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About DarthDuke

  • Rank
    Space Invader
  • Birthday 06/08/1973

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  • Custom Status
    Old Time Gaming Enthusiast
  • Gender
  • Location
    Las Vegas, NV
  • Interests
    Botany; gardening; hiking; computer hardware; Sci-Fi and Fantasy books, movies, comics, games etc; free-lance writing and editing
  • Currently Playing
    Defender, Adventure, Yars Revenge, Empire Strikes Back, Gravitar
  • Playing Next
    Wizard of Wor, Swordquest series

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  1. Update: I found three of the Atari Force comic books that came with the games on Ebay. I now have the first three issues! I've looked up which games came with comics (and vice versa) and have added two more to my collection. I've had Defender ever since it came out, but now also have Star Raiders and Galaxian. Star Raiders is crazy difficult, but the keypad controller is kinda cool. Frankly, I like Star Master a bit better because it's not as complicated. I love Galaxian! A great game that was ported well to the system. Found it complete in box at my friendly neighborhood game store for less than I thought I would. The comics are pretty cool. They don't really include anything from the games, other than in a general sense, but they are a fun read anyway.
  2. I recently upped my game by hooking up a Sega Genesis controller to my 2600. As much as I like using the original controllers for my games, I find that this Genesis controller gives me finer and more accurate control of joystick games. Now, if I can just find a good substitute for my wonky paddle controllers. They've never worked well for me, but they seem to be getting worse. I've tried taking them and the joysticks apart and cleaning them as per videos I've seen, but it didn't help much. 

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. doctorclu


      Flashback sticks have great response.  Just need to make a run of 3D printed sticks with industrial grade tough plastic fiber and you'd be set!

    3. GoldLeader


      I like it all.  Genesis controllers are great as are Flashback sticks...And converted NES sticks, Slik stiks, and arcade sticks (Edladdin's are Ultimate!).   Lots of good choices.  Depends on my mood I guess.

    4. BydoEmpire


      Personally, I think most 2600 games play best with a stock or similar joystick.  Maybe it's because they were designed for them, may it's because that's what I'm used to and grew up with, likely a bit of both.  Still, different strokes for different folks, there's no right or wrong.  If you're getting better scores, it's hard to argue with that!

  3. DarthDuke

    Darth Duke's Atari Corner

    I'm one of the lucky guys who has a wife who, while not quite as avid of a gamer or collector, still enjoys playing the games and is fine with me collecting and displaying them in our home. She even helped me make the collage out of my favorite game manuals!
  4. Thanks, I'll check it out. Would be cool to find the one that came with my Defender cart back then. Good to know that the pack in comics are separate from the other ones.
  5. I really love the ability to look up manuals on this site! It's what brought me here as it's often easier to find carts than it is the manuals. I noticed that many of the games have well-done text versions (kudos to those who took the time to do them, especially the ones with the images made from text elements - not easy to do). I have a few manuals of the games that are missing scans. I'd like to send scans of them. What is the best way to do this?
  6. HI guys, I'm afraid I don't quite understand how to link to the Gallery like the pinned post said. I don't see the code they are saying to copy on my Gallery page. I hope using a URL link is okay instead. http://atariage.com/forums/gallery/album/1747-darth-dukes-atari-corner/
  7. From what you describe, it sounds like insulation on some components inside your Defender cartridge has been compromised. I've run into this problem with memory cards on PCs in the past. I went through a stage when I thought maybe it was better to leave your PC running all the time as it would make the parts last longer (a debate that still goes on in some circles - though I've come to the conclusion based on my own experience that the 'turn it off whenever you are done using it' crowd is right). The RAM memory sticks on computers that I left on all the time would eventually malfunction, causing the computer to crash or continue to work but show a blank screen once the PC had been on for a while. They would crash or show the black screen requiring you to shut it down completely. Then, after being off for a while, you'd start it up again and it would seem to work fine, until it crashed or the screen went black again. The time it would stay working would gradually decrease over time until you finally took the computer apart to see what was wrong with it. I went round and round with Gateway 2000, back when they were still a rather new company, with a desktop I had from them. I'd try stuff over the phone with them (after being on hold for eternities). When that didn't work, they had me send the whole tower to their place in Texas. I wound up doing that three or four times before giving up on them and taking it to a little repair shop in a neighboring town. The guy there found out it was the RAM that was malfunctioning and fixed the problem completely by replacing the sticks with new ones, something Gateway had apparently not bothered to try. He said never leave a gaming PC on 24/7 even if it has pretty good cooling and is kept clean (which I was doing for mine), as it makes certain parts overheat and develop cracks that you can't even see with the naked eye. Maybe the same thing is happening inside that cart. Something has been so weakened and maybe even cracked by leaving the game going all night, that it is now malfunctioning when the cart warms up and the cracked parts expand enough to make the cracks big enough to cause the malfunctions you are seeing. In which case, I would keep the one you have, just for the pretty stickers and get a new one. They are rather plentiful and cheap to find compared to some 2600 carts, but you can't always find another one with really nice looking stickers still as this great game was usually played to death by us kids back in the day.
  8. I've not heard of Nova Blast, but now that I have, I'll look for it, if it is available for the 2600, that is. There is a store close by me that has a ton of Atari 2600 games, maybe all of them as I keep finding gems in their shelf of them, including ones I'd not heard of before seeing it like Wabbit, for example. Neat discussions like this are one of the reasons I joined this forum. It's nice to have an idea of what you might be getting into before buying a new cart, especially if they want more than just a few bucks for it. Between, Empire Strikes Back and Defender (both of which I've spent way more hours on than I can even guess at over the years), I think Defender still edges out Empire Strikes Back for me on the 2600. Never had an Intellivision, so I can't speak to how they are on that console. Even though I'm a huge Star Wars fan and consider ESB to be one of the top ten best Star Wars games ever, (a list of which is on one of my many Ranker.com submissions), I still like Defender a bit better. Yes, ESB has the cool feature of actually having the Star Wars theme song in it, which does make me smile every time I've 'gotten the Force' to help me be invincible for a bit. It does also does a pretty decent job of recreating that cool sequence from the movie where our heroes try to keep the AT-ATs from taking out the shield generator. Everything is there, except for being able to use the tow cables (which is quite fun but also properly difficult and frustrating in games like Rogue Squadron for the GameCube - another fantastic top 10 Star Wars game). Managing to hit one of the flashing bomb ports on the AT-ATs is cool in this game and is almost as satisfying as using the tow cable in other games. It is also one of the few 2600 games which actually attempts to show damage from your shots (in the AT-ATs and your own Snowspeeder changing color) rather than just having everything being the usual one-shot target. I think Defender is still better than ESB, though because you get that extra element of challenge and satisfaction in rescuing the humanoid (as the Atari 2600 manual calls them) from being abducted. It's one of the more sophisticated 2600 side scroller games as you aren't just wildly shooting everything in sight. You have to be careful to avoid shooting the humanoids as they fall from destroyed aliens. You get more points and that 'ah, I've done it!) feeling from not only shooting the alien lander, but swooping down, catching and carrying the humanoid to the ground without getting shot in the process. You also get that 'damn, I've failed them' feeling when one of them falls to the ground with an appropriate 'splat' or gets carried all the way up to the top of the screen (to the mothership, I suppose) and gets combined with the alien to make a mutant that is then forced to attack you. It's bittersweet victory to take the mutants out considering that part of them is a humanoid you failed to protect. Pretty deep for a classic video game. I think I've played just about every port of Defender (except the Intellivison one) there is, and this is actually my favorite. Others, such as the ones for Sega Genesis, do a better job of being spot-on clones of the coin-op game and there are some clever, newer takes on it for the DS and Xbox, but I still find the 2600 version to be my favorite. The Defender coin-op game is crushingly difficult, at least for someone like me with less than superhuman reflexes. I like that the game starts out quite manageable for me on the 2600 and that the difficulty ramps up rather gradually, giving you time to get warmed up. The coolest feature of the 2600 version, that is also unique, as far as I know, is that it has the cityscape (which makes far more sense to me than having humanoids standing out in the wide open while aliens swoop down on them). The best thing about the cityscape, though is that you can fly 'behind' the buildings and sneak up on the aliens while they are trying to abduct humanoids! You are safe from the alien fire down there and they don't seem to notice you until you pop up suddenly and snipe them. If you press the fire button while down there, you do the same thing as the 'bomb' feature in other versions and wipe out everything on that specific screen. Better is to just hide and then pop up right when a humanoid is first caught in the alien's tractor beam (at least that's what I imagine it is). You kill the alien and also get the extra points for saving the humanoid. It gives the game another layer of strategy that the other versions I've played lack. Thanks for bringing Nova Blast to my attention and for this fun discussion of Defender vs. Empire Strikes Back.
  9. A while back, I stumbled upon the last issue of the Atari Force comic book at a mom & pop comic book store. It's is really good condition. I don't come across them too often at comic book stores here. Have you guys seen them around? The first I was aware of them was when I looked up the reference to an Atari comic book on the box of my Defender game and found out which comic books they were talking about. I've had that game for a really long time, I think the year or next year after it came out, but I've no idea what became of the comic book that was packed in with it. I've got the manual for it and the cartridge, which I still play now and then as it's one of my all-time favorites for the 2600. It would be cool to have the pack-in comic for it as well. Besides the pack-in comic for Defender, which of the Atari Force comics, if any, would you guys say are the best to read and/or to collect? I suppose I could track down and collect them all, but space is a bit limited for me, so I tend to look for the best of a group of something I'm interested in instead: like the first one made, last issue, intros of new villains etc. Thanks!
  10. Hello RETRO backers. I'm so glad that you guys started and helped fund this great magazine. I discovered it at a local mom n pop video game store in Las Vegas a few months ago. I bought the first five issues of the ones they had to try it out. I really like it! Very high quality production with good articles and artwork. I'd say it compares favorably with Game Informer in terms of being an impressive publication. I only thought I knew a lot about early video games. I've learned a lot from those issues. I hope to see RETRO continue and will pick up new issues wherever I find them.
  11. I wish I had the first 5 of them. I stumbled on the last one by accident at a mom and pop comic book store a few years ago. It's in really good condition.
  12. A very nice review of a great game. Asteroids is one of my favorites too. I dare say that it is actually superior to the original coin op version with the color graphics and the background music. I really liked your review. It's a sad commentary on game reviewers in general that the fact that you don't swear makes you rather unique. Most of the ones I've seen from others are full of swear words which really aren't necessary for a good, even entertaining review. Nice use of Qbert for your logo. The Atari version of Qbert is also a pretty spot on port given the limitations of the 2600.
  13. That is sad. It doesn't do any favors for the hobby when people do stuff like this. These days, you have to be so careful with collectibles, especially complex things like game consoles. People can really rip you off if you don't check the thing over very carefully. I hope you didn't pay what a Heavy Sixer is worth for that cobbled mix. If it still plays, I suppose it's okay, but I'd have a talk with the guy who sold you that thing and see if he'll at least sweeten the deal with some extra games or controllers or something, if not give you money back for the console that wasn't what he wanted you to think it was. If you got this from him through a site like Ebay, I'd certainly consider giving him a low rating if he doesn't make it right. It's fine to mix parts, but he should have labeled the console as having 'light' console parts inside so you'd know.
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