Alpha Beam with Ernie 12-22-82


This prototype is a very early version of Alpha Beam (it's unknown if they even had Ernie in mind for the game yet).  While you can pick up and beam the letters into the ship, the game doesn't advance boards and there are a number of glitches that still need to be worked out.  Interestingly this prototype has issues functioning in current emulators due to the fact that the code for scanning the keypad inputs is too short.  This doesn't have any effect on a real 2600, but causes emulators to not register inputs or crash.  This was fixed in later versions by adding a few scanlines to the scanning code.


The spaceship on the title screen bounces back and forth with the letter 'A'.  In the final version the spaceship moves left to right across the screen with a new letter
The spaceship on the title screen moves much slower
If the keypad is not plugged into the left controller port upon powering up the cartridge the ship on the title screen will not move.  This is most likely a bug.
There are 15 variations, but the variation number is not shown on the screen.  Only the letter the green spaceship is holding changes to indicate the variation (A-O)
There are no sounds
The game is always set to two players even if there are only openings on the ship for one player
The letters always move, even on the level select screen
There are no lower case letters
There is no slot in the spaceship for the letter 'E' even though the letter is on the screen
Beaming the letters into the ship takes much longer
There are lines above and below the spaceship
The player can capture a new letter even if they are currently holding one.  If this happens the old letter vanishes
There is no way to complete a level
The second player (green spaceship) starts the board with the letter representing the variation
The second player can beam letters into the sides of the spaceship to destroy them
When pushing the select switch to change variations, the letter 'B' briefly turns into the letter 'V'
There is no intermission screen
The spaceship is purple
There appears to be two control sticks in the spaceship window
If you hit the select switch from the title screen then the spaceship will have a center window.  If you hit reset from the title screen the window will be filled in.  This is most likely a bug.
There are no stars on the bottom of the screen
The letters for the slots do not appear on the ship unless the player pushes reset


This ship just bounces back and forth


Pressing reset fills in the center window, but makes the letters appear on the ship


A V C D E?  Who taught these guys their alphabet?


Oops!  This should not be allowed.



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