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Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol. I
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Author:  atrionfo [ Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol. I

I've finally made my own compilation of games for my 8Mbit Flash cart. I've meant to do this for a LONG time, but since so many compilations existed already I have just played those compilations instead of making my own. Many of these games are available on other compilations, though a few are not on any compilations that I've seen. These games have all been played without any trouble on my NTSC Atari 130XE. The list of games, followed afterward by comments, are:

1) Alley Cat
2) Archon
3) Ballblazer
4) Beamrider
5) Boulder Dash
6) Bounty Bob Strikes Back
7) Bruce Lee
8 ) Caverns of Mars
9) Demon Attack
10) Drelbs
11) Encounter!
12) Frogger
13) Frogger II: Threeedeep!
14) Henry's House
15) H.E.R.O.
16) Jumpman
17) Jumpman Junior
18) Lode Runner
19) Lode Runner II
20) Megamania
21) Miner 2049'er
22) Montezuma's Revenge
23) Mr. Robot and His Robot Factory
24) Oil's Well
25) Pitfall
26) Pitfall II: Lost Caverns
27) Pitfall II: Adventurer's Edition
28) Qix [5200 Version]
29) Rainbow Walker
30) River Raid
31) Space Eggs
32) Stellar Shuttle
33) Thrust
34) Zone Ranger
35) Zorro

Here are some comments about each game:

1) Alley Cat - Back in about 1987 when I was in high school this game was played on the PC's in the drafting room. It was CGA and the sound came out of the PC's speaker (ugh!), but it took up many people's time. It wasn't until a few days ago that I finally got down to playing this game on the Atari. It's SO much better! And it's addictive too.

2) Archon - I've loved (and played!) this game for twenty-five years. This is the game that got me to finally make this collection for my Flash Cart. My sixteen-year old son had been playing this with his friends recently and they love it. One of them went ahead and bought it for his IPod Touch just a couple of days ago. I didn't even KNOW that version existed.

3) Ballblazer - I used to play this game a LOT on my Atari 7800. This version is nearly identical, though the resolution is just a BIT lower on the 8-bit version. It's smooth as silk though. I played this most at 8-bit / ST User Group meetings and everyone loved to play it.

4) Beamrider - One of my all-time favorite games. I used to own this on cartridge for the C64 back around 1985. I played this quite a bit. I STILL play it quite a bit. I read in an interview with the programmer that he used the alphabet to create the way that the enemies would attack you. I've looked for this, but I've never seen it.

5) Boulder Dash - Back when I played the C64 I couldn't understand why anyone would play a game that was so "jerky" with the graphics. Then, about 1994 my wife showed me the game again (on my Atari) and for some reason I liked it. I guess it was because she played it and it was cool to try-out something that she was interested in that was 8-bit.

6) Bounty Bob Strikes Back - I tried like crazy to get a version of this that would work on my Flash Cart. This one finally does. I'm not sure why it works... but I'm happy about it. It's rare for a sequel to be better than the original, but this one manages to pull that off!

7) Bruce Lee - This game was great fun back when I was a kid. I used to think of it as a "fighting game," but now I see it more of an exploration game.

8 ) Caverns of Mars - This is a pretty fun game. For its time this game was supposed to have really smooth scrolling (which it does). I remember it being a big deal because it was programmed by some teenager who then sent it off to APX. The sequel to this game is TOTALLY different (and I don't like it).

9) Demon Attack - Hooray! This works on the XE models! A pretty simple shooter that makes me, for some reason, want to start it over and over again.

10) Drelbs - I first played a PD version of this on the Amiga back in the early 1990's. I thought it was brilliant. It took my wife to tell me that she used to play this game all the time on the Apple.

11) Encounter! - This game blows Battlezone away. I also played a version of this for the Amiga that was made in the late 80's. It was actually not called Encounter!, but it was an official port. I prefer the 8-bit version to the 16-bit version.

12) Frogger - For some reason I like this better than the arcade version. I had John Harris sign my cartridge back in the late nineties. It was only later that I found out that the cartridge version is a bit different from the disk version that John programmed.

13) Frogger II: Threeedeep! - This isn't as good as the first game, and it DOES take some getting used to it before enjoyment comes along, but once you get into it you will really enjoy yourself.

14) Henry's House - A friend of mine pointed me to this platformer just a few years ago. Great fun. This was another game that I also had a hard time getting to work with the Flash Cart.

15) H.E.R.O. - Except for a small graphic upgrade, this is the same as the Atari 2600 version. No harm in that!

16) Jumpman - I used to play this all the time on my C64 back in the mid-eighties. When I finally played the Atari 8-bit version about ten years later, I was shocked at the increased control. Also, some of the levels are a bit different too. I'm not sure why that is either. Perhaps to take advantage of each machine's capabilities?

17) Jumpman Junior - This was a game that I played BEFORE Jumpman on my friend's Coleco Adam computer. This was why I bought Jumpman in the first place. It was well worth it!

18) Lode Runner - Not nearly as good as Jumpman, and it would be easier to play with two buttons (which the Apple DID use), but it is still a great game. It doesn't hurt that there are SO many levels!

19) Lode Runner II - More of the same... but in this case that's okay.

20) Megamania - A very simple game which is also very-much like the Atari 2600 version. Deceptively simple. Plus, there are not that many games that you have to shoot-down hamburgers out of the sky!

21) Miner 2049'er - I prefer this version out of all the platforms that I've played it on. I can't win without cheating. And there are only ten levels. That's pathetic!

22) Montezuma's Revenge - A nice platform game. I really like Panama Joe's hat in this version. I once played a hack (I THINK) of this game that was MUCH harder. There was fire on the ropes and it was just more difficult. Which, really, made it more fun. I've been looking for that version, off and on, for years, but I've never found it.

23) Mr. Robot and His Robot Factory - Not as good as Miner 2049'er, which it seems to be a rip-off of, but still neat. Also, you can design your own levels!

24) Oil's Well - One of the very best 8-bit games of all time. This was remade in the early nineties for the PC and BOY did this screw it up!

25) Pitfall - I prefer the 2600 version. Maybe because I grew up with it. This is also another game I've never beaten.

26) Pitfall II: Lost Caverns - I got this when it first came out for, I think, my thirteenth birthday (along with Zork I). For some reason I could never get far until I lent the game to a friend and the next day he came to school telling me that he had found a balloon that would take him to different parts of the game. Show off! I finally did beat Pitfall II... only to discover (MANY years later) that the Atari version has additional levels that are much harder. In the late nineties, a friend and I, working as a team, beat the Atari version. What a satisfying experience that was! There is an actual ending!

27) Pitfall II: Adventurer's Edition - This is the same game as "Pitfall II: Lost Caverns" except that you begin in the advanced area (someone on AtariAge modified this game for me several years ago). This makes it possible to avoid going through Condor and Bat Hell on your way to rescue Quickclaw.

28) Qix [5200 Version] - I prefer this simple game over the arcade version. Don't bother playing the original Atari 8-bit version; it's SO slow. Oh, and what a horrid affair this is actually to play on the Atari 5200. Those joysticks completely RUIN this game.

29) Rainbow Walker - I've always wondered if this is an original game. I've not quite seen anything like it before or since. I can't get far into this game, but it's STILL fun. Plus, the game gets more colorful as you progress.

30) River Raid - I've played this game for many years now. Although there are only a few differences between this game and the original Atari 2600 game, it's very hard to go back and play the VCS version. The differences are small, but they make this version MUCH better. Also, I love how you can choose a level to start-off on in this game. Try starting at level 50 and see if you can even make it through the very first VERY narrow canyon.

31) Space Eggs - My wife got me interested in this game. This was originally an Apple game and it truly shows! Still, the gameplay is there and that's what counts.

32) Stellar Shuttle - I "discovered" this game on one of the Flash Cart compilations. I thought that it was dreadful. Still, there was just something about it that made me come back for more. Again. Again. And again. Then I discovered that I could fire on the way back up and the game became an instant classic for me. Oh, and how I just love to watch when that lizard creature eats one of my little guys that I'm trying to rescue!

33) Thrust - This game would be VASTLY improved if the joystick could be used. Still, playing it with the keyboard works OKAY. If anyone knows of a joystick hack for this game, then please pass it along to me.

34) Zone Ranger - This is another cartridge that I bought for my C64 (on the same day as Beamrider, actually). Each game was $9.99 at the local Fisher's Big Wheel department store in Connecticut. That was the best $20 that I spent as a kid on games. At the time, I was used to playing Asteroids on the 2600. The graphics of this game just blew me away. This game is easy at first, but if you hang-in there, you're bound to get your butt kicked!

35) Zorro - Here is another game that I had to search through archive after archive before I found a version that would work on the Flash Cart. When I was a kid, I thought that it was very clever to jump on the drunk guy's stomach. I used to always lose my way in the underground caverns. Also, it has been years since I've beat it, but I recall there being an ending where the lady you are trying to rescue pushes you into the water (I think it's because you don't give her a rose).

I had hoped to add a few PAL games (such a Druid, a Gauntlet-type game), but PAL games don't work well for me in America.

Enjoy the compilation!


Author:  beamer320i [ Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol. I

Hi Adam!

What a great collection, have downloaded ready to make my cart later, some superb choices there and can honestly say there isn't a single one I don't like!

Really like the Pitfall II crack, nice!


Author:  ponderosa [ Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol. I

Nice collection. I'll try those out today. I really liked the comments too.

Author:  Stephen [ Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol. I

What a fantastic collection! Nice descriptive post too.

Author:  derekminor [ Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol. I

awesome collection! Thanks so much for the working Bounty Bob!

Author:  CharlieChaplin [ Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol. I


on Fandal`s site one can find a version of "Thrust" that is playable with a joystick...

-Andreas Koch.

Author:  griz [ Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol. I

Loved the mini game reviews. Thanks for the effort.

Author:  manic23 [ Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol. I

Hi, I'm a new user here and just wanted to say thanks for this collection (and vol 2), it is a great way to get games on my lovely 8MB cart.

Author:  atrionfo [ Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol. I

CharlieChaplin wrote:
on Fandal`s site one can find a version of "Thrust" that is playable with a joystick...

I tried "Thrust" modified for joystick control and it works fine. I tried adding it to the compilation, but it turns out that it doesn't work on NTSC machines. Too bad, as it makes the game much easier to play!

Author:  atrionfo [ Tue Nov 11, 2014 4:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol. I

"Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games," Ver. 1.1
Notes on the Update:

I've updated the "Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games" compilation to version 1.1. "Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games" 1.1 has the same games as the first release, but I've updated the cart's menu with a few fixes, plus I've added the game's release date as well as the game's publisher.

I have created three other compilations since this first volume was released in 2010. Here are links to them:

"Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol. 2" is available here:

"Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol. 3" is available here:

"Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol. 4" is available here:

I've attached a file to this posting called "Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol 1-1 (AtariMax 8Mb FlashCart).zip." The files included in the archive are:

1) Read Me.txt - A file describing the contents of the archive.

2) Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol 1-1 (Comments).rtf - Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol 1-1 (Comments).rtf - A listing of the 35 games included on the cartridge, with brief comments about each game.

3) Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol 1-1.atr - ATR image suitable for use with an Atari MaxFlash 8Mbit cartridge.

4) Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol 1-1.mcw - Maxflash Cartridge Sudio workbook suitable for use with an Atari MaxFlash 8Mbit cartridge. This is included in case the user wants to modify the games included in this compilation.

5) Directory called "All Games in this Compilation" - All 35 of the files that are included on this AtariMax 8Mbit FlashCart games compilation are available in this directory as separate files of various sorts, including ATR, EXE, and XEX files. These files will allow the user to use just a few of the files in their own compilation if they choose to make their own ATR or workbook. Although I've not included the PAL-only version of "Thrust" on the cart, it is in this directory if you are interested in trying it (recommended).

I'll leave version 1.0 of the compilation online, but considered version 1.1 the compilation that should be downloaded.

Have fun!

Author:  jake [ Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol. I

Thanks for these game packs.

Author:  atrionfo [ Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol. I

jake wrote:
Thanks for these game packs.

Thanks, Jake. I'm glad that you like these game compilations-- I use them myself all of the time. There are four of these compilations posted thus far, and I'm working on "Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol. V. It has the following 25 titles on it so far:

1) Alien Swarm (1982) (Inhome Software) (NTSC)
2) Aquatron (1983) (Sierra On-Line) (NTSC)
3) Boulders and Bombs (1982) (CBS Software) (NTSC)
4) Claim Jumper (1982) (Synapse Software) (NTSC)
5) Cosmic Tunnels (1983) (Datamost) (NTSC)
6) DungeonLords (1988) (Brian Bradley) (NTSC)
7) Gauntletak (1987) (Donald Lebeau) (NTSC)
8 ) Gumball (1983) (Broderbund Software) (NTSC)
9) Journey to the Planets (1982) (JV Software) (NTSC)
10) Kid Grid (1982) (Tronix Software) (NTSC)
11) Koffi: Yellow Koptor (2002) (Ron Lloyd) (NTSC)
12) Mr. TNT (1983) (HesWare) (NTSC)
13) Nautilus (1982) (Synapse Software) (NTSC)
14) Rescue on Fractalus! (1983) (Epyx/Lucasfilm Games) (NTSC)
15) Shadow World (1982) (Synapse Software) (NTSC)
16) Slime (1982) (Synapse Software) (NTSC)
17) Spare Change (1983) (Broderbund Software) (NTSC)
18) Starion (1983) (Romex) (NTSC)
19) Survivor (1982) (Synapse Software) (NTSC)
20) Twerps (1981) (Sirius Software) (NTSC)
21) Vanguard (5200 Port) (1983) (Atari) (NTSC)
22) Wavy Navy (1983) (Sirius Software) (NTSC)
23) Whistler's Brother (1984) (Broderbund Software) (NTSC)
24) Whomper Stomper (1984) (Adventure International) (NTSC)
25) Zeppelin (1983) (Synapse Software) (NTSC)

This compilation currently holds about 750K, so the 8Mb cart is only about 3/4 full. I've tested all of these games on my 130XE and they work fine.

Jake (or anyone interested), are there any NTSC compatible games that aren't on the first four "Wonderful" compilations (and also not listed here) that you'd like to see added to this fifth compilation in the series?

Author:  dball202 [ Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wonderful Atari 8-Bit Games, Vol. I

Hi, I was wondering if you ever came out with Vol 5?

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