Monthly Archives: October 2013

Atari 2600 Friday’s #11 – Cosmic Ark

Can you believe this is already the eleventh Atari Friday? Well you’d better, because this week I’m bringing you Cosmic Ark. Cosmic Ark is apparently a sequel to Atlantis, and is believed to be the first video game sequel. There are also apparent;y two versions of the game, one where the star field background is permanent, and one where the star field can be toggled on and off with the “TV Type” switch due to a hardware bug in the Atari itself.

The Story: You are gathering specimens from different planets to bring on board the Ark, which contains the survivors of Atlantis.

From the Manual: “The sun of Alpha Ro is fading fast! Soon it will flicker out. The Cosmic Ark races to save creatures from doomed planets in that solar system. Meteor showers bombard the Ark, threatening its Atlantean crew – and planetary defense systems make this mission of mercy doubly treacherous! Time and energy slip away – work fast or these defenseless little beasties will disappear for all time. The Cosmic Ark has traveled thousands of light years in order to preserve the many exotic species peculiar to the Alpha Ro solar system. When that sun novas, life on planets there will wither and die. Nothing about this mission is easy. Heavy meteor activity throughout the system makes travel hazardous. And each planet has an automatic defense system that cannot be knocked out. Can the Ark succeed in saving the many helpless creatures of Alpha Ro? Can the Cosmic Ark survive? How many planets can you reach?”

From the Box: I can only find pictures of the silver box here that looks like it has text, but is unreadable. if anyone has a good shot of the box they can send me or has the text itself they can send me, it would be much appreciated. otherwise I will have to try and remember this if I ever come across a box.

The Game Play: So there are actually apparently two different areas you play the game in. Lets look at them one at a time.

So the first area is referred to as the Meteor Shower by the manual itself. Lets note that it appear the Ark is always in the middle of the screen. In this first area you need to protect the Ark from meteor’s. You do this by shooting them down, which only requires tilting the joystick in their direction. You don’t need to push the red button to do so, only tilt the joystick. It does say that you need to return the joystick to the middle between shots. So that’s it, shoot down meteor’s, first area sounds easy enough.

The second area is the Shuttle ship Rescue. If you survive the Meteor shower, the Ark moves to a planet, once in position you can launch a shuttle by pulling the joystick towards you. Now, the goal here is to abduct, I mean rescue, the animals on the planet. To do this, just line up your shuttle above them and push the red button to tractor beam them up, remember to hold the button until they are on the shuttle (you’ll get an audio blip confirmation). Also, there are automated defense turrets on each side of the screen that will fire the at the shuttle if you get too close. You need to get two creatures, and you do have a time limit to do this. If you get hit by fire from the turrets you’ll lose a creature, and the shuttle will return to the ark. If you manage to get both in time, the ship moves on to another planet. If however you fail and the time limit klaxon goes off, immediately return to your ship to protect it from……you guessed it….more meteor’s. If the ark survives you return to the same planet to finish your job.

There are no set amount of lives in Cosmic ark, just a fuel limit. You begin with 40 units of fuel, represented by a bar at he bottom of the screen appearing only during meteor stages. Destroying a meteor gains you one unit, capturing a beast gains you ten, capturing both before time runs out completely refills your fuel, firing at a meteor costs one unit, and a meteor hitting the ark costs ten units. The game ends when you run out of fuel.

The Controls: Up, down, left, right on joystick for ark firing and same plus diagonal for shuttle movement. Red button activates tractor beam.

Post Review: Alright, first thing I notice is how fast everything moves. once the game starts, meteors come at you one per second or more almost immediately. Once on the planet, you notice how fast and spastic the beasts are. The auto turrets have no care how close you are as they shoot on beam across the screen as they move up and down. The time limit feels like it is maybe 15 seconds. overall, this feels like a hard game, which may be why they chose to go by fuel rather than lives in an attempt to make each play last more than 1 minute.

The High Score: 5480

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Atari 2600 Friday’s #10 – Pac-Man

The tenth Atari 2600 Friday brings us a game our friend The Obsessive Compulsive Gamer is literally obsessed about, Pac-Man. Do there exist people who do not know what Pac-Man is? Well they will after they read this (at least the Atari version).

The Story: I guess Pac-Man doesn’t have one, does it even need one?….I did come across this though “Pacman, the man explains, is the story of a man who wakes up one day to find he is nothing but a mouth. And the ghosts? They envy the living, and their ability to eat.” In any case, the manual offers up the he lives in Mazeland.

From the Manual: “We know that millions of people all over the world just love the PAC-MAN arcade game. PAC-MAN has won the hearts of men, women, and children everywhere. We also know that PAC-MAN has traditionally been an arcade game. Well, we at ATARI know all about arcade games. After all, we make some of the greatest arcade games in the world, and we know how to bring the same dynamite game play into your home. Our PAC-MAN has all of the excitement and challenge of the standard arcade game, and you get to play in the comfort and convenience of your own home. This is especially advantageous if you still plan to make an occasional appearance at the arcade to show off your great playing skills. (Little do they know that you’ve been practicing at home all along.) Just in case you’re new to PAC-MAN, don’t worry. It’s easy to learn. You’ll be a pro in no time at all. So, relax, get comfortable and enjoy it in the privacy of your own home. We suggest that you read this instruction booklet thoroughly before beginning game play. We know that you won’t want to miss any important details about game play. You might even find it entertaining.”

From the Box: “It’s your job to keep Pac-Man as happy as possible. To do this you must guide him around the maze so that he can eat video wafers & power pills. Protect him from the ghosts and help him gobble them up before they gobble him.”

The Game Play: Pac-Man moves around the screen collecting “video wafers” which is what the dots are, while trying to avoid the ghosts. Special “vitamins” for bonus points will appear in the middle every so often for a few seconds. The large dots in the corners are “power pills” and will make Pac-Man invincible and able to eat ghosts for a short time. Don’t worry though, the ghosts won’t die, they will just turn into eye’s and return to the middle before changing back to ghosts and coming after you again.

The Controls: Pretty much just the left, right, up and down directions.

Post Review: This is a stripped down port of the arcade game, due to technical limitations of the Atari 2600, and it shows it. I can’t say this is the version I’d recommend people play. The general game works the way it is supposed to, however I was having a heck of a time getting Pac-Man to go where I wanted and I have decently good controllers. Ignoring that there are hundreds of versions of the games now and a few others for the 2600 itself that might even be better. Still, I think to programmer did a good job for what he had. Maybe I will have better controller response another time.

The High Score: 264

October 13, 2013 Pickup

Nothing super amazing.just grabbed two things I saw this Sunday while out and about.

First on is Exodus, a unlicensed Wisdom Tree NES game. The other is Double Dash, the only Mario Kart game I didn’t own yet.

Atari 2600 Friday’s #9 – Entombed

Our ninth Atari Friday’s brings us Entombed.

The Story: From the back of the box itself. “You and your team of archaeologists have fallen into the “catacombs of the zombies.” There’s no time to look around; these guys are after you, and they mean business!Your only salvation is that you have discovered the secret to the “make-break.” Grab them, and you can break through walls when you  get stuck, or create a wall behind you – if you are being chased. The longer you survive, the faster you have to move.” So basically this game is early zombie survival, being chased through a maze with the ability to break through walls or close them off in order to get away.

From the Manual: “You and your team of archaeologists have fallen into the “catacombs of the zombies.” There’s no time to look around; these guys are after you, and they mean business! Your only salvation is that you have discovered the secret to the “make-break.” Grab them, and you can break through walls when you get stuck, or create a wall behind you — if you are being chased. The longer you survive, the faster you have to move. Explore alone, or two archaeologists can work together or compete in a frenzied trek through the catacombs.”

From the Box: “Entombed is a one or two player, full color game designed to be played on the Atari Video Computer System or the Sears Video Arcade. You and your team of archaeologists have fallen into the “catacombs of the zombies.” There’s no time to look around; these guys are after you, and they mean business! Your only salvation is that you have discovered the secret to the “make-break.” Grab them, and you can break through walls when you get stuck, or create a wall behind you — if you are being chased. The longer you survive, the faster you have to move. Explore alone, or two archaeologists can work together or compete in a frenzied trek through the catacombs.”

The Game Play: First off, you have three lives, and you lose a life when you are scrolled off screen or get hit by a zombie.  For the most part you are just moving through a maze while avoiding enemies. You start with one ‘make-break’ you can use to go through walls. The early mazes scroll slowly and get faster as you go on. Supposedly there are two types of zombies, a blue one which will not go through walls and an orange one (that starts blue) which can go through walls to get you. To use a ‘make-break’ tilt the joystick in the direction you want and press the button. Aiming at a wall will remove it, and aiming at a empty space will create a wall. Each maze has five sections, after this you move on to a new faster scrolling maze with faster zombies.

The Controls: Up, down, left, right movement. Red button to use make-break.

Post Review: First off, the extra ‘make-break’ pickups are moving rectangles. Second, you need everyone you can get or you will get stuck in one of the game’s many frequent dead ends. I cannot stress how important it is to go out of your way to get these. luckily, it costs one to break a wall, but for each pickup you get 3. Also, make sure to hold down whenever you start a level or the scroll with get you easily. One last note, it that the maze is symmetrical and anything you make or break on one side happens on the other.

The High Score: 20 aka maze 4

Fire Red Nuzlocke Part 8

Day 21:

Alright, been awhile, finally got through leveling Lagombi (Nidorino). As bored as I was and as fearful as I was of fighting Giovanni and losing another party member, Barioth (Vaporeon) literally one shot ko’d everything he threw at me, so that’s the final badge. So moving on Douche was waiting before Victory road. He was tougher, Although I had no response to his Pidgeot or Blastoise, I need to see if I can teach someone an electric move or something. Well moving on, time for Victory Road. I made it through Victory Road, deciding to train more at the end, I lost Kut-ku to a Geodude’s self destruct. How does a 32 Geodude self destruct one shot a 51 Fearow? just shows how weak Fearow was.

Day 22:

Everyone is trained up properly, new TM’s and moves learned, items bought in preparation…… (While I can’t sleep due to Roofer’s) It’s Elite Four Time. The time that will determine this runs success or failure. I’m actually going to transcript (sorry, no HP/damage numbers, the text flies by fast enough as it is trying to type out the attacks) these fights one by one, right here:

Looks like the first fight is Lorelei:

Lorelei Starts with Dewgong
I Start with Gengar
Gengar used Thunderbolt, It’s Super Effective (almost had it)
Dewgong use Safegaurd
Lorelei used Full Restore
Gengar used Thunderbolt again, It’s Super Effective, Knock Out.
Lorelei sends out Slowbro
Gengar used Thunderbolt, It’s Super Effective, OHKO
Lorelei Sends out Lapras
Gengar used Thunderbolt, It’s Super Effective
Lapras used Surf, Sitrus Berry Restores Health
Gengar used Shadow Punch
Lapras Used Surf
Gengar used Shadow Punch, Lapras is down
Hyper Potion on Gengar
Cloyster used Hail
Gengar used Thunderbolt, It’s Super Effective, OHKO, Cloyster is down
Lorelei Sends out Jinx
Switch to Charizard
Charizard used Flamethrower, It’s Super Effective, OHKO, Jinx ix down.
Player Defeated Lorelei!

Next up is Bruno:

Bruno Starts with Onix
I start with Vaporeon
Vaporeon used Surf, It’s Super Effective, OHKO, Onix is down
Bruno Sends out Hitmonchan
I switch to Pidgeot
Pidgeot used Wing Attack, It’s Super Effective, (almost down)
Hitmonchan used Counter
Pidgeot is down (that sucks to lose one so early in the challenge), switch to Golbat
Bruno used Full Restore on Hitmonchan
Golbat used Wing Attack, It’s Super Effective, Hitmonchan is down
Bruno sends out Machamp
Golbat used Wing Attack, It’s Super Effective, OHKO, Machamp is down
Bruno Sends out Hitmonlee
Golbat used Wing Attack, It’s Super Effective, OHKO, Hitmonlee is down
Bruno Sends out Onix
I switch back to Vaporeon
Vaporeon used Surf, It’s Super Effective, OHKO, Onix is down
Player Defeated Bruno!

The Third battle is Agatha:

Agatha starts with Gengar
I start with Vaporeon
Gengar uses Confuse Ray
Barioth used bite, It’s Super Effective
Gengar used Shadow Punch
Barioth used Bite, It’s Super Effective, Gengar is down
Agatha sends out Golbat
I switch to Gengar
Gengar used Thunderbolt, It’s Super Effective, OHKO, Golbat is down
Agatha sends out Haunter
I switch back to Vaporeon
Vaporeon used Bite, It’s Super Effective,
Haunter uses Hypnosis
Full Heal on Vaporeon
Agatha used Full Restore on Haunter
Vaporeon used Bite, It’s Super Effective,
Haunter used Curse, Haunter is down
Agatha Sends out Arbok
I switch to Charizard
Charizard used Brick Break
Arbok used Screech
Charizard used Flamethrower
Arbok used Sludge Bomb
Agatha used Full Restore
Charizard used Slash
Charizard used Flamethrower
Arbok used Sludge Bomb
Charizard is Down (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!), Switch to Nidoking
Nidoking used Horn Attack, Arbok is Down
Agatha sends out Gengar
I switch to Golbat
Golbat used Bite, It’s Super Effective,
Gengar used Shadow Ball
Golbat used Bite, It’s Super Effective, Gengar is down
Player Defeated Agatha!

Final Battle is Lance:

Lance starts with Gyarados
I start with Gengar
Gengar used Thunderbolt, It’s Super Effective, OHKO, Gyarados is down
Lance sends out Aerodactyl
I switch to Vaporeon
Aerodactyl used AncientPower
Vaporeon used Surf, It’s Super Effective, OHKO, Aerodactyl is down
Lance sends out Dragonair
Vaporeon uses Ice Beam, It’s Super Effective, OHKO, Dragonair is down
Lance sends out another Dragonair
Vaporeon uses Ice Beam again, It’s Super Effective, OHKO, Dragonair is down
Lance sends out Dragonite
Vaporeon used Ice Beam, It’s Super Effective, OHKO, Dragonite is down
Player Defeated Lance!

Dammit Douche, Stop being everywhere I go!

Douche starts with Pidgeot
I start with Gengar
Gengar uses Brick Break
Pidgeot used Sand Attack
Gengar used Thunderbolt, It’s Super Effective, Pidgeot is down
Douche sends out Alakazam
I switch to Golbat
Golbat used Bite, It’s Super Effective,
Alakazam used Psychic, Golbat is down
Switch to Vaporeon
Alakazam used Psychic
Vaporeon used Bite, It’s Super Effective,
Douche used Full Restore
Vaporeon used Quick Attack
Alakazam used Psychic
Vaporeon used Bite
Max Potion on Vaporeon
Alakazam used Future Sight
Alakazam used Psychic
Vaporeon used Bite, It’s Super Effective, Alakazam is down
Douche sends out Exeggutor
I switch to Gengar
Gengar used Shadow Ball, It’s Super Effective,
Exeggutor used Sleep Powder
Full Heal on Gengar
Exeggutor used Light Screen
Gengar used Shadow Ball , It’s Super Effective, Exeggutor is down
Douche sends out Arcanine
I switch back to Vaporeon
Arcanine used ExtremeSpeed
Vaporeon used Surf
Hyper Potion on Vaporeon
Arcanine used ExtremeSpeed
Arcanine used ExtremeSpeed
Vaporeon used Surf, It’s Super Effective, Arcanine is down
Douche sends out Rhydon
Vaporeon used Surf, It’s Super Effective, OHKO, Rhydon is down
Douche sends out Blastoise
I switch to Gengar
Gengar used Thunderbolt, It’s Super Effective
Blastoise used Rain Dance, Sitrus Berry restores health
Gengar used Thunderbolt, It’s Super Effective, Blastoise is down
Player Defeated Douche!

Well there we have it, after 22 days of playing Fire Red,  we have success with only two down in the process. Still have a few islands to go through, but as far as the run is concerned I’m pretty much done. I’ll keep playing for a bit though to keep occupied until the midnight release of Pokemon X/Y tomorrow night. I’ll put of some screenshots from my phone later.

Victory Pokemon:

Goa Magara – Gengar
Lagombi – Nidoking
Remobra – Golbat
Barioth – Vaporeon

Those Fainted Along the Way:

Diablos – Dugtrio
Bnahabra – Butterfree
Dosbiscus – Gloom
Basarios – Golem
Kut-Ku – Fearow
Espinas – Pidgeot (During E4)
Rathian – Charizard (During E4)

Special Mention to the Bench Pokemon I never got to use.

Screenshots:

So sad for you douche.

Because you suck. try harder next time.

Look at these awesome guys.

Who’s Awesome

Those who never got to fight.

and those lost along the way.

 

 

 

 

Atari 2600 Friday’s #8 – Football

Sorry about last week to whoever reads these, I know someone does. I wasn’t feeling well and didn’t have much time due to work (I’m one of those people who goes to work even when sick, or more accurately I started feeling bad midway through one day and felt 80% better by the next day), so I ended up deciding postpone this a week at the last minute until I was feeling up to it again.

This weeks fortune cookie presented us with Football. I usually avoid sports games, but I have this and the fortune cookie revealed it, so lets get on with this.

The Story: I’m hoping we all know what American Football is, and there’s no story so lets get right to how we play.

From the Manual: Doesn’t really give any info besides how to play and the Plays themselves.

From the Box: Also gives no info other than player number which controller to use.

The Game Play: Like real sports there is a timer that counts down during plays, initially set at five minutes. The arrow under the timer indicates which player is on the offense also pointing at their score, in the picture below, purple would be first. The green number next to the score is a down indicator, while the blue line is the down line. The question mark is a reminder to choose your play, and will disappear for the play when you have done so. As in real football you have four downs to get to the next line, then another four downs, etc until touchdown. To tackle a player you need only move your characters in his way and touching him to stop his forward motion. There are five offensive and five defensive plays, which you pick by holding the button and tilting the joystick in a direction, button only to punt. You can also control a character, offensive player controls the ball carrier and can pass, defensive play controls the defensive back. All offensive plays can be pass plays except punt, passes must be made behind the scrimmage line. To punt, push the red button and when the play starts, press it again to kick the ball. I’m also going to include some pictures from the manual of the plays, because it’s better than trying to describe them.

The Controls: Direction on the joystick to pick a play, red button for a punt play. Can also use joystick directions to control characters.

Post Review: Well, it’s a two player only game, no single player mode. So you’re going to have to do with that. Since there is no AI to play against and I’ll most assuredly lose to ANY human opponent. But hey, you should know how to play now.

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