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Harry's Adventures in 7800 Collecting

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I finally got around to playing some Robotron last night. Even though my controller holder is really ugly, it sure does work well! I have played Robotron on the N64 before with the D pad and C buttons, but using two sticks is much more fun!

I also played some Centipede. Amazing fun, amazing system.

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I seriously gotta pick up a 7800 someday. Absolute pinnacle of what Atari could do, a shame it came out so late that the NES completely steamrolled it.

Didn't know a version of Robotron came out on it, though. Pretty ambitious, considering the dual-joystick setup that game requires. (Didn't know there was a N64 port of Robotron, either. I'll have to look that up.)

 

Edited by LeeJ07

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11 hours ago, LeeJ07 said:

I seriously gotta pick up a 7800 someday. Absolute pinnacle of what Atari could do, a shame it came out so late that the NES completely steamrolled it.

Get one. Please. If you get one before I get rid of them, I could send you a couple games. I'm currently trying to find a home for them. I don't want to sell them as they were very kindly sent to me for free by @cjherr. I'd like to pay them forward to someone who'd play them someday, not sure when. My dad and I are trying to work out a deal. I'd like to do some work or something to earn the money to be able to ship them. My only condition for anyone who wants them: they have to pay it forward to someone else when they are able to. Cjherr was nice enough to send me these games, and I'd like to send some for free as well at some point. My end goal here is to get a chain of good deeds going, all to different people.

It is a shame that the NES had to destroy it. The 7800 is a great system (and arguably better than the NES), but it didn't stand a snowball's chance in hell.

11 hours ago, LeeJ07 said:

Didn't know a version of Robotron came out on it, though. Pretty ambitious, considering the dual-joystick setup that game requires. (Didn't know there was a N64 port of Robotron, either. I'll have to look that up.)

There are actually two that I'm aware of. The first is a port of the arcade game, which can be found on Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits volume one. It works quite well and is the one I was referring to. Basically, you know how the Virtual Boy controller has two D-Pads on it? The controls remind me of that. Basically, you use the four C-buttons as a D-Pad. The C-buttons shoot, and the D-pad moves. It works well, but I prefer the sticks of the 7800 version. Maybe it's just because the 7800 version is easier. When I play the 7800 version, I flip-flop the sticks. I use the right joystick to move and the left to fire. I think it's the opposite of the arcade version, but I don't know.

The second "port" is actually a 3D remake, Robotron 64. It looks like it plays basically the exact same as the arcade version, but it has 3D models and plays at an angle. I don't see the point. Reminds me of those arcade game remakes you'd see on Jaguar, but with a bit more polish this time. I don't have this game in my collection, but I have the former.

Don't quote me on any of this! I'm no Robotron enthusiast! I'm just talking about what I remember from the past.

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@HDN As an aside, have you played Ninja Golf yet? Forgive the question if you have and mentioned it in this thread already, I haven't checked all the posts.

Such a weird game concept, though, not that that's a bad thing, mind. It's a shame we never got a proper Ninja Golf franchise.

Edited by LeeJ07

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9 minutes ago, LeeJ07 said:

@HDN As an aside, have you played Ninja Golf yet? Forgive the question if you have and mentioned it in this thread already, I haven't checked all the posts.

Such a weird game concept, though, not that that's a bad thing, mind. It's a shame we never got a proper Ninja Golf franchise.

Nope, I have not. It looks wonderfully bizarre, and I'll need to try it sometime. Unfortunately, the going rate is way too high. I'm not paying $86 for it!

To be honest, I'm more interested in the golf part rather than the ninjas. Not a big fan of beat em ups, but I can enjoy them. This reminds me a lot of Kung Fu (master) on NES, a game I really enjoy. But for now, for the money, I'll stick with NES Golf. I do plan to get it someday as I'd like to have the complete library at some point.

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Whoa, wait, $86? Seriously? I knew it was a late release, but never realized it was that expensive. Then again, I've not yet got into 7800 collecting. Still on my list of long term plans, though, but yeesh. Ninja Golf will go a long time waiting.

I know how you feel about about wanting the full collection, though. A couple years ago I made it my plan to get all 125 commercial releases for the Intellivision. That plan was set back quite badly with the fire, but that's a goal I still have. But yeah, some of those late INTV releases are likewise eye-wateringly expensive.

It's always the late releases in a console's library that'll get you in the end.

Edited by LeeJ07

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Intellivision only had 125 games? I thought they would have more than that.

I don't think I have ever mentioned this on the forums before, but I used to be really embarrassed by not having a 2600. A lot of my friends' parents had them rotting away in a basement. I always considered myself a massive retro video game fan, but I was always a little embarrassed that the oldest console I had was the NES. I always felt a little strange playing 2600 on Wii. Not like I showed it or anything. I'd just be like "Oh, that's cool," and stuff like that. When I got a little older I wasn't jealous anymore, but I just really wished I had one. 

There was this one rich kid in school who always bragged about the cool crap he had. He would also fake-complain like, "Oh, my internet sucks. I can't even get Wi-Fi in my gym!" That was a real thing he said, though I'm paraphrasing a bit. Anyway, one day he wanted a 2600 and his parents just got it for him. He said he played it once and that it sucked and he never touched it again, or something like that. UGH, did that kid bother me back in the day!

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Well there is Mean18 Gold on the 7800 and it isn't too bad at all for a golf game. Ninja Golf is in my opinion overrated. I give it credit for being an original idea, but the golf portion of it is really nothing like golf, and the ninja gameplay aspect is also nothing invovled. The basic gameplay is just Smack the ball in the general direction of the green/hole. You then go through the side perspective view of running towards where the ball landed. Along the way you have to jump and dodge and punch enemies that come at you from in front and behind. Make it to the ball and swing again. When you get to the Green, you throw shuirkens at a very nicely detailed dragon that moves across left and right while shooting fireballs at you. Then...onto the next hole.

 

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Eeeh, I was off by 8.

133 games for INTV in total. 118 carts for the Master Component, 6 for the ECS, and 8 cassettes and 1 cart for the fabled and much delayed Keyboard Component, which is naturally ridiculously rare these days.

At any rate, 118, thereabouts, is a pretty attainable goal, but some of those later games are pushing three digits.

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I've been playing a lot of the 7800 recently, so I feel I am finally worthy of making one of these lists of my own.

This list is dedicated to fellow 7800 noobs. For anyone wanting to get into Atari 7800 collecting, I have compiled a five-cartridge "starter set". These games are cheap and common. Here are my personal picks for the Official HDN Starter Set, in order of importance:

  1. Food Fight
  2. Xevious
  3. Choplifter! (make sure it works with your system)
  4. Desert Falcon
  5. Ms. Pac-Man

There were a lot of games I wanted to ad but just didn't have room for! These games aren't necessarily in my Hall of Fame, but these are easy-to-find and cheap. You'll get a lot of fun out of these cartridges.

Honorable mentions that I didn't include for various reasons:

  • Commando
  • Donkey Kong
  • Hat Trick
  • One-on-One
  • Galaga
  • Centipede
  • Crossbow
  • Dig Dug

And many more!

Happy gaming! I'll update my Hall of Fame soon, as well as my "Trash" games. I also plan on giving away some duplicates at some point (hopefully soon), but I don't know when I will be able. Please look forward to it.

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Well, this is awkward. Turns out I forgot something.

I was actually playing this game earlier today when I realized that I hadn’t posted about it here yet! Not only is this a new 7800 game in the collection, but it is my first ever homebrew cart for any system! I love Super Pac-Man, and I was very happy to have received this game back in November. Thanks again, @socrates63! I hope you weren’t mad that I forgot to post about this game here in this thread.

Like I mentioned, this was from @socrates63. I believe that it was put into the retro junk box initially by @chas10e however. Correct me if I am wrong.

I love this game. This was a pitiful score, though...

5BECEF78-6E1C-4F70-BA37-DC8370C653D6.jpeg.7bf899a4dca0064a180ad347a33db749.jpeg

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7 hours ago, socrates63 said:

That's correct, Harry. The cartridge was already in the junk box when I received it. I simply redirected it your way as I already had it in my collection.

And thanks again.

I love this game a lot.I believe I first played it on Namco Museum Remix for Wii, and I really enjoyed it there. I enjoyed it even more once I got my Pac-Man 35th Anniversary plug and play unit with the super clicky joystick. This game didn't see that many ports, sadly, so I thought that I wouldn't get a physical version of the game anytime soon. I'm very happy to have it on a home console, and I'm also happy that this game doesn't use a POKEY. The great BallBlazer POKEY harvest is like the carrier pigeons and the dodo birds; a once very common cart is now very hard to find (and pricey, mind you) for us 7800 newcomers. Plus, TIA audio has its own charm and is much more impressive when done well than POKEY stuff (not that I don't like POKEY audio; I'm listening to the Commando OST right now).

I also think that it's super cool to own a game for a 35- (technically 37-) year-old system that came out after I was born. I was three when this game came out in 2008! I actually (albeit vaguely) remember 2008! That's when my sister was born. Homebrews are super cool to me, and I've always wanted one since I first learned about them around 2011-2012 with Princess Rescue (which I have yet to put on my Wii). I don't think I'll get that one anytime soon. In fact, I didn't think I'd get ANY homebrew games recently as they're so expensive, especially for me. Not that they're bad games, but I could get a ton of used games that I don't have for the price of one of them. I'm happy to have one at all, especially one based on a game I really love.

And hey, now with the 7800 downstairs, the game's score isn't cut off by the overscan! If I wanted to see the score, I had to use the flatscreen upstairs, and you all know how much I hate playing retro systems on non-CRTs.

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46 minutes ago, RickR said:

Do we know if the ROM for Super Pac Man 7800 (or other homebrew games)  is available for download?  I would love to try it via the Concerto cart. 

Check out the first comment in this thread for the rom: https://atariage.com/forums/topic/132832-7800-super-pac-man-i-found-the-bug/#comments

Manual is here: https://atariage.com/forums/topic/132832-7800-super-pac-man-i-found-the-bug/?do=findComment&comment=1637441

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58 minutes ago, HDN said:

And who would’ve thought this game had High Score Cartridge support? I can find one of those things anywhere for sale. I don’t think they make them anymore.

Harry, are you talking about something like this? https://atariage.com/store/index.php?l=product_detail&p=1194

 

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Just now, socrates63 said:

Harry, are you talking about something like this? https://atariage.com/store/index.php?l=product_detail&p=1194

 

No. Something like this. They were based on prototypes from the olden days of a peripheral that Atari never released. The early launch games by GCC (like Food Fight or Asteroids) actually still have HSC functionality built in. I believe Curt Vendel was somehow involved with this new version.

995B6407-58F3-4963-8BE2-48ED5C943437.jpeg.5c3e6c3383d50b8476876dc31900e33b.jpeg

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Using the internet Wayback machine, I was able to visit atari7800.com. This is from May of 2001. Apparently the site was having problems at the time. I wonder if it is different in the earlier archived pages.

https://web.archive.org/web/20010517013954/http://www.atari7800.com/

 

EDIT: here’s another link from when the site was more active. January of 2001.

https://web.archive.org/web/20010110201900/http://atari7800.com/

Edited by HDN

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@socrates63, check this out. It’s pretty interesting. This is an excerpt from Atari7800.com’s home page:

Atari7800.com will continue to grow over the next few months into what we hope you come to see as the main site for the Atari 7800 ProSystem aficionado. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to let us know. I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of myself Justin Vicenzafaro, and Charles Goddeeris, Atari7800.com's founding fathers, to welcome you to our vision: Atari7800.com. 

Turns out this was @Justin’s site all along, unless this is another Justin. I’m pretty sure that it’s him since the site nowadays redirects here, which I KNOW is his site. I’ll keep looking. This is an interesting rabbithole.

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You know, the High Score Cartridge has been mentioned on this site numerous times over the years. Maybe, just maybe, @Justin could help me find where to get one of these in 2021.

I have kind of lucked into this one, being part of the site for a few months now. I had no idea about this previous iteration of this site I love so much. A 7800 HSC is something that I have wanted for a while, and now someone might be able to help me find one. Maybe. Hopefully.

Thanks, @socrates63, for finding this info. You’re a good detective!

And here’s an image I found on the site in late 2001 of a mysterious “Atari superhero”...

image.jpeg.877519614a3e7b50f0fdaa452a1cbcf0.jpeg

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I know others will have more information, but I actually own #100 and as far as Curt told me, the last of the his original created HSCs from the early 2000s. However, mine like most of them, doesn't actually work properly I'm afraid. Specifically, the issue is that the early made carts have problems with not actually saving the data properly after powering off the console. They have batteries in them to maintain the data but yeah.... mine does load up and it will ask me to personalize it etc. And it will then work to play the game and even allow me to save my highscore if the game supports it. But once I power off the console to switch games, all of that is wiped. Replacing the battery did nothing and for a while, Curt was actually offering a service to change out the guts on your original HSC to that of his newer NVRAM version. But I never did send mine off to do this. I will be honest, in that given how Curt's projects tend to linger as they did, I was afraid that if I sent it off, I might not get it back. Sadly with Curt's passing, the only way to have HSC functionality now on those games and for the future, would be if someone picks up the mantle on the XM module as that included the HSC functionality within it. There is also the SaveKey device that AtariAge I think still sells and is also incorporated into the AtariVox+ module. But that is designed for saving scores and data for 2600 homebrews and not the 7800. 

As a result, my HSC is really nothing more than a display case relic and its only use is for saving scores for a single game for a competition (I used to use it on some games in my classic tourneys I hosted during my OVGE conventions in the past) or for use as passthru cart for 2600 games that didn't fit properly in the cartridge slot. But I've modified my cartridge slot since so yeah, my HSC sits in the display case.

Also, as mine was the last production made one that Curt did back in the early 2000s, he never actually applied a label to mine. So it is housed in a old combat cartridge shell with the combat label severely torn off from it. I also had to replace out the battery holder sometime back as the original broke and wasn't making a good connection. Sadly that didn't fix the issue of it not saving the game scores and data though.

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