Friday, September 22, 2006

Epyx's Rampage Deluxe on Lynx

Thanks to The Atari Times, which provided this screenshot.

This shot came from the Atari Lynx article in EGM #4, which was the first article in any videogame magazine about the Epyx/Atari portable. VG&CE followed up around the same time with a cover story, and between these two I was firmly sold on Lynx.

This shot is from an early "lost" Epyx game, Rampage Deluxe. I've never seen anything beyond a couple screenshots - this one, and the title screen. I do remember being wowed by the detailed graphics. I'm still amazed. This looks far better than the Rampage that was eventually released on the Lynx in 1990.

Most likely, its loss stemmed from the collapse of Epyx around that time. For this, we can point to the Tramiel family, the Atari, Corp. owners who are so beloved by the hardcore gamers. Stories involve Epyx being denied crucial royalty payments, a stringent contract with Atari, and the Tramiels reputation for stabbing their collaborators in the back.

I'll leave you to decide the wisdom of their business decisions, and to seperate the history from the fiction. I honestly don't know, aside from various interviews that can be found on the internet.

As far as we're concerned, one of the great classic game developers went bankrupt and died long before its time. I wonder if anything from Rampage Deluxe was saved, scavenged by the former employees? The damned thing looked fantastic. Chalk it up to another "what-if" in the tragic life of Lynx.

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