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Video Games that Meant Something Special to YOU...


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2 hours ago, Crazy Climber said:

Thanks man! Yeah, I thought season one captured the era perfectly. Season 2 started laying it (80's) on a little thick but as still great!

Nice! Similar experience for me but it was Turbo...and it was actually the first video game I ever played....which is why it will always be special to me...


*cue dramatic flashback story music.....one more....?


As a kid my Dad worked  hard labor construction jobs. Even back then I knew he hated it, now I can see (and having done similar work myself) at 6' 5" and 170lbs soaking wet he just didn't have the right body type for it. He would build sewers, roads, walls, bridges...injuries were common and after work he was always very tired. One of my earliest memories is my Dad taking me to see the Beatles  yellow submarine  movie at some crummy little movie theater and him struggling to stay awake. He was always present for everything I did, school, baseball, you name it, but he was dead tired. I asked him years later why he did that job, knowing he was college educated and could have done something different but he just said being fresh out of the military with kids you had to take what you could get. He has a decent pension now and has only a "few" bones replaced with titanium so I guess it all worked out, we always had everything we needed :)


Back in those days it wasn't uncommon at all to have a few drinks and cigarettes after work, that was my Dads thing. People nowadays might think it's bad parenting but I (still to this day) never saw him "Drunk" and don't judge him one bit for relaxing a little after a day of back breaking labor. As time went on he stopped smoking in the house (long before it was recommended) and then eventually stopped smoking and drinking all together, but for this era in time it was perfectly normal...


It was also around this time I remember getting invited to a friends birthday party, it was going to be at an arcade! My older cooler cousin talked about the arcade a lot, if HE thought it was cool, I thought it was cool!! I couldn't wait to go, I couldn't wait to tell my cousin! I knew he would think it was cool I was going, and then I'd be cool too just like him. I drew pictures of myself and my friends at the arcade, wrote the names down of any games I had ever heard of and even drew a Donkey Kong scene. I was very excited!


...but of course, when the day finally came, I had yet another Ear infection...


My Mom to this day still blames herself for letting me move my room to the basement. Somehow she thinks the cool damp basement caused all the ear infections I had in my youth. I highly doubt it but for whatever reason I had an unusually high amount of ear infections as a kid...and this one caused me to miss the birthday party at the arcade. I was a very calm, rational kid. You could turn on Doctor Who re-runs and not hear a peep from me for an entire evening...I believe this moment to be the only time I personally remember having a full fledged tantrum.


My Mom knew how excited I was, and how let down I ended up being when I couldn't go. I mean hell, I owned a damn Donkey Kong sweatshirt and I'd never even played it!! I remember this particular evening was a school night, which also meant a workday for my Dad. I had just started feeling better and I asked my Mom if SHE could maybe take me to the arcade someday. The response terrified me...


"Flash! Take him to the arcade!" she said to my Dad. I got nervous...I didn't mean right now!! I would have never asked to go right NOW and I definitely would not have asked my Dad! I knew better...ugh, the way she said it too, it was so bossy. My Dad was sitting in his chair in front of the TV with the Twins baseball game on, there was a freshly cracked can of Old Style and a filterless Camel burning in the ashtray. You did NOT ask my Dad to do something right now, it was HIS time...and you surely didn't TELL him to do something! C'mon Mom, even I know that!!! He gave ME the look, As a parent now I know that look, I've done it too. It's the "are you f'n kidding me?" look. I wanted you yell out "Dad! It wasn't me, it was her, SHE said it, not me!!" but instead I just ran out of the room....


 I'm not sure what took place while I was out of the room but a few minutes later me and my Dad were in his Black 72 Chevy Nova driving to the arcade, he didn't say a word on the way there, I just sat in the backseat staring at the floor. I still felt a little sick and wasn't even sure I wanted to go anymore....


When we got there it wasn't at all what I expected. There was a room with a cash register and some dumb little elephant and car rides like you would see in front of the grocery store for toddlers. There was a skill crane that looked interesting but again, far from what I thought it would be....far from "cool" My Dad walked back from the register and handed me one token. I started walking to the skill crane. I'd pretended to like stuff I'd outgrown in front of my grandparents before (they always bought me toys for a much younger age range) so this was nothing. Besides it looked, kind of fun I guess. We walked right past the "kids stuff" and I started to hear the sounds....there was another room...there was ANOTHER FRAKKING ROOM!!!


What I saw next blew me away, if there was a drug that could replicate the feeling I got when we walked into that room I would be hopelessly and forever addicted to it...I'll never ever forget it. It was dark, loud and smokey...THIS was the arcade my cousin was talking about and he was right, it was the coolest thing imaginable. Lots of cool teens that looked like my Cousin were walking around, hanging out, I was nervous but amazed at the same time...


The first machine I saw right when I walked through the door was Turbo, and it had a STEERING WHEEL!! I wanted to play it. I didn't really understand how to play and didn't do very well...but it was still the coolest thing I'd ever seen...even if I didn't really like it (if that makes sense). When we popped a token in my game pretty much ended before it even started lol. I was going to ask to play again but my Dad said "there's Donkey Kong" I sprinted over to it, that feeling of excitement was maybe only matched when I bought my first car many years later. Donkey Kong!! This is what I had been waiting for!!


My Dad showed me how to put the token in, how to start the game, even how to play (sort of) but after a few times he handed me the stack of tokens and said if I needed him for anything, he'd be in the room right over there. I found out years later the room "over there" was an "adult" smoking lounge with a Big screen TV that served beer...now I spent a LOT of time explaining my Dad at the beginning of this story so you can understand what a HUGE deal this was. Beer, smokes and TV after work was HIS thing, arcade games after school were quickly becoming MY thing, we had now found OUR thing and it was pure magic...


I wasn't afraid to ask my Dad to go to the arcade anymore, sometimes he would ask me FIRST right when he got home from work! My Mom loved how much time we were spending together and my Dad would even stick up for me when my Mom questioned us going so much..."he can do his homework when we get back" or "video games help hand eye coordination for sports" were a few lines I remember. We were a team and neither of us were going to ruin this secret! At least once a week we would hit the arcade, sometimes more.


Once we got in our groove the system was simple, my Dad would give me $3 to play games, once it was gone we would leave. In the beginning I squandered my tokens, making sure not to waste them, carefully selecting what game I would play but eventually I would hastily blow my meager $3 in no time....but I didn't want to leave. It's one of the main reasons I never really invited friends with, they always wanted to leave when we ran out of tokens...why the hell would you ever willingly leave this place??? Besides, when it was just me and my Dad he would let me sit in the front seat of the Nova. It was loud and cool, I felt like the coolest kid in the neighborhood sitting in the front seat of that car. He would usually squeak the tires when we pulled out of the alley. Whenever I played a racing game I always pretended it was my Dads jet black Nova (first car I ever bought was a Nova too!)


I learned a few tricks to extend my time. If a baseball game was on the big screen I could usually snake another buck or two out of him when I asked to leave because I was out of tokens. If I bugged the cooler older teens for tokens they would "usually" give me one sometimes more (probably just to go away lol) Defender always registered 2 credits for every one token you put in so it almost always had an extra credit on it even though I never really grasped that game (and I still suck at it) and you could smash a skeeball into the coin door of Pac man and get free credits! If all else failed I would just sit and watch people play. I could fill a book with everything that happened but this "quick" story is running a tad long...


Every time my Cousin came over I would tell him about all the games I played, I even played Dragons Lair BEFORE him and he wanted ME to tell him all about it, I felt really cool. He told me to always carry a comb in my pocket so I could "roast" people in Track and Field. I never actually did "roast" anyone and don't really remember playing T&F much but I carried a comb hanging out of my back pocket just like him because he was cool, maybe I would grow my hair out too...


Me and my Dad kept this up for what seemed like forever. I saw many games come and go but Turbo was always sitting there, first game you would see when you walked in....


As time went on the trips spaced further apart and then one day they just stopped. I'm sure the Nintendo system had a lot to do with it, grinding through Dragon Warrior and defeating Gannon in Zelda probably started to make eating dots and jumping barrels feel redundant. I remember years later, well into high school, out of the blue I asked my Dad if he wanted to go to the arcade...


The cool Chevy Nova was long gone so we piled in the (*cough, lame) chevy citation. Being a "cool teen" now I obviously sat up front but I felt far from cool, in fact whenever I saw girls from high school while in that car I made a point to not to make eye contact and just hope they didn't notice me. I don't think that car could have squeaked the tires if its life depended on it.


When we got there it was WAY different. My Dad didn't drink or smoke anymore but it wouldn't have mattered, the beer room was replaced with kids tickets games. Everything was so bright, young kids were running around everywhere....some teens were hanging out but they definitely weren't cool. I recognized a few games, but all the classics were nowhere to be seen and it was a LOT of kids games. The entire place was remodeled,  I didn't even recognize it. I went to go see if Turbo was still there, it wasn't...I didn't even really like Turbo but I would have really liked to see it again...


Just then I looked at my Dad, he was just standing by himself in the corner with his hands in his pockets. He looked "old" and awkward. The bandana and sleeveless "Shove it!" T shirt showing his tattoos was now replaced with a typical "Dad" attire and a growing bald spot... I felt old now too and perhaps a bit cheated. After all, wasn't it my turn to be the "cool teen" My turn to teach the kids how to smack a skeeball into Pac man while I hang out with the cute girls, my turn to know where they all went after the arcade and what they did? I guess I just kind of thought it would be the same as it used to be...


I left with a pocket full of unused tokens, something I NEVER would have done. My time at the arcade had expired....I never went back.


My mom on more than one occasion has expressed guilt for not giving me a better childhood and I tell her every time...don't you understand Mom? I've spent the better part of my adult life trying to recapture just a SLICE of what you gave me. I had the best childhood a kid could EVER have. I will always remember when the arcade was EVERYTHING...I was there man, I saw it...I LIVED IT!!! All because of YOU, my parents! Anything less or more would have thrown it off, it was perfect :) 


...because of that...Turbo will always be special to me (even if I never did get the hang of it haha)





I would love to hear another story Crazy Climber.

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I'll give it a shot...


My Dad was extremely good at Asteroids and Donkey Kong, we had a cabinet shop and my Dad would constantly get in trouble(from my Grandpa)for being gone too long on breaks, but you can't, like, walk away from a game, right?

Sneek n Peek and Strawberry Shortcake, plus ET, lol, on 2600, that's just what I remember playing, and Gopher.


Hunt the Wumpus!!!

On TI computers, lol, I was in "gifted" in the very early 80's, we had a computer lab.

I suppose, for early gamers, Oregon Trail likely has a spot for most of us as well.

Friend had a C64, we did Zork, Jumpman Jr. and Ghostbusters a lot on that, he had a 5200 as well, we mostly played Popeye.

NES was "my" first system, and that's pretty obvious choices, Zelda, Icarus, Rygar.


PS1-SaGa Frontier is the most fun game Square made, IMO. I just like it.


Tony Hawk seemed to evolve what people expected controllers to be capable of, I think, I had a demo of the first level before it came out, really wore that one out.


Don't play against me on Tiger Woods 2005. Just don't. I don't even love to play it, but spent a LOT of time "getting good" at it, I'm not typically "full of confidence", but it's the one year of the one game I am willing to brag about.



SNES Super Mario Kart.


Genesis/Megadrive Super Monaco GP/Ayrton Senna Super Monaco GP.


Bomb Squad is reason enough by itself to own an Intellivision.



After all that, the actual main reason I decided to jump on this one...

Doggone It!, a new homebrew for the 2600. We are playing it in the HSC this week.

I have the current high score, if someone beats me, it's really going to piss me off.

(Kidding) :P

I don't typically play/like much homebrew, Dragon's Descent is a definite exception(awesome game!), but Doggone It! grabbed me quick-it's a GREAT game, programmed by someone who wanted to make a game for his own personal reasons, with no previous knowledge of how to do it, and the story(it's in the programmer's thread for the game, you can look it up if interested), combined with the fact that it's an awesome game just makes it really, really special.


I'm sure I am leaving stuff out that is important to me, but that's a decent overview, kinda all over the place.


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1- Pitfall 2 Lost Caverns: I was just blown away!

2- Jungle Hunt: love the graphics and tropical setting all along + varied gameplay

3- Smurfs: great graphics and music

4- Bob is Going Home: love the music and gameplay

5- Mr. Postman: Very cute + Fun challenge

6- Superman: flying and putting villains in prison

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  • 1 month later...

It was the summer of '82 and I was bored waiting to start college in January. I found Starmaster and thought it was a good excuse to break out the 2600. I fell in love. I was/is a BIG Space and SciFi enthusiast and it was just awesome. I dissected every rule and feature of the game to optimize the score. I hacked the console to bring the extra switches to the joystick to save those precious few seconds going to the map and back. I don't remember what joystick it was but it was some small one about half the size of the Atari one that I really liked. I remember telling my Mom to come look at the scores I had achieved. She asked if I wanted the patches but I just didn't think it was a big deal. Once I mastered the highest scores possible thru my analysis, I put it away and never really went back.


38 years later and the pandemic got me into collecting a few consoles and restoring C64 stuff. I occasionally break out Starmaster but don't have the patience to play thru an entire game at the highest level. It doesn't take long to realize my reflexes are just not the same and I'll never get those scores again, but what great memories :)

Edited by mgas
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  • 2 months later...



For me on the 2600 it was Star Raiders.  I LOVED the extra keypad control, the strategy involved.  It was like nothing I'd played on a console.  H.E.R.O. was also amazing but so late in the 2600 cycle that I never really got a chance to try and master it.  Finally, the ONE game I play just for kicks, EVEN today, is....(drumroll)....


Spaceward Ho!


Does ANYONE know this game?  I love it in its original form on my Mac, and have a VERY old PC version.  TAO Software was sold to some outfit that ported it to tablet/phone and its while its controls are too clunky, its very nice graphically and game-play wise.


Just my 3 cents :)




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Many games meant many things to me at various timepoints along the way.


The early Atari VCS catalogs up to about #8 described 43 original made-by-Atari games that were (and remain) something special. They bring back a cozy warmth on frigid winter days. Especially after school, or on a snow day. It was like an extended family within a family. A carefree life where I didn't have to worry about fixing the garbage bin or wondering if the car would start when it was this cold - that's what parents were for!


Getting 5 hours of Atari and 70's TV was a great life plan. Checking the analog clockface, watching the hands climb through the hours as we read astronomy and science books and ate Swanson's TV dinners in the aluminum trays.


Then flicking off the lights to burrow under bed sheets and moonbeams to engage in walkie-talkies, red led games, and dream of space travel in Atari ships.


All that. All that's one small multitude of reasons why Atari was such a critical part in 70's and early 80's childhoods.

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I remember reading this thread last year and had meant to post my thoughts, thank you Mr. Necro. :) So here we go with story time.


I was very young when we first got a Woodgrain 2600 and I sucked on it. Badly. I stunk at some of my favorite games: Asteroids, Frogger, and Pac-Man. Try as I might, I could never come close in score to anyone else. I was never good with the arcade action and too young to learn how to play well. Didn't stop me from trying though.


But one game got me hooked on video games forever. Haunted House. For two reasons: unlike the games above, you could take your time because the only penalty to dicking around was burning matches, and it was scary as fuck to a kid just starting elementary school. You could take your time and look around for the pieces of the urn, but you couldn't take too long because of that damn ghost. I never liked scary shows or movies as a kid, but Haunted House had me hook, line, and sinker. I don't think I ever beat it as a kid but have since gone back to it recently--we'll see this game pop up again later.


Another special game for the 2600 was Yars' Revenge. Now I did much better with this one and it's for one reason alone. While all of the rest of the games didn't allow one to stop and plan while in game, Yars' had a shield that you could stay in while planning your attack. It was the first game where I learned to plan and strategize.


Eventually I got my own 2600 Jr. for my room. It was really the first time that gaming became more of a solitary pastime for me. The only game from that period that meant anything to me was Solaris. I worked at building maps and trying to figure out where to go, but the combat was just too much. I still stunk. Not long after that I got a Nintendo.


The Nintendo had me hooked with a few styles of games that were quite frankly garbage on the 2600. I started sports with MLB and always had Baltimore's #8 batting clean up but after a 101-x game I moved on to others. I eventually found Bases Loaded which was everything that MLB, Home Run, and Real Sports Baseball weren't. I played half a season after school with DC before getting distracted with other games like Baseball Simulator 1.000. And Tecmo Bowl for football, nuff said.


These games were fun but they didn't take the place of actually going outside and playing tackle football out in the neighborhood. The games that kept me inside were more like Yars' Revenge and Haunted House. The one that stands out is, yes you guessed it, Silent Service--with a NES Advantage. The strategy and tactics involved in this game blew my mind. Yes, I was the kid that would follow a convoy for a hour--in real time--to set up an attack that would last all of a few minutes. I drew up sheet of concentric circles and used copies of it to plot the ships, their routes, and the best angles of attack. Good times.


Other fantastic strategy games that stole my time were Desert Commander, Conflict, and Fucking Genghis Khan. For Desert Commander, I had a set of maps that I drew on graph paper. I plotted strategies by moving little wooden blocks around to count spaces to find how far I could move and still not be attacked. that game was all about first attacks. I had started maps for Conflict, but those boards were over too fast to make it worth while. And yes, M48s wrecked the Soviet Migs that they would waste time sending after you. I eventually got bored with it and moved on to Genghis Khan. I used to mark on my TV the borders of my empire with dry erase markers. I played some games so fucking long that the marker kinda stained the TV. I generally played as Richard and fucking hated Phillip (who I always captured and learned very quickly to marry off or he'd revolt.) and loved Flandre. And yes, I was always pissed that the German prince was in France and Flandre in the Holy Roman Empire. I never drew that map for Genghis Khan because my empire's borders never stayed the same for long--it was easier to just wipe a border off and redraw it, and I was never smart enough to draw a paper one and put it in a plastic sheet protector.


Of course like everyone else, I liked The Legend of Zelda, though I preferred Adventure of Link--I hated needing the map from Nintendo Power to find everything for Zelda. But for those special adventure and Rpg games, those were Final Fantasy and Ultima 4. While both were similar, they scratched completely different itches. Final Fantasy is the one game that I think I have for every system that it was released on in the States. I bought a Game Boy Micro just to play the remake Dawn of Souls. For some reason it's that one game I just have to play every year or so. Sometimes I play with similar parties and others, well, two red mages, one white mage, and one black mage was challenging. Ultima 4 was an interesting one because I remember wandering around aimlessly for a lot of the time. I rarely went into dungeons. I never beat it, but I probably had all the regents maxed out.


Amazingly enough you know what games I originally hated and sucked at? Like amazingly sucked at no matter how much I played? Castlevania, Metroid, Kid Icarus, and Contra. I'm the guy that would need 12 lives to beat the first board in Contra. Yes, that bad. But to round out this list with a similar game, the last one I want to mention that had a profound effect on me, one of the only action games that I had any chance at playing (and beating), yep you guessed it again, Metal Gear. Now back then, most everyone I knew had nearly direct access to Nintendo Power. And I swear that I only needed the hints for the two forest mazes (I can't imagine anyone would have ever figured out those) and strategies for beating one of the bosses. I forget who the boss was, but it was the one where you had to use the rocket launcher for something. I had so much trouble with that one. The stealth and keycard hunting was amazing for me at the time, so much so that once I got a PS2, I had to have Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven. I still regret not beating that one.


And then there was the Genesis. Master of Monsters is the most amazing tactical strategy game I have ever played in my life. I made an mp3 CD that has all six background tracks repeating for like an hour. To hell with Final Fantasy Tactics and Suikoden. I don't want role-playing in my war games (says the guy who has a Nintendo 64 and loves Ogre Battle 64).


Remember how I mentioned Tecmo Bowl for the NES earlier. Yep Madden '94 is my all time favorite football game. I do best with three fucking buttons. And truth-be-told, if I had NHL '94 or '95 they would have been my favorite hockey games. Back then it was absolutely Blades of Steel for the NES.


I never owned the SNES back then, but borrowed one on many occasions. Top Gear 2 and Super Baseball Simulator are the only real standouts for that system. You know, except for A Link to the Past, my personal favorite Zelda game of all time. That's another one I go back to about once a year. Both Super Conflict and Super Genghis Khan sucked major monkey d--k. I played Final Fantasy 3, but it just didn't do it for me. I really ended up not getting too far into RPGs on the consoles. By this time I was getting tired of consoles. I'll tell you why.


Now sometime around the beginning of the NES era, I finally got access to a computer. Might & Magic 2 and Europe Ablaze on an Apple 2e, AD&D Pool of Radiance on a Commodore 64, and SimCity on a CGA 286 were the first major experiences I had, and any one of them would have had me hooked. But by the time I had all but Europe Ablaze on my own first computer, a Tandy 1000, I started moving over. By the time I had Eye of the Beholder and Civilization though, I was basically done with the consoles as my primary gaming platforms. I had about 25 3.5 floppies with saved games for Civilization. I couldn't stop playing this game, and I played the crap out of 2 and 3. I got off the train at 4.


Even though you stuck around so far, I will not bore you with any further play-by-play of my computer gaming, but I will mention that it wasn't so much playing all of these games that took up the time, it was learning how to use Soft-Ice 2.62 (2.82 never worked well for me), learning to use UGE and then trying to crack it by making a KEY file to get rid of the annoying shareware screen, and reading everything on the BBSs written by ORC+. I ran my own BBS for awhile. My DOS computer ran on menus using batch files. In TrueBasic, I wrote a AD&D 2.5 Edition Character Generator that eventually broke when I tried to add kits.


And then I went into the Army and fell off the grid for the next four years.


Stay tuned for Part 2 and Part 3.

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Special has many meanings. Sometimes, they're special because they're the go-to games and sometimes it was attached to some kind of other meaning, like it was a special gift. I got my first Atari (7800) at a time when everyone was getting into NES, Limiting myself to just Atari, the games I enjoyed most (or has the most nostalgia for other reasons) on my 7800 console were:


2600 -- Adventure, Haunted House, Defender, Pac-Man (yes, I loved the shitty old Pac Man game), Ms. Pac-Man, Journey Escape, Space Shuttle, Double Dragon


7800 -- Ms Pac-Man, Desert Falcon, Dig Dug, Food Fight, Xevious, and F-18 (special gift from my mom)


Going beyond that -- 


Arcade -- Mr Do, Legendary Wings, Black Widow, Popeye, Shy Shark, Xevious


NES-- Wizards & Warriors, IronSword (first game I beat), Double Dragon 1 & 2 (2 was the second game I beat but I utilized the seven lives trick to do it), Mega Man 3, Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior, Zelda 2 (even managed to beat the game)


SNES -- Final Fantasy IV and VI (or "2" and "3" as we knew it back then), ChronoTrigger, Zelda Link to the Past, Street Fighter 2 (the original reason I got the SNES), Final Fight, Illusion of Gaia, Secret of Mana (hated it at first but grew on me)


PS1 -- Granstream Saga (very underrated game), FF7 (I still prefer 6, though), Parasite Eve, Wild Arms


In terms of anything more modern, I love the Resident Evil, Silent Hill (downpour was my favorite), Dragon Quest, and Mega Man franchises and have beaten every maiun game in each series save MMX Command Mission. However, I rarely find myself going back and replaying modern games I've beaten because beating many modern games require a lot more investment. 


Now that I've had the privilege to play new games for Atari, I have new special games for my 7800--


2600 Homebrews -- Ature, Aguna, Space Cactus Canyon


7800 Homebrews -- Dungeon Stalker, Beef Drop, Pac Man collection


I may come back and delve further into my early experiences in gaming. 

Edited by FroggoGamer
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  • 3 weeks later...

My first video game I believe I ever played in my life was Asteroids the arcade game by Atari.  I played it on my parent's old Windows 98 desktop computer they used to have in the basement back in my first house I lived in 2 decades ago.  I didn't really know how to really play it back then however because all I did was intentionally crash my ship into the Asteroids over and over again.  It was my first experience with the classics and my introduction to the Atari brand to begin with.


My personal favorite of all the arcade games Atari created was Missile Command!  I remember the first time I played it, I couldn't figure out how to fire the anti-ballistic missiles to defend my cities.  But then I discovered that the z, x, and c keys were the keys used for the anti-ballistic missile bases.  That finally allowed me to progress in the game.  What especially made it special were the rumors that you fight a UFO in a particular version of Missile Command.  I loved the concept of fighting off and destroying an alien ship that tried to destroy your cities and saving the world from an invasion.  I even finally managed to find a Missile Command game where there were two bosses you could fight overall in the game (you can access them early in the main menu regardless of whether you even played the game yet or not).  Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to defeat the bosses so I always lost to them and I don't know the name of the Missile Command game that had those two bosses, so now I can't even get a second chance to beat them.  The first boss was a UFO spaceship that descended toward the cities, fired some missiles or something, and then flew away after it destroyed your cities.  The second boss (which was the final level of the game funny enough) was a weird sun look-alike creature with an eye that shot laser shots at your cities.  Other than those details, I can't remember the rest of the game.


Lastly were the Swordquest games.  The Swordquest games were the games that actually lead me to a particular website called AtariProtos.  The first time I played those games was when I was in middle school.  I had the Atari Anthology collection for the PS2 containing a bunch of different Atari arcade games and Atari 2600 titles Atari made over the years.  I remember first playing FireWorld, not really knowing what I was doing.  But then when I read the manual for the game, I realized I was supposed to play EarthWorld first.  So I read the instructions for that game and tried my luck at beating the first game in the Swordquest series.  Unfortunately, even after I read the manual, the farthest I ever got in EarthWorld (and by extension, the entire series) was obtaining the first two clues and one of those clues didn't even require placing any items anywhere to begin with.  So I decided to consult the internet to help me with the game.  After reading about the game on Wikipedia, I discovered Tempest's AtariProtos website which gave a review of the entire Swordquest series.  It was quite fascinating!  I didn't even know the games were part of a big contest back in the early 80's.  I would've enjoyed something like that if I was born before the 80's.  I did eventually defeat all 3 games thanks to the help of some walkthroughs I found on Google, including a Youtube video that provided details on how to beat EarthWorld.  But AtariProtos was what got me interested in Atari's history to begin with.  Since then, I've read every Atari 2600 prototype review on that website, including some games that never got released back then, some of which I actually played on an Atari Flashback 2 I once got for my birthday (like Saboteur, for example).  I even checked out the Atari 7800 section of the website too, which lead me to getting my own Atari 7800 console for Christmas about 5 years ago.

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