Jump to content
HDN

Harry's Adventures in 7800 Collecting

Recommended Posts

Real quick I'd like to thank everyone for convincing me to buy this amazing system!

In this thread, we will explore my growing collection for the Atari 7800 ProSystem. Since I got it because of the people on this site, why not share it with them? 

I first got my 1988 model 7800 on August 31 of this year, 2020. With it came bundled everything someone buying the system in the 1980s would: two ProLine controllers, the power cord, the R/F cord, etc. But for a while the only game I had for it was the pack-in, Pole Position II, a great game but absolutely horrendous pack-in title (unless you're @Atari 5200 Guy). I love this game with all my heart. I'm a pretty big Pole Position 1 fan, and this improves on that game in almost every way. Though I can see how some say it didn't age well, I still think it holds up to this day as a fun arcade racer. A great introduction to the system for me.

image.jpg.c705df7e4ba9c3e7f205470649e979fb.jpg

Shortly after I started playing, I noticed the two controllers were acting up. They were acting a bit sluggish and unresponsive. I cleaned one and it was fine... For a day. The left button started alternating between not working at all to constantly acting like being pressed down. I disassembled it again, repositioned the tape I used to hold down the metal thingy over the button contact and voila! It worked well again... For another day. Keep in mind these are NOT fun to reassemble once you've cleaned it. Today I did a bit of research and saw I was putting the mini button boards in on the wrong angle. WHOOPS! So for right now they both work, emphasis on "for right now".

I said I would make a post about the two new 7800 games I got today, so here they are: One-on-One Basketball and Karateka. Why would I buy Karateka, you ask? Well, I actually spent zero dollars on this, depending on how you look at it. I got my $5 discount, which paid for One-on-One in its entirety, plus there was a buy one get one free thing going on. Buy a 7800 game, get Pole Position 2 or Karateka free.

image.jpg.1d6620fb62603df97c7ed5bf744123ac.jpg

Weird angle on that picture there...

I'll talk about Karateka first, as it was the first of the lot I popped in. Is it as bad as everyone says it is? Well, no, but it's not very good either. If I didn't already listen to this episode of the 7800 GBG podcast I would have no clue what the controls did. But now that I do it's at least playable, so thanks, @nosweargamer, I guess. Overall, I've had my fun with it, but I wouldn't recommend it. Glad I got it for free just to see what all the fuss was about.

One-on-One, on the other hand, is quite fun in both single and multiplayer. I played as both Bird and Erving and could tell no difference between the two. Controls are nice. Games last a touch too long. I can totally see this as a proto-NBA Jam. I would recommend it, and I hate sports games.

I will reply to this as my collection grows. Feel free to reply to suggest things, ask questions, just talk, etc. Have a nice night, everyone!

 

EDIT: THE LIST

I'm going to keep this list updated as I collect new 7800 games.

Pole Position II (Loose, pack-in variant)

Karateka (Loose, color label)

One-on-One Basketball (Loose, color label)

Edited by HDN
I've added a new list

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, TrekMD said:

Oh man, Karateka on the 7800 is awful!  It really needs to be hacked to improve the control system on it.   One on One is a cool game, though.  🙂

There is definitely room for improvement in Karateka's control department. I feel the main problem is the delay. The controls are honestly the most delayed I've ever seen in my life. It makes NES Karate Champ look like it's the smoothest controls around. I don't mind the whole joystick-wheel approach for punches and kicks, though I wish it worked when the button was pressed instead of without. 

One on One is truly great!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, HDN said:

One on One is truly great!

I think so too.  It's a master-lesson on great controls.  You can do so much with just a joystick and one button.  Try doing a 360 degree slam dunk.  The original version on Apple 2, C64 and Atari 8-bit are all about the same and truly classic.  But oh-boy, you should see the Colecovision version.  It's hilariously bad.  It's on my want list, but it's hard to find. 

Oh, and the sequel (Jordan vs. Bird) is TERRIBLE!  It's on NES and other systems.  Complete stinkeroo. 

Edited by RickR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not owned or tried Karateka.  Sounds like a game you would gift someone on that one list who hasn't exactly been good.  Maybe?  One on One I have but haven't given it a serious chance.  I need to try it someday.  

If you like Pong style games Hat Trick might interest you.  I know it's suppose to be hockey but it reminds me more of a fancy Pong game than hockey.  My absolute favs on the 7800 are Asteroids and Ballblazer.  Those and Ms. Pac-Man are my go to games.  Xevious looks and sounds really good, Galaga is entertaining as well.  Keep an eye peeled for Commando!  It is much better than the NES version.  Finally, I recommend upgrading to a Europad when you can.  Your hands will thank you for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, HDN said:

Pole Position II, a great game but absolutely horrendous pack-in title (unless you're @Atari 5200 Guy).

PP II was not all bad.  The SMS I got one Christmas came with Great Football and the machine was the model with the hidden snail maze game.  Not very impressive to me.  Sound wise I prefer the 7800's sounds.  They are not as ear piercing as the SMS sounds.  

PP II I spent a lot of time with.  I loved the visuals and track options.  I didn't like the controller or how it shifted (up for hi, down for low) but I grew to accept them.  I personally thought the sounds coming from the system were weak at first but I appreciated the familiar tone that I would label as the Atari sound.  Like I said...it's pleasing.  As cheap as Jack was I'm surprised it came with a game at all.  

But, to each their own.  PP II and the 7800 were my initial experience and memories with the system.  It could have been worse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok. Finally out of Posting Jail. Time to do some mad multiquoting.

19 hours ago, RickR said:

There is a difference between Bird and Erving:  Bird is better at outside shots.  He'll make 3 pointers pretty consistently.  Erving is a better inside player.  He's harder to block once he's shooting inside the key.

 

Thank you for this bit of information, @RickR. That adds a bit of strategy to the game. I will have to experiment with the both of them to see who works better with my play style (which is still in development, by the way).

17 hours ago, RickR said:

I think so too.  It's a master-lesson on great controls.  You can do so much with just a joystick and one button.  Try doing a 360 degree slam dunk.  The original version on Apple 2, C64 and Atari 8-bit are all about the same and truly classic.

It really does control great for a one-button game. It's honestly hard to believe what they managed to do with all the different moves being mapped to one button and still being fun and fluid. It's not like Title Match or Kung-Fu Master; from what I heard they try to accomplish the same thing but entirely fail. Granted, there are more moves to do in those games and there's a greater variety of them, but the one button really does work wonders for One-on-One 7800. The other versions look good, too. Except...

17 hours ago, RickR said:

But oh-boy, you should see the Colecovision version.  It's hilariously bad.  It's on my want list, but it's hard to find. 

Just looked it up yesterday. It looks horrendous, like two inbred Sneetches playing basketball. But it doesn't look like it plays very poorly, but I can't speak for gameplay there as I've never played. The Colecovision was much more capable than this.

17 hours ago, RickR said:

Oh, and the sequel (Jordan vs. Bird) is TERRIBLE!  It's on NES and other systems.  Complete stinkeroo. 

I did emulate this before I bought the 7800 cart. It is horrendous. I don't know why I bought the 7800 game after this experience, but I'm glad I did.

Oh, and by the way @RickR, your Galaxian cartridge is currently out for delivery. It will most likely come within the next 3 1/2 hours according to the tracker.

12 hours ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

I have not owned or tried Karateka.  Sounds like a game you would gift someone on that one list who hasn't exactly been good.  Maybe?  One on One I have but haven't given it a serious chance.  I need to try it someday.  

Let's just say I never would have bought it if it wasn't free. But now that I've played it it's marginally better than I thought. Controls take lots of getting used to. If I didn't listen to the podcast I would be completely lost. But the controls work alright, but it's the delay that really kills it. I've heard the other versions of the game are much better, so you might want to try those.

Quick question about Karateka: How do you avoid those darn birds? I hate those stupid things. I don't think you can duck in the game, so what do you do to avoid it? I know you can't kill it from the episode on @nosweargamer's podcast covering this game.

Edit: Apparently, you can kill it, but it's very difficult. Thanks, @RickR for telling me how to do this.

Edit 2: Apparently, you can't kill it. I guess I was right? I'm very confused. Thanks, @nosweargamer for your comment.

12 hours ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

If you like Pong style games Hat Trick might interest you.  I know it's suppose to be hockey but it reminds me more of a fancy Pong game than hockey.

It's funny that you say that. The only positive review I've seen so far on the internet called it a fancy Pong game, too. It looks like an evolution of the Fairchild Channel F hockey game. It's in my top games to get. If anyone has a duplicate they're willing to part with for a decent price, please PM me. The only way I can pay is by sending a check in the mail, so keep that in mind.

And to answer your question, yes, I do like Pong games. One of my favorite 2600 titles is Video Olympics. It barely didn't make my top ten for the platform. There are loads of good games on the 2600 as you all know.

12 hours ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

My absolute favs on the 7800 are Asteroids and Ballblazer.  Those and Ms. Pac-Man are my go to games. 

I will need to get those soon. Sadly, Ballblazer has gone WAY up over the past few years in price. It went from around $8 to $30! I think this might be linked to the POKEY harvests. Save the Ballblazer carts! But I will need to get Ms. Pac-Man and Asteroids sometime. They look fun.

12 hours ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

Xevious looks and sounds really good, Galaga is entertaining as well. 

I'm currently negotiating with @chas10e for those titles as well as Food Fight. I think I'm close to sealing the deal. Or at least I hope I am. I am hyped to get these games sometime, even if the deal falls through.

12 hours ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

Keep an eye peeled for Commando!  It is much better than the NES version. 

I will! The only exposure I've had to Commando is the 2600 version, though I can tell that's not a particularly accurate representation of the game. I know the 7800 version is a bit on the pricey side, so I'll have to save up for it. It's probably worth the price of admission for the kickin' POKEY soundtrack.

12 hours ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

Finally, I recommend upgrading to a Europad when you can.  Your hands will thank you for it.

I can't afford that! Plus, I really dig the ProLine controllers. Maybe Seagull 78 someday, but I much prefer the ProLine to the Atgames Genesis controllers I have. And yes, I've checked. They do work with the Atari systems.

12 hours ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

PP II was not all bad. 

I think you misunderstood me a little bit there, @Atari 5200 Guy. I think the game is a blast and a great reason to buy the system nowadays. Just not a big system-seller back when the 7800 was still on store shelves. I mean, in one corner you have the NES and Super Mario Brothers, and in the other you have a port of an old arcade game in a genre that just doesn't have the same mass appeal. I do really enjoy the game, though. My favorite so far that I've played.

12 hours ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

PP II I spent a lot of time with.  I loved the visuals and track options.  I didn't like the controller or how it shifted (up for hi, down for low) but I grew to accept them.  I personally thought the sounds coming from the system were weak at first but I appreciated the familiar tone that I would label as the Atari sound.  Like I said...it's pleasing.  As cheap as Jack was I'm surprised it came with a game at all.  

You know, you're right about Jack Tremiel being very cheap. Now that you mention it I too am surprised it came with the game at all. I also like the multiple tracks. It's like four games in one! Nowadays, four tracks in a game is pitiful, but it must've been pretty cool for 1984 or even to a slightly lesser degree in 1986.

11 hours ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

Pointer should you ever get one.  Never connect a 7800 controller to an Atari ST computer.  You will fry the computer's video circuitry.

Thanks for that. I don't have plans on getting an Atari ST anytime soon, but if I ever did I would most likely try out all of my controllers of the same connector on it (like Genesis and 2600). That reminds me of an 8-Bit Guy video I watched. I don't remember what video it was, but I remember him saying that you can fry your 2600 with a Genesis controller by using the Select button. Now, I know there's no select button on the Genesis pad, but there is a Select line, and I'm pretty sure that's what he's referring to. I couldn't find any information on Google about what the select line on the Genesis controller does, but maybe someone here knows. My guess is that it involves the extra buttons on the 6-Button controller (that's what I have), but I have no clue. I rarely use my Genesis controllers with my Atari systems, so it's not a big deal, but I'm curious. What does the Select line do on the Genesis pad? 

 

Thank you all for replying to my thing! I will try to keep you all updated on my 7800 collecting and if I get those games from our guy, @chas10e! He's a super nice person to talk with and according to the member feedback he seems like a well-respected trader and seller!

Edited by HDN
Kareteka Bird 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To kill the bird in Karateka, you have to give him a high kick.  The timing has to be just right.  Not very easy with those terrible controls.

In the computer version, you'll run as often as you can, and as soon as you hear the audio cue that a bird (or another warrior) is coming, you get back into fighting stance.  And prepare to kick.

On the 7800, this all becomes so clumsy.  It's hard to run when you should. 

 

Edited by RickR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Iirc, you should be able to kick the bird, but in the 7800 version for some reason you can't. It's very frustrating: you can't hit it, but it can hit you. I think if you're doing high kicks when he shows up, you might not get hit. It seems to depend I'm the animation that is occurring when the bird passes you. And with the delayed controls it's very hard to time right.

Believe it or not beating the game is on my 7800 bucket list. I've been able to make it to the final boss but not win.

Edited by nosweargamer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, nosweargamer said:

Iirc, you should be able to kick the bird, but in the 7800 version for some reason you can't. It's very frustrating: you can't hit it, but it can hit you. I think if you're doing high kicks when he shows up, you might not get hit. It seems to depend I'm the animation that is occurring when the bird passes you. And with the delayed controls it's very hard to time right.

Believe it or not beating the game is on my 7800 bucket list. I've been able to make it to the final boss but not win.

I hope you can do it eventually.  I had this game on the Atari 8-bit, and I got good enough to beat it regularly.  But that 7800 version is just brutal due to the sluggishness and poor controls.  I usually just stop after making it past level 1 and go play the computer version. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure if you have a list of must haves that you need to get on the 7800 but one game you need to think about getting for it before you can't..

Rikki & Vikki. It looks amazing...sounds amazing. It is a fun game to play if you like puzzle platformers. But you do have to beat the game on 2 player to get the correct good ending to the game from what I've been told.

http://www.penguinet.net/Games/Rikki_Vikki/Purchase/index.php

From there you need to get Food Fight and then start saving up for all of the excellent homebrews that have been released for the 7800. 

On the controllers, while I've not used the Europads myself, I can vouch highly for getting one of these:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/727835548/atari-7800-2600-joystick-controller?ref=yr_purchases

I've tried nearly a dozen other modded NES style controllers and never been happy with any of them as the directionals on the dpad for them just seem to work goofy. Almost like ghosted direction presses. But this controller I picked up from Retrogameboyz Etsy store has been amazing! I've been using it for all of my 7800 playing lately and basically think it is required for my speed runs of the current homebrew game being developed Knight Guy: Castle Days.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@CrossBow I don't think I will be able to get that game in time, sadly. I think there's a 7800 flash cart somewhere I can get someday. I don't remember what it's called. It goes along with Harmony in some way I believe. 

I'm getting a few games from @chas10e as I mentioned before, but we finally sealed the deal. That means I will have Galaga and  Xevious. Plus Food Fight, the ever-so-important game I apparently can't live without. Then I'm going to lay low for a bit and enjoy my collection for a few months. I will have a nice variety of games that will keep me busy on the 7800.

I can't afford Ricky and Vicky at the present. The way you talk about it reminds me a bit of Bubble Bobble. I love that game.  I don't think Ricky and Vicky will still be available when I'll able to get it, though 

A few games I would like to get eventually are:

Hat Trick

Ballblazer

Mario Bros.

Dig Dug

Ms. Pac-Man

Centipede

Asteroids

Donkey Kong

Desert Falcon

Water Ski (highly unlikely I get anytime soon)

Joust

Frenzy (homebrew)

K.C. Munchkin (homebrew)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are now down to 33 copies of Rikki and Vikki as of today. I don't believe the rom version will likely ever be sold and even if it did. That homebrew is using a lot of custom hardware in it that a flash cart isn't likely to support. There are 2 carts in development for the 7800 for flash cart usage. There is the Concerto which Batari had stopped working on for a few years but he picked it back up recently and has made some excellent progress on the compatibility issues it was having that originally prevented him from releasing it. The other is the Dragonfly being developed by the same guy that made the cool Agacart for the Atari Lynx. His has an LCD display to show you the game you have selected and works in a very different way from most other cartridges. Basically the cartridge itself is powered on first so you select the game you want it to load up and emulate. Then the cartridge turns on the 7800 with the game image loaded up in it. So a very different type of operation but the Dragonfly from what initial testing seems to be so far 100% compatible with everything tossed at it minus Rikki & Vikki due to the custom hardware that game uses within the cartridge.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW. Just looked up some gameplay footage of Rikki and Vikki. Crazy impressive audiovisuals for the system.

7 minutes ago, CrossBow said:

They are now down to 33 copies of Rikki and Vikki as of today. I don't believe the rom version will likely ever be sold and even if it did. That homebrew is using a lot of custom hardware in it that a flash cart isn't likely to support.

Shame I won't get a chance to play it. I'm not too bummed though, as there are plenty of other quality titles on the system. I'd be much more sad there weren't so many games I hadn't played yet. Sorry for letting you down, @CrossBow. I know how much you love that game!

Yes, Concerto was the one I was thinking of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if you have secondhand stores in your area @HDN or not but you might keep an eye on them from time to time.  I know you said you are going to lay low for a while but just a bit of advice to pass along is all.  Those 7800 games often get mixed up as 2600 games sometimes if the seller doesn't know what they have.  That use to be the case...I don't know if that is still true nowadays.  

Let's see, you have Xevious, Galaga (I love the sounds in that game), Food Fight, Pole Position II, Karateka, and One-On-One now.  Is that all of them?  If so then you will have enough to last you a while.  For Xevious one of the Difficulty switches on the front changes between each fire button doing something different or both doing the same thing.  If you want one switch to drop bombs and the other to be your standard fire button then the switch goes in one position, if you want either button to drop bombs AND fire then the switch goes in the other position.  I don't remember which way, though, so sorry about that.  Also...switch moved left is B and switch moved right is A I believe.  I don't know why Atari/GCC didn't mark those.  Oh...wait...that would cost a penny more.  Nevermind.

When you get the money saved back up you might ask @Video 61 if he has any used 7800 titles you are looking for.  It never hurts to ask.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

I don't know if you have secondhand stores in your area @HDN or not but you might keep an eye on them from time to time.  I know you said you are going to lay low for a while but just a bit of advice to pass along is all.  Those 7800 games often get mixed up as 2600 games sometimes if the seller doesn't know what they have.  That use to be the case...I don't know if that is still true nowadays.  

Coincidentally, there's a citywide rummage sale tomorrow. If the weather is OK I will do some snooping. I have found some great deals at those before. Game Boy for $3, PS1 for $8, but sadly I missed out on both. I will check.

And yes, we do have a secondhand store within biking distance from our house. I haven't checked their COVID hours, but I've never seen video games in there and have checked quite frequently before the virus.

6 minutes ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

Let's see, you have Xevious, Galaga (I love the sounds in that game), Food Fight, Pole Position II, Karateka, and One-On-One now.  Is that all of them?  If so then you will have enough to last you a while.

Yes, I think it will too. I have had some delays with the Food Fight deal but will be back on track tomorrow hopefully. One way I increase longevity of the games is by keeping a high score notebook. I highlight scores when I beat them. I bet some of you do this.

9 minutes ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

Also...switch moved left is B and switch moved right is A I believe.  I don't know why Atari/GCC didn't mark those. 

Yeah. That was fun trying to figure out when I first got the system.

10 minutes ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

When you get the money saved back up you might ask @Video 61 if he has any used 7800 titles you are looking for. 

Oh, yeah. Forgot he was one of the last remaining dealers. I might do that later in life. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

I use Atari I/O for this 😁

I should submit more scores to the scoreboard. It's all nice now too. Thanks @Justin! I often don't take pictures though. 

Oh and by the way, this doesn't have to be just my adventures in 7800 collecting, it can be yours too. Post cool finds here if you want. We can go on this adventure together! :atari_7800:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...