minor editing by DLH due to bad links/corrupt files and adding pdf documents on Sep-09-2003


Atari Coin-Op
(Company - Confidential)

read all of the below before downloading the docs, i know
its kinda long, but its worth it, and save you emailing me to ask :)

I have had a phenomenal response from everyone out there about this site, especially since i got a mention on slashdot.org :) thanks!!!

Obtained from Atari Ireland (Tipperary) when it closed down. There is roughly 4 filing cabinets worth of documents, they do not belong to me, i merely scanned ths lot and put it up here for people to view. All thanks must go out to XY-Man here in the UK who spent all the time and effort, sourcing it, then collecting it and all the rest of it. Without him, none of this would be possible..

The current owner of these documents (XY-Man) is planning a massive online Atari databse to rival (and exceed) anything else out there. There is info on absolutely anything you can imagine Atari coin-op related, including prototypes and unheard of games and projects. However, as you can imagine, it is a hurculean task and will not be completed anytime soon. I don't think whatever's left of Atari will be too bothered by me openly publishing some of their trade-secrets, for a couple of reasons..
A = they don't intrinsically exist anymore
B = most of this stuff is too old for them to seriously worry about :)

Well, as far as we know, this is all that is left of paperwork from Atari, reports say that the american factories threw their load out (which was what was going to happen to this stash until XY-Man showed up :) According to former employees of Atari, the american stuff was burned, or may possibly still be lurkin in the annuls of Midway someplace. The irish stuff wasn't even thought of, i guess, and was destined for the tip.. Now, the real juicy stuff would have been the original design documents for the games development and stuff, there is very little of that in this stash because the irish factory was mainly assembly, very little designing was done in ireland. A shame, yes, but we're glad we've got this stuff to fall back on, unless anyone has been sitting on a load of documents that nobody knows about in the states, which i understand is very unlikely :)
What is left of Atari, or whoever owns them nowadays, owns the rights and everything to the games, but i bet if you asked them about a specific game, they probably would be able to tell you very little, as physically, there is not much info left, and everybody doubts anything was kept of the older stuff :) So, for evermore, some of the obscure 70's atari stuff will be stooped in the dark, open to speculation only :) Of course, you might find there are some documents survivng, once the main database is set up.

In the meantime, enjoy the following documents, a taster of the kind of
stuff that will make up the database.

DO NOT Rip off documents from this site and claim them as your own, you are welcome to link to this site, it's non-profit making and isn't hurting anybody :)

The majority of documents in the database are photocopies to start off with, and some of them weren't copied all that well, so the scans aren't too clear, or wonky, not my fault, it was the best i could do :) I scanned them at a resolution and saved them as JPEG's at a readable quality, i did not have printing-out in mind, its not my intention to do so. Like it, or lump it :)

email me if you want to chat, or comment on this brief site.

LAST UPDATE : 21.02.01
(added Pole Position docs FINALLY)


unfortunately this document is missing pages 4-10, but there's still
some great info in here :)

PDF file with all 8 pages (1.1 mb) 

Page01 Page02  Page03 Page04  Page05 Page06  Page07 Page08

A.V.G Hardware document (Analogue Vector Generator)
A hand-written document which appears to be Atari's official word, or at least possibly written by the designer of the circuit on the Battlezone?-based AVG section.

PDF file with all 6 pages (646 kb) 

Page01Page02  Page03  Page04  Page05  Page06

GAUNTLET Hardware & Operation System description manual
Want to program on the Gauntlet hardware? I think this gives you a pretty detailed picture of how the hardware operates.

PDF file with all 12 pages (1.3 mb) 

Page01 Page02 Page03 Page04 Page05 Page06
Page07 Page08 Page09 Page10 Page11 Page12

SYSTEM 1 Hardware & Operating System description manual
Want to program a new game for System 1 hardware? I think this gives you a pretty detailed picture of how the hardware operates.

PDF file with all 16 pages (2.9 mb) 

Page01 Page02 Page03 Page04 Page05 Page06
Page07 Page08 Page09 Page10 Page11 Page12
Page13 Page14 Page15 Page16

Coin-op Engineering Status Meetings - Minutes
Info on where they were up to with projects, including game and concept engineering projects. A lot of strange games, some of which we know were prototype names, others which never made it past a certain stage.

PDF file with all 9 pages (1.8 mb) 

November 1981 - Page 2
July 31st 1981 - Page 3
August 7th 1981
June 25th 1982
March 13th 1981 - Page 3
March 16th 1981
June 26th 1981
May 1982
June 5th 1984  (Mechanical Engineering Status Report)

Crystal Castles Project Production Status
Follow the stages of a game from birth to production, all the stages involved, production figures, problems encountered, field-test takings/standings..

PDF file with all 4 pages (1.4 mb) 

June 24th 1983
July 13th 1983
August 5th 1983
September 9th 1983

Pole Position Field-Service Folder
This is the folder that was basically the sum of all the documents that they kept relating to technical problems, and wow, believe me, pole position would have to be one of their most troublesome games to produce, read the documents and find out why, one document in particular quotes 'Never in Atari's recent history has such an embarassing situation as this occured'. Grovelling managers, lazy-ass production workers etc.. this is most definately a pretty comprehensive run-down of the problems with Pole Position :)

  Note: original individual jpegs where not available from original site ( http://www.thedvdproject.com/warlords/pole)

Pole Position # 1 - 13 Pages (1.6 mb)
Pole Position # 2 - 16 Pages (1.8 mb)
Pole Position # 3 - 16 Pages (1.7 mb)
Pole Position Description - 4 Pages (562 KB)
Pole Position Namco - 2 Pages (326 KB)
Pole Position Tech - 6 Pages (631 KB)


and what's left in the stash? far too much to mention, a few bits i saw, battlezone hardware and operating system manual, LOADS and LOADS of inter-office memo's relating to EVERY game from 1978ish onwards.. for games that they had big problems with, there was a lot of chatter between departments over technical matters.
And what is really cool to see is that yes, there was a divide between departments which forced atari apart eventually, bitching memos blaming each other, its great!!
ECN's (engineering change notices) are everywhere, most of this kind of stuff makes up about 50% of all paperwork in the cabinets, mostly boring, but can be very helpful to the right person, ECN's in particular will not be on the priority list to scan anytime soon, everything else comes first...

email me if you want to chat, or comment on this site.