Here's a gigantic batch of Vectrex news for November 1, 2014!
A business to repair your Vectrex?!Edit
Say what? There’s actually the rare business to repair your Vectrex? Well, they also do "all electronics", including televisions and the like, but yes, here at this ebay page, people can actually send in their Vectrexes for repair, or just have certain parts mailed back and forth that they need. Nice to hear!
Contests and Play Your Vectrex DayEdit
Crazy how there is not one, but TWO contests for the Vectrex! The contest for the Shifted game is almost over at the time of this writing though (tomorrow!), so you’d need to go here on the Vector gaming forums to read the rules and see about (quickly!) getting in one or more scores, as it has some nifty prizes, like the very rare/sought after Mine Storm 2 cartridge up for grabs! The annual International Play Your Vectrex Day also happens on the same day this contest ends (November 1), so see that page for updated info as well, although it has the same (simple) rules as the previous Day.
Vector War IV, however, has not started yet, but watch the Vector Wars page for updated information, as well as its thread also on the Vector gaming forums, as it will be starting not long after the Shifted contest/International Play Your Vectrex Day has transpired, on November 21st.
New Vectrex hardware/controllers projectsEdit
YouTube user CustomBuiltArcades&Consoles is working on a project to make a Vectrex into a mini bartop model! There have been several videos made of it so far as well, which can be seen on their channel (and read about here on the Vector gaming forums). There is also a new multicart available known as the MuCaREX, which can be seen in a thread here.
A lot of new controllers/adapters have also come out since the last edition of the news! One is the VecAdapt, 50 of which are available from Australia, which can be seen here in the Vector gaming forums, as well as a link to the official site. A wireless Vectrex controller was also created, along with a video of it by YouTube user Robert Paradiso, and a Vectrex Steering Wheel was also made, which a video by YouTube user Tony Holcomb can be seen, as well as it can be read about here on the Vector gaming forums. He also created the Left handed Controller Adapter, which can be read about here, along with a flight stick as well! He also made a multitap for four player games, allowing two controllers to be used for one controller port. And a new Vectrex owner known as jands built a few of his own arcade controllers and possibly brought one to the Midwest Gaming Classic expo (which can be read about here).
And closing out the hardware front, Madtronix multicarts were released, having dozens of games included, along with an announcement of not only the Vectrex2TV being under development, but also a [more] portable Vectrex! The Vectrex2TV would connect a person’s Vectrex to a tv and allow color (without an overlay!), and at the time of its post in the Vector gaming forums, it was already halfway finished. Meanwhile, the portable Vectrex (also found on the same thread) would also be in color, which would use the same hardware as the original Vectrex (except for a different screen and some logic). Both of these surprise announcements comes from Jfmateos.
New overlays, manual scan, and Vectrex WrapsEdit
VecFahren and Y. A S. I. overlays were released, the latter of which is a reproduction of the artwork found on the original Space Invaders arcade game. You can see about ordering that on VectrexMad!’s website.
And along with a mystery Protector one (although that was later identified, which can be seen here on the Vector gaming forums), another mild re-design of that overlay was released from 50TBRD as well, based on the original, although with a mild change in colors.
There have been several updates to the Vectrex Wrap collection that can be applied and removed from a person’s Vectrex multiple times without leaving any residue behind. First was the rollout of the new Berzerk, Vectrexians and Vector Pilot designs, but then there was also the announcement of limited edition Halloween-themed Wraps for the upcoming (or somewhat released) games of Nox, Death Chase and Warrior! These can be seen here.
And what was started a while back as a Vectrex manual project of making high resolution scans of instruction booklets from the original GCE lineup, Art Master has also been finished by Helmut Muller recently. Progress and links of this project can be seen here.
DragonPy is an open source Vectrex emulator for a 6809 CPU-based system (such as the Dragon 32 or Color Computer [also known as CoCo] computer platforms) written in Python, although it has no sound though. You can read about it (along with an included link to its official page) here in the Vector gaming forums. There was also recent updates to V-Model 5, a program used for drawing and rotating vectors, plus it can output those into a text file for assembly language, which the Vectrex runs on. That can be read about here, as well as downloaded.
There has also been a flood of new games as well, mostly from Der Luchs! So he gets an entire sub-section of his recent stuff here:
- Z4HL3N R473N
- .--. .- -. --.. . .-.
- VECTREX ROLI - DAS SPIEL
- N.D.W. 2014
- Irrelevant (less than 40 copies made)
- SCHIFFE VERSENKEN
- VECFAHREN 2000 (demo WIP)
- FLAK demo
- UNTOT and DER SCHLUND (two of only a few horror-themed games for the Vectrex)
- SEELENWALZER update: several modes have been added, including ones for two players and different music for each mode
Most of his games have videos (some have several videos for each game/demo) that can be seen at his YouTube channel. Also, several of these games could also appear on a future multicart, so stay tuned for any further developments with those.
In other demo news, Vectight was released, using music from Thrust, which can be seen here. The Vectrex Pang for Vectrex Symbiosis demo by Juan Félix Mateos draws circles, which takes up a lot of resources for the Vectrex, so this kind of thing isn’t seen that often on the machine. You can read about that here, which also includes an embedded video.
Another version of a Flappy Bird clone was also started a while back, but it isn’t known if it will be completed or not, due to Veccy Bird beating it to the punch. An outer space background scrolling demo was also created though, along with a musical demo of the V-Theremin, which can be seen here. And speaking of music, what was possibly the first ever grindcore demo for the Vectrex was also created, which you can read/hear about here! Vector Pong was also completed, which uses the vertical screen orientation of the Vectrex quite nicely (which can be seen here).
There was also the Fit: Heps Q Q (Vectrex scene intro) demo that was released, which can be seen on manupkp’s YouTube channel, having the usual rotating shapes and music that one can expect from a demo such as this, along with The cube demo (which can be seen here).
And finally, see the next section for some additional game demos and news :)
Return of M. I. A. homebrewerEdit
Christopher Tumber, long lost programmer for the Magic 8 Ball and other demos, as well as the Omega Chase Deluxe and Tsunami/VIX compilation cartridges, suddenly reappeared out of nowhere after being M. I. A. on the homebrew scene for several years, signing up for an account on the Vector gaming forums, telling about his current game projects and posting screenshots and the like.
With his Spectre game, it brings a clone of the sequel of Spectar to the Vectrex! (The original arcade game was Targ, which a clone of Trakkers was included on the Vectopia release.) However, he has decided to put his priorities on his Untitled Bullet Hell Game, Panic Attack! (another shooter) and Incursion demos (a tank-themed game), which videos of his progress with the games are also included in those posts, along with the binaries being available for download to try out on an emulator or Vectrex.
"New" Vectrex articlesEdit
"New" magazine scans were posted at the web site of VectrexMad!, being the November, 1982 issue of Electronic Fun with Computers and Games's overview of the Vectrex and its library, along with a review of the system from the August, 1983 issue of Personal Computer World.
The Vectrex...on the Atari 7800?Edit
You never know where the Vectrex is going to pop up next! On the Frenzy homebrew for the Atari 7800, music from the Vectrex port of Berzerk (from the title screen) can be heard! It can be heard during the beginning of this video here from the YouTube user Gaming With Sunglasses On!
Vectorbolt, the all vector game only-related magazine known to exist, had its first issue released several months prior, with issue #2 promised to follow "soon" on FURY’s website. Vectrex-related items for the first issue included the majority of the Classic Game Creations library and Space Frenzy as part of the Space Fury article.
Vectrex Wix pagesEdit
Vectrex wiki user 50TBRD has been a bit busy since the previous edition of the news, as he made not one, not two, but THREE Vectrex Wix articles! He created ones for the most wanted ports, an article on the most "elite" of all homebrews for the system, and the most ambitious is his still ongoing Definitive Vectrex Collector’s Guide, having many pictures of all homebrew items known to Vectrex collectors in regards to software and hardware, and he will eventually add the original lineup of all known variations of the GCE games from back in the day as well! So stay tuned for any further developments of this huge project, as many people from the Vector gaming forums pitched in their share of known information and photos for this massive project.
Several Vectrex items (some of them rare) were put up for sale from Vector gaming forums member dgo recently, one of which was the French version of the Vectrex display stand! You can see those here. Also, a very rare Vectrex Expert badge was put up for grabs, which a photo is here for those who have never seen one before. A Harmagedon (Japanese version of Star Trek: The Motion Picture) manual was also offered as well here.
The very rare Mr. Boston, a Vectrex Kousokusen version of the Space Wars manual and several French Vectrex manuals were also for sale on ebay (which, due to these auctions disappearing over time, will not be linked to, although the latter included a photo, which can be seen in this thread here on the Vector gaming forums). Other rarities included a Vectrex kiosk as seen here, and a modern day repro of such kiosk was posted about here (on Game Gavel).
And last but not least, Vectrex cart shells have been for sale for those who need one to house a game or demo PCB. You can go here to see about contact and ordering information on the Vector gaming forums.
YouTube user Yoshi Green shows what is quite possibly the first time ever recording of the last several minutes of a Dark Tower game, complete with ending! RAdOK Rock also shows a giant Vectrex that was found during a game of Wasteland 2 here!
YouTube user Noir Magnétique has a video of the Classic Gaming Expo 2014 show, complete with a Vectrex panel of several prominent people from the community, including Jay Smith. Also at the same expo, user DigThatBoxRETRO has a video of a very large Vectrex collection, which is quite interesting to see! And at another expo, user Valet2 shows a Vectrex prototype, as well as a handmade one in his video.
Also, YouTube user Chris Parsons shows a very brief demo of a running man for an upcoming Vectrex project of some sort, and videos of previously unseen games (until now) include Omega Chase Deluxe and Zap presentations from VectrexRoli and RelliK (within just a few weeks of each other!). VectrexRoli also released videos for the also little seen (again, until now) Tsunami/VIX, VECTREX ROLI - DAS SPIEL and the Hydra Controller.
Learn to programEdit
Want to try learn to program stuff for the Vectrex? Well, there’s a thread for that in the Vector gaming forums. So go there for some tips for those who are experienced with that sort of thing in hopes of accomplishing the same.
New pages put up since the last edition of the news includes a strategy guide that was added to Space Frenzy (click on the tabber under Links in order to check out those playing tips), a poll in regards to how you display your Vectrex, and the final level walkthrough of Gravitrex was added as well, as only one level was done at a time over the course of several months, and now it’s finally complete!
Classic Game Creations: still in suspension, but...Edit
Good news for the Classic Game Creations library, which has been put on hold for months: Packrat Video Games, LLC now has a page for re-releasing those Vectrex games that John Dondzila offered for 17 years, but had to quit the business recently due to a lack of time. They are not available yet, but they’re working on it, which is good, as well as a long-lost homebrewer's upcoming re-release of VecCaves/Spike's Spree at some point! So keep an eye out on that page for the good news at some point where these games can be ordered once again (along with the ones from Vectrex carts).
Vectrex high scoresEdit
And to close, a new site that just debuted this year -- highscore.com -- has sections for the Vectrex (both for the physical machine and emulators). So go over there to sign up, read the rules and get your scores on, plus there are many other console and computer platforms available (including vector arcade cousins) as well to compete with people all over the world! (And of course, there is still a similar, but earlier high score page over at the website of VectrexMad! as well.)