All Your Protos Are Belong To Us!


Another day another new prototype.  This prototype comes to us courtesy of our old friend Ken Van Mersbergen.  This late beta for the Atari 8-bit version of Popeye has a few interesting differences including invincibility on the first screen.  Be sure to check this out.


No, this isn't a new prototype.  Satan's Hollow for the Atari 400/800 has been available for a long time, but somehow we here at AtariProtos managed to overlook it and never gave it a proper review.  Today this terrible wrong has been righted.  So head on over to the new Satan's Hollow page for a review of a nice arcade port that never saw the light of day.


Ok so this isn't exactly prototype related, but hear me out.  Most people know that the Atari 400 and 5200 shared almost the exact same hardware.  The 5200 just had a different OS and lacked the keyboard that the 400 had.  Therefore you'd think that the games ported to these two systems would be exactly the same aside from some changes made to accommodate the 5200's different controllers.  While this is mostly true, there are a surprisingly large number of games that have some big differences.  So if this sounds interesting to you (and I hope it does), mosey on over to the new Game Differences section of the site (under the Other Stuff button) and take a look.  I'll be adding more entries as I find them.  Feel free to email me with anything I missed.


Today we have something a little different to share.  Not a game, but a tech demo.  3-D Asteroids (or just Asteroids as the title screen calls is) is a tech demo for the Atari 5200 created by John Seghers in order to show that the 5200 could do the same three dimensional asteroids that the 7800 could do.  Be sure to read all about this long forgotten demo.


Yes you're reading that title right, we're talkin' about Cheez Wiz!  No not the processed cheese spread of questionable taste, but rather a new and completely unknown prototype for the Atari 8-bits starring Seraphena the Mouse.  Go on over to the Cheez-Wiz page and check out the full review.

Thanks to John Hardie for graciously providing this rom.

Minor Updates

A minor update this time, but we like to make sure that things are as accurate as they can be here at AtariProtos. 

First up is a correction to the well known demo Red vs Blue.  For years this demo had been attributed to Tod Frye but in a recent interview with Retro Gaming Roundup Rob Zdybel mentioned that he himself did this demo, so I've moved the Red vs Blue page to the RS Football page.  Make sure you update your links!

Second, in the same interview Rob confirmed that Brad Stewart did indeed program Morse Code Tutor.  We long suspected this, but it's nice to get some confirmation on it. 

Finally graphics artist Dave Joly (who has now been credited for the games he did) mentioned that Suki Lee was the programmer for Donald Duck's Speedboat and that she was not involved with Miss Piggy's Wedding as had long been assumed.  So who did program Miss Piggy's Wedding?  That would be Gary Shannon who also programmed Aquaventure.


It seems that Ken Van Mersbergen can't be stopped!  This time around it's three new Rockball prototypes to analyze and admire.  The first one dated 7/25 appears to fall right between the earliest known version and the final, while the second one labeled 9/7 is a little later than the 7/25 despite being from over a month later.  The final version appears to be the same as the final, but has a lot of code missing from the start of the rom which may be a disable copy protection scheme.

We also have a new prototype of Midi Maze for the Atari 8-bits courtesy of long time Atari collector John Hardie.  Although this new prototype sports a 1991 copyright, it appears to be more or less the same as the known 1989 prototype.  Expect to hear more about this one after we perform some code analysis.  John was also generous enough to send us yet another version of Rockball.  This version is very similar to the final version and is missing the same code at the beginning as the rom Ken sent, but has a few bugs still present which dates it a bit earlier than that one.  Go check them all out!


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