Classic Retro Video Game Blog

8 Bit Central - Retro Gaming Blog

April 2013 Retro Gaming Article

April 3, 2013 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Curiosity brings trouble when your CX52 leaves you helpless against Tempest on the Atari 5200

The 2 amazing facets of this Tempest for Atari 5200 post are...
  1. Years after an Atari 5200 proto came into the Internet's public domain, the original programmer jumped on it to create a finalized version!
  2. Programmer Jeff Minter created Tempest 2000 for the Atari Jaguar and implemented rotary control into the game even though no one had released a rotary controller for the Jaguar!
Curiosity always brings trouble - tattoo Sometimes proper placement makes all the difference in a tattoo. "Curiosity always brings trouble" - tattoo. At the same time this inked slogan brings an appropriate warning to retro gamers daring to play Tempest on an Atari 5200 without a proper controller.
Tempest for the Atari 5200 Super System For 15 years, the existence of an Atari 5200 version of Tempest was thought to be only myth. No prototypes had ever surfaced. A crude 2600 version had come to light, along with a prototype box. Then, in 1999, an unfinished working 5200 prototype appeared on eBay. The game was eventually dumped and the binary freely distributed around the Internet. Another decade has gone by since the game's discovery, and the original Atari 5200 Tempest programmer, Keithen Hayenga, worked to complete Tempest so it could finally see the light of day in completed form!

Atari 5200 Track Ball Incorporating all the functionality of the CX52 joystick, including the keypad, makes the Atari 5200 Track Ball a fairly sophisticated device. We always think of Centipede when pondering the benefit of track ball control. However, many games adapt wonderfully to track ball control - Tempest for 5200 is one of them! AtariAge forum posts suggest that 5200 Tempest is Track Ball compatible and the preferred way of playing.
Atari Jaguar rotary controller For those lucky enough to play Tempest on the Atari Jaguar know how incredible a rotary controller can be. The real story is how insanely wonderful programmer Jeff Minter was behind the scenes. He included code to support rotary control even though no one would ever release a Jag controller with rotary control! The rotary controllers for Jaguar are hacked/modded primarily for T2K.

« Return to the main Retro Gaming Blog 2013