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Tempest for Atari 5200 Finally Completed by Original Programmer

Marcus Estrada

Here's something you don't see every day. Tempest was a popular game that hit arcades in 1980. After, Atari attempted to capture the game for home releases on its Atari 2600 and 5200 systems. However, both versions never managed to be completed and make it out to consumers. For a long time, that was all that anyone knew of the scrapped projects.


It was in 1999 that a prototype of game surfaced and was quickly bought by a collector. The prototype code has since proliferated through the Atari community, but the game was still incomplete. More recently, the game's original programmer, Keithen Hayenga, was made aware of the community's interest in the game. He decided to finish the game and now, after around 30 years, Tempest for the Atari 5200 is a finished product.


The finished game code has been brought to AtariAge and from there they have produced a cart, box, and manual. Those who want an obscure piece of Atari history now simply have to put down $50 for a copy. Compared to other reproductions this price is actually pretty fair. Those at all interested in the eventual collectability should order soon though, as only the first 250 copies come with the box and manual. Orders after that will only be for a Tempest cart.

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