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sixersfan105

Midnite Mason: Software Specialties (1984) vs. DataBiotics (1987)?

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Looking for some info on the little-discussed Midnite Mason. Based on the little info I have come across, it would appear that Software Specialties originally released it in 1984, and then DataBiotics re-released it via mail order in 1987. 

 

I am discussing the purchase of what appears to be cart + manual of the 1984 version. Neither the seller nor I have much to work with, but I'm curious if anyone here has any insight. Here are pics he provided to me. Is this the original version? Are carts from this run harder to find than the DataBiotics version three years later? Is this even an "official" version? The cart label looks like paper.

 

Thanks for any info you can offer!

5B8AA948-9E40-4E01-9CF4-ADA9191FB183.jpeg

F7B17F17-A299-4125-9BD6-23A178366653.jpeg

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If you get it, I for one would appreciate a nice scan of that manual.  As @adamantyr said, the Databiotics one is just terrible.

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Ooh, indeed, I'd love to see this manual as well.  First of all, because I love manual art in general.  But more principally, because the mail order Databiotics Midnight Mason (so spelt on my 1987 cart) was one of my childhood favourites, and I practically never hear it mentioned.  Got it via mail order as mentioned, along with QMAZE, Black Hole and Barrage (all from Databiotics), at the time. All of course with the trash quality Databiotics physical production values.

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Thanks for the replies. So we think this is legit? So far the seller hasn't given a price, just that he can't find out any info on it. It came in a TI lot that he picked up. 

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@Ksarul would likely be best to answer the question of authenticity.  I have little reason to doubt it but I am also not an expert.  This is by far one of my favorite games, which I mowed yards to buy in its DataBioTics form from Triton.

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17 hours ago, OLD CS1 said:

@Ksarul would likely be best to answer the question of authenticity.  I have little reason to doubt it but I am also not an expert.  This is by far one of my favorite games, which I mowed yards to buy in its DataBioTics form from Triton.

I also will step in to confirm the authenticity of this cartridge. I have one, and the manual and label all look correct. It most certainly is a rare find, harder to find than the DBT version, which in itself is not that easy to find. So you have a pretty good one here!

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Thank you. This is all very helpful! Hard to put a value on it but I will let you know how negotiations go and will report back if I get it!

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17 hours ago, OLD CS1 said:

If you get it, I for one would appreciate a nice scan of that manual.  As @adamantyr said, the Databiotics one is just terrible.

Agreed, I've never seen that one, and some people would rather have a copy of the original than the << homebrew manual >>, myself included.

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15 minutes ago, --- Ω --- said:

Agreed, I've never seen that one, and some people would rather have a copy of the original than the << homebrew manual >>, myself included.

I'd be happy to scan the manual if and when I get it, but it sounds like @Toucan already has it, so perhaps he wouldn't mind uploading? Cheers. 

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This is definitely an original, as I have one of these too. IIRC, Software Specialties only did a small test run of the cartridges before they abandoned the effort to release it on their own. The one being sold here is the fifth one I have ever seen. Definitely a major score for a hardcore collector--but for those just looking for an original copy of the game, the DataBioTics release is much more reasonable/attainable.

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2 hours ago, Toucan said:

I also will step in to confirm the authenticity of this cartridge. I have one, and the manual and label all look correct. It most certainly is a rare find, harder to find than the DBT version, which in itself is not that easy to find. So you have a pretty good one here!

You lurk so much sometimes I forget you are 'round these here parts ;)

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1 hour ago, sixersfan105 said:

I wound up getting it for $60 shipped, including a TI Frogger manual, too. Certainly not cheap but seemed fair. 

I'd have paid that in a heartbeat.  Well done.

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A definite score at that price. That's at the low end of what I would have expected to pay for it--but definitely in the expected price range.

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4 hours ago, Ksarul said:

A definite score at that price. That's at the low end of what I would have expected to pay for it--but definitely in the expected price range.

Thanks. You mentioned this being the fifth one you've seen. Any idea how small of a run Software Specialties did? And what happened after that? They just sat on it until they reached a distribution deal with DataBioTics three years later in 1987?

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