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Scott Stilphen

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Everything posted by Scott Stilphen

  1. Scott Stilphen

    Battlestar Galactica

    There's a great documentary about it that was done in 2003: As well as a couple retrospect videos about the original and the BG 1980 'sequel': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Af6wuq0h6Fc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RWpZlin6so Personally I loved the show when it first came out. Here was a show that boasted the same special effects that were in Star Wars, with ships flying around in space having laser battles. The sequence showing a Viper ship launching and hitting Turbo was also cool to see (at first..). The main characters Apollo (perfect scifi name, given the Apollo moon missions were still recent enough) and Starbuck (basically Han Solo, complete with laser pistol) were interesting enough, not to mention the bevy of beauties that were always around them. There was even a robotic dog (which was actually a monkey in a costume!). The effects were done by John Dykstra - the same person who headed Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic division which created the special effects for Star Wars. Dykstra left ILM before SW was released, and set up his own special effects company, Apogee, with a few ex-ILM folks, and the first project they worked on was BG. Seeing screens showing squadrons of Cylons and Vipers in vector graphics was also very reminiscent of Star Wars. The show borrowed from Fred Saberhagen's Berzerker series of stories, which tell about an ongoing war between humanity and the Berserkers - self-replicating war machines programmed with one main objective: destroy all life. They were created by the Builders, who were humanoids with a single, 'sliding' eye. Both found their way into Battlestar Galactica in the form of the Cylons and their Base Stars. The Cylon's sliding red eye and monotone voice was the stuff of nightmares to a kid back then It was a great audio and visual effect, which were used in Stern's Berzerk (the sliding red eye also appeared again in another show, Knight Rider). It's a shame the series was cancelled after 1 season, but watching the show years later, it's not hard to see why it was cancelled. After seeing the same handful of special effects footage shown repeatedly, and the same Viper ship launching and "turbo-ing", you realize where most of the budget went (ironically, Dykstra left ILM over Lucas being upset with the effects being over budget and over time. Have to wonder if the same issues doomed BG). Plus the stories run the gambit from very entertaining to very poor. The followup (BG 1980) was just awful, save for maybe the last episode (featuring Starbuck and the Cylons), which was certainly "too little, too late", though there was one special effect from the show that was noteworthy - the time travel visual effect. You've seen the same effect before, in Atari's Star Wars arcade game, when you destroy the Death Star. Atari had plans to create a laserdisc game based on the show, but the project only went as far as this test footage that was assembled: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoUwU6dqSsQ Notice the intro shows a similar "flying through rings" effect Mattel nearly had the first BG video game. Space Battle for the Intellivision (and Space Attack for the VCS) was to be that game, but someone failed to realize they only had the license for electronic games, not video games. The graphics were left unchanged, which is why the enemy ships look like Cylon Raiders. But BG actually influenced another game the year before - Atari's seminal Star Raiders. The game has the player battling the Zylons, with the fighters using Star Wars' Tie-Fighters and the same BG Base Stars:
  2. Scott Stilphen

    Atari VCS/2600 carts

    Last updated 3-1-2019 All cartridges are tested before shipping. Photos of cartridges available upon request. ATARI Adventure (picture label) ($2) Air-Sea Battle Air-Sea Battle (picture label) Asteroids Asteroids (no copyright onscreen) Backgammon Backgammon (picture label) Basketball Berzerk Berzerk (Atari Corp) ($3) Berzerk (PAL) Big Bird's Egg Catch (missing end label) Big Bird's Egg Catch ($2) Bowling (blue text) Bowling (red text) Bowling (picture label) Breakout Breakout (Atari Corp) ($2) Breakout (picture label) Canyon Bomber Casino (picture label) Centipede Championship Soccer (text) Circus Atari Circus Atari (picture label) Combat Combat (picture label) Combat ("01" numbered text) ($2) (A Game of) Concentration Defender Demons To Diamonds Dodge 'Em Dodge 'Em (picture label) E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (orig. label variation) E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (later label variation) Flag Capture (green text) Flag Capture (orange text) Football (green text) Football (yellow text) Football (picture label) Football RealSports Soccer Galaxian Golf Golf (picture label) Haunted House Home Run Home Run (picture label) Home Run (1986 Atari Corp) ($3) Home Run (1987 Atari Corp) ($3) Home Run (1988 Atari Corp) ($3) Human Cannonball Human Cannonball (picture label) Indy 500 Indy 500 (picture label) Jungle Hunt Kangaroo Kangaroo (1988 Atari Corp) ($3) Mario Bros. (Atari Corp) ($3) Maze Craze Maze Craze (picture label) Midnight Magic (white lettering) ($2) Midnight Magic (black lettering) ($2) Millipede (1987 Atari Corp) ($3) Missile Command (lower-case letters) Missile Command (upper-case letters) Moon Patrol (Atari Corp) ($3) Ms. Pac-Man Ms. Pac-Man (1988 Atari Corp) ($3) Night Driver (picture label) Outlaw (picture label) Pac-Man Pac-Man (1987 Atari Corp) ($2) Phoenix ($2) Phoenix (1988 Atari Corp) Pole Position Pole Position (Atari Corp) ($3) Q*bert (red label) ($3) Raiders of the Lost Ark RealSports Baseball RealSports Baseball (1987 Atari Corp) ($2) RealSports Baseball (1987 Atari Corp) ($3) RealSports Boxing ($2) RealSports Football RealSports Football (Atari Corp) ($3) RealSports Football (1987 Atari Corp) ($3) RealSports Soccer (Football) RealSports Soccer (Atari Corp) ($3) RealSports Tennis RealSports Tennis (1987 Atari Corp) ($3) RealSports Volleyball RealSports Volleyball (1986 Atari Corp) ($2) Sky Diver Slot Machine ($2) Slot Racers Snoopy and the Red Baron ($2) Solaris (1988 Atari Corp) ($3) Space Invaders (picture label) Space Invaders (silver) ($3) Space Invaders (text w/o Taito copyright) Space Invaders (text w Taito copyright) Space War (picture label) Sprintmaster ($3) Star Raiders Stargate Street Racer Street Racer (picture label) Super Breakout Superman (picture label) ($2) Surround SwordQuest EarthWorld SwordQuest FireWorld Vanguard Venture ($2) Video Checkers Video Olympics Video Olympics (picture label) Video Pinball (upper-case letters) Video Pinball (lower-case letters) Video Pinball (upper-case end label, lower-case top label) Warlords Yars' Revenge 20th Century Fox Fantastic Voyage ($3) Meltdown ($15) ACTIVISION Barnstorming (2nd label version) Bloody Human Freeway ($15) Boxing Bridge Checkers Chopper Command (The Activision) Decathlon ($2) Dragster Enduro Freeway Grand Prix Ice Hockey Fishing Derby Freeway Kaboom! Laser Blast Megamania Pitfall! Pitfall II: Lost Caverns ($7) River Raid Seaquest Skiing Sky Jinks Spider Fighter Stampede Starmaster Tennis CBS ELECTRONICS Blueprint Gorf Omega Race ($2) COLECO Carnival Donkey Kong Donkey Kong Junior Mouse Trap Venture Zaxxon DATA AGE Encounter At L-5 Journey Escape GAMES BY APOLLO Infiltrate Space Cavern Spacechase Spacechase personalized/monogrammed edition ($35) IMAGIC Atlantis (text) Atlantis (day) Atlantis (night) Cosmic Ark (text) Cosmic Ark Demon Attack Demon Attack (international text) Dragonfire ($2) Fire Fighter No Escape ($3) Riddle of the Sphinx Star Voyager (text) Star Voyager (international text) Star Voyager Trick Shot (text) Trick Shot KONAMI Strategy X (missing end label $3) M NETWORK Adventures of TRON (white label) Air Raiders ($2) Armor Ambush Astroblast Bump 'N' Jump ($3) Dark Cavern Football Lock 'N' Chase Lock 'N' Chase (white label) Space Attack Super Challenge Baseball Super Challenge Football MILTON BRADLEY COMPANY Spitfire Attack (missing end label $3) PARKER BROTHERS Amidar Frogger Spider-Man ($2) Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back SPARROW Arkyology ($20) TELE-GAMES Asteroids Baseball Bowling Brain Games ($2) Breakaway IV Chase (picture label) ($3) Defender (picture label) ($3) Dodger Cars Demons to Diamonds (picture label) ($3) Football Haunted House ($3) Maze (picture label) ($3) Missile Command Outer Space (picture label) ($3) Pac-Man (picture label) ($3) Poker Plus Space Combat Space Invaders Space Invaders Space Invaders (picture label) ($3) Stellar Track ($10) Target Fun Video Chess TELESYS CocoNuts ($3) U.S. GAMES Commando Raid (with box) ($7) Commando Raid Name This Game (angled shell) ($3) Name This Game (angled shell - missing labels) Raft Rider ($3) Sneak'n Peek ($2) Sneak'n Peek (with box and manual) ($10) Space Jockey Towering Inferno ($3) Word Zapper XONOX Artillery Duel/Chuck Norris Superkicks ($10) Ghost Manor/Spike's Peak ($10) Price: $1 each unless noted otherwise + S&H $10 minimum order PM me to order or with any questions
  3. Scott Stilphen

    Atari VCS/2600 carts

    List updated.
  4. Scott Stilphen

    Battlezone - Atari 2600

    Battlezone Atari 2600 Difficulty: Game 1 High Score: 359,000 February 28th, 2019 Battlezone Atari 2600 Difficulty: Game 2 High Score: 182,000 February 28th, 2019
  5. Scott Stilphen

    Squad Challenge - Battlezone (Atari 2600)

    It's the same basic strategy used for the original arcade version.
  6. Scott Stilphen

    Squad Challenge - Battlezone (Atari 2600)

    182,000 I use the tried-and-true strategy of turning and going in reverse. Don't let the tanks get behind you, no matter what. Keep them off to the sides. When you see a shot fly past you, that's when you turn to shoot them.
  7. Scott Stilphen

    Cold Case! - new for the Odyssey2

  8. FYI The video and account have been removed. There's a picture of the original "coyote" costume in my interview with Jerry Donaldson: http://www.ataricompendium.com/archives/interviews/jerry_donaldson/interview_jerry_donaldson.html
  9. Scott Stilphen

    The Twilight Zone 2019

    Most every time an old show is redone (Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Star Trek, etc), there's 'diminishing returns' you might say. It's worth nothing this is the third time TZ is being revived (the first time was in the mid-80s). In regards to the original TZ series, Rod Serling's narration was certainly memorable, but it was the quality of the writing/writers that made that show iconic. So many of the ideas and topics from that original run were truly ground-breaking, and still reverberate through other shows and films today. That was science-fiction when most of it was still truly fiction. There were shows depicting people traveling to other planets years before the first satellite (Sputnik) went into orbit, let alone the first person to reach outer space. Take a show like The Lonely (prob my fav TZ episode). Within 5 minutes, you completely forget it's in b&w and filmed in some barren area. The story and acting just grab you and everything else melts away.
  10. Scott Stilphen

    New Syzygy 3200 Console!

    Another pipe dream project that went nowhere, and like the 3200, the thread only lasted 2 weeks and then.. silence. https://groups.google.com/forum/#!search/jerry$20jessop$20decoder/comp.sys.atari.8bit/fwDnS_i2Xoo/tq39rzsAWvYJ New 8-bit computer full of extra features, with plans to make 100 and sell for $120 each. Yeah, that sounds familiar, but he claimed he had the engineers to do it (I thought HE was an engineer, though?) Once again focusing on plastic shells and and , with the motherboard being the last part he’s focused on. Renowned former Atari alumni Jerry Jessop told him one of his idea of hacking the system to offer RGB output wasn't possible, and the project became vaporware soon after that.
  11. Scott Stilphen

    7800 Arcade Proline controllers

    I would be embarrassed to attach my name to something like that, let alone sell one (and for nearly $100 at that). Someone could write a 'How Not To' book based on those photos, or 'How To Waste $40 in Materials'. Damn. What a box of 'fail'. From poor layout design and construction (destroying a mounting post for the shell for a button that doesn't even fit properly?) to complete lack of wire management, to poor soldering skills (wires already falling off? Looks like he used general purpose acid core solder - same stuff used on pipes!). Even grade school shop projects don't look this bad. And on top of everything, you get a used paddle controller, instead of a new one from Best Electronics. You did a nice job trying to polish that turd, crossbow, but as the saying goes, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig (or was it a wig on a pig?).
  12. The 5200 version of Pac-Man was quite amazing at the time when it came out in late 1982 (compared to the rotten VCS version). It was even better than the 400/800 version that was released a few months earlier (which lacked intermissions and proper monster AI). But the first time I played 5200 Ms. Pac-Man, it was apparent that although it looked better (esp from screenshots), it didn't run nearly as smooth as Pac-Man. The mazes were also smaller, having all this wasted screen space around them. On top of that, it flickered like crazy! In fact, it shows the same flickering issues that VCS Ms. Pac-Man had, due to the use of vertical separation and variable flicker. However, neither of those techniques were required for the 8-bit hardware since that allowed for up to 4 independent sprites (called "player/missile graphics"), instead of the 2 the VCS hardware offered. And the 4 missiles can be combined to basically make another 'sprite', giving you 5. Just look at the 1st Ms. Pac-Man intermission - you have 2 Pac-Man characters and 2 monsters, and when all 4 are on the same horizontal 'line' at the end, the 2 monsters alternately flicker - you can't even get a screenshot of them both at that point, and there's only FOUR objects on the screen! Rather shocking to see just how poorly this version was implemented, being it's basically GCC's flagship title, and considering just how amazing the VCS version is.
  13. Scott Stilphen

    Atari 7800 Joystick Coupler

    I was thinking something similar to the Sega Spy Hunter coupler. The top joystick can easily be rewired so that the directions are correct for other games.
  14. Scott Stilphen

    Atari 7800 Joystick Coupler

    $30. How much were the ones on Etsy? It would be nice if someone was 3D printing the VCS coupler for Spy Hunter, or one that would support all these: http://www.ataricompendium.com/faq/faq.html#software13 Radar Lock - left joystick controls plane; right joystick selects weapons. Raiders of the Lost Ark - left joystick controls the inventory strip; right joystick controls your character. Riddle of the Sphinx - left joystick controls your character; right joystick controls your inventory strip. Spy Hunter - uses the fire buttons from both joysticks. A plastic joystick holder was included, which allowed you to snap 2 standard Atari sticks in and operate them as if they were one controller. Star Raiders - both a joystick (in the left port) and a Video Touch Pad (in the right port) are used. Stargate - left joystick controls the ship and firing; right joystick controls Inviso, Hyperspace, and Smart Bombs.
  15. Scott Stilphen

    Homebrew Titles that had 100 copies?

    3-D Rubik's Cube - 250 copies were made. Actionauts - 250 numbered copies were made, with an additional 50 "unnumbered" copies (but from what I've heard, those are numbered as well). Boulder Dash - 250 copies were made. Bouncin' Baby Bunnies - 60 copies in first run. Good Luck, Charlie Brown - 50 copies were made. Halo 2600 - 130 copies were originally sold at CGE2K10 with a black label. Lasercade - 100 copies were made. Racer - 75 copies were made. CGE releases: Bugs Bunny, Combat Two, Crack'ed, Elevator Action, The Entity, Looping, Pick Up, RealSports Basketball, Snow White - 250 copies of each were made. VideoSoft releases: 3-D Genesis, 3-D Ghost Attack, 3-D Havoc, Atom Smasher, Depth Charge, S.A.C. Alert - 100 copies of each were made.
  16. Scott Stilphen

    TI 99/4a Munchman II repro cartridge

    $15 shipped. PM me if interested, thanks.
  17. I used to have a couple of these. Best Electronics sold these half-clear shells 20+ years ago, usually when buying a prototype copy.
  18. Scott Stilphen

    [SOLD] VCS Custer's Revenge

    This is sold.
  19. Scott Stilphen

    Arcade 1up arcade machines

    Email Arcade 1up they will send out new control panel artwork and a Plexiglas cover. https://www.arcade1up.com/contact-us
  20. Scott Stilphen

    Has my cart split its mortal coil???

    Try a green 3M Scotchpad. Those work great on edge connectors. If that doesn't work, try a piece of fine-grit sandpaper. If that doesn't work, that cart is dead. That board uses COB (chip-on-board), so there's no option to reflow any solder joints. If you're really bored, you can fill in all the pass-through holes on the pcb with solder, but beyond that, there's nothing else you can do.
  21. Scott Stilphen

    Was the Atari 2600 Video Touch Pad a mistake?

    Since the VCS was primarily designed to play Tank and Pong, designing an opto-based controller (to support Trak-ball and racing games) wasn't part of the plan. The paddle controller uses a variable resistor (potentiometer), which is what the arcade Pong game used (as well as Breakout and several others). So Atari certainly could have had an opto-based controller in the late 70s, but the development time and cost would have made it unrealistic. The Driving controller was a clever & cheap workaround to an opto controller, which is basically the same principle the arcade game Sea Wolf used for the periscope. Even by the time Atari released an opto controller in 1983 (the Trak-ball), the software didn't fully support it! So that controller was more marketing hype than anything else. It's only been in the last 15 years or so that programmers have hacked games like Missile Command to take full advantage of the Trak-Ball. They certainly could do the same with all the other driving games - the Colecovision's driving controller would be the best way to go for that.
  22. Scott Stilphen

    2017 Atari VCS/2600 Homebrew List (Final list for the year)

    FYI Dark Cavern "Black Edition" is a hack. You have it listed as a homebrew.
  23. Scott Stilphen

    Atari Flashback Blast!

    There's now 30 different types of Atari Flashback systems since 2004 - 27 of which are from AtGames: http://www.ataricompendium.com/archives/reviews/flashbacks/flashbacks.html
  24. Scott Stilphen

    Was the Atari 2600 Video Touch Pad a mistake?

    Having the keypad certainly made playing Star Raiders easier, but Atari could have implemented all the functions by using the console switches or another joystick, much like how Activision did with Space Shuttle, Sega with Spy Hunter, and Telesys with Stargunner. By the same token, 3rd-party companies could have supported the keypad (ex: Activision with Space Shuttle), but CommaVid was the only one (with MagiCard). Atari only released 5 carts that supported the keypads (Keyboard Controllers) between 1978-1980: A Game of Concentration BASIC Programming Brain Games Codebreaker Hunt & Score Star Raiders was the only cart that used both the joystick and keypad (Video Touch Controller). Activision, Imagic, and Starpath came out with their own Star Raiders knock-offs (with Starmaster, Star Voyager,and Phaser Patrol) - none of which used the keypad. So the keypad wasn't so much of a necessary item for Star Raiders, but as you mentioned, I'm sure Atari's Marketing wanted the opportunity to remind everyone they could have games using keypad controllers as well (which they certainly did with the 5200). The following year was when Atari decided to re-do the keypad again (with the Kids Controller) and planned to support it with no less than 8 titles: Alpha Beam with Ernie Big Bird's Egg Catch Cookie Monster Munch Grover's Music Maker Holey Moley Monstercise Oscar's Trash Race Peek-a-Boo The Driving Controller is really one I had hoped Atari would have supported more. It's the perfect controller for driving games, and a combination of that and a joystick (for shifting) would have been ideal. But other than 2 homebrews (Stell-A-Sketch and Thrust Plus: DC), Atari's Indy 500 was the one and only driving game to use it. Paddles really weren't ideal for driving games, yet Atari used them for Night Driver, That was a very popular title and its release would have been an excellent time to reintroduce the Driving Controllers, as would have the later (top-down) version of Dukes of Hazzard (had it been released) and Pole Position. When Coleco came out with their own driving controller (Expansion Module #2), I immediately thought that was something Atari should have released years before. Would have been nice if homebrew programmers utilized that with new games, or hacked versions of existing ones.