Chubby Checker’s Dig Dug Dance

digdug_titleThere is something quite endearing about old video gaming advertisements – from daggy TV commercials to the advertising wars between the heavyweights of the industry!

Then there are the TV advertisements that were released, but not as originally intended. The unearthing of a cassette tape with Chubby Checker singing in Atari’s Dig Dug arcade commercial, has sent a buzz around the retro gaming community.

Just in case you weren’t aware, the cassette was recently discovered by Matt Osborne, son of former Atari vice president Don Osborne. The song itself was technically used in the Dig Dug commercial, but without Checker’s vocals. The reasons of why this recording exists and why Chubby Checker’s vocals weren’t used in the final product, are unfortunately lost to history. We know which version we prefer.

Chubby Checker’s version

Final Atari Dig Dug Dance TV commercial

source: Scottith Games

image and Chubby Checker vocals source: TheOzMan (Matt Osborne)

Arcade Legends Of The Golden Age

ArcadeLegendsGrowing up during the golden age of arcade gaming, I didn’t know nor care who created them, I just wanted to have fun playing them. I was always on the lookout for titles that other gamers and friends were talking about. Who was Dave Theurer or Eugene Jarvis? These names didn’t mean a thing to me as a youngster. As long as I had coins to pump into the machines, I was happy.

With passing of time, my curiosity got the better of me. Forgetting about the Sega, Atari, Taito, Nintendo, Namco arcade brands, I was curious to know who the human beings were behind some of the industry’s most iconic arcade games.

This is my way of paying homage to the real creative legends of the arcade games I loved (still love) playing.

Welcome to the ausretrogamer ‘Arcade Legends Hall of Fame’.

YuSuzukiName: Yu Suzuki
Company: Sega Enterprises
Games: After Burner, Out Run, Space Harrier, Hang-On, Virtua Fighter
Comment: The Michaelangelo of the video games industry

 

EugeneJarvisName: Eugene Jarvis
Company: Atari, Williams Electronics
Games: Defender, Robotron:2084, Stargate, Smash TV, NARC
Comment: Arcade games and pinball designer extraordinaire

 

EdLoggName: Ed Logg
Company: Atari
Games: Asteroids, Centipede, Millipede, Gauntlet series
Comment: Quarter guzzling arcade master

 

DaveTheurerName: Dave Theurer
Company: Atari
Games: Missile Command, Tempest, I,Robot
Comment: Pioneering game designer that was inspired by Pong

 

YoshikiName: Yoshiki Okamoto
Company: Konami, Capcom
Games: Time Pilot, Gyruss, 1942, Gun.SmokeFinal Fight, Street Fighter II
Comment: The arcade games innovator

 

ShigeruMiyamotoName: Shigeru Miyamoto
Company: Nintendo
Game: Donkey Kong
Comment: Critically acclaimed influencer of the video gaming industry

 

ToruIwataniName: Toru Iwatani
Company: Namco
Game: Pac-Man
Comment: World record holder of the most installed arcade machines

 

TomohiroNishikadoName: Tomohiro Nishikado
Company: Taito
Game: Space Invaders
Comment: The granddaddy of the killer arcade game

 

YoshihisaKishimotoName: Yoshihisa Kishimoto
Company: Technos
Game: Double Dragon
Comment: The grandfather of the beat’em up genre

 

It is always difficult composing such a list as there will be other deserving arcade game creators that will miss out. Who would be your pick for your arcade legends hall of fame?

 

Atari: Game Over

Atari_GameOverBack in April of this year, we reported on the impending dig of the sacred Atari burial site in Alamogordo, New Mexico. We all waited with bated breath as photos trickled in showing what the landfill was hiding all these years.

After a few months, Fuel Entertainment Studios and Xbox Entertainment Studios have now released their first official trailer of the upcoming documentary. We are definitely looking forward to this documentary, but the focus on THAT one game that Howard Scott Warshaw created that brought down the industry is misleading at the least. We hope the finished film will have a balanced perspective of what really happened over 30 years ago.


source: Xbox

Nintendo and Atari Mashup: The Atari Lynx II GameCube Portable

Last week we posted an article on some great looking custom Nintendo consoles. Not all custom made consoles are equal. This week, we have this Nintendo and Atari portable mashup – is it blasphemy or pure genius? We’ll let you be the judge. If you ever wished for a portable Nintendo GameCube, then read on.

gc_Lynx_GC_shell

Crammed inside an Atari Lynx II shell lays the heart and brains of a Nintendo GameCube. The brainchild of this portable Frankenstein is Akira. The features of the GC-Lynx are impressive to say the least:

• Case made out of an Atari Lynx II console
• GameCube blue/purple paint job with glossy finish
• GameCube PAL motherboard
• Silent IBM fan, customised for optimal airflow
• All original Nintendo GCN controls and sticks
• Complete analogue trigger (L and R buttons)
• 4.3 Inch widescreen; VGA Screen with 480 x 272 resolution
• Original Nintendo component video chip wired to produce VGA out
• Shielded composite video wire to reduce interference.
• WiiKey Fusion modchip flashed with Swiss autoboot firmware
• 6400 mAH batteries – provides 3 hours of play time
• Battery indicator with 5 LEDs – lets you know how much power is left
• 128 MB memory card soldered directly onto the motherboard (GameCube slot-A)
• SD Gecko adapter to run homebrew and emulators through Swiss (GameCube slot-B)
• Stereo sound speakers, Used 2x iPhone 4 speakers for very clear sound
• Switching stereo headphone jack
• Analogue volume control
• Video controls to access display menu and switch between A/V (composite) and VGA display
• System can play from wall socket while being charged (comes with charger and power adapter)
• Weight is 700 grams
• Size of GC-Lynx: (w) 235mm x (h)114mm x (d)50mm or 9.25″(w) x 4.5″(h) x 2″(d)
• Comes with 1 x 64GB SD card for GameCube games (wasp fusion slot) and 1 x 32GB for homebrew, games and emulators (GameCube Slot-B)

gc_Lynx_and_GC_Lynx

There has been a fair bit of backlash on custom consoles on a number of forums. Even though we may not be a fan of this one (Ed: that’s because you are such an Atarian!), we are still in awe of the people that come up with these ideas and executing on them. To read Akira’s trial and tribulations on his GC-Lynx creation, go here.

What do you think?


source: soepschoen

Generosity Of An Atarian

Atarian_XEGS_hdr

I may have said this before, but I will say it again, the best part of retro gaming is being part of a like-minded, considerate and passionate worldwide community.

I have met many great people and cemented many friendships due to a mutual love of retro gaming. Aleks ‘Serby’ Svetislav (Weird and Retro) is one person I am particularly grateful to have met. Apart from sharing my passion for all things retro, Aleks is a very cool guy.

During one of the retro gaming community events, Aleks showed off his immaculate Atari 8-bit XEGS. As a one-eyed C64 fan, I was intrigued by this part-computer, part-console 8-bit from Atari. I had never experienced the XEGS till this point. After a few hours of play, Aleks’ love of the Atari 8-bit rubbed off on me. The XEGS bug had bitten me hard! It wasn’t long before I hunted and obtained a XEGS of my own.

To welcome me to the XEGS gaming family, Aleks gifted me three still-in-shrinkwrap games – Blue Max, Desert Falcom and David’s Midnight Magic . Now I was truly ready to start playing on the XEGS!

The generosity shown to me by Aleks was (and still is) truly humbling. When life gets too tough, I always think of how lucky and thankful I am of having great friends in this big wide world of ours. Game on!

The new XEGS games stack. Should I open them?
XE_stack

Bustin’em open!
XE_cut_open

I love the smell of freshly opened XEGS games in the morning
XE_open_carcass

Atari’s 8-Bit Home Computers: A Belated Love Affair

Ah Atari, how I love thee, but back in the ’80s it wasn’t all love. You see, I chose the Commodore 64 as my 8-bit home computer. Do I have any regrets? Absolutely not! But, with my nostalgia tinted glasses on and the benefit of hindsight, perhaps I should have given the Atari 8-bit (affectionately known as A8) home computer range more attention.

With the passing of time and my nostalgic nerves tingling, I had the urge to delve into the world of A8 computing. To my surprise, the Atari 800XL I procured turned out to be a lot of fun. It was built to withstand a nuclear catastrophe, just the way I like it. Whilst on this A8 bandwagon, I also experienced the Atari XEGS system – the half computer, half console beast.  This sudden interest in the A8 home computers piqued my 8-bit senses. I knew that I had to find out more about the lineage of Atari’s 8-bit home computers.

The Atari 8-Bit Home Computer timeline
Atari 8-bit Computers - ausretrogamer

From the 400/800 (1979) to the XL (1983), the XE (XL Extended) (1985) and finally to the XEGS (1987), Atari left no stone unturned when it came to unleashing their 8-bit home computer range. The A8s were definitely on-par with their contemporaries, but with the upheaval that was going on within Atari and the change in ownership, the 8-bit home computers never stood a chance to shine bright.

The A8 range was officially discontinued on January 1, 1992 – an impressive 13 year run! The Atari 8-bit home computers will forever be played – yes, they will last that long!

ILoveAtari

 

Arnie and the Atari Portfolio

“I’ll be back”. Indeed Arnie was right. In this case, the Atari Portfolio is back, not Arnie’s time-travelling T-800 Model 101 Terminator.

AtariPortfolio_kit_2

For those that are left scratching their heads of the correlation between Terminator and the little Atari pocket computer, let me remind you – In Terminator 2: Judgement Day, the young John Connor and his mate jump on John’s dirt bike and head to the mall to hack the ATM and get some cash to play the arcade machines (Ed: very clever kid!). The young Connor uses his Atari Portfolio and a hacking program (PINID) to withdraw some much needed play-time funds.

Atari picked a blockbuster for their product placement. Did it sell lots of Portfolios? Hell no, but damn it was cool to see an Atari in T2!

Got any favourite video gaming related product placements?

A very cool prop
AtariPortfolio_hack

Press the Any Key!
AtariPortfolio_PINID

John Connor withdrawing some much needed funds to play on the arcade machines!
AtariPortfolio_T2