A Fantastic Intellivision Haul…And More!

5 01 2014

I decided to peruse a local online buy and sell site to see if there was any retro treasure to be found… There was! I bagged a boxed, great condition Intellivision, a crap load of great games, the Intellivoice add-on. But that, my fine feathered Internet friends was not all. No indeed, it is not. Included with the Intellivision was the extremely rare Educational Computer System (ECS) add-on, with the also ridiculously rare Music Synthesizer keyboard add-on. Pretty crazy, eh? Well, wait – there’s even more: the guy also threw in an Atari XE computer/console, matching joystick AND light gun,some Atari paddle controllers, a Kraft joystick, and the really cool button controller for Track and Field.

I got this entire haul for a total of $85 Canadian. The ECS and the XE didn’t come with power supplies, but I tested the XE with an existing power supply from the XE I already have and it works great, as does the ECS as I was able to test it using a Nintendo Entertainment System power supply.

Freakin’ awesome!

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New Additions to my Collection

8 05 2013

Hey folks… Long time no see.

I just thought I would let you know about some more recent additions to my collection.

I’ve picked up an Intellivision II in the box but without a power supply (if you can help me out with a power supply I’d be much appreciative), at a Flea Market. Also, I was given, free of charge, a fantastic Nintendo Entertainment System, in a collectible Official Carrying bag and a CRAP load of games. AND… I picked up a Sega Genesis with a Sega CD unit in a cool carrying case. Pictures are below!

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Sega Master System SegaScope 3-D System

15 04 2013

MastersystemIn 1986, Sega entered the console market in North America with the Sega Master System. Competing against the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES for short), Sega brought to the living room a technically superior system, but still managed to lose that generation’s console war due to a lack of good 3rd party games. That said the system still had some great games including some awesome Sega arcade ports.

Back in ‘86 my roommate had the Master System and the really cool 3-SegaSope Glasses. This was a funky 3D system that utilized a pair of active shutter glasses that synched on and off with alternating images on the TV creating a surprisingly effective 3D effect in the few games that supported it. People looking at the TV without the glasses would see a flickery mess of an image while the wearer of the 3D glasses would see a (semi) realistic 3D image.

Well, a lot of time has passed since then and while I had been able to acquire a few Master Systems over the years, a working, complete set of the 3D glasses and required adapter always seemed to elude me. That is until recently:

2013-03-29 12.43.03One night while randomly searching Ebay for retro gaming related items I decided to search for the Master System 3D glasses and was surprised by my results. I found a new pair of LCD glasses that the seller claimed was compatible with the Sega Master System. They were selling for $20, but I would till need the adapter, assuming that the glasses really were compatible. A quick Google search for post from anyone who may have actually used these style of glasses with a Master System confirmed that while the 2013-03-29 12.42.20glasses weren’t manufactured by Sega, they were indeed compatible. I hit buy now on those and the looked and quickly found someone selling the 3-D adaptor part of the SegaScope system for about $5. This is the piece that plugs into the Master System’s card slot and the glasses plug into it. So, I was able to recreate the SegaScope system for under $30. The real question was would it be as good as I seemed to remember it being? I was really hoping this wasn’t one of those Rose Coloured Glasses kind of situations

LightPhaserPlugging in the glasses and Zaxxon 3-D into the system, I fired it up and was very happy to see that my age fogged memory was accurate in this case: the 3-D still held up, considering the time. Though clucky to coordinate the 3D glasses and my own glasses, one I found a comfortable solution, the actual 3-D effect was quite impressive. I played a few rounds of Zaxxon and then plunked in Missile Defense 3-D.  This is a fast pace 3-D shooter where you use a light gun to target ICBMs – nuclear missiles that are heading your way. This is a game that is particularly good at taking advantage of the 3-D with both over head and first person views. Not only was I impressed with what I saw on TV, I was also very content with the old Light Phaser light gun’s accuracy. This old system was and is working great, and it’s the revolutionary 3-D system still worked well. There was a reason I backed this eventually losing horse back in it’s early days. The Master System can still be had for reasonably cheap if you look for it, and the 3-D glasses combo that I created can be easily done with a simple Ebay search. As for the games, I’ve found them at pawn shops for a few dollars and they’re pretty easy to find on Ebay. There’s even a flash cart available called the Master EverDrive that allows you to load up all the games on an SD card and play from a menu on the Master System. I just ordered one from Stoneagegamer.com and I’ll let you know what I think of it after I get it and try it out for a bit.





The Arcade’s Robot Ancestors: Electro Mechanical Games

3 09 2012

When I was really young (in the very early 1970s), there was a style of game arcade game that would seem alien to most gamers of today: electro mechanical games. Preceding the [commercial] video game, they were arcade games that utilized motorized mechanical bits and lighting effects to create a gaming experience.

Humongous, noisy cabinets with flashing lights and sirens recreated everything from naval battles to horse and motorcycle races with varying degrees of success and or failure. Companies like SEGA (among many other companies) with their 1968 game, Periscope, bridged the gap between pinball and videogames.

The specific games that I recall playing as a kid were a motor cycle game with model bikes, a lunar landing game with a model of the moon and a replica lunar lander on a cable, and a cool (for the time) car chase game called The Car where a movie clip played of a chase scene (you’re following a orange car) and you have to move the steering wheel back and forth to keep from…uh… hitting the sides of the road and traffic. If you went off track a loud grating noise was heard and an orange light flashed. It was simple but I was young and easily impressed by shiny things. I still am, actually.

There was a lot of ingenuity and hard work put into these machines and few survived the years due to the fact that moving parts break down and become scarce and eventually impossible to replace in time.

Actually, a number of electromechanical games made it to the home in the form od various racing, bowling and other games, including a mechanical representation of Pong called Blip.

If you ever get a chance to play one of these machines, I definitely suggest it. Check out some videos below of some different machines that were out in the wild, back in the past.

 

Missile (1969) Sega
Captain Kid Light Gun Game (1966)
Space Flight (1969) Bally
Hill Climb (1972) Bally
Moto Champ (1973) Sega
American Indy
Silver Gloves (1948) Mutoscope
Panzer Attack (1974) Midway
Sonar (1972) Sega