Back in the 80’s lots of game companies held contests as part of their marketing efforts. While the prizes were nowhere the level of today (take the recent one million cash for a perfect pitch in MLB 2K10 as an example) they were somehow more interesting. One such contest was held by the company Imagic, titled “Defend Atlantis”.
According to Atari Age:
The contest was offered through an entry form found in regular Atlantis games, and it was also promoted with a store display and entry form. Contestants were invited to send in their high score along with a photograph of the TV screen showing the score, and an Atlantis proof-of-purchase seal from the instruction manual. The four individuals with the highest scores would be invited to compete in the Great Defend Atlantis Shoot-Off on November 14, 1982 in Bermuda. The Grand Prize for the winner would be $10,000, and 2nd-4th place would receive $1000 each.
For those who didn’t make the top four, there were other prizes. The top 250 scores would receive a set of snorkeling gear (snorkel, mask, and fins), and the next 1000 high scores would receive an Atlantis t-shirt.
Unfortunately for Imagic, there were a lot of good Atlantis players. In fact, more than four individuals maxed out the score, so Imagic had to figure out a way to decide who the top four would be. They created a special contest version of Atlantis, that they called Atlantis II, that these top scorers would use for a tie-breaker. Atlantis II is basically the same as Atlantis, except that it’s faster, harder, and lower scoring. Contestants were sent a letter telling them that they qualified for this shoot off. They were to recieve in the mail the Atlantis II cartridge, along with the snorkeling set and t-shirt. According to Imagic, “We’ve designed this contest version of Atlantis just for you experts. Those tricky Gorgons will still thwart you at every turn, but now the battle will be more fierce and the points scored for direct hits will be less. Are you expert enough to meet this challenge and save Atlantis from the dreaded Gorgon death ray? If you’re brave enough, read on.” Contestants were to play the game for only two days and then send in their high scores.
The game itself looks pretty much the same, it just happens to be both harder and faster. Plus the scoring system is reduced as well.
A copy of the cart, in complete and excellent condition is up for sale at the moment, and the auction also includes the T-Shirt as well.
From the seller:
This is an original Atlantis 2 Cart, for the Atari 2600 system, sent to me by Imagic as the tiebreaker cart for their Defend Atlantis contest in 1982.
Currently, this is one of only 19 original Atlantis 2 carts known in existence. It is rated 10 out of 10 â€˜Unbelievably Rareâ€™ on the AtariAge Rarity Guide.
The game was used for less than a week in November of 1982 and has been stored in the box until April 15 of this year when it was played for testing purposes. I am the original owner. The cart was never loaned to anyone. The cart has always been in my sole possession.
Watch the videos posted by the seller below for some history as well as some of his accomplishments and other things in his collection. Check the 1983 United States Centipede Championship trophy for example. Wow.
Auction Here – Over $2,000.00 with two days to go.