rra Posted December 25, 2021 Share Posted December 25, 2021 The new Phoenix 2021 assembly game compared to original Phoenix BASIC game written by the A/W/A team 40 years ago Phoenix 2021 (8bit version): Phoenix 2021.xex Phoenix 2021 (5200 version): Phoenix 2021.rom Phoenix 2021 is the 14th and final game that the Anschuetz/Weisgerber/Anschuetz team wrote and released this year! It is appropriate that we chose this to be the final game to be released this year, because this assembly language game is based on the very first game that we ever wrote 40 years ago. The original BASIC version is available at Atarmania.com: http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-phoenix_31474.html The start of the A/W/A team’s obsession with the Atari 8-Bit Computer began on Christmas Day 1981, exactly 40 years ago. 16-year-old twins Eric and Robert Anschuetz received an Atari 400 for Christmas along with a 410 Program Recorder and a BASIC Programming Language Cartridge in a bundled package that Atari called "The Programmer." The Atari 400 Programmer bundle also came with a user’s manual and a BASIC programming guide. The Atari 400 computer hooked up to a small 13” Color TV in our bedroom. Since we weren’t experienced at typing, on that Christmas Day 40 years ago we had our Dad type in a BASIC program called “Shoot” from the September 1981 issue of COMPUTE! Magazine. (We bought the magazine prior to receiving our computer). “Shoot” was similar to Air-Sea Battle on the Atari 2600 VCS. This BASIC language listing for “Shoot” opened our eyes to the world of programming and the tricks necessary on the Atari for displaying colorful images, making sounds, and making things move with a joystick. As Ralphie said in the movie "A Christmas Story", this truly was "the greatest Christmas gift I had ever received, or would ever receive." Phoenix was the very first video game written by the A/W/A Team only a few weeks after we got our Atari 400 computer for Christmas in 1981. Of course, the game bore very little resemblance to the arcade game Phoenix, but that was the inspiration. The game was implemented in a Graphics 1 text mode using Atari ATASCII characters. The game was based on an example program called “Seagull Over Ocean” from the Atari BASIC Reference Manual that demonstrated a seagull flapping its wings and flying around the screen. The BASIC version of Phoenix had the player control a black and white ship at the bottom of the screen made up of multiple text characters, and a single large bird with flapping wings that dodged all over the screen. A press of the fire button on the joystick produced a vertical shot aimed at the bird. If the bird was hit, the player scored a point, and the bird would turn upside down and fall straight to the bottom and the player would try for the next bird. After 9 birds were hit, the game ended and the player was rated as “Phoenix Commander”, “Bird Captain”, “Butterfly Netter”, or “Bird Watcher” depending on the score. The Assembly language update called Phoenix 2021 is a vast improvement over the BASIC game from 40 years ago. It still is not a Phoenix clone, but it is based on the screen in Phoenix where you battle the swooping birds. In actuality, Phoenix 2021 is probably closer to Demon Attack. The game is easy to figure out how to play and doesn't really require instructions. We hope you have a Merry Christmas just like we did 40 years ago today, and we hope that you enjoy this game! Robert Anschuetz (@rra) Eric Anschuetz (@eea) John Weisgerber (@jjw) This is a picture of our current Atari computers and peripherals that we got in the 1980s and still have 40 years later. One of the Atari 400's belonged to Robert and Eric Anschuetz, and the other belonged to John Weisgerber. The Atari 400 computer and 410 program recorder were Christmas presents in 1981. Everything else was obtained over the next 3 to 4 years. 26 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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