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Is Battlesphere considered part of the official library?

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How did I find out?   On Jaguar Interactive 2 of course!   Well that is where the Jaguar fans hung out back then.

 

But honestly, my story is this:

 

Heard about Battlesphere first through my local Atari user group.  Then found out more information through the Atari ST newsgroup, the Atari 8-bit newsgroup, and by talking to other Atari fans over our weekly chat we had.  

 

I bought Battlesphere and around that time was interviewed by the Dallas Morning News as a person who collected Atari stuff.  My picture was posted on the Technology section front cover, and the Atari Jaguar was on the front cover of the newspaper.  That was when the Jaguar Interactive 2 folk found me hanging around in the chat I used to frequent, and I got to know them at that point. 

 

AND, they told me about the Nuon DVD player/game system coming out at that point.  That was cool.

 

At some point Thunderbird sent me unused Battlesphere cartridge boxes, and labels thanking me for helping put the game on the map.

 

-----

 

Is Battlesphere a part of the original catalog of games?   No.

Is Battlesphere the best Jaguar game?   I think it was creative.  I think it is a good addition to a Jaguar library of games.

 

And that is what l like about Battlesphere.   It was a game where developers long after the hay day said "Well we are going to finish this game anyway" and cranked out hundreds of copies on cart with box and manual.   We cheered them on as they tried to make the encryption happen with their six Jaguars running numbers of months.  That was hilarious.   And with them, Songbird, and Telegames had people telling Jaguar fans "The Jaguar has new games and is still alive!"

 

So I have a fondness for Battlesphere.  Many hours of jaglinked Jaguars as 2 or 4 of me and my friends would play Battlesphere.   I believe we had three Jaguars set up a few times.   Loved it.

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This was a great time to be a Jaguar fan. There was still tons of in-fighting and drama but there was a sense of us VS the world that was so fun and unique to the Jaguar and that time period. I'm sure many of us, myself included, thought Battlesphere was the one game that was too good to be true, that never would materialize. It was certainly a roller coaster watching its development and interacting with 4Play.

 


And that is what l like about Battlesphere.   It was a game where developers long after the hay day said "Well we are going to finish this game anyway" and cranked out hundreds of copies on cart with box and manual.   We cheered them on as they tried to make the encryption happen with their six Jaguars running numbers of months.  That was hilarious.   And with them, Songbird, and Telegames had people telling Jaguar fans "The Jaguar has new games and is still alive!"

 

 

 

Edited by MightyFrog

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I always considered it official since AtariAge gave it a rarity rating instead of an "H." ;)

I'd consider Telegames' releases official, since JTS' Atari "division" was still "supporting" Atari's platforms. Once Hasbro bought everything & released the Jaguar for homebrew development... Things get sticky. I want to say "Yes! Battlesphere is an official release!" But I think the correct answer is "No; it's an early homebrew," or maybe "It's a late prototype completed & released for fans."

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Agreed... It was an original release title before Atari went belly up. The first game to actually crack the Jags encryption before the official Atari encryption key got released to the public and from what I understand, the game actually load faster than the games that used Atari's keys... A milestone few people could do accept they had the keys or a BJL hard wire.

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Im with everyone else and consider the Telegames releases as part of the official Jaguar library. They were advertised in video game magazines of the day and also sold through Electronics Boutique. The first two Telegames releases even came out in late 1996, along with official Atari releases like Defender 2000 and Fight For Life, which came out in early 1996. Wasnt it Iron Soldier 2 and Breakout 2000 that came out in 1996?

If Atari would have hung around a little longer, games like Battlesphere and Skyhammer would have been official releases. Edited by Major Havoc 2049

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Consider this. Just Dance 2019 was released for the Wii, and available at Target. Is it an official release?

I know this is tongue in cheek, but rest assured Ninty is seeing licensing for this.

Assuming JTS was getting something in terms of royalties from Telegames.

Maybe that's a good determining factor? Not sure how that plays into Air Cars. It would exclude Battlesphere though.

Edit: Worms would've been after Hasbro but shown in Telegames magnize adds. Was it in EB retail for sure. That's an interesting one & wasn't on my original TG "in limbo" list.

I know folks dont care for this poster below, but always found this time line informative:

1996 - Fight for Life released.

February 13, 1996 - Atari enters a "reverse merger" with JTS, a maker of computer disk drives. JTS acquires Atari's $50 million, and the Tramiels are able to liquidate their holdings in Atari (per SEC Rule 144). Atari Corp.'s operations are absorbed by JTS; Atari Corp. lives on for tax purposes, allowing for the licensing of game titles and patents. Most of the remaining Atari employees are released.

The closed video game division leaves behind an installed based of 150,000 Jaguar game systems and outstanding title development contracts amounting an estimated $6 to $8 mill. Approx. 20 employees have been laid off, leaving 30 remaining. These too are expected to depart shortly. Layoffs include the entire Interactive division including management, accounting and legal personnel.

Atari, and the Jaguar, essentially "die"...

September 30, 1996 - Area 51 is released. It's the first Co-Jag arcade game to be released.

1996 - The era of the "post Atari death" Jaguar begins for the hardcore, diehard Jaguar fans.

December 9, 1996 - Breakout 2000 released.

December 9, 1996 - Towers II released.

1997 - Iron Soldier 2 (CD) released.

1997 - World Tour Racing released.

1997 - Air Cars released.

1997 - Zero 5 released.

1997 - Iron Solder 2 (Cart) released.

February 23, 1998 - JTS Corporation sells all of its Atari assets to Hasbro Interactive for $5 million in cash.

May 14, 1998 - Hasbro announces that they have released all rights to the Jaguar to the public; independent hobbyists and developers are thus able to develop Jaguar games and peripherals without fear of legal repercussions from Hasbro. (Thunderbird got this done, right? :))

May 15, 1998 - At the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Hasbro officially relaunches Atari as their home video game label, a subdivision of Hasbro Interactive. Updated versions of classic Atari titles like Pong, Missile Command, Star Raiders, and other games for the Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64 were announced.

May 15, 1998 - Worms released.

December 20, 1999 - Protector released with an MSRP of $75

February 7, 2000 - Soccer Kid released with an MSRP of $75

February 29, 2000 - Battlesphere released.

April 10, 2000 - Hyperforce released with an MSRP of $75

May 22, 2000 - Skyhammer released with an MSRP of $80

Edited by Jagosaurus

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That timeline is sure informative, it has sometimes been a headache what is official and what is not. This clears it up pretty much. Even though everyone might not agree, but i mean is that even possible? Just have to do what you feel like.

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Wasn't there some legal condition that JTS had to support the Jaguar as conditions of the purchase? Hence the Telegames releases post JTS but pre Hasbro.

I've read this, but never seen any "proof." This would make those in that window official, along with retail store availability component.

Imagine TG was sitting on Worms to avoid licensing with some inside knowledge :). No way those dates are a coincidence.

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Atari, had a deal with Telegames for the final 6 release, I dont know that Atari got royalties, or more say, had completed games, handed them over for free, to say that they were still supporting the Jag.

In order to get the reverse merger to go thru, Atari claimed they were going to continue to support the Atari company and not fold completely, and this was to show they were still in the video game buisness last ditch effort, to get it legally passed and not get in to much trouble from Atari stock owners and the government, as soon as the paperwork was signed. Atari folded, then sold to Hasbro.



Bring that Telegames didnt have to find way around the system, and they were liscenced they are official games.

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Nice info Pete. Any truth to the US TG warehouse burning down? Bringing down other completed Jag games? Brain Games rumored to be one. We may getting into Lost Dragon's territory there :)

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I think I heard about it through rev.games.video.atari (USENET newsgroup) or maybe thru a forum like "Jagu-Dome." As I recall, it was $80 (not $160) and one to a customer, but I don't have the email.

 

I bought two copies in the first run.  My recollection is $70-80 each.  Before release, updates were posted on usenet.  I don't recall how we "committed" to buying.

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Nice info Pete. Any truth to the US TG warehouse burning down? Bringing down other completed Jag games? Brain Games rumored to be one. We may getting into Lost Dragon's territory there icon_smile.gif

 

Telegame's warehouse was hit by a tornado is what actually happened.  They liquidated a lot of damaged merchandise and you could find Qix, Double Dragon, and Shadow of the Beast for the Lynx all over the place in the Dallas area.

 

The  alpha/beta to Brain Games was eventually found and released on Jaguar Sector 2 when they were around.

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I have an ABS file for Brain Games in my Jag folder. I don't think I have ever tried to play it though. :ponder:

 

Mitch

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I mean.. unless we're counting owning the boards for SkyCopter and Speedster as games.

 

I am sad to tell you that I have played many more rounds of Speedster II than BS:G.  :D

 

Yes, I own a "real" copy of BS:G. and it was actually much more difficult to get an original Speedster II .  And, BS:G was, for that matter, cheaper, as I got BS:G in its 2002 run, and had to hunt for Speedster II for what seemed like ages.

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I just wanted to thank the Jag community for sharing your input on this wonderful console.   I have a soft spot for the Jaguar because I feel it is underappreciated.  It makes me smile to see all the wonderful aftermarket development thriving.  

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Nice info Pete. Any truth to the US TG warehouse burning down? Bringing down other completed Jag games? Brain Games rumored to be one. We may getting into Lost Dragon's territory there :)


Not really my territory these days (not that it ever was, i just passed along the misc information i stumbled across) Jenovi is the man doing the buisness these days.

I remember RetroGamer magazine doing a company profile big feature on Telegames and the Tornado destroying stocks of unreleased games being referenced at least twice in the article, but it failed to detail which games on which formats.


It was not until Scott Stilphen kindly passed on the Telegames documents (faxes, memos etc) that i learnt more on Ultimate Brain Games and the real story behind Jaguar James Pond III etc.

Eternally grateful for him sharing the information so the community could benifit.
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