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A Black Falcon

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About A Black Falcon

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  1. Yeah, and that's the issue, the 1.1 million number is an interesting guess -- saying "maybe that 3.7 million was actually hardware + software combined, subtract the software number from that for the real hardware number of 1.1 million" -- but yeah, it doesn't make much sense, the resulting numbers are too low. Looking for a comparison around that amount of sales, the Atari 5200 is said to have sold about a million systems. I know this is only a resale snapshot, but right now there are 65 5200s for sale in the 'video game consoles, north america only' category, and 135 sold in that category. That's 200 total, a distinctly lower number than the 7800 and SMS numbers I mentioned earlier, 361 and 340 respectively. It sure looks to me like the 7800 should have sales in the SMS's range of 1.5 to 2 million, perhaps slightly above the SMS's total here in the US, and not the 5200's one million. The 7800 is more common than the 5200, it clearly sold better. (I like the 5200 more personally, but that's unimportant here...)
  2. So, after not having a working 7800 for several years after the power button on my old one failed (I can't solder much so I can't replace the switch), I finally got a new one a month ago or so, a s-video modded system from ebay. It works great, except for perhaps not using the updated version of the mod I see mentioned here since audio levels are extremely low when compared to my old console, I need to turn the volume well up. Oh well, that's not a big deal. There is one problem though, I bought a copy of this game recently and I would say that I'm very glad to get this quite interesting-looking title before copies run out, but... it doesn't work at all, it boots to a black screen and stays that way. This isn't some weird resolution issue, all other carts I have work first try if they are clean, including Tower Toppler. This is my only 7800 homebrew, but the 2600 homebrew games I have work, and all original carts for the 8900 of course. I see mention of this game using a pin on the cart slot that no other game uses, but why would that one pin have a problem while all of the other ones are fine? I can't see in the black plastic cover that covers the cart port pins really so I have no idea how I'd figure out what the problem is here, but I hope it can be figured out, I very much want to play the game...
  3. Where did those numbers from? because those aren't the numbers in the thread you linked; I remember those numbers well from when they were revealed, they add up to 3.7 million systems sold in the US, versus about 1.1 million in your numbers here. That's a big difference. 3.7 million always did sound somewhat implausibly high, particularly claiming so many sales in the first year (286,000!) when they hadn't even made that many systems, but where did you get those numbers from? I don't see any hint of them, in the threads you link. If 3.7 million is maybe believable but high, 1.1 million seems too low. https://atariage.com/forums/topic/144552-happy-25th-7800-sales-figures-attached/?do=findComment&comment=4510692 Wait, I got it -- you're subtracting software sales from what was previously reported as hardware sales to get the numbers in your post. Given how those "hardware" sales are higher than the software sales numbers, I get why you might do this, though if this has been discussed somewhere, that those numbers may include hardware + software instead of only hardware, I missed it. That's plausible I guess then, though I am skeptical that the SMS outsold the 7800 in the US... As for the Master System, the only estimate I've ever seen is that it sold between 1.5 and 2 million systems, which is quite believable and is within the range Sega stuff usually sold here, Genesis excepted. Modern evidence exists to suggest that the 7800 seems to have outsold the SMS in the US. For example, check ebay... anytime. Now, five years ago, whenever, the results are the same: if you search for "Atari 7800" and "Sega Master System" in the video game consoles category, searching North American listings only, you will see more 7800 listings than SMS listings. Right now, this search gets 153 for the 7800, and 67 for the SMS. If you add sold listings this gets closer, as right now ebay reports 208 sold North America listings for the 7800 versus 273 for the SMS, but even so the 7800 has a higher total, if not by quite as much. This gap in number of systems sold, with the 7800 consistently having higher sales numbers on ebay, has held up for years. I think this is definitely supporting evidence for that the 7800 outsold the SMS. And I doubt that this gap is because SMS owners are a lot more likely to hold on to their systems, the SMS is definitely not popular here. This lines up with what I've seen in person, too -- I see 7800s used around here quite a bit more often than I do SMSes. Sega released twice as many SMS games as Atari did 7800 games, but with its better name recognition and better-known titles at the time, the 7800 selling better despite this makes sense. For instance, as a somewhat irrelevant aside, I was born in the early '80s, but have absolutely no memory of even hearing about the existence of the Sega Master System during its life. Console gaming was the NES, pretty much. I did know of Atari, though. Now, regardless of how many actually sold it's clear that most of those 7800 owners mostly played 2600 games on their system and got only a few actual 7800 games, but those are still 7800 systems regardless of which games they were playing on them.
  4. It's looking great! I'll buy the game for sure, the gameplay looks good and the 5200 trakball is of course amazing. Two little questions though -- for versus mode will there be any display showing how many times each player has won? Also are single matches human vs. human only? Thanks. It's great to see a story mode though, unfortunately I'll mostly have to play the game single player.
  5. Bah, I figured something was wrong. If the modulator is converting composite to rf, it's weird that rf works with everything, including the half of the games that crash with the composite av cable. That's one strange kind of chip failure there. ... Why is finding a working TI99 so hard? I mean, I know I broke my first two worse accidentally, but neither one ever worked correctly -- the first has an iffy keyboard, and the second a really bad keyboard AND serious display (ram chip?) issues. And now this one works... but only in rf, av is half broken? Bah.
  6. So, some years ago I got a TI99/4A. I did a thread about it. A while later, however, I stupidly broke it by spilling water on it while it was running. The water got on my TI99 and Odyssey 2, but the O2 still works mostly fine (probably helped by its non-porous keyboard), while the TI99 had some crazy stuff display on the screen then died. I tried to let it dry out and such but it didn't help, it was dead. After waiting a while, earlier this year I finally decided I wanted a working TI99 again. However, my first attempt did not go great on that front -- it did get me some interesting games and accessories, but the system itself has a bad chip (probably that RAM chip failure issue?) and keyboard. You can't boot games because a lot of keys don't work, and it has major display problems. It was listed as "untested" which I was skeptical about of course, but the other stuff with it convinced me to get it anyway. So, I now have two broken TI99s. ... Following this I did some highly unadvised things which broke that second console further. Let's just say that now neither of those systems or power supplies work at all. ... yes, I tried the power supply from the water-damaged console on the second system and such. It seems to have broken it too. Whoops... I wouldn't have tried it if the thing worked properly, but it didn't wand I was curious, so... yeah, that was a mistake. Maybe there is someone who could fix this stuff but I definitely cannot. (Both systems and their power supplies are now in the basement, taking up space. I don't want to throw them away though...) Anyway, none of that is the point here, I have a question I'd appreciate help with. So, a few months ago I tried again, and got a tested and working TI99/4A. And it works, and even has a fully working keyboard! The graphics display correctly as well. Neither of my previous ones had a fully working keyboard, even that first one often had some of the keys not respond sometimes. That's quite nice. However, there is an issue -- so, I have the RFU that came with this system, and also a composite AV cable I had previously bought. (Note: this is a mono AV cable, yellow and white to the TI DIN plug.) And the composite cable works... with some games. With others, though, the screen goes white after about a second and stops functioning. The system is fine,though -- if I turn it off and on it runs normally, unless you have one of those games in and watch them fail to run again. Some games just don't work on AV. However, those same games work fine on the RFU... except of course the image quality isn't as good. This issue is consistent -- with some games this happens every single time, while with others it never does and they can be played normally on composite. So, is this a problem with the computer, or not? I don't remember having this issue on my first TI99/4A, but it's been long enough that I don't remember for sure. I have done some searching and haven't found anything about this problem. I'm thinking about finally adding to my little TI99 collection by getting a tape drive and maybe the nano-PEB or something, but before I go any farther with that I definitely want to figure out this display issue, I'd much rather use composite than RF if I can.
  7. In game 1 there is only one dreadnaught; this isn't an endless game, but one with an ending. The other game modes increase the number of dreadnaughts up to 100 in the top one. Well, difficulty 6 is 15, 7 1000... huge spike there! See the manual here on Atari Age. (It's also worth looking at for its awesome cover art. too... ) The Dreadnaught Factor is a pretty good game for the time, it's a nice early scrolling shmup. The first dreadnaught is really easy, but it gets challenging eventually in the harder modes.
  8. Montezuma's Revenge apparently has nine levels, then once you beat level nine, the last level loops endlessly until you get game over. If that is correct I'd call that effectively a game with an ending, they just had the last stage loop instead of ending it, partially for cart space reasons apparently. ... The original game is great, but for anyone who hasn't played it, the Game Boy/Color sequel/remake Montezuma's Return is really, really good. I like that game a lot. Hmm, are the order of stages in Vanguard the same every time, or does it change? (As for Super Cobra, I found that game pretty good on 5200. Fun and challenging.)
  9. I'd say that Super Cobra looping after you reach the end probably should count here.
  10. Most N64 games use the default microcode, but a couple of developers convinced Nintendo to allow them access to the custom microcode, to make their own changes to it. The two external developers who are best known for custom microcode are Boss Games (as seen in World Driver Championship and Stunt Racer 64) and Factor 5, as seen in Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine and Star Wars: Battle of Naboo. I'm not sure if Rogue Squadron had custom microcode, probably phillipj was thinking of Battle for Naboo would be my guess. Battle for Naboo is a pretty amazing looking game and one of the best-looking games of the generation.
  11. That's very impressive then, I thought maybe it "cheats" with added modern hardware like a bunch of 2600 homebrews and such do, but with just a large rom size the Intellivision can get pretty close to the NES, huh. It clearly could do a lot more than lots of the early library shows. The game looks fun, I'd consider getting it if I could.
  12. I don't have the flashcart of course (and I know that currently they are not available), but the gulf in both graphics and gameplay between the pre-crash Intellivision games I've played and this is huge, this is really, really impressive work... I presume it uses the hardware on the flashcart to do more than an '80s Intellivision game could, but even so it looks pretty great and NES quality.
  13. The Colecovision looks like... I don't know, some industrial product or something? It's kind of amazingly ugly. And then I make it look even worse by not putting controllers in the top, and instead using the trackball to get way better action buttons and a lot more cable length. That leaves half of the case as a pointless pair of holes with cables coming out of them. At least the Atari 5200 has a cover for the pointless, empty controller holder part of its shell. Not so for Coleco. I got the Colecovision last summer, and recently decided to kind of hide it by putting my NES sideways on top of the controller-holder part of the Colecovision. It actually fits pretty well, and that channel on the bottom of the NES is perfectly placed for letting out the Roller Controller cable. As for the 2600, sure it has a very iconic look, but I've never been a fan of ridges on consoles -- I think the original PS2 looks awful, with its ridges -- and why do cartridges go in it backwards? Also, the Super Video Arcade has a band of woodgrain across the front as well. (And yes, the Super Video Arcade has some ridges too, but they're much less prominent.) Yeah, that really is the question, isn't it -- what has more value, original titles or arcade ports? Like, comparing the Colecovison and Intellivision, Coleco probably has somewhat better first-party games on average, but almost none of them are original, they're just ports. Sure, it's nice that the Colecovision has a great version of Mr. Do, good Time Pilot, etc... but exclusives are what matter the most for a platform, more so than ports, and it has almost none of those. Of the 30-something Colecovision games I have, what, maybe one is actually exclusive (Super Action Baseball), I think, and it's a pretty unimpressive game. Back then, having good home ports of games like Donkey Kong, Pepper II, Mr. Do, and the like probably was awesome, sure, but for someone playing it today, beyond the 'it's neat to see a solid version of this game on this hardware' I probably do think exclusives have more weight. However, if you're talking better ports vs. not as good exclusives that's tougher, as having the better overall games should count for a lot, but having games you can't play elsewhere is very important and a good draw to a console. Kind of tough to decide there. This very much applies to the Jaguar vs. 3DO in terms of game libraries as well of course... Certainly, the games matter more than how a console looks. Console aesthetics are worth mentioning but don't decide which console is better or worse, other things, like games, controllers, features, etc. do. Also, yeah, there are some good Atari 2600 games and some bad ones. Some are definitely still fun.
  14. Miserable? That's going too far; sure, it's not exactly my favorite system and I'd probably put it in the lower third of my 'how much I like consoles' list, but I've had much worse times with other games, and things I've written. If you want to talk miserable, the one that was indeed miserable to have to work on, and is indeed why I don't do lists that long all at once anymore, is this one: http://www.blackfalcongames.net/?p=186 I dislike the Playstation so much, that was kind of torture to have to spend so much time playing mostly PS1 games, some of them so bad... Honestly, this list took a month to finish more because I kept not wanting to start working on it, but once I finally did I had a reasonably good time. Sure, I'm hard on a lot of the games, but some were fun despite their issues, like in this second part Space Battle, Space Spartans, Snafu, Venture, Pinball... maybe a few more (Night Stalker maybe). Or like, Safecracker? At first I wanted to give up pretty much right away, since navigating is so absurdly difficult. (Safecracker with IntelliVoice would be great by the way... voice for the directions!) But looking up how to play the game, and sticking with it enough to manage to at least complete a safe and get past that, was pretty interesting and well worth my time. Also the Sears Super Video Arcade is a pretty nice-looking console. It's got a cool classic look. Of the five pre-crash consoles I have (2600 (4-switch), 5200, Colecovision, Intellivision - Super Video Arcade, Odyssey 2) it's one of the best-looking ones, and definitely looks a lot nicer than the 2600, never mind the Colecovision, one of the ugliest systems I own... the 5200 and O2 look nice also, but the Super Video Arcade might be on top, based on just how it looks. ... oh, and I also have a 7800 if that counts, but it's only average looking, and anyway the poor thing broke years ago and I haven't been able to fix it.
  15. What do you mean, an extra dotted ring? On my copy there are the two rings of dots in the center, then three quarters of a ring of dots around the edge; it's missing on the right side for some reason. I presume this means it's the easier version? I hope so, because yeah it's very easy. I just played three games, and it's fun... until you win after like three minutes. I just played the game and did have fun, but won three games out of four on the higher difficulties (hitting the disc and pressing "4", which the manual says is the hardest setting), only losing the first game because I'd forgotten how the somewhat odd controls work and had to look at the manual (I have the manual but not an overlay). I did have only two ships left in the game on the highest setting, but I still did win. But sure, it's fun, it just barely presents any challenge and games only last a couple of minutes. One thing I forgot to mention in the summary is that I like how the enemy ship explosions will take out other enemies, that's cool. I quite like how that works in UFO! for the O2. That is a very hard game anyway, but it sure helps make this game easier. Ah. In Asteroids though, being able to thrust and fire at the same time is pretty useful... Ahh, that's how that works. I did try using both discs, like Microsurgeon, but it didn't work so I thought the game didn't have two controller support. That probably would make the game slightly better. Also, yeah, I probably am holding down the buttons, I guess you shouldn't do that. Still, that the disc can't hurt enemies on the way back is stupid. That reminds me of 2600 Breakout/ Super Breakout, which I find boring and borderline unplayable because the ball only hits one block every time it goes up the screen, it'll just warp right through any other blocks it should bounce off of on the way back... As for killing the Recognizer, I'm sure there's a trick to it but yeah I haven't figured it out. What do you mean, progression in B-17 Bomber? Like, some win screen if you destroyed every single enemy base or something? That'd be a crazy hard task... really what I was wishing for was not having it destroy my turrets after like two seconds of missing the enemy fighters, though.
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