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freewheel

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Everything posted by freewheel

  1. Brazillian games work on my NTSC VCS, if I put them on a monitor with adjustable v-hold. Colours are wacky, but that's the pallette difference - I doubt you'd have that problem as they're both PAL. But if it's just the refresh rate, it's manageable I'd think.
  2. I've been looking for probably 15 years for one - yeah I could just overpay on ebay, but I mean in the wild. Mostly for completeness' sake - much like the Fairchild, I don't think it was very good. I've found a few games for it over the years, just never a console. I'd pick one up if cheap enough.
  3. Hm. Checked my dozen or so spares - I've never looked that closely, and well, there are more differences than I thought. The asteroids behind the CX, check. Also the streaks by the bottom left of the Atari logo itself. Third, the label has a distinctly reddish colour, at least on the asteroids themselves. However - it's not 100% consistent. Most of my carts are what I'd call "bluish" on the label, and these all have the copyright screen. I have 3 copies that are the more "reddish" colouring (with the asteroid/streak differences too) - 2 of them do not have the copyright screen, but one does. So it's not a perfect match. Unless I have some weird 3rd variant.
  4. It was a throwaway "clever" nickname I created back when I first got online about 20 years ago and was younger and dumber. I've just kept using it because it amuses me that invariably, I'm asked a similar question within a few days of posting to any new forum (or IRC channel, or Twitter, or any other electronic communication).
  5. My girlfriend swears she got a Colecovision almost a year before history says it was released in North America. Memories can be fuzzy, but she did grow up in the main product test market for Canada at that time, so anything's possible. If anyone has any way to put together test market info from the 80s, I'd love to see it.
  6. Anyone who doesn't have this site bookmarked, shame on you How the hell else are y'all making your replacement 32X cables (not that those plugs are even remotely available)? http://www.gamesx.com/avpinouts/genesisav.htm Genesis 2 is most definitely stereo. I've never owned a G3 but everything I've ever read says it is as well. It's only the G1 that has mono coming from the back, which is why you have to use the headphone jack to get it. PS: damn near every other pinout you'd want is on that site, at least for anything remotely mainstream.
  7. Blast Corps is hands down my favourite N64 game. It's just one of those weird, quirky, one-of-a-kind games that you so rarely see - because it's actually ridiculous fun. Medalling high gives it a ton of replayability, something I'm not known to do except in rare circumstances. It's got a charm all its own. Robotron 64 is also another hidden gem. The music is absolutely emblematic of the time it came out (mid-late 90s) and was a fairly decent technical accomplishment how they did so much in so little space. Controls are perfect.
  8. Bollocks. The only people Notch has pissed off are for-profit server operators. The number of actual players who are upset by this is somewhere between zero and none. In fact, most players of the game are cheering his enforcement of the EULA. If you want to play WoW and level up with money, go play WoW. That's not what Minecraft is about. Millions of people happily play the game with no financial happenings, beyond funding a small VM instance if they want multiplayer. And anyone with any experience with the game knows that if you want to play without grinding for resources, there's always Creative mode. There's literally no reason for these "pay to play" servers to exist beyond profit gouging. Sorry, I guess a better term is "pay to win", as there's nothing whatsoever in the EULA that forbids charging people to play on your server. Server operators can still make a fuckton of cash, so long as they charge everyone equally. You simply can't buy your way into success in the game anymore. I've been playing almost non-stop since late 2009. "Digital LEGOs" is exactly what I describe it as to people, and the pixelated graphics are just a joy to the eyes of this retro gamer. It's probably my favourite "videogame" of all time - and at this point, one of the highest selling of all time as well. On any platform, ever. It's a lot more than this generation's Doom, although I can see where the comparison is coming from. It's more like this generation's SMB or Pac-Man. It's EVERYWHERE and EVERYONE under a certain age plays it. It was inevitable that people would try to dump on it at some point, and this most recent controversy is just more sour grapes from people who aren't really into the game for the game itself anyway.
  9. They're both known variations of the game and come with the same labels. From memory, the copyright screen is the "original" while the others came later. I don't recall if anyone's ever discovered any actual gameplay differences - I'm sure the ROM comparison folks have checked for any differences beyond the startup screen? This always mystified me as a kid, too.
  10. I don't know if the first post is the most "updated" one, but its current form almost lines up perfectly with my top 10: My ordering would be a bit changed, and I'd sub Missile Command for Adventure - I've just never understood the appeal of Adventure, then or now. Although I do appreciate the technical leap it was, especially after reading Racing the Beam. Hm, I'd probably also pick something in place of Pitfall II, just for variety. It's a technical masterpiece but I've always preferred playing the original. Maybe Combat as #10 - it was just such a fun game, even if simplistic and primitive as hell. I might even put Astroblast in my top 10 - that game is just insane fun.
  11. freewheel

    Light Gun?

    No lightgun works on any modern screen, due to how they work. You absolutely need a CRT for any Atari/Nintendo/Sega lightguns. The gun registers the position of the TV's scanline to determine where you've "hit", so any screen with no scanline won't work. I suppose it's possible to use an Oddysey gun on an LCD, because even a light bulb works for those.
  12. freewheel

    Light Gun?

    This is most definitely a famiclone gun. I own several of these. Whoever is selling that is either lying, or knows very little about retro gaming - I just emailed him to let him know, in case it is just a case of ignorance (update - he responded back and said he was just going off old ebay listings, and has sorta changed the listing...). It most certainly will not work with anything Atari - however it's possible to mod them to work with an NES, so they're not entirely useless. What the original poster describes made me think of this instantly. Possibly slightly different colours but I'd bet good money that it's the same thing. Edit: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/116767-nes-famiclone-light-gun-to-7800-light-gun/ is an AA thread from 7 years ago where this very thing was discussed. Not a lot of success, although the Antic issue was mentioned, and there's a link to one of Ben Heck's threads where the NES/famiclone pinout is given. I've only ever done this with NES controllers to a famiclone personally - I find both the controllers and the guns on famiclones to be horribly built and very inaccurate. But to stay on topic - I can find no evidence that anyone's ever made one of these work with an Atari of any sort.
  13. You said it worked before - are you using it now on the same TV as before? A lot of the simpler AV mods give video signals that are, shall we say, not very strong. I've done some mods that work perfectly on one TV but are almost unviewable on others. I don't sell AV mods to unsuspecting buyers for this very reason - you never know what they're hooking up to. If you have an old VCR around, run the AV inputs through that and then into your TV. That'll usually rule out a weak video signal. You said 2 resistors and a cap, I'm not familiar with that mod as I usually put pots everywhere - I find it helps to troubleshoot/fix issues similar to what you're seeing. You could always try a re-mod with pots, but I know how little fun that is. Failing that, it could simply be that one of your solder joints has come loose (or was never very good in the first place - I'm a terrible solderer, I know about this first hand). Again involves basically re-doing things, not fun. Did you completely remove the RF output? If it's still intact, try checking the RF output as a comparison. It's highly unlikely it's the 2600 itself (in the sense of the chips) as only one is involved in video anyway. If the game's playing and sounds OK, then it's likely your output circuit - the question is where and why. Wish I could be more helpful. Hard to diagnose further without seeing pics of the screen, and your mod.
  14. OK, I'm either having a blonde moment or not enough sleep.. what the heck is that last picture of? Obviously some frankenboard of 80s and modern vintage, but I'm stumped.
  15. I'm sorry, but I LOVE the post that started this thread. "I can't prove it because I can't afford a digital camera". Which in early 2002 was very much possible. I just had to laugh - on a forum dedicated to retro memories, someone made me realize just how much has changed in consumer electronics in 12 years. Who the heck doesn't have easy access to half a dozen digital cameras in various forms today? And of course it also reminded me of the "mail in a picture of your high score" back in the day. My parents would never have allowed it (film is expensive!!) and by the time digital cameras became widespread, not only had "high scores" long since disappeared, but most game systems could send them in online. How times have changed. Anyway, awesome thread bump.
  16. Inky, Blinky, Pinky, Dinky, Winky... and Clyde.
  17. This is probably my favourite thing about collecting 2600, actually. I collect unboxed for the most part (to me, it's about the games and not the collectability) Most systems have way too much consistency - even NES with the Tengen and unlicensed stuff, is just really boring overall. 2600, when arranged alphabetically, is a testament to unbridled competition (and the insanity of the early 80s videogame scene). When you add in the various Atari variants over the years, it's a work of art - to my eyes, anyway. It does make purists and OCD types crazy though. I know several people who organize by label type, which perplexes me, but *shrug* - to each their own.
  18. For many reasons, Aussie HES games often are mixed into collections with German games, and Brazilian games. I guess with the PAL 2600 market being so fragmented, people just got carts from wherever they could. I've long suspected that this area was one of the earlier places we saw overseas trading between collectors, long before Ebay and such. I strongly suspect that we're also seeing Brazil being a "concentrator" of these regions, due to Brazil being an isolated PAL market, and the collections eventually make their way north. It's just so common to see the 3 regions mixed together that I don't even blink an eye anymore (the NES scene also sees this effect to some degree). It's somewhat challenging to distinguish between legit PAL releases and pirates because of this. You get used to HES releases though, because they have those characteristic labels with very little text on them compared to what we're used to.
  19. Yeah, I've tried in a few - my composite Vader, my light 6, and a 7800. I'll keep poking at it as I've got a few others to test with - plus I should try with copycart.bin just to see if I get *anything*. Appreciate the ideas and tips, folks. Some of the more obvious stuff I didn't even think to try... probably because it's so obvious. I'd really be slapping myself if it was just dirty contacts or a weird connection issue that I should have figured out within seconds. With any other cart, I'd be doing it. I guess I just don't think straight with new stuff. Oh, not that I think anyone should do this just to see it, but - I love the slick AtariAge logo silkscreened onto the Harmony board. Nice touch that almost no one will ever see.
  20. 249 unique games, but I cheat a little and include many of the Sears games in that - if they have a different end label name. Take a dozen or so off that total if they don't count. Add in 10 Zellers pirates and 28 PAL/Euro pirates as well. I could see making a hobby just out of collecting pirate games. Easy enough to play too, if you have an old monitor that has adjustable V-hold (like an old Commodore monitor). It's kinda cool that they actually had games released that we never saw, even if Pac-Kong or Lilly Adventure or Mr. Postman are pretty shitty. My all time favourite is the missle command pirate I found from Germany called Raumroboter - it has Macross/Robotech art on the label! Quite possibly the single coolest 80s thing I own. I'd actually be curious if folks would add one thing to these posts - highest AA rarity they own. Mine is Master Builder ( . Couldn't believe I saw it when I found it in a garage sale box. Spectravision games (esp. the rare ones) seem to be a bit more common in Canada - I've seen at least 2 copies of Gas Hog floating around in various collections, I just didn't want to pay a ton of money for the other 50-100 carts they were being sold with. Of course now that I look, the AA entry mentions this. At least I'm not the only one who's noticed this.
  21. It's definitely fading. Either that or I'm rich with label variations. I've got nearly every Activision cart with that level of fading, to the point where it's almost like a new colour. Including some two-tones like someone posted above.
  22. Well, I did the unthinkable (nothing to lose, right?) and took my Harmony apart. The contacts actually did release a little bit of gunk, probably from various consoles I've tested with - just a tiny bit weird for a brand new circuit board but hey, helps clean my consoles right? Having the bare board in the consoles - nada. Still can't get anything happening. I don't quite know how these things are built but it's weird - it'll take a firmware image just fine, no complaints, but said image just never boots up in the 2600 itself. Almost as if one side of the interface is fine but the other is shot (ie: if it's being transferred between 2 EEPROMS or something). I may play around with directly connecting to various pins to see what I can make happen, because at this point she's dead in the water. Fortunately it appears as though a next-gen Harmony is on its way, so I might just be getting that anyway. The concept is a lot of fun, if you don't break yours by playing around as much as I did.
  23. No one else has mentioned it yet, so... my family bought an original Odyssey from friends around 1975 or so. Not a Pong unit, the actual Odyssey with the overlays and the game pieces and everything. I was literally born into a videogaming household. We moved onto a Radio Shack Pong clone, then became a computer household. Vic20 and then C64. Eventually my brother bought an NES followed by a Genesis, and I finally got my own when I picked up an SNES. Then an N64, Dreamcast, Gamecube, Wii, and most currently Xbox360. Around the Dreamcast days is when I started collecting all the cool stuff I couldn't afford as a kid - by now there's not many I'm missing, at least not North America. Can't find Astrocades, Arcadias, or Studio IIs up here in Canada very often, and Ebay buyers are silly with their money, but beyond those, I've found pretty much everything else. My VCS days were basically several years of non-stop gaming with a friend who lived 2 doors down. His parents bought him a Jr and while I loved my Commodore games, there was something so cool about a dedicated console. So I played the hell out of a lot of 2600 games even though I never owned one in the 80s. Also had friends with Coleco and INTV so I got exposed to damn near everything. I still have the Oddysey in the basement - I had to practically beg my parents to not throw it out many times. It's probably been 20 years since it's been turned on, but I bet it's an easy fix as it really didn't contain anything exotic. I love the fact that I own a 42 year old console. It's so strange to think that video games are entering middle age now.
  24. As they used to say... looong time listener, first time caller here. I finally ordered a Harmony cart recently and had a blast with it. Then, I discovered this thread. I have a few unusual PAL carts that I'm not sure if they've ever been dumped - atarimania says no, but I'm not sure. Things like the Quelle Phantom-Panzer, etc. So, I decided to build myself a dumper based on what you guys have been talking about here. And it worked pretty damned good! I dumped quite a few of my own games, with nothing more than a floppy cable and a Harmony cart. Was quite a lot of fun after all these years of using other people's work. I learned first hand what an overdump was, and how to make a bad dump, and how to make things work better. I also discovered HOM3 which is basically the ROM data compare/gfx editor I tried to write in Java in about 2002 or so, and gave up on. This thread and all of you guys' help was the most Atari fun I've had in years, so thanks to everyone! Unfortunately - I think I may have fried my Harmony in the process. At one point it was giving me consistently strange dumps, so I figured ok, enough playing around, maybe I'll come back to this when I get proper cart connectors - floppy cable connections are tricky with most carts. Re-flashing the BIOS works, but when I plug it into a console, I get nothing - either a black screen or lots of random colour and noise. I've tried re-flashing with copycart.bin, and it takes it - but in the console, I don't get the nice rainbow lines that it should give. So, I guess my question is - is it possible that I've permanently fried my Harmony? How is it possible that it can take a firmware image, but still not work in a 2600 console? Might I be doing something wrong? Is there anything I can do to rectify this?
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