Regarding the Centipede "5200 crack screen". Following discussion elsewhere, it turns out that it *is* included on the version that was on the original tape, but you have to type Ctrl-G to see it!
Many people- myself and Fred included- didn't realise this so we'd wrongly assumed that our copies didn't include it. (We'd never had any obvious reason to type Ctrl-G in-game!)
The version on the similar "Atari Compilation" (TX 9043) also includes the hidden crack screen.
It can only be assumed that Atari UK decided to take advantage of the pre-existing backport but weren't aware it contained a hidden crack screen either...?!
I have the taoe. It is definitely the 5200 version of Centipede but WITHOUT the crack screen. My dump is at Atariwiki: https://atariwiki.org/wiki/Wiki.jsp?page=Compilation%20A
Auntie Pastie - 09/07/2016
Are we 100% sure that the version on the tape itself included the crack screen? I ask because I have a similar, but slightly different compilation- also a 1987 Atari UK release (#). It also includes the "5200" version of Centipede- rather than the original 800 port (##)- but that definitely doesn't feature the crack screen. ///
(#) "Atari Compilation" or "Atari Games Compilation" with code "TX 9043" or "TX9043". It has three out of five games in common with this tape and was sold in its own right. ///
(##) This is the version I grew up with and for years I was unaware that it wasn't the original Atari port. But having found out about- and compared- the two versions on Atarimania, it's clear that "my" Centipede was the 5200 one.
AbbotKinneyDude - 09/07/2016
It's amazing that the 'Glenn the 5200 Man' unofficial conversion of 5200 CENTIPEDE ended up on this 'official' compilation. ATARI UK probably had no clue about what they were doing; otherwise they would have cleaned up the crack screen. Wondering what their 'sources' were? BBS?
Pretty sure there was. Tape cover was same red design. Came with an adventure game, written in Atari BASIC (which I really don't envy, it doesn't even support arrays of strings! those are really handy in programming text adventures!). And some more games I can't remember right now.
Both compilations came included with the 65XE in the UK. Just the 2 cassettes, nice and cheap for them, with obsolete software. Still the games rocked, outdated though they were.
Though while Atari were showing off the graphics with outdated arcade conversions, other computers were doing much more complex types of game, more than simple score-attacks. Stuff with depth and complexity.
It's a shame cos even in 1987 the 65XE's hardware was well ahead of other 8-bit machines. Even though it was based on 1979 technology! They just finally brought the price down to something reasonable. Would've helped them to do that a few years previously, they might have gained a foothold outside the small one they had in the USA. But no, Europe went with Sinclair and Commodore, East Asia went MSX. Atari went kinda nowhere...
Then there was the debacle with the Amiga, Atari trying to fuck over the designers into getting it cheap. In the end Commodore stepped in and saved the day for RJ Mical and crew, and Atari had to knock up a quick 68K reference design into a computer. I loved the ST but the Amiga was really the proper evolution, the child of the Atari 800 series.
MarkTheMorose - 06/07/2012
Was there a Compilation 'B'?