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Psionic

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Psionic last won the day on January 23 2011

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About Psionic

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    River Patroller
  • Birthday August 31

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    Celestial Person
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    Male
  • Interests
    Music, film, sports, breweriana, classic gaming
  • Currently Playing
    Vectrex
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    Astrocade

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  1. An Atari 2600 game called Fire! that supposedly involved setting fire to things first appeared on some of the original collectors lists of unreleased Atari games that began circulating on the net in the late 1990s and early 2000s including this one. I often wondered about this game myself, as it also appeared in the Rumor Mill section of the Digital Press Guide... https://www.digitpress.com/video-game-guide/?mode=GameInfo&gameid=24691 No one seemed to know much about the game. I remember contacting Joe Santulli of Digital Press years ago and asking him about it but he had no idea either. I never really believed that the game existed in the first place but I was intrigued and curious enough to want to know how the rumors surrounding this game started. I started digging into this mystery a bit recently after noticing that someone had posted about it here on the forums. By searching newspapers from 1982-84, I was able to find that the likely original source for the rumored existence of such a game is a snippet from a January 1984 article about collectible and controversial video games that appeared in the St. Petersburg Times (and likely other newspapers as well)... "Fire! likewise generated protests because the "hero" here had to enter a building, set it afire with kerosene, and then escape before the blazing building collapsed. The game from Palmtex was short-lived." https://www.newspapers.com/image/320819914/ However, I believe no such game ever existed and the writer of that article was either confused or simply misinformed. The only game resembling this description is a 1982 game released for the Apple II by Muse Software called Firebug... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firebug_(video_game) Palmtex was a manufacturer of electronic games that was the original distributor of the Nintendo Game & Watch series of handhelds (including Fire) in North America. The writer of that 1984 article was probably thinking of the game Firebug by Muse but mistakenly identified it as Fire by Palmtex. The rumored Atari game is thus the result of a case of mistaken identity involving memories from two unrelated games being combined into one. So collectors can strike that one from the rumor mill.
  2. None of the versions of Threshold were really all that great. Neither Astro Blaster nor Astro Fighter were ever ported to home consoles back in the day, but Bob DeCrescenzo did excellent homebrew versions for the 7800 a few years back. https://atariage.com/store/index.php?l=product_detail&p=1043 https://atariage.com/store/index.php?l=product_detail&p=1057
  3. Both Sierra's Threshold (which was originally an Apple II game) and Activision's MegaMania were clones of Sega/Gremlin's Astro Blaster, not Galaxian. Astro Blaster itself had been an attempt to replicate and improve upon Astro Fighter by Data East. The VCS port of Threshold was done by the original programmer of the Apple II version but significantly simplified. The original featured a temperature gauge in addition to a timer/fuel gauge, and firing too many shots in too short of a time period would overheat your laser and prevent firing of additional shots until your laser cooled off. Without this element, pretty much all you're left with is the exact same game as MegaMania...except not as good.
  4. Out of curiousity, where did he post about all of this?
  5. What other games were done there? Is there a list somewhere?
  6. Wow, that really sucks. The only saving grace might be that given the rarity of some of these items, it'll be a bit difficult to move them without anyone taking notice. Hopefully the thief is caught one way or another.
  7. Was that original version of Dig Dug done at Atari New York? Chris McQuilkin and Tracey Siesser both appear to be from the NY area. Looks like McQuilkin lived in the area until recently, not too far from me. How rare is the original version? From what I gather, not all of the brown label cartridges are the original and you need to actually test the cart to see which version it is?
  8. I use the Deflection skin and that text is all highlighted in white on my computer. I have had issues from time to time though. The words "Fire! by Palmex?" in this post are invisible on my screen.
  9. An game called Fire! that supposedly involved setting fire to things first appeared on some of the original collectors lists of unreleased Atari games that began circulating on the net in the late 1990s and early 2000s including this one. I often wondered about this game myself, as it also appeared in the Rumor Mill section of the Digital Press guide... https://www.digitpress.com/video-game-guide/?mode=GameInfo&gameid=24691 I dug into this a bit recently and I found that the likely original source for the rumored existence of such a game is a snippet from a January 1984 article about collectible and controversial video games that appeared in the St. Petersburg Times (and likely other newspapers as well)... "Fire! likewise generated protests because the "hero" here had to enter a building, set it afire with kerosene, and then escape before the blazing building collapsed. The game from Palmtex was short-lived." https://www.newspapers.com/image/320819914/ However, I believe no such game ever existed and the writer of that article was either confused or simply misinformed. Palmtex was a manufacturer of electronic games that was the original distributor of the Nintendo Game & Watch series of handhelds (including Fire) in North America. The writer of that 1984 article was probably thinking of the game Firebug by Muse that was mentioned above but mistakenly identified it as Fire by Palmtex. The rumored Atari game is thus the result of a case of mistaken identity involving memories from two unrelated games being combined into one.
  10. Len Herman told me years ago about seeing the ad for Football Fanatic in the newspaper back in 1983. I tried like hell at the time to find the original ad or anything else about the game to no avail. It's cool that you were able to track down the people behind it but unfortunate that the game is probably lost. For what it's worth, here's an original ad that ran in September of 1983. https://www.newspapers.com/image/494304669/
  11. I've been largely inactive myself in recent years but it doesn't seem like there's been activity "like the old days" in quite some time. I don't think the forum upgrade has much to do with it. A lot of people have just moved on.
  12. At the top of the list of threads in any stream, there are buttons for "Condensed" and "Expanded". Click on the former.
  13. Replacing incorrect or outdated ones would be even more important than adding news ones. I looked through them quickly and I see several that should be corrected or removed... "After leaving Atari, Nolan Bushnell went on to start Chuck E. Cheese Pizza." Pizza Time Theatre was technically started in 1977 before Nolan left Atari, although he purchased it from them a year later. "Atari was founded on a $250 investment by Nolan Bushnell." Atari (Syzygy) was co-founded by Nolan along with Ted Dabney. This furthers the myth that he did it alone. "Nolan Bushnell was rehired in 1988 to develop games for the 2600." Nolan's company Axlon was subcontracted by Atari to develop 2600 games, but Nolan had little if any role in designing them. "Atari buried 5 million unsold copies of E.T. in the New Mexico desert." Around 700,000 copies of various titles were buried, not just E.T. "Magicard was rated by AtariAge polls as the rarest of all released games for the 2600." Irrelevant, as we now know there are several games more rare than this one. "Eli's Ladder is an educational game that was not widely distributed." It was sold by mail order and not really "distributed" at all. "It is rumored that Coleco intentionally crippled their games for other systems in order to make their own system look better." Dubious. Every single person I've spoken with that was involved with these games has dismissed this claim. More importantly, Coleco didn't develop hardly any of their games (for any system including the ColecoVision) in-house. Nearly all of them were done by outside contractors. Games that turned out poorly were mostly a result of Coleco's marketing department and their unreleastic development deadlines that they placed upon their developers. "Rob Fulop, Imagic programmer, sold Cubicolor (2600) on his own after Atari rejected it." It was Imagic that rejected Cubicolor. I don't believe Rob ever offered the game to Atari. "The name 'Atari' comes from a move in the ancient game of Go, a favorite of founder Nolan Bushnell." Co-founder Nolan Bushnell. "Lord of the Rings, featured in a Parker Brothers Catalog was never commercially released, although it does appear to have been completed." Outdated. LotR was found long ago and the ROM has long since been released. "Imagic had a "Numb Thumb Club" that offered newsletters and cloth patches." Activision is well known for their patches but I don't believe Imagic ever produced any. They may have made a few buttons and decals. "VentureVision was founded in 1982 by ex-Apollo employee Robert Hessler." It was founded by three people, one of which was Robert Hesler (one s, not two). He never worked for Apollo that I know of but co-founder Dan Oliver obviously did. "Sparrow (2600 Music Machine) is still around today." Outdated. It looks like they've been absorbed by Capitol Records. "Absolute Entertainment was founded by ex-Activision employee Garry Kitchen." It was co-founded by Garry Kitchen and three other ex-Activision employees, one of which was Garry's bother Dan. "Tax Avoiders for the 2600 was written by an IRS employee." Not quite. The game was developed as part of tax scam that might've been cooked up by a former IRS employee, but it was produced by Dunhill Electronics and subcontracted to Lazer Microsystems, who actually developed it. Randy Hyde (programmer of Porky's) was the main programmer. "Spectravision is known as Spectravideo outside of the US." It wasn't a regional difference. The company was known as SpectraVision initially but had to change their name in North America due to a naming conflict and the rest of the company followed suit. "Only owners of Commavid's Magicard had the opportunity to purchase Video Life for the 2600." Perhaps in the sense that you only would've known about Video Life initially had you purchased the MagiCard. But later on pretty much anyone on CommaVid's mailing list was given an opportunity to purchase it and purchasing the MagiCard was not a prerequisite. "The Silver Label version of Gravitar (2600) is much harder to find than the Red Label version." Obviously, since it was an Atari Club exclusive release. … I'm sure there are others but those stick out immediately.
  14. Has the original order form that was used to purchase this game from Johnson & Johnson ever been discovered? I found several newspaper ads from August of 1983 advertising the game's availability through a mail-in offer with a purchase of three J&J products. There must've been a display in the health and beauty section with order forms you had to send in. Does anyone actually have one? https://www.newspapers.com/image/399332090/
  15. Are you asking if anyone at all purchased them or anyone here at AA? My recollection is that the programmer claimed to have sold less than 200 of the FP-1 and less than 20 Gamma Attack cartridges. He also supposedly developed a rapid fire circuit for ColecoVision controllers but I don't know if those were sold or how many. I'm not aware of anyone here at AA claiming to have purchased anything from Gammation back in 1982-83, but I could be mistaken.
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