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C L A S S I 


SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018 * VOLUME 1 • NUMBER 2 



magazine 


RetroArch * Atari Vault • And More 




C ATARI GAMES 


NEW INDIE TITLES 


OPEN LINUX OS 




































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All h istory is open for ^exploration o n d play. \ 

Other consoles have provided ways to play 'some' 
of the past. Classic titles have been sold for most 
official online-stores for over a decade - bw^here's 
always 'something 7 missing. Many custom enthusi¬ 
ast builds have shortcomings when It comes to 
playing advanced consoles effectively. Modern 
controllers have lacked the classic touch of a clas-’ 
si c joystick an d the hundreds of games designed 


for it. A minefield of licensing and restrictions pre- 
vents many classic titles from even seeing the light 


of day. Not anymore. Now you can play every¬ 
thing - from all time. All the time. \ 


The power to ploy oil of the past. 


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ith the robust architecture of the VCS, every clas¬ 
sic console ever made is yours to try and experi¬ 
ence what people played for the entire history of 
aming. Lesser hobbyist builds may choke or re^ 
quire more time playing with settings instead of the 
game. But the VCS will be capable of running all 
classic consoles & titles on one box, in one place. " 


The Atari way, or your way. 

Atari is bundling every VCS with the Atari Vault. 
Even though it includes a vast library of both 2600 
and arcade titles released from Atari (and it's cer¬ 
tainly impressive), why stop there? 

Play all of the Atari 2600 hits. 

Thanks to the open-architecture of the VCS you're 
not restricted from installing Stella and enjoying 
the full range of arcade-ports and licensed games 
that make up a sizable chunk of the must-plays and 


chart-toppers of the. day released by Atari. Games 
ike Ms, Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Joust, Defender 
and d ozen\m ore f ro mNl^e first console tfidTIF 
censed arcade titles for the home^But that would 

still be merely scratching the surface. -— X 

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RSVP for the third-party.^ 

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Activision. Imagic. Parker Brothers. CBS Electron- 
ics. Most of th e se were started pVpeople who fled 
Atari to make games on their own .^Classic games 

x 

that defined the 2600. Nothing is more iconic than 









Demon Attack outshined many' shooters 

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from Atari. Pitfall II pushed the 2600 beyond the 
limits of-the-day with expanded memory and a 
dedicated display processor chip for improved 
graphics.and sound. But the Atari 2600 library 
didn't stop when Atari and others did:- 


Homebrew. 


x 




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Enthusiasts for years have been of making the most 
out of the what is arguably the most challenging 
system to write code on. With updated ports of 
games that were previously rushed or limited to" 


memory constraints of past cartridge sizes, the new 
titles created are beyond-impressive. This vast 
community's efforts are ready-to-play, today. 

Beyond Stella. 


RetroArch. It's the open-source way To play all sys¬ 
tems .^From arcade hardware, to every*classic con¬ 
sole ever created. And thanks to the VCS being an 
open-platform - you're free to install and enjoy ev¬ 
erything it has to offer. And there's a lot of m offer¬ 



ings. 1 Including 
for every console that came after the 2600. 


2 






A new platform for Atari Classics. 

Atari Vault has been available since 2016 provid¬ 
ing 2600 and arcade classics for both single 
player and online multiplayer. Each VCS sold will 
come bundled with the latest Atari Vault featuring 
a whole new interface and added capabilities. 

A User Interface a mother could love. 

Atari is wrapping the current engine with a new 
look and feel that will exceed previous interations. 
From i mproved presentation of packaging and 
documentation to better sorting and management 
of 100 arcade and home titles. Atari's classics will 
be state-of-the-art. 

Home classics and rarities. 

Featured are eighty-two Atari 2600 titles produced 
in-house over the lifespan of the original VCS as 
well as titles that were in development but never re¬ 
leased, induing titles only offered to Atari Club 
members. Also present, are games produced after 
Atari changed hands from Warner Communica¬ 
tions in 1984. Finally, there are two sequels that 
were announced but never completed, until now. 

2600 games included. 

3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, A Game of Concentration, Adven¬ 
ture, Air-Sea Battle, Atari Video Cube, Backgam¬ 
mon, Basic Math, Basketball, Blackjack, Bowling, 
Brain Games, Breakout, Canyon Bomber, Casino, 
Centipede, Championship Soccer, Checkers, 
Chess, Circus Atari, Code Breaker, Combat, 
Combat 2, Crystal Castles, Demons to Diamonds, 

Desert Falcon, Dodge 'Em, Double Dunk, 







CENTIPEDE 





GRAVITAR TEMPEST 



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Fatal Run, Flag Capture / Football, Golf, Gravitar, 
Hangman, Haunted House, Home Run, Human 
Cannonball, Maze Craze, Millipede, Miniature 
Golf, Missile Command, Night Driver, Off the 
Wall, Outlaw, Quadrun, Race, Radar Lock, Real- 
sports Baseball, Realsports Basketball, Realsports 
Boxing, Realsports Football, Realsports Soccer, Re¬ 
alsports Tennis, Realsports Volleyball, Return to 
Haunted House, Save Mary, Secret Quest, Sentinel, 
Sky Diver, Slot Machine, Slot Racers, Spacewar, 
Sprint Master, Star Raiders, Starship, Steeple¬ 
chase, Stellar Track, Street Racer, Stunt Cycle, Sub 
Commander, Super Baseball, Super Breakout, 
Super Football, Surround, Swordquest: Earth- 
world, Swordquest: Fireworld, Swordquest: Water- 
world, Tempest, Video Olympics, Video Pinball, 
Warlords and Yars' Revenge. 

The return of the Quarter Eaters. 

The real labor of love shines in the inclusion of 18 
arcade titles with extra spent time to obtain and 
create fine details on the look and presentation, 
such as getting digital imagery of the arcade cabi- 
net art to present alongside in-game screens. Ad¬ 
ditional options for play are available; both default 
settings and access to operator-options to change 
lives, play-times and difficulties. Finally, artwork 
and promotional material are included, produced 
for arcade distributors and magazines. 

Arcade titles included. 

Asteroids, Asteroids Deluxe, Black Widow, Centi¬ 
pede, Crystal Castles, Gravitar, liberator, Lunar 
Lander, Major Havoc, Millipede , Missile Com¬ 
mand, Pong, Red Baron, Space Duel, Sprint, Super 
Breakout, Tempest and Warlords. 









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Designed for the home from other homes 


Homebrews, reproductions, hacks. They're just a 
few genres available from programmers dedicated 
to pushing beyond the limits of what people expect 
from the Atari 2600, or other consoles. Free from 
memory limitations, manufacturing timetables or 
marketing departments, these developers have cre¬ 
ated impressive titles for a system that's over 40 
years old. Below are two games that are prime ex¬ 
amples of what can be done with a little more 
more time & effort, and a lot more ROM. 


Donkey Kong VCS 


in tne summer or i yo i uonkey i\ong lanaea in tne 
arcades. It was Nintendo's first true hit, and put 
Mario (then called Jumpman) on the map. A year 
later Coleco created their first home port, and 6 
months later released versions for the Atari 2600 
and Intellivision. The Atari version was the second 
title released by Gary Kitchen - who would go onto 
create classics like Keystone Kapers for Activision. 


4000 compromises 


wmie rne nome version played like uonkey r\ong, 
with only 4k available, it had to sacrifice 2 of the 
original game's levels and Donkey Kong himself 
looked more like an angry gingerbread man. Still, 
it was a hit, selling millions. But enthusiasts wanted 
more. A couple of them would grow up to be pro¬ 
grammers who would create exactly that. 


D.K. VCS not only restores all of the levels from the 

arcade version, but also the attract mode. 


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Acclaim and blame. 


Tod has been often blamed (along with ET) for sink¬ 
ing the video game industry in 1983. If that was 
the case, the infamous "crash" should have started 
Jn the spring of 1982. It didn't. But consumer ex¬ 
pectations were stretched to the breaking point 
with the game's release. However, with 7 million 
copies sold (and not returned), it obviously had its 
fans. Because in-spite of the many shortcomings, it 
felt like Pac-Man & you could play with 2 players. 

24 years later. 

There exists not one but two flavors of Pac-Man 
squeezed into 4 and 8k ROMs. Although the 4k 
version has ample bragging rights, the 8k version 
released in 2006 provides less flicker and more 
options for play including fast-speed, bootleg ver¬ 
sions (Hangly Man) & Pac-Man Plus. ’ 


| Pac-Man Fever. 

Ir- ' ' . !' 

I In 1980, Pac-Man hit American shores - and all 

J Hell broke loose. At the height of Pac Mania, the 

If 

game would be licensed for toys, breakfast cereals 
fi and one of the worst songs ever to be recorded. In 
/ 1981, Hell would arrive on the shoulders of Tod 

Frye who would be faced with his own 4k and 
double-scanline nightmare in trying to cram Pac- 
Man into the narrow confines of the 2600. 


the intermissions and the stoner favorite "how high 
can you get" screen. The largest concession is the 
scrolling playfield, but this presents a nice chal¬ 
lenge to those who have played Donkey Kong for 
37 years. D.K. VCS isn't just an impressive 
feat, it's a genuinely fun & addictive game. 


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ATARI MAKES MORE HOME VIDEO GAMES THAN ANYONE. 

HAVE YOU FMYEDAIARI TODAY? 


ATARI 

A Warner Com mo meat kxis Company 


C 1982 ATARI,, II NC 


• Space Invaders is a trademark of Taito America Corp. tPAC-M AN is a trademark of Midway Manufacturing Co. licensed by Namco America, Inc« 


























Blast to the past 

In January of 2014, version 1.0.0.0 of RetroArch 
was released. The ultimate platform for emulating 
game systems and arcade games. Fast & light¬ 
weight, RetroArch features a modular core lib rary 
and a customizable interface plus advanced fea¬ 
tures like dynamic rate control, audio filters, shad¬ 
ers, netplay, gameplay-rewinding, cheats & more. 

Primary Features. 

Advanced GPU shader support for multi -pass 
post-processing shader pipelines, image scaling 
algorithms, emulation of complex CRT video arti¬ 
facts and other effects. 

Dynamic Rate Control to synchronize video and 
audio while smoothing out timing errors and lag. 

FFmpeg recording supporting lossless video re¬ 
cording using FFmpeg's built-in libavcodec. 

A qamepad abstraction-layer called Retropad that 
features auto-configuration of any controller after 
attaching or wireless linking. 

Peer-to-peer netplay using techniques similar to 
GGPO to create a near-lagless online experience 
for fast-paced arcade & fighting games. 


Audio DSP plugins for equalizer, reverb and other 
available audio-effect libraries. 

Advanced savestates for automatic saving & load¬ 
ing and the ability to disable SRAM overwritting. 


Frame-by-frame gameplay rewinding 


Library support for game boxart and thumbnails. 
Multiple customizable user-i nterfaces including: 

CLI, XMB , GLUI/MaterialUl and RGUI. 


A ROM scanner which can automatically construct 
playlists by comparing directory files against exist¬ 
ing databases of known games. wk 


Libretro 



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base of cores, games and cheats. 




OpenGL and Vulkan API support. 

Available cores. 



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Below is a partial list of all of the systems sup- 
ported - including portables and arcade hardware. 
More are being produced and updated regularly 
by enthusiasts from an active and vibrant open- 
source community. Keep in mind that more contem¬ 
porary systems require more storage space. 


Supported systems include the 3DO, Arcade, Atari 
2600, Atari 5200 & 800, 7800 Prosystem, Jaguar, 
Lynx, ColecoVision, Commodore 64, Game Boy / 
Color, Game Boy Advance, NES, Super NES, 
GameCube, Nintendo 64, Nintendo DS & 3DS, 
Game Gear, MSX, Neo Geo, I ntel livision, 
Odyssey 2 , Sega Genesis, Master System, Sega 
Saturn, Dreamcast, PSP, PlayStation, TurboGrafx- 
16 and the Vectrex. 


In the following pages you'll discover more about 
all of the available system cores and their history. 
Also featured are games highlighting best-of- 
breeds, must-haves and rarities. These titles repre¬ 
sent the literal tip-of-the-iceberg when exploring 
all of the potential RetroArch has to offer^^^_^^^_ 

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\ Another fact of the arcade industry, for every game 

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! produced and released for the arcades, dozens 

more titles never made it out of development or j ■ 

I location-tests, if a game failed to attain sufficient !|1' 

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quarter-drop during test, it would be put back on 
If the shelf. Other titles would die in development as 
makers exited the business prior to a game's sched- 
If uled release. Even today, newly discovered games li'i 1 
from 35 years ago have made their way from 
warehouses, parts bi*ns or developer's workbench¬ 
es into the hands of the emulation community. 

Sparkz. 

Also known as Dr. Sparkz Lab, this puzzle game 
was in the style of Tetris with a minor plot to create 
a robot by connecting wires (that looked like pipes) 


Why Atari Games didn't release the title in 1992 is 


a mystery. The difficulty curve is sharp - probably 
to encourage more quarters to continue. In spite of 
this, it's very addictive - but is so hard that I've yet 
to see anyone 'finish building the monster' on You- 




Warner bought controlling interest in Atari Games 
making it a subsidiary of the Time Warner Interac- 



Sparkz ran on a single 14.3MHz Motorola 68000 
and was one of 2 titles produced for that specific 
platform. The other was Arcade Classics which in¬ 
cluded updates of Centipede (Super Centipede) 
and Missile Command (Missile Command II). Both 
of these titles are only available to play in the pro¬ 
totype test cabinets when they appear at fan-events 
like CAX, or more often, through emulation. 






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Atari 5200 SuperSystem. 

Originally called the "Atari Video System X", The 
5200 SuperSystem was introduced in November 
1 982 for $269.00 about a third of the price of an 
Atari 800 at the time (before the computer price 
wars of 1983 had begun). Released with 4 joystick 
ports like the Atari 800 home computer, it would 
be pared back to 2 joystick ports in 1983. Consid¬ 
ering it was a repackaged Atari Home Computer, it 
was a bargain by comparison. 



The 5200's design still holds the title for one of the 
largest consoles ever made due to the inclusion of 
a storage compartment for two Atari 5200 control¬ 
lers. The controllers lacked any centering apart 
from the weak rubber grommet which combined 
with failure prone rubber buttons make collecting 
them a punishing ordeal for hardware purists. For 
emulation however, there's lots of quality titles in¬ 
cluding exclusives. 


Space Dungeon. 


■ 

A dual-stick arcade shooter from Taito, Space Dun¬ 
geon proceeded the more popular Robotron 2084 
by a full year. The only home console adaptation of 
this 99 level game was on the Atari 5200 in the fall 
of 1983. This home release wa$ packaged with a 
dual-stick holder to play authentically with the 
arcade version. The lack of joystick centering did 
not impede the playability of this title,- unlike other 
games which required centering to be iplayable, 
making it even more desirable to collectors. 


This was also noted by Video Magazine whojde- 
scribed it as "such a triumph, that not even the 
questionable 5200 controllers can spoil the fun # ; 

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Atari 7800 ProSystem. 


Released to the public both in 1984 (briefly) and 
(eventually) in 1 986, the Atari 7800 was the brain¬ 
child of General Computer Corporation. Besides 
making the most successful game in arcade history 
- Ms. Pac Man, GCC was developing games for 


both the Coin-Op and Home divisions of Atari. 
They were tasked at creating a new platform that 
would go far beyond the Atari 5200 and be com¬ 
patible with 2600 games without an adapter. 


With GCCs background jn creating coin-op 
games, they designed their new system with an ar¬ 
chitecture similar to arcade machines of the time. 


The 7800 allowed a large number of objects (75 to 
100). Perfect for playing titles that pushed the 
limits of on-screen characters, like Robotron 2084. 

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Bdl) blazer. 

The first of two titles from a joint-venture between 
Atari and LucasFiim in the newly created LucasFilm 
Games group (eventually LucasArts). Developed on 
Atari 8-bit computers, Ballblazer truly shines on 
the 7800 with superior object* scaling and anti¬ 
aliasing. Ballblazer itself is an insanely simple & 
fast paced two-player soccer match (in dual first- 
person-perspective) with 1 to 3 point shot scoring 
and goalposts that shrink as the game progresses. 

The 7800 version is also the showcase for the 
POKEY sound chip which was off-loaded onto the 
cartridges. The idea being that as better sound so- 
lutions became available, those would be included 
in future titles. That chip supported an algorithmi¬ 
cally generated soundtrack generated from 32 riffs 
composed by contracted jazz musicians. 










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ColecoVision 

Coleco enters vi deo games. Again. 

Coleco had made its name in the video game 
market in 1976 with the Telstar series of Pong con¬ 
soles. Coleco would sell Telstar variations for 2 
years, until the Pong-fad collapsed putting Coleco 
into near-bankruptcy in 1 980. immediately, they 
devoted themselves to the lucrative programmable 
market in 1982 with the launch of ColecoVision. 
Using the Z80 chip found in many arcade cabinets 
and 8k of ROM, ColecoVision provided arcade- 
fidelity previously unmatched for a price of $175, 
a fraction of the cost of most home computers of the 
time. Th is was noted in advertising showcasing ex¬ 
pansion modules which not-only included the abil¬ 
ity to play 2600 games (after litigation & licens¬ 
ing), but promoted a future ability to be the CPU 
for a home-computer system. 

Adam Bomb. 

Being rushed to market during the video-game 
panic of 1 983, the Adam Home Computer was 
famous for being so poorly designed that most 
Adams at-launch simply didn't work. This began 
over 50 million dollars in losses for Coleco ending 
both the Adam and the ColecoVision in 1985. 

Frenzy. 

Although Coleco scored a coup with Donkey Kong 
at launch - Atari was the king of licensing. That's 
not to say there weren't great exclusives for the 
ColecoVision. Many Coleco licenses were ported 
to the 2600 and Intellivision, but one notable ex¬ 
ception was Frenzy. The sequel to Stern's Berzerk, 
with more enemies & more complex mazes, Frenzy 
was only ever released for the ColecoVision. 









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Famicom to Entertainment System 


IES was actually released several times in 

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America. After it's rollout in Japan in 3983, 

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to be introduced to the US through a license 
Mari. At the same time. Atari's CEO : Ray 
r, was fired following SEC investigations for 
r trading, collapsing all negotiations. Atari's 
!EO, James Morgan, chose to proceed with 
7800 ProSystem. In 1 984 Nintendo intro- 
America to the games and technology of the 
om with the 'VS. System' of coin-opeated 
sts for arcades. After several design itera- 
the NES was test-released into the New York 
it in 1985. Another test followed in'^arly 

, 1 . 1 1 . 1 I I * " # - - 

in LA, Chicago, and San Francisco. 


ptember of 1 986 the NES was released no¬ 
de with the aid of a distribution deal with 
s-of-Wonder (a toy company formed from 
r Atari employees). Nintendo's restrictive li- 
arrangements with publishers (combined with 
ft-chip security) created a controlled & prolific 
> of first and third-party games which would 
itil 1995 in the US and 2003 in Japan. 


"u Miyamoto was considering making 
gement simulator when he tried Maxis 
nd pressured Nintendo to license 
i SNES in 


e game 

1991. With only a brief mention in 
ldo Power, an NES version of the game 
oped in-tandem) was only rumor. Until now. 
if two prototypes to emerge in 2017 has been 
ved by the Video Game History Foundation, 
made public, emulation will be the sole means 
available to play this once- lost NES title 



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nuason oorr wanrea more rnan eve 
new console without the capital to do 
pened, NEC was also eager to entei 
sole market. Joining forces, they ga 1 
PC-Engine in October of 1 987 . 

How many bits? It depends. 


ma 


Although the PC Engine used an £ 

PC-Engine featured a 16-bit video 
and 1 6-bit video display controller \ 
truly 16-bit depended where you w 
the definition. An argument that wol 
tributed to the Atari Jaguar when bit 
were a thing. The PC Engine was a I 
of bits, outselling the Famicom in 1' 
ing Sega's offerings in the dust. It's s 
the small profile of the HuCards wF 
dress more than 400kb for games maae it a very a 
very small system that made a big impact on the 
Japanese gaming scene. Game publishers included 
Namco, Kona mi & future US-console competitor 
Sega, giving the PC-Engine market supremacy. 


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re followed Galaga, 
sequel to the diving, 
of the 1981 hit. Fea- 
ng & recovery, play- 
to become the new 
iwer and a huge foot- 
ie arcades in 1988, 
PC-Engine in 88, and 

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After the SG-1000 which failed after only a year 
on the Japanese market, and the better known-but 
also unsuccessful Master System (outside of Brazil, 
which still makes them today), Sega was ready to 
leverage the technology in their System-16 Ar-cad^ 
hardware as well as the library of titles designed 
for it. Released in Japan in 1988, and North 
America in 1 989, The Sega Genesis featured the 
first 16-bit Motorola 68000 CPU for a home 
gaming console and a library that would grow to 
over 900 titles. 


Although a strong console in the US, Europe and 
Brazil, Japan didn't embrace it with the same en¬ 
thusiasm as it did for the PC-Eng ine or the Super 
Famicom. It did manage to dethrone Nintendo 
from it's juggernaut status by matching their mar¬ 
kets ha re everywhere else. Selling over 30 million 
Sega-badged units, the Genesis and it's less re¬ 
strictive policies provided publishers with a wider 
platform for creating games outside of the limits of 
Nintendo's license shackles. 


Mortal Kombat 


In the late 80s & early 90s, fighting games were 
the driving force for Arcades. Outside of Street 
Fighter, Mortal Kombat was the hard-to-beat stan¬ 
dard. Spawning a long-franchise of titles & a*ssoci- 
ated media spin-offs, it's blend of deep'figure 
styles, large combatant roster, & violent mix of fin¬ 
ishing moves was wholly uncensored on the Sega 
Genesis. This of course led to legal challenges, but 
with over 35 million sold, it was worth it. *• 










































































































































































































Too many consoles 


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another console glut with 
home-consoles available from 3DO, Atari, Nin¬ 
tendo, Phillips, Sega and SNK - to name a few. At 
that point the Jupiter console Sega was developing 
as a bridge for the upcoming Saturn, seemed 
doomed in an already crowded space. But with a 
marketplace with bits-on-the-brain, Sega was des¬ 
perate to release a 32-bit product as well as, hope¬ 
fully, lengthen the lifespan of the Genesis. 


was 


wtmt 


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Enter the 32X expansion console. Containing two 
32-bit CPUs and a 3D graphics processor, it pro- 


lit arrived earlier, it 
ported by publishers. Being released at the same 
time the Saturn was introduced in Japan, it was ig¬ 
nored by game developers who provided a scant 
library of 40 titles. Programmers also had to cut 
corners since the system was rushed into the mar- 
ketplace. In the end, publishers didn 7 t stick around 
when it became clea r the system would never have 
a long lifespan and decided to put their efforts into 
the Saturn & an upcoming system from Sony. 


even 




oega s pioneering roray mro ou-ngnring games was 
primitive but changed the landscape of fighting 
games forever. Without question, Virtua Fighter was 
the best release 
parison to the version for the Sega Saturn (which 
would be bundled with the US release), it was the 
most-affordable way to be introduced to the game 
that gave birth to all 3D fighters to follow! ~ 


in com 


version 




















HHHKHtW 

nnrvnnnnj 


gence in arca< 
- but to 


provide players ana o| 
han one game for the same foo 
*d cabinets. Previous attemp 
and Atari in the mid-and-earl) 
and undependable tape-cass 
as large as the primary CPI 
ices dropping and packaging 
as finally possible to have 
ased solid-state multi-game syst 
smory in 1990 meant each titli 
ndreds 6f dollars, but was far-' 


oeo piarrorm was oasea aroi 
/ Z80 system featured in the 15 


ground and backgrounds (usii 
e MVS hardware also-featured 
music capabilities and supporte 
f addressable memory. 


iy Apocalypse Now and Full Me 
5 was the first release for botl 
soon-to-come) AES home systei 
scientists/ planet-killing lasers 2 
es that were unique with ev< 
NAM also provided NPCs wh 
vould assist the player by shoo 
waves of enemies. Cut-scenes 
litized dialoaue and plot-point 










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atom 

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hardware for the home. If 
l (adjusted for inflation) a 
a large table to match its 
Arriving in 1991, the AES 
lat could truly lay claim to 
ie. Because you were, liter- 
» arcade hardware home, 
ned minor pin-out changes 
m their MVS counterparts, 
■itles released for the MVS 
fighting genre, having a 
no small thinq. And they 
Hers were huge, durable, & 
ist controllers ever released 
take a lot of Dun ishment. 


massive 


was 


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ch, th e only way to enjoy 
5 released for the Neo Geo 


rne entire iiorai 
system. Altho' 
system emerge 
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prices 


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t repeat 


Historically, it's fascinating to 
waves 


one another Atari'$ cancellation of 


market to Nintendo in 1985. Another cancele 

i*i"i*1*1*1 * a" i*i 1 i ■ i * i 

p 1 I i ( . I ( I .. ■ _ 1 B i I 1 * V * D p i |fgH|||i 

project would result In Nintendo giving Sony th 
largest market-share for the mid 90s and beyond 


The Nintendo Play Station 


• • !i ,i :* i: 


Planned as a CD-ROM add-on for the S 
tween Nintendo and Sony, license disputes 
put the Play Station 

o announced they would, instead, license their 
Phillips for their unremarkable CD-i which was 
priced, underpowered, unsupported and unfun. 




same 


11 * 


over 

This announcement collapsed any future between 
Sony & Nintendo by 1993, setting the stage for the 
Sony PlayStation (now missing a space in its name) 


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2D or not 2D 


The PlayStation was, i 


That was until Sega's Virtua Fighter burst onto th< 
scene. With Sega's polygon gameplay, the direc 
tion of the PlayStation became clear to Sony Com 
puter Entertainment chairman Shigeo Maruyama. 


111 V 

MW' 

‘ * 1 * ' * 


Jumping Flash! 


If you thought Mario 64 was the first 3D console 
platforminq qame, you'd be wronq. Jumpinq Flash!, 
developed to explore 3D gaming concepts would 
combine both FPS & a dynamic cametn so players 
could see their feet as they made huge jltijjps in a 
•i iri 1 ** day-glo world with a great musical score. 
















I Discs vs Carts. 100 million vs 30 million 


Arriving in Japan in 1994 and North America in 
1995 aggressively priced at $299 ($199 a year 


later), Sony signed the death-knell for cartridge- 
based gaming with both superior storage and a re- 

i 1 * 1 1 1 # * i T i 1 1 1 1 1 s * i * l * I * t * l * I s I I 1 I I l 1 I 

production cost that was much cheaper for publish¬ 
ers. This made licensing deals both less risky and 
more Iucrptfvfe )fp>r|publishers and Sony alike. The 
Nintendo 64 attempted to carry-on the cartridge 
format a year later with games that required hercu¬ 
lean efforts to fit in expensive chips that cost the 
consumer upwards of 75 dollars per game. They 
may have loaded faster, but Nintendo sold far 
fewer titles with only a handful of developers. The 
market swiftly swung to Sony who go on to sell 






From 10 to 7900 games 


Thanks to Sony's double-speed CD-ROM Drive 


legiances by the hundreds causing the PlayStation 
library to explode in both quantity and quality. In 


lot of easy-to-use power for developers adding to 
the PlayStation's longevity of 1 2 years and over 
7900 titles released compared the N64's 388. 


Capcom's most famous franchise was the first tc 
popularize the survival-horror genre. With grea 
pre-rendered backgrounds & B-Movie voice-acting 
Jill Valentine 'the master of unlocking' or Chris Red 
field could each explore distinct paths through th< 
Resident Evil zombie-mansion-mystery. 
























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jndled but, ironically/ the 
d for 3D games. During de- 


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‘Hitachi, with no success. To 
they placed 2 Hitachi SH-2 
i. Th is wou Id be enough to 
egacy Virtua titles into the 
pers, but it was a nightmare 

i ! ' 1 1 • 1 | 1 I ' i • ! ' I ' 

jrs to program. ; 


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ame. Without Sonic. 


a we 


lesiqners Naoto Ohshima & 
ger to make a game beyond 
This desire proved tragic. 
The lack of a Sonic title only 


mmmm 

' :ibw 1 

1 ' ' 1’* l 11 ! 


ish sales of the Saturn, with 


na only a cult-status leaacv. 


















































































lllWi 

H 'l' ill 'll i I' H i! 'M ill 


Saturln is pot our futjjre", therr marketshare !had 

• * I • * I * 1 * * * * * * 

dwindled to less than 14 percent. The 32X and 
Saturn back-to-back debacles left retailers an d de- 

th layoffs 


r sour on 

management heading for the door, 


ana senior 
Sega had o 

the-console.market. Sega even went as far as to 
work with US engineers at IBAA to compete against 


tion. Sega of Japan's relationship with NEC up 
ended that partnership and, ance again, the nex 
consoled design would firmly be made-in-Japan. 


Power at a massive price 


ii?}/ 


After Sega's name took such a public beating, the 


Shenmue 


With a 70 million-dollar budget & 3 game-di: 

(with a supplementary 4th), Yu Suzuki's creation \* 

■■ _ . 

a monster. Shenmue featured open-world gamepk 
but was bloated & slow-paced. It also cost enou 
that, to break-even, it needed to sell to every Drea 
cast owner. It didn't. Shenmue was the final nail 


H B 




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.yiiijlft 

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i i i i i 
'*!' ! ! ! <!' 



PI 

ii 


I 


The Amiga handheld from Atari. 


Cross pollination is common in the video game busi¬ 
ness and the Atari Lynx handheld is no exceptionij 
Former Amiga manager David Morse (now at Epyx) 
recruited former Amiga computer designers, R. J:, 
Mical & Dave Needle to come up with a handheld 
video game system in '86. The 'Handy' game 
system was shown at the '89 Winter CES while Epyx 
teetered on bankruptcy. Looking for partners, Sega 
& Nintendo both declined, leaving Atari to produce 
the system. When Epyx filed for bankruptcy, the 
wholly Atari-owned Lynx was released 2 months 
after Nintendo's Gameboy in September 1989. 


Power at a cost. 


Requiring game designers to use Commodore 
Amigas for game development, the Atari Lynx was 
a 16 bit palm-sized powerhouse. Including a color 
backlit screen, a multiprocessor design & custom 
built video DMA driver for planar 3D-scaling 
graphics, and networking support for 15 other 
units. However, all that power came a cost. The 
Lynx could drain 6 AA batteries in less than 4 
hours. Players would need to tether themselves to 
the nearest wall outlet or keep a large bowl of bat- 

A® A ' 

teries handy. 3 million would be sold until 1 995. 


*i! 


,M, 


Xybots. 


I III I 

Mi V 


1 , 1.1 

! !■! 

!i 

•III 


I 


I 


111!" I 

If you thought ID's Wolfenstein was the first 3D 
shooter you'd be wrong. A 3D spirifuahsequel to Ed 
Logg's Gauntlet, Xybots featured two openly-gay- 

I * 1 1 1 * 

named protagonists, "Captain 1 Ace Gunn" and 

I 1 f I 1 t 

"Major Rock Hardy". Released to the Arcade 1 iln 

1987, this split screen rrfd^e shooter found q hortve 

* 1 1 

aud ience exclusively on the Atari Lynx n 1991.* 



iiMi ,,, . , MiMii 1 . 
i 11111 1 i • « ii ■ > i 

■ S 1 !*!*!*!*■ *!* ■ ■ I 1 ! 1 ! 1 * 1 ! 1 * 

* i • 1 I I I I ' * ‘ 1 ' i ^ i I 1 I I I i M " I * ■ 



Nintendo GAME BOYm 



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: 


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GAME LINK 

G / M E PAX 


The handheld to rule them all 


r years or success wirn rneir oame ana warcn 

|*|l f l|l| I jj * 11 * I » I * t • ® |i | 1 * |l|* 

;s of pocket games,! Nintendo's Satoru Okada 

. W ■ if I Mi 1 II 


& Gunpei Yokoi were tasked at making a portable 
multi-game system; Satoru was inspired by the first 

„ H £ I - ( I ^ A * i I 1 I | I ,1 » I | ^ 

cartridge-based handheld system, Milton Bradley's 
Microvision, which was released in 1979. Ten 
years later, Nintendo's first handheld would hit the 
market and rule the portable roost from 1989 to 
2003. The rise in both power & popularity of por- 
table gaming, led Nintendo to abandon traditional 
console designs entirely with the Nintendo Switch. 


How to sell 118 million handhelds 


A simple Z80 based architecture and eschewing 
backlit screens & color, meant the price could be 
kept to an affordable 89 dollars and support 15 
hours of gameplay with 4 AA batteries. The Game- 
boy was a hit from the day-one. Nintendo sold-out 
the entire stock of 300,000 units in Japan in 2 
weeks and 40 thousand units in the US on the first 
,day-of-sale. The Gameboy-momentum also insured 

♦ • I 

the first color version wouldn't appear until 1998. 


The story of Tefh^ton the Gameboy is a tale with so 
many twists and tWis that it takes a book to de¬ 
scribe it all. "Game Over" by David Sheff. There 

» you'|l find the story of Nintendo's quest to get the 

|| 

perfect handheld qame for wrrat would be the per- 
feet handheld system to present A.lexey Rajiv 

IIMII ^ I * * ™ m 

masterpiece. You'll 
blind-side, Tengen info bankruptcy with : their Tetris 
license obtained through shady third-pdrties who 
failed tp. actually possess a valid claim. iliSjih 


iscover 


wou 













WHAT YOU WOULD SAY TO A CONSOLE THAT 


GAVE YOU COMPLETE FREEDOM TO 

Play • Customize • Create 





PREORDER @ ATARIVCS.COM 




Linux. 

Atari not only re-entered the world of video game 
consoles with the VCS. Atari has re-introduced the 
Atari Home Computer With a full Linux distro 
available, you are free to explore all the possibili- 
ties to organize your media, stream content, use 
productivity apps, and play independent games 
(finished, or in-development). All without limits. 
You can even use your VCS to create your own 
games. In the next issue, discover the new Atari 
Home Computer. And discover how far you can go. 







SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2010 ■ VOLUME 1 * NUMBER 2 



RetroArch ■ Atari Vault ■ And More 


Classic 


CLASSIC ATARI GAMES * NEW INDIE TITLES * OPEN LINUX OS 





MAY / JUNE 2019 - VOLUME 1 - NUMBER 6 


MARCH / APRll 2019 ■ VOIUME 1 * NUMBER 5 


Multiplayer * Digital Distribution - Community 


Open Source ■ Unrestricted - Unlimited 


C 1982 AUi n 

























































Open Platform - Customization • Endless Possibilities 






At ATARI AGE MAGAZINE " we design and write 
about the game system for the independent world 
that supports both indie players and developers. 

And we plan to keep right on doing that. 

After all, when you invest your time and money 
in a home video game, isn’t it nice to know that the 
people at your magazine are doing the same? 



ATARI AGE MAGAZINE™ EXCLUSIVELY SUPPORTS THE ATARI VCS “ 

HAVE YOU PLAYED AIARTTODAY? 





























































































1 














JISAl_ 1 



» > Mpil 


a 

r 

■ 

lJ 

■ 





















































Still invading after all of these years, 

40 years ago, Space Invaders ... invaded, and 
sparked a video game revolution. 2 years later, it 
became the first licensed arcade game, quadru¬ 
pling sales of the VCS, thus creating the first filler 
app 7 . Former Atari programmer Richard Maurer, 
provides insight on his experience, (interview ex¬ 
cerpts used w/permission by author James Hague) 

"Games weren't assigned then. I knew how the con¬ 
sole worked, so I scouted around for a game idea 

and visited the arcades. Space Invaders just wowed 

# r "# 

me, especially the sound. So I came back and told 
people 7 I would do that 7 . They said 7 OK 7 . After a 
few months, I got it to where it was fun to play, but 
few seemed interested and the amount of flicker 
bothered me. One day, management was in a 
tither. Atari had a license deal. They wanted some- 
one to work on the game and found it was already 
in progress, so I went back to Space Invaders. 77 

"Perhaps it was the few months of intermission. 

* 

Soon 1 was able to solve the flicker problem and the 
basic game was in-place. I added my variations, 
spent days to get the sound right and drew my own 
pictures. I was constantly tuning, trying to figure out 
what made the game fun, as it couldn't be an exact 
copy of the arcade technologically, t only saw the 
arcade game from the outside. Finally, I was satis¬ 
fied. All the features were in. But code was 7K and 
it needed to fit in 4K. So ffc>r the next three months, I 

^ p 

scrunched code. After the first month, it was ten 

' P 

bytes here, three bytes,there, 1 byte way over-there. 
Of course, I also fine-tuned the game, and even 
added new features that cost bytes (painful). The last 
month was spent scrounging 1 or 2 bytes at a time." 


Contents, 


1-2 

3-4 

5-6 

9-10 

11-12 

13-14 

15-16 

17-18 

19-20 

21-22 

23-24 

25-26 

27-28 

29-30 

32 

35-36 

Legal, 


Introduction 
Atari Vault 
HomeBrew 



Intellivision/ColecoVision 

f i 

NES/SNES 

TurboGrafix-16 

Genesis/32X 

NeoGeo^ 

Saturn/Dreameast 
Lynx/Game Boy 
Coming Up 
Flashback 

# 

§ 



©201 8 Atari Age Magazine™ Atari Age Magazine 
is not affiliated with Atari SA® or its subsidiaries. 



The new Atari Age 


maining as i 



ne™ is 




icated to re- 
as the new Atari VCS 


promises to be. We 7 re also looking for developers 
who want to promote their new VCS game in a fea¬ 


ture article, or publishers looking to advertise titles. 



publisher@atariagemagazine.com 











'■ Bushflell Chairman oftho 8< ir<i Aiafi Inc 


"I’d like to introduce our new fall line” 


“We can’t show it all completely 
yet. But it's here. More innovation 
than you’ve ever seen. Games that 
literally defy' imagination. Giant 
realism. More player challenge. 
Spectacular excitement 
expressed in the biggest 
mind-boggling array of 
sports, driving and action 
themes we've ever 
offered. Themes trans¬ 
lated into the most 
advanced video and non¬ 
video games in the world. 


A 

ATARI 

Innovative 

leisure 


“Games like new Night DriverX 
Sebring-type night racing against 
the clock. And Sprint 2™ the 
game that's 12 games in one. 

One or two players can 

choose from 12 different race 
course layouts. And the 
fantastic new F-l™ a one 
player larger-than-life 
attraction. Players drive in 
a full-size cockpit in front 
of a giant projected race 
course, complete with 
moving track and cars. 


"Along with irresistible built-in 
player appeal, we’ve also built in 
more operator options, 
self-diagnostic features and 
unique microprocessor 
technology for long lasting, 
higher earnings. 

"You can sample the future 
soon. All the magic and 
excitement begins at MOA 
and 1AAPA!' 

Atari Inc. 1265 Borregas Ave. 
Sunnyvale, CA 94086 
(408) 734-5310 




Atari People. We’re still playing your game. 


Vsil us at the MOA at booth numbers 16-20,29-33, Namco/Atari 97A-10C1A, 100B. 
And at IAARA at booth numbers 1322. 1324.1326.1323.1421, 1423, 1425. 1427 


© Atari Inc.* 1976 


© 2018 ATARI AGE MAGAZINE 


PUBLISHER@ATARIAGEMAGAZINE.COM