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NIAD

Dragon's Lair screen mock-up difference

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Seeing that the ADAM version of Dragon's Lair has become a hot topic ever since Mystery Man and Team PixelBoy converted/released a ColecoVision compatible version for use with the soon to be released Super Game Module (or ADAM Computer), I figured that I would share a screen mockup that I recently came across in the Coleco Electronics 1984 Press Kit.

 

If you know the ADAM version well enough, you will immediately recognize that this picture of the Ropes/Platforms/Fire level is different from the completed and released ADAM Super Game... and of course the newly released CV cartridge game. I have included a screenshot of the released version so that you can see firsthand the differences.

 

As a bonus, you will also see in the picture a description of the Super Game version of Star Trek along with a title screen mock-up. Too bad this one never was completed or a prototype found.

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Edited by NIAD

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Cool. That is a pretty considerable difference. Maybe a very early work in progress? The doors seem reversed, but it could just be that the picture when printed was reversed. Used to happen in magazines quite often from what I remember.

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As a bonus, you will also see in the picture a description of the Super Game version of Star Trek along with a title screen mock-up. Too bad this one never was completed or a prototype found.

 

That's interesting. I'm betting they wanted to do a version where the bottom screen was more developed (i.e. that didn't always show the same angle of the Kiingon ship in front of you). They probably could have done this with extra RAM. :)

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I am more interested in the other page you didn't show us. Looks like Tunnels and Trolls and Front Line were going to be super games?

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I am more interested in the other page you didn't show us. Looks like Tunnels and Trolls and Front Line were going to be super games?

You got me there Dan... I was being a little sly with the way that I took that picture so that enough of the next page would be visible. I going to be scanning the entire Press Kit in due time, but will take some further pics and post here for everyone's enjoyment.

 

The screenshot/mock-up of Tunnels and Trolls is very reminiscent of the death scene of Dirk the Daring in Coleco's Dragon's Lair, but without the background graphics. Give me a little bit of time and I will post some further pics. As far as Front Line, indeed a Super Game was planned and a self-running demo has been available for years. The demo includes two title screens and an animated beach landing scene.

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That Dragon's Lair proto / mockup is interesting as hell! That's way different than the finished product. Also in the description, there never was in the completed version 'a flying mechanical horse level, or lizard king level'. I would LOVE to see that prototype surface! Thanks for the share!

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The description is just Coleco's Marketing Department doing there thing yet again! While it is possible that the programmers of the ADAM version of Dragon's Lair had intended to include the levels described in this little write-up, I would venture a strong guess that time was not on there side to include everything possible... even for a game that they needed to get right due to the high price Coleco paid to acquire the rights to produce a computer version.

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There was a mechanical horse and the lizard king in a sequel, Dragon's Lair 2: Escape from Singe's Castle, released for the Commodore 64.

Edited by ed1475

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Yeah, I know about the C64 version, another great sequel! Weird, but I loved the Adam version of Dragon's Lair, but the C64 version of the Adam version sucked! Bad translation. Then the sequel was awesome for the C64. Go figure.

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I actually would have wanted to get a Commodore 64 back in 1985 when I was saving up for a computer. Then I got sidetracked into getting an ADAM because I wanted to keep playing my ColecoVision games.

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There was a mechanical horse and the lizard king in a sequel, Dragon's Lair 2: Escape from Singe's Castle, released for the Commodore 64.

 

Ah yes I do remember that, in fact I still have the disk for it.

I wonder if at one time it was also to be released on the Adam.

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Ah yes I do remember that, in fact I still have the disk for it.

I wonder if at one time it was also to be released on the Adam.

Dragon's Lair 2 came out in 1991. I think the Adam was kinda done with major titles by then.

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Dragon's Lair 2 came out in 1991. I think the Adam was kinda done with major titles by then.

 

You're confused. We aren't talking about Dragons Lair 2 the arcade game. ;)

 

The game being discussed was called Dragon's Lair II: Escape from Singe's Castle (1987). It was more or less a continuation of the Dragons Lair game released on the Adam (1984) and later the C-64 (1986). I just wonder if maybe it was originally going to be released on the Adam as well.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcNYUAU1dz4

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You're confused. We aren't talking about Dragons Lair 2 the arcade game. ;)

 

The game being discussed was called Dragon's Lair II: Escape from Singe's Castle (1987). It was more or less a continuation of the Dragons Lair game released on the Adam (1984) and later the C-64 (1986). I just wonder if maybe it was originally going to be released on the Adam as well.

Ah, ok.

 

Well, the Adam was discontinued in Jan '85 so that certainly wouldn't help.

If you look up Escape from Singe's Castle, at first glance it appears to have focused on machines available in Europe and looking further Software Projects a Euro game studio created it.

Did the Adam even get released as a PAL machine?

I have to think the answer to your question is no since they didn't even release an Atari version.

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Did the Adam even get released as a PAL machine?

I have to think the answer to your question is no since they didn't even release an Atari version.

 

That I don't know.

Although I think it is interesting that ad mentioned scenes specifically included in DL:EFSC.

I also notice that the C-64 version of Dragons Lair, which as far as I know is basically a port of the Adam game was also credited to Software Project.

Maybe they possibly also ported a second never released Adam game when they released DL:EFSC is what I was getting at. Seems possible, they were both released pretty close to each other, by the same company. Would explain that ad description for sure.

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That I don't know.

Although I think it is interesting that ad mentioned scenes specifically included in DL:EFSC.

I also notice that the C-64 version of Dragons Lair, which as far as I know is basically a port of the Adam game was also credited to Software Project.

Maybe they possibly also ported a second never released Adam game when they released DL:EFSC is what I was getting at. Seems possible, they were both released pretty close to each other, by the same company. Would explain that ad description for sure.

I think only the developer or someone from Software Project would have a definitive answer.

Game design and screen mockups could have been done well before development.

A never released title from the '80s... it would be cool!

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To answer JamesD's question... the Stand-Alone ADAM was released in PAL flavor, but in very small quantities in "I think" the United Kingdom only. The largest majority of ADAM systems that were sold throughout Europe were of the Expansion Module #3 variety, which makes sense since this version of the ADAM would simply attach to CBS ColecoVisions that were already setup for PAL or SCART video output.

 

BTW, there was a French/Canadian release of the Stand-Alone ADAM in Canada, so perhaps some of these systems which were supplied with French and English language boxes and manuals made there way across the big pond and were sold in France.

 

As far as Dragon's Lair... I do not claim to know all the liguistics or legalities, but could it have been possible for Coleco to sell the rights to the production of all computer versions of the game, that they paid so dearly to acquire from Magicom, to a third party? I guess it all depends on what was agreed upon between Coleco and Magicom, but Coleco did in the very least sell the rights to port their ADAM version.

Edited by NIAD

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Ok, here we go. As promised, I am making available the next page of the 1984 Press Kit with the Tunnels & Trolls and Front Line Super Game descriptions and screenshots/mock-ups... but this time I scanned the page. Hope everyone enjoys this one as much as the previous page post.

 

To take it a step further, I am also including ADAM disk images of these two games, but don't get too excited, they are only self-running demos. T&T's demo is only two title screens and Front Line SG is two title screens as well, but also includes an animated beach landing scene. Note that the ADAM T&T demo was converted by someone to ColecoVision cart/rom image format and you should be able to find it easily by performing a search if you really want it in this format as well.

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Front Line - Super Game (1984) (Coleco) (Demo).zip

Tunnels & Trolls (198x) (Coleco) (Demo).zip

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Seeing as I have acquired a large number of items that I want to scan and preserve properly, I would like to ask for everyone's opinion as to what the best settings to use for scanning all these items are. I haven't scanned a lot of things in my time, but I assume that at least 300dpi would be the minimum scan setting and to save the file as a JPG image? Is it worth the added file size to scan the pages in at 600dpi, or is this overkill.

 

BTW, the page I scanned above was at 300dpi and the resolution ended up being 2550x3507 with a file size of 4.7Mb. In order to post it on here due to the file size limitation of the forum, I reduced the resolution by 50%.

 

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated and yes, I will be removing the staples that hold the Press Kit together (someone already did this at least once) so as to lay the pages flat on the scanner and get the best possible scans.

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One of the many things I never quite understood about Coleco was what made them think that people who already had these titles for their Colecovisions would want to pay more money to play upgraded versions? Weren't they paying attention to what the 5200 was doing? I guess in retrospect it's easy to see the errors but I guess they were trying to make the most of their licences. It seems like the big reason computer games were gaining popular wasn't just because they were porting arcade games, but were playing totally unique games that could only really be played on a home computer. Where were those titles for the Adam?...how could they not doing something with Tunnels and Trolls, I just can't fathom. That's the Great White Buffalo for me and my friends who remember the CV vaporware.

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Lot's of good questions and you also supplied some answers, but let me take a crack....

 

- These ADAM only Super Game versions of DK, DK Jr., Zaxxon, Buck Rogers, Sub-Roc, etc. were vastly improved versions with added screens, intermissions, Hall of Fame high score saving and extra bells and whistles. Take for instance the Zaxxon Super Game with it's additional asteroid levels that weren't even in the arcade game and the CV cart version pales tremendously to it.

 

- It was the fulfillment of their promise that was made concerning these games being released in "Super" format for the scraped Super Game Module.

 

- Like you said, why not capitalize on the fact that they owned the rights to these games and release these updated/enhanced versions to profit some more AND without having to develop them from the ground up... they already had a lot of the work done with the CV versions.

 

- To release as many possible games in as short a period of time in order to make the ADAM a more attractive purchase. No software, especially games, means the quicker death of the ADAM. Many of the 3rd party software developers were taking a wait and see approach to supporting the ADAM, Coleco wasn't very forthcoming in supplying all the necessary tech info on the ADAM to interested parties and by the time Coleco made all the pertinent information available... it was too late. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot especially with all the legal mumbo-jumbo that they required of developers in order to develop for the ADAM. It worked later for Nintendo, though.

 

- For all the people that did not own a CV or the CV versions of these games.

 

- A known commodity in that all these CV titles were well received by reviewers in magazines and were some of the most popular arcade titles of the time.

 

- They could port SOME of these titles to other systems and garner further revenue.

 

I'm sure there are other valid reasons, but these are some that come to mind.

 

As far as where were the UNIQUE titles, well, we got SmartLetters & Forms, Electronic Flashcard Maker, Wacky Word Games, Richard Scarry's B.E.W.E., a number of Filer programs, etc. I guess what I am saying is that Coleco didn't have enough manpower to cover all aspects of software developement even with the help of outside software development companies. More importantly is that the life span of the ADAM wasn't long enough and they had so many problems to overcome with the initial release of the ADAM that it sucked the wind out of the sails so to speak. Everyone likes to point to the January 1985 announcement by Coleco that they were stopping production of the CV and ADAM, but I would venture a guess that this decision was made months earlier no matter what the sales figures looked like for the 1984 Holiday Season. So in the end, the system only had a lifespan of about 18 months... not a lot of time to pump out all the software that would be needed for a new computer system especially when you go about it Lone Ranger style with no Tonto.

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As for your questions about who would buy the same game with extra levels. Isn't that what is done to death today? You buy a game and then you can buy expansion packs and other things that extend the game. That is kind of the form of buying the same game it is just back then they didn't have the technology to make it an expansion pack.

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Good point Dan and it makes me wonder how many times I and going to buy a "NEW" Super Mario Bros. game for the Wii or 3DS... but the kids love them and I still enjoy them as well. Coleco wasn't the first to do this and definetely wasn't the last.

 

To take it a step further as far as updated versions for systems... look at all the games that started on the 2600, then were updated for the 5200, then the 7800, then the Lynx and on and on by Atari. Oh yeah, then all the computer versions for Atari computers.

Edited by NIAD

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I guess it makes sense in a lot of ways. If they were going after the arcade crowd, though, perhaps they could have pushed it in that direction more rather than lesser known titles like Sub-Roc and Buck Rogers...although I had a friend who had an Adam and we nearly puked with pleasure over how awesome Super Buck Rogers was. I kept that instruction manual for years!...he also had Super Dambusters, which had an AWESOME 'dossier' format instruction manual. Made little difference for me, however, as I could never get that bomb to detonate properly...but what excitement that first time I saw the bomb skip over the water, only to....miss :D

 

I wonder...Super Turbo...Super Ladybug...Super Space Fury...man, I don't know what I'd use it for but I'd love to have a nice Adam if only for the memories. I've got my complete CV collection (well, with the multicart that is) and that's good enough for me. That Adam though, man...we were still using it well after 85, lol!...more like right up to 90 for things like word processing and CV games.

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I'm surprised that no one has caught the "challenge a friend to HEAD-to-HEAD Zaxxon" in the description of the Zaxxon Super Game!!!

 

Hey PixelBoy, I think a recall of your CV Zaxxon Super Game carts is in order so as to add this option. :-D

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