Exploring Auto Racing
April 14, 2015 6:31 AM   Subscribe

David Clear constructs a map of the virtual space of the Intellivision classic Auto Racing, which features each track beside the other. It's part of the Intellivision Flashback game set.
posted by juiceCake (12 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
As a young lad, I performed similar experiments on this cartridge and other Intellivision games. The difficult part was that any crash meant being yanked back to a checkpoint, the cars have no reverse gear and only the white car had anything resembling precision steering, so exploration was frequently cut short.

My favorite glitch/easter egg hunts were in Lock 'n' Chase (by fiddling with the tunnel, you could make your thief disappear from the board altogether) and B-17 Bomber (by bombing England heavily in Practice mode, not only could you drive the navigator nuts ("THAT was NAWT the TAWR-GIT!") but you could make the score roll over from digits to letters, special characters and eventually sprites from other games).

I saw the Intellivision and ColecoVision Flashback consoles at a toy store this past winter, and was a bit suspicious. I gave a young niece one of the earlier Intellivision-in-a-box handhelds a few years ago and was horrified to find that the games were mediocre recreations, not emulations. From what I've read, the Flashbacks are of higher quality (actual emulations, albeit sometimes with glitches, and much better reproductions of the original controllers). The controllers are the hardest part of getting those early consoles right; instead of an 8-way joystick and one button, they feature a 16-direction disc, a 12-button keypad and four independent fire buttons, and some games used all of them. Even a Sixaxis doesn't have that many moving parts.
posted by delfin at 6:51 AM on April 14, 2015 [5 favorites]

This is awesome, but I carry a phone in my pocket with more capability than a younger me could have imagined getting in my lifetime; so why am I still SO ENVIOUS of the Intellivision keypads?
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:05 AM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

MCMikeNamara: "why am I still SO ENVIOUS of the Intellivision keypads"

My rich friend in elementary school had a 2600, Intellivision and Colecovision, and oh, how the jealousy burned. Flames, flames on the side of my face.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:37 AM on April 14, 2015 [3 favorites]

Bless you for posting this, because this is the first I've learned that the AD&D: Cloudy Mountain title was re-released as Crown of Kings. It shall be mine!
posted by trunk muffins at 7:49 AM on April 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

I remember searching this map for the hidden lanes that went on forever. I think there was at least one, but usually you would drive for what seemed like several minutes only to hit a single tree.

I also delighted in making my friends red-faced with rage with a sneaky PT boat maneuver in Sea Battle that sank their battleships Every. Single. Time.
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:26 AM on April 14, 2015

This seemed very, very familiar to me, but I never played Intellivision. I didn't have one, I didn't know anyone who did.

It is alleged that the later John Anderson's Rally Speedway - which I did play - was consciously derivative of Auto Racing. That's easy to believe. Mostly, my brother and I built impossible racetracks in an attempt to produce the most spectacular possible accidents.
posted by Western Infidels at 8:30 AM on April 14, 2015

Oh wow this is so cool. I had an Intellivision and like 40 games (late 80s, so they were cheap because NES was out,) but never played this one. So happy to see this though.
posted by Theta States at 8:36 AM on April 14, 2015

I'll have to look more deeply into these (as in "buy them all"). I understand that one of the versions of the 2600 Flashback had a real (reengineered) TIA chip and you could hack it to play original carts. The next versions had ARM emulation though.

What an embarrassment of riches we have these days. I bet there is more logic in the HDMI upconverter than in all the Intellivision game ROMs combined.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:40 AM on April 14, 2015

Can someone please kickstart an Intellivision controller that connects by USB?
posted by Theta States at 8:41 AM on April 14, 2015

When I was a kid we all had Intellivision II's and everyone's right controller failed in the same way after some time, my tiny town's (400ppl) local electronics guru guy knew how to fix these and fixed them for all of us ($20), he was MAGIC.
posted by Cosine at 8:59 AM on April 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

My mom broke one of the Intellivision controllers playing it so much. My brother and I took it apart and fixed it. Yay, us!
posted by Gadgetenvy at 7:36 PM on April 14, 2015

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