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Vectrex news: 9/27/2013

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Here is a gigantic amount of Vectrex news for September 27, 2013!

New DIY stuffEdit

Redone or totally newly created logos of Scramble, Vec Fu, Koko's Retribution and others can be seen on a vector gaming forums thread here (for the original releases, and here for the homebrew stuff). There was also a new Gravitrex overlay created as well (which can be seen here), along with a Zantis Cover Art Project, which featured a cover different than the one that came with the game. Another version of the Vec Sports Boxing Limited Edition overlay can be seen here.

And for another product, for those that don’t know, several years ago a handmade, homebrewed control panel was created for the Vectrex, entitled the Vectorcade. A new, similar controller with almost the exact same name was recently created entitled the Vec2cade. You can see a thread about it here on the vector gaming forums, but do so at your own risk, as unfortunately it ended up being locked due to several Vectrex fans not being happy with it having the same wiring scheme as the Vectorcade (although the schematics to the wiring was released a few years before the first Vectorcade was created), along with a very similar look and almost the exact same name as the original product. However, no one seemed to have an issue with the same person’s decorative joystick replacements, featuring Spike and the Minelayer from Mine Storm, which can be seen here.

Classic Game Creations closed for business early :( Edit

Unfortunately it’s not always good news here. :|

It was bad enough to report with the previous edition of the Vectrex news when we told of how Classic Game Creations, the very first homebrew company to make Vectrex games was going to cease business at the end of the year, but unfortunately they just shut down last week (at the time of this writing), due to being swamped with orders and wiping out their inventory. Well, at least owner (for the time being) John Dondzila is asking for someone to take over the reigns for him, so lets hope that happens at some point.

New pagesEdit

Since the previous news update, the Game (NEVER) Over and Jim Meriwether pages were added. These are in regards to a creepypasta that was written with a classic gaming theme, which the Vectrex received multiple mentions in, as well as a photo (note: this will be discussed a few headings down). However, you might want to read the original story first if you haven’t already before checking out these pages, as they give away the story.

A new poll was also added in regards to which original games are your favorite for the Vectrex, which is divided into several genres, so there’s quite a few votes to be cast!

And not only were Zantis and Sundance pages added, but playing tips were also added to Zantis AND a review as well (click on the appropriate tabbers at the bottom of the page for those). The 72 Game Multicart page, even though a stub, had a bit of information added to it as well, as did the Vectrex poems and the How to enlarge your Vectrex screen page had Zantis and Sundance added to them (and those games had more material added to them in the poems as well).

And you might want to also check out 50TBRD’s page, due to the creating of several rare game stub pages, many of which we’ve probably never even seen any photos of the instructions of before and the like (such as with Omega Chase Deluxe).

More Vectrex relations calling it quits...Edit

So, it was bad enough to report earlier that Classic Game Creations shut down prematurely, but now Retrocade Magazine, which has held the all-Vectrex Vector War contests and have reviewed many Vectrex games in its publication over several issues, is ALSO waving goodbye! Due to founder Rob Maerz also having the same problem as Dondzila with a lack of time to keep it going, he is putting the publication on hold for now. He is unsure if this is temporary or permanent, so lets hope for the best once more.

Upcoming Vectrex gamesEdit

New homebrewers are coming out of the woodwork again!

A Beamrider clone is in the works, which is a game that originally came out for several platforms in the 1980s, including the Atari 2600 and Intellivision. This would definitely be well-suited for the Vectrex, due to being able to handle scrolling and 3-D pretty well, along with the original game having a perspective and grid graphics somewhat resembling the fellow vector arcade game Tempest.

Those that are familiar with unfinished games for the Vectrex probably know of a Battlezone clone that was started by Christopher Tumber in 2001, but was never finished. Well, someone else has started up this process once more with their Szone demo, which you can see a brief video of here. You can also read about possible development here.

Bloxorz is going to be a clone of a homebrew online game of the same name, and Nox will be a clone of several of Atari’s old racing coin-op games, which will be nice to fill in one of the gaps in the Vectrex library of not many racing games for the console. Development of that can be read about here for Nox, and you can see a thing or two about Bloxorz here.

Wiki milestone!!Edit

This wiki hit 200 articles recently, and they’re all Vectrex-related! So this is very big indeed, and there’s still plenty to add!

Calling Vectrex gamers for Facebook high scores pageEdit

A Vectrex high score Facebook page was discovered recently. There is a good collection of homebrew games as well as the GCE originals from back in the day. The page is here, and for those that prefer to e-mail rather than use Facebook, you can still see the results here and send e-mails to speechmachine@gmail.com in regards to sending in scores.

Calling gamers (part 2!) for International Play Your Vectrex DayEdit

The first International Play Your Vectrex Day was held last year on November 1, recognizing a first ever official Vectrex playing day, along with it coinciding with the 30 year anniversary of the Vectrex’s first release in the United States. Twenty four official players from half a dozen countries worldwide sent in their names and games they played, as well as many other things, such as Vectrex-related photos, videos, and even a tattoo!

The (very simple) rules can be seen here for those that wish to participate.

Vector War IIIEdit

The all-Vectrex gaming contest of Vector War III, presented by Retrocade Magazine, came and went during the month of August. You can see how things fared in the Retrocade Magazine forums, along with the Vector Wars page.

First ever (?) Vectrex mentions in creepypastaEdit

For those that don’t know, a creepypasta is usually a short story (although some can be as long as novellas in length, such as this one!) with creepy, horror, and/or gore elements included in them to try to freak out the reader. "Game (NEVER) Over" is in regards to a man who buys a game for his Sega Genesis console and unsettling things begin happening once he starts playing it.

Although not the main console, the Vectrex makes many appearances in the story, as well as a photo. This could very well be the first ever creepypasta with the Vectrex getting several mentions, along with several of its games!

The original story is here, although it does have one line of very bad language, but the rest is pretty safe. The aforementioned wrap-up pages on this wiki include the story and the main character, although it would be best to read the original story first, as the wiki pages here give away the plot and ending.

Vector gaming magazine!Edit

Apparently not being content with being the most prolific homebrewer since John Dondzila retired from the Vectrex scene, George Pelonis (aka FURY) is also further jumping into the print publishing business by debuting the Vectorbolt magazine, featuring all-vector game topics! (He also distributes Revival magazine as well.) Details can be seen at his site in regards to subscribing, which the first issue is slated for release in January, 2014.

New Vectrex videosEdit

Videos from the last couple of months include how all 20 creatures were caught from Web Wars from gliptitude. This appears to be the very first video capture of this feat on YouTube.

A Human Vectors video was also released, which was actually created in the 1980s on a Vectrex using AnimAction. Two videos in regards to a Vectrex being in a club (which you can see on Jonathan Pigram's YouTube channel) was proved to be a nice surprise, and rounding out this music-related trio of videos includes a band called Typical Reptiles with their Passport video, showing several Vectrex games!

Project RETRO Alpha - NES and Vectrex Perfect Speed Runs proved to be a bit of a different video, as it showed part of an NES platformer game, then done a second time, although with the animation being in a “Vectrex” mode in black and white while also replacing an object the player was jumping over with asteroids!

A really astounding video of 3D Lord of the Robots was done by VectrexRoli, which, for those who have not seen the game in action, really looks like the Vectrex was actually a color vector gaming machine!

And rounding out not only videos, but another one for the D. I. Y. category is in regards to what will hopefully be another Vectrex multicart with Frank Buss's "Crazy Cartridge", which he has been working on this multicart for a while, although he is currently straightening out the bugs for it and will hopefully have it out for the masses one day.

Rare Vectrex paperwork againEdit

On the March 23rd edition of the Vectrex news, we told of rare Triton/Electronics Direct catalogs that were posted about on the vector gaming forums. Another mailout by them was also found in the last few months, looking like it was a flat-out catalog this time around (like the Passport), but unfortunately ebay auctions disappear over time, so we do not have a link for it. Still, it was nice to see another rare Vectrex document surface once more.

The Vectrex...on the ZX Spectrum?!Edit

You never know where the Vectrex is going to show up! Along with it appearing in a creepypasta, it also made an appearance on the ZX Spectrum computer a little while ago!

On the Terry the Turtle Vektor homebrew, landscapes of several levels are made out as a nod to Mine Storm and Berzerk, along with the vector arcade cousins of Gravitar, Battlezone and Rip Off!

This is a pretty cool, different tribute, which you can also see a video for it here. The game can be downloaded on this page.

The Vectrex on other wikisEdit

Finally -- and of course -- this is the official Vectrex wiki, with its backup being hosted at the Vectrex Museum. However, the Vectrex also has a bit of a presence on many other wikis as well.

One of several examples includes the video game homebrew wiki (note: we are still awaiting word if existing articles can be brought from here and put up over there, as some wikis only want original material, so that is why the site currently only has pages for Zantis and Sundance, since they were originally written there and then legally brought over here). Vectrex strategy guides and Easter eggs only adorn the games_help wiki. There are also several Vectrex game pages at the Retro_Game wiki (with more to be added soon), plus you can also read about toning down the infamous Vectrex buzz at the console5 wiki, among other mentions of the Vectrex on various other wikis where it has (and deserves!) a presence.

And...another one includes the bottom of the screen shooter, or BOTSS wiki, created by the same person who founded this very Vectrex wiki as well. The bottom shooter is one of the oldest video game genres out there, yet still one of Darrylb500's favorites to this day, so he decided to create a wiki devoted to it.

Some articles such as Zantis and Vector Vaders are pretty much exact duplicates as the ones on here. Others, however, have been given a bit of a makeover, such as the Paratroopers page, as there is one there on the site, but not one here, as there is no Gravitrex Plus page on the BOTSS site, but one here (note: clicking on Paratroopers will link to its page at BOTSS, whereas Gravitrex Plus will take you to the Gravitrex Plus page on this wiki), as Paratroopers is a bottom shooter, but Gravitrex is not. So there are a few differences as far as how the Vectrex is presented over there. The site’s Featured Article is also swapped out every other month just like with this wiki, though.

However, this is mostly for a call for contributors, due to, out of currently 116 pages at the wiki, 45 of them are for Space Invaders hacks for the Atari 2600! Granted, a River Raid page was created the other month, which has many hacks for it (which are almost finished being added), so that has expanded things a bit, but 45 out of 116 pages for just one console (and that’s just for the hacks, as there are other 2600 games on there too!) is not a very good ratio.

So, for anyone who wants to write about bottom shooters that do not have pages over there already, now’s your chance! (There are also currently pages for various arcade, handheld, i0S, Sega CD, PC, online, TI-99/4a, and plug and play shooters as well, not to mention some publishers and consoles that had bottom shooters in their libraries.) This also goes for the games_help wiki as well: if anyone wants to contribute for any kind of article there in regards to strategies, achievements and/or Easter eggs, there’s plenty of room!

So, until the next news update, stay vector and/or at the bottom of the screen!

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