New Swordquest Comic

Celebrate Atari Day With The New Swordquest Comic!

It is the 26th of the month. Atari Day is here again and you can totally celebrate it by downloading the new Swordquest comic book. In fact if you hop on over to Comixology you can get the #0 issue of Dynamite Entertainment’s new Swordquest comic book absolutely free.

New Swordquest Comic - Dynamite Comics

Image courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment.

In the event that you are not aware of Atari’s Swordquest. I will give you a brief summary before talking about the brand new Swordquest comic book series.

Image courtesy of AtariAge.Com

In 1982 Atari released the first of four planned Swordquest titles with Earthworld. More than just an epic adventure/puzzle series the goal was to solve a riddle – one that could lead you to laying your hands on the Talisman of Penultimate Truth. A real life piece of jewelry worth $25,000!

Image courtesy of the 2600Connection.Com

To aid with the solving of the puzzles, Players received a DC comic book. Written by Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway as well as being illustrated by George Perez with inking by Dick Giordano. The book introduced Players to the twins Tarra and Torr – two thieves of noble blood. Furthermore throughout the comic they are set on the path to retrieve not only the Talisman of Penultimate Truth but the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery.
New Swordquest Comic - The Sword of Ultimate Sorcery

Players would navigate minigames to reach rooms in Earthworld, based on the zodiac. Moreover when figuring out what items were needed in said rooms, a message would appear.

That message directed Players to a hidden word in a panel of the Swordquest comic book. In this case for example, the Player would turn to page 25 and look closely at panel 6 for the hidden word.

Image Courtesy of AtariAge.Com

At the end of the day there were 5,000 entries for Earthworld. In fact a mere 8 were correct. Then after a special competition in 1983 between those 8 Players, it was Steven Bell who earned the talisman!

For further information on Steven Bell as well the fate of the Swordquest game series. You might wish to read Could You Have Won The Talisman of Penultimate Truth?

So it has been 33 years since a new Swordquest comic has been released. As well as the fact this new series isn’t a continuation of the saga of Torr and Tara. Writers Chris Sims and Chad Bowers have instead set their story in the real world. With the plight of Peter Case, a 45-year-old man who is delivered a nasty blow by fate.

New Swordquest Comic - Peter Case

Image courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment.

Forced to move back in with his Mother, Peter is reminded of his all-consuming passion for the Swordquest games. Remembering how two of his childhood friends, Alvin and Amy Perez, stood by his side in an attempt to solve the riddles. All three using their imagination as they played the Atari 2600 games. However the video game crash of 1983 put a halt to their dreams of the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery.

New Swordquest Comic - Peter and Friends

Image courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment.

Sims and Bowers have done an incredible job of making Peter a relatable character. You are going to feel for him I am sure. And as the first issue of the new Swordquest comic ends it appears that Case…is on a new quest. One fueled by nostalgia and second chances.

New Swordquest Comic - Peter's Guide

Image courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment.

The artwork for the new Swordquest series is handled by Scott Kowalchuk. Who you might know especially from his work on the Batman ’66 comic series. I have a feeling that the story for this series will remain firmly in reality. With the magic of the original DC Comics being replaced in fact with the gift of nostalgia to these new characters.

In addition this is actually the first wave of Atari related comic books from Dynamite. Coming in July is none other than Centipede!

Image courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment.

So hop on over to Comixology to get your free issue. Or better yet take an epic journey to your favorite comic book shop and pick up a physical copy for a mere twenty-five cents. Can you think of a better way to celebrate Atari Day?

Image courtesy of Atari I/O’s Facebook page.


To learn even more about the fun of Atari Day be sure to hop on over and check out fellow Retroist writer Atari I/O site by following the link here!

Now that you know about the new Swordquest comic why not check out Earthworld in action?

[Via] High Retro Game Lord

Space Invaders

Celebrate Atari Day With Space Invaders!

Being the 26th of the month once again it is time to celebrate Atari Day. There is so very much to love and celebrate as well when talking about Atari of course. Although as usual I am focusing on a particular game for the Atari 2600. A port of the massively popular as well as legendary Space Invaders from 1978!
Space Invaders - Flyer

When Tomohiro Nishikado set out to create Space Invaders I certainly doubt he realized how popular it would become. In Japan there were arcades that offered nothing but the “fixed shooter”. Just rows and rows of Space Invaders for gamers to spend their money on. As a matter of fact it’s been reported that by the end of 1978, Taito, who produced the game had manufactured over 100,000 arcade cabinets.
Space Invaders

To say nothing of the amount of money that the success ofSpace Invaders earned for the company. I ask you, how does 600 million dollars sound? Having said that, bear in mind that was only for Japan in its first year alone.

Now as you might imagine when Atari announced they were going to be producing a home port for their Atari 2600. It was kind of a big deal. Not only did it mark the first arcade title to be licensed for home use. It smashed sales records for the 2600 as well. Steven L. Kent’s 2001 book The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon has in fact said that it helped to quadruple the sales of the Atari 2600.

Were you aware the Atari 2600 port was part of the How To Beat Video Games Series?

Which leads us to why in particular Atari made sure to mention their home version of Space Invaders in print. As much as possible. As well as producing rather charming television ads like in the case of the one below entitled Uncle Frank.

[Via] Dig That Box RETRO

Far smarter people than myself have pointed out that the Space Invader themselves have become almost an iconic symbol. Representative of video games itself – more well known than even the likes of Mario!

Listen to Uncle Vic’s hit novelty song inspired by Space Invaders!

Now the great news is you can easily join the Atari Day celebration and play Space Invaders right this second.


By and large it’s available online in one form or another, I would recommend the online services of the Internet Archive.

Image courtesy of Atari I/O’s Facebook page.

To learn even more about the fun of Atari Day be sure to hop on over and check out fellow Retroist writer Atari I/O’s site by following the link here!

Alien Commercial

Celebrate Atari Day With This 1982 Alien Commercial For The Atari 2600!

On Earth, everyone can hear you scream when you watch this Alien commercial for the Atari 2600. Screams of joy at viewing a vintage television advertisement I might add. It is once again the 26th of the month, which means it is Atari Day. That single moment of every month when we gather to celebrate the many things that make Atari stand out. With the upcoming Alien: Covenant I felt this would be a great time to share the 1982 Alien commercial.

[Via] Magnetic Tape Head

I will admit that Alien commercial was certainly short. However I think I should point out though it captured some of the atmosphere of 1979 film. Not just with the iconic egg of course. But if you listen closely they also used some of the otherworldly and haunting sounds from the 1979 trailer itself.

[Via] Movieclips Trailers

For myself I wasn’t able to get my hands on Alien back in 1982. I found a copy of the game at a garage sale a couple of years after it’s original release. I think it is safe to say that Alien on the 2600 is a Pac-Man clone. Okay. It’s totally a rip-off of Pac-Man if we are being completely honest.

[Via] World of Longplays

Having said that, I will admit I like the game. It might be a clone of Pac-Man but it has a few worthy additions. In particular the flame thrower that can chase off the Xenomorphs hot on your trail or stun them in some cases.
Alien Commercial

Of course the Retroist has a slightly different memory of playing the game.

Read: A Review of Alien for the Atari 2600

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and celebrate Atari Day!

Image courtesy of Atari I/O’s Facebook page.


To learn even more about the fun of Atari Day be sure to hop on over and check out fellow Retroist writer Atari I/O’s site by following the link hhere!

Journey Escape

Celebrate Atari Day With Journey Escape And MTV!

The 26th of the month is here once again, friends! Which of course means it is Atari Day. What better way to celebrate than by checking out Data Age’s Journey Escape?

Journey Escape

Image courtesy of Atarmania

While in fact Journey Escape was marketed as a tie-in to the band’s 1981 album of the same name. The game actually uses an original theme with the exception of a rather nice chip version of Don’t Stop Believin’.

[Via] A Personalised Insane Asylum

When Journey Escape for the 2600 was released back in 1982, it flew under my radar. However at the very least by the time I picked up the cartridge at a garage sale in 1983, I was quite familiar with the band’s arcade game. I’m not sure how in 1982 I managed to miss this rather excellent television commercial. Not only is it imaginative, capturing elements of the game itself. But moreover it has the bonus of Casey Kasem’s voice work as well!

[Via] MYSATURDAYM0RNINGS

In the light of having missed the TV ad for the game. It’s probably not too hard to imagine that I also failed to catch the MTV interview with members of Journey itself talking about the game.

[Via] ScottithGames

What was the goal of Journey Escape you ask? It would seem you are traveling with Journey and they have just finished a performance that has netted them $50,000. It is up to the Player to escort all five members of Journey with their money to the safety of their escape vehicle – the Scarab naturally!

The obstacles in your path to accomplish this are many. For one thing you have to guide the band members past “Love-Crazed Groupies”. If a Player comes in contact with one of these they lose time and $300 bucks.
Journey Escape - Love Crazed Groupies

In Journey Escape a Player must also be wary of the paparazzi. The likes of the “Sneaky Photographers” will cost you $600 dollars upon contact. Why so much you might ask? To pay for the film negatives of course!

Also while playing the game you have to beware the “Shifty-Eyed Promoters”. These slightly gangster looking hucksters will cost you a whopping $2,000 dollars on contact.

Now the Player must also do their best to avoid the Stage Barriers. While at the very least it won’t cost you money if you collide with it – it does slow you down.

Having said that though, not everything in Journey Escape is designed to hinder your game. Case in point the “Loyal Roadie”, who looks in fact like a robot. If you manage to make contact you will be granted a temporary invulnerability.

Last but certainly not least is none other than the “Mighty Manager”. This jovial character allows a Player to run all the way to the Scarab without being stopped. In addition to adding $9,900 to the band’s purse.

I certainly hope you enjoyed learning a bit about Journey Escape for Atari Day. I hope you will also remember Atari Day is celebrated every 26th of the month.


Image courtesy of Atari I/O’s Facebook page.

To learn even more about the fun of Atari Day be sure to hop on over and check out fellow Retroist writer Atari I/O’s site by following the link here!

Inside Atari

Celebrate Atari Day With This 1981 Inside Atari Promo Video!

Goodness gracious. I was so busy celebrating my Wife’s birthday that I neglected to share an Atari Day post! So let us celebrate a belated Atari Day by watching this 1981 promotional video entitled Inside Atari.
Inside Atari

This is most certainly a nice piece of history for the legendary company. By 1981 Atari had three separate divisions going full bore. They had their arcade division releasing titles that helped make the Golden Age of Arcades so memorable. As well as the home console division with the Atari VCS or 2600 as it became known once the 5200 was released a year later – which sold like hotcakes. Atari had as well at this point released the Atari 400 and 800 home computers.

Things were looking absolutely grand for Atari in 1981. Which is why Inside Atari was regularly seen at consumer electronic shows. To say nothing of course of aiding in the wooing of potential investors.
Inside Atari - Global Reach

In addition to Inside Atari coming across as a visual pep rally. There are some wonderful nuggets to be gleaned. For example in this screenshot you can see some rom chips for Defender, Pac-Man, Yar’s Revenge, and Graves Manor.

That last one is more than a little noteworthy as it is one of the four original names for 1981’s Haunted House !

Furthermore if you look quickly you can spy some interesting artwork on display. Like this piece for the port of Pac-Man. Which I might add I had not seen before until the release of Tim Lapetino’s stellar Art of Atari tome last year.

All in all Inside Atari runs about five and a half minutes. So obviously it will not be the most in-depth exposé on the workings of the company. It will however give you that perfect snapshot of the glory days of Atari as an entertainment juggernaut.

[Via] Dig That Box RETRO

I hope you enjoyed watching Inside Atari. But remember that every 26th of the month is when we celebrate Atari Day!


Image courtesy of Atari I/O’s Facebook page.


To learn even more about the fun of Atari Day be sure to hop on over and check out fellow Retroist writer Atari I/O’s site by following the link here!