Atari 800 Prototypes!

Sometimes you find treasures in the strangest places.

About a month ago, on a residential side street in Toronto, I came across…an unusual find. Standing on the ground near the sidewalk was an old plastic case holding 14 Atari 800 games, and also an Atari 2600 Joystick.

The games were:

Pole Position RX8034
Star Raider CXL4ON
Pac-Man CXL4022
Donkey Kong RX8031
K-razy Kritters ATR1001
Soccer THB 12003
Joust RX8044
Space Invaders CXL4008
Centipede CXL4020
Qix CXL4027
BASIC Computing Language CXL4002
Pitfall II CZ-011
H.E.R.O CZ-007

They all look remarkably good considering their age (and the fact they were apparently abandoned) but I did notice something odd about the two Activision games. Their labels weren’t anything like the other ones, and H.E.R.O in particular had a very peculiar label:

Clearly written with an early 80s dot-matrix printer, the top label has long since become worn and now cryptically reads,



Even though I don’t know a whole lot about the Atari 800, one thing that struck me was how tiny the cartridges were compared to those of the Atari 2600. Here’s H.E.R.O and Kaboom side by side.

Upon closer investigation and seeking answers on AtariAge and other sites, it would appear that both H.E.R.O and Pitfall 2 are prototypes. Thats right – pre-release copies handed out to advertisers, magazines, or perhaps the very programmers themselves.

I unfortunately don’t own an Atari 800 to test these games out, nor do I understand how the cartridge is held together enough to open them without breaking them. These are undumped, and could very well be different than the retail versions in a number of ways!

I plan to sell these in the near future, so if you want them, act quickly and contact me now. The person who offers the most gets them. Serious buyers can contact me at


3 Responses to “Atari 800 Prototypes!”

  1. annuvin Says:

    did you ever sell these?

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      No, but I did trade them for quite a few NES games I was missing from my personal collection.

  2. I’m so jelly it hurts.

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