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Hello friends, I've got a new project that I'm going to be working on and I wanted to get the word out. I am a big fan of the arcade game Gauntlet: ...and who wouldn't be, its big, its beautiful, and its fun for up to 4 players! Hands down, the single best port of this arcade classic is Tengen's Gauntlet IV for the SEGA Genesis/MegaDrive: With a title like Gauntlet IV, one would assume that this is a sequel of some sort, which could never be as good as the original, but that's where you're wrong. Gauntlet IV has 4 modes of play, 1 being a pixel-perfect port of the arcade classic (including 4-player support), then a few other variants with some cool RPG and battle elements. As I recently picked up a MIB complete copy of this game (replacing my previous cartridge only version), I started playing it again, and realized that a Genesis control pad just doesn't do it justice. So with my new found skills at creating arcade-like controllers I had the idea of creating a proper joystick controller to further my enjoyment of this game. After a bit of research regarding the original controls hardware used in the arcade cabinets, I realized that the linchpin to this endeavor would be to source an original Atari logo'ed ball-knob, 8-way leafswitch joystick, like this one (most of these pics "borrowed" from the internet): So for a little while now I've been on the hunt for one of these little beauties on ebay and over at the Arcade Forums. There were a few variants of this general/similar style of stick by Atari, including analog/digital, leafswitch/microswitch, and 4-way/8-way, but I need a very specific model, only used in a handful of Atari arcade games. Most of those on ebay are of the the wrong type (in 1 way or another), beat up pretty bad, or just really high priced. But last night, I was finally able to strike a deal for exactly what I was looking for, the only caveat being, was that the seller was selling a set of (4) of these controllers, not the "single one" that I needed. But we worked out a "decent" per-stick price for the overall package, so now I am patiently waiting for my (4) slightly used Atari logo'ed ball-knob, 8-way leafswitch joysticks. I will basically have 3 options of what to do with the extra 3 joysticks: 1) resell the unneeded 3 joysticks as arcade replacement parts 2) create and keep 4 Gauntlet Edition - VVG Experience Controllers 3) create 4, and sell 2 or 3 Gauntlet Edition - VVG Experience Controllers If I had 3 local friends that played video games with any regularity/proficiency, I would consider option 2, but that's not the case for me unfortunately (my friends suck). If there is interest from anybody here for such a creation (besides me obviously), some combination of options 3 & 1 are possible. If no one has any interest, then option 1 is my best bet. With all that being said, this will basically end up being built as a SEGA Genesis/MegaDrive 3-button arcade stick, with the arcade-correct Gauntlet joystick and pushbuttons. So why would I ever post this here, for this reason: Team Pixelboy's published, MSX conversion of Gauntlet for the ColecoVision, so it technically falls into the ColecoVision realm! Fortunately this port doesn't require the keypad, and with a little bit of wiring trickery by me, I will be able to make what will be a 3-button SEGA Genesis/MegaDrive controller, also work as a 2-button ColecoVision controller for this fine port. And obviously while this controller will be able to be used for any system and/or game that can make use of a SEGA Genesis/MegaDrive 3-button controller, I'm touting that this will be the ultimate controller for the following Gauntlet-esque games: Dandy - the original that started it all as an Atari Program Exchange game, which inspired the Gauntlet arcade franchise: available on: Atari 8-Bit / Commodore 64 / Amstrad CPC Dark Chambers - Atari's "commercial" release of Dandy: available on: Atari 2600 / 8-Bit / 7800 Gauntlet - home port: available on: Amstrad CPC / Atari ST / Commodore 64 / SEGA Master System / ColecoVision Gauntlet II - home port: available on: Amstrad CPC / Atari ST / Commodore 64 Gauntlet III - home game: available on: Amstrad CPC / Atari ST / Commodore 64 Gauntlet IV - home port/game available on: SEGA Genesis/MegaDrive (as noted above) Additionally I believe that it may be possible to to allow this controller to also work with the Nintendo NES ports of Gauntlet and Gauntlet II as well (in addition to all NES games), more info on this to come. So while right now I have no fabulous pictures of a completed example to show off, I'm just looking to see if there is any interest, from anybody here for such a controller. No matter what anybody else thinks/feels regarding this project, I will be building 1 for myself. The main reason I bring this up here, is mainly due to the fact that I had to purchase 4 of the Atari joysticks, to get the 1 that I needed/wanted. As they are fairly expensive and hard to come by, I would hate to re-sell all 3 joysticks, then have one or more people speak up asking to buy this controller (that I wouldn't be able to build). On the other hand if there is no interest here at all for such a thing, I would probably list the joysticks for sale sooner-than-later to recoup their cost. At this point I don't have a firm selling price, or time-frame. I can only estimate that the finished Gauntlet Edition - VVG Experience Contollers would sell for somewhere in the $300-$400 range, and could be ready as soon as late January, or after. So again, I don't need any sort of "firm commitment" or "down-payment" money at this time (and obviously final decision to purchase would be after the 1st one is built so that you could see what it will be like), I'm just checking to see if knowing all of this info, if there is any interest. As I deal with ColecoVision hardware more than anything else, and there is a ColecoVision port of Gauntlet, I thought I would offer the "idea" of these here first before checking Sega/Atari collectors for their interest. Last note, due to the limited availability of the vintage Atari Joysticks, I can't say that any more than these potential 4 could/would ever be made. If a group of buyers "speak" up with interest in this project, and all agreed they would like to see these limited to only 4 total examples ever built, I'd be fine with that too. So just a little food for thought, and I look forward to any thought/comments/feedback. Thanks.
Ah, promo material.. It takes so long to put together, sometimes. Such is the case with my myspace page for my dj profile. Took about six hours yesterday to get the thing sorted out, the whole process consisting of compiling promo mixes on my harddrive, to uploading them to a variety of distribution sites, to creating new artwork to be used as album covers, to uploading varius phots to the photobucket, then linking them into the myspace profile, to creating blogs to link to with each promo album, etc. etc.. Such a long, drawn-out process, but maybe it's something I should have done right from the start when I started my music page nearly two years ago. Oh well, I'm not exactly known for thinking that far ahead.. Ya live and learn, I suppose. Anyways, to add a shameless plug on to this, I have a new promo DJ mix available on my MySpace music page (http://www.myspace.com/djaustinmusic). I spin breaks/breakbeats--music that goes excellent with gaming--so if anyone is interested in a free promo CD, PM me and I will gladly mail one to you. Otherwise my mixes are available to download on the myspace. Even more details (or just me essentially saying this in person) can be seen at my YouTube video I just uploaded: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGZMPcK1nA4 Now since that's done, I can relax a bit and get back to playing Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows on the original XBOX. I'm actually borrowing my brother's copy, and it's been sitting in my collection for about eight months now, waiting to be played. I've actually been a little hesitant on playing it, for one reason or another.. Honestly, I don't even know the reason. Lack of motivation, I suppose. Sometimes that happens with games and I. I think one thing that kicked-start me into finally popping it in is that I read John Romero had a hand in making it. I don't usually play games based on names associated with them, and Romero especially has had a rocky career since he left ID, but there's that little bit of hope that I suppose sits in my mind sub-consciously--DOOM and Quake are still some of my favorite and absolutely most-played games of all time, after all. Also, asides from that, I was a huge fan of Gauntlet Legends and Dark Legacy. I probably spent hundreds of dollars perfecting Legends in the arcade.. There was a point where I managed to get each character up to level 99 and finished it the most amount of times, solidifying my place on the number one leader board slots for each type of character on the machine (Man, I wish that arcade was still open and didn't get rid of that unit).. So needless to say, I think it was about time I finally gave it a shot. I went into it not expecting anything, but I was pleasantly surprised that it is actually more similar to Legends/Dark Legacy than not. It uses a similar form of 3D visuals for the environments, there are still the usual projectile shots, and hoards of enemies come at you via the spawners. Overall, I'm satisfied *enough* with it, but I think it fell short of the greatness (or at least addicting factor that Legends had). I have many reasons for this. For one, the requirement of projectile shots being a vital part of a successful gameplay run are zilch in this one. In the original Legends, it was really necessary to use them as much as possible, using them to take out frequent bomb throwers or kamikaze enemies, or to destroy bosses. In this one, the projectile shots are so weak there is no point in using them, and with the multiple melee attack modes and moves that always put you in a defensively sound position (for instance, the purchased A then X button attack with the Warrior), projectile attacks are ONLY used when there is an archer perched on a ledge you can't physically get to. Second, the boss battles don't feel like boss battles, compared to the arcade games, anyway. Many of the bosses are roughly the same size as the mid-level golems in Legends, so needless to say, it's not quite the same as fighting the nearly full-screen bosses of Legends and Dark Legacy. Third, the sizes of the stages seem quite small compared to Legends. This is probably either due to easily being able to smash through spawners and hordes of enemies quickly, or the fact that the world is quite detailed, going far, far into the visible distance, leaving the XBOX not much to do in actually expanding the size of the playable levels. There are a few other details that I think could have been worked on or changed, but overall the game is still an enjoyable mash-fest. There's not much technique involved like there was in Legends (in order to survive on the one quarter), but I think it's entertaining. I haven't finished it yet nor do I have the ability to play it in multiplayer, but I've gotten a kick out of it so far (I'm up to the fifth sorrow right now--each "sorrow" being a boss--out of seven, so provided there's not anything after that, then I'm close to the end of the game already, having only played it for a couple of hours). I may recommend checking it out if you're a fan of Gauntlet Legends or Dark Legacy. I don't think it's going to have the replay value of the prior, as the max level cap for your character is 20, but nonetheless, it seems like it's enjoyable for a playthrough or two. **EDIT: After writing this, I popped in Gauntlet to continue playing, and guess what? All of my special attacks, items, etc. were wiped off of my character. Autosave was on when I was playing last, so I know I've just experienced a very, VERY piss-poor design choice.. It's damn near-impossible to finish the stage I am on (apparently 68% through the game) with all of my abilities stripped from me. Who's crackhead decision was this?? With this in mind, my verdict on this game has changed: If you don't plan on playing it straight through in one go, then you're best off passing on this one.
Cleaning out the closet and selling items from the Atari ST setup I had back in the day. Here are the Atari ST items I have on ebay currently: 6 Atari ST games:Sundog F. Legacy,Phantasie 1+3,AD&D,Gauntlet,Transylvania AS-IS http://www.ebay.com/itm/301856623442 Atari ST QMI DeskCart! Complete with Cartridge, Disk and original package. AS-IS http://www.ebay.com/itm/301856628331 Atari 520ST power supply CO70099-3 used, untested, as-is http://www.ebay.com/itm/301856629462 ATARI Power Supply C070091-014 For Atari ST SF354 disk drive UNTESTED AS-IS http://www.ebay.com/itm/301858197722 ATARI Power Supply C070091-014 For Atari ST SF354 disk drive UNTESTED AS-IS http://www.ebay.com/itm//301858197477