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Atari BackWater Produces First Page Post
December 1, 2004 6:42 PM   Subscribe

The Atari Games That Never Were -- and then some. A community dedicated to rooting out prototype or unreleased titles such as Alligator People,Monstercise and -- hey cool -- a genre-busting color-field. While all this may seem a tad on the esoteric side, the glimpses into the the art is cool, hey?
posted by undule (15 comments total)

 
The philosophy behind the Puffer was to try and make exercising fun.
Just imagine what games would look like today if thier progenitors high scores were based on athletic abilities like peddeling?. The cigarette/conviencestore/afterschool videogame subculture of the suburban rapscallion would have been a much bleaker life than remembered.
posted by svenvog at 6:55 PM on December 1, 2004


This One brings back memories.

I can remember seeing this cartridge in the Atari catalog and wondering whether to save up my allowance to get it. Based on the description on the site, it's a good thing that I waited a few years to get an Atari 800 and learn 6502 assembly language, instead of being introduced to programming with this thing.

I've gotta question whether you could really only enter 9 or 11 lines of code, though... surely it wasn't that limited?
posted by JeffL at 7:18 PM on December 1, 2004


Not updated a lot, but there's also lostlevels.org.

I got to briefly play Ixion for the 2600 earlier this year - it's a very fun game.
posted by gluechunk at 7:34 PM on December 1, 2004


[this is berry cool]
posted by glenwood at 7:55 PM on December 1, 2004


This is a great find. For those who haven't seen it, also check out Atari Age.
posted by Otis at 7:59 PM on December 1, 2004


What a neat site. Thanks, undule. It's nice to see a video game nostalgia site that's not loaded with sex jokes and profanity (*coughseanbabycough*), since while that can be funny, you can't really show it to your grandmother. This one is great. I'd love to see it updated with Lynx and Jaguar stuff.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:10 PM on December 1, 2004


I killed my VCS 2600 after they released ET ... argh!
posted by homodigitalis at 8:28 PM on December 1, 2004


That game was horrible, I agree, but I also think it was kind of a work of accidental genius -- in the purely surrealistic sense. About the only thing I remember from playing E.T. was how absolutely bizarre watching his neck extend was -- in retrospect, it strikes me as some particularly droll penile doodadery. That and absolutely nothing made any sense whatsoever, the primary goal being basically -- get over this hole here, kid.

Which isn't Freudian, really, so much as it is existential.

*woot!*
posted by undule at 8:50 PM on December 1, 2004


I don't get me. I quickly flipped through the site and got giddy when I saw the Dumbo 2600 game. I'm not a Disney fan, nor a Dumbo fan, but my brain jumped back to the day when I used to get excited about the littlest advancements in the graphics on the 2600. I used to freak when new games were pushing the hardware - anything looked better than tank or super breakout.
posted by tomplus2 at 9:56 PM on December 1, 2004


Tomplus2, I think the poetry here is that you can associate any emotion whatsoever, with this .. !

I truly believe this electronic archaeology is the unearthing a profoundly convulsive art.
posted by undule at 2:51 AM on December 2, 2004


Great link, thanks
posted by Mick at 4:20 AM on December 2, 2004


I had a dream once that I went into a videogame store and found the Earthbound Zero (or Mother, for you Nintendo hipster) prototype in a bin for five dollars.

I felt like crying when I woke up.
posted by hughbot at 6:22 AM on December 2, 2004


this is a great site. reminds me of the time i relived my Vectrex obsession in the early 90s...poor Tom Sloper! i tracked him down at activision--he was VERY gracious and generous with his time.

those first-wave game developers are classy folks.

heh! another memory springs to mind--when i tracked down the developer of the atari 8-bit classic "dandy" (the precursor to the arcade juggernaut "gauntlet").

anybody here a recovering dandy-addict? that game STILL has playability--and the built-in level editor = endless hours of fun (where fun = tormenting your friends with evilly difficult level-design).

yes, i am a dork.
posted by retronic at 10:23 AM on December 2, 2004


retronic, have you read the interviews here?

(My mom weathered a Detroit snowstorm at Christmas to get me a Vextrex when they first came out. I still play it today.)
posted by Otis at 2:35 PM on December 2, 2004


Otis, thanks! that site is a treasure-trove of videogame nostalgia...sorta like folklore.org is for mac geeks.

by the time my speccy young self could afford to buy a vectrex, it was already on the way out, selling for $50. i bought a system and as many carts as i could get my hands on, but sadly, never managed to find a pair of the elusive 3D goggles (the holy grail of vectrex lore).

i ended up selling that system to a good friend (the bastard!)...so years later, i had to go scavenging for a replacement.

one thing i'll say--it held its value!
posted by retronic at 6:15 PM on December 2, 2004


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