COLLECTORS CORNER #3

Harrier Attack- New revised edition

Time for another delve into the shady world of collecting. Staying with cassettes we’ll have a look at some more differences. This isn’t just splitting hairs. A difference is a difference! - and to a collector that means there are more things to add to the collection. In stamp collecting small differences are known for making a huge difference in value. For instance, my Dad noticed some stamps in a booklet he bought in Scotland had only one phosphor band, (where they usually had two). To cut a long story short, the halfpenny stamp was worth 25 a few years later. It could be worth double that now !
Orics are not so valuable yet. I always maintained we had been undervaluing them in our OUM days, and to some extent I am vindicated by the high prices reached by Atmoses, and more recently Microdisc systems on the interenet. Boxed mint condition Atmoses can fetch around 250. It’s a bit of a rarity finding a mint Atmos though. Catching on are we ? Yep, it is the rare stuff that fetches the high prices, so it really is worthwhile searching them out. Some of us are just interested for a matter of completness. We’ve done A to Z to list titles. Now lets get a list of different versions !
One of the most obvious differences with Oric software is with the diffrerent ROM versions. First you had just the Oric-1 software, then the Atmos came along and not everything was compatible. So many titles were repackaged, sometimes with a new program written for the Atmos.
Where you had a fast copy on on e side of the tape and a slow on on the other side, you would find the repackaged version having the Oric-1 version on one side and the Atmos version on the other instead.
Let’s look at one of the companies that repackaged their software - Durell.
Over here in Britain many people had never heard of an Atmos version of Scuba Dive. I remember Jean Boileau mentioning this and I was a bit shocked - I didn’t know !!! It was one of my favourites and I would have loved to have been able to play it on the Atmos.
 
We poor Brits went and got the cassettes as they were released so most people had the original versions like the above image of Harrier Attack. Notice the “any Oric-1” on the spine ? This would change in the new release as would other features. The first main difference is a big red stripe behind the Oric logo in the bottom left corner denoting the fact that this was an Atmos compatible game. A nice easy way to solve what must have been a bit of a headache for the manufacturers. Then there is the aforementioned change to the spine which now reads for “any ORIC/ ATMOS”.
Durell also took the opportunity to improve the instruction sheet. Instead of having the little paper thing that fell out of boxes and got lost, they now printed the instructions on the inlay card.
Is that it ? Well there are also differences in the design of the cassette label. On the first version it gives the loading instruction specifies the filename, CLOAD”HARRIER” but the later version just has the loading instruction as CLOAD””. There is also a change from the older tape having ‘ORIC’ in the bottom left of the label , to having ATMOS/ ORIC-1 printed more centrally. Recently a version has been discovered with maroon ink used rather than black. They must be very rare !
Now I’m not sure how many of the Durell titles got this treament. I mentioned Scuba Dive. I know that got the revamp, but I can’t remember seeing Atmos versions of their other titles. As far as I know there is one version of Galaxy 5, and I only have one version of Starfighter. I leave it to you to investigate. Please have a look and let me know of any changes you discover. Have a look at the software section of www.oric.org for other variations.

 

 

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Copyright 2004 by S.D.Marshall email me