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Thread: Atari "ET" Cartridges Found In New Mexico Landfill

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    Senior Member technomage1's Avatar
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    Atari "ET" Cartridges Found In New Mexico Landfill

    Soooo...going back in time a bit here....and dating myself...

    In 1983 a young techno was a pretty avid gamer, though it wasn't until 1986 that I received my first console, the Atari 7800. Back in those days I used to ride my bike down to the arcade and pump quarters into the likes of Wizard of Wor (not misspelled), Frogger, Asteriods, and Ms. Pac-Man. In 1983, Atari released millions of copies of the game "ET" for the 2600. Like most movie tie in games then and now, it wasn't very good. Some have called it the worst game of all time, though having picked up a copy in 1987 at Odd Lots for chump change (and thus having acutally played it) I disagree. It wasn't great but to me the title of worst game probably goes to Fantavision. Anyway, Atari lost its shirt on the millions of these cartridges that didn't sell and - as was widely reported at the time - dumped 14 truckloads of games into a landfill and tried to move on.

    So 31 years pass and what was a commonly known fact became a "legend" and a "mystery". People for some reason began to doubt the dump actually occured. The remaining Atari employees didn't know one way or another if it was true, which didn't help matters, and no one involved wanted to admit to it - even if they were asked.

    So yesterday they dug up the landfill and - gasp - found a ton of old Atari cartridges - some still worked even. "Mystery" solved. I was irratated a commonly known fact was even up to debate.

    It just goes to show you how sometimes people can question things that acutally happened.
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    Re: Atari "ET" Cartridges Found In New Mexico Landfill

    Yeah, next thing you know people will be questioning whether a plane crashed into the Pentagon.

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    Re: Atari "ET" Cartridges Found In New Mexico Landfill

    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Alfredo View Post
    Yeah, next thing you know people will be questioning whether a plane crashed into the Pentagon.

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    Re: Atari "ET" Cartridges Found In New Mexico Landfill

    Quote Originally Posted by technomage1 View Post
    In 1983 a young techno was a pretty avid gamer, though it wasn't until 1986 that I received my first console, the Atari 7800...

    ...It just goes to show you how sometimes people can question things that acutally happened.
    Like someone having actually bought an Atari 7800. Well... I can actually believe that, since I knew one kid in my neighborhood who had it. I remember trying to play Double Dragon on that thing... man, it was horrible. The Atari 7800 is not some "gem" that went undiscovered by the masses, as that honor would go to the Sega Master System. The Atari 7800 was overlooked for good reason - not only was it bad, but people expected it to be after their experience with the Atari 5200.

    Anyhow... seeing is believing. Everyone is that way... maybe not in all cases, but in at least some of them. If you want them to believe something, you have to show them. Was there any footage of the cartridges being dumped? Maybe a few loose cartrides laying around that got missed after the burial? Any evidence of some sort? If burying those cartridges was a crime, would the prosecution have been able to prove guilt without the cartridges being dug up?

    I remember in May of 2011, when it was announced that Osama Bin Laden was caught and killed. How many of you didn't buy that, especially when there were no pictures of a dead body?
    "Well... Uber's going to "driverless" cars soon, and their research probably shows that they're a natural fit (when it comes to getting paid for doing nothing)."
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    Re: Atari "ET" Cartridges Found In New Mexico Landfill

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Jones View Post
    Like someone having actually bought an Atari 7800. Well... I can actually believe that, since I knew one kid in my neighborhood who had it. I remember trying to play Double Dragon on that thing... man, it was horrible. The Atari 7800 is not some "gem" that went undiscovered by the masses, as that honor would go to the Sega Master System. The Atari 7800 was overlooked for good reason - not only was it bad, but people expected it to be after their experience with the Atari 5200.
    I got it as a gift for Christmas. I never asked for such an expensive gift, but my uncle bought it for me. I played the heck out of it and loved it. The controllers weren't the greatest, they hurt your hands after hours of gameplay, but the really nice thing was at that point all the 2600 cartridges were getting discounted, so I could get a ton of great games for peanuts. Aside from the controllers I never noticed anything else bad about the system itself. It had a decent library and as I noted was backwards compatible with the 2600.

    I don't know if I would call it a gem or not - I never had anything other than the arcade to compare it to. I can only speak from my experience that I enjoyed it and it set me on a lifetime of gaming. My next system came in 1992 - the Sega Genesis.

    Fun factoid for the younger folks - 1986 was also the year my uncle bought us our first microwave.
    Newton's First Law of Motion

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    Re: Atari "ET" Cartridges Found In New Mexico Landfill

    Quote Originally Posted by technomage1 View Post
    Soooo...going back in time a bit here....and dating myself...

    In 1983 a young techno was a pretty avid gamer, though it wasn't until 1986 that I received my first console, the Atari 7800. Back in those days I used to ride my bike down to the arcade and pump quarters into the likes of Wizard of Wor (not misspelled), Frogger, Asteriods, and Ms. Pac-Man. In 1983, Atari released millions of copies of the game "ET" for the 2600. Like most movie tie in games then and now, it wasn't very good. Some have called it the worst game of all time, though having picked up a copy in 1987 at Odd Lots for chump change (and thus having acutally played it) I disagree. It wasn't great but to me the title of worst game probably goes to Fantavision. Anyway, Atari lost its shirt on the millions of these cartridges that didn't sell and - as was widely reported at the time - dumped 14 truckloads of games into a landfill and tried to move on.

    So 31 years pass and what was a commonly known fact became a "legend" and a "mystery". People for some reason began to doubt the dump actually occured. The remaining Atari employees didn't know one way or another if it was true, which didn't help matters, and no one involved wanted to admit to it - even if they were asked.

    So yesterday they dug up the landfill and - gasp - found a ton of old Atari cartridges - some still worked even. "Mystery" solved. I was irratated a commonly known fact was even up to debate.

    It just goes to show you how sometimes people can question things that acutally happened.
    My kids started with Pong. Now that's a dinosaur.

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    Re: Atari "ET" Cartridges Found In New Mexico Landfill

    Quote Originally Posted by retiredAFcivvy View Post
    My kids started with Pong. Now that's a dinosaur.
    I remember playing Pong at the grocery store, when the game had actually physical "paddles" and a spring-loaded "ball" that bounced between them...they lit up against a black screen and appeared somewhat like a video game.

    It was broken more often than not.

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    Re: Atari "ET" Cartridges Found In New Mexico Landfill

    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    I remember playing Pong at the grocery store, when the game had actually physical "paddles" and a spring-loaded "ball" that bounced between them...they lit up against a black screen and appeared somewhat like a video game.

    It was broken more often than not.
    I miss the days when grocery stores and convenience stores had video games. I remember when convenience stores, blocks way and farther from closer ones, got a new game... and my friends and I would hop on our bikes to go play it. I remember passing one 7-Eleven in order to get to one that had Michael Jackson's Moonwalker, and then both of THOSE 7-Elevens plus another in order to get to a grocery store that had Street Fighter II when it came out. I moved out of town a year later, and had friends writing me telling me how they rode their bikes to an arcade that was twice the distance of that grocery store, because they had Mortal Kombat.

    Around those times, however, inflation had finally hit the arcade game industry, and started costing 50 cents to play, when it was only a quarter the year before.

    If you were ever a fan of the Double Dragon series, Double Dragon 3 hurt your pockets worse than any game in history - you only got one life, and you couldn't "stun" your opponents to get a combo in like most side scrolling beat 'em ups (making the game far more difficult, resulting in you pumping in more quarters), and you actually had to pop more quarters into the machine in order to get weapons (in most games, you knock them from the enemies' hands to pick them up), and pop in more quarters to get the special moves - which go away after you lose a life, forcing you to repurchase them. And the game was virtually unplayable without those moves!

    Then Daytona USA came out in 1994 - that game costed a whole dollar to play! And you couldn't even finish the race unless you hit certain marks at certain times to pick up time extensions... otherwise, you'd have to pop in four more quarters to continue. And that became the standard for racing games after that.

    Arcade gaming by that time was no longer kid-friendly in terms of prices.
    "Well... Uber's going to "driverless" cars soon, and their research probably shows that they're a natural fit (when it comes to getting paid for doing nothing)."
    -Rainmaker, referencing black males

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    Re: Atari "ET" Cartridges Found In New Mexico Landfill

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Jones View Post
    Then Daytona USA came out in 1994 - that game costed a whole dollar to play! And you couldn't even finish the race unless you hit certain marks at certain times to pick up time extensions... otherwise, you'd have to pop in four more quarters to continue. And that became the standard for racing games after that.

    Arcade gaming by that time was no longer kid-friendly in terms of prices.
    I used to love Pole Position...that was the shit back in the 80s.

    There was another racing game that 4 people could play at once...you all stood around looking down on the track and each had a car...ha ha, so much fun at the Jersey shore!

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    Re: Atari "ET" Cartridges Found In New Mexico Landfill

    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    I used to love Pole Position...that was the shit back in the 80s.

    There was another racing game that 4 people could play at once...you all stood around looking down on the track and each had a car...ha ha, so much fun at the Jersey shore!
    Ivan Stewart's Off-Road?
    "Well... Uber's going to "driverless" cars soon, and their research probably shows that they're a natural fit (when it comes to getting paid for doing nothing)."
    -Rainmaker, referencing black males

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