Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Atari 2600 MEGA Sound Quiz Answers

I cannot begin to tell you of the deluge of letters I have received urging me to reveal the answers to my recent Atari 2600 MEGA Sound Quiz, as I have not received any letters regarding it.

Still, what the heck, I'll post the answers now anyway.

Sound 01 - Adventure

Adventure was my absolute favorite game for the Atari 2600. I don't care that the dragons looked like ducks, or the sword was a left-pointing arrow. It was just a great game. When I got tired of playing the three levels of difficulty, I would then play around and get eaten by a dragon, then wait for the bat to come by and fly me around the world. Good times.

Sound 02 - Superman

This was a fun game, too. There was Lex Luthor with a helicopter backpack, flying pieces of Kryptonite, Lois Lane (who would kiss you to give you back your superpowers if you were hit by a piece of the Kryptonite), pieces of a blown-up bridge you had to assemble, etc. Being the naughty gamer that I was, there was a trick my brother and I would often pull at the end of the game. After you put all the bad guys in jail and restore the bridge, you return to the phone booth and change back to Clark Kent. You then have to walk to the Daily Planet to end the game. If you did it just right and got hit by Kryptonite as Clark Kent, then walked into the Daily Planet just as Ms. Lane was moving to give you a kiss, the game would end with both figures standing in the same place. The back of Lois Lane's dress would appear to be Clark Kent's erect penis (heh heh heh heh)

Clark Kent with a boner

Sound 03 - Haunted House

This may sound silly to you, but this game is pretty scary. You hear the wind pick up and you know there's death in your future. It's a good, tense game.

Sound 04 - Combat

I don't know if this was the case for everyone, but when we purchased our Atari 2600 console this game was included. I spent many a frustrated moment getting my ass kicked by my older brother.

Sound 05 - Airlock

I'll admit that this game did not have the best graphics or sound effects. Still, I had a fun time playing it. You had to escape a sinking submarine before the water drowned you. There just aren't enough games out there whose gameplay centers around drowning, are there?

Sound 06 - No Escape

Ah, the first appearance on the quiz by a game made by Imagic! Imagic games always had nifty multicolored sprites. In this game, you had to destroy various creatures by shooting tiles in a Roman temple so they would fall and crash on them. There are a variety of songs in this game, and they are all exceptionally groovy.

Sound 07 - Demon Attack

Another great game from Imagic. The creatures you needed to shoot would move all funky and erratic, as if they didn't want to get hit. Silly creatures!

Sound 08 - Pac-Man

A universally despised port of the celebrated arcade classic. The sounds are particularly annoying. I know the Atari had memory limitations, but how hard would it be to include the beloved "wakka-wakka" sound, anyway?

Sound 09 - Dodge 'Em

Fun, fun, fun driving game. One car tries to eat up all the dots, while the other car(s) try to crash into the car to stop it. You could play two-player on this game as well - with one person doing the dot-eating and the other person doing the car-crashing.

Sound 10 - Swordquest: Earthworld

The crappiest game I have ever played on the Atari 2600. Terrible.

Sound 11 - Pitfall

Finally, an Activision game makes an appearance on the quiz!

Activision made some great games for the Atari 2600. I also really appreciated their design aesthetic, even at my young age. Their cartridges were always a solid color, with bold white lettering spelling the title of the game. For some reason, it was just cool.

I would sometimes get angry at the Pitfall game, because there was a twenty minute time limit on the game and I could never finish it. I don't know if the game was completable or not.

Sound 12 - Chopper Command

Another game by Activision, where you pilot a helicopter that shoots airplanes and other helicopters in order to protect a truck convoy. A fun game. The helicopter's lasers (yes, you pilot a laser-shooting helicopter!) have a really nice sound to them.

Sound 13 - Megamania

Yet another game by Activision, and probably my favorite of theirs. Another Space Invaders descendant, except this time you shoot tires, cookies, bow ties, and hamburgers. I love the sounds of this game.

Sound 14 - Dragonfire

A reasonably entertaining game from Imagic, which consisted of a couple different scenes. It was kinda fun jumping over and ducking dragon fireballs, I guess.

Sound 15 - Yar's Revenge

Awesome, unique game. Great sound effects, great pulsating music in the background.

Sound 16 - E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

Programmed by the same person who made Yar's Revenge. Hated throughout the land, primarily because of annoying holes that E.T. falls into, and falls into again, and falls into again, and...

Sound 17 - Vanguard

A nice port of the arcade game. Am I the only one who knows about this game? Oh, and my apologies to SamuraiFrog, who thought this was Flash Gordon. I said I didn't think there was a Flash Gordon game for the 2600, but there is (but I have never played it).

Sound 18 - Berzerk

The voice synthesizer from the arcade game is missing here, but it's still a very faithful version.

Sound 19 - Bowling

Sounds like it might be boring, but it's a fairly enjoyable game.

Sound 20 - Ms. Pac-Man

I am not really a fan of any of the Pac-Man games (in the arcade or on the Atari) but this version is infinitely better than the Pac-Man port.

Sound 21 - Donkey Kong

Unlike Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, I actually liked playing Donkey Kong in the arcade. This version was a bitter disappointment.

Sound 22 - Fantastic Voyage

This was one of the best cartridges I played on the 2600. It was produced by 20th Century Fox, who also produced the 1966 film. This game had so many neat features (no Raquel Welch, though) -- the heartbeat of the patient to give you an indication of his health, blood cells, antibodies that would attack you when you brushed up against arterial walls, etc. It's a game that probably a lot of people never got to play, which is a shame.

Sound 23 - Dolphin

Another game from Activision, and one which I had not played until recently. It was programmed by friend of the blog Matty Boy!

Sound 24 - Fast Food

Not the best game in the world. For God's sake, don't eat the purple pickles!

Sound 25 - Spider-Man

I remember seeing commercials for this and being really bummed out I never got my hands on the cartridge. After playing it through an emulator, I don't regret so much its absence from my youth. It's an okay game, but not great.

Sound 26 - M.A.D.

Sort of a ripoff of Missile Command, but I like it a lot better. I really like the low bass tones this game generates. I can't recall another 2600 game with sounds as deep as this game.

Sound 27 - Boxing

Another game from Activision, this one a little more sparse than their other cartridges. It's pretty addictive though, and you get a good feeling every time you land a punch on your opponent's stupid head.

Sound 28 - Warlords

A wickedly fun game. You could play four players at once, which was pretty amazing to me as a kid.

Sound 29 - Laser Blast

One of my least favorite Activision cartridges. But, the lasers looked cool at least.

Sound 30 - Frogger

A very decent translation of the popular arcade game.

So, if you are feeling the need to actually play any of these games, do what I did:

1) Download Stella, the wonderful Atari 2600 emulator. They currently have installations for Windows, Mac and Linux.
2) Each link I provided in the above answers takes you to an Atari Age page for the game. Look for a "Download ROM" link and save the zip file. Save off all your ROMS into one place, and when you start up Stella, point it to the folder containing your ROMS.
3) Enjoy yourself, you crazy minx, you!


Dr. Zaius said...

Wow! I was just thinking the other day about how the world really, really needs more in-depth and complete reviews of sound effects from video games. The answers to your quiz amount to just that!

Splotchy said...

thanks, dr z! If you liked this post, you'll LOVE this!

SamuraiFrog said...

That was a fun quiz!

My 2600 came with Combat, too. Our first two games were Combat and Pac Man.

The fact that I didn't accurately guess Pitfall will haunt me.

Now here's the sad thing about Vanguard. First, I only thought it was Flash Gordon because the music is completely a ripoff of Queen's Flash Gordon score; I didn't know there was a Flash Gordon 2600 game. And second, the game I said was Space Adventure was actually Vanguard! I'm getting it confused with another, later game! AGH!

p0nk said...

wonderful trip down memory lane, thank you. I've probably played 1/2 of those at one time or another.

i'd like to hear more about how i can download and play these on my computer.