Basketball 3-10-82


This is the earliest known version of RealSports Basketball (then called only Basketball) known to exist.  This prototype appears to be a totally different version of what eventually became RealSports Basketball.  Not only is this prototype dated over a year earlier than the other three RS Basketball prototypes, but it makes no reference to the RealSports series anywhere in the game.  This version was started by another programmer before being abandoned and retooled by Patrick Bass.  The two prototypes share some similarities, but are very different internally.

The graphics in this version are kind of a cross between the later versions of RS Basketball and the 400/800 Basketball program.  The court and basket graphics are quite different, there's even an Atari symbol in the center of court (a nice touch).  The players are smaller and less detailed (both are white in this version), and the stands are very high up (like a wall) with only a few rows at the top unlike the bleacher like stands found in RS Basketball.  The sound is very minimal with no clock tick or crowd cheers, with only the dribble and basket sounds present.  On an intersting side note, when a player makes a basket the warp engine sound from Star Raiders plays.  Obviously this was either a place holder sound effect or the programmer goofing off.  This was removed from the later version

After two minutes (two 1 minute quarters) of play the game will end and everything freezes (there is not halftime message or second half), after which you must turn the 5200 off and back on to play again.  The gameplay is very similar to the later versions of RS Basketball (rough and unpolished), but the AI of the computer player is even more questionable as it attempts to do many crazy things like take half court shots.  However the computer does put up a bit more of a fight, which is nice.  

This version has three different game options: One player vs. the computer, two players vs. two Computer players, and two players vs each other.  Oddly the player must press the # key and then the * key to change the options, and then the * and start to begin the game.  None of the other keypad buttons seem to have any effect.


400/800 Basketball

Original 5200 Basketball

Final 5200 Basketball


Prototype Differences (Original Version vs. New Version)
The game is simply called Basketball (no RealSports)
The game doesn't have a title screen
There is no options screen
There are three game options (one player vs. the computer, two players vs. two Computer players, and two players vs each other)
The timer starts at 1:00 and counts down.  Once it hits 0:00 the game goes to the next quarter.  After two quarters are played the game freezes.
The sound effects are very different (and minimal).  There is a warning whistle when the ball goes out of bounds and when a player makes a basket the warp engines sound from Star Raiders plays!
There is a color shifting screen saver mode if the game isn't being played
The ball can be shot out of bounds.  When this happens a warning bell sounds and the players switch possession.
The game freezes after two minutes
There is no scrolling text box and no text phrases

The computer's AI is very difficult to beat.  It almost never seems to miss a basket.

There is a nasty bug in the game which occasionally allows the player to shoot the ball off the screen.  When this happens the players suddenly appear on the opposite side of the screen and the ball appears bouncing in the middle until it is picked up.

The graphics are completely different:
- The court is blue and red instead of black.
- There is a large Fuji (Atari symbol) in the middle of the court
- Both players are white
- Players are a different color
- The baskets and backboards are different
- The bleachers are very high up, almost like a wall.


Note how the title is off center


No title screen, just an empty court


And they're off...


He shoots!  He scores!


Doubles action!


Things get ugly at the far end of the court...



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