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Octopussy controversy

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The US games release was not really called Octopussy, regardless of what it mught say on the label. For one, octopussy is a trademarked name so they couldn't use it. Two, US Games was a competitor with Parker Bros. Three, that simply isn't a 007 game by any stretch of imagination.


Both Octopussy and "Octopus" were being marketed in mid-83.


No connection between Name This Game and Bond whatsoever.

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I just saw this thread...

The ad says James Bond 007 with as seen in Octopussy... besideit..

Octopussy is not the name.. They were just trying to capitalize on the movie.

The name is James Bond: 007



I believe this ad is from before 007 came out..

the review below talks about ads such as the one you say, but that it was changed when released.


heres some info from a website:

"This game is a far cry from the preview screen that appeared in the Parker Bros catalogs. That "sample screen" showed a shootout on a train, which would have been cool. But this game is much less original; it's just a side-scrolling shooter. You control a land/sea/air vehicle moving through various environments, shooting certain objects and avoiding others. The title screen displays a picture of James Bond and plays the 007 theme. In theory, this game takes you through four James Bond movies, but in fact all of the levels are pretty similar. The graphics are good; there are some nice touches like helicopters with search lights. But the gameplay is frustrating. Everybody's shooting at you, but you can only shoot certain harmless objects for points. Most of the gameplay involves jumping over holes and dodging missiles (ala Moon Patrol). Some aspects of the game, like the disappearing oil rig in level two, make no sense at all. This game is best described as difficult and frustrating.

1 player "



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I'm with the VGCritic, I think they were devleoping a 007 game, thinking about the cool train level, using the most recent Octopussy movie name for attention. But then that train level game never worked out so they still made a 007 game with those crappy Moonraker levels. I hope they got some work done on that original train level before they switched the game but I think only one game was being developed.

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And what about the fact that the 2 games have nothing at all in common. There isn't ther smallest scrap of that Octopussy mockup in the released 007 game. I think any of the homebrewers around here would attest that there wouldn't be a scrap of code shared by the two games.


My theory: Parker was either unable to finish Otopussy or they hated the final product (we know they were willing to cancel completed and marketed games if they didn't like the final product). Not wanting to waste the expensive James Bond license, I suspect that some programmer had a generic space driving game to sell so they bought it and slapped the license on it.


I don't know if that's the case, but it's ridiculous to think that 007 is just a modification of the Octopussy design.

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My theory:  Parker was either unable to finish Otopussy or they hated the final product (we know they were willing to cancel completed and marketed games if they didn't like the final product).  Not wanting to waste the expensive James Bond license, I suspect that some programmer had a generic space driving game to sell so they bought it and slapped the license on it.



I think in the end we are saying the same thing, only some semantics are different. BradJ and I were more focused on the name and you are talking about the code. I hope for all our sakes there's some of the train level code floating around out there :)

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Okay, but I still don't get it. We had one game being developed called Octopussy which was a run-and-shoot. In the end, we got a drive-and-shoot based on Diamonds Are Forever, Moonraker, and The Spy Who Loved Me. So we have two entirely separate concepts, titles, and codes.


Notice how much vaporware Parker suddenly turned out when the crash was going down? Look at their catalog in the AtariAge archives and you'll see a good half-dozen titles that were never released.


Does anyone know when James Bond 007 was released? I don't remember seeing it until after Xmas 83.

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It wouldn't surprise me to find out PB was working on more than one 007 game. They had more than one Star Wars game, and 007 is big enough franchise to handle multiple titles.


Until (or unless) the Octopussy ROM is dumped, we may never find out why they canned it. It may have just been a boring game. Or had technical hurdles they couldn't overcome. Or maybe they were putting too much work into that McDonald's prototype. ;) I'm certain though, that the Octopussy ads ran well before the 007 game was released.

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If someone wants to give it a shot and try to read the chip I have let me know. I know the reader should have 4 bank switches on it.  


I can supply a pic if ya need.


I'd be happy to give it a try. The game does work, right?



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Hey All!


Thought you might find this interesting. I may be working with Charlie Heath on a new project here, very shortly..


Anyway, in my talks with him.. I asked him 'bout the James Bond title. Here's what he had to say about it. This actually a couple'a emails spliced into one.


K--> Heya Charlie... one more thing, if ya' don't mind.


How the heck did you end up doing just one title for Parker Bros, as opposed to more?


C--> I was at Parker from June through November 1982 - about five months.


I'd prototyped a "James Bond" scene during my first first few weeks, to see what I could do with a VCS: you're in space orbiting earth in the space shuttle, chasing bio-terrorist pods to shoot them down before they break up in the atmosphere, while your shuttle and the pod are being buffeted about by reentry.  You see something that looks a bit like a spinning earth bobbing about at the bottom of the screen.  If you watch the movie Moonraker, it's one of the climactic scenes, but Parker wasn't interested in it for the Bond license because they wanted to do something that was more along the lines of Pitfall - little guy running around with various spy gadgets.


About the time I finished Reactor early in October, five guys from Parker went out to the west coast together to visit Activision and Imagic. We were really impressed with Tom Lopez, the VP in charge of development, as well as Levy, and of course we liked the working model that Al, Dave, Larry, and Bob had established.  A few days later we signed up as a group to set up the second east coast design center - first center was Garry Kitchen's group -


K--> Whoops.. kinda' off topic Charlie, but.. "Whatever happened to that James Bond game?" Did it ever make it to a prototype stage.


C--> Ken - An NDA shouldn't be any problem.


Regarding the Bond prototype - it wasn't much beyond a concept, but it was a pretty functional single screen 1st person perspective shooter. Not up to the level of Star Raiders gameplay, but I thought the pseudo-orbiting-world view was pretty cool and unique at that time. I didn't keep a copy of the code when I left Parker Brothers. It might be buried on a backup tape somewhere at Parker Brothers, but more likely the tape was reused for cereal inventory or something like that.


.. "And there ya' have it."


If yer' interested, I'll keep you appraised of the future project with Charlie 'n' crew.


- K

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just thought I would chime in here. I have a October 1982 Parker Brothers binder that has the box mockup and description for a James Bond game. It says avaliablity was scheduled for "Atari VCS 3Q/1983, Intellivision 4Q/1983". While this does not shed too much light on if there were separate James Bond cartridges (the one released and the Octopussy one), there are some other goodies in the binder, such as "The Hulk". Also, someone threw in the binder a 1984 Release Schedule. This is the real interesting:


March Bond

April Gyruss

May Star Wars Arcade



August Frogger II, Mr.Do!'s Castle

September Montezuma, Circus Charlie, Q*Bert II

January (1985) Barbados, Do!'s Ride

June 1985 Children's Software (3): Video Theatre, Crayola, TBD

Arcade (2): (Mylstar/Konami/Durvils)

Original (3): Durvils, Gizmo, Panama III, Board/Type, Peoples

Adventure, Trivia, Others

Disk Albums: Do!'s Greatest Hits

Panama Jack Returns



Thought you all might find this interesting. I sent scans of this to Joe Santulli on Digital Press. See if you can get him to send some scans and make it avaliable, it's good reading. It talks about "The Hulk" supposed to be released due to a cartoon series that was to start in late 1983. Parker was a year ahead of planning these games for their release judging by this binder.

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