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AtariAge News Archive
Beta Phase Games has announced the discovery of an Atari 7800 port of the arcade game Toki. In Toki you play the role of an ape who can kill his enemies by spitting at them. In the course of this platform game, you can also collect power-ups that give you improved abilities, such as making your spittle larger or allowing you to jump higher. The 7800 port of Toki is fairly faithful to the original arcade version, but the final level is not present, likely due to space constraints. The swinging vines in the arcade version are also absent from the 7800 version, which is most likely intentional as well.
The game as found (labeled Beta 2) is currently a PAL-format game and does not run properly on NTSC 7800 consoles. However, work is being done to see if the game can be converted to NTSC. The team hopes to release Toki in cartridge form, followed about a month later by a ROM release. AtariAge user CPUWIZ has posted photos of the game running on one of his consoles.
The Atari 7800 version of the game was discovered on a computer (purchased on eBay) owned by a former Atari employee. Several other games were also found, including Klax (7800), Hotdog (Lynx), Road Riot 4WD (Lynx), Poker (Lynx), Relief Pitcher (Lynx), and an as-of-yet unannounced title. You can keep abreast of this development by reading the Toki Prototype For 7800 Discovered thread in our Atari 7800 Forum.
The Classic-Gaming Bookcast is an entertaining eBook about old video games. If you enjoy what's commonly known as retro-gaming, you'll have a lot of fun reading these forty game-specific chapters. The prose is lively, provocative and often humorous. The book even contains strategies, insights and philosophies. "I didn't want it to be like any other game-related book out there," says the author, Chris Federico (Chris++ on AtariAge).
The featured games are on the following platforms:
Marc Oberhäuser of Freelancer Games has announced he is taking orders for his Atari 2600 Trading Cards Series 1. The first series with 50 cards features the original Atari releases from 3-D Tic Tac Toe to Gremlins. The front side of a card shows the original release box art, while the back contains facts about the game, the front label, the cover of the manual, and a screenshot from the game. The cards are printed professionally and include a box for storage.
Atari 2600 Forum. Marc has also created trading cards for the Intellivision and Atari 7800.
Everybody's favorite fabled frosty firefighter is back! But so are those pesky fireballs and they're hotter than ever! This year they've kidnapped Santa and some of his helpers, so it's up to you to put out the fireballs and rescue your friends from their fiery fate. Your first frosty adventure was just a warm-up - now there are all new levels to conquer and challenges to face! Fortunately, you've found some new magic in that old silk hat of yours. Can you stay frostier, fight your way to the fireballs' frigid fortress and freeze those fiendish flames?
After a seven year hiatus, the AtariAge Holiday Greeting Cart returns! We're proud to introduce Stay Frosty 2 as the 2014 AtariAge Holiday Cart. Stay Frosty 2 is arguably the most advanced platform game to ever grace the Atari 2600, taking advantage of our Melody cartridge platform to push the Atari 2600 to its limits. Stay Frosty 2 is the sequel to Stay Frosty, which appeared in Stella's Stocking, the 2007 AtariAge Holiday Cart. Stay Frosty 2 features 32 unique levels (and a total of 128 levels), new enemies and dangers, new power-ups, and many surprises!
In addition to Stay Frosty 2, we have a SECOND holiday-themed game this year! We're also introducing The Byte Before Christmas, a collection of four Christmas-themed games in one cartridge: Santa's Scabs, Christmas Adventure, Bell Hopper, and Naughty List. Do you have what it takes to save Christmas?
Also in the new lineup is THREE·S, an Atari 2600 conversion of the popular Threes! mobile puzzle game, written by veteran Atari 2600 programmer Thomas Jentzsch. THREE·S is an addictive tile-based puzzle game, and a must have on the 2600 if you enjoy games of this nature! The iOS version of Threes! was just awarded Apple's 2014 Game of the Year. For Atari 7800 fans, we have two new games: K.C. Munchkin, a port of the Odyssey 2 game that resulted in a lawsuit against Magnavox by Atari, and Astro Blaster, a port of the arcade game of the same name. Both of these new titles were programmed by Bob DeCreszenzo, who has a remarkable track record in producing games on the 7800. And finally, we now have the AtariVox+ Speech Synthesizer in stock!
Atari Jaguar developers Reboot have released two new packages designed to aid Jaguar development, RAPTOR and RAPTOR Basic. RAPTOR is a high performance RISC-based API designed to leverage the performance of the Jaguar's custom RISC chips in an easy and flexible manner, allowing the software developer to spend more time following their vision instead of wrestling with the hardware. Several examples are included, taking the user from a simple 'Hello World' to a complete game. RAPTOR Basic is a merging of RAPTOR into a BASIC language, specifically designed to lower the bar of entry to Jaguar programming in a similar way to what batari Basic and 7800basic have done for the 2600 and 7800 respectively. RAPTOR Basic is based on EhBASIC 68k.
Reboot intends to continually update both RAPTOR and RAPTOR Basic with new features over time. You can discuss these new Jaguar tools with Reboot and other AtariAge members in our new RAPTOR API and RAPTOR Basic forums, where you can also find links to the latest versions.
It is Christmas time once again and the third annual Carol vs. The World! Championship is upon us! Throughout the entire month of December, all boys and girls--naughty or nice--will have the opportunity not only to earn bragging rights, but to win actual prizes! At stake, like always, is a one-of-a-kind edition of the game Christmas Carol vs. The Ghost Of Christmas Presents, made exclusively for the player with the highest score. There's prizes for players of all skill levels and many other surprises!
Christmas Carol vs. The Ghost Of Christmas Presents is an original game concept, designed and programmed by James Pujals for the 1980s Intellivision game system. It follows the adventures of Carol Greenleaf, Santa's most resourceful elf, as she tries to recover the presents stolen by an Evil Snowman, and save Christmas for the children of the world. The game was originally released at the Classic Gaming Expo in 2012, and went on to become a smash hit in the retro-gaming community, voted Game Of The Year by retro-gaming enthusiasts of AtariAge.
To enter the contest, there's nothing to buy and no registration is required. Whether you play the game cartridge on an Intellivision console, or the ROM edition on a PC or Mac, it's all the same. Just send us a photo or screen-grab of your score and you're in! You can learn more about the game and how to enter the contest by viewing the complete details on the official contest page. To discuss the contest with other AtariAge members and Intellivision enthusiasts, please visit our Intellivision Forum. Good luck!
Warm up your Atari 2600, as we've just added three new 2600 homebrew games to the AtariAge Store! Omicron, Piñata and Flappy are three games that will keep you coming back for more! Read on for a brief description of each game. For full details, please visit the AtariAge Store.
The 2014 Houston Area Arcade Expo is taking place November 7th and 8th at the Houston Northwest Crowne Plaza. Hosted by the Houston Area Arcade Group, this is an annual event celebrating the electronic games people love to play. Gamers buy, sell, and trade pinball, video game and game console items, and, best of all, pinballs, arcade cabinets and consoles are set up on free play for the duration of the show. The organizers put together a promo video that does a great job of capturing the spirit of the event!
Highlights for this year's show include:
Episode 15 of ANTIC: The Atari 8-bit Podcast is now available. This latest episode features:
ANTIC, The Atari 8-bit Podcast focuses on Atari 8-bit computers (800, XL, XE), and is hosted by Randy Kindig, Kevin Savetz, and Brad Arnold. You can find the current and past episodes of ANTIC on iTunes, the Apple Podcast App, and at www.AtariPodcast.com. You can discuss the podcast in our Atari 8-bit Computers Forum.
HighScore.com is holding a new high score contest for several classic gaming systems, with great prizes for the winners! Categories include Atari 2600, Atari 400/800/XL/XE, Atari 5200, Atari 7800, Jaguar, Lynx, and TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine. The following prizes are up for grabs:
The contest runs through December 20th, 2014. You can learn full details about the contest here, and discuss the contest with other AtariAge visitors in our Contests Forum. Good luck!
Our friend Matt Reichert has posted reviews AtariProtos.com of several recently discovered Atari 2600 titles. The first title is Elf Adventure, revealed about a year ago, appears appears to be a possible sequel to the classic game Adventure. This version of Elf Adventure looks to be fairly early in development, but it uses a similar graphics style to Adventure. One title amongst a batch of newly discovered prototypes is Morse Code Tutor, which seems to be just that: a program to help hone your Morse code skills. It's not known if this was being developed officially at Atari or by the programmer in his spare time, but it's a surprising find after all these years. Also discovered was an updated and nearly complete version of Xevious for the 2600. Prototypes of Xevious had been discovered in the past, but this new version appears to be just about finished. One additional new prototype, an FM Synth cart, was also found in this batch of prototypes (from a box owned by a former Atari employee), but Matt has yet to review this prototype due to its technical nature and lack of visuals.
You can learn about these discoveries and more over at AtariProtos.com. To discuss these titles with Matt and AtariAge users, please join the discussion in our Prototypes Forum.
This year's Portland Retro Gaming Expo (PRGE) takes place on October 18th and 19th (Saturday and Sunday) at the Oregon Convention Center. If you're a classic gaming fan and can get to Portland for this event, we wholeheartedly recommend it! The Portland Retro Gaming Expo is one of the largest such events in the country. Here are some of the show's attractions:
The 7th annual Classic Gaming Fest is taking place in Austin, Texas on August 16th and 17th. This year's show has been greatly expanded in size and will occupy 25,000 square feet in the Palmer Event Center. The Classic Gaming Fest caters to fans of classic gaming systems, featuring retro game tournaments, costume contests, live video game music, and a huge vendor area where you can buy and play classic video games, consoles, merchandise, and more! Admission is only $10 for the entire weekend.
At Classic Game Fest 2014, over 20 local Texas-based artists will be on hand to create and sell unique gamer-inspired arts and crafts. Retro game tournaments will be going on all weekend long at massive tournament/demo areas and projected onto the walls for the entire crowd to enjoy! Live video game music performances including VGM rock bands, chiptunes artists, hip-hop performers, and comedy acts that gamers of any age will absolutely love will rotate on stage. Costume contests for amateur, professional, and best group/mash-up will be held and led by international cosplay star MarieDoll. Also featured at CGF will be a free play arcade featuring over 20+ classic stand up arcades from the 80s and 90s along with an amazing video game museum.
AtariAge will be present at the Classic Game Fest with a large number of Atari 2600, 5200 and 7800 systems setup for play all weekend. You'll be able to try out some of the latest homebrew games, upcoming games to be released later this year, and other games currently in development. Darrell Spice, Jr., author of Medieval Mayhem and Space Rocks for the 2600, will be on hand to present a talk about creating new games for classic Atari consoles.
Please visit the Classic Gaming Fest website to learn more about the event!
Episode 13 of ANTIC: The Atari 8-bit Podcast is now available. This latest episode features:
Invaders have jammed our newly deployed missile silos, meteor storms strike at will, and scouting reports indicate the deadly Vorton obliterates everything in its path. Will you be the next PROTECTOR?
Songbird Productions has announced that Protector: RESURGENCE is coming to the Atari Jaguar CD in September 2014! RESURGENCE is an expansion CD for your Protector SE cartridge, and features 24 new waves, new galaxy and ground graphics, new ship graphic, new enemies, and more. A limited 50-disc run will be made available at the Classic Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, including some graphics and audio unique to that disc, followed by the general release of the game.
You can discuss Protector: RESURGENCE with other AtariAge members and Songbird Productions in our Atari Jaguar Forum.
The noted video game historian team of Marty Goldberg and Curt Vendel, co-authors of the popular book Atari Inc. – Business is Fun, will tell the story of Atari Corporation in their upcoming book "Atari Corp. - Business Is War." In honor of the 30th anniversary of Jack Tramiel's founding of Atari Corporation, they have released the book's stunning cover in advance to video game and computer fans alike. Hand painted by artist Lukas Ketner, the cover personifies the company, its products and history.
“Our intent was to really have a cover that embodies the company at a glance," said Goldberg. "The iconic Jack Tramiel and his sons Sam, Leonard and Gary surrounded by the now legendary products they introduced to us. At the same time, the seriousness and competitive business nature Jack and his companies were known for had to be shown. Lukas captured it all perfectly and in a style that anyone who grew up with Atari should recognize!"
You can read the full press release in our online forum, where you can also view a larger image of the upcoming book's cover.
A significant new release of the Atari 2600 emulator Stella, version 4.0, has been released today. Stella is a multi-platform Atari 2600 VCS emulator released under the GNU General Public License (GPL), and versions have been released for a wide variety of operating systems. Stella allows you to enjoy the large library of Atari 2600 titles on your computer, and it's an exceptional tool for anyone creating new homebrew games for the 2600. Stella is actively maintained by Stephen Anthony, who continues to make improvements and add new features to the emulator.
Changes in this new release of Stella include:
Episode 12 of The Atari 8-bit Podcast is now available. This latest episode features:
The Seattle Retro Gaming Expo (SRGE) is one of two large retrogaming shows put on by alumni of the Northwest Classic Gaming Enthusiasts - the other being the massive Portland Retro Gaming Expo. Now in its fourth year, SRGE is growing and has moved its venue to the Washington State Convention Center - the same venue as PAX! While nowhere near as big as PAX (yet!) SRGE is the retro event for people in the greater Seattle area.
SRGE invites everyone from AtariAge to come hang out, share their love of videogames, and meet other like-minded individuals.
This year’s event includes:
The show spans two days – June 28th and June 29th, and 2-day, 1-day, and family passes are available. Admission is $15 per day or $25 for the whole weekend! Preregister by June 16 to get in one full hour early and snag all the rare goodies!!
See you there!
Are you interested in learning what has become of the millions of Atari 2600 E.T. The Extra Terrestrial cartridges buried in the New Mexico desert? What? You don't know the story of how Atari buried these and possibly other games and Atari hardware in an Alamogordo, New Mexico landfill after the famous 1983 video game crash? The Alamogordo Daily News reported in September 1983 that between 10 and 20 semi-trailers from an Atari facility in El Paso, Texas were buried at the landfill (view newspaper clippings here, here, and here). The story even appeared in The New York Times, and an Atari spokesman confirmed the report at the time. Although no specific Atari merchandise was mentioned as being dumped, many reports have (perhaps erroneously) stated that upwards of 3.5 million copies of the 2600 game E.T. The Extra Terrestrial may have found their way to the landfill. It's more likely that the Atari dump contains a wide variety of Atari game console and computer hardware, as well as unsold video game cartridges.
Fuel Entertainment has received permission from the city to excavate the site on April 26, 2014. They plan on creating a documentary film surrounding the myths, facts and exploration of this legend. Ready Player One author Ernest Cline will be on-hand for the event, and he's written up a blog post detailing his upcoming adventure. The general public has been invited to attend this dig, so if you're an Atari fan and in the area, be sure to attend!
While Atari's E.T. The Extra Terrestrial generally has is viewed unfavorably among classic gamers, in our opinion the game has received an unfair rap. You can check out AtariAge user Random Terrain's To What Degree Do You Love E.T.? page for an opposing viewpoint on the game. Another fan of the game has put together a Fixing E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial for the Atari 2600 page where you can download a version of the game that has common gripes (and a few bugs) fixed.
Also be sure to check out this long-running thread in our forums about the Atari landfill. This thread was started back in 2005 and has nearly 1,500 posts to date!
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