NEO Zone

NEO Zone

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Dragster: The Duel

Dragster was the first video game developed by Activision for the Atari 2600 console, and released in 1980. Designed and programmed by David Crane. The object of the game is to either beat the player's opponent across the screen, or to race against the clock for best time. Dragster is an unauthorized adaptation of the 1977 Kee Games coin-op, Drag Race.

 The world record on Dragster is currently held by video gamer Todd Rogers with a time of 5.51, yes it is possible.

Dragster: The Duel is an update of the original game.

Original Dragster Release
       The original Dragster had two rail cars racing against each other. Each car was the same color and design. For Dragster: The Duel, the game program was expanded to allow each car to have it's own graphic and color. Initially I had two stock cars racing against each other but then put back the classic dragster car as one of the opponents. It is old versus new.  

NTSC version 
The game play is unchanged from the original game. All of your old tips and tricks will still work. Most of you will have played Dragster but for the few that have not, here is how the game works.

The tachometer (tach) shows how fast the player's engine is turning over. A dark green line that starts at the left side of his television screen for each car and turns red at about the middle is his tach. When it turns red, the player is in high power - but danger!- area. The player will find that he gets his best speed in each gear by red-lining his tach close to the maximum . But watch out! If the player revs his engine too much, it will BLOW. So be careful. Once the player blows his engine, the race is over for him . The way to build maximum speed is to quickly clutch shift and accelerate through all four gears WITH MAXIMUM POWER AT EACH GEAR LEVEL.
Once the player starts shifting gears, he can't downshift. But if the player shifts too soon, his engine will lug (work heavily); he will accelerate slowly and lose some time. It's tricky and takes practice, but the player's patience and perseverance will be rewarded with good times.

Most players first experience with Dragster goes like this, Countdown clock starts, GO!!! the player pushes the gas and BAM!!!, blows their engine. After a few tries they discover how the clutch works.  They then alternate between blowing the engine or crawling down the track. At this point the player will either give up and say that the game sucks or they persevere and learn how to get the most speed. Beating your own time is very compelling and can be the ultimate just one more try game.

The best way to play the game is with a friend. Two players racing against each other can not be beat.

Dragster: The Duel labels
 The latest version has several new additions. There are four game options now. They are:
1. Dragster versus Dragster
2. Stock versus Dragster
3. Dragster versus Stock
4. Stock versus Stock

The game is also compatible with NTSC and PAL. The Color - B/W switch chooses between the two options.

The Difficulty A/B switch chooses between straight and steerable Dragsters.

There is now a simple text only title screen.

This is all being done in only 4k of memory.

Dragster: The Duel is being made for a competition cartridge to be used at various video game conventions across the U.S.A.. I will offer a small run on cartridge for people that want a copy.

PAL version