MERRY CHRISTMAS INTELLIFANS!
Best wishes to all of you this holiday season! It's been a great year for Intellivision, with the expansion of the classic games onto more cell phones worldwide and the releases of the XP-compatible Intellivision Lives! 1.1 and the music CD Intellivision in Hi-Fi. But most of all it's been great to hear from all of the Intellivision fans, in person at the Classic Gaming Expo in Las Vegas and all year long by e-mail. Thank you!
For all of you who have placed orders recently on our web site, we want you to know that everything either has shipped or is shipping via Priority Mail within the US and via Global Priority (where available) outside the US.
And there is still time to make it an Intellivision Christmas!
All orders received before Midnight PST Monday, December 16, will be shipped by Tuesday, the 17th. All orders within the US will go via Priority Mail, which the Post Office tells us will arrive in time for Christmas!
So get your orders in! All Intellivision items are currently in stock, including our new Intellivision poster, Astrosmash T-shirts, and Running Man polo shirts!
Miss the December 16 deadline? There is still time: call our toll-free number below to place an order for overnight shipping via FedEx. If you get our voice mail, please leave your number and best time to call you back (and tell us what time zone you are in). We'll take phone orders only for overnight shipping through Friday, December 20.
To place a phone order, call toll-free (within the USA): 1-877-INTY-NOW (1-877-468-9669)
From outside the USA: 1-310-379-8871
The photo above was taken by Adam Yurman for the cover of the INTV Corp. Christmas 1987 Catalog. It was reused on the cover of the Christmas 1989 Catalog, which was the final Intellivision catalog. For 1987, the TV screen showed Slam Dunk: Super Pro Basketball. For 1989, it showed Body Slam! Super Pro Wrestling. Today, it shows Santa's Helper, an unreleased game concept from 1983 by Dale Lynn.
INTELLIVISION PLAYER HONORED!
In a sidebar to his review of Madden 2003, Bill Simmons of ESPN revealed the Video Football Player Pantheon - the top 25 video game football players of all time.
Coming in at a respectable Number 19 between Brett Favre and Cap Bozo: "The Generic Intellivision Tight End"!
Simmons wrote of NFL Football for Intellivision: "This was the first football game that involved graphics with generic players, as well as punching in plays and formations. Seems primitive now ... lemme tell you, it was watershed stuff back in 1983."
The Generic Intellivision Tight End is proud to have broken into the top twenty of the Pantheon. He's even prouder that, after 22 years of playing, he has no plans of retiring. Catch him and his teammates in action on Intellivision Lives! for your PC or Mac.
Congratulations to The Generic Intellivision Tight End, and to Ken Smith, his creator/programmer.
(Thanks to Kevin McCallum of Toronto for bringing the review to our attention.)
ASK THE BLUE SKY RANGERS!
John Daren Pritchard writes:
My friends and I used to play Utopia for hours but never could make up ground on one another, even when it appeared the 'losing' side had an exceptional round compared to the leader. How does the scoring system work? As far as I can tell, it appears that once one person gets the lead, he's there to stay, regardless of mercenaries bought by the opponent or anything else. Any insight?
Don Daglow, designer/programmer of Utopia, replies:
Wow, so long ago...
The prejudice for the side in the lead is because you get points every round for all the good things on your island. So a school gives you points every turn that it's there, etc.
When I produced NASCAR Racing for EA Sports we put in a catch-up algorithm that helped the trailing drivers to keep things competitive. No such things on Utopia - we only had 4K of code in the cartridge!
Mercenaries have to land on something valuable to make a big difference. They have some value in clogging up limited space later in close games.
Best advice: really work at fishing to up your score!
AND A CORRECTION...
Last month, David Warhol, co-designer of Thunder Castle and arranger of its music, replied to a question about the classical themes used in the game. He said that the music used for the Power-Up in the Castle Maze was "[A second] excerpt from Beethoven's 9th Symphony, 2nd movement." The Power-Up in the Devil Maze? "I can't remember! It's been a long time since I've played the game that far!"
This brought an e-mail from Eric Heidner, Band Director of Santa Barbara High School in California:
"This is soooo cool...I'm about to out-geek the Blue Sky Rangers on Intellivision stuff! I have to make a correction to what music is in Thunder Castle. The Power-Up music in the Castle Maze is from Antonin Dvorak's 8th Symphony (Movement IV, finale). The Power-Up music for the Devil Maze is the second quote from Beethoven's 9th."
Dave says: "That rings a bell!" So, thank you, Eric. Santa will be bringing you a little something from the Blue Sky Rangers!
THE INTELLIVISION TRIVIA CONTEST!
One hundred and thirty-six of you entered last month's trivia contest. The question:
For Halloween 1982, Intellivision programmer Mike Winans came to Mattel Electronics dressed as a Lupin. In this context, who or what is a Lupin?
Fifty-four of you had the correct answer: Lupin is the name of the thief you control in the arcade game Lock 'N' Chase. Mike Winans programmed the Intellivision version, which didn't call the thief "Lupin." The name comes from Arsene Lupin: Gentleman Thief, a character from French novels that became so popular in Japan (where Lock 'N' Chase was created) that "lupin" has become a generic word there for "thief." The Powers-That-Be at Mattel Electronics may have been afraid using the name would cause copyright problems, or they may have simply been unaware that the character had a name.
For the real trivia fan: According to the original arcade version, the four policemen chasing Lupin are named Stiffy, Smarty, Scaredy, and Silly.
From the 54 correct answers, the random number generator at http://www.random.org/ selected Mike Bacigalupi of Manhattan Beach, California as the winner of an Intellivision coffee mug.
Congratulations, Mike! And thanks to all of you for playing!
Now try this question:
One of the former Intellivision programmers designed most of the game boxes and catalogs for INTV Corp. For the cover photo of the 1987 and 1989 Christmas catalogs (seen at the beginning of this newsletter), he even played Santa Claus. What Blue Sky Ranger is behind the beard?
(If you have trouble following the above link, or if submitting your answer fails, type the URL http://www.intellivisionlives.com/contest.shtml into your browser and try again.)
We'll pick a random winner from all complete, correct entries received before NOON PST, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18. The winner will receive an official Intellivision Coffee Mug - just like we use here in the office for serving up steamin' hot java!