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zeitshabba

More US Games prototypes? loaners?

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For the first time in weeks, I decide to search eBay last week & found someone claiming prototypes in a small lot with two systems but no detail pictures listed only a few hours before. The story was the father of his girlfriend used to work for US Games and brought these home one day. Figuring $50 isn't too big a wager, I place a marker bid. The next morning I receive notification the auction was canceled, so I figure someone made a side deal and got a bargain. An hour later, I get an email from the seller stating one of the systems fell when being boxed, breaking a switch and the case, causing him to cancel the auction. I explain that if his prototypes were real, they would be worth a hundred or two each and the systems were not a big concern when viewing the bigger picture of his collection - I even offered to send him spare games of mine to round out his system lot (and clear space for me) to maximize his return. He sent a quick photo of the prototypes with the simple question: do I want the whole lot for $50? I wanted to help him and if this was the help he wanted, so be it.

 

For reference, I included the original two prototypes I retained - Eggomania & Entombed - above the latest acquisitions. The middle two have production labels over stickers the same size as the prototypes above but I doubt I can remove the normal label without damaging the underlying internal company sticker. The last two - Squeeze Box & MAD - were the prototypes mentioned in the lot, but appear to be more of lab loaners than prototypes. I present them for review - thoughts?

 

4309906321_33f79f01a1.jpg

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You could probably open the MAD or Squeeze box and find out a little more info since some of the "experts" can identify a prototype based on the board :)

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Weigh each cart and post the weight, if you don't want to open them. ;)

 

Yeah, I learned my lesson on opening games, so weights it is.

 

Eggomania "2003" prototype - 54.4g

Eggomania label and sticker - 55.7g

Squeeze Box (loaner?) - 59.1g

MAD (loaner?) - 61.1g

Entombed "2007" prototype - 62.3g

Name This Game label and sticker - 63g

 

 

I also weighed the normal-looking Gopher that came with the lot - 57.5g - as well as the five black-labeled Vidtec/US Games carts that were included, ranging between 55.9g and 57.2g. Since receiving these, I haven't been able to get to the shop to plug 'em in and look for obvious differences like the original prototypes have.

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Around a 4g difference, I'd bet they're at least some form of non-production boards.

 

I weighed a few black label US Games/Vidtec games and had four different Space Jockeys weigh in at two distinct weights - roughly 55.5g & 59.5g. The other black label games I weighed also came in at the same mid- to high-50g range.

 

Every game powered up, but without any normal versions of the blue & white label games to test against, all I could do was look for game names when the game is powered on. From what I could tell from my games and the screen caps here on AtariAge, only Sneak'n Peek, Space Jockey & Word Zapper have their names shown in the game somewhere. Gopher, Towering Inferno, Commando Raid, Eggomania, Entombed, Squeeze Box & MAD all failed to show the names at any point, at least in the carts I own.

 

Can anyone weigh in on either matter?

Please look past the poor pun & help unravel this mystery.

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Can anyone weigh in on either matter?

Please look past the poor pun & help unravel this mystery.

 

Open them. Just remove the screws, there is nothing tricky about these. I opened a couple of these and found a production ROM in one like your eggomania end-label-only. In one like the bottom two, I found a dated eprom. Any eprom is likely pre-production or WIP. Any production ROM is probably just a "for-internal-use-only" version of the final release.

post-1335-126522802009_thumb.jpg

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Can anyone weigh in on either matter?

Please look past the poor pun & help unravel this mystery.

 

Open them. Just remove the screws, there is nothing tricky about these. I opened a couple of these and found a production ROM in one like your eggomania end-label-only. In one like the bottom two, I found a dated eprom. Any eprom is likely pre-production or WIP. Any production ROM is probably just a "for-internal-use-only" version of the final release.

 

So I opened them to take the pictures and a label ripped. I couldn't have been more careful and still it happened. Fantastic.

 

Below are the four chip shots from the four internal labeled games. From here out, I'm not touching any of these except with a ROM dumper.

4328431859_696ab9d5fc_m.jpg

 

4329164332_ccbaf39c48_m.jpg

 

4328430297_6507c8237c_m.jpg

 

4329162772_a9496670c5_m.jpg

Edited by zeitshabba

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Last image is a production ROM.

 

Wow. That was the original Eggomania prototype I acquired labeled 2003.

The other three are (in order, from the top) MAD, Squeeze Box & Entombed.

 

Thank you.

Edited by zeitshabba

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Open them. Just remove the screws, there is nothing tricky about these. I opened a couple of these and found a production ROM in one like your eggomania end-label-only. In one like the bottom two, I found a dated eprom. Any eprom is likely pre-production or WIP. Any production ROM is probably just a "for-internal-use-only" version of the final release.

Interesting to see the WIP title of Name This Game.

 

Guardians (of the Deep).

 

8)

Edited by Rom Hunter

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Open them. Just remove the screws, there is nothing tricky about these. I opened a couple of these and found a production ROM in one like your eggomania end-label-only. In one like the bottom two, I found a dated eprom. Any eprom is likely pre-production or WIP. Any production ROM is probably just a "for-internal-use-only" version of the final release.

Interesting to see the WIP title of Name This Game.

 

Guardians (of the Deep).

 

8)

 

Dangnabit.... accidentally posted the chip pics on my "business" account and not my peersonal account... will be back up later today if people miss 'em...

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