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Unreleased Atari 2600 Game Found At Flea Market

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the once-in-a-lifetime dept.

Classic Games (Games) 253

VonGuard writes "I was at the flea market in Oakland yesterday when a pile of EPROMs caught my eye. When I got them home I found that they were prototypes for Colecovision games. A few were unpublished or saw limited runs, like Video Hustler (billiards). Others were fully released, like WarGames. But the crown jewel is what look to be a number of chips with various revisions of Cabbage Patch Kids Adventures in the Park for Atari 2600. This game was never released and has never been seen. It was a port of the version for Colecovision, and this lot of chips also included the Coleco version. So now I have to find someone who can dump EPROMs gently onto a PC so we can play this never-before seen game, which is almost certainly awful."

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Cool (-1, Troll)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155658)

Bad 8bit games that reek of nostalgia!

Re:Cool (4, Informative)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156134)

What's an Atari 2600?

(just joking)

Although I can imagine some teenager asking that question. The Atari VCS/2600 is older than many people alive today (almost 31 years). As for why Atari did not erase the EPROMS, in 1984 they were on the verge of collapse and probably didn't care. They had more important things to worry about... like not going bankrupt.

Best Atari games?
- Space Invaders
- Breakout
- Defender
- Missile Command
- Berzerk
- Phoenix
- Joust
- Jr. Pac-man (only VCS version of Pac-man that was arcade-accurate)

Re:Cool (1)

Cinnaman (954100) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156368)

What's an Atari 2600?
I guess that's something people of each decade faces, people born in the 2000's will lament that people born in the 2010's haven't heard of the Playstation 3 or Windows XP.

Or in the not too distant future senior citizens won't have participated in WW2 or remember a time before TV...

Re:Cool (2, Funny)

gronofer (838299) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156746)

What's an Atari 2600?
I guess that's something people of each decade faces, people born in the 2000's will lament that people born in the 2010's haven't heard of the Playstation 3 or Windows XP. Or in the not too distant future senior citizens won't have participated in WW2 or remember a time before TV...

Lament an ignorance of the Playstation 3 or Windows XP? You must be joking. I hope that Sony and Microsoft will be only footnotes in dusty history lessons for the 2010's generation.

I wouldn't worry about WW2 either, there will be plenty of other wars to talk about. I hope I live to see a time after TV.

Re:Cool (0, Redundant)

frankm_slashdot (614772) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156896)

It's too bad witty farkicisms aren't appreciated on /. otherwise I'd have to give you a "this".

If only I had mod points...

Re:Cool (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156588)

Best Atari games?
IMHO:
Seaquest, Warlords, GI Joe AAAAND: E.T. (hehe... just joking)

Profit! (4, Funny)

countach (534280) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156724)

1. Find some old EPROMS
2. Write the names of old video games on stickers and attach.
3. Go to flea market.
4. Profit!!

Re:Cool (1)

es330td (964170) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156882)

In the cool list I have to go with Circus Atari over Breakout. My personal favorite was Kaboom! in part because I have yet to meet someone who has beaten my 45K high score. I know people are out there that have done it but I haven't met one yet.

Re:Cool (2, Interesting)

MrEkted (764569) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156904)

2 words: Warlords [wikipedia.org]

Re:Cool (3, Funny)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156908)

Although I can imagine some teenager asking that question. The Atari VCS/2600 is older than many people alive today (almost 31 years).

Thank you so much for making me feel old :P

I had one of these when I was a kid (actually a colecovision with the Atari 2600 adapter.)

I'm going to go play "Adventure" now.

Best Atari Games (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156940)

You forgot "Mouse Trap" and perhaps some of the "Donkey Kong" (DK, DK Jr, etc) games. It's still fun to whip out the old system (or an emulator, but that's not quite as neat) and relax with some of the old classics.

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23156140)

he didn't find NES roms.

Re:Cool (1)

suckmysav (763172) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156394)

I don't understand what all the excitement is for. The game is not "unreleased", it has just not been released on a specific platform.

BFD

It's not as if its never been seen before, like when a never before heard Steven Stills tape was found at that dump recently.

Re:Cool (1)

EllisDees (268037) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156434)

>I don't understand what all the excitement is for. The game is not "unreleased", it has just not been released on a specific platform.

The differences between the 2600 and the Colecovision were considerable. Imagine trying to port GTA3 to the original Nintendo system and you'll have some idea how bad this game probably is.

Re:Cool (3, Funny)

suckmysav (763172) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156560)

Oh, OK, so we are excited about how bad the game probably is.

Sort of like a vintage Daikatana?

Where do you live ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23155670)

If you told us where you live, it might be easier to find someone near you who could help...

Re:Where do you live ? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23155706)

Somewhere near Oakland?

Re:Where do you live ? (2, Informative)

CRC'99 (96526) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155974)

What else would have helped is the type of EEPROM, the manufacturer, and part number... Something like 27C512 in a 40 pin DIN or similar... Different types of EEPROMs require different equipment...

Re:Where do you live ? (1)

jimmypw (895344) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156034)

Firstly, Its unlikely to be an EEPROM

Re:Where do you live ? (5, Informative)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156230)

Some of these chips are clearly EPROMS, you can see the quartz window peeking out from under a label

http://www.flickr.com/photos/vonguard/2429248669/ [flickr.com]

Remember this is an unreleased game. It's likely that they would use UV EPROMS right up until the final release when they'd commit to a binary to be produced as mask roms [wikipedia.org] . That way they could use the time honoured method of burning a batch of EPROMS, testing them, erasing them under UV and burning a new batch.

Actually back when these things were still used I never worked on a project that was high volume enough to justify a mask prom. The break even point was about ten thousand chips IIRC. I worked on a system where the production run was only a few hundred per firmware revison so we always used EPROM. Then again you could get chips that were physically EPROM but had a plastic package and no window. They could be programmed in the field, but only once.

Here's a picture of the chip

http://www.flickr.com/photos/vonguard/2429242881/in/set-72157604647023310/ [flickr.com]

It's a Intel D2763-4. Apparantly it's 8K*8, available in either windowed or OTP versions. It's not really clear how it differs from the very popular 2764.

http://www.cpushack.net/chippics/EPROM/2763/ [cpushack.net]

Re:Where do you live ? (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156342)

They were more likely to be using OTP chips for production. These are electrically identical to UV EPROM but are encapsulated in a standard plastic envelope with no glass window, so you can't sun-tan them. You can, however, file off most of the plastic and remove the rest with solvents; or you can wipe them with a suitable gamma or X-ray source. This admittedly is beyond the capabilities of most Fred-in-the-Shed types, but it's genuinely amazing what some Freds keep in their sheds.

Re:Where do you live ? (2, Informative)

michrech (468134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156764)

Looking at google maps, he's probably in California.

Google Maps Linky [google.com]

Further down the threads, he links to his Flikr photos of these roms.

Second Linky [flickr.com]

Origins (1)

bazald (886779) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155676)

That is really cool, but this isn't the first story like this I've heard. My question is, how do these unreleased products make their way out into the world? Wouldn't any cartridges used by a major company have been wiped before being sold or trashed? Regardless, I shall continue to look forward to the next such find. Kudos.

Re:Origins (4, Interesting)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155704)

Sometimes people are very careless about their trash. Notice the WTC plans that showed up in the dumpster trawled by the homeless guy the other day.

Dumpster diving has become both an art, a business and industrial espionage.

Also, it's quite likely that a programmer just took them home after an office cleaning or cancelled project or mass-layoff.

I worked at Coleco Advanced R&D in '79-'80... (2, Funny)

Two99Point80 (542678) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156530)

...and can vouch for the "dumpster diving" approach. For a while, physical mockups (without the electronics) were just tossed in the dumpster; I saw neighborhood kids brandishing their "prizes". Later on, one of the guys took to hanging them in a tree outside our 2nd-floor office window; that didn't go over well when our VP found out...

"Them"? (4, Funny)

mgkimsal2 (200677) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156894)

that didn't go over well when our VP found out...

I imagine the kids didn't care for hanging in the tree either.

Re:Origins (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155814)

That is really cool, but this isn't the first story like this I've heard. My question is, how do these unreleased products make their way out into the world?

A lot of people (like me) just don't like to see good gear thrown out. They are called pack rats.

Re:Origins (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156030)

"My question is, how do these unreleased products make their way out into the world? Wouldn't any cartridges used by a major company have been wiped before being sold or trashed?"

The company has to pay people to either wipe the data or securely destroy the device. Sure large corporations take these things a bit more seriously nowadays but minor companies don't become major companies by writing cheques.

Re:Origins (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156892)

Atari was not doing so well - they probably didn't care much what happened to these once it was clear that they wouldn't make it to release. What, was some other company going to swoop in and steal all their crappy games and release them for a dying system?

I doubt this was the case here, but before it's clear that something's going to be a hit often companies are not careful at all about where things go. When Barbie first came out, Mattel let employees (like factory worker level employees) take home broken molds, prototype heads, things like that - all one-of-a-kind collectibles worth a fortune now.

nice (4, Informative)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155686)

Good find. My first job in HS was at Atari playtesting video games for the Tengen system. (I knew someone who worked there as a 'game councelor' on their help line, a fellow Amiga fanatic, ironically)

It's not surprising that the roms turned up there - it's close to Milpitas. Usually I say there's nothing more to be had at flea markets - all the vendors these days are selling various combinations of the same grey market goods from Asia...but every now and then I guess there's still a gem.

Re:nice (-1, Offtopic)

cawpin (875453) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156934)

Good find. My first job in HS was at Atari playtesting video games for the Tengen system. (I knew someone who worked there as a 'game councelor' on their help line, a fellow Amiga fanatic, ironically)
That would be coincidentally, not ironically. Also, counselor is how it's spelled, not councelor.

Launch Party (5, Funny)

glittalogik (837604) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155700)

The unveiling and first attempt at this game requires:

- A projector.
- A camera to record footage for posterity.
- A celebrity guest, Either CmdrTaco, CowboyNeal, or one of the Diggnation guys.
- Huuuuuge quantities of alcohol.

This has the potential to be one of the most successful parties in /. history. There could easily be as many as 5, even 6 guests! Rock on!

Re:Launch Party (2, Funny)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155726)

Sounds like a Strongbad Email waiting to happen.

Re:Launch Party (1)

narftrek (549077) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156872)

Dude! Speaking of that, Limozeen, would be the PERFECT band for the Launch Party!!!! ...AND THE TROGDOR COMES IN THE NIIIIIGHT!

Re:Launch Party (1)

BillTheKatt (537517) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155788)

It's not a real party without pr0n. Can we count on Taco to bring some?

Re:Launch Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23155864)

s/bring/be/?

Re:Launch Party (0, Offtopic)

neomunk (913773) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156760)

I've seen greasy tacos before, but a greased up Taco? *shudders*

Re:Launch Party (1)

glittalogik (837604) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156258)

Sun = warm. Ocean = damp. Taco = brings pr0n.

What happens to today's games? (5, Interesting)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155708)

The great thing about the age of carts is just what the article touches on...here's a game that never made it to the store shelves but clearly a copy or two was made on actual hardware that somehow made it to this flea market.

But what happens to games today when they're cancelled? I read about games being put on "indefinite hiatus", or just being cancelled with the company essentially throwing their hands up in the air and saying "ain't gonna happen." What becomes of all that code? Since it just sits on the developer's machines, does it just get wiped when they start on a new project?

Maybe someday someone will find a hd in a flea market labeled "Shenmue 3 SVN Repo", but it doesn't seem likely, sadly.

So while we revel in the curios of the past, we ourselves have none to give to future generations.

Re:What happens to today's games? (4, Interesting)

FiestaFan (1258734) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155760)

But what happens to games today when they're cancelled? I read about games being put on "indefinite hiatus", or just being cancelled with the company essentially throwing their hands up in the air and saying "ain't gonna happen." What becomes of all that code? Since it just sits on the developer's machines, does it just get wiped when they start on a new project?

Maybe someday someone will find a hd in a flea market labeled "Shenmue 3 SVN Repo", but it doesn't seem likely, sadly.

So while we revel in the curios of the past, we ourselves have none to give to future generations.
I'm sure a lot of these programmers aren't going to just erase something they may have spent months or years on.

Sometimes they even risk their jobs and lawsuits to see the game get played: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thrill_Kill [wikipedia.org]

You never know what might turn up on a DVD-R at a tag sale someday. Maybe the first 3 versions of Duke Nukem Forever. Heres hoping...

I want to see the DNF side-scroller game that was (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156912)

I want to see the DNF side-scroller game that was to come other after duke3d and be in 2d some at 3drealms has it on a disk in a passworded zip file.

Re:What happens to today's games? (5, Insightful)

earthlandrealms (1258740) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155774)

The great thing about the age of carts is just what the article touches on...here's a game that never made it to the store shelves but clearly a copy or two was made on actual hardware that somehow made it to this flea market.

But what happens to games today when they're cancelled? I read about games being put on "indefinite hiatus", or just being cancelled with the company essentially throwing their hands up in the air and saying "ain't gonna happen." What becomes of all that code? Since it just sits on the developer's machines, does it just get wiped when they start on a new project?

Maybe someday someone will find a hd in a flea market labeled "Shenmue 3 SVN Repo", but it doesn't seem likely, sadly.

So while we revel in the curios of the past, we ourselves have none to give to future generations.
It's a lot easier to leak some files on the internet today, then it was to leak a cart back then, and a lot harder to stop.

Re:What happens to today's games? (4, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155784)

So while we revel in the curios of the past, we ourselves have none to give to future generations.
I'd say we're more likely to get stuff like this in the future, rather than less likely.. old backup tapes.. possibly stuff the developers took home to show their friends/family (well, maybe that's strictly forbidden or something, it certainly would be with DNF :P ). But I doubt developers just wipe old projects as soon as they start a new one. They probably keep backups of all their code on a network fileserver, that's what any sane person/company would do.

Thanks to the internets, it's easy to find stuff like this online too - I wrote a game when I was 12/13 and sent it into Amiga Format. A couple of years ago in a fit of nostalgia I tried searching for it online, found a website mentioning the name, got in contact with the author, and he sent me a copy (I dont have an Amiga any more and if I still have the floppies for the game they're at least 10 years old and probably corrupt, although the version that I sent into Amiga Format wasn't my final version, so there are little touches that are missing :( ). I can now play my game on an emulator. Kinda cool.

Usually if a project is canceled, it's because it was no fun to play anyway, so don't feel like you're missing out or anything! Some companies just release their boring games anyway.. others, like Valve or 3D Realms, only release games that they know are worthy.

Maybe the cart has Duke Nuke 'em Forever on it (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23156094)

Just a thought...

Re:What happens to today's games? (1)

iisan7 (914423) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156240)

Just this happened with Fallout 3 (Van Buren) years after the project was terminated...
(and we shouldn't miss an opportunity to mention that fact again and again!)

http://www.nma-fallout.com/article.php?id=35862 [nma-fallout.com]

Re:What happens to today's games? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156298)

Usually if a project is canceled, it's because it was no fun to play anyway, so don't feel like you're missing out or anything!
But sometimes, a canceled game could happen to be among a system's finest titles. [gametribute.com]

Re:What happens to today's games? (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156642)

True, though those were rather extreme circumstances. I hate political correctness. Even if I had a family member that died in 9/11, I wouldn't be looking to blame video games and movies (didn't one of the Spiderman movies have to be redone because one of the scenes involved the twin towers?), or accuse them of bad taste by releasing a game that was accurate in the time it was made. Admittedly a game where you can crash planes into towers could upset some people by digging up bad memories, but you can do that in pretty much any flight simulator.. it's not the game publisher's fault. If someone dropped some giant tetris blocks off of the top of a skyscraper (laced with explosives which would automatically go off when a line was completed, of course) and crushed/asploded lots of people, should we stop playing tetris? Or if someone dropped a giant pizza off the top of a tower and flattened a bunch of people, should we stop eating pizza? It's the highly dedicated person that setup these intricate acts of terror that is to blame, not computer games or food..

Re:What happens to today's games? (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156810)

The original Spiderman movie was set to release right around 9/11 but was delayed because you could see them in the background. Maybe they were even featured, wouldn't it have made sense to have Spidey capture something large in a giant web between the towers?

I also worked at Staples the night of 9/11 and we got a whole list of games to take off the shelves from corporate. Flight Simulator topped it off, don't remember any others, but it's not like anyone came in that night asking for them either. I'm pretty sure they were back on the shelf by the end of the week, if not sooner.

Re:What happens to today's games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23156436)

You did NOT just equate 3D Realms with Valve. You didn't...omg you did.

One releases real software, the other releases yearly vapor-farts.

Re:What happens to today's games? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156598)

Both have a dedication to quality though. Well, not that I've played that many of their games, but most of them were ahead of their time in terms of what they could do (viewable cameras and remotely detonated pipebombs on Duke Nuken 3D - put them both together and you could have a lot of multiplayer fun :) ), or at least in attention to detail. I don't think 3D Realms are in the business of creating vapourware, but I do think they need to stop striving for 'perfection' quite so much.. if they keep trying to incorporate the latest and greatest tech into their games then they're never going to get DNF out the door! And the trouble is that games like HL and HL2 usually took the expectations for storytelling, gameplay and physics in FPS games to a new level, so the longer they wait, the more their original ideas for DNF are likely to be out of date..

Re:What happens to today's games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23156600)

I used to be a c64 artist, and lost the original floppies of my C64 artwork many years ago.

Thanks to the internet I've managed to get back nearly every piece of artwork I've produced, except for a couple of very early bits that weren't widely distributed. I even got sent a picture that someone found on a disk somewhere which I couldn't even remember drawing in the first place, but which turned out to be an actual piece of my artwork.

Re:What happens to today's games? (2, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156672)

Sounds like you have a little in common with this guy [theregister.co.uk] , he's a C64 artist ;)

Re:What happens to today's games? (1)

Thrashing Rage (157543) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155898)

Maybe an unfinished Duke Nukem Forever will turn up?

Someday....someday!

Re:What happens to today's games? (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155926)

The great thing about the age of carts is just what the article touches on...here's a game that never made it to the store shelves but clearly a copy or two was made on actual hardware that somehow made it to this flea market.

But what happens to games today when they're cancelled? I read about games being put on "indefinite hiatus", or just being cancelled with the company essentially throwing their hands up in the air and saying "ain't gonna happen." What becomes of all that code? Since it just sits on the developer's machines, does it just get wiped when they start on a new project?
Imagine if that code could reused. The release date of Duke Nukem Forever could be advanced by weeks !

Dont worry, they will all be released... (1)

patrixx (30389) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156422)

bundled with Duke Nukem Forever. (When they are ready!)

Re:What happens to today's games? (1)

AnotherUsername (966110) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156564)

Maybe someday someone will find a hd in a flea market labeled "Shenmue 3 SVN Repo", but it doesn't seem likely, sadly.
It'll probably be on the same table as the "Duke Nukem Forever version 23.0.0.1.

Not that I'm bitter or anything.

Re:What happens to today's games? (1)

brumby (93242) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156714)

But what happens to games today when they're cancelled? I read about games being put on "indefinite hiatus", or just being cancelled with the company essentially throwing their hands up in the air and saying "ain't gonna happen." What becomes of all that code? Since it just sits on the developer's machines, does it just get wiped when they start on a new project?

In my experience, everything gets backed up, just in case. The backups get stored. We reuse bits of code in our next project. The artwork just gets deleted to make space. Eventually, no one left remembers what was on those backup tapes/DVDs/discs, and they get tossed to make room for more backups.


I can think of two games where as far as I can tell, there is no trace we ever spent half a year on them, apart from us occasionally saying, "That would have been so cool if we'd finished it."



Re:What happens to today's games? (2, Interesting)

korbin_dallas (783372) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156740)

The developers take it home.

I worked for a small company back in the mid90s(biz sw not games). When we folded, I took all my code home with me.
My co-developers did the same.
I viewed it as my library of work, and for a while it was my reference material since it was full of generalized code for basic business apps. Now of course its quite antique.

Re:What happens to today's games? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156834)

parts of the code and art gets reused in other games.

TMN!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23155716)

Too Much Nerdiness!!!

Great score! Once you've dumped them please post a 2600 emu so folks can try it out!

This could spark a revival that rivals Ms Pacman...

Re:TMN!!! (1)

Rhapsody Scarlet (1139063) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155856)

Too Much Nerdiness!!!

Too much what? You do realize you're on Slashdot, right?

Re:TMN!!! (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156048)

I'm thinking he'd just need to post a link to the ROM. It's cake to find a 2600 emulator.

Twofo Live! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23155724)

Twofo Live! [twofo.co.uk] can eat my goatse'd penis.

Flea Markets, Goodwill, Bargain Bins (1)

dunezone (899268) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155742)

I love stories like this. I used to go to Goodwill stores and browse their selection of old computers they would take in(they don't sell old computers anymore I think). I came across an old Macintosh and it wasn't that it was a Macintosh that caught my eye. It was a "black" model Macintosh, I had never seen a black Macintosh before. I paid $10 for this thing, brought it home, worked perfectly fine. I later find out this is a Macintosh TV, a computer that only saw a life span of around 6-12 months, featured one of the first TV tuner cards, it was the first Apple product to come in black and only 10,000 were ever produced.

Re:Flea Markets, Goodwill, Bargain Bins (2, Informative)

lightversusdark (922292) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156536)

It's a TAM - the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh [wikipedia.org]
The integrated sound system was designed by Bose (after an initial design by Bang & Olufsen was deemed not good enough), and it marks the first time Apple externalised the PSU of a desktop machine - it is contained within the floor-standing subwooofer. The design is a clear forerunner of the modern iMac all in one, but is thinner than any production iMac. Noteworthy was that your purchase was delivered in a limousine, and set up for you by a concierge.

I have two, but one is missing its "fatback", meaning I can't upgrade it - not even to add ethernet :o(
If anyone could help me source the part, I'd love to hear from you before I gut it to retro fit the innards of an Intel MacMini.

Games Better Left Buried... (2, Insightful)

kd4zqe (587495) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155746)

I have to chuckle. A Cabbage Patch Kids game? There was probably a reason those ROMs never made it to mass production. I remember E.T. for Atari. If THAT game made it to press run, how bad does the CPK game have to be?!?

Now a Garbage Pail Kids game... THAT I'd play. Even now.

Re:Games Better Left Buried... (2, Interesting)

dosun88888 (265953) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155936)

Cabbage Patch Kids was actually one of the best games for the Colecovision. If you google reviews the only one you'll probably find is a bad one, but I assure you that the reviewer in question never actually played the games. If he had, Donkey Kong would have been given far less than an A.

Re:Games Better Left Buried... (1)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155944)

Ha! I remember ET! It was absolutely terrible! I couldn't figure it out for the life of me either.

Re:Games Better Left Buried... (1)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156062)

Honestly, I always thought Cabbage Patch Kids was one of the best games for Colecovision. Seriously. It had more diversity than most games, and was difficult in the right ways: you needed dexterity and timing to get the vine-swinging and jumping just right, and not be knocked out. Think "Metroid for Kids" or something.

Dang, now I have to dig out my Colecovision and revv up my carpal tunnel again.

Re:Games Better Left Buried... (0, Flamebait)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156404)

Who says games have got to be good to be released. Look at the Wii's lineup and it's virtually 80-90% shovelware - either PS2 ports, TV / cartoon franchises, or budget trash comparable to "White Van Racer" (an infamously crap PS2 game).

Studios know they can push out shit like this because people keep buying it. The problem is compounded on the Wii because the console supposedly appeals to non-gamers who have even less of a clue about quality titles than is usual for some consoles.

I expect that if a Cabbage Patch Kids game had released which consisted of moving a dot from one side of the screen to the other, it would still have sold in measurable quantities. Maybe it just never appeared because the studio ran out of money or the Cabbage Patch Kids fad faded before they could cash in.

Never been seen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23155752)

The game has been seen before, but not by the general public. The developers, their bosses, and most likely the previous owner have all laid eyes on this glorious piece of history.

+1 semantic nazi

Re:Never been seen? (2, Funny)

fbjon (692006) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156388)

The game has been seen before, but not by the general public. The developers, their bosses, and most likely the previous owner have all laid eyes on this glorious piece of history.
No no, you don't get it. These ancient jewels of computing actually developed themselves! Powerful artifacs of magic they are. Bind them with an emulator only with the utmost care.

My secret plan, now I know this... (3, Funny)

thrill12 (711899) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155762)

1. Get access to some eproms, preferably the old, worn-out kind.
2. Put a cryptic label on them, something like "P0N 13S OMG", or "SR0 CKS TH1", plus some brandname like "Coleco" or "Atari"
3. Go to the nearest auction site
4. ...
5. Profit !

Seems like we're jumping the gun here... (3, Insightful)

Guido del Confuso (80037) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155764)

How do we actually know that's what's on the EPROMs? They could be mislabeled, or the data on the chips could be unreadable. EPROMs do have a tendency to degrade over time, especially if they're not well taken care of.

Besides, even if they do contain some version of the game, and even if it's readable, there's no guarantee that it's actually a playable game. It could be an unplayable version, or even a test or demo of some sort.

Sorry to rain on the parade. If this turns out to be the real McCoy, I'll be as excited as anyone. But I'd put up even money that this ends up being a disappointment. I hope I'm wrong, though.

Re:Seems like we're jumping the gun here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23155982)

you would be excited to see a 25 year old cabbage patch kids game? Thats the weirdest thing I think I have ever heard on teh internets... even weirder then the recent guy complaining to a national news outlet that battlestar gallactica doesnt look as good as it should in hd.

Re:Seems like we're jumping the gun here... (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156104)

>Thats the weirdest thing I think I have ever heard on teh internets
Internets? You have more than one at your disposal?

Private internets (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156658)

Internets? You have more than one at your disposal?
RFC 1918 [faqs.org] : read it and weep.

Putting your post in context (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23156066)

Sorry to rain on the parade. If this turns out to be the real [Cabbage Patch Kids Adventures in the Park for Atari 2600], I'll be as excited as anyone.

Re:Seems like we're jumping the gun here... (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156136)

EPROMs are more robust than you may think - I have some 25+ year old ones with their original program in my BBC Micro, which work just fine. They are typically in cerdip packages which are much more durable than plastic (the plastic used for chips can sometimes absorb moisture). I've had more problems with ancient RAM chips than EPROMs.

So long as the window was covered and they've not been zapped by static, there's a good chance that they will read perfectly.

It's not unusual (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155818)

For 2600 betas or indeed any other system's betas/unreleased ROMs to turn up. Check out www.atariProtos.com for news/reviews of many.

MAME Dumping Project (5, Informative)

Thorwak (836943) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155842)

"The Guru" at the MAME dumping project would probably be very interested in your find! Dumping those kinds of ROMS would be trivial to him.

http://www.mameworld.net/gurudumps/DumpingProject/ [mameworld.net]

Re:MAME Dumping Project (2, Informative)

OSS2021 (1277336) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156002)

Don't forget Atariage ;) can be found at www.atariage.com

Somebody is getting their comeuppance (5, Funny)

bluemetal (1269852) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155872)

Somebody was paid to spend time and work hard on that game, no matter how horrible it is. This is your time lonesome programmer... your moment of fame has finally arrived after so many long years of obscurity. Will the effort of years past pay off now, or will you simply fade away from whence you cam to that cold, bleak corner of gaming history.

Re:Somebody is getting their comeuppance (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23156816)

That somebody is Ed English, who also wrote the Atari 2600 versions of Frogger, Mr. Do, Roc'n Rope, Front Line, and Looping. He's now the CEO of Intermute, an Internet security company that's owned by Trend Micro.

http://www.intermute.com/company/management.html

One word for ya AtariAge ;) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23155908)

these guys are Helpful and I know more than a few in your area that could come to your house and dump them for free.

Rob Fulop of Imagic inc comes to mind as he is still actively working with the community and can help tremendously as he and many others worked at Atari in it's golden days.

the link is: www.Atariage.com
join the fourms and ask away I know someone will help you out and talk to moderator Tempest he is the resident expert on Prototypes he has extensive collection and knows how to tell a fake from the real deal.

hope this helps.

"Ancient" games (1)

ulash (1266140) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155910)

I am a big fan of 8bit era games even though the closest I got to them was on the PC since I haven't had a game console until the Sega Dreamcast. I have tried to satisfy my curiosity through emulators on the PC and my modified XBox but it is a completely different feeling to play the games in their original 8 bit glory. Now that I moved to Japan, these games are much easier to find and are dirt cheap. There are stores in Akiba selling games for less than a few dollars each as well as emulators of Famicom (hardware) so you can pick up a used game and play it at home.

awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23155938)

i look forward to downloading this rom and then never playing it.

Reading EPROMs (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155940)

You can get a Willem programmer from eBay for about 15 quid. You'll need a USB port for power and a parallel port for data (remember parallel ports?), and the software is Windows-only but runs Very Nicely Indeed under Wine.

Bear in mind that some EPROMs may have somewhat non-standard pinouts, and will need an adaptor. You can probably figure out how to make one from two IC sockets.

Dude. You're in the SF Bay area. (2, Funny)

marxmarv (30295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156008)

You probably can't swing a cat without finding someone who has a proper EPROM reader/programmer or can cobble together a little circuit to read out each location in the PROM. It could be terribly simple; two chips, a socket for your EPROM, a parallel printer cable and a bit of bit-banging code.

But to echo what Guido said, EPROMs typically aren't rated for "eternal" data retention and depending on storage conditions there could be anything from bit errors to blank chips. If both copies of the Park roms were the same you've at least got something to work with.

Re:Dude. You're in the SF Bay area. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23156286)

Contact http://www.atariprotos.com/

cuttle cart (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156156)

There's those Cuttle Cart readers, which of course aren't made anymore. But...

Ebay is your friend. ($152.50 as of now) [ebay.com]

Buy that fucker! Don't have enough money? I'll nag CmdrTaco; I live in the same area as him.

And you should actually take glittalogik's idea seriously - the Slashdot Launch Party. :)

Re:cuttle cart (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156176)

bah nm. i haven't had my coffee. stupid me. it doesn't extract roms.

No! Don't do it!!!!! (2, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156294)

Some things are better left alone!! The "pappach" as my niece once called them died for a reason. Do not bring the parent of "Chucky" back to life. Nothing good could come of this.

reading them (4, Informative)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156312)

You can read them with a standard EPROM programmer ..... something like a Dataman S3 ..... they're probably up to S5 or S6 by now, but the S3 is the one I remember. The S3 also had some built-in RAM with its own power supply, so you could load it up with data and use it in a circuit in place of a real EPROM. Nice hacker tool, back in the days.

Note that if you try to use a standard 2732 or 2716 EPROM in an Atari 2600 cart, the chip enable (on pin 20 -- driven by A12) needs to be inverted. (The OTP parts used by Atari had this inversion logic built in.) Just use a BC547 and a couple of 4k7 resistors (one in series with the base and one as a pull-up from collector to +5V). If it seems a bit temperamental, drop the collector load down to 3k3 or 2k2.

You can use bigger chips eg. 27512 to hold several ROM images -- just attach 4k7 pull-up resistors to each of the high-order address lines, with switches to pull them to 0V.

Carts with ROMs > 4K need some extra logic to switch the high-order address lines, dependent on values being written to some address somewhere. Carts with integral RAMs (yes, they existed; all of them TTBOMK were static RAM which at least makes it simpler, no need for refresh logic ..... it'd hafta be async refresh anyway, lovely, there goes your MW radio, unless you pulled some weirdy stunt with a phase-locked loop and gotta watch what you're asking that poxy little PSU for) need the RAM mapping to two distinct address blocks; one for write and one for read, because the R/W line isn't brought out on the 2600's cartridge port.

Get thee to AtariAge! (4, Informative)

Megane (129182) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156492)

atariage.com [atariage.com] is the place you need to go. There are plenty of people all over the country who will go out of their way to your place to dump the chips. There are also prototype version collectors who will be interested in dumping all the rest of your chips as well, in case there's an undiscovered version in your pile of chips.

And bare EPROMs are the easiest to dump. If you have a standard programmer, assuming these are standard EPROMs, which they should be, you can do it yourself. Just don't read the important chip first until you know you've got the procedure right.

In the meantime, keep the chip windows covered and keep the chips away from light. The older they are, the more likely they will be vulnerable to "bit rot", which is the chip erasing itself even with weak light, usually after 15-25 years. Once the process begins, it can take weeks or months for the whole chip to be blank.

do not want! (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156712)

A cabbage patch kids game? Are you kidding me?!?! Was it packaged in bright pink packaging that had OMG PONIES!!!!!!!!!!1 on it, too? Maybe there was a reason it was never released,. . .

On the bright side, I bet CowboyNeal would probably play it (and enjoy it),. . . ;-)

So why should we care? (3, Interesting)

LS (57954) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156758)

If this were any other item (visual art, books, songs, etc), no one would care that some shitty unreleased piece of work was found by some unknown author. Why is it any different because it's a video game?

LS

Not impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23156826)

That's nothing. I found an EPROM last week with Duke Nukem Forever on it.
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