All Your Protos Are Belong To Us!



5/25/24


It's not often you see a 2600 Coleco prototype, especially one that turns out to be different from the final.  Today we present a late beta for the 2600 port of Roc n' Rope that was recovered from some development disks.  While the gameplay is the same as the final version, there are some small differences in the level layouts.  Check out the brand new Roc n' Rope page and tell them Tempest sent ya.


4/30/24
5200 Demo Madness!


Thanks to fellow prototype historian Ken Van Mersbergen we've successfully compiled and archived four different demos for the Atari 5200.  While some of these demos were already archived, they were not compiled properly due to the lack of proper tools and had missing features. 

The first two demos (Galaxian and Pac-Man) were made for the Atari 5200 kiosk unit and are the same as their home version counterparts minus the splashy kiosk splash screen and the fact that they reset after each game.

The other two  are both personal demos made by Atari programmer John Seghers.  John made Space Race (based on the 1973 Atari coin-op) as a learning exercise on how to program the 5200.  He also made the 3-D Asteroids demo as an example of how the 5200 might still be able to compete in light of the then upcoming Atari 7800.  Be sure to read up about these interesting pieces of Atari history.

The Barroom Baseball page has also been updated to reflect information found on internal memos about the project.  A new version for the game was also discovered but it appears to only differ in some formatting on the title screen.


4/14/24
Starpath-a-Palooza


It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it.  Well ok, technically no one HAD to do it, but done it was.  Thanks to the generosity of AtariAge members Shadow460 and Ianoid, we have a wealth of Starpath/Arcadia prototype reviews.  Shadow460 first released his prototypes back in 2009, but somehow we missed them (those responsible have been sacked), while Ianoid released his today.  Between these two finds we now have prototypes for 11 out of the 12 released games (only Party Mix is not covered), and two unreleased games (Going-Up?? and Sweat).  A third Starpath prototype cache was found several years back containing tapes marked as 'incomplete', but sadly not these were not dumped at the time.  We have included links to the pictures of these tapes on the appropriate pages.

Please enjoy these reviews...  Or don't.  I'm not the fun police.

Phaser Patrol
Communist Mutants From Space
Fireball
Suicide Mission
Escape From the Mindmaster
Dragonstomper
Killer Satellites
Rabbit Transit
The Official Frogger
Sword of Saros
Survival Island
Sweat
Going Up??


2/12/24
Hobos & Spiders & Tanks, Oh My!


Ianiod is at it again!  This time he has very generously shared the roms for three previously unknown Atari 2600 games by UA Ltd.  Some of you may already know of UA Ltd.'s three other games (Cat Trax, Pleiades, and Funky Fish) that surfaced as prototypes back in 2003 and were released by AtariAge.  As it turns out UA Ltd. had three more games lined up for the 2600: Hobo, Spiders, and R2D Tank.  Interestingly all six titles have now been found as production cartridges complete with boxes and manuals.  It would appear that UA Ltd. was much closer to releasing these games than previously thought.  Are they any good?  You'll have to read on to find out.


11/23/23


Cross another one off the list!  A prototype for the Atari 2600 version of Choplifter has been found.  Long rumoured to exist somewhere, a working copy finally surfaced in the collection of a former programmer.  The game looks amazing, but only appears to be around 50% complete.  Still, what's there is very impressive.  Head over to the brand new Choplifter page for more info.


11/13/23


This actually isn't a new proto, in fact the rom has been floating around the net for over 13 years.  The problem was that while the code tested differently, no one wanted to actually play Airlock to find out what was different about it.  Well wonder no longer as your prototype master extraordinaire has 'bit the bullet', so to speak, and found out what the changes were.  Was it worth the torture of having to play Airlock over and over again?  Check out the new Airlock page and found out.


10/25/23


Thanks to AtariAge member Thomas Jentzsch we now have an understanding of how the debug code in Rush Hour works.  Although many people know the Rush Hour was a unreleased Commavid game for the Atari 2600 that was finally released at CGE in 2002, they may not know that three different prototypes for Rush Hour also exist.  These three prototypes have some very strange debug code running in them that takes a little explaining.  Head on over to the Rush Hour page for more info on these three 'new' prototypes.


10/21/23
Jr. Pac-Man Update


Thanks to AtariAge member Kr0tki we have discovered that the Atari 5200 version of Jr. Pac-Man which was always assumed to be the final version, is in fact a late WIP with several differences.  While it plays well enough, it has some rough sounds and has a bug that can soft lock the game.  It was always assumed that a genuine bug fixed version of the game didn't exist but a few years ago an Atari 8-Bit prototype of Jr. Pac-Man was found with a much later date turned up.  This prototype was not thoroughly investigated at the time for some reason.  As it turns out, this prototype appears to be the complete and final bug free version!  Be sure to check both of these prototypes out.


10/10/23


Dare you delve into the mysteries of the human mind?  What if I said the inner workings of the human mind played a lot like Robotron?  Psyclotron is a Robotron inspired game developed by former Atari programmer Jeff Milhorn, but was never released due to poor market conditions at the time.  Not only is Psyclotron a blast to play, but it's a graphical and technological marvel as well.  Go take a look, your mind will thank you.

If action games aren't your thing, then you may be interested in a new non-game prototype for the Atari 2600 called Bicycle Trainer.  This program was meant to be used in conjunction with an exercise bike and measured the users speed, heart rate, calories burned, and many other stats.  Check out the Bicycle Trainer page for more information.


7/3/23
5200 Prototype Extravaganza!


Thanks to the generosity of AtariAge member Ianoid, we now have nine twelve new Atari 5200 prototypes to explore.  While many of these protos are late stage WIP versions with tiny differences, they're still interesting to examine.  The best of the bunch is a mid-level WIP of Dig Dug which has many interesting differences.  The other prototypes include: Asteroids, Berzerk, Joust, Qix (new page), two versions RealSports Baseball (2-11-83 and 7-6-83), RealSports Soccer, Sport Goofy, Moon Patrol, Spitfire, and Robotron.  Be sure to check them all out.


6/11/23


Once again thanks to John Hardie we now have a disk image for a completely different version of M*A*S*H* than what was released for the Atari 8-Bit computers.  This version is was developed by programmer Frank Cohen (of Clowns and Balloons and Ghost Chaser fame) and plays rather differently than the 'Dallas North' Atari 2600 game.  Be sure to check it out on your way to surgery.


5/30/23


Thanks to the tireless efforts of John Hardie we now have a rom for a rare educational prototype game called Factorman.  Do you love simplistic and poorly constructed games?  Do you love to discuss joint injuries at length?  Do you have a unquenchable desire to 'Get Factor'?  Well then, Factorman is the game for you!


5/10/23
Super Pac-Man Update


Thanks to the efforts of AA user Kr0tki, we now have a fairly definitive list of all the changes for the Atari 5200 and 8-bit versions of Super Pac-Man.  I'll look the other way while you go and check them out.


5/5/23
Late Breaking Protos


Thanks to the generosity of John Hardie, we now have new WIP versions of several Atari 5200 games.  All these prototypes are very late WIP versions, some dating to only the day before the final version.  What changes were made at the eleventh hour?  AtariProtos is busy trying to figure that out!  Until then, check out the following new prototype pages.  The roms for these protos can be found on AtariAge.com

Choplifter 1-13-84
Gremlins 5-15-84
Millipede 1-4-84
Stargate 1-13-84
Asteroids 4-1-81 (Atari 400/800)
Missile Command (
Atari 400/800)

4/19/23


Alvaro Arroyo is at it again!  Thanks to his generous efforts we now have a copy of John Dunn's (of Superman fame) long lost game Snark!  Snark was John's first game at Atari an was not released due to it using a technique called Video Spin Mode which Atari was afraid might cause seizures.  Were they right?  You'll have to check out the Snark page and decide for yourself.


3/24/23
EPROM Madness!


Here's something you don't see every day.  Recently when an AtariAge user ordered some used EPROMs from Jameco Electronics he received EPROMs with official Atari labels on them.  It would appear that these EPROMs came from Atari's own EPROM library which must have been sold as scrap at some point after Atari was sold to JTS in 1996.  Could lightning strike twice people wondered?  As it turns out it could!  Two more intrepid AA members bought out all the remaining stock and also received EPROMs with Atari 2600 games on them.  While all of these games were the final versions (mostly in PAL format), they provided some much needed dates for when certain games were finished.  Of particular interest was the Atari re-release of Double Dragon which up until this point had only been mentioned on one late part number list.  Be sure to check out all new and updated pages!

RealSports Boxing, Double Dragon, Ikari Warriors, Xenophobe, Desert Falcon, Motorodeo, Klax, and Dark Chambers

Also please make sure to check the new 7800 Super Stunt Cycle page which has been separated from the Motor Pyscho page.   Thanks to the efforts RevEng, CPUWIZ, and Trebor of AtariAge we now have two more versions of Super Stunt Cycle compiled.  These new versions were created to support the Top Rider controller.  What's the Top Rider controller?  You'll have to read on to find out!



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