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Magazine #6.1 3/99

Classic Gaming Expo '99
Part I

For the second year in a row Las Vegas played host to a show/expo dedicated to the fans of classic videogame systems. On August 14-15 around 650 guests and visitors attended the Classic Gaming Expo '99. After the overwhelming success of last year's World Of Atari show it was logical to move this year's show to a more spacious location. Although organized by a slightly different group of people (John Hardie, Keita Iida and Sean Kelly versus WOA's RichTsukiji, John and Keita) it pretty much kept the same look and feel of the 1998 show. The CGE'99 was held at Jackie Gaughan's Plaza Hotel & Casino in downtown Las Vegas, right next to the Fremont Street Experience. The hotel was a little dated and run-down but offered good accomodations at very reasonable cost.

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The Plaza Hotel & Casino, the Fremont Street Experience, the Horseshoe Hotel & Casino

I arrived late Thursday night, spent the first half of Friday catching up on sleep and then met with some fellow NWGCE buddies. Meanwhile most of the exhibitors and sellers had completed their set-up and John and Keita were kind enough to allow me into the exhibition (I'd say about three times as large as last year!) hall to demo my Jaguar Mulimedia CD (more on that in a future issue). What I saw was really impressive! The Blue Sky Rangers had a really nice retro-style both with big Intellivision logos, loads of classic arcade machines were carried into the hall and the museum was already showing some holy grails of classic videogame collecting.

Exhibition Hall

Saturday morning the registration booth started handing out show passes at 8:00 am and at 9:00 am the show opened it's doors. Everything was a little more civilized this time and there wasn't a whole lot of pushing and shoving, probably also because most of the limited show exclusive items weren't for sale right away. The floor plan was wide and spacious, one corner had multiple arcade machine 'islands', another corner had a little concession stand.

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B & C Computervisions booth, lots of goodies!

 

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Clint Dyer was selling a ton of stuff!

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MicroDaft - software for old computers, pretty deserted...

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Sarah Thomas from Classic Gamer Magazine - great full color mag!

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The Digital Press booth!
They also had sign-up lists for Lee's Worship The Woodgrain 2 and my Jaguar Multimedia CD!

The Hot Rod - excellent arcade quality joystick. They had a nice setup with kick-ass sound (Microsoft speaker systems). The Hot Rod was a little pricey but had an excellent feel!

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Hydro Thunder from Midway - very (after a while it got annoying) loud and lots of fun. A Dreamcast conversion should be out pretty soon.

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Marvin Lambright and Rick Weis had tons of great games for sale! He was even nice enough to ship some of them to me - thanks Marvin!

Below is Marvin setting up his goods.

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Dan Kramer and his Nyko booth.

Dan showing off his baby - the Atari 5200 trackball!

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United Game Source sold some rare stuff for more recent handhelds.

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Blast From The Past had some very nice arcade classics (Bubbles, Space Ace, Thayer's Quest, some cocktail tables etc.) and lots of other goodies.

Blast From The Past also sold the re-released Pac-Man Fever album on CD.

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Another look at the Blast From The Past booth.

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Lynx prototype at the B & C Computervisions booth!

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3D Vectroller - finally a nice LCD replacement for the 3D goggles, but no color of course.

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There were two PC-setups for arcade emulators at the CGE'99. The Arcade 2000 from Jeff Kemper and the ArcadePC. Both were very nice although I like the controls on the Arcade 2000 better (with rotary controller for Tempest).

On the right is a look inside the Arcade 2000 setup.

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The CyberPunks booth sported the re-released 'Stella Gets A New Brain'-CD and the 'Stella Turns 20'-video.

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Carl Forhan at his Songbird Productions booth showed his new Jaguar games and sold the Jagfest video.

The new games 'Skyhammer', 'Hyper Force' and 'Soccer Kid' are done and await encoding, 'Protector' is getting close to being completed.

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Before the storm...

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...before the storm.

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The Blue Sky Rangers (from left to right): Bill Fisher, Dave Akers, Steve Roney, Dave Warhol and Keith Robinson.

The Blue Sky Rangers (from left to right): Steve Roney, Keith Robinson, Dave Warhol, Dave Akers, Mike Minkoff, Don Daglow.

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The old Intellivision Computer, with BASIC cartridge and program tapes.

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The new Intellivision ECS Computer, with thermal printer!

Nice CGE'99 t-shirts!

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The Hasbro booth - kind of low-key but some nice modern renditions of classics like Q*bert and Pong!

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Howard Scott Warshaw with his 'Once Upon Atari'-video.

Telegames USA sold the new Color Gameboy version of Yar's Revenge as well as Turbo Express handhelds (for insane prices.

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John Hardie showing the reprint of Zap!

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Tim Arnold sold raffle tickets - prices included original Battlezone and Missile Command machines incl. shipping!

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Overall: lots of goodies although not enough sellers of classic goodies! Maybe that can be changed for next year. It would be nice to have more outfits like Marvin's to enable us collectors to buy stuff without having to pay Ebay-prices.

New Games and Prototypes

Eric Bacher and Igor Barzilai sold their new games 'Pesco' (great Pac-Man clone) and 'Merlin's Walls' (real 3D on the Atari 2600!) in limited show-exclusive versions and also showed their new Pac-Man game. 'What, another Pac-Man?' you may ask... Man, this version was unbelievable! At first I thought it was an Atari 5200 but no, this game really ran on a 2600! Awesome graphics, arcade-like sounds, very nice gameplay - I wonder what Todd Frye thought when he saw this one :)

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Igor and Eric = ebivision.

 

The new games!

 

Two Pac-Man screenshots - awesome!

 

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The Pac-Man game - really cool but not available for sale!

Check out this Pac-Man movie from Steve!

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Eric and Igor selling their two new releases.

The Pac-Man setup - great game!

There were numerous prototypes at the great Intellivision booth. For example for the Intellivision: 'Yogi's Frustrations', the French 'Space Spartans' and 'Space Cunt' (yes, you read this right, this was a joke-program to demonstrate how the Intellivoice mis-pronounced a word so it sounded like something else). The title screen says it was made by 'Genitaliavision' and the game play is basically 'Astrosmash' but with different graphics. Other prototypes included 'Masters Of The Universe The Power Of He-Man' for the Colecovision - nice graphics, 'In Search For The Golden Skull' for the Atari 2600 - looked pretty good, 'Rocky And Bullwinkle' - not so good, 'Anteater' - was fun to play but pretty difficult.

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This screen shot to the right got retouched a little...

colmas_after.jpg (35583 bytes) Various screen shots and movies for the 'Master Of The Universe The Power Of He-Man' game for the Colecovision. The concept drawings are from a concept that was shown in the museum, I assume they are for the Colecovision although one drawing set 'for INTV III'.

Other prototypes included: 'High Seas' for the Atari 2600 - basically a Sea Battle-clone, looked very playable. 'Advanced Dungeons & Dragons II: Treasure Of Tarmin' for the Atari 2600 - impressive '3D' graphics. 'Advanced Dungeons & Dragons III: Tower Of Mystery' - looked very good, a little like Venture with nice intro and little animation.
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'Yogi's Frustration' for the Intellivision! yogfrst3.jpg (16160 bytes) The shot above had to be retouched as well, left is 'before', right is 'after'.

'Rocky and Bullwinkle' for the Atari 2600 - graphics were OK but the gameplay wasn't that great.

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ant1.jpg (8351 bytes) 'Anteater' for the Atari 2600. You have to 'steer' the tongue of the anteater down the various levels of the ant hill in search for food (ants). At the same time you have to avoid touching the termites (?). Cool concept and very challenging, nice graphics too!

I also heard the story that 'Astrosmash' originally contained two titles, the 1st one as we know it and the 2nd one being a perfect Asteroids-clone. Atari threatened legal actions so they just hid the menu and the code is still in there. Later some new hire took the code, heavily reworked it and voila: 'Space Hawk'.

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Not just a rumor: the infamous 'Space Cunt' was shown at the CGE'99 :)


Two screenshots to the left, cartridge in Keith Robinson's hand and the excited crowd on the right!

 

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'In Search Of The Golden Skull'. You had to move the character through the maze at the bottom, past the monster on the right (you can temporarily hide behind the bushes but it was tricky!) and into the house. There you had to mark off each room while avoiding low-flying bats (vultures? the graphics were ambiguous). It was fun...
8K ROM + 2K RAM

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The French 'Space Spartans' prototype.

 

Continue with Part II

 

Thanks to:

The CGE'99 staff - great show!
The NWCGE guys (Lee for the packing tape, Steve for the pictures, Rob for the cashews :)
Leonard for the 'Pong' picture and his great book!
The Plaza for letting me check out late and not charging me an extra day!

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Pictures and texts 1999 by CyberRoach™ Publishing, no content may be duplicated without the written consent of the author!
Many pictures 1999 Steve Bender, one picture 1999 Leonard Herman, all used with permission - thanks guys!
Classic Gaming Expo '99, World Of Atari and others are claimed and/or registered trademarks of their owners!