Classic Intellivision Frequently Asked Questions

The Classic Intellivision FAQ

v0.79

Compiled, arranged, and produced by Intv Prime, Artifact Productions Division

https://www.intvprime.com/intellivision-faq/

1.0 History


At the end of 1979, Mattel Electronics (a division of Mattel Toys) released a video game system known as Intellivision along with 12 video game cartridges. Poised as a competitor to the then king of the hill Atari 2600, Mattel Electronics called their new product "Intelligent Television" , stemming largely from their marketing plans to release a compatible computer keyboard for their video games console. Mattel's marketing was anything but intelligent and almost destroyed the company by 1984. In one sense the system was very successful, with approx 4 million units (maybe 5 including variant consoles) sold and 125 games released before the system was discontinued by INTV Corp. in 1990.

The original Master Component was test marketed in Fresno, California in late 1979. The response was excellent, and Mattel went national with their new game system in late 1980. The first year's production run of 200,000 units was completely sold out! To help enhance it's marketability. Mattel also marketed the system in Sears stores as the Super Video Arcade, and at Radio Shack as the Tandyvision One in the early 1980's.

1980 was a turbulent year for the Intellivision. Mattel announced that an "inexpensive" keyboard expansion would be available in 1981 for the master component to be dropped into. This was to turn the system into a powerful 64K home computer that could do everything from play games to balance your checkbook. There was a great deal of marketing money and press coverage devoted to this unit; a third of the box for the GTE/Sylvania Intellivision describes the features of this proposed expansion. Many people bought an Intellivision with plans to turn it into a computer when the expansion module was released. Months, then years passed and the original expansion keyboard was released only in a few test areas in late 1981. With the price too high and the initial reaction poor, the product was scrapped in 1982 before being released nationwide.

1982 saw many changes in both the video game industry and the Intellivision product line. A voice-synthesis module called IntelliVoice made sound and speech and integral part of gameplay, through the use of special voice-enhanced cartridges. The Intellivision II was also released this year, which one company spokesperson described as "smaller and lighter that the original, yet with the same powerful 16-bit microprocessor". The new console was more compact than the first, and its grayish body made it look more like a sophisticated electronic device than the original design.

1983 brought more promises from the folks at Mattel, the most significant of which being the Intellivision III. This was shown off at the January 1983 CES show, and lauded in the video game mags for many months afterwards. In June of 1983 at the Summer CES show, Mattel announced it was killing the Intellivision III and including most of its high-profile features into their long-awaited computer expansion, the Entertainment Computer System.

Probably the most ambitious effort the Intellivision team had undertaken, the Entertainment Computer System was comprised of a computer keyboard add-on, a 49-key music synthesizer, ram expansion for the keyboard add-on to expand it to a full 64K RAM and 24K ROM, a data recorder to store programs, a 40-column thermal printer, and an adapter which would allow you to play Atari 2600 games on your Intellivision. The RAM expansion modules, data recorder, and thermal printer never made it past the drawing board, and the music synthesizer had but one software title to take advantage of its capabilities. While the 2600 adapter greatly expanded the library of available games, much of the steam this generated had already been stolen by Coleco's own expansion module.

1984 would spell the end of the original Intellivision as the world knew it. Terry E. Valeski, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Mattel Electronics, along with a group of investors, purchased the assets, trademarks, patents, and right to the Intellivision in January of 1984 for $16.5 million dollars. The purchase was backed by financing from Tangible Industries, a division of Revco Drug Stores. The newly formed company was originally called Intellivision, Inc., and later renamed INTV, Inc., after Valeski negotiated all rights from Revco in November of 1984. During the next two years, the new company would lie dormant while plans were being made for a re-emergence.

In the fall of 1985, the INTV System III (also called the Super Pro System) appeared at Toys 'R Us, Kiddie City, and in a mail order catalog sent to owners of the original Intellivision direct from INTV. The new console was of the same general design as the original master component, except it sported a fresh black plastic shell with brushed aluminum trim. Several new games accompanied the release of the new system, and 1985 would register over $6 million dollars in sales worldwide, indicating that INTV Corp. had indeed revived the Intellivision. INTV continued to market games and repair services through the mail with great success. Between 1985 and 1990 over 35 new games were released, bringing the Intellivision's game library to a total of 125 titles.

Many more changes were to come during the final six years of Intellivision's useful life. In 1987, an improved master component called the INTV System IV was shown at the January CES, which sported detachable controllers and a timing device. Unfortunately, this never saw the light either. In the fall of 1988, INTV re-introduced the computer keyboard adapter through their mail order catalog on a limited quantity basis. In 1990, INTV discontinued retail sales of their games and equipment and sold them only through the mail channels. The change in marketing was due to agreements with Nintendo and Sega to become a software vendor for the NES, Game Boy and Genesis. In 1991, INTV sold out its stock of Intellivision games and consoles, and the company, along with the Intellivision, gradually faded into black.

Source Links


1.0 How many Intellivisions were sold?

Fact Value Note
Quantity of consoles sold 3,000,000 approximate
Quantity of cartridges sold 5,000,000 approximate
Sales in $USD (1979-1984) 100 approximate
Alternate Questions

Source Links


1.1 When was the Intellivision designed?

With hardware designed by Dave Chandler "Papa Intellivision" and intial software designed by Glenn Hightower. Officially announced on December 3,1979, the console, along with Poker & Blackjack, Math Fun, Armor Battle and Backgammon were successfuly test marketed in 1979 in Fresno, California. 1980 was the major worldwide release in Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago (retailers had to train for 18 hours over 3 days to understand the system).

Alternate Questions

Source Links


1.2 What is the classic Intellivision timeline?

To make a list of the innovations Intellivision brought, those could be considered as the first 16-bit game console, as it has a 16-bit microprocessor, it was the first home console and one of the first video games to use a tile based playfield, it allowed for the display of detailed graphics and colour with very little RAM, was the first game console to provide real-time human voices in the middle of gameplay, courtesy of the IntelliVoice module, the first game controller with a directional thumb, the first to offer a musical synthesizer keyboard and World Series Major League Baseball (1983) is considered to be the first sports simulation video game with a number of specific innovations such as multiple views of a 3D calculated virtual play-field, statistical based game-play using real historical baseball player statistics, manager player substitutions, play-by-play speech, and save games or lineups to tape storage.

Alternate Questions

Source Links


2.0 Hardware


Physical Devices that make-up the classic Intellivision platform.


2.1 What is the Master Component?

The Master Component is the name of the original game console that made the original debut. The "Component" designation was carried over into other original system parts.


         ┌─── Power Cable          ┌──── RF Cable
         '                         '
  ┌─────┴─┴───────────────────────┴─┴────┐
  │ ┌──────────────────────────────────┐ │  Channel Selector On bottom.
  │ │                                  │ │
  │ └──────────────────────────────────┘ │
  │ ┌────────┬────────────────┬────────┐ │  '─┐
  │ │┌──┐... │ ┌┬┬┬┬┬┐ ┌┬┬┬┬┐ │ ...┌──┐│ │    │
  │ ││  │... │ ├┼┼┼┼┼┤ ├┼┼┼┼┤ │ ...│  ││ │    ├── Cart Slot
  │ │└──┘... │ └┴┴┴┴┴┘ └┴┴┴┴┘ │ ...└──┘│ │    │
  │ └────────┴────────────────┴────────┘ │  '─┘
  │ ┌──────────────────────────────────┐ │
  │ │ Mattel Electronics Intellivision │ │
  │ └────────────────────────────[] []─┘ │
  └──────────────────────────────────────┘
                                  '  '
                                  │  └─────────  Power Switch
                                  └────────────  Reset Switch
                                  
Item Note
CPU: GI 16 bit microprocessor
Memory: 7K internal ROM, RAM and I/O structures, remaining 64k address space available for external programs.
Controls: 12 button numeric key pad, four action keys, 16 direction disk
Sound: Sound generator capable of 3 part harmony with programmable ASDR envelopes.
Color: 16
Resolution: 192v x 160h pixels

Source Links


2.1 What are the Intellivision base tech specifications?

Part Number Description
CP-1610 CPU
RA-3-9600 16-bit System RAM
RO-3-9504 One-half of EXEC ROM (Intellivision 1 only)
AY-3-8900 Standard Television Interface Circuit
RO-3-9503 Graphics ROM
two GTE 3539 Graphics RAM
RO-3-9502 One-half of EXEC ROM (Intellivision 1 only).
GTE-3539 8-bit Scratchpad RAM
AY-3-8915 Color Processor Chip
AY-3-8914 Programmable Sound Generator

Source Links


2.1 What is the cartridge port?

The Master Component's cartridge port consists of a single 44-pin 0.1" spacing edge-card connector. This area can become bent after years (years!) of cartridge insertion, but with some precision work and part from DigiKey (EBC22DRAN-ND), it is possible to replace it.

Source Links


2.1 What is the Intellivision CPU?

(Author's note: Most of this information was captured off the net two years ago, would the original author please speak up and maybe help me clean up this info?? =) )

GI 1600, running at something like 500KHz. Processor has 16 bit registers, uses 16 bit RAM, and has 10 (yes, 10) bit instructions. Intellivision cartridges contain ROMs that are 10 bits wide. Ten bits are called a decle, and half that is a nickle. There were 160 bytes of RAM, I think (general purpose RAM -- there is also RAM used by the graphics chip for character bitmaps and to tell what is where on the screen).

The CPU was strange. For example, if you did two ROTATE LEFT instructions, followed by a ROTATE RIGHT BY 2 (rotates could be by one or two), you did NOT end up with the original word. The top two bits were swapped!

Ken Kirkby also has this to add:

"The GI CP1600 was developed as a joint venture in the early seventies between GI and Honeywell. One of the first commercial uses of the CP1600 was its incorporation into Honeywell's TDC2000, the first distributed control system, prototypes existed in late '74 I think. Honeywell's then Test Instrument Division also incorporated into a Cardiac Catheterisation system called MEDDARS which was released for sale about 1979. The CP1600 was definitely a 16 bit chip."

John Dullea dug this information up during a stroll at his local library:

In the Penn State Library I found a book called "An Introduction to Microcomputers, Vol. 2: Some Real MicroProcessors", By Adam Osborne, Osborne & Associates, Inc., 1978. ISBN: 0-931998-15-2. Library of Congress catalogue card #: 76-374891. It has lots of info on the CP1600/1610 CPU in the Intellivision in chapter 16 (If you want a photocopy of the chapter, e-mail me). Here are the pinouts of the CPU:

                 +------------------+    ____  
         EBCI ---+ 1             40 +--- PCIT  
        _____    |                  |  
        MSYNC ---+ 2             39 +--- GND  
                 |                  |  
          BC1 ---+ 3             38 +--- (PHI)1  
                 |                  |  
          BC2 ---+ 4             37 +--- (PHI)2  
                 |                  |  
         BDIR ---+ 5             36 +--- VDD  
                 |                  |  
          D15 ---+ 6             35 +--- VBB  
                 |                  |  
          D14 ---+ 7             34 +--- VCC  
                 |                  |  
          D13 ---+ 8             33 +--- BDRDY  
                 |                  |    _____  
          D12 ---+ 9             32 +--- STPST  
                 |                  |    _____  
          D11 ---+ 10            31 +--- BUSRQ  
                 |                  |  
          D10 ---+ 11            30 +--- HALT  
                 |                  |    _____  
           D9 ---+ 12   CP1600   29 +--- BUSAK  
                 |       CPU        |    ____  
           D8 ---+ 13            28 +--- INTR  
                 |                  |    _____  
           D0 ---+ 14            27 +--- INTRM  
                 |                  |  
           D1 ---+ 15            26 +--- TCI  
                 |                  |  
           D7 ---+ 16            25 +--- EBCA0  
                 |                  |  
           D6 ---+ 17            24 +--- EBCA1  
                 |                  |  
           D5 ---+ 18            23 +--- EBCA2  
                 |                  |  
           D4 ---+ 19            22 +--- EBCA3  
                 |                  |  
           D3 ---+ 20            21 +--- D2  
                 +------------------+  
 
D0-D15 ............... Data and address bus ................ Tristate,  
                                                             bidirectional  
BDIR, BC1, BC2 ....... Bus control signals ................. Output  
(PHI)1,(PHI)2 ........ Clock signals ....................... Input  
_____  
MSYNC ................ Master synchronization .............. Input  
EBCA0-EBCA3 .......... External branch condition addr lines  Output  
EBCI ................. External branch condition input ..... Input  
____  
PCIT ................. Program Counter inhibit/software .... Input  
                       interrupt signal  
                       ____  
BDRDY ................ WAIT ................................ Input  
_____  
STPST ................ CPU stop or start on high-to-low .... Input  
                       transition  
HALT ................. Halt state signal ................... Output  
____  _____  
INTR, INTRM .......... Interrupt request lines ............. Input  
TCI .................. Terminate current interrupt ......... Output  
_____  
BUSRQ ................ Bus request ......................... Input  
_____  
BUSAK ................ External bus control acknowledge .... Output  
VBB, VCC, VDD, GND ... Power and ground 
 

Looking at the logic board in the Intellivision unit (original model 2609) reveals a number of (important) chips:

Sound ............. AY-3-8914 ................ 40-pin
ROM ............... RO-3-9503-003 ............ 40-pin
ROM ............... RO-3-9502-011 ............ 40-pin
Color ............. AY-3-8915 ................ 18-pin Cart ROM .......... AY-3-9504-021 ............ 28-pin STIC .............. AY-3-8900-1 .............. 40-pin
RAM ............... RA-3-9600 ................ 40-pin
CPU ............... CP-1610 .................. 40-pin +----- hello!

Source Links


2.1 How do Intellivision graphics work?

160x92 pixels, 16 colors, 8 sprites (they are called "moving objects" aka MOBs rather than sprites). MOBs are 8x8 with an option to hardware-double the X or Y value to increase to 16 pixels.

Graphics are character based. The screen is twelve rows of twenty characters. Characters either come from Graphics ROM (GROM), which contains the usual alphanumeric symbols and a bunch of other things meant to be useful in drawing backgrounds (256 characters in all), or Graphics RAM (GRAM), which the program can use to build pictures needed that aren't in GROM (like sprite images). GRAM can hold 64.

Eight of the colors are designated as the primary colors. The other eight are called the pastel colors.

There are two graphics modes: Foreground/Background, and Color Stack.

In F/B mode, specify the colors for both the on and off pixels of each card ("Card" is the term for a character on the screen). The choices are any of the first 8 colors in the pallete.

In CS mode, you can set the foreground as any college in the pallete, and a circular list of four colors. Programmer declares if the list is to advance or not. Thus, and the OFF bits color comes from the next color on the circular list. You can also tell if the list is to advance or not. Thus, in CS mode, you only get four colors for the OFF bits, and they have to be used in a predetermined order, but you get to use the pastels.

A MOB could be designated as either being in front of or behind the background, which determined prority when it overlapped the ON pixels of a background image.

Programmer can declare the graphics chip to black out the top row or the first column (or both) of cards. Programmer can also declare a delay for the display by up to the time of seven scan lines, or to delay the pixels on each scan line by up to seven pixel times. Using these two features together allows for smooth scrolling. There is no need for a bitblt-type operation.

The hardware detects collisions bewteen sprites and other sprites or the background.

GRAM and screen memory could only be manipulated during vertical retrace. At the end of vertical retrace, programmer has to declare to the chip if it should display or not. If not done, could keep manipulating by not telling it to display, but then flicker would result - unacceptable!

The dedicated graphics processing unit is called the STIC: Standard Television Interface Chip. If the CP-1600 is the brain of the Intellivision, then the STIC chip (AY-3-8900) is heart. The STIC chip provide all the display functions of the Intellivision, as well as the sole timebase in the machine

�scar Toledo G. developed a STIC tester ROM (see media links) for checking with an LTO Flash or similar ROM cart or emulator.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


2.1 Is it possible to display more than 16 colors?

Daniel Bass of the Blue Sky Rangers invented the "bi-color technique" for multiplexing colors in the same card, chaning them to a completely different hue that even fit the Pantone range of shades. This technique was used in Tower of Doom (different colors look great on CRT screen but RGB emulations tend to actually show the flicker due to higher refresh rates and differences between NTSC phosphors and LCD/LED).

decle reviewed the document and created an approximation of the technique in IntyBASIC!

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


2.1 Is there a difference between NTSC and PAL display?

Colors are different for multiple reasons between 50Hz PAL and 60Hz NTSC. The refresh time for the screen is also 25fps for PAL and 29.97fps for NTSC.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


2.1 Why do Intellivision games play at a different speed in US vs Europe?

Since the STIC (video chip) used in the Intellivision needs to periodically and very regularly read graphics data in order to maintain a stable signal to the television, this makes it ideal as a timing governor for games. Therefore, games are coded in a way that leverage the regular STIC clock signal to time events, such as regular enemy AI logic or player movements--and it is especially convenient to control the interval of music notes and sound effects timing. This is a standard technique used in many old game consoles, including early PC games.

As you may know, the TV signals in the USA and Europe are different. The NTSC video standard used in television sets in America runs at 60 frames per second, while the PAL standard used in Europe, runs at 50 frames per second. The impact of this difference on Intellivision games is that timers will run slower in PAL consoles, since the "heartbeat" of the game is running at a slower speed.

Moreover, there is an even bigger, but more subtle, impact: for technical reasons a clock circuit of the PSG sound chip in the Intellivision is also synchronized with the STIC clock in a special way. In order to lower the frequency of the clock in the STIC to support the PAL 50 fps timing, the internal clock of the PSG needs to be lowered too. This causes the PSG to generate tones at slightly lower frequencies on PAL machines. This shouldn't be a problem, after all you just need to tell the PSG which frequencies to use to generate tones and they will be at the same pitch in any case.

However, the games were traditionally developed primarily for the US market, by US-centric programmers. So, look up tables that specify which PSG codes translate into which actual musical tones, were designed from an NTSC perspective. The result is that the wrong codes are used on PAL machines causing the PSG to play slightly different tones than intended.

These differences were caused not only by oversight at first, but also by technical and business reasons. Supporting exactly equal NTSC and PAL game versions requires the maintenance of two separate codes, separate testing of the two, and separate production of cartridges. It would also necessarily result in different cartridges that would only play well on their specific target market, and inventory overhead to keep track of them individually.

When confronted with these additional efforts and costs, and balanced against the actual practical downside of not applying them, the decision becomes clearer: so the games in Europe play a bit slower and sound a bit off-key; they still play fine and are enjoyable. It's not optimal, but it doesn't critically impact the game.

Thunder Castle is governed by "STIC ticks", check out the video https://youtu.be/J0JUHsQx0ng at 15:49 to see this in action.

The CPU clock is definitely faster on PAL systems (4MHz for PAL vs. 3.579545 on NTSC), and the PSG clock is tied to the CPU clock. But, the refresh interrupt comes less often (50Hz vs. 60Hz), which is why you end up with these weird differences. Retrace-timed events go slower, CPU-timed events go faster. And, the pitch on the PSG goes up since it's tied to CPU clock.

Arnauld Chevalier runs the timer-tick based tasks an extra time every 5th frame (to get 6 frames for every 5) on PAL machines. That works really well if your game speed is locked to vertical retrace. There's enough extra cycles on a PAL machine that it can absorb it, it appears. At least, in my few experiments, that seems to be the case. There are some things that won't work quite right if you do that, such as STIC based collision handling, since you'll end up skipping every 6th frame. But, if you do all your collision detection in software, you can still compute collisions for that 6th frame even if it isn't displayed. (Space Patrol is hybrid; most collision detection is in software, but a handful of collisions are detected by hardware). As for pitch, the easiest thing to do is to just keep two pitch tables around and pick one based on detecting PAL/NTSC.

Playing an extra frame after every 5th frame actually shouldn't cause much issue at all. Consider a moderately high tempo song at 100bpm. 100 beats per minute. 1 minute has 3600 ticks at 60Hz. That means each beat (a quarter note) is 36 ticks long. So, by slicing out every 6th frame, it loses 6 ticks, evenly distributed throughout the beat.

It won't cause any rhythms to stutter noticeably at 100bpm, and it's doubtful that the human ear could pick it out. An eight note loses 3 ticks (again, evenly distributed), shortening from 18 to 15 ticks. The first note that gets a little wobbly at that bpm is the 16th note, with half of them shortening to 7 ticks (losing 2) and half shortening to 8 (losing 1). But, even then it's evenly distributed, so the overall beat remains stable. (I don't think the tracker goes below 16th notes.)

There's no dropped sound, per se. Rather, the total duration of the tones, in terms of ticks, gets shortened. The wall clock time stays the same (or in the case of the 16th note, it's on average the same).

Mostly, music consists of "tone start, wait a few tics, tone stop", with some volume shaping and maybe some frequency modulation to give a tremolo effect. The main impact is to the volume shaping and tremolo, not to the rhythm of the song. And because it's evenly spread out, it should be fairly minor.

Star Wars TESB doesn't play the music in the beginning because of the PAL/NTSC. It doesn't play it because it's not on the cartridge! I tested US and International cartridges in NTSC Intellivisions and it is just that the International carts just don't play the music. Maybe the music was just not licensed for the international market. On the other hand there is no music when you play an international cart on a NTSC machine.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


2.1 How to connect a USA Intellivision to HDMI?

Various analog RF to HDMI converters have come and gone in the marketplace. Some work well with certain non-Intellivision consoles, some do not work at all. Usually hunting in eBay will show a result that works, only to be bought-up. Point-in-time links are included, if a new source is known it will be added here. Internal RGB modifications exist (source links included here where possible) but they tend to be harder to produce than PAL counterparts.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


2.1 How to modify a PAL Intellivision to use RGB video?

PAL consoles appear to be easier to modify than NTSC because the NTSC version doesn�t use the LM1886 IC. Multiple efforts exist.

Media Links

Source Links


2.1 What work does the OS and I/O subsystem perform?

The operating system did several things:


           jsr          foo
bar:
          ...
          ...
foo:     ;do some setup or whatever
          jsr          GetNumberFromKeypad
spam:     ...
          ... 

GetNumberFromKeypad returns to bar immediately. When the number od rea, spam willbe called from an interrupt handler. If you didn't know that a routine did this, reading code could get rather confusing!

The operating system is known as "The Exec", and contained official cartridge checking routines, pause (1+9 or 3+7), standard sound control, common graphics routines.

Basically, whereas earlier, if one wanted to change something in a game, one would have to go into the hardware and physically mess around with the wiring, now one could just change the assembly software code for the game, which looked something like:

BNZ STPGUY ; STOP MOTION IF WHEEL NOT PUSHED XOR #$03F0,R3 ; MOVING, SO HE SEQUENCES AT MAX RATE MOV R3,MAN+.OBJSEQ ; .. MOV #12,R0 ; SPEED AT WHICH HE RUNS CALL GETVEL ; FIGURE VELOCITY (A Trivial Intellivision Game 2). According to Robinson, both the Atari and Odyssey consoles were hard-wired and didn�t use software. By using the Exec, cartridge space essentially doubled, and "you could get the program running much faster . . . allowed us to make games much faster" (Robinson pers. int. 2002-03-12. The Exec made it very easy for programmers to write code using common library paradigms that today's developers take for granted.

The Exec also gave the Intellivision the erroneous criticism that the console was "slow" because the Exec consumed precious cycles/interrupts.

Alternate Questions

Source Links


2.1 How much RAM is in the Intellivision?

1k

The System RAM resides in a single GI RA-3-9600 (Intellivision I) or RA-3-9600A (Intellivision II onwards). The System RAM unit is the only 16-bit RAM available in the Intellivision.

Memory is mapped to ROM in several locations for peripheral support like the PlayCable, computer add-on, etc.

Memory Range Accessibility Device
$0000-$003F RW, VBlank Period 1 STIC Registers
$0100-$01EF RW Scratchpad RAM
$01F0-$01FF RW PSG Registers
$0200-$035F RW System RAM
$1000-$1FFF R Executive ROM
$3000-$37FF R, VBlank Period 2 Graphics ROM
$3800-$39FF RW, VBlank Period 2 Graphics RAM

Source Links


2.1 How is Intellivision memory structured?

The Intellivision leaves many addresses available to cartridges. However, several address ranges come with caveats, such as interactions with other devices in the system, or incompatibilities with various peripherals.

Addresses Notes


$0400 - $04FF RAM/ROM ok on all but Intellivision 2.
$0500 - $06FF RAM/ROM ok.
$0700 - $0CFF RAM/ROM ok if no Intellivoice.
$0D00 - $0FFF RAM/ROM ok.
$2000 - $2FFF RAM/ROM ok if no ECS.
$4000 - $47FF RAM/ROM ok if no ECS.
$4800 ROM ok. RAM ok only if boot ROM at $7000.
$4801 - $4FFF RAM/ROM ok.
$5000 - $5014 ROM ok. RAM ok only if boot ROM at $7000 or $4800.
$5015 - $6FFF RAM/ROM ok.
$7000 ROM ok if no ECS. RAM at $7000 confuses EXEC boot sequence.
$7001 - $77FF RAM/ROM ok if no ECS.
$7800 - $7FFF ROM ok if no ECS. Do not map RAM here due to GRAM alias.
$8000 - $8FFF RAM/ROM ok. Avoid STIC alias at $8000 - $803F.
$9000 - $B7FF RAM/ROM ok.
$B800 - $BFFF ROM ok. Do not map RAM here due to GRAM alias.
$C000 - $CFFF RAM/ROM ok. Avoid STIC alias at $C000 - $C03F.
$D000 - $DFFF RAM/ROM ok.
$E000 - $EFFF RAM/ROM ok if no ECS.
$F000 - $F7FF RAM/ROM ok.
$F800 - $FFFF ROM ok. Do not map RAM here due to GRAM alias.

Source Links


2.1 How does the Intellivision make sound?

The Programmable Sound Generator (PSG) is responsible for most of the Intellivision's sound generating capability. It also provides an interface to hand controllers and the ECS's keyboard and piano. Various PSGs were used in the Intellivision from the AY-3-891x family, including the AY-3-8914, AY-3-8916 and AY-3-8917.

The PSG provides 3 independent analog output channels. The PSG provides a dedicated square wave tone generator and D/A converter for each of the three output channels. It also provides a single noise generator and single volume envelope generator, both can be mixed with any combination of the three channels. The Intellivision mixes the output of the three analog channels directly to produce the final audio output.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


2.1 Can an Intellivision play waveform audio samples?

The AY-3-8910 PSG is capable of playing audio without an Intellivoice, as it can on other platforms like the MSX and Spectrum. It's not high quality, and an Intellivision ROM cartridge cannot hold more than a few seconds of audio, but it does work! :)

Intv Prime has produced a tool call "Sonum Vox" that will convert audio to an IntyBASIC program, using knowledge from Arturo Ragozini.

�scar Toledo G. has published code to play waveform without Intellivoice in his book "Advanced Game Programming for Intellivision".

Media Links

Source Links


2.1 How can I service/repair an Intellivision?

The system is comprised of four major components.

Okay, so with Phillips screwdriver in hand, you're ready to rip apart your Intellivision. First off, as with any electronic repair work, be sure that your work area is free of static electricity. I personally use a wrist grounding strap clipped to some metal portion of your work area.

Unplug the unit from the wall and from the television. Remove any cartridge from the machine. Turn the power switch to the ON position to drain any stored up voltage. Place a soft cloth on your work area. Turn the console upside down and place it on the cloth. Using a Phillips screwdriver (some units may require a nut driver), remove the six cover retaining screws.

Turn the unit back over and gently lift off the top cover. The small brown cover for the ON/OFF switch will come off at this point. Weave the hand controllers through the holes in the top cover.

The insides of the Intellivision are now exposed. You should be able to identify he four major component groups. There is a brown plastic plate covering and securing the logic board, transformer and power supply board. Remove the six screws holding down the plate, and place them aside.

Be CERTAIN to see how the controllers are placed in this plastic plate, as they must be replaced in the exact same fashion in order for the top cover to fit securely.

There are several videos available on the topic, please watch several before proceeding, official Mattel Electronics service days are long past over!

Alternate Questions

Source Links


2.1 What can I look for when my Intellivision stops working?

The chipset which provided the guts of the Intellivision, manufactured by General Instruments, was extremely failure-prone. During the initial production runs, there were sometimes failure rates as high as 50%!!

Some of the procedures listed here will require the use of a volt-ohm meter (VOM). All of this material has been taken from the aforementioned reference.

Problem: When you turn the game on the screen clears, title comes on, but game will not play when hand controllers are pushed.

Repair: This normally indicates that on or both of the MPCBs must be cleaned or replaced. Sometime you can open up the hand controller, clean it off, put it back together and it will work. (see 7.1 for info.) If you have cleaned or replaced both MPCBs and the problem still exists, then you may need a couple of new hand controller cables or a new logic board.

Problem: When you turn the game on, the screen clears (turns dark), but game title does not appear on the screen.

Repair: With the power switch in the OFF position, take the cover off the unit. Unplug the transformer assembly from the power supply board. Place the power switch in the ON position. Using your VOM, test the following voltages:

                                   ________  
                        Yellow Lead --+   ------| |     |  
                          Blue Lead --+   ------| |     |  
                  Green/Yellow Lead --+   ------| |     |  
                         Green Lead --+   ------| |     |  
                         Green Lead --+   ------|_|_____|  
                        Yellow Lead to Blue Lead - 18 VAC  
                Green/Yellow lead to any Green - 9.25 VAC  
                      Green Lead to Green Lead - 18.5 VAC  
                                        _______  
                        +  5 VDC --+    | |_| |  
                        + 12 VDC --+    | |_| |  
                        + 16 VDC --+    | |_| |  
                        +  0 VDC --+    | |_| |  
                        -  2 VDC --+    |_|_|_|  
 
Alternate Questions

Source Links


2.1 What can I look for when my Intellivision stops working?

The pinouts and information listed below are courtesy of Steve Roode, who in a fit of boredom decided to find out what happened when he pushed the 5 key on his Intellivision keypad...

In trying to build the ultimate Intellivision Controller, I thought that the hard part would be trying to figure out all of the pin assignment combinations for all of the buttons on the controller. It turns out I was wrong! That was the easy part... The hard part is finding components to make the controller with! I went to a couple of stores to look for a rugged, phone style type keypad, nice metal stick, and a couple of rugged arcade style fire buttons. Couldn't find any of them!

Oh well.... Maybe you can! The following will describe all of the pinouts combinations for all of the buttons on an Intellivision Controller (NOTE: I only spent time to figure 8 directions out on the disc. I figured it would be almost impossible to find a 16 direction joystick, and most games don't require that many directions anyway).

DISCLAIMER!

Hey, I'm just an average guy... I'm only doing this to help people on their way to building an Intellivision Controller that won't drive you nuts. I WILL NOT accept any responsibility for what these instructions will do to your Intellivision. I've tried it on mine, and it works fine. But please don't blame me for ANY problems these plans may cause. Experiment at your own risk!

OK, now that that's out of the way... Down to business!

I used a Sears Intellivision Controller since I had an extra one and it was removable from the system. Remove the screws on the back of the controller and open it up. Next, remove the disc, the side buttons and keypad. What you should see in the controller is a terminal where the cable comes into the unit. It should look something like this (The numbers aren't really there; they are my own numbering system):

                           ---------------  
                         1 | -----       |  
                           |       ----- | 6  
                         2 | -----       |  
                           |       ----- | 7  
                         3 | -----       |  
                           |       ----- | 8  
                         4 | -----       |  
                           |       ----- | 9  
                         5 | -----       |  
                           ---------------  
 

Each pin on the terminal connects to a wire which connects into the Intellivision. The numbers DO NOT correspond to the connector pin numbers; They are my own numbering scheme. However, with a little effort, the interested experimenter can map them if desired.

OK, using the numbering scheme above I was able to figure out the pin combinations for each button on the controller. This took a lot of time tracing out the circuit on the plastic keypad, and verifying it with a Baseball cartridge plugged in! The following pins must be connected for each of the corresponding controller operations:

Connecting Pins            Makes the Controller Perform  
===============            =============================  
1 and 4                    Up Disc  
1 and 2                    Down Disc  
1 and 5                    Left Disc  
1 and 3                    Right Disc  
1, 3, and 4                Diagonal Up/Right Disc  
1, 2, 3 and 9              Diagonal Down/Right Disc  
1, 2, and 5                Diagonal Down/Left Disc  
1, 4, 5 and 9              Diagonal Up/Left Disc  
1, 6, and 8                Upper Left and Upper Right Side Button  
(SAME!)  
1, 7, and 8                Lower Left Side Button  
1, 6, and 7                Lower Right Side Button  
1, 2, and 6                Keypad 1  
1, 2, and 7                Keypad 2  
1, 2, and 8                Keypad 3  
1, 3, and 6                Keypad 4  
1, 3, and 7                Keypad 5  
1, 3, and 8                Keypad 6  
1, 4, and 6                Keypad 7  
1, 4, and 7                Keypad 8  
1, 4, and 8                Keypad 9  
1, 5, and 6                Keypad CLEAR  
1, 5, and 7                Keypad 0  
1, 5, and 8                Keypad ENTER  

Whew! As you can see, pin 1 connects to every combination, so in building your controller it may be easier to connect this pin to a common strip and connect all controls to this strip.

In examining this circuit, you can see why pressing 1 and 9 at the same time is just as effective as pushing 3 and 7 if you want to pause a game. It connects the same pins either way (Pins 1, 2, 4, 6, and 8); You could even build a separate PAUSE button on your controller if you desire!

Many interesting features could be built into this controller. For example, if you are familiar with a 555 Timer IC, you could build an adjustable auto-fire button! But the most important thing in building it is FINDING the components. My initial idea was to use a push-button phone keypad. Although it would take a little getting used to (and you really couldn't use overlays), it would last a LONG time. Anyways, who actually USES the overlays?! If a game requires them, just put one by the side of the controller.

Source Links


2.1 How can Intv II Controllers be repaired?

This little bit of hackery was provided courtesy of William Moeller.

I just finished refurbishing an Intellivision II unit so I would have a matching Master Component to go with my ECS. I have found quite a few units, and they all have the same problems. They are missing the power supply, and the hand controllers are inoperative. On the original unit, the mylar keypad is held onto the controller wires by pressure from two screws. When a hand controller on the original Master component stops working correctly, usually taking them apart, cleaning and putting them back together, making sure the screws are tight does the trick. On the Intellivision II controllers, there are no screws! I ended up breaking one apart to see how they worked (it was trashed already of course). The knowledge I gained allowed me to carefully take apart a few controllers to cobble two together to go with my II Master Component.

The first thing that needs to be done is the top piece has to be taken off. This is the piece that the disc is flush with. It is held on by little plastic hooks. A crude drawing is shown.

                       I I   
                       I I   
                       I I  /   
                       I__/   
  

These hooks are located in five spots. The first is in the centre at the bottom of the disc. The next two are located on both sides, right where the top of the disk ends, and the keypad begins. The other two are right at the top, where the overlay slides in. They are marked with an X on the diagram below.

             __________________________   
             ==========================   
             I    Intellivision II    I   
             I     Hand Controller    I   
             ==========================   
           X I                        I X   
             I   1        2       3   I   
             I                        I   
             I                        I   
             I   4        5       6   I   
             I                        I   
             I                        I   
             I   7        8       9   I   
             I                        I   
             I  Clear     0     Enter I   
          X  I========================I X   
             I          ___           I   
             I        /     \         I   
             I      /         \       I   
             I     (           )      I   
             I      \         /       I   
             I        \ ___ /         I   
             I                        I   
             I========================I   
                         X    

Use a small screw driver to press the plastic at the correct location, and pry each of the hooks out in an upward motion, being sure not to break them. This part is very important and cannot be broken. Be sure to look for the four teeth that slide into the hand controller and rest behind the four buttons. These cannot be broken. Their purpose is to press the mylar when the buttons are pressed against them. The buttons push on these plastic teeth, which in turn puts pressure on the mylar. Take the disc, disc spring, and plastic cover and put aside.

Now comes the tricky part. Getting the cover off of the base is difficult. Examine your controller and see if the bottom of the controller has a crack in it, or if the buttons are broken. If it is obvious the buttons are broken, try and save the cover.....if the bottom and buttons are good, CAREFULLY press the bottom part of the controller at the four H locations in the diagram below.

  
                              Intellivision II   
                         Hand Controller Bottom Piece   
                 =====================      ========   
                 I                    I     I      I   
                 I H                  Iwire I    H I   
                 I H                  I     I    H I   
                  \                   I_____I      I   
                 _ I                              /_   
                I  I                             I  I   
                I  I                             I  I   
                B  I                             I  B   
                   I                             I   
                   I                             I   
                B  I                             I  B   
                I  I                             I  I   
                I  I                             I  I   
                 --I                             I--   
                  /                              \   
                 I                                I   
                 I H                           H  I   
                 I H                           H  I   
                 I                                I   
                 I================================I   
  

Usually, I start on the right hand bottom side, and end up breaking the hooks there. Then getting the other hooks to let go is a little easier. Breaking one set of hooks is not that serious, because one can glue the controller closed on re-assembly. Make sure that the buttons do not get broken off when sliding the top cover off! Once this step is done, replace the wires/mylar pad/keypad numbers as required.

It is then time to reassemble. Make sure that you do not forget the circular plastic piece between the mylar. That is it! Put together the controller the exact opposite order. Happy repairs!

Source Links


2.1 How can Intv II Controllers be repaired?

(This information was provided by our friend Keith Robinson from the Blue Sky Rangers, inclusion of this info does not serve as an endorsement... Well, heck, unless someone else knows someone who officially repair Intellivision equipment, this HAS to be an endorsement =) )

One of the most asked questions we get at the Blue Sky Rangers is "Where can I get my Intellivision repaired?" Well, the official Intellivision repair service (i.e. the one Mattel still refers people to when they call) is:

J.H.C. Electronics Service 901 South Fremont Avenue #108 Alhambra, California 91803 phone: 818-308-1685 fax: 818-308-1548

J.H.C. is owned by James Hann, the guy who ran the repair service for INTV Corporation. While their primary business is special controllers for newer video game systems, they still have the equipment to test and repair Intellivisions and are (amazingly) still willing to do it.

They advertise: "J.H.C. Electronics will repair any Intellivision video game system, no matter where or when purchased, for one low price! Complete overhaul, thorough testing, no-charge return shipping to you -- only $49.95."

[Yes, we know used, working units sell for half that in the newsgroup, but that wasn't the question, was it?]

J.H.C. can also repair IntelliVoice and computer modules. Call for prices.

Note: They do NOT have Intellivision II power supplies. They get asked that all the time, and they looked into having some made, but the minimum order is 500. J.H.C. has 100 people on a list now, and if they get 400 more commitments they'll have a batch made up. We wouldn't hold our breath, unless someone wants to pay $3,000 for the first one to get the ball rolling. Still, if you want to be added to the list, e-mail us at makingit@netcom.com; we'll pass them along to James if a significant number of people write.

Finally, if you've visited the Blue Sky Rangers web site lately, you'll have noticed we posted the instructions on how to modify your Intellivision or INTV Master Component to work with the System Changer (only the Intellivision II works with the System Changer as is). For those of you who don't want to mess with doing this yourself, J.H.C. says they'll do the modification for $20. Cheap insurance not to destroy your Intellivision, your house, or yourself.

If you do contact J.H.C., please let them know the Blue Sky Rangers sent you!

Excellent instructions exist for opening the Intellivision on the Intv Funhouse site.

Source Links


2.1 How can I repair hand controllers?

You're stuck with them if you own an INTV I or III, as they are hard-wired into the unit. There will come a time when they will fail. Fortunately, there are some simple steps short of totally disassembling the main console you can take to fix controllers.

"Inside the controller is a plastic sheet with a circuit painted (or silk- screened) on it. This is call the Membrane Printed Circuit Board, or MPCB for short. Often, pieces of the circuit chip off and cause the controller to short out. This can be repaired by opening the controller and cleaning out the MPCB with a soft cloth"

"To gain access to the MPCB, loosen and remove the four small screws on the back of the controller. With the controller facing up, lift off the top cover. Remove the round control button and the spring beneath it. There should also be a white plastic spacer, sandwiched between two sections of the MPCB directly beneath the spring (Note its position. It must be placed back between these two sections when you put the controller back together)."

"Slide out the black side buttons (When reassembling the controller, these are useful in holding down the MPCB, which tends to pop out). Remove the gold numeric pad and the clear sheet (static shield) beneath it."

"Remove the MPCB. Visually inspect it to see if it's still in good condition. Hold it up to the light; if you see any holes or breaks in it, it should be replaced."

To reassemble the hand controller, follow the above instructions in reverse order. "Note that the MPCB, static shield, and numeric pad have two small holes in each of them. These holes interlock with the two pins protruding from the bottom cover of the hand controller, making it easier to align and adjust the MPCB into its proper position."

If your MPCBs require replacement, a great source of spare parts are those totally trashed, $2 INTV consoles you pass up at the flea market. Not only are the hand controllers usually in working order, but you get a whole slew of other spare parts, such as logic boards, transformer assemblies, power supplies and switches.

(If anyone knows of a source for new spare parts, please let me know so I can include the information in the FAQ.)

The official Mattel Electronics controller service document is included for reference.

Source Links


2.2 What is the 2609 model console?

The 2609 is the gold-and-woodgrain model that is most iconic and familiar to the public. Regional/localized consoles in other countries seem to be all based on this model (not the lower-cost, integrated internals Intelivision II).

Media Links

Source Links


2.2 What is the Intellivision GTE Sylvania console?

Still another clone, this console is identical to the original Intellivision except for the brand name. The box has a very detailed description of the Computer Adapter that was never released. Mattel Electronics originally interviewed GTE to manufacture the consoles, which is a strong reason why Sylvania had advanced console knowledge that others did not. Rumor has it that these were given away for free with the purchase of a Sylvania television.

From a collecting standpoint the Sylvania CIB remains one of the hardest to find boxed. Consoles are all model number MC100.

Source Links


2.2 What is the Tandyvision by Radio Shack?

Yet another clone, this console has faux wood-grain (what was it with video games and wood-grain in the early eighties??) paneling in the place of the INTV I's gold panels. Otherwise, this unit is totally identical to the original 2609. Consoles are all model number 58-100.

The Radio Shack corporation was a retail electronics powerhouse during the Intellivision heyday, and as late as 1990 items could be ordered through their catalog, so people that were part of the RS "world" bought their Intellivision/Tandyvision just as they bought Tandy-branded computers from other producers. From a collector's standpoint, a nicely boxed Tandyvision is very hard to find.

Media Links

Source Links


2.2 What is the Sears Super Video Arcade?

Up until recently, if you wanted to market your product through Sears, it had to have their name on it. Much like Atari with the Tele-Games Video Arcade, Mattel created a clone that was similar yet different to the INTV I. Consoles are model number 49-75011, 49-75022.

Functionally identical, this unit has a cream-colored case with a wood-grain front, and removable controllers that rest in the center of the console. The power and reset switches are circular in shape and about an inch in diameter:

                                (Top View)  
                           _||_             _|_  
             Power Cable --+||               |+-- RF Cable  
                            ||               |  
                     =================================  
                     |                              ||  
                     | ---------------------------- ||  
                     |          |... |... |         ||  
                     |          |... |... |         ||  
                     |__________| /\ | /\ |_/-\_/-\_||  
                     |          | \/ | \/ | \-/ \-/ ||  
                     =================================  
                                             ^  ^--- Power Switch  
                                             |--- Reset Switch  
                                              
                                              

Media Links


2.2 Does a Japan market Intellivision exist?

Bandai contracted with Mattel Electronics in 1982 to brand and distribute the Intellivision in Japan. Consoles are all model number 16287.

Media Links

Source Links


2.2 Does a Brazil Intellivision exist?

The Brazil national government required foreign companies to manufacture within Brazil and set up relationships for importing. This is the base of Digiplay (aka Digimed, later renamed Epcom) as a company selling branded consoles and games with only labels, software title screens, and manuals changed. Things were likely imported semi-finished components and "Produzido" assembled in the industrial free trade zone of Manaus. Consoles are all model number 5368.

Alternate Questions

Media Links


2.2 Does an Egyptian market console exist?

The console is a 220 volt 50 Hz PAL system. The three that have been identified/shared across the Intellivision community appear to be NTSC systems made in Hong Kong converted to work as PAL by the "Asico Company" or "Ecico Company", which existed between 1985 and 1993.

The system is best pronounced in Arabic as %u0625%u0650%u0646%u0652%u062A%u065A%u0644%u0651%u0650%u064A%u06CB%u0650%u064A%u0698%u065B%u0640%u0646

Alternate Questions

Media Links


2.2 Does a France market Intellivision exist?

By law, video systems sold in France must had either RGB or SECAM outputs (at the time; the requirement was probably dropped in the late 80's with things like Laserdiscs being too costly to adapt to SECAM, to be replaced by either PAL, RGB or SECAM RF) so if INTV wanted to keep selling consoles in France after running out of the stock left by Mattel (if Mattel left any SECAM Intellivision stock) they would have do either make them RGB or SECAM RF. Which was probably estimated being too much of a hassle for such a small market.

Units from France that have made it to the USA have verying levels of success with video sync, it is television-dependent and converter-dependent, but the picture is ultra clear and sharp!

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


2.2 What is the Intellivision II?

There were three reasons for replacing the original Intellivision Master Component with the Intellivision II, developed under the code name Big Mac:

The plug-in controllers also provided an opportunity to propose alternate types of controllers such as track balls and light guns. While most of these never got beyond the brainstorming stage, a trigger-joystick controller - code named Dandelion - was shown at the January 1984 Consumer Electronics Show for a "proposed 1984 introduction."

Media Links

Source Links


2.2 Do different versions of the Intellivision II exist?

Galen Komatsu wondered this, and here are his thoughts on the matter:

Just noticed differences between the two Intellivision II units I have. We'll call one Ernie and the other Bert.

On the front nameplate, Ernie has a more bolder looking black surface, Bert is a bit dulled looking, also Bert has the (R) symbol after 'Intellivision' and 'Mattel Electronics'.

Ernie has a red stripe around the perimeter of the unit, Bert, none.

Ernie's casing has square corners, Bert's corners are more rounded.

The button squares on Ernie have a matte finish while Bert's squares have a more "glossy" finish though the areas surrounding the buttons are matte.

Looking at the underside labels, the bright orange "IMPORTANT!" has "2609-0090-G1" in the upper corner, Bert has "2609-0090" ...both labels mention eligibility for FREE CARTRIDGE if the unit requires servicing. =^)

On the second label, Ernie's looks like:

+-----------------------------------------------+  
| MATTEL ELECTRONICS (R)    Hobby Equipment     |  
| INTELLIVISION (R) II           [UL LOGO]      |  
| Model No. 5872                    104Z        |  
| FCC ID: BSU9RD5872                            |  
| _______________________________               |  
||CAUTION: This is not a toy and | Input Power: |  
||is intended for use by or under| 16.2VAC      |  
||the supervision of adults.     | 60HZ         |  
||_______________________________| 12.8WATTS    |  
|                                               |  
| Serial No. P3732189                           |  
| MANUFACTURED IN HONG KONG                     |  
+-----------------------------------------------+  

whereas Bert's is just:

+---------------------------+  
| MATTEL ELECTRONICS (R)    |  
| INTELLIVISION (R) II      |  
|                           |  
| Model No. 5872            |  
| FCC ID: BSU 9RD5872       |  
| MANUFACTURED IN HONG KONG |  
|                           |  
| Serial No. P20176594      |  
+---------------------------+  

I haven't cracked Bert open yet so I don't know if there's any internal differences but both refuse to run early Coleco games.

Media Links

Source Links


2.2 Is the Intellivision II compatible with all games?

For game design, Intellivision II was supposed to be identical to the original - the main chips and their functions are the same as described for the Intellivision Technical Overview. But there turned out to be a major difference - when Intellivision II was released, it was discovered that 3 of Coleco's Intellivision games on the market, Donkey Kong, Mouse Trap and Carnival, would not work on it. Why not? At first, Mattel said it wasn't sure - maybe software changes needed for the System Changer to work were causing the problems. But as more and more games in development at Mattel were found not to work with the Intellivision II, programmers were filled in on the truth - but only on a one-to-one, need-to-know basis. The reason the Intellivision II doesn't work with the Coleco games is because it was designed not to. The EXEC contains a subroutine to display the Mattel copyright notice, but since a competitor's game would not use this routine, that location could have anything in it. So when the Intellivision II EXEC checks on a particular bit in that location and finds it isn't "properly" set, the EXEC doesn't allow the game to play. With a valid date in that location, the bit will be set; anything else and there is only a 50-50 chance the bit will be set. This was a deliberate attempt to render competitors' cartridges useless, and therefore it may very well have been illegal. But as game size went from 4K to 8K and larger, more Mattel programmers started using special title screens that bypassed the EXEC copyright routine. These programmers had to be told to make sure the bit was set. Of course, once the Intellivision II was on the market, competitors were able to figure out how to make their new cartridges work on it. The programmer of the original EXEC, David Rolfe, is reasonably sure the EXEC II changes weren�t done by him, as he knew better than anyone that any substantial changes to the EXEC would very likely "break" a number of games already released.

In addition, the different timing affected mainstream popular Intellivison games

Alternate Questions

Source Links


2.2 How can I replace my Intellivision II power supply?

If one needs a replacement power supply for their Mattel Intellivision II videogame system, then the best 100% compatible power supply to get is the TRIAD WAU160-750 that was engineered in the USA and made in China using high quality materials.

So the only real negatives regarding this TRIAD power supply when compared to the original Mattel power supply is that the cord on the TRIAD according to the spec sheet is listed as 6 feet (but I actually mine ended up being around 6 feet 7 inches). Where as the Mattel 5872-9629 power cord length was 9 feet 8 inches. The other negative is currently all level VI AC to AC power supplies on the market only have 2.1mm size plugs. So a adapter plug is needed to interface the TRIAD WAU160-750 to the Intellivision II style of plug which is 2.5mm. Now one can order a custom 2.5mm x 5.5mm x 11mm plug for the TRIAD WAU160-750, but the catch is the factory in China requires a minimum order of 500 power supplies.

The Intellivision model 2 is the only version of the console that uses this unique AC - DC conversion within it. All the other models feature internal PSUs and just have 2 prong AC lamp cords essentially hanging out of them with transformers inside them to handle the power conversion. Not sure if the later Super Pro and INTV III are the exact same as the model 1s, but they still just have a standard cord on them with internal PSUs. Can't speak on the Spectravideo, but the TI-99/4a you only have to worry about plugging in a Colecovision power supply into them since they share the same plug but are otherwise very different. Point being, this thread you started is about the Intellivision 2 power supply. And I'm specifically stating that an Atari 5200 or similar DC power supply will work provided you have the right barrel plug size to fit.

Cost wise, the Triad adapter and plug adapter is a MUCH more affordable cost given what 5200 PSUs might be fetching these days.

Media Links

Source Links


2.2 How to fix Intellivision II video?

There are two 2114 SRAMs that form the GRAM. Sometimes, they use 9114s, such as the photo below. There's a pair of them, and each provides 4 bits of the graphics output.

It looks like from your photo that the left four pixels of each tile is garbaged up. If the ordinary built-in text font looks OK (e.g. the title screen to Auto Racing looks OK), then it's probably the GRAM chip that provides the "upper half" of the graphics data.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


2.2 What is the INTV Super Pro System?

In 1984, the vice president of marketing for Mattel Electronics bought the rights to the Intellivision and formed a company called INTV Corp. The result of this venture was the release of the INTV III, or Super Pro System. This redesigned unit is physically identical to the original INTV I, except that it has a black plastic case with silver plates, and also has a Power LED indicator between the Power and Reset switches. The controllers are black with silver discs, and the keypads were either silver with black lettering or black with silver lettering. Consoles are all model number 3504.

Media Links


2.2 Is there a database of Intellivision serial numbers?

Intellivision Revolution has maintained a site since 2012 containing voluntarily-submitted serial numbers for all Master Component owners.

Source Links


2.3 What is the ECS?

In 1981 Mattel management had started to become concerned that the Keyboard Component would never get up and running so had a secret team working on a much cheaper option, the ECS. The team was kept secret purely so it wouldn't cheese off the Keyboard Component development team.
Consoles are model numbers 4182,4184,4187,4629,4631,4690.

When the FTC hit Mattel with the daily fine it was the ECS's time to shine as it barely scraped through the check list to turn the Intellivision into a home computer. Offering only a 2K memory upgrade and limited storage and output capabilities it saved Mattel's collective arses.

The ECS came with an very basic BASIC loaded on ROM. Users could write programs, save/load them and print. So now the Intellivision was a computer. The keyboard was HORRIBLE to use and prone to stuck keys.

The only really redeeming feature was that the ECS came with a decent sound chip which allowed you to plug a dedicated, forty nine key piano keyboard into it turning it in to a horrible looking, multi-voice synthesizer; admittedly the first of its kind for a game console.

Very shortly after it was released software development halted for the ECS and Mattel moved away from add-on hardware.

The unit requires an additional power supply. Here again, Mattel used something completely different from the rest of the industry:

The ECS came packaged with a 49-key chiclet-style keyboard, power supply, and a well-written manual describing INTV BASIC. Upon returning your registration card, you would receive "The Step-By-Step Guide To Home Computing", which included a very detailed BASIC Tutorial, and some more in-depth study of the ECS's abilities. For the techies, the unit sported an additional voice chip (bringing the grand total to 6), 10K of ROM and 2K of RAM for programming purposes.

This unit comes in two flavors, the grey mentioned above, and also a dark brown color keyed to the original Intellivision. Functionally, the units are identical. The dark brown variety is extremely difficult to find.

Expansions announced for this unit include a 16K RAM, 8K ROM expansion, a 32K RAM, 12K ROM expansion, data recorder, and a 40 column thermal printer. None of these peripherals ever made it to market.

Original Titles that are ECS-Required:

Independent and Homebrew Releases that are ECS-Enhanced:

Source Links


2.3 How can I replace the ECS power supply?

The best 100% compatible power supply to get is the TRIAD WAU090-1200 that was engineered in the USA and made in China.

As of February 10th 2016, all external power supplies manufactured for use in the United States and imported into the United States is required to have the energy efficiency level VI rating per the Department of Energy law. Dealers in the United State that have old stock of power supplies, are allowed under the law to sell their old stock of power supplies as long as those power supplies were manufactured and imported into the United States before Feb 10th 2016.

In 2020 many AC to DC power supplies one purchases online are level VI complaint. However AC to AC power supplies are not in demand, since most modern consumer products in the 21st Century use AC to DC power supplies, therefore there are some USA dealers that still have old stock of AC to AC power supplies that they imported into the United States before February 10th 2016, that they are trying to get rid off at clearance prices. However, there are also many third-party companies producing both AC to AC and AC to DC external power supplies that are made in China, and violating the Department of Energy level VI compliant rules put in place back in February 10th 2016.

As far as is known, the TRIAD Magnetics company is the only company that makes AC to AC external power supplies that have the required energy efficiency level VI defined by the DOE Docket Number EERE-2008-BT-STD-0005-0219.

Source Links


2.3 What is the European ECS?

When the ECS was released worldwide, the first market was the USA, where the white motif Intellivision II was in production, and the original 2609 console was not distibuted. Because non-USA Intellivisions still resembled the original unit, an ECS with the brown+gold color scheme was produced. The differences between the brown and white ECS hardware are cosmetic color change, the regional power brick, and aux/tape IO which uses sync based on 50Hz or 60Hz. Internally, the ECS obtains timing/STIC Information from the main console, so the PSG remains uniform with the main console PSG. This also means that data saved to the cassette on a PAL-connected ECS will not read on an NTSC-connected system due to the Hz speed coming from the STIC.

A brown ECS will work with a USA ECS power brick.

Alternate Questions

Source Links


2.3 What are the ECS Technical Specifications?

Source Links


2.3 Can an ECS print?

User rietveld from Atari Age has managed to connect the Mattel Aquarius printer to the ECS out-port.

Media Links

Source Links


2.3 What was the Keyboard Component?

When Intellivision was released, a great selling point on the box was that they were developing a keyboard computer addition to the system. The Intellivision was designed as a modular home computer. The Master Component could be purchased as a stand-alone video game system and the Keyboard Component could be added, providing the computer keyboard and tape drive. There was also built in ports for a microphone and a thermal printer.

The Keyboard was very ambitious for 1979 and anyone buying an Intellivision had high hopes for the product. Mattel Electronics entered talks with Citi Bank to do online banking with "Project Pronto" using 6502-based computing and IO with Master Component via the Intellivoice; it would be a digitally connected experience like PlayCable for games. The problem is that it was 1979 and the product was unreliable in testing. By 1981, the product still was not out. The problem was so bad that it became a joke.

In mid-1982, the FTC ordered Mattel to pay a monthly fine (said to be $10,000) until the Keyboard was in wide distribution.

(Keith Robinson)

Just over 4,000 Keyboard Components were manufactured, but no one knows how many actually wound up in the hands of consumers, or stayed there. Mattel tried to buy back all the outstanding units to avoid lawsuits when it was discontinued. If you had your receipt, you got a full refund on your purchase price (reports on how much the price was vary from $600 to $800). If you didn't have a receipt, you were given $550 for the unit, $60 for the BASIC cartridge and $30 for each game cassette.
Some consumers insisted on keeping their Keyboard Component. They were allowed to, plus they were given $1000 worth of other Mattel Electronics products.

Either way, they had to sign a statement that read: "By accepting this offer, I recognize that I am releasing Mattel Electronics from all liability due to its decision to discontinue the keyboard component and related products."

Some of the unsold and returned units were converted into Intellivision development stations at Mattel Electronics in California and in France. The rest were apparently dismantled and the processors and memory chips recycled.

A lot of vision was had for the KC, Mattel marketing director Gary Moskovitz has said in 1983 "Downlading information will be of vital importance in coming years. I believe that the sale of different software in stores will quickly be overcome by the almost infinite choice of software from information networks by phone or cable. We need to provide Intellivision users with a cheap way to acess and store data for later use." This statement was made to aim a launch of a mode, wireless keyboard, and external HD.

Media Links

Source Links


2.3 Can a Keyboard Component print to paper??

The rebranded Alphacom Sprinter-40 printer was destined for use with the console. A few branded for Mattel Electronics are in the posession of the heirs to the Papa Intellivision estate.

Media Links

Source Links


2.3 Did the original Intellivision Keyboard Component use normal audio casettes, or something special to the Intellivision?

(Keith Robinson)

With the Microsoft BASIC cartridge, users could write their own programs and save them to tape on the built-in tape drive. Mattel sold special Data Storage Cassettes, which were similar to normal audio cassettes except they had no leader (same as some answering machines use).

Source Links


2.4 What is the Intellivision III?

The Intellivision III is not the same as the "INTV Super Pro System III", which is a console line comprised of surplus hardware from Mattel re-sold by Intv Corp.

Atari wasn't the only company with plans to introduce a "next generation" video game system; Mattel spoke of its soon-to-be released Intellivision III for well over a year before the idea was dumped. Unit specifications:

Note that most of these features existed in other hardware projects at the time (ECS, updated STIC, Intellivoice) , the Intellivision III would have been a great evolutionary step. Mattel Electronics Marketing apparently decided that the "next generation" would have only kept them on-par with the Coleco and Atari consoles, and not a large enough leapfrog, which they would save for the Intellivision IV project.

Media Links

Source Links


2.4 What was the Intellivision IV?

Mattel Electronics created a working specification for the "MAGIC" platform in 1982 with a 240x192 screen resolution with hardware scrolling and 4-color sprites, a 68000 CPU, advanced IO (including built in modem) and DSP. This would have been a radically new machine (unlike the planned Intellivision III which would have been an ultimate combination of hardware that existed at the time). Dave Chandler's team communicated with Phillips at the time regarding manufacture, and dedicated engineers were added to work on the "machine for the next decade". The planned release was 1985. No known hardware mockups exist, and prototype graphic screens or audio artifacts are not known to exist today.

If the system was released when planned, it would have clearly been more sophisticated than everything else on the market, as the NES was barely in North America at the time, and equivalent games would have been only available on something like the Amiga.

Alternate Questions

Source Links


2.4 What is the Tutorvision?

In 1989, INTV Corp. made a deal with World Book Encyclopedia to manufacture an educational video game system called Tutorvision. The Tutorvision console would be a modified Intellivision, molded in gold plastic. Two sets of eight cartridges, one for younger children, one for older, would be produced. The World Book direct sales staff would market Tutorvision as they did encyclopedias - get the console and one set of the cartridges for a low monthly payment. Part of the sales pitch would be that the family was also getting a game machine; while the Tutorvision cartridges would only work in a Tutorvision console, the Tutorvision console could play the entire library of Intellivision cartridges.

Everyone seemed happy with the completed games, so why it all fell apart is unclear. In 1990, World Book and INTV Corp. filed lawsuits against each other. The same year, INTV filed for bankruptcy. Tutorvision was never released and was mostly forgotten.

Several units have surfaced across North America over the last 20 years, they are very much sought-after as collector items because they are essentially upgrades/expanded Intellivision consoles, tech capability is between the 2609 Master Component and an Intellivision III.

NAME Tutor Vision
MANUFACTURER World Book
ORIGIN U.S.A.
YEAR 1989
END OF PRODUCTION 1990
BUILT IN SOFTWARE / GAMES None
CONTROLLER Twelve-button numeric keypad (0�9, Clear, and Enter) + 4 side-located action buttons (two of which are electronicaly the same) + 16-directions controller disk
CPU General Instrument CP1610
SPEED 895 KHz
RAM 1352 bytes
ROM 7168 bytes
GRAPHIC MODES 160 x 196
COLOR 16 color palette
SOUND General Instrument AY-3-8914 (3 channels sound + 1 noise generator)
I/O PORTS Cartridge slot, video ouput (RF or RGB depending versions), power in
MEDIA Cartridge
NUMBER OF GAMES 16 dedicated cartridges were to be released for the Tutor Vision The Tutor Vision is also compatible with all Intellivision cartridges
POWER SUPPLY Power supply built-in
PRICE Unknown

Intellivision Productions and Realtime Associates have 14 of the games, found on floppy disks many years ago. Most read that as 16 games were programmed, and if the Canadian version of Time Trip is counted seperately that could make it 17. Two titles remain unknown.

Media Links

Source Links


2.4 What is the Tutor Pro aka Super Pro Tutorvision?

In the late 1980's, INTV Corp apparently re-used any hardware to get consoles released to the public. This included taking working hardware that was destined for Tutorvision consoles, disabling Tutorvision features, and releasing them as disguised, conventional Intellivision Super Pro consoles on the outside. The telltale sign of these systems is the INTV88 motherboard. The motherboard has additional STIC capability, more GRAM, a more readable ROM font, and an extra pixel on the right side of the screen.

There are primarily two knon "Tutor Pro" types of consoles: those with the original EXEC ROM and those with the newer WBEXEC ROM. The INTV88 boards always have the all the other Tutorvision upgrades. Early on, it was theorized that the upgrades might be more mix-and-match but none were found yet. For example, the newer STIC 1A chip has a physically different shape than the original STIC chip which means that that the original STIC chip can't go into an INTV88 board.

It may be that the Tutorvision STIC is the same as the conventional STIC, but with aditional address lines to access the full 2k RAM that the STIC can handle, which would be 256 8x8 tiles total; more Super Pro Tutorvisions would have to be found to correlate this.

The quickest way to know if an Intv System III possibly has Tutorvision components is to look at the underside of the unit, all Super Pro Tutorvisions have the mainboard visible through heat vents on the bottom of the unit; non-SPTs have a black painted metal shield obscuring the mainboard when looking through the vent holes.

The FW Diagnostics cartridge released by Freewheel Systems in 2019 can detect any Tutor hardware that might be in an Intellivision.

As of Autumn, 2021, approximately eight of these systems have been found.

Media Links

Source Links


2.5 How many positions can the hand controller detect?

It is 16 positions! This control disc was "revolutionary" for it's time, allowing for greater control with sports titles, but is also one of the reasons Intellivision never did catch up to the Atari 2600 in popularity.


2.5 What are overlays?

Overlays are a unique way to personalize the experience for each player using a hand controller. They are implemented as plastic inserts that slide into the top of the controller, and convert the keypad to specific functions.

Mattel Electronics Marketing originally required keypad and overlay function for all games, even where it was not "needed", in order to differentiate from the Atari 2600.

The Colecovision keypad is very similar to the Intellivision, but does not support overlays.

Most experienced players do not need to use the overlays, because they generaly know which positions on the keypad execute given functions. The overlays are simply plastic.

Overlays make a game fun and do attract attention!

They can be purchased, as of 2021, at the Blue Sky Rangers store within eBay.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


2.5 Does anyone make or sell extra overlays?

Roger Matthews, who uses the handle "Psycho Stormtrooper" on Atari Age forums, reverse-engineered the secret of making overlays in the high-quality original style of Mattel Electronics. The overlays are known as The Orphan Overlays, and can sometimes be found on online auctions. Approximately 100 sets were made, so they are rare.

Keith Robinson was so impressed by Matthews' work that he recruited him to make overlays for the Flashback and can be found on the BSR retail site as "Replacement Overlays".

Alternate Questions

Source Links


2.5 Can overlays be made at home?

Valter Prette and Dave Jong, under the Elektronite moniker, created a self HOWTO document for creating overlays at home with readily availble materials.

Intellivision Revolution (see 6.1) makes them available in small batches from time to time.

Source Links


2.5 Can an Intellivision use paddle controllers?

Charles D loves Kaboom-style games, and was motiviated to create the Intellipaddle. It works! The controller maps graduated input from turning the paddle to the absolute digital signals expected by the console. Wow.

Source Links


2.5 Can the hand controller disc be changed to a stick?

The popularity of the Atari VCS/2600 joystick cannot be understated for consumer hands in the 1980s: it seemed natural to for the human hand to grip the tall stick, and the single button was easy to figure out (one choice). It's easy to now see the form factor an evolutionary dead-end (button placement works for right-handed people only, precision is impossible), the Intellivision disc and thumb control has been in every game system that followed as a "d-pad". However, in the 1980s, several companies attempted different schemes to add a stick control to the disc to make it more VCS-like, with varying degrees of success.

Media Links


2.5 Can an Intellivision controller be modified for USB to work on current systems?

Raphael Assenat has developed a solution for taking a removed 2609 controller and using it in a system like a modern desktop PC/Mac.

The key features of the result are:

Source Links


2.5 Can I replace an Intellivision controller with a Flashback controller?

Nurmix of the Intellivisionaries produces special cables that convert the pinout from the Flashback to the standard Mattel Electronics design. Because Flashback controllers are excellent replicas of the original units, the converter cable is a great way to get perfect classic control on the original hardware.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


2.5 Can an Atari Jaguar controller be used on an Intellivision?

With the number pad and directional pad, the Jaguar controller seems like it could mimic an Intellivision controller well. Jsoper was successful with this in 2015, although none of these mods appear to be available as of 2021.

Source Links


2.5 Can a Neo Geo controller be used on an Intellivision?

The Intv2 Arcade Controller is a custom-rebuilt Neo Geo AES controller modified to work the Intellivision. Custom PCB, special microswitches, and other components are sold as a PCB kit. Complete controllers are sometimes available.

Some games work better than others with the customization:

Media Links

Source Links


2.5 Can I replace an Intellivision controller with a joystick?

The Wico Command Stick is a full replacement for the Intellivision controller that strongly resembles a Colecovision controller with a stick like the Atari 5200.

Alternate Questions

Media Links


2.6 What is the Intellivoice?

This module attaches to the cartridge port of your Intellivision, and through the use of special voice-enhanced games, the Intellivision could emit intelligible speech. This was groundbreaking for 1982! The module has a dial on the front to control the voices' volume. Voice audio was included in the TV output (unlike voice add-ons for other systems like the Odyssey 2 Speech Synth). There were 5 games released to take advantage of the unit's capabilities:

Original Titles:

Planned or Undeveloped:

Homebrew and Independent (21st Century):

The original games were complex to produce by 1980 standards, taking two+ months with multiple professional contributors.

Voice games will work without the adapter, but since the voice was made to be an integral portion of the game, the original titles are extremely difficult to play.

Media Links

Source Links


2.6 What are the Intellivoice technical specifications?

The speech synthesizer is the General Instruments SP-0256 Orator. The SP0256 incorporates four basic functions

The SP-0256 can also accept serial speech data from an external source.

Media Links

Source Links


2.6 What kind of speech samples are heard in the Intellivoice?

Samples are English phonemes in the standard Intellivoice, audio quality is approximately 8KHz. An international Intellivision was planned to support phonemes in other European languages, but was not released.

Media Links

Source Links


2.6 What kind of speech samples are heard in the Intellivoice?

Samples are English phonemes in the standard Intellivoice, audio quality is approximately 8KHz. An international Intellivision was planned to support phonemes in other European languages, but was not released.

Media Links

Source Links


2.6 What is the Music Synthesizer?

This was an add-on for the ECS, a full 49 key piano style keyboard. It has 6 note polyphony (for you non-musicians, can play 6 notes at once), and plugs into the controller ports on the ECS via a dual 9 pin connector. Melody Blaster was the only program released by Mattel to specifically take advantage of this component. This unit also came molded either in light gray or dark brown plastic. Although they are both pretty tough to find, the brown variety is extremely rare.

Over time, the keyboard PCB has been found to warp (these things are 35+ years old, after all). They were manufactured by the reputable Pratt-Read company, which was hurt by the videogame slump beacuse Mattel Electronics suddenly did not need the supply they had built-up.

Media Links

Source Links


2.6 What was PlayCable?

The idea of beaming Junior video games through Cable TV is not new; a company called PlayCable in 1981 created an adapter for the Intellivision that plugged into the cartridge port, and the service would have had a selection of 20 of the most popular games available every month. Steven Roode and his brother were fortunate enough to have this service, and what follows is his description of the hardware and the service provided:

When you signed up for PlayCable, you were given a box which would plug into the Intellivision cartridge port. The box had the same color scheme as an Intellivision I, and the dimensions were the same height and depth of the Intellivision I, with the length of an Intellivision II. It had a power cord coming out of it. Additionally, you were given a RF box which had a coaxial in, a coaxial out, and two RCA outs. One RCA out was connected to the Intellivision, and one was connected to the PlayCable unit. The setup looked roughly like this:

                                                Cable In   
                                                   | |   
                                               -----------   
                                               |  ----+  |  +--- RF Box   
                                               -----------   
                                                |_||_||_|   
                                   ______________|  T  |   
                                   |                V  |   
                                   |                   |   
        =================================================   
        |                              ||               |   
        | ---------------------------- || ------------- |   
        |  /\ .... |        | .... /\  ||               |   
        |  \/ .... |        | .... \/  ||               |   
        | ---------------------------- || ------------- |   
        |                       [ ][|] ||               |   
        =================================================   
                 Intellivision            PlayCable Box   

From Larry Anderson:

For about $4.95 a month, the cable company would transmit 20 games (Although for the first few months, there were only 15 games). When you turned on the Intellivision, a sort of 'boot screen' would come up and you would hear a sound that sort of sounded like a clock ticking. After a couple of seconds, you would hear 4 long beeps and the PlayCable title screen would pop up. There would be one of four different songs in the background (I know that one was the victory song in checkers, one was The Entertainer, one was Music Box Dancer, and I forget the other one). Each screen listed 5 games (I think, it may have been 4), and you could cycle through the games lists by pressing the disc. When you found the game that you wanted, you would press the number next to it, and press enter. A title screen of the game would pop up, and again you would hear ticking. After a couple of seconds, you would hear the same 4 long beeps and the game would be ready to play.

The following are excerpts from a PlayCable-specific game manual describing the game loading process:

HOW TO SELECT YOUR FAVORITE GAME FROM PLAYCABLE:

We had PlayCable for about two years (I think 81-82), and our cable company was big into promoting it. They had Intellivision play-a-thons at some of the local malls, giving away free consoles to high scorers in certain games. During one promotional weekend, the cable company showed nothing but people playing Intellivision and the announcers commenting on how realistic the gameplay was. I think we even have one PlayCable T-shirt laying around somewhere!

Finally though, our cable company stopped carrying PlayCable, and unfortunately, we had to surrender the box. I would liked to have kept it to see how it worked. All in all, our family has a lot of fond memories of PlayCable. I think it helped to enhance the uniqueness and mystery of the Intellivision.

Media Links


2.6 How can the PlayCable be seen today?

The PlayCable service and runtime environment has been emulated, so anyone with jzIntv can see it run in 1983 era glory.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


2.6 What is the System Changer?

The Atari VCS/2600 had the biggest library of games at the time, and Mattel added the capability of playing 2600 carts to the INTV II with this module. This unit also interfaces with the INTV II via the cartridge port. It has a cartridge port on the top of the module, Game Select and Reset keys flanking the two difficulty and color/BW switch:

                                (Top View)  
                        ________________________  
                        |     _____________     |       Legend:  
                        |    | _         _ |    |  
                  ______|    |_____________|    |    1 - Game Select  
                  |                             |    2 - Left Difficulty  
                  | +--- To INTV                |    3 - Color / BW Switch  
                  |_______ ___________________  |    4 - Right Difficulty  
                        |  |  1  |2|3|4|  5  |  |    5 - Game Reset  
                        |  |_____|_|_|_|_____|  |  
                        |_______________________|  

The controller ports are located on the front of the module, and any of your favorite 2600 compatible controllers work just fine. If you don't happen to have Atari controllers lying around, you can use the disc controller attached to the INTV II in lieu of them.

If you happened to own an original Intellivision, sending in your Master Component and $19.95 would get you a ROM upgrade that was required for this unit to work with the older equipment.


2.6 what would happen if you plugged your 2600 System Changer into an un-modified Intellivision I?

An unmodified Master Component (unmodified meaning sans ROM upgrade), when turned on with this unit plugged in, reads "M-Network" on the title screen. You can hear all the sounds from the 2600 game you have inserted, but no video is displayed, other than this title screen. Ever try playing Blind Combat?


2.6 What was TV POWWW?

On October 1st, 1978, KABC-TV Los Angeles, hosted by Regis Philbin, took TV POWWW! on the air for the first time. This is the first known live video game competition ever broadcast on television in North America. It used a Mattels Intellivision instead of the Fairchild Channel F in earlier European iterations. On various children shows, time was given for a specially-modified version of Space Battle / Sharp Shot with enemy space ships flying around and across a target zone, and a random dial-in caller would be selected to yell "POW" to initiate a shot at the target. If a score was reached for blasting ships, the caller would be awarded a prize.

Mostly kids just yelled "POW" as much as possible in the hopes of getting a score without strategy, but it was a huge hit and very popular. It was a great showcase of telephone control with a voice trigger circuit, and Intellivision graphics and sound prowess.

Alternate Questions

Source Links


2.6 Does TV-POWWW Exist today?

A wizard of modern Intellivision development that goes by the moniker "decle" developed an emulation ROM that simulates the popular "Space Target" game as well as the unreleased games "KSlots" and "KSoccer"

Dr. Decle also replicated TV POWWW hardware for anyone that wants to create a 21st century version of the game!

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


2.6 What is the Videoplexer?

Tired of switching between your 8 favorite games?? Get a Videoplexer! Similar to the RomScanner for the Atari 2600, this unit would store 8 Intellivision games and allow you to switch them on the fly via a touch panel on the front of the unit.

Media Links


2.7 What is the Ultimate Flashback?

Todd Holcomb developed a solution to the limited games on the Flashback by replacing the internals with a Raspberry Pi and accessible SDRAM slot. This change allowed the install of Emulation Station plus the jzIntv emulator to run any Intellivision game in the catalog, using the excellent Flashback controllers. Mr. Holcomb's kit is the most faithful way to play Intellivision games on a television without resorting to original (aging) hardware.

Media Links

Source Links


2.7 What is the Intellivision Flashback?

First available in Fall 2014 via Atgames, the Flashback is an all-in-one "plug and play" unit that resembles a minified version of the gold+woodgrain 2609 console. Unlike the previous handheld units, these are not ports but instead the actual Intellivision code running within a hardware emulator. Most of the games are very functional and playable, with a lot of care taken by Intellivision Productions CEO Keith Robinson to make sure the same level of play and fun are included.

A major standout for the system are the controllers, which very faithfully reproduce the look/feel/control of the original items. It does not have a cartridge slot, and does not carry 3rd party licensed games like Bump-n-Jump (Data East), but it does deliver the classic Intellivision IP in a fast-to-play format. Many people currently buy Flashbacks just for the controllers, which can have the end-cable pinouts modified to work on original hardware.

Atgames relationship with Intellivision Productions was not a good one, and a follow-on Flashback was not meant to be.

SKU 721737B2, UPC/EAN/ISBN 857847003271

Games list:

Game Game Game
01 Astrosmash 11 Body Slam: Super Pro Wrestling 21 Spiker: Super Pro Volleyball
02 Space Armada 12 Bowling 22 Stadium Mud Buggies
03 Space Battle 13 Boxing 23 Super Pro Decathlon (Decathlon)
04 Space Cadet 14 Deep Pockets: Super Pro Pool & Billiards 24 Tennis
05 Space Hawk 15 Football, Super Pro 25 Backgammon
06 Space Spartans 16 Chip Shot: Super Pro Golf 26 Bomb Squad
07 Star Strike 17 Golf 27 Checkers
08 Auto Racing 18 Slap Shot: Super Pro Hockey 28 Chess
09 World Ch Bsbal 19 Motocross 29 Horse Racing
10 Slam Dunk 20 Soccer 30 Las Vegas Poker & Blackjack
31 Las Vegas Roulette 42 Brickout 52 Snafu
32 Royal Dealer 43 Blowout 53 Thin Ice
34 Armor Battle 44 Buzz Bombers 54 Thunder Castle
35 B-17 Bomber 45 Frog Bog 55 Triple Action
36 Crown of Kings 46 Hard Hat 56 Vectron
37 Minotaur 47 Hover Force 57 Learning Fun
38 Sea Battle 48 Night Stalker 58 Learning Fun II
39 Sub Hunt 49 Pinball 59 Math Fun
40 Tower of Doom 50 Shark! Shark! 60 Word Fun
41 Takeover 51 Sharp Shot

Overlays included in all editions:

Overlays included if item was purchased from Sam's Club:

A supplemental 60-overlay pack was sold by the Blue Sky Rangers company.

A special edition was made for the Dollar General retail stores, which included the original 2-player-only Major League Baseball game.

Media Links

Source Links


2.7 What is the Intellicart?

The Intellicart is a RAM-based cartridge for the Intellivision, designed and originally sold by Chad Schell (http://www.schells.com/intellicart.shtml). It provides 64Kx16-bit of memory for games. Through a clever bankswitching scheme, modern software can use all 64K words. It is also capable of playing nearly all existing games. The few it cannot play without modification require 8-bit RAM or ECS-style bank switching.

Notes from the now-defunct Giga INtellivision Site:

[mapping] $0000 - $1FFF = $5000

Media Links

Source Links


2.7 Can an Intellicart be loaded from another retro machine?

User "16kRAM" created this unique loader bridge as part of a Retro Challenge in 2016.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


2.7 What is the LTO Flash! cartridge?

LTO Flash is an awesome ultra-modern flash cart. It contains enough capacity to hold the entire Intellivision game catalog several times over. It uses a conventional USB connection to a Windows/Mac/Linux computer and a management application to ingest/export ROMs.

It supports all known ROM configurations (4k/6k/8k/etc) as well as JLP-enhanced games. Save state is also included. 100% ECS compatibility. Buy two, while you can!

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


2.8 Was the Intellivision installed in a real car?

The 1982 Ford Continental Concept 100 was a prototype car with next-generation features like a touchscreen to control basic car functions, satellite navigation (Transit system, pre-GPS), and an Intellivision built into the rear-seat center armrest. Complete with storage slots for controllers and headphone jacks, anyone riding in the back set could play Burgertime any time on the CRT embedded in the seats. The car was to be a luxury coupe of the future!

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


2.8 Can the ECS serial I/O interface with a GPS?

Mattel Electronics developers added bi-directional I/O with the RS-232 serial port, but never envisioned that Lathe26 of Atari Age Forums would use it for a GPS!

The UART present in the ECS is half duplex. Ingredients for the solution:

Media Links

Source Links


2.8 Can the Intellivison and ECS work with MIDI?

IMDI (Intellivision Music Digital Interface) is a prototype of a combined MIDI interface and Intellivision cartridge. It turns the Master Component / ECS combo into a MIDI instrument. It came about as a result of a converstion with Paul Nurminen of the Intellivisionaries.

Currently IMDI runs a modified version JoeZ's Simple Synthesizer for the ECS. This version can take input from either the ECS synthesizer keyboard or a MIDI source and use it to drive the six voices of the ECS.

When using a MIDI source, the note velocity is used to set the output volume, making the ECS touch sensitive for the first time. The sound of the Simple Synthesizer has also been sexed up a bit with the addition of a little vibrato and decay.

Media Links

Source Links


2.9 What is the Dick Smith Wizzard?

It is easier to say what the game/computer console is not, it is not an Intellivision. The Dick Smith Electronics stores in Australia in the early 1980s wanted to profit on the innovations of the Intellivision, without actually being an Intellivision. They iterated on the controllers with keypads, game-to-computer expansion, and several games that had replayability from complexity. Ultimately the system did not last.

Media Links

Source Links


3.0 Software


Software the runs on the Intellivision and media that carries it.


3.0 What happens if two Intellivoice units are plugged in at the same time with a voice cartridge?

Greg Chance tried it, and here is what happened:

Someone had asked about daisy-chaining two IntelliVoices together, i.e. plug one into the other, and then a speech cart into the 2nd one. Ok, I did this with Space Spartans. The 2nd speech synthesizer kind of cancelled stuff out! It said, "Welcome to (bleeeeehahah)" and then there wasn't any voice during the game. So that's the answer. :) It doesn't quite work.


3.0 Why do some cartridges have white labels?

(Keth Robinson)

Pretty cheesy, huh? I was in charge of printing those; Terry Valeski contracted with me to provide all the packaging for the INTV Corporation releases. He wanted costs as low as possible, so overlays were eliminated where possible (Mattel's policy was that every game had to have overlays, even if they weren't really needed, such as for Pinball; Valeski got rid of them), manuals became black & white (folded, not stapled) and labels were printed on whatever stock my printer had leftover and would give me a price break on. That's why you'll find different size labels on different copies of the same game.

Of course, INTV didn't invent this cost cutting. Mattel's Intellivision packaging went downhill quickly, too. The original boxes opened like a book and had a plastic tray the cartridge fit into. Manuals were all full color. The plastic tray was the first thing to go, then the manuals went to two-color, then the boxes simply became boxes (some games, like BurgerTime, were released in both versions of the boxes).

At INTV, we printed the boxes on an even cheaper grade of cardboard, but at least Valeski wanted them to be colorful. I designed most of them with an art budget of about $800 per box. A painter named Steve Huston did the Super Pro sports covers and I did most of the cartoony covers (Thin Ice, Learning Fun I & II). Other artists and photographers did individual titles. I had Joe Ferreira, who did the graphics for Hover Force, do the artwork for the box. And if the cover art for Thunder Castle looks more threatening than the cute graphics in the game, it's because that artwork had been commissioned by Mattel for the Tower of Doom cartridge. Valeski had it used for Thunder Castle since that game was already completed when he bought the Intellivision rights; Tower of Doom was incomplete. He had Tower of Doom finished later and I had to come up with new art for its box.

(By the way, look for the number 47 on the INTV boxes; that number is how Pomona College alumni sort of say "hello" to each other. Dave Warhol, the Pomona alum who produced these games, asked me to slip a 47 into the art whenever possible. Trivia: another Pomona Alum got onto the staff of Star Trek, which is why the number 47 pops up in most episodes of Next Generation and Voyager, and TWICE in the movie Generations.)

Sorry that I can't answer your real question though, namely which labels are worth more. That's a question for the collectors. But remembering how quickly some of this stuff was slapped together, it amuses me today to hear people pondering their value.

Source Links


3.0 Why do some white cartridge labels have different text?

(Keith Robinson)

Without seeing them, I would guess that you're comparing Intellivision Inc. labels with INTV Corporation labels. Intellivision Inc. was the company that took over the rights from Mattel; Terry Valeski was president, and his investors were merchandise liquidators. During that period, they did manufacture new copies of some of the popular games, but mostly they were selling off the exsisting Mattel stock. Once the stock was pretty much depleted, Terry bought the rights from his investors and changed the name of the company to INTV. He commissioned new games and continued manufacturing many of the old ones. I was brought in at that point to do the packaging; while I got the original artwork for the boxes and instructions, I simply did new typesetting for the labels. The Intellivision Inc. labels usually have a copyright notice [ �I.I. 19XX U.S.A., where the year is the year of the Mattel copyright]; the INTV labels don't.

OR...as I said in a previous post, the labels were printed on whatever leftover stock my printer had and would give me a price break on. In some cases, the labels were so much shorter than what we had used previously, that I had to re-typeset some titles in a condensed font.

Source Links


3.0 What games did Mattel plan to release with Sears?

In October of 1979, Mattel Electronics directors and engineers met with some Sears bosses to present technical details of the Intellivision and Keyboard Component before the official release. Among the titles presented, names and dates, a curious title "Puppet Theatre" was scheduled for 1980 but no prototype or draft exists.

Media Links

Source Links


3.0 How do I pause an Intellivision game?

Simultaneously pushing 9 and 1, or 7 and 3, on the Intellivision keypad should make a game pause. In original games by Mattel/APh, the screen was completely blanked using an Exec routine. Later developers adopted the same design idea for accessibility but do not necessarily blank the screen.

Alternate Questions

Source Links


3.1 What game databases exist about Intellivision?

Comprehensive lists exist at the source links.

Source Links


3.1 What games exist for Intellivision?

4Tris Dracula Miner 2049er Space Spartans
Aardvark Dragonfire Missile Domination Spiker Super Pro Volleyball
ABPA Backgammon Dreadnaught Factor Mission X Spina the Bee
ADVANCED DUNGEONS n DRAGONS Cartridge Electric Company Math Fun Moon Blast Stadium Mud Buggies
ADVANCED DUNGEONS n DRAGONS Treasure of Tarmin Cartridge Electric Company Word Fun Moonsweeper Stampede
Adventures of Tron Fantasy Motocross Star Strike
Air Strike Fantasy Puzzle Mountain Madness Super Pro Skiing Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back
Antartic Tales Fathom Mouse Trap SteamRoller
Anthropomorphic Force Flappy Bird Mr Basic Meets Bits N Bytes Stonix
Armor Battle Flappy Bird Ms Night Stalker Stonix
Astro Invader [Red, Blue] Flintstones Keyboard Fun Ms Pac Man Sub Hunt
Astrosmash Frog Bog Mystic Castle Super Chef BT
Atlantis Frogger NASL Soccer Super Cobra
Auto Racing Fubar NBA Basketball Super Mine Field
B17 Bomber Game Factory NFL Football Super Pro Baseball
Battlestar Galactica Space Battle Ghost Busters NHL Hockey Super Pro Decathlon
BCs Quest for Tires Gosub Night Stalker Super Pro Football
Beamrider Gyruss Ninja Odyssey Super Pro Hockey
Beat Em n Eat Em Happy Trails Nova Blast Super Pro NFL Football
Beauty n the Beast Hard Hat Number Jumble Super Pro Tennis
Blix HELI Old School Swords n Serpents
Blix, Blix/Chocolate Mine Horse Racing Omega Race Sydney Hunter
Blockade Runner Hotel Bunny Oregon Bound Sydney Hunter and the Sacred Tribe
Blow Out Hover Bovver Pac Man Takeover
Body Slam Super Pro Wrestling Hover Force Paddle Party Tale of Dragons and Swords
Bomb Squad Ice Trek PBA Bowling Tennis
Boulder Dash Illusions PGA Golf Tetris
Boulderdash Intellivania Piggy Bank Thin Ice
Boxing Inty BASIC Showcase Volume 1 Pinball Thunder Castle
Brickout Inty BASIC Showcase Volume 2 Pitfall TNT Cowboy
Bump n Jump Inty BASIC Showcase Volume 3 Pole Position Tower of Doom
Burgertime Jawcrusher Popeye Triple Action
Buzz Bombers Jetsons Ways With Words Princess Quest Triple Challenge
Carnival Jr Pac man Pumpkin Master Tron Deadly Discs
Centipede .json Jumpking Jr Qbert Tron Maze a Tron
Championship Tennis Jungle Hunt Quo Vadis Tron Solar Sailer
Checkers King of the Mountain Reversi Tropical Trouble
Chip Shot Super Pro Golf Kool Aid Man River Raid Truckin
Choplifter Lady Bug Robot Rubble Turbo
Christmas Carol Land Battle Rocky n Bullwinkle Tutankham
Christmas Carol vs the Ghost of Christmas Presents Las Vegas Poker n Blackjack Royal Dealer Ultimate Pong
Commando Las Vegas Roulette Safecracker Upmonsters
Congo Bongo Laser Sharks Same Game and Robots US Ski Team Skiing
Copter Command Laser Sharks Scarfinger USCF Chess
Cosmic Avenger League Of Light Scooby Doos Maze Chase Utopia
D2K Arcade Learning Fun I Sea Battle Vectron
D2K Arcade Special Edition Learning Fun II Sea Venture Venture
Deep Pockets Lock n Chase Secret Government Waffle Project White Water
Deep Zone Lock N Chase Sewer Sam Wizard of Wor
Defender Loco Motion Shark Shark World Championship Baseball
Defender of the Crown Lost Caves of Kroz Shark Shark 2 World Cup Soccer
Demon Attack Mad Bomber Sharp Shot World Series Major League Baseball
Desert Bus Magic Carousel Slam Dunk Super Pro Basketball Worm Whomper
Dig Dug Major League Baseball Slap Shot Super Pro Hockey X Ray
Diner Maria Smurf Rescue in Gargemmels Castle Yogis Frustration
Donkey Kong Arcade Masters of the Universe The Power of He Man Snafu Zaxxon
Donkey Kong Coleco Match 5 Space Armada Zombie Madness
Donkey Kong Junior Melody Blaster Space Battle
Melody Runner Space Cadet
Meteors Space Cunt
Microsurgeon Space Hawk
Mind Strike Space Patrol
Minehunter Space Raid
Alternate Questions

Source Links


3.1 How are dungeons in AD&D Cloudy Mountain generated in such a small memory footprint?

-All the rooms are 9x9 "background cards" in size (72x72 pixels). -The middle card on three of the edges - the three directions you can travel to - is where one room connects to another. -The center card is the spawn point for: yourself, monsters, pickup items, and the exit (or crown halves). -The card just south of the spawn point, regardless of orientation is where visual "artifacts" appear: rat droppings, demon bones, and skulls. -All the rooms are rendered using six GROM character tiles: blank (#0), full (#95), and half-filled along a diagonal (#116-119). -The rooms are rotated in 90� increments based on the three directions you can go. -There is one row/column full of empty cards in the direction you can't go. -Movement always happens in one-tile increments, though the animation is smooth. You and the monsters can only move where there are filled tiles. Diagonals within the "tunnels" are for visual effect, so you're not seen walking through walls while travelling diagonally. The diagonals also effect the angle of refraction for arrows.

Media Links

Source Links


3.1 Does a Treasure of Tarmin full one-sheet reference exist?

User Ilabnip of Atari Age has created a single-page reference that makes the game easier to remeber/play for any skill level player.

Media Links

Source Links


3.1 How are Treasure of Tarmin maps made?

The maps are cleverly parted from several pre-rendered core designs and arranged in a non-deterministic manner. This can mean that long-time players, once they walk through a given hallways configuration, will know where the doors and turns are.

Alternate Questions

Source Links


3.1 Does Auto Racing have alternate steering?

The original release had "screen relative" steering, which meant that pushing the disc left made the car turn left. This was deemed too difficult to understand, and an unannounced change was made to "car relative" steering, so pushing the disc left would make the car turn left regardless of the direction it is facing.

Alternate Questions

Source Links


3.1 Does a full map of the auto racing world exist?

A full map is available of the entire Auto Racing world.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


3.1 Does Auto Racing have alternate steering?

The original release had "screen relative" steering, which meant that pushing the disc left made the car turn left. This was deemed too difficult to understand, and an unannounced change was made to "car relative" steering, so pushing the disc left would make the car turn left regardless of the direction it is facing.

Alternate Questions

Source Links


3.1 What is Technical Associates?

A pair of New Jersey programmers that created the game for Mattel after showing the company they knew how to develop using a PlayCable and PC.

Media Links

Source Links


3.1 Why was Kool Aid Man for the Intellivision different than the Atari 2600 version instead of being the same like most people would produce?

(Keith Robinson, 1995)

Both games were created specifically for the Kool-Aid tie-in; in fact, they were the result of an in-house contest. The reason the two games are different is the result of a philosophical difference between the programmers and Marketing.

Since every game system had its strengths and weaknesses, any game originally developed for one system (or for the arcades) would suffer when adapted for another. For the most part, the programmers wanted every game to be an original, designed for a specific system and taking full advantage of that system's strengths.

Marketing wanted games that would be on as many systems as possible, with game play and graphics that were recognizable across those systems. They argued for simplifying Intellivision graphics on some games to make them more like the 2600 versions. (This led to many heated discussions, particularly between myself and Marjorie Brent, a marketing person who had been a friend of mine from before we both wound up at Mattel.)

Anyway, Marketing had made a deal with Kool-Aid, then presented the deadline to Programming. No game idea was presented to us, just that it had to use Kool-Aid Man. It was, of course, a rush job. We argued that the only way to meet the deadline, which required an Intellivision and 2600 version to be ready at the same time, was to allow the programmers to develop different games for the two systems; designing to the strengths of a system is faster than adapting something around its weaknesses.

We hoped that the result would be two good games instead of one good game and a lame adaptation or two passable versions of one game and that it would lead to more games in which the Intellivision, 2600, Colecovision or whatever versions could differ greatly to take full advantage of each system. But Marketing HATED that the two games were different and never let us do it again. They said consumers would be confused and angry. And you know, based on the e-mail we've received and the posts to this newsgroup about Kool-Aid Man, looks like they were right. After 12 years, I guess I owe Marjorie an apology.

Source Links


3.1 Are there any game play tips for Sewer Sam?

The standard Intellivision pause method doesn't seem to work! Pressing 1 and 9 (or 3 and 7) just makes Sewer Sam fire his gun. The rats can actually be helpful, since as long as you've got one onscreen, it takes the place of a potentially more dangerous enemy (the spiders are probably the biggest hassles in the game). If you're lucky enough to get three rats at the start of a water level, you can actually keep the crocodile from ever appearing.

Obviously, all of the odd mazes are dry, and the even ones are wet. Submarines only appear in wet levels.

Not a lot is known about Interphase, anyone with additional info about them, please contact us at Intv Prime. Thanks!

Source Links


3.1 What is IntyOS?

Realistically, 1K of RAM isn't enough to host a GUI for desktop productivity. Arnauld Chevallier decided to create something that looks like one, though. :)

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


3.1 Did the Keyboard Component have a football game?

decle of Atari Age loaded and demonstrated the version of the coach-only game for the KC.

Media Links

Source Links


3.1 Does the Intellivision have demos?

As an expression of the coding talent of a programmer (or programmer team) on a given platform, the best and brightest have created runtime creations that push the stock Intellivision hardware to its limit to make some extremely entertaining works of art. You won't believe that 1979 hardware can do what it does! As of 2021, the most expansive demo is "Voyager".

Alternate Questions

Media Links


3.1 Are alternate songs or music available for Melody Blaster?

A hacked ROM and configuration from Midnight Blue allows playing an all new set of songs.

Source Links


3.1 Which original 125 games came with overlays?

Source Links


3.1 What is the Intellivision handheld?

As a profit-generating exercise for future projects like the Intellivision Flashback, the "Intellivision 10" and "Intellivision 25" handheld units were created to emulate popular Intellivision games. The units strongly resembled the Nintendo/Sega controllers of the late 1990s, and contained the entire emulation and TV connectivity with a simple game selection menu. The games are NoaC (Nintendo on a Chip) re-writes of Intellivision games using Intellivision graphics and converted audio. The units supported single player games. The games were written from the ground-up, not emulated, so the audio plus control plus graphics generally left something to be desired. However, to the new generation of kids seeing the games for the first time, they were fun! Intellivision Productions owner Keith Robinson decided he was on to something with these all-in-one units, when kids at family get togethers started arguing who got to play (Skiing) next.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


3.1 What is Intellivision Lives?

The Intellivision Productions company leveraged the profits from the Intellivisoin-10 and Intellivision-25 handhelds to release full treatments of Intellivision games in turnkey packaged emulation called "Intellivision Lives!".

The sound, control, and graphics are faithfully replicated on the following systems:

60 games plus previously-unreleased Hardhat, Brickout, and Deep Pockets are included. The Nintendo DS version is particularly valued because of the portability and quick-to-play format.

In addition to games, the Windows/MacOS version CD contains additional media and documents about the early days of Intellivision production.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


3.2 Does 4Tris have easter eggs?

Source Links


3.2 Does Dungeons & Dragons Cloudy Mountain have easter eggs?

Source Links


3.2 Does Armor Battle have any bugs or easter eggs?

Source Links


3.2 Does Astrosmash have easter eggs?

Source Links


3.2 Does Atlantis have easter eggs?

Source Links


3.2 Does Auto Racing have easter eggs?

Source Links


3.2 Does B-17 Bomber have easter eggs?

Source Links


3.2 Does Beamrider have easter eggs?

Source Links


3.2 Does Beauty n the Beast have easter eggs?

Source Links


3.2 Does Body Slam Super Pro Wrestling have easter eggs?

Source Links


3.2 Does Frogger have any bugs or easter eggs?

There is a serious game ending glitch in Frogger, that surprisingly calls to the Intellivision's cheering sound effect bank, with the problem with it never returning (Game Terminates). There does not seem to be any definite reason why this occurs, but the further the game goes, more likely the glitch to occur at any time. Can happen at any part, road, middle, river, etc... (there are several examples in the this week Intellivision HSC ending tonight for examples if needed).

Source Links


3.2 Does Math Fun have any bugs?

This title originally coded by Kimo Yap had an 8-bit math overflow error which was seen on harder game levels (with more complex problems). When the development was transitioned to Larry Zwick, the storage for the equations was moved to 16-bit memory, and the overflows were mitigated.

Source Links


3.2 Does Super Pro Basketball have any easter eggs or bugs?

Offensive team will miss a pass with a defensive player on the far side of the screen near the out, and the defensive player will recover the ball but "float" in space and cannot be touched by the other team, and that player can then shoot at his leisure.

Source Links


3.2 Does Star Strike have any bugs or easter eggs?

Source Links


3.2 Does Super Pro Football have any bugs or easter eggs?

Press either lower left action button at the title screen, and the game jumps to the stats page. After pressing Enter on the right controller, it then starts game play, with the visitors having first and goal at the one yard line. Both teams are human controlled.

This is in addition to the well documented easter egg where pressing and holding keypad #0 or disc-East at the title screen rolls the credits.

Source Links


3.2 What games can be patched for cheats?

With access to an emulator (jzIntv seems to be the most capable and popular in 2021), many games can be modified to make them easier to "win", either with runtime configuration or direct hex editing.

Alternate Questions

Source Links


3.3 Can an Intellivision be programmed in Assembly?

The primary and best way to write Intellivision games with CP1600 assembly language is AS1600, part of the SDK-1600 and jzIntv package by Joe Zbiciak.

The public domain compiler has built millions of lines of Intellivision code since the mid-1990s.

Media Links

Source Links


3.3 How were Intellivision games programmed?

Compared to developing today with sophisticated IDEs and debuggers and DevOps pipelines, coding was very much "by hand" for original Intellivision games. Graphics were usually designed on graph paper with a pencil, with on/off bits coded after the drawings were ready. A hardware device perhaps resembling a Lite Brite with push buttons for the 20x12 character Intellivision screen was created for early design. Tools were rapidly developed after that, incorporating DEC PDP-11 for round tripping between coding and executing on consoles, modified Keyboard Components (aka Blue Whale or Black Whale), and later special boards for IBM XT-era systems (Magus interface board).

The Blue Sky Rangers company in the late 1990s attempted to emulate the Magus system with what they called Magus-2 to give aspiring developers a way to code on Wintel PCs and push code to an Intellivision; this was not successful and no systems are currently known to exist.

Media Links

Source Links


3.3 What is ECS BASIC?

This language is 12k of code built into the ROM of the ECS, and can be used to alter the operation of plugged-in games, or creation of simple games (labled the "sucky feature" of the language). ECS BASIC is a very subset of what was considered BASIC in the early 1980s, with many limitations on commands and variables. A likely reason that most language features revolves around manipulating ROM items (eg game cartridge content) is because the ECS provides approximately 1.5k of RAM for actual coding, with language features consuming RAM along with actual user code.

Mattel Electronics published documentation showing which games can be best-used with ECS BASIC.

As is it does in so many other areas, the jzIntv emulator (see FAQ section 9.1) makes development on an emulated ECS more pleasurable than writing on original hardware, as modern keyboards are better than the ECS keyboard, and data and state can be read or written very easily in a the virtualized environment.

This is not "IntyBASIC", which is a 2021 language for development with modern devices/computers, that compiles to Intellivision binaries using a modern toolchain.

Media Links

Source Links


3.3 Can an Intellivision be programmed in BASIC?

�scar Toledo G. first released IntyBASIC in 2014, a cross-compiler that takes BASIC source code and translates it to CP1610 assembly. The assembly can be built into a ROM using the AS1600 assembler. Output is then playable on any emulator or hardware console.

The rate of creation for new Intellivision games/programs/apps is higher now than it has ever been, thanks to this language system. On Windows, Mac, or a Linux, compilation and execution is as simple as:

 
intybasic game.bas game.asm 
as1600 game.asm -o game 
jzintv game 
 

IntyBASIC includes support for all the Intellivision video and sound features in form of commands like SPRITE and SOUND, trying to be close to the hardware but so easy as possible to user. The level of popularity for creating games is so high, contests have been held in 2015, 2018, and 2020 for (new) programmers to try their hand at making games.

IntyBASIC is open source.

Two IntyBASIC programming books exist as guides for new developers that want to use the language.

This is not "ECS BASIC" that is included with the ECS to create limited programs directly on the Intellivision, this requires a text editor/IDE on a contemporary system and access to compilers and emulators.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


3.3 What is the fastest way for a beginner to program in BASIC?

The IntyBASIC SDK exists to on-board anyone quickly to programming Intellivision games. - Support for both Windows and Mac OS X computers

IntyBASIC SDK is not a fully integrated development system in the traditional way. It is still a command-line development environment. However, great pains were taken to make sure it is as easy and inviting as possible so that anybody can use it with little to no experience.

What's New Version 1.2.2 - August/24/2020

Media Links

Source Links


3.3 What programming tools are available for IntyBASIC?

Oscar and others have created multiple tools that help coders of all skill levels create classic Intellivision games. Because IntyBASIC compiles to CP1610 assembly, the output from these tools can ultimely be used in other Intellivision projects/languages. Please follow the source and media links.

Media Links

Source Links


3.3 How can I program speech in IntyBASIC?

The GI SP-0256 Orator was/is used in a handful of voice hardware from the early 1980s, programming documents for other platforms that use the chip can be used when coding in IntyBASIC.

Example from Ploytech:

Zero       /ZZ/ /EH/ /EH/ /ER1/ /OW/ /PA1/
One        /WW/ /AX/ /NN1/ /PA1/
Two        /TT2/ /UW2/ /PA1/
Three      /TH/ /RR2/ /IY/ /PA1/
Four       /FF/ /OW/ /ER1/ /PA1/
Five       /FF/ /AO/ /AY/ /FF/ /PA1/
Six        /SS/ /IH/ /IH/ /KK1/ /SS/ /PA1/
Seven      /SS/ /EH/ /VV/ /EH/ /EH/ /NN1/ /PA1/
Eight      /EY/ /DH2/ /TT2/ /PA1/
Nine       /NN1/ /AY/ /NN1/ /PA1/
Ten        /TT2/ /EH/ /EH/ /NN1/ /PA1/
Eleven     /EH/ /LL/ /EH/ /VV/ /EH/ /NN1/ /PA1/
Twelve     /TT2/ /WW/ /EH/ /LL/ /FF/ /PA1/
Thirteen   /TH/ /ER2/ /TT2/ /IY/ /NN1/ /PA1/
Fourteen   /FF/ /OW/ /ER1/ /TT2/ /IY/ /NN1/ /PA1/
Fifteen    /FF/ /IH/ /IH/ /FF/ /TT2/ /IY/ /NN1/ /PA1/
Sixteen    /SS/ /IH/ /KK1/ /SS/ /TT2/ /IY/ /NN1/ /PA1/
Seventeen  /SS/ /EH/ /VV/ /EH/ /NN1/ /TT2/ /IY/ /NN1/ /PA1/
Eighteen   /EY/ /DH2/ /TT2/ /IY/ /NN1/ /PA1/
Nineteen   /NN1/ /AY/ /NN1/ /TT2/ /IY/ /NN1/ /PA1/
Twenty     /TT2/ /WW/ /EH/ /NN1/ /TT2/ /IY/ /PA1/

Alternate Questions

Source Links


3.4 Was Mahjong planned for release on Intellivision?

Mattel Electronics planned to do the game with Bandai in 1982. The game would have the complexity of non-Latin alphabet characters fitting within the Intellivision 8x8 card limits. No artifacts are known to exist beyond an image used for porting-planning.

Media Links

Source Links


3.4 Can raytracing/raycasting be done on an Intellivision?

Raycasting is a rendering technique to create a 3D perspective in a 2D map. Back when computers were slower it wasn't possible to run real 3D engines in realtime, and raycasting was the first solution. Raycasting can go very fast, because only a calculation has to be done for every vertical line of the screen. The most well known game that used this technique, is of course Wolfenstein 3D.

Media Links

Source Links


3.4 Can an Intellivision work a text adventure?

The Collosal Cave game engine has been ported to the Intellivision, and the Z-Machine is posible. The JLP architecture would be required to contain the read-only content in ROM (storage). Display may be a challenge with the ROM text display set to 20x12, but custom font rendering might improve this.

Media Links

Source Links


3.5 Can a Keyboard Component act as a terminal and connect to a modern network/system?

decle rehabilitated a Keyboard Component, and set a version of Intelli-talk to get to the internet! Technical theater at its best.

Media Links

Source Links


3.5 Can an Intellivision connect as a terminal device or with BBSes?

If you know what 8N1 means, and have an ECS with a lot of free time, and a Cuttle Cart, you're in luck. Joe Zbiciak has put together serial port work with a simple termianl emulator. Get it together and call a BBS today! :)

Media Links

Source Links


3.6 Do Imagic games have a demonstration unit hardware?

Imagic created a unit with all produced Intellivision games at the time for use at shows and retail outlets. It can be seen at the National Videogame Museum.

Media Links

Source Links


3.6 Were special cartridges made for press releases?

Alternate Questions

Media Links


3.7 How can a cartridge be cleaned?

Feel free to think about these methods/products that have been used successfully by other users. These are not "official" endorsements, proceed at your own risk. Doing something agressively or incorrectly can cause irreparable damage to your items. This is information volunteered by others in the community to help. No warranties, etc etc etc.


3.7 Why are some cartridge labels black-on-white stuck on top of color?

Cartridges with "double labels" were original stock from Mattel Electronics, purchased by INTV Corp, and had to have labels changed to mitigate copyright concerns.

Known games with double labels as of 2021-06-18

Media Links

Source Links


3.7 Are all cartridge PCBs the same?

Intellivision cartridge PCBs are difficult to manufacture, and production was done in multiple differnt areas over time. Intellivision Revolution maintains a dataabase on this topic.

Source Links


3.9 Burgertime for the Colecovision, was made by Coleco, not Mattel who did the other systems versions, right?

(Keith Robinson)

Actually, Mattel DID do it; it was programmed at our European office in the south of France. It was nearly completed when Mattel Electronics was shut down in the US (we showed it with the Mattel Electronics title screen at the January 1984 Consumer Electronics Show), but by law Mattel had to keep the French office open until they could find a buyer for it. So the programmers were kept on payroll finishing BurgerTime and several other games. Finally, Tim Scanlon, director of the office, found investors so that the division could buy itself from Mattel and become independent. Part of the deal was that they got the rights to the games they were working on. Their new company Nice Dreams (they were located near Nice) sold the Colecovision versions of BurgerTime and Illusions (an original game) to Coleco, and their Intellivision versions of Championship Tennis and World Cup Soccer (originally intended to be 4-player games for the ECS) to INTV. Their Intellivision version of Illusions was never released.

We don't know what happened to Nice Dreams after those four games were released; a check with the French Commerce office last year failed to turn up a "Nice Dreams" still in business in France.

Media Links

Source Links


3.9 Did Intv Corp produce games for the Nintento Entertainment System (NES)?

Intv Corp did make some profit from the NES platform. Quote from Keith Robinson:

Well, we can't tell you how rare it is, but we can tell you its history: In 1989, INTV planned to move into NES production and distribution so they commissioned Realtime Associates (who developed most of the original INTV games) to produce both an Intellivision and NES version of "Monster Truck Rally." When the game was finished, though, INTV had run out of money and credit to manufacture cartridges, so they sold all rights to the NES version to another company, who finally distributed it in 1990 or 91. So as to give that company an "exclusive" on the title, INTV changed the Intellivision version to "Stadium Mud Buggies." "Monster Truck Rally" was the only NES title done by INTV. Since INTV turned around and sold the game to another company before securing the rights from Realtime Associates (i.e. paying them), litigation ensued and the INTV/Realtime relationship fell apart. INTV released no more product after "Stadium Mud Buggies" (and "Spiker, Super Pro Volleyball," released at the same time). INTV filed for bankruptcy in 1991. Realtime Associates, however, is doing great. They've gone on to produce many NES, SNES, Sega, and GameBoy titles. One of their current hits is "Bug" for Saturn.

Media Links

Source Links


4.0 People



4.1 Who is Brian Pudden?

Brian creates Youtube content abuot the Intellivision and other systems. In Spring 2021, he began coding new games on his own..

Media Links

Source Links


4.1 who is CMart Chris Martin?

CMart is a co-host of The Intellivisionaries podcast, and also the #1 collector of Intellivision hardware and software and peripherals. He owns one of everything related to the Intellivision, and almost all of the variants of those things. If Las Vegas Poke & Blackjack was manufactured in 4 different countries, CMart has each one, shrinkwrapped, for example.


4.1 Who is Dan Daglow?

Don Daglow, is veteran of companies as diverse as Mattel Electronics (where he worked on the Intellivision), Electronic Arts (where he worked as one of its first producers) and Broderbund (where he ran its entertainment software

Source Links


4.1 Who is Daniel Bass?

Daniel Bass designed Loco-Motion and Ad. D&D: Tower of Doom.

Media Links

Source Links


4.1 Who is Eric Wells?

Eric developed the sound effects for Pac-Man.


4.1 Who is Gary Kato?

Gary Kato was an Imagic employee that programmed Demon Attack.

Source Links


4.1 Who is Gary Moskovitz?

Gary Moskovitz was the former marketing director for Mattel Electronics hardware and was responsible for several new directions related to Teletext and PlayCable. He also, while often trapped on the 405 in bad traffic, came up with names for several games like Jetsons Way with Words and Mr. BASIC Meets Bits and Bytes.

Media Links


4.1 Who is George Plimpton?

George Plimpton, a famous sports writer/personality was hired to advertise Intellivision on television. Side by side comparisons of Atari sports games were made, with enough energy that a new generation came to know him as "Mr. Intellivision". Atari versus Mattel became just as common as Coke versus Pepsi, and Plimpton led the first real game platform rivalry in the industry. Mattel became famous for their Sports conversions.

By 1982, George Plimpton was featuring Space games in his commercials. No doubt these commercials ate into profits quite substantially. During 1982, Mattel spent in excess of $50 million so that Mr. Plimpton could lampoon the "unrealistic" features of the Atari 2600.However, on a positive note, Intellivision became a household word in the early 1980's.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


4.1 Who is Glenn Case?

Glenn is a top-tier game retro game player.

He was most recently seen playing live in the November-2020 edition of the Intellivision Virtual Expo Game Room.

Source Links


4.1 Who is Glenn Hightower?

Glenn designed the initial Intellivision games for codeing by APh for Mattel.

Source Links


4.1 Who is Hal Finney?

As the story goes, APh Technology Consultants (located in Pasadena, CA) was hired by Mattel in 1976 to help design what became the Intellivision system; eventually they programmed the system's software, most of the development tools, and all of the first Intellivision, M-Network, and Keyboard Component games. The team consisted of APh president Glenn Hightower, graphics artist Dave James (from the Mattel Design & Development Department, who worked with APh to define the Intellivision�s system graphics, including the familiar running-man animation), and programmers, who were graduates of the California Institute of Technology (CalTech). The name, APh, was derived from the Applied Physics courses offered at CalTech. One of those graduates was Hal Finney, who became one of the more prolific game designers there.

Media Links

Source Links


4.1 who is James Pujals?

James, also known as "DZ-Jay" (as in parachute drop-zone), created the legenday game "Christmas Carol vs the Ghost of Christmas Presents", a maze style game that makes total use of the Intellivision hardware and software in a fun, pac-maze style of game with high replay value. In 2020, he released a children's book about the protagonist of the game, Carol Greenleaf, in her quest to help Santa save Christmas.

Media Links

Source Links


4.1 Who is Jerrol Jerr Richardson?

As an on-staff employee at Mattel Toys, Jerr created the distinctive box art brand/style with oil paint for games released by Mattel and APh through approximately 1983. His art also covered Barbie and other children�s toys throughout the 1970's. Little more is known about Jerr at present other than he was born in 1928 and died in 1991 aged 6

Media Links

Source Links


4.1 Who is Joe Santulli?

DP co-founder and slave master Joe Santulli has been playing video games since the original retail version of Ralph Baer's Odyssey appeared under his Christmas tree in the early 70's. Since that time he's been hopelessly addicted. He claims to own just about every system - domestic and import - that there is, and well over 10,000 unique games. Time NOT spent playing video games is dedicated to writing about playing video games. When he's not doing that, he's thinking about writing about video games.

Joe is also the director of the National Video Game Museum (403c) in Frisco, TX with partners of the Classic Gaming Expo in 2011.

Source Links


4.1 who is Joe Zbiciak?

Joe is the modern "godfather" of the classic Intellivison console, with numerous innovations on the platform that push the hardware and programming to the maximum limits. He can be found online in forums with the name "Intv Nut".

Source Links


4.1 Who is John Brooks?

APh employee that programmed the prototype Vegas II, along with Walter Bright.

Media Links

Source Links


4.1 Who is Keith Robinson?

Many will recognize Robinson as one of those of saved the Intellivision brand during the '90s, when he obtained the rights to the console and its games with fellow programmer Stephen Roney. His long-running affiliation with the retro console began in 1981, when Mattel Electronics brought in Robinson to program and design a number of Intellivision titles, including TRON Solar Sailer. He shifted to developer management until Mattel closed its doors, and after INTV Corp ceased to support the Intellivisoin in the 1990s, Robinson bought the original IP and began to introduce the console/platform to new generations of players.

Robinson made headway with the idea that keeping graphics and gameplay simple and pick-up-and-play fun would resonate with people in an era when most game publishers focused on 3D "eye candy graphics".Intellivision Lives, Intellipacks, ROM preservation, and ports emulation to modern consoles/devices are all the legacy of Keith Robinson. He curated the Intellivision brand of fun and preserved it before the concept of "game preservation" became popular.

Keith Robinson

Media Links

Source Links


4.1 who is Kimo Yap?

Kimo Yap was a Blue Sky Ranger that developed Math Fun, Word Fun, Learning Fun I, and Learning Fun II.

Source Links


4.1 who is Larry Zwick?

Larry created Auto Racing for the Intellivision, while employed at APh.


4.1 Who is Mack Morris?

Mack Morris was the president of Mattel Electronics in 1983, at the time responsible for terminating the Intellivision IV project plus all hardware efforts, and moving the company to software-only.


4.1 Who is Manuel Rodriguez?

The winner of the Astrosmash Shootoff competition in Houston, TX in 1982.

Source Links


4.1 Who is Mark Thompson?

Mark creates non-game media like new overlays and new manuals. His overlay making techniques were licensed by Intellivision Productions, because his manufacturing technique is the closest to the original Mattel method.

Alternate Questions

Source Links


4.1 Who is Mike Winans?

Mike programmed the Pac-Man port for Intv and Atarisoft, and also did the Lock n Chase programming for Mattel Electronics.


4.1 who is Oscar Toledo G.?

�scar crrated the IntyBASIC language and compiler, used by developers of all levels making new games for the Intellivision. He has also written two books on IntyBASIC programming, and several games (including the Sydney Hunter series and Princess Quest). �scar has won awards for the tiniest chess programs ever written, and DOS boot sector games.

Source Links


4.1 Who is Patrick Aubry?

Patrick Aubry co-founded Nice Ideas at the end of the Intellivision's heyday in France. He co-authored the very popular Spina the Bee ("Maya l'Abeille" in France and "La Abeja Maya" in Latin America).

Media Links

Source Links


4.1 Who is Patrick Jost?

Patrick Jumped from Pacific Telephone equipment programming to working on Space Spartans and the brand new Intellivoice technology.

Source Links


4.1 Who is Paul Nurminen?

Paul is the creator and lead of The Intellivisionaries Podcast. This podcast showcases extremely deep dives into knowledge and details and play of each Intellivision game in the classic catalog (30+ and counting), including original programmer interviews. Each episode is extremely long and extremely well produced. As someone who had a relationship with Keith Robinson, his insight into what makes the games fun is top-notch. He reportedly can even beat Tommy Tallarico in Intellivision Hockey!


4.1 Who is Ray Kaestner?

Ray Kaestner programmed Mattel's original handheld games (Computer Gin, World Champ Football, Computer Chess), then jumped to Intellivison games (Burgertime, Masters of the Universe, Diner, Super Pro Hockey, Super Pro Football).

Source Links


4.1 Who is Rick Levine?

Rick is the man that brought us Microsurgeon and Truckin' .

Media Links

Source Links


4.1 who is Rick Reynolds?

Rick is the co-host of The Intellivisionaries Podcast, along with Paul Nurminen. Rick tends to go deep on gameplay and quality analysis of the games he covers in the podcast. Rick also plays for the Extra Life organization each year in a charity pledge, and of course Intellivision games make his circuit!


4.1 Who is Ryan Winslow?

Ryan is known as "Winslator" and holds multiple Intellivision game high scores on Twin Galaxies. He played live during the 2020 Intellivision Virtual Expo.

Media Links

Source Links


4.1 who is Steve DiFrisco?

Steve got his start in game design at Imagic, making some truly magical games, such as Tropical Trouble and Wing War.

Media Links

Source Links


4.1 Who is Terry Valeski?

Tery was the head of Marketing at Mattel Electronics in 1983. By summer 1983, Mattel had laid off all employees involved in hardware development and then programmers, so by 1984 the Intellivision division was "gone". Valeski and a group of investors bought all the remaining stock and the rights to all the Intellivision product line. Known as Intellivision Incorporated, they began to sell off the remaining stock of Intellivision games, and to sell games which had been ready for release right before Mattel Electronics demise and sold the catalog through the INTV Corporation.

Source Links


4.1 Who is Walter Bright?

APh employee that programmed the prototype Vegas II.

Media Links

Source Links


4.2 who is APh Technological Consulting?

APh Technological Consulting was an engineering firm based in Pasadena, California. It was formed in 1974 as a limited partnership by two California Institute of Technology (Caltech) students, Glenn Hightower and John Denker. APh is an abbreviation for "applied physics". In 1976, APh was hired by Mattel to help design the Intellivision system. They also developed the operating system and the first games. College students wrote the code for the early games, and received very low pay, not equivalent to the hundreds of thousands of games that were sold.

Several members of APh left in 1982 and started Cheshire Engineering after a dispute over profits from developing Mattel's "M Network" line of Atari 2600 games.

Alternate Questions

Source Links


4.2 Who are the Blue Sky Rangers?

In 1979, Mattel Electronics decided that programmers should not get credit for their work, or be mentioned in documentation; the idea was secrecy would maximize profits and keep future competitors from trying to hire them away. TV Guide magazine produced an article calling these anonymous people 'Blue Sky Rangers' based on their staff sessions called 'Blue Sky Meetings', and the dev group decided to just keep the name afterwards.

Source Links


4.2 Did Mattel ever give programmers credit?

By 1983, headhunters had learned the identities of every formerly-anonymous Blue Sky Ranger (often bribing employees hundreds of dollars for copies of internal phone lists). Sure that everyone knew their identities but the public, and rankled by Activision's publicizing of their designers, the Blue Sky Rangers started pushing for names on cartridges. VP Gabriel Baum later sent a memo "The names of our key personnel are available to any investigative headhunter and I believe that we are more likely to retain employees than to lose them by publicly recognizing their connection with a cartridge. I also believe that our Marketing group could use programmer/designer recognition to their advantage." On May 27, Mattel Electronics announced credits would appear on future game packages.

Source Links


5.0 Marketing



5.2 What is the closest thing to the real thing?

"The Closest Thing to the Real Thing" was the lead campaign slogan from George Plimpton (see 4.1) in Intellivision commercials from the early 1980's. Comparing baseball and golf games on the Atari VCS/2600 made George's words ring true!

Alternate Questions

Source Links


5.2 What kind of advertising did Mattel do for Intellivision?

In addition to named campaigns, various commercials were aired over the years.

Source Links


5.2 Was the Intellivision showcased at CES?

CES 1982 (21:15, 22:28, 26.05 in Youtube link)

Media Links

Source Links


5.2 Were contests held using Dr. Pepper?

Dr. Pepper played a role in 1981 marketing by providing a chance to win an Astrosmash or Lock-n-Chase video game after opening a can.

Media Links

Source Links


5.2 What original promotional music can I hear about the Intellivision?

The ultimate fan song "My Intellivision" is out there, as well as some others that make use of heavy samples from the 1980s and synths. Once they play, you can't un-hear it. Enjoy!

Media Links


5.2 What songs are included in Intellivision games?

Game Song
Loco Motion Railroad Bill
Sub Hunt Ride of the Valkryies
Horse Racing William Tell Overture
Horse Racing First Call
Electric Company Math Fun Electric Company Theme
ABPA Backgammon 1812 Overture
Masters of the Universe Main Theme
Scooby Doo's Maze Chase Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
Thunder Castle Abdelazer Suite
Magic Carousel Maple Leaf Rag
Rock n Bullwinkle Adventures of Rocky n Bullwinkle Theme

Media Links

Source Links


5.2 Was the Intellivision advertised much in newspapers?

Mattel Electronics marketing department went through multiple newspaper campaigns over the classic console lifetime. See the media link for a large depot hosted by "Intellivision Dude" Google Drive.

Media Links


5.2 How was print media advertising for the Intellivision?

Mattel Electronics fairly heavily marketed the console and entire "game machine today and computer tomorrow" paradigm.

Media Links


5.2 Were games rented to people in the UK?

Radio Rentals rented televisions and appliances via Thorn group (EMI records) and they rented out inty cartridges.

TVs cost a lot in the 70s and early 80s and had reliability problems, so most people rented them. Thorn were involved in the early KC development on the tape side.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


5.2 Was Intellivision advertised in comic books?

Mattel Electronics tried to reach the kid market in 1982/1983 with advertising for most action-packed games. Marvel Comics contained full-page cover ads for Tron Deadly Discs, Burgertime, Lock-n-Chase, AD&D, Super Cobra, Masters of the Universe, Kool Aid Man, Bump-n-Jump, and Treasure of Tarmin.

Source Links


5.2 What Intellivision TV ads were shown?

Sellers like the Hills chain and other advertised the Intellivision in the early days. Note how many refer to the games as "video tapes".

Media Links


5.2 What Mattel Electronics partners advertised?

Mickey Mantle endorsed the PlayCable (see section 2.6) in many video commercials. During the 1980s, an "influencer" had to be a celebrity, not anyone with a social media account and desire.

Alternate Questions

Media Links


5.2 Where did Intellivision hardware or games appear in television or movies?

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


5.2 Has the Intellivision been mentioned personally in public?

The band Rush includes a nod to Intellivision Baseball in the album "Signals" liner notesin "Most Valuable Perons". Apparently member Geddy Lee became a baseball fan in the 70's, and his love of the game expanded into playing so much, the console had to be thanked.

Source Links


5.3 Were book covers made with Intellivision game themes?

For school students in the 1980s, hardcover books were required to be covered by students. Most anyone in the USA over age 35 remembers having to find grocery paper bags and wrapping their books for protection. Mattel Electornics capitalized on this idea with the coolest covers, ever.

Media Links


5.3 What is the employee paperweight?

The "We've got Momentum" paperweight was given out in the final days of Mattel Electronics in 1983 as souvenirs 'good job', along with jars of candy and leftover trade show pens.

Programers had asked for their names on games, royalties on what they developed, and offices with doors. But they got things like the paperweight.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


5.3 Was Intellivision advertised in movie theaters?

An innovate 35mm reel commercial was played before mainstream movies across the USA in 1982. The narrators are live-action people with pixelated rotoscope process to make their blockiness match the games they advertised.

Media Links


5.4 What did retailers have to learn to sell Intellivision?

Mattel Electronics distributed training and pre-sales marketing material in 1979 for retailers, and a 3/4" video tape for showing behind closed doors to exclusive parties.

Media Links

Source Links


5.4 What was the Intellivision Kiosk?

Mattel distributed customer kiosks for walk-up-and-play trails for the public in (non-Sears) stores. Each kiosk seems to have contained an Intellivision peripheral, model #3806, similar to a turbo charged Videoplexer, a "POPlexer", with the ability to read the intro headers from conventional Mattel releases and show the game title dynamically. This is unlike other kiosks where the menu or games were hardcoded.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


5.4 What was the Sears Intellivision Kiosk?

Sears created specialized kiosks with their Super Video Arcade (Sears-branded Intellivision) with single cartridge capability. It was cobbled together from existing parts, rather than the fully integrated unit with cartridge multiplexer like the Mattel Electronics version.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


6.0 Organizations


Development and Distribution Groups that created, supplied, or otherwise worked in the Intellivision galaxy.


6.1 What is the Atari VCS 2600?

The VCS, later called the 2600, was a simple home video game created by Atari in the mid 1970's. It retailed for USD $199 (equivalent to $849.88 in 2020) and became the dominant home system in the second era of home video games. The low graphic resolution, simple control and play, and lack of sophistication made it the perfect foil for Mattel to leapfrong with the Intellivision console 2 years later.

Media Links

Source Links


6.1 What is Blue Sky Rangers Inc?

Intellivision Productions, Inc has been renamed to Blue Sky Rangers, Inc, and our store and other information is being moved to BlueSkyRangers.com. Former coding BSR Steve Roney is now the president of the operation, releasing old stock from the former Intellivision Productions vaults, and releasing new IP for the classic console as it becomes available.

Source Links


6.1 Is the Colecovision better than Intellivision?

Colecovision graphics were bitmapped vs Intellivision character-based, but the Intellivision could have all of its sprites on the same set of scanlines without flicker. Total colors were comparable, and audio PSG were the same. Coleco copied the Intellivision controller style. Colecovision game library was focused on arcade ports, which gave it huge sales, but the lack of original games makes it now less-fun to emulate, as modern systems can emulate the real arcade game; Intellivision originals get a lot more play time in the 21st Century.

Intellivision Colecovision
General Instruments CP1600 @ 894.886KHz Zilog Z-80 @ 2MHz
1kb RAM 1kb RAM

Source Links


6.1 What is Digiplay?

During the 1980s, the Brazilian government required outside-developed technology to be re-developed within the country for soverignty reasons. Details of the deal made with US-based Mattel are not known, but Digiplay was the entity responsible for localization of hardware labels and references, game text, boxes, overlays, and advertising.

Source Links


6.1 What is Elektronite?

Elektronite is the leading publisher of commercial-quality, new Intellivision games. They often license IP from legitimate owners to create games (eg Boulderdash from First Star Software).

Media Links

Source Links


6.1 What is Intellivision Productions?

Keith Robinson developed Tron Solar Sailer game and was an integral game manager at Mattel Electronics in the early 1990's. After INTV Corp shut its doors in 1991, Robinson bought the rights in 1995 and pushed a branding blitz with the Blue Sky Rangers digital shrine website, and backed Intellivision emulation on modern systems to bring blocky-fast game fun to newer generations of gamers.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


6.1 What was INTV Corp?

In 1984, the vice president of marketing for Mattel Electronics bought the rights to the Intellivision and formed a company called INTV Corp. The company released a console physically identical to the 2609 console on the outside, with remaining 2609 electronics and in some rare cases, disabled Tutorvision electronics. The company also released games leftover from Mattel.

INTV continued to sell Master Components and cartridges, as well as to hire former Mattel Electronics empolyees to continue developing games. Surprisingly, INTV Corporation kept the Intellivision name alive until 1990. Having run out of money, INTV Corporation failed to sucessfully make the jump from exclusively supporting the Intellivision, to developing for the incredibly successful Nintendo Entertainment System, and went bankrupt some time in 1991.

Source Links


6.1 What was JHC Electronics Service?

(Keith Robinson from 1995)

One of the most asked questions we get at the Blue Sky Rangers is "Where can I get my Intellivision repaired?" Well, the official Intellivision repair service (i.e. the one Mattel still refers people to when they call) is:

J.H.C. Electronics Service 901 South Fremont Avenue #108 Alhambra, California 91803 Phone: 818-308-1685 Fax: 818-308-1548

J.H.C. is owned by James Hann, the guy who ran the repair service for INTV Corporation. While their primary business is special controllers for newer videogame systems, they still have the equipment to test and repair Intellivisions and are (amazingly) still willing to do it.

They advertise: "J.H.C. Electronics will repair any Intellivision video game system, no matter where or when purchased, for one low price! Complete overhaul, thorough testing, no-charge return shipping to you - only $49.95."

J.H.C. can also repair Intellivoice and computer modules. Call for prices.

Note: They do NOT have Intellivision II power supplies. They get asked that all the time, and they looked into having some made, but the minimum order is 500. J.H.C. has 100 people on a list now, and if they get 400 more commitments they'll have a batch made up. We wouldn't hold our breath, unless someone wants to pay $3,000 for the first one to get the ball rolling. Still, if you want to be added to the list, e-mail us at Tech@intellivisionlives.com; we'll pass them along to James if a significant number of people write."

Source Links


6.1 What is M-Network?

Atari VCS games made by the original Intellivision game programmers at APh. The games were introduced in 1982 under the tradename "M Network" (M for Mattel). All of the games were Atari 2600 versions of already released Intellivision cartridges. In recognition, though, of the concern that the simpler Atari versions might reflect badly on the Intellivision originals, the names of the games were changed.

Source Links


6.1 When did M-Network close?

Mattel closed its software division in January 1984, leaving a number of Atari games, in various stages of development, unreleased.

Source Links


6.1 What games were released for M-Network?

Alternate Questions

Source Links


6.1 What is Midnight Blue International?

Midnight Blue, headed by Michael Hayes, is an independent game development shop that has published purely original content through Intellivision Revolution and Good Deal Games. Their releases include Blix and Chocolate Mine. MBI has also created the Intellivision Portable Development Environment, a way for anyone with an Android OS system to create new games with IntyBASIC and ASM1600.

Source Links


6.1 What is Roklan?

Beginning as a management consulting firm in the 1970s, the company converted to contract software development in 1980 and produced several Intellivision titles for CBS/Coleco and Parker Brothers in the USA. They also produced games for the Atari VCS, 5200, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, C-64, IBM PC, TI-99/4A, and VIC-20.

Roklan was a big deal in the arcade->console porting business. A disassembly of multiple Coleco and Parker Bros games seems to indicate that the same Roklan tool chain and coding patterns were used.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


6.4 Who are The Intellivisionaries?

The Intellivisionaries is a podcast (43 episodes as of 2021) the featuers and focuses on the Intellivision. The hosts "go deep" on a game from the classic catalog in each episode, and include game reviews, listener feedback, and interviews with the Blue Sky Rangers and other developers of the games we all know and love.

Every episode is highly polished, and none of the regular 'casts are less than three hours in length. The show is often the authoritative source for what happened or what is happening in the Intellivision galaxy.

Media Links

Source Links


6.4 What is NAVA?

The North Atlantic Video Game Aficionados is a monthly event bringing gamers of all ages together for competition, trade, and chatter. It paused operation in 2020 due to COVID-19, we await its return!

Source Links


7.0 Events


Activities and actions that happened in the Intellivision universe, over time.


7.1 What were the Video Game Challenge Tournaments?

Late in 1981, Mattel held a series of local tournaments in Washington, DC, Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles, benefitting Variety Clubs International. Contestants competed for prizes (Grand Prize: an RCA projection TV) playing Major League Baseball, Auto Racing, and U.S. Ski Team Skiing. Another competition for parent+child was held in Summer/Fall in 1982, and then one more challenge competition in Chicago in 1982 for individuals. The Marketing Department knew that they were on to something. The publicity was so good, that Marketing took the idea national in 1982 with the $100,000 Astrosmash Shootoff.

Info from one of the contestants:

We arrive at the mall to a remarkable sight: 30 TVs and Intellivision sets in the big center court lounge area, like something out of a NASA control room. Many of the specifics of the day are lost to the sands of time, but I can still feel the excitement of having a chance to show off and compete. Most off all, I remember the fun of doing so as a family and how fitting it is that we should all be there together. For several hours, there are 15-team qualifying rounds on Skiing with the winning team of each round advancing to the 2nd round. My Dad and I set a solid time and win our round on the 1st attempt. After several attempts, my Mom and Sis manage to beat out 14 other teams to win a round of Skiing and claim a spot in the top 15 teams moving onto the second round. How huge is that?? The only family with 2 teams making it through! The second round is a timed game of Astrosmash, which none of us had needed practice on thanks to the recent Astrosmash Shootoff high score contest (more on that next time), but with only one shot to set a score, it's not a sure thing we'll make the 2 team finals. My Dad and I pull out a comfortable second and Mom & Sis manage to come in a very respectable 7th!

Media Links

Source Links


7.1 What is the Astrosmash Shootoff?

The Astrosmash Shootoff was first held in 1982 with a $25,000 cash prize won by Manuel Rodriguez of Stockton, California (score 935,180).

73 entrants were flown to Houston, Texas for an all-expense-paid weekend to play for a high score within one hour.

Media Links

Source Links


7.1 What were the scores for the Astrosmash Shootoff?

Mattel Electronics All Stars

West Team

Name Score
Manuel Rodriguez 851,505
Michael Miller 769,715
Martin Huard 752,940
Byron Nelson 750,830
Randy White 735,760
James West 730,390
Chad Junge 723,585
Andrew Staines 714,730
Ernie Fisher 707,525
Torn Lodgard 703,640
Mike Todd 692,280
Mike Siegler 666,195
G. Strada 646,585
Larry Sease 646,265
Derek Drew 641,605
Charlie Spears 636,705
John Roberts 632,320
Steve Little 624,490
D. J. Stamm 611,970
Richard Yamagata 611,320
Brad Brown 604,855
Larry Arnold 593,320
Peggy Hampton 514,250
T. R. Morgan 512,485
Stephen Glowacz 511,730
Phillip Culver 481,305
Janice Haycraft 464,980
Stephen Rochter 457,720
Rodney Zalewski 448,010
Robert McDonald 441,040

East Team

Name Score
Charles Tappan 795,750
Bernard Heydenbu 784,390
John Malley 774,435
Gary Lynch 769,240
Jim Jacob 755,530
Michael McCauley 726,450
Robert Kessler 710,100
Joseph Johnson 708,810
Ira Rubenstein 697,870
David Loh 686,420
Paul Souzer 681,425
Matt Wilson 666,000
C. Mark Boyle 654,425
Charles Grundy 653,390
Dough Leighty 647,320
Edward Manziuk 639,520
Mike Arvol 639,325
Scott Jacob 637,550
Rick Marchini 633,825
Donald Mason 630,505
Meyer Van Dam 625,430
Mathias Beran 624,250
Richard Smith 622,805
Kurt Sherry 616,385
Jefferey Zwier 606,350
Patrick Shrake 590,175
Thomas Fairbrother 588,165
Wayne Spoor 573,110
Richard Fulmer 567,435
Michael Obrzut 562,650
Michael Jacobi 560,950
T. Dodson 543,350
James Knaus 540,935
Ronald Fischer 536,290
Tom Reeves 517,080
Joseph Gendusa 507,095
John Parker 493,925
Steven Zickel 467,460
Paul Redmond 451,480
Brian Sheehey 406,395
Vinvent Gendusa 405,295
Gary Hanson 392,190

Source Links


7.1 What is the 2015 Astrosmash Shootoff?

The Astrosmash Shootoff in 2015 was held at the National Museum of Pinball. Famed videogame music composer Tommy Tallarico came in first in the 5-minute times challende with 13,220 points, second place was Patrick Wyrick with 13,195 points. 12 players competed for the top prize of an Intellivision Flashback unit.

Source Links


7.1 What is the Classic Gaming Expo (CGE)?

CGE has been held since 1999 in early Fall in Las Vegas, NV, USA. It is run by John Hardie, Sean Kelly, and Joe Santulli to cover retro video game collecting and playing, with classic Intellivision games playing a prominent role.

Source Links


7.1 Can I share my high scores?

Multiple authorities exist for reporting the highest high scores across the Intellivision catalog. That sounds like an oxymoron, because it is. :) Pick a group you like, play the game fully recorded, and post it. At the end of the day, it's all about fun. Different score platforms have different rules (real hardware vs Flashback vs emulation, time limits, controller variations, etc).

Alternate Questions

Source Links


7.1 What is the Intellivision Virtual Expo?

The Expo is a multi-hour marathon showcasing the latest and best in games, hardware, development, and news - strictly related to the classic Intellivision.

The first event took place on 21-November-2020 via Zoom, from 12:00pm to 8:00pm, US-Eastern-Standard time.
| Time | Session |
|-------|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| 12:05 | Intellivision Revolution Introduction & Presentation (10 min) |
| 12:15 | Commercial Break |
| 12:20 | What's New Presentation by Nanochess (25 min) |
| 12:45 | Commercial Break |
| 12:50 | Midnight Blue International Intellivision update by Michael Hayes (25 min) |
| 1:15 | Commercial Break |
| 1:20 | 2600Connection Presentation by Timdu (25 min) |
| 1:45 | Commercial Break |
| 1:50 | TV-PoWWW! By Decle (25min) |
| 2:15 | Commercial Break |
| 2:20 | Intellivisionaries Homebrew Highlights (45 min) |
| 3:05 | Intermission |
| 3:30 | From Pac-Man to Carol: A Post-Mortem by DZ-Jay (60 minutes) |
| 4:30 | Commercial Break |
| 4:35 | Amico Moment by OEB Pete (25 min) |
| 5:00 | Commercial Break |
| 5:05 | Intellivision Arcade Games Top 10 by ArcadeUSA (10 min) |
| 5:15 | Commercial Break |
| 5:20 | Argon Intellivision Emulator Presentation (25 min) |
| 5:45 | Commercial Break |
| 5:50 | The Immortal John Hancock Intellivision Favorite Games (15 min) |
| 6:05 | Elektronite Greetings by Vaulter Prette |
| 6:10 | Elektronite Update by Michael Bergeron |
| 6:30 | Expo Closing session |

In addition to the sessions and presentations, the event also hosted live game streaming via the Virtual Game Room. Multiple players in 4 different Azure Media "streaming rooms" played for high scores and recognition, or deep-dove into a few new homebrew games, or or generally played for fun.
2020 Game Streamers:

Media Links

Source Links


7.1 What was the IntyBASIC Programming Contest in 2015?

The contest was open to all IntyBASIC programmersm sponsored by GroovyBee, nonner242, nanochess, CollectorVision and Albert of Atari Age from 2015-July-01 to 2016-Jan-01.

12 contestants competed to create a ROM that was evaluated for game play, graphics, sound, and originality.

Entrants, in order of award:

Source Links


7.1 What was the IntyBASIC Programming Contest in 2018?

The contest was open to all IntyBASIC programmersm sponsored by Albert Yarusso, Crossbow, Dz-Jay, GrovvyBeeand IntyMike, mthiompson, OTG, and Tarzilla of Atari Age from 2018-July-01 to 2018-Dec-31

12 contestants competed to create a ROM that was evaluated for game play, graphics, sound, and originality.

Entrants, in order of award:

  1. Deep Zone (434) - By artrag
  2. Upmonsters (399) - By atari2600land
  3. The Crimson Tower (397) - By emerson
  4. MazezaM (387) - By postpostdoc
  5. Boot Hill (383) - By digress
  6. Princess Lydie (379) - By mmarrero
  7. Dwarven Mine (364) - By boardgamebrewer
  8. A Sparrow Goes Flapping (349) - By Kiwi
  9. Ouranos! (340) - By carlsson
  10. Deadly Balls (299) - By PuzZLeR
  11. Hunt the Wumpus (287) - By Zendocon
  12. mINTY (260) - By decle

Source Links


7.1 What was the IntyBASIC Programming Contest in 2020?

The contest was open to all IntyBASIC programmersm sponsored by intvdave, IntyMike, OTG, Tarzilla, Zendocon, and ZillaRUSH of Atari Age from 2020-July-01 to 2020-Dec-31 .

Contestants competed to create a ROM that was evaluated for game play, graphics, sound, and originality.

Entrants, in order of award:

Source Links


7.1 What is the Portland Retrogaming Expo (PGRE)?

The Expo is held, in years when a pandemic is not occuring, in Portland in mid-Autumn. It has been the congregation point for 21st Century independent and homebrew game publishers, console fans, and expert players. It is typically held in the Oregon Convention Center.

Source Links


7.2 Was Basketball ever played for a private tournament?

In 1989, A man named Bart Elliot combed every phone book until he found the number of Steve Ettinger, and asked him for a special modification to the game, so he could host a private party with the names of players and modified stats as Bart's friends names and changes for the league name and stats and etc. The version was created for an agreement of few thousand dollars, including art from Connie Goldman. The single cartridge was mailed to Bart, who never paid for the work. The source code for this conversion is currently unavailable.

Alternate Questions

Source Links


7.3 Was Mattel Sued by Magnavox?

In 1978 Magnavox introduced the Odyssey 2 which had a microprocessor which traced its roots to the ...507 patent filed by Sanders Associates granted in 1967/68. In 1979 Mattel introduced the Intellivision with a General Instruments microprocessor. Magnavox had previously successfully sued Atari (over Atari's Pong console)for patent violation. Atari settled by becoming a Magnavox exclusive licensee. With that confidently behind them, Magnavox sued Mattel for patent violation over Mattel's introduction of the Intellivision. Mattel's defence was that its console was not based on '507 but on the computer prior art, Space War!, the 1962 game played on a DEC PDP-1 mainframe at MIT. The court found for Magnavox ...it is clear from the evidence that Mattel did not in fact follow the prior art but, instead, followed developments in the television game industry, an industry which was created because of the work done at Sanders in developing the first television games and an industry which expanded and developed and become economically viable largely because of television games which followed the teachings of the '507 Patent.

Alternate Questions

Source Links


8.0 Publications


Visual Media that can be consumed for in-depth coverage of Intellivision information.


8.1 Does a checklist exist for game collectors?

The Digital Press organization has created a checklist for the original 125 games, covering Cartridge, Instructions, and Box attributes.

The Digital Press PsychOpedia is a collector's compendium of videogame manufacturer information, containing references to multiple Intellivision items.

Digital Press has a published rarity guide that is considered "The Bible" for collectors, with an onlie reference to match it.

Alternate Questions

Source Links


8.1 Does a manual exist for the Flashback games?

A compiled manual for all of the games built into the Intellivision Flashback was generated by mthompson of Atari Age.

Media Links

Source Links


8.2 What books were published for Intellivision game players?

Title ISBN Media Link
How to Master Home Video Games 0-553-20195-6
How to Beat Atari, Intellivision, and Other Home Video Games 0-671-45909-0
Repairing Your Home Video Game 0-88190-277-9
The Family Playbook for Intellivision Games 0-8065-0799-3

Source Links


8.2 What books are available to learn IntyBASIC?

�scar Toledo G. has written two books that walk a user from zero to writing complete Intellivision games.

  1. Programming Games for the Intellivision (ISBN-10: 1387961446)

The success of IntyBASIC inspired me to write a book called "Programming Games for Intellivision". It follows the learning technique that was so useful for me when starting in the BASIC language: Games published in parts, required to be typed by hand, and detailed explanation of each part.

  1. Advanced Game Programming for Intellivision (ISBN-10: 1678045624)

Inspired by the success of my first book, I went to write another book including more advanced techniques of programming. In particular I wanted to explore the development of games looking more professional both on terms of title screens, gameplay, sound, and music. ... A full chapter dedicated to the creation of sound effects and converting music sheets to IntyBASIC is included, furthermore tips for converting pictures to Intellivision graphics.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


8.3 Does an Intellivision II Service pamphlet exist?

SAMS created an easy-to-view fold-out document in 1985. It is not known if it was made for INTV Corp or their own company use.

Media Links

Source Links


8.4 Is there an Aquarius FAQ like this one?

Digital Press produced a FAQ for the Aquarius computer. The Aquarius is not compatible with the Intellivision in any way, but was owned by Mattel Electronics.

Source Links


9.0 Modern Resources


21st Century places, tools, and things for creating or consuming enjoyment of the classic Intellivision games.


9.1 How can ECS cassette data from tapes be emulated with waveforms?

Source Links


9.1 How can I emulate the Mattel Kiosk (POP) that was used in retail operations?

The culmination of one year of work is available from "Lathe26" on Atari Age.

Media Links

Source Links


9.1 Where can I download legitimate Intellivision ROMs?

Aside from lawful sellers, there are many places on the internet to grab homebrew and independent-publisher 21st Century games, for free. A sample of the overall items are included here.

Media Links

Source Links


9.1 What runtime environments exist to emulate an Intellivision?

There are many ways to emulate a classic Intellivision on other platforms. In 2021, jzIntv is simply the best way to do it. When in doubt, start with jzIntv.

jzIntv is so complete, it even has an Easter Egg embedded: keep "resetting" the game by holding down the key mapped to it in jzIntv config, and a screen with static noise will show on Channel 03, and simulate a person hitting the mute button. :)

Media Links

Source Links


9.1 Can Intellivision games be played in emulation on modern systems in a turnkey way?

Intellivision Productions, in the late 1990s, created floppy disks with the INTVPC emulator and s few games in a ready to play format. This evolved into the game packs on the Intellivsion Lives and Intellivision Rocks discs.

In 2021, most of these packs are not usable on modern OSes because INTVPC was written in Borland Pascal for MSDOS/Windows 3.1

In 1998, the Intellivision Lives CDROM for PC and MacOS contained these games, and later the run-ready game collections were produced for PS2 and Xbox and Game Cube in addition. INtellivision Lives was created for pack-in on Nintendo DS (the DS platform suits several games very well and is a popular portable way to play the games).

Media Links

Source Links


9.1 How can an Aquarius be emulated?

The Aquarius is a computer platform with some similar-looking software, but is in no way compatible with or similar to the Intellivision family. It is included here because it was a Mattel Electronics product, and can be fun in its own way.

For the curious, there is an emulator that runs under Windows 7 and newer Microsoft OSs.

Source Links


9.1 What is the Portable Intellivision Development Environment?

If you have ever wanted to try writing games for the Intellivision but you don't have hours of free time to just sit down in front of a computer, then use this document to create a full development environment right on your Android phone or tablet.

You do not need to root your device, and you do not need advanced technical skill. First, buy the books Programming Games For Intellivision and Advanced Game Programming for Intellivision and learn to write simple Intellivision programs. Then set up a full development environment to write games using only your device and a keyboard.

Alternate Questions

Media Links

Source Links


9.1 What TrueType Fonts are available to use in modern operating system platforms and hosts?

The most popular is "SF Intellivised", others exist and will be linked-to here as the FAQ maintainers have more time.

Media Links


9.2 Who sells Intellivision games at retail?

Aside from eBay and Facebook Marketplace, there are several places to buy games and consoles and parts at retail.

Like it or not, eBay is generally the go-to for people selling hardware, games, and accessories. The Blue Sky Rangers maintain an official eBay storefront as of Spring, 2021.

Between 2010 and 2021, scalpers and speculators have generally driven prices up, so eBay has been a great place to learn about what is available, but not necessarily the place to buy (except for the BSR store).

Organizations like Goodwill, Mission Thrift, and other national groups have online sales areas.

Check the sources here for alternative places to shop.

Alternate Questions

Source Links


9.2 Are box protectors available for Intellivision console boxes?

See link to Hoskinson Industries.

Source Links


9.3 How do I socialize with other Intellivision enthusiasts?

You found this FAQ, so that is a good start. :)

Aside from the implied connections elsewhere in this FAQ, try these direct places:


9.3 How much is an Intellivision collection worth?

According to the PriceCharting website, a collection of known original and major Independent cartridge games and hardware has a value of $4,406.60 and if all items are new-shrinkwrapped it is $18,408.14.

PriceCharting tends to be less than accurate and undervalued for all systems older than the NES, so Intellivision values are likely slightly higher for many items. YMMV!

Source Links


99.0 Credits


Special Acknowledgement of those who made this FAQ possible, and are responsible for the fun that the worldwide Intellivision community shares.

Aside from explicitly-noted source information, content in this FAQ can be attributed to:


99.0 What books/periodicals were sourced for the original Intellivision FAQ?

Many thanks to Lee K. Seitz, who provided this information from his Classic Video Game Book & Periodical List. Notes on books are copyrighted by the individual authors; all video games are trademarked by their manufacturers.

(Author's note: I've edited the list to only include pertinent information regarding the Intellivision, for more complete listings, please contact Mr. Seitz, and I'm sure that he'd be more than happy to e-mail you the complete list.)

DISCLAIMER This list is Copyright 1995 by Lee K. Seitz. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part, provided that this copyright notice is not removed. It may not be sold for profit or incorporated in commercial documents without the written permission of the copyright holder.

FORMAT OF ENTRIES Book entries are in alphabetical order by author. The format is as follows:

Author; Title; ISBN; Publisher; Date; Cover Price (in $US); Pages; Format (see abbreviations). Arcade: List of games covered. Home: List of systems covered (see abbreviations) (note 1). Notes: Notes from people who have read it, indicated by user name (see thanks at end).

Note 1: The "Home" section is listed only if the specific games covered are not known. If they are known, the entry will read something like:

2600: KABOOM!, PAC-MAN, PITFALL!. INTV: B-17 BOMBER, PITFALL!.

The names of all games are in ALL CAPS the first time they are referenced in connection to a book. This keeps users from worrying about mixed case when searching the document. This is also true of home systems that are not referenced often enough to have an abbreviation. Home system abbreviations are also in ALL CAPS.

Periodicals are in alphabetical order by title. The format is as follows:

Title; ISSN; Publisher; First Issue (date)-Last Issue (date); Frequency; Cover Price (in $US); Pages; Format (see abbreviations). Covers: Arcade, home, computer, and/or handhelds. Notes: Notes from people who have read it, indicated by user name (see thanks at end).

First and last issue numbers will be listed as they are in the periodical. This means either number (e.g. 1-20) or volume and issue number (e.g. v1n1-v2n8). If only issue numbers are used, this usually means that the entire run of the periodical is considered "volume 1." In such cases, if the periodical were to be cancelled and restarted, that would usually be considered "volume 2." Other publishers consider each year the periodical is published to be a separate volume.

ABBREVIATIONS Formats (refers to the size and binding, not the content):

COL Coloring book COM Comic book GN Graphic Novel (like a MAG with square binding; upscale COM) HC Hard cover (usually larger than a PB and smaller than a TPB) MAG Magazine NEWS Newsletter PAM Pamphlet (approx. PB size, but no flat spine; staples instead) PB Standard-sized paperback (or close to it) TPB Trade paperback (larger than a PB) Home Systems:

2600 Atari 2600 5200 Atari 5200 7800 Atari 7800 CHNF Channel F CLCO Colecovision INTV Intellivision OD2 Odyssey2 VECT Vectrex Blanchet, Micheal; How to Beat Atari, Intellivision, and Other Home Video Games; 0-671-45909-0; Simon & Schuster (Fireside); 1982; $4.95; 128p; PB. INTV: ARMOR BATTLE, ASTRO SMASH, SPACE ARMADA. Notes: Illustrated by R.B. Backhaus. Also contains a chapter on "Converting the Atari Joystick for Left-Handed Use." (mvcooley)

Blumenthal, Howard J.; The Complete Guide to Electronic Games; [ISBN?]; [Publisher?]; 1981; $[?]; [?]p; [Format?]. Home: 2600, INTV, OD^2. Notes: Concentrates on hand-held video games as well as home systems such as the Atari 2600, Intellivision, Odyssey, APF, etc. (rbarbaga)

Blumenthal, Howard J.; _The Media Room: Creating Your Own Home Entertainment and Information Center; 0-140-46538-3; Penguin Books; 1983; $9.95; 184p; TPB. Home: 2600, 5200, CLCO, INTV, PONG, ODYSSEY. Notes: Contains a single chapter on "Videogames" [sic], although there are other mentions throughout the book. This chapter give a very brief history of video games, starting with coin-op Pong and quickly switching to home systems. It concentrates on the 2600 and Intellivision, although the recently released 5200 and Colecovision are also mentioned. Also contains some nice B&W pictures of the 2600, Intellivision, and 5200. (lkseitz)

Cohen, Daniel; Video Games; 0-671-45872-8; Pocket Books; 1982; $1.95; 120p; PB. Home: 2600, CLCO, INTV, OD^2. Notes: Adolescent level book that discusses how video games work and their history. Contains lots of nice B&W photos of arcade games, home game consoles, some Intellivision screen shots (from before the games were officially named), and more. (lkseitz)

Cohen, Daniel & Susan; The Kid's Guide to Home Computers; 0-671-49361-2; Pocket Books; 1983; $1.95; 118p; PB. Home: 2600, INTV, CLCO, OD^2. Notes: Though this book would seemingly be only about computers, it contains a fair amount of video game information also. Contains several B&W system and game photos of several systems (INTV, Odyssey, Coleco, Adam, Aquarius, 800, Apple, C-64, Vic 20, etc.)! Also contains some INTV computer system game shots of these unreleased games: Number Jumbler, Flintstones: Keyboard Fun, Game Maker and Basic Programmer. Also contains a section on peripherals that covers joysticks (Spectravideo, Coleco Super Action), printers, monitors, etc. (APDF35D) Has a "turn your game system into a computer" section, which features a brief discussion of ADAM, Aquarius, INTV and 2600 computer add-ons, as well as a mention of an INTELLIVISION-III (not the INTV-III) with battery operated controls and built-in speech synth. Interesting. (jmcdonald)

Dodd, John Carroll; A Study of the Toy Market, Videogame [sic] Industry, Pysychological Role of Toys, and Toy Construction in Relation to a Proposed Promotion Campaign for Mattel Electronics Intellivision Video System; NO ISBN; NO PUBLISHER; 1982; NO PRICE; 56p; bound photocopy. Home: INTV Notes: Okay, so it isn't a book. It's a School of Art honors paper at Kent State University. It was too good to pass up. If anyone goes to K.S.U. to look it up, I'd appreciate a photocopy. (lkseitz)

Hirschfeld, Tom; How to Master Home Video Games; 0-553-20195-6; Bantam; 1982; $2.95; 198p; PB. INTV: ARMOR BATTLE, ASTROSMASH, SEA BATTLE, SPACE ARMADA, SPACE BATTLE. Notes: Each game is presented with a B&W illustration of the board with pointers to what each part of the screen represents and then has the following sections in outline format: controls, scoring, dangers, observations, and strategies. The following games also have a game variation matrix (in case you lose your manual, I guess): Asteroids, Combat, Missile Command, Space Invaders, and Warlords. Also includes sections on high scores, clubs, exact instructions on how to find the secret room in Adventure, some arcade games, and manufacturer addresses. For the completist, the arcade games are DEFENDER, PAC-MAN, ASTEROIDS, CENTIPEDE, SCRAMBLE, PHOENIX, GORF, GALAXIAN, BERZERK, and ASTEROIDS DELUXE. (lkseitz)

Hoye, David; The Family Playbook for Intellivision Games; 0-8065-0799-3; Citadel; 1982; $5.95; 188p; [Format?]. Home: INTV. Notes: Early Intellivision titles, detailed info. (jlodoen)

Kubey, Craig; The Winners' Book of Video Games; 0-446-37115-7; Warner Books; 1982; $5.95; 270p; TPB. INTV: BLACKJACK, LAS VEGAS POKER, MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL, NFL FOOTBALL, SPACE BATTLE. Notes: Includes a smattering of B&W photos and illustrations. This includes photos of the controls of Asteroids, Defender, Pac-Man, and Missile Command, plus a photo of the never-released Keyboard Component for the Intellivision I. Be warned that some of the home games listed are brief reviews as opposed to playing tips. Also includes sections on "Great Video Game Arcades in the United States and Canada," "Video Game Etiquette," "Video Songs" (songs to play by, not generally specifically about video games), "The Future," "Videomedicine," "Video Reform," history & status of the coin-op and home industries, and a "Glossary of Video Slang," some of which I've never heard. (lkseitz)

Rovin, Jeff; The Complete Guide to Conquering Video Games: How to Win at Every Game in the Galaxy; 0-020-29970-2 (PB); Collier Books; 1982; $5.95 (PB); 407p; PB, HC. INTV: ABPA BACKGAMMON, ARMOR BATTLE, ASTROSMASH, AUTO RACING, BASKETBALL, BOXING, CHECKERS, DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS, THE ELECTRIC COMPANY MATH FUN, THE ELECTRIC COMPANY WORD FUN, HORSE RACING, LAS VEGAS POKER AND BLACKJACK, LAS VEGAS ROULETTE, MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL, NASL SOCCER, NFL FOOTBALL, NHL HOCKEY, PBA BOWLING, PGA GOLF, SEA BATTLE, SNAFU, SPACE ARMADA, SPACE BATTLE, TENNIS, TRIPLE ACTION, U.S. SKI TEAM SKIING. Notes: [Some of the above names might not be actual cartridges, but just some games from a cartridge, due to the way the book is organized. If you see an entry that should be changed or entries that should be folded into one, please let me know. (lkseitz)] Includes index. By the editor of and could order from Videogaming Illustrated (see periodicals). There also exists a hardback edition. It is labeled "special book club edition" on the inside flap of the dust cover. Games were grouped by type (i.e. Atari's Surround includes hints on Intellivision's Snafu and Bally's Checkmate) because the hints were virtually the same. Each game types has the following sections: object, rating, strategies, cross-references, and video originals. Each game also has a simple cartoon/illustration to go with it. Also includes chapters on taking care of your video games, computer games, the future of video gaming, and a glossary. (lkseitz)

Stern, Sydney Ladenshohn and Ted Schoenhaus; Toyland: The High-Stakes Game of the Toy Industry; [ISBN?]; [Publisher?]; [Date?]; $[?]; [?]p; [Format?]. Home: 2600, CLCO, INTV. Notes: It's a history on the toy industry with a great chapter on video games. It's got detailed information on Atari's downfall but also quite a bit about Mattel and Coleco plus some stories about 3rd party developers. Later in the book it focuses on the industry circa 1988-9. (rbarbaga)

Stovall, Rawson; The Video Kid's Book of Home Video Games; 0-385-19309-2; Doubleday & Co. (Dolphin); 1984; $6.95; 140p; TPB?. Home: 2600, 5200, CLCO, INTV, OD^2, VECT. Notes: The 11-year-old author reviews more than 80 video games available for the six different systems available at the time, and offers advice on strategy.

Sullivan, George; How to Win at Video Games; 0-590-32630-9; Scholastic; 1982; $1.95; 175p; PB. Home: 2600, INTV, OD2, CHNF. Notes: To emphasize the importance of Pac-Man on classic video games, note that each of the above games is a section of a single chapter, except Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, which are contained within their own chapter. It also covers the Atari 2600 Pac-Man and the Coleco table-top. Each games is described with a B&W illustration (not to scale), a brief description, and sections on the controls, scoring, and strategy & tactics. There is also a chapter on home systems, listing "the five companies that offer home video games" (Atari VCS, Intellivision, Odyssey2, ActiVision [sic], and Channel F). Another on handheld and table-model games, and finally "Great Dates in Video Games", which includes the Arkie awards up to 1982, and a brief glimpse of the future. (lkseitz)

Worley, Joyce; Video Games; [ISBN?]; Dell Publishing Co., Inc.; 1982; $0.69; 64p; PAM?. Home: 2600, ASTROCADE, CLCO, INTV, OD^2. Notes: Contains instructions for playing arcade games as well as some hints on how to beat them (this is bottom of the barrel stuff here). Takes 3 pages out for home video game systems (basically just to say buy one if you like playing these kinds of games). No ISBN number, but it's #9280 in the series. (APDF35D)

6.3 - Magazines Activisions; [ISSN?]; Activision; 1 ([Date?])-[Issue?] ([Date?]); quarterly; free; [?]p; NEWS. Covers: HOME (2600, [more?]). Notes: Ran through at least #7 (Fall 1983).

Blip; NO ISSN; Marvel Comics Group; 1 (Feb 1983)-7 (Aug 1983); monthly; $1.00; 32p; COM. Covers: ARCADE, HOME. Notes: Marvel tried to get in on the video game fad. As you can see, it didn't last long. Despite the size, this was a magazine and not a comic book. It was aimed more at younger readers than adult, but is still enjoyable. It also has some good cartoons. (Did you know that all Donkey Kong wanted was for someone to scratch behind his ears? 8-) (lkseitz)

Digital Press; NO ISSN; Digital Press; [Issue?] ([Date?])-[Issue?] ([Date?]); bimonthly?; $10/6 issues; [?]p; [Format?]. Covers: HOME. Notes: STILL IN PRINT. A subscription (6 issues) to DP is $10. Make checks payable to Joe Santulli at:

Digital Press 44 Hunter Place Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442

You can contact Digital Press at digitpress@aol.com.

Electronic Games; 0730-6687; Reese Publishing Co.; v1n1 (Winter 1982?)-v3n4 (April 1985?); monthly (through Jan 1984), then bimonthly?; $2.95; [?]p; MAG. Covers: ARCADE, HOME, [more?]. Notes: The very first video game magazine. The name was changed to Computer Entertainment with the May 1985 issue. (wal) It is known that the Mar 1982 issue is vol. 1, no. 2.

JoyStik; [ISSN?] (LCCN sf93-91365); Publications International, Ltd.; v1n1 (Sep 1982)-[Issue?] ([Date?]); "six times a year"; $2.95; 64p; MAG. Covers: ARCADE, HOME, COMPUTER. Notes: Ran through at least v2n3 (Dec 1983). Color. Many screen shots. By the same publisher who did the Consumer Guide books.

Ken Uston's Newsletter on Video Games; [ISSN?]; New American Library, Inc.; [Issue?] ([Date?])-[Issue?] ([Date?]); [Frequency?]; $9.95/year; [?]p; NEWS. Covers: [Info?] Notes: Advertised in back of Ken Uston's Home Video '83 and Score!. Unknown if it was ever actually published.

Video Games; 0733-6780; Pumpkin Press Inc.; v1n1 (Aug 1982)-v2n? (Mar 1984); bimonthly (Aug 1982-Dec 1982), monthly (Jan 1983-Jan 1984); $2.95; 84p (Dec 1982), 106p (Feb 1983), 82p (all others); MAG. Covers: ARCADE, HOME, COMPUTER, HANDHELD. Notes: This was a full color magazine. In had many photos of cabinets, consoles, handhelds, and screens. Beginning with the March 1983 issue, the back page had stats on the best selling home games, top earning arcade games, and selected scores from the Twin Galaxies International Scoreboard. This magazine is of no relation to the current VideoGames (one word) magazine. (lkseitz)

Video Games Player; [ISSN?]; [Publisher?]; 1 (Fall 1982)-[Issue?] (1983?); $[?]; [?]p; MAG. Covers: HOME, [more?]. Notes: [Info?]

Videogaming Illustrated; 0739-4373 (LCCN sn83-8303); Ion International, Inc.; Aug 1982-[Date?]; "bimonthly in Feb, Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct, Dec"; $2.75 (Aug 1982), $2.95 (Feb 1983); 66p (Aug 1982), 74p (Feb 1983); MAG. Covers: ARCADE, HOME. Notes: Ran through at least Sep 1983. Color and B&W. Can you tell I only have two issues of this? 8) (lkseitz)


99.0 What online resources were originally sourced for this FAQ?

Internet and BBS Resources
World Wide Web pages:


99.1 Who is Larry Anderson?

Larry is the original creator of The Intellivision FAQ, and collected the initial set of information that made this possible. Many, many people have referred to his original document to learn about this fun game system. We carry a debt of appreciation to Larry for letting us continue this corpus of knowledge.


Intellivision is a trademark of © Intellivision Entertainment, Inc. Intellivision, Blue SKy Rangers Inc, the Intellivision logotype and the Running Man logo are registered trademarks ® of Intellivision Entertainment, Inc. Other trademarks are the properties of the trademark owners. Use of these trademarks is for historical and contextual purposes only and do not imply any endorsement or connection with IE or its games.

Contributors

The following people directly, or indirectly, contributed to this corpus of knowledge.