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Atari 2600 Astro Chase


Tempest
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I'm happy to announce that I am now able to post my review of Astro Chase for the Atari 2600.  While the original owner of the prototype does not want it to be released, a second prototype was recently found with more versions possibly coming.  Permission was also granted from the current copyright owners to post the rom, so enjoy(?) this long lost Atari 2600 game.

 

http://www.atariprotos.com/2600/software/astrochase/astrochase.htm

Astrochase (10-25-83).bin

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38 minutes ago, moycon said:

I remember this great looking game on my friends Atari 5200. We only had the cartridge and from what I recall could never figure out how to play the game. Sure did look nice though.

That sums it up nicely.  It's a good looking game that's no fun and too hard!

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I'm seriously having trouble figuring out who actually was going to publish Astro Chase for the 2600.  I've seen ads from both Parker Bros. and First Star saying that the 2600 version was going to be available soon.  My gut says First Star was going to publish it themselves, but it would make more sense that Parker Bros would have bought all the home cartridge rights rather than just for the Atari 8-bits and 5200.

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On 2/17/2022 at 1:01 AM, Tempest said:

I'm seriously having trouble figuring out who actually was going to publish Astro Chase for the 2600.  I've seen ads from both Parker Bros. and First Star saying that the 2600 version was going to be available soon.  My gut says First Star was going to publish it themselves, but it would make more sense that Parker Bros would have bought all the home cartridge rights rather than just for the Atari 8-bits and 5200.

I think the VCS version was to be released by First Star.

The proto is in a First Star cart and the announcement on the Parker Brothers ad says it will be coming soon by First Star:
http://www.atarimania.com/pubs/hi_res/pub_astro_chase.jpg

8)

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3 hours ago, Rom Hunter said:

I think the VCS version was to be released by First Star.

The proto is in a First Star cart and the announcement on the Parker Brothers ad says it will be coming soon by First Star:

Actually the proto is in a Telesys case.  Alex was doing games for Telesys as well so he was probably just using whatever he had laying around.  Even First Star themselves used multiple types of cases for Boing!.  There actually is another version of Asto Chase that surfaced just recently (a mid level WIP) that was in a PB case and came from a former PB employee.  More on that one as soon as it's dumped.

 

I agree though, I'm almost positive First Star was going to release Astro Chase themselves.  It all depends on how you read that ad.  Is it that the other versions were coming soon FROM First Star or were they coming soon from PB and BY/LICENSED BY First Star?   It also depends on if PB had the ALL the home cartridge rights or just for the Atari 8-bit/5200.  If they had all of them then they would have released it for the 2600, C64 (cart), and Colecovision.  First Star only released Astro Chase on disk and tape, but that was probably due to manufacturing costs.  There's really no way to know unless we find someone at FS to ask.  I've got feelers out.

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3 hours ago, Tempest said:

Actually the proto is in a Telesys case.  Alex was doing games for Telesys as well so he was probably just using whatever he had laying around.  Even First Star themselves used multiple types of cases for Boing!.  There actually is another version of Asto Chase that surfaced just recently (a mid level WIP) that was in a PB case and came from a former PB employee.  More on that one as soon as it's dumped.

 

I agree though, I'm almost positive First Star was going to release Astro Chase themselves.  It all depends on how you read that ad.  Is it that the other versions were coming soon FROM First Star or were they coming soon from PB and BY/LICENSED BY First Star?   It also depends on if PB had the ALL the home cartridge rights or just for the Atari 8-bit/5200.  If they had all of them then they would have released it for the 2600, C64 (cart), and Colecovision.  First Star only released Astro Chase on disk and tape, but that was probably due to manufacturing costs.  There's really no way to know unless we find someone at FS to ask.  I've got feelers out.

You're absolutely right: it's a Telesys cart, which indeed makes sense coming from Alex Leavens.

Scott Stilphen did research this as well:
http://www.ataricompendium.com/game_library/unreleased/unreleased.html#astrochase

For me it's still not 100% clear.

First Star did release the C64 cartridge version and even this Max-A-Flex cartridge version:
http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-astro-chase_356.html

8)

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14 minutes ago, Tempest said:

It says right there that PB licensed Astro Chase for the 2600 and possibly the Colecovision.

 

So the C64 cartridge version WAS released?  I've only ever seen the disk version.

Me too, but the ad states that it's 'now available':
http://www.atarimania.com/pubs/hi_res/pub_astro_chasev2.jpg

8)

 

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6 minutes ago, Rom Hunter said:

Me too, but the ad states that it's 'now available':

Well we all know that doesn't really mean anything.  The Atari 2600 game Meltdown has a huge ad stating that it was 'now available' but we all know it wasn't. :)

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im not in love with it.  is it kind of like sinistar?  I also dont quite understand it yet too though.   Its also frusterating that video game world is big on private collectors gatekeeping stuff.  the big thing here is you released it and thats a major kudos to you.  

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5 minutes ago, chewy said:

im not in love with it.  is it kind of like sinistar?

Not really.  Basically you just fly around and shoot those white squares (mines) that occasionally appear and try to hit the earth.  You can shoot down enemy ships and go through those force field generators, but that's not required.  It's kind of dull in my book, but then again I've never liked the game.

 

6 minutes ago, chewy said:

Its also frusterating that video game world is big on private collectors gatekeeping stuff.  the big thing here is you released it and thats a major kudos to you.  

The funny thing is that it never used to be that way.  Up until the mid 2000's everyone was sharing the new protos they found, but then they suddenly became 'an investment' and that's when the hording started.  I just hope that these people who won't release the protos are at least backing them up so they're not lost forever if the worst happens. 

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It’s been a few years so I don’t recall for sure, but I don’t believe he was a member here, at least not at the time that he won the auction.

However, the member here who sells the Channel F multi carts is from Poland so if you wanted to track the buyer down, he would be a good place to start.

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  • 2 months later...
On 2/18/2022 at 11:06 AM, Tempest said:

It says right there that PB licensed Astro Chase for the 2600 and possibly the Colecovision.

All indications seem to be that the VCS version would've been published by Parker Brothers as opposed to First Star, had it actually been released.

 

http://www.ataricompendium.com/game_library/unreleased/unreleased.html#astrochase

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