by Adam King

Greetings, gamers and welcome to a special edition of the Vault. Last issue Tom reviewed Activison Anthology for the PlayStation 2. Let me add that is is a must-have disc for all retrogamers. One of the neat things is that you can unlock old Activision television ads. This month I'm presenting three of those ads, as well as how to discover them.

River Raid
Our first ad is for River Raid, one of my favorite 2600 games. For this spot we're trated to some guys in a warroom guiding the player down the river.

"We have no choice, he can't turn back."
"River Raid, target 039er."
"Roger, Control."
"Fuel critical, sir."
"Choppers at 3 o'clock."
"Roger. I copy."
"Fighters closing. Should I direct, sir?"
"No, he'll decide that."
"Fuel critical, sir."
"He's almost to the East Canyon."
Finally the announcer comes on, saying, "It's only a game. River Raid, for the Atari Video Computer System, Designed by Carol Shaw for Activision."

"Watch me steer this plane up the river."

All this over a simple shooter?

"Sir what if he fails to complete the mission?"

"Don't worry; he still has two planes left."

To unlock the commercial, you need to score 8,000 points on Game 1. Also Alan Hewston covered the Many Faces of River Raid in Issue 40.

This ad, for Stampede, features two cowboy brothers arguing over who can handle playing the Stampede video game. I should mention they're play their VCS outdoors.

"I've been driving cattle most of my natural life and you're tellin' me I can't handle a Stampede?"
"Not this one, Buck."
"Stampede, by Activision, for your Atari Game System. One of the toughest game around, Stampede is more than expert ropin' and ridin'. It's a test of strategy and skill."
The brothers continue playing, until their mother calls them inside.
"Luke, Buck, you boys come in now."
"Awww, Ma!"
"Stampede, by Activision."

"Betcha I'm a better virtual cowboy."

"Don't be a backseat wrangler."

Shouldn't they be playing that inside the cabin?

"Aww, do we have to come in now?"

To unlock this commercial, you need 1,000 points on Game 3.

Our last ad is for Kaboom. Here we find a guy on a rooftop, dressed in stripes and threatening to throw bombs off the roof. I'm guessing he's supposed the be the Mad Bomber.

"So ya think yer fast enough to be the Mad Bomber? I don't think so."
"Kaboom! By Activision. Plug this cartridge into your Atari Video Game System, and get ready to handle high explosives. Don't sneeze, don't even blink, 'cause the faster you get, the faster he gets."
"And if you miss.."
"KABOOM! By Activision!"

I'M supposed to be afraid of <I>this</I> guy?

"You caught my bombs. Dang!"

"Something to remember me by?

To unlock this ad, score at least 150 points.

That's it for now, but now I want to address something. Last month I mention the possibility of producing a CD-Rom compilation of all the television ads. I have gotten some feedback on that, but I would like more before I decide anything. If you're interested in a Commercial Vault CD, contact me at and let me know you want it. Until next month, keep gaming!

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Tom Zjaba 1997 - 2015      

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