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Excalibur Electronics games and where can you get'em?
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Rik
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, technically, the original arcade game was black & white, so... Mr. Green
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NE146
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Joined: 16 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rik wrote:
Entex just got gutsy and released Space Invader without even contacting the copyright holder (who is that, Bally?). Well, Bally sued them, naturally, but the judge decided that the copyright Bally had was for large arcade games that cost money to play


Wonder why they had to deal with Bally since Space Invaders was made by Taito.. Bally was just a licensee for the u.s. release. They were just a licensee for Pacman too which of course was by Namco.


Quote:
Probably some company in China just making a generic 'Invader' game for anyone that want's to build a game around it... Even if you were to actually license the Space Invaders name, there's no point in re-inventing the game hardware itself unless you really wanted to impress people (but that costs money...).


You're absolutely right.. it's the SAME friggin invader game over the past few years. However I did find a new one!

I just picked it up in December at the Narita airport. One look at it and it's obvious it's not the same version like in the Excalibur tabletop that we've seen for so long now (click to see the graphic printout closeup). I outta open it up and try it Smile




Mr. Mod wrote:
Thanks for the info. Also thanks to Neil for redirecting me to the Tiger version(s) of Space Invaders. I totally forgot about those. The one in the link looks like a great translation, even in B&W.


If you ask me, Entex Space Invader still is the best translation overall. It retains some of the arcade strategies such as counting shots.
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Rik
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NE146 wrote:
Wonder why they had to deal with Bally since Space Invaders was made by Taito.. Bally was just a licensee for the u.s. release. They were just a licensee for Pacman too which of course was by Namco.


Eh, it probably was Taito and Midway actually... Whoever owned the original machines. The list I was using to get the manufacturers was listing the US releases... But you get the idea. Mr. Green Namco made Puckman, I believe it was only released as Pac Man by Midway... (They changed the name from the Japanese version becuase the word 'Puck' they feared would be an easy target for childish vandals... If you know what I mean... Mr. Green )
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Neil UK
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If you ask me, Entex Space Invader still is the best translation overall. It retains some of the arcade strategies such as counting shots.


Which version are you refering to NE146? I have noticed that there are several differences between the Grey and Black Entex Space invaders. The museum states that the newer grey coloured game was made from a slightly different mould to the original black, but there seem to be several other changes :-

BLACK - game starts instantly after being switched on. Different score LED's to Grey.
GREY - Plays an annoying intro tune before the screen lights up.

BLACK - Two Beam force cannons.
GREY - Three beam force cannons. (more authentic to the original).

BLACK - No noise in the backround and a silent score displayed at the end.
GREY - Constant ticking. Flashing end score with Really irritating noise!

BLACK - Space invaders are in little space ships and a constant sized command ship.
GREY - Every character has been redesigned and the actual Invaders are visible.

BLACK - When your Beam force cannon is destroyed the screen goes blank except for your stricken cannon which lights up brightly.
GREY - When your Beam force cannon is destroyed the only thing displayed is the number of cannons you have left in the bottom right for the screen.

BLACK - When your Beam force cannon is hit, the next cannon starts from the original starting point on the left of the screen. (more authentic to the original).
GREY - When your Beam force cannon is hit, the next cannon starts from exactly where your old one was destroyed.

BLACK - Plays at a relaxed pace.
GREY - Plays at approximately 50% faster than the Black. Am setting on Grey is faster than Pro setting on Black!

BLACK - When switched to Pro setting, EVERYTHING speeds up. The Beam force cannon is faster, all missiles are faster and the pitch of all sounds in the game are higher.
GREY - When switched to Pro setting, only the speed of movement of the Invaders increases. All missiles, cannon speed and all sounds remain the same as on the Amature setting.

BLACK - Made in Japan.
GREY - Made in Taiwan. (is the different countries significant?).

Taking all the differences into account (and I bet there are more) , I am suprised that Entex didn't call the updated Grey version 'Space Invader 2' or 'Super Space Invader'. Talking of which, how do you rate Entex Super Space Invader 2' ?

Neil.
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NE146
Entex Crazy Climber


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neil UK, definitely the black one. i.e. the original one I bought when I was a kid looking for Space Invaders (the bandai ones just didn't do it for me) Smile

It's funny because I was totally unaware of the gray Entex version until the internet and around 1998 or so I saw a picture of it on a website. I had assumed they were the same game with slightly modified LED graphics.. I guess I was wrong! Laughing

But yes, I really like the black Entex version because as you might know, one of the primary strategies with the arcade version was "counting" shots so you could always score a 300 pt. UFO. Well the Entex version has counting too. I believe it was every 5th shot or some other small odd number that always guaranteed you got 30 pts on the spaceship. This might not seem like a big deal, but in 1981 or so, little details like that really made the game feel like a true port.

Also it has other little tricks like if you shoot 2 stacked invaders JUST as they move downward, you'd kill the invader on top. So this was sort of akin to how you got the "rainbow" trick in Space Invaders. Also when you did that, the remaining invader could not shoot! So this was almost like the 'wall of death' trick in the arcade where you'd let them come to the bottom row where they couldn't shoot or kill you. Ok.. that's a far stretch but you get the idea Wink
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Rik
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All right, you guys want the skinny on Space Inavder's development as well? Mr. Green You are going to force me to update all the Entex stuff NOW, aren't you? This is from a speech/presentation from Mike Rounds (Director of Engineering and New Product Development at Entex). Here you will find the answers to: Why the game play changed, why one is black and one is grey, why one was made in Japan and one Taiwan, and why one version has much brighter LEDs (anyone notice that? There's 2 version of the grey style- dim and bright LEDs). Hopefully this clears everything up... (I have more info about almost every game Entex made like this, I guess maybe I should start adding the fun stuff to the site. Rolling Eyes )

For the 'one on the left/one on the right' references, imagine a picture with the black one on the left, grey one on the right.

-- begin quote --
There were three versions of Space Invader:

Everything was designed by Entex Tokyo. The first run was done by a company in Japan called Barashima. Tony [Clowes, founder of Entex] went to Japan and then to Taiwan in 1980 because the game exploded before they got off the floor at Toy Fair. Normally we would plan on producing 100,000 units, they had sold 300,000 units on the show at Toy Fair. And the cost of having these things done in Japan was high so Tony said we are going to take it to Taiwan, so he took it to Taiwan to a company called Zeny (they?re still in business, they are a very big, powerful manufacturer over there) and we reduced the labor costs by taking the stuff to Taiwan.

We produced approximately 800,000 in this original configuration.

Case designed by Entex Tokyo
Electronics designed by Entex Tokyo
Software programmed by Entex Tokyo
Manufactured by Barashima (Japan)/Zeny (Taiwan)
Approximate number: 800,000

[Previously mentioned lawsuit occurs here...]

We produced versions 2 and 3 of Space Invader. Now, here?s where it gets interesting:

The one on the left is version 1 or 2 (whatever you want to consider it [I assume he means ver 1 was the original made in Japan and ver 2 was ther later one made in Taiwan, but otherwise identical]), and the one on the right is version 3 or 4. Now I said there?s three versions- The one on the left is the original design, it uses the Texas Instruments chip. The one on the right was re-designed for us by Rick Dyer and the guys at AMS and it uses a National Semiconductor COPS chip (a Control Oriented Processor chip). And it has an option switch on it (you?ll notice it?s case is different). The option switch is for sound and mute, but it also has motor noise. And the reason for the motor noise was there was not enough output pins on the chip so they tied the speaker into the oscillator line and what you hear is the clock inside there buzzing. So we called it background noise and did a little marketing with it. This was really cute.

You will also notice that it?s a different version of grey. See, the one on the left you would call ?black?, well in a Pantone color chart that?s called a grey and it?s a different color. Somebody transposed two numbers and when the first production line of the other ones came off, it came off a different shade of grey, that?s why it?s not black, that?s why it's actually grey.

The last version has super-bright LEDs. Well, actually it doesn?t have super bright LEDs, if you open it (because you can see it all the way across the room and say ?why is it so bright') you?ll find an 8-transistor array that I designed to finally, after 800,000 units, bring the brightness up so that it can be seen with the lights on in the room. This wasn?t hailed as widely as I hoped it would be. The big thing was- We?d been doing this for 2 years, why didn?t you do this 2 years ago. That?s the thanks that you get?

The case design was by Ortega Orr/Ron Chesley/Entex Tokyo
Electronics designed by AMS (Rick Dyer)/Mike Rounds on last ver
Software programmed by AMS (Rick Dyer)
Manufactured by Zeny (Taiwan)
Approximate number: 425,000
-- end quote --

That's just over 1.2 million total Space Invaders produced!
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Neil UK
Atari Cosmos


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Rik, the info is great Smile . If you do get around to putting the info in the museum, it may be best to put a link to the info on each Entex game page, as not everyone might find it so fascinating. Crying or Very sad
My grey game is definately a dim LED version.

Hi NE146. When I was trying out the grey version I just blasted away without moving and kept destroying the invaders and getting 30 for every spaceship. I wasn't counting so I might just have been getting lucky but maybe the grey doesn't do counting???

I also remember trying to get what we used to call a 'rainbow' at the end of a sheet, but I always thought it looked more like a multicoloured tornado or fireworks!



You could get it by shooting all invaders while leaving one on the bottom leftmost corner for last....receive 1,000pts bonus and fireworks show OR shoot all invaders while leaving any other one on the bottom row for last....receive 800pts bonus and fireworks show OR shoot all invaders while leaving any one on the second to bottom row for last....receive 500pts bonus and fireworks show. (This was only possible on Space Invaders Part II).

(Sorry Rik for getting off the topic of handhelds Embarassed )
Is member No74 REALLY your brother?

I'll have to try that "shoot 2 stacked invaders JUST as they move downward, you'd kill the invader on top" trick on my black game. Sounds cool Smile .

Neil.
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Rik
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neil UK wrote:
Is member No74 REALLY your brother?


Heh, I was wondering if anyone would notice that... Yep, it's really him, I guess he was showing his daughter what gaming was like in the good 'ol days and decided to sign up and send me a PM. Mr. Green I thought it was someone just being cute at first, but it was really him.
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NE146
Entex Crazy Climber


Joined: 16 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neil UK wrote:
Hi NE146. When I was trying out the grey version I just blasted away without moving and kept destroying the invaders and getting 30 for every spaceship. I wasn't counting so I might just have been getting lucky but maybe the grey doesn't do counting???


Well in the black one, the UFO could either be 10, 20, or 30 points. I've never played the gray version but if you never got anything below 30.. maybe you're just lucky or you're right.. it doesn't have any other value. I dont know Smile

Quote:
I also remember trying to get what we used to call a 'rainbow' at the end of a sheet, but I always thought it looked more like a multicoloured tornado or fireworks!


Yes that is the bonus you get for doing the rainbow trick in Space Invaders Part II (in Part 1 you only got a trail from the bottom invader... hence the 'rainbow' name) Basically all i was talking about though on the Entex version was the trick where you shot just as they moved down and you would shoot the invader on the top. This was similar feeling to the 'rainbow' trick (i.e. shooting the topmost invaders before the bottom one), and although you wouldn't get any effects, you'd get an invader that couldn't fire! Smile That's all it is.

Quote:
I'll have to try that "shoot 2 stacked invaders JUST as they move downward, you'd kill the invader on top" trick on my black game. Sounds cool Smile .


Yep.. again, that's what I was referring to as feeling similar to the rainbow trick Smile
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spacemonsterviras
Entex Crazy Climber


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To get back on topic for a moment, now it looks like everyone's getting in on the act. I've been wondering, even though they're not reissues as such do these new machines devalue the originals at all? The Nintendo Mini-Classics didn't seem to affect the Game And Watch market at all, so I suppose not.

[Edit] Well duh, Rik already has this in the museum and posted the link earlier in the topic. My question still stands though - what do you think?
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Rik
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone else think it's a little shady to be listing these games like this? Taking a game that _JUST_ came out in stores for $25 and suggestively listing it as a mint, unplayed game (like that's something special) with a BIN 3 times it's retail value just doens't seem right to me. Saying things like 'no corrosion in the battery compartment' is very mis-leading since these games haven't existed long enough for a battery to corrode in them...

And then saying the Stewie Pinball game 'looks and plays just like the big arcade machine' ??? _WHAT_ arcade machine? To my knowledge, there's never been a Family Guy video game of any kind ever produced, much less a video-based pinball game...

I know he isn't, technically, listing anything incorrectly, but it's very deceptive and seems aimed at the person that won't read the auction in detail... I see he's listed these specifically in the Australian Ebay website (in the US, the game shows up in the category 'Tickets: Experiences' becuase the categories aren't always the same across continents...), maybe he's hoping people in Australia will have either never seen them before and won't realize you can just buy them online, or maybe there aren't many online retailers that will ship them there, but still... Charging $40-50 extra just to send someone a game seems a bit high to me.

I almost got suckered into one of these when someone was selling a currently-available game (from Japan I think) that only cost $5 as a 'rare, mint handheld' that sold for about $100. Someone saw me bid on it and pointed me to a site where you could buy them direct for $5, and the auction never stated that it was a currently-available item... I guess it just depends on where your ethics lay...

Oh, as for the value of the originals, I don't think these touch the value of the originals at all... Even the obvious re-issues from Mattel I don't think hurt the value of the original sports games. Collectors will always pay what they've been paying for the real thing... It might take a few casual buyers out of the pool, but not enough to actually de-value anything.
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JoePal
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

since this topic is about the excalibur games, they discounted these games to $19.99 in spencer's store...
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Dan
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see that the Frogger and Space Invaders are indeed on sale at Spencer Online, but not Stewie. (I noticed they misquoted his "Splendid, this calls for a sexy party" as "sex party" on their site, kinda creepy coming from a baby!)

I suppose it is a tad disingenuous to try to create demand for a new but hard to find game by exaggerating certain aspects, but it's certainly not too different from a lot of auctions. One time I paid $35 for a sleeping bag with a stuffed dog as a pillow for my daughter on eBay, and when it came, the invoice made it painfully clear that it had been drop shipped from an obscure online store where the ebay seller had ordered it for around $20 with shipping. I had been thrilled to have even found it, until I found that out! Supply and demand...

But yeah, no corrosion in the battery compartment? It was part of his standard spiel text, but come on!

Rik, what game was it for $5 instead of $100, if I may ask? Is it those tiny Doraemons?
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Rik
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was actually an earlier model of the same Space Invaders that Excalibur is selling (part of why I know so much about them). It was this one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=8258644979

Which I guess was being sold for nothing in China/Japan. Someone got a couple and was listing them on Ebay (U.S.) as a rare vintage game, still in mint condition or something like that. Having never seen one (this was in 2000), I (and several other collectors) kinda went nuts over it, and I think I won it for about $100. Someone else then pointed me to a distributor-type website that was selling them for the equivalent of about $4-5, less if you bought in quantity, and that they were 'New'. The seller then listed another one and the bidding went up into the $70s again, so I started telling all the bidders what they were really buying, and I don't think he ever sold another for more than $10. (I never paid for mine either, and he didn't really seem to care, so it was just dropped...)

The little Lotte Doraemon games I still think are kinda cool... They are fairly common in Japan (usually less than $10), but it always costs $20 or more to ship things (using EMS at least), so that drives the cost of them up...

Rik
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Neil UK
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's this game and the Pacman version that really annoy me when the seller suggests in some way that they are vintage. The more honest ones state in the smaller print that the games are not as old as first made out, but one highly irritating seller swore that he had his game new in the late 70's and is now selling it on as a rare vintage collectable! Mad
These games seem quite common on EbayUK and have up untill recently been on sale in our Argos catalogues. I end up finding them on my nightly search as they are described as vintage but do not have a picture in the Gallary so I usually have to look at them just in case Sad

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/VINTAGE-.....dZViewItem

Talking of Space Invaders Rik, Have you noticed that the top version of Entex Alien Invader http://www.handheldmuseum.com/Entex/HPA.htm is the same game as Bestech Vader http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Space-In.....dZViewItem ? I wonder which came first?
Neil.
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