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Marble Madness 2: Marble Man


DarkSyne
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On the lameness of MM2: Could it simply be that there was fatigue when this game was being play-tested back in the day? And, for today's lukewarm reception, could it be that modern gamers are tired of yesteryear's arcade formula? Kinda being caught in the middle so to speak.

 

I have no doubt old-schoolers are happy to add MM2 to their MAME install. Some to actually play it and experience it. Others just to complete their library.

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1 hour ago, Keatah said:

On the lameness of MM2: Could it simply be that there was fatigue when this game was being play-tested back in the day? And, for today's lukewarm reception, could it be that modern gamers are tired of yesteryear's arcade formula? Kinda being caught in the middle so to speak.

Agreed that there's a little from column 'A' and a little from column 'B' going on here, but as something of a footnote to both:

 

Marble Madness 2 made its public debut (a few years after failing field testing and being shelved) at California Extreme in 2000.  I happened to be at that show, and played the game a few times.  As it turned out, my opinion of the game was somewhere in the general vicinity of 'meh': it wasn't a bad game, but it also just didn't have the draw-you-in addictiveness of the original.

 

What was interesting, though, was that this seemed to be the sentiment shared by the majority of people at the show who also played it, both in speaking with people there and reading post-show forum and USENET posts, etc.  Bear in mind that this was 22 years ago, when the game was much closer in time to not only its own failed release but also the release of the original Marble Madness game.  Even being played in an environment with a captive audience that was arguably the most likely to appreciate it for what it is and less likely to subject it to comparisons with modern games just wasn't enough to appreciably sway the public's opinion in its favour.

 

1 hour ago, Keatah said:

I have no doubt old-schoolers are happy to add MM2 to their MAME install. Some to actually play it and experience it. Others just to complete their library.

Definitely.  In my view, either reason is just as valid as the other - and, mediocre game or not, it will have its supporters.  Given that I like Crazy Kong bootlegs running on Moon Cresta hardware in which the colours are verging on a bad acid trip and the sounds are mostly like something mechanically-important on a Soviet-era tank failing shortly before it catches fire, I can't really criticise anyone else for their taste in games :)

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9 hours ago, SlappyHappy2000 said:

Now THIS is something I know will never become available to the public, but I thought it was too cool to not share.
A functional Marble Madness II level editor, found by the same guy who I think is doing the reproduction cabinets for this game.

http://atarigames.com/?s=marble+man

Different Scott, this is 'SafeStuff' Scott that brings the machines to California Extreme.

 

FPGA Scott (doing the reproduction games) is someone else...

 

Had to be two Scott's involved in this one game...  :)  Keeps confusing people.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think there was some cognitive dissonance going on in this game, especially if you played the original.

 

It was hard to project my own "essence of player" onto the marble. It had already been converted into some sort of superhero wannabe. According to the video it was upper management that wanted that - superheros because everyone else was doing superheros.

 

A cutesy character in what was abstract technical environment didn't fit well. Wasn't sure what frame to put the game in. And then there's all the busy-ness going on. Too much happening to enjoy the layout of each maze. Always something going to distract you and stop you from enjoying the level as a whole.

 

There's so much more, but this is enough to cover the basics.

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I think if this game were to get some kind of fan-made polish it would redesign all the levels to rely more strongly on the layouts themselves being hard instead of the difficulty coming from hostile creatures and mobs attacking you every second while still being designed for three players.

The player's marble would also lose the anthropomorphic traits from the "Marble Man" phase of the project that carried over into the dumped copy, and what enemies remain would be altered to be less cartoony and more abstract.

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  • 3 weeks later...
1 hour ago, SlappyHappy2000 said:

Thinking about that original prototype of Marble Madness II... the one with Marble Man still in the game.

 

I wonder if there's any way someone could get a lead on tracking down this other proto?

Preservation is important.

Maybe, but it might take another 20 years.

 

later

-1

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15 hours ago, SlappyHappy2000 said:

Thinking about that original prototype of Marble Madness II... the one with Marble Man still in the game.

 

I wonder if there's any way someone could get a lead on tracking down this other proto?

Preservation is important.

I'm pretty sure many people have a copy of it, and that it's properly preserved...

Not sure what makes you think otherwise...

Just like the version that was finally released- it had been dumped, preserved, and even emulated in MAME for decades...

 

I'd love to see it publicly released, but 'preservation' and 'giving a copy to everyone' are not even remotely related to one another...

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1 hour ago, Rik1138 said:

I'm pretty sure many people have a copy of it, and that it's properly preserved...

Not sure what makes you think otherwise...

Just like the version that was finally released- it had been dumped, preserved, and even emulated in MAME for decades...

 

I'd love to see it publicly released, but 'preservation' and 'giving a copy to everyone' are not even remotely related to one another...

Eh, it's not a "giving a copy to everyone" kind of thing, it is more of a "preservation" type of thing.

 

Remember, what I brought up was the original Marble Man prototype, with trackballs and more enemies and stuff.

With the public proto we have now, yes, in the past many people were confirmed to have a cabinet and it was confirmed to be preserved and running in MAME.

 

But from what I know or what I can remember, there isn't a confirmed owner or location of the original Marble Man prototype. Not even Bob Flanagan has the full cabinet, apparently he only has the source code.

All there is online is a single video about it, which I'm pretty sure dates all the way back to 1991, before the cabinet was even put out for public testing.

 

This cabinet really is lost as of now, and I'm wondering if anything can be done to even see if it still exists. I don't really care about a public release; if I want to play Marble Madness II, I'll play the current version we have in MAME right now.

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4 hours ago, SlappyHappy2000 said:

Eh, it's not a "giving a copy to everyone" kind of thing, it is more of a "preservation" type of thing.

Preface: the distinction isn't lost on me, and I didn't read what you wrote as meaning otherwise.

 

What I can say is that it is preserved.  Granted, it may not be preserved in the sense of being included with a set of openly-distributed MAME ROMs, but it is preserved.

4 hours ago, SlappyHappy2000 said:

This cabinet really is lost as of now

Consider that it may not be lost, but rather that the owner may not be in a position to permit wide distribution of the ROMs.

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On 8/18/2022 at 12:16 PM, x=usr(1536) said:

What I can say is that it is preserved.  Granted, it may not be preserved in the sense of being included with a set of openly-distributed MAME ROMs, but it is preserved.

Consider that it may not be lost, but rather that the owner may not be in a position to permit wide distribution of the ROMs.

I'm not sure residing on a few people's hard drives amounts to a preservation plan. 

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Preservation is a rather grandiose word that implies certain things. What you described is just a simple file backup at best.

 

That all said, the physical item (not the code contained within) is the owner's personal property and is his to do with as he pleases. No criticism of his decision is intended. 

 

But when all is said and done, I wouldn't view that particular revision of the game as being preserved. It survives with the ongoing possibility of being preserved, but that's all. 

Edited by Atariboy
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"Preservation" is wide in scope. It will mean different things.

 

I back up my stuff every coupla months. It is preserved. It will be there come rain or shine. Of that there can be no question.

 

If MAME gets wind of a game, to me it is preserved. If a game is just rotting away in a basement it is not preserved. To me. I mean I have no access and it might as well just not exist.

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1 hour ago, Atariboy said:

Preservation is a rather grandiose word that implies certain things. What you described is just a simple file backup at best.

I never specified how it is preserved, only that it is.  If you interpreted my comments to mean that this equates to a "simple file backup," as you put it, then there's not much I can say other than that your assumption is incorrect.

1 hour ago, Atariboy said:

But when all is said and done, I wouldn't view that particular revision of the game as being preserved. It survives with the ongoing possibility of being preserved, but that's all. 

Quite honestly, a discussion over the meaning of the word 'preservation' as it pertains to this particular ROM set is not something I have any interest in getting into.  This has been hashed out - without any real resolution, I might add - multiple times over the years, and there's no real reason to go down that path again since there's no indication that doing so will lead to anything productive.

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  • 3 months later...
On 7/7/2022 at 10:08 PM, sirlynxalot said:

Is there any MM2 cab artwork (marquee, bezel, control panel, side art) that might be at high enough quality to use for an arcade1up conversion?  Maybe related to the conversions people are working on?

I am looking for the artwork as well, or at least a marquee. I have an original cabinet that I am trying to restore. 

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