FAQ Volume 0.26 Beta


By Christopher James Pepin





Copyright (c) 1997 by Christopher James Pepin


All quoted sections are Copyrighted by their respective owners.




      This FAQ should be available at my web site.





[As a beta version, don't expect a ton of info or that things

are completly neat.  Enjoy!]


      Having been on the net for a while, I've come to

realize that I still don't know much about some of the games for the

2600.  So if I don't know about some of these things ( I check

rec.games.video.classic and alt.atari.2600 almost every day) then

how would new people to the group know some of these things or even

know what to ask about.  This is not a FAQ about the 2600 nor is it

a list of game descriptions and reviews.  Instead it's a list of

interesting facts and such about various 2600 games.  This

list is far from complete so please email me with any information

I don't have.  If you think something is false, misleading, not

descriptive enough or whatever, please let me know.  Any info,

no matter how small or insignificant is appreciated. 

      The games are roughly in the same order as VGR's rarity

listing.  The model numbers are also taken from the list as well.

I won't be listing rarity because it is so hard to

define and VGR is already semi-in-charge of determining rarity


      Also, I sometimes mention label variations if I think they

are interesting enough, but not always.  There's already a

pretty decent label variations listing out there.  John Earney

is in charge of that. (See end of document.)

      Kevin Horton has an interesting document explaining the

different types of bankswitching used by companies to make their

games larger than the limited 4K allowed by the 2600.  It's

called SIZES.TXT and is available from his web page. (See

end of document.)


[NOTE: The following quote is included because in several

instances, I plan to quote Kevin about different technical

things and he has a tendency to talk about different

bankswitching methods.  I've included the following chart to

help you understand what he means when he refers to F6, F8,

etc. To better understand bankswitching methods, I implore you

to check out his web page.  (See end of document.)]


 "3F    STA $3F bankswitching found on Tigervision carts

  E0    FE0-FF7 bankswitching (aka Parker Bros.)

  E7    FE0-FE7 bankswitching found on M-Network carts

  F6    FF6/FF7/FF8/FF9 bankswitching

  F8    FF8/FF9 bankswitching

  FA    FF8/FF9/FFA bankswitching (aka CBS' RAM Plus)

  FE    01FE/11FE bankswitching (aka Activision Robot Tank)

  ??    Unknown at this time "


            -- Kevin Horton


      Tim Duarte has graciously allowed me to reprint information

from his "2600 Connection" newsletter in this FAQ.  This should

greatly enhance several sections as the "2600 Connection" is,

for the most part, the only source of information for several


      Question marks (?) indicate where I am in need of

information or where the information I have could be incorrect.

Release dates are probably where you will see them the most.

      Games for the 2600 have been released for several different

television formats around the world.  The most widely distributed

versions are NTSC (North America and Japan) and PAL (parts of

Europe, Australia, etc.)  There are other television types but

these are the two main ones.  Normally, especially with newer video

game systems, one can't play NTSC games on PAL machines and vice

versa without a special adaptor.  With the 2600, on the other hand,

PAL games will play on NTSC machines and NTSC games will play on

PAL machines.  The only problems are the colors will be messed up

and the screen might roll.  The rolling comes from the different

resolutions between PAL and NTSC television sets. If the game

rolls, just adjust the vertical hold or try a different tv set.

      Since the Internet is constantly changing, web pages and

email addresses may vanish overnight.  If you notice that

any of the email addresses or web pages listed in this document

no longer exist, please let me know.  For those of you whose

web page or email address is listed here, please let me know

if they've changed.  Thanks.

      Now, let the games begin.  :-)






      Atari is the company that created the wonderful 2600 Video

Computer System (2600 VCS).  They also released more games than any

other video game company for the 2600.  Some they made themselves

and others were licensed from other companies, usually arcade

companies that didn't have a programming division to do ports

for home machines.

      Atari also released some of their games through Sears

These games bore a Sears label, part number, and in several

instances, totally different names. (See Sears)

      Atari also released many of their games in PAL format.  Carts

from the United States are in NTSC format.  PAL games were released

in several European countries as well as Australia.

      Atari also licensed several of their games to Polyvox for

release in South America.  (See Polyvox.)

      Activision has just recently licensed several games from Atari

for release with their Action Pack Atari 2600 emulator for PC and

Mac.  (See Activision.)

      Atari also released a handful of games in Japan with Japanese

labels and boxes.  Best Electronics had some Japanese boxes (no

carts though) for sale.  I believe Keita Iida ended up with some

of them.  Instead of releasing the Atari 2600, they released a

Sears Super Video Arcade II renamed the Atari 2800.  Since Japan

is an NTSC country, I would assume the carts are in NTSC format.

      After the video game crash of 1984, Atari bought the rights

to some older games from other companies (such as Coleco and

Parker Brothers) and re-released them under the Atari brand





         Sears Model Numbers  "66" prefix - 99801

                              "49" prefix - 75124

         NTSC & PAL versions available

         Size = 2K

         Release Date = 1977 (1978?)



      The first game released for the 2600 is also the most common.

When searching for Atari games at thrift stores, flea markets,

garage sales, etc. one is bound to run across at least several copies

of this game.  Having been the pack-in game for almost the entire life

of the 2600 (eventually being replaced by Pac-Man) almost everybody

owned a copy of this great two-player game.

      Originally Combat was intended to be built right into the system

itself, but at the last minute (for whatever reason) they decided to

just pack a cartridge in with the system instead.  If you open up

an old Atari 2600 six switcher you will notice a spot on the

motherboard where the chip would have been. 


"I decided to stick a ROM socket into my 6-switch and then desolder

a Combat ROM and stick it into the socket. I figured I would then

have the system that Atari originally intended to market. A 2600

with Combat built in.

      Well I got it... unfortunately that's all I got. I guess

there was extra hardware planned to go into the system to detect

whether there was a cartridge in the machine or not. Because if I

plug in a cart with the Combat ROM installed, the machine just

freaks out. It's too bad. It would have been neat to have a built

in game.

      Has anyone had any luck figuring out what else needs to be

added to the system so it will tell when a cart is plugged in and

ignore the internal ROM?"


      -- Crackers (Chris Cracknell)


      Combat was one of the games also released through Sears. 

Sporting a new name, it appeared on the shelves as Tank Plus. (See

above for model numbers.)  The Sears version was only released in

the U.S. (See Sears.)

      Combat also found its way onto Atari's (PAL only) 32-in-1

cartridge.  (See 32-IN-1 - Model Number 26163 - Atari.)

      Combat's a miniscule 2K in size.  Since it was the first Atari

2600 game, I guess that also makes it the first 2K game. :-)

      Combat was originally supposed to have a separate score screen

that would appear whenever one of the tanks was hit, but the

programmers were (thankfully) able to figure out a way to display the

score on the same playing screen.

      Most Atari games were usually the work of one programmer, but

Combat had three programmers working on it; Larry Kaplan, Joe DeCuir,

and Larry Wagner.

      Software bugs abound in Combat's code.  Tanks traveling through

walls, getting stuck, etc. None of these are serious enough to

detract from the game but instead seem to add an extra bit of


      The jet fighting sections of the game were added because the

programmers had an Atari Jet Fighter arcade game sitting in their

lab that everyone liked to play.

      A sequel had been planned (Combat II) but was never released.

(See Combat II - Model Number CX26156 - Atari.)

      Combat has popped up in Activision's Atari Action Pack Vol #3

for Win95 and Mac.  (See Activision.)

      Combat was one of the games licensed to Polyvox for release

in South America.  (See Polyvox.)

      A pirated copy of Combat was also released as a 2600

COMPATIBLE cart called Frontline.  (See 2600 COMPATIBLE)




            Sears Model numbers  "66" prefix - NONE

                                 "49" prefix - 75154

            NTSC & PAL versions available

            Size = 4K

            Release Date = 1978


      One of the first adventure games released for the Atari,

it is still one of the best in my opinion.

      Adventure was also released through Sears under their

brand label. (See above for model numbers.)  The Sears version

was only available in the U.S.  (See Sears.)

      A DOS program that displays a recreation of the Adventure

manual in color is available from VGR's web page. (See end of


      A map of Adventure is available as advmap.gif on Cudabert's

FTP site.  (See end of document.)

      VGR has created a freeware DOS version of Adventure called

Indenture.  It is not an exact recreation of Adventure since he

created it based on his observations while playing the game.  It

is quite close though and fun to play.  Not only that, but he has

expanded the game to include five levels instead of the original

three.  The newest version is 1.7.  It is available for download

at his web page.  (See end of document.)

      Since Atari in those days did not want the public to know

who programmed their games (I believe they were afraid other

companies would try to steal them away.), they did not allow

programmers to put their names in their games.  Fed up with

this practice, Warren Robinett, creator of Adventure, placed a

secret message in a secret room hidden in the game.  To acess

this secret message, you must be on game 2 or 3.  First, kill

off all three dragons in the game.  Then go down from the

Gold Castle and travel right one screen where one of the force

fields are.  Drag two or three objects to this room and drop them.

Then go to the Black Castle with the bridge carried beneath you.

Go straight up on the left side of the screen until you are

forced to turn left.  Follow this path for a bit until you have

a choice of going up, down (where you just came from), left, or

left and down.  Go left and down and follow this until you see

a small rectangular room just below the path.  Use the bridge

to get down into this room.  Go all the way down and to the

right into a corner as far as you can go.  You will hear a

noise indicating you've picked up something.  This is the

Black Dot.  Drag this to the force field with the other items.

Drop the dot just on the other side of the force field and it

will start blinking.  You can now pass through the force field

and enter the secret room.  (If anyone wants to describe this

trick better, please do so and send it to me for inclusion.


      A sequel was rumored, but I don't believe it even made

it to the design stage.

      A company called Applevision released a 2 in 1 game cart

called  2 in 1: Adventure & Air Sea Battle.  I'm assuming this

is an unlicensed pirate copy of the game. (Does anyone have any

information on this cart?)        

      I believe, and correct me if I'm wrong, that Adventure is

one of the games Activision has licensed from Atari for inclusion

in one of their Action Packs, but they haven't included it in any

of them yet.  (See Activision.)




                 NTSC & PAL Versions Available?

                 Size = 4K

                 Release Date = ?



      Carol Shaw produced this fun adaption of the classic board

game for the 2600.

      Alan Miller over at Activision was also working on a version

of Checkers for the 2600 at the same time.  Neither of them were

aware of what the other was doing and, as a result, we ended up

with two different versions of the game for the 2600.  (See

Checkers - Model Number AG-003 - Activision.)

      Video Checkers is 4K while Activision, on the other hand,

managed to squeeze their game into a miniscule 2K.

      The version of Checkers available on Atari's 32-IN-1

cartridge is not Video Checkers.  Instead it is actually

Activision's version of the game. (See 32-IN-1 - Model Number

CX26163P - Atari.)




                           NTSC only?

                           Size = ?

                           Release Date = Unreleased



      A sequel to Atari's earlier Peanut's game (See Snoopy and

the Red Baron - Model Number CX26111 - Atari), the game was

never released.  


      "Matt Lewandowski, a 2600 Connection reader, recently found

an Atari 2600 game that has been previously undiscovered. Matt's

brother bought several games for him at a flea market in Kenosha,

WI. When he came home and showed them to Matt, one of the

cartridges was a prototype version of Good Luck Charlie Brown

(by Atari). The cartridge is black and the words "LOANER CARTRIDGE"

is on the top of the front label. There are also two handwritten

labels across the middle of the front label. One states "Good Luck,

Charlie Brown" and the other is "18 Apr 84." Beneath the two labels

is "Prototype Lab Consumer Division Software Dept." The Atari logo

also appears at the bottom."


            -- Tim Duarte (2600 Connection #33, Page 1)


      Currently this is the only known copy of the game in

existence.  The 2600 Connection also printed Matt Lewandowski's

address in case anyone wanted to write to him.  He is, as far

as I know, not on the net.


Matt Lewandowski

2918 Union St.

E. Troy, WI 53120


      "The actual game consists of one screen. Charlie Brown has

to fly his kite while avoiding birds, balloons, rockets, and some

other weird shapes. At the bottom of the screen, there is a wind

gauge which tells how fast and which way the wind will push your

kite. There is also a timer which counts up, but it doesn't seem

to effect the gameplay. There are no sounds in the game, but the

graphics are better than average. Pushing up and down on the

joystick determines how much string is let out for the kite and

moving left and right will change the position of the kite.

Sometimes there are flashes of light in the air - which is most

likely lightning. According to Matt, there doesn't seem to be any

object to the game. It almosts sounds like the game was not

completed and still had some things that needed to be added to

the game. Perhaps Atari wanted to get the game out for an

evaluation, even though it was still in its rough stages."


            -- Tim Duarte (2600 Connection #33, Page 1)


      For more information, please contact either Matt Lewandowski

at the above address or Tim Duarte.  (See end of document.)

If anyone has contacted Matt about this game, let me know.

If anyone else runs across a copy of this game, I would like to

know that too.  :-)


      "Good Luck, Charlie Brown is mentioned on ATARI's

ehm.. Super Stars poster, the silver fold-out catalogue from '83

that came with Joust. There's no art. It just shows a black box

and a "Coming Soon" banner."


            -- Dr. Deleto




              NTSC and PAL versions available

              Size = 4K

              Release Date = 1987



      Re-released by Atari in 1987, this Nintendo created game

was originally released for the 2600 by Coleco.  (See Donkey Kong -

Model Number 2451 - Coleco.)




                  NTSC and PAL versions available

                  Size = 8K

                  Release Date = 1988



      Re-released by Atari in 1988, this Nintendo created game was

originally released for the 2600 by Coleco.  (See Donkey Kong Jr. -

Model Number 2653 - Coleco.)




            No versions available

            Size = ?

            Release Date = Unreleased



      It was rumored to have been at least partially programmed,

but no prototype or concrete evidence have surfaced...yet.  There

was apparently some information about it in the November '83 -

February '84 issue of Atari Age (Volume 2 Issue 4) where they

mention that the game had been started on, but shelved in favor

of Battlezone.  I haven't seen the issue in question, so this

information could be incorrect.




          only PAL version available

          Size = 64K (32 banks of 2K)

          Release Date = 1988?


      I'm not real sure about the exact story behind this cart,

but I'll put down what I think I know and if anything is wrong,

incomplete, etc. please let me know.  Thanks. 


  "I very carefully peeled the label back on my 32-in-1 cart to see

what made it 'tick'.  It's very simple, just a 27512-style ROM

(64K), a binary counter (4024), and a hex inverter (74C14).  Every

power on/off/on cycle increments the counter once, which brings up

the next game.  Sounds good in theory, but it doesn't work too well

in practice! :-)  Usually it'll skip counts, so that you have to

keep turning it on/off/on/off to get to the game you want to play.

I manually incremented the counter and read the games one at a time.

This allowed me to tell the exact order the games are really in, and

to fairly easily get each one.  Each game is 2K, and since there are

32, the total amount of memory is 64K.  Also to note is there are

really only 31 games; Fishing Derby appears twice."


      -- Kevin Horton



      Atari packaged the 32-IN-1 (loose) with the Atari 2600 Jr.

in Europe.  This might explain why most European collectors own at

least one.  Though it should be noted that not every 2600 Jr.

came with a 32-IN-1 packed in with it.

      Since there are some that come with boxes, it must have been

available separately.  Boxed 32-IN-1 carts are pretty hard to come

by.  Dr. Deleto has a scan of the 32-IN-1 box on his web page.

(See end of document.)

       Since it was a PAL release only (as far as I know) a 32-IN-1

cart is quite common in Europe but extremely hard to find in the U.S.

So, if you're from Europe it might be a good idea to collect up

32-IN-1 carts for trading with Atari fans from North America.

      There are also several pirate games out there with a the title

of 32-IN-1.  They are (I believe) totally different from Atari's

32-IN-1 cartridge.

      Not only are there Atari released games on the cart, but

several Activision, one Commavid and one U.S. Games / Vidtec

release as well.

      The 32-IN-1 cartridge did not come with an end label.  Atari

must have decided to save a few pennies.

      My 32-IN-1 cartridge was produced in China.  I don't know if

they produced them anywhere else though. 

      In Australia, Atari also released the 32-IN-1 with a 7800

label, but it is actually the same as the 2600 version.


"The 32-in-1's were included with late-release 2600's and 7800's

(in Australia anyway, not sure about o/s). The cart is the same,

but the label is different for the 7800 (and has it's own

'label number'):


      Cart              Product Number       Label Number


      2600 32-in-1      CX26163P             CA400226-163

      7800 32-in-1      (no product number)  CA400266-163"


      -- Dennis Remmer


      Here is a list of games available on the 32-IN-1 cart.


game #    Game Name

------    ---------

1         Space Jockey (U.S. Games / Vidtec)

2         Human Cannonball

3         Basic Math

4         3-D Tic-Tac-Toe

5         Flag Capture

6         Reversi (Othello?)

7         Golf

8         Surround

9         Checkers  (Activision)

10        Casino (Blackjack?)

11        Freeway (Activision - Rabbits)

12        Miniature Golf

13        Football

14        Slot Racers

15        Fishing Derby (Activision - Burgermeisters and Crabs)

16        Space War

17        Boxing (Activision)

18        Air-Sea Battle

19        Freeway (Activision - Chickens)

20        Tennis (Activision)

21        Combat

22        Slot Machine

23        Skiing (Activision)

24        Stampede (Activision)

25        Outlaw

26        Fishing Derby (Activision)

27        Skydiver

28        Laser Blast (Activision)

29        Basketball

30        Cosmic Swarm (Commavid)

31        Bowling

32        Baseball




            NTSC version only?

            Size = 16K?

            Release Date = Unreleased


[NOTE: Save Mary is sometimes called Saving Mary.]


      Previously unreleased, several prototypes were discovered

recently in an Atari warehouse.


      "Best Electronics, going through what is rumored to be the

last Atari warehouse, uncovered eight copies of the game Save Mary

and were able to rescue them. The eight copies were recently

auctioned off, and I ended up with one."


            -- Russ Perry Jr. (2600 Connection #35, page ?)


      Save Mary was produced for Atari by a company called Axlon.

This was a company started up by Nolan Bushnell (who founded Atari)

and Todd Frye (who created that wonderful version of Pac-Man for

the 2600 that we all love. :-))

      The object of the game is to build a tower at the bottom of

a river gorge so Mary can climb up it to avoid being drowned

by the rising water.  You have an unlimited number of bricks,

so you don't have to worry about running out.  Just don't

drop one and skoosh Mary or you're out a life.  You're

also out a life if you don't build fast enough and the rising

waters drown poor Mary.  Nolan Bushnell, talking about letting

Mary drown, says, "The guilt you feel is tremendous."


      "You have a sort of crane that you can extend toward the

river and back up. You use it to grab bricks that slide out from

the sides at the top of the gorge, then lower them as far as you

can to drop onto the platform Mary walks on. You have to be

careful not to drop the bricks on her though-while Nolan says

you feel tremendous guilt, I feel more frustration because

you can only lower the crane halfway to the river bed, and

oftentimes Mary will walk under the falling brick after you've

let go, and there's nothing you can do but watch her die.

      However, Mary is smart enough to seek the high ground as

you build, so when you lay down one brick, she will climb up and

stay there, allowing you to lay other bricks on that level

without risk. In fact you have to lay other bricks on that level,

as Mary can only climb up one level at a time, and if you tried

to build one pile only, you will squash her with the second


      It is a bit difficult to line bricks up directly side by

side, having to drop them from so far up, and often they will

break, but there is also a fair amount of leeway, so you can

leave gaps and still build Mary's way out. Eventually the pile

is high enough that you can grab Mary with the crane, and once

you've deposited her on the river bank, that round is over."


            -- Russ Perry Jr. (2600 Connection #35, page ?)


      The game, according to the auction notice, has three


      Before the discovery of the eight prototypes, no known

copies of the game were believed to exist.

      For more information, please check out 2600 Connection #35.






      "Some of these say imported by Zellers.  They're red boxes

that say "2600 Compatible" across the top of the front of the box.

The carts don't give any indication of who made them."


            -- John Earney




            NTSC version only?

            Size = 2k?

            Release Date = ?



      This game is either a copy of Combat or a modified version.

If anyone has this game, please let me know.  (See Combat - Model

Number CX2601 - Atari.)  It does not have any relation to Coleco's

game Front Line.






      Activision produced numerous top-quality games for the Atari


      Their first 2600 game, Dragster (See Dragster - Model Number

AG-001 - Activision), appeared in 1980.

      Activision carts had little slits in them so when they were

stacked on top of each other they would lock into place, preventing

them from falling all over the place.

      Some of the early Activision carts had foam padding

surrounding the cart connector.  I'm assuming this was an attempt

to prevent dust and dirt from building up.

      Unlike other game companies (such as Atari), Activision

went out of their way to let everyone know who was programming

their games.  They put their pictures and names in the manuals

and even went so far as to print their names right on the cartridge

label itself.

      Activision also ran a high score club where players would

recieve special patches if they sent in a picture proving they

had beat the required score for a game.  Sometimes, if Activision

ran out of certain patches they would send patches for other games


      Several Activision games mysteriously ended up on Atari's

32-IN-1 cartridge. (See 32-IN-1 - Model Number CX26163P - Atari.)

      After the video game crash of 1984, Activision ended up

with the rights to several Imagic games.  (See Imagic.)

      Several pirated Activision games have found their way onto

both the NTSC and PAl versions of the TV-Boy.                    

      Activison recently released several Atari 2600 emulators in

Win 3.1, Mac and Win 95 versions.  So far three different volumes

have appeared, each with a different set of games.  They not only

have Activision games, but some Atari and Imagic games as well.

      Activision also has some strange relationship with Absolute.

Does anyone know the full story of this?  (See Absolute.)

      Sometime after the crash, Activision re-released several of

their older games and a couple of the Imagic games they had

gotten the rights to in generic blue labels with black text.

      Activision (apparently) also licensed some of their games

to Polyvox for release in South America.  (See Polyvox.)




           NTSC (PAL?)

           Size = 2K

           Release Date = ?



      An electronic version of the ancient and classic board game


      Alan Miller, a former employee of Atari, was the creator of

Activision's Checkers.

      While work on the game was underway, a version of Checkers

was also being worked on by Atari's Carol Shaw.  Neither of them

knew the other was working on a checkers program.  That's why

there are two different versions of Checkers available for the

2600, one from Atari, the other from Activision.  (See Video

Checkers - Model Number CX2636 - Atari.)

      Checkers was originally planned to be in 3-D with the use

of colored 3-D glasses, but the plan proved to be unfeasable.

      Alan consulted Stanford professor Arthur Samuels on ways to

construct his checkers playing algorithms.

      Alan managed to squeeze his game into only 2K worth of space

versus Atari's 4k.

      Checkers was one of the games that was available with a

foam circuit board protector.

      When it's the computer's turn, the screen goes black in

order to allow the computer to do more thinking calculations.

      Checkers, strangely enough, shows up on Atari's 32-IN-1

cartridge.  (See 32-IN-1 - Model Number CX26163P - Atari.)

They probably used Activision's version of Checkers instead of

their own because Activision's was 2K and they were only using

2K games on the cart.  Though how they got the rights to

use Activision games is beyond me.

      Checkers was Alan's first game for Activision.






      Arcadia was the original name for Starpath. (See Starpath.)






      Eckhard is currently hard at work on making a version of

Tetris for the 2600. (See Cubis - Model Number ? - Eckhard Stolberg)




        NTSC and PAL versions available

        Size = 4K

        Release Date = Unreleased



      On December 2, 1996, Eckhard uploaded PAL and NTSC prototype

copies of his game to the Stella mailing list.  (See end of

document.) [NOTE: I seem to have lost the original post.  Could

someone send me a copy of it?]  Since the game was in playable

form, he received many suggestions on ways to improve it.

      I personally did not like the fact that pushing up on the

joystick advanced me to the next level. Fortunately, he said he

would try to change that, among other things.

      It should be noted that both versions of the game appeared

to play exactly the same on my NTSC tv.  The colors of the pieces

were exactly the same in both versions.  Upon talking

to Eckhard, the colors I was seeing are not the same as the ones

he was seeing on his PAL tv.

      Overall, the game appears to be coming along quite well.

Hopefully a newer version is released soon. :-)






      Gameline attempted to create a rental-type system for the

2600 where users would download games into a special cartridge

called the Master Module.  (See Gameline Master Module - Model

Number ? - Gameline.)


      "GameLine would provide Atari VCS games via phone lines from

a central computer in Vienna VA, charging a fee per download. The

downloaded games would cease to function in a few plays, requiring

the player to re-connect and download again."


            -- Dan Skelton (2600 Connection #31, Page 4)


      The service wasn't exactly cheap, for customers had to pay

a yearly fee of $15.00 plus they had to pay for every game they

downloaded.  The Master Module cost $49.95.



      "Electronic Games readers were permitted to enroll in the

service as charter members, at a slightly cheaper price than the

usual cost of $49.95 (which included one year's service)."


            -- Dan Skelton (2600 Connection #31, Page 4)


      "The complete setup consisted of a GameLine Master Module,

telephone cable, introductory poster, membership card, sign-up

agreement, premiere issue of Gameliner magazine, and a very

attractive binder containing summarized rules for all available

games.  Over the years, as my game cartridge collection has

expanded, those pages have become more and more valuable to me

as original rule booklets have become more and more scarce.

Through this binder, I have complete rules for some of the

most obscure cartridges in my collection."


            -- Dan Skelton (2600 Connection #31, Page 5)


      After connecting to Gameline, the user would enter their

Personal Identification Number (PIN) and then a three digit

number specifying which game they wanted to play.  The number

999 would allow the user to scan through a complete listing

of all the games available from the service.  After the game

was downloaded into the unit, the user would be allowed to play

$1.00 worth of credit, which was about eight plays.  After the

eight plays were used up, the unit would prevent one from

playing the game any further.  If one wanted to keep playing,

they would have to reconnect to Gameline and download the game

once again.  [Hmm, I wonder if anybody hacked into their units

to prevent the game from being deactivated once they used up

their credit?  Would it have even been possible?  Not that I'm

saying anyone should do something like that.  I'm just curious.]


      "No X-rated games were accessible via GameLine, whose

focus was family-oriented play. The companies present included

many third-party publishers, the largest of which was Imagic.

However, there were some crucial omissions. Since GameLine was

unable to sign Atari, Activision, Coleco, Matttel, and Parker

Brothers, many of the industry's biggest hits never appeared on



            -- Dan Skelton (2600 Connection #31, Page 6)


      The service ultimately did not prove very popular and

Gameline went out of business.  They didn't quite disappear

though, leaving the Atari 2600 behind they eventually

moved on and became...America On-Line.


Games Available on Gameline:





   Bank Heist

   Bermuda Triangle




   China Syndrome


   Commando Raid

   Cosmic Ark

   Cosmic Creeps

   Cosmic Swarm

   Cross Force

   Crypts of Chaos

   Deadly Duck

   Demolition Herby

   Demon Attack


   The Earth Dies Screaming


   Encounter At L-5


   Fantastic Voyage

   Fast Food

   Fire Fighter

   Flash Gordon

   Frankenstein's Monster

   Gangster Alley





   King Kong

   Lost Luggage

   M. A. D.




   Mines of Minos


   Name This Game



   No Escape


   Piece O' Cake

   Planet Patrol



   Raft Rider

   Ram It

   Revenge of the Beefsteak Tomatoes

   Riddle of the Sphinx

   Room Of Doom

   Save The Whales*

   Shark Attack

   Shootin' Gallery

   Sneak & Peek

   Solar Storm

   Space Cavern

   Space Jockey

   Spacemaster X-7

   Squeeze Box



   Star Voyager

   Tape Worm


   Towering Inferno

   Trick Shot



   Word Zapper

   Worm War I


      *Save The Whales was a Gameline exclusive.  (See Save The

Whales - Model Number ? - Gameline.)


      For more information on Gameline, please check out 2600

Connection #31.  (See end of document.)




                         NTSC only?

                         Size = ?

                         Release Date = 1983



      "The GameLine Master Module itself was a silvery gray box

considerably larger than even a Starpath Supercharger. It measured

1 1/3 by 4 2/3 by 9 1/2 inches. Its smaller end, which plugged into

the 2600's cartridge slot, was long enough to accommodate emulators

such as Coleco Expansion Module #1. The user plugged a standard

modular phone cord into the side of the GameLine unit, and plugged

the other end into the wall."


            -- Dan Skelton (2600 Connection #31, Page 5)


      The Master Module contained a 1200 baud modem.  That may seem

slow by today's standards, but in 1983 it was super zippy.


      "The GameLine unit was capable of both tone and pulse dialing,

and it had a sophisticated method for trying several ways to reach the

central CVC computer. Once connected, it remembered how to reconnect

later. This was a very well-designed, easy to use system for such a

complex process."


            -- Dan Skelton (2600 Connection #31, Page 5)


      One would have to enter a number between 000 and 998 to select

a game to be downloaded into the Master Module.  (999 would bring

up a list of games available.)


      "Once a game was selected, the central computer would download

the game to your unit, and you would be able to play the game. The

onscreen loading process consisted of vertical bands of color

progressing from the edges of the screens toward the center, very

similar to the Supercharger loading sequence."


            -- Dan Skelton (2600 Connection #31, Page 6)


      So far I haven't heard of any hardware or software hacks for

the Master Module.




                  NTSC Version only?

                  Size = 4k?

                  Release Date = ?



      A game exclusively available from Gameline.  This was, as far

as I know, never released in cartridge form.


      "Sensing that the GameLine was about to breathe its last, I

videotaped short segments of every game I could download until the

9V battery that powered the unit finally gave out.  I made it

through the letter "P," or about two-thirds of the game library.

Unfortunately, I was not successful in videotaping a segment

of the most unusual game to grace the GameLine, Steve Beck's Save

The Whales.  What was so different about this game other than its

unfamiliar title?  Well, it has never, to this day, been released

in cartridge form. It was available only from the GameLine, and

following the demise of the service, its fate is unknown."


            -- Dan Skelton (2600 Connection #31, Page 5)


      I'm assuming that Steve Beck was the programmer of Save The


      I've heard that a game called Save the Whales is listed as

being produced by Spectravision / Spectravideo, but does it have

any relation to the one on the Gameline? 

      If anyone has any additional information about this game,

please contact me.






      Ed Federmeyer has written several Atari 2600 games so far and

is planning on doing several more.

      Both SoundX and Edtris 2600 have been selling quite well

and are still available. (See SoundX - Model Number EF-1 - Hozer

Video Games.) (See Edtris 2600 - Model Number EF-2 - Hozer Video



      "I will say as an interesting fact that both are still

selling, at about 1 SoundX per 2 Edtris 2600."


            -- Ed Federmeyer


      Authorized carts of his games are being produced by Randy

Crihfield. (See end of document.)  If you wish to order one of

Ed's games, the orders must go directly to Randy.


      "Coming soon:  (maybe!)


      Pitfall 3, or Ed's pit 3, or something similar.  Ed is

      dabbling with a pitfall style game to be released some time

      soon (hopefully!) - If you would like to leave comments to

      Ed about what you would like to see in a game, drop him a

      line at fedeedw@charlie.cns.iit.edu.


      Coming later:  (well, not soon!)


      Some game using the driving controllers!  Ed would like to

      write up a cart that uses the driving controllers, if you

      can think of a good game for him drop him a line on that

      as well."


            -- Randy Crihfield


      Currently busy with other projects, Ed has had little time to

work on more 2600 games.  He is still planning on doing a Pitfall-

type game, but it will be some time yet before he gets a chance to

work on it.  A game using the driving controllers is still under

consideration but won't appear until after the Pitfall-type game.

Both games are still a long ways off, so don't expect them anytime


      By the way, Ed would like to hear from anyone who has tried

playing either of his games on a PAL system.




         NTSC version only

         Size = 4K

         Release Date = 1994



      "SoundX with Dazzledemo:


      A sound generating cart, that allows you to set pitch,

volume, etc for both voices of the 2600.  Basicly, you can

make any sound the stock 2600 can make and the values are

right there for your use if you would ever want to write

your own game cart. Dazzledemo is an extra bonus, it cycles

through all the color combinations of the 2600 in an

eye-catching style.  In the center of the dazzledemo screen

your custom serial # appears, each cart has a serial number

built into the game."


            -- Randy Crihfield


      SoundX was Ed's first Atari 2600 cartridge.  While not an

actual game, it is still an interesting program.

      A version of SoundX with an unique serial number was

included on the Supercharger CD as a binary and as a supercharger

audio track. The source code was also included.  (See Supercharger

CD - Model Number AR-4601 - Cyberpunks.)

      Here is Ed's comment on how long it took him to write



      "It was about 3 months, working a few hours on the weekends,

and once in a while a few hours on a weeknight for SoundX."


            -- Ed Federmeyer


      SoundX is currently still available from Randy Crihfield,

who is the authorized cart manufacturer for Hozer Video Games.

The price per cart is $16 U.S., international is slightly more.

To order a cart, please contact Randy Crihfield directly.  (See

end of document.)  Orders for carts MUST go to Randy and not Ed.




              NTSC version only

              Size = 4K

              Release Date = 1994



      Ed Federmeyer produced a Tetris clone for the Atari 2600

called Edtris 2600 or Edtris for short.


      "A Tetris clone game for the 2600, features good sound

effects, 9 levels of speed, a music soundtrack that speeds up with

the game, and color changing bricks (the harder the game gets, the

different the colors are).  This game also features a title

screen, where your personal serial number appears."


            -- Randy Crihfield


      Edtris 2600 is currently still available from Randy Crihfield,

who is the authorized cart manufacturer for Hozer Video Games.  The

price per cart is $16 U.S., international is slightly more.  To

order a cart, please contact Randy Crihfield directly.  (See end of

document.)  Orders for carts MUST go to Randy and not Ed. 

      For more information about Edtris 2600, please contact the

author, Ed Federmeyer, at his email address.  (See end of document.)

      It took about three months for Ed to complete Edtris, but

it should be noted he worked about 50% more per week on it then

he did for SoundX (which also took three months).






      Back in 1987, Mark R. Hahn, creator of Pengo and The Dukes

of Hazzard for Atari, decided to write one more VCS game.  The

result was a very fun game called Elk Attack.  (See Elk Attack -

Model Number ? - Mark R. Hahn.)




             NTSC Version Only

             Size = 8K

             Release Date - ?



      I emailed the author of Elk Attack and he was gracious

enough to respond.


      "The history of Elk Attack is not very interesting. In the

spring of 1987, finding myself unemployed, I wrote a VCS game

based very loosely on an arcade game called Electric YoYo. I

named my cart Elk Attack as a joke. I sent the cart to Atari

and Epyx for them to evaluate. Neither was interested, so I

stuffed my test eproms in a drawer and forgot them until I ran

across the STELLA emulator. Brad Mott had a wonderfull emulator

but no binaries to distribute with it. I gave him permission to

include Elk Attack with distributions of STELLA."


            -- Mark R. Hahn


      A rom image of the game is being distributed along with

STELLA. This is an Atari 2600 Emulator for DOS. 


CP: Had you written any vcs games prior to Elk Attack?


MH: Pengo and the ill-fated "Dukes of Hazzard". I worked for

     Atari for over 3 years.


CP: How long did it take you to write the game?


MH: It took about 3 months to write.


CP: What did you use for a development system?


MH: I used a Microtek Mice-II In Circuit Emulator and a PC

     as my development system.


CP: Is there any particular reason you went with an 8k cart?


MH: I went to 8K because I wanted to be able to have several

     different levels (mazes) in the game.






      On the fifth of February, 1997, Piero Cavina released a rom

image of an unplayable version of an upcoming game he has been

working on for the 2600.  (See Mondo Pong - Model Number 1.0 -

Piero Cavina.)




              PAL version only [NOTE: An NTSC version is planned.]

              Size = 4K

              Release Date - Unreleased



      On Feb. 5th, 1997, Piero uploaded a preview copy of his

upcoming Atari 2600 game to the Stella Mailing List. (See end of

document.)  Only a Pal version was released, but the game is

planned to be made NTSC compatible when it is completed.


      "In the best Supercharger tradition :) , please find

enclosed a preview release of my very first game for the Atari

2600. [NOTE: The game was encoded and attached to the announcement.

If you wish to get a copy, contact Piero directly] You can download

it to an unmodified Supercharger, burn an Eprom or run it on

emulators (I tested it on PC Atari emulator 1.5 by John Dullea

without problems). Remember that it's only a preview and it can't

be played!

      MONDO PONG! is currently PAL-only (though it might work on

NTSC machines, who knows) but will be hopefully convertd to NTSC

for the final release.  Any help from you in US with NTSC TV sets

will be appreciated.


Comments etc. are welcome..."


            -- Piero Cavina


      The preview works fine on my NTSC 7800 and my brothers

tv seems to deal with it (no rolling), but the colors are probably

different than intended.

      Hopefully we will see the completed game soon.






      "The official Atari 2600 licensed manufacturer and

distributor in South America was Polyvox. Polyvox released a

wide variety of games and three distinctly different systems for

the 2600.  Included among these releases were Activision owned

games as well as titles from the Atari library. One of the more

unusual of these was Space Tunnel, which was really Spacemaster

X-7, the rights to which Activision had laid claim in one way or



      -- Jerry G.


      Were Polyvox releases in PAL, PAL-M, PAL-N, or NTSC format?

If anyone knows, please let me know.



         PAL-M (?) Version

         Size = 2K

         Release Date = ????



      (See Combat - Model Number CX2601 - Atari.)






      In the 1980's, Sears was a big force in the marketplace.

Sears contracted with Atari for them to produce Atari 2600

compatible machines, as well as cartridges, under the Sears brand

label.  Atari could have refused and Sears would not have carried

Atari games or machines, but it was in Atari's best interest to

do as Sears asked.  If Atari games were not available at Sears,

they would have lost out on reaching a large segment of the buying


      Sears games are, for the most part, just regular Atari

releases in new packaging with new labels.  For some reason, they

changed the titles of some of the games when they released them

through Sears.  (Maybe in hopes of suckering people into buying

the same game twice?  I'm not sure why they did it.)  Oddly

enough, there were a couple of games that were available only at

Sears.  It seems Atari never got around to releasing them under

their own label, though, as far as I know, they were planning too.

      Sears also had two different sets of model numbers, one

starting with "49", the other with "66".

      Sears games were, as far as I know, only available in the

U.S.  (Do they have Sears stores in Canada?)




                           "49" PREFIX - 75124

                           NTSC Version Only

                           Size = 2K

                           Release Date = ?



      Tank Plus is just Atari's Combat in disguise. (See Combat -

Model Number CX2601 - Atari.)




                          "49" prefix - 75154

                          NTSC Version Only

                          Size = 4K

                          Release Date = ?



      Adventure is just Atari's Adventure with a new label and new

packaging.  (See Adventure - Model Number 2613 - Atari.)






"zimot brand cart labels are made by me, arton..."


      -- Arton


      Arton, for whatever reason, has been taking actual carts

and making up his own painted foam labels for them.

He has been giving them out free to whoever trades with him.

The funny thing is, the pictures on the new labels usually have no

relation to the games he's putting them on.  For example, a Pac-Man

label on a Combat cart.  For more information check out his web

page or email him.  (See end of document.)   












      Here is a listing of the numerous people whose help (directly

and indirectly) made this FAQ possible.  If they have an email

address or web page it's shown in brackets. (ex. [gumby@pokey.com]

or [http://www.pokey.com/~gumby/index.html]  These are in no

particular order.



GOD - Without him none of this would have EVER been possible.

      [Try praying, it's faster then email.  Besides, GOD

      doesn't have an email address anyway. :-)]


Mark R. Hahn




Ed Federmeyer




Randy Crihfield








Chris Cracknell (Crackers)




Kevin Horton




Brian Hammack




Doctor Deleto




Julie Brandon




Jerry G.




Craig Pell (VGR)




Keita Iida








Bert Whetstone (Cudabert)




Warren Robinett




Dennis Remmer








Tim Duarte & The 2600 Connection





Dan Skelton




John Earney




Russ Perry Jr.




Piero Cavina




Eckhard Stolberg










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