unMAMEd Atari Games

For a more complete listing of games check out System 16.

NOTE ON PROTOTYPES: As many of you know, some of these 'most wanted' prototypes are in existance but haven't been made public. The owner acquired these rare prototypes through contacts at Atari that let him use parts to REPAIR his machines only. He's kind enough put his machines on display at the California Extreme show every summer. He's put a lot of time and money into assembling these machines, the ROMs are indeed safely backed up, and his wishes should be respected. At the very least, angry/begging e-mails to him will make sure that these ROMs will never be released to the public. So calm down and enjoy the Atari prototypes that ARE in MAME such as Sparkz and BeatHead!

Dirtbike (Atari [prototype], 7?)

Quiz Show (Atari/Kee, 76)

Pictures taken from System 16.
Questions and answers are stored on a multi-track tape.
More information from GregAC5A:
Quiz Show was mentioned by Al Kossow (back in late 2003) to be a cpu controlled game. Al posted the cpu info on MAME board. I recalled thread since MAMEdev "frotz" was asking about the hardware of Quiz Show. I don't know if Quiz Show has been dumped or not. The tapes would also require being processed since they contain the data that displays questions on the screen. Info from luigi30:
There's a dump of Quiz Show's ROMs floating around on the internet, but there's no dump of the tape.

Fast Draw (Atari/Arcade Engineering [ever released?], 77)
Jack Pearson of A.E. has said they developed this game and sold it to Atari, it's not the same as the American Laser game or the poker machine of this title.

Dominoes 4 aka Dominoes cocktail (Atari, 77)
Why it's not emulated (Stefan):
No dump.

Smokey Joe (Atari, 78)
In MAME as Fire Truck. You need to adjust dipswitches to change it to Smokey Joe.

Captain Seahawk (Atari [prototype], 78)

Solar War (Atari [prototype], 79)

Akka Arrh (Atari [prototype], 80)

Pictures taken at CA Extreme.
Dual-playfield trackball game. Most of the action takes place in the "zoom in" screen, however the player also has to zoom out to take care of advancing enemies on the general map screen. There is some gameplay footage on YouTube.

Missile Command Deluxe (Atari [prototype], 81)

Pictures taken at CA Extreme.
Prototype head-to-head two-player version of Missile Command, shown at CA Extreme in an Atari Football cabinet. There is only one base, so one start/fire button per player. The game is the same idea as the original, however plays pretty differently with the vertically oriented split screen. There is some gameplay footage on YouTube.

Star Trap (Atari [prototype], 81)

Interchange (Atari [prototype], 82)

Harescare (Atari [prototype])

Pictures from video at Atarigames.com.

Unknown Atari prototype (Atari [prototype])

Pictures from video at Atarigames.com.

E.T. (Atari [prototype])
No copy known to exist. This game supposedly is on the same hardware as Return of the Jedi.

Barroom Baseball (Atari [prototype], 83)
Arcade version of 5200 RealSports Baseball, on a timer.

Nightmare (Atari/GCC [prototype], 84)

Pictures leaked out by Safestuff.

Pictures taken at CA Extreme
An unreleased game by GCC made for Atari as a settlement for their Missile Command hack Super Missile Attack - their other released games are Food Fight and Quantum. Nightmare has controls like Tron, with a trigger joystick and spinner to aim. As the game is similar to Robotron, dual joysticks may have made for simpler controls - the spinner makes the control VERY challenging. The gameplay isn't totally obvious either, which makes for a very steep rise in challenge after the first few levels. Though it gets extremely hard very fast, it's definitely a fun game with great music - though the scream when you lose the game can best be described as "ear splitting". If you get the chance to play Nightmare at CA Extreme, please take some time to check it out, and maybe keep the below advice in mind!
GAMEPLAY: Your goal is to touch the four locks, which open the portal to the next level. You have an octagonal barrier which constantly rotates around you. You can attract the locks and shield pieces to yourself by shooting them. You only lose the game if all eight shield pieces break off and fly off the screen, or are sucked into the end of level portal - so a good strategy is to absorb enemy shots on the "non shielded" red barrier, keeping your yellow barrier pieces safe.
Since locks often appear on the other side of the screen, it's a good idea to keep moving, and try to time your movements collecting the locks so that your shield barrier isn't at risk. Each two levels have a unique enemy, listed below, that has a learnable pattern, making the enemies easier to shoot. If your own shots hit the wall, however, they grow into daggers which come flying back at you. If you can make it through the levels to a blue square on the map, you reach a bonus round and can continue from that point. Meaning, if I passed level 18 it would be a continue point - I got very close but wasn't able to accomplish it. Finally, the level map also shows some "rings" on certain levels which are unknown - I didn't get that far. Assuming the game is at the show next year, hopefully I'll have more to report about the game.
Level enemies:
1-2: skulls
3-4: slime
5-6: ... (forgot this one!)
7-8: bones (a femur was supposedly the joystick in the original cabinet)
9-10: eyes
11-12: spiders
13-14: hearts (attracted to lock, movement pulsates)
15-16: brains (shoot when destroyed)
17-18: demon heads (shoot at you)

Jammin (Atari [prototype])

Pictures from video at Atarigames.com.

Accelerator (Atari [prototype, System 2], 88)

Pictures taken at CA Extreme.
One of the games that regularly appears at California Extreme. Side-view racing game where your vehicle rotates around a tube and is powered by boosts. Think bonus levels in "STUN Runner" but powered by non-polygon Paperboy hardware. Oh, and controlled by a rolling-pin type "Major Havoc" controller.

Gremlins (Atari [prototype, System 2])

Pictures from video at Atarigames.com.
According to Atari Age message board, programmed by Franz Lanzinger. Also talk of incomplete source code that seems to not have been of much help unfortunately.

BMX Heat (Atari [prototype], 91)

From the manual, what appears to be the title screen.

Pictures from very early demo video at Atarigames.com.
BMX game running on Hard Drivin' type hardware, player rode on a bicycle to control the game. Based on reports, it playtested at the Milpitas Golfland.

Marble Madness 2: Marble Man (Atari [prototype], 91)

Pictures taken at CA Extreme
You may also be able to find some YouTube videos. Levels tend to be a lot more crowded than the original game, plus the version of the game at CA Extreme has joystick controls?!?

Race Drivin' Panorama (Atari (prototype), 90)

This version added side monitors and a stock-car track to the standard game.

Danger Express (Atari [prototype], 92)

Space Lords (Atari [GX2 hardware], 92)

More WIP pics from Aaron Giles.
A link-up space battle game that you could play with your friend as a gunner. Though it was a 3D space battle game, it didn't use polygons.
Why it's not emulated: (Aaron Giles)
This is the first Atari game to use a 68020 processor. Other games to follow on similar hardware include Moto Frenzy, T-Mek, and Primal Rage. The video and sound hardware is quite similar to the previous games (Guardians of the Hood and Road Riot 4WD). However, the SLOOP chip appears to have gone away, only to be replaced by something equally sinister. Space Lords uses this chip to produce the palette for the sprites, which is why all the screenshots have incorrect colors. The protection chip is also used to produce some in-game parameters, making it nigh impossible to play without accurate emulation.
Moto Frenzy (Atari [GX2 hardware], 92)

WIP pics from System 16.
Why it's not emulated: (Aaron Giles)
Runs on identical hardware to Space Lords. Again, the protection device is not understood well enough to give accurate emulation. Graphics are drawn correctly, but the colors are incorrect and gameplay is fouled up.
More information from Aaron Giles' homepage:
The GX2 system follows up the G42 system by swapping out the aging 68000 processor for a new 68EC020. Apart from that, the systems are basically identical. The known released GX2 games are Space Lords and Moto Frenzy. There was also an unreleased sequel to Road Riot 4WD called Road Riot's Revenge. These games are all protected with an unknown game-specific device that is used in varying ways game-to-game. In Space Lords, for example, it is used to munge the palette. The fact that you see mostly correct colors in the screenshots below means that I have done some work on getting things working, but it's far from being playable.

Cyberstorm (Atari [prototype], 93)

Pictures taken at CA Extreme.

Metal Maniax (Atari [polygon], 94 prototype)

Pictures taken at CA Extreme.
Why it's not emulated: (Aaron Giles)
Demolition derby-style game on the next generation hardware. Metal Maniax is a fairly major evolution of the [Hard Drivin hardware] design. It uses pretty much the same parts, but there's a number of large FPGAs on there that probably handle the texture mapping. The basic system is:
* a 68EC020 (upgraded from the 68000 on the earlier games)
* a pair of TMS34020's (upgraded from the TMS34010 on the earlier games)
* four DSP32C's (as used in Race Drivin')
* a TMS320C31 (probably for sound; I'm guessing it uses the CAGE system like Primal Rage)
* an ADSP2105
Now that system drives two players, so I'm suspecting that there's only one TMS34020 and two DSP32C's per player. Because it's all integrated onto one board, I don't know if it's possible at all to separate out the functionality, especially because there's just one 68EC020 driving the whole shebang.
At some point, I'll probably try to plug it all in, but I strongly suspect you will never see it emulated fully.

Beavis and Butt-Head (Atari [prototype, 3DO hardware], 95)

Pictures taken at CA Extreme.
Contrary to the current description at System 16, this was actually a beat-em-up game, with the mini games making up bonus rounds. The game is regularly at CA Extreme, however its unfinished state often results in the game getting stuck in certain sections. There is a walkthrough video of the game on YouTube.
Die Alien Scum!! (Atari/Time Warner Interactive [prototype, 3DO hardware], 96)

Pictures from the net and taken at CA Extreme

Primal Rage II (Atari [prototype], 96)

Mean Streak (Atari [prototype])

Pictures from video at Atarigames.com.
According to Atarigames.com, the project manager for this game was Steve Ritchie, and was to be his next game after California Speed.

San Francisco Rush: The Rock (Atari [Seattle HW], 96)
San Francisco Rush: The Rock Wavenet (Atari [Seattle HW])
A special version of the game that allowed network play over a broadband line specially installed at the arcade.

Juko Threat (Atari, 98)
In MAME under the name Tenth Degree.

San Francisco Rush 2049 (Atari, 98)
Road Burners (Atari, 99)
War: The Final Assault (Atari, 99)
Hot Rod Rebels (Atari [prototype])

Pictures from System16.
Unreleased sequel to SF Rush 2049.

Area 51: Site 4 (Atari, 98)

Pictures taken from The Guru's page.
Info from MameC:
Works except for the gun inputs. It's unknown if the gun input come in through the parallel port or somewhere else.
Info from Smitdogg
Area 51 site4 The PCB looks sort of like a PC mobo, and apparently uses a Cyrix processor.
Bloodlust I.K.3 (Atari [prototype])

Pictures from System16.
Shooting World (Atari [prototype])

Missile Combat (Atari/Videotron bootleg, 8?)