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Marble Madness 2: Marble Man

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Speaking of Freeze, I do have an Atari Freeze proto jamma board. I believe last I checked it’s 1 of 3 known. It’s a pretty fun 1996 puzzle game. Shown at the 1996 AMOA show. (I used to attend these shows back in the day when they actually mattered to operators)

 

Don’t know if the rom set on my board is any different then the one in mame, but nobody’s ever really expressed any interest for me to bother checking. I did bring it a few years back to one of these Orlando FPF shows though.

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23 minutes ago, Supergun said:

Speaking of Freeze, I do have an Atari Freeze proto jamma board. I believe last I checked it’s 1 of 3 known. It’s a pretty fun 1996 puzzle game. Shown at the 1996 AMOA show. (I used to attend these shows back in the day when they actually mattered to operators)

 

Don’t know if the rom set on my board is any different then the one in mame, but nobody’s ever really expressed any interest for me to bother checking. I did bring it a few years back to one of these Orlando FPF shows though.

I played freeze and I have it on my phone as well! I played it on mame4driod and I beat the game!! It was trust me. HARD AS HELL to beat but I did 😅 it took like an hour 

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8 hours ago, Tempest said:

Yeah I'm curious about that one as well.  My understanding is that the original board was dumped but damaged so you could only play up to a certain level.  Then I read that they either fixed the board or found another copy to dump but that's the last I heard.

There was a reboot issue, some sprite glitches and a snafu with collision detection - sounds like all were fixable.

 

I should've worded that better, the game might have been dumped; mame team hasn't received anything. This was the latest I heard a couple months ago. Didn't hear a second pcb was found - really hope that's true.

 

I did shoot another correspondence  to one of the MAME members. I'll post here once I hear the latest status

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I had the opportunity to play MM2 at CAX back in 2000.  There are a few things about the game that stick in my head:

  • Playing what's effectively Marble Madness with joysticks was...  Weird.
  • The game felt like it was almost release-ready except for in one area: gameplay.
    • It played OK, but wasn't as engaging as the original.
    • A little more final polishing and that could have been taken care of.
  • The powerups were an interesting addition, but didn't add as much to the game as might have been hoped for (see also: gameplay polishing).

I'm not mentioning any of this to try to dampen anyone's hopes, and completely understand that how one person views a game is highly-subjective and may not match another person's opinion.  It's also fantastic news that the ROMs may finally see release at some point.  But I would advise anyone anticipating a release to set their expectations appropriately - it is unreleased software, after all, and there are some good (and not so good) reasons for it in this case.

 

BTW, there are a few mentions of MM2 in Jed Margolin's Atari VAXmail archives.  Most notable is probably here; search in page for 'marble' to save yourself some scrolling.  Unfortunately I couldn't find any location test results for the game on his site, but in all likelihood (and for the reasons others have mentioned here before) those would tell the story of why it never saw release.

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21 hours ago, x=usr(1536) said:

  But I would advise anyone anticipating a release to set their expectations appropriately - it is unreleased software, after all, and there are some good (and not so good) reasons for it in this case.

It's common knowledge that Marble Madness II isn't very good. People just want to try it for themselves since the roms, well, whichever way you lean, be it 'hoarded' or 'owner decision' and say they had a play at it.

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Truth be told as much as I still consider it the holiest of lost ROM holy grails, Bouncer looks like a game that I would have probably gotten sick of pretty fast, games where you're getting attacked from all sides and it's a perpetual balancing act racing from one spot to another just barely in time get on my nerves, Birdiy is a good example of that game type. Gremlins except for the car scene frankly doesn't look like my kind of game either, looks very boring in fact, but that said it still depresses me they're probably both lost forever. 

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2 hours ago, H.E.R.O. said:

It's common knowledge that Marble Madness II isn't very good. People just want to try it for themselves since the roms, well, whichever way you lean, be it 'hoarded' or 'owner decision' and say they had a play at it.

 

Absolutely.  However, the difference is that most of the people deriding the gameplay haven't actually played the game.  It's one thing to say, 'after playing it, the game falls short in the following areas' vs. 'this game sucks because the Internet said so'.

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3 hours ago, x=usr(1536) said:

 

Absolutely.  However, the difference is that most of the people deriding the gameplay haven't actually played the game.  It's one thing to say, 'after playing it, the game falls short in the following areas' vs. 'this game sucks because the Internet said so'.

I'm going by the testimonies of those who have had the good fortune (or bad) to try it out at one of the arcade expos the owner was goodly enough to bring his protoypes to and let the public try them.

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20 minutes ago, H.E.R.O. said:

I'm going by the testimonies of those who have had the good fortune (or bad) to try it out at one of the arcade expos the owner was goodly enough to bring his protoypes to and let the public try them.

OK, I'm confused, then - in my initial post, I mentioned that I played it at CAX in 2000.  Sorry, but not really following the point you're making.

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there's only one person i trust when it comes to declaring games are good or bad. myself.

 

i don't care if someone hates a game or loves a game. until i play it, i don't reallly care what they say.

 

as a fan of marble madness across pretty much ever platform out there, and a player of all the clone

games, and remakes, i'm pretty sure i will like it no matter what, based on everything i've played before.

 

now, maybe i'm wrong, but i've loved games, that got bad reviews, or have been forgotten.

i've also hated games that other people love (mario, donkey kong, pretty much anything nintendo has put out),

so thats my bias.

 

i like atari, and i like marble madness. sure, its going to be an adjustment playing it with a joystick.

 

but i've played the crystal castles versions with  joysticks and got used to that also.

 

i don't think it will be that big of deal to get used to.

 

later

-1

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8 hours ago, H.E.R.O. said:

It's common knowledge that Marble Madness II isn't very good. People just want to try it for themselves since the roms, well, whichever way you lean, be it 'hoarded' or 'owner decision' and say they had a play at it.

In my case, it'd be because I've put dozens of hours into the original game (on various platforms) and would like to see the next intended chapter in the story, even if it's a disappointment.

 

And, like negative1 wisely said, the only person whose judgment I trust about a game is me. There have been too many hyped games I hated, and too many condemned games I enjoyed, to ever rely on anyone else's word about such things.

 

(That doesn't mean I ignore what people have to say. In fact, if a person is open about their biases and a reasonably good writer, sometimes a bad review from them can still make it clear to me that I'd probably enjoy the same game they hated!)

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the best way to judge a little bit of what the gameplay will be like

with the powerups, and some of the same environments, is to

play the new levels of the mobile version.

 

it's clear they took assests from marble madness 2 in it.

 

i really enjoyed that. so its a nice preview.

 

later

-1

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1 hour ago, negative1 said:

the best way to judge a little bit of what the gameplay will be like

with the powerups, and some of the same environments, is to

play the new levels of the mobile version.

 

it's clear they took assests from marble madness 2 in it.

 

i really enjoyed that. so its a nice preview.

 

later

-1

Lmao I knew that was u on yt 

36AF697A-2627-453E-A475-795FB9F2B652.png

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I liked & enjoyed the original MM. It was a unique game concept for its time. I never really played the arcade version, but I bought it for NES & Genesis. The Tengen Mega Drive version (different game then the Electronic Arts Genesis version for those who don’t know) was excellent, and the best home version by far.

 

By it’s nature, MM is a quick game. I mean only half a dozen short stages & the game is over. Not much to it. But it’s got great music, great graphics, and it’s addictive.

 

With all this in mind, when I first played MM2 at the show, I found it to be extremely difficult. It wasn’t necessarily because of the joystick, as I’m used to playing the home versions, so I’m indifferent to using a trackball. Rather, it’s the number of enemies & obstacles on screen. You are constantly being attacked & assaulted in this game. You also can’t hear & enjoy the BGM as much, because the constant barrage of attacks by these things, overwhelm the audio with the voice samples & sound effects that they make.

 

So your constantly dying & regenerating which kills the fun & flow of the game. And if your playing with 2 or 3 players, it’s no longer a “race”, rather it just becomes a quarter feeder.

 

On the plus side, it’s got a ton of levels. Way more then you think. I mean, it’s not completely linear. You actually have some control, but I wasn’t able to figure out exactly what determines your path. There’s some kind of strange level shuffling going on in there. But putting these things aside, after awhile, I did get better at the game & it kept my interest.

 

If you didn’t like the first game, then you won’t like this one. If you enjoyed the first game, then you will enjoy this one. If you loved the first game, then you will love this one. It’s that simple. Marble Madness 2 is “bigger & better”. And it gives you lots more of the MM world to enjoy & explore.

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3 minutes ago, Supergun said:

I liked & enjoyed the original MM. It was a unique game concept for its time. I never really played the arcade version, but I bought it for NES & Genesis. The Tengen Mega Drive version (different game then the Electronic Arts Genesis version for those who don’t know) was excellent, and the best home version by far.

 

By it’s nature, MM is a quick game. I mean only half a dozen short stages & the game is over. Not much to it. But it’s got great music, great graphics, and it’s addictive.

 

With all this in mind, when I first played MM2 at the show, I found it to be extremely difficult. It wasn’t necessarily because of the joystick, as I’m used to playing the home versions, so I’m indifferent to using a trackball. Rather, it’s the number of enemies & obstacles on screen. You are constantly being attacked & assaulted in this game. You also can’t hear & enjoy the BGM as much, because the constant barrage of attacks by these things, overwhelm the audio with the voice samples & sound effects that they make.

 

So your constantly dying & regenerating which kills the fun & flow of the game. And if your playing with 2 or 3 players, it’s no longer a “race”, rather it just becomes a quarter feeder.

 

On the plus side, it’s got a ton of levels. Way more then you think. I mean, it’s not completely linear. You actually have some control, but I wasn’t able to figure out exactly what determines your path. There’s some kind of strange level shuffling going on in there. But putting these things aside, after awhile, I did get better at the game & it kept my interest.

 

If you didn’t like the first game, then you won’t like this one. If you enjoyed the first game, then you will enjoy this one. If you loved the first game, then you will love this one. It’s that simple. Marble Madness 2 is “bigger & better”. And it gives you lots more of the MM world to enjoy & explore.

K I gotta question! Is the joystick Analog? Because I literally beat marble madness 1 Arcade ver all the time with my Xbox controller! Which means it would be easy claps for me to beat mm2. Plus the fact I’m decent in dodging objects in retro games. So is it me or are you guys over reacting 

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KLOV says 8 way joystick:

 

https://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=8619

Joystick: 8-way

 

----

not worried about multiple players. even the original had 2 player simultaneous.

but everyone just played the game by themself.

 

----

 

the xbox version is totally fake version for controls, because

they maxed out the speed for the analog controller. i have the 2nd

highest score on their. that's nothing compared to the skill level

of using a real trackball on MAME, or in the arcade.

 

later

-1

Edited by negative1

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1 hour ago, negative1 said:

KLOV says 8 way joystick:

 

https://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=8619

Joystick: 8-way

 

----

not worried about multiple players. even the original had 2 player simultaneous.

but everyone just played the game by themself.

 

----

 

the xbox version is totally fake version for controls, because

they maxed out the speed for the analog controller. i have the 2nd

highest score on their. that's nothing compared to the skill level

of using a real trackball on MAME, or in the arcade.

 

later

-1

I still think I can beat marble man tho. Plus the fact they have a turbo button! I could do a speed run :) in fact I could order an X Arcade tankstick and beat the game with a trackball instead! Also i checked your YouTube channel! It’s legit :) that Dig dug Arcade 1up gameplay was god like skill! I left a sub by the way!

Edited by Jack the gamer 3

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This is fantastic that we could possibly get a release of the ROM within the next year! Of course like everyone stated earlier, the natures of these people are unpredictable so there is no guarantee it is given to the public. I for one will stay hopeful as Marble Madness has been one of favorite games of all times. I've played through almost every known port of the game, and after having found out recently that there was another chapter of the game lost to us... Needless to say I was pretty excited after reading over this forum.

 

Lets keep faith in humanity and hope us veteran Marble Madness players will finally see the sequel to a fantastic, but all too short game. 

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On 12/15/2019 at 8:22 PM, Supergun said:

I liked & enjoyed the original MM. It was a unique game concept for its time. I never really played the arcade version, but I bought it for NES & Genesis. The Tengen Mega Drive version (different game then the Electronic Arts Genesis version for those who don’t know) was excellent, and the best home version by far.

 

By it’s nature, MM is a quick game. I mean only half a dozen short stages & the game is over. Not much to it. But it’s got great music, great graphics, and it’s addictive.

 

 

Besides Atari System 1's Indiana Jones and Roadblasters, Marble would be the next one I put some time on. I must say I was never really good at the arcade version - did beat it on the NES eventually.

 

My biggest issues with MM on the arcade platform are # of level and the ending < meaning it has one. I've seen Youtube vids with the game completed less than 5 minutes. * I know it took a lot of practice to get to that point

 

Out of the five System 1 games: Roadrunner, Indy, Roadblasters, MM and Peter. Only two have and ending: MM and Roadblaster. I think in the latter game it won't let you continue on track #49 and #50 - not sure on that entirely.

 

What I would have done?

 

- Gameplay starts over with different and harder enemies on each course or maybe lower the time for players - not sure if that would affect good players

- Rom update with new courses and enemies once the earnings started to dwindle. Strike when the irons hot

- MM2 released on The Atari System 2 platform - year or two later and not some six.

Edited by schuwalker

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8 hours ago, schuwalker said:

Besides Atari System 1's Indiana Jones and Roadblasters, Marble would be the next one I put some time on. I must say I was never really good at the arcade version - did beat it on the NES eventually.

 

My biggest issues with MM on the arcade platform are # of level and the ending < meaning it has one. I've seen Youtube vids with the game completed less than 5 minutes. * I know it took a lot of practice to get to that point

 

Out of the five System 1 games: Roadrunner, Indy, Roadblasters, MM and Peter. Only two have and ending: MM and Roadblaster. I think in the latter game it won't let you continue on track #49 and #50 - not sure on that entirely.

 

What I would have done?

 

- Gameplay starts over with different and harder enemies on each course or maybe lower the time for players - not sure if that would affect good players

- Rom update with new courses and enemies once the earnings started to dwindle. Strike when the irons hot

- MM2 released on The Atari System 2 platform - year or two later and not some six.

Wait marble madness ran on the Atari system 2?

 

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4 minutes ago, Jack the gamer 3 said:

Wait marble madness ran on the Atari system 2?

 

 

No - he's saying that had he had the chance to be in charge of MM2, it would have been released a couple of years after the first game and would have run on the System 2 platform.

 

5 minutes ago, Jack the gamer 3 said:

What I would have done?

 

- Gameplay starts over with different and harder enemies on each course or maybe lower the time for players - not sure if that would affect good players

- Rom update with new courses and enemies once the earnings started to dwindle. Strike when the irons hot

- MM2 released on The Atari System 2 platform - year or two later and not some six.

 

See emphasis above.

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On 12/15/2019 at 7:36 AM, Tornadoboy said:

Truth be told as much as I still consider it the holiest of lost ROM holy grails, Bouncer looks like a game that I would have probably gotten sick of pretty fast, games where you're getting attacked from all sides and it's a perpetual balancing act racing from one spot to another just barely in time get on my nerves, Birdiy is a good example of that game type. Gremlins except for the car scene frankly doesn't look like my kind of game either, looks very boring in fact, but that said it still depresses me they're probably both lost forever. 

TB, I recognize your handle on Klov.

 

I was looking on the topic of unreleased arcade games on RGVAC and on the Klov forums for a little more history on some of these. The two you mentioned before: Exidy Vertigo and Bouncer are believed to be in the hands of private collectors. I know the former definitely has. (I'm sure you probably knew this already.) Now I'm not sure on Birdiy what the current situation is... didn't even know it existed honestly (decent game). It's interesting how much stuff we think is "lost" only to be shown a snippet proving otherwise. Two examples of the top of my head were the Dracula Hunter pcb on Yahoo Japan auctions years ago. I'm assuming the winner of the auction did put a gameplay video on Youtube. Universal Mrs. Dynamite was a shocker to me. Another one I thought was long gone only to filmed in someones private arcade I believe in Canada???

 

I guess my point is there is some monster collectors out there that live off the forum grid. I heard of two monster collectors around the east coast that would make your jaw drop with some of their *private* inventory. Again, I stress the word private. Heard this from another Chicago collector I know. Who knows how many more, even overseas??? The sad truth is some of these guys really don't want to be bothered. I been trying to track down an owner of a rare Taito game with no luck for over a year who ostensibly lives off the arcade grid - so to speak. True story... relates to the pinball world but is a good example, I caught wind of an owner who had a very rare Gottlieb pin in the midwest. I shot a message to the party who took the picture of said owners property - just wanted to ask owner some questions (NOT looking to buy) pin question. Kid you not, The second hand party replied from the owner paraphrasing "he didn't want to be bothered." Just wow. I know there's exceptions like the actual programmer of that Taito Black Widow or someone involved in the creative process of a game.

 

I really want to thank these collectors and enthusiasts that do bring these rare examples to shows; Doc @ GG who puts these rare birds on the floor for the public to play or the one Supergun mentioned on this topic.

 

I'm bouncing 'round here... but to your last point relating to these unreleased games being fun. I'm more inclined on the history than the gameplay itself. Moreso, if the game did reach the test phase with the accompanying artwork. Taito Black widow is the perfect example here. That's the part for me that trumps the gameplay aspect on some of these prototypes...

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Yep I haunt KLOV regularly :D Got the same avatar there too!

 

God I hope you're right about Bouncer at least being in the hands of a collector, personally I had pretty much written that one off as extinct given all the work Chris at Turbosub.com has done trying with no luck to track one down. I implore the owner if he's out there to PLEASE back those ROMs up if you haven't already and if you don't plan to release them please release some decent video of the game play (even anonymously), us preservation fanatics would be VERY happy to know it still exists! I had heard about the Vertigo but wasn't sure if it was true or not, I make the same plea to him too, though at least it can be said it lives on to some degree with Top Gunner being preserved. 

Ms. Dynamite turning up was a shocker to me, I saw it nonchalantly pass by on camera in one of Jason Arcade's videos and just about fell out of my chair! I was like "WHAT?? WTF??????" before backing up on the video :D

 

Edited by Tornadoboy
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9 hours ago, Jack the gamer 3 said:

How did this go from a marble madness 2 topic to a bouncer topic XD

Since I deemed it so! So nah nah! :P

 

OK seriously, you're right this is starting to turn into a thread hijack, I'll refrain from discussing other games aside from MM.

Edited by Tornadoboy

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