AGH Jaguar Spotlight: SPEEDSTER II
(Unreleased Prototype)

by Mario Perdue

Review by Bruce Philip For
Atari Gaming Headquarters

Speedster II Pic 1
Hello everyone and welcome to my very first review here at Atari Gaming Headquarters. I really consider this a great privilege! This review is of a very strange prototype Atari Jaguar game I recently picked up. Before I get into game play and graphic quality, let me just give everyone a quick outline of the history of this cartridge. The game is entitled Speedster II and was programmed by Mario Perdue. This is the same man, incidentally, who developed the wonderful Breakout 2000 for the Jaguar. As a matter of fact, Perdue created this game right after finishing up Breakout 2000. According to Perdue, Speedster 2 was completed on December 5th, 1996. It was not intended for home users, but rather for a kiddie ride, believe it or not! Yes, you heard it right. You know... those rides you see in front of supermarkets and such. The company that manufactures a few of the kiddie rides, Carousel Entertainment, actually had plans of using Atari Jaguars in the rides themselves! Unfortunately, this never came to pass due of certain issues with the Jag’s reliability in wet and/or hot environments, and thus the product was eventually discontinued. The cart itself was recently discovered in a shipment of salvage Jaguar carts, and luckily enough for me, into my hands! When I recently spoke with Mario Perdue and asked him how many he thinks are out there in the universe, he simply stated: I have no idea, but not very many. I may very well be the only one out there with this original, one of a kind, prototype. From what I am to understand however, there may be another prototype of a different kiddie ride floating around out there in the abyss. This game is Skycopter II and was also designed by Perdue. If there is anyone out there with another copy of my prototype, or perhaps has one of Skycopter II, I’d really like to hear from you. I can be contacted at Well, enough of the history lesson. Let’s get on with my first impressions of the game...

Booting up for the very first time – what joy!

Speedster II Pic 2

The very second it arrived via priority mail, my heart began to pump in much the same way it did for many of us right before our first kiss! I eagerly tore the priority mail package to shreds to discover a plain Jag cart with some sort of glue where the screws are supposed to be on the front of the cartridge. I quickly rushed over to my beloved Jaguar console. On initial boot up, I witnessed the all too familiar “red” Jag screen that seems to plague dusty cartridges. A quick spray of compressed air onto the carts contacts and bingo!, it works.

Speedster II Pic 3

I am greeted with a very nice title screen. No credits whatsoever, or copyright date for that matter. Ok, looking great so far. The title screen rolls away and I am now looking at a F1 style vehicle sitting on the road with a message requesting the insert of a coin to start the ride. Ok, let me see what button triggers the insert coin mechanism. It takes me all but two seconds to find that the “pause” key does the trick and gives me 60 second of play. An announcer immediately says “Press the red button to begin ride”. Ok, now, where is this “red button”? After pushing a few buttons on the keypad I find that it is the “0” key. Upon pressing the button, a very cheesy little tune starts playing and you hear the roar of the car's engine. To accelerate, you can either press down on the directional pad, or press “7”, “8”, or “9” on the keypad. Moving left can be accomplished by simply pressing the d-pad left, or using “4”, “5”, or “6” on the keypad. Along those same lines, moving right is done by pressing right on the d-pad, or pressing either “1”, “2”, or “3” on the keypad. Since it gets quite annoying trying to press down and left/right on the d-pad to both accelerate and move left or right, I've found that the most comfortable method of piloting the vehicle is by using the d-pad for left/right, and “9” on the keypad to accelerate up. I also notice the “B” button blows the car's horn.

Speedster II Pic 4

Ok, now I’m driving down a nice, very straight road with some cute little animals here and there on both sides of the road. The pig makes an "oink" noise and the sheep gives out the familiar "baahhh" sound. And how about the cow? You guessed it, it makes a "mooo" sound. There is also a chubby looking birdie that flies over me chirps. At least that is all he’s doing! The announcer once again starts talking to me, shouting at me to “LOOK OUT”. Uhh ohh, it’s a road cone! I quickly dodge it and I get a “Nice Going” from the friendly announcer fellow. What other crazy obstacles will I encounter? Oh no! It’s a road construction sign! It’s funny how I do not seem to see any road construction going on. I attempt to hit the sign now just for the hell of it. The sign doesn’t get smashed up. I don’t receive any kind of damage. As a matter of fact, the only thing that does happen is that I lose some speed. Now the announcer I thought was being so friendly taunts me with “Where did you learn to drive?” At least he does not say this to me every time I hit something. Actually, let me rephrase that. I would rather deal with him saying this constantly if there was just a way to turn off this highly annoying, very repetitive tune that is playing in the background.

Speedster II Pic 5

As I continue to drive along a helicopter flies over me. What is it going to do? The answer is nothing. It just makes helicopter noise. Ok, now a plane flies by making this roaring noise. Aside from the flying vehicles and animals, there are also a few trees, a barn, and a Carousel sign you pass on the sides of the road here and there. The timer is almost to “0”, which leads me to believe I am nearing the end of my fantastic voyage. The timer ends and I pull straight into the parking lot of Carousel Entertainment! The announcer then says “Good Job!” Thanks buddy!

Speedster II Pic 6

- Conclusion -

Although my little game play review may strike a negative tone, that's not the case at all. You have to understand this game was intended with a very young child in mind. I can imagine some little kid at the supermarket begging his mom for change to hop into Speedster II. The game itself is very simple. You cannot actually hit any of the animals or even veer off the road. Nothing in the game hurts you. No matter what happens, you get to the end. There are no other cars on the road that will attempt to out run you or knock you off the road. You drive mainly for high score - that’s it. You can blow the horn, but there is really nothing to blow at. It’s just an all around friendly game with cute graphics and no violence. Perfect for a little child. Although I will not be playing it much, if at all, I am extremely happy to have this prototype in my Jag collection. Just when I thought every game created for the good ol’ Jag had been discovered, Speedster II comes along. It really wouldn’t matter to me what kind of game it was. I think other owners of prototype games can agree with me there. That should round up my coverage on the Speedster II prototype. I hope the information supplied here was informative. I would also like to thank a few people. Thanks to Mario Perdue for the information on this game; I only know about its history due to his helpful response to my inquiry about the game. Thanks to Atari Gaming Headquarters for giving me the opportunity to write this review. Last, but not least, big thanks go out to you, the many Atari Jaguar fans and developers. Without you guys the Jag would most certainly die an unjustifiable death. On a final note, I want to dedicate this review to the families, friends, and loved ones lost in the recent cowardly and horrible terrorist acts committed on my great country, USA. Let us pray for those lost, and hope the terrorists get what they deserve.

Title Speedster II (Unreleased Prototype)
Publisher Carousel Entertainment
Developer Mario Perdue
System Atari Jaguar
Reviewer Bruce Philip

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