BallyAlley.com has been online since sometime around the summer or fall of 2000. The first note that I have in the What’s New area of the website is from October 22, 2000 and it says, “Completely revamped site. Site can now be reached at http://www.ballyalley.com as well. Added many new pieces of documentation. A Picture of the 16K Blue Ram and various pictures of the 16K Viper 1 are now online.” This update is talking about that the BallyAlley website used to be hosted at ClassicGaming.com (now defunct). The BallyAlley website, as it looked on October 29, 2001, hosted at ClassicGaming, has been archived by the Wayback Machine. If you’re curious about the vast ugliness of the site, and want to cringe, then you can view it here, BallyAlley.com (Archived October 29, 2001).
I would be the first one to admit that the BallyAlley website isn’t easy to navigate. Basically, it’s just a collection of software (in WAV format) to load from tape in Bally BASIC, pictures and lots of documentation. If you know what you’re looking for on it, then it might be difficult to find (sorry about that issue). The whole site is hard-coded in html. Why was that ever a good idea? This was originally done so that the website, as mentioned in my last post, could make its way onto a CD-ROM. That hasn’t been a plan for, man… how long? A decade? Fifteen years? Let’s just say that it has been a long time. Let’s face it: BallyAlley.com is stuck in time. The site looks like it was coded in 2000 because, it was coded back then and its format hasn’t changed much since that time. There are ugly tables and, uh, more ugly tables. At least there aren’t any flashing fonts, or Under Construction GIFs, right?
It’s always been fun for me, every once in a while, to look through BallyAlley’s old posts and see what I can find. I figured that it might be fun to push out some of these older posts that I made on this exact day. Not necessarily of last year, but of some year.
On January 25, 2017, I added TV Output Notes, by Marc Calson (possibly a misspelling of Mark Carlson):
The four pages of this document were created using the output of a short 10-line, BASIC program. The author methodically noted down four sets of numbers for each ASCII character. This information nicely supplements the August 1979 issue of the Arcadian‘s music coverage from Robert Hood (American Concert Frequencies) and the second part of Chuck Thomka’s music tutorial, The Music Synthesizer.
This additional information is pertinent to the August 1979 Arcadian.
While searching for letters in the Bob Fabris collection, I came across these four scanned pages that are labeled as “TV Output Notes.” When originally scanned, credit for this document was given to someone named “Marc Calson.” However, while searching the Fabris Collection, I can find no reason why it is credited to this person. I wonder if the name is misspelled? Perhaps the name should be Mark Carlson (someone who did correspond with the Arcadian— although I can’t find any reference in his letters to this document). The scan is labeled (in the file’s name) as being from 1979– but again, I’m not sure where that information is from originally.
On January 26, 2016, I added complete documentation for 1984’s “Atlantis,” by Fred Rodney. This two-player game was published in ARCADIAN 6, no. 6 (Apr. 20, 1984): 57.
Atlantis, the mythical city that rises above the waves, is under attack by a squadron of ruthless bombers. A bomber flying east, carries a lethal steerable bomb. If the bomb is guided through the city’s vulnerable power vent, the above-ground structure explodes and the island’s alarm sounds. In a flash, though, the structure is rebuilt.
All bombers that pass over the city must return unarmed! It is during this westerly flight that Atlantis can even-up the score by firing a guided missile aimed at destroying the bomber. If the missile is on target, the bomber explodes and the sky flashes brightly. But, alas, a new bomber attacks.
When all attacks (turns) are made, the game ends and both scores are displayed continuously. The best score wins…
As you tally up the scores, the city of Atlantis survives, as it always has, and always will, high above the “waves.”. . . . . Long Live ATLANTIS.
Player 1 defends Atlantis, launches the missiles (trigger) and guides them (joystick score is on the right # of bombers hit. Player 2 attacks Atlantis, releases Bombs (trigger) and guides them (joystick).
On January 26, 2010, I made nine significant additions to the website. I’ll just highlight three here:
I added an alternate version of the Bally Professional Arcade Owner’s Manual (Bally “Fun and Brain” Version). This isn’t as clean or high-quality of a scan as the regular version, but this manual has a different version number on the back of the booklet (though there are no apparent differences). Here is the pdf:
I moved the location of the Chain Store Age ‘Catalog’ – This ‘catalog,’ from June 1978, was put together by Bally to promote the Bally Professional Arcade to salespeople. This is a full-color ‘catalog’ that is a large download (9MB). It is 8 1/2″ x 11″ and is sixteen pages long. I love the 1970’s style art! Here is the pdf:
I also added an ad called “Astrocade… the home video game that’s a computer too!” It says, “Three Built-in Games, Built-in Calculator, Octave Music Synthesizer, 256 Color Variations, Four-Player Capability, and BASIC Program. The ad is from the October 1982 issue of Boy’s Life.
I also added a picture of Fred Cornet, the publisher of the Cursor newsletter (AKA BASIC Express). This picture was developed in January of 1980 and was provided by Brett Bilbrey.
I like the idea of providing information about these older BallyAlley.com updates. It’s not hard to collect this information, so it should provide plenty of fodder for future posts here. That’s not all I plan to post about on this blog, but it should get my writing juices flowing!