RETROGAMING COMMERCIAL VAULT

by Adam King

Welcome back. A new years brings new things, and with that new TV commercial goodness from yours truly. I do have to say that I've been doing this column for over two years now, and I never expected it to be the success it became. Oh, sure, I figured one or two people might get a kick out of it, but it seems every reader wants their Vault fix. I just want to say thanks again for your support.

With that out of the way, to business. Looking back, I've done commercials for the big three: Atari, Intellivision, and Colecovision. For this edition I have a couple of ads for the "other" system, the Odyssey2. This system was the real first competitor to the Atari VCS before the Intellivision, plus it regularly claim to be more advance because of it's computer keyboard. But once the INTV arrived, followed by the Colecovision, the Odyssey was quickly swept under the rug. Here are a couple of ads that did make it to the airwaves.

Odyssey2
Our first ad is a general ad for the O2. It features several animated images while a voiceover lays out what the Odyssey2 is. Please note the clip I got is in terrible condition, so that why the screengrab's don't look the greatest.

"Odyssey. Video game fun. Computer keyboard challenge. The entrance to an alternate world of fire-breathing dragons, hard-hitting slugger, arcade wizards, outer space blizzards. More than 40 games in all. Odyssey. The excitement of a game. The mind of a computer. All for the price of an ordinary video game. Odyssey!"


Herald the arrival of the Odyssey2!


"Give we your wussy Atari games or I'll roast you!"


All together now: "He's a pinball wizard..."


A galaxy of carts.


Pick Axe Pete
This ad for one of the O2's carts, Pick Axe Pete, features an old man surrounded by crystals. We learn that he's the "Wizard of Odyssey" and he's plugging the aforementioned game. Note that in some spots it was hard to understand what he was saying; the transcrpit is from what I was able to make out.

"The Wizard of Odyssey! What video game you up to now?"
"Oh, I'm up to my eyeballs, in a mineshaft, with Odyssey2's new video game, Pick Axe Pete. Picker Pete, escape up the ladder, smash the boulders, now, now, grab the music key too, score! The keyboard lets you change mazes to make the mineshaft even more menacing. Pick Axe Pete from Odyssey2, where the keyboard is the key to greater challenges."


The Wizard at work in his crystal palace, or whatever.


"Who needs Pitfall when I got Pete!"


"See this keyboard? No SELECT switches here."


"The keyboard IS the key!"

George Plimpton he isn't.

That'll do it for this month. I'm hoping to wrap up the CD project in the near future. I just need the get the time and energy to do it, not to mention a few more clips out there somewhere. Until next time, remember nobody beats the Wiz! (Oh, wait, that's someone else.)

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