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Classic Games (Games) Games

E.T. Found In New Mexico Landfill 179

Posted by Soulskill
from the nuke-it-from-orbit dept.
skipkent sends this news from Kotaku: "One of the most infamous urban legends in video games has turned out to be true. Digging in Alamogordo, New Mexico today, excavators discovered cartridges for the critically-panned Atari game E.T., buried in a landfill way back in 1983 after Atari couldn't figure out what else to do with their unsold copies. For decades, legend had it that Atari put millions of E.T. cartridges in the ground, though some skeptics have wondered whether such an extraordinary event actually happened. Last year, Alamogordo officials finally approved an excavation of the infamous landfill, and plans kicked into motion two weeks ago, with Microsoft partnering up with a documentary team to dig into the dirt and film the results. Today, it's official. They've found E.T.'s home—though it's unclear whether there are really millions or even thousands of copies down there."
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E.T. Found In New Mexico Landfill

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  • ET's not that bad. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rsilvergun (571051) on Saturday April 26, 2014 @06:24PM (#46850015)
    It's really not. I had it as a kid and enjoyed it. It could have used another 3 months polish (there's a rom hack floating around that does just that) and you _really_ have to read the instructions to play, but as a kid used to nothing more complex than Space Invaders I loved it. There were multiple screens (a big deal back then) and several different gameplay elements (also a big deal). I suppose it doesn't hurt that I bought it on clearance post crash, but I was so young it didn't occur to me that $5 bucks wasn't much money for a game.
  • Re:Why, God, why? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by radiumsoup (741987) on Saturday April 26, 2014 @06:27PM (#46850045)

    not that there's much use for them now, to be sure - but as a kid, this was one of those games I spent hours and hours and hours on trying to beat... I had always thought it was me not being able to figure it out (I had no way of knowing otherwise, really) and only now am I aware, because of articles like these, that it was practically unbeatable due to its shoddy planning. As for the quality, it was what it was, and it wasn't really any worse than the other games available for the 2600 at the time, so I didn't really know the difference. I liked it because it made me think about strategy in ways I hadn't otherwise yet learned at 8 years old, it taught me planning because I mapped out on paper some of the puzzle piece locations so I could try and find a pattern (sorta like D&D, even though I was never allowed to play that), and most of all because it certainly taught me patience beyond my years. I look back fondly at the E.T. game - not for the gameplay, but for what I learned as a young gamer because of what I now know are its flaws.

    But yes, now that they're there in the ground, no real reason to dig them up - they're not going to be worth anything and all it really does is waste time and money to verify an "urban legend". Big whoop.

  • I went there in 2006 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by huskerdoo (186982) on Saturday April 26, 2014 @07:10PM (#46850179) Homepage

    My wife and I were driving across the USA in late 2006 (the last day of 2006 even). I accidentally/intentionally routed us about 400 miles out of our way to pay a visit to the landfill. I had found the address on the net. We got there and I couldn't quite find it, then realized all the suburban build up was probably blocking it. Sure enough, behind the Sonic was the remains of the landfill. My (patient) wife stayed at the Sonic while I spent a couple hours wandering around the landfill site. She didn't have the same level of excitement about it that I did.

    I found bits of trash, but no Atari cartridges. I took a lot of photos and video that I need to get online. (now 7 years later). I have one there though:
    http://www.humanclock.com/news... [humanclock.com]

    After we got back home to Portland I put up a blurb about it on my website. The very next day I received an email from a guy in Brazil who excitedly wrote: "WOW! YOU ACTUALLY WENT THERE!" I showed the email to my wife and said: "Look honey, I am not alone!"

  • by newsdee (629448) on Saturday April 26, 2014 @08:49PM (#46850551) Homepage Journal

    This story reminds me of this guy who has fixed the game by ROM hacking: http://www.neocomputer.org/pro... [neocomputer.org]
    Quite an interesting read if you're familiar with (or wondered about) Atari or assembly programming.

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