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04 space combat - What the dilly?


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#1 RecycledGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 12, 2005 2:39 AM

I picked up a copy of Atari Space Combat and I'm wondering why it doesn't show up in the AA directory. Two different Sears Space Combats come up, but the one I have is Atari. Number CX-2604. It's one of the older ones with "04" before the name on the end label.

I'm so used to every minute label variation showing up in the AA guide that I was surprised not to see this one. When I Google the part number, the game title shows up as "Space Wars" on various 2600 sites, not as Space Combat.

I tried searching the forums, but my searches are returning a ton of hits with no real answers. I'm sure one of you can clue me in to the story behind this one.

Chuck

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#2 A.J. Franzman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 12, 2005 5:00 AM

Looks like you have an ultra rare label variation. Pics are a little blurry but looks legit.

The story behind it is probably similar to the "Space Mission" (= Star Ship / Outer Space) which recently was spotted on eBay. Atari 2600 cart Space Mission?

Nice find! :-o

Edited by A.J. Franzman, Sat Nov 12, 2005 5:22 AM.


#3 AtariAger OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:57 AM

Ditto... :-o !

Send it too me...ASAP.

;)

#4 Christophero Sly OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:17 AM

Does the cartridge work?

#5 RecycledGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 12, 2005 11:01 AM

Looks like you have an ultra rare label variation. Pics are a little blurry but looks legit.

The story behind it is probably similar to the "Space Mission" (= Star Ship / Outer Space) which recently was spotted on eBay. Atari 2600 cart Space Mission?

Nice find! icon_surprised.gif


Really? No way. I never find anything "ultra rare".

Send it too me...ASAP.


Uh............no. ;)

Does the cartridge work?


Apparently so. Check out the new pics:

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Assuming you guys aren't pulling my leg, I definitely plan to sell - I'm not a 2600 collector.

Chuck

#6 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 12, 2005 11:56 AM

Wow! You have quite a rare find there. Congratulations! Now we just need to figure out where the heck this variation came from...

Tempest

#7 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 12, 2005 11:59 AM

And which label is underneath.

8)

#8 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 12, 2005 12:15 PM

And which label is underneath.

8)

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Good catch! I didn't even notice that.

Tempest

#9 Foxsolo2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 12, 2005 12:16 PM

Chuck you should send a copy of the rom to Tempest. I would like to know what he finds on this one ;)

#10 RecycledGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 12, 2005 12:34 PM

Chuck you should send a copy of the rom to Tempest.  I would like to know what he finds on this one ;)

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I would be happy to share, but I have no idea how to go about dumping the ROM. Anyone in the Portland, OR metro area who can help?

And which label is underneath.


I didnt't even notice that! Good eye! There is definitely a second label under the first - lemme just tear it off here...


Just kidding! Seriously, though, is there any way to remove the top label to see what's underneath without destroying the whole thing? Warming with a hair dryer maybe? The end label appears to be single - I don't see another label peeking out like I do on the front. I'm not touching it for now.

I picked up this cart a couple of days ago at a Value Village near my house. There were several "numbered" Atari carts - I also picked up Basic Math. Maybe I should go back and see what I left... ;)

Chuck

#11 Foxsolo2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 12, 2005 12:37 PM

Contact Tempest, he should be able to help you ;)

#12 CPUWIZ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 12, 2005 1:52 PM

How much $$$? :cool:

#13 HP Atari King of Michigan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 12, 2005 2:27 PM

How much $$$?  :cool:

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My sediments exactly!!

Edited by HP Atari King of Michigan, Sat Nov 12, 2005 2:27 PM.


#14 RecycledGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 12, 2005 2:36 PM

How much $$$?  :cool:

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My sediments exactly!!

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PM your offers. I have no idea what to ask.

#15 A.J. Franzman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 12, 2005 6:12 PM

PM your offers. I have no idea what to ask.

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If someone trustworthy lives near you and can verify that it's legit, it's a previously unknown label variant, probably R10, and maybe worth $$$$. You should probably put it on the 'Bay.

The double main label is a bit odd. Also, in all of the photos you've provided so far there does not appear to be any sign (except for a possible flash glare in the bottom one of the first pair) that the borders on both labels are silver metallic, as they should be. It looks like they could just be white, which would be a strong indication of fakery.

Edited by A.J. Franzman, Sat Nov 12, 2005 8:40 PM.


#16 AtariAger OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 12, 2005 6:19 PM

How much $$$?  :cool:

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My sediments exactly!!

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Ditto... :D .

#17 Christophero Sly OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 12, 2005 6:21 PM

Did this cart ever show up in promo material like Space Mission did?

#18 crunchysuperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 12, 2005 7:00 PM

Nice find!


covet, covet, covet :D

#19 else OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 12, 2005 8:22 PM

Very nice!

Edited by else, Sat Nov 12, 2005 8:24 PM.


#20 RecycledGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 13, 2005 12:45 AM

PM your offers. I have no idea what to ask.

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If someone trustworthy lives near you and can verify that it's legit, it's a previously unknown label variant, probably R10, and maybe worth $$$$. You should probably put it on the 'Bay.

The double main label is a bit odd. Also, in all of the photos you've provided so far there does not appear to be any sign (except for a possible flash glare in the bottom one of the first pair) that the borders on both labels are silver metallic, as they should be. It looks like they could just be white, which would be a strong indication of fakery.

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The consensus so far seems to be that this cart is a standard Space Wars ROM, but that it has a weird label/name variation.

A few folks have prefaced their comments and offers with "if it's legit". I'm not sure how a "previously unknown variant" can be proven legit or not. I'm willing to do my best to accomodate AA members who have questions or various "atari litmus tests" that they would like me to conduct. I'm as excited to establish the provenance of this item as anyone else who has posted. And anyone who would like to come by and have a look is welcome - just PM me. I live near Portland, OR.

Regarding the label, the border is silver - not white, as is the all of the text except "space combat" which is red. The label looks like every other early Atari cart label I have ever seen. The label has that almost foil-like consistency that the older pre-picture labels have.

I've had two PM offers, but I think I am going to eBay this item and let the market figure it out. One of the offers seemed generous so I may be making a mistake, but I really have no idea what this item might be worth. I'll follow up when it's posted.

Again, if anyone wants more evidence or a closer look, just let me know. Thanks to all who have helped so far.

Chuck

#21 pmpddytim OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 13, 2005 8:38 AM

If you are going to ebay it be smart and put a reserve for the amount of the "generous offer". I know its common snese but just thought I woud throw it out.

-Tim

#22 Atari Rescue Group OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 13, 2005 11:19 AM

The end label appears to be single - I don't see another label peeking out like I do on the front. I'm not touching it for now.

It looks real from the photos but the label doesn't have the game list info on it like the other carts of the first batch of issued games. Hard to tell from the photos but if you can't see another end label there may be one there and the top one is lined up well. From the picture it seems to me that there is a discernable ridge which would imply either two labels or thicker sticker stock.

So if the label is real I wouldn't even call it a variation as this title wasn't released with the Atari name on it. If it is real I don't think it is anything more than a mock up label for review purposes. But then why would they just slap it over another label? Wouldn't they want a review copy to look nice when things were just getting going? And most likely the label underneath it is Space War and that title was released in 1978 I believe. And if the bottom label is Space War why would Atari put a 04 label over it after already trashing the two-digit end labels?

Edited by Atari Rescue Group, Sun Nov 13, 2005 11:51 AM.


#23 Mindfield OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 13, 2005 12:25 PM

<wild ass theory>

There is the possibility that the cart was cobbled together earlier. The first numbered labels I have sport a copyright date of 1977, and though Star Ship has a 1978 copyright date it's entirely possible it was demoed in '77 with this alternate label. Why the alternate label on top of (presumably) the more familiar one? Perhaps the name of the game wasn't yet set in stone, or there was some confusion over what it was actually called, causing incorrect labels to be applied over the original. Hey, this was Atari in '77, it's not like lucidity among the various ranks was popular in those days. :)

</wild ass theory>

#24 supercat OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 13, 2005 12:51 PM

So if the label is real I wouldn't even call it a variation as this title wasn't released with the Atari name on it. If it is real I don't think it is anything more than a mock up label for review purposes. But then why would they just slap it over another label? Wouldn't they want a review copy to look nice when things were just getting going? And most likely the label underneath it is Space War and that title was released in 1978 I believe. And if the bottom label is Space War why would Atari put a 04 label over it after already trashing the two-digit end labels?

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I would be very curious what a ROM dump would show. Otherwise, does the game play identically to Space War? If you set up two Ataris side by side, turn a ship 45 degrees clockwise, and then start thrusting continuously on both, do they behave identically? What about when you fire?

I'm curious whether Atari might have been preparing to sell Space War/Combat and then decided to hold off for some ROM tweaks.

#25 Atari Rescue Group OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:24 PM

<wild ass theory>

There is the possibility that the cart was cobbled together earlier.  The first numbered labels I have sport a copyright date of 1977, and though Star Ship has a 1978 copyright date it's entirely possible it was demoed in '77 with this alternate label.  Why the alternate label on top of (presumably) the more familiar one?  Perhaps the name of the game wasn't yet set in stone, or there was some confusion over what it was actually called, causing incorrect labels to be applied over the original.  Hey, this was Atari in '77, it's not like lucidity among the various ranks was popular in those days.  :)

</wild ass theory>

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Wild ass theories are interesting, but if there is a 1978-ish label under a 1977ish looking one it just doesn't make any sense -- even at Atari. Sure, it could be a demo type of cart, but the covered up label and/or the ROM could disprove that. And if a real demo then it should be heavier too with a bigger board and chip, right? If only a visual demo then why go backwards in label design (assuming a regular 1978 label underneath) after release?. This label over any other label than Space War could be doable to make wild-assness workable but then that label would have to have screwholes in it to get the Space War chip inside the cart.
It could be real but is it? Provenance would be cool. Who around here can carbon-date the red ink on the labels?




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