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Games that pushed the Atari 8-bit Computer


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#21 RickR

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 03:49 PM

Thanks! And another that pushed the POKEY chip: SAM - software automated mouth.

Phonetically spelled out curse words...prank call programs...oh the fun! My friends and I made a game of it.

Edited by RickR, 07 January 2016 - 03:50 PM.

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#22 Lost Dragon

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 10:32 PM

  • From a purely technical point of view (by that i mean ignoring for a moment just how few copies an A8 version would shift, compared to that on C64/ZX Spectrum/Amstrad CPC etc, here in the UK), i was initally very surprised not to see more Isometric 3D games on the A8, already mentioned Armaroute and Head Over Heels, but there was also Molecule Man and of course Chimera!.
I had an email exchange going with Shahid Ahmad a while ago (but the planned interview kinda fizzled out as he was busy/i was stuggling as he'd not written a lot on the Atari...) and it seems despite the A8's fast CPU, it's limited PMG/Sprite ability didn't make it an idea platform for this genre...

 

Mentioned C64 Lemmings earlier on today over on the Amiga thread, so only fair to bring forth the nearest the A8 had, with it's clone:The Brundles, by no means perfect, but it still amazed me to discover someone had done a commercial Lemmings clone on the A8:

 

http://www.google.co...7ytLRb4Wtd-DGrQ

 

:-) Damn you Greyfox, i'm supposed to be getting out of research stuff, pronto, but this thread inspired me to have 1 last roll of the A8 dice...

 

Just emailed another possible A8 era contender for an informal chat, not looking for full interview route if i can help it, too time consuming, but it'd be great if he replied....

 

Fingers crossed :-)

 

Archer Maclean commenting on Atari Dropzone VS C64 version, whilst suppling playing tips to Zzap64, Issue 5: 'Those who can reach megastar status on the C64 should have had enough practice to attempt an Atari supervised Dropzone mission.The Atari, being the porsche of home computers, is capable of running dropzone 2.5X faster than the C64 and can handle any amount of blobs on screen, even when you release a Strata Bomb.It is visually, sonically etc indentical and about 12K shorter'. Also, nothing ever came of the A8 potential interview, but hopes were never that high and in terms of the interviews i've still out-still waiting :-( And so is Unseen64, who emailed over this today: ' As most of the other people that i sent questions to are not responding at all, i think now i will limit the questions to 10, maybe if they are not too much it would be easier for them to answer.. so no need for many questions, just the most important ones! :) '


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#23 Greyfox

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 06:48 PM

Great stuff Fella, Have begun backing into the videos, and will be doing a series of these games as part of an Atari 8-bit Games that pushed the limits of the A8, so watch out for those. Just finished an Atari ST game today and will post about shortly in the ST section of the site.

 

Keep the scene alive pal ;)


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#24 Video 61

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 06:50 PM

 

Into The Eagle's Nest is one of the best. It managed to get a lot of sprites on the screen at the same time, flicker free, and smooth movement. Sometimes when you're moving sprites on the screen there's jerkiness especially if there's a lot of stuff moving at once, and this one didn't.

 

Atari could have easily put Into The Eagle's Nest onto the 7800 or Lynx, it was a very modern game. Why wasn't this on the Atari 7800?


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#25 kamakazi20012

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 09:33 PM

Into The Eagle's Nest was probably not made for the 7800 because of a few things.  After reading programming guides for the 7800 it can appear that the system might not have been able to handle the memory requirements for the game.  Then again it could have been the timing of the 7800 as well.  It came way too late in the game to have much of a shelf-life.  By the time it came out others had moved on to other systems and the 16-bit consoles were just around the corner so why waste time on another 8-bit system?  For the most part, when looking back, the 7800's library was tired and boring when compared to what Nintendo and Sega was publishing even if it was filling in a much needed arcade-style gap.  Just a theory anyway.  

 

Then again, from what I've been told, there are a lot of things that Atari should have done but never did.  That 5200 JR model Atari Museum for example is stunning and I would have bought one.  The crash and management/owners of Atari back then I don't believe realized all the potential in the stuff they were creating.  It's a shame really and talent gone to waste.  So, the 7800 should have received Into The Eagle's Nest but missed it.  


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#26 Lost Dragon

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 09:20 AM

Into The Eagles Nest seems like the ideal contender for 7800, loved it on C64, impressed by video footage on the A8 version.Personally think it would of been too old for Lynx and not ideally suited for the Lynx small screen myself.

 

Oh and cough, when i interviewed Terry Greer for ST Gamer volume 2, we chatted about his plans for Into The Eagles Nest II, which sadly never arrived :-(

 

I'll try and put more stuff A8 etc related up, but fast approaching the point where i've simply chatted about/interviewed relating too...everything A8/ST/7800/Lynx/Jaguar etc related i wanted covered, so not sure just how much more is left in me. 


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#27 Lost Dragon

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 09:30 AM

Apparently A8 Dropzone took 4.5 months of 18 hrs a day coding by Archer Maclean and came about as a result of his earlier conversions of Defender and Stargate for the Atari 800, never seeing the light of day for legal reasons.

 

The A8 was actually used a few times in C64 Magazine, ZZap64, their C64 review of Bounty Bob Strikes Back, used A8 screens and the magazine was honest enough to admit this and they also used A8 screens of Elektraglide to preview the C64 version, with Jazza Rignal admitting the A8 screens were a lot prettier than the forthcoming C64 screens, (due to the A8 hardware offering more colours). 


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#28 kamakazi20012

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 10:09 AM

Apparently A8 Dropzone took 4.5 months of 18 hrs a day coding by Archer Maclean and came about as a result of his earlier conversions of Defender and Stargate for the Atari 800, never seeing the light of day for legal reasons.

 

The A8 was actually used a few times in C64 Magazine, ZZap64, their C64 review of Bounty Bob Strikes Back, used A8 screens and the magazine was honest enough to admit this and they also used A8 screens of Elektraglide to preview the C64 version, with Jazza Rignal admitting the A8 screens were a lot prettier than the forthcoming C64 screens, (due to the A8 hardware offering more colours). 

 

Now we know why Jack bought Atari.  It was a conspiracy!  It was his way of slowly destroying Atari while Commodore could live on.   :rofl:

 

In all honesty, I had a C64 in 2005 that a co-worker literally gave me with a floppy drive and ton of copied floppy disks.  It was cool and all but I didn't like it all that well.  When I ordered an Atari 800 shortly after from V61 (no...it's not an advertisement trick) I was not surprised to feel the Atari 8-bit computer seem more powerful.  It also remains, in my opinion, the most supported and well documented computer for the time because of Atari making it an open system for anyone to develop for.  There are hundreds of books just on programming the Atari.  I truly believe that the APX and Atari computers were one of the best business tactics to ever come about...and something that would be nice to see again in a modern world.


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#29 Lost Dragon

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 08:30 AM

These 2 i both discovered and loved on the C64 and then was delighted to see had been written for the A8 also:

 

Druid and Joe Blade:

 

http://www.google.co...QvNo-mpTCzUVcUw

 

 

Later Joe Blade games were sadly a let down :-( and Druid really came into it's own in 2-Player mode, strictly speaking it struggled as a single player game, as going got tough very quickly.

 

If only those TGM claims of John converting Druid II to the A8 were true...sigh.

 

And you cannot have a thread like this without mentioning the Dream Team of (Adam) Gilmore and (Ian) Copeland.

 

These 2 might not match the C64 versions, but they are superb on A8, i give you Draconus and Blinky's Scary School (Love the title screen music):

 

http://www.google.co...uT8taE9jiyxv1MA

 

 

Hard to believe Ian has been credited with the awful GunLaw....

 

Also, no one ever seems to mention the fact Ian's sister, Maureen also coded on the A8, she converted Transmuter for Codemasters to the A8.

 

With Epyx's Winter Games II (and sadly Summer Games II) never appearing on A8, despite being annouced, it was upto Tynesoft to fill the gap.

 

Winter Olympiad'88:

 

http://www.google.co...teTSAoNGM_MnjRQ

 

Strange after all this time, no-one seems able to shed any light on wether A8 Winter Games II/Summer Games 2 ever progressed past the planning stages.

 

Ex-Epyx coders been interviewed more times, by more people than i care to remember, but still we seem in the dark :-(.

 

I'd previousily been totally unaware of Assault Force 3D.

 

It looks to be a very impressive (and colourful) Battlezone clone (and i love the sound fx).

 

Marketing blurb said it used an extra maths chip or something?

 

'Exciting new "real" 3D graphics on 48K disk. Includes Super Charger Power Booster cartridge for fast realistic 3 dimensional graphics.

 

http://www.google.co...55Fqaj5M1f-WnPA

 

So, a Disk-Only A8 game that used an add-on cart to assist with the maths for the 3D?

 

Were there other titles that used a similar method?.That's pretty damn sweet, i mean A8 CPU for the time was no slouch, but this opened up whole new avenue of potential, i guess it simply wasn't cost-effective though?.


Edited by Justin, 19 February 2016 - 07:35 PM.


#30 RickR

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 10:09 PM

How about Deflektor?  I never knew this game existed for the 8-bit until today.  Been playing it.  The music gets tiring, but the game itself looks great and is really fun. 

 


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#31 Lost Dragon

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 10:20 PM

Deflektor was a sweet little puzzler (i dabbled with on the C64).The concept seems very much inspired by the Giant Laser puzzle from Dan Dare:

 

 

(Skip to around 11.50) Where you had to align mirrors and fire the laser to destroy the computers.

 

Talking of Dan Dare..ST version was in the works, but sadly never finished :-(.

 

Back on topic, pity A8 Deflektor never recieved a proper commercial release at the time...

 

:-(

 

 

Nice little write-up on it here:

 

http://www.atariprot...r/deflektor.htm

 

Totally agree if it had been released it wouldn't exactly of saved the A8 range, espically as it was widely avaiable on other formats, but it did make great use of the hardware and we could of done with a good few more conversions of this quality from the C64 etc.

 

'We're generally of the opinion that the Atari is a better computer for graphics at least, and it's easier to do fairly spectacular things on it'

 

Noah Falstein, Project Leader on Koronis Rift, Lucasfilm, March 1986, comparing the A8 with the Commodore 64.....

 

Think a good few people on here might well hold similar thoughts Noah :-)

 

Another later commercial A8 title i never hear folks talk about:

 

Basil the Great Mouse Detective (Gremlin Graphics)

 

http://www.google.co...Dzy_x2o8X2PhmBA

 

Sure, it's not a 128K+, 10 years in the making, pre-calculated data trickery game or quite as good as the C64 version, but it was nice to see Gremlin still supporting the A8 and desrves some love for what was gotten from the hardware.


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#32 Greyfox

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 06:05 AM

That was certainly a really good title on the Atari, but with little or no clues on what you had to do, it's didn't in my opinion fit the strong or progress of the film? But it's coding, music from Ben Daglish was well received. Another few games that I feel were excellent and excelled the Atari 8 as a great games machine was L.K. Avalon's 1992 Adax, video below


Follow by this little gem a year later from L.K.Avalon's Spy Master which has fantastic Animation and very decent graphics from this of 6 years previously seen in Atari games and even contains a hidden Centipede game at the end.


Prime examples of polish coding at its best there and the following with no exception, it show that later devs could do tricks with the Atari 8-bit that earlier coders could only dream off and with the next title is a perfect example of this, a game not released over here commercial, but in Poland of its home origin, a title by the name of " Magia Krysztalu " has fantastic graphics, music, animation and the charter can even morph into another creature right before your very eyes, but alias is only in Polish, no English translation for such a lovely game :(

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMCjREUkKUM


Edited by Greyfox, 09 October 2016 - 01:25 PM.

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#33 Lost Dragon

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 06:50 AM

Yeah for a game you'd think was aimed more at the younger market, Basil's lack of focus for the player was an odd decision, but i felt it worthy of inclusion as it's a game by the talented Armour and Daglish that never seems to crop up in the commercial press A8 coverage, not in look at the more obscure games or Bob never seems to be asked about it etc.So i thought i'd do my bit to bring it into the limelight.

 

I'd of hoped Gremlin would have supported the A8 more as an A8 owner at the time, but having chatted to Ian Stewart about how well Atari games did on A8 and Lynx etc, it's now easy to see just why the support wasn't there.

 


Huge thanks for bringing Adax and Spy Master to my attention, not familar with either.Both seem to offer up some chunky sprites, but these are offset by great animation and use of colour.

 

As an A8 and C64 owner at the time, it still makes me smile these days to read online 8 Bit wars with people claiming C64 was home to blocky graphics (its as if titles like Last Ninja 1-3, Stormlord 1+2, Heartland etc etc, that used the higher resolution modes without loss of colour, never existed), yet the lower resolution modes of A8/7800 games compared to their rival systems are totally over looked.Guess thats more Atari Crazy at it's best.

 


Magia Krysztalu looks very, very impressive (and more the shame it never had a UK translation), nice big, chunky sprites, great use of colour (seems to be the trademark visuals here) and high res, yet monochrome panel, clever mixing of screen modes there.


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#34 Greyfox

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 05:24 AM


I thought on this topic and since I've gotten back into doing video on you tube, here is my latest offering cover a company in 3 part gameplay review, I decided to cover Datasoft, the first of these three videos cover a brief history of who was behind the company and then onto the first game, which was an easy selection of three classic games, the first being the great "Bruce Lee" so please check it out, thanx


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#35 Lost Dragon

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 08:25 AM

Another outstanding YT video there Greyfox, cannot wait for the others.

 

I'm going to add this one:

 


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#36 Lost Dragon

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 12:27 PM

The last full priced A8 game i ever bought, The Living Daylights by Domark:

 

 

Atari User Magazine claim review copy they were sent had better title screen, extra levels etc, but these were cut due to memory issues.Never been able to find out IF this was true, but this is the magazine that had A8 Elite in it's top 20 sales charts (never coded and claimed to of seen Adam Caveman running, lol).

 

I do know there were versions planned for the ST and Amiga though, so another potential Lost ST game there.


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#37 Greyfox

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 12:48 PM

Many thanks for your appreciation Fella, delighted you and many others have enjoyed the video, the next one next week, no Two wonderful games there, I remember loading up Gremlins and marvelling at how good the graphics and character animation was in the game, and saying to myself, why can't all games be this smooth running? Living daylights would of being one I wasn't around for considering I moved to the ST in 1986, this would of been 1987, so I was 16-bit'ing at that time, but still great scrolling and multiple layer going on, showed the A8 was not out of its reign by any stretch of the imagination.

Another game that fits on par with Gremlins was Broaderbund's lovely little classic "Drol" the colour edition, it's a 2d up'n'down platformer shooting scorpions and flying chicks or duck, anyways the animation and fantastic sprites holds a place here


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#38 Lost Dragon

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 02:39 PM

Sadly living Daylights gameplay didn't match the visuals...

loved the look of Drol, new one on me and looked more vibrant than C64 version liked the pokey sound Fx more as well.
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#39 Lost Dragon

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 06:04 PM

If it hadn't been for the Atari 800, along with Star Raiders being featured in a Maplin Electronics Catalogue, catching Chris Kingsley of Rebellion fame's eye back in 1977 and him thinking the game sounded cool and thus nagging his mum and dad day and night until they bought him one, just for this 'Killer App' he say's he'd never of wanted to work out how games were made and thus make his own.

 

No Rebellion, no Jaguar Killer App in form of AVP, no Sky Hammer either and no Windows'95 AVP or Rogue Trooper (Xbox/PS2/Wii) years later.

 

So yet again i thank you Atari and Star Raiders :-)



#40 Paul

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 01:54 PM

Encounter is one of my favs. The AI is great. Tempest Xtreem is one of the best homebrews- it's highlights are the music and the speech that was implemented without screen blank. Space Harrier - I wish I could take a cart back to 1983 and drop it off to someone competent. Capture the Flag - two player simultaneous split screen 3D, with really good copy protection in 1982? WTF? Drol- great gameplay and animation. Bomb Jack - great work, but requires extra ram most do not have. Crownland - extra ram required, but needs to change the jump from up on the joystick to the button, I hate that. So many more..
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