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Star Raiders release date

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According to the report by Ted Nelson on page 34 in the June 1980 issue of Creative Computing, an Atari computer running Star Raiders was shown by Ludwig Braun at an "education-and-computers" conference in September 1979. I have been seeking corroboration of that event, or to even identify what conference that would have been, for years. Who can help?

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Maybe Creative Computing, Compute! or Byte from around that time?

Or education journals.

 

Problem is, stuff like that was barely a footnote at the time but has historical significance now.

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While browsing my game stuff I found a weird manual for Star Raiders, which states "Cassette" version for the Atari XE Game System. Please find photos of the manual attached. I was not aware there was a cassette version by Atari. The manual explicitly gives loading instructions for XC12, so there is no spelling mistake on the manual. Has anyone ever seen the tape itself and perhaps the box?

post-42275-0-41376800-1540982224_thumb.jpg

post-42275-0-09925500-1540982233_thumb.jpg

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I've known it to be listed on Atarimania for some time.

I thought I had a copy but seems I don't.

 

The point of interest is that in theory since the game is 8K and only needs 8K RAM it could have easily been made to run on a 16K machine but I suspect they probably just modified the image slightly (I think there's some self-destruct code in there) to run from Ram @ $A000.

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While browsing my game stuff I found a weird manual for Star Raiders, which states "Cassette" version for the Atari XE Game System. Please find photos of the manual attached. I was not aware there was a cassette version by Atari. The manual explicitly gives loading instructions for XC12, so there is no spelling mistake on the manual. Has anyone ever seen the tape itself and perhaps the box?

 

It was a European release, which you can see about here: Atari 8-Bit Software Preservation - Star Raiders (Cassette)

 

post-6369-0-11122800-1540996948.jpg post-6369-0-75982900-1540996953.jpg

 

 

You can get the cassette image from the Atari 8-Bit Software Preservation torrent.

 

post-6369-0-12162400-1540996964_thumb.png

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I have just opened my Star Raiders cartridge :)

 

The mfg date codes on your roms = Week 35 1982, Week 39, 1982... Where's my darn cart.....

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While browsing my game stuff I found a weird manual for Star Raiders, which states "Cassette" version for the Atari XE Game System. Please find photos of the manual attached. I was not aware there was a cassette version by Atari. The manual explicitly gives loading instructions for XC12, so there is no spelling mistake on the manual. Has anyone ever seen the tape itself and perhaps the box?

 

The funny thing is, that this manual came with a Star Raiders cartridge ! In 1986 Atari re-released Star Raiders on cartridge, the carts (old 400/800 case with Warner Bros. on the backside) got a silver XL-label, a 400/800 package in A5 size and this XE-style manual. In other words, Atari recycled whatever they could, because they still had tons of Star Raiders ROMS laying around. The XE-style manual (for the Star Raiders cassette) got a single page add-on, that explained how to load the cartridge... ;-)

 

You can see the cart. with silver XL-label on the right here (under Cartridge), as well as the small A5 size package with a yellow sticker which says "Also plays on XE game system and XE/XL computers"... (and the manual you found was included with this 1986 cart. with silver label)... http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-star-raiders_4992.html

Edited by CharlieChaplin
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I may as well ask the question of -

Does the 400/800 Cart of Star Raiders works fine on the XL and XE Atari computers?

 

I recall that the pirated ROM of Star Raiders wouldn't work on the XLs - and wondered if the carts likewise didn't work as well?

 

It does sound a bit strange Atari releasing Star Raiders on cassette tape. Did it provide other ROM titles on tape too?

 

Harvey

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I may as well ask the question of -

Does the 400/800 Cart of Star Raiders works fine on the XL and XE Atari computers?

 

I recall that the pirated ROM of Star Raiders wouldn't work on the XLs - and wondered if the carts likewise didn't work as well?

 

It does sound a bit strange Atari releasing Star Raiders on cassette tape. Did it provide other ROM titles on tape too?

 

Harvey

I've got an original Star Raiders cart and it plays just fine on both my XL and XE system.

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Wellllll,

 

if you happen to have one or more Star Raiders carts, plug it in and press Control-G for the galactic map to appear. Think I have had half a dozen or so SR carts , where Control-G just brought garbage on the screen - so it looks like some SR ROMs are buggy. Demonstrated this to Mr. Atari and he found out, that he also had at least one SR cart with this (not so nice) bug. The two carts. I do own now (old cart. from 1979 and newer 1986 cart. with silver label) do not have this Control-G bug...

 

When playing SR on my PAL 800XL, it happened to me several times, that after a fight with the Zylons I lost both the long range (or short range?) scanner and the onboard computer. My ship was full of energy, but without LR/SR scanners and onboard computer it was impossible to locate the star bases (to repair the scanners and onboard computer) or klingon ships (to fight them) or make succesful hyper-warps, so at this point the game became senseless. Several AA members from the US reported to me that it normally does not happen to lose both the scanners and onboard computer in a fight, so maybe it is a PAL problem or XL-OS problem ?!?

Edited by CharlieChaplin

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Just G on it's own brings up the map. AFAIK there's no requirement for Shift or Ctrl for any SR commands.

 

As to the keymapping, my impression is that it's done internally without reliance on the OS. But yeah, there might be different or buggy Rom revisions - just look at the label mistake, I have one of the errant "Star Raider" carts here. And look at Atari's track record for rush ordering thousands of Roms that shouldn't have exited the Beta state.

Edited by Rybags

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I think we had a thread about it some years ago, and likely before I got my cart.

My theory was/is the usual Atari oversight of an error or bug and someone ordering a huge production run that then has to go out despite the faults.

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According to the report by Ted Nelson on page 34 in the June 1980 issue of Creative Computing, an Atari computer running Star Raiders was shown by Ludwig Braun at an "education-and-computers" conference in September 1979. I have been seeking corroboration of that event, or to even identify what conference that would have been, for years. Who can help?

 

Other than the month being off (November, instead of September as reported), this one seems rather plausible:

 

"Science and Math Education Through the New Information Technologies" November 8-9, Tarrytown NY, sponsored by Wicat, Inc.

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a number of events clustered at the time but that looks to be the one, good search fu hunmanik! Now you have more terms from the column to search for even more information.

Edited by _The Doctor__

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Another find. Tomzcyk writes in his book Home Computer Wars (page 1): "It was November [1979] and we were doing some graphics work for an Atari designer named Bill Hamlin. One day he gave us a new computer and a new game cartridge called Star Raiders and asked us to try them out. We didn't know it, but we had become an unofficial beta-test site. Remember, this was several months before the Atari 800 and Star Raiders were on sale to the public. Even dealers didn't have them yet." To me that sounds like the game was not released before 1980. More opinions?

 

I think you're probably right. I think most people say 1979, because that's the copyright year. Of course, Atari would've copyrighted (copywrote?) the name way back before it was actually finished or released. Anyway, I may be wrong, but I think that is why we see a lot of people referring to a 1979 release date.

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