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Bally Alley Astrocast

This podcast covers the Bally Arcade videogame console released in 1978. This system was also called the Astrocade and the Bally Professional Arcade.
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Now displaying: 2020
Mar 11, 2020

 

In episode 13 of the Bally Alley Astrocast, Adam and Chris review the Bally Arcade/Astrocade game "Cosmic Raiders," a horizontally scrolling shoot 'em up. "Cosmic Raiders" is a game released in 1983 on an 8K cartridge by Astrocade Inc. It is part of the Action/Skills Series and is part #2019. It was written by Bob Ogdon, Scot L. Norris, Julie Malan, and Lisa Natting.

"In deep space lies the alien sector Larkin. You are there on a mission to obtain energy sources that have been seized by the evil Larkins. Radar and a superior guidance system help you avoid attacking fighters and Kamikaze ships. The energy stars are near the Larkin command ship: you must retrieve them before you can leave the enemy sector."

Recurring Links 

"Cosmic Raiders" Notes

  • "Cosmic Raiders" Video Overview by Nice and Games (August 26, 2011).
  • "Cosmic Raiders" Cartridge - JPG Picture.
  • "Cosmic Raiders" Cartridge Prototypes - JPG Pictures. At least ten prototype cartridges of "Cosmic Raiders" have been found, with the game in various states of production. Most pictures have labels from Action Graphics and there is one from "Arlo Morrill, A.M. Associates, Inc."
  • "Cosmic Raiders" Manual Cover - JPG Picture.
  • "Cosmic Raiders" Manual - PDF Document.
  • "Cosmic Raiders" Z80 Disassembly - Cosmic Raiders Disassembly for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade - Started by Adam Trionfo and completed by Richard Degler (December 25, 2018) - This is a Z80 disassembly of the Cosmic Raiders cartridge. This is the third release of this code. It is now commented and most everything has been disassembled. Richard comments: "Here's "COSMIC RAIDERS 2019.zip" (early VideoCADE #2019 New Year's present) anyway. [...] Check the names of the different fighter patterns - Type-2 and Type-4 might be switched. And notice that the BOMB-Explosion is NOT used for the Bomb! [...] Contains the infamous "LD A,$F0 / OUT ($CC),A" (BASIC equivalant "&(204)=240") which fooled [some few] into believing there was a MYSTIC register hidden in their machine's hardware. Probably just a command to turn off a Printer, UART or Electronic Module in the test bed instead.
  • "Cosmic Raiders," The Game Player" Review #15 - PDF. - ARCADIAN 6, no. 3 (Jan. 27, 1984): 23.
  • "Cosmic Raiders," "The Game Player" Review #15 - Text. "The Game Player" review compilation. This review of "Cosmic Raiders" originally appeared in the "Arcadian" newsletter in the column called "The Game Player." See review #15 in this compilation for the complete review.
  • "Cosmic Raiders" Review by Kevin O'Neill - This column reviews the Treasure Cove and Cosmic Raiders cartridges for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade. These reviews first appeared in NIAGARA B.U.G. BULLETIN, 2, no. 6 (July 27, 1984): 29-30.

Next Episode's Coverage

  • Clowns/Brickyard by Astrocade, Inc. - (Cartridge Game) - "Clowns" and "Brickyard" (both on the same cartridge) are the two games that will be reviewed in the next episode. "Clowns" is a color port of the Midway's 1978 B&W arcade game "Clowns." The second game, "Brickyard," is a "Breakout" clone.
  • Outpost 19 by WaveMakers - (BASIC Game) You are stranded on an alien outpost with nobody to help you. While you wait and pray for a rescue party, the only hope you have of surviving is to gather the food parcels that exist in each of the 16 rooms of the outpost. While you're chasing after the food parcels, the alien is chasing after you! His advantage is that he can go through walls, so his path toward you is more of a straight line, while your escape must be around obstacles in the rooms and through doorways provided.

Feedback

  • HSC01 Round 3: Cosmic Raiders - This is the AtariAge thread from when "Cosmic Raiders" was played in the Bally Arcade/Astrocaded High Score Club in March 2016. The feedback for Astrocast #13 is in this thread.
Feb 6, 2020

In episode 12 of the Bally Alley Astrocast, Adam is joined by his good friend, and sometime-co-host, Chris++. Adam and Chris review the Bally Arcade/Astrocade game "ICBM Attack." This is one of the very rare third-party programs that was released on cartridge. This 4Kb game was released in 1982 by Brett Bilbrey, Mike Toth and Marian Nalepa (Spectre Systems). It requires a special controller called the "Spectre Handle" to play the game.

Recurring Links 

"ICBM Attack" Notes

  • ICBM Attack by Spectre Systems - Video overview and how to use a trackball to play the game in the Astrocade emulator included with MAME.

Astrocade News/Updates

  • 8-Bit Workshop - Write 8-bit code, including for the Astrocade, in your browser. Ever wanted to be an old-school game programmer? Learn how classic game hardware worked. Write code and see it run instantly.
  • Gorf Coin-Op: Latest Disassembly - David Turner's original posting to the Bally Alley discussion forum on Groups.io. Dave says, "I've made a little progress on the Coin-Op version of Gorf and thought I would make it available. It will assemble with zmac." Dave added comments from the GORF source code written in TERSE. BallyAlley.com hosts the Gorf Arcade Disassembly, but (as of Feb. 6, 2020) it doesn't have Dave's newest update yet.
  • TERSE Documentation and Source Code - Alan McNeil programmed TERSE, which is short for either "Terse Efficient Recursive Stack Engine" or "Terse Efficient Reentrant Stack Engine." This programming langauge was used at Dave Nutting Associates to program arcade games such as The Adventures of Robby Roto!, GORF and other games from the late 1970s and early 1980s. The TERSE language is based on FORTH.

Next Episode's Coverage

  • Cosmic Raiders by Astrocade, Inc. - (Cartridge Game) In deep space lies the alien sector Larkin. You are there on a mission to obtain energy sources that have been seized by the evil Larkins. Radar and a superior guidance system help you avoid attacking fighters and Kamikaze ships. The energy stars are near the Larkin command ship: you must retrieve them before you can leave the enemy sector.
  • Outpost 19 by WaveMakers - (BASIC Game) You are stranded on an alien outpost with nobody to help you. While you wait and pray for a rescue party, the only hope you have of surviving is to gather the food parcels that exist in each of the 16 rooms of the outpost. While you're chasing after the food parcels, the alien is chasing after you! His advantage is that he can go through walls, so his path toward you is more of a straight line, while your escape must be around obstacles in the rooms and through doorways provided.

Feedback

  • Sideswipe by WaveMaker - Mike Peace, the author of this Sideswipe, left feedback in January 2020 on this overview of this BASIC game.
Jan 6, 2020

In episode 11 of the Bally Alley Astrocast, Adam is joined by his 25-year-old son Dominic. Dominic discusses his memories of growing up with an Astrocade in the house in the late-to-mid-nineties and early 2000s. Adam and Dominic review the Bally BASIC/"AstroBASIC" game Hamurabi.

Recurring Links 

Some Astrocade News/Updates

In this short episode, we decided not to cover any updates, as very few were made since our last recording.

Introduction Notes

Hamurabi Notes

  • King Hamurabi by Richard Houser - "King Hamurabi," a Bally BASIC game appeared in Arcadian 2, no. 4 (Feb. 25, 1980): 32-33 and on the tape "Best of Arcadian - 1980." In this video, Dominic and I play a few games to help listeners of the Astrocast to better conceptualize how the game is played.

Feedback

  • Sorry, there is no feedback in this episode...

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