Jump to content
coleco82

My Atari 2600 story

Recommended Posts

I wanted to share my Atari 2600 story even since I joined atariage several years ago.

 

I was born in 1982. My parents and I were just finishing dinner at the old house we lived in at the time. My mom turns to me said said "close your eyes and hold out your hands coleco82, I have a surprise for you." I opened my eyes to a heavy plastic bag filled with 20 Atari 2600 games. I should point out that this was 1987. My moms coworker at the hospital she worked at gave her a bunch of Atari 2600 games because her son recently bought a Nintendo ( early 1987). My dad said, look under our bed in the bedroom and look under the bed, you will see your surprise."

 

I looked under my parents bed and saw a maroon colored box with the words Atari 2600 on it. I eagerly pulled out this box and inside was a shiny, new Atari 2600 jr, complete with the rainbow stripe and the plastic buttons. The box had the rf switch box and a joystick and I think combat but I am not sure. I don't know what game would have been the pack in for the Atari 2600 Jr, in 1987.

 

 

I asked my dad to help hook it up because I was too excited and did not learn how to hook up the rf switch box. I knew at the time Nintendo had been out and everyone was going nuts for it but I didn't care. My first video game console was the Atari 2600 Jr. I sat down with my bag of 20 games, my memory is a bit hazy but I will try to remember what I had:

 

ET

 

Berzerk

 

asteroids

 

missile command

 

defender

 

galaxian

 

pac man

 

ms pac man

 

adventure

 

bowling

 

space invaders

 

yars revenge

 

video pinball

 

mouse trap

 

donkey kong

 

smurf rescue in gargamels castle

 

Eventually, I figured out how to hook up the Atari 2600 jr switch box so my dad would stop grumbling about it. I was an only child so the 2 player only games were out for me. As a kid, I could play these games for hours and get good at them. The best part was being able to get good at the 2600 versions at home and master the arcade versions. I remembered reading through the red colored Atari catalog and wondering what was coming next. I often though the games should get better with time and they did. Once activision, imagic, and parker bros started, it was awesome to be a Atari kid.

 

 

Well I hope that was at least fun to read even if it was not entertaining lol.

 

Have a good day everyone

 

Coleco82.

 

 

  • Like 15

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heres my Atari story if anyones interested. Before owning my own, I remember the ads on tv, which would fill me with more yearning than my boyhood day dreams of being married to Victoria Principal and thats saying something. Such was the allure of the Atari VCS. Sadly, as I wasnt even a teen yet and lived in England, I knew I had about as much chance of marrying Victoria Principal as I had of my dad buying me an Atari so like a good, English person, I repressed my feelings and resigned myself to an Atari free childhood. A few years went by, which as a late forties adult, felt like a few decades do now. In that time, my only brush with an Atari was seeing a son of one of my dads friends playing Space Invaders on the Atari he just got for Christmas. I watched the screen utterly transfixed, thinking it was the most awesome thing I had ever seen. Hey, it was the 80s. Dont laugh. I wanted to ask my dad for one so much but Christmas had already gone by and at that time, I never got anything I asked for anyway. My dad was a strong believer that presents should be a surprise so if you got what you asked for, there was no surprise. His logic, not mine. By 1983, my parents seemed to be moving up in the world. We went from a rented council house, to a new, bought house in a village and then an even nicer house in a posh suburb. I was also turning 14 and so by then, I had the courage to ask for an Atari for my birthday. It took a LOT of persuading, I can tell you and with help from my now dearly departed mum, my dad finally relented. I couldnt believe my luck. I was finally getting one and for my birthday no less, when this was something that would usually be considered far too extravagant for Christmas, let alone a mere birthday. Not only was I able to persuade my dad to get me an Atari VCS but 1 extra game too! I perused catalogues with shaking hands, feverishly trying to decide which game I wanted most. There were so many I wanted. I eventually decided upon Yars Revenge and so with the pack in game of Combat, those were my first two games. Not long after, I purchased a 3rd game with birthday money from relatives. I remember being in the store with Defender in one hand and Missile Command in the other, agonizing over which one to buy. After trying the salespersons patience and feeling the pressure to make a decision, I went for Missile Command, one of the few times in life where I feel I made the right choice. Anyway, this is going on for too long and most of you have probably given up by now so I will try to wrap it up. After an all too brief love affair with my Atari, I was lured into selling it and purchasing a home computer instead with the promise of much cheaper games and, naughty naughty, free games copied off friends. Fast forward many years of mostly not gaming, I rediscovered the joy of videogames 8 years ago, when I turned 40. I was blown away at how sophisticated they had become and never believed that I would ever be interested in retro gaming. But having gotten used to modern games the novelty was wearing off and they no longer wowed me the way they did at first. I started yearning for a simpler gaming experience. One December evening last year, I was dwelling on the regret of having sold my Atari, a minor regret as far as regrets go but a regret nonetheless and one Ive had for a long time now, I decided to look at the games online and discovered that many consoles and games are still available and you can get custom boxes and homebrews, which I previously thought was just to do with beer and omg, my mind was blown and I was that excited child, yearning for an Atari all over again. I got one and many games, although after an initial gift of five games to myself for Christmas, I am rationing myself, ensuring that each game gets the time and attention they deserve. Much to the chagrin of my wife, I also had to get a crt tv after hooking it up to my mancave hdtv and being dismayed at the garbage picture. So here I am, a proud Atari owner once again and unlike my teenage self, this time its for life.

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Atari story is a good one, but with some frustration. I was born in 1958 but embraced the video game boom of the early 80's quite enthusiastically. I would spend hours at the arcade playing Space Invaders, Pacman and Phoenix. I loved Space Invaders and kept bugging my wife to get this Atari thing so I can play at home and not spend money at the arcade. We just got married in 1979 and were the typical struggling young couple, so her answer was always "no" because she felt we couldn't afford the expense. But one day I asked again, and this time she said "okay." So we rushed down to our local high end department store and got a light sixer and picked up Space Invaders with it. We brought it home, hooked it up and played Space Invaders for hours. Poor Combat just sat there in the box. But a few weeks went by and I started to grow a small collection of games. Black Jack, Missile Command, Circus (my wife loved that game at the arcade) and a few others. Then one day, my friend was over and we planned on going head to head with more Space Invaders. We put in the cart, turned on the game and to my surprise the player two sprite kept firing on it's own one shot after another. It wasn't the controller, it was the console. So I called my local Sears store, explained to them that I did not buy it there, but it needed fixing, and can they do it. They said "sure" so I took it there. It was hard to let it go, but I had to do it. They took it in, gave me a tag and that was the last I saw of that light sixer. You see...they lost it. It was gone for a couple of months and I was in agony. But Sears kept giving me excuse after excuse blaming Atari for the delays. So I got ballsy and called Atari directly. I gave them the number on my tag. After a few minutes they informed me that whole load of games to be fixed never arrived there. They said Sears accepted the fact that they lost the shipment and they were working out something. But she told me to contact Sears and tell them that I spoke with them and they should send me a replacement. When I called Sears and told her I spoke to Atari directly, the girl at Sears covered the phone and "whispered" to her co worker "I DON'T BELIEVE IT...THIS GUY CALLED ATARI!" They continued to blame Atari for the screw up and told me that Atari would have to solve the issue. I told them Atari insisted Sears give me a replacement and they refused. So after another couple of months of arguing with Sears, they finally took responsibility and gave me a Sears Telegame system to replace the Atari. I raced home, hooked it up and was back into my Atari bliss playing more Space Invaders and anything else I picked up at the time. When I got the new Nintendo Entertainment System, I retired the Telegame and didn't think about it for a while. But then I found Atari Age, started reading the posts and decided to dig it out again. But there was a problem...the right difficulty switch didn't work and was stuck in the difficult mode. So I bought a heavy sixer off eBay and a Darth Vader and now I enjoy myself playing my old games again. I guess I'm hooked.

Edited by kennetzel
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It has happened again. All my apostrophes have disappeared. Only on atariage does this happen. Why does this happen?

 

What web browser / OS are you using?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

What web browser / OS are you using?

Ive also seen my apostrophes disappear. Im using my iPhone, iOS 11.2.6. Using safari on the mobile version of the site.

 

Edit: in fact it just did it on this post for Ive

Edited by nick3092

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've turned it off and...

 

Edit: it worked. Odd, never even knew of that setting. But happy it's working properly. Thanks!

Edited by nick3092
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apostrophes notwithstanding, it would be nice to see a bit more use of the 'Enter' key, to avoid those monolithic walls of text.

 

Having said that, I've also had issues with my apostrophes being eaten. It happens after clicking the 'Post' button, so there's no way to know for sure if it's going to occur beforehand. I'm using Firefox on Mint.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll throw mine up here....I'll try my damnedest to keep it brief. Also reading the 2-year old watching Atari thread reminded me of some really old memories.......

 

I was born in 83'. The crash had already happened, but during those early "poor" years, we did have one piece of digital entertainment - a series of various 2600's including one Gemini (which to this day my mom swears up and down was a Colecovision - I'll reveal why I argue that later), and we usually got them for $20-50 in some box with a pile of cartridges, allowing us to amass around 46 carts total by the time I actually got into playing. Saturday mornings with pancakes and watching my older sister's play Atari games. Space invaders, Adventure, Pitfall, and Super Breakout were favorites. I can very vaguely recall enjoy watching them and trying to play Pitfall myself sometime around age 3.

 

After about 4-5 of these units we decided they just could not take all the hard use the family dished out, so we just stopped getting them. We moved down south, but by about age 8 after all the kids at school pestering me about getting a Nintendo and being told they are too expensive. Somehow I was smart enough at 8 to comprehend that if the Nintendo was the "NEW" thing, then Atari was the "OLD" thing and therefore would be cheaper on my parents. So I asked for an Atari 2600 for christmas in 89' after finding the games and manuals in a Smith Corona typewriter box in our bedroom closet. Well, mom somehow sourced one through the hospital she worked at and lo and behold - I now had my first console, a circa 1980-1981 4-switch woodgrain with about 12 or so more games.

 

For the next year we would go to Peachtree mall and to the Auburn Mall and grab new games all the time for $1-$5 new in box - this was around 1990-1991. Sea Hawk became a new favorite, as did Keystone Kapers and California Games (which I enjoyed because our cats would try to catch the little BMX guy, upping the hilarity). But by mid 1991, the 2600 would no longer work, so it and the games were scrapped. I moved onto a NES the following Christmas.

 

Skip ahead to 1996 - that's where I started game collecting, thanks to the ealry internet. My sisters, being about 7-10 years my senior, were going ot Auburn University, and one of them got an upgrade to a Pentium 100 PC running Windows 95, and of course, a 14.4K internal modem and Netscape Navigator. So the first day I'm getting to use this interesting new technology, I'm introduced to Yahoo! - and what's the first thing I look up.....Atari 2600. For the next six or so months, I would visit the 2600 connection page (with cute girls (big grin)), Sidartha's 2600 page, I downloaded Indentur and Stella......I fell for Atari again, and then bought my 2nd Atari, a short stripe Jr. with a bent up panel, and Combat and E.T. from some guy named Joseph online - my first ever online purchase. By 8th grade I was walking the town myself, combing thrift shops for Atari systems and games, amassing quite a large collection by the time I turned 18. I also had friends in school who sold me old carts they found at their house and whatnot - a lot of which I still own to this day. It was not unusual for me to come home from school with a backpack full of Atari stuff.

 

During that time I also used to sneak into the AU library and print out huge printouts of rarity lists and things on programming the 2600 and even the Stella Programmers guide on those old Okidata dot matrix printers. Many an afternoon was spent scanning over hard-copies of internet-begotten Atari literature at the bar of Cheeburger Cheeburger.

 

At my greatest, I had a Heavy Sixer, I think the empty case is still in my childhood bedroom closet after a copy of Ms. Pac-Man fried it. Game-wise, I amassed about 480 cartridges total by age 32, when I sold a large chunk of them at Half-Price books for almost a grand to help pay medical expenses, not a big loss since all of what went were games that never got played anyway. I'm sure they have a good home where they get played now. It was by that point I decided to pare down and just focus on the games I'd like to play rather than collecting everything. I already have all my "Holy Grails" and a nice light sixer Telegames to play them on, plus a nice variety of controllers. Probably my most prized title though was the copy of PItfall II I found for $10 at a thrift shop while finding cool stuff for decor at the wedding with my wife. That's kind of when I feel my aquisition syndrome for Atari ended.

Edited by Mad-Mike
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ET

 

Berzerk

 

asteroids

 

missile command

 

defender

 

galaxian

 

pac man

 

ms pac man

 

adventure

 

bowling

 

space invaders

 

yars revenge

 

video pinball

 

mouse trap

 

donkey kong

 

smurf rescue in gargamels castle

 

 

 

With the exception of ET they are all really good 2600 games. I find it weird there are no Activision or imagic games, there are a couple Coleco releases though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atari was my first computer. These were times when very few children had such toys. The children from the neighborhood came to us and played for hours. I remember him with great sentiment

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I told MY Atari 2600 story, (purely because of how I had gone about it back in the day),everyone here would fall off their chairs laughing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I told MY Atari 2600 story, (purely because of how I had gone about it back in the day),everyone here would fall off their chairs laughing

Oh please do, I so want to hear it now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heres my Atari story if anyones interested. Before owning my own, I remember the ads on the Internet, which would fill me with more yearning than my boyhood day dreams of being married to Rupaul and thats saying something. Such was the allure of the Atari VCS. Sadly, as I wasnt even a teen yet and lived in Afghanistan, I knew I had about as much chance of marrying Rupaul as I had of my pappy buying me an Atari so like a good, Afghan person, I repressed my feelings and resigned myself to an Atari free childhood. A few years went by, which as a late forties adult, felt like a few decades do now. In that time, my only brush with an Atari was seeing a son of one of my pappys friends playing Space Invaders on the Atari he just got for Labor Day. I watched the screen utterly transfixed, thinking it was the most awesome thing I had ever seen. Hey, it was the 80s. Dont laugh. I wanted to ask my pappy for one so much but Flag Day had already gone by and at that time, I never got anything I asked for anyway. My pappy was a strong believer that presents should be a surprise so if you got what you asked for, there was no surprise. His logic, not mine. By 1983, my parents seemed to be moving up in the world. We went from a rented mansion, to a new, bought clay hut in a village and then an even nicer igloo in a posh city. I was also turning eleventeen and so by then, I had the courage to ask for an Atari for my bar mitzvah. It took a LOT of persuading, I can tell you and with help from my now dearly departed mum, my pappy finally relented after I got him drunk one night playing beer pong. I couldnt believe my luck. I was finally getting one and for my bar mitzvah no less, when this was something that would usually be considered far too extravagant for Halloween, let alone a mere bar mitzvah. Not only was I able to persuade my pappy to get me an Atari VCS but 1 extra game too! I perused Penthouse magazines with shaking hands, feverishly trying to decide which game I wanted most. There were so many I wanted. I eventually decided upon 3D Tic Tac Toe and so with the pack in game of Combat, those were my first two games. Not long after, I purchased a 3rd game with bar mitzvah money from members of the Black Panthers. I remember being in the store with my dink in one hand and a Playgirl in the other, agonizing over which one to buy. After trying the salespersons patience and feeling the pressure to make a decision, I went for Playgirl, one of the few times in life where I feel I made the right choice. Anyway, this is going on for too long and most of you have probably given up by now so I will try to wrap it up. THE END.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I told MY Atari 2600 story, (purely because of how I had gone about it back in the day),everyone here would fall off their chairs laughing

 

We promise we won't laugh... :lolblue:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, you asked for it,

When I was at Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia Pennsylvania in 1981, I had gotten my FIRST taste of Atari on a 6 switch unit that was used for rehabilitative purposes to hone and sharpen patients' reflexes and hand-eye coordination. Not long afterward my sisters and I started spending Summer vacations with our Dad, when we spent the SECOND Summer with him he had gotten a 4 switch Atari console, of course when we would return home to our Mom's house after vacation we had no Atari there and I didn't find it FAIR. Well I decided that I would bug the HECK outta my Dad for as long as it took and I kept it up every weekend and holiday for a solid YEAR. Well we had this friend that lived up the street from us named Sherry, she would bring over her Atari and we'd play Frogger and Ms. Pac-Man and Jungle Hunt and other games she had. Her Atari was just like the one Dad had and she would bring it over whenever she came over to hang with us, well on one such day during a weekend our Dad came over and he knocked on the door, Mom let him in and he saw we were playing Sherry's Atari. He gives her a very stern look and says to her while pointing at her "YOU, unhook your Atari NOW" she looks at him and says "But......." Dad says "No BUT, don't argue with me, I said unhook it NOW!" She did as she was told all the while looking like the proverbial deer caught in the headlights.

He then walked outside and we thought he was MAD and apparently so did Sherry, he came back in with a Lionel Kiddie City bag and sat it on the floor, he pulled out a silver box containing a brand new sleek looking all black Atari which was pictured on the box, this Atari had TWO pack in games, Pac-Man and COMBAT (see attached photo, yes I still have the box as beat up as it is), he also bought a two more games, Space War and Bowling so at that time we had a choice of 4 games to play at least until Christmas, he hooked the Atari up and adjusted the color, then he tested the sticks. We had a SINGLE set of paddles but no paddle games YET, but seeing the look on Sherry's face when she thought Dad was mad was all too priceless and I had busted out laughing when I saw it because until Dad brought the box in she REALLY thought she was in trouble. But if it hadn't been for my full year of NAGGING at Dad we may never have gotten that Atari.

We got that one in 1982 and eventually that Atari went bad and for a while we had none again, at least for 4 years. By this time Mom had moved me and one of my sisters to Delaware while the other stayed behind, it was now 1986 and Dad had picked me and my sister Gail up from the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal and we were on our way to his house, he said to us, "I have a surprise, ONE of you has gotten the most expensive gift of ANYONE else in the house" Well until Christmas came me and my sisters were bickering over who got that gift. Christmas Day finally came and we opened all the gifts except for the single one that remained under the tree. Dad went and got it, he held it out first to my stepsister Amy and she reached for it, then he backed away from her, he then held it out to my sister Maryann and again she reached out and he pulled back again. He then held it out to my sister Gail and the same thing happened over again. Then he set the present down in front of ME, at first I didn't move, but then he nodded toward the box and I unwrapped it to find a brick red box containing a SMALLER version of the Atari 2600 with a much sleeker design, no pack-in game and all the hookups and a SINGLE joystick.

I was in total disbelief, what had I done to deserve such a special expensive gift? By this time the all back 2600 Dad got us BEFORE was history because somehow the inner circuitry had become moldy because we temporarily had to store it in the attic, so that's how this one the smaller one came into play, the difference was THIS one was MINE and I had the say who used it and who didn't. I DID share it with my sister Gail when we got back to Delaware, and I had no problem doing that because she was 1 of 3 siblings I got along with the best but the only 1 of the other FOUR that I spent ANY time with back in those days due to not having very many friends. Those 2 stories hold many fond memories for me, in fact after Dad got us the FIRST Atari, there were some Atari related tricks and pranks played on me the following year both on my birthday AND Christmas and I'll tell those stories if anyone wants to hear those, I would tell them here but THIS story is already long-winded as it is.

Well? Opinions?

<script> </script>

<script> </script>

post-2131-0-01504500-1525700739_thumb.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh please do, I so want to hear it now.

Story just above this reply my friend :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Atari story is a good one, but with some frustration. I was born in 1958 but embraced the video game boom of the early 80's quite enthusiastically. I would spend hours at the arcade playing Space Invaders, Pacman and Phoenix. I loved Space Invaders and kept bugging my wife to get this Atari thing so I can play at home and not spend money at the arcade. We just got married in 1979 and were the typical struggling young couple, so her answer was always "no" because she felt we couldn't afford the expense. But one day I asked again, and this time she said "okay." So we rushed down to our local high end department store and got a light sixer and picked up Space Invaders with it. We brought it home, hooked it up and played Space Invaders for hours. Poor Combat just sat there in the box. But a few weeks went by and I started to grow a small collection of games. Black Jack, Missile Command, Circus (my wife loved that game at the arcade) and a few others. Then one day, my friend was over and we planned on going head to head with more Space Invaders. We put in the cart, turned on the game and to my surprise the player two sprite kept firing on it's own one shot after another. It wasn't the controller, it was the console. So I called my local Sears store, explained to them that I did not buy it there, but it needed fixing, and can they do it. They said "sure" so I took it there. It was hard to let it go, but I had to do it. They took it in, gave me a tag and that was the last I saw of that light sixer. You see...they lost it. It was gone for a couple of months and I was in agony. But Sears kept giving me excuse after excuse blaming Atari for the delays. So I got ballsy and called Atari directly. I gave them the number on my tag. After a few minutes they informed me that whole load of games to be fixed never arrived there. They said Sears accepted the fact that they lost the shipment and they were working out something. But she told me to contact Sears and tell them that I spoke with them and they should send me a replacement. When I called Sears and told her I spoke to Atari directly, the girl at Sears covered the phone and "whispered" to her co worker "I DON'T BELIEVE IT...THIS GUY CALLED ATARI!" They continued to blame Atari for the screw up and told me that Atari would have to solve the issue. I told them Atari insisted Sears give me a replacement and they refused. So after another couple of months of arguing with Sears, they finally took responsibility and gave me a Sears Telegame system to replace the Atari. I raced home, hooked it up and was back into my Atari bliss playing more Space Invaders and anything else I picked up at the time. When I got the new Nintendo Entertainment System, I retired the Telegame and didn't think about it for a while. But then I found Atari Age, started reading the posts and decided to dig it out again. But there was a problem...the right difficulty switch didn't work and was stuck in the difficult mode. So I bought a heavy sixer off eBay and a Darth Vader and now I enjoy myself playing my old games again. I guess I'm hooked.

If indeed you still have your Telegames unit, I'd be glad to see if I can get that difficulty switch unstuck for you, I've been itching for some repair work

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...