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Atari_Warlord

Birthday Mania - Unwrapped

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The whole ROM is based on fixed, graphics data. Entering your own name would require a major rewrite.

 

Adding highscore saving would be relatively easy compared to that.

 

Edited by Thomas Jentzsch

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On 9/7/2019 at 7:31 PM, high voltage said:

All I can see is this:

 

The seller must have pulled the item. it was a picture perfect label on a loose Birthday Mania that the guy said he had laying around in a box and the guy was only asking $1,000,000. 

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And I saw one on ebay last week that was asking $150 and it was in an Atari cart shell. But it disappeared suddenly as well. So the floodgates have now opened on this one. Party’s over.

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No big deal. The released ROM has (hidden and visible) data in it, which proves any fakes. So anyone using his brain can easily check if an offer is legit or not.

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Albert said that it is possible (and therefore likely) that it will eventually be available on cart at the AtariAge store.

 

If you just want a quick one off copy, I’m sure any one of us could do that for you. But if your willing to wait a bit more, it’s possible they may modify the rom to where you can get it more personalized.

 

If you think about it, it’s really all just about the “title screen” of the game. It doesn’t really change anything, gameplay wise. So for the most part, it doesn’t really matter.

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On 9/17/2019 at 10:00 PM, IHATETHEBEARS said:

So is there anyone willing to put it on a cart?

 

I'm willing to personalize the binary with peoples names on them if they don't know how to do so themselves to put on a cartridge.

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That’s not just name personalization being done there, whereby only editing the text area that was intended for the name, rather that’s just full blown slap whatever the hell bullshit crap you want on the title screen.

 

Please tell me this feels wrong to at least somebody else around here? I can’t be alone in thinking that this is an abomination of what was intended and a bitch slap to the programmer?

 

What little bit of dignity this game was still clinging to after having become shareware just died tonight.

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The game is still under copyright.  Please do not sell it without permission so that I can honor the agreement with the author.  The only person I've given permission to at this point is Albert.

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12 hours ago, Atari_Warlord said:

The game is still under copyright.  Please do not sell it without permission so that I can honor the agreement with the author.  The only person I've given permission to at this point is Albert.

 

If you don't think Hozer and the like are not shitting these out a hundred miles an hour, you are seriously mistaken.

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4 hours ago, Shawn said:

 

If you don't think Hozer and the like are not shitting these out a hundred miles an hour, you are seriously mistaken.

That is not quite true, actually.

Randy interview:

 

 

Edited by high voltage

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1 hour ago, high voltage said:

That is not quite true, actually.

 

 

Ya, it is. He's made a tons of cartridges he shouldn't and has been asked specifically not to on many titles for many years. Also, I did say him "and the like" referencing that there are others who do the same thing, not just him. I know you like Hozer and Hozer quality goods, that's your choice, but you are in the minority being someone who supports him and folks like him. This has been proven and noted by many on this forum including Albert himself when you have posted images of your pirated homebrews including some of AA exclusive titles. Remember when you where asked not to post pictures of your pirated homebrews not that long ago? Sorry but you are part of the problem. 

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8 hours ago, Shawn said:

Sorry but you are part of the problem. 

Randy even confirms that in the video above. He is putting every ROM on cart and simply assumes that the ROM is legal (maybe even when he might know better). So he points at his customers and clearly implies that they are the thieves, not him.

 

However his Xerox analogy is very weak. A Xerox machine cannot ask questions and cannot know all media it is asked to copy. And if it knows that something is illegal (banknotes!) then it stops copying. But Randy can ask questions and he knows quite well which media is not allowed to be copied. 

So for me, both parts are equally bad here.

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3 hours ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

I sure hope this is from an old copy.

Got it from a seller in Romania, he mentioned it came to him via a Turkish seller from Germany.

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On 11/4/2012 at 3:03 AM, Atari_Warlord said:

Back in October of 2005 the game Birthday Mania was brought to the attention of the general collecting community. Like many people, I started looking for the history of the game with no luck. In July of this year, I finally stumbled across a clue that led directly to the creator Robert Anthony Tokar. I started by sending an introductory email and then followed up with a phone call several weeks later. He was kind enough to talk with me although he was having some health issues and is in his 70’s and was not excited to have a stranger contacting him.

 

He indicated that I was the second person to track him down, as a student working on a Master’s degree had called him a couple years ago. He specifically remembered the person telling him the story of the only copy that was in a collector’s hands.

 

At the beginning of the conversation I asked him if it was o.k. to share his name publicly. He was fine with that but didn’t want to get sued by the “Happy Birthday” people. After the call I did a little research and sent the follow up information to put his mind at ease. Time Warner is the current holder of the copyright and makes about $2.0 million per year from it. A simple Google search will turn up plenty of information for anyone that cares, but this is my conclusion. The copyright for the tune has expired and comes from the original title “Good Morning to All” issued in the late 1800’s. We are free to hum it or play it free of charge. The copyright that Time Warner holds is the pairing of the lyrics with this earlier tune, like when Weird Al creates a new copyright with his parodies. Several researchers have concluded that the current copyright should not have been granted, but the cost to fight it in court is more expensive then the licensing fee, so companies just pay it.

 

I had sent a list of questions in the original email that we went over in our brief conversation.

  1. What was the reason(s) you decided to create a game for the Atari 2600?

I enjoyed playing the games at that time and was just starting a new business so decided to try making a game.

 

2. How did you learn how to program for it?

 

I found a book on how to program the 6502 chip and started with that.

 

3. Do you remember what equipment was used in the development process?

 

I can’t remember.

 

4. How long did it take?

 

Several months, not sure of the exact length.

 

5. Did you advertise the game for sale? (Magazines, Newspapers, Other)

 

Yes, in the newspaper.

 

6. Was the advertising specific to where you were living at the time?

 

Yes, in The Newark Star-Ledger (If someone has access to the Rutger’s University Alexander Library, it looks like they might have microfiche; I would suggest looking in 1984; Personal Games Company was registered on 8/13/1984)

 

7. One of the main features appears that the name of the individual can be personalized. Was there a limit to how many characters

could be put in the display?

 

Yes, but I can't remember what the limitation was.

 

8. Because of the personalization, did you use EPROMS to burn each cartridge?

 

Yes, I did each one individually.

 

9. Where did the shell casings come from? They kind of look like the ones that Apollo Games used at the time.

 

I can't remember.

 

10. Did you work on any other games for the Atari 2600 or any other system?

 

No, this was the only game.

 

11. Approximately how many copies of Birthday Mania were sold?

 

About 10 plus a few given to people who helped in the process.

 

12. Did you hang on to any of the items involved in this production? (Cartridges, Computer Code, Game Manuals, Advertising, etc)

 

No, I didn't keep anything. They were not sold with boxes but did have a manual that was just a tri-folded piece of paper.

 

 

As the conversation was wrapping up I could sense that he did not want to have to deal with a thirty year old project and really didn’t want people contacting him. So I threw my plan of building trust out the door and went for the sales pitch. I asked if he would consider licensing the game for reproductions. He flatly said he didn’t want to have to deal with the hassles. I then proposed buying the copyright (knowing I would have to get a Wonder007 or other collectors involved to make that happen). He then surprised me completely. He said he wasn’t interested in selling it, but would give it away if any profits would go to a charitable organization. My jaw almost hit the floor as I didn’t expect that kind of generosity. I work with a lot of lawyers and said I would draft something for him to review.

 

A couple weeks later I sent a draft copyright assignment to him for consideration and he sent it back to me signed. The two items I put in our agreement were that he would always be recognized as the creator of the game and that any profits from reproductions would go to a charitable organization as he requested. I have filed the assignment with the Copyright office and was holding off in posting this information in hopes I could obtain the computer code and game manual that are filed with them as a surprise. Unfortunately after waiting several months and reading some faqs on the website it could take 6 months or more till I’m able to actually get copies of what they have. So maybe sometime in 2013 we’ll be able to create reproductions for people to enjoy. I would love for Thomas or someone with great skills to create an automated way to have each cart personalized with a name like the originals were.

 

Update on July 31, 2019

 

Attached is a ROM with the original programmers name in recognition of his creation.  Thanks to Thomas for cleaning up the code and creating this version and Albert for help with the forum.

 

Play Hints:

 

1. This is a paddle game (left port)

2. Left difficulty switch in A=narrow blast, B=wider blast

3. Reset starts new game

4. Select not used

5. B/W switch, Color position shows and plays Happy Birthday screen, B/W position skips intro screen

6. Right difficulty switch in A=single blow mode, B=continuous blow mode

7. The game pauses between waves and only starts the new wave when the fire button is pressed or if it is being held down.

8. Enjoy!

Birthday_Mania_Robert_A_Tokar.bin 4 kB · 165 downloads

Years back I found this on shopgoodwill. I looked ot up and found nothibg so I asumed it was more then likely a commin game with a birthday logo added by a random person as these sort of things have been done. After good will sold it I some how came across the real info on this cart and I was stunned and felt really really stupid for passing this very rare item up. It sold for only a cupppe of bucks too and was a HUGE mistake to let it go. Now reading this finding ot was my favorite style of game (Paddle) I realize it was even a bigger mistake letting that game slip threw my fingers. Owell I have a supercharger and a Harmony cart so I can finally play this thing even thpugh I would still love to own an original. I see this is old but I kinda want a remake but damn an original was with in my purchasing power

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5 hours ago, overgrouth said:

Years back I found this on shopgoodwill. I looked ot up and found nothibg so I asumed it was more then likely a commin game with a birthday logo added by a random person as these sort of things have been done. After good will sold it I some how came across the real info on this cart and I was stunned and felt really really stupid for passing this very rare item up. It sold for only a cupppe of bucks too and was a HUGE mistake to let it go. Now reading this finding ot was my favorite style of game (Paddle) I realize it was even a bigger mistake letting that game slip threw my fingers. Owell I have a supercharger and a Harmony cart so I can finally play this thing even thpugh I would still love to own an original. I see this is old but I kinda want a remake but damn an original was with in my purchasing power

Wow, that is too bad indeed.

Well, you at least saw it in person.

8)

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8 hours ago, Rom Hunter said:

Wow, that is too bad indeed.

Well, you at least saw it in person.

8)

Kinda but not exactually. It was on shopgoodwill.com

 

It is good will but it is their website. This is why I knew it sold for only a cupple of bucks. I watched it as time ran out just like you see on Ebay. This is the site were I picked up 2 super chargers for $50.00 plus a manuel and box that also came with a Atari 2600 abd some games including one of the super charger tapes. I already had a 2600 but wantes the superchargers. I have picked up an Atari C-380 A atari 400 and and 800XL for super cheap. So that Birthday mania cart was legitimately the real thing. Hell I even picked up the ultra rare APF MP 1000 Space Destroyers cart proclaimed as an Atari cart amon many other Atari carts for dirt cheap. Note Space Destroyers also works.

 

I have meusim peices and I really missed out of one of the best.

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