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March 27, 2018 at 4:40 pm #111167Gernot66Participant
I’m not sure but it’s probably the oldest space sim in the true sense of simulation.
It’s a tiny little bit older as Activision’s Space Shuttle for the A2600 console (VCS).
Intellivision “SPACE SHUTTLE ?”
They launched the project in 1981 and left it unfinished until 1983/84, mostly because the big bad mother marketing didn’t saw the potential of a pure simulation, they thought for space games in limits of invaders. Also it’s documented that the voice support wasn’t completed (i’m not sure but that’s official history).
The question mark belongs to the title because it was left unfinished when “Mattel Electronics” closed its doors 1983/84 and the title was ment to change because of Activision’s Space Shuttle (“Shuttle Cock” was one result for it in a brainstorming for a new name).
The games are quite similar in some way, you can’t do much, for the VCS version search in YT for “A2600 Space Shuttle” or similar.
A dude describes in this clip what he felt playing this “Game” at the age of 9.
But i don’t like to lose much words about the VCS version, my console was the Intellivision, and even when i’m aged a little more as him i would have loved both.
What makes the Intellivision version special is most offendly the voice support for it, maybe you will know there was an expansion for the console called Intellivoice and was based on a brand new voice synthsizing processor back then. It’s quite good and they still don’t have to hide behind a Mac “voiceover” which reads sentences without any noteable phonetic, likeiwouldwritethistextinthismanner. the reason why it’s different it’s not software driven (while Amiga’s voice was good as well) and someone had to record the phrases before they have been transferred to commands. Of course the voice ROM contains already a standard set for most needed i.e. “Mattel Electronics presents”. but this voice sounds unpersonal and robotic like we know it from the Amiga, but still better as the voiceover.
Besides the original Intellivoice was designed for more, it has itself an expansion slot for planned cordless controllers and 3D glasses and don’t ask me what else, the hardware manufacturing division was quite creative, they invented also a Glove.
It was all flushed down the drain when the Videogame Wars was over and no one won the battle.
“Mattel Electronics” broke their neck mostly because of unfulfilled licensing of countless licenses they grabbed when the war started.
You get horrible fines if you don’t fulfill your promises by who was it? some u.s. federal office.
Mostly cartoon licenses because the arcade games licenses have been taken either by Atari or later Coleco.
Despite the fact that they fulfilled their contracts they neither won the war.
Imho, it was the breadbox which finally broke their neck.
The C64 was from my personal ward seen less good as any of them for gaming, maybe to compare with the A2600 but certainly not the Inty or Coleco.
But i guess what didn’t worked out well for “Intellivision” the unfinished project of a keyboard component (fined as well heavy for delay) and latter ECS (expansionable computer system) to finally get away from the monthly to pay fines. While we must know the keyboard component was planned as a autonom working computer and isn’t just an expansion. both had tape recording support and a built in BASIC interpreter.
So it wouldn’t have been far from a C64, however i know that most here in switzerland looked at the consoles still as “Pong clones” (in a wider sense) while the C64 was a home computer and it was affordable and most of all the software was affordable, if not to say “cheap” compared to cartridges.
Let’s have a look at this game, played on a real Intellivision & Intellivoice supported by a top modern thingy called “LTO Flash!” (to store all the ROM images) and captured with TVanywhere.
To be honest, the clip is quite long and boring but this is “Space Shuttle ?”, a simulation.
It’s unfortunately really unfinished and due to whatever (Hack ?) broken as hell.
It works, but its in many parts unfinished like the fact that the whole map and trajectory control (your orbit) had no real function (yet).
But you can burn that candle, that’s already great! (guessing of how this boy felt together with his buddy commanding a real Space Shuttle).
The counter has a stupid low overflow and starts to overflow at 10’000 points, worst of all when it reaches approx. 20’000 it displays animated cards (sprites as we say today) and the game crashes. Fortunately not the shuttle 😉
I feel it looks better as its competitor and it would have offered quite more if it would have been finished and not blocked by marketing.
Badges was already embroidered, damned!
You can deploy a satellite and you can capture broken ones to carry them down to earth for a repair.
Intentionally i guess you would have had to match trajectories and speed to capture one but exactly in this part it’s unfinished.
To make the fun complete, there exists a variation of “Astrosmash” an Asteroids clone (truely it was ment as but they had to change the game because of copyright infringement).
The standard built in voice of the Intellivoice was known that it can’t pronounce “can’t” well, it sounds like “cunt”.
The devs made a fun out of it and programmed a version titled “Space Cunt” with limited voice, only the title will be read.
Here’s “Space Cunt”, this time only emulated i own the Intellivoice since two month’s and the “Flash” since december last year.
I see now i made it to advertise some music so it has no “voice”, but it would be only thde title as i said and a clip of this repeating spoken title you will find on YT by some other weirdo.
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