Joust

Atarisoft

Status: No Download, Findability: 2/5

Updates made

20/01/14 – Confirmation that Tom Griner was the developer.

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Thanks to Fabrizio for highlighting this one for us. This is an entry for the long lost Atarisoft conversion of Joust on the C64.

The game made it across a variety of platforms, as did other Atari based games on the C64 via the Atarisoft label, but Joust is still elusive to the machine.

According to this website source, the game was believed to have been started on the C64 by Atarisoft, so we are likely to be hunting a non-vapourware title.

Many of us will know of the game Jouste which was written by Joe Hellesen. It was rumoured for many years that this game was in fact the Atarisoft game that was canned for reasons unknown. However, thanks to Kurt Woloch – it seems that Jouste was nothing to do with Atarisoft, and they had a completely different version in production.

Kurt spotted on a website of a guy called Steven (possibly Steven Evens?) which shows a photo of a demonstration of the C64 game running at a computer show in the early 80’s.  It seems that it was based on his very own Atari 800 version of the game, but not done by himself.

So who was behind this conversion for Atarisoft?…. Was it any of the potential names we have in our coder list?   Can you help confirm?  We believe it could well have been Tom Griner, as the style looks familiar to Robotron.

Early days yet, but if for now you want to see a Joust like game on the C64 check out the Jouste entry at Gamebase 64…  it’s not 100% accurate, but its not too bad.

Contributions: Fabrizio Bartoloni, Kurt Woloch

Supporting content

Steve talks about seeing the Atarisoft conversion of his Atari game…

“OK, so this was my implementation of Joust running on a Commodore 64 computer. I know that because there were subtle details of the implementation I knew which didn’t match the original game perfectly because of limitations in the hardware. Problem was, neither I nor GCC did a version for the Commodore 64, and we certainly hadn’t been paid for it. Atari later apologized (and more important paid us).”

11 Responses to Joust

  1. My brother and I wrote Jouste for the commodore 64 in 1984 (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yU3YpwMjof0)

    We also wrote Krazy Kars in 1983 (see http://www.lemon64.com/?mainurl=http%3A//www.lemon64.com/games/list.php%3Fcoder%3DPaul+McHerry)

    These were unofficial versions, basically we just went down to the local arcade and learned the games.

    • fgasking says:

      Thanks very much Paul – great to hear from you. I’ll ask the guys at Gamebase64 to update their credits so they are correct for both games.

      Did you both work on anything that never got released on the C64?

  2. A Bozhko says:

    I actually had a copy of this game, can’t remember if it was on a compilation cassette or on a cassette on it’s own right. This title is dear to me because of the hours I played it on the C64 back in the 80s. I am actually surprised to see this title in this section. I should have the cassette somewhere back at my dads, assuming it still works as it has been packed away for 25 years, could be going on 30 years since last played this title.

    • fgasking says:

      Sure it wasn’t this game? … http://www.gamebase64.com/game.php?id=3973&d=18&h=0
      This was an unofficial conversion, though the one in this review in particular is the official Atarisoft conversion.

      • A Bozhko says:

        I will have to try and locate the cassette when I get to my dad’s house next time. Got a right stash of games in original packaging. Bearing in mind it’s been about 30 years since I have played it I will have to check. This was one of my favourite games at the time.

        • Mayhem says:

          It wouldn’t have been on tape, either cartridge or disk if released in the US at the time, so I suspect this is actually the IJK game.

      • This version of jouste was written by my brother and myself in 1984 it wasnt written by Joe Elleson and he didnt do the graphics, No idea who he is. look at this youtube video, it shows our names

  3. Yet another great update to a fun game. Thanks guys.

  4. Kurt Woloch says:

    I just learned of a version of Joust that was in development at Atarisoft and even shown at a CES, as you can see on this page:

    http://galleryszy.stevenanne.net/archives/2005/05/tsk_tsk.html

    This, strangely, seems to be a “hack” of the Atari 8-bit version created by Steve Evens at GCC back then since he says he didn’t develop a C-64 version, so someone else at Atari must have converted his work to the C-64. As you can see, it looks quite different to Jouste, so I don’t think it’s the same game. I’ve played Jouste, and it doesn’t feel like the arcade at all, the physics are all wrong. On the right of that screenshot, by the way, you can see a portion of a screen of the version of Stargate that was initially planned for the C-64, but not released.

    • Kurt Woloch says:

      Sorry, I just noticed that the name of the Atari 8-bit programmer is Steven, but I don’t know his last name. I thought it was Steve Evens who did Stargate, but I’m not sure now. And I don’t know who did the “hack” for the C-64.

      • fgasking says:

        Thanks yet again Kurt! .. brilliant detective work and spot! I’ve added a list of potential coders, updated the details and added the screenshot and other bits. Really appreciated! Hopefully now we’ll manage to find something of this conversion.

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