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Dear Fruitman... - The Atari Times

Dear Fruitman...

Gotta catch 'em all!
by Fruitman

January 12, 2002
I was just reading your letter to the guy who thought he was a frontrunner. He just seems confused. I have every video game system that I have ever bought and I still want more. Is that wrong??

I have three different types of Atari 2600, a couple of 7800's, several 5200's, Atari 400, Atari 800, and two Atari Jaguars. I also have an Atari color Pong, a Telstar Ranger, and a lot of other offbrand dedicated games. I have a Coleco Vision, Intellevision, NES, N64, Sega master system, Sega Genesis with CD and 32X, Sega Saturn, Sega Dreamcast, and an (ICK) Playstation One. I also have a Fairchild Channel F and a Balley Astro Arcade, if you remember what they were and a couple of Vectrexes. I also collect coin-op video games, mostly Atari, including Asteroids and a FIREFOX (what a machine). I have 16. My wife tells me I will probably die if one more game gets into the house (I have some stored in a friends garage, what she does not know will not hurt her).

I guess my question is "Is there something wrong with me or am I just an above average video game loving, Atari collecting, obsessive compulsive all American guy?"Thanks for listening.


Dear Doug,

You are the exact opposite of a frontrunner. You would be classified as a "hoarder" or as someone who has an obsession about video games. Tell me, where do you sleep? Do you have boxes and boxes of games stacked around your bed as I do?

I too have kept each and every one of my Atari systems over the years. I'm not really into collecting per se, but I won't pass up an opportunity to bring a new Atari system into the house. Just by people knowing I am an Atari fan, I've acquired several systems for absolutely nothing! Usually because they want to get a little more space out of their garage freed up, but I'm always willing to oblige the person to give their old Atari a good, and safe, home.

And that's the important thing to remember: Treat these systems as your children. Make sure they have good home. For one day, people will ask you, "What is an Atari?" and you'll be able to pull out that old 2600 and show them where the history of home video games began.

Dear Fruitman...

I got a question for ya. I was looking through one of my old ST Format magazines one day and saw a review for operation stealth and thought "I HAVE TO GET THIS GAME" I searched and searched and been searching for a few years now but i CANNOT FIND IT anywhere. Do you know anywhere I can buy it or download it in rom form?? 

Thanks for your time 


Dear MN,

There are plenty of sites out on the internet that have Atari ST games out there. Try visiting The Atari Times computer section for links. I'm sure I've see Operation Stealth somewhere.

As for emulating games on a PC... There's nothing quite like playing the game on the system it was designed for. I've played with a few emulators, and I can't stand them. There's always SOMETHING not quite right about them. Either they are too slow, too fast, or have some critical element missing that ruins the whole experience.

The real question is: Is downloading a ROM and playing it on an emulator illegal? Yes. Is it wrong? Well, this is the gray area, isn't it? I think that if you have a copy of the game already, you should be entitled to play it on any computer system you like.

Take this as an example: Long ago, I purchased Elite II: Frontier for the Atari ST and played the bejeezus out of it. A few years passed, and I came across the PC version and downloaded it at no charge from an abandonware site. I played it for a bit, and guess what happened? An in-game police officer appeared and asked me to look on page XX of the manual and type the third letter of the fourth sentence! Well guess what? I STILL HAD the original Atari ST manual and the letter I typed in was correct!

I feel that if you pay for a game once, you should be allowed to play it on any platform that you choose. Now, that doesn't mean I think you are entitled to an arcade Pac-Man machine if you own the 2600 version. But, you should be allowed to play 2600 Pac-Man on any machine you so desire. Of course, the laws at present only allow you to play games that you have paid for for each system.

Maybe one day things will change? Imagine how much PSX software Sony could have sold if they had allowed the emulators instead of going after them with a vengeance? According to Sony, they make most of their money on games anyway. So they should have embraced the emulators as a way to make more money. Which makes me wonder if Sony isn't telling the whole truth about the amount of money they make on the actual consoles... Hmmm...

Dear Fruitman...

My name is Robert and I have been a video gameaholic since the first time I saw the janitor sweeping up the glass while he @#$%@* at me after breaking the backboard in Jordan vs Bird for my Atari.

I just want to ask one question. Why the HELL is that little monochrome piece of scrap called the "Gameboy" still being sold in stores? It must have like the biggest library of games than any other system (if you could call it that). If you ask me, the two best home consoles ever were 1.The Atari Jaguar, and 2.The Turbo Grafx 16. The two best Handhelds ever were 1.The Atari Lynx, and 2.The Turbo Express. I realize that this is an Atari web site, but since Atari is now defunct, we  should bug the hell out of NEC and get them to try their hand at another Turbo Grafx and Turbo Express unit. I know, It will never happen, but a man can dream can't he.

By the way, GREAT site. Keep up the good work, and keep Atari alive.

Robert McGhee

Dear Robert,

The Gameboy is the #1 selling game system of all time for a number of reasons.

  1. It is the Least Common Denominator of game systems. Name ONE instance where the superior product became the standard!

  2. It is cheap.

  3. It has tons of games including (sorry to say it) Mario and Pokemon and the Nintendo games behind it.

  4. It's very portable (you can stick it in your pants pocket.)

  5. It has long battery life. 

Now, I'm sorry to say that the Atari Lynx, while a much more powerful system than any of the Gameboys (save the Advance) it didn't qualify for any of these categories. Neither did the TurboExpress (except maybe #4.)

Unfortunately, the likelihood of another portable game system from Atari or NEC is slimmer than Ally McBeal in a corset. But maybe some sly engineer will create a NEW Lynx that can play Jaguar and Lynx games? Hmmm... I think somebody need a project!

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