Super Stunt Cycle

Super Stunt Cycle
Company: Atari
Model #:
Jim St. Louis (Boeschean & Co.)
Year: 1989
Part number later reassigned to Motor Psycho


Super Stunt Cycle was an early but ultimately abandoned experiment by Boeschean & Co. to create a first person view motorcycle racing game.  The name Super Stunt Cycle is a reference to Atari's old Stunt Cycle game that consisted of a pair of a handlebars mounted to a base that looked very much like the ones pictured in the game.  At the time Atari was in the habit of adding Super to the title of games that were updates to older existing games (Super Baseball and Super Football for the 2600 were two such games).  It's unknown if this was just a WIP name or if Super Stunt Cycle was actually considered for the final name.


Little was known about Super Stunt Cycle (here on shortened to SSC) before the source code for five different builds was discovered in 2009.  The name was seen on an internal Atari parts list but the title was crossed out and Motor Psycho was written in above it.  Usually this meant that the game title had changed, so everyone assumed that SSC must have been an early version of Motor Psycho.  This logic made sense since both games were motorcycle games and both were done by Bluesky software.  It wasn't until some of the later builds of the game were successfully compiled that it was determined that the two games shared nothing in common.


One of the more interesting things about SCC is that it was being programmed to make use of the Top Rider controller.  What's the Top Rider controller you ask?  Top Rider was a game by Varie for the Famicom in 1988 that came with a special controller shaped like a motorcycle's handlebars (it also came with an inflatable motorcycle for kids to sit on).  According to notes found with the 5-26-89 source code support for the Top Rider controller was added by programmer Jim St. Louis on a challenge by Larry Siegel (VP of Software Development at Atari) but without the knowledge of John Boeschen.  Adding support for this controller added more than a month to the tight development timeline (the game was due by 6/15/89) and may be why the project was ultimately scrapped.  To date no prototype controller has been found.

Due to the game being cancelled long before reaching a playable state, it's hard to really know how SSC would have played.  From the last known demo we can determine that the player would have used the Top Rider controller to move the motorcycle down a long and winding road.  Beyond that everything is just a guess, but we can logically assume that the gameplay would have followed one of two styles.  Either the player would have had to dodge oncoming motorcycles in a race towards a finish line (much like Motor Psycho which replaced SSC) or keeping the game true to its roots, the player would have had to gain speed and jump over a row of buses ala Evel Knievel.  Given the special controller being considered for the game the former explanation is more likely than the latter.

Internal documents also reveal that the programmers struggled with the hardware and the lack of proper programming tools they were promised (eventually developing their own).  Given all this turmoil and the time lost adding in support for the the Top Rider controller it's not surprising that the game was ultimately cancelled.  It's also highly unlikely that Atari would have been too keen on the added expense of including a special controller with the game as they were already cutting costs wherever they could around this time.


Version Cart Text Description
11/3/88   Static screen demo (Milestone #1)

Top Rider Version #1
Top Rider Version #2


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