ROM image of ultra-rare Atari arcade game dumped and released for MAME

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Those hoarders may have control over the physical cabinets, but have as much right to control distribution of the software itself as you, me, or the guy who supposedly dumped the ROMs.


I’ve seen this with rare photos and images of letters. People are mad that they can’t get off to their precious because now everyone can.

This is exactly what MAME was for.


Artificial scarcity: how does that free market drives efficiency thing work again?


I know a guy who is a bit infamous for buying rare toys mint in box (very rare to be in the box), and opening them unceremoniously in photos on a few of the boards he frequents.

Oh the humanity

TBF, at least that is a finite item


Still waiting for that ROM dump of Polybius.


If I was an arcade collector, the first thing I’d do would be to read all the ROMs and keep a backup copy.

ROMs are only mostly forever.


Copyright is supposed to make objects “scarce” for limited times, so folks can earn a living. ROMS, in particular, were meant to be played, and presumably, the authors wished it to be.

You may be legally entitled to hoard this as property, but IMHO, it makes you a fucking dick to do so, and is a large part of the reason I would never sell property to this sort of person, for any sum of money.


Can we talk about this game, though? Between the two-axis cursor control and the part where it zooms in to the central ship, it seems way ahead of its time. (Maybe this is why it failed in test markets.)


I was always a Galaxian guy myself.


Other than nobody likes having what they thought was a trust broken, I don’t see why they would care. They still have the arcade games. Those weren’t stolen, only the ROMs. This is like a J-model Dusenberg owner whose mechanic swiped the design specs for building the engine. He still has the original. Even if someone builds something based on what was swiped, that something won’t be original. So the scarcity-value of the existing arcade machines is untouched.


Leaking should actually greatly raise their value. I hadn’t heard of Akka Arrh until this story. As more collectors hear of it’s mythical status, get to play the ROM and start to want it it becomes a much hotter item. The scarcity is unchanged and the demand is only going to go up.


There are probably a number of Atari games that use identical hardware. Burn some new ROMs, swap them in and play. Without the cabinet and artwork, not very collectable.


I’d like to take issue with the assertion in the article that the tech would take a long time to dump the ROMS. What they’re describing is copying them–reading a ROM and burning an EPROM. Dumping a ROM/EPROM literally takes a fraction of a second. I mean it’s the main memory of the game, it’s hooked to the processor. It’s where all the code and data for the game comes from as it runs. It’s really fast (for the era) to read. Now, burning an EPROM can take a few seconds to a minute depending on the size, etc. But dumping can be done as fast as they can stuff chips in the socket of the reader.

And the reader can be very small–it barely takes anything these days to make one. The largest part might be the ZIF socket to hold the ROM. Internally, you can have a processor and some storage. Maybe a battery to make it completely unteathered. Such a device is something that I’m sure already exists. Anyone proficient in electronics could knock one up over a short weekend.

I don’t know why they would make it sound like the tech would need to duplicate the chips. That makes no sense. You’d pull the chip, put it in the reader, then put it back into the board. If the board is a prototype, it may even have ZIF sockets in it instead of normal machine pin or spring sockets. Those are even faster to get chips in and out of–which is why they’re used in prototypes.


Recommended reading if you like this topic:

Including some great posts on the dickishness of hoarding rare games.


tempest for me.


Has anyone figured out how the hell this game works? Because I’ve watched the video a bunch of times, and all I can understand is blasting things in certain flashing zones, but there’s more going on I just know it.

Kind of looks like reverse tempest mixed with missile command


In the middle is the Death Star. You are the guy on the Death Star who has to stop the Rebel Alliance from coming down and blowing your shit up. You have a trackball and a blaster button. Good luck.

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The playing field is divided into zones. When you fire, the central ship launches a projectile towards your current cursor position. When the projectile lands, every ship in that zone is destroyed. If any enemy ships make it to the central area, the gameplay zooms in to a more traditional point-and-shoot (in the round) where you take on the ships individually. If you shoot them down (or they leave the center), great, back to the main phase. If they shoot through your shield and then hit your ship, you lose a life.