Halo for Atari 2600

halo2600.png Ed Fries, former VP of game publishing at Microsoft, has created an Atari 2600 version of Halo. He describes in detail the challenges of developing for the ancient and extremely limited platform. But the results are superb. Halo Goes Old-School [IGN via submitterator. Thanks, RevRight!] Here's the story of how this game came about [Atari Age via Waxy]


  1. Okay, that is pretty cool. It plays just like a minor variation on one of a few themes you can find on the 2600, but that’s almost certainly due to the limitations of the hardware. I still love it. The title screen alone is a work of art.

  2. So am I moron, or is there not any indication of what the controls are re: making the gun go “bang! Blammo!”?

  3. To appreciate the level of difficulty here, open a text file in your editor and, watching the counter, select 4K of text. Now imagine fitting the background(s), action figures, color changes and motion, sound and the program itself (including I/O with joystick) into that space.

    Everthing on the screen has to be drawn in realtime … with a processor that can only do 38 instructions during one screen line.

    Metaphors are hard. Playing “flight of the bumblebee” on a burning hurdy-gurdy comes to mind.

  4. It’s a pretty fun game. Probably just a coincidence that this is coming out around the time HALO Reach is being promoted. ;)

  5. Remarkably hard without an oldschool joystick. Beats Adventure (and E.T.) into a cocked hat!

  6. well, what the F@$K?

    That was shockingly fun and playable.

    for a long time.

    like, I may play it later again.

    This actually impresses me enough to think i should buy my kids (hehe, its for the kids) the “Xgamestation” kit. Its like an 8 bit system where you program your own games.

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