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 Odyssey² News RSS Feed

RSS Feed I have set up the News stream of this site as an RSS feed. I know I've said this before, but I'm trying to update the site more often, and this will provide an easy way to find out when new changes are announced. To subscribe, simply click an RSS icon on the front page or point your feed reader to
http://www.the-nextlevel.com/odyssey2/news/rssfeed.php

I had some trouble integrating RSS with my homegrown content management system, but I think I've ironed out the kinks. If you have any trouble, please contact me. The title of the feed is "The Odyssey2 Homepage!" If your feed reader is configured to show icons, you may see the icon of my host (The Next Level) rather than of my site. Unfortunately, most readers pull icons from the domain root so there's not much I can do about this.

Thanks for subscribing!

 Videos Revived

Videos! If you had trouble watching the clips in the Videos section, please try again. I've converted all the clips to MP4 format, which should be compatible with most modern browsers and mobile devices. There are 26 vintage Odyssey² and Videopac videos there now, ranging from TV commercials to news coverage to CES promo clips. My favorite new addition is the commercial for the 1983 Kellogg's Instant Win Video Game Sweepstakes, where none other than Tony the Tiger describes how you could win Magnavox TVs and Odyssey² games from the game pieces found in your box of Frosted Flakes. Scenes from UFO and Alien Invaders—Plus are animated as cartoons – it's like seeing the "artist's conception" screens from O2 catalogs come to life! I have a clear memory of watching this commercial back in '83. In fact, one of the very first things I posted when this site went live in 1996 was a vague description of it. It's amazing to be able to see it again after over 30 years! Ain't the Internet grand?

 Back from the Dead: Two Lost Videopac Interviews

I'm very pleased to report that I've managed to restore two "lost" Videopac interviews. Each of these were available on other Web sites that have since gone offline. It's been a few years since either was last available.

The first is an interview I conducted with Jon Shuttleworth, the Philips employee largely responsible for the distribution, design, and even the name of the Videopac G7000. Mr. Shuttleworth reveals several anecdotes, such as how the original 1979 launch of the G7000 was delayed by a power defect, and where he and Dolf van de Paauw thought up the name "Videopac." I conducted this interview back in 2001 for ClassicGaming.com, which at the time was one of the best retrogaming sites around. Sadly, it's now gone. Luckily, I found a backup copy of the interview text and am pleased to make it available once again.

The second is an interview conducted by Maurice "BuckyB" Simon with Gil Williamson, one of the principals at the UK-based Amazon Systems, the software firm that developed Tutankham for the G7000. This interview was conducted before the Tutankham proto was found, when the game was still only a rumor – so, as you can imagine, it was a revelation at the time. It was published, in Portuguese, on the Brazilian site Odyssey Mania, another fine site which has unfortunately evaporated into the electronic ether. However, I had saved a copy of it, so I contacted Maurice, and pieced the original English text back together with the help of his notes and my backup copy. Again, I'm pleased to make this piece of Videopac history available again, and I thank Maurice for his help.

Enjoy!

 K.C. Munchkin... Now for Atari 7800!

Atari 7800 K.C. Munchkin!

I've been meaning to post this for a while but somehow kept forgetting to do so. Homebrew developer Robert DeCrescenzo has completed an impressively accurate Atari 7800 port of K.C. Munchkin!. Cartridge copies are currently for sale at the AtariAge Store.

The game faithfully recreates the Odyssey² original, right down to the purple color scheme and blocky O2 score font. K.C. and the Munchers have been given a bit of graphical polish, but otherwise the game is strikingly accurate. You can even enter your name after attaining the high score. Like the O2 version, there are four built-in mazes – including the original's "invisible maze" option. You can also choose to have a random maze selected at the start of each level. The game even supports the "programming mode" of the original, which lets you create your own mazes.

The package for sale at AtariAge includes a cartridge and full-color, four page manual. The price is $30.

Thanks to doug for the news!

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