Around 2003, David Winter (curator of the great Pong-focused website Pong-Story) discovered some very early prototypes of the game that would become K.C. Munchkin. Significantly, the main character is not a munchkin yet – but a circular yellowish figure with a wedge-shaped mouth. Sound familar? David put up a web page describing the protos but it's been offline for years. Now, he gave me permission to re-publish it. Take a look!
In May of 2020, a small Videopac tournament was held in Basque Country in northern Spain. The organizers hope to make this a regular occurrence. Check out this article for some photos and to see the leaderboards.
The name of the company that imported Odyssey² games and consoles into Japan has long been misunderstood, because of the complexities of translating Japanese into English. This article explains that the importer's correct name is "Corton Trading", and why it is sometimes identified as "Kooton".
In April 2015, Ed Averett, programmer of half of the original Odyssey² games and "father" of KC Munchkin, announced a brand new game featuring our favorite blue hero! In this adventure, KC ventures into the microscopic world of atoms on a mission to rebuild a broken strand of DNA. Ed provided this special introduction of the game to The Odyssey² Homepage! when the game was first announced (William Cassidy helped edit it for publication). Read on to learn what KC's up to now!
This interview, conducted before the lost Tutanhkham prototype was discovered, was quite the revelation at the time. The subject is Gil Williamson, a principal at the UK-based Amazon Systems, the software firm that developed the game. Williamson describes how his team got the Tutankham contract and reverse-engineered the Videopac to make it.
This interview, originally posted on ClassicGaming.com, gets inside the mind of "Digital Jon" Shuttleworth, the Philips employee largely responsible for the distribution, design, and even the name of the G7000, the European counterpart of the Odyssey². Shuttleworth reveals a bit about how this underrated console came to be.
Göran Öhman may have been the last original Videopac programmer. As an employee for Stockholm-based Intron AB, he programmed Trans-American Rally and Clay Pigeon, which were among the last Odyssey/Videopac games released anywhere in the world. Years later, he created VpacApp, an Android-based Videopac emulator. In this interview, he describes Intron's relationship with Philips and provides details behind the making of the final Videopac games.
Ed Averett, who programmed nearly half of the original Odyssey² library, made an extremely rare appearance at Classic Gaming Expo 2014. There, he held the first public presentation he's ever given on the Odyssey². Before his talk, I sat down with Ed for a quick interview. We touched on a number of the same topics that would later be covered in his talk, but some additional details can be found in our conversation. Please read it to learn more about the man who single-handedly kept Odyssey² alive for the better part of its lifetime!
Several games starring the Pink Panther were planned for multiple systems during the classic era, but none were released. Atari prototypes were discovered years ago, but none for the other consoles – until 2013, when a ColecoVision demo version was found. The discovery identified Randy Green as the developer, and online searches tracked him down. In this interview, Randy reveals new details about the end of Philips's video game division as well as the Panther's fate.
It may not seem like plastic can be polished, but suitable compounds do exist. NOVUS Plastic Polish is perhaps the gold standard of such products, and it's capable of cleaning everything from CDs to motorcycle windscreens. But how well does it perform on the notorious Videopac boxes? To find out, I tried a little experiment. You can read about my results here, and view some before-and-after photos to decide whether it's worth using for your Videopac collection.
Jay Rogers worked as a plastics designer for Magnavox in the late '70s and early '80s. He was part of the design team responsible for the Odyssey² mainframe's physical shape, and he also helped design The Voice of Odyssey². In a phone conversation, he was kind enough to answer a number of questions and share many stories from his time at Magnavox. Each one will be of interest to Odyssey² fans. Ever wonder what inspired the shape of the system's famous cartridge handles? Now you can find out!
Some of the most infamous unreleased games of the classic era were those that starred the neon-hued, animated feline known as the Pink Panther. An Odyssey² release was planned, as were versions for Atari and Coleco machines. None made it to market, but a number of artifacts from the planned games survive, as do at least three prototypes for Atari systems. This article attempts to collect all that is publically known about the pink cat's unplayed games.
It's been said that those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it. We should be so lucky! The Timeline is a carefully researched chronicle of specific dates in Odyssey² and Videopac history, from the time of the system's inception in 1977, through its death in 1984, and up to the homebrew releases of today. Enjoy this trip down memory lane with the Ultimate Video Computer Game System!
Ted Szczypiorski is the creator of the upcoming homebrew O2 game Planet Lander!. In this interview, Ted gives some valuable tips for would-be O2 programmers, provides some tantalizing information about his next Odyssey² project, and reveals just what that whole "Ted Foolery" thing is all about.
Commentary and photographs from the 2005 Classic Gaming Expo, when Mr. Roboto! was first released. I volunteered at the show this year, giving me an "insider" perspective of sorts.
Comments and questionable-quality photographs of the 2004 Classic Gaming Expo, from the mind and camera of yours truly. This isn't an Odyssey² article per se, but since I wrote it, rest assured there will be some O2 goodness in it.
Remember PocketPCs? This article was written back in those days. It reviews Pocket Odyssey2, the first PocketPC Odyssey² emulator. John Reder goes into detail not only about the emulator itself, but about the registration process as well.
Ron Bradford of Bradford/Cout Design was the principal graphic artist for the Odyssey², responsible for producing all the game box art, advertising direction and packaging design. He also developed the Master Strategy games in tandem with his partner and longtime friend, Steve Lehner. In this interview, Ron discusses his involvement with Odyssey² and provides some incredible never-before-seen photos, including designs for the never-released Sherlock Holmes game!
This article appeared in an Illinois newspaper on November 26, 1981, about one month after the debut of Quest for the Rings. It focuses on Ron Bradford and Steve Lehner, the creators of the Master Strategy Series. Many quotations from Lehner reveal a lot about how the Master Strategy games were conceived and designed.
In March 2003, prototypes of an Odyssey³ Command Center console and Voice module turned up in Colorado. Finds of this caliber don't happen every day! Check this article for some photos.
If Magnavox/Philips had done things a little differently, could they have built the Odyssey² into a market leader? In this article, J.W. Hunter engages in a little speculative history.
In the first half of the '80s, there were strong rumors about a collaboration between Philips and Atari that might have given the world a new console, possibly one using laserdiscs. It never happened, but it almost did – this article shows how.
The winner of an early '80s Odyssey² contest staged by a popular Los Angeles radio station relates the amusing story.
When Troy Lukkarila e-mailed me about some prototype games he owned, I put him in contact with the Classic Gaming Expo people and the ColecoVision versions of Power Lords and Lord of the Dungeon were finally made available. Read about it here.
Another article from the archives, this one briefly compares the first two O2EM Frontends, O2EMUGUI and Oxygen. Both are deprecated now.
One of the oldest attractions of this site is this silly essay about the excessive amount of hype present in Odyssey² advertising. You'll laugh literally trillions of times! (Give or take!)
Formerly the section of this site called "Quirks!/Weird Stuff!", this article takes a look at the stranger side of Odyssey². Did you know there's a relationship between UFO! and Frosted Flakes?
The Philips G7400 (the famed Videopac "Plus" console) never made it in North America, but you can still import one from Europe, if you know what you're looking for. This multi-step guide explains what console model to buy, how to modify it for composite or RGB video, and everything you'll need to get it running.
Read this article for detailed instructions on how to construct a device to read Odyssey² cartridge ROMs. Attempt only if you have electronics experience.
Step-by-step instructions explaining a quick modification you can do to add some life to your Odyssey² joysticks.
This archived Usenet post explains how to modify your Odyssey² console to use Atari 2600 compatible joysticks (including the standard Sega Genesis control pad). Pinouts are provided.
Plogue.com's chipsounds is a software synthesizer that emulates a number of 8-bit-era sound chips. This blog post describes a technical analysis of the Odyssey²'s chip (the P824X). The post is highly technical, but may be useful to anyone interested in Odyssey² sound architecture or chiptunes in general.
Incredible! This article contains step-by-step instructions for building your own (quite authentic) replica of an Odyssey² in-store display! Also available are plans for ColecoVision and Astrocade displays. (From Atari Historical Society)
An excellent and informative guide to games, label variations, serial numbers (and pretty much everything else) covering both Videopac and Odyssey². You won't believe the exhaustive detail! (From Rene's Retro Computer & Games Site)
A great interview on Classic Consoles Center with Killer Bees programmer Robert S. "RoSHa" Harris! RoSHa talks about the old days, reveals some cheats for his games, and discusses the unreleased Odyssey² game Clean Up Yer Act! (From Classic Consoles Center)
This is by far the best source of information on the unreleased Odyssey³ Command Center available on the Internet. Complete with screenshots, photos of real prototypes, and information on what was shown at the 1983 CES. (From Classic Consoles Center)