"DEAR AGH" (March/April, 1999)

Subject: Unknown Prototype
From: Andrew

We have an unknown Atari 2600 prototype. It has a red-orange background, and starts with 2 rectangles (Blue and Green). It's a 2 player only game and your rectangles move at a steady rate (Always has to move.) and as you move you leave a wall in your trail. The first one to hit a wall gives the other person a point. It goes to 10. Could you help us and tell us if you have heard of this game?

The game in question is Surround by Atari, and yes, it was released.

Subject: Classic Arcade Games
From: mert

Please scan me the entire attract mode of Bump 'n' Jump (arcade version) including title screen, instructions and top score screen. Also scan me the Donkey Kong Junior title screen. Thanks and please reply IMMEDIENTLY!!!!

My name is Cornholio! Are you threatening me?!?!?

Subject: Fort Apocalypse
From: M. Walsh

Wow, I agreed with all your Atari reviews except for Fort Apocalypse. Man, I thought that was a great game with the 2 separate 'worlds', the reactor to blow up, etc. Yeah, it was hard, but the mood of the artwork was great and I thought the graphics were amazing (at the time, of course).

I have to admit though that often I applaud games that I know must have been hard to code...but if you want to talk about disappointing Synapse games, look at 'Dimension X'. The initial screen shots looked great, with aerial opponents. I talked to one of the developers, and I guess it kind of died midway through development.

Anyway, thanks for the great reviews.

Well, we agree with you that Fort Apocalypse had some cool innovations and excellent graphics. It was also apparent that the developer tried very hard to push the envelope with the game. So give the person bonus points there. Howewer, as a game, it just didn't mesh very well and the high frustration factor soured us on the game in the end.

Subject: Jaguar In Japan?
From: Gary F.

Hi, I'm a big Atari fan and would just like to know if the Jaguar was sold in Japan and if there were any Japanese Jaguar games to go along with it. I'm asking because I'm going to visit Japan soon and will buy the Japanese games there if there are any.

Unfortunately, there is nothing in Japan that'll interest anything with respect to Jaguar stuff. There were no Japan-only titles nor is the packaging of the games any different. The system was barely sold there, so Atari didn't bother making revisions to artwork or literature dealing with anything Jaguar related there. Sorry.

Subject: Atari 400
From: Franco C.

I have a working Atari 400. It has a flip top for cartriges and a full keyboard for typing with the built in keyboard. A BASIC cartridge was used for writing small programs and saving them to a tape drive. The tape drive also played games like Zaxxon and Bump N' Jump. How come no one mentions this system even though it predates the 2600? I have at least 10 games for it..

The Atari 400 is mentioned everywhere. It's basically a 16K version of the 8-bit Atari family with a touch-sensitive keyboard. When we refer to "Atari 8-Bit Computers" on our site, that includes the 400/800/1200XL/1400XL/1450XLD/600XL/800XL/800XE/65XE/65XEP/130XE/XE Game System (and we're sure we're missing some, we really need some sleep here!)

Subject: Mirai Guess
From: M. Vohs

Read the exibit for the Mirai game system, I have a theory as to what it might be, here it goes:

The "Mirai" game system might be the ultra-rare & reclusive Atari VCS 9000

Supporting evidence:
1. You have boxes for the VCS-9000, but no system.
2. Mirai crtridges would fit in the VCS-9000 boxes perfectly (considering the fact that the "Mirai" carts. are about as wide as a VIC-20 cart., & the fact that the VCS-9000 boxes appear to be that wide). What do you think?

Hmmmm, interesting guess. However, if you look at the Mirai's design, you'll notice that it's similar to the XE Computers with respect to its color scheme, meaning it's a mid to late 1980's product. Of course, we're not certain WHAT it is, so everyone's opinion is just that.. an opinion.

Subject: Licensing ROMS
From: Jeremy L.

I have found the MAME emulator through your pages online and want to know if its possible to buy licenses for the old Arcade games?

You mean personal-use license to play on the emulator or the rights to these properties? If it's the latter, it'll be different since a great number of different companies own rights to the games that are supported by MAME and other emulators. As for acquiring an individual license to personally use the roms for play, it's doubtful that you'll be personally prosecuted by the IDSA or a company that owns one or more of the roms, and it's not worth the hassle of getting them to grant you the rights anyways.

Subject: Telegames
From: Bradley P.

I asked Telegames about preorders for the Jag and Lynx. They said that they had to have at least 6,000 preorders to make a new game, and that there may not be that many Atari fans who would be willing to preorder and commit to purchasing the games. I am new to the internet but not gaming. What about all the sites that tell us about people out there who still enjoy new Jag/Lynx games? I do enjoy both classic/retro and new Atari games, but are there enough fans out there to help push Telegames (and anyone else) into publishing anything new? Thanks for listening, hope we see something new (Battlesphere, Gorf 2000?)

You can't blame Telegames for their policies. It's their right not to publish games, even if supporters of Atari want the games to come out. After all, if Telegames had the savvy of knowing that a game showed potential for profit, I'm sure they'd jump at the chance. Given how the Jaguar and Lynx are dead as far as the mainstream player is concerned, it doesn't look well for sure. Not to mention that NO company is going to introduce a NEW product unless they can sell it at contemporary ($30-70) prices. Given how most of the other Atari Lynx and Jag games can be had for as little as $5-10, there just isn't much incentive for Telegames to offer a title that will be several times more expensive than what's already out there.

We certainly hope that are enough Lynx and Jag supporters who will step up and purchase any and all new releases put out even if they're full price, remember that it's companies like Telegames that have to invest money up front to take that risk.

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