Newsgroups: alt.atari-jaguar.discussion,,alt.answers,news.answers,rec.answers
Summary: FAQs about the Atari Jaguar video game system
Approved: news-answers-request@MIT.Edu

Archive-name: games/video-games/atari/jaguar
Posting-Frequency: monthly

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Created by Robert Jung (, because no one else wanted to.
Dedicated to ASTEROIDS, for getting me hooked in the first place

Last update: 6/8/2004


This file is not maintained by, overseen by, endorsed, or otherwise
associated with Atari Corp., JTS, or any of its subsidiaries. It's just a
collection of questions and answers, with a few news tidbits thrown in.

This file is posted on a monthly basis to,
alt.atari-jaguar.discussion, news.answers, and rec.answers around the first
of the month. The latest version of this file is also available on the
world- wide web at It is
maintained by Robert Jung at on the Internet. Send
corrections, news, updates, comments, questions, or other stuff to that
address. All mail is welcome!

Updates since the last publicly posted FAQ have a percent sign (%) in the
first column.

Robert tries to get the latest news and information into this FAQ; however,
he's only human, and might miss something important due to real-life demands.
Feel free to send in news tidbits and announcements to for
inclusion in this FAQ.


Q. What was the Atari Jaguar/Jaguar64?

A. The Atari Jaguar was the world's first 64-bit home console video game
system. Developed after three years of research, manufactured by IBM, the
Jaguar was released in Fall 1993, and offered high-speed action,
CD-quality sound, and polygon graphics processing beyond most other
machines available at the time.

Orignally released as the Jaguar, Atari had, at times, referred to the
machine as the "Jaguar64" for marketing purposes. For the sake of
simplicity in this document, the term "Jaguar" will be used.


Q. What was included when you bought a Jaguar?

A. The Jaguar was first sold for $250. It came with the Jaguar itself, one
controller, an AC adapter, a television RF switch box, and the CYBERMORPH
video game. Later on, the Jaguar was sold without a game, and as time
progressed, the Jaguar was sold for $150, then $99.


Q. What happened to Atari, anyway?

A. The trials and tribulations of Atari could fill a small book (and, in
fact, once did). To summarize VERY briefly, the history of Atari is as

1972 Atari Inc. founded by Nolan Bushnell from a $250 investment.
Pong arcade game becomes a smash sensation.
1976 Atari Inc. sold by Bushnell to Warner Inc. for $28 million.
1980 Atari Inc. posts record sales. $2 billion profits annually.
Atari occupies 80 offices in Sunnyvale, CA.
1983 Decline of video games and irresponsible spending by Atari Inc.
results in record losses ($536 million, up to $2 million
1984 Warner divides Atari Inc. Home division (Atari Corp.) is sold to
Jack Tramiel.
1985 Atari Corp. releases Atari ST home computer.
1989 Atari Corp. releases Atari Lynx, the world's first color
hand-held video game system (see the Atari Lynx FAQ).
1993 Atari Games becomes Time-Warner Interactive.
1993 Atari Corp. releases Atari Jaguar, the world's first 64-bit home
video game system.
1996 Time-Warner Interactive (Atari Games) sold to WMS.
1996 Atari Corp. announces reverse merger with JTS Corporation.
1996 Atari Corp. and JTS connsumate deal on July 31 1996.
1998 Hasbro acquires the rights to Atari Corp.'s name and properties
1999 Hasbro releases their rights to the Jaguar to the public; Atari
is reborn as their new home video game label.
2000 Infogrammes Entertainment purchases Hasbro Interactive,
including all of Hasbro's rights to the Atari name and all of
its properties, for $95,000,000 in Infogrames stock and
$5,000,000 in cash.
2003 Infogrammes changes its name to Atari.


Q. What was IBM's role in the Jaguar?

A. IBM had a $500 million contract with Atari Corp. to assemble, test,
package, and distribute Jaguar units. Manufacturing was done at IBM's
Charlotte, NC facility, and the Jaguar was IBM's first attempt at
producing a consumer-grade product for an outside vendor. By mid-1994,
Jaguar units were also manufactured by Comptronix in Colorado Springs.

Jaguar circuit boards were manufactured and assembled by an IBM
subcontractor; IBM then cased, tested, and packaged final Jaguar units,
which were then sent to Atari. IBM had no participation in the actual
design of the Jaguar chipset.


Q. Okay, who did design the Jaguar?

A. The primary designers of the Jaguar were Martin Brennan and John
Mathieson. They started their own company in 1986 called Flare 1, and
designed an original multiprocessor game console. After the system was
finished, Flare wanted to "evolve" the system, but needed funding for the
job. Atari was contacted, believed in the idea, and agreed to
participate. Atari, Brennan, and Mathieson started a new company called
Flare 2 to develop the system. As Jaguar development moved along, it
became apparent that the machine would leapfrog the then-new systems from
Nintendo and Sega (the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, respectively), so
they decided to bring the machine to light. The entire process took three
years, from initial design to production-ready models.

The proprietary Jaguar chipsets were manufactured by Toshiba and Motorola.
According to Chris Gibbs, Attention To Detail was asked to write
technology demos for the Jaguar chipset. The company opted to develop a
game instead, resulting in the first Jaguar title, CYBERMORPH.

The Flare design was was reportedly based on a project called "Loki,"
developed by Sinclair Research. Information about the Loki project can
be found at

According to Jaguar developer Andrew Whittaker, "Some of that [Loki]
technology also found a home in a machine called the SAM Coupe, which was
manufactured and produced in the UK by MGT technologies (Bruce Gordon and
Alan Miles, both ex-Sinclair staff also). It shared many interesting
features with the Jaguar in terms of its video chip, but the machine sold
very badly in Europe and the company folded."


Q. What are the specifications of the Jaguar?

A. Physical dimensions:

Size: 9.5" x 10" x 2.5"
Controls: Power on/off
Display: Programmable screen resolution. Horizontal resolution is
dependent on the amount of scanline buffer space given to the
"Tom" graphics processor. Maximum vertical resolution varies
according to the refresh rate (NTSC or PAL). Reportedly, a
stock Jaguar (without additional memory) running NTSC can
display up to 576 rows of pixels.
24-bit "True Color" display with 16,777,216 colors
simultaneously (additional 8 bits of supplimental graphics
data support possible)
Multiple-resolution, multiple-color depth objects (monochrome,
2-bit, 4-bit, 8-bit, 16-bit, 24-bit) can be used
Ports: Cartridge slot/expansion port (32 bits)
RF video output
Video edge connector (video/audio output)
(supports NTSC and PAL; provides S-Video, Composite, RGB
outputs, accessible by optional add-on connector)
Two controller ports
Digital Signal Processor port (includes high-speed synchronous
serial input/output)
Controllers: Eight-directional joypad
Size 6.25" x 5" x 1.6", cord 7 feet
Three fire buttons (A, B, C)
Pause and Option buttons
12-key keypad (accepts game-specific overlays)

The Jaguar has five processors which are contained in three chips. Two of
the chips are proprietary designs, nicknamed "Tom" and "Jerry". The third
chip is a standard Motorola 68000, and used as a coprocessor. Tom and
Jerry are built using an 0.5 micron silicon process. With proper
programming, all five processors can run in parallel.

- "Tom"
- 750,000 transistors, 208 pins
- Graphics Processing Unit (processor #1)
- 32-bit RISC architecture (32/64 processor)
- 64 registers of 32 bits wide
- Has access to all 64 bits of the system bus
- Can read 64 bits of data in one instruction
- Rated at 26.591 MIPS (million instructions per second)
- Runs at 26.591 MHz
- 4K bytes of zero wait-state internal SRAM
- Performs a wide range of high-speed graphic effects
- Programmable
- Object processor (processor #2)
- 64-bit RISC architecture
- 64-bit wide registers
- Programmable processor that can act as a variety of different video
architectures, such as a sprite engine, a pixel-mapped display, a
character-mapped system, and others.
- Blitter (processor #3)
- 64-bit RISC architecture
- 64-bit wide registers
- Performs high-speed logical operations
- Hardware support for Z-buffering and Gouraud shading
- DRAM memory controller
- 64 bits
- Accesses the DRAM directly

- "Jerry"
- 600,000 transistors, 144 pins
- Digital Signal Processor (processor #4)
- 32 bits (32-bit registers)
- Rated at 26.6 MIPS (million instructions per second)
- Runs at 26.6 MHz
- Same RISC core as the Graphics Processing Unit
- Not limited to sound generation
- 8K bytes of zero wait-state internal SRAM
- CD-quality sound (16-bit stereo)
- Number of sound channels limited by software
- Two DACs (stereo) convert digital data to analog sound signals
- Full stereo capabilities
- Wavetable synthesis, FM synthesis, FM Sample synthesis, and AM
- A clock control block, incorporating timers, and a UART
- Joystick control

- Motorola 68000 (processor #5)
- Runs at 13.295MHz
- General purpose control processor

Communication is performed with a high speed 64-bit data bus, rated at
106.364 megabytes/second. The 68000 is only able to access 16 bits of
this bus at a time.

The Jaguar contains two megabytes (16 megabits) of fast page-mode DRAM,
in four chips with 512 K each. Game cartridges can support up to six
megabytes (48 megabits) of information, and can contain an EEPROM
(electrically erasable/programmable read-only memory) chip to save game
information and settings. Up to 100,000 writes can be performed with the
EEPROM; after that, future writes may not be saved (performance varies
widely, but 100,000 is a guaranteed minimum). Depending on use, this
limit should take from 10 to 50 years to reach.

The Jaguar uses 24-bit addressing, and is reportedly capable of accessing
data as follows:

Six megabytes cartridge ROM
Eight megabytes DRAM
Two megabytes miscellaneous/expansion

All of the processors can access the main DRAM memory area directly. The
Digital Signal Processor and the Graphics Processor can execute code out
of either their internal caches, or out of main memory. The only
limitations are that

(1) "jump" instructions in main memory have certain restrictions; the JMP
(unconditional jump) command is longword-aligned, while the JR
(jump-indexed-by-register) command must be either word- or longword-
aligned. And
(2) running out of the cache is much faster (up to four times faster) and

Some believe that the inability to jump/branch in main memory makes the
main memory feature useless.

Swapping data between the caches and the main memory is a quick, low
overhead operation, and therefore the main memory is often used as "swap
space" for cache code. The RISC compiler included in the latest Jaguar
developer's kit produced code that transparently swaps code through the
cache. This effectively allowed developers write RISC code without
concern for the cache size limits.

Compressed cartridge data can be uncompressed in real-time, and ratios of
up to 14:1 have been cited. In theory, a Jaguar cartridge can store up to
84 megabytes (672 megabits) of data, though actual results will vary
widely (most often, images are compressed, while sound and code are not).
Compression is performed with BPEG, an enhanced JPEG image decompression
mechanism. BPEG supercedes the former JagPEG algorithm, working up to 10
times faster and with more flexibility.

Other Jaguar features:
- Support for ComLynx I/O for communications with the Atari Lynx hand-held
game system and networked multiconsole games (on DSP port, accessible
by optional add-on connector). Networking of up to 32 Jaguar units
- The two controller ports can be expanded to support "dozens" of
- Digital and analog interfaces
- Keyboards, mice, and light guns are possible
- Expansion port allows connection to cable TV and other networks
- Digital Signal Processor port allows connection to modems and digital
audio peripherals (such as DAT players)
- One megabyte per second serial interface
- 9600 baud, RS-232 serial port (accessible with optional interface)
- General-purpose I/O bits via the cartridge port
- Can accomodate future expansions of different processor types, I/O
types, video types, and memory types and/or quantities.


Q. Was the Jaguar really a 64-bit system?

A. The question is hard to resolve, largely because the definition of what
constitutes an "N-bit" system has not been set. Of the five processors in
the Jaguar, only the object processor and the blitter are "true" 64-bit
components. Because the blitter and the object processor are in the Tom
chip, by extension Tom is a 64-bit chip. Furthermore, the Jaguar also
used a 64-bit memory architecture, according to Jez San of Argonaut

Some say the Jaguar should be considered a 32-bit system, as that is the
maximum register size in the programmable processors (the 68000, the
graphics processor, and the DMA sound processor). Others say the Jaguar
can be considered a 64-bit system, because 64-bit components are used, and
the GPU can access 64 bits of data if required. Again, the lack of an
agreed-upon definition serves to complicate the issue.

According to Jaguar designer John Mathieson, "Jaguar has a 64-bit memory
interface to get a high bandwidth out of cheap DRAM. ... Where the system
needs to be 64 bit then it is 64 bit, so the Object Processor, which takes
data from DRAM and builds the display is 64 bit; and the blitter, which
does all the 3D rendering, screen clearing, and pixel shuffling, is 64
bit. Where the system does not need to be 64 bit, it isn't. There is no
point in a 64 bit address space in a games console! 3D calculations and
audio processing do not generally use 64-bit numbers, so there would be no
advantage to 64 bit processors for this.

"Jaguar has the data shifting power of a 64 bit system, which is what
matters for games, so can reasonably be considered a 64 bit system. But
that doesn't mean it has to be 64 bits throughout."

For the record, the opinion of most third party developers and observers
is that the Jaguar is indeed a 64-bit system. The emphasis is on the word
"system"; while not every component is 64 bits, the Jaguar architecture,


Q. The Jaguar used a 68000. Isn't that the CPU?

A. Again, quoting from Jaguar designer John Mathieson, "It may be the CPU in
the sense that it's the centre of operation, and boot-straps the machine,
and starts everything else going; however, it is not the centre of
Jaguar's power. ... The 68000 is like a manager who does no real work, but
tells everybody else what to do."


"Atari were keen to use a 68K family device, and we looked closely at
various members. We did actually build a couple of 68030 versions of the
early beta developers systems, and for a while were going to use a 68020.
However, this turned out too expensive. We also considered the
possibility of no [Motorola 680x0 chip] at all. I always felt it was
important to have some normal processor, to give developers a warm feeling
when they start. The 68K is inexpensive and does that job well. I
maintain that it's only there to read the joysticks."

In rebuttal, Jaguar developer Andrew Whittaker notes, "In practice, what
many of us did with our titles was use the 68000 for AI and gameplay
logic, and have the custom chips drive the rendering to screen and 3D


Q. How could a graphics processor be the CPU?

A. The 64-bit custom graphics chip was a good general purpose RISC unit, but
it had been optimized for graphics work. Developers were free to specify
which processor(s) to use in a program, as desired.


Q. What kind of special effects could the Jaguar do?

A. The Jaguar was capable of doing the following visual effects:

- High-speed scrolling (Object Processor).
- Texture mapping on two- and three-dimensional objects (GPU and Blitter).
- Morphing one object into another object (GPU).
- Scaling, rotation, distortion, and skewing of sprites and images
(Object Processor).
- Lighting and shading from single and multiple light sources (GPU and
- Transparency (Object Processor).
- "Rendering" up to 850 million one-bit pixels/second (35 million 24-bit
pixels/second, 26 million 32-bit pixels/second), or 50 million Goroud
shaded pixels/second. "Rendering" is believed to mean transferring a
pixel from a frame buffer to the screen.
- Sprites of "unlimited" size and quantity. Realistically, sprites can be
over 1,000 pixels wide/tall, and the number of sprites allowed is
limited by processor cycles instead of a fixed value in hardware
(Object processor).
- Programmable screen resolutions, from 160 to 800 pixels per line. The
resolution can be increased even further with additional hardware up
to a reported 1350 pixels per line.

One of the Jaguar modes is called "CRY mode", which supports lighting and
effects in 3D graphics. Red, green, and blue color elements are ranged
from 0 to 255, and the lighting level for any pixel can be changed by
setting one byte linearly. E.g., the relative proportions of red, blue,
and green are indicated with one byte, while a second byte selects an
overall intensity of 0 to 255. CRY allows much smoother shading of single
colors, but doesn't allow blending between colors as smoothly.

Actual graphics performance is hard to measure, as there are no industry-
standard benchmarks. Rebellion Software has claimed that the Jaguar can
render "10,000 Gourard shaded, large, 65536 color, any shape polygons per
second," while still performing other tasks. Presumably this level can
be increased further with optimized programming; indeed, some unofficial
calculations speculate that FIGHT FOR LIFE may generate between 20,000 to
40,000 texture-mapped polygons per second.

A key to understanding the Jaguar's performance is to realize that most
effects are accomplished by programming one of the processors to do the
job. To perform texture-mapping, for instance, required a developer to
write a texture-mapping routine for the GPU and/or blitter, then call it
as needed. The general-purpose nature of the Jaguar architecture gave
developers a lot of flexibility; unfortunately, the drawback was that
software routines for such effects are invariably slower and less
efficient than dedicated hardware chips and components.


Q. How come the Jaguar claims to have "32-bit" graphics, when only 24 bits
are needed to render 16 million colors?

A. The additional 8-bits was for programmers to implement whatever visual
effects might be desired. Examples cited include Z-buffering (for polygon
graphics) and an alpha channel (for transparency).


Q. Who were the third-party publishers/developers for the Jaguar?

A. The following companies have, at one time or another, been announced as
official developers, licensees, or publishers for the Jaguar. Note that
an official announcement was not an obligation for a company to produce
Jaguar-related products; many times, it merely meant that the company made
a commitment to "consider" producing product(s) for Atari.

Attention to Detail (ATD) Imagitech Design
Llamasoft Rebellion Handmade Software
Anco Software Ltd. Maxis Software Telegames
Beyond Games Inc. Microids Tiertex Ltd.
Dimension Technologies Midnite Software Inc. Titus Eurosoft
Ocean Software Ltd. Tradewest High Voltage Software
Rebellion Software Trimark Interactive Krisalis Software Ltd.
Virtual Experience U.S. Gold Ltd. Loriciel U.S.A.
Silmarils Millenium Park Place Productions
Ubi Soft Gremlin Software Microprose/S. Holobyte
Accolade Virgin Interplay
21st Century Software Activision Id Software
Twilight Brainstorm 3D Games
All Systems Go Argonaut Software Euro-Soft
ICD Incorporated Photosurrealism DTMC
Epic Megagames V-Reel Productions Sunsoft
Domark Group Ltd. Elite Br0derbund
Williams (Midway/Williams) Rage Software
Readysoft Spacetec Visual Concepts
Bullfrog Productions Imagineer Jaleco
Sculptured Software Williams Brothers Accent Media Productions
Anthill Industries Audio/Visual Magic Bethesda Softworks
Black Scorpion Software Visual Sciences Ltd. Steinberg Soft-und Hdw
Borta & Associates Clearwater Software Computer Music Cslt.
Cybervision CyberWare Delta Music Systems Inc.
Pixel Satori Elite E-On
EZ Score Software Inc. GameTek Inc. Genus Microprogramming
H2O Design Corp. HiSoft Limelight Media Inc.
Manley & Associates NMS Software Ltd. PIXIS Interactive
Rest Easy Software Creations Team Infinity
Team 17 Software Ltd. Techtonics Technation Digital World
Teque London Ltd. Thrustmaster American Laser Masters
Tengen Eclipse Zeppelin Games
Time/Warner Interactive Acid Software 20th Century Fox Int.
Alfaro Corporation Ltd. B.S.A. Bando Svenska AB
Beris Bitmotion Software Bizzare Computing
Brandlewood Computers Ltd. Cannonball Software
Celebrity Systems Inc. Condor Software Cross Products Ltd.
DAP Developments Data Design Denton Designs Ltd.
Diskimage Electro Brain Corp. Electrom
Extreme Factor 5 Flair Software Ltd.
Frankenstein Software Funcom Productions Human Soft Ltd.
JVC Musical Industries Inc. Kungariket Multimedia
Lost in Time Software Malibu Interactive Michton Inc.
Media Technology Scandinavia Merit Industries Inc.
Miracle Designs Nebulous Games Neon-Buttner
i-SPACE Network 23 Software NMS Software Ltd.
Odyssey Software Inc. Orion Technologies Phobyx
Rage Software Ltd. Rainmaker Software Riedel Software Prod.
Scangames Interactive Wave Quest Inc. 4Play
Selgus Limited Shadowsoft Inc. Sigma Designs
Sinister Development Soft Enterprises Softgold Gmbh
Software 2000 Software Development Systems
Tantalus Entertainment Hyper Image Virtual Artistry, Inc.
Springer Spaniel Core Design Acclaim
Electronic Arts Level Seven iThink, Inc.
Arcade Zone JV Enterprises Fatal Design
Moving Target Software Design Visual Dimensions 3D
OMC Games Dark Knight Games Songbird Productions

Also, Time-Warner Interactive had licensed the Jaguar architecture for
use in arcade games. The modified systems were referred to as "CoJag"
architectures, with more memory, additional storage, and other
additions. More information can be found elsewhere in this FAQ.


Q. What were all of the Jaguar games released?

A. Jaguar cartridge games:

Title Players Publisher Developer Type
----------------- ------- ------------ ------------ --------------
Air Cars 1-8 ICD Midnite Sw. Action/Driving
Alien vs. Predator 1 Atari Atari/ Action/Adventure
Atari Karts 1-2 Atari Miracle Sports
Attack of the Mutant 1-2 Atari Sunrise Puzzle/Strategy
Battlesphere 1-32(5)Scatologic 4Play Action/Shooter
Breakout 2000 1-2 Telegames Atari Action
Brutal Sports 1-2 Telegames Millenium/ Sports
Football Teque
Bubsy in Fractured 1-2 Atari Imagitec Platform
Furry Tales
Cannon Fodder 1 Computer West Virgin Action
Checkered Flag 1 Atari Rebellion Sports
Club Drive 1-2 Atari Atari Action/Simulator
Crescent Galaxy 1 Atari Atari Shooter
Cybermorph 1 Atari ATD Action/Strategy
Defender 2000 1-2 Atari Llamasoft Action/Arcade
Doom 1-2(1) Atari id Software Action/Adventure
Double Dragon V: 1-2 Williams Williams Action/Fighting
The Shadow Falls
Dragon 1-2 Atari Virgin Action/Fighting
Evolution:Dino Dudes 1 Atari Imagitec Puzzle/Strategy
Fever Pitch Soccer 1-2 Atari Atari Sports
Fight For Life 1-2 Atari Atari Action/Fighting
Flashback 1 Tiertex Ltd. U.S. Gold Action/Adventure
Flip Out 1 Atari Gorilla Sys. Action/Puzzle
Hover Strike 1-2(2) Atari Atari Action/Shooter
Hyper Force 1 Songbird Prod. Visual Impact Action/Fighting
I-war 1-2 Atari Imagitec Action/Shooter
International 1-2 Telegames Williams Br. Sports
Sensible Soccer
Iron Soldier 1 Atari Eclipse Action/Simulator
Iron Soldier 2 1 Telegames Eclipse Action/Shooter
Limited Ed.
Kasumi Ninja 1-2 Atari Handmade Sw. Action/Fighting
Missile Command 3D 1 Atari Atari Action/Arcade
NBA Jam Tournament 1-4(4) Atari High Voltage Arcade
Pinball Fantasies 1-8(3) Computer West Spidersoft Action
Pitfall: The Mayan 1 Activision Imagitec Action
Power Drive Rally 1-8(3) Time-Warner Rage Action/Driving
Protector 1-2 Songbird Prod. Bethesda Sw. Arcade/Action
Protector:Special Ed.1-2 Songbird Prod. Songbird Prod. Arcade/Action
Raiden 1-2 Atari Imagitec Arcade
Rayman 1 Ubi Soft Int. UBI Soft Int. Action/Platform
Ruiner 1-4(3) Atari High Voltage Action/Pinball
Skyhammer 1 Songbird Prod. Rebellion Flight/Simulator
Soccer Kid 1 Songbird Prod. Krisalis Platform
Space War 2000 1-2 Atari B&C Comp.vis Action
Super Burnout 1-2 Atari Shen Action/Sports
Supercross 3D 1-2 Atari Tiertex Sports
Syndicate 1 Ocean Bullfrog Strategy
Tempest 2000 1-2 Atari Llamasoft Action/Arcade
Theme Park 1 Ocean Bullfrog Simulation
Towers II 1 Telegames JV Enterprises Adventure
Troy Aikman NFL 1-2 Williams Telegames Sports
Ultra Vortek 1-2 Atari Beyond Games Action/Fighting
Val D'Isere Skiing 1-2 Atari Virtual Studio Sports
and Snowboarding
White Men Can't 1-4(4) Atari High Voltage Sports
Jump (w/Team Tap)
Wolfenstein 3D 1 Atari id Software Action/Adventure
Worms 1-16 Telegames Team 17 Action/Strategy
Zero 5 1 Telegames Caspian Sw. Action/Shooter
Zool 2 1-2 Atari Gremlin Platform
Zoop 1 Atari Viacom Action/Puzzle

Jaguar CD-ROM games:

Title Players Publisher Developer Type
----------------- ------- ------------ ------------ --------------
Baldies 1 Atari Creative Edge Puzzle/Strategy
Battlemorph 1 Atari ATD Action/Strategy
Blue Lightning 1 Atari ATD Action
Brain Dead 13 1 ReadySoft ReadySoft Action
Dragon's Lair 1 ReadySoft ReadySoft Arcade
Highlander 1 Atari Lore Design Action/Adventure
Hover Strike: 1-2(2) Atari Atari Action/Shooter
Unconquered Lands
Iron Soldier 2 1 Telegames Eclipse Action/Shooter
Jag-Ads N/A Songbird Prod. Minuteman Prd. Video collection
Myst 1 Atari Atari Adventure
% Ocean Depths 1 Starcat Dev. Starcat Dev. Puzzle/Demo
Painter 1 Sinister Dev. Sinister Dev. Puzzle/Strategy
Primal Rage 1-2 Time-Warner Probe Arcade
Space Ace 1 ReadySoft ReadySoft Arcade
Vid Grid 1-8(3) Atari High Voltage Puzzle
World Tour Racing 1-2 Telegames Teque Sports

(1) Multiplayer games supported by connecting multiple Jaguars together.
(2) Cooperative play only.
(3) Players alternate turns with one controller.
(4) Three and four players can play simultaneously with the Jaguar Team
Tap peripheral.
(5) Up to 16 Jaguars can be networked together for simultaneous play; each
Jaguar then supports two players simultaneously (pilot and gunner),
allowing for 32 simultaneous players.


Q. What were the unreleased Jaguar games?

A: The following games were announced at one time or another as being planned
for the Jaguar. With the dissolution of Atari, the chances are very slim
that any of these games will ever be produced or released. However, a few
enterprising companies and individuals have considered plans to either
finish their Jaguar titles for release, to sell finished-but-unreleased
games, or to produce new games on their own.

Announced Jaguar cartridge games (? = Uncertain entry):

Title Players Publisher Developer Type
----------------- ------- ------------ ------------ --------------
Allegiance 1-2? ? Team 17 Action/Strategy
Al Michaels 1-2 Accolade/Atari Atari Sports
Announces Hardball
Apeshit 1-2 Ocean Ocean Action/Arcade
Arena Football 1-8 Atari V-Reel Prod. Sports
Assault: Covert Ops 1-2? Midnite Sw Midnite Sw Action
Automaniacs 1-2 Visual Dim. Visual Dim. Action/Driving
Bases Loaded 1-2 Jaleco/Atari Atari? Sports
Batman Forever 1-2? Atari Atari Action
Battlewheels 2025 1-2 Beyond Games Beyond Games Action
Bong+ 1999 1-2? ? Just Claws Action
Brett Hull Hockey 1-2 Atari Ringler Sports
Casino Royale 1-2? Telegames Telegames Strategy
Center Court Tennis 1-2 Zeppelin ? Sports
Charles Barkley 1-4? ? Ringler Sports
Cisco Heat 1? Jaleco/Atari Atari Action/Arcade
'Dactyl Joust 1? Atari High Voltage Action/Arcade?
Deathwatch 1-2 Atari Data Design Action
Demolition Man 1? Atari Virgin Action/Shooting
Dino Dudes 2 1 Atari Imagitec Puzzle/Strategy
Dune Racer 1-2 Atari ? Action/Driving
Dungeon Depths 1 Midnite Sw Midnite Sw Adventure
Droppings 1? Delta Music ? ?
European Soccer 1-2 Telegames Telegames Sports
F1 Racer 1-2 Atari Domark Sports
Frank Thomas "Big 1-2 Atari Acclaim Sports
Hurt" Baseball
Galactic Gladiators 1-2 ? Photosur. Action/Strategy
Gorf 2000 1-2? ? Krunch Corp. Arcade
Gotcha! 1? ? ? ?
Graham Gooch's World 1-2? Telegames Telegames Sports
Class Cricket
Gunship 2000 1 Microprose ? Strategy
Hammerhead 1 Atari Rainmaker Action/Arcade
Indiana Jags 1 ? Virtual Exp. Action/Platform
Iratan Supremecy 1-2 ? Level Seven Action/Fighting
Iron Man/XO-Manowar 1-2 Atari Acclaim Action?
James Pond 3 1 Telegames Telegames Platform
Jagmania 1 ? Matthias Domin Action
Jagmarble 1 ? Matthias Domin Action
Jagtris 1 ? Bastian Schick Action/Puzzle
Kick Off 3 1-2 ? Anco Software Sports
Legion Force Jidai 1? ? FORCE Design Action/Arcade
Legions of the 1? Atari Rebellion Action/Adventure
Lester the Unlikely 1 DTMC DTMC Action/Strategy
Live Wire 1-2? Black Scorpion ? ?
Max Force 1? ? ? Action/Shooter
Miniature Golf 1-2 DTMC DTMC Sports
Mountain Sports 1-2 DTMC DTMC Action/Sports
Nanoterror 1? ? Delta Music ?
Native 1? ? Duranik Sw. Action/Shooter
Nerves of Steel 1? ? Rainmaker Action/Adventure
Painter 1? ? Sinister ?
Phase Zero 1-8 Atari Hyper Image Action
Phear 1-2 Atari H2O Design Puzzle
Pinball Dreams 1-2 Atari 21st Century Arcade
Powerdrive 1? Telegames Elite Action/Driving
Quake 1? Atari id Software Action
Rainbow Warrior 1? ? 3D Games Action?
Return of Magic 1? ? Virtual Art. Adventure?
Rise of the Robots 1 Time-Warner Williams Br. Action/Adventure
Robotron:2084 1-2 Atari ? Action/Arcade
Rollcage 1-2? ? Team 17 Sports/Driving
Star Alliance 1-2? Starcat Dev. Starcat Dev. Arcade/Action
Star Raiders 2000 1? Atari ? Action
Sudden Impact 1-2 Atari Creative Tal. Action/Driving
Super Off-Road 1-2 Telegames ? Arcade/Driving
T-Mek 1-2? Time-Warner ? Arcade
The Assassin 1 OMC Games OMC Games Adventure
Thea Realm Fighters 1-2 Atari Atari Arcade/Action
Thunderstalker 1? Telegames Telegames ?
Tin Head 1-2? Microprose Microprose ?
Tiny Too Adventures 1-2 Atari Atari Action/Arcade
Ultimate Brain Games 1-2? Telegames ? Puzzle
Virtuoso 1? Telegames Williams Br. Action
Virtual Warriors 1-2 ? Rainmaker Action/Fighting
Waterworld 1? Ocean Ocean ?
Wild Cup Soccer 1-2? Telegames ? Action/Sports
Witchwood 1-2 Atari Team 17 Action
World Cup 1-2? ? Anco Software Sports
Zzyorxx II 1? ? Virtual Exp. Action/Shooter

Announced Jaguar CD-ROM games:

Title Players Publisher Developer Type
----------------- ------- ------------ ------------ --------------
Age of Darkness 1 ? OMC Games Action/Adventure
Artemis 1? Springer Sp. Springer Sp. Adventure
Battlechess 1-2 Interplay Interplay Strategy
BIOSFear 1? Atari All Systems Go Action/Adventure
Black Ice/ 1? Atari ? Adventure
White Noise
Brett Hull Hockey 1-2 Atari Ringler Sports
Chaos Agenda 1? Atari ? Adventure
Circle of Four 1 ? JV Enterprises Adventure
Commander Blood 1? Atari ? Adventure
Commando 1 Atari Microids Action/Strategy
Country Grid 1-8 Atari High Voltage Puzzle
Creature Shock 1 Virgin Argonaut Sw. Action/Adventure
Dante's Inferno 1 Atari Gorilla Sys. Adventure
Defcon 1 1 Dark Knight Dk Kngt/Vis.D Action/Adventure
Demolition Man 1 Atari Virgin Action
Deus ex Machina 1 ? Silmarils Adventure
Dragon's Lair II: 1 Readysoft Readysoft Arcade
Time Warp
Evidence 1 ? Microids Action/Adventure
FIFA International 1-2 ? Elec. Arts Sports
Freelancer 2120 1 Atari Imagitec Action/Adventure
Highlander II 1 Atari Lore Design Action/Adventure
Highlander III 1 Atari Lore Design Action/Adventure
Horrorscope 1? ? V-Reel Prod. Action/Fighting
Hosenose and Booger 1-2? Atari All Systems Go Action
Jack Nicholas 1-2 Atari DTMC Sports
Cyber Golf
Ishar Genesis 1 Atari Silmaris Adventure
Kid Grid 1-8 Atari High Voltage Puzzle
Litil Devil 1 ? Gremlin Int. Adventure?
Lobo 1? ? Ocean Action?
Magic Carpet 1 Atari Bullfrog Action/Arcade
Max Force 1 Atari Genus Action
Mind-Ripper 1? Atari ? Strategy?
Mortal Kombat III 1-2 Atari Williams Arcade/Fighting
Need For Speed, The 1 ? Elec. Arts Driving
Neurodancer 1? ? PIXIS Int. Adventure?
Orb of Bangzai 1 ? OMC Games Action/Adventure
Powerslide 1 Telegames Williams Br. Driving
Return Fire 1-2 ? Alexandria Action/Strategy
Return to Zork 1 ? Activision Adventure
Robinson's Requiem 1? Atari Silmarils Adventure
Rocky Horror 1 Atari? ? Adventure
Scottish Open 1-2? ? Core Design Sports
Virtual Golf
Sinister Missions 1-2 ? OMC Games Action/Shooter
Soul Star 1 Atari Core Design Action/Shooter
Starlight 1-2 ? V-Reel Prod. Action/Sports
Striker '95 1-2 Time-Warner Rage Action/Sports
Swagman 1 ? Core Design Adventure
Thunderhawk 1 ? Core Design Action/Shooter
Tomb Raider 1 ? Core Design Action/Adventure
Varuna's Forces 1 Atari Accent Media Action/Adventure
Virtuoso 1 Telegames Williams Br. Action
Wayne Gretzky NHL 1-2 Time-Warner Time-Warner Sports
Wing Commander III 1 ? Elec. Arts Action/Strategy

Announced Jaguar Virtual Reality Headset games:

Title Players Publisher Developer Type
----------------- ------- ------------ ------------ --------------
Gravon 1 ? Suma Action/Sim.
Zone Hunter 1 Atari Virtuality Action


Q. Where can I get a review and/or comments about <insert game name here>?

A: Robert A. Jung ( has reviews of some Jaguar games and
peripherals. They are available on the world-wide web at his web site,


Q. Where can I find secrets, tips, and hints for <insert game name here>?

A. A comprehensive list of Jaguar cheats and codes is available from "The
Mage," at or

Clay Halliwell maintains the Atari Jaguar Cheats and Codes FAQ, which he
updates regularly. It can be found on the world-wide web at


Q. Is there a Jaguar emulator available?

A. The world's first Atari Jaguar emulator has been unleashed! "Project
Tempest" is written by Ville Linde, and is available for Microsoft Windows,
Apple Macintosh, and Linux systems. It's still an early version, but
already plays several games. Visit for details,
downloads, and a discussion forum.


Q. Some of my Jaguar games don't have overlays for the keypads. Where can I
get them?

A. Not all Jaguar games used overlays for the keypad; some titles didn't use
the keypad at all, while others used the keypad, but the developers did
not feel that an overlay was needed. Making your own keypads is certainly
possible; simply use an existing keypad for a template, draw whatever
designs you like, then cut and to fit.

Tony Price has made a number of overlays for Jaguar games that didn't
include them, dust covers for the keypads, and overlays for third-party
titles. He can be reached by mail at, or on the
internet at


Q. What Jaguar peripherals are available?

A: The following Jaguar-related peripherals were released. Availability will
vary according to source:

* Atari Corp.
1196 Borregas Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94089-1302
Phone: (800) GO-ATARI (800-462-8274) 9:00am to 5:00pm PST, M-F

- CD-ROM PLAYER. Attaches to the top of the Jaguar console. Allows the
Jaguar to play Jaguar CD games. See the dedicated entry for details.

- COMPOSITE VIDEO CABLE. Attaches to the Jaguar expansion port to
provide a clearer/sharper picture.

- JAG LINK. Networking peripheral. Allows two Jaguars to be connected
for networked games, up to 100 feet apart.

- MEMORY TRACK. Peripheral. Plugs into the cartridge slot of the
CD-ROM drive. Allows Jaguar CD games to be saved for later play.
Holds up to 128K of data.

- PRO CONTROLLER. Game controller. Provides more action buttons to
be used in games. Adds three more "fire" buttons (X, Y, Z, which
correspond to 7, 8, 9 on the numeric keypad) and two index-finger
buttons (L and R, which correspond to 4 and 6). Some games were
designed/optimized for the Pro Controller (PRIMAL RAGE, HIGHLANDER,
ones); other titles, while not specifically written for the Pro
Controller, are easier to play with the easier access to the keypad.

- S-VIDEO CABLE. Attaches to the Jaguar expansion port to provide a
clearer picture.

- TEAM TAP. Controller port expansion. Allows up to four Jaguar
controllers to be attached to a single controller port. With two Team
Tap adaptors, eight players can play simultaneously on one Jaguar.
Was sold with the game WHITE MEN CAN'T JUMP and also available

- TEMPEST 2000: THE SOUNDTRACK. Audio CD. Contains twelve tracks of
"techno-rave" rock music by Imagitec Design Inc. Tracks are either
remixes or inspired by the soundtrack from the Jaguar game TEMPEST

* Ben Aein
(301) 251-0997

- LAPCAT. Joystick controller. Lap/table-sized joystick controller.
12" x 11.5" x 3". Arcade-quality build, with steel joystick shaft
and reed contact buttons. Six large fire buttons are provided, and
all Jaguar controller keys are available. Available in left-handed or
right-handed models (fire buttons on the side of the hand). A "Lapcat
Pro" is also available. Write to Ben for pricing details.

* Demand Systems
Phone: (805) 482-7900

- PRO-STICK. Joystick controller. An arcade-quality joystick and
buttons, mounted on a large base. Suitable for lap or tabletop use.
A Jaguar controller is attached to allow use of the keypad and other

* Else Engineering

- JAGLINK 2. Networking interface. Allows networking of two or more
Jaguars in a daisy-chained network. Fully compatible with the
original (Atari) JagLink, and works with all known Jaguar games that
support networking.

* GOAT (Games of All Types) Store (formerly Team 13)

- JAGUAR JAMMA JOYSTICK. Joystick controller. Arcade-quality joystick
for the Jaguar made with authentic arcade JAMMA components. Available
in regular and LX configurations (the LX sports a larger base and
spread out button configuration).

* ICD, Inc.
1220 Rock Street
Rockford, IL 61101
Phone: (815) 968-2228, extension 222
FAX: (815) 968-6888
GEnie e-mail: ICDINC
CompuServe e-mail: 76004,1600
Internet e-mail:

- CATBOX. Output/Networking adaptor. Attaches to the rear of the
Jaguar, and provides a variety of industry-standard output ports:

> S-Video, RGB, and composite video
> Left/right channel RCA jacks
> Two 1/8th inch stereo headphone jacks (with volume control)
> Pass-through Jaguar DSP bus
> RS-232 (modem) port and "CatNet" networking

The CatNet is a differential pair network that is formed by connected
multiple Jaguars/CatBoxes with RJ-11 telephone wiring. Up to 32 units
can be connected, up to 1,000 feet apart. Price is $69.95.

- CATBOX ACCESSORIES. ICD sells video, audio, and networking adaptors
and cables for use with the CatBox if you cannot find them locally.
ICD can also custom-manufacture RGB adaptors to suit most computer
monitors, per buyer specifications. Contact ICD Inc. for individual
prices and details.

* Sandwich Islands Publishing
P.O. Box 10669
Lahaina, HI 96761
Phone: (808) 661-2715

- JAGUAR GAMER'S GUIDE. Game tips book. Provides codes, tips, maps,
and solutions for almost 20 Jaguar games. ISBN is 1-884364-13-6.
Can be reached at, or send e-mail to

* ScatoLOGIC

- SCATBOX. Networking/signal interface. Replacement for ICD's Catbox
(see above), the Scatbox supports networking of up to 128 Jaguars,
JUGS/Jag-Link compatible RS-232 Serial Port, has analog RGB output,
monophonic and sterophonic audio outputs, Composite video output,
S-Video output, serial port auto-select and auto-duplex, and more.
Available in limited quantities in both regular and translucent

* Songbird Productions
1736 Chippewa Drive NW
Rochester, MN 55901

- RAPID FIRE CONTROLLER. Game controller. This is a standard Jaguar
joypad modified to support automatic rapid fire on either the A or B
buttons. Two rear-mounted pushbuttons toggle the rapid fire circuit,
and two small LEDs mounted near the A and B buttons indicate whether
rapid fire is active or not. Rapid fire can be set to 5, 10, 15, or
20 pulses per second. Designed and programmed by Scott Walters.

- J.J.J. Game controller. The J.J.J. is an arcade-quality joystick for
the Jaguar made with authentic JAMMA components.

* Victor Maxx

- CYBERMAXX 2.0. Peripheral. A "Virtual Reality" helmet that uses
standard RCA video and audio inputs. Existing games can be played
with the helmet display for two-dimensional graphics, but full
"virtual reality" games requires custom-written software (none exist
at this time). The helmet provides 62 degrees of vision and weighs
one pound. Includes three IBM PC Cybermaxx games and a VCR tape.

* Virtual i-O

- I-GLASSES. Peripheral. Shows video images on the lenses of the
glasses, providing a very large display. Accepts standard RCA video
and audio inputs. Weight is 8 ounces. The "video" version accepts
only RCA audio/video inputs, while the "PC" version also accepts SVGA
input and supports head tracking. [Ed. note -- ViO had a Jaguar in-
house, and recommend the i-Glasses for DOOM and WOLFENSTEIN 3D.]


Q. What Jaguar peripherals were announced?

A. The following Jaguar-related peripherals were announced at one time or

* Atari Corp.
1196 Borregas Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94089-1302
Phone: (800) GO-ATARI (800-462-8274) 9:00am to 5:00pm PST, M-F

- VIRTUAL REALITY HEADSET. Controller/Peripheral. Allows playing of
Jaguar virtual reality games, with head and controller tracking. See
dedicated entry for details.

- VOICE MODEM. Networking/Communications device. Allows two players to
play networked games over standard phone lines at 9600 baud. A
headset and microphone allows players to talk to each other during the
game. Call-waiting support will pause the game if an incoming call
arrives, and the game can be continued after the call is complete.
Project has been suspended indefinitely.

In addition, rumors of a rotary controller continue to exist, even
though no official announcement was ever made. See the dedicated
section below for details.

* CSCN (Cybercon Systems Carsten Nipkow)

- MULTIBOX. Output/Networking adaptor. Similar to ICD's Catbox, the
Multibox was supposed to attach to the rear of the Jaguar and
provide a variety of industry-standard output ports. In addition,
the Multibox was supposed to provide error-free networking by using
error correcting hardware.

- INFRA-RED JAGLINK. A Jaguar linking system that allowed two Jaguars
to communicate via infra-red broadcasting.

- RADIO JAGLINK. A Jaguar linking system that allowed two Jaguars to
communicate via short-wave radio. A distance of up to five kilometers
was promised.

* Sigma Designs

- JAGUAR PC CARD. Computer peripheral. Sigma Designs is developing a
card for IBM PCs and compatables that runs Jaguar CD software and acts
as a ReelMagic MPEG card. Last announced release date was December
1994. No price has been given.

* Spacetec

- SPACE PLAYER. Game controller. The Space Player is a controller that
is reported to offer six degrees of movement (up/down, left/right, and
in/out). No further details are available at this time.

* Thrustmaster

- FLYING YOLK. Game controller. A four-directional flight controller
for use with flying games. No release date or price has been

- STEERING WHEEL. Game controller. A two-directional controller and
pedal for driving games. No release date or price has been announced.

* Time-Warner Cable

- JAGUAR GAME CHANNEL. Game service. Time-Warner Cable's Full Service
Network (FSN) plans to offer Jaguar games over television cable lines.
The games are downloaded to the customer and played at home, and game
instructions can be printed with additional equipment. Details are
available from local FSN service providers.


Q. What's the information on the CD-ROM drive?

A. A double-speed CD-ROM drive was available. The CD drive has an access
time of 210 milliseconds, and has a sustained data transfer rate of 352.8K
per second. The CD-ROM drive features a modified data bus interface for
access to the Tom and Jerry chips almost directly, allowing for a higher
throughput rate on sound and graphics. Storage on a disc is approximately
790 megabytes (6,320 megabits). The CD-ROM drive plugs into the Jaguar's
cartridge slot. A pass-through cartridge slot allows cartridges to be
used with the CD-ROM attached. Separate memory cartridges allow Jaguar CD
games to be saved for later play.

The Jaguar CD format is a non-standard format that is not compatable with
the ISO-9660 standard. It uses audio-format sectors for data, which
allows for 2352 bytes of useable space in each sector. Unfortunately,
this leaves no provision for error correction or file system management
(though errors are detected by the CD drive hardware). Each disc is
copy-protected with encrypted data that is specially formatted to look
like an error. Attempts to copy a Jaguar CD will fail because it cannot
read the encrypted data, which means the copy will not work.

The Jaguar CD allows delivery of full-screen, full-motion video. The
CinePak video decompression system has been licensed from SuperMac
Technologies. It is a 7K routine in the GPU and can be included in any
CD-ROM software that needs it, allowing full-screen video at 24 frames per
second. Movie quality pictures can then be overlaid on the screen with
computer generated graphics if the game demands it. Time-Warner has
licensed a library of film clips from its movies to Atari.

The Jaguar CD has "Virtual Light Machine" built in. This program plays
audio CDs and generate accompanying color and visual effects that react to
the music and sounds. The user can control and select effects with the
Jaguar controller. Regular audio CD playback features (volume control,
track programming, etc.) are also available.

The Jaguar CD can also display CD+Graphics discs. Supplimental cartridges
for Kodak PhotoCD and MPEG-1 (Motion Picture Experts Group) compression
were considered. The MPEG cartridge would reportedly include extra RAM
for buffering and support the whitebook video format.

The drive was being manufactured by Philips in the United States. Its
dimensions are 6.5" x 10.5" x 3.5", and it weighs 1 pound, 10 ounces. The
price was $150, and includes the TEMPEST 2000 soundtrack audio disc, a
sampler for the CD game MYST, and two CD-ROM games: VID GRID and BLUE

Atari also developed and patented (#5,607,356) a technology for the Jaugar
CD called "GameFilm". Essentally, GameFilm allowed different video clips
to be mixed and matched in real-time, with seamless integration of video,
subtitles and soundtracks. The player would control the movie by making
choices throughout the game, with multiple choices available at each point.
The only known GameFilm title was "Caves of Fear", where the player was
cast as a CIA agent on a mission in Uraguay to stop the development of a
deadly new virus. Though the game was neveer finished, its themes and
situations (up to and including assassinations) would probably have earned
it a Mature rating.

Gavin Fance ( has confirmed that Jaguar CD
games are not region-specific; he was able to buy a North American (NTSC)
version of MYST and play it on his European (PAL) Jaguar.


Q. What's the information on the virtual reality headset?

A. Atari Corp. and the Virtuality Group had signed a contract whereupon
Virtuality would develop virtual reality hwardware and software for the
Jaguar. In return, Virtuality would get the rights to port Jaguar VR
games to their Virtuality arcade consoles.

Though announced, the Jaguar VR was never produced. Unofficial reports
conflict on whether the unit was cancelled, suspended, and/or reworked.
Reasons given for the inaction ranged from Atari's needs to reassess their
investments and focus on core business, to the high suggested retail price
of the Jaguar VR headset, to Virtuality's problems in trying to create
a mass-market headset that could track head movement fast enough to avoid
motion sickness after a few minutes of play.

As originally reported, the Jaguar VR package consisted of two components:

(1) A lightweight headset (weighs less than one pound). It can be
adjusted for fit and works with or without glasses. Game graphics are
provided by a single 7", TFT active-matrix color LCD screen, with a
resolution of 260 by 400 pixels and up to 65,000 colors. Dual temple
speakers provide sound, and a built-in microphone allows player
communication in future networked games. A custom optical system
projects a binocular image to both eyes; it is aligned at infinity, so
focus adjustment is not needed. Two degrees of freedom (left/right
and up/down) are available. Field of view is 52 degrees horizontal by
40 degrees vertical.

(2) A tabletop-mounted tracking station. The station senses the position
of the controller and the headset with "V-Trak" infra-red tracking.
The tracking speed is 250 Hz, with a lag time of 4 milliseconds, four
times faster than Virtuality's arcade hardware. The tracker has a
range of approximately 100 degrees; multiple trackers can be daisy-
chained together to provide a complete 360-degree tracking range, but
most Jaguar VR games will not require a full 360 degrees.

The Jaguar VR equipment was designed to be played while sitting down, so
as to avoid injuries. if a player moves out of the tracking station's
range, a safety cutoff would have been triggered to suspend the game.

Jaguar VR games would have been written for use with the regular
controller, as well as a two-button "virtual gun" hand-held joystick. The
licensing agreement between Atari and Virtuality permitted authorized
Jaguar third-party software developers to write their own VR titles.

One product did come out of the Atari/Virtuality agrement. MISSILE
COMMAND 3D for the Jaguar provided virtual-reality type play, without the
need for special equipment or controllers. The game was later transported
to Virtuality's arcade systems.

Two working Jaguar VR prototypes are known to exist; both are owned by
Jason Smith ( The headsets (and other Atari
Jaguar prototypes) can be seen on his web site, at


Q. What's the "Panther"?

A. Quick history lesson: Sometime in the late 1980s, Atari Corp. was doing
research and development on "next generation" video game consoles. There
were two systems, a 32-bit machine called the Panther, and a 64-bit
machine called the Jaguar. It is reported that work on the Jaguar was
progressing better/faster than expected, so Atari abandoned the Panther to
focus their energies on the Jaguar instead. Supposedly, if both machines
were fully developed, the Jaguar would have followed the Panther only two
years later.

Reports of development work on the Panther have been whispered since 1988;
some people have erroneously mistaken those rumors to be about the Jaguar.

The Panther reportedly was considered a "32-bit" machine by Atari, though
for reasons unknown. It featured three chips, consisting of a Motorola
68000 running at 16Mhz, an object processor called the Panther, and an
Ensoniq sound processor called Otis, featuring 32 sound channels. The
Panther could supposedly display 8,192 colors from a palette of 262,144
colors, and could display 65,535 sprites of any size simultaneously.

According to Jeff Minter, the Panther's sprite hardware was very similar
to the object processor in the Jaguar, to the point where both had the
same limitations. Putting too many sprites on a single scan-line, for
instance, would require too much time to draw the line and caused a
"tearing" effect in the affected row.

Stefan Walgenbach is the proud owner of a working Panther prototype. He
has a web page at devoted to all sorts of
information on the Panther.


Q. What's the "Jaguar II"?

A. There's been a little confusion with this topic, since at least two
separate machines have been called a "Jaguar II." The first was to have
been an integrated Jaguar/Jaguar CD-ROM unit. That project has since been
cancelled, making the point moot.

The other Jaguar II was Atari's next video-game console. Though a final
design was never reached, initial prototypes were assembled, yielding the
following information:

* Main chipset (codename "Midsummer") developed by Motorola.
* Fully backwards compatable with the existing Jaguar. Would have been
able to play all Jaguar games and use all Jaguar peripherals.
* Uses new "Oberon" and "Puck" chips. "Oberon" was the next generation of
the Jaguar's "Tom" chip, and "Puck" (also identified as "Thesus") was
a redesigned "Jerry".
* "Oberon" was so large that it required a dedicated cooling fan, powered
by a separate power supply. It's uncertain if this inefficiency was
simply due to the unfinished nature of the chip or not.
* Processing speed "two to four times faster than the Sony PlayStation."
* Full C/C++ development package available.

The following is one set of proposed specifications for the Jaguar II:

Size: 10.5" x 12" x 3.5"
Controls: Power on/off
Display: Resolution up to 1600 x 600 pixels (50 Hz/interlace)
32-bit "Extended True Color" display with 16,777,216
colors simultaneously (additional 8 bits of supplimental
graphics data support possible)
Multiple-resolution, multiple-color depth objects
(monochrome, 2-bit, 4-bit, 8-bit, 16-bit, 24-bit) can be
used simultaneously
Ports: Cartridge slot/expansion port (64 bits)
RF video output
Video edge connector (video/audio output)
(supports NTSC and PAL; provides S-Video, Composite, RGB
outputs, accessible by optional add-on connector)
Four controller ports
Digital Signal Processor port (includes high-speed
synchronous serial input/output)
Controllers: Eight-directional joypad
Size 5" x 4.5" x 1.5", cord 7 feet
Six fire buttons (A, B, C, D, E, F)
Pause and Option buttons
12-key keypad (accepts game-specific overlays)

The Jaguar 2 has seven processors, which are contained in three chips.
Two of the chips are proprietary designs, nicknamed "Tom" and "Jerry".
The third chip is a standard Motorola 68EC020 used as a coprocessor.
Tom and Jerry are built using an 0.3 micron silicon process. With
proper programming, all seven processors can run in parallel.

- "Tom"
- 1,250,000 transistors, 292 pins
- Graphics Processing Unit (processor #1)
- 64-bit RISC architecture (64/128 register processor)
- 64 registers of 128 bits wide (shadow-buffering)
- Has access to all 2 x 64 bits of the system bus
- Can read 128 bits of data in one instruction
- Rated at 127.902 MIPS (million instructions per second)
- Runs at 63.951 MHz
- 2 x 32K bytes of zero wait-state internal SRAM (matrix)
- Performs a wide range of high-speed graphic effects
- Programmable
- Object processor (processor #2)
- 64-bit RISC architecture
- Programmable processor that can act as a variety of different video
architectures, such as a sprite engine, a pixel-mapped display, a
character-mapped system, and others.
- Blitter (processor #3)
- 64 bits read and write at the same time (multibuffering)
- 8K read buffer (fifo)
- 8K write buffer (lifo)
- Performs high-speed logical operations
- Hardware support for Z-buffering and Gouraud shading
- Texture Mapping Engine (processor #4)
- 64-bit RISC
- 64 bits
- Programmable risc processor
- 256K "texture-work" RAM of zero wait-state internal CACHE
- capable of doing about 900,000 texture-mapped polyons; without
textures, up to 2,500,000 polyons are possible.
- realtime Gouraud and Phong shading
- J/MPEG "COMBI" Chip (processor #5)
- 64 bits
- not programmable
- 8K own data rom (with sinus) table
- 128K CACHE (fifo)
- realtime J/MPEG decompression via CACHE (fifo)
- DRAM memory controller
- 4 x 64 bits
- Accesses the DRAM directly

- "Jerry"
- 900,000 transistors, 196 pins
- Digital Signal Processor (processor #6)
- 32 bits (32-bit registers)
- Rated at 53.3 MIPS (million instructions per second)
- Runs at 53.3 MHz
- Same RISC core as the Graphics Processing Unit
- Not limited to sound generation
- 96K bytes of zero wait-state internal SRAM
- CD-quality sound (16-bit stereo 50KHz)
- Number of sound channels limited by software (minimum 16)
- Two DACs (stereo) convert digital data to analog sound signals
- Full stereo capabilities
- Wavetable synthesis, FM synthesis, FM Sample synthesis, and AM
- A clock control block, incorporating timers, and a UART

- Motorola 68EC020 (processor #7)
- Runs at 26.590MHz
- Perfect 68000 emulation
- General purpose control processor

Communication is performed with a high speed 64-bit data bus, rated at 2400
megabits/second. The 68000 is only able to access 16 bits of this bus at a
time. The Jaguar 2 contains eight megabytes (64 megabits) of fast
page-mode DRAM, in eight chips with 1024 K each.

Photos of the Jaguar II prototype motherboard are available at


Q. What's the information on the CoJag and CoJag games?

A. To briefly recap, after the Jaguar was released, Time-Warner Interactive
(now a subsidiary of WMS/Midway known as Atari Games) licensed the Jaguar
architecture for use in arcade games. These systems were called "CoJag"
games, and consisted of a Jaguar chipset with additional memory, extra
storage, and other architectural changes.

Two CoJag games have been released:

* Area 51: A light-gun shooting game for two players. The Jaguar's 68000
was replaced with a 68020 or SGI R3K, and ran at 25 MHz. It was also
equipped with a four megabytes of RAM and a one gigabyte hard drive.

* Maximum Force: Another light-gun shooting game. The 68000 was replaced
with an SGI R3K, and came with six megabytes of RAM and a two gigabyte
hard drive.

While it was rumored that the TWI games "Primal Rage" and "T-Mek" were
also CoJag games, this is false; developer Al Vernon has confirmed that
those titles did not use any aspect of the Jaguar design or chipset.

One gamer ( reports that he playtested a CoJag
game, "Freeze," that was never released. Here's a slightly-edited version
of his report:

"I saw Freeze a couple weeks ago at a local arcade pinball/video
game expo. The game made it to field test but didn't do well, so
Atari Games axed it early this year.

"Freeze was a puzzle game, most closely related to Bust-A-Move or
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo. You controlled a character at the
bottom of a rectangular grid, five wide and eight deep. You had
the following controls: move left, move right, throw, and special.
You start with a fish in your hands; when you press 'throw,' you
threw it into the grid, where it goes up until it hits something.
Once your hands are empty, a fish launcher gives you another.

"The goal is to get groupings of three or more similarly-colored
fish to touch each other, at which point they disappear. Holes
are filled in by reverse gravity -- the fish fall up. The game is
over when your grid is full of fish or ice.

"Here's where it gets original: when you get a group of fish to
disappear, you "freeze" a couple of fish on your opponent's field,
starting at the top and working down. A frozen fish doesn't work
for groupings; fish are unfrozen by making a group nearby. Empty
slots get frozen too (the ice is empty).

"The 'special' button is for a special attack. When you start the
game, you pick a character, which also decides which special attack
you get. I didn't play that much of the game, so I don't know how
the special works or when you get it. You could play one or two
players simultaneously. One player meant playing against computer
opponents, along with a bizarre story -- I usually played the
monkey character, who was searching for an alarm clock so he
wouldn't oversleep, and he asked his opponents for a clock.

"The game was pretty fun, and the graphics were nice. It had a
look like Trog -- simple 3D, bright saturated colors. It's a shame
it didn't fare better in field test."

Pictures of the Freeze prototype cabinet and game screen can be found at

Scott Walters ( claims that the unreleased Atari
fighting game, "Vicious Circle", was also developed as a CoJag game.
Images and information on this title is available at

In a really interesting twist to the CoJag legacy, Scott also reveals that
unmodified Jaguars were used as the main controller for two "kiddie rides".
The Jaguar was used in three rides by Carousel International -- Speedster
II, Skycopter II, and SpaceGuy (never released). All of the rides were
programmed by Mario Perdue, who wrote Breakout 2000. The rides are no
longer manufactured, but can still be found near supermarkets, K-Marts,
and some Chuck E. Cheese pizza parlors to this day.


Q. Was there a difference in Jaguar games/units sold in different countries?
Do I need to keep track of PAL and NTSC versions of a game?

A. There is no difference in the Jaguar game software. A properly-written
Jaguar game detects PAL or NTSC at startup and changes the playfield size
and game speeds accordingly. A properly-written Jaguar game will run at
the same speed on either machine. There are no regional or national
market lock-outs as there are for other game consoles.

The Jaguar consoles themselves were configured differently, according to
the country they were sold in. The primary differences were in the video
output format (NTSC or PAL) and the power adapters (110 volt or 220 volt).
Due to the Jaguar's use of an external adapter, a step-down transformer is
not needed. A local PSU can be used so long as it matches these

1. 9 volt direct current (DC)
2. 1.2 amps
3. Center pin negative

To use an American (NTSC) Jaguar in the UK, the PSUs from old Sinclair
computers and Sega Game Gears can be used without problems.

To use an American (NTSC) Jaguar in Europe, you will need a new power
adapter and a SCART lead to supply the Jaguar's RGB signals to the TV.
Some European TV sets might have also required changing the Jaguar display
from a 60Hz frame rate to 50Hz.

The 50Hz/60Hz frame rate is set by soldering pads on the bottom of the
Jaguar PCB. On an NTSC Jaguar, they're located on the bottom of the PCB
near the controller ports. The set labelled "R140" determines between
50Hz and 60Hz.

Finding R140 depends on which motherboard is in your Jaguar. As "Stone"
( writes, "The location of R140 and whether it
is labelled or not depends on the revision of the Jaguar chipset. I
have two Jaguars, both PAL, one K-series and one M-series. The K series
has no silk-screen printing on the underside of the circuit board (and
thus the links are not labelled). The M-series has them labelled so
it's easy to figure out which resistor to remove.

"My BJL FAQ contains a section on building a 50/60Hz switch; the URL is -- please note that this mod is
dependent on your TV being able to accept the signal; you may find it
'letterboxes' it so you can see the whole screen, which isn't what you
want. :)"

If you have a K-series motherboard (which does not label the links), Russ
Juckes ( gives instructions for finding them:

"Hold the Jaguar PCB with the Joystick ports to the bottom. On the
underside of the board, near the joystick ports, and to the left of centre
there are four links, the top and the bottom one bridged. (Both with zero
ohm resistors). Above them there is another link, with a brown resistor.

"The bottom link is the one that needs to be broken. I used a penknife to
scratch away the solder, and then a needle-nosed pair of pliers to break
the resistor.

"The links are *not* labelled in any way. As another guide to make sure
you are about to snip the correct link, they are placed directly
underneath a chip (which is obviously on the top of the PCB!) so if you
use a soldering iron, be careful!"

Once you have located R140, connect the two points for 50Hz, or leave them
disconnected for 60Hz, as follows:

60Hz 50Hz
o-o R135 o-o
o o R136 o o (Information courtesy of Martin Zimmer,
o o R137 o o
o o R140 o-o

PAL Jaguars sold in Europe have the R140 pads connected with a zero ohm
SMD resistor, which can be removed with a soldering iron. It is possible
to wire a switch to the points, allowing the Jaguar to be toggled between
50Hz/60Hz. This is mainly useful for PAL Jaguars to play games at the
original speed and screen resolution of the NTSC version.


Q. Hey! My Jaguar makes a quiet hissing sound! What's going on? Is it

A. Early Atari Jaguars had a rumored problem with the console hissing softly.
Atari had cited several reasons for the hissing noise. Some have said
that the sound is from the RF generator. The RF shield has holes in it
(ostensibly to help air flow and keep the unit cool), and it is believed
that the holes produce the noise.

Others said the sounds are produced by coil L29 which is responsible for
the proper voltage regulation to +10.0V, together with U38. The coil's
copper wire vibrates when the current through it changes abruptly, making
the hiss.

There are two solutions: 1) Use plastic spray or silicone rubber glue to
fix the coil's wire. 2) Replace the original Jaguar power-supply with a
variable power-source, using 7.5V DC instead of 9V DC (it is not certain
whether the Jaguar CD will require 9V DC, which would make this "fix"
unworkable with the CD drive).

In any case, the "hissing" noise was not dangerous, but merely annoying.
It was usually audible only if you put your ear next to the unit and
listen closely, and is not interference in the audio output. It is
roughly analogous to the buzz made by electric clocks.

Most later Jaguars did not have this problem, though a few rare cases have
been noted.


Q. My Jaguar comes up with a red screen instead of a game! Is it broken?

A. Most often, the "red screen" problem appears after the Jaguar logo has
disappeared off the TV screen, and is caused by one of the following:

1. Poor contact between the Jaguar and the cartridge (most likely). Make
sure that the cartridge is firmly seated in the cartridge slot, and that
contacts are not dirty/dusty.

2. Bent pins in the cartridge slot (rare). This may be caused by rough
edges on some cartridges. The pins should be carefully straightened.

3. Defective cartridge (rare). If the red screen only appears with one
cartridge but not others, the game may be defective. Exchange it for

If the Jaguar logo appears without problems, then the Jaguar is probably
working fine, and it's only the data transfer between the unit and the
cartridge that's causing the problem.


Q. I've heard stories about the Jaguar version of DOOM having network errors
when playing with two Jaguars linked together. Are they real? If so,
what causes the problem, and can I avoid it?

A. There is some truth to the reports -- when linking two Jaguars together
for multiplayer DOOM games, network errors sometimes appear which
interfere with the gameplay. At worst, the game resets to the start of
the current level, which can be annoying if you're in the middle of a
heated Deathmatch firefight.

The problem stems from several causes. The networking code in DOOM was
not thoroughly tested before release, because the game was finished before
Atari settled on the final specifications for the JagLink cable (the cable
came out almost a year after DOOM did). As a result, this causes some
problems due to integration differences. On the other hand, some of the
folks playing networked DOOM are using their own home-made link cables,
which might not have enough shielding, which also causes errors. There
are reports that earlier Jaguar models are more susceptible to errors as
well, but the evidence is inconclusive.

Recommendations? Set up your Jaguars in an area relatively clean of
electromagnetic interference, make sure you are using a well-shielded
cable, and cross your fingers. And remember that, even with an
occassional networking error, DOOM is still lots of fun with a friend
(or foe).


Q: What's the wiring schematic for the Jaguar controller?

A: Uwe Roeger ( reverse-engineered the Jaguar
controller port and dissected a Jaguar controller to provide the
following circuit diagram:

Padport 4 Padport 3 Padport 2 Padport 1
(yellow) (orange) (red) (brown) 74HC244
| | | | ______
| | | | R1 4k7 | |
| | | | | | | Padport 6
Pause -------|----------|----------|----------+----- 2| -|)- |18- (blue)
| | | | | |
| +---|------+---|------+---|------+ R2 4k7 | |
| | | | | | | | | | | Padport 10
"A"--|<-+ "B"--|<-+ "C"--|<-+ Opt -|<-+---+----- 4| -|)- |16- (black)
| | | | | |
| +---|------+---|------+---|------+ R3 4k7 | |
| | | | | | | | | | | Padport 11
Right-|<-+ "1"--|<-+ "2"--|<-+ "3"--|<-+---+----- 6| -|)- |14- (grey)
| | | | | |
| +---|------+---|------+---|------+ R4 4k7 | |
| | | | | | | | | | | Padport 12
Left -|<-+ "4"--|<-+ "5"--|<-+ "6"--|<-+---+----- 8| -|)- |12- (
| | | | | |
| +---|------+---|------+---|------+ R5 4k7 | |
| | | | | | | | | | | Padport 13
Down -|<-+ "7"--|<-+ "8"--|<-+ "9"--|<-+---+-----11| -|)- |9-- (pink)
| | | | | |
| +---|------+---|------+---|------+ R6 4k7 | |
| | | | | | | | | | | Padport 14
Up --|<-+ "*"--|<-+ "0"--|<-+ "#"--|<-+---+-----13| -|)- |7-- (white)

Padport 9: Ground (violet) -- Pin 1,10,15,17,19 on 74HC244
Padport 7: +5 VDC (green) -- Pin 20 on 74HC244

--|<-- 1N4148 Diode
+ Wire connexion
Rx 4k7 Standard resistor, 4700 Ohms, .25 Watts (all resistors are
pull-ups; i.e. tied to +5VDC on one end)

Padport numbers correspond to those on a standard 15-pin SUB-D plug. The
colors of the wires may be different in other versions of the controller.


Q. What's this about a rotary controller? What games use it? How do I make
one for myself?

A. TEMPEST 2000 has hidden in it an option for a rotary controller (at the
"Game Options" menu, press Pause on both controllers to activate the
"Controller Type"). No plans for an official Atari rotary controller were
announced, but many TEMPEST fans have been trying to build such a
controller, to give the game a feel that's close to its arcade original.

Andy Light has written instructions for taking a Jaguar joypad and an
Atari 2600 Driving Controller and building a rotary controller with the
parts. His instructions are condensed below. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS
THOROUGHLY BEFORE ASSEMBLY -- there are some areas that are left to the
whim of the builder, and advance planning is highly recommended.

* * *

Parts needed: Atari Jaguar controller
Atari 2600 Driving Controller (NOT the paddles)
13 wires, preferably of separate colors
A board or box or shell to mount everything on/in

1. Open the driving controller by removing the two underside screws.
Inside is a top-like device or a grey box with three wires coming out of
it. This is the encoder. Pull the driving controller's knob off the
encoder's shaft, then remove the encoder by unscrewing the nut that holds
it in place. Disconnect the wires from the encoder.

2. Open the Jaguar controller. There are four screws on the bottom
holding it together, behind the round rubber pads. Inside the controller
are two circuit boards connected by a ribbon of wires. The bottom board
is for the numeric keypad and is held by two screws. Remove the screws
and take out the keypad.

3. Disconnect the wire ribbon from the keypad by melting the solder.
CAREFUL! This is delicate work -- get help if you need it. Solder the
thirteen wires where the ribbon connection was; do not confuse them.

4. From the left side of the board (the side that says "P2"), I've
numbered the wires as follows:
1) Common 5) Button A 9) Button C 13) Down
2) Right 6) Button B 10) Pause
3) Option 7) Button B 11) Up
4) Option 8) Button C 12) Left

5. On the encoder, connect wire #1 to the center terminal, #2 to the right
terminal, and #12 to the left terminal. The rotary part of the controller
is now finished.

6. How to connect the other controls is up to you. I'm using arcade
buttons, a thumbpad, and a switch (to toggle joypad or rotary control)
mounted in an Atari 5200 trak-ball controller case. You can mount a
joystick, extra buttons, or other features for your own controller.
Buttons and empty control boxes are available at stores such as Radio

Wiring for the other signals are as follows:
Up - wires #1 and #11 Button A - wires #1 and #5
Down - wires #1 and #13 Button B - wires #6 and #7
Pause - wires #1 and #10 Button C - wires #8 and #9
Option - wires #3 and #4
Because wire #1 has multiple uses, you will either need to string it or
split it for each destination.

7. Reassemble and mount everything according to your design. For better
spin, you can glue lead fishing sinkers to the inside of the knob, and
lubricate the shaft of the encoder with light oil or silicone lubricant.

That's it! Please forgive me for any mistakes in my grammer, terminology,
spelling, etc. If you encounter any problems, feel free to e-mail me at
ALIGHT55@AOL.COM. Good luck!


Q. I want something better than RF output from my Jaguar. What do I do?

A. Atari had an S-Video cable and a Composite video cable available for use
with the Jaguar. See the "Peripherals" section for details.

If you are willing to build your own, the schematics for the expansion
port are as follows:

Pinouts for Jaguar Video Cable
(view is looking at the rear of the Jaguar)
01A 02A 03A 04A 05A 06A 07A 08A 09A 10A 11A 12A
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
01B 02B 03B 04B 05B 06B 07B 08B 09B 10B 11B 12B

01A - Left Audio 01B - Right Audio
02A - Audio Ground 02B - Audio Ground
04A - Chroma Ground 04B - Red
05A - Blue 05B - Composite Sync (can also be used
06A - Horizontal Sync for vertical sync)
07A - Green 07B - Luma Ground
08A - Chroma 08B - Luma
10B - Video Ground
11A - +10V power supply 11B - Composite Video

S-Video Cable
##\ /---(##- P2 RCA Male (Red)
### /
P1 ###>>--(Shielded cable)-----<-----(##- P3 RCA Male (White)
### \ ___
##/ \---<## P4 4 pin SVHS 3/. .\4
Jaguar Mini-DIN 1| . . |2
Plug Male \_=_/ (front)
Conn Pin Signal Conn Pin
P2 Center Right Audio P1 01B
P2 Shell Audio Ground P1 02B
P3 Center Left Audio P1 01A
P3 Shell Audio Ground P1 02A
P4 1 Luma Ground P1 07B
P4 3 Luma P1 08B
P4 4 Chroma P1 08A
P4 2 Chroma Ground P1 04A
P4 Shell Not Connected P1 N/A

Composite Video Cable
##\ /---(##- P2 RCA Male (Red)
### /
P1 ###>>--(Shielded cable)-----<-----(##- P3 RCA Male (White)
### \
##/ \---(##- P4 RCA Male (Yellow)

Conn Pin Signal Conn Pin
P2 Center Right Audio P1 01B
P2 Shell Audio Ground P1 02B
P3 Center Left Audio P1 01A
P3 Shell Audio Ground P1 02A
P4 Center Comp Video P1 11B
P4 Shell Video Ground P1 10B

For Jaguar owners who wish to use SCART, a Jaguar-to-SCART RGB cable can
be made as follows:

SCART socket:
20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2
\ -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- |
\ |
| -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- |
19 17 15 13 11 9 7 5 3 1

RGB connection using an 8-pin shielded cable:

SCART Signal Jaguar A/V port
6 Left Audio 1A
2 Right Audio 1B
4 Audio Ground 2A
15 Red 4B
7 Blue 5A
11 Green 7A
16 H-Sync (Blank) 6A
20 Composite Sync 5B
17 Video Ground 10B (connected by cable shield)

Markus Hall submits the following SCART variation, for Jaguar units
that do not work with the Jaguar-to-SCART cable given above:

SCART plug (solder side):
20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2
\ -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- |
\ |
| -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- |
19 17 15 13 11 9 7 5 3 1

RGB connection using an 8-core shielded cable:

SCART Signal Jaguar A/V port
6 Left Audio 1A
4 Audio Ground 2A --+
2 Right Audio 1B |
- Audio Ground 2B --+
15 Red 4B
7 Blue 5A
16 Vertical Sync 5B
11 Green 7A
17 Video Ground 10B (connected by cable shield)
20 Comp Video (H-Sync)11B


Q. How did the ComLynx port on the Jaguar work? Could I connect my Lynx to

A. The Jaguar does not have a ComLynx port per se, but has a ComLynx signal
on the system bus. An expansion port add-on would have made the port
available, and developers had announced plans for such accessories. It is
possible to daisy-chain multiple Jaguars for multiplayer games into a
"Jaguar network". In theory, it would have also been possible to connect
Jaguars and Lynxes, though no plans for cross-system software were ever

There was also talk that the Jaguar's ComLynx signal could allow Lynxes to
be used as peripherals: software could have been developed to allow Lynxes
to be part of a Jaguar game as "smart" controllers. Again, no actual
plans were ever announced.

For enterprising engineers who wish to build a ComLynx cable for two
Jaguars, the following schematics from are available.

* * *

12 Contact IDE Card Edge Connector (Atari Jaguar DSP Connector)

View from the front of the connector (not the solder side):

Top Cable pinouts
7 8 9 10 11 12 Jaguar 1 Jaguar 2
L +------------------+ R 2 (TX) ______ ______ 2 (Tx)
e | x x x x x x | i \/
f | x x x x x x | g 3 (RX) ______/\______ 3 (Rx)
t +------------------+ h 6 (Ground) __________ 6 (Ground)
6 5 4 3 2 1 t
Key signals: 2 - Transmit, 3 - Receive, 6 - Ground

Assembly Notes:
As shown, the only 3 wires needed for the cable are 2, 3 and 6 (Tx, Rx,
and Ground). All of these wires are on the bottom connector, so that
is a good indicater of which way the cable plugs in the Jaguar.
Shielded and RF-Choked cables work best. Due to the nature of this
connector, it will be hard to shield this cable completely.

If you cannot find a 12-contact IDE Card Edge Connector, a 10-contact
version can be used. A quick one can be built with no soldering using
JDR MicroDevices (Part# IDE10). This is made for ribbon cable, but you
can use regular shielded cables with a little work. As long as lines 2,
3, and 6 remain properly connected, there should be no difference.

Usage tips:
* DO NOT PLUG THIS CABLE IN UPSIDE-DOWN! You may damage internal
components if you plug it incorrectly.
components if you do not.
* Since there isn't much strengh in the wires, remove the cable by the


Q. Agh! My Jaguar is broken! How can I fix it?

A. Unforutnately, with the dissolution of Atari Corp., repair or replacement
of broken Jaguars is no longer available; Atari/JTS does not have any
units remaining for sale or replacement. On the other hand, with the low
price of clearance Jaguars today, it isn't expensive to buy a new unit.

In Great Britian, Telegames UK will offer to repair your Jaguar for a fee.
They can be reached at:

Kilby Bridge, Wigston,
Leicester LE18 3TE, UK
Tel. +44-116-2880445
Fax. +44-116-2813437


Q. Where can I get other information about the Jaguar?

A. Publications:

- Syzygy Magazine Newsletter covering current and classic
Jason Cody video-game consoles, with news, reviews,
P.O. Box 512 and other information. Lots of Jaguar
Flagler Beach, FL 32136 coverage. Published quarterly.

- Instant Replay Newsletter devoted to the Jaguar, with
7570 South Manor Avenue news and reviews. Write to Frank Eva
Oak Creek, WI 53154 for more information.

- Wild Cat A one-man, home-made Atari video gaming
Phil Patton "fanzine." Subscriptions are $12/year
131 Dake Ave. for eight issues, at 12 pages each
Santa Cruz, CA 95062 issue. Covers all Atari consoles and

Internet/USENET newsgroups and services:


USENET newsgroup. Contains news for all Atari video-game systems.

- World-Wide Web Pages

JagFest is an annual convention held for Jaguar enthusiasts:

Go Atari is a web site that sells Atari software and hardware:

Telegames UK sells Jaguar consoles, games, accessories:

The Electric Escape is the official home of the Jaguar FAQ.

Jaguar Explorer On-line is a free electronic newsletter covering the
latest news on the Jaguar (and other Atari-related matters):

The Jaguar Community Webring is a collection of web sites devoted to
all aspects of the Jaguar:

The Open Directory Project has a massive list of Jaguar web sites:

Carl Forhan's (Songbird Productions) numerous Lynx and Jaguar
projects can be found at

Wes Powell's Jagu-Dome features a variety of Jaguar resources,
including new game news, sound clips, and MP3 files for the never-
released DEFENDER 2000 soundtrack CD(!).

Starcat Developments and Jaguar City have joined forces to create
a German/English web site for developers and enthusiasts.

The Atari Lynx and Jaguar Club Deutschland is on the web:

The GOAT (Games of All Types) Store hosts the Jaguar Cartridge Label
Varations FAQ, along with selling nifty Jaguar stuff:

General-purpose Atari/Jaguar Web pages:

Also, Yahoo!'s list of Atari Jaguar web sites can be found at

Llamasoft has a web page which contains updates on upcoming Jaguar
projects, as well as ruminations on lovely llamas, hot music CDs, and
other musings from Jeff Minter:

Mailing list:

- Atari Jag-mail

J. Sinn runs a Jaguar e-mail newsletter. For subscription
information, write to


- CATScan

(209) 239-1552, 300/1200/2400/9600/14400 bps. Single line.

The BBS is completely dedicated to Atari products and Atari video game
consoles. Includes screen shots, press releases, pictures, and other
files. Run by Don Thomas of Atari Corp.

- Video Game Information Service.

(201) 509-7324, 300/1200/2400/9600/14400 bps. Multiple lines

Located in West Orange, New Jersy (USA). The BBS is completely
dedicated to video gaming, and maintains files of cheats and reviews
for all game systems. Carries video-game-related conferences from
other computer networks, including Fidonet, Worldnet, and Globalnet.

On-line services:

- America On-Line

The PC Games/Video Games discussion group has areas devoted to the
Atari Lynx and the Atari Jaguar consoles. Use the keyword PC GAMES,
then go to the Video Games discussion board. From there, select Atari
Discussion, then the console of your choice.

- GEnie

A dedicated/expanded Jaguar roundtable has been established. Type
M475;1 to reach it. For assistance regarding the roundtable, send
e-mail to JAGUAR$ on GEnie.


Q. How was development for the Jaguar done?

A. Jaguar game development environments existed for the Atari TT030 computer
or an IBM PC/compatible. Art development could be performed on any
machine, whether a low-end Apple Macintosh or commercial rendering
software such as SoftImage. Wavefront's "GameWare" was the official 2D/3D
graphics development system; Atari itself used GameWare for in-company
development, and registered third-party Jaguar developers could buy
GameWare licenses at special discount prices.

Estimated price for a developer's package was $9,000 for the TT030 setup,
and $7,500 for the PC/compatible platform. The package included a Jaguar
development unit, documentation, and development/debugging software.
The Jaguar had modified boot firmware to run the development board (the
"Alpine board"), and it had a cable coming out to provide signals to the
Alpine board that are not normally present via the cartridge connector.

CD-ROM developement packages (including the cartridge development kit)
were ranged at about $8,000, and were upgradeable from the card-only kit.

Software routines packaged with the system included a multi-channel
polyphonic FM/Wavetable synth; JPEG decompression; video set-up; drawing
primitives; 3D rendering with gourad shading, texture mapping, and camera
manipulation. GCC is the primary 68000 C compiler; support for other
languages was not available from Atari, but developers were free to use
whatever tools they may prefer. The development toolkit ran under DOS,
TOS, or Linux. Work was proceeding on a Linux development system using
the GNU tools.

The centerpiece of the TT030 deveopment platform was DB, an assembly-
language level debugging tool. The Jaguar and the TT030 were connected
with a parallel cable, and software could be debugged interactively
without interfering with the Jaguar's screen display. DB supported the
use of scripts and aliases, which simplified the use of complex or common

Support for the development packages was primarily provided by Brainstorm
(Atari France), who worked closely with Atari Corp.

Atari granted final code approval, but did not see the need to "censor"
games. Every game was given one man-month of compatibility and quality
testing before it was approved. Atari offered technical support via FAX,
mail, electronic mail and voice. Atari allowed developers to source their
own cartridges, documentation and shells if desired. Jaguar software is
encrypted with a proprietary key, thus preventing unauthorized developers
from releasing Jaguar software.

Cross Products (SNASM) offered an alternative Jaguar Development system.
It came with a multiwindowed debugger, assemblers, compilers, and SCSI
support, for approximately $3,700. The package allowed for full screen,
source level debugging of multiple processors, in C or assembler. This
was software only for the IBM PC; the Jaguar development hardware (Alpine
board, modified Jaguar, etc.) had to be purchased separately from Atari.

Ambitious hobbyists have started their own unendorsed Jaguar development
efforts, with several "home-brewed" development systems and electronic
documentation of the Jaguar's inner workings. Several games have been
written for play on the "Jaguar Server" development system (requires some
hardware modification to an existing Jaguar, and an IBM PC or Atari ST

Information about these efforts may be found on the web at the following

- "Jaguar Server" Development system

- "Behind Jaggi Lines" Development system

- Jaguar Underground Mailing List

- Gavin's Jaguar Hardware page

In addition, Starcat Developments of Germany has made the official
Jaguar development manual available exclusively for downloading on their
home page (


Q. Where is the encryption key for Jaguar games? Now that Hasbro has
declared the Jaguar an "open system", the key should be available to the
public, right?

A. Finally, yes -- in the beginning of 2001, the Classic Gaimg Expo announced
that they had finally recovered the software encryption codes for the
Jaguar and the Lynx. The codes (and supporting software tools) have been
released into the public domain. The codes are available on the web at


Q. Is there a way for people to write their own Jaguar games without the
encryption codes?

A: Certainly! Hobbists and developers have been writing their own Jaguar
games for a while now; the lack of an encryption key simply means they
can't distribute the game to non-developers.

To work around this need, JUGS -- the Jaguar Unmodified Game Server -- was
developed. JUGS is a computer hardware/software package that allows you to
download Jaguar games from your personal computer to a Jaguar and then run
them. With dozens of homebrewed Jaguar programs in existence, this opens
up a new source of software for the Jaguar enthusiast.

To use JUGS, you need the following:
* A copy of the game BattleSphere.
* An IBM-compatible PC with a RS-232 communications port.
* A JagLink interface.

For more information about JUGS, ordering information, and available
developer titles, visit

For general-purpose information, there is a Jaguar programming FAQ:


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