"DEAR AGH" (January/February, 1998)

Subject: Fellow Atari 2600 Nut
From: D. Chapel

  • I'm a nut over Atari 2600 carts and have scoured flea markets, used shops, antique shops and yard sales for used (working) Atari 2600 games and am always looking for other such crazed individuals to talk shop with...

  • Have you ever seen / heard / know anything about a Parker Bros. game revolving around James Bond that was advertised in comic books in the mid-80s, but I've never seen anywhere?

  • Any idea if there's a version of Bubble Bobble for the 2600? How about Dig Dug 2?

  • I do a 'zine called GEEKSPEAK which features a lot of Atari 2600 nostalgia pieces. Next issue comes out soon...

  • The version of James Bond that was heavily advertised is different from the game which was ultimately released by Parker Brothers. Although it's possible that a prototype of the first draft of James Bond exists, there has yet to be a confirmed sighting.

  • Neither Bubble Bobble nor Dig Dug 2 was made for the 2600.

    Subject: What is this Atari Computer called
    From: T. Grimes

  • I would like to get some info about an Atari computer I saw in the movie called The Terminator 2. You can see it in the begining of the movie when that teenager hacked into the ATM machine. I would like to see what it can do and where I can get one. It looked like a notebook computer but it had the Atari symbol in it. I would also like to have some pictures of it if I can. Thanks for your support.

  • The Atari Portfolio is the computer you speak of. It's possible that B&C, Best or Toad Computers may still have some for sale, but you'd have to check for yourself. As per your request, we'll have some pics of the Portfolio available in the very near future. And no, you cannot hack into an ATM machine with a Portfolio ;)

    Subject: Pitfall 2 Secret World... Finally!
    From: Adam T.

  • I had always heard that there was a secret world in the 5200 and Atari 8-bit version of Pitfall 2, but last night, finally after several years my friend Chris got there.  He beat the game, after getting ALL the gold bars and Quickclaw, his niece and the diamond.  Usually, in all other versions I've played, Pitfall Harry just jumps around.  Well not here.

  • Pitfall Harry does jump around, but only for a second or two, then a door opens up beside Harry and he goes through into a totally different world!  It even has extra monsters and at least four treasures.  It is much harder as well.  It isn't set up like the first part of Pitfall 2, for it seems more like a maze. 

  • We played for about an hour and could not get over how large this secret area is.  Maybe it isn't even secret?  I'm not sure if you have to get all the gold and then beat the game or not.  Either way, it is a fantastic bonus and I consider it the Pitfall3 for the Atari that never was!

  • One last thing, after our current issue of Orphaned Computers and Game Systems, which contains a comparitive article with Pitfall 1, 2 and The Mayan Adventure, we will be writing a follow up with Pitfall 2's extra levels. 

  • OC&GS, by the way, is a newsletter that Chris and I put together bi-monthly.  It is only a dollar, so if you haven't seen it you should email me about it.

    Subject: Atari 2600 Copyright Info
    From: Greg

  • I am interested in finding out more information about copyrights on the games for emulators for other machine platforms (i.e. Linux, DOS, Windows 95, ...). 

  • In short, is it legal to play the games produced for the Atari 2600 on these other platforms or is there a way to purchase a license so that it would be legal?

  • Owning/playing a ROM image is illegal unless you also happen to own the original cartridge of the game. Otherwise, you would be in violation of copyright laws.

  • However, a great many folks have tons of ROM images in their hard drives, even though they don't own the actual games. Thus far, copyright holders have not gone after such violators, but the decision ultimately rests on you as to whether you want to run the risk of being prosecuted.

  • You can try to purchase a license, but you probably won't be granted one nor will you be able to afford it. Besides, it would be difficult to track down the valid copyright owners of every single 2600 game ever made.

    Subject: High Score List
    From: J.P. Said

  • I was thinking you guys would be the best place on the web for a Atari 2600 or other system high score list. What do you think?

  • The thought has crossed our minds, yes. But there is already a high score page (don't know the exact URL at this time). That page isn't updated regularly, so we probably could do one, but it's probably too taxing for us to maintain such a list since we already have our job cut out for us just keeping AGH updated with regularity.

  • Furthermore, high score pages and lists have been attempted numerous times in the past but they seem to come and go. Nevertheless, if our readers REALLY would like us to start one up, contact us and let yourselves be heard.

    Subject: Blue Label Activision Carts
    From: Tony

  • I have emailed about a dozen other web sites or so, but with no response... I was wondering if you guys know anything about the blue lable carts for the 2600? I have a few Activision and Imagics with blue lables.

  • Those are later releases by Activision. Activision also bought the rights to manufacture and distribute Imagic carts after the crash period. They're less common than the normal labels, but not exactly rare enough for them to be highly sought-after by collectors.

    Subject: Let The Code Out!
    From: M. Wood

  • Dear Editor,
  • Someone knows the code in Kasumi Ninja that lets you play as Gyaku and the Gyaku Demon. I think that people who are devoted to Atari and the Jaguar, like me, should be filled in on this secret. We deserve it. If this code is not let out it will just die away. And what's the point of having it if noone is going to use it? Someone there has to know the code or know the person that knows the code. Let it out, for the fans. I've been searching forever.

  • Unfortunately, the only one who knows the code is the programmer of the game (you'll find his name listed in the credits of Kasumi Ninja. And he refuses to give the code out, for reasons that only he will ever understand.

    Subject: Question on Atari 2600
    From: Sandi

  • Hello. I am an editorial researcher for Encarta encyclopedia, a CD-ROM reference product, working on an article on electronic games. In this article, it is stated that the Atari 2600 home video game appeared in 1978; is this the correct year?
  • Thank you for your assistance.

  • The correct year would be 1977... October to be exact.

    Subject: Help With My 5200 Competition Pro!
    From: Vince B.

  • Hello there. I have a question that may boggle your mind, but I know of nowhere else to go! I have a Competition Pro Joystick for the Atari 5200. It doesn't work on some games for some reason. For instance, it will not move to the left in Popeye, will not move up and to the left in Zaxxon, will not move hardly at all in Gyruss, it takes a minute to get going in Ms. Pac-Man and Jr. Pac-Man, will NOT move to the left in Star Wars - Death Star Battle, maybe a few others, but I can't recall right now. But it works great in other games, (Like most or all of the Atari brand games) so I know that, at least physically, the Joystick is working properly. It seems like when it doesn't work, it is with a 3rd party game. (except for the Pac-Mans I mentioned, but I think that they're OK). Maybe a compatibility problem? PLEASE let me know ANYTHING you can about this situation ASAP!. Thank you very much!

  • One thing about the Competition Pro is that it will not function properly UNLESS the joystick on the standard 5200 that's hooked-up to the Competition Pro (via the Y-cable) is centered. This tip usually remedies the problem with most folks experiencing directional problems with the otherwise excellent Competition Pro Stick.
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