Maurer did, and they talk a bit about Michael Glass. Apparently either his Spitfire or democart easter egg turned up while he was still working at Fairchild - the service department brought Jerry a cart that had gotten stuck in a mode that just kept showing the message "programmed by Michael Glass" as Lawson recalled it. When he asked Glass, Glass showed him how to bring it up by using the console inputs; he said he put it in because he liked going into stores and making the message pop up on demo units. Also spoke highly of Glass's Spitfire program adjusting how fast or slow a plane would go depending on how well the opponent was doing, which I never noticed. Like if you shot down the computer a lot it would speed up, or if it shot you down a lot it would slow down.
  10. Vectrex physics are all wrong to me. You accelerate way too fast and don't have the same drift as the PDP game. Also the PDP doesn't have sound, so it's not that MAME is emulating it poorly - it just literally doesn't exist.
  11. I don’t think anyone has ever really done it, unfortunately. The ports that exist are fine, albeit based more on the arcade game without all the options that game had. The good news is that you can run the PDP versions that have been dumped off paper tapes at the masswerk website (including offline!) https://www.masswerk.at/spacewar/ for me the tricky part is no one ever gets the physics right. Spacewar isn’t quite right unless there’s some real mass and momentum to deal with - otherwise it’s just flailing around shooting at each other rather than a strategic fight.
  12. They do not have multicades in the usual sense, but they have a handful of machines that have a switch on the cab that you can press to flip over to a second arcade board. Generally games in the same series that use similar button layouts and hardware. They also have several multislot Neo Geo machines for those games, but for the vast majority it’s all original dedicated cabs. They do have a lot in storage but if it’s on the list, it’s on the floor. Its pretty wild. They bought up all the other spaces in the little strip mall they’re located in so the whole building is the arcade; they also ended up getting a second location down the road specifically for their pinball machines to be playable without sucking up a bunch of space, and their workshop for repairs and such is yet another building not far from either. They’re doing pretty well for themselves!
  13. Having been there they absolutely have that many games. It’s a really big arcade packed very well.
  14. Repost from the Studio II thread, but back in August I recorded a podcast for Retronauts about the Channel F and Studio II, and today it went live. May have some interesting historical tidbits for folks here! https://retronauts.com/article/1443/revisit-an-age-before-atari-2600-in-episode-278
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