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Odyssey2 News!

I. Derio Tournament of Videopac G7000

In late August, a second Videopac tournament was held in Basque Country in northern Spain, continuing the event that was started in May. This installment took place entirely in the town of Derio, so the organizers called it the I. Derio Tournament of Videopac G7000. Click here to see the leaderboards.

Thanks again to Egoitz Campo for the write-up!

Will You Make It Through the Neon Nights?

Neon Nights

NEON NIGHTS, the latest homebrew game from Rafael Cardoso, is available for pre-order now! The people of the planet Argus are under attack, only you can save them! But you'll have to cross the Neon constellations to do it. The journey will take you through four waves of different opponents, dodging and blasting enemy craft all the way. Do you have what it takes to save Argus?

Homebew publisher Videopac Is @live is taking pre-orders for NEON NIGHTS on the Videopac.nl forums. Fifty copies will be produced in Odyssey² style and twenty-five in Videopac+ style. The game features a starfield backdrop on Videopac+. Reserve your copy today!

Basque Tournament of Videopac G7000

Basque Tournament

In May of 2020, a small Videopac tournament was held in Basque Country in northern Spain. The organizers hope to make this a regular occurrence. Check out this article for some photos and to see the leaderboards.

Thanks to Egoitz Campo for the write-up. Hopefully Basque Country will see even more Videopac action in the future!

Fully Mobile-ized!

You may have noticed that site updates have been pretty rare recently. However, that's not because I haven't been working on it; I've just been busy porting 20 years of content over to a mobile-friendly framework. I am pleased to announce that this work is now done – every page on the site should be readable on mobile devices. This also gave me the chance to revamp most of the page designs. In particular, if you haven't checked out the Games Database, Collectibles section or Media section for a while, why not take a fresh look?

This project was more about bringing old content into the modern age than it was about adding new material, but nevertheless I did drop in a few new things. Here are some highlights:

Programming TV Game: Odyssey 2

More About the Odyssey² in Japan!

After a bit of research, I think I've more accurately identified the company that imported the Odyssey² into Japan. I believe a lot of the knowledge about this topic available online is only partially correct, mostly due to the complexity of translating written Japanese text into English. Long story short: I believe the importer's name was "Corton," not "Kooton," and this article explains why.

Odyssey 2 Catalog Page

Retro Catalog Ads!

While revamping the Collectibles section, I added a few new scans – especially to the Print Ads page. Most notably, I added several pages featuring Odyssey² and Videopac consoles from early-'80s catalogs like the Sears Wish Book. Remember poring over these magical tomes as a kid at Christmastime, dreaming about finding a shiny new Odyssey² game under your tree? Now you can relive those days! (Or at least, look at the pictures again.)

Schneider Videopac 74+ Box (Front)

Hardware Boxes!

I added a few photos of console boxes, particularly to the European Consoles section. Some of these are pretty obscure. The Schneider 74+ box shown here is one you really don't see very often.

The mobile-friendly project took much longer than I'd have liked, but I'm pleased it's finally done! Next I plan to give some attention to areas of the site that haven't received any for a long time – the Games Database really needs it. There are a lot of missing entries; it's hard to keep on top of all the new homebrew releases any more! Who'd have thought that Odyssey² would receive so much support 20 years into the 21st century?

If you're a regular visitor to this site, I'd like to thank you for sticking around despite the lack of updates. Even after all of this time, I still have a huge backlog of material to add... if only I had more time to get it all done!

Hopping Soon to Odyssey²: LADY FROG!

Lady Frog

Rafael Cardoso, Odyssey² homebrew developer extraordinaire, is at it again! He describes his latest title, Lady Frog, as a "sequel to a well-known game." Which game you ask? I think the screenshot will tell you all you need to know. This game features songs by Ted Foolery, and if you remember his tunes from Puzzle Piece Panic a few years ago, you know they're going to be good!

Pre-orders for the game are being taken on the Videopac.nl forum. A limited run of 50 Odyssey² and 25 Videopac+ cartridges are being produced, so act now to reserve yours!

Tom Snow Is on the COLD CASE!

COLD CASE!

Homebrew legend Rafael Cardoso is back at it again, this time with his 19th release for Odyssey² and Videopac: COLD CASE! Based on the Atari 2600 classic Frostbite, Cold Case features the same ice-hopping action that made the original game so fun. From the game's official site:

The Game: An evil king has set his sights on ruling the Arctic and placed a curse upon the people of the North Pole, blocking all their igloo entrances and transforming the fish into killer king crabs. The king will only lift the curse if the people pay him tribute. Enter local hero Tom Snow to the rescue! He has a plan to break the curse! It involves jumping on all the floating ice blocks and changing their color from white to blue. The first time he accomplishes this feat, a magical scepter will appear before the igloo entrance. Once he picks it up, if he can change the color of the ice blocks again, the curse will finally be broken!

The object of the game is to help Tom Snow unblock igloos by jumping on floating blocks of ice. Be careful to avoid these deadly hazards: killer king crabs, grizzly polar bears, the subfreezing water, and the rapidly dropping temperature.

COLD CASE is an 8K game and works on both Odyssey² and Videopac machines, which enhanced "Plus" graphics for G7400 owners. A limited release of 100 carts is being released by Atari Compendium – reserve yours today!

Odyssey 4... and 5?!

Odyssey4 Diagram

As we know, the follow-up console to the Odyssey², the Odyssey3 Command Center, was ultimately cancelled in the United States – although a version of it did come out in Europe as the Videopac G7400+. But did you know that an "Odyssey 4" was in the planning stages as well, and even an "Odyssey 5" was considered as a future product? Rafael Cardoso alerted me to some fascinating engineering documents from "Papa Intellivision" Dr. David P. Chandler, who led the development of the Mattel Intellivision system from its conceptual stage all the way through release. Dr. Chandler sadly passed away in 2011, but many of his engineering notes and documents have been preserved on PapaIntellivision.com and mirrored on Archive.org.

Of particular note to Odyssey² fans are notes from early 1983 meetings between Mattel and North American Philips where future products from both companies were discussed. Included in the notes are numerous references to "Odyssey 4", which was proposed as an expandable system. A diagram labeled "O4 System Interfaces" depicts a series of expansion units, with the "O4 Game" at the center. Other systems attached to it include a Home Computing Sub-System which would support standard PC operations like discs and printers, a Home Terminal Sub-System that would connect to external services like Videotex or Dow Jones, and an Interactive Controller Sub-System that included peripheral devices like laserdisc players or cable downloads. An "O5 System" (presumably meaning Odyssey 5) interface is shown surrounding the core O4 product.

This is an amazing piece of information and reveals a possible future to Odyssey that wasn't widely known before. I plan to study Chandler's notes for a more in-depth analysis later, but a few points jumped out to me after just a quick read. First, these meetings happened in early 1983, just before the Odyssey3 project was cancelled. (The O2 Timeline shows that the cancellation announcement was made in June 1983). Second, the expandable system shown in the diagram sounds a lot like the home computer system that Philips programmer Randy Green worked on after the Probe 2000 games division shut down. The Videotex integration is interesting, since the cases of European G7200 consoles are essentially modified Minitel terminals – which connected to Videotex. And lastly, the whole enterprise seems reminiscent of the Philips CD-i, which began early development in 1984. Could it be that the CD-i, after a fashion, IS the Odyssey 4? There's probably not enough evidence to definitively say that yet, but who knows what further research might uncover? Thanks a lot to Rafael for pointing this out!

Prepare for Blast Off... to Moon Town!

Moon Town!

Odyssey² and Videopac homebrew programmer Rafael Cardoso is up to it again! His next release channels the arcade classic Missile Command as well as Imagic's console release Atlantis. The aliens from Rafael's earlier release Mars Menace are back in Moon Town! The human survivors from the first game have set up a colony on the Moon. But the Martian menace won't allow the colony to live in peace. It's your job to protect it from the invaders.

Moon Town! will be available in both Odyssey²- and Videopac-style packaging, and will have a limited cartridge release. You can reserve your copy at the Videopac.nl forums.

Can You Survive the LASER BLITZ?

Laser Blitz!

Odyssey and Videopac homebrew designer Rafael Cardoso has announced his latest release: LASER BLITZ! In each level of this shoot'em-up that takes visual inspiration from the console classic Beamrider, you have to destroy the Titan robot at the top of the screen. To bring down the Titan, you must accumulate enough energy to launch a missile. The enemy attacks start with green, then yellow, then pink and finally blue fleets, each one more powerful than the other.

The game is being released in a limited run of 50 units, 25 done in the U.S. Odyssey² style, and 25 in the UK Videopac style. The release date is the end of this month, May 31. Reserve your copy over at the Videopac.nl Forums.

New Turtles Remake Released!

Tower Turtles

In celebration of the 35th anniversary of the launch of the Odyssey² video game in Brazil, a new TOWER TURTLES game has been made available. Released on April 14, it is a remake of TURTLES that brings new challenges for the turtle and its babies!!!

TOWER TURTLES was designed and developed over two years by Luciano B B A Ferreira and released by Retronic. The developer calls it "a birthday present for the Odyssey in Brazil."

It is available in two versions: Portuguese (Odyssey) and English (Odyssey²).

Have fun!!!

Things that "Boo" and Things that "Boom"

Boom Box

Rafael Cardoso and Videopac Is @live are at it again with two new releases! In the straightforwardly-named HAUNTED WOODS, your archer navigates a ghost-infested forest to rescue the lovely Princess Bia. Meanwhile, BOOM BOX may sound like the awesome cassette deck you hoisted on your shoulders in the '80s, but it's actually an Odyssey take on the classic box-pushing puzzle game Sokoban. Push the boxes carefully or everything will be blown sky high!

A gameplay video for HAUNTED WOODS can be seen here and one for BOOM BOX is located here. Both are being sold through the Videopac.nl forums, and are limited to runs of 100 cartridges each, with 50 produced in the Odyssey² style and 50 in Videopac fashion. Up for a princess-rescuing adventure? Order HAUNTED WOODS here. If box-pushing is more you speed, get BOOM BOX here.

Found: Two Odyssey Game Centers!

Odyssey Game Center Video

For many years, the Odyssey² community has known about the Odyssey Game Center, a kiosk that was used in the '80s to advertise the system at stores and trade shows. Near the end of Odyssey²'s lifetime, Philips even gave some away as contest prizes. What was not known, however, was whether any of these units had survived beyond the '80s.

Now, at long last, the existence of two Game Centers has been confirmed! Two unassembled units were purchased at an auction in the North Carolina area by a Tennessee man, who assembled one and kept the other in its box. He later sold the assembled unit to a private collector who provided me this photo. The other was sold to Trade-N-Games, a retro game store in the St. Louis area. Trade-N-Games is active in the preservation of vintage kiosks and produced a great video about it, complete with closeups of the unit and even a look at the instructions for building it.

Be sure to check the video! You may not be able to get one of these for your collection, but at least you can get a good look at it.

Tee Off at the GOLF TOURNAMENT!

Golf Tournament Homebrew publisher Videopac Is @live has announced Ivan Machado's Golf Tournament, an advanced golf simulation game. From the press release:

Welcome to the best golf simulation video game for the Odyssey² & Videopac! Choose between 4 club types and hit the ball into the hole in as few strokes as possible. Each stroke adds 1 point to your score – keep it as low as possible! There is a 99 stroke limit to finish the 18-hole course. Don't let the ball fall into the water or sand, and avoid the trees and rocks.

Release date 8/8/2017 – Limited run of 50 copies for Odyssey² & 50 copies for Videopac. Price is 29 euros plus shipping and handling.

Be sure to check out this gameplay video, which demonstrates how impressive this game really is! You may be surprised that the humble Odyssey² is capable of this level of complexity in a golf game.

Aaron the Aant Has Aarived!

Aaron the Aant!

Aaron is an aant – with two A's, mind you – and he's hungry for aaples. But he's got to watch out, because Aadolf the aardvark is hungry for him! AARON THE AANT!, a game whose setting must have been inspired by the arcade classic Anteater, is the latest release from Chris Read, developer of GOSUB, WALLS, CHIEF CHEF and others. Publisher 2600 Connection is producing a limited run of 100 cartridges, which are compatible with both NTSC and PAL systems. Each game will include a 8-page Odyssey²-style manual, and a black plastic storage box with a printed color insert is available as an optional purchase. Head over to 2600 Connection's Aaron the Aant page to place your order!

Have a Happy Odyssey² Holiday Season!

Vintage High Scores

I hope you all are having a great holiday season! Here is a Christmas-themed holiday gift for you: a scan of a vintage Odyssey² high-score sheet. I found this in an Odyssey² setup I purchased online some time ago. Also included was an original sales receipt for Bowling/Basketball and K.C.'s Krazy Chase, dated 12/11/1982. Most of the entries on the paper are from those two games (and Speedway and Spin-Out), so I'm guessing the scores were recorded in December 1982 as well. This family had a lot of fun that Christmas!

Web-site wise, the work to make everything mobile-friendly continues. I've finished the Articles section and am currently making inroads on the Collectibles section. There's a lot of content there, so it's taking a while. But still, progress!

Here Comes Mean Santa!

MEAN SANTA!

LOOK WHO'S COMING THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON: MEAN SANTA!

2600 CONNECTION is proud to announce the release of MEAN SANTA for the ODYSSEY² / VIDEOPAC. The game will be released on December 1, 2016!

Designed and conceived by Tim Duarte, an Atari 2600 version was published in 2009. This port of the game for the ODYSSEY2 / VIDEOPAC system was programmed by Rafael Cardoso (who also worked with 2600 CONNECTION to publish and release WILDLIFE! and HAPPY BIRD!)

The game, which is loosely based on the cartoon "HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS," features a SANTA CLAUS who has had enough of all the bad behavior of the bad boys and girls. This year, he wants to steal all the presents. There are obstacles in his way. In the shortest amount of time, you need to break in to, er... I mean, visit 16 houses and collect the presents. Don't bang into the walls! Be careful! You'll wake the parents! In the 16th and final house, there is a roasted turkey dinner that MEAN SANTA can steal so there will be no CHRISTMAS FEAST. Can you help him? There are guard dogs trying to stop MEAN SANTA.

For more information please visit the MEAN SANTA web page.

ALSO: 2600 Connection is having a HAPPY BIRD! high score contest: Win SERIAL #1 of 100 of MEAN SANTA. More details at the above site. Contest winner will be announced on December 1, 2016!

This Halloween, Dare to Visit AMITYVILLE!

Amityville!

112 Ocean Avenue: the say that this house is inhabited by terrible creatures. But immeasurable treasures await those who dare enter the house!

Just in time for Halloween, the newest Odyssey² and Videopac homebrew from author Rafael Cardoso takes you deep into the famed Amityville haunted house. Armed only with a flashlight, you bravely set foot in the scary structure in search of treasure. But beware: your search will bring you face to face with deadly giant spiders, bats and ghosts! How long can you hold out against them?

Amityville! is a complicated game combining elements of Nightmare and the Atari classic Haunted House with a small dose of turn-based fighting. You'll definitely need to read the manual for this one! It will be available from publisher Videopac Is @live for both Odyssey² and Videopac+ on October 31. Ordering information can be found in this Videopac.nl forum thread.

Odyssey² Summer Happenings

Hello, Odyssey² and Videopac fans! I am late with these announcements because my PC's motherboard up and died a few weeks ago. (Funny, it failed after merely a few years while my Odyssey² is still going strong three decades in…) So then I had to replace it and reconfigure everything, I'm sure you know the drill. I'm back up and running now, and continuing my project to make the rest of the site mobile-friendly. (Next up: the Articles section.) In the meantime, here are some exciting things that happened recently in case you missed them:

  • Homebrew designer extraordinaire Rafael Cardoso announced TWO new games – really three, since one of the cartridges contains two games in one! First is Shooting Gallery/Minefield, which was developed some time ago but unable to be released until now. More information is available here, and the game is available for purchase from Packrat Video Games.
  • Rafael's second game is Forbidden Lands, which looks to be a standout release. More information and some video is available here and the game is available for purchase from Videopac Is @live.
  • Ed Averett has revised KC Returns!, returning KC to his normal environment: a maze! Download the latest version of the game at the Microsoft Store.
  • Earl Green, longtime publisher of Phosphor Dot Fossils and one of the biggest O2 fans around, has launched a new podcast about the system called SELECT GAME. In each episode he dives deep into one or two selected Odyssey² games. Earl is one of the best retro-game-content-producers in the business; don't miss this!

New for Odyssey²: Space Cavern!

Space Cavern

Homebrew publisher Videopac Is @live has announced another new Odyssey² release, this time a port of a familiar Atari 2600 title. SPACE CAVERN by APOLLO GAMES is available for pre-order. It is, of course, based on Space Cavern, the 1982 title from the world's first third-party publisher, Games By Apollo. The homebrew's publisher states that the new Odyssey² version is a faithful port. This limited edition of 100 will come with a cardboard box, styled like the original but smaller, the same size as an O2 or Videopac box. The European version contains an extra sleeve in English or French (branded RCA Video Jeux) like the Atari 2600 version had in the Eighties. The manual is designed like the 2600 original as well.

And if that wasn't enough, there is a even a Space Cavern "TV commercial", done in true '80s style! (OK, it's the original 2600 commercial redone with Videopac graphics, but still great. Dig that shiny '80s sci-fi jumpsuit!)

SPACE CAVERN's 45-Euro price is a bit higher than a typical release because of the cost of the cardboard box and the royalties. Reserve your copy at the Videopac Is @live web site.

They're also working on another "new" release: Mission Impossible / Programmed Trip "ZERO Edition", an enhanced version of Missão Impossível/Viagem Programada, the one and only game from mysterious Brazilian publisher Ectron Eletrônica Ltda. A limited release of 100 "Zero Edition" carts is planned but is currently being delayed by a music tempo issue.

CHIEF CHEF Available for the Odyssey²

Homebrew publisher 2600 Connection has announced CHIEF CHEF, Chris Read's new Odyssey² title inspired by two great Activision 2600 games. Here's the official announcement:

Chief Chef!

As the apprentice chef at the Chew 'n' Spew Restaurant, things have gotten a little crazy! Chuck Chesterfield, the Chief Chef, has climbed up to the ceiling and has started to throw food at you! The only catch is he demands that you get all four items he throws and avoid the duplicates! Once you have caught a complete set of four items – tomato, cheese, lettuce, and onion – you start again at a faster level. How are your food-catching skills? Are they enough to impress the Chief Chef?

Combining gameplay elements from the Atari 2600 games Kaboom! and Pressure Cooker (both by Activision), CHIEF CHEF was programmed by Chris Read.

Originally a bug was found in the game, but that has been corrected and cartridges are now shipping in full swing.

We are also sponsoring a High Score Competition for CHIEF CHEF. Submit a picture of your high score. Highest score will win the grand prize: a WILDLIFE! special edition cartridge with a special label. Players can play with the real cartridge or may use an emulator. Either is fine. The CHIEF CHEF ROM file will be available for a free download (for use in an emulator).

For more information, visit the CHIEF CHEF web page.

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