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Is this a prototype?


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#1 Kid A

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 05:25 PM

So about 9 months ago, a friend came into a game shop i help out at and came in with a box that had an atari 400 which the housing was all cracked and broken, and a handfull of games like pengo, pole position, space invaders, donkey kong and more. There was one that was unmarked and had a label that reads GABE on it. He asked me if i wanted it for free and being it was pretty damaged. And naturally i said yeah!
That night i test the 400 to see if it works,and it does!
I pop in the cart marked GABE and its a game called Kindercomp.


Today, for some reason i opened it and discovered that theres a EPROM that has a sticker on it. I know that this is not typically how its done. Do you guys think this is some sort of prototype?

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Edited by KidA0723, 14 December 2016 - 05:27 PM.

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#2 Justin

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 05:43 PM

Well, you were smart to open it up, that's definitely an EPROM and you're right that it's not how it's typically done.


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#3 kamakazi20012

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 08:02 PM

The sticker is most likely to protect the EPROM.  If the EPROM has a window, and it's exposed to UV light like sunlight, it can damage the EPROM.  There's usually some kind of handwriting on the labels that protect the EPROM(s) but I don't see that here.  It almost looks like an old price tag sticker.  That shell looks almost like the Sega style shells found on some 2600 games.  Does the game have copyright text on a Title Screen or anything?


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#4 RickR

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 08:08 PM

It does look like a normal Kindercomp shell (with the label missing).  I will see if I can open mine up without damaging the label and see if it also has an EEPROM. 


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#5 kamakazi20012

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 08:09 PM

I found a YouTube video on this.

 

 

It appears to have been an official release.  It was available for other computer consoles as well.  Chances are that your copy had lost its label at one point and someone simply used a label to put their name on it.  But...I could be wrong and you could have a prototype of what I have found.  It's really hard to say as Atari systems have tons of prototypes floating around that never got released or were forgot about...and I'm pretty sure there are some that we have yet to see.


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#6 RickR

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 08:16 PM

It is definitely a common game, available for many of the 8-bit computers of the time.  I have it for both Atari and C64.  But it sure seems like the EEPROM is uncommon.  It would be a pretty costly/time consuming way to make cartridges commercially. 


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#7 kamakazi20012

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 08:22 PM

I agree.  But, just a theory, what if the game was faulty and repaired by the publisher/developer?  That is a possibility.  Very rare but it could be possible.  Does the shell to your copy of this game look like the one in the first posting, RickR?


Edited by kamakazi20012, 14 December 2016 - 08:24 PM.


#8 RickR

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 08:32 PM

Yes.  I'll post pics a little later.  I think I have several "Spinnaker" games for the Atari 8-bit.  Hopefully one has a loose label so I can open it up. 


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#9 RickR

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 10:57 PM

Well this is interesting.  I don't own Kindercomp....but I own a couple of other Spinnaker carts.  I actually have TWO copies of Alphabet Zoo, and they have two different shell types!  (PS - one of these is now for sale/trade in my store).  Note the grip strips on the back of the top row.

 

I also included MasterType, which is a different company completely, yet uses the same cart shell as one of the Spinnaker games. 

 

None of mine has a loose label, so I can't open them up too see if an EEPROM is present. 

 

My best guess is that some of the minor 3rd party software houses farmed out the manufacture of their carts to whoever was cheapest, and that could change over a production run.  That EEPROM board you found may just be a prototype/proof for a new cart production run.  They didn't waste anything...just throw that test cart into the run....

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Edited by RickR, 14 December 2016 - 10:58 PM.

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#10 Kid A

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 10:58 PM

I know its an officially released game but to be its weird that it has a sticker on the EPROM. i should hook up my 400 anf play it to see if theres any differences but i think my 400 is in storage.
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#11 Kid A

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 11:00 PM

Does the game have copyright text on a Title Screen or anything?


Id have to check. I dont remember.
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#12 RickR

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 11:04 PM

The sticker is there to cover the window.  These things are erased using UV light.  The sticker prevents whats on there from being erased. 


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#13 Scott Stilphen

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 08:05 AM

Smaller companies sometimes used EPROMS with their released carts.  CommaVid, Games By Apollo, Spectravideo, Universal Gamex Corp, and Wizard Video Games all used EPROMS in their VCS carts.


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#14 Video 61

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 02:06 AM

So about 9 months ago, a friend came into a game shop i help out at and came in with a box that had an atari 400 which the housing was all cracked and broken, and a handfull of games like pengo, pole position, space invaders, donkey kong and more. There was one that was unmarked and had a label that reads GABE on it. He asked me if i wanted it for free and being it was pretty damaged. And naturally i said yeah!
That night i test the 400 to see if it works,and it does!
I pop in the cart marked GABE and its a game called Kindercomp.


Today, for some reason i opened it and discovered that theres a EPROM that has a sticker on it. I know that this is not typically how its done. Do you guys think this is some sort of prototype?

 

its a spinnaker cart for sure. as soon as i saw it, i said typical for them. they used a very poor glue material for their labels. that happens a lot. i still have some of their games in stock.

 

thanks,

 

lance

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