Orphaned Computers
& Game Systems



Articles by Adam Trionfo and Chris Federico about classic video games



March 16, 2016:

Turtles screen shot

The arcade game Turtles is featured third in the series of articles called "Games That You Should Try Again." Jim Butler's superb Odyssey2 conversion is also covered.

Turtles







February 28, 2016:

Pepper II screen shot

Here's another fun arcade game that's even more fun on the ColecoVision. The main character's really into zippers, but not in a disturbing way, in spite of his unstable personality.

Pepper II





February 15, 2016:

Frenzy screen shot

The incredible Berzerk sequel is even better on the ColecoVision than in the arcade. Calm down! We wouldn't make such a claim without offering some great arguments, would we?

Frenzy





January 19, 2016:

Sea Chase screen shot

Here's what Ed Fries was doing long before he led the Xbox team, and longer still before he created Halo 2600. If you've never played this Atari 400/800/etc. game, it's high time -- on the high seas! (Damn, that was corny.)

Sea Chase




January 3, 2016:

Interchange screen shot

You've probably never played this Commodore 64 game, but you should have. There's no time like the present. Actually, there's no time but the present, so that's a goofy expression. Just read this and learn about yet another awesome game that's not covered on any other website!

Interchange



December 24, 2015:

Demons to Diamonds screen shot

The Atari 2600 game Demons to Diamonds is featured second in the series of articles called "Games That You Should Try Again." Nick Turner created much more than another simple shoot-'em-upward.

Demons to Diamonds



December 18, 2015:

Up'n Down screen shot

The Sega arcade game Up'n Down is featured first in a series of articles called "Games That You Should Try Again." Give this one another chance!

Up'n Down







November 23, 2015:

Frostbite screen shot

The Activision game Frostbite is programmer Steve Cartwright's Atari 2600 masterpiece.

Frostbite






September 3, 2015:

Gas Hog screen shot

This is another installment of "Who Needs Manuals?". Featured this time is the Atari 2600 game Gas Hog. The article's two sections were respectively written before and after consulting the manual. The results of such experiments tend to be quite amusing.

Gas Hog

September 3, 2015:

Telengod screen shot

In 1985, Ward Shrake wrote a utility called Telengod to hack the character attributes in Avalon Hill's Commodore 64 RPG Telengard. He's written this article to explain why and how he did it. An archived version of his program is included.

Telengod
      by Ward Shrake


June 10, 2015:

Save Mary! screen shot

The Axlon / Atari prototype Save Mary! is programmer Tod Frye's true 2600 achievement.

Save Mary!






May 21, 2015:

Joust Playfield

The 1982 arcade game Joust is one of the most exciting, inventive Williams releases. Read about the game's history, some effective strategic maneuvers and the disturbing science behind buzzards that lay human eggs.

Joust




October 1, 2014:

DungeonLords - Screenshot - All Monsters

This is an article about DungeonLords, created by Brian Douglas Bradley for Atari's eight-bit computers. The game was written in 1986, but it wasn't released until ANALOG Computing published it in December, 1988.

DungeonLords: A Type-In Marvel



March 28, 2012:

Adam has completely updated "Changing Atari VCS Graphics -- The Easy Way," a tutorial that first appeared in the April, 1999 issue of OC&GS.

It explains two easy methods that may be used to change the graphics in any Atari 2600 (aka Atari VCS) game. A step-by-step example is provided, along with details about how to change the graphics in Space Invaders. No programming experience is required to follow these instructions.

Changing Atari VCS Graphics -- The Easy Way
      by Adam Trionfo


March 27, 2012:

Three articles from the 1990s have been added. The first explains the creation of an Atari 2600 cartridge called Tear-Jerker 2000. Links to the ROM and the 6502 assembly source code are also included.

Creating the Tear-Jerker 2000 Cartridge
      by Adam Trionfo


This article, written in the late nineties, serves as an introduction to PD in general. The references to particular games go some way toward explaining how "classic gamers" felt about the overall gaming situation at the time.

Public-Domain Commodore 64 Games
      by Chris Federico


The following paper was written for a Special Problems class at the Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute. There were only three students; we worked together to write a computer game.

Theory of Console- and Computer-Game Design Principles
      by Adam Trionfo


March 26, 2012:

This second part of the "Top Ten" list was started in December of 1997 but never finished. It's presented now for the first time.

The OC&GS Panel Trades Top Tens: The Choices of Adam, Part 2
      by Adam Trionfo


March 23, 2012:

These three Amiga articles were published in 1999. They had been written for two different issues of MAUS Dropping, the newsletter of the New Mexico Amiga Users' Society (NewMAUS).

Amiga and Y2K, The
      by Adam Trionfo, 1999

Helpful Hint for Amiga CrossDOS Users, A
      by Adam Trionfo, 1999

Going Against the Grain (or: An Amiga-User's Story)
      by Adam Trionfo, Summer 2009


We've added other articles from the late nineties as well. While two or three were published in lesser forms, most have never been seen before. There are easily enough articles here to make up one or two entire 1990s-era paper issues of OC&GS.

Bug, The
      by Adam Trionfo

Collectors, The (Part 3)
      by Adam Trionfo

Overview of Computer-Program Transfers, An
      by Adam Trionfo

Reasons to Own an Orphaned Computer or Game System
      by Adam Trionfo

Truth Be Told, The
      by Adam Trionfo

When Too Much Isn't Enough
      by Adam Trionfo


October 3, 2011:

Added an article about the book Tron and Robotron: Thirty Years of Electronic Gaming (and Counting) by Jeff Spega.


September 6, 2011:

Added an article about Imagic's Wing War for the Atari 2600 and Colecovision.


May 23, 2011:

Added the Strategy and Solution Compendium for Old Video and Computer Games (Including Secrets and Easter Eggs) by Chris Federico. Included are:

  1. Adventure (Atari -- Atari 2600 VCS)
  2. Dino Eggs (Micro Fun -- Apple II and Commodore 64)
  3. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (Atari -- Atari 2600 VCS)
  4. Pac-Man (Namco -- Arcade)
  5. Raid on Bungeling Bay (Broderbund -- Commodore 64)
  6. Raiders of the Lost Ark (Atari -- Atari 2600 VCS)
  7. Riddle of the Sphinx (Atari -- Atari 2600 VCS)

May, 2011:

Believe It or Not, Data Age and TigerVision Can Lead to Philosophy

TigerVision's Marauder: A Distinctive Robot Shooter

The following games are the first to be featured in a new column called "Who Needs Manuals?". We begin writing each of these articles without having referred to the instructions. Each game is played a second time when the manual has finally been read; the article is then completed. The results from both before and after can be quite amusing.

Entombed by U.S. Games

Raft Rider by U.S. Games


December 5, 2007:

Fork: The Great Underground Dining Room by Chris Federico

This is a text adventure written by Chris Federico that will run on any computer that can run the Frotz interpreter. A version of the latter for Windows (called WinFrotz) is included along with Fork itself.

Note that on a faster PC, there's a slim chance that some of the text might be invisible. This is easy to prevent. Once you've opened WinFrotz, go to View -> Display Options, then set the Screen Update to Very Frequent.

Get a taste of Fork, The Great Underground Dining Room by playing it online here. This version runs great, but the disadvantage is that you can't save your progress. The ideal way to play Fork is by downloading it and playing it on your computer.


June, 2002:

This is a collection of original Commodore 64 games by Chris Federico. Descriptions are included. The games were developed in a graphics / sound utility called Garry Kitchen's GameMaker.

     Jupiter's Electrician
     Stella Gets a Lobotomy
     Super Space Carnage
     Tyrant


June, 2002:

In this interview with Bill Kunkel, called "A Lifetime to Master," Bill answers questions about video games, the pioneering of a journalistic field, and the contemporary (circa 2002) game-coverage climate in an exclusive OC&GS interview.



Contact us or submit comments on any of the articles above:

Chris Federico

Adam Trionfo