E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial Dump Faces Excavation

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llafnwod:

Andy Chalk:
Released in 1982 for the Atari 2600, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial - heretofore referred to as simply E.T.

Heretofore means before, not after.

So it does! I've learned something. 30 years later, some good finally comes out of this E.T. fiasco. ;)

if anything is going to cause zombies to walk the earth its this

Made me remember that MovieBob episode when he talked about how the comic industry begun to mass-produce collectors editions of comic books.

What I'm getting at is that if this becomes successful, game companies might start to make stinker games just so that they become popular collector items.

Well actually... They already do stinker games but not for a long-term benefit, so never mind.

Deathfish15:
I'm hoping that the toxic sewage that was the E.T. game created a giant sink hole down into the mantle below the Earth's crust.

God, I hope not. Pits were so damn annoying to get out of in that game.

Evil Smurf:

alfinchkid:

Evil Smurf:
Was the game that bad?

It was bad in all the ways Superman 64 was bad.

It Had a rushed development time
Based on a well-loved license, while doing that license a huge injustice
Had little to no actual story
Game gave you no sense of direction or accomplishment
Controls were sloppy and hard to use
Aesthetics were terribad, even for the day's standards
Game was incredibly buggy, which when compiled with the above meant it was hard to tell if something was going on was because of a bug or because of actual accomplishment

Add on top of this the notoriety that THIS game was what everyone and their mom was betting on to save the crumbling gaming scene, followed by it failing massively and bankrupting everyone involved (thereby almost ending gaming as it existed), and yeah, it was kinda terrible.

that sounds awful, why are they digging it up? ROMs of it exist I'm sure.

It's more of a historical thing, to see if it really exists, and if so to document it. Physical copies of the game exist as well as roms so it's not like they need the actual games.

These guy clearly never saw that episode of Xplay that stated the portal to Hell is located under the ET landfill. They're going to doom us all if they dig it up.

image

I actually found an intact cartridge on an expedition out into the desert with a small group.

Herbert, my DM and guide, bought a map drawn on the back of a TGIF table mat from a grizzled, rambling man who once worked in a Video Express, an ancient time when libraries of VHS and game cartridges could be bought or rented, known as "The 80's".

It took weeks to find, but we eventually deciphered the map's writings and faded words under potato skin grease stains and set to work excavating right away.

The ground on which we were digging gave way and I fell into a cavern made of concrete.

When I came to I heard the sounds of the digging team calling for help but I was alone in the dark, dusty tomb.

A crack sent a shaft of light on a single plastic case atop a pile of crumpled debris, and while I knew I shouldn't, I walked toward it... drawn to it.

Its texture was both soft and rough at the same time, with a label showing "E.T.". It was an impossibility, something that shouldn't exist, yet I held it in my hands.

image

I traveled back to the city, but I couldn't help be feel a sense of dread, like I shouldn't have ever set foot inside the old unsold games' tomb.

I played the game with few friends on their Atari consoles which they saved from their brothers or fathers, and the horrible things I saw on those screens could not be described. Was this made over a weekend? This was awful!

I soon found out days later that my friends were brutally murdered, skin shreded from their bodies, faces turned inside out... and the Atari consoles were melted into still warm puddles. I couldn't help but feel responsible for what happened to them. Something was following me.

To my horror, I found Herbert had been killed as well when I went to ask him about what was happening. His multi-sided dice and carefully painted figurines for his table top games were shoved down his throat an filled him until he split down the middle in a grusome display... Warhammer figures were tangled in his intestines.

A darkness was out there, killing anyone that came into contact with this damned game, and it was after me. The sounds of old Atari games and glitched screens haunted my nightmares. I was screaming for 8-bit visuals.

I e-mailed everyone on Herbert's contact list, hoping someone could tell me what might be going on, recieving replies that were of little help... and forwarded messages containing government conspiracy theories.

I did get a cryptic e-mail from someone telling me he knew what was after me, that I could hold back the darkness, the guardian of the cartridge, the universe itself would stop at nothing to kill me and reclaim the game.

He said he could help, but at a price....

Anyway, I'm now headed to meet some Prussian baron in his castle somewhere in the woods... seems legit.

image

kajinking:
Wow can we get the Mythbusters in on this?

Jamie: "So Adam how are we going to find this supposed dumping ground of bad games?"

Adam: "Truth be told I have no idea, BUT I do know that when we find it we're going blow it up and film it on highspeed"

I would totally watch that, and I haven't watched Mythbusters since they ran out of real myths to test/detonate, and became "movie stunt plausibility testers."

I thought it wasn't a "dump" as much as they smashed all the cartidges up with a steamroller before they dumped them and the pieces went to separate landfill sites.

There is a rebuttal on the original article that claims the issue was already resolved in a book published last year - http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/0985597402

kajinking:
Wow can we get the Mythbusters in on this?

Jamie: "So Adam how are we going to find this supposed dumping ground of bad games?"

Adam: "Truth be told I have no idea, BUT I do know that when we find it we're going blow it up and film it on highspeed"

I would pay to see that! :D

Evil Smurf:
Was the game that bad?

Eh, never played it and don't know how bad the game itself was, but I do know that what made it so infamous is the fact that it was a gigantic financial flop. Atari didn't just assume it would be good, they assumed it would be great. They thought the game was going to be selling consoles. They made more cartridges for the game than there were consoles sold at the time, and when sales time came... well... the rest is history.

Lancer873:

Evil Smurf:
Was the game that bad?

Eh, never played it and don't know how bad the game itself was, but I do know that what made it so infamous is the fact that it was a gigantic financial flop. Atari didn't just assume it would be good, they assumed it would be great. They thought the game was going to be selling consoles. They made more cartridges for the game than there were consoles sold at the time, and when sales time came... well... the rest is history.

From what I understand, the game also has/had a game-killing bug where no matter what you do, you can't continue because you fall through a single-pixel-wide slit in the ground, with no way around it.

That's reason enough to put the quietus on sales.

frizzlebyte:
-snip-

From what I understand, the game also has/had a game-killing bug where no matter what you do, you can't continue because you fall through a single-pixel-wide slit in the ground, with no way around it.

That's reason enough to put the quietus on sales.

Ouch, yeah, that'd do it. I still think that the reason it's so infamous is more because of the financial flop. It would have just died the typical lonely video game death of obscurity were it not for the sheer financial backing that was put towards it. We know of its horrible gameplay so well because it was one of the two games credited with causing the video game crash, not necessarily just because of its terribadness.

I always felt Daikatana's source code should have been interred along with every retail copy in similar fashion. John Romero's live interment optional.

One should not open Pandora's box so willingly. seems convenient that they are digging this up now when people are talking about how the game industry is going to crash at any moment. maybe E.T is something similar to the four horsemen of the game crash followed by Superman 64 and some two other god-why-did-this-exist-awful games.

Are they crazy? do they want to open the pandoras box next?

RJ 17:
oooooooo! This story reminds me that the Angry Videogame Nerd's movie will be coming out soon!

what i was thiking as well. hopefully that will come before this or it will beovershadowed as hell.

This sounds like a bad idea. Plus, I do enjoy the legend. Maybe people will gather them up and sell them. It'd be pretty cool to have a crushed shell of a game that was so horrible it was buried in the desert for thirty years. In fact, yeah I'd buy that for $5.

However this also brings to mind something like this:
image

Nurb:

I did get a cryptic e-mail from someone telling me he knew what was after me, that I could hold back the darkness, the guardian of the cartridge, the universe itself would stop at nothing to kill me and reclaim the game.

He said he could help, but at a price....

Anyway, I'm now headed to meet some Prussian baron in his castle somewhere in the woods... seems legit.

Dude, just go visit this old guy out in the desert, he'll tell you all about slaying the Dahaka! It's much easier.

Seriously, all you need is water.

It only killed the American videogame industry, the European and Japanese industries hardly noticed it. Unfortunately it was only temporary, considering the crap you've been foisting on the rest of the World since you regained dominance.

I'm predicting a Pirates of the Caribbean style curse on the team the excavates them, doomed to be undead until all the copies are returned, and the blood repaid.

The worst video game in contemporary times would be "Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing" by the same producer that brought us "The War Z", the worst video game scam in contemporary times.

But before all that, before patches, when companies were actually liable for their products, THIS was the worst game:

You have been warned.

They're digging up this game? o_0

It's the end times!!! The end times have come!!!!!!!!!

NOOOOOOOOOOO!

You must not enter that unholy place! The evil that was sealed there must not be awakened. There is a curse in those sands far beyond the comprehension of mere mortals. That evil almost destroyed the gaming industry once, before it was locked away. It must not be allowed to do so again!

Ah, dandy! Yes, please unbind/dig up/uncover/reveal/excavate/insert-your-verb-of-choice-here the Forgotten and Buried Harbinger of Doom from Ages Past. Everyone can confirm that nothing bad will ever come of it. By all means continue.

/grabs popcorn

Evil Smurf:
Was the game that bad?

My parents actually bought me this game for my Atari back in the day. Even as a huge ET fan, and a gamer kid, it quickly fell into the untouched pile, and remained there. Yes... its terrible.

Even if they do find it, all they will find is shards of crushed plastic. The inventory was bulldozed before being dumped, IIRC.

"Stinker of biblical proportions" had me rolling.

GonzoGamer:
That's just stupid.
Didn't they ever see Poltergeist?
Nothing good can come of this.

The ET game is the gaming culture equivalent of Native Americans. The burial place is a sacred place where few may treck and none may dig up. They are making a potentially costly mistake by unleashing this blight upon the country. We know not what they will find, but it can bring nothing but pain.

If those some of those cartridges are still in working condition, I vote we have all the "Mass Effect 3 is the worst game ever" guys be forced to play this game for 72 hours.

I really hope that they find it so that I can settle that argument with my friends about it being real.

I played the game when I was a kid, but I thought it was just me -- and my friends -- who sucked at the game. Only later did I find out the true story of the game that could not be played...

I think excavating the games is a good thing. We should have the bits re-assembled. Some should be in the Smithsonian's video game museum as performance art. IMO, the game should be sitting on the desk of every game industry executive as a reminder: There are levels of crap we are not willing to accept.

I'd love to have included a few bits of crushed E.T. cartridges in the box along with my RRODed 360 when I sent it back to Microsoft. I'd pay to have a throne constructed out of the failed game parts. On it I would sit cardboard cutouts of the folks who most need the reminding. I would sit there myself whenever I make a decision against quality and in favor of fast money.

"This has all happened before, and will happen again," indeed.

Dig up all the copies, convert them into Xbox One exclusives, showcase at E3 for Xbone, featuring high tech Kinect hardware.

Man, what a nightmare.

image

This place is not a place of honour. No highly esteemed deed is commemorated here. Nothing valued is here. This place is a message and part of a system of messages. Pay attention to it! Sending this message was important to us. We considered ourselves to be a powerful culture.

An image of what they will find, together with the inscription on the brass doors that seal them in.

I was hoping they would leave it for archeologists to find hundreds of years in the future to continue a long, proud tradition of cultures inadvertently doing things that can only ever serve to confuse people.

Andy Chalk:
Snip

Look, Andy-man? I know you have to make the news sound interesting and all, but a game - even one that flopped - is just a game, and not a dark and corruptive evil that spells the doom of mankind. At worst, it was boring, but it wasn't what I call evil. Raiders of the Lost Ark was evil.

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