Cuttle Cart 2
Every 2600 and 7800 game in the palm of your hand
By Gregory D. GeorgeApril 12, 2005
The Cuttle Cart 2.
Who wouldn't want EVERY game for their Atari 2600 and 7800?! (See any peculiarities in that game list?)
Betcha you'd like to play this on your 7800!
How much would the entire collection of
Atari 2600 and 7800 games be worth to you? Even if you thought each game
was only valued at $.35 that would be just over $200. Now, we all know
you're not going to be able to get games like SwordQuest: Waterworld,
Q*Bert Qubes, Motorodeo, Tooth Protectors, Crazy Climber or any of
those other super rare games for $.35 each. Not only that, but try to
get your hands on all the protos, hacks, and homebrews and you're
looking at a virtually impossible task.
Now, what if I told you that you could have every Atari 2600 and 7800
game, hack, proto, and homebrew all on a single cartridge? And what if
that cartridge cost $200? Would you buy one?
Enter Chad Schell. A few years back he introduced the Cuttle Cart.
This gizmo allowed you to stream ROM audio files into your 2600 (like
the Supercharger) to allow you to play every 2600 game. The Cuttle
Cart 2, designed to work only on the 7800, takes that many steps
further. Not only can you play all 2600 games, but 7800 games. And you
store these ROMs on memory cards instead of having to stream them from
audio. And you have a menu of every game. And you can save your high
scores. And you can play Supercharger games. And you can play them on a
real 7800 instead of an emulator. Is that enough "ands" for you?
To say the CC2 is a fantastic product is a huge understatement.
Practically no detail has been left out. It supports every 2600 banking
scheme known as well as every 7800 banking. Which means many of the
later 2600 games that are 16K (like Xenophobe, Track & Field, Jr.
Pac-Man, etc) will work.
One of the coolest surprises on this wondertoy is the inclusion of the
7800 High Score Cart programming. On certain (early) 7800 games you are
asked for your initials when you get one of the top 5 scores and they
are saved into memory. Very nice feature indeed!
There is even a socket to install a POKEY sound chip for the few 7800 games
that use it (Ballblazer, Commando and soon the homebrew
Beef Drop.) The system is
upgradeable and even has a failsafe system included. There is a serial
jack to allow for quicker loading of a project you may be working on.
You can even display a game's instruction manual right on the screen in
case you have forgotten how to play it. If all that isn't enough, you
can also customize the colors of the on-screen menu and there is a
built-in screen saver in case you leave that menu up for too long. As I
said, no detail left untouched.
If there is any problem I had with the CC2 it was the initial setup of
the files on the memory card, which actually wasn't that hard. There is a quick start guide in the .pdf
manual that is provided, but the instructions were a bit overwhelming for a
dullard like me. First, you have to create a menu.txt file
with all the ROM entries you have. Thankfully, there is a utility
provided to do this for you. After you create this file, you have to run
another utility to convert this menu.txt file into a menu.cc2 file. This
is the file the CC2 actually reads.
It didn't take me long before I had all my menu entries tweaked exactly
as I wanted to see them, but this process did have me wishing there was
an all-in-one utility to do this instead of two separate ones. I'm sure
someone would suggest I write
it myself, but that ain't happening, I assure you.
Of course, having the ability to play homebrews, hacks, protos, and rare
games on a real Atari system hooked to your television instead of an
emulator on your computer is a great joy and definitely worth the effort. Some of my favorites in this
area include 7800 Klax, 7800 Beef Drop, 7800 Commando,
BMX Airmaster, Crazy Climber, and my own hack:
Moon Patrol Plus. Yes, you can even play
your own hacked games on it.
In fact, so far there is only ONE game that will not play on the Cuttle
Cart 2. And it's not one of the super rare ones either, so you can have
every 2600 & 7800 game available on just two cartridges. (Can you guess
what game won't work? The ever problematic Pitfall II.)
Now, if you weren't able to get in on the original run, Chad has begun
shipping a second run. It's not too late to get one of these, so get yourself
over to www.schells.com as soon as
possible and place an order! He's still only charging $200, and it's a
I still can't believe I have over 615 games on this thing! Woohoo!
||Cuttle Cart 2