The Frequently Asked Questions List

Written By Norman G. Sippel

Version 1.01; July 29, 1995

(C) 1995 Norman G. Sippel

This Freqently Asked Questions List (FAQL) has been created to avoid 
trite conversations and questions for the UseNet (Internet) newsgroup

This FAQL is not intended to cover any one system in particular or
replace any of the other system FAQs. This is simply a compilation 
document about No warranty is implied or
given to the accuracy of the information or procedures mentioned in this 
FAQL; all procedures are at your own risk.

This FAQ can be found on the ColecoVision homepage at (If you wish to get Internet 
access in Cincinnati, Ohio, drop me a line and I'll tell you about IgLou.)

All trademarks and copyrights of any companies mentioned herein are noted 
now. This document is kept for no profit and should not be distributed
or sold for profit. Mass archiving of this FAQL is NOT permitted without
the express written and hand-signed permission from Norman G. Sippel,
the author of this document.

Let's begin, shall we? Question One...

Q1: What is

A1: is a newsgroup focused on older gaming systems
such as the Odyssey, Atari 2600, ColecoVision, hand-held systems,
and Pong systems. This group also welcomes discussion about Co-Co,
ADAM, and older computer/video game systems.

Topics about current video game systems are discouraged unless they
are connected to classic video game rereleases, MicroSoft Windows
Arcade, Activision Action Pack, or a system is becoming defunct.

It is still a sticky point whether or not the Sega Master System,
Turbo-Graphics 16, and the original Nintendo Entertainment System
are acceptable. If it's a question on "How do I solve the game",
check and Otherwise,
some discussion is fine.

Advertising and off-topic discussions are NOT welcome with the 
exception of classic video game sales and trades. Chain letters
are NOT welcome and HIGHLY ILLEGAL. If you catch someone doing any
of these, electronic mail their post back to their system administrator
(their email: postmaster@their.home.system).

Q2: I have a (name your favorite system). Where can I find out more 
information or an FAQ about it?

A2: Check out Greg Chance's Classic Video Game Homepage and VGR's
Classic Game List Homepage on the World Wide Web (WWW).

Also included on this list are sites which are system-specific.
New additions are certainly welcome.

Blue Sky Ranger's Homepage: (Intellivision)

ColecoVision Homepage: (ColecoVision mostly, ADAM soon)

Craig Pell/VGR's Homepage: (Atari, Intellivision, Misc. Systems)

Greg Chance's Homepage: (Atari, ColecoVision, Misc. Systems)

Q3: Is there a(n) (name your favorite game) FAQ available for (name your 
favorite video game system)?

A3: Look in these documents for your answers (the World Wide Web addresses
are listed above):

System Game List Maintained By Where To Get?

Atari 2600 Atari FAQ Ghoull VGR
Atari 5200 Atari FAQ Ghoull VGR
Atari 7800 Atari FAQ Ghoull VGR
ColecoVision ColecoVision FAQ Joe Huber CV
Handhelds Handheld FAQ Clint Dyer VGR ?
Intellivision Intellivision FAQ Larry Anderson INTV
MicroVision MicroVision FAQ Joe Huber VGR
Misc. Current Classic Video Games David Shaw CV
For Current Handhelds
(i.e., GameBoy)
Odyssey (One) Odyssey One FAQ Joe Huber VGR

There is a new FAQ about Famous Brand Electronics and their classic
Atari system deals maintained by Bruce Tomlin (

Additions are welcome to this question. See Q19 for cart listings!

Q4: What is the rarest cart to find for Atari 2600?

A4: This is a point of controversy. Many say it's Chase The Chuck Wagon
(see Q5 below), but Parker Bros.' Q*Bert's Qubes and Atari's Swordquest:
Waterworld are quite rare as well.

Rarity on the Internet is based on the game's natural rarity (across
the world) and actual gameplay. If a game is quite fun such as 
Pitfall II, it's uncommon rarity will make it even harder to find or
at least more sought after.

Q5: What is this CtCW or CTC or Chase The Chuck Wagon cart?

A5: During the Golden Age of Video Games (Circa 1970-1984), many companies
had their famous products or characters put into video games, such as
Kool-Aid (for your information, the Intellivision version is different
than the Atari 2600 game).

Purina contracted Spectravision ("China Syndrome" and others) to produce
a video game based on its famous dog food and Chuck Wagon commercials.
The game was only available as a mail-in promotion (as opposed to
Kool-Aid's availability to both mail-in and in-store). Since so few
kids use dog food and parents use video games (at the time:), the game
was not a successful promotion.

Craig Pell ("VGR") found one on a fateful Thanksgiving weekend video
game hunting trip for $0.50 a few years ago. Since then, his initial
post has made it the most wanted cart on the group. According to VGR
himself, the game is a boring maze game.

According to an old post, Purina was contacted about the game and was
surprised to hear such a game was produced. Some believe Purina has
a warehouse full of CtCW carts, but we shall never know for sure.

For your information, Chase The Chuck Wagon is four words. :)

Q6: I am new to What system should I pick?

A6: Go back into your memories. Remember the games you liked best.
Use them as a guide to find a system in the FAQ files (see Q3)
and match up the number of favorites to their availability on
different systems.

Q7: Where can I get classic video game systems and games?

A7: Check your local flea markets and thrift stores. They are usually
in abundance unless there are other collectors in your area.

Although they are not as plentiful in older games, yard/garage sales
and rummage sales can turn up carts as well.

For serious "I have to complete my collection" collectors, an 
advertisement on local BBS rooms or the newspaper can help complete
your collection.

If you want to get a nice Atari system with some boxed games,
Famous Brand Electronics has a package available for sale and will
accept credit card orders for out of state customers. Email Bruce 
Tomlin at if you want a copy of the FBE info in its

Q8: How much should I expect to pay for a complete system?

A8: If you look locally, you can haggle and get them between $2-$20
depending on the system. BUT you risk the chance it might not work
when it gets home.

The alternate solution is to buy one from
or There are plenty of people willing
to sell systems and games. However, there are dealers that are out
doing it for the money and not for the enjoyment of giving you a good 
working system.

Expect to pay $10-100 for a good working system on the Internet,
depending on the system.

As with trading carts, use common sense when you buy. (This is an
FAQ unto itself.)

Q9: What in the heck is a Vectrex?

A9: Vectrex is a vector video game system that has its own monitor,
one similar to scientific electricity monitor. It's best game, to
many people, is its exclusive release of Star Castle, the basis
for Atari's Yars' Revenge.

For your information, normal monitors and TV are raster, as opposed
to vector.

Q10: What is the story behind Atari's Yars' Revenge?

A10: While producing Star Castle for the Atari 2600, Atari lost its
rights to it. They changed the game around and made it into
Yars' Revenge.

Ray ?(Sorry)? was the current president of Atari at the time,
so this game was named for his rage about the Star Castle deal.

If you are reading this from a CD or a bulletin board system which makes 
you pay to have access to this document, e-mail or
contact them. They have no privledges in using this document for their 
own gain. It is ILLEGAL to sell copyrighted material without permission 
of the author. If they would have paid for it, this message would not 
appear and its copyright use would be noted on top of the document.

Q11: What are the relationships between the 2600, 2600jr, and 7800?

A11: Atari released several models of the 2600. When trying to come
back after the 1984 video game crash, they presented a new version
of the 2600 in 1988--the 2600 jr. It's the same machine in a 
smaller form. Along with it, many new games came out (including
one-time Atari president Nolan Bushnell's Secret Quest).

The Atari 7800 was originally designed and produced in 1984.
It was a 2600 with a better graphics system and hand-wrenching
two-button joysticks. Due to the crash, Jack Tramiel, the president
of Atari at the time, was hesistant to release it. It finally
came out in 1986, well after Nintendo's lock on the reborn video
game market with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

Q12: Help! My 5200 joysticks don't work! What's wrong with them?
And what about the 5200 power supply?

A12: After the Atari 2600 had so many third party releases of hardware
and software, Atari was determined to try to stop third party

The joysticks are analog (such as your IBM PC's joystick/gamepad)
and were made with inferior materials, contrary to the 2600's
digital and somewhat well-built joysticks.

On some early models, the power supply was not separate. This has
caused many a 5200 fan to go crazy, and thus a document has been
created to help you. (more info!!??)

Since the 5200 was not widely released, parts are hard to find,
so it's really buggy when you come down to it.

Q13: Why won't certain Coleco games work on my Intellivision II?

A13: Mattel changed the BIOS on the Intellivision chip in the
new Intellivision II console release. This causes certain games
such as Donkey Kong and Carnival not to work on it. See
Larry Anderson's Intellivision FAQ for more information.

Q14: Does "INTV" mean Intellivision game system?

A14: No. After the video game crash of 1984, Mattel dumped the
Intellivision and sold it to a group of investors. These
investors, former Intellivision group employees, formed a 
company called Intellivision Corp. or just plain INTV Corp.

INTV refers to the company, not the system.

However, INTV is used as shorthand on certain posts. Look
for textual clues. If not sure, electronic mail the author
of the post.

Q15: What are #ColecoV and #classic?

A15: #classic is an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel all about classic
video games.

Starting June 20, 1995, a new #ColecoV channel opened up
for Coleco Telstar, ColecoVision, and ADAM owners and collectors.
All are welcome to come! It begins at 10pm Eastern (USA) Time
(7pm Pacific Time) every Tuesday night.

For space purposes, ask your local system administrator for information
on how to get onto IRC. Look at alt.irc as well.

Q16: Now that I have some games and systems, how do I clean them?

A16: Q*Tips and rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol seem to work best.

Dip the Q*Tip into the alcohol and clean the cart's gold plating.
Dry with the other side of it.

For systems, you'll need to take it apart and gently clean dirty parts
with the alcohol and Q*Tips. (No warranty implied or otherwise when
taking apart the system).

Although one can buy cleaning kits at many electronics stores, the
same basic materials are used in both the liquid and molded paper.

Another common way to clean your carts is with the tip of a pencil
eraser. This method is great for those really dirty carts. 
(Personally, I use this as a last resort because I end up scratching
the cart surface.)

Q17: What are alt.atari.2600 (and clones) and

A17: These are old newsgroups that preceded the creation of Since rec.* newsgroups are hard to create,
they were needed at one time.

Now that is active, these newsgroups are
not needed anymore. Please avoid posting to them so that they can
be dropped and save precious net.resources.

Q18: What is this rumor I heard about a Starpath CD?

A18: Starpath put out the Arcadia/Starpath SuperCharger which is a
huge 2600 cartridge attached to a tape machine. The games would be
on tape, but unfortunately, they wear out over time.

Some Internet representatives asked permission from Bridgestone
Tire Company (owner of the Starpath rights) and Atari Inc. (licensee
of Bridgestone's rights to Epyx games) to save these games for all
time on a Starpath CD. The right was granted to press a limited 
number of CDs (good move, Bridgestone!).

The Starpath CD is expected to be under $20 and will be out when they
finish putting it together. If you wish to get more information on
the CD or Starpath Supercharger itself, there is an FAQ for it.

Currently, it is asked that anyone who has a working copy of the game
"Sweat!" for SuperCharger would volunteer their copy for the CD.
The only version available currently is just the opening screen, and
it is hoped that even a semi-working version can be added to it.

Q19: What lists of systems and their respective carts are available?

A19: System List Keeper Where To Get It
Atari 2600 Craig Pell (VGR) VGR
Atari 5200 ?? ??
Atari 7800 Craig Pell (VGR) VGR
ColecoVision/ADAM Joe Huber CV
Intellivision Craig Pell (VGR) VGR
Microvision Joe Huber ??
Odyssey Joe Huber VGR ?
Odyssey^2 Craig Pell (VGR) VGR
Texas Instruments/99 ?? ??

See Question 2 for the corresponding World Wide Web sites.

Additions are welcome to this list. See Q3 for game FAQ list!

Q20: Does a port of Atari's "Adventure" exist for the IBM Personal Computer?

A20: Yes. Craig Pell (VGR) created one for fun, and it's an exact look and
feel of the original game (according to the UseNet posts).

Craig went to Atari and asked permission to release it. However, the
success of the MicroSoft Arcade and Activision's Action Packs has 
given them visions of dollar signs, so they have put his port on
hold indefinitely.

Until something drastic happens, only the beta testers and Craig have
copies of the IBM PC version of Adventure. :(

Q21: What if there is a question not covered here?

A21: Check the FAQ files first (see Q4) and the posts on If you don't see your question or answer,
then use posting as your last resort.

E-mail if you have any general FAQs or comments 
about this FAQL. FAQL (C) 1995 Norman G. Sippel

Norman G. Sippel
Fan of Video Games, Spumco Inc., Freehead, Sci-Fi TV, and Animation.
Collector of Atari 2600, Atari 7800, ColecoVision, Intellivision, GameBoy,
and Super Nintendo! Always looking for more ColecoVision games!