Orphaned Computers
& Game Systems



Update History



September 18, 2017

  1. Added Emerson Arcadia 2001 website. Ward Shrake has given me permission to host the latest version (January 7, 2003) of his "Digital Archaeology: Arcadia 2001" website. This site originally was available hosted on Digital Press's servers and later at Ward's own domain Think of this version of Ward's site as a time capsule. It's exactly as you would have viewed it in 2003; nothing has been changed. Digital Archaeology: Arcadia 2001.

January 3, 2016

  1. Added an article about the 1991 Commodore 64 game Interchange.

December 24, 2015

  1. Added an article about the 1982 Atari 2600 game Demons to Diamonds, the second featured game in the series of articles called "Games That You Should Try Again."

December 18, 2015

  1. Added an article about the 1983 Sega arcade game Up'n Down, the first featured game in a series of articles called "Games That You Should Try Again."

November 23, 2015

  1. Added an article about the 1983 Atari 2600 game Frostbite, as excerpted from the Classic-Gaming Bookcast.

October 27, 2015

  1. Updated the "About" page.

September 3, 2015

  1. Added an article by Ward Shrake about a utility called Telengod, which is used to hack the attributes in Avalon Hill's Commodore 64 RPG Telengard. This is an overview of how and why he wrote that program.
  2. Added a "Who Needs Manuals?" article by Chris Federico and Adam Trionfo that discusses and offers game-playing strategies for Mark Turmell's 1983 Atari 2600 game Gas Hog by Spectravision / Spectravideo.

June 10, 2015

  1. Added an article about the Atari 2600 prototype Save Mary!, as excerpted from the Classic-Gaming Bookcast.

May 21, 2015

  1. Added an article about the 1982 arcade game Joust, as excerpted from the Classic-Gaming Bookcast.

October 1, 2014

  1. Added an overview of DungeonLords, created by Brian Douglas Bradley for Atari's eight-bit computers: "DungeonLords: A Type-In Marvel."

September 30, 2014

  1. Removed the links to some old articles:

    1. "Airborne Ranger: MicroProse Dares to Write a Fast-Action Game" (June, 1998) -- This article originally appeared in Video Magic, Issue 139 (June / July, 1998).
    2. "Are the 'Wrong' Motives Behind Your Fixation? Why Some Collectors Might Feel Their Excitement Dwindling" (1999 -- revised on May 31, 2011).
    3. "ColecoVision Game-Discussion Forum, The" (August 5, 2002).
    4. "Five Worst Commodore 64 Games Ever, The" (November 15, 1999).
    5. "Massive Classic Video- and Computer-Game Strategy and Solution Compendium, The" (Last updated on June 21, 2003) -- Both parts, "A-L" and "M-Z," have been removed.
    6. "OC&GS Alphabetized 2600 Game-Discussion Forum, The" (Last updated on May 16, 2002) -- Both parts, "A-L" and "M-Z," have been removed.
    7. "Perfect Bad Guy, The" (February 24, 2002).
    8. "Premium Player, The" (November 1999 -- revised on May 13, 2011).
    9. "Space Duel: The Rock-Blasting Continues in this Oddball Game" (March 14, 2002) -- This article about Space Duel originally appeared in 2002 on the Atari Times website.
    10. "What's Going On Inside the Heads of VCS Characters?" (August 7, 2000).
    11. "Yet Another Easter-Egg Update" (February 11, 2002) -- E.T. and Taz.
  2. Fixed a few HTML errors that had been discovered with an HTML validator.

April 17, 2011

  1. Removed the index page with links to all twelve back issues of OC&GS. These back issues have now been broken into individual sections.

April 4, 2011

  1. Removed "Back Issues" from the tab at the top of each main page. Now there are four tabs on each main page instead of five.

March 28, 2011

  1. Completely updated "Changing Atari VCS Graphics -- The Easy Way," which first appeared in the April, 1999 issue of OC&GS.

    This article 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.

    1. Changing Atari VCS Graphics -- The Easy Way
      by Adam Trionfo
  2. Made minor grammatical corrections in the Adventure and Dino Eggs sections of the "Strategy and Solution Compendium."

March 27, 2011

  1. Added articles written in the 1990s that had never been published in OC&GS:

    1. This one 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

    2. 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 Adam Trionfo

    3. This 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, 2011

  1. 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.

    1. The OC&GS Panel Trades Top Tens:
      The Choices of Adam, Part 2

      by Adam Trionfo

March 23, 2011

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

    1. Amiga and Y2K, The
      by Adam Trionfo, 1999
    2. Helpful Hint for Amiga CrossDOS Users, A
      by Adam Trionfo, 1999
    3. Going Against the Grain (or: An Amiga-User's Story)
      by Adam Trionfo, Summer, 2009
  2. Added articles written by Chris Federico and / or Adam Trionfo in the late nineties. 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.

    1. Bug, The
      by Adam Trionfo
    2. Collectors, The (Part 3)
      by Adam Trionfo
    3. Overview of Computer-Program Transfers, An
      by Adam Trionfo
    4. Reasons to Own an Orphaned Computer or Game System
      by Adam Trionfo
    5. Truth Be Told, The
      by Adam Trionfo
    6. When Too Much Isn't Enough
      by Adam Trionfo

February 23, 2012

  1. Finished updating the online version of the paper newsletter's entire second volume. It now conforms to current HTML standards, and the plain, white pages are no more.

December 14, 2011

  1. Added a link to a sub-website that's been created to hold large VideoBrain-related files. http://www.orphanedgames.com/videobrain

December 8, 2011

  1. Added a link to a sub-website created to hold large Emerson Arcadia-related files. http://www.orphanedgames.com/arcadia

October 3, 2011

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

September 6, 2011

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

June 4, 2011

  1. Added the online version of Orphaned Computers & Game Systems Vol. II, Issue 5 (August, 1998).

June 1, 2011

  1. Revised the article Are the "Wrong" Motives Behind Your Fixation? Why Some Collectors Might Feel Their Excitement Dwindling by Chris Federico.

May 31, 2011

  1. Added the online version of Orphaned Computers & Game Systems Vol. II, Issue 4 (June, 1998).

May 26, 2011

  1. Added the online version of Orphaned Computers & Game Systems Vol. I, Issue 3 (December, 1994).

May 25, 2011

  1. Added the online version of Orphaned Computers & Game Systems Vol. I, Issue 2 (August, 1994).

May 24, 2011

  1. Added the online version of Orphaned Computers & Game Systems Vol. I, Issue 1 (June, 1994).

May 23, 2011

  1. Added a link to The Strategy and Solution Compendium for Old Video and Computer Games (Including Secrets and Easter Eggs) by Chris Federico.

May 20, 2011

  1. Added a link to Random Terrain. RT's Atari 2600 pages are highly enjoyable and insightful. So are the other goodies on his site, for that matter.

May 18, 2011

  1. Gave new color schemes and column widths to a few old articles. They're much easier to read now:

    1. Airborne Ranger: MicroProse Dares to Write a Fast-Action Game
      by Chris Federico, June, 1998.
    2. Frenzy: An Arcade Gem Succeeds on the ColecoVision
      by Chris Federico and Adam Trionfo, June, 1998.
    3. Pong: An Objective Review for the New Millennium
      by Chris Federico, April 28, 2002.
    4. Space Duel: The Rock-Blasting Continues in This Oddball Game
      by Chris Federico, March 14, 2002.

May 16, 2011

  1. Gave a new color scheme and column width to an old article. It's much easier to read now:

    1. The Great Underground Empire: Why Zork Hasn't Been Topped in the World of Text Adventures (Part II)
      by Chris Federico, February 24, 2002.
  2. Updated the archived paper newsletter to the new OC&GS website scheme: OC&GS Volume II, Issue 2 (February, 1997).
  3. Updated the archived paper newsletter to the new OC&GS website scheme: OC&GS Volume II, Issue 3 (April, 1997).

May 15, 2011

  1. Gave new color schemes and column widths to a few old articles. They're much easier to read now:

    1. Psychoanalyzing 2600 Characters
      by Chris Federico, August 7, 2000.
    2. What's Wrong with Zork Zero
      by Chris Federico, November 19, 1999.
    3. Yet Another Easter-Egg Update
      by Chris Federico, August 11, 2002.

May 14, 2011

  1. Gave new color schemes and column widths to a few old articles. They're much easier to read now:

    1. The ColecoVision Game-Discussion Forum
      by Chris Federico, August 5, 2002.
    2. Die, Nazi: Action Games Make Use of the Ultimate Enemy
      by Chris Federico, February 24, 2002.
    3. The Massive Classic Video- and Computer-Game Strategy and Solution Compendium (A-L)
      by Chris Federico, 2003.
    4. The Massive Classic Video- and Computer-Game Strategy and Solution Compendium (M-Z)
      by Chris Federico, 2003.
    5. The OC&GS Alphabetized 2600 Game-Discussion Forum
      by Chris Federico, 2002.
    6. The OC&GS Alphabetized 2600 Game-Discussion Forum (cont.)
      by Chris Federico, 2002.
    7. The Top Five Worst Commodore 64 Games
      by Chris Federico, November 15, 2002.

May 13, 2011

  1. Added The Premium Player by Chris Federico, 1999 (revised on May 13, 2011).

May 12, 2011

  1. Added The Commodore 64 Vault: Two Gems from the 8-Bit Era -- Omega Race and Blueprint, written by Chris Federico and Adam Trionfo for Video Magic, 1998.
  2. Added Frogger: The ColecoVision Once Again Fulfills Its Arcade-to-Home Promise, written by Chris Federico and Adam Trionfo for Video Magic, 1998.

May 11, 2011

  1. Added Who Needs Manuals? Entombed by U.S. Games by Chris Federico and Adam Trionfo, April, 2011.
  2. Added Who Needs Manuals? Raft Rider by U.S. Games by Chris Federico and Adam Trionfo, April, 2011.
  3. Added TigerVision's Marauder: A Distinctive Robot Shooter by Chris Federico and Adam Trionfo, April, 2011.
  4. Added Believe It or Not, Data Age and TigerVision Can Lead to Philosophy by Chris Federico and Adam Trionfo, 2006 (revised in April, 2011).

May 10, 2011

  1. Updated the "What's New" page to use CSS and blue borders.
  2. Updated the "About OC&GS" page to use CSS and blue borders.
  3. Updated the article "The Dungeon and the Empire: Comparing the original Zork to I, II and III" to use CSS and blue borders.
  4. Updated the "Index" page to use CSS and blue borders.
  5. Updated the "Links" page to use CSS and blue borders.

April 24, 2011

  1. Removed the Classic-Videogaming Syndicate logo / link from the bottom of the "Index" page, as the Syndicate no longer exists.

August 6, 2010

  1. When I made the transfer to this new website last September, this article, "The OC&GS Alphabetized 2600 Game-Discussion Forum (A-L)," didn't make it over. I luckily found a website that mirrors some old GeoCities pages, and I was able to recover the file from there (otherwise, would have been lost. Well, not completely. I do have an older version of it around). -- Adam
  2. Also lost during the move last September was the browser-friendly version of OC&GS Vol. II, Issue 9 (April, 1999) with all revisions. The mirror had that file as well, which has been restored.
  3. Added an online-playable version of Fork: The Great Underground Dining Room.

July 20, 2010

  1. Added a sub-website devoted to programming the APF MP-1000 game console.

September 25, 2009

  1. Created this "What's New" page (renamed "Update History" in late 2015). Also, the advertisements that Geocities automatically placed into the HTML have been removed. Our new site will be free of those annoying ads!
  2. Preliminary investigation has begun into moving OC&GS to a reasonably rated, fee-based hosting site. If we go with this, then the storage space will be 10GB and the bandwidth allotment will be 30GB. That's VERY reasonable. GeoCities' bandwidth was just 3MB/hour (how very 1990s of them!). Considering that some of the back issues of the newsletter were over 1MB apiece, it was EXTREMELY restrictive. If someone downloaded three of the larger back issues, no one else could access the site for an hour. Our goal is to prevent that sort of thing from happening again.
  3. Removed the Video-Game Nexus link from the "Links" page, as the Nexus no longer exists.

September 24, 2009

  1. GeoCities, the long-time host of Orphaned Computers & Game Systems, is closing down. The OC&GS website has therefore been manually backed up, so that it can eventually be moved onto another server with greater file storage and bandwidth.

February 18, 2009

  1. Added the "Strategy and Solution Compendium" by Chris Federico.

February 14, 2008

  1. Updated the index of text articles from Issue 4 of OC&GS.
  2. Added scans of OC&GS Volume 1, Issues 1-3 (June, August and December of 1994). These had been the only issues not archived online.

May 12, 2007

  1. Added a text adventure by Chris Federico called Fork: The Great Underground Dining Room.

September 4, 2003

  1. Added the "Massive Classic Video- and Computer-Game Strategy and Solution Compendium (A-L)" by Chris Federico.
  2. Added the "Massive Classic Video- and Computer-Game Strategy and Solution Compendium (M-Z)" by Chris Federico.

September 18, 2002

  1. Added the "ColecoVision Game-Discussion Forum" by Chris Federico.

June, 2002

  1. Added A Lifetime to Master: An Interview with Bill Kunkel.

June 11, 2002

  1. Added four Commodore 64 Games by Chris Federico in D64 format (for use with emulators):

    1. Stella Gets a Lobotomy
    2. Jupiter's Electrician
    3. Tyrant
    4. Super Space Carnage

June 4, 2002

  1. Added the "Alphabetized 2600 Game-Discussion Forum" by Chris Federico.

May 20, 2002

  1. Added "Die, Nazi: Action Games Make Use of the Ultimate Enemy" by Chris Federico.

May 16, 2002

  1. Added the "Alphabetized 2600 Game-Discussion Forum (cont.)" by Chris Federico.

May 07, 2002

  1. Added the "About" page.

March 5, 2002

  1. Added "The Dungeon and the Empire: Comparing the original Zork to I, II and III" by Chris Federico.

February 24, 2001

  1. Changed the apparent layout of the website (it needed an overhaul!). It's now easier to navigate, but all files are in the same places, so people's links won't break.
  2. Added buttons that link to the "About OC&GS," "What's New," "Latest Articles," "Back Issues" and "Links" pages.
  3. Added "The Great Underground Empire: Why Zork Hasn't Been Topped in the World of Text Adventures (Parts 1 and 2)" by Chris Federico.
  4. Updated the index page for the text articles (Vol II, Issues 4-12).
  5. Edited the editorial for Issue 9.

February 21, 2002

  1. Made slight changes to the "Alphabetized 2600 Game-Discussion Forum (A-L)."

February 12, 2002

  1. Added "Yet Another Easter-Egg Update" by Chris Federico.

February 3, 2001

  1. Combined both files comprising Vol. II, Issue 9 into one, for ease of use.

September 21, 2000

  1. Edited the "OC&GS Review Panel" from Issue 8.

August 29, 2000

  1. Added "Soon Orphaned: The New Age and the Ten Best PlayStation Games" by Chris Federico.

August 7, 2000

  1. Added "Psychoanalyzing 2600 Characters" by Chris Federico.

May 27, 2000

  1. Revised "The Top Ten Sins Committed by Computer-Game Writers: My Pet Peeves -- and Probably Yours, Too" by Chris Federico.
  2. Added "Are the 'Wrong' Motives Behind Your Fixation? The Reason Some Collectors Feel Their Excitement Dwindling" by Chris Federico.

November 19, 1999

  1. Added "What's Wrong with Zork Zero" by Chris Federico.

November 15, 1999

  1. Added "The Premium Player" by Chris Federico.
  2. Added "The Top Five Worst Commodore 64 Games" by Chris Federico.
  3. Added Volume II, Issues 4-12 in text format.

1999

  1. The website and paper back-issue archive appear on GeoCities.com. This marks the first online presence of OC&GS.

April, 1999

  1. The paper-newsletter version of OC&GS ceases publication.

December, 1997

  1. OC&GS's second volume begins publication. This time, there are two writers / editors. Volume II is a vast improvement over the three issues that comprise Volume I.

December, 1994

  1. Volume I lasts for three issues. The final issue appears this month.

June, 1994

  1. Volume I, Issue 1 of the paper newsletter OC&GS appears on newsstands around the world. Well, not exactly around the world. Or on any actual newsstands, for that matter. It's simply created on an Amiga 1200 computer in Rio Rancho, New Mexico and mailed out to a few other classic-gaming newsletter editors and some friends. About fifty copies are made.