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Colecovision unreleased prototypes

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I've been testing, dumping, and archiving the collection of Colecovision protos I got from user jumbojohnny here and here are some of the highlights:

 

Donkey Kong proto early build with noticeable differences from retail.

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 2804707061691?ff3=2&pub=5574883395&toolid=10001&campid=5336500554&customid=&item=280470706169&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]

 

Cabbage Patch Kids Adventures in the Park proto with significant differences from previously discovered proto.

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 2804707151451?ff3=2&pub=5574883395&toolid=10001&campid=5336500554&customid=&item=280470715145&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]

 

Cabbage Patch Kids Adventures in the Park proto with minor differences from previosly discovered proto.

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 2804711608871?ff3=2&pub=5574883395&toolid=10001&campid=5336500554&customid=&item=280471160887&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]

 

Video Hustler proto of unreleased game. More complete than previously discovered proto.

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 3703417713851?ff3=2&pub=5574883395&toolid=10001&campid=5336500554&customid=&item=370341771385&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]

 

Defender proto with significant differences from released version.

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 2804707154971?ff3=2&pub=5574883395&toolid=10001&campid=5336500554&customid=&item=280470715497&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]

 

The ones that I dumped and found that they were identical to the released versions I set the price low. The ones that I haven't dumped yet I've got set high until I can determine whether they are pre-released and/or undiscovered.

 

Feel free to make offers as I set the prices high not knowing what the market for undumped unreleased Colecovision protos is like.

Edited by djpubba

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Okay, I've finished going through all the ones with socketed EPROMs and found a couple other interesting versions:

 

Lady Bug early proto with significant differences from retail.

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 3703426250311?ff3=2&pub=5574883395&toolid=10001&campid=5336500554&customid=&item=370342625031&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]

 

Ken Uston Blackjack-Poker early proto with significant differences from retail.

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 3703426261191?ff3=2&pub=5574883395&toolid=10001&campid=5336500554&customid=&item=370342626119&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]

 

Burgertime with a few bytes different than the release version

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 3703426286271?ff3=2&pub=5574883395&toolid=10001&campid=5336500554&customid=&item=370342628627&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]

 

Carnival with a couple bytes different than the release version

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 3703426278901?ff3=2&pub=5574883395&toolid=10001&campid=5336500554&customid=&item=370342627890&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]

 

The rest are either identical to the released ones or have only one byte at the end which is different. Anyone know if the last two bytes in a Colecovision ROM have any significance?

http://k2b-bulk.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?MyeBaySellingActiveListings&SMActiveListings.Filter=All&SMActiveListings.FormatFilter=All&SMActiveListings.SearchValue=colecovision&SMActiveListings.SearchBy=6&StoreCatFilter=-4&enablefilters=1&View=SMActiveListings&FolderID=&SubmitAction.SortAscend=x&Column=CurrentPrice

 

If I have time I might build an adapter to dump the ones with soldered EPROMs, including the two Atari 2600 ones to see if they are any difference than the released/dumped versions.

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Defender proto with significant differences from released version.

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 2804707154971?ff3=2&pub=5574883395&toolid=10001&campid=5336500554&customid=&item=280470715497&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]

What exactly are the "significant differences"? This is a bit strange, since it's quite hard to imagine that someone at Coleco ended up with a beta of an Atari-produced game.

 

It seems more plausible that some or all of these 'prototypes' are in-house pirated versions for employee sampling and use. It's therefore possible that someone disassembled Defender and was tinkering around with it for whatever reason.

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I don't find it unlikely at all. Any officially licensed games have to go to the licensor for approvals. So it is not only easy to believe but almost a certainty that Coleco would have copies of all third party games for their system on file. I find it highly unlikely that these are merely a batch of employee pirates copies when so many of them have turned out to be previously undiscovered and undumped prototypes.

 

In the Defender proto, for example, starting at offset 0x2FEF the proto has DBFC2F while the release has CDF8DF. From there I found a a total of 29 more bytes in the proto that are different than in the release. In my book, that is a significant difference from the release version and qualifies this as a genuine unreleased Defender prototype. I'm not going to document the rest of the exact byte differences because then someone could just cook up their own dump, devaluing the original.

 

I am, however, willing to extensively play the proto and the release to find out what differences in the gameplay there may be, but only if I have a serious buyer.

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I don't find it unlikely at all. Any officially licensed games have to go to the licensor for approvals. So it is not only easy to believe but almost a certainty that Coleco would have copies of all third party games for their system on file. I find it highly unlikely that these are merely a batch of employee pirates copies when so many of them have turned out to be previously undiscovered and undumped prototypes.

No offense, but are you high? :?

 

I'm not trying to crap on your items, but your claims have no foundation in reality. Of course there are going to be some code differences in a pirate version that's been hacked to run on a Coleco 3-socket EPROM board instead of a standard Atarisoft PROM board...but are there any gameplay differences? I doubt it.

 

More importantly though...this was long before the days of "officially licensed games" and Coleco most certainly did not approve any of the third party titles for their system. That's how we ended up with so many crappy games (and 'the crash') in the first place.

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No offense, but if you think some employee programmed an all new title screen for Video Hustler, then I think you may be the one who is high. That alone to me validates the legitimacy of all the rest that came in the same batch with the same handwriting and now it's just a matter of documenting the exact differences.

 

I'm sorry, but there would be absolutely no hacking required to get Defender's 24k ROM onto a three socket ROM board. 8k + 8k + 8k = 24k. What hacking would be needed? Please. Your wet blankets are no match for my firey prototypes. ;D

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:roll:

 

I don't think you understand what I'm getting at here...

 

None of these games (with the exception of Donkey Kong) was actually developed at Coleco in Hartford, CT (especially not Defender, which was not even a Coleco game!). If these were true 'prototypes', they would not all be on the same boards with the same stickers with the exact same handwriting from the same person (which suggests they were made at nearly the same time). Video Hustler wasn't even developed at Coleco, which is exactly why that can't be an original prototype. I don't know who programmed this "new title screen" you refer to but it wasn't anybody at Coleco. (For the record, the title screen in that photo looks identical to the version I have, unless I'm missing something.)

 

A true Defender prototype would be on an Atari board and would have come from someone at Atari. With the competition between Atari and Coleco at the time, I can't envision any scenario where a beta build of an Atarisoft game would've been shared with anyone at Coleco. (Oh yeah, I forgot...it must've been when Atari sent them a copy of the game so they could "approve" it for release!)

 

Nice find, but if these came from a former Coleco employee from the Hartford office, they're not development prototypes or betas...only the individual developers who worked on the games would have those. Most of these appear to be final or near-final versions of games that were copied at Coleco for employee sampling and use, not original prototypes, but there's always a fine line when dealing with this kind of stuff. The fact that most of them (minus Donkey Kong) appear to have the same handwriting and no development dates only reinforces the fact that they're copies, and anyone at Coleco could've made stacks of these.

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I most definitely do not understand what you're getting at. You seem to be asserting that these can not be true prototypes because they are non-Coleco games that came from Coleco. Somehow that automatically makes them not really prototypes? How does that make any sense at all? How did anyone at Coleco get ahold of non-Coleco prototypes to "pirate"? If Atari, Konami and others didn't provide them to Coleco for whatever purposes, then how do they exist at Coleco? They have to have come from Atari and Konami. So then are you saying there was a piracy ring within Coleco where possibly other employees of Konami and Atari would trade Coleco games to Coleco employees and they had, like, game company employee pirate swap meets? There is absolutely zero evidence to support that theory and it sounds ridiculously far-fetched.

 

I think it is far more simple and easy to believe that Coleco had archives of all games for their system and that these are some of them. Seven to nine of these, possibly more (i.e., the few soldered ones I haven't dumped yet) are significantly different than any known copies yet found. I feel that these easily qualify as genuine, rare, and valuable prototypes. What particular flavor of prototype they are has yet to be determined but characterizing them as lesser-worth pirate copies of any kind without any sort of evidence whatsoever to support that theory is totally unjustified IMO.

 

I do enjoy the debate, though. It's rather exciting to dump these and learn what they are! If anyone wants to assist, I welcome the help.

Edited by djpubba

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I agree with PBJ, just for the record. It makes no sense to think otherwise.

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But, even if they are "employee copies," they are copies of previously undumped, undiscovered versions of the games and therefore are quite rare and valuable. Attaching the word pirate to them is not justified, especially when they clearly came from Coleco.

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But, even if they are "employee copies," they are copies of previously undumped, undiscovered versions of the games and therefore are quite rare and valuable.

In the end, the value is up to the buyer(s), I suppose. I really can't see anyone paying tons of money for these, personally.

 

Attaching the word pirate to them is not justified, especially when they clearly came from Coleco.

Of course it's justified...just as it was justified when I used the exact same word to describe those copies of Demon Attack and Kaboom! for 2600 that turned up in Atari Lab Loaner cases last year. Internal copying (pirating) of competitor's games was a rather common occurrence back then. Describing most of these as "rare prototypes" is misleading at best and outright dishonest at worst, in my opinion.

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Describing most of these as "rare prototypes" is misleading at best and outright dishonest at worst, in my opinion.

 

It's a good thing I'm only describing the rare prototypes as rare prototypes then. At least what I am doing is 100% honest and backed up by facts. What you are doing by calling them pirates has no basis in any sort of fact or evidence besides pure 100% conjecture. Neither you or I know what they are for sure. They could be legitimate company archive copies. Only the person who made the copies knows for sure and he's not here to say. But at least I have evidence that proves that whatever they are, they are previously undiscovered because they don't match any known dumps.

 

Back when jumbojohnny first posted about these asking what they were, everyone made their guesses that they were employee copies and suggest he get them dumped to tell more. Now they are dumped. What do the dumps tell us? They tell us many of these are never before found versions of released and prototype games. That's what I'm calling them. Now I just need to figure out what to price them at to move 'em.

 

just as it was justified when I used the exact same word to describe those copies of Demon Attack and Kaboom! for 2600 that turned up in Atari Lab Loaner cases last year.

 

Were those copies of protos or copies of releases? What I have include protos from Atari and Konami. How does a Coleco employee get ahold of another company's protos?

Edited by djpubba

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A copy of a prototype (or an original game) is not the same as an original prototype (or an original game)

 

I think you are failing to see that.

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No, what I am failing to see is how anyone can say with 100% certainty that these are pirates. You cannot say they are pirates any more than I can say they are the originals. Neither of us knows. That is my point. All I have said are facts. The facts are that they came from a Coleco employee and a fair lot of them are previously undiscovered versions of both released and prototype games. :thumbsup:

Edited by djpubba

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You cannot say they are pirates any more than I can say they are the originals. Neither of us knows.

 

Yeah, but they aren't the ones trying to sell them for $700 on eBay. You have to admit you have vested interest in these being "rare prototypes" rather than "pirates", as you're trying to sell them. It can cloud judgment.

 

Edited for truth, spoke too soon.

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No, what I am failing to see is how anyone can say with 100% certainty that these are pirates. You cannot say they are pirates any more than I can say they are the originals. Neither of us knows. That is my point. All I have said are facts. The facts are that they came from a Coleco employee and a fair lot of them are previously undiscovered versions of both released and prototype games. :thumbsup:

 

Without 100%, either way. The Playas that would pay big bucks , The Wonder007 of the Coleco world , will not take chance. I think they are real cool, but I have to agree with Pings Facts. Good Luck with the sales. HHW

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I'm okay with that. I feel fine calling them what I've been calling them while leaving the pirate word out and will sell them for whatever someone will pay for them. I initially set the price high while I figure out what exactly they are and as you can see, the ones I found were identical to release, I lowered the price way down on. I welcome anyone's help in figuring out what exactly I have but I certainly don't appreciate being called a deceiver so don't expect me to take it sitting down if you accuse me of that.

 

The only one I may keep is Video Hustler since I can't get any kind of legit copy of that one for my collection elsewhere, thus the high BIN on that one. The rest, I'm content owning the released ones.

Edited by djpubba

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No, what I am failing to see is how anyone can say with 100% certainty that these are pirates. You cannot say they are pirates any more than I can say they are the originals. Neither of us knows. That is my point. All I have said are facts. The facts are that they came from a Coleco employee and a fair lot of them are previously undiscovered versions of both released and prototype games. :thumbsup:

 

I can't say they are pirates, the same way you can't say they are 'rare original prototypes' as you originally stated in your auctions. That is before you went back and changed the titles in your auctions. Good luck with your sales.

 

edit: grammar

Edited by Osbo

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That is before you went back and changed the titles in your auctions. Good luck with your sales.

 

I think that was a good thing to do, the listing is more accurate now.

 

And I agree, good luck, I am sure there are Coleco collectors watching. :thumbsup:

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Ummm. I haven't touched the auction titles since I origionally listed them. :) Have some mercy on a poor honest ePay peddler. ;)

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That is before you went back and changed the titles in your auctions. Good luck with your sales.

 

I think that was a good thing to do, the listing is more accurate now.

 

And I agree, good luck, I am sure there are Coleco collectors watching. :thumbsup:

 

Oh don't get me wrong, I think it was a good thing too :) (I should had mention that in my earlier post)

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I don't know who programmed this "new title screen" you refer to but it wasn't anybody at Coleco. (For the record, the title screen in that photo looks identical to the version I have, unless I'm missing something.)

 

Is yours dumped? The only dump I can find of Video Hustler has a different title screen.

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Okay, so I got real curious about what might be different with this alternate version of Defender and I have found exactly what is different. I used the debug version of MESS to set breakpoints at the spots where I found differences and disassembled the Z80 code there to find out exactly what it was doing differently. What I found is that the only difference is that the code for detecting which input had been pressed in-game (up, down, right, left, fire and smart bomb) has been moved to a location that is unused in the released version of the game. It's not clear to me why this may have been done since the code is otherwise identical to the released version. I have lowered the price on this cart accordingly, since it is not as significantly different as it appeared upon my initial examination.

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I don't know who programmed this "new title screen" you refer to but it wasn't anybody at Coleco. (For the record, the title screen in that photo looks identical to the version I have, unless I'm missing something.)

 

Is yours dumped? The only dump I can find of Video Hustler has a different title screen.

It should be...I got my copy from ADAM's House/eColeco several years back.

 

I think there's 2 ROM versions floating around, but I could be mistaken.

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