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Thunder Castle

INTELLIVISION CARTRIDGE [INTV #4469]
AKA: Magic Castle, Mystic Castle
Produced at Mattel Electronics (#4469)
Release version prepared by Quicksilver Software for INTV Corporation
Design: Connie Goldman, David Warhol
Program/Music/Sound Effects: David Warhol
Graphics: Connie Goldman
Instructions posted here.
Play this game on Intellivision Lives! for Windows & Mac!

CATALOG DESCRIPTION (INTV SPRING 1986)
A whimsical new medieval fantasy game. You're the knight in shining armor on your quest for survival. Your journey takes you through the enchanted forest where three dragons wait with heated breath. Then, through a castle maze with three wicked wizards. Finally to a dark and dreary dungeon where the three demons present your final challenge.

DEVELOPMENT HISTORY
On January 22, 1982, Vice President of Application Software Gabriel Baum announced a competition for the best game idea with a magic theme. The reason was never announced -- probably Marketing had an idea for a promotional tie-in somewhere -- but whatever it was must have fallen through, since Gabriel didn't bother picking a winner until April.

The winner was Connie Goldman. Connie had been hired as a programmer, but it quickly became apparent that her strength was character animation. She started work on the game, originally titled Magic Castle, but she was continuously pulled away from it to do graphics for other, higher priority games and to put together demos for Marketing. (She did excellent animations of Peanuts, Garfield and McDonalds characters, among others, when Marketing was trying [unsuccessfully] to obtain those licenses.)

Whenever she had time she would return to her game, which had begun appearing in Mattel Electronic catalogs as Mystic Castle, but it was further delayed when Bill Goodrich got permission to use half of the animated characters from it in his own, higher priority, Intellivoice game Quest.

After completing his own game, Mind Strike, and overseeing the programming of Bump 'N' Jump, David Warhol was given the task of helping Connie finish Mystic Castle. They strengthened the game play and, after the cancellation of the voice games, reinstated the animations stolen for Quest. Under the new name Thunder Castle, the game was completed, well over a year after Connie had first started working on it.

Mattel Electronics was closed shortly thereafter, before the game went into production; Thunder Castle was finally released by INTV Corporation in 1986. (Strangely, in the Spring 1986 INTV catalog it is listed under its old name of Mystic Castle; in the Fall '86 catalog it was, and remained, Thunder Castle.)

FUN FACT: If the painting on the Thunder Castle box cover seems scarier than the game, it's because it was painted for the ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS TREASURE OF TARMIN Cartridge magazine ads. When Mattel Electronics closed down, no artwork for Thunder Castle had been completed, so when INTV Corporation released the game, they simply used the Treasure of Tarmin painting.

EASTER EGG: Press 0 (zero) on either hand controller while the title screen is displayed to see game credits.


World Championship Baseball

INTELLIVISION CARTRIDGE [INTV #5789]
AKA Baseball II, All-Star Major League Baseball
Produced by APh Technological Consulting for Mattel Electronics (#5789)
Includes code from the previously released Major League Baseball
Release version prepared by Quicksilver Software for INTV Corporation
Instructions posted here | Overlay posted here
Play this game on Intellivision Lives! for Windows & Mac!

CATALOG DESCRIPTION (INTV SPRING 1986)
You're the home team in blue, engaged in the most realistic home video baseball game around. You've got to hit the fast-breaking curve balls or smoking fastballs. But don't pop up, this game features fly balls as well a grounders. You can also steal bases and kick up a cloud of dust as you slide into the bag. Nine innings of action-packed fun, for one or two players. Play ball!

DEVELOPMENT HISTORY
During 1981, APh started work on Baseball II and Basketball II -- one-player versions of the original games. These were not high priorities since the original versions continued to sell well. In 1982, when the Keyboard Component was killed, Marketing wanted to produce a series of Super Sports cartridges for the Entertainment Computer System (ECS) to help push that system, so work was ordered halted on the non-ECS sports games.

Baseball II, however, was a favorite of baseball-fanatic Mike Minkoff (Snafu). The game had been essentially completed, but regularly crashed, despite weeks of debugging at APh. Mattel didn't want to put any more resources into the game, but Mike, although now a Director in charge of Intellivision, Aquarius and M Network development, volunteered to debug the game himself after hours. Since the game had already been announced in several catalogs and press releases (as All-Star Major League Baseball), Mattel kept the title on the schedule and let Mike work on it, on and off as he had time, throughout 1983.

Mike managed to clean most of the bugs out of the game, but the cause of one occasional crash eluded him. He linked in a debugging module written by Rick Koenig (Motocross) that displayed the contents of registers and status words on screen when a game halted. Mike was still trying to trace the problem when, in January 1984, Mattel Electronics was closed.

INTV Corporation ultimately released the game; it first appears in their Spring 1986 catalog. They were able to use packaging and instructions already completed for the game at Mattel, with the change of the name to World Championship Baseball so that they wouldn't have to pay for the Major League trademark. The title screen, however, still says "Mattel Electronics presents All-Star Major League Baseball."

FUN FACT: INTV Corporation released the game as is, including the fatal bug and the debugging module. The game occasionally crashes, displaying the debugging screen. To explain this, INTV added the following notice to the instruction book:

"Due to the sophisticated and complex nature of this game,
at times interference may appear on your T.V. screen.
If this happens simply return to start."


World Cup Soccer

INTELLIVISION CARTRIDGE [INTV #8100]
AKA Super NASL Soccer
Produced by Nice Ideas (Mattel Electronics, France)
Includes code from the previously released NASL Soccer
Originally released in Europe by Dextell Ltd.

CATALOG DESCRIPTION (INTV SPRING 1986)
The ball is yours...now move it down field. Teamwork and footwork are the name of this game. The defense is pressing...pass to a teammate! Get the ball in close to your opponent's goal. Move quickly...evade the defense...keep the ball in bounds. You're in the goal area. Fake out the goalie and shoot. It's a score!

World Cup Soccer is an advanced version of the original, successful Soccer. It enables you to play with an opponent or against your Intellivision unit. It offers more real life-like gameplay with such added gameplay features as heading the ball, tackling, the option of changing players during game play, and direct or indirect kicking after penalties are called. It's so life-like that you have a full team of players.

DEVELOPMENT HISTORY
Technically this was a Dextell Ltd. release, the company which distributed it in Europe. But since it was introduced to the United States through the INTV Corporation catalog, we've included it as an INTV release.

It still qualifies, though, as a Blue Sky Ranger game since it began life at Mattel Electronics as a one- to four-player game for the Entertainment Computer System (ECS). Development was assigned to the French office.

The nearly-complete cartridge, called Super NASL Soccer, was shown at the January 1984 Consumer Electronics Show, but Mattel Electronics closed two weeks later. An agreement with the French office, which stayed together under the name Nice Ideas, gave them the rights to the game.

Nice Ideas completed the game as a one- or two-player, non-ECS cartridge, which was released in Europe by Dextell Ltd. INTV Corp. negotiated the rights to distribute the cartridge in the United States, introducing it in Spring 1986.

FUN FACT: Mattel Marketing tried to interest several companies into advertising in the cartridge. A version was produced with brand names, such as Coca-Cola, appearing on banners around the stadium. No deals were made before Mattel Electronics closed, but a photo of the game showing the advertising banners was inadvertently used in one of the INTV Corp. catalogs.


Championship Tennis

INTELLIVISION CARTRIDGE [INTV #8200]
AKA 4-Player Tennis, Doubles Tennis
Produced by Nice Ideas (Mattel Electronics, France)
Includes code from the previously released Tennis
Originally released in Europe by Dextell Ltd.

CATALOG DESCRIPTION (INTV SPRING 1986)
You can play alone, against your Intellivision unit or with another player either in singles or in doubles. You can even let your Intellivision take both sides and just watch. Maybe you'll see some weakness.

Go ahead conquer Paris, New York, and Wimbledon if you can. You will need both great concentration and strong legs to win at Championship Tennis. Play locations such as Flushing Meadows, Roland Garros, Wimbledon. In Championship Tennis you are in charge. See if you have what it takes to win the "grand slam"!

Championship Tennis is an advanced version of the original, successful Intellivision Tennis. You will feel the tension and excitement of some of the great courts in the world, as you serve deep to your opponent's backhand and return a lob with a smashing overhead, just out of reach of your opponent's outstretched racquet. It will require skill, dexterity, cunning and wits along with plenty of practice to master Championship Tennis.

DEVELOPMENT HISTORY
As with World Championship Soccer, this is a Dextell release we are including here since it received its US debut in the INTV Corp. catalog. And also like World Championship Soccer, it is a Blue Sky Rangers game.

Championship Tennis was started at Mattel Electronics to be a one- to four-player game for the Entertainment Computer System (ECS). Ray Kaestner (BurgerTime) started working on the game briefly at Mattel Electronics headquarters in California, but when he was put on Masters of the Universe II, Doubles Tennis was sent to the French office.

A very preliminary version of the cartridge was shown at the January 1984 Consumer Electronics Show. As with World Cup Soccer, when Mattel Electronics closed, the rights to the unfinished game were given to Nice Ideas, the company formed from the French office.

Nice Ideas completed the cartridge as a one- or two- (or zero-) player non-ECS game and it was released in Europe by Dextell Ltd. INTV Corp. negotiated the rights to distribute the cartridge in the United States, introducing it in Spring 1986.


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