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Swordquest Airworld Screenshots Posted

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Heya folks-

 

More information, including screenshots, of the upcoming Swordquest Airworld auction has been posted.

 

http://www.dragonsword.com/airworld/

 

I'll be posting updates on that site daily so stay tuned. If everything goes well, the auction will probably start this week.

 

I think I'm caught up with responding to everyones emails. If you're someone who hasn't heard from me yet, please feel free to contact me again.

 

Best of luck!

jeremy at neosurf dot net

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Well, if it is real, then the bidding should set a new record for highest amount paid for a Atari item and if its a fake, then someone better head for the hills!!!!!

 

:D :ponder: :x

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WOW, thank you very much for this great pictures. Look great. :)

 

I wish I have the money for that cart. :( :sad: :_(

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Thanks for the pictures, cool to see vaporware become hardware (or software or whatever). :cool:

 

I was wondering about some things:

 

The screenshots look like they come from an emulator/PC. You say something about ATI's TV Wonder, but I don't know what that is. Is that a tv capture card or something? Can you (or anyone else) explain some more?

 

The other question is about the label. I've never seen a prototype label like that - does anyone else know this type of label? Curt, John, Matt, anyone?

 

Thanks in advance for any input. :)

 

Cheers,

 

Marco

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The other question is about the label. I've never seen a prototype label like that - does anyone else know this type of label? Curt, John, Matt, anyone?

 

Marco,

 

I too have never seen a label like this. I've emailed Tod Frye with the link and asked him to verify the screenshots and/or cartridge.

 

I'll let you know what he says.

 

John

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You say something about ATI's TV Wonder, but I don't know what that is. Is that a tv capture card or something? Can you (or anyone else) explain some more?

That's an all-in-one graphics card from ATI (including a TV tuner etc.). :idea:

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The other question is about the label. I've never seen a prototype label like that - does anyone else know this type of label? Curt, John, Matt, anyone?

 

Marco,

 

I too have never seen a label like this. I've emailed Tod Frye with the link and asked him to verify the screenshots and/or cartridge.

 

I'll let you know what he says.

 

John

 

Me too not. But I have see near the same lables. Only a white sticker, and then a Text, but not handwritten. Printed text. Rick has some Protos with this white lable sticker.

But they don't have an Atari Sticker on it, and they are not handwritten. :?

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I'm wondering if there isn't more to this game, or perhaps the other copy rumored to be out there is more complete? According to programmer John Seghers, he remembers seeing Tod Frye testing out Airworld. The game screen he saw was a first-person flying perspective of your character flying over a landscape – he believes it was suppose to be Torr on the flying horse.

 

For more info, see my Airworld page at: http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Lair/...r/9260/awr.html

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Yes I also stalked... err... talked to John about Airworld. i made a page about all the current theories and such on what Airworld was supposed to look like. I'll post a link to my page tonight. For those of you who know where to look, it's under SQ: Airworld.

 

Tempest

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Scott

 

I haven't seed anything in a first person perspective in the game, but that's not to say it isn't there. I have not playtested it thoroughly to be sure of anything other than that it crashes sometimes when switching rooms, picking up objects, etc

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The ISP the website is being hosted on is down, should be back up later today. Sorry about the inconvenience!

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O.k. According to Tod this is 100% bullshit! Here is his response to me...

 

From: Tod Frye

To: 'John Hardie'

Subject: RE: Atari 2600 Airworld

Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 12:18:38 -0700

 

all bogus.

 

airworld was started, but never completed. the screens shown on this website are variants of the fireworld concepts.

 

airworld prototypes never reached the playable stage. in the real airworld,

there was a screen where one flies about, and the centers on a hexagram on the horizon. one then flies into the hexagram, which zooms to fill the

screen, and then plays one of 64 scenarios - one per hexagram.

 

this website is a completely bunk.

 

so saith me, who knows.

 

tod frye

 

-------------------------------

 

Well, there you have it straight from the horses mouth!

 

John

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One then must wonder who wrote this....

 

After numerous mailings let this be the final word on the subject. There were TWO Airworld prototypes created back in the heyday of the development phaze. I don't know what happened to one of them, it probably got lost in management or something. But one definitely made it out of Atari development and into the black market along with a disgruntled project manager (Keith Richards, I believe). I can remember the developers raving over it and how starkly different and interesting the play was, it was a dramatic departure from it's three predecessors, with an ending to shock even the most avid swordquest gamers. The intricacies of the game were never completed, however the game was fully functional from beginning to end, and nothing like what most people would believe to be a traditional swordquest sequel.

Among the striking differences was that instead of the multicolor sword which splashes across the screen with the first three games, this version used a multicolor man on a flying horse. The differences only started there, but it the whole design was to bring the entire swordquest series full circle in a dramatic conclusion.

Heh, too bad it was never released. Good luck finding the proto's as well, rumor has it the one left at Atari was destroyed a long time ago.

Tiger-

(Frye)

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Hmm...the plot thickens (and the value drops :( ).

 

Well, if this isn't Tod's work, then who did it? Perhaps looking at the code will shed some light (i.e. dumping the ROM).

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Well, if this isn't Tod's work, then who did it? Perhaps looking at the code will shed some light (i.e. dumping the ROM).

 

Well yeah I guess that might work but its kinda like smashing an egg to see whats inside. It won't be worth anything after that.

 

Adam

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Well yeah I guess that might work but its kinda like smashing an egg to see whats inside. It won't be worth anything after that.

 

If it's a legitimate prototype, dumping the ROM to verify that it's legitimate would only serve to substantiate its high dollar value. Are you talking about just dumping it, or dumping *and* distributing it widely? Either way, if it's the real deal, and the only known prototype of Airworld known to exist, the value shouldn't be affected. It doesn't matter that the binary image is floating around out there, many people want to collect rare prototypes, and this would be about as rare as they get. I know that if I was going to purchase this proto, I'd sure as hell want to have confidence that it's real and not just someone's cruel hack of an earlier Swordquest game.

 

..Al

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Well yeah I guess that might work but its kinda like smashing an egg to see whats inside. It won't be worth anything after that.

Well, assuming those screenshots are what's on the cart, the game IS dumped. Those screenshots are most certainly not from a capture card, they're absolutely perfect. I don't care how perfect your capture card is, there's no way you'd get raw graphics displayed perfectly like that using any 2600 setup. There's a remote possibility that the screens were taken using a capture card and then digitally edited to have absolutely no distortion at all, but come on. That's way too much work.

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Well John brought us the words from Tod himself which helps to solidify the games (lack of) authenticity. If two games existed, I would have to believe Tod would remember this, also:

 

The games were written and designed on Cromemco Z-2 S-100 bus workstations and then tested in the machine on the Stella Emulation board which had composite and RF Out on it as well as the switches and joystick ports, basically its an Atari 2600 on an S-100 board so a game that would've been in the early stages (20% done as Tod has been mentioned staying was the approx. completion level) would've have been tested on the workstation.

 

It would'nt have been until the game was in a more playable form that the code (stored on one of the many of the VAX's at Atari) would've been downloaded into an Eprom burner over in the computer room and burned onto some 2532's and put onto an eprom board, put into a Lab Loaner (Labelled) cart and give to the play test group to find bugs and make recommendations. Thats how it was done at Atari during those days.

 

All this again boils down to Tod's recollection and now his opinion relayed by John that Tod says its bogus, so I would have to say that Jeremy should allow someone to dump the ROM and let the community examine it, let Tod Frye look it over in an emulator and get a final decision. The status of Airworld has been a thorn in my peoples minds for many years, heck I had a fireworld that was marked airword at one point back in 97' and I thought it was found till it was tested and it was nothing more then fireworld and someones poor sense of humor. So this mystery cart is yet another thorn irking everyones curiosity and also tightening other people's purse strings with indecisions as to whether to plunk money down and get a fake.....

 

Curt

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Okay folks, the Airworld Auction is now officially OFF.

 

HOWEVER, this is pending direct verification of the above mentioned email from Tod Frye to myself, and another independent observer who is an avid collector. But realistically, it's not looking too good.

 

Which only opens a bunch of other questions, while it's obvious that the game was unique enough to grab the attention of the gaming community, I will not be selling it. If it is indeed proven to be a straight-up-hoax, I will probably be seeing Alex sometime in the future to examine it in detail, determine what it is I have, and yes, dump the ROM (because at that point, there would be no legal determinations against doing that).

 

I apologize for all the hype, but was convinced myself for a while there. I suggest we all hold our horses and see what happens next.

 

-Jeremy

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http://www.dragonsword.com/airworld/

 

Looks like we have some depressing news- "... your copy is bunk." Apparantly, that came straight from Tod himself, though no one is sure, it's not looking too good. I'm going to get this independently verified, but for now - Sorry Folks, the auction and hype are OVER! :) Apologies for the inconvenience. What to do with it now, and where did it come from? Both it's origin and fate may be forever locked in mystery...

 

Guess I got here too late. Anyone save a copy of the page? It would be neat to see the images, even if they are not legit.

 

Thanks,

-John K. Harvey

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