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Tempest

Atarisoft Ms. Pac-Man Prototype

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All this talk about prototypes reminded me of something I had heard about years ago.  Is it true that someone found a prototype of Ms. Pac-Man by Atarisoft?  I remember hearing that it only had one level, no collision detection with the ghosts, and crashed when you picked up the prize.  Is this true or is it just some wacky rumor?

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Not a rumor.  I'm pretty sure one of the original Atarisoft programmers (Matt Householder) has or at least had a copy of it.  He's a member here.  If I remember correctly, the only prototype is stuck in debug mode and is not playable.

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What about the supposed Missile Command prototype that only had the title screen?

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5 hours ago, youki said:

is there screenshot or video of it somewhere?

Not that I'm aware of.

2 hours ago, Tempest said:

What about the supposed Missile Command prototype that only had the title screen?

This has been mentioned numerous times over the years but I've personally never seen any proof that it exists and it was not mentioned here as one of the titles being worked on at Atari.

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While we’re on the Atarisoft ColecoVision subject, was another build of the joust proto ever found with the sound programmed? I know that one of the aftermarket/Homebrew publishers has a joust with sound, but, it’s unclear as to wether or not a legit proto surfaced (and that’s where it came from) or if they merely programmed the sound for it themselves.

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54 minutes ago, Supergun said:

While we’re on the Atarisoft ColecoVision subject, was another build of the joust proto ever found with the sound programmed? I know that one of the aftermarket/Homebrew publishers has a joust with sound, but, it’s unclear as to wether or not a legit proto surfaced (and that’s where it came from) or if they merely programmed the sound for it themselves.

Seems there was a proto with sound....

20210122_211451.jpg

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14 hours ago, Supergun said:

While we’re on the Atarisoft ColecoVision subject, was another build of the joust proto ever found with the sound programmed? I know that one of the aftermarket/Homebrew publishers has a joust with sound, but, it’s unclear as to wether or not a legit proto surfaced (and that’s where it came from) or if they merely programmed the sound for it themselves.

I thought a proto WITH the sound had finally been found, but I might be thinking of the homebrew.  I know we had the proto without sound and the separate sound code for years.

 

If there's a rom out there with sound and/or a title screen I don't have it.  My rom is soundless and has no title screen.

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Agreed. My Joust cartridge (which I acquired from Sean Kelly in person like 20 years ago) is without sound. And I would very much like to upgrade it by replacing the eprom with the version with sound.

 

That rom should be readily available then. (no different then say any of the other authentic protos from the systems original lifespan). No reason it should fall under the umbrella of a “Homebrew” release.

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I was the one that talked to Sean Kelly in his store some 6-7 years ago about Joust. At the time, I knew he possessed the sound code for Joust and recommended that he contact Pixelboy to see if they could work something out concerning merging the sound code into the "no sound proto". I was under the impression that this is how the Team Pixelboy release came to fruition with the help of Mystery Man, but it sounds like Sean had or came across a more complete proto that he supplied to Pixelboy.

 

Thru it all, it only matters that it got done and the community finally has a complete Joust to enjoy.

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On 1/24/2021 at 12:24 AM, NIAD said:

I was the one that talked to Sean Kelly in his store some 6-7 years ago about Joust. At the time, I knew he possessed the sound code for Joust and recommended that he contact Pixelboy to see if they could work something out concerning merging the sound code into the "no sound proto". I was under the impression that this is how the Team Pixelboy release came to fruition with the help of Mystery Man, but it sounds like Sean had or came across a more complete proto that he supplied to Pixelboy.

 

Thru it all, it only matters that it got done and the community finally has a complete Joust to enjoy.

While I understand what your saying here, and I agree with most of it, it is still imperative that we confirm exactly how the rom with sound came to be. The historical record must be accurate.

 

Such that:

 

If Sean was able to locate another proto rom or board or cartridge that was of a later build which had the sound implemented, then it would maintain the classification of “1983 AtariSoft ColecoVision Joust” as an original unreleased ColecoVision proto.

 

If Sean found some floppy disk or other media which contained the additional sound code files or information, then it would classify it as a “patched” rom file; but it would still be considered “original” to its time period.

 

However, if on the other hand some modern day programmer created or hacked together the sound for the rom file, then it would be classified as a Homebrew game.

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13 hours ago, Supergun said:

However, if on the other hand some modern day programmer created or hacked together the sound for the rom file, then it would be classified as a Homebrew game.

I classify my version as a homebrew because I had it altered to add a proper title screen. The original prototype (with sound but no title screen) is the "unreleased CV proto".

 

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Thank you for clarifying this.

 

And so, a question, and to be clear, I’m not asking for the “dressed up packaged released version” (with the sound and title screen implemented), as I understand it was/is a purchasable item. But, is the version with just the sound available? I ask because I would like to burn a new eprom with that version so I can update my Joust cartridge.

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The original proto with sound and no title screen is still the property of Sean Kelly, as far as I know.

 

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