Intellivision FAQ and History v7

Mattel Intellivision
FAQ

 

 

Frequently Asked
Questions

 

Version 7.0

Maintained by David Harley
http://beeslife.com/faq.htm

 

 

Table of
Contents

1.0 – General
Information.. 3

1.1 – Brief History of the
Mattel Intellivision.. 3

1.2 – Timeline. 4

2.0) Technical
Information.. 5

2.1 – General Hardware
Specs. 5

2.2 – Processor Specs. 5

2.3 -Graphics Specs. 8

2.4 -Operating System
Specs. 9

3.0) Hardware
Descriptions.. 10

3.1 – Intellivision Master
Component.. 10

3.2 – GTE / Sylvania
Intellivision.. 10

3.3 – Radio Shack
Tandyvision I 10

3.4 – INTV System III 10

3.5 – Sears Super Video
Arcade. 10

3.6 – Intellivision II 11

3.7 – Keyboard Component /
Computer Adaptor.. 12

3.8 – Intellivoice Voice
Synthesis Module. 12

3.9 – Entertainment
Computer System12

3.10 – Music
Synthesizer.. 13

3.11 – System Changer.. 13

3.12 – Joystick
Substitutes. 14

3.13 – Compro Electronics
Videoplexer.. 14

3.14 – PlayCable. 15

3.15 – Intellivision Tester
(MTE-100) 17

4.0) Cartridge Listing.. 17

4.1 – Released Titles. 17

4.2 -Unreleased (or
rumored) titles for the Intellivision.. 20

4.3 –Unreleased / Announced
titles for the ECS. 21

4.4 -Software announced for
the Keyboard Component/Computer Adaptor.. 22

4.5 -Easter Eggs, Cheats
and Tips. 22

4.8 -Information regarding
Unreleased Titles & Hardware. 52

4.9 -Information regarding
Label & Box Variations. 54

5.0) Vaporware, Trivia, and
Miscellaneous.. 56

5.1 – Intellivision
III 56

5.2 – Intellivision IV.. 57

5.3 – World Book
Tutorvision.. 57

5.4 – Bandai Intellivision
Japan.. 58

5.5 – Digiplay
Intellivision South America.. 61

5.6 – INTV Corp. Games. 62

5.7 – Trivia and Fun
Facts. 62

5.7 – Competition
Cartridges. 65

6.0) Electronic
Resources.. 65

6.1 -Internet
Resources. 65

7.0) Repair Tips and
Information.. 67

7.1 – Hand Controllers. 67

7.2 – Cartridge
Problems. 68

7.3 – Console
Disassembly.. 68

7.4 – General
Troubleshooting.. 69

7.5 – Pinouts for INTV
Controller.. 70

7.6 -Fixing INTV II
Controllers. 72

7.7 – Intellivision 2
Controller Modification.. 73

7.8 -You’ve really messed
up and are wondering what to do… 73

7.9 -Hooking your
Intellivision to a Modern TV.. 74

8.0) Programmer
Interviews.. 74

8.1 – Daniel Bass. 74

8.2 – Ray Kaestner.. 76

8.3 – Patrick Jost.. 78

9.0) Intellivision
Emulators.. 80

9.1 – Commercial
Emulators. 80

9.2 – Non-Commercial
Emulators. 81

10.0) Credits.. 81

 

1.0 -
General Information

1.1 -
Brief History of the Mattel Intellivision

At the end of 1979, Mattel Electronics (a division of Mattel
Toys) released a video game system known as Intellivision along with 12 video
game cartridges. Poised as a competitor to the then king of the hill Atari 2600,
Mattel Electronics called their new product “Intelligent Television”, stemming
largely from their marketing plans to release a compatible computer keyboard for
their video games console. Mattel’s marketing was anything *but* intelligent and
almost destroyed the company by 1984. In one sense the system was very
successful, with over 3 million units sold and 125 games released before the
system was discontinued by INTV Corp. in 1990.

The original Master Component was test marketed in Fresno,
California in late 1979. The response was excellent, and Mattel went national
with their new game system in late 1980. The first year’s production run of
200,000 units was completely sold out! To help enhance its marketability, Mattel
also marketed the system in Sears stores as the Super Video Arcade, and at Radio
Shack as the Tandyvision One in the early 1980’s.

1980 was a turbulent year for the Intellivision. Mattel
announced that an “inexpensive” keyboard expansion would be available in 1981
for the master component to be dropped into. This was to turn the system into a
powerful 64K home computer that could do everything from play games to balance
your checkbook. There was a great deal of marketing money and press coverage
devoted to this unit; a third of the box for the GTE/Sylvania Intellivision
describes the features of this proposed expansion. Many people bought an
Intellivision with plans to turn it into a computer when the expansion module
was released. Months, then years passed. The original expansion keyboard was
released only in a few test areas in late 1981. With the price too high and the
initial reaction poor, the product was scrapped in 1982 before being released
nationwide.

1982 saw many changes in both the videogame industry and the
Intellivision product line. A voice-synthesis module called Intellivoice made
sound and speech and integral part of game play, through the use of special
voice-enhanced cartridges. The Intellivision II was also released this year,
which one company spokesperson described as “smaller and lighter that the
original, yet with the same powerful 16-bit microprocessor”. The new console was
more compact than the first, and its grayish body made it look more like a
sophisticated electronic device than the original design.

1983 brought more promises from the folks at Mattel, the most
significant of which being the Intellivision III. This was shown off at the
January 1983 CES show, and lauded in the videogame magazines for many months
afterwards. In June of 1983 at the Summer CES show, Mattel announced it was
killing the Intellivision III and including most of its high-profile features
into their long-awaited computer expansion, the Entertainment Computer System.

Probably the most ambitious effort the Intellivision team had
undertaken, the Entertainment Computer System was comprised of a computer
keyboard add-on, a 49-key music synthesizer, ram expansion for the keyboard
add-on to expand it to a full 64K RAM and 24K ROM, a data recorder to store
programs, a 40-column thermal printer, and an adapter which would allow you to
play Atari 2600 games on your Intellivision. The RAM expansion modules never saw
the light of day. The data recorder, and thermal printer were released as
components for the Aquarius computer. The music synthesizer had but one software
title to take advantage of its capabilities. While the 2600 adapter greatly
expanded the library of available games, much of the steam this generated had
already been stolen by Coleco’s own expansion module.

1984 would spell the end of the original Intellivision as the
world knew it. Terry E. Valeski, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales at
Mattel Electronics, along with a group of investors, purchased the assets,
trademarks, patents, and right to the Intellivision in January of 1984 for $16.5
million dollars. The purchase was backed by financing from Tangible Industries,
a division of Revco Drug Stores, The newly formed company was originally called
Intellivision, Inc., and later renamed INTV, Inc., after Valeski negotiated all
rights from Revco in November of 1984. During the next two years, the new
company would lie dormant while plans were being made for a re-emergence.

In the fall of 1985, the INTV System III (also called the
Super Pro System) appeared at Toys ‘R Us, Kiddie City, and in a mail order
catalog sent to owners of the original Intellivision direct from INTV. The new
console was of the same general design as the original master component, except
it sported a fresh black plastic shell with brushed aluminum trim. Several new
games accompanied the release of the new system, and 1985 would register over $6
million dollars in sales worldwide, indicating that INTV Corp. had indeed
revived the Intellivision. INTV continued to market games and repair services
through the mail with great success. Between 1985 and 1990 over 35 new games
were released, bringing the Intellivision’s game library to a total of 125
titles.

Many more changes were to come during the final six years of
Intellivision’s life. In 1987, an improved master component called the INTV
System IV was shown at the January CES, which sported detachable controllers and
a timing device. Unfortunately, this never saw the light of day either. In the
fall of 1988, INTV re-introduced the computer keyboard adapter through their
mail order catalog on a limited quantity basis. In 1990, INTV discontinued
retail sales of their games and equipment and sold them only through the mail
channels.

The change in marketing was due to agreements with Nintendo
and Sega to become a software vendor for the NES, Game Boy and Genesis. In 1991,
INTV sold out its stock of Intellivision games and consoles, and the company,
along with the Intellivision, gradually faded away.

1.2 – Timeline

1979 – Intellivision is test marketed

1980 – Mattel Intellivision released nationally, Computer
Expansion announced

1982 – Computer Expansion Module scrapped due to high cost
and poor response

1982 – Intellivoice released

1983 – Intellivision II released

1983 – Entertainment Computer System released many
peripherals. Announced

1983 – 2600 System Changer released

1983 – Intellivision III announced

1983 – The videogame market begins to crash

1983 – Intellivision III dropped

1984 – The videogame market bottoms out

1984 – Mattel sells the Intellivision rights to VP Marketing
T.E. Valeski and investors, forming INTV Corp.

1985 – INTV III released, along with new Intellivision
titles. Aggressive marketing adds $6 million sales

1987 – INTV IV announced, to be scrapped later

1990 – INTV Corp. discontinues retail sales, markets through
mail only

1991 – INTV Corp. sells off its remaining Intellivision stock

2.0) Technical
Information

2.1 – General Hardware
Specs

Intellivision Master Component (these apply to the clones as
well)

CPU: GI 16 bit microprocessor

Memory: 7K internal ROM, RAM and I/O structures,
remaining 64k address space for external programs.

Controls: 12 button numeric key pad, four action keys,
and 16 direction disc

Sound: Sound generator capable of 3 part harmony with
programmable ASDR envelopes.

Color: 16 colors

Resolution: 192v x 160h pixels

2.2 – Processor Specs

GI 1600, running at 894,886.25 Hz (NTSC) and 1MHz
(PAL/SECAM). Processor has 16 bit registers, uses 16 bit RAM, and has 10 bit
instructions. Intellivision cartridges contain ROMs that are 10 bits wide. Ten
bits are called a decle.

The CPU was strange. For example, if you did two ROTATE LEFT
instructions, followed by a ROTATE RIGHT BY 2 (rotates could be by one or two),
you did not end up with the original word. The top two bits were swapped!

Ken Kirkby also has this to add: “The GI CP1600 was developed
as a joint venture in the early seventies between GI and Honeywell. One of the
first commercial uses of the CP1600 was its incorporation into Honeywell’s
TDC2000, the first distributed control system, and prototypes existed in late
’74 I think. Honeywell’s then Test Instrument Division also incorporated into a
Cardiac Catheterization system called MEDDARS which was released for sale about
1979. The CP1600 was definitely a 16 bit chip.”

John Dullea dug this information up during a stroll at his
local library:

“In the Penn State Library I found a book called “An
Introduction to Microcomputers, Vol. 2: Some Real Microprocessors”, By Adam
Osborne, Osborne & Associates, Inc., 1978. ISBN: 0-931998-15-2. Library of
Congress catalogue card #: 76-374891.

It has lots of info on the CP1600/1610 CPU in the
Intellivision. Chapter 16 has the pinouts of the CPU:



















D0-D15

Data and address bus

Tristate, bidirectional

BDIR, BC1, BC2

Bus control signals

Output

(PHI)1,(PHI)2

Clock signals

Input

MSYNC

Master synchronization

Input

EBCA0-EBCA3

External branch condition addr lines

Output

EBCI

External branch condition input

Input

PCIT

Program Counter inhibit/software

Input

Interrupt signal

BDRDY

WAIT

Input

STPST

CPU stop or start on high-to-low

Input

transition

HALT

Halt state signal

Output

INTR, INTRM

Interrupt request lines

Input

TCI

Terminate current interrupt

Output

BUSRQ

Bus request

Input

BUSAK

External bus control acknowledge

Output

VBB, VCC,

Power and ground

VDD, GND

Power and ground

The logic board in the Intellivision unit (original model
2609) reveals a number of (important) chips:

Sound AY-3-8914 40-pin

ROM RO-3-9503-003 40-pin

ROM RO-3-9502-011 40-pin

Color AY-3-8915 18-pin

And there is the cartridge ROM:

ROM AY-3-9504-021 28-pin

In addition, there are three 40-pin chips that have heat
sinks with epoxy on top. Now, you may try this, but be EXTREMELY careful
(or just listen to what I found): I carefully removed the three heat-sunk chips
and looked at them; they have designations on the bottom!

STIC AY-3-8900-1 40-pin

RAM RA-3-9600 40-pin

CPU CP-1610 40-pin *

Having the CPU location and pin outs, one can use an ohmmeter
to map the pins to the cartridge pins:

Looking AT the cartridge, not the Intellivision unit: you
probably should double-check this, but I obviously can’t accept any
responsibility for any damage to your Master Component. (I’m not 100% sure about
the assignments for VCC and GND)

 

All *x pins are connected; cartridges have a loop on the top
row connecting them, and the connector in the Intellivision unit connects the
top row *x pins to those on the bottom row. Internally, *x pins are connected as
follows:

*1 STIC pin 7

*2 STIC pin 6

*3 STIC pin 8

There may be other connections to them as well; I don’t know
why they connect to the ROM pins. However, considering the system changer’s
ability to route in external video, having pins going to the STIC seems to make
some sense. I suspect that they may switch the ROM from address write mode to
data read mode (like the three bus control lines on the CPU, maybe).

Mapping this to the ROM pinouts, you get:

Please note that the chapter mentioned above has all opcode
and register info, as well as timing information for the CP1600/1600A/1610 CPUs.

2.3 -Graphics Specs

160×92 pixels, 16 colors, 8 sprites (they were called “moving
objects” rather than sprites) 8×8 in size. Sprites could be linearly doubled.

Graphics is character based. The screen is twelve rows of
twenty characters. Characters either come from Graphics ROM (GROM), which
contains the usual alphanumeric symbols and a bunch of other things meant to be
useful in drawing backgrounds (256 characters in all), or Graphics RAM (GRAM),
which the program can use to build pictures needed that aren’t in GROM (like
sprite images). GRAM can hold 64. The pre-designed sprites located in ROM were a
big help in speeding up game play. Eight of the colors are designated as the
primary colors. The other eight are called the pastel colors.

There were two graphics modes: Foreground/Background, and
Color Stack. In F/B mode, you specify the colors for both the on and off pixels
of each card (“card” is the term for a 8×8 block on the screen). One of these
(the on pixels, I think) could use any color, but the other could only use the
primary colors.

In CS mode, you can give the chip a circular list of four
colors (pastels and primaries are both allowed). For each card, you specify the
ON bits color from any of the 16 colors, and the OFF bits color comes from the
next color on the circular list. You can also tell if the list is to advance or
not. Thus, in CS mode, you only get four colors for the OFF bits, and they have
to be used in a predetermined order, but you get to use the pastels. Most games
used CS mode.

A sprite could be designated as either being in front of or
behind the background, which determined priority when it overlapped the ON
pixels of a background image.

You could tell the graphics chip to black out the top row or
the first column (or both) of cards. You could also tell it to delay the display
by up to the time of seven scan lines, or to delay the pixels on each scan line
by up to seven pixel times. Using these two features together allows for smooth
scrolling.

For example, a game that is going to scroll a lot sideways
could black out the first row. Now, to scroll the background to the right by one
pixel, you just have to delay by one pixel time. This moves everything over. The
black part is NOT delayed –that is always displayed in the first 8 screen pixel
locations. The net result is that you now see one pixel that was previously
hidden under the black strip, and one pixel on the other side has fallen of the
edge, and everything appears to have moved over. Thus, to scroll, you only have
to move the screen memory every eighth time, when things need to be shifted a
full card. There is no need for a bitblt-type operation.

The hardware detected collisions between sprites and other
sprites or the background.

GRAM and screen memory could only be manipulated during
vertical retrace. At the end of vertical retrace, you had to tell the chip if it
should display or not. If you weren’t done, you could keep manipulating by not
telling it to display, but then you end up with a flicker which was
unacceptable.

2.4 -Operating System
Specs

The operating system did several things:

It allowed the program to specify a velocity for each sprite.
The OS would deal with adjusting the sprite position registers for you and
cycling through your animation sequence.

For each pair of sprites you could specify a routine to be
called when that pair of sprites collided. For each sprite, you could specify a
routine to be called when that sprite hit the background or the edge of the
screen.

It maintained timers, and allowed you to specify routines to
be called periodically.

It dealt with the controls. You could specify routines to be
called when the control disc was pressed or released, or when buttons were
pressed or released. It provided functions to read numbers from the keypad. The
calling sequences for these were a bit strange. When you called these, they
saved the return address, and then did a return. You had to call them with
nothing after your return address on the stack, and they return to your caller.
When the number is ready, they return to after where you called them, but as an
interrupt. In generic assembly, it would be like this (I’ve long since forgotten
1600!):

jsr       foo

bar

:..

….

foo:     ;do some setup or
whatever

jsr       
GetNumberFromKeypad

spam:Â …

GetNumberFromKeypad returns to bar immediately. When the
number is read, spam will be called from an interrupt handler. If you didn’t
know that a routine did this, reading code could get rather confusing!

3.0) Hardware
Descriptions

3.1 – Intellivision Master
Component

The original, the one the started it all. It has a brown
molded plastic case with gold trim on the top. Two controller wells are recessed
in the top for housing the two hard-wired controllers. The controllers are also
brown molded plastic, with a 12-key numeric keypad, two fire buttons located on
each side, and a gold disk centered in the bottom third of the controller which
is used to control your on-screen persona. The power and reset switches are
located on the top of the unit, in the lower right hand corner.

3.2 – GTE / Sylvania Intellivision

This console is identical to the original Intellivision
except for the brand name. The box has a very detailed description of the
Keyboard Component/Computer Adapter that was never released… Rumor has it that
these were given away for free with the purchase of a Sylvania television.

3.3 – Radio Shack
Tandyvision I

This console has faux wood-grain paneling in the place of the
INTV I’s gold panels. Otherwise, this unit is totally identical to the INTV I.

3.4 – INTV System III

In 1984, the vice president of marketing for Mattel
Electronics bought the rights to the Intellivision and formed a company called
INTV Corp. The result of this venture was the release of the INTV III, or Super
Pro System. This redesigned unit is physically identical to the original INTV I,
except that it has a black plastic case with silver plates, and also has a Power
LED indicator between the Power and Reset switches. The controllers are black
with silver discs, and the keypads were either silver with black lettering or
black with silver lettering.

3.5 – Sears Super Video Arcade

Up until recently, if you wanted to market your product
through Sears, it had to have their name on it. Much like Atari with the
Tele-Games Video Arcade, Mattel created a clone that was similar yet different
to the INTV I. Functionally identical, this unit has a cream-colored case with a
wood-grain front, and removable controllers that rest in the center of the
console. The power and reset switches are circular in shape and about an inch in
diameter:

3.6 – Intellivision II

In 1982, Mattel decided that they needed to spice up the
design of the Intellivision, as well as attempt to shave some costs; the
Intellivision II was the result. Some key differences include:

– A much smaller footprint

– Grey plastic case with a thin red stripe circling the unit

– External power supply (not standard by any means)

– Detachable controllers

– Combination Power/Reset switch (you have to hold the switch
for 5 seconds in order to turn the unit off)

– Power LED Indicator

This unit contained a revised ROM which was necessary for the
System Changer (more on that later), but also caused incompatibilities with
certain Coleco games (Donkey Kong, Mouse Trap, and Carnival) and some Mattel
games (Word Fun, Shark Shark).

This unit also used a non-standard AC Adapter, making it near
impossible to find a replacement at your local Radio Shack. For those who are
handy enough to construct their own, here are the specs:

Input: 120V 60Hz 25 Watts

Output: 16.7V AC 1.0A

The INTV II Power supply can also be substituted by the
following power supplies: Atari 1050 disk drive, Genesis I, Atari Jaguar. Use at
own risk!

3.7 – Keyboard Component / Computer
Adaptor

This unit only saw a limited test marketing run of less than
one thousand units in late 1981. It was color-keyed to match the INTV I, and the
entire game console fit into the top of the unit. It sported a full-stroke
60-key keyboard, built in cassette recorder, and brought the total memory
capacity of the Intellivision to 64K. A modem expansion module was also planned.
Due to its high street price (around $700, versus an announced price of $150),
the plans to market this unit nationally were shelved.

3.8 – Intellivoice Voice Synthesis Module

This module attaches to the cartridge port of your
Intellivision, and through the use of special voice-enhanced games, your INTV
could talk. There were 5 games released to take advantage of the unit’s
capabilities (Space Spartans, B-17 Bomber, Tron Solar Sailor, Bomb Squad, and
World Series Major League Baseball (also requires the ECS) ). The module has a
dial on the front to control the voice’s volume. Voice games will work without
the adapter, but since the voice was made to be an integral portion of the game,
they’re extremely difficult to play.

Underneath the plastic Mattel Electronics logo on the top is
an expansion connector.

3.9 – Entertainment Computer System

Spurred on by the increasingly popular home computer market
and lawsuits, Mattel introduced the Entertainment Computer System along with the
INTV II in 1983. This unit plugs into the cartridge port of the INTV II, and has
its own cartridge slot, two additional controller ports, a cassette interface,
and a balance dial for controlling the output level of the ECS’s three
additional voices.

The unit requires an additional power supply. Here again,
Mattel used something completely different from the rest of the industry:

Output: 10.0 VAC, 1.0 A

The ECS came packaged with a 49-key chiclet-style keyboard,
power supply, and a well-written manual describing INTV BASIC. Upon returning
your registration card, you would receive “The Step-By-Step Guide To Home
Computing”, which included a very detailed BASIC Tutorial, and some more
in-depth study of the ECS’s abilities. The unit sported an additional voice chip
(bringing the grand total to 6), 10K of ROM and 2K of RAM for programming
purposes.

This unit comes in two flavors, the grey mentioned above, and
also a dark brown color (sold in the European market) keyed to the original
Intellivision. Functionally, the units are identical except for the 220 volt
power supply. The dark brown variety is extremely difficult to find. Expansions
announced for this unit includes a 16K RAM, 8K ROM expansion, a 32KRAM, 12K ROM
expansion. None of these peripherals ever made it to market.

3.10 – Music Synthesizer

This was an add-on for the ECS, a full 49 key piano style
keyboard. It has 6 note polyphony (for you non-musicians, can play 6 notes at
once), and plugs into the controller ports on the ECS via a dual 9 pin
connector. Melody Blaster was the only program released by Mattel to
specifically take advantage of this component. This unit also came molded either
in light gray or dark brown plastic (European market). Although they are both
pretty tough to find, the brown variety is extremely rare.

3.11 – System Changer

The Atari 2600 had the biggest library of games at the time,
and Mattel added the capability of playing 2600 carts to the INTV II with this
module. This unit also interfaces with the INTV II via the cartridge port. It
has a 2600 cartridge port on the top of the module, Game Select and Reset keys
flanking the two difficulty and color/BW switch. The controller ports are
located on the front of the module, and any of your favorite 2600 compatible
controllers work just fine. If you don’t happen to have Atari controllers lying
around, you can use the disc controller attached to the INTV II in lieu of them.
If you happened to own an original Intellivision, sending in your Master
Component and $19.95 would get you a main board modification that was required
for this unit to work with the older equipment.

3.12 – Joystick
Substitutes

For the masses that couldn’t stand to use the Intellivision’s
awful disc controllers, there were a couple solutions:

– INTV Corp. released a set of clip-on Joysticks which
snapped onto the lower half of your controller, these are of questionable
quality and value:

– A couple of other companies released sticks that either
glued onto the existing discs, or replaced the disc entirely, with a shaft that
screwed into a hole drilled into the center of the replacement disc. One of
these add-ons also came with oversized fire buttons that clipped over the
existing buttons.

3.13 – Compro Electronics
Videoplexer

Tired of switching between your 8 favorite games? Get a
Videoplexer! Similar to the RomScanner for the Atari 2600, this unit would store
8 Intellivision games and allow you to switch them on the fly via a touch panel
on the front of the unit. The unit plugs into the cartridge port of the base
system, and on top there are slots for up to eight cartridges. At the base of
the Videoplexer, there are 8 buttons for switching between the cartridges.

3.14 – PlayCable

The idea of beaming videogames through Cable TV is not new; a
company called PlayCable created an adapter for the Intellivision that plugged
in to the cartridge port, and the service had a selection of 20 of the most
popular games available every month.

Steven Roode and his brother were fortunate enough to have
this service, and what follows is his description of the hardware and the
service provided:

“When you signed up for PlayCable, you were given a box which
would plug into the Intellivision’s (INTV’s) cartridge port. The box had the
same color scheme as an INTV I, and its dimensions were the same height and
depth of the INTV I, with the length of an INTV II. It had a power cord coming
out of it. Additionally, you were given a RF box which had a coaxial in, a
coaxial out, and two RCA outs. One RCA out was connected to the INTV, and one
was connected to the PlayCable unit.

For about $4.95 a month, the cable company would transmit 20
games (Although for the first few months, there were only 15 games). When you
turned on the INTV, a sort of ‘boot screen’ would come up and you would hear a
sound that sort of sounded like a clock ticking. After a couple of seconds, you
would hear 4 long beeps and the PlayCable title screen would pop up. There would
be one of four different songs in the background (I know that one was the
victory song in checkers, one was The Entertainer, one was Music Box Dancer, and
I forget the other one). Each screen listed 5 games (I think, it may have been
4), and you could cycle through the games lists by pressing the disc. When you
found the game that you wanted, you would press the number next to it, and press
enter. A title screen of the game would pop up, and again you would hear
ticking. After a couple of seconds, you would hear the same 4 long beeps and the
game would be ready to play”

The following are excerpts from a PlayCable-specific game
manual describing the game loading process:

HOW TO SELECT YOUR FAVORITE GAME FROM PLAYCABLE:

– Set the PlayCable TV/Game switch to GAME.

– Turn on your television and turn to Channel 3 or 4. (The
same setting as the switch on the bottom of the Mattel Electronics Master
Component.)

– Turn on the Master Component; push the RESET button.

– The screen will read, “PLAYCABLE CATALOG.” The screen will
then change to: “PLAYCABLE PRESENTS INTELLIVISION. PUSH DISC.”

– Push the directional disc (the big, round button on either
hand control) to see each page of the catalog. The series will start again
automatically as you keep pushing the disc.

– To call up a game, find the page on which the game appears.
Press the number of the game on your keypad, and then press ENTER. Wait about 10
seconds. When the four rectangles in the upper left hand corner of your screen
turn white, your game is ready.

– Push the disc again and the game will appear.

– To select a new game, push RESET. The catalog will
re-appear.

One of the neater aspects of PlayCable was that they would
rotate out about half of the games every month. When they did, you would get
instruction books and overlays for each new game in the mail (and all of the
overlays were attached with perforations; so you would have to sort of tear them
apart).

PlayCable tended to have some pretty decent games on it. You
would always have a couple of the ‘classics’ every month (i.e., I don’t think
Baseball and Astrosmash ever came off!), and you would get some pretty recent
games as well. Once in a while they were slow in changing the games. They were
supposed to be rotated out on the 1st of each month. Believe me, my brother and
I would fake sick to stay home from school sometimes on the 1st! If by noon they
weren’t changed, we would call the cable company and by the end of the day they
were updated (One other neat little side note: When they changed the games out,
the system would still be up. First, all game choices would disappear. Then, two
by two, new games would pop up. You could actually see them appear!)

We had PlayCable for about two years (I think 81-82), and our
cable company was big into promoting it. They had INTV playathons at some of the
local malls, giving away free INTVs to high scorers in certain games. During one
promotional weekend, the cable company showed nothing but people playing INTV
and the announcers commenting on how realistic the game play was. I think we
even have one PlayCable T-shirt lying around somewhere!

Finally though, our cable company stopped carrying PlayCable,
and unfortunately, we had to surrender the box. I would like to have kept it to
see how it worked. All in all, our family has a lot of fond memories of
PlayCable… I think it helped to enhance the uniqueness and mystery of the
Intellivision.

3.15 – Intellivision Tester
(MTE-100)

This is a large metal briefcase that appears to be a portable
diagnostic unit for testing Intellivision cartridges and the removable chips
from malfunctioning systems. It consists of two controllers mounted onto the top
of the unit, zero insertion force (ZIF) sockets for testing chips, and various
other controls to test the chips under different operating conditions. To run
the diagnostics, the system uses an integrated MTE-201 test cartridge.
Internally, the system appears to be a modified 2609 motherboard along with an
alternative power supply circuit. It is interesting to note that the controllers
mounted on the top of the unit match the layout in the controller test section
of the MTE-201 tests, which means they are reversed -i.e. the left controller is
mounted on the right. This unit was not sold to the public, and it is unknown if
more were produced. At the time of this writing, the history of this unit
remains shrouded in mystery.

(Thanks to Steve Orth for the info)

 

4.0) Cartridge
Listing

4.1 – Released Titles

Overlay Key:

Yes = has overlays

No = No overlays

L/R = has different overlays for the left and right
controllers

Notes: Any interesting tidbits, such as additional
hardware required, release notes, and compatibility.










































































































































Manufacturer

Title

Part #

Overlay

Notes

Intelligentvision

4-Tris

9111

Yes

J. Zbiciak released in
2001

Mattel

ABPA
Backgammon

1119

Yes

Sears #49
75214

Mattel

AD&D Cloudy
Mountain

3410

Yes

 

Mattel

AD&D Treasure of
Tarmin

5300

Yes

 

Mattel

Armor Battle

1121

Yes

Sears #49
75211

Mattel

Astrosmash

3605

Yes

Sears #49
75229

Imagic

Atlantis

700006

Yes

 

Mattel

Auto Racing

1113

Yes

Sears #49
75205

Mattel

B-17 Bomber

3884

Yes

Intellivoice

Activision

Beamrider

M-005-02

Yes

 

Imagic

Beauty & the
Beast

700007

Yes

 

Interphase

Blockade
Runner

80100001

Yes

 

INTV

Body Slam! Super Pro
Wrestling

9009

No

 

Mattel

Bomb Squad

3883

Yes

Intellivoice

Mattel

Boxing

1819

Yes

Sears #49
75221

Mattel

Bump ‘n’
Jump

4688

Yes

 

Mattel

BurgerTime

4549

Yes

 

Mattel

Buzz Bombers

4436

Yes

 

Coleco

Carnival

2488

No

Non-Intv2

AtariSoft

Centipede

70254

No

 

Dextell

Championship
Tennis

8200

Yes

 

Mattel

Checkers

1120

Yes

Sears #49
75215

INTV

Chip Shot Super Pro
Golf

8900

No

 

INTV

Commando

9000

No

 

Sega

Congo Bongo

006-06

No

 

AtariSoft

Defender

70252

No

 

Mattel

Demo Cart
78′

1682-0950

No

 

Mattel

Demo Cart 78’
Revision

5032-0710

No

 

Mattel

Demo Cart
83′

5853-0210

No

 

Mattel

Demo Cart
International

5859-0410

No

 

Imagic

Demon Attack

700005

Yes

 

INTV

Dig Dug

9005

No

 

INTV

Diner

8800

No

 

Coleco

Donkey Kong

76257

No

Non-Intv2

Coleco

Donkey Kong
Junior

76376

No

 

Imagic

Dracula

700018

Yes

 

Imagic

Dragonfire

700010

Yes

 

Mattel

Electric Company Math
Fun

2613

Yes

 

Mattel

Electric Company Word
Fun

1122

Yes

Non-Intv2

Imagic

Fathom

7205

Yes

 

Mattel

Frog Bog

5301

Yes

Sears #49
75234

Parker Brothers

Frogger

6300

No

 

Activision

Happy Trails

M-003-04

Yes

 

Mattel

Horse Racing

1123

Yes

Sears #49
75209

INTV

Hover Force

8500

No

 

Imagic

Ice Trek

710012

Yes

 

Mattel

Jetsons Ways With
Words

4543

Yes

ECS

Mattel

Kool-Aid Man

4675

Yes

 

Coleco

Lady Bug

2483

No

 

Mattel

Las Vegas Poker & Blackjack

2611

Yes

Pack-in / Sears #49
75222

Mattel

Las Vegas
Roulette

1118

Yes

Sears #49
75208

INTV

Learning Fun
I

9002

No

 

INTV

Learning Fun
II

9006

No

 

Mattel

Lock’N’Chase

5637

Yes

 

Mattel

Loco-Motion

4438

Yes

 

Mattel

Major Leage
Baseball

2614

Yes

Sears #49
75202

Mattel

Masters of the Universe – The
Powers of He-Man

4689

Yes

 

Mattel

Melody
Blaster

4540

L/R

ECS / Piano

Imagic

MicroSurgeon

720013

Yes

 

Mattel

Mind Strike

4531

Yes

ECS

Intelligentvision

Mine Hunter

9113

Yes

 

Mattel

Mission X

4437

Yes

 

Mattel

Motocross

3411

Yes

 

INTV

Mountain Madness: Super Pro
Skiing

9007

No

 

Coleco

Mouse Trap

3411

Yes

Non-Intv2

Mattel

Mr. Basic Meets Bits’n
Bytes

4536

L/R

ECS – 3 sets of
overlays

Mattel

NASL Soccer

1683

Yes

Sears #49
75206

Mattel

NBA
Basketball

2614

Yes

Sears #49
75203

Mattel

NFL Football

2610

Yes

Sears #49
75201

Mattel

NHL Hockey

1114

Yes

Sears #49
75204

Mattel

Night
Stalker

5305

Yes

Sears #49
75236

Imagic

Nova Blast

700022

Yes

 

INTV

Pac Man

8000

No

 

AtariSoft

Pac Man

70251

No

 

Mattel

PBA Bowling

3333

Yes

Sears #49
75223

Mattel

PGA Golf

1816

Yes

Sears #49
75207

Mattel

Pinball

5356

Yes

 

Activision

Pitfall!

M-002-04

Yes

 

INTV

Pole
Position

9004

No

 

Parker Brothers

Popeye

941519

No

 

Parker Brothers

Q*Bert

6360

No

 

Mattel

Reversi

5304

Yes

 

Activision

River Raid

M-007-03

Yes

 

Mattel

Royal Dealer

5303

Yes

 

Imagic

Safecracker

710025

Yes

 

Intelligentvision

Same Game & Robots

9114

Yes

 

Mattel

Scooby Doo’s Maze
Chase

4533

Yes

ECS

Mattel

Sea Battle

1818

Yes

Sears #49
75213

Interphase

Sewer Sam

8010002

Yes

 

Mattel

Shark!
Shark!

5387

Yes

 

Mattel

Sharp Shot

5638

Yes

 

INTV

Slam Dunk Super Pro
Basketball

9001

No

 

INTV

Slap Shot Super Pro
Hockey

9003

No

 

Mattel

Snafu

3758

Yes

Sears #49
75228

Mattel

Space Armada

3759

Yes

Sears #49
75226

Mattel

Space Battle

2612

Yes

Sears #49
75212

Mattel

Space Hawk

5136

Yes

 

Mattel

Space
Spartans

3416

Yes

Intellivoice

INTV

Spiker! – Super Pro
Volleyball

9102

No

 

INTV

Stadium Mud
Buggies

9100

No

 

Activision

Stampede

M-001-04

Yes

 

Mattel

Star Strike

5161

Yes

Sears #49
75231

Parker Brothers

Star Wars the Empire Strikes
Back

6050

No

 

Intelligentvision

Stonix

9112

Yes

 

Mattel

Sub Hunt

3408

Yes

Sears #49
75225

Parker Brothers

Super Cobra

941505

No

 

INTV

Super Pro
Decathlon

9008

No

 

INTV

Super Pro
Football

8400

No

 

Imagic

Swords & Serpents

720009

L/R

 

Mattel

Tennis

1814

Yes

Sears #49
75218

Mattel

Test Cartridge
IMI-v10

n/a

No

 

Mattel

Test Cartridge
MTE-201

n/a

No

 

Activision

The Dreadnaught
Factor

M-004-04

Yes

 

INTV

Thin Ice

8300

No

 

INTV

Thunder
Castle

4469

No

 

INTV

Tower of
Doom

8600

No

 

Mattel

Triple
Action

3760

Yes

Sears #49
75230

INTV

Triple
Challenge

8700

No

 

Mattel

TRON Deadly
Discs

5391

Yes

 

Mattel

TRON
Maze-A-Tron

5392

Yes

 

Mattel

TRON Solar
Sailer

5393

Yes

Intellivoice

Imagic

Tropical
Trouble

700017

Yes

 

Imagic

Truckin’

710023

Yes

 

Coleco

Turbo

2473

No

 

Parker Brothers

Tutankham

941509

No

 

Mattel

U.S. Ski Team
Skiing

1817

Yes

Sears #49
75219

Mattel

USCF Chess

3412

L/R

 

Mattel

Utopia

5149

Yes

Sears #49
75232

Mattel

Vectron

5788

Yes

 

Coleco

Venture

2477

No

Non-Intv2

Imagic

White Water!

720024

Yes

 

INTV

World Championship
Baseball

5789

Yes

 

Dextell

World Cup
Soccer

8100

Yes

 

Mattel

World Series Major League
Baseball

4537

L/R

ECS /
Intellivoice

Activision

Worm Whomper

M-006-03

Yes

 

Coleco

Zaxxon

2487

No

Non-Intv2

                                  
                       
                                               
            

4.2 -Unreleased (or rumored)
titles for the Intellivision

















































Manufacturer

Title

Notes

Mattel

All-Star
Baseball

Prototype exists; INTV
released as WC Baseball

Imagic

Beezor

 

Sega

Buck Rogers Planet Of
Zoom

 

INTV

Choplifter!

Prototype
exists

Coleco

Cosmic
Avenger

 

INTV

Flight
Simulator

 

Coleco

Frenzy

 

Atari

Galaxian

 

Parker Brothers

G.I. Joe

 

Mattel

Go
For the Gold

Prototype exists; title screen
only and complete

Mattel

Illusions

Prototype exists; 100%
complete

Parker Brothers

James Bond 007:
Octopussy

 

Parker Brothers

Jedi Arena

 

INTV

Karateka

Never
started

Mattel

Land Battle

Prototype exists; released on
INTV Lives CD

Coleco

Looping

 

Parker Brothers

Lord of the Rings:Journey To
Rivendell

 

Activision

Master of the
Lamps

 

Imagic

Moonsweeper

 

INTV

Ms. Pac-Man

 

Mattel

Mystic
Castle

Prototype exists. INTV
released as Thunder Castle

Mattel

Party Line

Space
Cadet, Hard Hat, Blow out; all exists

Coleco

Pepper II

 

Parker Brothers

Reactor

 

Parker Brothers

Return Of The Jedi:Death Star
Battle

 

Parker Brothers

Return Of The Jedi:Ewok
Adventure

 

Coleco

Rocky

 

Mattel

Rocky and
Bullwinkle

Prototype exists; 100%
complete

INTV

Sea Battle
II

 

Imagic

Shootin’
Gallery

 

Coleco

Smurf Rescue

 

Coleco

Smurf

 

INTV

Speed Freak

 

Mattel

Space
Shuttle

Prototype exists;
Intellivoice; not completed

Parker Brothers

Spiderman

 

Sega

Star Trek

 

Parker Brothers

Strawberry
Shortcake

 

INTV

Super Pro Auto
Racing

Never
started

INTV

Super Pro European Bike
Rally

Never
started

INTV

Super Pro Horse
Racing

Never
started

INTV

Super Pro
Pool/Billiards

Prototype exists; released on
INTV Lives CD

INTV

Super Pro
Soccer

Prototype exists; contains
advertisements; 100% done

Coleco

Time Pilot

 

Mattel

Tower of
Mystery

Prototype exists; INTV
released as Tower of Doom

Imagic

Wing War

 

Mattel

Yogi’s
Frustration

Prototype exists; 100%
completed

Activision

Zenji

 

4.3 –Unreleased / Announced titles for
the ECS

 









Manufacturer

Title

Notes

Mattel

Game Factory

Released on INTV Lives
CD

Mattel

The Flintstones Keyboard
Fun

Prototype exist; game is
playable but not complete

Mattel

Number
Jumble

Released on INTV Lives
CD

Mattel

Program
Builder

 

Mattel

Song Writer

 

Mattel

Super NFL
Football

Prototype exist; game is
playable but not complete

Mattel

Super Soccer

Released on INTV Lives
CD

 

4.4 -Software announced for
the Keyboard Component/Computer Adaptor

These programs were all to have been provided on
cassettes

















Manufacturer

Title

Notes

Mattel

J.K. Lasser’s 1980 Federal
Income

 

Mattel

Chartcraft Stock
Analysis

 

Mattel

Jack LaLanne’s Physical
Conditioning

Released

Mattel

BASIC

Released as cartridge for
Keyboard Component

Mattel

Guitar Lessons & Music
Companion

 

Mattel

Spelling
Challenge

 

Mattel

Geography
Challenge

Released

Mattel

Jeanne Dixon
Astrology

 

Mattel

Family
Budgeting

Released

Mattel

Crosswords 1

Released

Mattel

Crosswords 2

Released

Mattel

Crosswords 3

Released

Mattel

Speed
Reading

 

Mattel

Conversational
Spanish

 

Mattel

Conversational
French

Released

4.5 -Easter Eggs, Cheats and
Tips

 

4-TRIS

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: If you press 6+9 on either
controller and press RESET, you’ll get a “hello” message from Joseph. 
{Joseph Zbiciak}

 

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: If you press RIGHT on the LEFT
controller, and 5 on the RIGHT controller and press RESET, you’ll get PONG
instead. {Joseph Zbiciak}

 

           
 

 

 

ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS:
Cloudy Mountain

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: On the RIGHT controller, hold 0 +
either upper side button + disc position 7, then press RESET. When the
title screen appears, push the disc or any button and you’ll see the map screen
(see picture). Both halves of the crown will be assembled on top of your
party and you immediately win the game! {Carl Mueller}

 

 

BUG: Move so that a slow-moving monster
(on early levels, this is all of them, but blobs work best) is above you in a
long vertical passage. Walk downwards until the monster is just barely off
the top of the screen, and then quickly return. The monster will often be
cloned or disappear; with blobs, you can get up to three at once from one
original. It takes some practice to get the timing right.

 

BUG: On the map screen, you move your
party around using the number pad on the controller. If you move your
party to the upper-left corner of the screen, you can press the up/left diagonal
and move off the screen. Keep moving in that direction, and you’ll appear
in the middle of the map. Once you’re in the middle, you need to make one more
“move” before you can return to moving normally. {Joseph
Zbiciak}

 

 

ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS:
Treasure of Tarmin

 

Increasing HP: When you start off, collect as
much food as possible. When you fight, use only your bow and arrows. Make sure
you rest after each battle. Collect whatever weapons you can, but repeating
spiritual weapons like scrolls (and books) are great to have. If you cannot find
any, just pick up whatever is available. Okay…you’ve fought a couple of times,
and now you’re out of arrows. KEEP THAT BOW RIGHT THERE! Go find another
monster, and attack him with the bow. You’ll get the ever-popular “RAZZ” sound,
but the monster will attack you anyways. Keep repeating this until your HP gets
as low as you want to go. The lower they go, the stronger you will become. When
you’re tired of letting the monster pummel you, get one of the other weapons and
finish him off. Then rest. VOILA! Your HP will skyrocket! Normally, this affects
your War HP faster than your spiritual HP, because you are using a war weapon.
Your spiritual HP can also go up if you are being hit by spiritual weapons.
Another way to get more Spiritual HP is to get the Spiritual knowledge book and
then continue the method. This will raise your Spiritual HP faster. In order to
get the most out of this, you must do the following: (1) Find ALL food, (2)
Fight as often as you can, (3) Do NOT get arrows, and (4) Get all of the War and
Spiritual skill books (to allow your HP to go above normal limit). Some other
tips- keep a spare bow with you at all times in case your active one breaks.
Also, fight the weakest monsters the longest. You can sit there and get hit 300
times by a skeleton, then kill him once and get back 50 HP, even though you only
lost 4. This trick also works with scrolls, but since you never run out of ammo,
just use the light blue scroll against a stronger opponent. Note: only do this
if you are really strong! {Jason Sinclair}

 

Ever
wanted to see what was behind a wall or a door without the sight book? I did
this on an Intellivision II, so I’m not sure if it works on a I or III… Go to
a “hall of doors” – doors that line up on either side of you. Put an object
down, and then GLANCE left or right. When you glance, if there is anything
behind the door, the object you put down may blink for an instant. If it does,
that means that an object is one or two spaces away in the direction you
glanced. When you return back to your original direction, it may blink again.
Sometimes, when it blinks, it momentarily turns into the object (or part of the
sprite) that was hidden. For example, if a spear is behind the door, the item
may briefly become a spear, and then return to whatever it was. It becomes
easier to see if you glance one way, and then hit the other glance the other
before you come back to your original position. To try this in a more
surefire way, find an eyeball mural that has a closable door beside it. Go
through the door and then turn around to face the door. The eyeball mural will
be on the other side. Put something down in front of you, and glance both
directions. Notice the object you put down- it will blink, and if you’re fast
enough, it’ll turn into an eyeball! The reason this may only work on an INTV II
system is because there is a slight timing maladjustment inherent to all INTV
II’s, that I’s and III’s supposedly don’t. If that is indeed true, then
this works because the timing misfire actually causes the correct sprite to be
in the wrong place due to the screen changes. {Jason Sinclair}

 

 

ARMOR BATTLE

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: On the LEFT controller, press and
hold 0 + either upper side button + disc position 7, and then press RESET. 
You’ll then see a title screen with “D.E.I.” under the name, followed by the
infamous crowd cheering sound. Note- this only works on the fast (later)
tank version. {Carl Mueller}

 

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: On the LEFT controller hold 3, on
the RIGHT hold 9, and then press RESET. The title will change to “D.E.I.”,
followed by the infamous crowd cheering sound. Also, the copyright will say
1984. Note- this only works on the slow (original) tank version. 
{from Chris Hawley’s “Copyright Kludge” file}

 

 

The
initials DEI that show up in all the different APh games stand for “Dabney Eats
It”. More info on this can be found at:
http://www.ucolick.org/~sla/dei/Â {Joseph Zbiciak}

 

2
versions exist!
The
later release has a faster rotational speed on the tanks. {Carl
Mueller}

 

BUG: Drive a tank to the bottom of the
screen, and then inactivate it. Then take another tank (yours or enemies)
and shoot it once or twice to make it move down. Then re-activate the
tank, turn it so it points straight down, and drive forward for a minute or
two. The tank will appear from the top of the screen and the tank will
gain some “ghost tank” powers.

 

 

ASTROSMASH

 

BUG: There’s no check for the score
overflowing — beyond 9,999,999 points, the scoring routine starts displaying
negative numbers, letters, and other ASCII characters. (Ironically, the catalog
description promises “Unlimited scoring potential.”)Â {BSR}

 

BUG: Astrosmash started out as a clone
of the arcade game Asteroids, called Meteor!. The game wasn’t very big, so John
Sohl used the extra room in the cartridge to come up with a variation called
Avalanche using the same graphics and sound effects. At the last minute, afraid
of a lawsuit from Atari, the Mattel lawyers killed the Asteroids-like Meteor!.
Rather than risk introducing bugs by deleting code, John simply put a branch
around the opening-screen menu straight into the Avalanche! variation, which was
released under the name Astrosmash. Very rarely, when there’s a glitch hitting
RESET, the Asteroids version will show up on screen. (This would be a dandy
Easter egg if it was intentional or reliably repeatable, but it’s
neither.)Â {BSR}

 

 

AUTO RACING

 

2
versions exist!
 A change was made to make the
steering easier (more realistic instead of intuitive). {BSR}

 

Press
1+6+9 on either keypad to switch to “real” steering (and vice-versa). 
{from Chris Hawley’s “Copyright Kludge” file}

 

The 5
race courses were created as a “globe” – you can go ‘off the course’ and onto
other courses at many places in the game. Anywhere where there’s daylight
in between trees is explore-able, and often ‘hidden’ areas (like the “Drag
Strip”, a long horizontal area) not mentioned in the manual can be
found.

 

Select
track 1. On the last long strip (before the sharp right turn), drive the car in
the grass underneath the road. The car will never hit an obstacle!

 

B-17 BOMBER

 

BUG: Start a game in practice mode and
keep bombing targets over England. The score will eventually roll over and
start displaying text, graphics, and even some bonus items from Lock ‘N’
Chase!

 

BUG: If your altitude is high enough,
and you’re hit with enough enemy fire, you can rack up so much damage before you
hit the ground that the damage counter will roll over, giving you instant
repair! {BSR}

 

BUG: Dropping a bomb to the far left of
the screen from just the right altitude will crash the game. 
{BSR}

 

BUG: Flying into flak features some
great perspective animation; the rear view, however, doesn’t look quite right.
They ran out of time to debug it. By the way, they also ran out of room for a
flak graphics picture. Instead, the program grabs some of the Executive ROM
program code and graphically displays it. This random jumble of bits passes as
flak. {BSR}

 

BUG: When the game starts, the bomber
faces east. When you return from a mission, the bomber faces west. When you
start the second mission, the bomber is still facing west, so you can easily end
up halfway to Bermuda, trying to figure out how the English Channel got so wide
and where the German fighters are. {BSR}

 

 

BEAMRIDER

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: By holding down 6 on the LEFT
controller and 8 on the RIGHT controller when pressing RESET, you will get the
following message as part of the title info scroll “A Cheshire Game! By David
Rolfe Thanks to Chris, Kevin, Larry & Tom L and Will & Shal!” 
{
Carl Mueller}

 

 

 

BEAUTY & THE BEAST

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: Get to the point where the ape
falls off the building, and press 3 twice on either controller. The
designer’s initials, “WB” (for Wendell Brown), will appear atop the
building. {Gilbert Prince}

 

 

 

BODY SLAM: SUPER PRO WRESTLING

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: To display the credits, press 0
(zero) on either hand controller while the title screen is displayed. 
{BSR}

 

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: Both controller button
combinations must all be done simultaneously, then press RESET – on the RIGHT
controller, hold 2+3. On the LEFT controller, hold 2+6. Programmer Steve
Ettinger’s message to his family will appear. {BSR}

 

 

 

BOMB SQUAD

 

BUG: Depending on the level (Level 3 is
the worst), you cannot take a part, with pliers, to extreme ends of the circuit
board when the fast (top action) key is pressed. Once the key is released, you
can. It is most noticeable when you release a part and you need to pick one up
at the top level. {BSR}

 

BUG: If the wrong part is cut, Frank
will say, “wrong part: re-solder!” and there is a sound associated with it. If
Boris is talking when this happens, his voice overrides Frank’s. Frank won’t say
“wrong part: re-solder,” but the associated sound still occurs. 
{BSR}

 

BUG: When you have correctly soldered a
part, it will not move like the others so that you know what you have replaced.
However, if you solder that piece again, it will start moving. 
{BSR}

 

 

BOXING

HIDDEN MESSAGE: On the LEFT controller, press the
2 lower action buttons and push RIGHT (actually wheel direction #7). {from
Chris Hawley’s “Copyright Kludge” file}

 

 

 

BUMP ‘N’ JUMP

 

BUG: It is possible to jump off the
left side of the screen and land safely on the right on a “secret” road, or vice
versa. If you jump and position yourself so that only the left half of the car
appears on the right edge of the screen (give it a few tries; the position has
to be precise!), you will land safely off the screen and don’t have to do
anything for the rest of the level — you don’t even have to jump at water
hazards! There are only two disclaimers: (1) you will crash if you jump again
(it turns out that the car positions itself one pixel to the left when jumping);
and (2) you have to jump back onto the roadway at the end of the level, because
the car automatically drives toward the center of the screen at the end and will
crash if you do not return. {David Foulke}

 

 

CHECKERS / DRAUGHTS

 

2
versions exist!
The
bug in the original version was fixed. Also, the “fixed” version has different
sound effects. The “ting” was replaced with a deeper “gong”, the “RAZZ”
was shortened, and I think the “computer” sound was shifted down in pitch. 
The old version sounds “tinnier” overall. {Joseph Zbiciak}

 

BUG: The original version had a bug
where it appeared that one of the counters could overflow, and a check was added
to prevent it from doing so (in the later version). {Joseph
Zbiciak}

 

 

CHIP SHOT: SUPER PRO GOLFER

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: To display the credits, press 0 on
either controller while the title screen is displayed. {BSR}

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: Both controller button
combinations must all be done simultaneously, then press RESET – on the RIGHT
controller, hold 2+3. On the LEFT controller, hold 2+6. Programmer Steve
Ettinger’s message to his family will appear. {BSR}

 

2
versions exist!
They differ with their spelling of the word caddy (or caddie). {Ian
Holbrough}

 

 

DEMON ATTACK

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: Press North + Lower Right Button
on the right controller just before you take off to blast the Mother Ship and
you’ll notice something different. According to the BSR site, the game was
written by <G>ary <K>ato.  {Arnauld Chevallier}

 

 

 

DEEP POCKETS: SUPER PRO POOL AND
BILLIARDS

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: To display the credits, press 0 on
either controller while the title screen is displayed. {BSR}

 

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: If you press 1 on the RIGHT
controller, 2 on the LEFT controller, and press RESET you’ll get a message from
Steve Ettinger to his family. {Joseph Zbiciak}

 

 

 

DEFENDER

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: On the RIGHT controller, holding
1+5+9+ENTER and pushing the disc UP+LEFT and pressing RESET causes the following
garbled screen to appear. PDF are the initials of programmer Peter Farson. 
{Joseph Zbiciak}

 

DIG DUG

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: Another Mattel programmer, Dave
Warhol, put together his own private version of the game, TRON Deadly Discs,
replacing the enemy warriors with the hot dogs from Burgertime. He called the
result Deadly Dogs. If you want to play it, it’s hidden in the INTV Corporation
release of Dig Dug: press 4+7 on both hand controllers and press RESET. The
Deadly Dogs title screen will appear. {BSR}

 

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE:Â On the RIGHT controller,
holding 1+5+9+ENTER and pushing the disc UP+LEFT and pressing RESET reveals the
message, “Programmed by Mark Kennedy”. {Joseph Zbiciak}

 

 

DONKEY KONG

 

BUG: You can walk inside of Donkey Kong
himself! Just go up to DK on the top of the second level, running into him until
you can’t run anymore, then push towards him and jump. If you are lucky, you
will jump inside of him! When you want to come back out, you actually walk
backwards. It’s also possible to avoid enemies by hiding inside DK.

 

 

DRACULA

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: Select 1 player, Easy level. Finish
day 1. On day 2, run right to the first set of buildings. Run left and you
should see a victim. Get him! Run back to the town and press the “1” button. The
letters “AS” (Alan Smith programmer) appears where the eyes were. You can
display it multiple times. {Simone Razzauti}

 

 

 

DRAGONFIRE

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: On the bridge
screen, press “1” and cross the bridge. The letters “AS” (Alan Smith
programmer)
appears as a
treasure. {Arnauld Chevallier/David Harley/Simone Razzauti}

 

 

 

FROG BOG

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: Both controller button
combinations must all be done simultaneously, then press RESET – on the RIGHT
controller, hold 0+5. On the LEFT, hold 3+5. The title screen will
appear as “TAS & ASN & PK present Froys DEI ©1982” (picture
#1). TAS is for Tom A. Soulanille and PK is for Peter Kaminski. Anyone
know what ASN stands for?  Also, the graphics will be different
(picture #2 – Aph’s “mascot”?). {Carl Mueller}

 

 

 

 

HORSE RACING

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: Press 6+9 on both controllers and
press RESET. The color bars will turn into horse heads, and you’ll get the
programmer’s initials, CH (for Chris Hawley), at the top of the screen. {from
Chris Hawley’s “Copyright Kludge” file}

 

 

 

HOVER FORCE

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: To display the credits, press 0 on
either controller while the title screen is displayed. {BSR}

 

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: Both controller button
combinations must all be done simultaneously, then press RESET – on the RIGHT
controller, hold 2+3. On the LEFT controller, hold 2+6. Programmer Steve
Ettinger’s message to his wife (born on October 23) and twins (born on November
26) will appear. {BSR}

 

 



In
the game, the island of New Seeburg derives its name from programmer Steve
Ettinger’s initials - SEE. {BSR}

 

The 2nd
difficulty level, “RANGER”, is named after the Blue Sky Rangers. 
{BSR}

 

 

LAS VEGAS POKER &
BLACKJACK

 

2
versions exist!
The
copyright on the title screen has been changed from 1978 to 1979.

 

 

 

 

LAS VEGAS ROULETTE

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: Press 1+2+3 on the RIGHT
controller and 1+3 on the LEFT. The screen below will then appear. 
{from Chris Hawley’s “Copyright Kludge” file}

 

 

 

LEARNING FUN II

 

BUG: While enhancing the game
Crosswords, Dave Warhol (the programmer) accidentally left off a prefix that
indicated a number was supposed to be base 10 instead of base 16. As a result,
the computer only selects words beginning with letters A through T instead of A
through Z. {BSR}

 

 

LOCK ‘N’ CHASE

 

2
versions exist!
Turning corners was made easier; and animation of thief collapsing into his hat
was added. The early version is 6K while the latter is 8K. 
{BSR}

 

 

BUG: If you stand in one of the tunnels
(easiest with the upper) and move continuously back and forth while partway off
the screen, eventually your thief will travel off the screen and disappear
altogether. After a minute or two, he will reappear on the other
side.

 

BUG: When you enter a tunnel and move
the disc up and down really fast you can enter a strip that lets you ring up
points quickly, but you’ll also be trapped there forever. If you wrap around the
screen a few times you’ll hit a “wall” and sometimes be suck there forever and
have to press the reset switch.

 

BUG: If you have cleared all the coins
in a maze, lock a door directly under the top exit. Run into this locked
door from above; you will stick to it. Then press up: the level will instantly
end without your actually having gone out the exit.

 

BUG: You will often receive a bonus
(sometimes several thousand points) if you are picking up a coin, vault $, or
other bonus when you lose your last life at the same time.

 

 

MAGIC CAROUSEL

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: Connect the twinkling stars above
the carousel on the title screen to get SEE and JAF – the initials of Steve
Ettinger and Joe Ferreira. {BSR}

 

 

 

MICROSURGEON

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: The programmer’s first name,
“rick” (for Rick Levine) can be found in the dark area below the jaw. 
{Rick Levine}

 

MIND STRIKE

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: David Warhol’s favorite number is
47 (it’s a thing amongst Pomona College alumni), so board 47 reads “DAVE”. 
{BSR}

 

MINEHUNTER

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: On the menu, press [1] and [7]
simultaneously to see Ryan’s message.

 

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: On the menu, press [2] and [8]
simultaneously to hear a music tune. Press [3] and [9] simultaneously to hear
“Row, Row, Row your boat”.

 

 

MISSION X

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: Press 6 on the RIGHT controller
and 9 on the LEFT and hit RESET to bring up programmer John Tomlinson’s name on
the title screen. {BSR}

 

 

 

MOTOCROSS

 

BUG: The Mattel release does not work
on European PAL systems. You can not get past the map screen. The Intv (white
label) fixed the bug.

 

NOVA BLAST

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: Press 1 on both controllers, and
then press RESET. You’ll get a screen that says, “W. BROWN ENGINEERING
PRESENTS HYPERBEAM”. {Joseph Zbiciak}

 

 

 

PBA BOWLING

 

TIP: Chose a 16lb ball, 0 slickness, a
left-handed bowler, then press the disc at the 7 o’clock position. As the
dot becomes whole, release the disc and score a strike every time!
{BSR}

 

 

PGA GOLF / GOLF

 

2
versions exist!
 In the later version, if you
press ENTER you’ll get the par and distance of the hole. It’s unknown if
this feature is documented in the manual. {Ian Holbrough}

 

 

ROYAL DEALER

 

BUG: The following steps lead to the
problems with Royal Dealer. They occur in all four games. You are
rearranging your cards and have a card out of the deck. Then one of the players
lays down her final card and that round ends. The new round starts and you
hit the disk. The card from the last hand appears. Depending on how you
rearrange and throw your cards, different errors can occur. (If you hit
rearrange first, the game will progress normally, and the errors never occur.)
The errors that occur are:Â {BSR}

 

(1) You
can rearrange the blank cards that are displayed. If you rearrange enough times,
the program gets confused and the screen blanks out. You have to hit reset to
start over.

 

(2)
Sometimes when you lift up a card to rearrange, you see it where the card was.
This usually occurs if this is one card by itself.

 

(3) If
you have to draw 15 cards and they are all in a row, it usually will not let you
pass. The result is that you have to hit reset to start over.

 

(4) In
Rummy, if you win the round, the music plays and the card screen comes up. The
screen doesn’t show “GIN” by your hand and a card shows up in your final hand
that wasn’t there before.

Results
are that you can’t continue to the next hand, and you have to hit reset to start
over.

 

(5) If a
gap appears between your cards, you cannot get to the cards on the left side of
the gap. The gap will go away if you can discard your cards on the right of the
gap. If you need a heart, for example, and you draw until you have 15 cards, you
may have to pass. If there is a heart on the left side of the gap, you cannot
get to it, the program sees the heart, and will not allow you to pass. The
result is you have to hit reset to start over.

 

Because
of this bug, the following errata slip was added to the packaging: 
{BSR}

 

 “Please correct your
instruction booklet on Page 2 to read: You can only rearrange your cards each
time it is your turn before playing or discarding a card from your hand. Once
you have played or discarded, you must wait until your next turn before
rearranging your cards.”

 

 

SLAM DUNK: SUPER PRO
BASKETBALL

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: To display the credits, press 0 on
either controller while the title screen is displayed.

 

 

 

SLAP SHOT: SUPER PRO HOCKEY

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: Credits roll automatically if you
leave the title screen up long enough

 

 

BUG: Go behind your opponent’s goal and
hit the puck toward the back of the center portion of the goal. You’ll
hear the puck quickly bounce back and forth and sometimes you’ll score a
point!

 

 

SPACE ARMADA

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: Both controller button
combinations must all be done simultaneously, then press RESET – on the RIGHT
controller, hold the lower fire buttons. On the LEFT, hold either 4+6 to
get “SPAZ ARMADA”,

 

 

or hold
CLEAR+ENTER for “SPACE BEASTIES” – both by “JWB” (for John W. Brooks). 
These alternate game variations only seem to work in ‘practice’ mode. 
{from Chris Hawley’s “Copyright Kludge” file}

 

 

 

SPACE BATTLE

 

2
versions exist!
The
game was speeded up for more challenging game play. {BSR}

 

BUG: Kill all of the aliens except for
one. Next, lose all of your ships except for one, and time it so that you
kill each other. The total alien count should then roll over to 99+ aliens
and you will have to fight them all (“infinite fighting”). {Steve
Craft}

 

 

SPACE HAWK

 

BUG: While testing the game, Bill
Fisher (programmer) came across a bug: every now and then, the game would,
seemingly at random, hyperspace you. He and his boss, Mike Minkoff, went over
the code with a fine-tooth comb before realizing what the problem was: the
Intellivision hand controllers encode button presses in such a way that an
action (side) key pressed at the same time as particular directions on the disc
will be interpreted instead as a numeric key being pressed. There was no
software way around this; shooting while moving would occasionally be
interpreted as pressing 9 — the hyperspace button. After several days of
puzzling over a solution, the bug was ultimately “fixed” by including the
following note in the instruction manual:Â {BSR}

 

“Every
once in a while, your space hunter will move near a ‘black hole,’ and the
computer will automatically put him into HYPERSPACE. This will cost you the same
number of points as if you had pressed the HYPERSPACE key yourself. On the other
hand, it will save your hunter.”

 

 

SPACE SPARTANS

 

BUG: The level counter is not checked
properly — it allows you to reach one higher level than it’s supposed to. On
that “level,” you can reposition the alien bases as if they were your own. 
{BSR}

 

 

SPIKER: SUPER PRO VOLLEYBALL

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: To display the credits, press 0 on
either controller while the title screen is displayed. {BSR}

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: If you press 1 on both controllers
and hit RESET, the game menu will be renamed “Kyle & Russell’s Menu” {Joseph
Zbiciak}

 

 

 

STAR STRIKE

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: Press 1+9 or 3+7 on the LEFT
controller. {from Chris Hawley’s “Copyright Kludge” file}

 

 

2
versions exist!
 The later version corrected a
bug, which sometimes made the ship hard to steer with the left controller. 
{BSR}

 

BUG: Hold down the left controller disk
in a single position while simultaneously pressing one of the top action keys.
The fighter will soon remain in a fixed position on the screen. Release the disk
to unfreeze the fighter. {BSR}

 

 

STAR WARS: EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

 

2
versions exist!
 In the US and Canadian
versions, the Star War theme sounds when “the power is with you” and when the
snowspeeder is invulnerable. In the European version, there is no music in the
title screen and a weird, ugly sound when “the power is with you”.

 

 

SUB HUNT

 

Presssing CLEAR+0+ENTER and pointing
the disc to “west-north-west” on the RIGHT controller causes the screen to shake
and all the letters “fall off” the screen. {Joseph Zbiciak}

 

 

 

STONIX

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: Access hidden levels by holding
down [7] on the left controller and [5] on the right controller when the
“Arnauld Chevallier Presents” appears on the screen. The following screen
appears shortly after.

 

 

 

HIDDEN FUNCTION: Enter pass code of 250775.
 The “ACCESS DENIED” message will flash. Go back to the main menu with
[Clear] or enter a valid pass code. During game play, press [Clear] to go
to next level, [0] to go directly to level 100, or [9] to set number of lives to
9.

 

 

SUPER PRO FOOTBALL

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: To display the credits, press 0 on
either controller while the title screen is displayed.

 

2
versions exist!
The
bug described below was fixed in the later version. {Ian
Holbrough}

 

BUG: The cartridges were manufactured
before anyone tried the game in an Intellivision II – and discovered that the
quarterback didn’t appear on the screen until after the ball was hiked. An
errata slip had to be included with the (already-printed) instructions. 
{BSR}

 

 

SWORDS & SERPENTS

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: Walk around the interior of the
dragon’s lair and avoid getting killed by the black knights and evil wizards.
The initials of the programmer, Brian P. Dougherty, will eventually
appear.

 

 

THE ELECTRIC COMPANY WORD FUN

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: Press 43210 during word rockets
mode. {from Chris Hawley’s “Copyright Kludge” file}

 

BUG: The game won’t work when plugged
into an Intellivision II, since it uses its own copyright routine. A feature to
keep early Coleco-produced Intellivision cartridges from working in the
Intellivision II inadvertently keeps it from working also. Marketing didn’t feel
the game was important enough to hold up release of Intellivision II to fix the
problem. {BSR}

 

 

THIN ICE

 

You can
play as either of two different characters- Duncan or Voochko (there was a plan
to have an ‘Olympic’ version of this game made, with either of these as the
game’s mascot, but this idea was shelved). To switch between them, hold
ENTER on the LEFT controller, CLEAR on the RIGHT controller, and press
RESET.

 

 

 

TROPICAL TROUBLE

 

Steve De
Frisco’s initials can be found in every screen. When chasing down the gorilla,
the handkerchief will drop. Pick it it up for “SD” points.

 

 

When crossing
the bridge, you need to touch the gorilla, as he is falling, press [2] & [3]
on both controllers. The initials will show up at the bottom of the screen.
{Simone Razzauti}

 

 

 

THUNDER CASTLE

 

The game
will cycle through all 3 levels if no key is pressed.

 

Look
closely at the splash screens prior to level 2 and 3. You will see many “CG”
images. Connie Goldman programmed her initials into the screens. On the second
splash screen, the staff handle spells out “Connie”.

 

 

 

 

TOWER OF DOOM

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE:Â By typing 1-1-2-6-5-6, a
“ticker-tape” style message from programmer Daniel Bass will appear (but since
he didn’t do the final programming for the game, this was removed). 
{Daniel Bass}

 

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: To display the credits, press 0 on
either controller while the title screen is displayed. {BSR}

 

 

TRIPLE ACTION

 

BUG: In Biplanes, horizontal-flying
bullets headed directly at the narrow spot on the upper half of the tower
sometimes fly right through it, as if the tower wasn’t there.

 

BUG: Although the game ends when one
player reaches 15 points, bullets in the air at that point are allowed to score.
It’s possible, therefore, to have a game with a 15-15 tie, or to win with 16
points. {BSR}

 

 

TRON DEADLY DISCS

 

BUG: There is a trick that pretty much
lets you rack up unlimited points, as first pointed out in a letter Mattel
received November 3, 1982 from Steven M. Little, an Intellivision owner in
Minneapolis: “Once you are able to open the top left and top right doors, which
enables you to go in one door and out the other…just step out the right top or
left top door and stay there…90% of the enemy discs go through you and your
man is not hit or destroyed. If you stay at that position, you can reach a score
of 1,000,000 very easily by just breaking the enemy’s discs and throwing your
disc just enough to keep only one enemy on the board at all times. Once you
reach close to a million points, don’t destroy any more warriors. Just hold your
disc in the block mode and break discs. If you do get hit just go back and forth
for repair. (Never throw disc to destroy warrior for you may get a replacement
that carries the stick.) I went from 1,000,000 to 10,000,000 with no
problem.” {BSR}

 

 

TRON Maze-A-Tron

 

Pause
trick
: Deactivate a
Recognizer near a Flip-Flop, and then enter the Flip-Flop. The screen will keep
changing direction and no enemies will come your way as long as the deactivated
Recognizer stays on the screen.

 

 

TRON SOLAR SAILER

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: When you enter the access code on
track one, append Keith Robinson’s birthday — 991955 — to the code before
pressing enter. He’ll wish you luck before the next phase of the game. 
{BSR}

 

 

 

TRUCKIN’

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: If you are driving in Northern
California, in the San Jose area, there’s a hidden highway that goes to
Imagic. Basically, you have to find the path to the old Imagic HQ in Los
Gatos, CA. Having a road map (such as Rand McNally) helps, since the route
does not show up on the map in the instruction booklet. If not, the
following directions will suffice: {Rick Levine}

 

(1) From
the title screen, press 1-1-8-1. This takes the defaults and gives you a
full tank of gas, heading northbound out of San Diego. A no-load, timed
contest.

 

(2)
Accelerate, but stay below 24 MPH, in order to make the necessary
turns.

 

(3) Make
the 1st left onto I-10, heading eastbound to LA.

 

(4) Keep
going east, straight towards the coast. I-10 will end and you will
automatically be turned north to Hollywood (HO) on US#01 (actually
101).

 

(5) Stay
due north through Santa Cruz (SZ).

 

(6) As
soon as you approach San Jose (SJ), look for the 1st left. Turn
here.

 

(7) You
are now on Route 9 eastbound. A little ways on this road and you’ve found
it! The road will show the Imagic sign off into the horizon. The SJ
city code will change into “RL” (for Rick Levine). You can also see this
coming from the opposite direction.

{step-by-step info by Al
Backiel}

 

 

 

U.S. SKI TEAM SKIING

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: On both controllers hold either
4+8 or 5+7, and then press RESET. The finish line banner will then read
“PENDRAGON”. {from Chris Hawley’s “Copyright Kludge” file}

 

 

BUG: Face your skier horizontally and
ski into the edge of the screen while the timer is on the screen. Allow
the game to remain at this screen to force the timer to eventually roll over the
numeric characters and begin to display text and graphics blocks. {John F.
Ayo}

 

 

USCF CHESS

 

Russ
Ludwick (programmer) tested the program by playing countless games against the
cartridge at all levels. He found that when playing at the highest levels, the
cartridge was good, but slow. He got in the habit of making a move, then going
home and letting the Intellivision think about a response overnight. Because of
this, three features were added:

(1) the
normal Intellivision time-out feature was disabled,

(2) a
feature letting you switch to an easier level in the middle of a move was added,
and

(3) a
warning that moves at higher levels could take hours, or days, was put into the
instruction book.  {BSR}

 

 

UTOPIA

 

BUG: On the right island, there is a
two-by-three rectangle at the upper left. Just to the right of this block
is a one-square bottleneck with water directly above and below it. Sail a
boat (fishing or PT) as if to sail directly into this bottleneck, and ‘push’
against the resisting sandbar until you’re as far as you can go. Dock
(press 0), move the cursor towards the land until the minimum needed to control
the boat is within the cursor, and select the boat again. You should be able to
sail directly over the land and come out on the other side. Note: in this
mode you will not be able to park your boat anywhere and you will not get your
cursor back. The only way to resume normal boating is to travel the reverse
path. The diagram below illustrates the approximate path:

 

 

VECTRON

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: With the right combination of
maneuvers with the energy block, you can get Mark Urbaniec’s name to appear on
screen, with the message, “MARK H. URBANIEC SEZ TO WATCH YOUR AIM”. Since
Mattel forbid hiding names in games, Mark made sure that the combination was so
complicated that no one would stumble across it by accident. Well, he did such a
good job hiding it, that he can’t quite remember anymore how to do it.
{BSR} Luckily, Joseph Zbiciak managed to “decipher” the method:

 

(1) For
# of players, press 9. This will start a single-player game.

 

(2) End
the first 7 levels with your “energy block” in the following positions. 
Positions are counted from left to right, with the left-most being 0, and the
right-most being 8: Level 1 – 0, Level 2 – 5, Level 3 – 1, Level 4 – 5, Level 5
– 5, Level 6 – 8, Level 7 – 7.

 

(3) At
the game summary screen (where it shows you how you did), it waits for you to
press a key to continue. Press the number on the keypad that cooresponds
to the same sequence above. That is, after Level 1, press 0. After Level
2, press 5, etc.

 

(4) If
you complete this long, crazy sequence, you’ll get the following
screen:

 

 

According to the instruction book,
if you beat the top level, #99, you will be rewarded with “a special little
visual treat.” The treat? Due to space constraints, there was only room for a
message reading “Congratulations. You are very good.” The difficulty increases
so much, though, that it is thought to be impossible to beat level 99.
{BSR}

 

 

WHITE WATER

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE: On any
game version, at the start, go up the river to the next beach, disembark, and go
to the forest screen. “DOUG” (for programmer
Douglas A.
Fults
) will appear in the upper-left corner.
 It will then be on every forest screen, and also on the river screen when
the game ends.  {Todd Rogers}

 

4.8 -Information regarding
Unreleased Titles & Hardware

Most of the information provided here was posted to the
general net populace courtesy of the Blue Sky Rangers and Keith Robinson. For
more information, screenshots, etc. check out http://intellivisionlives.com.

ALBUM CARTRIDGES

– due to the falling prices of RAM, more games could be fit
on to one single cartridge. This spawned the Album Cartridges which where
generally collections of old or simple games. There were 3 known Album
Cartridges: Happy Holidays, Go For the Gold, and Party Line; none were
released.

ADVENTURES OF TRON

– Unreleased version of the 2600 title. Prototype exists

AIR RAIDERS

– The Intellivision’s version of the 2600 title.

AIRSTRIKE

– A side-scrolling game of bombing enemy sites. Unfinished
but playable on the INTV Lives CD.

BASKETBALL II

– An update of NBA Basketball with one more player per
side.

COMPUTER CORRIDOR

– An attempted merger of two developing games, Moon Corridor
and Computer’s Revenge. Shelved before completion.

DIG DUG

– Dig Dug was programmed at Atari, but it was still being
debugged at the time they discontinued releasing Intellivision games. It was
debugged and released first through INTV. (#9005)

FLASHLIGHT

-Basic development only

GO FOR THE GOLD

– After spending millions of dollars to secure the 1984
Sarajevo Winter Olympics licensing, they repackaged old sports titles and threw
on a title screen.

GRID SHOCK

– Unreleased but playable on the INTV Lives CD.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

– Three holiday-inspired games in one: Santa’s Helper, Easter
Eggcitement, and Trick-Or-Treat.

HYDRO PLANE

– A speed racing-planned game based off of a graphical effect
of racing on a lake.

HYPNOTIC LIGHT:

– From a neat graphical effect, a puzzle game was to be born,
alas it wasn’t.

ILLUSIONS

– Same as the Colecovision title, but never released.
Prototype exists.

MASTER OF THE LAMPS

– In development at Activision, the game did eventually get
released on the Atari 8-bit and C64 computers.

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE II:

– Engine reincorporated into Diner, and later released by
INTV. Prototype exists.

MAGIC CARPET

– Pilot a magic carpet. Basic design only.

OFF THE WALL

– An arcade-type game to save the humans and kill the green
enemies scaling the walls.

PARTY LINE

– Another Album cartridge. Space Cadet, Hard Hat, and
Blowout.

PIZZATIME

– The planned sequel to BurgerTime before Mattel closed.

ROCKY & BULLWINKLE

– An unreleased Mattel game, prototype exists.

SAILING

– A planned game that fell apart in the transition to design
due to creative differences. Basic design only.

SCARFINGER

– A spy movie-story with game play; incomplete.

SPACE SHUTTLE

– Mattel did a Space Shuttle Intellivoice game that was
unfinished when shut down in Jan ’84. Only the prototype exists.

SPEED FREAK

– Neither Mattel nor INTV did this as an Intellivision game
(INTV may have included this in a list of “upcoming”games, but no work was ever
done on it). Mattel did do a handheld version.

SPINA THE BEE

– Control the bee to collect the pollen. It was judged
unappealing and canned. Prototype exists.

SUPER NASL SOCCER

– In the works at Mattel for the Entertainment Computer
System when closed; the game was completed for INTV and released as a regular
Intellivision cartridge under the name World Cup Soccer.

TARGET ANDROMEDA

– A space version of Dungeons and Dragons that never saw the
light of day.

YOGI’S ADVENTURE

– A Hanna Barbera licensed title that remained unreleased.
Completed.

4.9 -Information regarding
Label & Box Variations

There are 4 main “distributors” of the Intellivision games
though we tend to call them manufacturers. For instance, Atarisoft manufactured
the INTV versions of the Atari titles as well as the Atarisoft release versions.

The 4 “distributors” are:

– Mattel, the original “manufacturer” of the Intellivision.

– INTV, the company that was formed and bought out the Mattel
rights to Intellivision products.

– Sears/Telegames which distributed Intellivision games and
systems under their own names.

– Telegames, which is still in business and which owns many
of the rights (if not all) to the Intellivision games. Their games are most
likely manufactured by CBS Electronics in Italy, though not all are.

The games originally manufactured to be distributed by Mattel
have a © MI or © MEI on the label. These are the only types of labels known to
have been sold by Mattel.

Sealed INTV boxes (yes INTV boxes were different, though,
like the cartridges, they also used the leftover Mattel boxes) have been found
(frequently) with 3 types of labeled games in them:

1. © II, white label

2. © MI

3. © MEI

4. no copyright or country of origin, colored label

5. no copyright but with a country of origin, colored label

6. no copyright or country of origin, white label

The © II is the closest thing to being a “regular” INTV
release, but not complete proof.

Sears/Telegames released games in specially designed boxes
which are quite easy to identify. They are a dark reddish brown and clearly say
“Sears/Telegames”. The labels on the games sold by Sears/Telegames are of
several types:

1. no copyright or country of origin, colored label

2. no copyright but with a country of origin, colored label

3. © MI

4. © MEI

Telegames releases are in a variety of boxes, most commonly
in a box clearly identified as “Telegames”. They can still be purchased from
Telegames, UK. There are a variety of labels on these games, but the most
common, and the closest to “official” Telegames releases are a white label with
no copyright or country of origin on them. The following labels have been found
in Telegames boxes.

1. no copyright or country of origin, white label

2. All of the above varieties.

There may be a way of telling the White Label, no © , no
country of origin INTV games from the White LabelTelegames in some cases as
there tends to be two distinct styles and sizes of lettering used.

The bottom line is:You can’t tell who sold or manufactured
the games themselves in most cases except:

-If it is © MI or © MEI it was manufactured for Mattel

-If it is © II it was manufactured for INTV

The boxes were manufactured for the company (one of the 4
above) and can be identified as they are clearly marked. They were not
necessarily sold by the same companies.

Keith Robinson had this to add on the subject of labels and
boxes:

Q: I recently came across a pile of Intellivision carts
with white labels only and was wondering if anybody out there knew the scoop on
them. Are they any rarer than the colored versions? The manuals also are in
B&W only, not like the ones I already have. Any help would be much
appreciated. Thanks!!

Pretty cheesy, huh? I was in charge of printing those; Terry
Valeski contracted with me to provide all the packaging for the INTV Corporation
releases. He wanted costs as low as possible, so overlays were eliminated where
possible (Mattel’s policy was that every game had to have overlays, even if they
weren’t really needed, such as for Pinball; Valeski got rid of them), manuals
became black & white (folded, not stapled) and labels were printed on
whatever stock my printer had leftover and would give me a price break on.
That’s why you’ll find different size labels on different copies of the same
game.

Of course, INTV didn’t invent this cost cutting. Mattel’s
Intellivision packaging went downhill quickly, too. The original boxes opened
like a book and had a plastic tray the cartridge fit into. Manuals were all full
color. The plastic tray was the first thing to go, then the manuals went to
two-color, then the boxes simply became boxes (some games, like BurgerTime, were
released in both versions of the boxes).

At INTV, we printed the boxes on an even cheaper grade of
cardboard, but at least Valeski wanted them to be colorful. I designed most of
them with an art budget of about $800 per box. A painter named Steve Huston did
the Super Pro sports covers and I did most of the cartoony covers (Thin Ice,
Learning Fun I & II). Other artists and photographers did individual titles.
I had Joe Ferreira, who did the graphics for Hover Force, do the artwork for the
box. And if the cover art for Thunder Castle looks more threatening than the
cute graphics in the game, it’s because that artwork had been commissioned by
Mattel for the Tower of Doom cartridge. Valeski had it used for Thunder Castle
since that game was already completed when he bought the Intellivision rights;
Tower of Doom was incomplete. He had Tower of Doom finished later and I had to
come up with new art for its box.

(By the way, look for the number 47 on the INTV boxes; that
number is how Pomona College alumni sort of say “hello” to each other. Dave
Warhol, the Pomona alum who produced these games, asked me to slip a 47 into the
art whenever possible. Trivia: another Pomona Alum got onto the staff of Star
Trek, which is why the number 47 pops up in most episodes of Next Generation and
Voyager, and TWICE in the movie Generations.)

Sorry that I can’t answer your real question though, namely
which labels are worth more. That’s a question for the collectors. But
remembering how quickly some of this stuff was slapped together, it amuses me
today to hear people pondering their value.

Q: The boxes do not open like the colored ones right?
These games were reproduced by the INTV corporation after they took over from
Mattel.

Mattel had already switched from the book-cover boxes to
standard boxes by the time INTV took over. INTV used up Mattel stock, then made
up new batches of the most popular games. In these cases, the INTV boxes are
identical to the Mattel boxes (printed from the same negatives) except the
Mattel Electronics name is deleted and the INTV name and address is added on the
back. Major League Baseball also underwent a name change to Big League Baseball,
since the Major League trademark either expired or wasn’t transferable.

All of the INTV games were released in full-color standard
boxes, except for a brief period where they tried to get away with no boxes –
sending out mail orders with the cartridge and instructions simply sealed in a
plastic bag. Consumers complained –loudly –and boxes were quickly reinstated.

5.0) Vaporware, Trivia, and Miscellaneous

5.1 – Intellivision III

Atari wasn’t the only company with plans to introduce a “next
generation” video game system; Mattel spoke of it’s soon-to-be released
Intellivision III for well over a year before the idea was dumped. Here are some
of the specifications for this unit:

-Built-in Intellivoice

-320 x 190 resolution

-Unlimited colors-Onscreen sprites move at twice the speed of
the original Intellivision-Six channel sound with RCA outputs

-Remote controlled joysticks

-Four controller ports

-Plays original Intellivision titles as well as Aquarius
titles

-12k ROM – 10k RAM

-Able to manipulate 64 sprites onscreen at once

-6-8 titles announced including Air Ace -a flight
simulator

-Scrapped for fears of not being able to introduce it before
ColecoVision and the Atari 5200 had too strong a grip on the “next generation”
market.

-Projected price: $300

Please note that this unit is COMPLETELY different from
the INTV III which was later released by INTV Corp in 1986.

5.2 – Intellivision IV

(History taken from http://www.intellivisionlives.com)

After the Intellivision Keyboard Component was canceled,
Mattel was to begin work on a brand new Master Component, the Intellivision IV.
Intellivision III had been rushed into development simply as a stopgap product
to compete short-term with ColecoVision. Intellivision IV, was to introduce the
next generation of video game systems.

It carried the codename Decade, since it was to be the
cornerstone product of Mattel Electronics for the rest of the eighties,
Intellivision IV was developed from mid-1982 to mid-1983 secretly in an unmarked
building a mile away from Mattel headquarters. Being away from the daily whims
and pressures of marketing and administration, the design group was able to
create freely.

The system they created was based on the MC68000 processor,
the CPU later used in the first Macintoshes and the Amiga. Video was handled by
a custom chip named Magic. Screen resolution was 240 by 192 pixels (40 by 24
4-color 6×8 cards) with a programmable 16-color palette, 16×16 4-color sprites
and hardware scrolling. Onboard software supported 3-D graphics along with music
and speech synthesis. The Combo chip coordinated peripheral devices, including a
built-in modem: a point-of-view two-person tank battle played over phone lines
was talked about as a typical Intellivision IV application.

Unlike the other hardware in development in 1983, the
Intellivision IV had the potential of being a significant step forward; after
Intellivision III was canceled, many people saw Intellivision IV as the last
hope for the company. The hope didn’t last long. Most of the hardware people
were soon laid off, including those working on Intellivision IV. The shift
didn’t help; January 20, 1984, Mattel Electronics was shut down.

Would they have succeeded in creating a super game machine at
an affordable price, or would it have been another Keyboard Component? With all
the secrecy surrounding the project, it’s not known how far along the system
really was. We do know it never reached the stage of actual game development.

5.3 – World Book
Tutorvision

(Special Thanks to: Ted Brunner for finding the
Tutorvision and providing this information)

The World Book Tutorvision is a NR Intellivision. Apparently,
World Book, the makers of the encyclopedia line, licensed the Intellivision
hardware from INTV corp in order to release a line of educational software for
it. This was sometime in the late eighties. However, the deal fell through, the
system was scrapped before it ever hit production and INTV corp and World Book
even went to court over it.

From Keith Robinson, spokesman of the Blue Sky Rangers:

“INTV Corp. made a deal in the late eighties with World Book
to release an orange Intellivision with special educational software. The entire
deal fell apart with both companies suing each other. Dave Warhol of Realtime
Associates, the company that wrote the special games, has always maintained that
neither the system nor the games were ever released.”

However, a prototype model has been found. Concerning special
cartridges for the system, Keith writes:

“Again, since we didn’t think they were released, we don’t
know what they looked like if they were. However, it’s doubtful that INTV would
have spent money on new molds, so they probably would look just like regular
Intellivision cartridges, although possible in the same color as the master
component. We’ve been trying to put together the complete list of the World Book
games, but so far Dave Warhol can’t find his files from the project. He seems to
remember they were to be packaged as two sets with six cartridges per set. One
of the programmers who worked on the games recalls that two of the titles were
‘Story Stopper’ and ‘Zoo Review.'”

On the inside there of the Tutorvision, there were some
changes from the old Intellivision model I: the ‘brains’ are all on one chip,
and the boardset is now just a single board, instead of a motherboard and a
power board. The board also ran off a single 5v voltage, instead of 5 different
voltages. Most interestingly, the chips were all dated 1988-90, the board was
dated 1988. Furthermore, the system has a power on LED, just like the INTV III.
The buttons on the keypad are bubble-style and not flat like the INTV III. The
system however, plays normal Intellivision cartridges.

It appears that this is an interesting mix of INTV models.
What we are not sure of now is whether the new motherboard layout is the same as
the INTV III or different, and even more so, whether or not the content of the
chips has changed at all.

5.4 – Bandai
Intellivision
Japan

Although released domestically in 1980, the Intellivision’s
Japanese debut was over two years later, on July 10, 1982. However, Mattel did
not market or distribute the system in Japan. Instead, they turned to Bandai, a
trusted name in electronics to handle the system in Japan. Thus the Bandai
Intellivision was born.

Bandai had been in the electronic game business for many
years in Japan, starting off with a very successful electronic hand held
Baseball game in the 70’s. In 1977, Bandai released its own electronic video
game system, the TV-Jack series (a video game console with burnt-in games and no
cartridge support). The system was successful, spawning multiple upgrades, but
it was abandoned after its final release (TV-Jack Supervision 8000) in 1979.

This deal to distribute and market the system in Japan
between the two companies was the first of its kind for Bandai, and arguably the
first sophisticated (especially 16-bit) console release in the Japanese market.
From a certain standpoint, it was successful enough and impelled Bandai to forge
similar deals for the Emerson Arcadia (March 1983) and Vectrex (July 1983) in
Japan. Interestingly enough, this meant that Bandai was simultaneously
distributing and marketing three video game systems in Japan.

Marketed as a game system that had the 16-bit power of a
personal computer, it had a considerable power advantage over the other Japanese
systems at that time. Take a look at the similar releases at that time:

1979/10 Epoch Cassette Video Game (8bit) 57,300 yen retail *

1981/07 Epoch CassetteVision (4bit) 13,500yen retail

1982/06 Bandai Intellivision (16bit) 49,800 yen retail

1982/09 Magnavox Odyssey 2 (8bit) 49,800 yen retail

1982/10 Tomy Pyu-Inu Computer (16bit computer) 59,800 yen
retail

1982/11 Takara Game Computer (8bit) 59,800 yen retail

1982/11 Yamagawa Dynavision (16bit) 34,800 yen retail

The bigger names would come in the next year. 1983 saw the
introduction of the true Japanese console video game systems, and Atari
International also re-released the 2600 as the Atari 2800 in May. Although the
Atari 2600 saw a limited released in 1977 as the Epoch Cassette Video Game*,
Atari distributed the 2800 itself this time. However, it was too little too late
for either of them, as Sega and especially Nintendo had quickly became
incredibly popular and controlled most of the video game market. Here is a look
at the major releases for 1983:

1983/3 Bandai Arcadia (8bit) 19,800 yen retail

1983/5 Atari 2800 (Atari International Japan Inc.) (8bit)
24,800 yen retail

1983/7 Nintendo Famicom (8bit) 14,800 yen retail

1983/7 Sega SG-1000 (8bit) 15,000 yen retail

1983/7 Epoch Cassettevision Jr. (4bit) 5,000 yen retail

1983/7 Bandai Vectrex (8bit) 54,800 yen retail

Mattel’s own problems back in America and the collapse of the
American video game market probably led to the abandonment of greater support
for the Intellivision. Moreover, the Intellivision had difficulties competing
with the new, cheap and powerful Nintendo and Sega systems.

In the end, although Mattel had helped increase the awareness
and popularity to start the first generation video game console market in Japan,
it did not last once the large homegrown Japanese companies took hold. Since
Bandai was also busy marketing the Emerson Arcadia and Vectrex in Japan, it left
little support for the flagging Intellivision. There was a large number of
systems–too many for the flowering market. In the end, none of these foreign
systems (including the Intellivision) made a large footprint in the video game
industry in Japan.

Marketing / Distribution of the Bandai Intellivision

As stated before, Mattel did not handle the marketing and
distribution of the Intellivision in Japan. It was handled by Bandai, who
drummed up support for the system in all the standard media. There were even
some television commercials produced for the Intellivision in Japan. A young
actor named Beat Takeshi (who later became a very popular TV and movie actor)
was used in the commercials. They advertised the console with the slogan “Same
16-bit power as a computer, but no loading times”.

Similar to the Atari distribution in Japan, the games
themselves were untouched. But, in the case of Intellivision, even the boxes
remained completely in English. On these boxes, the franchise rights were
removed. So, Major League Baseball became Baseball, etc. Of course, a Japanese
instruction booklet was provided to inform the customer the basic controls and
how to play. The overlays were also identical to the American ones and remained
in English. Slits were cut in the back of the boxes for the Japanese
instructions. So, if the customers flipped over the box, they saw the front page
of the Japanese instructions.

The box for the base console in Japan was remade completely.
It had the pictures of all the games with a picture of a happy couple playing
the Intellivision in the right hand corner. On the back, it described the system
and showed pictures of Baseball, Space Battle, etc. Inside the box, there was an
instruction manual, warranty card and two promotional catalogs. The first
catalog showed the launch titles, while the second one listed the games that
were coming soon. The box and all of its contents were in Japanese.

It is generally assumed that Bandai was skeptical at the
start, and didn’t want to invest a large amount of money in translating and
re-printing the boxes especially since this was their first time at distributing
another company’s system. But, in the end it was just another nail in the coffin
for the system. The popularity of the games was limited. The low-cost approach
of distribution left customers anxious over a system with games almost
completely in another language.

The retail price of the system was 49800 yen ($210, in 1982
US$). The games themselves cost from 4800-5500yen ($21-23 in 1982 US$). However,
for a 16-bit system at the time, Bandai thought that it was an attractive price.
Plus, the lineup of games at the start was large (including many sports titles).
There were 17 launch games, most of them sports and popular titles from America.
However, the price ended up being too steep for the base console, and it never
became very popular–a key to success in Japan. Similar to North America and
Atari, the Intellivision had the power to compete at the start with the other
consoles, but failed to remain on top. But, in Japan, it was priced the same as
a personal computer. Since it lacked the additional functionality of the
computer, it never really caught on. In a way, Bandai’s slogan of comparing it
to a personal computer only highlighted its faults.

The Intellivoice module nor any other hardware upgrades were
ever released. Furthermore, no Japanese specific software was ever released. In
total, only 27 (Mattel only) known titles were released in Japan. Overall,
approximately 30,000 units of the base system were sold in total and two years
after it was born, Bandai abandoned the system and the Bandai Intellivision
faded into obscurity.

Bandai Intellivision Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How did the properties and rights to NHL, NBA, MLB,
NASL, etc. transfer to Japan?

A: It is an interesting question. Since the rights to the
games were not transferable when Mattel sold the rights to the INTV Corporation,
it is doubtful that they were transferable to Bandai. But, it is unknown whether
there was any real infringement or legal action taken by any of the respective
companies. All of the boxes in Japan did not carry any franchise rights, except
for PBA bowling. But, there seemed to be some confusion because on the back of
the box, and in the game catalogs, many of the games appear with licensing. Even
the cartridges and the manuals have licensing.

Q: Any plans for any specific software titles for the
Japanese market?

A: Doubtful. The Intellivision did not last a significant
amount of time. The time and costs involved in developing Japanese specific
titles would have been significant. Furthermore, Bandai did not have a large
software division, nor did it see the gains necessary to invest in one for the
Intellivision. Other software houses in Japan, especially Sega and Nintendo were
concentrating on their own launches. It seems that Bandai didn’t court any other
software companies to produce games for the Intellivision.

Q: Any plans for INTV to re-enter the Japanese market?

A: Highly doubtful. By the time that INTV re-assembled the
Intellivision name, and started selling software again, Nintendo and Sega were
dominating the Japanese market. Any attempt to re-enter would have been futile.
Furthermore, the secret to INTV’s short success in North America was through
significant cost-cutting and completing Mattel’s unfinished games. They would
require substantial capital to re-start the Intellivision engine in Japan.

Q: I look at the list of games, and I don’t see
Astrosmash, what gives?

A: Yes. It never made it here. Probably because it debuted in
1982, the Space Invaders craze was over by then. Bandai didn’t want to promote
an older game, and concentrated on the more unique titles. Furthermore, they
already chose Space Armada as a launch title. As for why Space Armada was chosen
over Astrosmash, who knows?

Q: Can I play US games in a Bandai Intellivision?

A: The games released in Japan are identical to the American
ones. There is no region lockout because there is only one region. Therefore,
the Bandai can play games from any regional market, just like any Intellivision.

5.5 – Digiplay
Intellivision
South America

Not much is known about Digiplay, other than they initially
seemed to be the Brazilian distributor for Mattel. Most of the original Mattel
games localized for the Brazilian market had fully localized boxes, manuals, and
even cartridge labels and overlays; much more than was done in Japan with
Bandai.

Not only were the games localized, but so was the Master
Component. Their variation of the original 2609, the 5368, even had localized
text on the top of the unit, but was still tagged as being from Mattel
Electronics. The documentation listed Digiplay as the distributor or some such,
I think. The Intellivision II was also produced by Digiplay and even had the
Digiplay logo on the front of the unit in place of the Mattel logo.

It seems that Digiplay was not interested in doing things
halfway. The boxes, manuals, labels, and overlays were almost always completely
translated into Portuguese, and the manuals were even done up with full color
covers. All of the boxes I’ve seen were also book-style boxes even for games
that Mattel delivered in cheaper kinds of boxes. Later releases, like Masters of
the Universe: The Power of He-Man doesn’t bear the Mattel logo at all. In fact,
my He-Man lists “TM -IMAGIC” on the back of the manual.

My guess is that initially, Digiplay had an agreement to
distribute the Intellivision system and worked out some sort of deal with
Mattel. The deal involved a requirement to localize the games for the market.
Then, a few things happened. The market started to soften in the U.S.A. in 1983,
but, as things tend to operate in global markets, the crash didn’t hit the
Brazilian market yet. It probably lagged by several months or even a year or
more. Digiplay also picked up permission to deliver Activision and Imagic games.
Later, back in the U.S., Intellivision, Inc. / INTV Corp. kept the Intellivision
alive as well, and Activision bought out Imagic.

Why is that relevant? Well, there is one thing that’s odd to
me about the overlay situation here. Most of the original Mattel games released
by Digiplay seem to also come with localized overlays. However, some seem to
come with overlays that could have come from the Intellivision, Inc. era as
well. By this, I mean that many copies of the original Mattel games came with
overlays that had the Mattel Electronics copyright removed. Well, most of the
Digiplay versions of the older Mattel games came with localized overlays
produced on materials that are clearly very different from standard overlays.
However, some later ones, like Reversi, come with overlays that are in English,
but have no copyright date on them. Similarly, the Activision releases also have
no copyright date on them.

The Digiplay variants are sought by collectors often for
these overlay variations, as well as their packaging differences. The ROMs are
identical to those sold in North America. (contributed by Steve Orth)

Psycho Stormtrooper also sheds some light on Intelli
games – rare, rental bootleg versions of original Intellivision games that were
only available in South America:

The Intelli Games were made by a small company in Rio de
Janeiro. The initals “VLS” are on the back of the game carts, which does not say
much of anything else. The games were made to be rented at local video stores
all over South America. Whether this idea was realized, or the company went out
of business, is unclear to me. The company then contacted the video stores to
offer the games at low prices. Since the American versions of the games were
much more expensive, many were bought by locals in the region. The games did not
come with overlays or a box, but did come with a set of typed instructions.
These game carts are much larger than the regular sized Intellivision shell.
They are even bigger than the Coleco style game carts. There are 4 Intelli Games
that are known to exist. They are Utopia, Skiing, Bowling and Labirintos II
(Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Treasure of Tarmin). The intro splash screens
seem to be the same as the regular titles as does everything except the case.

5.6 – INTV Corp. Games

INTV enhanced many of the early Mattel titles by adding new
features and making them a 1 or 2 player game by adding a computer opponent.
Below is a list of the original and enhanced cartridges:

 

ORIGINAL MATTEL CARTRIDGE
                               
ENHANCED INTV CARTRIDGE

PGA Golf        
                                                                       
Chip Shot Super Pro Golf

Math Fun
                                                                               
Learning Fun I

Major League Baseball
                                              
World Championship Baseball

NASL
Soccer             
                                                          
World Cup Soccer

NBA
Basketball          
                                                          
Slam Dunk Super Pro Basketball

NFL
Football              
                                                          
Super Pro Football

NHL
Hockey              
                                                          
Slap Shot Super Pro Hockey

Tennis
                                                                                    
Championship Tennis

US Ski Team
Skiing                
                                              
Mountain Madness Super Pro Skiing

Word Fun
                                                                              
Learning Fun II

Backgammon/Checkers/Chess                                     
Triple Challenge

5.7 – Trivia and Fun
Facts

Have you ever wondered…

…what would happen if you plugged two Intellivoices
together and then plugged in an Intellivoice game?? Greg Chance did, and the
result goes something like this:

“Someone had asked about daisy-chaining two Intellivoices
together, i.e. plug one into the other, and then a speech cart into the 2nd one.
Ok, I did this with Space Spartans. The 2nd speech synthesizer kind of canceled
stuff out. It said, “Welcome to (bleeeeehahah)” and then there wasn’t any voice
during the game. So that’s the answer. It doesn’t quite work.”

…what would happen if you tried “frying” your
Intellivision??

The author wasn’t brave enough to try this out on one of his
own machines, but Matthew Long relates this childhood memory:

“I did something like it in the early years. I was playing
Star Strike. I reset the machine. I then pulled out the cartridge. The screen
began flashing through the character ROM. Was really neat when I was 12!”

…who that strange guy in all of those old Intellivision
ads was?

That was George Plimpton, ex-athlete and the Intellivision’s
paid spokesperson between 1980 and 1983. During 1982, Mattel spent in excess of
$50 million so that Mr. Plimpton could lampoon the “unrealistic” features of the
Atari 2600… Little did Mattel know that Coleco would burst their proverbial
bubble with the introduction of the Colecovision in June of ’82.

…how Mattel produced a large portion of their game
library?

Many of the original Intellivision games were programmed by
college students as part of their computer programming classes. Cheap labor?

…what would happen if you plugged your 2600 System
Changer into an un-modified Intellivision I?

An unmodified Master Component (unmodified meaning sans video
upgrade), when turned on with this unit plugged in, reads “M-Network” on the
title screen. You can hear all the sounds from the 2600 game you have inserted,
but no video is displayed, other than this title screen. Ever try playing Blind
Combat?

 

…the best way to store your boxed Intellivision games??
Shane Shaffer has a great suggestion:

“For your boxed games (unopened), try the Multi-Purpose
Storage Chest from Metro Corrugated and Packaging Corporation. Style No. 20000
has ODs of 21″ x 12 1/4″ x 8 1/4″, and fits 2 rows of boxed video games
perfectly. I forget how many fit in each box, but the height is just big enough,
and the width is perfect. I store my 2600, 5200, 7800, and Intellivision boxes
in it, and others of the same size will also fit. It comes in 3 colors, Blue,
Green, or Red. The fit is absolutely perfect for your boxed games.”

…what the heck INTV stands for??

Common misconception: INTV is NOT an abbreviation for
Intellivision as many people seem to think. INTV is the name of the company that
bought the rights to the system and all its games from Mattel when they decided
to leave the market in late 1984. Mattel NEVER referred to its system as INTV.

…why your Intellivision is prone to overheating??

The chipset which provided the guts of the Intellivision,
manufactured by General Instruments, was extremely failure-prone. During the
initial production runs, there were sometimes failure rates as high as 50%!!

…what the most popular Intellivision game was?

Major League Baseball was an instant “classic” and one of the
most popular games for the system. The only “problem” with this and many other
Intellivision games was that they were for 2-players only.

…just how many positions the Intellivision controller
can detect?

Yes, it is 16 positions! This control disc was
“revolutionary” for its time, allowing for greater control with sports titles,
but is also one of the reasons Intellivision never did catch up to the Atari
2600.

…if INTV Corp. produced NES titles?

Yes, as William Howald found out when he posted this
question, answered swiftly by our friend Keith Robinson: In 1989, INTV planned
to move into NES production and distribution so they commissioned Realtime
Associates (who developed most of the original INTV games) to produce both an
Intellivision and NES version of “Monster Truck Rally.”

When the game was finished, though, INTV had run out of money
and credit to manufacture cartridges, so they sold all rights to the NES version
to another company, who finally distributed it in 1990 or 91. So as to give that
company an “exclusive” on the title, INTV changed the Intellivision version to
“Stadium Mud Buggies.”

“Monster Truck Rally” was the only NES title done by INTV.
Since INTV turned around and sold the game to another company before securing
the rights from Realtime Associates (i.e. paying them), litigation ensued and
the INTV/Realtime relationship fell apart. INTV released no more product after
“Stadium Mud Buggies” (and “Spiker, Super Pro Volleyball,” released at the same
time). INTV filed for bankruptcy in 1991.

Realtime Associates, however, is doing great. They’ve gone on
to produce many NES, SNES, Sega, and GameBoy titles, including “Bug” for Saturn.

…if there were 2 or more different versions of the
Intellivision II??

Galen Komatsu wondered this, and here are his thoughts on the
matter:

“Just noticed differences between the two Intellivision II
units I have. We’ll call one Ernie and the other Bert.

– On the front nameplate, Ernie has a more bolder looking
black surface, Bert is a bit dulled looking

– Bert has the ® symbol after ‘Intellivision’ and ‘Mattel
Electronics’.

– Ernie has a red stripe around the perimeter of the unit,
Bert, none.

– Ernie’s casing has square corners; Bert’s corners are more
rounded.

– The button squares on Ernie have a matte finish while
Bert’s squares have a more “glossy” finish though the areas surrounding the
buttons are matte.

– Looking at the underside labels, the bright orange
“IMPORTANT!” has “2609-0090-G1” in the upper corner, Bert has “2609-0090” …
both labels mention eligibility for FREE CARTRIDGE if the unit requires
servicing.

5.7 – Competition
Cartridges

A possible competition cart has been found in Brazil. Here’s
how it was found: (courtesy Super Sergio)

“I bought this Astrosmash cart on www.mercadolivre.com.br
(the Brazilian E-bay affiliate) and, after that, I asked the seller some
questions, trying to find out how this cart came to Brazil. He said that he got
it with other cartridges that someone sold him (he already had an Astrosmash
cartridge, but he didn’t realized that this one was different). There are
rumours that this is the “Astrosmash shootoff competition” version, but no one
knows why Mattel had manufactured this version on a cartridge (there is no label
on it, and the identification on the chip says that it was manufactured in
1984).”

This could either be a cartridge from an Astrosmash
Competition, or possibly even from one of the POWW or PIXX game shows. For more
info, check http://www.intellivisionlives.com/

Here are some screenshots from the cartridge:

Â

6.0) Electronic
Resources

6.1 -Internet Resources

 

World Wide Web pages:

– Blue Sky Rangers Website

http://www.intellivisionlives.com/

If anything could be considered an “official” source of
information on the Intellivision, this is as close as it comes.

– INTV Funhouse

http://intvfunhouse.com/

There’s a ton of screenshots of rare things, reviews,
listings, etc.

-The Intellivision Zone

http://www.intellivisionzone.com/

Another great site for rarities, info, reviews, and
everything Intellivision related.

-Intellivision Exhibition

http://www.hotcom.com/intellivision

Overlays and screenshots from over 100 games.

-Intellivision Gumbo

http://home.earthlink.net/~classic-videogames/intellivision

At this site you’ll find a tasty Intellivision stew, with
pictures of rare Intellivision hardware, games, catalogs and fanzines!

-Intellivision Library

http://spatula-city.org/~intvlib/inty/index.html

News, reviews, downloads, music, basic stuff and more.

-Intellicart

http://www.schells.com/intellicart.shtml

Information on the Intellicart, a cartridge for your
Intellivision to download games from your computer.

-Intellivision Gaming Network

http://intvgn.roarvgm.com/

Easter eggs, downloads and tons on the emulators for the
Intellivision.

-Psycho Stormtrooper’s Intellivision Hotspot

http://www.intellivision.org/

Brand new overlays for your Intellivision games and a nice
history site too.

Newsgroups:

– alt.games.video.classic

Discussion of classic (pre-crash) game systems and software.
This group may not be available on all sites, and this group does not have very
much traffic.

– rec.games.video.classic

Discussions about any classic (pre-crash) game system are
fair play here… If you have a question (and ask nicely), one of the 40 or so
people who lurk about regularly will be happy to help you.

– rec.games.video.marketplace

If it’s a video game, and someone is selling it (or looking
to purchase it), you can probably find it here. Please note that this newsgroup
is intended for posting of items for sale or items wanted ONLY; discussions
should be kept to rec.games.video.classic. This newsgroup is not limited to the
classic systems.

– rec.games.video.intellivision

Some ISP’s support this, most don’t, so I would recommend
sticking to rec.games.video.classic… However, kinda nice to see a group for my
favorite system.

7.0) Repair Tips and
Information

Most of the information provided here has been taken from the
book “Repairing Your Home Video Game: How To Save A Buck While Your Kids Drive
You Insane”, by Gordon Jennings, or has come from personal experience. Excerpts
taken from the book are enclosed in quotes.

!!!!!DISCLAIMER!!!!!

Contained in this FAQ is repair information that may
damage yourself or your beloved Intellivision.I WILL NOT accept any
responsibility for what these instructions. I’ve tried them, and had no
problems.But please don’t blame me for ANY problems these plans may cause.
Experiment at your own risk!

7.1 – Hand Controllers

Let’s face it, I don’t know a single person would that they
prefer the Intellivision hand controllers over a standard joystick with a
straight face, but you’re stuck with them if you own an INTV I or III, as they
are hard-wired into the unit. There WILL come a time when they will fail.
Fortunately, there are some simple steps short of totally disassembling the main
console you can take to fix controllers.

“Inside the controller is a plastic sheet with a circuit
painted (or silk-screened) on it. This is called the Membrane Printed Circuit
Board, or MPCB for short. Often, pieces of the circuit chip off and cause the
controller to short out. This can be repaired by opening the controller and
cleaning out the MPCB with a soft cloth”

“To gain access to the MPCB, loosen and remove the four small
screws on the back of the controller. With the controller facing up, lift off
the top cover. Remove the round control button and the spring beneath it. There
should also be a white plastic spacer, sandwiched between two sections of the
MPCB directly beneath the spring (Note its position. It must be placed back
between these two sections when you put the controller back together)”

“Slide out the black side buttons (When reassembling the
controller, these are useful in holding down the MPCB, which tends to pop out).
Remove the gold numeric pad and the clear sheet (static shield) beneath it.”

“Remove the MPCB. Visually inspect it to see if it’s still in
good condition. Hold it up to the light; if you see any holes or breaks in it,
it should be replaced.”

To reassemble the hand controller, follow the above
instructions in reverse order. “Note that the MPCB, static shield, and numeric
pad have two small holes in each of them. These holes interlock with the two
pins protruding from the bottom cover of the hand controller, making it easier
to align and adjust the MPCB into its proper position.” If your MPCB’s require
replacement, a great source of spare parts are those totally trashed, $2 INTV
consoles you pass up at the flea market. Not only are the hand controllers
usually in working order, but you get a whole slew of other spare parts, such as
logic boards, transformer assemblies, power supplies and switches.

7.2 – Cartridge Problems

Help!! I’ve turned on my console and all I get is a black
screen!! What do I do??

First off, follow the teachings of one of my favorite sci-fi
authors, Douglas Adams: “Don’t Panic!”

Secondly, ensure that the cartridge is properly inserted. Not
inserting the cartridge far enough, or even inserting the cartridge too far can
cause the console not the read the game.

Dirty contacts on the cartridge itself may also cause a
problem; use a cotton swab and some denatured alcohol to remove any corrosion
from the gold contacts (the swabs used for cleaning VCR heads work best, as they
are lint-free). I STRONGLY recommend against using a pencil eraser, as is so
popular in many PC repair circles. Not only does the rubber build up a static
charge in the cart, potentially damaging the ROM’s, it also removes some of the
gold plating on the PC board. Too many treatments of this manner could result in
a useless game.

If you know the problem is not with the cart, all is not
lost. If you’re handy with a volt-ohm meter, you can usually pinpoint the
problem to one of the major components inside the console.

Here’s some helpful information on opening Intellivision
carts:

Mattel had four different designs in their cartridge casings.
The first two had screws holding it together, and the final two didn’t. The
first design uses a common Philips bit. The second uses a triangular bit. Here’s
some info on making your own bit to open those “second generation cartridges:
courtesy of Ryan (TokenGamer)

Take a robertson bit/screwdriver of similar size. Borrow an
angle grinder and roughly but carefully grind down 2 sides to make the square
into a triangle. Use rough to fine sandpaper to do the fine grinding. Tape the
sand paper on a flat table surface and rub the bit on it untill you have the
right size triangle. If you need to round the corners or reduce the diameter of
the bit/shank: put the bit in a power drill, put on a thick glove and pinch the
sand paper around the bit as you run the drill at full speed. it gets hot so if
you don’t have a thick glove you’ll have to do it in stages to let it cool down.
The other method is to try the “pen method” which is only temporary and doesn’t
last very long. Get a plastic pen and take out the ink core. Use a lighter to
soften the plastic but don’t burn it, go slow. When it’s nice and pliable, jam
it into the head of the bit and let it cool completely. When it cools it will
form into the shape of the screw head and you can use it until it breaks. It
doesn’t usually last long. the bic pen method is more for desperate measures.

7.3 – Console
Disassembly

For those of you, who have seen the inside of an
Intellivision before, skip to the next section. What follows is a basic
description of all of the Intellivision’s major components.

The system is comprised of four major components. “First is
the transformer assembly. The assembly itself is made up of smaller component;
the AC Power Cord, the ON/OFF switch, and a small plastic connector.”

“The next major component is the power supply board. It
receives AC power from the transformer assembly, and transforms it into several
different DC values. Not only does it convert the voltages, but it also
stabilizes them for the logic board.”

The third sets of components are the hand controllers.

“The final unit is called the logic board. This board is the
brains of the Intellivision.”

Okay, so with Phillips screwdriver in hand, you’re ready to
rip apart your Intellivision. First off, as with any electronic repair work, be
sure that your work area is free of static electricity. I personally use a wrist
grounding strap clipped to some metal portion of your work area.

“Unplug the unit from the wall and from the television.
Remove any cartridge from the machine. Turn the power switch to the ON position
to drain any stored up voltage. Place a soft cloth on your work area. Turn the
console upside down and place it on the cloth. Using a Phillips screwdriver
(some units may require a nut driver), remove the six cover retaining screws.”

“Turn the unit back over and gently lift off the top cover.
The small brown cover for the ON/OFF switch will come off at this point. Weave
the hand controllers through the holes in the top cover.”

“The insides of the Intellivision are now exposed. You should
be able to identify he four major component groups. There is a brown plastic
plate covering and securing the logic board, transformer and power supply board.
Remove the six screws holding down the plate, and place them aside.” Be CERTAIN
to see how the controllers are placed in this plastic plate, as they must be
replaced in the exact same fashion in order for the top cover to fit securely.

7.4 – General
Troubleshooting

Some of the procedures listed here will require the use of a
volt-ohm meter. All of this material has been taken from the aforementioned
reference.

Problem: When you turn the game on the screen clears, title
comes on, but game will not play when hand controllers are pushed.

Repair: This normally indicates that on or both of the MPCBs
must be cleaned or replaced. Sometime you can open up the hand controller, clean
it off, put it back together and it will work. (See 7.1 for info.) If you have
cleaned or replaced both MPCBs and the problem still exists, then you may need a
couple of new hand controller cables or a new logic board.

Problem: When you turn the game on, the screen clears (turns
dark), but game title does not appear on the screen.

Repair: With the power switch in the OFF position, take the
cover off the unit. Unplug the transformer assembly from the power supply board.
Place the power switch in the ON position. Using your VOM, test the following
voltages:

-The first readings you’ll need to take are on the plastic
connector of the transformer assembly. They are AC voltage readings. If the
voltages do not read as follows, then replace the transformer assembly, it
cannot be repaired.

Yellow Lead

Blue Lead

Green/Yellow Lead

Green Lead

Green Lead

Yellow Lead to Blue Lead -18 VAC

Green/Yellow lead to any Green -9.25 VAC

Green Lead to Green Lead -18.5 VAC

-Turn the unit off. Reconnect the transformer assembly to the
power supply board.

-Turn the unit ON. The next sets of voltages are DC voltages
and should be read from the other end of the power supply board. They can be
taken right off the cables leading to the logic board. There are two sets of
leads; a small two prong lead near the top of the board, and a flat five prong
lead near the bottom right corner. Place the black clip of your volt-ohm meter
on the lead from the two prong clip farthest from you (if looking down, the lead
closest to the upper right hand corner). Place the other lead of your meter into
the holes for the 5 prong lead each in turn, and note the voltages. They should
read as follows:

+ 5 VDC

+ 12 VDC

+ 16 VDC

+ 0 VDC-2 VDC

If any of the voltages are not present, the power supply
board should be replaced. If you want to attempt to repair the board, most of
the problems are associated with the two voltage regulators, one being a 7805
and the other being a 7812, or the two larger capacitors.

7.5 – Pinouts for INTV
Controller

(Thanks to Jay Tilton for the info)

The original Master Component used a single-row pin header.
The Sears Super Video Arcade and Intellivision II use a 9-pin D-Sub connector.
To make this page more understandable, the pin numbering of the 9-pin D-Sub
connector will be the standard reference. The pair of graphics below show how
pins correspond between the different connectors. The colors of the wires of the
Master Component connector are shown too.

Pin 5 is ground. All other pins are normally high unless a
controller input pulls them low.

Directional disc

Keypad:Â Keypad buttons are labeled with a “K” prefix,
i.e. K1, K2, etc.

Side Buttons:Â Top side side buttons are S1, bottom left
side button is S2, and bottom right side buttonis S3. The top button on the left
and right side are functionally identical. This chart tells which lines are
grounded for the given controller input.


































x = pin pulled low by controller

Pin

1

2

3

4

6

7

8

9

Direction

D1

x

D2

x

x

D3

x

x

x

D4

x

x

D5

x

D6

x

x

D7

x

x

x

D8

x

x

D9

x

D10

x

x

D11

x

x

x

D12

x

x

D13

x

D14

x

x

D15

x

x

x

D16

x

x

Keypad

K1

x

x

K2

x

x

K3

x

x

K4

x

x

K5

x

x

K6

x

x

K7

x

x

K8

x

x

K9

x

x

Clear

x

x

K0

x

x

Enter

x

x

Side Buttons

S1

x

x

S2

x

x

S3

x

x


7.6 -Fixing INTV II
Controllers

(This little bit of hackery was provided courtesy of
William Moeller)

I just finished refurbishing an Intellivision II unit so I
would have a matching Master Component to go with my ECS. I have found quite a
few units, and they all have the same problems. They are missing the power
supply, and the hand controllers are inoperative. On the original unit, the
mylar keypad is held onto the controller wires by pressure from two screws. When
a hand controller on the original Master component stops working correctly,
usually taking them apart, cleaning and putting them back together, making sure
the screws are tight does the trick. On the Intellivision II controllers, there
are no screws! I ended up breaking one apart to see how they worked (it was
trashed already of course). The knowledge I gained allowed me to carefully take
apart a few controllers to cobble two together to go with my II Master
Component.

The first thing that needs to be done is the top piece has to
be taken off. This is the piece that the disc is flush with. It is held on by
little plastic “hooks”. These “hooks” are located in five spots. The first is in
the center at the bottom of the disc. The next two are located on both sides,
right where the top of the disk ends, and the keypad begins. The other two are
right at the top, where the overlay slides in.

Use a small screw driver to press the plastic at the correct
location, and pry each of the hooks out in an upward motion, being sure not to
break them. This part is very important and cannot be broken. Be sure to look
for the four teeth that slide into the hand controller and rest behind the four
buttons. These cannot be broken. Their purpose is to press the mylar when the
buttons are pressed against them. The buttons push on these plastic teeth, which
in turn puts pressure on the mylar. Take the disc, disc spring, and plastic
cover and put aside.

Now comes the tricky part. Getting the cover off of the base
is difficult. Examine your controller and see if the bottom of the controller
has a crack in it, or if the buttons are broken. If it is obvious the buttons
are broken, try and save the cover… if the bottom and buttons are good,
CAREFULLY press the bottom part of the controller.

Usually, I start on the right hand bottom side, and end up
breaking the hooks there. Then getting the other hooks to let go is a little
easier. Breaking one set of hooks is not that serious, because one can glue the
controller closed on re-assembly. Make sure that the buttons do not get broken
off when sliding the top cover off! Once this step is done, replace the
wires/mylar pad/keypad numbers as required. It is then time to reassemble. Make
sure that you do not forget the circular plastic piece between the mylar. That
is it! Put together the controller the exact opposite order. Happy repairs!

7.7 – Intellivision 2
Controller
Modification

(Compliments of Barry Laws Jr)

Does everybody agree with me that the Intellivision 2
controller is worse than the original INTV controller? Hell yeah! The keypad
feels ultra-cheap. Well, I performed a simple mod to my Intellivision 2
controllers, and while Intellivision controllers suck, I actually improved my
INTV2 controllers! Here’s what you need:

Intellivision 2 controller

Intellivision 1 controller

Phillips-head screwdriver

Scissors or Utility Knife (to open up the INTV2
controller)

Turn the INTV1 controller upside down and remove the screws.
Turn the controller right-side-up and remove the top case. The gold controller
disc may possibly lift up as well.

Remove the INTV1 keypad and set it and the gold controller
disc aside for now. Using the scissors or utility knife, open your INTV2
controller. Be careful not to break the plastic hooks which keep the controller
together. Set the top case of the INTV2 controller aside. Remove the flimsy
INTV2 keypad and throw it away. You can also remove the black controller disc if
you want to.

Using a pair of scissors or a utility knife, cut off the top
clear plastic from the INTV1 keypad, and cut the clear plastic side flaps, but
don’t cut the sides off completely.

Position the INTV1 keypad in the INTV2 controller, and make
sure that the keypad buttons are aligned correctly. If you decided to replace
the black controller disc with the gold controller disc, then remove the black
controller disc but leave the small spring in the controller. Place the gold
controller disc on top of the spring.

Put the top case of the INTV2 controller back on, and VOILA!
You have an INTV2 controller with a much better keypad.

Another way of replacing the controller is replacing the
INTV1 controller plug with a standard 9-pin female plug, and/or modifying a
Colecovision controller or a Jaguar controller for use on the INTV2. If you
would rather go one of these routes, then more power to you, and there are
probably instructions on the net and the newsgroups for these mods, but if you
want a simple no-frills mod which combines the look and feel of the INTV1
controller with the outer shell and 9-pin plug of the INTV2 controller, then go
with this mod.

7.8 -You’ve really messed up
and are wondering what to do…

One of the most asked questions we get at the Blue Sky
Rangers is “Where can I get my Intellivision repaired?” Well, the official
Intellivision repair service (i.e. the one Mattel still refers people to when
they call) is:

J.H.C. Electronics Service

901 South Fremont Avenue #108

Alhambra, California 91803

Phone: 818-308-1685

Fax: 818-308-1548

J.H.C. is owned by James Hann, the guy who ran the repair
service for INTV Corporation. While their primary business is special
controllers for newer videogame systems, they still have the equipment to test
and repair Intellivisions and are (amazingly) still willing to do it.

They advertise: “J.H.C. Electronics will repair any
Intellivision video game system, no matter where or when purchased, for one low
price! Complete overhaul, thorough testing, no-charge return shipping to you -
only $49.95.”

J.H.C. can also repair Intellivoice and computer modules.
Call for prices.

Note: They do NOT have Intellivision II power supplies. They
get asked that all the time, and they looked into having some made, but the
minimum order is 500. J.H.C. has 100 people on a list now, and if they get 400
more commitments they’ll have a batch made up. We wouldn’t hold our breath,
unless someone wants to pay $3,000 for the first one to get the ball rolling.
Still, if you want to be added to the list, e-mail us at
Tech@intellivisionlives.com; we’ll pass them along to James if a significant
number of people write.

Finally, if you’ve visited the Blue Sky Rangers website
lately, you’ll have noticed we posted the instructions on how to modify your
Intellivision or INTV Master Component to work with the System Changer (only the
Intellivision II works with the System Changer as is). For those of you who
don’t want to mess with doing this yourself, J.H.C. says they’ll do the
modification for $20. Cheap insurance not to destroy your Intellivision, your
house, or yourself.

7.9 -Hooking your
Intellivision to a Modern TV

If you don’t have a switchbox, or want to hook your
Intellivision up to a modern TV, I would suggest using a Coaxial (F-type) to
Female RCA Adapter, Radio Shack part #278-276. It should cost you about $5 and
it will save you many worries. It connects right on the end of the cord that
would normally go to the switchbox and modifies it so that it will fit into your
coaxial (cable) inputs in your TV or VCR. You will probably notice a much
clearer picture as well. You can also buy new switchboxes from some Radio Shack
if you are interested in buying a new switchbox.

8.0) Programmer
Interviews

The two following interviews were conducted over Internet
with a couple of ex-Mattel Electronics employees by Sean Kelly.

8.1 – Daniel Bass

What was your line of work before you became an
Intellivision programmer?

I joined TRW right out of grad school, I was working there as
a software engineer. I had started in Feb. 1981, just as the Reagan
Administration came into office. The job I was supposed to work on was frozen,
and there was an enormous delay in getting any kind of security clearance, so
that limited what projects were available to me. As a result, I spent my first
year there not accomplishing very much on a variety of small projects.

How/Why did you come to work at Mattel?

In the spring of 1982, I heard on the radio of an Open House
/ Job Fair at Mattel Electronics, and I thought it would be a fun way to spend
the afternoon -playing with their latest games and gadgets. I was not very happy
about my job at TRW, but I wasn’t looking to go anywhere. When I got there, I
started talking to one of the managers about Dungeons & Dragons, a personal
passion of mine. He was looking for some people to develop a D & D style
game for the Intellivision Keyboard, the big keyboard. One thing led to another,
and in a few weeks I was on board at Mattel Electronics.

Exactly which games did you personally program?

Loco-Motion was the only game I programmed start to finish. I
also programmed Tower of Doom but I only had the game about 80% done when Mattel
Electronics went out of business. I had concentrated on the special effects and
mechanics, but I hadn’t put in the game play and strategy that I had had in
mind. A few years later, one of the guys was contracting out with whoever it was
that had bought up all the Intellivision property (was that INTV?) to finish a
bunch of the games that were in development when M.E. went under. Tower of Doom
was one of those games. I had since moved from California to Massachusetts, and
so had not the equipment, nor time to do the completion. He got one of the other
programmers to finish it up, but he didn’t add any game play either, he just
tidied up the loose ends so that the game had an ending and wouldn’t crash.

Were you involved in programming any other games?

Most games were developed by a single Game Designer, with the
help of certain “specialists.” There were a few graphic artists who designed
most of the graphics for most of the games, a few sound people who developed
most of the sound effects. However, the total game development and integration
was done by a single engineer.

There was a lot of testing, feedback, and reviews amongst the
game designers. A significant portion of our work week was assigned to playing
other people’s games to find bugs, cite improvements and offer suggestions. To
this end I worked on several games, but that wouldn’t qualify as programming.

I also worked on several projects that just didn’t go
anywhere, and were dropped. The whole big keyboard project (for which I had been
hired) was dropped not long after I started working there. It was deemed to be
to expensive to produce, so that it would be un-saleable. Subsequently it was
redesigned, and code-named “LUCKI” [pronounced ‘lucky’] for Low User-Cost
Keyboard Interface. I started developing a Stock Market game for the LUCKI,
when, one day, the arcade version of Loco-Motion turned up next to my cubicle. I
watched and played several games, and I was hooked. Literally overnight I had
developed an Intellivision prototype of the arcade game, and the rest, as they
say, is history.

What was it like working for Mattel?

It was an absolute blast! The people there were all a bunch
of overgrown kids, and management encouraged us to work on having fun as hard as
get-ting product out. The result was an atmosphere of great teamwork and
camaraderie. Some examples:

The annual office party would be held by renting out a local
video arcade and providing Pizza / Deli / Beer / Sodas and unlimited video games
to all the staff and their families.

The arrival of a new piece of equipment would often lead to
the impromptu creation of a new game, using the packing materials in the hall.
Several of the managers in particular were particularly creative in constructing
these games.

Numerous arcade machines lined the walls of the work areas,
and people were encouraged to take breaks to study the games and improve our
hand-eye coordination.

All of Mattel Electronics and families were invited to Disney
Studios for a private pre-release screening of “Tron” .

Can you fill us in on any ‘unfinished’ projects that may
have been in the works when Mattel Electronics went out of business?

I’m afraid that I can’t be much help here. So I’ll answer a
different question. Things started turning down for the entire video game market
around the beginning of 1983. I finished Loco-Motion, and in the summer, started
working on Tower of Doom. It was originally supposed to be a voice-optional
game, and by the fall I was putting in many long hours focused on getting that
going. Around October, Mattel had its first round of layoffs. About 1/3 of the
staff was gone over-night. The atmosphere had become quite depressed, and I
coped by becoming ever more involved with working on Tower of Doom, and blocking
out what was going on around me.

In November we had the second round of layoffs, and another
third of the staff was gone. It seemed like there was no hope left for the few
of us that remained, but I kept plugging away at T-O-D, hoping that I’d have
enough time to finish the game. Unfortunately, in January 1984, Mattel
Electronics went out of business, and that was that.

So, about all I remember from that time period was how
depressing things got, and how desperate I was getting, hoping that I’d be able
to finish T-O-D.

As game collectors, one of the biggest problems we have is
finding out exactly what games are out there to be had. Do you know of any games
that may be in existence that are not listed on the ‘complete’ listing I sent
you?

I doubt I can help you here. While I enjoyed playing the
games, I was never a ‘walking encyclopedia’ on them.

Do you still own an Intellivision system?

Yes, although I never use it. Now my son Aaron (9 years old)
uses it.

What was/is your personal favorite Intellivision game?

Now you’re going to have me make enemies of all people whose
games I don’t mention! 🙂

Well, leaving aside a personal bias for Loco-Motion and Tower
of Doom, I really like Thunder Castle for its graphics and music. It is such a
pleasure to look at and listen to, that you can forgive it its simple game play.

There was a Pinball game I liked, but I was always more into
pinball machines than Arcade Video games. Buzz Bombers and Thin Ice were both
cute. My favorite game when I was on mental overload was Shark! Shark! I found
that the colors, sound, and pace of the game was generally restful and relaxing,
unlike most video games which leave you all keyed up and strung out.

8.2 – Ray Kaestner

What was your line of work before you became an
Intellivision programmer?

I came to Mattel straight out of school. I was a EE major.
Initially, I hired on at Mattel to do handheld games, such as electronic
football, basketball, etc. then moved into the Intellivision group after a
couple of years.

How/Why did you come to work at Mattel?

After graduating from UCLA in 1978, I did a lot of
interviewing. Most of the local companies in Southern California were defense
oriented and I wasn’t particularly interested in going down that path at that
time. I also talked to a number of chip companies in Silicon Valley. By far, the
most interesting job was the one at Mattel. I had my doubts about Mattel’s long
term stability, since they had recently completed some litigation about how they
were running the business and also since the toy industry in general tends to
follow boom and bust cycles. However, in the final analysis, it came down to
that sure sounds like it would be a lot of fun.

Exactly which games did you personally program? Were you
involved in programming any other games?

In Intellivision, my games for Mattel were BurgerTime and I
also did about half the programming on Masters of the Universe. After Mattel got
out of the business, I worked on Diner (a BurgerTime sequel) and Super Pro
Hockey for INTV, who took over the Intellivision business from Mattel. I also
worked on the concept development for Super Pro Football, though I didn’t do any
of the programming. In handheld games, I wrote Computer Gin and World
Championship Football. In addition, I also worked with a championship chess
player on Computer Chess.

What was it like working for Mattel?

It was a blast! The best part by far was the team that we had
put together. There was lots of diversity the talents and interests of members
of the group and that added a lot to the quality of the games. In fact, every
year there is the annual layoff reunion party, where everyone gets together to
reminisce and network and all those sorts of good things. Next year is the 10th
anniversary, so there may be some special festivities planned.

Can you fill us in on any ‘unfinished’ projects that may
have been in the works when Mattel Electronics went out of business?

When things went under at Mattel, I was working on a sequel
to Masters of the Universe with a lot of Escher-looking screens. After a few
mutations and change in characters and story line, I was able to finish that
game as Diner, a sequel to BurgerTime done by INTV. When INTV bought out the
rights to Intellivision, they bought the right to all the work in progress at
the time. Much of the work that was fairly far along was later published by
INTV, so you can see what was happening at that point. After a while, we ran out
of pre-existing work, and so we ended up doing some new work and other sequels
to existing games, especially the sports titles.

Do you still own an Intellivision system?

Of course! Since the machines tended to breakdown every so
often and since I suspected that it would become increasingly difficult to get
them fixed, I made sure to store away 3 or 4 Intellivision in the attic to make
sure that my kids would be able to see what I had done at Mattel. So far, I have
only lost one machine, so they were a lot more reliable than I thought they
would be.

What was/is your personal favorite Intellivision game?

Of the work that I did, I would probably rank Diner as my
favorite, followed closely by BurgerTime. I would also rank Night Stalker pretty
highly. I also played a lot of Sea Battle and would count that among my
favorites.

What is your line of work now?

After Mattel went under, since there was so little commercial
work around the area and no video games work anywhere at the time, I went to TRW
to work on defense systems. Fortunately, I was able to get involved with some
pretty fun projects using early versions of Sun Workstations and so I was able
to have some fun, learning lots about GUI and all those things that are still
increasing in popularity. I even designed a paint program for a government
project, probably one of the only paint programs ever done specifically for the
government.

Since then, I’ve moved over to the PC business and am doing
Windows work for first for Software Publishing Corporation on Harvard Graphics
for Windows. I also worked on their Info Alliance project, which was one of the
first GUI database projects available. Unfortunately, though the market was
ready for such a product, SPC was not and the product died an unfortunate death.
Currently, I am at Borland working on future versions of Paradox for Windows.

Lastly, Dan said I had to ask you about your “Cheeseburger
Birthday Cake”. What gives???

Dan’s wife was taking a cake decorating class and one day
they surprised me and brought in a birthday cake shaped like a giant hamburger.
Obviously the connection was BurgerTime.

8.3 – Patrick Jost

(Former Intellivision speech developer)

 

How did you come about working with the Intellivision, and
what role did you play in its software/hardware development?

In 1981, I’d been working for Pacific Telephone for about a
year and a half. This was my first real job after leaving graduate school. I’d
messed around with the music industry, done a little “international consulting”,
some of the typical things one does when one does not know what to do.

Anyway, Pacific Telephone was fun… I was working with
electronic switching, international testing (I got to call Lybia once),
programming custom services, various things. They had lots of UNIX machines to
play with, so it was also a sort of immersion course in Unix computing…

I started to get bored. I’d gone to most of the schools; I’d
worked on various interesting projects. I was spending a lot of time and money
at Opamp Technical Books in Hollywood (still in business, still a great place),
and I was beginning to want to do something more –well –interesting.

Mattel was running huge ads in the paper. At the time, my
main concern was the commute. I lived about 10 minutes from the Pacific
Telephone facility in Hollywood, Hawthorne seemed far away. After a while, I got
over this concern, and went to one of Mattel’s job fairs (back in those days,
LOTS of companies were having them). I got along with the people right away.
Intellivision was an established product; they wanted to do more with it. They
wanted to add voice synthesis. They were looking for someone with a linguistics
background (that’s what I majored in!) and who understood computers (thank you,
Pacific Telephone).

This was Saturday. They asked me to come back Monday. I
talked with some more people, and filled out the application. They were talking
good money, and it sure sounded interesting. By the time I got back to
Hollywood, I had a message on my machine; they offered me the job that day.

I gave notice at Pacific Telephone, gave myself about a week
off, and started to work. My first day was Monday… and already things were
getting interesting. I had to fly to New York the next day to help with the
speech for the first game. This game grew up to be Space Spartans, but, at the
time, all anyone knew was that it was a space game of some sort. It was supposed
to be a short trip; it turned out to be several weeks. I recall that due to the
short notice I got to fly first class, and sat right behind Count Basie and a
member of his band…

I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me explain how speech was
made for these games. Along with the game idea, a script was written. I
transcribed the script (into phonetic transcription) and made sure there were no
critical words that would be “transformed” too badly by the speech synthesis
process.

After the script was written, auditions were held. I used my
contacts in the music industry to find good agents and a good recording studio.
We looked for good voices, good acting, and actors that could work with some of
the odd requirements of speech synthesis –not too many ‘hissing’ ess [s]
sounds, no loud popping p’s and so on. I finally developed a pretty good ear for
which voices would synthesize well…

After the recording, the voices were sampled. We used a
Hewlett-Packard 1000 series machine with the ILS signal processing package and a
large amount of custom software.

The sampled speech was fed to the synthesis software for the
Intellivoice speech synthesizer, the General Instrument SP-256.

Synthesized speech could be generated quickly. The problem is
that automatically generated speech took up a lot of space (that could be used
for more speech or game code). This was a big problem! The other problem is that
the automatic speech synthesis didn’t always sound that good… some of it was
actually pretty bad.

The solution to both problems was manual editing of the
original waveform before the speech was synthesized. This was done with a good,
but somewhat primitive editor. Segments to be used for synthesis could be
marked, and speech could be deleted. The resulting files could be submitted for
synthesis; the results were usually speech that took up less space that the
automatic speech and that sounded good.

For the first six months or so, I did everything –work on
scripts, transcriptions, auditions, recording sessions, speech editing. I did
almost all the speech that you hear on “Space Spartans” and “B-17 Bomber.”

By the time “Bomb Squad” came along, Mattel wanted to be more
organized. A formal speech group was set up –I trained the editors, largely on
what you hear in “Bomb Squad!” The last speech game was “Tron: Solar Sailor”, I
did not have much to do with that one.

I went on to work on some other things for Mattel: consumer
musical productions, and advanced technologies for the games, specifically a
rapid prototyping environment. For a while Mattel was also very interested in
entering the European marketplace, so I worked on Spanish, German, French, and
Italian versions of “Space Spartans.” That ROM is out there somewhere…

I’ve heard that Mattel had a “laid back” environment: it
was a fun place to work. Would you say the same?

Fun place to work? Sure, especially if you liked video games.
I didn’t, and still don’t. But remember, this was during the time when it seemed
like there was a Pac-Man machine everywhere.

Mattel had some very good people. Most of us were about the
same age… late 20s, early 30s, I guess. Many common interests apart from the
games. I played Geddy Lee style bass in an informal group called the Redi Spuds
(named after a sign on a nearby building) that played sort of a new wave rock;
yes, a total mismatch of styles, but fun… I shudder to think of what it would
sound like now, with my more Percy Jones influenced style.

You could always find someone interesting to talk to, even
though I don’t think they planned it, there was quite a lot of synergy. In
speech, we were doing things with audio on minicomputers that are commonplace
now in this age of samplers… but we solved the problems years ago.

Laid back? Well, the games programmers didn’t work on much of
a fixed schedule. I was interested in seeing what could be done with natural
language processing technology. I should also say that I’m probably NOT a very
laid back type of person! I was never really all that happy in California, and
my lack of laid back inclinations may explain why I’m one of the few people I
know of who moved from Los Angeles to Washington, DC.

Would you know of any unfinished hardware or software that
Mattel may have been working on (besides the previously mentioned foreign ROM)?
Video game collectors just love this kind of thing.

Unfinished games… there were probably lots and lots of
them; things came crashing down pretty fast. ROMs? I don’t know, probably not
many of them had been made into ROMs yet.

There was a thing called “Decade” which was a 68000 based
system that could have been Macintosh like, had they completed it. There were
prototype wireless remote controls for Intellivision. There were plans for all
sorts of interfaces… Apple II, IBM PC, and so on.

You may have seen the Synsonics drums, four touch pads and
some buttons with some rudimentary programming/memory capability. There were
also a Synsonics guitar, with “strum bars” for your right/picking hand and a
neck full of switches for your left/fretting hand. I don’t think this ever saw
production, but I’ve seen things like it in the COMB and DAMARK catalogues.

 

Thanks for the interview, Patrick. I appreciated it.

No problem…

9.0) Intellivision
Emulators

The Intellivision lives on, albeit in a different form. Now,
the Intellivision can be emulated by the functions of the PC, PS, or whatever.
Please support the commercial emulators wherever possible! The Intellivision can
live on, let’s not piss on its grave.

9.1 – Commercial
Emulators

Intellivision Rocks / Lives

Intellivision Productions, Inc. offers several games for
download as well as commercial emulators for the PC and Mac. Check out the Blue Sky Ranger’s site for more.
Intellivision Lives! It was also later released in late 2003 for PS2, and early
2004 for Xbox. Sixty games were on the console versions.

Intellivision Classic Games

This was released for the Playstation on 9/29/1999. It’s 30
classic Intellivision games emulated fairly well on the Playstation. The
controls are a bit troublesome, and their choice of games could have been
better, but not bad for those who want to play the classics and don’t want to
mess around with their PC.

Intellivision to TV

Now you can play your favorite Intellivision games without a
console or computer! Just plug Intellivision 10 or Intellivision 25 into your TV
set and away you go! Each unit is a complete video game system -with games
-built into a hand controller. An 8 foot cable from the controller plugs into
the video and audio jacks found on the front of most modern TV sets. A menu
displayed on your TV screen lets you choose from any of the games in the unit.
The suggested retail price in the United States for Intellivision 10 is only
$14.99. Intellivision 25 is only $24.99! Each requires 4 AA batteries (not
included).

9.2 – Non-Commercial
Emulators

Nostalgia – http://www.shiny-technologies.com/

This is the newest Intellivision emulator, it has many
features including ECS, Intellivoice, and CGC support. Additional features
include network play, menu system, box/overlay display and text manual
reader.

jzINTV – http://spatula-city.org/~im14u2c/intv

The best emulator for Windows, i686/Linux, and MacOS X.

Bliss Emulator – http://bliss.kylesblog.com/

This is an Intellivision/Atari 5200 Emulator for the PC. In
development.

**Please note that the Non-commercial emulators require
ROMs of the games to play. It is illegal to own the ROMs and not the original
cartridges! Do not e-mail me or anyone listed here asking about them. If you
want to play the games, then go spend the money on the commercial emulators, or
play the originals.**

10.0) Credits

FAQ Version 6.3 maintained by Ryan Amos.

FAQ Version 5.5
and earlier maintained by Larry Anderson, Jr. .

The people below, either knowingly or unknowingly, helped
contribute information to this FAQ:












John Bindel

Sean Kelly

David Tipton

Jeff Bogumil

Ken Kirkby

Paul Thurrott

Ted Brunner

Galen Komatsu

Keith Robinson

James Carter

Barry Laws Jr

Steven Roode

Greg Chance

Ralph Linne

Joe Santulli

Jeff Coleburn

Matthew Long

Laury Scott

John Dullea

Doug M

Lee K. Seitz

Clint Dyer

William Moeller

Chris Williams

Jerry Greiner

Steve Orth

Scott Williams

Allan Hammill

Craig Pell

Ryan (TokenGamer)

Ed Hornchek

William Howald

Joe Huber

Chris Neiman

Russ Perry Jr.

Robert Poniatowski

Jay Tilton

David Harley

Jeremy Wilson

Super Sergio

Roger Mathews (Pycho Stormtrooper)

All right reserved. This document may be copied, in
whole or in part, by any means provided the copyright and contributors sections
remain intact and no fee is charged for the information. Contributors retain the
copyright to their individual contributions. The data herein is provided
for informational purposes only. No warranty is made with regards to the
accuracy of this information. Images in this document are rights of their
respective owners.

Copyright © 1995, 1996 Larry Anderson, 2004 Ryan Amos, 2006
David Harley