RETROTIMES #17

January 1999

 Table of Contents
(Click below to go directly to the article)
01 Introduction
02 A Funny Story
03 Burned Out and Back
04 A Classic Game Store
05 Intellivision Lives! CD Review
06 You Can Have Your Intellivision Lives CD and your Joysticks too!
07 Video Game Gourmet
08 The Many Faces Of.......Frogger II
09 The Retro Awards of Classic Home Video Games - Foods Edition
10 Don't Hate the Pickle
11 Collecting Arcade Marquees Part Deux
12 The MCM Electronics RF Demodulator
13 A Deeper Look
14. What's New on the Web Site
15. What's Happening in the Industry?
16. eBay Happenings
17. MAME Reviews
18. Questions to the Editor
19. Question of the Month
20. Finale

Introduction
Come join us for another themed issue! This issue's theme is food based games. You know, Food Fight, Burgertime, Fast Food and more. I would like to thank Alan Hewston for the idea for the wonderful theme. So keep your eyes open for some fun food articles and something new this issue. Randomly placed throughout the issue will be little fun facts and humorous observations. They will be under the headings of "Why is it?" and "Classic Game Trivia" Some will be old news to the long time collectors, but since this newsletter has alot of new collectors and casual gamers among its readership, I thought they would make interesting stuff. Just something to spice the newsletter up a little and keep people reading!

A Funny Story
A while back, I offered the remaining copies of the Retrogaming Times #1/2 issue to anyone who wanted one. In the message, I put that a quarter donation would be appreciated, but not necessary. Well, out of the 20 people who responded, everyone sent a quarter.

One particular day, I was at my P.O. Box, getting my mail. In the box, among other mail was five orders for the #1/2 issue. Having a few free moments, I decided to open them there. As I was opening them, I pulled out the quarters and piled them up as I went through them. A lady that was next to me, was watching as I piled up the quarters. She then said to me "If you are going to bother doing chain letters, you should at least ask for a dollar." I just lost it and fell over laughing, which just upset her and she walked off with a disgusted look on her face. I still crack up just thinking about it.

Burned-out and back
by Rayth Orlea

Well, its been a few issues since I`ve written for Retrotimes. The reason being I was a little burnt out on classic games. Before you all decide to lynch me, let me explain. About once or twice a year I get burnt out on classic games and peruse other things for a bit. Most of the time this hits me in the springtime, but not this year. After not finding many carts for any of the classic systems I decided to work on my arcade side of collecting and newer systems. What I do for a living is work on videogames. Sometimes doing nothing but games all day at work and then afterwards, gets the best of me. I do have other interests besides videogames also. (but to ask anyone that knows me you would not hear that).

I don`t know if burn out is a good or bad thing. In a way I think its good for two reasons:

1. I turn my attention to other games (Sony, Saturn, arcade) and helps me build up those collections.
2. I get out of my basement and interact with other humans, do some trail riding and other outdoor things.

I love classic games and think I always will, but sometimes it seem that that is all I do! OK, that out of the way lets get going......

One thing I want to address is the Newsgroup. I haven't been reading it as much as I used to since most of the posts are brags or for sale topics. I do like to read about what others are finding and at great prices, but it seem to have gotten to a " I got a better deal than you" situation. I wish it would have more on gameplay of the classics. I`ve also noticed that a few of the regulars are no longer posting?? Did they give up on the classics or just the NG?

The other thing I want to talk about is collecting other items to do with a certain game. A lot of games have tie-ins to merchandise. I seem to have started collecting everything TRON I can find. I know TRON was a movie first but I did this because of my games. I have been getting all the TRON game titles as well as hats, shirts, toys......I have also been finding odd items like a pair of Virtual Boy sunglasses and an Atari jacket (it wont fit me though)

It seems the present games have found that tie-ins do very well. Tomb Raider, Crash, and Duke Nukem have everything imaginable for them. I`m not sure how much was made for the classic game but am having fun finding things I never knew were made! If there are any odd item you have collected, drop me a pic. I hope to start a section on my page about them soon.

Well, now that I`ve got thru this burnout, I hope to be catching up with all my friends from the NG and hope that it takes a long time to burnout again.

Well, I`m off to play a game of Decathlon, happy gaming.......

(Rayth Orlea is 31 and lives in Danville Il, where he drive a bus for mentally handicapped people. He have several reptiles, and also collect arcade machines. He would like to get into some part of the game industry. You can email him at Repti3@aol.com or visit his web site at http://www.geocities.com/timessquare/labyrinth/6694)

A Classic Game Store
If you live in the state of Washington, you may not realize that there is a video game store that carries classic games. Or if you are planning a trip to the great northwest, you may want to stop by and check them out. Here is the details!

N.W. Family Computers & Video Games is located at:
510 S.1st St.  Mt. Vernon Wa. 98273
Phone voice: 360-336-3586
Fax:360-336-6811
Webpage:http://users.nlights.net/nwcomp/index.htm

They have games for Atari 2600, 5200, 7800, 800 Turbo-grafx 16, Odyssey II, Intellivision, NES,SNES, Turbo-Duo, 3DO, Timex Sinclair, C-64, Apple, TI 99/4A, Gameboy, Jaguar, and more.

If you have a classic game store or know of one in your area that you would like to see featured, please send me the information and I will post it. The cost is free! Just a little something to help gamers find some good stuff. Also, any clubs, meetings of shows that are classic game based are welcomed to send in a short article and I will gladly post it.

Classic Game Trivia!
Out of all the major game systems of the classic era, only one did not have an actual version or a obvious clone of two of the most most popular and influential video game; Pacman and Space Invaders. This system was the Colecovision.

Intellivision Lives! CD Review
The minute I heard that the Intellivision Lives! CD was available, I rushed to the web site and ordered it. Being a huge Intellivision fan, how could I not want to get this? With 50 of the original Intellivision games, including many of the very hard to find INTV games, it was a deal at the $30.00 they were asking. But then you add in the unreleased games and you had one salivating fan. I always thought the Intellivision had the most creative and original games of any of the classic systems and the programmers were among the best. So the prospect of seeing more games, especially ones I only dreamed about playing since I read them on the Blue Sky Rangers web site was more than I could stand.

Less than a week later, it arrived. The speediness of its delivery took me completely by surprise. The total wait from order to delivery was a mere four days. With their less than stellar track record, this was a total surprise. The day it arrived, it came with four of my eagerly awaited marquees, to make it a day to remember. But would it live up to the lofty expectations I had already placed on it? Would it be worth the purchase price? In a word, YES! This is one great investment and one I urge any true Intellivision fan or any classic game fan to make. You will be very satisfied with the value you are getting. Not only are there enough classic games from the Intellivision to keep you satisfied, but there is also tons of information about each game. Add that with the bios of the programmers, the videos, box art, manuals and more and you have one incredible deal!

Besides being a great deal, it is also a class act! From the opening voice saying "Hello, Commander" to the very easy to navigate menus, it show professionalism. Everything is located in appropriate sections and you are never more than a few clicks from anything. It also looks very polished and is very pleasing on the eye. There are some problems such as clicking on Flight Simulator gave me an error and a few other minor things, but these are minor gripes in a well done project.

Now I am going to do some mini reviews of some of the unreleased games and some of the games that are different than the originals.

1. Crazy Clones-This wasn't a game that was supposed to be released. It was a test of sorts for new programmers. But I found this an addictive little game. It is a very simple concept, you must move around and kill all the clones by running them over. At the same time, you must avoid the clone maker, which kills you with a mere touch. Sounds easy enough! There is one small catch, you must always keep at least one clone alive or the clone maker cannot make more clones.

The games are quick and fast paced. You get 10 points for each clone you kill and the object is quite simple to score as many points as possible.

2. Duncan's Thin Ice-While Thin Ice is a released game, this one offers a second version starring Voochko the Wolf. The game plays the same, but the lead character changes from a penguin to a wolf. Either way is fun, but I think the penguin is cuter.

3. Brickout-The Intellivision was surprisingly enough, without a breakout game. This one will fill that void. It plays quite well but I have yet to test it with a real Intellivision controller. The game is as colorful as any breakout and there is nothing real special about it. The only flaw I found is there are times when that ball will get up there and stay for a long time. You can take bathroom breaks before that ball comes back down.

4. Deep Pockets-A very good playing pool game! I am not a big fan of pool games as it is easy enough to find a real table and there is no substitute for the real thing. But I found myself playing a few games of this. That alone is a great compliment!

5. King of the Mountain-While I still haven't figured all the nuances of this game, it is my favorite of the unreleased games. This game shows tons of promise! It plays alot like Crazy Climber as you walk up a mountain. There are falling boulders that fall after the screen shakes (nice effect) and a very dangerous bear.

One big difference between this and Crazy Climber is that you have to buy supplies and stock up. There is food, water and other supplies and some will be needed later (you have to build a bridge over a river for instance). The graphics are very good and the game is quite entertaining!

Tune in next month for more reviews of unreleased games! Trust me there are still many great games left to review! By the way, in games like Minotaur (Treasure of Tarmin), you can save the game by hitting F2 and bring it back by hitting F4. I have not tried it yet, but would assume you have to load the emulator and games onto your harddrive first.

You Can Have Your Intellivision Lives CD and your Joysticks too!
For anyone who ordered and played the Intellivision Lives CD, one of the first things you will notice is how much of a letdown it is to play these classic games with a keyboard. Some games are not affected much, but any game that demands numerous keys or buttons (any D & D game, etc...) can be a lesson in frustration. Is there any other solution? How about using your classic Intellivision joysticks on the computer? Sound too good to be true? Well I caught up with William Moeller, someone who is helping to make our Intellivision experience a good one.

Tom-Is it true that you are going to produce an adapter that allows us to use Intellivision joysticks on our computer?

William-Yes, my associate Scott Nudds has a company Division Software which is going to be building and selling them. Email right now is d.soft@hwcn.org

Tom-How much will it cost?

William-The price is pretty much decided at $30 US with shipping included for initial orders. We feel we can do it at that price and still make a profit. Of course, we wont sell it if we are losing money, but if costs go up, we will just reduce our margin as we feel that $30 is the price point we need.

So there you have it! I don't know about you, but I am planning to order mine as soon as they are available!

The Video Game Gourmet
by Fred Wagaman

Good day everyone! and welcome to The Video Game Gourmet. The show where we discuss games and the foods we love to eat while playing them. I hope you all enjoyed our last show and had a chance to try Teriyaki Bandicoot for yourself.

We all know how difficult it is to eat and play games at the same time. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a classic gaming blast-a-thon or a modern marathon role-playing session. Oh, there are a few exceptions, but a large majority of gaming requires two hands on the controller. And who among us is willing to strap on a feed bag ?

Today we’ll be discussing one of those all important snack foods that keep you fueled late into the night while playing.

Greasy snacks like popcorn (with butter) and chips can not only give your controller that icky feel for weeks to come, but can also contribute to your untimely demise.

On today’s show, we’ll be focusing on a snack that can be eaten safely while simultaneously playing.

Most everyone like salsa and chips, but the difficulty of keeping the salsa on the chip before it drops on your lap can cause your concentration to drift from the screen. Thus today’s recipe…

Toxic Sludge

Ingredients:
Velveeta Cheese (as much as you want)
Salsa (your favorite brand, as hot as you can stand. Enough to cover the cheese)
Garlic or Garlic Powder Cilantro
Other Spices and Peppers as desired
Also Corn Chips

Chop the Velveeta into chunks. Place in a Microwave-safe bowl. Dump Salsa over the cheese and melt in the microwave. When the entire mass becomes semi-solid, stir and add garlic and cilantro to taste. Add other spices and peppers (jalapenos, habaneros, etc.) if desired. Keep nuking and stirring until entire mixture is smooth. Serve warm with corn chips for dipping.

Note: Use a wooden spoon to stir. Metal utensils have a tendency to tarnish when used with this recipe.

The advantage this mixture offers over the salsa alone is that when you chip is dipped into the mixture, it clings to the chip, thus leaving your concentration where it belongs on the screen.

Note: This mixture is best eaten warm. Use your Playstation as serving table to keep it at the desired temperature.

Recommended games to play while eating today’s recipe:
The Ooze (Genesis)
Toxic Crusader (NES)
Doom (various)
Resident Evil/Resident Evil 2 (Playstation/Saturn)

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s show. Next time, we’ll fire up the grill and make everyone’s favorite classic, Kaboom Kabobs.

(Fred has been playing games for over 20 years and actively collecting them for almost 10. The 2200 + games that he has takes up most of his home office and living room. He lives in Denver, PA with his understanding wife Jennie and his 3 year-old, button-loving son, Max. Lately, he’s been wondering what will happen to the gaming scene when Digital Television (HDTV) takes over. Will it be difficult To get a TV to play the antique Atari on in 20 years? How will it be attached ? What will the then state-of-the-art games look like ? Why all the questions?)

Frogger2.jpg (16509 bytes)
The Many Faces Of.......Frogger II

by Doug Saxon

Well, I was thinking about what game to do "The Many Faces Of" for this month when Tom told me there was going to be a theme on food. I was thinking, "Damn, I've already done one on Burgertime, I can't do Ms. Pac-Man, because I left my 7800 at home, and Beat 'Em and Eat 'Em is only for one system...what should I do?" Although Frogger II: Threeedeep! isn't really a food game, one can score bonus points by swallowing bubbles, and by eating, yes EATING insects. This game is more of a survival game where, like in the original, you guide the frog through perilous areas to get him home. However, in Frogger II there are three stages to get the frog through instead of one: an underwater stage, an above water stage similar to that on the original, and an aerial stage. This game can be found on the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, and Colecovision.

Bronze Medal: Atari 2600
This is a pretty good game for the Atari 2600, but it just can't handle the competition. Graphics and sounds are good, but they shine on the other systems. But the main reason this version gets the bronze is that it is too hard and too easy to get frustrated. I can't even beat the first level. Perhaps I haven't played it long enough, but the first time I played the other versions, I didn't have any problem completing the first level. Any game that has an impossible first level is not cool in my book.

Silver Medal: Colecovision
This version is better than the Atari 2600 version, but it still has a few things that should annoy even the most patient gamer. Gameplay is just about the same as the previous version except for a couple of minor additions here and there. The most irritating part about this version is how slow some of the things move (things being logs, turtles, birds, etc.) When playing this game, I find myself waiting on a "thing" for what seems forever only to jump onto another "thing" going just as slow. In some cases, one will run out of time when the goal is only a couple of seconds away, only because the "thing" you're standing on is moving too slow.

Gold Medal: Atari 5200
OK, you may be thinking, "What, how can the Atari 5200 version be the best, the controllers are awful for this game?" I disagree, one can use the keypad buttons (2, 4, 6, 8) for this game and it enhances the accuracy of your movement and playability quite a bit. It may take awhile to get used to, but after only a few games using the keypad I was kicking butt. This version is the easiest of the three, but it would be more fitting to state the above two are too hard. Flame me for my opinion, but when we go head to head, you with your choice of version and me with my Atari 5200 version, we'll see who lasts longer...;)

Why is it?
Why is it that in games like Scramble and Super Cobra, you get more fuel by blowing it up?

The Retro Awards of Classic Home Video Games
- Foods Edition

by Alan Hewston
A hard disk drive crash almost prevented this article from making it. Thanks to some last minute help from Tom, and my buddy Tim, I have generated a Whopper of an article. Tom really liked this idea and agreed that we should make an entire issue of the Retro Times based on the foods theme. This should bring back the memories of the many games that have food as one of the main characters, villains, prizes, or weapons.

I've only included games from the big 5 (2600,5200,7800 Intellivision and Colecovision), since the Bally Astrocade and Odyssey 2 have little or no foods type games - other than Pac Man variants. I've grouped the various games into several categories of Awards:

1) Best Use of Fruits and Vegetables;
2) Best use of Dairy products;
3) Best Drinking Game;
4) Biggest Mess;
5) Best Chefs;
6) Best Source of Energy;
7) Best Fast Food

To keep things simple a game only appears in one category. No multi-category winners here.

1) Best Use of Fruits & Vegetables: In this, the most popular category, we see which of Farmer Dan's fruits and vegetables are either best consumed by, or used by our hero to thwart off the enemy. The nominees are: Coco Nuts,  Dig Dug, Donkey Kong Jr., Gopher, Kangaroo, Mr. Do,  Ms. Pac-Man, and Popeye.

In Coco Nuts [Telesys] (2600), Coco the crazy monkey is on the loose again, hurling coconuts down on our intrepid jungle explorer, Stanley I. Presume. A poor Kaboom clone, played with a joystick.

In Dig Dug [Atari] (INTV, 2600, 5200, 7800), a whole crop of goodies are waiting for you as a prize. In order of appearance we have: The Carrot, Turnip, Mushroom, Cucumber, Eggplant, Bell Peppers, Tomato, Onion, Watermelon, Galaxian (hey that's not a food!), and Pineapple Sure, they just sit there, but you know that they can really rack up your points if you eat them.

In Donkey Kong Jr. [Atari] (2600, 7800), the poor son of Donkey Kong must try to free his papa from the vengeful Mario. The fruit in the game is probably the only weapon that Jr. has. Unfortunately, the fruit is only found in the 7800 version where Junior can drop it down upon the Snapjaws and Nitpicks.

In Gopher [US Games] (2600), you must bonk the gopher and keep him from eating all your carrots. Plant those seeds to grow more carrots. Hmmmn. How fast can carrots grow anyhow?

In Kangaroo [Atari] (2600, 5200), the Kangaroo save her precious baby from more pesky monkeys. As prizes along the way, we have a strawberries, tomatoes, cherries, and pineapples. Somehow, there are no coconuts here. Instead the monkeys throw apples. Mother Kangaroo can ring the bell to replenish the fruit, and even punch the monkeys.

In Mr. Do [Coleco](CV, 2600), you try to harvest the orchard before the evil Badguys can catch you. Mow a path to the cherries and start picking! Crush the bad-guys with an Apple.

In Ms. Pac-Man [Atari] (2600, 7800), a gala of fancy fruits bounce their way around the pac maze. Ms. Pac-man is the star, but the guest stars, in order of appearance are a cherry, strawberry, orange, pretzel (well, not a fruit but), apple, pear, and banana.

In Popeye [Parker Brothers] (CV, INTV, 2600, 5200), you must avoid Brutus, the Sea Hag and some vultures, and collect Olive's hearts, notes, and "Xs before they hit the bottom of the screen.  Throughout the rounds, Popeye's spinach will randomly appear in specific places on the screen.

And the winner is . . .

OK, You probably already know which one is the winner, and NO, there are no coconuts in this game. The winning game has a very nice assortment of fruits and a pretzel, and it is one of my favorites - Ms . Pac-Man. Those bouncing fruits really make this a great sequel to Pac-Man If this were a beauty contest (oops that was in last month's RT) the runners-up would be Dig Dug and Mr. Do. Do NOT look for a future article on Coconuts in video games. Geez.

2) Best use of an Egg: In this Eggciting category, where the yolks on you, the nominees are: Big Bird's Egg Catch, Crack'ed, Eggomania, Joust, Mouse Trap, and Wabbit.

In Big Bird's Egg Catch [Atari](2600), Big Birds tries to collect all the eggs, without any falling. This Children's Television Workshop game teaches children to follow the eggs down the twisted, criss-crossing chutes and move Big Bird underneath the bottom.

In Cracked [Atari](7800), as a professional ornithologist, you're appalled to see that some rare South American hornbills are having their eggs stolen and consumed by birds, snakes, squid, ghosts, skeletons, aliens and more. Travel to many different locations and help protect, catch and return the eggs to their nest.

In Eggomania [US Games](2600), not just another Kaboom clone, a strangely colored, feathered fowl is bent on bombing your bedeviled blue bear with dozens of even stranger colored eggs. Your only defense is catching those falling orbs in your hat before they break and cause a real mess! What makes this game unique is that at the end of the wave, you get the delightful opportunity to get even and fire them back at that turkey ! You'll be dazzled by his reaction.

In Joust [Atari](2600,5200,7800), Yes, Joust; did you forget that those are really eggs? You unseat the chickens, er uh Buzzard Riders, and collect the eggs. These chickens came before the egg.

In Wabbit [Apollo](2600), Wrotten Eggs are not a problem for farmer Billie Sue. Use them to thwart off the pesky Wabbits while protecting your crop of country carrots. Your score increases every time you wallop a wabbit with a wotten egg. It's an egg-citing experience.

And the winner is . . .

This was a tough category to decide upon. Call it an egg-toss-up, but the eggs are much more eggciting when they get eaten or Crack'ed. So I chose then 7800 game Crack'ed.

3) Best Drinking Game: In this category, where the more you drink, the better, the nominees are: Journey, Kool Aid man, Riddle of the Sphinx and Tapper,

In Journey [Data Age](2600), we help the rock band Journey get to their escape vehicle. Along the way you must avoid the crowd, including love-Crazed Groupies. One of the characters spotted along the way is none other than Kool-Aid Man. Kool!. The appearance of their Mighty Manager (Kool Aid man) will be rare, but if you are fortunate enough to contact him, you will earn an additional $9,900 and will be able to run through the entire crowd to the escape vehicle without being stopped. Obviously, Journey would get a drink of Kool-Aid, once they made it inside their vehicle safely.

In Kool Aid Man [Mattel](INTV, 2600), help Kool-Aid Man in a battle with the Thirsties! Those insatiable Thirsties are stealing the water out of your swimming pool. You want to catch tem when they stop to dip their straws in the pool. Also, help Kool-Aid Man gobble up Kool-Aid ingredients in order to keep the Thirsties from bouncing Kool-Aid Man around the backyard.

In Riddle of the Sphinx [Imagic](2600), we can get a drink several different ways. Take a drink in an oasis in the desert - why not? There are also many dangers along the way, but also some treasures including a jug and goblet that also give you something to drink. Getting your water is vital to you survival in the desert.

In Root Beer / Mountain Dew Tapper [Coleco, Sega] (CV,2600), you are a frenzied bartender trying to keep the never ending flow of thirsty customers well watered. You'll have to keep slinging soda pops and occasionally guess which can the Soda Bandit didn't shake.

And the winner is . . .

Hands down, or is that bottoms up, the winner is Tapper. This game is Kool, since there is so much going on from ordering a beverage, waiting for it, watching a show, giving a tip, and of course drinking it. Not to mention the occasional root beer bar fight.

4) Biggest Mess: In this messy category, we can really have a mess on the screen as we try to win. The nominees are: Barnyard Blaster, Food Fight, Picnic, Plaque Attack, Revenge of Beefsteak Tomatoes, and Tooth Protectors.

In Barnyard Blaster [Atari](7800), you shoot a lot of barnyard objects, but none are as messy as the watermelons and pumpkins.

In Food Fight [Atari](7800), you are a "Chef" but this game is more about making a mess than about cooking. Charley Chuck must get to the ice cream before it melts, or the other contestants get him with pie in the eye. Some of the foods that gets thrown around are: bananas, tomatoes, pies, watermelons, and peas.

In Picnic [US Games](2600), you rotate your paddle controller and swat the flies with a push of the fire button. These nasty bugs are intent upon eating your juicy cheeseburgers. The graphics are not too good and the game play is weak, and does not make you want to come back for another helping.

In Plaque Attack [Activision](2600), save your teeth by keeping the food away. Shot your tube of toothpaste and the waves of Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, French Fries, Strawberries, Gum Drops, Donuts, Candy Canes, and Ice Cream Cones. Bonus teeth can be earned after you've lost teeth to cavities.

In Revenge of Beefsteak Tomatoes [20th Century Fox] (2600), your objective is to trap the Tomato Plants at the bottom of the screen by building three walls above them. At the same time you must avoid or shoot down all flying Tomatoes, dodge Tomato Bombs and stop the Brick-Eaters. What a mess!

In Tooth Protectors, [DSD/Camelot](2600), help the Tooth Protector to protect the teeth during a Snack Attack. Snack Attackers drop snack foods in the form of cubes upon the teeth to cause plaque formation and tooth decay. Beware the Snack Attacker warning sound! At any time, a Snack Attacker may swoop down and try to carry away our hero.

And the winner is . . .

Most of these games are really fun and the food makes quite a mess on the screen I had to choose Food Fight over Plaque Attack because of the instant repays, and the massive food fights that occurs every time you die, or complete the level. Great sound too!

5) Best Chefs: In this category, we look at the food preparation process and determine who is the best at their job. The nominees are: Adventure, Burgertime, Cookie Monster Munch, Diner, Piece O' Cake, and Pressure Cooker,

In Adventure [Atari](2600), our hero, the dot, skewers his would-be-meal, the giant chickens and prepares them for a nice candlelight dinner in the castle with Mrs. Dot. What's that! They're dragons, not chickens. Oh! Nevermind.

In Burgertime [Mattel](CV, INTV, 2600), you are chef Peter Pepper, who uses his namesake, pepper, to ward off the nasties - pickles, hot dogs and eggs. Some french fries, coffee, ketchup and ice cream make nice prizes along the way to building your 4 hamburgers. Hey! Wasn't the Burgertime Hot Dog named as the dumbest VG villain of all-time, by Tomorrow's Heroes?

In Cookie Monster Munch [Atari](2600), pick up or protect the cookies and put them in the cookie jar. Then munch! Several different games allow Cookie Monster and the Cookie Child to collect and in some cases compete at collecting or protecting, and then eating all the cookies. Another nice game from the Children's Television Workshop. Don't argue with Cookie Monster about being a cookie chef. As a cookie connoisseur, he's a bit sensitive on that subject.

In Diner [Mattel] (INTV), all the Burgertime foods return as well as our hero, Peter Pepper. We are now joined by new villains - cherries, bananas and a mug of root beer. You must also kick around food balls including: red meatballs, tan mashed potatoes, white rice balls, green lettuce heads, yellow macaroni, plus there are the following bonus items that give you an extra pepper:cup of coffee, hot fudge sundae, double thick malt, can of soda pop, hamburger bun. A great place to Dine!

In Piece O' Cake [US Games](2600), you learn the fine art of baking cakes. Simply take a freshly baked cake from the oven, stack the layers correctly on a platter on a moving on a conveyor belt and then even top it with a cherry. I guess that being a top notch bakery chef requires adeptness and a calm temperament. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen! Sounds like a good game, I wish that I had it.

In Pressure Cooker [Activision](2600), business is booming at "The Grille". Help Short-Order Sam fill each order with the proper combination of tomatoes, onions, lettuce and cheese. And don't forget the bun! Then, rush the completed orders to the Wrapping Room fast.

And the winner is . . .

This was another difficult one to judge, since I only have the first two games, and I really must disqualified Adventure. So, based upon the complexity of the game, and food preparation process in question, others opinions of then game, and finally the great reputation of the game maker, Activision - I have decided upon Pressure Cooker. I know that Tom loves Burgertime and Diner, but the villains are just too dumb there.

6) Best Source of Energy: Not only do we love to eat, but sometimes the food is even crucial to the life force or energy of our hero. The nominees are: AD&D Treasures of Tarmin, Crystal Castles, Dark Chambers, E.T. Pac-Man, Xenophobe

In AD&D Treasure of Tarmin [Mattel](INTV), the hero must keep up his energy to slay all those monsters, particularly the Minotaur, and find the treasure of Tarmin. He consumes a sack of flour as his nourishment.

In Crystal Castles [Atari](2600), collect the gems and stay away from everything else except the pot of honey. The honey is very useful for clearing some of the gems, but probably does more harm than good, as the honey bees will get you every time.

In Dark Chambers [Atari](2600, 7800), we can only stay alive if we find and consume the food (7800 only) and potions. Monsters, monster generators and traps galore. There is no evidence to prove that this game is not the predecessor to the arcade's Gauntlet.

In E.T. [Atari](2600), our hero must collect the Reese's Pieces to stay alive and complete his mission - that of phoning home, of course.

In Pac-Man [Atari](INTV, 2600, 5200), the dots that you must completely consume are actually video wafers. There is also a vitamin as a bonus. Well, at least only the 2600 version is bad.

In Xenophobe [Atari](2600, 7800), your primary mission is to locate and eliminate the aliens as quickly as possible. Finding and picking up the hamburger and flask will increase your life.

And the winner is . . .

Dark Chambers! This game is totally about getting your next meal, at all costs. Sure there are dozens of evil denizens that are fun to kill along the way, even the Grim Reaper. The food looks like food and even sounds like food (at least in Gauntlet it does). In fairness, every game on this list is here because if you don't get the food, the game is over.

7) Fastest Food: And in this category the faster, the better. The nominees are: Fast Food, Frantic Freddie, and Taz

In Fast Food [Telesys](2600), Eat all the green pickles, root beer, cola, soda pop, hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream bars, milk shakes, ice cream cones, french fries, pizzas, and cheeseburgers you want. But, beware then purple pickle. After 6 of these, you burp and the game is over. A cute message "You are getting fatter" pops up after each wave.

In Frantic Freddie [Spectravideo](CV), you are the Hot Dog hero, who must put out all the fires on a building. If you are not fast, then the game will end. I can smell that hot dog cooking in the fire now.

In Taz [Atari](2600), you are TAZ, the ravenous Tasmanian Devil who whirls like a tornado and eats everything in sight. Hamburgers, root beer, ice cream, fudgesickles, apple cores, turnips, tomatoes, and sundaes. But don't swallow any dynamite! Kaboom!

And the winner is . . .

A tie. I could not choose between Taz and Fast Food. They are essentially the same game. The food is really flying at you in a hurry (horizontally) and you must avoid just one object to stay alive.    Lots of nice sprites and high speed excitement abound.

In closing - There are a few foods related games that we left off this list since they were either ER or not many have heard about or played them. Here may be others we just plain forgot about. For the few that I have not personally played, a lot of credit is due to both to the Digital Press CD-ROM, and the manuals on the CD courtesy of the History of Home Video Games Homepage by Greg Chance.

(Alan Hewston, who returned to retrogaming in February 1998 with his original collection of 44 Atari 2600 carts. Since then, he has become addicted to nearly all the classic game systems and now has over 700 carts for the Atari 400/2600/5200/7800/XEGS, Bally Astrocade, Colecovision, Commodore 64, Intellivision, NES, Odyssey 2, Sega Genesis, SNES, and Vic 20]. Alan can be reached at: hewston95@stratos.net)

Don't Hate the Pickle
One of the most maligned characters in classic game is the poor pickle. Whoever decided to start an image smearing campaign against this poor pickled cucumber, is a cruel man. The pickle is our friend and should be embraced. We should not avoid it like classic games teach us. Let us look at the two prime examples of this harsh treatment.

In the classic game, Burgertime, the pickle is one of the enemies. Not only is he an enemy, but he is one of the top enemies and one to be wary of. I personally think he has been brainwashed to do their evil bidding. No pickle I ever encountered has been evil, actually they are usually quite tasty!

In the other prime example of pickle bashing, Fast Food, the only food that you will get sick from is the purple pickle. Sure there is a regular pickle in the game that is fine to eat, but that is just to confuse the player. I personally think that any food that is purple and not grape or grape flavored should be avoided (boy will I hear it from the eggplant growers). Would you eat a purple hamburger? How about a purple chicken? I sure wouldn't! So why did they single out the pickle? Is it because they both begin with the same letter? If that is so, why not the purple potato or the purple popcorn? No, it was the pickle because the smear campaign was on to discredit the lowly pickle! We must not let this injustice go any longer, we must try to give the pickle the respect and dignity he deserves. We must......(this tirade has been cut short as Tom has been subdued and given the proper medication. Once they take effect, a calmer, more rational Tom will return to the newsletter).

Collecting Arcade Marquees Part Deux
I received so many emails from the last article I did on collecting marquees, that I decided to do a follow-up. So here we go with more info on collecting a true piece of art!

First off, when you are searching the auctions for marquees, you may see them listed under two other names, other than marquees. While marquee is the proper name, like many things in life, people use their own words to identify the same item. Other names that I have seen them under is "top signs" and "header". So if you see an item with one of these terms, 95% of the time they mean marquee.

An abbreviation you will see occasionally when referring to marquees is "NOS". This means "New Old Stock", which essentially means that the item was a replacement marquee. This simply means that they had it in storage for replacement in case of damage, but it was never used and should be considered in new or like new shape. Of course, these tend to bring in more money than one that was salvaged from a dead machine.

Other terms you may see associated with marquees are the words "dedicated" and "conversion". These are terms to describe the type of marquee it is. A "dedicated" marquee is one from the actual machine. This means that the cabinet, control panel and everything else was the same game. "Conversion" means that the marquee and the game board were used to convert an older machine into a new game. The cabinet would remain the old game, but the marquee would be replaced and with the new board, it would be a new game.

One example of this would be Major Havoc. The "dedicated" marquee is different from the "conversion" and much harder to find. So a person who was a big time collector would be willing to pay more for a "dedicated" marquee than a conversion. Not all arcade games have both versions and not all games that have both have different marquees. But for the ones that do, they will sometimes list this to let the seller know. You may want to ask for a picture from the seller, if one is not available, to make sure you are getting the marquee you want.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some marquees are plastic and some are glass. The glass ones will typically bring in more money, due to their fragile nature. Also keep in mind that glass cost alot more to ship, so be prepared to pay more in shipping. You may also want to consider insurance to protect yourself.

One question I was asked alot was what does one do with a marquee once they get one. The obvious answer is to display them. Sure you can have them framed and hang them that way, but it becomes quite costly. An affordable alternative is to go to the local hardware store and buy the kits that are used to hang mirrors. They are usually clear plastic and come in a small package with four clips and four screws. Cost ranges from a $1.00-$2.00 per package. This is what I use to display mine. Of course, you need a wall that you are willing to put holes in to use this method.

When using this method, there are a few things to remember. First is that you may want to glue a small piece of material to the plastic clip to keep it from scratching the marquee. Another to keep in mind is not to screw the screws too tight. Once you have them tight, take them back about a half turn. This will keep them from pressing too hard on the marquees.

Hope this extra information helps you. While I am far from an expert on the subject, I have been studying up to make as informed decisions as possible. Also to help get an idea of typical prices you may pay for marquees, I have put together a marquee price guide. It is still in the development stage and there are alot of marquees that are not listed. But as more and more information on prices becomes available, I will continue to update it. Marquees are a great way to own a piece of the arcade and the nostalgia, without the larger investment of money and space that a full sized arcade game demands. Think of it as collecting original art in comics, or sports memorabilia or even animated cells. Each marquee is a limited item that is only getting more limited by the year.

The MCM Electronics RF Demodulator
A Mini-Review by Jim Krych

I am an avid fan of the older video game machines, especially    among the ones I grew up with. I'm 29 and I remember the thrill of playing my first 2600 games.  Let's skip ahead a few. A little older, somewhat wiser, but still loving those old classics. The original 2600 my family had is long gone, but I have gotten a replacement.  I own two Atari 7800's. One is dated from 1984, the other from 1988. The '84 model has the expansion port. I remember reading about the 7800 when it first came out, and the games made for it are very good. It is one of those great what ifs.

I also have been a fan of the Bally Astrocade. I have owned two of them, with some very good games for it too-Incredible Wizard and Muncher come to mind.    When I attached them to a TV, with an RF modulator, I had forgotten how much of a pain the distortion can be!!!!!

Well, what can be done? There are several solutions to this:

-Attachment to a VCR
-Internal Modification
-An RF
Demodulator

I have certainty seen many schematics for the 2600/7800 in regards to having composite or even S-Video output.  The Bally seems to have a way-but no color!!!! And, people seem to disagree on which circuit design would work.

I have a Magnavox Color Display 40 that I bought real cheap to have my 7800 in particular have composite out. Well, not being in any great mood to change the internals of the 7800, I had heard of an RF Demodulator from MCM Electronics.

It is true, this device allows you to use the A/V inputs to many modern TV's, and to composite monitors, or devices accepting composite video-LCD Projector.  The device can be had for $51.50, with 15% off if you are a new buyer. Physically, it is a fairly small box, that has the audio/video out, and a BNC input jack. A 16V adapter comes with the product. Set your machine for channel 3 and connect up to the BNC input jack-Radio Shack has RCA to BNC adapters.  Connect an audio cable, and a video cable, and turn the monitor on, then your system, it's that easy.

What is the display quality? Not too bad actually! Much better than the old RF Modulator. I have an A/B switch, so I can use either my 7800 or the Bally unit.    Many of the Bally games become real clear with the composite monitor. Muncher is real crisp! Wizard is a real treat to play.  The 7800 games come out very nice too. And, many 2600 games look better too!

The only thing that one may need to do, is adjust the monitor settings for certain games. But, then again, that is my monitor, which is used. I can only imagine seeing Robotron, Food Fight, or Donkey Kong on an LCD Projector, or a real nice 36" TV!  I know that the Bally games would come out real clear too! (Meaning the blocky pixels would be even clearer!)

Is it worth it? If you are one who has a spare VCR hanging around, probably not. And, if you want to spend the money to buy modification parts, and the time, go for it. I believe that the quality, the ease-of-use, and the ability to have my Bally unit playable with the monitor is the biggest plus factor to me. It is worth it in my opinion.  Without having to modify either video game consoles, I have composite video, and much less headaches from the old RF modulator way of doing things.

The RF Demodulator can be had from MCM Electronics. Their phone number is 1-800-543-4330, part number 33-2060.

(Jim Krych is a 29 year old QC tech. He has been active in computers since 1983 and in video games since 1981. He used to be very active in the TI 99/4A community-codeveloping the AMS and SuperAMS cards. He is also the co-developer of the VideoTurtle. He is currently getting active in the Atari 16/32 community and is working with another Atarian here in the Cleveland area to organize an Atari 16/32 User Group.If you are interested in joining,  he can be reached via email at: ab453@cleveland.freenet.edu)

A Deeper Look
To go with the food theme, I will try to cover two food related games for the Deeper Look. It may be a bit difficult as I have covered many of them in the past, but I will do my best.

food_fit.jpg (36579 bytes)
A Deeper Look at Food Fight

This is the single best reason to own an Atari 7800. For some odd reason, this game was only released for the 7800 and no other classic system. It still ranks as one of my favorite games!

The basic premise is for you to get across the screen to get the ice cream cone. As time ticks away, the cone begins to drip. If you don't get over there fast enough, the cone will be empty and you lose a guy. In your way are chefs who are bent on stopping you. These rejects from the Chef Boyardee Culinary School will do whatever they must to halt you. One touch and you are doomed. They also have a nasty habit of tossing food at you. But you are not defenseless! Scattered around the level is piles of food. There are pies, tomatoes, peas and the boomerang like bananas that are just waiting for you to pick up and smash into the chef. This of course will stop them. But more chefs will come and you better be pretty quick or they will get you.

One of the best features of this game is the instant replay! If you have a really good level (where you waste alot of chefs and have some quick misses), then you are treated to an instant replay of the level. Some really fun music plays and the whole thing is sped up a bit. Reminiscent of the keystone cops from the silent era, you watch as the action unfolds. While it is pretty easy to get your first instant replay, it is very difficult to get a second one. This is a feat I only accomplished a few times.

One of the nice features is the wide variety of different foods to throw. From the traditional pies to the never ending watermelons, you will find a smorgasbord of food to toss. Most piles of food are good for a few handfuls, but the watermelon is endless! You can keep grabbing handfuls and throwing them. It will not run out!

All in all, Food Fight is a must have game. There is no better reason to own an Atari 7800 (especially since Food Fight on MAME has sluggish controls). So make sure you have a copy and go live out those childhood fantasies!

Ladybug.jpg (17301 bytes)
A Deeper Look at Ladybug

This little bug is one of the finest examples of improving on a genre. Ladybug takes the Pacman maze and expands it! This is also a great common game and one that should not be missed for the Colecovision.

Ladybug is like combining parts of Pacman with parts of Mr. Do and a few unique features to make it complete. You have the maze to go through and you have to pick up all the dots to clear the screen, ala Pacman. But you also can spell out the words "Special" and "Extra" like Mr. Do. The bad guys also come out one at a time, like Mr. Do. But there are enough other features to make this its own game. First off, there are panels that can be moved by just pushing on them. When you do this, they change direction and alter the maze. This can come in handy to trap the evil bugs that are after you.

Another feature is the skulls that are randomly placed in the maze. If you touch them, you will die. But the nice thing is that they also kill your enemies, so you can lead your enemies right into them and clear the path and get rid of one enemy. A bit of strategy!

Also scattered around the maze are hearts and letters. The hearts will increase your bonus. Get one heart when it is blue and you get 2X bonus, two hearts gives you 3X and three will give you 4X. There is a maximum of three per maze and it is a good strategy to get these as soon as possible to rack up a nice score. There are also letters that when run over will go to spell words. The catch is you must run them over when they are the corresponding color. The colors will change every minute or so and it follows a pattern. It goes from red to yellow to blue, with red only up for a few seconds, yellow a bit longer and blue up for the majority of the time. Spelling "Extra" will give you a free ladybug and spelling "Special" is something I have yet to do. I would assume you get some bonus points or a special screen.

Another neat feature is the different vegetables that will appear once all the bad bugs have left their home. They will change with each level and you get to see some unique ones like eggplants. By eating them, the bad bugs will freeze in their tracks for a few moments and give you time to clean up the maze. Also unique to each level is different bugs. Unlike most games where the same creatures chase you on each level, the bugs will change with each level and this adds to the game. You really want to see all the different bugs and vegetables and it keeps me coming back

All in all, Ladybug is a very good game. A great example on how to add to a genre and improve it. The game is common on the Coleco and will set you back about $3.00. There is also an Intellivision version that is a bit more costlier.

Why Is It?
That there was a lawsuit for KC Munchkin being too close to Pacman, but there were no lawsuits for the countless Space Invader rip-offs?

 

What's New on the Web Site
Once again, I have been hard at work to build the web site up. I am determined to make this one great classic game site and will be doing everything in my power to accomplish this. Here are the latest additions:

Click on the title to go directly there

1. Arcade Section-I added a small arcade section. Right now it has three sections. One is a list of arcade conversions to the home systems. I have over 150 different classic and neo-classic games that were converted to the home market. If you want to add to it, I will give you credit and it will be appreciated! The second section is a growing Marquee Price Guide. I have been compiling prices for awhile and have been slowly adding to it. The last part is for scans of ads for arcade machines.

2. Atari Log Book Updated!-Alan had sent me an updated version, but I had to tinker with it to get it right, but now it looks great! Take a look!

3. Intellivision Overlays-I have all but completed this section! There are a total of 59 different overlays scanned, including both right and left ones for Microsurgeon and Swords & Serpents. I still have one to add, but after that I am done until I find the other ones.

4. Emerson Arcadia cart scans-I made scans of the handful of Emerson arcadia games I have in stock. Since these are tough to find, I thought people may like to take a look at them.

5. Atari cart scans-I also put up a section for some of the better Atari cart scans. I will continue to put up some of the more imaginative ones as time goes by.

What's Happening in the Industry?
The talk about IDSA and their attack on sites with game roms finally died down. So we finally had some new talks and some interesting threads.

1. What is always at Thrift Stores-Instead of the usual what don't you find at thrift stores and complaining about them, we had a thread that told of items that are always there. Some of the usuals included Herb Albert records, Elvis paintings, those crummy cartoon tapes, rusty tools, Lite Brite, Easy Bake Oven, 8 track tapes and many more!

2. What Else do you collect-A thread that passes through a few times a year is what else do you collect? The one that received the most responses was action figures, with computers, different types of music also in there. The most clever one I saw was someone who collected the religious booklets that are given free. Makes you wonder what a first issue of the Watchtower is worth.

3. Intellivision Lives!-There was still plenty of talk about the Intellivision Lives! CD. Alot of talk centered around why certain games were left off and how to get the roms to add to the CD. There was some speculation to whether or not there will be an updated version or possibly a second volume. With only one voice game and none of the computer games, there may be enough stuff for a second edition. I know I would pay money to be able to play "World Series Baseball", "Mr. Basic Meets Bits and Bytes", "B-17 Bomber" and possibly "Deadly Dogs" the hidden game on Dig Dug. They could also do with the Tron games what they did with the D & D games and use production names or just drop the Tron from the title. Just call them "Deadly Discs", "Maze-A-Tron" and "Solar Sailor". It may be wishful thinking, but it would be nice to see someone finish some of the unreleased games. Some third party stuff would be nice too, but doubtful.

Classic Game Trivia
The Colecovision and Atari 5200 are the only major systems that didn't have all of the four major sports (Baseball, Football, Basketball, Hockey) on their system. The Coleco is missing Hockey and the Atari 5200 is missing Basketball and Hockey. Even the Odyssey II and Atari 7800, with two of the smallest game libraries have all four sports.

Ebay Happenings
The trend continues to be putting every cart individually on eBay. This has made the page count for video games soar to over 150! There are more pages ending in a single day now (about 15-20) than there were pages for sale of classic games when I first stumbled upon eBay. Yet, eBay still refuses to break the video games into smaller sections.

I have noticed that prices on the lower priced games seems to be going up and prices for the more expensive games seems to be dropping. Classic games that before had a problem fetching a dollar are now getting $2.00-$3.00. This is especially true of the Intellivision boxed games. I have seen the prices creeping up for these.

On the other end of the spectrum, the high end games are bringing in smaller amounts. A boxed Chase the Chuckwagon fetched around $340.00, where one had sold about a year earlier for $450.00. I have also seen some other very rare games like Texas Chainsaw, Halloween, Demolition Herby and others bring in about $10-20 less than six months ago. This may be due to the much greater frequency that rare games get listed and some people figure they can always wait and possibly get it cheaper next time. So some bargains are popping up.

MAME Reviews
To break tradition, I put these at the end of the newsletter. This is usually one of the first articles, but with the Intellivision Lives CD and more, I moved it back. I was having difficulty trying to find games that fit the theme, so I stretched it a bit. Here are yet two more fun filled games to review.

Red Baron
Sure the game has nothing to do with food, but there is Red Baron pizza. Anyway, this is one of those games that is vector based, much like Tempest and Battlezone. You can actually see some relations between this and Battlezone. They are very similar in design.

The main objective is to fly your W.W.I plane and dogfight with other planes. You are in the cockpit of the plane and you see the other planes as they fly in at you. You have to shoot your machine guns and try to destroy them, before they destroy you. You can move in all four directions and you will need to. Once one of them gets behind you, things can end in a hurry. One of the neat little features is when a plane flies behind you and shoots you up and you see the bullet holes in the glass in front of you. Very neat!

Besides planes, there are also targets on the ground that shoot at you and the zeppelins. You see these flying in the distance and it adds to the game. There are also mountains and building as you zoom along.

The controls are very easy to understand and you will become immersed in the game in a hurry. This is a very exciting and challenging game and the vector graphics work very well. It was one of the classic games that had a following, but was never as popular as many of its brethren.

Black Widow
Another vector based game. This time you are a Black Widow spider and you have to defend your web. There are delicious grub steaks you can pick up to eat and you have to knock eggs off the web (hence the food angle, yummy grub steaks).

This is another of the games that is aided by having two joysticks. You can use one to move the spider and the other to shoot. Adds alot to the game as it can be quite difficult to control with the keyboard. It does take a few times to get the hang of the game, but once you have it down, it is quite easy. You can really move that spider around and you soon find it is second nature.

The game plays a bit like Tempest a bit like Robotron and even a touch of Galaga. There is the vector graphics and the fact that the enemy come from the outside and move inward like Tempest. Like Robotron, you have a whole bunch of creatures moving around and trying to dispose of you. There is also a big fly who acts like the robots. He cannot be killed (at least I killed him) and he grabs the grub steaks that are left after you kill a bug. He takes these steaks and turns them into eggs that must be pushed off the screen.

There are numerous bugs that come after you and this is part of the appeal. The aforementioned fly is but one of many bugs. There are smaller bugs, grenade bugs that let out a major explosion when shot. These can aid you or cause all kinds of havoc.

Black Widow is a nice change of pace and another reason to consider a dual joystick setup this year. It is also another example why MAME is so valuable as it was never represented at the home market. So take a little time and learn to like spiders!
(Due to their dark screens and vector graphics, they didn't show up well and so not photos were included)

Questions to the Editor
I haven't done this section in a long time, so I decided to revive it for an issue. There have been a few questions that I get asked repeatedly, so I will answer them here.

1. Why did you take Retrogaming Times and move it to its own section?
There are two reasons why I did this when I revamped the web page. The first reason is that I since the newsletter is getting bigger and the load time longer, I didn't want to slow down people who were just here to buy games or browse the other sections of the web page. The other reason is that I can get a better idea of how many readers I get. When it was at the start of the video game page, it was impossible to get an accurate reading. But now that it is its own section, I can assume that people come here to read it. To give you an idea of the readership (which really surprised me), I get over 500 hits on the Retrogaming Times section the week it is released. For a full month, I will get over 1000 hits, but some are people coming back to finish reading it or to go to the older issues.

2. Why do new issues have a white background and back issues have a black background?
This is because while I like the black background better, there are many people (trust me I heard it) who print off the newsletter each month and some of them found it difficult to read with the black background. The words came out grey and were harder to read. So I decided to return to the white background for its initial release and when it goes to the archives, I put it into the black background, which I feels looks better.

Question of the Month
Last month's question, "What was the first game system you gave up on" had quite a few responses. Here are the top three answers.

1. Odyssey II
2. Fairchild Channel F
3. Atari 5200

The reasons were mostly the same. Most people seemed to give up on the Odyssey II because of lack of quality games and the less than stellar controllers. The Channel F was the same reason and that it was tough to find anything for it. The 5200 was mostly due to frustration with the joysticks and having to repair or replace them.

This month's question is what was the name or initials you used when you had a high score on an arcade machine. Also, why did you choose this name or initials?

The name I always used and still use to this day is BAT. The reason behind it is actually a bit of a story. When I was in eighth grade, I was shot in the eye by a B-B gun. I spent a fair amount of time in the hospital and after I got out, I had to wear a patch for a few months, until I went back for surgery. Well, knowing how kids are, I was teased some for this and there were two kids who used to say that I was "blind as a bat". Instead of letting it bother me, I incorporated  the name and have used it ever since. Just so you know, the surgery was a success and I do have vision in both eyes. I was pretty lucky that the B-B bounced off the eye.

Finale
Time to put the finishing touches on another newsletter. This newsletter marks a landmarks. It is the largest issue and has the most submissions. It was great to see so many submissions and hopefully this will be a continuing trend. As always, keep that feedback coming. I do listen and many of the changes in the newsletter are a direct result of suggestions from readers. Since the themes are so popular, tune in next month when we will take a look at licensed games. We will salute the games that were based on properties like movies, television shows, etc... See you in thirty days and keep those fire buttons pressed!

Tom Zjaba 

(Some of the pictures are provided by the Digital Press CD.  Possibly one of the best deals out there.  To get your own copy, go to http://www.xnet.com/~skelly/ or http://digitpress.com and order one).