Sunday, April 29, 2012

Atari emulator -> Hazard Run

Well, I'm not getting shuffled out of the house yet, so let's do one more game.  As I stated before, I am an icon whore and what is Dukes of Hazzard if not... icon-ish?  At least with the Hazard Run game, it doesn't exactly look like the confederate flag on top of your car.  My friend and I used to play this more than we should have.  As the user at Atarimania says, "poor graphics and poor control of your car don't stop this from being a fun game."  The same could arguably be said of that dune buggy game... Baja Buggies!  That's it.  You just can't crash as fast as you can here in Hazard Run.  And as you can tell, the characters for R,U and N are used for the police car, for those of you who remember Atari 8-bit font schemas... guess that's all one can really say about it.  I gotta go.

Atari emulator -> The E Factor

I won't even call it Cosmi's The E Factor, that's how much I respect it.  I'm just a sucker for a game with sectors.  I spent many an hour playing this game back when I had to load it into the computer from a 5 inch disk.  Come to think of it, I was having a dream today about finding a "vintage" Atari computer in a shop!  It came with a very wide printer that had four different kinds of paper in it, ranging from narrow on the left to wider on the right.  You could print on triplicate receipt paper with it!  How far somebody's come, we'll figure out who someday.....................

Atari emulator -> Slither

Analog computing steps on London Software's turf!... I know, who cares now.  But I am a sucker for these worm games.  Why, I was just playing one in German!  As for Slither, your only enemies are time and your own body, so eat those dots strategically.  Unfortunately, you can also kill yourself if you back into yourself.  Say you're going right.  If you accidentally push the 'joystick' left, you break your neck... something like that, and you lose a life.  Personally, I consider that a programming flaw.. after all, most of us tried programming this kind of game, right?

Atari emulator -> Sirius' Worm War I

Somehow, this one's not as interesting as their other offerings.  Why does this game offer infinite lives but finite time?  Bad mix.  Is it possible to win?  Or is moving on to another game your only course of action?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Atari emulator -> Demon Attack

As I said before, I am a bit of an icon whore.  And what is Demon Attack if not an icon?  But, to complain, I will say that the celebratory music on the 2600 when you earn an extra life is better than on the Atari computers.  How does THAT rate, anyway?  Super Breakout on the 2600?  Really cool!  Super Breakout on the Atari computer... SUCKY SUCKY SUCKY!!!!!  I never could figure that one out.  Still can't, frankly.

Atari emulator -> Cavern Commander

Somehow I don't feel any better having played this game and making it to the celebratory song.  But I will give it this: I prefer a game where I can start by pressing the 'trigger' rather than the start button.  At least this game TELLS you to press the trigger!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Atari emulator -> (Sid Meier's) Chopper Rescue

I STILL CAN'T GET FLOYD OF THE JUNGLE TO WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...anyway, my needy cat has grown tired of sitting in the comfy chair next to my lame chair, and is clamoring to escape and go wake up Dad.  Now he's sitting on my lap.  He hates it when I blog like this, but I'll do what I can here.  And partly because of the cat, I didn't beat Screen 3, but mostly because it's been a while and I suck.

Atari emulator -> Tutankham

Chief Wiggum is right.  How DO those Parker Brothers sleep at night?  First they f... don't do Q*Bert justice, now this.  Actually, PB's Q*Bert has gained a cult following, and given the ultimate tribute: the audio of the Atari version is in some movie... for the life of me I can't remember which.  A recent one, too!  Not one from the 80s.  For those of you who recall, Mars Attacks! features the audio from the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man... the point being, the Parker Brothers version of Tute is clearly lacking.  Sure, you could blame the Atari 8-bit format itself, but that's beside the point.  Take King Tut's Tomb by Antic, for example.  Excellent!  Plus, it's all wrong in this one.  You can't just pick up keys and gems and stuff and WALK THROUGH THE SPACE THEY OCCUPIED!  There's place holders!  Place holders.  And the bullets are all wrong.  There's supposed to be a long-ass line that sounds like a fart; a job clearly ill suited for mere Atari player missiles.  I was going to complain that the enemies emerge from the... you know, the things they emerge from... I was going to say it happens too slow.  Then I walked past the thing and one just leapt right out on top of me!  Plus, all the enemies go at the same speed.  Cobras gotta go slow, bats gotta go fast.  Not here.  What a perversion.

Atari emulator -> Qix vs. Qix

Damn!  Not as much time to screw around as I thought.  Anyway, for the hardcore Atari enthusiast... and there's damn few of us left these days... there's three versions of Qix.  Two of them apparently by Atari.  Then there's one by Analog Computing programming maven Tom Hudson, who also brought you Planetary Defense and the engine behind Buried Bucks and its counterpart... whatever it's called.  Personally, my least favourite is the one in the lower right-hand corner of the picture.  I think maybe because the Qix in that one isn't as enigmatic as the Quix in the upper-left hand corner one, know what I mean?  Did I just misspell that?  PHOOEY!!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Atari emulator -> Charles Eggleston

Well, I need to hit the hay here pretty soon... man, do I have a headache!  I'd like to say it's got the next game written all over it, but that's only half right.  The game is of course less formally known as "Chuckie Egg."  I sadly never had it when I had an ACTUAL Atari 8-bit computer (you know, 400, 800, 1200xl, what have you) but if I did I'm sure it'd be a sure-fire favourite.  Along the same lines of Brew Biz, Ghost Chaser, Ollie's Follies, except you can fall far greater distances... and you have to!  Just don't fall to the bottom of the screen, or run afoul of the fowl... tee hee hee!  To score points, you have to grab all the eggs, and as many of the piles of feed as you can.  The chickens themselves eat the feed which seems fair to me.  I don't know why.  Maybe if they were alien creatures from another planet, sure, I could see the need for competition...........
(later that evening) ...I LOVE this crazy-ass game!  Everything has a purpose... I almost hate to spoil it, but seeing as how the game is nearing its 30th anniversary, I might as well.  See that duck in the cage in the upper-left hand corner of the screen?  Well, much like the same boring old final giant ship in Time Pilot '84, once you reach the upper pantheon of Charles Eggleston levels, the duck... the goose is loosed!  Tracking you like a bat out of hell going for some tasty bugs, that giant damn thing follows you around the board like stank on a monkey.  And then, once you complete the complete cycle of eight levels, back come the chickens!  I have to try to get to level 25 now; maybe there'll be nothing at all!

Atari emulator -> Galaxian

Some games just don't want you to play them all that much.  Take Galaxian, for example, forever enshrined in the movie Mr. Mom.  Basically a low-rent Galaga, it has a feature where you can 'stab' the flying creatures with your avatar if you get them just right, as they fly right over your head.  You could just shoot them, but that of course misses the point.  It's the challenge of it all!  The trying of new things!  If only Space Invaders were more like this game..........................................

Atari emulator -> Pharaoh's Curse

Did I mention already how much I like this game?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Atari emulator -> Desmond's Dungeon

One last game before I retire for the night.  I've never played Desmond's Dungeon during my adolescence, but if I did I would probably appreciate it for its slick arcade action, the player missiles on different vertical stripes... I'm easily impressed, what can I say?  They don't risk that on Pastfinder!  On the other hand, it's a tad monotonous.  And of course, not being able to hang on to the bag of goodies and jump at the same time... makes the whole thing a bit of an academic exercise.  I'm just too picky these days.  Time for bed.  My eyes are punishing me... my eyelids at least.

Atari emulator -> Flash Guard

It's 2am, and the cat just came in, so he's got to rub his face on the keyboard for a while before he settles into the more comfy chair next to mine... oh, don't look at me like that!  His claws can be so cruel.  Which brings me to Flash Guard.  Interesting combination of space game and maze game, with that 2600 feeling to it.  My kinda game!  I don't understand it exactly, but you seem to lose a lot of points when you shoot the people, so best not to do that.  Everything else is up for grabs, though, so to speak. 

Atari emulator -> Kangaroo

For those of you eagerly waiting for me to dominate you in Words with Friends, you'll have to wait, as they're experiencing technical difficulties... reminds me!  Gotta check in with Tetris Battle so I get my five spins.  Anyway, back to Kangaroo.  Someday I will get that 100,000 points... which tells me right away that I'm just not a good parent.  Girls, take heed of this game, an excellent fatherhood test for your man.  That I would let my baby slip out of my paws in the first place, and be held captive in this Donkey Kong variation.  So now I must slowly claw my way to the top of the screen, with these cursed boxing gloves tied to my arms, and jump for joy for my meals.  But just as Lot's wife turned to a pillar of salt, this task of grabbing the goodies can lead you astray.  If you spend all your time ringing that bell and grabbing those progressively-more-valuable goodies, what kind of parent does that make you?  Isn't the reward of being by your child's side reward enough?  Girls, if your man doesn't head straight for the kid every time, dump that man immediately.  If your man doesn't punch two monkeys on the third level then head straight for that ladder to jump onto the platform, dump him immediately.  If he gives up on the game entirely, finding it to be a pointless endeavor, dump him immediately.  Being a father doesn't stop just because the video game gets boring.  The only way to know for sure if your guy is good father material is if he keeps playing Kangaroo forever and ever and ever, amen.  If and only if he does that, you hang on to him for life, fetch him beers and what not, etc.  Ah, marriage.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Atari emulator -> Gorf

Shyah!  Just beat level 24!  Who knew?  There are SIX difficulty levels: commander, general, warrior... you know, the usual suspects.  Well, it's got more laughs than Gorf on Dolf, anyhow.

Atari emulator -> Panama Joe, aka Montezuma's Prequel

Beware the sequel... man!  That Sawfish Software sounds craptastic!  I gotta get to bed.  Anyway, another good chunk of my life lost to Montezuma's Revenge.  Obviously this is the 16K version not featuring the giant stamping dude.  Be sure to jump before he stomps!  Love that one room with all the tiny ledges.  Very Remo Williams-esque, if you know what I mean.

Atari emulator -> Monkey Magic

Yecch.  Finally made it past level 1, though!  As SNL's Coffee Talk's Linda Richman might say, Monkey Magic is neither magical nor about monkeys.  Discuss.  You play an avatar with some sort of environmental affective disorder.  If you touch the bat, the wizard, the snake, or the thing crawling along the bottom of the screen, (and "crawling" is being very, very generous) you will be killed.  If you venture too close to the "edge" of any branch, you will be killed.  If you jump and grab onto a rope, and grab it wrong, you will be killed.  If you're lucky enough to get past this first level, you apparently become the green Silver Surfer and surf the Chinese mountains for the rest of forever!  Too freaky even for me.  At least Crypts of Plumbous has some structural integrity to it.

Atari emulator -> Berzerk

There's a special place in every gamer's heart for Berzerk, and the programmers at Atari must've been working overtime to make a game that had actual voice-like sounds to it!  "Chicken!  Fight like a robot!"  Love it.

Atari emulator -> Droids

Oh, GOD!  Droids is SO BORING!  Art-deco, to be sure, but boring as hell.  Don't send me back into the cornfield with Droids!

Atari emulator -> Archon 2: Adept

Heh heh... another EA classic, before they became whatever they are today.  There's a dude out there... at least I kicked his ass at Archon 1.  He positively laid me out flat in Archon 2.  Couldn't beat him wraith to wraith somehow.  But at least I can beat the computer pretty consistently!  I got bored this time and decided to go the ol' Gorgon in the Earth demesne strategy.  I've been stuck in a weird strategy where I lure the Order adepts into the black squares and positively crush them with three sirens.  Kinda like Chinese water torture or something.

Atari emulator -> River Raid

From a programming / engineering point of view, River Raid fascinates me.  How do you get an infinitely different playing field into 8K?  Polynomials, apparently.  This is how I know I'm not a genius.  But River Raid is certainly a metaphor of our time.  American imperialism going up the longest river in the world, with fuel pitstops getting less and less frequent.  They all seem like toys from afar, until they pop you like a balloon.  Even the balloon pops you like a balloon!  The jet planes, the firing helicopters, the shooting tanks... but where's the treasure?  Do I need to roll the score at ten million?  Usually these Activision games have a finite score!  Take HERO, for exam... back to that one again!  Ah, $crew it.

Atari emulator --> Shamus

That's odd!  I seem to recall this being a Synapse game, and having it before 1986... in red cartridge form, no less!  Bet that'd be worth something today.  I was more easily impressed back then.  A cartridge from a company other than the company store, and with no safety valve on it!  Just the bare ROM sticking out all pink and naked.  Anyway, this was a fun one for me.  I took it way too seriously back then.  Now William Mataga's a transgender chick, and I grow weary of the unfairness of it all.  I can't dodge that many bullets the enemy hurls at me!  Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...

Update: Shamus lives on, reincarnated in iTunes form!  Read more about it at, the online home of all things Mataga.

1/28/16 - Now I'm one of these people who would live their lives completely the same over and over again if I had to, and I probably don't.  But I do consider it one of the great failings of my life that I consistently chose level 0 Novice of play over level 9 Expert in Peter Fokos' 1982 classic, Alien Ambush William Mataga's 1982-1986 Synapse Software classic, Shamus.  I mean, level 9's Expert's hard!  It's hard work!  And plus, you keep getting blowed up and all that!  I just HATE that!  So I'm trying to make up for lost time by playing level 9 Expert now...actually, the Expert level goes way way way way WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY too fast for mine, or anybody's, sake.  Maybe Kang and Kodos can process information that fast, but not me. Plus, the keyboard would probably wear out, using it that fast.
Now that I briefly pause and think about it a little (rare for a blogger), the enemies in Shamus get kinda Richard-ish, don't they?  They usually fire three bullets at you, one at your head, one at your feet, and one at your torso, giving you just enough time to slowly walk out of the bullets' way.  Better use one of your large pink shivs fairly accurately to save yourself!  And don't even set me gtarted on those Snap Jumpers!  See, for all you kids out there unfamiliar with the lost art of Atari 8-bit fonts, you'd have to... ah, skip it.  But tis the rare programmer indeed who'd incorporate that fact into the game play in such a manner.  Give em hell, Mataga!

Atari emulator -> O'Riley's Mine

It's a fair and slightly unbalanced mine, indeedy-do.  I don't know what I'm so upset about; can't seem to get past level 3.  Did I ever tell you about how I had a pirate version of this game?  I was able to find the variable that controls the maximum number of prizes you can find, and I'll be damned if I didn't change it from 40 to 255.  You score a lot more points that way!  One feature I recall: the glowing creatures look left and right and, depending on if they're looking that way at the time, they pick a side tunnel.  Pretty kewl!  Some luck factor there unlike, say, the creatures of Boulder Dash.

Atari emulator -> Megamania

Always down for some brainless Space Invaders-esque action, especially from Activision.  Weird!  Normally, the Activision games have a little more to them than that.  River Raid and Pastfinder, for example, or Pitfall, or Enduro, etc. ... still, the action gets ramped up with each successive wave, as well as the points.  As with HERO, the fuel / energy's worth way too much.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Atari emulator - Quadromania XL

Awright!  Cracked the Quad XL code.  That'll probably be my highest punkte ever... I mean, score.  See, the trick is to... hah!  Figure it out on your own, suckers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Atari emulator -> Pooyan

All due respect to Scott Spanburg, programmer of Datasoft's "The Goonies," I can't do it.  Can't do the Pooyan anymore.  Maybe I'll come around, but not this year.

Atari emulator->Phobos

Well, what else do you expect from the creator of Caverns of Mars?  But he's added some complexity this time!  New wrinkles in the old dress.  Don't shoot the TNT, whatever you do!  And after level 'E' you have to force yourself to go through.  Normally I would, all the way to 'P' but I have to move on to the next thing.

Atari emulator -> Joust

Hah!  Check that out, bitches!  Nailed the pterodactyl WHILE IT STILL SAYS "Pterry Wave"!... oh, who am I kidding.  If I did it on the coin-op version, then you'd have something.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Atari emulator -> Joust (the original Angry Birds!)

Now we're talking!  Gotta like Joust.  What a fanciful notion, doing battle with knights on birds...  Damn, I shoulda got a screen capture when I managed to kill the pterodactyl.  I swear I did it... of course, I was just in "skilled" mode.  I don't like a really tough challenge, unfortunately for me.

5/29/'15 - Damn.  So, to flip the score in Joust, I gotta score TEN million points!  Also, I rely far too much on bouncing off the top of the screen, then bouncing back down to hit the bad guys.  On the other hand, when it's all blue birds, they kinda bounce a lot off the top of the screen too!  You shoulda seen this one egg bounce... oh, look at me.  Getting all excited about the wrong things in life.  AGAIN.

Atari emulator -> Spy Hunter

I used to like this one.  But the Atari emulator's just not the same.  You had to use two joysticks with this one, what with all the weapons and all.  And I have no time to hunt and peck around this keyboard for 'keyboard' mode.  God bless the Atari, it just couldn't do justice to the vast majority of arcade games... even THEIR OWN!  Tempest!  CRYSTAL CASTLES!  Sheesh............................

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Atari emulator -> Zorro (full disk version)

Top that score, bitches! 
...okay, I cheated

Atari Emulator --> Zorro (full disk version)

Now, THIS is more like it!  The extra scenes, the drunk as trampoline, the lamp, the branding of the ox... all of which leads to the only treasure there is in this world and cyber worlds beyond: love.  But a Spanish maiden is fickle, and she must be courted with a red red rose. (blue and purple in the netherworlds)  Man, I thought I'd never make it out of that thicket of netherworlds.  Game tip: NEVER get hit by one of those bullets.  Back to the purple maze of despair you go!  And if you've already partaken of the bags of money, you're kinda B.F. Lost... guess that's it.  Will I ever be employed again?  Better try the newspapers, before the newspapers go completely out of business................................................................

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Atari emulator--> Tetrix

Ah, there it goes.  Still getting used to the new Blogger.........  oh, Tetris Battle.  How you let me down.  Well, it's probably time for me to call it quits anyway.  Drained another energy abscess, and I've fallen from my lofty perch of level 38 all the way down to 25.  To make matters worse, it seems that someone's hijacked my game play again.  The game play pauses, the piece moves extra columns over... could it be?  All I know is that any self-respecting arcade gamer needs responsiveness from their game.  I'm not feeling the love, Tetris Battle!  So why not return to the Atari emulator of my roots, sort of?  I thought I saw a tetris clone or two in the 'T's... in fact, I did!  Tetrix just might do in a pinch... diskette 42, Muchsa... nah, too much of a learning curve.  The trigger (the '0' key on the keypad) is what you use to rotate instead of the arrow up key, etc. etc.  I can't even remember what keys I use in Tetris Battle, for Gawd'z zake!  My eyes are getting bleary.  I better get to bed... after one more blog post.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Atari Emulator - The Exterminator

That was the problem!  It was under "The".  Sheesh.  Worse than I thought.  But I guess even a Tempest clone is better than none at all, in the final analysis.  I don't seem to recall the random musical notes; hint: it doesn't help.  If you can outrun the spider when it reaches the outer edge of the web, you're lucky.  That's the best part of the game!  I gotta go... still gotta reboot if I can find a chance

Mushca: The "THE" games


Phooey.  I'll NEVER find it now!  I'm looking for this awful game I played a little bit.  It's always the bad ones that sorta stick with you.  Shoulda taken care of it last night.  It's like Tempest but with a spider in a web.  I thought it was under "E" or "X"... I thought it was Exterminator... I'll keep looking.

Atari Emulator - Yar's "Strike"

Decent 8-bit emulation of Yar's Revenge.

At Mushca

Atari Emulator--> Drelbs

Okay, I think I'm getting the hang of this, slowly but surely.  As long as I leave it in "Compose" mode instead of HTML, I don't have to add in all those <br />'s myself.  Kinda nice!  Well, it's about time to reboot my computer for good measure, so why not take an all-too-brief look at Drelbs.  As I get older and my reflexes slower, this might be a good game to frustrate me.  It took me a while to figure out the unique rhythms of the game, but it finally clicked.  I'm terribly slow that way, but I prefer to think that I'm still not totally jaded yet.  I also tend to walk into bullets an awful lot during the bonus round.  This game hypnotizes me, I tells ya.  But really, when you get right down to it, aren't all relationships like this?  He's a walking eyeball trying to get through doors, and she's a princess trapped in a cube, fiercely guarded by green monsters, so you gotta be careful and sneak in a kiss while you can.  The kiss sound is better on the Atari, not on the Atari emulator.  Sounds like static!  But then again, aren't all kisses?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Atari Emulator --> Parallax

From the makers of the far-superior Hot Lips comes Parallax.  Basically, a variation of Pac-Man with less dots, no power-pills, and the "ghosts" are missiles that come from the four missile shooters located on every side of the Parallax square.  Kinda dull game play, but what do you expect for 16K?  They coulda done it in 8, frankly.

Atari Emulator -----> Dog Daze Deluxe

Late for the gym again, so why not take some time to reexamine Dog Daze Deluxe?  I'm only doing it because I just finished up Gauntlet.  But I guess I should explain why I kinda like Dog Daze Deluxe.  Well, what else would you expect from the programmer behind Claim Jumper?  Basically the same game, but instead of the Old West, it's dogs and hydrants.  Both involve simulations of organic systems, broadly speaking.  Dog Daze, however, is kinda like one of those worm in a room games, but with improved game play.  In the worm in a room games, touching the wall once usually means instant game over.  Here, if you touch the opposing dog's fire hydrant, you're temporarily stunned... and frankly, who wouldn't be?  Orange urine, puh-leeze!  And then, to occasionally cleanse the board, a car drives through, squashing all hydrants in its path.  If a dog gets hit, however, the game's really over, with sad music to boot.  Symbiosis.  Everything in balance.  Adapt or die.  Carpe diem.  A stitch in time saves nine.  Penny wise, pound foolish.
Plus, the computerized opponent's pretty good!  As you can see from my screen snap, it didn't go down without a fight.

Atari emulator --> Gauntlet

I don't like the new Blogger format... oh well, I'll get used to it, then begin to wonder how I ever did without? Yeah, it's times like this when you're up way WAY past your bedtime, the Tetris Battle energy's completely empty, and you slowly begin to realize that your Master's Degree isn't worth the paper it's printed upon................. it's time to play some video games. The heavy drinking will just have to wait, so why not revisit another old Atari classic? Some think of Gauntlet as that cool multi-player game where you shoot stuff, eat stuff and collect stuff... not me. I think fondly of Donald Lebeau's 1984 shoot-em-up classic also called Gauntlet. You shoot stuff, and collect by doing a good job and not getting your spaceship all damaged 'n sh.. stuff! I tend to slack off on the ship damage in the 40+ levels, as you can see from the pic. Well, when you're near the end, you gotta let something slide... wait, that can't be right.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Atari Emulator ---> Arex

Another evening of Zynga beatings. No one's growing double grain on their farms anymore... that's what I'm down to now, the high-hanging fruit, the things made of maple syrup and double grain. Getting beaten at Zynga poker, especially when I meet an interesting person. She spoke French and I felt compelled to chat her up a bit, even though my French is 20 years old... they still eat baguettes and drink wine? Checked in with Tetris Battle again, and the old Atari classic Arex. Love that font, and love that game. Good music, too. Short, but catchy. This is how much I used to play this game: one time my Mom and brother burst into my room, singing the Arex theme song. Message received!
And finally! I must be doing something right, because my emulator's starting to scroll things at 60 jiffies per second like the good old days. But look at those anemic scores! Sheesh. Pathetic. Alas, I don't have time to roll the score, or the levels. By the time you get to level 100, you've rolled the score twice, if memory serves.