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Prototype and Loaner cartridges


guerrilla88
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Hi, I've lurked a bit on this site and decided to finally create a profile and post something. I was recently cleaning out stuff that was left at my parents' house and found a box of 2600 cartridges. There were 21 total, most being retail releases, but these 6 were in there. I collected cartridges when I was younger but lost interest. When I was around 19, a friend of mine was dumped by his girlfriend and lost his job, so I gave him my atari and game collection to play. I never thought to ask for it back, but I remember now taking some cartridges out since they were not fully playable or were boring. That's the box I recently found.

post-46147-0-41040300-1459812725_thumb.jpg

 

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In guessing pool is actually Trick Shit by imagic as there are already two non-Atari games in there (Checkers and Bridge). Interesting that they're in Atari lab loaner cases though, I'd love to see dumps of these.

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In guessing pool is actually Trick Shit by imagic as there are already two non-Atari games in there (Checkers and Bridge). Interesting that they're in Atari lab loaner cases though, I'd love to see dumps of these.

 

LOL

 

Trick Shit?

 

8)

Edited by Rom Hunter
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In guessing pool is actually Trick Shit by imagic as there are already two non-Atari games in there (Checkers and Bridge). Interesting that they're in Atari lab loaner cases though, I'd love to see dumps of these.

Have you seen that before? Edited by atari181
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LOL

 

Trick Shit?

 

I was going to correct that, but I laughed too hard so I'm leaving it as is.

 

 

Have you seen that before?

 

Yes. I had some lab loaners that had Activision games in them and at least on Imagic game (Demon Attack I believe). Programmers at Atari had access to ROM dumping equipment so I'm guessing they just copied games they wanted to play around with (maybe to see what the competition was doing). The odd thing is that they put actual labels on them, which is much rarer but still not unheard of (the Demon Attack I had had a lab label on it). Still, I'd like to see dumps of these just to verify my hypothesis.

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When I found these, I looked up the Pigs in Space and Asterix in the rarity guide. I didn't think much about the others and had no idea there was no pool game made by Atari. Now I am really curious what these actually are. I have an old Atari but am missing the tv switch box, so I ordered one of those adapters from amazon. It should be here tomorrow. If the Atari still works, I'll post some screenshots of the games (provided they still work too).

 

As far as rom dumps, I have no idea how to do that but any help/suggestions are appreciated.

 

Thanks for the feedback!

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I'm curious as to what "Pool" might be. Also IIRC, Asterix NTSC was thought by many not to exist until a copy was found some years back. If that is an NTSC version, that would be rare and interesting.

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/36706-asterix-ntsc-confirmed-100

 

Steve Woita handed it to me in person, he found 2 cases in his moms closet. This was a long time ago. Several loose copies in rough shape have since shown up in Mexico.

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In guessing pool is actually Trick Shit by imagic as there are already two non-Atari games in there (Checkers and Bridge). Interesting that they're in Atari lab loaner cases though, I'd love to see dumps of these.

 

There is a Sears "Checkers"/Atari "Video Checkers" in addition to the Activision version of the game.

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I got the adapter and to my surprise, my Atari still works! Here is a summary of what is on those cartridges:

 

Pool - Trick Shot by Imagic

 

Checkers - Activision

 

Bridge - Activision

 

Champ Soccer - Championship Soccer (Atari)

 

Pigs in Space - Appears to be fully working even though the date is 7-29-83. I was able to play all three games after I figured out I had the joystick plugged in the wrong side.

 

Asterix - No picture. It does a tune at the beginning if I toggle game reset, and makes some noise like I am playing. Date on cartridge is 7-18-83, which appears to be earlier than anything listed on atariprotos.com, and I do remember playing this a long time ago. Is it possible it is PAL and I somehow got around this with my old CRT tv?

 

Screenshots of everything but Asterix below. Also a shot of my dusty Atari and the rest of the cartridges I found in the box, in case anyone was curious.

 

 

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post-46147-0-92057300-1459962262_thumb.jpg

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Pigs in Space might be a little different than the released version (8/5/83). Given that there's only a weeks difference between then I'm guessing it's minor coding clean ups or color/sound tweaks.

 

Asterix would be interesting to see if you can get it working. The date falls between the almost final version of Taz (7/15/83) and the NTSC version of Asterix (7/27/83). This could be the intermediate vesion where Steve was making the changes.

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I tried cleaning the contacts on Asterix, but it still only produced sound and no picture. So, I decided to try and open the cartridge. I thought there would be a screw, so I used a hair dryer on low and slowly started peeling the label back. Instead, I found 2 other prototype labels below the top one and a Pac Man label on the bottom. Oh, and there was no screw. I guess this cartridge got a lot of use in the lab.

Edited by guerrilla88
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Nice stash of loaner cartridges you have there. That's too bad about Asterix not working, a sad reminder of the mortality of these prototypes... It's possible that it is a bug in the code, something missed in the conversion of the game from the development system to ROM cartridge. There are other prototypes out there that have similar issues but work fine once they are dumped and corrected.

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I was going to correct that, but I laughed too hard so I'm leaving it as is.

 

 

 

Yes. I had some lab loaners that had Activision games in them and at least on Imagic game (Demon Attack I believe). Programmers at Atari had access to ROM dumping equipment so I'm guessing they just copied games they wanted to play around with (maybe to see what the competition was doing). The odd thing is that they put actual labels on them, which is much rarer but still not unheard of (the Demon Attack I had had a lab label on it). Still, I'd like to see dumps of these just to verify my hypothesis.

 

 

They could've copied them for evaluation purposes. Not just on play mechanics but possibly also to make sure the games didn't damage the 2600. Just think about the ramifications of a third-party cartridge killing a 2600's power supply. Atari probably would've sued had any done so since Atari most likely would've been blamed by consumers over something like that.

 

Speculation on such testing is accurate since Atari Consumer Engineering tested third-party hardware for those very reasons. For example, they did determine via testing that the Wico trackball can tax the 2600's power supply.

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