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Diggers unearth E.T. Atari 2600 cartridges in N.M. landfill
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Forum Graveyard - Hot off the Press - Diggers unearth E.T. Atari 2600 cartridges in N.M. landfill
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So the legends were true.....

Quote
ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — A documentary film production company has found buried in a New Mexico landfill hundreds of the Atari "E.T." game cartridges that some call the worst video game ever made.

Film director Zak Penn showed one "E.T." cartridge retrieved from the site and said that hundreds more were found in the mounds of trash and dirt scooped by a backhoe.

About 200 residents and game enthusiasts gathered early Saturday in southeastern New Mexico to watch backhoes and bulldozers dig through the concrete-covered landfill in search of up to a million discarded copies of "E.T. The Extraterrestrial" that the game's maker wanted to hide forever.

"I feel pretty relieved and psyched that they actually got to see something," said Penn as members of the production team sifted through the mounds of trash, pulling out boxes, games and other Atari products.

Most of the crowd left the landfill before the discovery, turned away by strong winds that kicked up massive clouds of dust mingled with garbage. By the time the games were found, only a few dozen people remained. Some were playing the infamous game in a make-shift gaming den with a T.V. and an 1980's game console in the back of a van, while others took selfies beside a life-size E.T. doll inside a DeLorean car like the one that was turned into a time machine in the "Back To The Future" movies.

Among the watchers was Armando Ortega, a city official who back in 1983 got a tip from a landfill employee about the massive dump of games.

"It was pitch dark here that night, but we came with our flashlights and found dozens of games," he said. They braved the darkness, coyotes and snakes of the desert landfill and had to sneak past the security guard. But it paid off.

He says they found dozens of crushed cartridges that they took home and were still playable in their game consoles.

The game and its contribution to the demise of Atari have been the source of fascination for video game enthusiasts for 30 years. The search for the cartridges will be featured in an upcoming documentary about the biggest video game company of the early '80s.

Xbox Entertainment Studios is one of the companies developing the film, which is expected to be released later this year on Microsoft's Xbox game consoles.

Whether — and most importantly, why — Atari decided to bury thousands or millions of copies of the failed game is part of the urban legend and much speculation on Internet blog posts and forums.

Kristen Keller, a spokeswoman at Atari, said "nobody here has any idea what that's about." The company has no "corporate knowledge" about the Alamogordo burial. Atari has changed hands many times over the years, and Keller said, "We're just watching like everybody else."

Atari currently manages about 200 classic titles such as Centipede and Asteroids. It was sold to a French company by Hasbro in 2001.

A New York Times article from Sept. 28, 1983, says 14 truckloads of discarded game cartridges and computer equipment were dumped on the site. An Atari spokesman quoted in the story said the games came from its plant in El Paso, Texas, some 80 miles south of Alamogordo.

Local news reports from the time said that the landfill employees were throwing cartridges there and running a bulldozer over them before covering them with dirt and trash.

The city of Alamogordo agreed to give the documentarians 250 cartridges or 10 percent of the cartridges found, whichever is greater,.

Alamogordo Mayor Susie Galea said finding something in the landfill might bring more tourists to this city in southeastern New Mexico that is home to an Air Force base and White Sands National Monument. "Lots of people just pass through, unfortunately," she said.

The "E.T." game is among the factors blamed for the decline of Atari and the collapse in the U.S. of a multi-million dollar video game industry that didn't bounce back for several years.

Tina Amini, deputy editor at gaming website Kotaku, said the game tanked because "it was practically broken." A recurring flaw, she said, was that the character of the game, the beloved extraterrestrial, would fall into traps that were almost impossible to escape and would appear constantly and unpredictably.

The company produced millions of cartridges, and although sales were not initially bad, the frustrating gameplay prompted an immense amount of returns. "They had produced so many cartridges that were unsold that even if the game was insanely successful I doubt they'd be able to keep up," Amini says.

Joe Lewandowski, who became manager of the 300-acre landfill a few months after the cartridge dump and has been a consultant for the documentarians, told The Associated Press that they used old photographs and dug exploratory wells to find the actual burial site.

The incidents following the burial remained a part of Alamogordo's local folklore, he said. For him, the only memories of "E.T." the game were of an awful game he once bought for his kid.

"I was busy merging two garbage companies together," he said. "I didn't have time for that."


http://news.yahoo.com/diggers-ataris-e-t-games-landfill-193256509.html
When I saw it on Yahoo news, I seem to remember it saying the game was "legendary" or something. Which is blindingly obviously not true.

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Science teachers are too afraid to teach their students about the element of surprise.

Believe it or not, I actually am (attempting to) work on a hack. Just very slowly.
Originally posted by KTBHacking
When I saw it on Yahoo news, I seem to remember it saying the game was "legendary" or something. Which is blindingly obviously not true.


Legendary doesn't mean good.

Anyway, it's cool they found it, and confirmed the story.
Originally posted by KTBHacking
When I saw it on Yahoo news, I seem to remember it saying the game was "legendary" or something. Which is blindingly obviously not true.


Legendary doesn't mean good.

Anyway, it's cool they found it, and confirmed the story. Honestly, I never thought E.T was horrible. Bad yes, but it's far from being the worst game ever. At least when you consider the standards back then.
Originally posted by Error 52
Originally posted by KTBHacking
When I saw it on Yahoo news, I seem to remember it saying the game was "legendary" or something. Which is blindingly obviously not true.


Legendary doesn't mean good.

Anyway, it's cool they found it, and confirmed the story. Honestly, I never thought E.T was horrible. Bad yes, but it's far from being the worst game ever. At least when you consider the standards back then.


Double post. You might want to fix that. Don't know why they BOTH say they're post #3339. Delete the first one, it doesn't have that other sentence.

Anyway, I know that legendary doesn't specifically mean good, but it's normally used in that context. At least, from what I've seen. i can't really state my solid opinions on the game, since I have never played it. But I have seen reviews and heard a lot of bad things about it, so I most likely won't waste my time with it.

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Science teachers are too afraid to teach their students about the element of surprise.

Believe it or not, I actually am (attempting to) work on a hack. Just very slowly.
The main problem was expectations. People were expecting something as advanced as Titnfall (Yeah, try converting that to NES...)

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Let's milk Sunny Milk. Then she'll have enough money to fund Sunny Milk Real Estate.
Everypony's digging with a shovel
I don't think people expected much back in the early 1980s. Especially not stuff like Titanfall. I don't think people thought Titanfall was even possible in the 1980s.
twitter is basically where im at now
E.T. is also not the sole reason of the video game crash. Although I guess it's interesting to see that they actually found buried copies of it.

There could have been a Tit 'n Fall for the NES.
I could see an atari 2600 porn game being called Tit 'n Fall. Prolly a Kaboom! clone.

But yes, Atari E.T. isn't the sole cause of the video game crash of 1983, which for the record only affected the western console market. There was literally no standard of quality back then, so consumers had no idea what was a good product and what was just garbage. Keep in mind this was also a generation where third-party games were a new concept, and most games were either watered-down arcade ports or knock-offs of said arcade ports or even other atari 2600 games (and possibly games from other systems of the time). It didn't help that at the time video games were just seen as a passing fad, meaning that video games wouldn't become mainstream media again until the 7th generation (wii/xbox360/ps3 for those who don't know). In the end many of the console manufacturers (coleco, mattel, magnavox) deemed consoles unprofitable and left the industry if not caved entirely, atari was never able to recover (the fact that there were several issues going on inside the company didn't help either) and it wasn't until the famicom, redesigned as the Nintendo Entertainment System to hide the fact it was a console, shipped to western shores with the killer app Super Mario Bros. that the console market recovered, giving Nintendo complete dominance over the console market (with the exception of Europe and Brazil, where the Sega Master System became popular) until the arrival of the Sega Genesis. It's also worth mentioning that NoA's strict policies during the NES era and early in the SNES era were a direct result of the crash.
For years, video game developers have wanted to do things in their games that proved impossible or at least horrendously difficult and deadline- and budget-destroying to accomplish at the time.

For example, did you know that the NES was originally scheduled to debut as a 16-bit system? The technology was already there in 1983, but was still extremely expensive. Each 16-bit NES would've probably cost nearly $1,000 (in 1983 dollars, mind you!). Instead, the 16-bit idea was put on hold for seven years, and the 8-bit NES proved to be the very console that resurrected the video game market.

Or try this one: the Sony Playstaion was originally going to be a CD-based peripheral for the SNES system called the NINTENDO Playstation! However, a copyright dispute arose between Sony and Nintendo, and the rest is history--the two have been rivals ever since.

Nintendo was planning on the GameBoy Advance's successor to be called the GameBoy Revolution, but then the name became the codeword for the Wii, and we got the DS, then the 3DS/2DS as a "booby prize".

Note I placed the words "booby prize" in quotes, to indicate the obvious irony of the phrase--the DS and now the 3DS are Nintendo's cash cows--they've made the Big N the number-one handheld seller in the world. Of course, only Sony is providing weak competition with its Vita handheld.

Sure, the Vita looks sleek (like a PSP 3000 on steroids), and has lots of graphical processing power than can put the 3DS/2DS to shame, but the 3DS has been far more firmly established as the go-to handheld for nearly two years longer than the Vita. The Vita now suffers from "Johnny-come-lately" syndrome--it's basically resigned to its fate as an also-ran.

One final note about Atari's E.T.: it was produced and shipped out in only SIX WEEKS! That would mark it as one of the fastest-produced games in history, poor quality or not.

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The meaning of life is 42 because potato.

I don't feed trolls. I feed THEM to Cthulhu. He finds them DELICIOUS.
Originally posted by xirtamehtsitahw
Or try this one: the Sony Playstaion was originally going to be a CD-based peripheral for the SNES system called the NINTENDO Playstation! However, a copyright dispute arose between Sony and Nintendo, and the rest is history--the two have been rivals ever since.
The source I found refers to it as either super disk or SNES CD. The dispute was not due to copyright claim but due to Nintendo randomly giving the contract to Phillips after sony started working on it(which lead to the CD-i and those terrible Zelda and Mario animation)
Originally posted by xirtamehtsitahw

Nintendo was planning on the GameBoy Advance's successor to be called the GameBoy Revolution, but then the name became the codeword for the Wii, and we got the DS, then the 3DS/2DS as a "booby prize".

I can find no source about revolution ever being used to refers to the DS or 3DS. The DS development name started as "Nintendo DS' and then became "Nitro". I can't find any info on the 3ds having a different development name than 3ds.
Originally posted by xirtamehtsitahw

Note I placed the words "booby prize" in quotes, to indicate the obvious irony of the phrase--the DS and now the 3DS are Nintendo's cash cows--they've made the Big N the number-one handheld seller in the world. Of course, only Sony is providing weak competition with its Vita handheld.

I don't get why do you refers to the 3/2DS as booby prize,is it because they lacked the revolution development name? It's not like they had a mocking nickname that could be called a booby prize or anything like that.
Originally posted by xirtamehtsitahw

Sure, the Vita looks sleek (like a PSP 3000 on steroids), and has lots of graphical processing power than can put the 3DS/2DS to shame, but the 3DS has been far more firmly established as the go-to handheld for nearly two years longer than the Vita. The Vita now suffers from "Johnny-come-lately" syndrome--it's basically resigned to its fate as an also-ran.

The vita came about one year after the 3ds(less than one year if you look only at the NA release date)
They should send those games back to the depths of hell where they belong!
Seriously, that game sucks.
"You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you?"
Layout by Hinalyte.

Originally posted by Alcaro
No more Frodo Baggins shenanigans
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