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Albert

Atari 2600 Zoo Keeper Audio Released!

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zookeeper.jpgYou've probably heard about the long-rumored port of the arcade game Zoo Keeper for the Atari 2600, the existence of which has yet to be discovered. Fortunately, Robert Vieira, who programmed the sound for the Atari 2600 version of Zoo Keeper while working at Atari, has preserved the source code to his Zoo Keeper audio. He shared this binder with Ken Van Mersbergen, who typed the sources in by hand (OCR could not be used) and then worked with Thomas Jentzsch to create an Atari 2600 binary that lets you listen to all the sounds of Zoo Keeper. The sounds are top notch, and while it's all we have of the game at this point in time, it's great to at least be able to experience the audio from this never-released game. You can download the binary here and run it in your favorite Atari 2600 emulator. To play the sounds, press the fire button. After a sound has finished playing, press the fire button again to hear the next sound.

 

Below is a complete list of sounds included in this binary:

 

1. Game End

2. Power Up (Music that plays when the game is first turned on)

3. Kiss

4. Picking up Net

5. End of Round

6. Animal Tally and Recapture

7. Jazz Round Start

8. Death on Brick Screen

9. Coco Nut Death

10. Losing Net

11. Picking Up Treasures

12. Placing of Treasure on Bricks

13. Jump Over Animal Landing

14. Animal Escaping

15. Jump

16. Animal Bumping Brick and Jump Landing

17. Placing of One Brick

18. Monkey Throws Coco Nut

 

Thanks again to Robert Vieira, Ken Van Mersbergen, and Thomas Jentzsch for making this possible and preserving this piece of Atari 2600 history!

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Interesting the 2600 sound chip maps very well to this game - shame it didnt make it - I loved this title when it came out

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Awesome, since the source for the sound has surfaced, that gives us hope that the source or a prototype of the game itself may someday be unearthed.

 

Which company was set to program this title for the 2600 out of curiosity?

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Awesome! Although I'm at work I'm very interested in hearing later how it compares to the original :)

 

Zookeeper is one of those sleeper classics that only grew better with age for me. To date it's one of my favorite games to play even now. :D

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Zookeeper was a great game indeed.

Seems like a tough port, given all the critters running around...but I guess if they could do Wizard of Wor, they could do this game...

 

is the sound all that exists or is there a hope of seeing more?

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So far only the source code from the sound exists. I am attempting to recover more so keep watching!

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One of my all time favorite games. Can't wait to hear the sounds from this. Thanks!

IMO the tunes and sounds are done really good.

 

And though there are a few parts, where I could only speculate about the original driver, I suppose the result is very close to how it was meant to be.

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Wow!!! These sound awesome!! They almost sound like samples from the arcade game ... I'm very impressed.

 

Now if only the game can be found!!

 

PS Great job Thomas - I think you nailed the driver down pretty good! :)

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I'm impressed too! There's a great variety of sounds coming out of this game. If the source code can't be located for the original game, I hope some homebrewers decide to try their hand at making a port of Zookeeper themselves, and use these sound files in it.

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I was quite surprised when I listened to this audio for the first time. It very much captures the sound from the arcade game, and many of the sounds are spot-on, quite an achievement for the Atari 2600. Many thanks to everyone involved in making these sounds available, it's nice being able to at least touch something from this long-lost game. :)

 

..Al

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Yes some of those sound spot on.

Very well done.

Thanks to all involved for bringing this to us.

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The sounds work on a real system via CC2 too. 8)

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Very cool. The sounds are amazingly accurate.

 

Even if the original prototype's code is never recovered, I hope these sounds can someday be used in a homebrew. That would be nifty.

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Wow, how bizarre, having audio available, but not a ROM yet!

 

Can't say much about Zookeeper in itself, as I only played it once years and years ago and don't remember much about it, but I recall liking it :)

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So do we know what company was going to be releasing this game?

 

Just curious as to where to put it on my cc2 menu. (sorted by company)

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Again, it was an Atari license. Atari was the only licenser of Taito games back then (SI, Qix, Jungle King, Space Dungeon). Atari announced it in an Atari Age issue which can be looked up on this site.

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But of course SI being a huge license. I thought the 2600 was a lame system until SI was released. Actually, I didn't even like video games until I played the arcade game.

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Hi there!

 

Again, it was an Atari license. Atari was the only licenser of Taito games back then (SI, Qix, Jungle King, Space Dungeon). Atari announced it in an Atari Age issue which can be looked up on this site.

 

Tigervision licensed Polaris and Coleco Front Line.

 

Greetings,

Manuel

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Hi there!

 

Touche. Coleco was also supposed to be working on Wild Western.

 

I still hope that a proto of this will be found some day. If not, I may have to port it myself :)

 

Greetings,

Manuel

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