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Old 20 September 2007, 23:23   #1
Daff
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Marble Madness in 1985 ?

Hi,

Some source says Marble Madness is a 1986 game while HOL says 1985.

There is "1986" on the title screen. The game was available in 1986 in France.

Personaly, I can't say if it's a 1985 or a 1986 game, but perhaps someone know a little more about this ?
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Old 21 September 2007, 17:07   #2
zeg
 
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The Amiga version was out during summer 1986.

Sep. 24, 85 Commodore has started volume shipments of Amiga computers to more than 400 retail
outlets throughout the U.S. And look for that $40 million ad campaign to hit the airwaves.
Sources say Commodore will make a big splash on "60 Minutes" and "Hill Street Blues".

31.12.1985
Electronic Arts has just begun shipments of its first five products for the Amiga:
Deluxe Paint, Archon, Financial Cookbook, Seven Cities of Gold, and Julius Erving & Larry Bird - Go One-On-One.

bye bye

Last edited by zeg; 21 September 2007 at 17:20.
 
Old 21 September 2007, 18:20   #3
Angus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daff View Post
Hi,

Some source says Marble Madness is a 1986 game while HOL says 1985.

There is "1986" on the title screen. The game was available in 1986 in France.

Personaly, I can't say if it's a 1985 or a 1986 game, but perhaps someone know a little more about this ?
It was in the arcades first don't forget, around '84 or '85 I think. The only bit I really missed on the Amiga version was the big guitar hero ditty the coin-op version used to play on the intro screens.
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Old 22 September 2007, 00:15   #4
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I'd say 1986, since the earliest review in AMR is in Dator magazine from October 1986. That isn't proof of course, but considerable evidence!
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Old 22 September 2007, 06:48   #5
narmi
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I actually have this game. The disk label says "(C) 1984, 1986 Atari Games Corporation and Electronic Arts". The packaging is marked "Package design (C) 1986 by Electronic Arts.", and there are pictures of the C64 and Amiga versions on the back. I would agree with Codetapper and say 1986 for the Amiga version, since all of EAs copyright claims are for 1986.
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Old 22 September 2007, 12:16   #6
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@narmi

There could of course be more than 1 version of the game, could there not? (Although no one has provided any evidence of this here yet, and the rest of the comments seem to suggest otherwise).
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Old 22 September 2007, 15:51   #7
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Ok, thanks for all this info.
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Old 22 September 2007, 19:00   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Codetapper View Post
I'd say 1986, since the earliest review in AMR is in Dator magazine from October 1986. That isn't proof of course, but considerable evidence!
A 1986 release is probably right, but a review in a Euro mag hardly amounts to "considerable evidence" to support it. For starters, the Amiga wasn't available in Europe until early/mid '86 and Marble Madness was developed by EA in the U.S., where the Amiga premiered in July '85. EA didn't have a presence in Europe at that stage either, so only selected games by them were published/distributed by Ariolasoft in Europe (often with some delay after the U.S. release).

Quote:
Originally Posted by narmi View Post
I actually have this game. The disk label says "(C) 1984, 1986 Atari Games Corporation and Electronic Arts". The packaging is marked "Package design (C) 1986 by Electronic Arts.", and there are pictures of the C64 and Amiga versions on the back.
This is more like it when it comes to evidence. I have a few original copies of Marble Madness too and what you say about the (c) dates is exactly right (the inlay says all the screenshots are Ami, though). The only sticking point is that the game disk was created on 21 Nov 85 and nearly all the files are dated 28 Nov 85. Makes me wonder why EA would have sat on such a big release until 1986 if the game was ready to go in Nov '85 when Christmas was just around the corner and, presumably, lots of Amiga hardware and software sales beckoned.

According to Byte magazine (Nov 85), EA announced the Amiga release of Marble Madness (along with One-On-One, Skyfox, Seven Cities of Gold, Archon, Deluxe Video Construction Set, Articfox Return to Atlantis) in 1985. The 1985 issues of Amiga World (U.S. mag) contained an advert for this software too, which featured then-president of EA, Trip Hawkins (who was looking very young I might add!). The advert said that Marble Madness and the other titles were nearly complete.

In the Mar/Apr '86 issue of Amiga World, though, EA ran a different advert. It announced the immediate availability of 7 software products and Marble Madness wasn't amongst them. The issue also contained an article on available/upcoming Ami software. Marble Madness was listed as scheduled for release in the 1st quarter of 1986. Admittedly, details of a few of the games listed in the article look suspicious (e.g. it said all 19 Infocom adventures had already been released - very unlikely IMHO!). Flicking through the remaining Amiga World issues for the year suggests that Marble Madness was released around mid-1986. An AW Software Buyer's Guide in the Nov/Dec 86 issue listed it as having been released. For whatever reason, however, AW didn't review Marble Madness until their Mar '87 issue. I don't think Amazing Computing (another U.S. Ami mag) even reviewed the game. Moral of the story: as great as retro magazines are, don't rely solely on their reviews to determine exactly when an old game was released; use multiple sources including game contents if you can.

Erm, there you have it I guess......Marble Madness released in 1986. I must change the HOL entry now!

Last edited by DrBong; 22 September 2007 at 20:55.
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Old 23 September 2007, 04:08   #9
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In other words, I was right all along
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Old 23 September 2007, 11:00   #10
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In other words, I was right all along
Methinks yeh, but only coz ya a lucky punk! I'm still curious as to why the Ami release of Marble Madness was held back for so long, though (would be cool to ask ex-EA guys like Trip Hawkins or Larry Reed). Perhaps EA thought there weren't enough Ami owners in the U.S. in late '85 to capitalise on such a big release. Releasing it 2-3 months before the C64 conversion may have increased sales for the C64 and other scheduled conversions, since near-perfect coin-op conversions were unheard of back then.

Kinda reminds me of when I saw Defender of the Crown on the Amiga in a computer shop here. I so badly wanted it on the C64 coz I was still in high school and couldn't afford an Ami. Not that I bought the game when it appeared on the C64, but I sure as hell had blank disks and snapped up a cracked version quick smart when it came out!
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Old 23 September 2007, 15:31   #11
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File dates are always to be taken with a pinch of salt!

As you guys say: it IS sometimes a fact that some releases do not see the light of day until the fresh new year, although the deadline for development was in late November in the previous year.
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