Atari Bonanza - Old Stuff From My Attic. 2600, 5200, 7800, 800 XL XE, Jaguar, ST
I decided to do an entire Atari excavation today. I went through every box of Atari games and hardware (I might have missed an ST box and if I find it, I'll add it later) I have to come up with a definitive list of what I own. I am not actually much of a collector, and much of my original 80's collection (aside from the Atari ST and the '93 Jaguar) have been purchased or given to me from 95 and beyond. But this stuff has been collecting dust, and to get a good idea, and have some pictures for insurance purposes, I decided to take up all of a Sunday morning, sifting through boxes of stuff and organizing it before the cats ran over and messed it up.
First, here is an over-all pic of what I found and laid out on the area rug (it took more than the large area to hold all the original ST software). Aside from the Lynx (which my brother Steve has), this represents a version of every game and computer system (not the stand alone systems like Pong and Super Pong Doubles, etc) that Atari put out on the mass market in the 70's, 80's and 90's.
This collection starts in the upper left -
Atari 130XE + SIO2 SD (use any disk image from the internet) + game carts (details further down)
Atari 2600 Carts + Manuals, Catalogs and Atari Force Comic Book (#3).
Atari 7800 + carts (some new in box) + Atari 2600 Wood Grain 4 switcher
A whole Bunch of 2600/800, XL, XE/7800/ST Controllers.
Next Row from Left to right:
Atari 5200 + a whole bunch of non working controllers, + games and an awesome Wico controller
Atari 1040 ST with a large piles of data / public domain , some awesome creative software and a Jaguar hidden to the right
Many many many Purchased Atari ST games and productivity applications, including the original Dungeon Master with Manual FTL sticker and collectible coin.
The Atari 130XE - Compatible with the Ataro 400/800/1200XL/800XL/600XL/800XE/65XE and XE Game System.
- Atari 130 XE computer with SIO2SD . This allows any disk image to be downloaded from the internet and played on the system.
130 XE manual
Original Atari Basic Learning Guide
4.12 Game Carts: Millipede in box, Demon Attack in Box (needs translator to OS B disk to use), River Raid, Miner 2049er, Food Fight, Donkey Kong, Load Runner, Super Cobra, Dig Dug, Pac Man, Qix, Star Raiders.
- Atari Joystick, Power Supply and Modern AV Cable.
The Atari 5200
- 5200 4 port joystick model.
6 5200 original joysticks in various states of disrepair.
Wico 5200 stick
A stack of game specific controller inserts.
A stack of 5200 manuals and a stack of catalogs
33 Games carts: Jungle Hunt, Counter Measure, Soccer, Moon Patrol, Pengo, Missile Command, Galaxian, Football, Centipede, Pole Position, Baseball, Super Breakout, Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Qix, Star Raiders, Joust, Choplifter, Kangaroo, Star Wars, Qbert, Gyruss, Montezuma's Revenge, Frogger, Congo Bongo, Zaxxon, Kaboom, Dig Dug In Box, Tennis In Box, Pac-man in box, Pole Position In Box, Wizard of Wor.
- A stack of 2600 game catalogs
2.. A stack of 2600 game instructions
- The Atari Force #3 Comic Book
- 73 Game Carts: Strawberry Shortcake in Box, Phoenix in box, Mario Bros, Centipede, Real Sports Volleyball, Real Sports Football, Pole Position, Moon Patrol, Real Sports Baseball, Real Sports Tennis, Ms. Pac Man, Vanguard, Kangaroo, Pac Man (3 copies), War Lords (3 copies), Casino (2 copies), Breakout (text cart version), Super Breakout, Video Olympics, Football, Pele's Soccer, Street Racer, Defender (2 copies), Asteroids (2 copies), Video Pinball (2 copies), Space Invaders, Surround, Haunted House, Basketball, Bowling, Home Run, Combat (2 copies), Indy 500, Star Raiders, Adventure, Yars Revenge, Maze Craze, Human Cannon Ball, Sears Tele-Games Golf, Sears Tele-Games Pinball, Donkey Kong, Venture, Zaxxon, Donkey Kong (Signed by Gary Kitchen), Atlantis, Riddle of the Sphinx, Trick Shot, Demon Attack, Frogger (2 copies), Super Cobra, Stars Wars Empire Strikes Back, Qbert, Spider Fighter (2 copies), River Raid, Gran Prix (signed by David Crane), Pit Fall (signed by David Crane), Enduro, Decathlon, Robot Tank, Sea Quest, Keystone Kapers, Megamania.
The Atari 7800
- Atari 7800 Console and 2600 Console
- 7800 controller sticks, 2600 controller sticks, paddles, Indy 500 racing controllers, Genesis Pad (will work with 2600,/7800/8-bits/ST), Master System Stick - works with (will work with 2600,/7800/8-bits/ST, Star Raiders Controller, 2 Spectravision Joy Sticks.
- 17 Game Carts - Donkey Kong in box, Donkey Kong Jr in box, Dark Chambers in box, Choplifter in Box, Tower Toppler in Box, Baseball in box, Ms Pac Man in Box, Centipede in box, One On One in box, Touchdown Football, Galaga, Robotron, Desert Falcon, Food Fight, Xevious, Asteroids, Pete Rose Baseball.
- Original Jaguar + single pack in controller
- 8 Game Carts - Wolf 3d, Tempest 2000, Kasumi Ninja, Checkered Flag, Attack of the Mutant Penguins, Zool 2, Super Burnout (all in box), pack-in Cyber morph.
The Atari 1040 ST
This is the system that Steve and I spent the most time on in our youth - college. The stacks of disks have many more Degas, Animation, and game projects than pirate games. This was an incredible machine to grow up with (literally from 16 until 20, the most formative years of pre-adulthood).
- Atari 1040 STFM that has seen better days, Missing some keys. I would like to purchase another is anyone has one they would like to sell.
- ST Color Monitor, 2 ST Mouse Controllers, ST 12oo Baud Modem, Video Sync Controller.
- 3 stacks of disks including a lot of college work, games created, art and animation for our films.
- Stacks of ST User, ST Action, ST Format and a couple START discs,
- STOS Game creator, Compiler, and Sampler with many game demo disks, full docs and manuals, etc.
- Cyberpaint and Art/Film Director software - one of the first key frame animation programs. It synced to the TV so we could create animations for our student films, etc. Awesome for its time.
- No Box, but full Version of Dungeon Master with FTL Sticker and and collectors coin.
- Boxed edition of Beyond Zork
- Boxed edition of the original Sid Meyer Pirates game
The rest of the discs and software (how many did you have):
Atari Algebra and Physics, Cybernoid, Galaxy Force, Artura, Deflecktor, Baal, Stunt Car Racer, Computes Atari Disk, Fighter Bomber, Silkworm, St Express, Joe Blade, Tracker, Speed Ball, Anco Player Manager, Corporation, Zynaps, Defenders of Earth, Atari ST Language Disk (Basic + a Unix like CPM Shell), Darius +, Indian Jones, Axel's Magic Hammer, Super Cars, Skidz, Switch Blade, Dragon Breath, Power Drift, Ikari Warriors, Captain Blood.
Starting about the middle of the pic:
Menace, Super Hang-on, Eye of Horus, Enduro Racer, Crazy Cars, Barbarian, GODS, Batman the Caped Crusader, Blood Money, Buggy Boy, Micro League Baseball, Afterburner, Rick Dangerous, Anco Kick Off 2, Neochrome, Beyond the Ice Palace, Battle Ships, Sidewinder, Andes Attack (send money directly to Jeff Minter to get this one. Best action game on the ST!!!), Street Fighter.
Starting about the middle of the Pic:
Blastaball, Butcher Hill, Outrun, Golden Path, Zynaps, 1943, Double Dragon 2, Netherworld, California Games, Star Quake,
Also, there are tons of Public Domain games and apps, since those are legit, I'll list them here These are from legitimate purchased Shareware disks from ST Express, and the PDC Library in Lynnwood Wa), and Bre Software Fresno CA
Sozobon C Compiler, Kong, Nitro, Galaxian, IBS Pegasus 2, ST Writer 3.0 + ST Spell, DDST, Werner, Dungeon Adventure, Lamatron from the ST Action Cover Disk, MJ C Compiler, Floyd The Droid, Lander, Matching Game, Bnoid, Galactic War, Fire Squad, Phantom House, Berzerk, Action Dungeon, Hero, World, Inspector Clewso, Pick Pocket, Super Simon, ST Breakanoid, Werty Hoiuse of horrors, Bubble, Worm War, Mouse Plaything.
We also have a stack of manuals. Here I will list the game disks that are missing. Steve Fulton probably has these or they got lost in the shuffle some place (or they are in another box some place):
Better Dead Than Alien, Miracle Warriors, 007 Licensed to KIll, Super Wonder Boy. Xenon 2 Mega Blast, Blood Wych, Their Finest Hour (with decoder information), Tetris, Tau Ceti, Rampage, Gauntlet II, Operation Wolf, Oids, Bad Company, Antic Flash, Techno Cop, St Star Raiders, North and South, International Soccer, Sim City (+ decoder card), War in Middle Earth, Road War Europa, Populous, Microprose Soccer, Screaming Wings, Sorcerer Lord, R-Type, Xenon, Arkanoid Revenge of Doh, Dragonscape, Exolon, Robocop, Phantasie III...
And there were many many more that we purchased.
Originally we had well over 200 2600 and 7800 games (including an original Super Charger) as well has 100's of purchased 400/800/XL/XE games also. One of the big disappointments was selling out Atari 800 setup to a guy named Manny from Wilmington (are you out there some place?) If anyone has a bunch of old Atari disks with the names Steve and Jeff on some them and basic games we made like The Price Is Right, multiple funny sentence generators, and a slew of Pinball games made with Pinball construction set (along with the books listed, and many purchased games), please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For some reason we sold all of our own games that we coded and everything else, including an original Your Atari Computer Book, Mapping the Atari, and Doctor C Wacko books, magazines, and much more. It was to get an Atari ST, but still, I wish we had not done it.
I'm always looking to expand my collection of all Atari stuff for cheap prices. Nothing I have is for sale. So much has been lost over the years that I would never part with anything I have.
Besides these, I have every Atari collection for multiple game consoles as well as a Flash Back 3 and 4 and a couple of the original Jaxx 10 game NES re-programmed VCS sticks. I would have included the Flashback 1 or 2 if I had them because those were made with the love and care that Atari peripherals deserved by Legacy Engineering and put out by the last real vestiges of Atari.
Our new Podcast:
The 8bitrocket Option Select Start Podcast will be based on this collections, Steve Fulton's collection, our recollections, new purchases, interviews (anyone who wants to be interviewed, send an email to email@example.com), and our 6502 and 68000 game development projects as we apply what we have learned in modern game development to machine language new games for Atari and other retro systems.
By Jeff D. Fulton (8bitjeff)
Atari UK released a lot of arcade conversions for the ST line of computers in the late 80's. Many of these were packed into "gaming" bundles sold at shops all over Europe and via mail order in the USA. I am not sure if Tempest is one such game, but it certainly looks like it could have been.
I remember playing many of those conversions and being left feeling pretty cold by the relative lack of quality compared to the best ST releases. While a great programmer, with intimate knowledge of the standard 1MB ST could squeeze enough power from the machine to come close to the best Amiga releases, in the hands of just a decent 68000 coder, with no knowledge of the tricks necessary to unleash the true power of the system, competent if some-what lacking releases were the result. One thing that is going to make our future exploration of Atari ST games (via emulation and my 1040 ST when I get it down from the attic) interesting is discovering the developers who where able to really get in and push the little 8Mhz multi-purpose machine to its limits gaming-wise. The machine was not a multimedia power-house like the Amiga, although later STE releases would improve sound, sprites, and colors, the standard machine was enough in 1986 to make us want to get rid of our 8-bit Atari's and jump on the 16-bit bandwagon.
Here is Atari Tempest (by Paradox) being played by me in the STEEM Atari STE emulator.
Sounds and Music
The first thing I always notice with ST games are the sounds. The best developers were able to push both relatively nice chip tunes and sound effects through the relatively paltry 3-channel chip with ease. While less experience developers would usually opt for one or the other or let the user choose either sounds or music.
Tempest has just sound effects, and obviously they are not as easy to judge in an emulator as they would on a real machine, but they are sufficient here if a little lacking. Nothing extra special. There is no music at all.
The title screen is typical for ST games. Not ugly, not pretty, but better than the in-game graphics for sure. Tempest was a vector game, and the clock speed of the ST was high enough to make vector like graphics move at a very speedy clip. The game plays speedy like the arcade machine and looks quite nice - nothing extra-special in a Jeff Minter way was added to the game though. It looks like a straight port.
The game play
I was only able to get through three of the screens, but what I noticed was the green spikes were missing. I might be mistaken and they don't come up on the first three screens, but I never saw any. The game play is difficult and fast, and you will need the space bar to use the Super Zapper as often as you can.
Its the little things that make a game special, and some of the arcade animation, the level select screen, and the between level animations (floating down the tunnel) are missing from this version. The ST certainly had the power to do this and more, so I am unsure if these were left out due to time and budget or the ability of the developer to replicate them properly.
History and tid-bits
According to the AtariMania.com, Paradox released a number of titles for the ST, including, but not limited to: Asteroids Deluxe, Bomb Jack, and Super Breakout. GameFaqs notes Paradox as having released a number of titles for both the PC and the Amiga also, starting with Warzone (Amiga) and ST Karate, both in 1986 and finishing with Cities in Motion (Australian release) in 2011.
GamesDbase.com has a really nice scan of the box cover art for the ST version of Tempest.
AtariMania.com has some collected info and more images of the box and disc for this version of Tempest.
AtariAge.com has a thread on the Atari ST Entertainment series - of which Tempest was released on.
Everyone always wants a score review for a game, so here is my first impression score. Taking all other Atari ST games I have ever played into consideration and knowing full well what the platform is capable of, I was somewhat disappointed by this version of Tempest. Now, had I purchased it in an import shop here in the USA in 1989 for $20.00, I probably would have liked it, but set it aside to play OIDS or Player Manager after a few goes. I give it a 75% out of 100, and that is purely subjective and based on pretty much nothing more than a few plays on an emulator.
If you know any more about this game, Paradox software, the Atari ST Entertainment series, etc, or have anything to add, comment on, or just want to spam your hosting company, feel free to use the comments below.
by Jeff Fulton
Finally, a new podcast! Today we tackle Jack Tramiel and The Atari ST.
OK, here is a really promising upcoming RPG for the PC/Mac/iOs named Legend Of Grimrock. It's by a set of four Finnish game vets, and it looks like a must-play for fans of classic computer RPGs like Dungeon Master.