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Atari "Did You Know?" Trivia

There is a great deal of history regarding Atari, as well as companies and individuals involved with them over the years. From this history can be gleaned a great wealth of interesting trivia. We've put together this page to enable you to more easily view and search for the trivia we've assembled. Entries from this list are shown randomly on the the front page of AtariAge. We encourage our visitors to submit more trivia, which you can do by following this link.


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Mythicon games originally retailed for only $9.95.4/5/2002
Spectravision is known as Spectravideo outside of the US.4/5/2002
Sunrise created Glacier Patrol for the 2600 but never released it - Telegames released it years later.4/5/2002
Ultravision, makers of Condor Attack for the 2600, originally planned to release their own video game system.4/5/2002
Commavid was originally called Computer Magic.4/5/2002
Only owners of Commavid's Magicard had the opportunity to purchase Video Life for the 2600.4/5/2002
Russ Perry Jr. coined the term "Frying" in respect to eliciting strange effects from a 2600 by modulating the power.4/5/2002
Nintendo offered Atari the rights to distribute the NES in America - Atari declined.4/5/2002
The Atari 7800 was ready in 1984, but wasn't released until 1986.4/5/2002
The term "Actiplaque" refers to the label mottling that is common to Activision cartridges.4/5/2002
"Heavy-Sixer" is slang for the first production run of Atari 2600's (6 switches on the front and heavy internal RF shielding).4/5/2002
The first four games released by Activision were Dragster, Fishing Derby, Checkers, and Boxing.4/5/2002
Bill Hogue (Miner 2049er) learned to program while he was a clerk at Radio Shack.4/5/2002
Electra Concepts made an adapter that allows you to use regular 2600 controllers on a 5200.4/5/2002
G.I. Joe was released as Action Force outside of the US.4/5/2002
Bounty Bob Strikes Back is the rarest game for the Atari 5200.4/5/2002
Cannon Man is the rarest game released by Sears for the 2600.4/5/2002
Pepsi Invaders was a specialty game given only to Coca Cola employees.4/5/2002
Tomcat F-14 was sold as Fighter Pilot outside the US.4/5/2002
Atari's Haunted House was originally called Nightmare Manor.4/5/2002
Ghostbusters II for the 2600 was only released in Europe.4/5/2002
Chuck Norris Superkicks was changed to Kung Fu Superkicks when the license expired.4/5/2002
M*A*S*H (2600) was originally sold both with and without a T-Shirt.4/5/2002
Mogul Maniac, made by Amiga for the 2600, was sold with the "Joyboard", a platform style controller.4/5/2002
Q*bert's Qubes for the 2600 was primarily sold in Sears and Hills department stores, making it very hard to find today.4/5/2002
The US version of Impossible Mission for the 7800 really is impossible due to a programming bug.4/5/2002
Rocky and Bullwinkle was programmed for the 2600, but never released.4/5/2002
Wing War by Imagic (2600) was only released in Europe.4/5/2002
Tooth Protectors for the 2600 was only available by mail order from Johnson and Johnson.4/5/2002
Space Invaders for the 2600 was released with four different labels - Picture, Text, Red, and Silver.4/5/2002
The Silver Label version of Gravitar (2600) is much harder to find than the Red Label version.4/5/2002
Some Panda games (2600) do not have a main label - they only have an end label.4/5/2002
The Brazilian version of Air-Sea Battle is called Batalha Aero-Naval.4/5/2002
In Avalon Hill's Shuttle Orbiter you are the pilot of the Space Shuttle "Challenger".4/5/2002
Only two games take advantage of the light gun controller on the 2600: Sentinel and the unreleased Shooting Arcade.4/5/2002
Imagic's No Escape! for the 2600 was originally called Escape from Argos.4/5/2002
2600 Defender II was first released as Stargate.4/5/2002
The Atari 5200 originally retailed for $269.95.4/5/2002
The Atari 5200 was originally known as the "Video System X" just prior to release.4/5/2002
Atari 5200 Meteorites was originally called Disasteroids but the name was changed under pressure from Atari.4/5/2002
The Atari 7800 graphics chip is called "MARIA".4/5/2002
General Computer Corporation originally designed the 7800 for Atari.4/5/2002
Taz for the 2600 was slightly modified and sold as Asterix in Europe.4/5/2002
Zellers' Busy Police (2600) is none other than Keystone Kapers.4/5/2002
Zellers' Farmer Dan (2600) is none other than Gopher.4/5/2002
The Atari Jaguar was initially manufactured for Atari by IBM.4/5/2002
When the Jaguar was released in 1993 it retailed for $250.4/5/2002
Atari awarded a $500 million contract to IBM to assemble, test, package and distribute the Jaguar.4/5/2002
The Jaguar was designed by a company called Flare 2.4/5/2002
The Jaguar has five processors contained in three chips.4/5/2002
The two proprietary chips in the Jaguar are known as "Tom" and "Jerry"4/5/2002
The Jaguar CD peripheral sold for $150 and included the Tempest 2000 Soundtrack, a Myst demo, and two games: Vid Grid and Blue Lightning.4/5/2002
The arcade games Area 51 and Maximum Force were based on a modified Jaguar platform called CoJag.4/5/2002
The last title released for the Jaguar by Atari was Fight for Life.4/5/2002
Cartridge labels created by Atari for the 5200 are the same size as labels they created for 2600 cartridges, but are rotated 90 degrees.4/5/2002
The original design of the 2600 was to include two speakers in the top deck for stereo sound.4/5/2002
A keychain game of Activision's popular 2600 title Kaboom! was released sometime around 1998.4/5/2002
Video Chess is the game that led Atari to first invent bank-switched ROMs for the Atari 2600, even though the shipping version of the game wouldn't use the technique and was only 4K in size.4/5/2002
The Atari XEGS (XE Game System) was the only Atari 8-bit computer to feature a detachable keyboard.4/7/2002

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