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The Atari ST appreciation thread


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Did some investigation via YouTube and so on, and it seems that the ST had a fair amount of ports of monochrome 68k Mac games, for users with the high-res monitors. That makes the ST more noteworthy, in my opinion, as 1.) it would’ve allowed people to play contemporary Mac games without spending three grand 2.) means that monochrome Mac games were available on another, more common format. (Not that I’m under illusions that the majority of ST users ever played Mac conversions, mind.)

 

(Going off-topic, I wish that monochrome Mac games were more properly and widely documented by the retro gaming community. I realise that they were a niche within a niche within a niche, of course…)

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I'm curious to know if anyone here owns or has owned a Falcon. My ST-owning mate at college was obsessed with the Falcon, made it sound like it had landed from another planet, crammed full of custom chips and whatnot. They were rare then, virtual hen's teeth now. 

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That and Aladdin, I think.

 

I had a 520STFM; I worked in a high-street electronics store and returns rates for Amigas were terrible, in the late 80s. So I got an ST. Miggy certainly had the better games and graphics, but I had plenty to play.

 

Upgraded mine to 1 Mb - bit of a hairy upgrade to do - although not as bad as soldering wires onto my ZX81s CPU. Those were the days when upgrades needed nerves of steel...

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The ST was the computer of choice for early adopters of 16 Bit micros.  I’m talking 1986-88, because during those years the Amiga was rare and expensive.  It’s also the STs golden era where there was lots of dedicated games and the Amiga received ports that didn’t take advantage of its hardware.   By 1989-90 the Amiga fell in price and started to dominate with its superior hardware and the tides turned.  
 

But those early years were glorious.  The jump we made from the 48k Spectrum to the ST was huge at the time.  I didn’t know anyone with an Amiga in 1987.  In fact I don’t think I knew anyone with an Amiga until 1990 by which time we’d had 3 years of ST gaming. 

 

 

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Yeah, that jibes with my experience. The Amiga had a big price drop at one point, bringing it more into line with the ST - I think one reason why Atari did the various bundles.

 

The ST also had Dungeon Master as an exclusive for a couple of years before it got ported to the Amiga.

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7 minutes ago, smac said:

Yeah, that jibes with my experience. The Amiga had a big price drop at one point, bringing it more into line with the ST - I think one reason why Atari did the various bundles.

 

The ST also had Dungeon Master as an exclusive for a couple of years before it got ported to the Amiga.


AND required 1mb.

 

(unless you had an A1000)

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12 minutes ago, smac said:

Yeah, that jibes with my experience. The Amiga had a big price drop at one point, bringing it more into line with the ST - I think one reason why Atari did the various bundles.

 

The ST also had Dungeon Master as an exclusive for a couple of years before it got ported to the Amiga.


The A500 started at £500 then dropped to £400 in October 89. I got mine that Christmas. 

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1 minute ago, smac said:

Yeah, that jibes with my experience. The Amiga had a big price drop at one point, bringing it more into line with the ST - I think one reason why Atari did the various bundles.

 

The ST also had Dungeon Master as an exclusive for a couple of years before it got ported to the Amiga.

That’s also how I remember things. The ST in modern popular imagination is it being the Aldi Amiga, but the ST was genuinely higher profile than the Amiga during the late ‘80s, when the Amiga was basically “the ST, but way more expensive and with fewer games”. The CPC to the ST’s Spectrum, if you will.

 

Leafing through a few ACE magazines from 1987 and 1988, it’s remarkable how many Amiga conversions of multiformat games were treated as second fiddle to ST and even PC (“IBM compatible”) versions. Some games didn’t even get Amiga conversions, even from big publishers like Ocean.

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Plus you had the thrill of seeing STs on Top of the Pops every so often. Mostly Vince Clarke, but there were other sightings.

 

He used to do a column in the free weekly muso paper that you used to get in London - can't remember what it was called, now. It was actually pretty techie stuff - the guy was a total geek!

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On 07/07/2021 at 15:52, Vimster said:

I'm curious to know if anyone here owns or has owned a Falcon. My ST-owning mate at college was obsessed with the Falcon, made it sound like it had landed from another planet, crammed full of custom chips and whatnot. They were rare then, virtual hen's teeth now. 


I remember seeing a demo of an Atari Falcon in a music shop around 1992-3 and being amazed when someone who worked there recorded CD quality audio on it and zoomed into the waveform and edited it.  Futuristic stuff at the time.

 

After Atari went bust music software producer C-Lab bought the rights to create their own Falcons and these are even rarer.

 

 

BB8CC774-F802-43B9-AC01-02D58DAD79BA.jpeg
 

EDIT

 

Also Sony were “inspired” by the unreleased Falcon Microbox for the design PlayStation 2

 

 

 

A8177408-0052-438F-82FA-6749F03CB774.png

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Ah, the missing link between the Sharp X68000 and the PS2!

 

(the Sharp's still the best looking of the lot, mind)

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A couple of years ago, a seller at a local car boot in Cardiff had a lockup to the side of the yard where the car boot was. He specialised in music kit mostly and the one time I was able to go inside the lockup, there was literally Atari ST's everywhere. He must have had 50+ of them. Always wondered if there was a falcon buried in there but I never got the chance to look inside again.

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