ColecoVision FAQ!

Version 3.6


Copyright (c) 1994, 1995, 1996 Joseph M. Huber and James Carter

All rights reserved. This document may be copied, in whole or in part,

by any means provided the copyright and contributors sections remain

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The data contained herein is provided for informational purposes

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Additional contributions always welcome! Please mail additional information,

opinions, and comments to either:

Joe Huber -


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Last update: July 24, 1996.


JH) Joe Huber

JC) James Carter

01) Noel Tominack

02) Tony Mason

03) Jeff Lodoen

04) Jonny Farringdon

05) Sean Kelly

06) Gary Carino

07) Charles Cafrelli

08) Scott Marison

09) Greg Kam

10) Joshua See

11) Ralph A. Barbagallo III

12) Joey McDonald

13) Geoff Oltmans

14) Gregg Woodcock

15) Allan Liscum

16) Greg Chance

17) Tris Orendorff

18) Scott Stone

19) David Strutt

20) Jeff Coleburn

21) Lee Seitz

22) Jerry Greiner

23) Bill Loguidice

24) Norman Sippel

25) Kevin Slywka

26) Ben Lott

27) Ken Arromdee

28) Swampthing

29) Bruce Tomlin

30) Christian Puryear

31) Patrick Lessard

32) Matt Burback

33) Brad Ensminger

34) Thomas Farrell

35) Ken Kupelian

36) Blue Sky Rangers

37) Craig Pell

38) Chris Smith

39) Kevin Horton

40) Curtis J.

41) Bill Esquivel

42) Greg Hunter

43) Kyle Snyder

44) Roger Fulton

45) Phil Stroffolino

46) Daniel Stevans

47) Marat Fayzullin

48) The Piper

49) Frank Groeten

50) Dennis Brown

51) Lawrence Schick

52) Robert Merritt

53) Jason Weesner

54) Sam Etic

55) Stephan Freundorfer


1.0) What is ColecoVision?

2.0) ColecoVision and ADAM Specs

3.0) Hardware List

3.1) Hardware known to exist

3.2) Hardware believed -not- to exist

3.3) Review of the Telegames Personal Arcade

3.4) Hardware Tidbits

4.0) Cartridge List

4.1) Carts known to exist

4.2) Carts believed -not- to exist

4.3) CBS product numbers

4.4) Cartridge Tidbits, Tips, and Easter Eggs

4.5) Cartridge Hardware Cheats

4.6) ColecoVision and ColecoVision/ADAM catalogs

4.7) The BEST cartridges

4.8) The most popular cartridges

4.9) Rare gems

4.10) High scores

5.0) Internet sites

5.1) Instructions

5.2) Books and Periodicals

5.2.1) ColecoVision Experience

5.3) ColecoVision Homepage

5.4) Coleco FTP Site

6.0) Stickers

7.0) Technical Details

7.1) ColecoVision Memory Map

7.2) ColecoVision I/O Map

7.3) ColecoVision BIOS Details

7.4) ColecoVision Video RAM Details

7.5) Cartridge Slot Pinout

7.6) ADAM Printer/Power Port

7.7) ADAM Programming Tips

8.0) Separate Audio/Video Hack

9.0) Copying ColecoVision Cartridges

10.0) Repair Tips

10.1) To fix a rolling picture/video problems:

10.2) To avoid an automatic level select problem:

10.3) To fix an automatic level select problem:

10.4) To fix a broken roller controller:

10.5) To fix a poorly responding controller:

10.6) To fix a dead cartridge:

11.0) ColecoVision Dealers

12.0) ADAM Dealers, User Groups, and Bulletin Boards


1.0) What is ColecoVision?

Coleco (a contraction of COnneticut LEather COmpany) was the first

company to introduce a "dedicated chip" home video game system, with

the Telstar Arcade in 1976. (The Magnavox Odyssey, based on Analog

technology, was the first home video game system overall, debuting

in 1973.) Trying to build upon the enormous initial success of the

unit, Coleco decided to bring out nine different Telstar models. But

within a year, 75 other manufacturers had introduced similar units,

and combined with with production snags, a shortage of chips, and a

push towards hand held games, Coleco skirted with disaster. While

Coleco sold over $20 million of hand held games, it had to dump over

a million Telstar units, and the company lost $22.3 million in 1978.

With the introduction of units with games stored on interchangeable

cartridges, Fairchild and then Atari had eliminated any remaining

market for the simple pong games.

On June 1, 1982, Coleco re-entered the fray with the announcement of

its "third generation" video game system, ColecoVision. Touting

"arcade quality", ColecoVision took aim at the seemingly unassailable

Atari 2600. Coleco wanted "Donkey Kong", a very hot arcade hit, to be

their pack-in. In December '81, they went to Japan to make a deal with

Nintendo for the rights to Donkey Kong. The Coleco executive wanted to

return to the US to show his lawyers the contract before signing, but was

told to sign now, or risk losing Donkey Kong to Atari or Mattel, who were

currently going though channels to get the rights themselves. Under the

pressure, the Coleco executive signed.

In April '82 Coleco and Nintendo were threatened with lawsuits from Universal

Studios who claimed Donkey Kong was an infringement on their King Kong.

Coleco had invested a fortune in the ColecoVision version of Donkey Kong

that was only 4 months from its premiere release. Thinking that they didn't

stand a chance in court, Coleco decided to settle, agreeing to pay Universal

3% of all Donkey Kong sales. Nintendo decided to fight it, and some time

later actually won. Coleco then filed suit and got some of their lost

royalties back.

The bulk of Coleco's library, however, was comprised of overlooked coin-op

games such as Venture and Lady Bug. With a library of twelve games, and

a catalog showing ten more on the way (many of which were never released),

the first one million ColecoVisions sold in record time. In 1983 it topped

sales charts, beating out Atari and Mattel, with much of its success being

contributed to its pack-in, Donkey Kong. The ColecoVision soon had more

cartridges than any system except the Atari 2600, and with the 2600

converter still today has more playable games than any other system.

The ColecoVision introduced two new concepts to the home videogame

industry - the ability to expand the hardware system, and the ability

to play other video game system games.

The Atari 2600 expansion kit caused a flurry of lawsuits between Atari

and Coleco. After the dust cleared, the courts had decided that it was

acceptable for Coleco to sell the units. As a result of this Coleco

was also able to make and sell the Gemini game system which was an exact

clone of an Atari 2600 with combined joystick/paddle controllers.

Coleco was also the first home videogame maker to devote the majority of

their product line to arcade conversions, using the superior graphics

of the ColecoVision to produce nearly arcade-quality games, albeit often

missing a screen or level.

Coleco truly shocked the industry by doing so well. In a year, the stock

rose in value from 6 7/8 a share to 36 3/4. The following items were

taken from Fortune or March 7, 1983:

"Six months ago, hardly anyone expected Coleco to ride so high. [Company

President Arnold] Greenberg was known in the industry as a self-promoter

overly sanguine about Coleco's prospects. Says one security analyst:

"He was always gilding the lily. Wall Street developed a basic distrust

of the company." So did the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 1980

it charged Coleco with misstating financial results to mask troubles."


"But almost overnight Coleco's image has changed. ColecoVision, the

video game player introduced last August, is one of the most popular

consumer products around. The trade, paying homage to its technological

advancement, has dubbed it "the third wave" - wave one being the Atari

VCS, wave two being Mattel's Intellivision - and the most discerning

critics, kids, love it. The 550,000 game players Coleco made last year

flew off the shelves by Christmas-time. Coleco's sales nearly tripled

from $178 million in 1981 to $510 million last year, and the net income

shot up 420% to $40 million."

"Coleco's charge into the market last summer was well timed. Atari and

Mattel were engaged in a multimillion-dollar mud-slinging battle on

television. George Plimpton in Mattel commercials lampooned the graphics

on Atari's VCS game player, while Atari blasted Intellivision's dearth

of hit games. Then Coleco suddenly arrived on the scene with the best

of both: good graphics and good games. With a greater amount of memory

allocated to screen graphics, ColecoVision provided a much better

picture than Atari. Although ColecoVision at $175 was $75 more

expensive than Atari's VCS, discerning video players were willing to pay

a higher price for more lifelike graphics. ColecoVision's pictures were

also better than those of Intellivision, and the retail was $35 lower."

"To make ColecoVision even more attractive the company gave away with

each unit a $35 Donkey Kong cartridge. "Donkey Kong was a very

serviceable gorilla," says Greenberg. "Once we convinced the consumer

of the merits of the hardware, Donkey Kong pushed him into buying.""

"Another popular feature has been ColecoVision's expandability.

Accessories like the $55 Turbo module, a steering wheel, gas pedal,

and gear shift used to play a road racing game, can be plugged into

the console. The company's $60 Atari adapter enables ColecoVision to

play Atari VCS-compatible cartridges. Atari doesn't approve - it's

suing Coleco for $850 million, charging patent infringement - but game

addicts do. Coleco sold 150,000 Atari adapters in just two months.

Coleco's latest add-on, the Super Game module, was shown at last

week's American Toy Fair. It adds more memory to ColecoVision and

provides additional play variations."

"Coleco's software approach was to go after licensed arcade games and

to make cartridges for Atari's VCS and Intellivision in addition to

it's own game player. Although Coleco hadn't built a single

ColecoVision when it was negotiating licensees in 1981, the licensers

liked Coleco's plan to make products for all three leading game systems.

Coleco reached agreements with five firms, landing nine hit arcade

licensees. Last year the company sold eight million cartridges."

"Flush with last year's successful foray in video games, Arnold Greenberg

predicts even more good news is on the way. "We are a terror in the

marketplace," he boasts. Greenberg proclaims that Coleco will increase

it's market share in video game players this year from 8% to 25%,

supplanting Mattel as No. 2."

"Achieving such lofty goals may be difficult. Coleco last year paid

only $250,000 for the rights to Donkey Kong, but Atari later had to pay

an estimated $21 million to license E.T. for it's coin-operated and

home video games. Late last year Coleco reached an agreement with the

game maker Centuri for licenses to three arcade games: Phoenix,

Vanguard, and Challenger. Then just before the contract was to be

signed, Atari won the license by making a higher offer. Parker

Brothers also outbid Coleco for the Popeye license. "Coleco's position

is still not assured," says Barbara S. Isgur, a security analyst at Paine

Webber. "They were helped last year by the phenomenal success of Donkey

Kong. What will they do for an encore?"

"Arnold Greenberg remains optimistic. He notes that Coleco has already

signed license agreements to bring out 30 new games by year-end. In

January, Coleco made CBS the principal foreign distributor for it's

products. In return Coleco will begin developing and marketing for

ColecoVision home video cartridges licensed by CBS from Bally, a major

arcade game maker."

Unfortunately, the ColecoVision suffered the same fate as the rest in

the great video game shake-out of 1984. Coleco's unsuccessful bug-ridden

ADAM computer only complicated the problem. Some believe if it wasn't

for Coleco's Cabbage Patch dolls, they would have completely disappeared.

Even the Cabbage Patch dolls couldn't keep Coleco going forever, though;

the company went under for good a few years later. Ironically, Mattel

(the producers of Intellivision) now own the rights to the Cabbage Patch


Coleco stopped production of the ColecoVision in 1984. Their last few

titles (Illusions, Spy Hunter, Telly Turtle, and Root Beer Tapper) were

barely seen in stores. Soon after that, Telegames bought much of

Coleco's stock and even produced a few titles of their own that didn't

reach the shelves before the shake-out. As recently as 1991 a mail

order electronics store was known to sell ColecoVision motherboards

and joysticks.

When Coleco left the industry they had sold more than 6 million

ColecoVisions in just two years, even with the last year being troubled

by the shake-out. Many in the industry believe if it wasn't for the

videogame crash of '84, that Coleco could have gone through the 80's as

the system of choice, especially with its proposed Super Game Module. It

was clearly beating Atari and Mattel, but just didn't have the installed

base to last out the crash.



Aug 1982 - ColecoVision released

1982 - Expansion Module #1: Atari 2600 Converter released

1982 - Module #2, Driving Controller released

Feb 1983 - Super Game Module announced

1983 - Super Game Module demoed (non-playable) at New York Toy Show

May 1983 - Advertising of the Super Game Module starts; runs through July

Jun 1983 - ADAM computer introduced

Aug 1983 - Super Game Module schedule to go on sale

Oct 1983 - Super Game Module dropped

Fall 1983 - ColecoVision Roller Controller released

1983 - ColecoVision Super Action Controllers released

Winter 1983 - The video game market begins to crash

Spring 1984 - The video game industry collapses. All production stops.

Jan 1985 - Coleco drops the ADAM computer

1985 - Telegames picks up where Coleco left off, putting out new titles

Dec 1985 - Nintendo NES is test-marketed in New York City

1988 - Telegames releases the "Personal Arcade" ColecoVision clone.

- JH, JC, 03, 07, 10, 13, 14, 25, & 50


2.0) ColecoVision and ADAM Specs


Resolution: 256 x 192

CPU: Z-80A

Bits: 8

Speed: 3.58 MHz


Video RAM: 16K (8x4116)

Video Display Processor: Texas Instruments TMS9928A

Sprites: 32

Colors: 16

Sound: Texas Instruments SN76489AN; 3 tone channels, 1 noise

Cartridge ROM: 8K/16K/24K/32K


Resolution: 256 x 192

CPU: Z-80A

Bits: 8

Speed: 3.58 MHz

Video Speed: 10.7 MHz

RAM: 64K (128K optional)

Video RAM: 16K (8x4116)


Video Display Processor: Texas Instruments TMS9928A

Sprites: 32

Colors: 16

Sound: Texas Instruments SN76489AN; 3 tone channels, 1 noise

Cartridge ROM: 8K/16K/24K/32K

Disk Drives: 2 * 160K (opt)

Digital Data Drives: 2 * 256K

Modem: 300 Baud (opt)

Printer: 120 wpm Daisy Wheel, 16K buffer

Other: Serial/Parallel Port (opt), Auto Dialer (opt)

What really distinguished the ColecoVision from other systems of the era

was its 32 sprite capability. It made it easier to design sprite intensive

games like Slither.

Scrolling on the Coleco was sort of chunky because they did not have special

hardware for scrolling like the Atari units did - but some games (notably

Jungle Hunt and Defender) _do_ manage to scroll well, so there was a

software workaround of some kind.

All Coleco cartridges, and many third party titles, incorporated a

patience-testing twelve second delay before the game select screen showed

up. One story commonly cited (and apparently mentioned in Electronic

Games magazine at the time) is the following: before ColecoVision reached

the marketplace, Coleco invested heavily in advertising for the system,

building up significant demand. The problem was software support. Few

programmers knew the ColecoVision's quirky assembly language, and there

wasn't time to train more. So the engineers at Coleco designed an emulator

that allowed progammers to code in a far more common and well known

language, Pascal. Coleco then hired programmers familiar with Pascal to

design software for the ColecoVision, and thus were able to provide

software to meet the demand. The only problem with the scheme was the

twelve second delay the emulator caused while starting up.

As good a story as this makes, it's incorrect. The real reason behind

the twelve second delay is a loop in the ColecoVision BIOS - the delay

was purely intentional. The way companies such as Parker Brothers,

Activision, and Micro Fun avoided the delay was to simply bypass the

ColecoVision BIOS. - JC, 08, 10, 12, 27, 29


3.0) Hardware List


Manufacturer -

AM) Amiga

CB) CBS Electronics

CE) Championship Electronics

CO) Coleco

HS) High Score

PP) Personal Peripherals

PS) Pusher Sales

SU) Suncom

SV) Spectravideo

TG) Telegames

WI) Wico

3.1) Hardware known to exist

Name Manuf. Number Comes With...


Champ Adapter CE CA-340

CBS ColecoVision CB Donkey Kong

ColecoVision CO Donkey Kong

Co-Stickler PS

Expansion Module #1 (2600 Adapter) CO 2405

Expansion Module #1 Adapter CO

Expansion Module #2 (Driving Controller) CO 2413 Turbo

Expansion Module #3 (ADAM Computer) CO Buck Rogers

Grabber Balls HS

Joy Sensor SU

Joystick, ColecoVision WI

Perma Power Battery Eliminator/AC Adapter CO 2298

Personal Arcade TG Meteoric Shower

Power Stick AM

Quickshot III Deluxe SV SV103

Roller Controller CO 2492 Slither

Super Action Controllers CO 2491 Super Action Baseball

Super Sketch Pad PP G2500 Sketch Master

3.2) Hardware believed -not- to exist

Expansion Module #3 (Super Game Module - wafer version) by Coleco.

With 30K RAM and 128K "microwafers" shaped like miniature diskettes. The

games were to have intermissions, high-score lists, and extra levels.

It was to be packaged with Super Donkey Kong; later, that was changed

to Super Buck Rogers and Super Gorf. It could have been an excellent

addition to the ColecoVision system allowing you to play your old carts

and the new Super Games, but Coleco decided to turn it into the ADAM

computer. - JC, 25


Kevin Slywka submits the following:

The following is a quote from the article, One million A.C.(after

ColecoVision) Brown, Michael William; Electronic Fun: Computers and

Games; June 1983

-Note: The article contains several screen shots and a what appears to be

a mock up of the Super Game and several game wafers.

"...the Super Games are stored on mini-cassettes (which are about

the length and width of a business card) called Super Game Wafers...

the module has a magnetic micro-tape drive mechanism behind a slot in

the front left panel. Inside the wafers is approximately 50 feet of

specially formulated magnetic tape about an eighth of an inch wide."

(Brown p41)

Brown claims to have played the system for 8 hours over two different

days. Load time for the wafers is clocked at about 10 seconds. Super

Games Brown tested: Super Donkey Kong, Super Donkey Kong Jr., Super

Smurf Rescue in Gargamel's Castle. Brown further notes better colors

and additional levels in all three games. Planned titles included:

Zaxxon, Buck Rogers Planet of Zoom, Time Pilot, Turbo and Sub-Roc.

Brown also notes the ability to enter your initials for high score,

which is then stored on the tape.

In Video Games Magazine(Feb.'84) an article on the Texas Instruments

Compact Computer 40(a peripheral for the TI 99/4A) mentions the tape

wafers meant for the Super Games: "...this system uses the Entrepo

floppy wafer system that is in use elsewhere, and was almost part

of Coleco's Super Game Module and ADAM."

The Super Game Module appeared to not have a realistic chance of

success at Coleco Industries. In an interview of Coleco president,

Arnold Greenberg, by Steve Bloom (Video Games, Oct. '82) Bloom

paraphrases Greenberg as saying, " is Colecos resolve to market

a keyboard (Module #3) some time next year." In Electronic Games

(Jan. '83): Test Lab (Cohen, Henry B.) writes that, "...Coleco is

working on a keyboard and Ram Cram for ColecoVision which should

turn the system into a full-scale, high powered home computer system."

Clearly Coleco intended to develop a ADAM-like computer all along,

but the question remains as to why they decided to develop the Super

system in the first place. If the Super module had been released it

likely would have insured Colecos success for at least a while longer.

Although given the cynicism of magazine writers and consumers after

the Super Module failed to appear it is uncertain if it would have

been enough to save Coleco from its eventual fate.

Description of the pictures in the Electronic Fun magazine article(kws):

The module shown appears to be the real thing(although almost

certainly a mock-up) with a slot for the super tape wafers on the left

side of the module(even a small slot that corresponds to the door on the

super wafer can be seen). A small LED is near the super wafer door,

probably to indicate a read\write or power light. The "Expansion Module

Interface" is on the lower right of the module. The top of the unit has

the ColecoVision face-plate and a reset button on the far right.

Below the module three wafers are shown: They have the appearance

of micro-cassettes, they are all black and appear to have a door on

the left rear of the wafer. Super Donkey Kong, Super Donkey Kong

Junior, and Super Smurf (in fine print: Rescue in Gargamel's Castle) are

represented. There is a game package which bears a striking resemblance

to a CD jewel case(although it appears to be made of vinyl) has Buck

Rogers Planet of Doom on the cover. The by-line on the case states:

"For use with ColecoVision Expansion Module #3"




The vinyl game case carries a part number of "#2645" - 25

Expansion Module #3 (Super Game Module - CED version) by Coleco.

A second Super Game module was also rumored. It used a format called

CED, using video records - vinyl records with much finer grooves,

stored in cases so as to avoid contact save by the needle of the system.

In an interview with Ralph Baer, who worked on this system, he said it

was really zippy and in some respects better than CDROM. - 11, 34

CED stands for Capacitance Electronic Disk system, and was pioneered

by RCA. RCA used this technology in all of there CED video disk players,

which competed with the Laserdisc format until 1985 when RCA discontinued

all of its players. Coleco chose the CED format because RCA could create

a computer controllable random access machine that was very affordable.

The Coleco CED system would have come with two major components: the Coleco

"controller" Module (#3) that plugs into the front of the system, and

the RCA/COLECO CED player that connected to the Module and the T.V. set.

Reportedly the price would be around $395-$495 for a complete set-up.

Interestingly, the Coleco CED system would still play all of RCA's

movie and music video disks, which was a big selling point for RCA.

So you would have a Video Quality arcade system, and movie player - all

in one.

From Video Games and Computer Entertainment, June 1991:

'Talk of the future reminds Baer of the aborted, ahead-of-its-time

project he launched in 1982. The ideal interface, the ColecoVision

video game console and an RCA CED player. "Things advanced to the

point that RCA actually made a few CED peripherals. Then along came

the ADAM computer and ended it all. What I'd like to see is not

going to happen." He'd like to see CED revived, instead of the

industry going to CD. He worries that CD will fail to deliver the

full-motion video that people expect.' - 12

ColecoVision (THE ORIGINAL VERSION) by Coleco.

Remember seeing the first "glimpses" of the ColecoVision system in

Electronic Games magazine? The first pictures of the system showed

a much more attractive looking system than what we got as a final

product. The system itself had a white faceplate where the ColecoVision

logo appears now and the controllers were very different. They had blue

side buttons, orange pound and star keys on the keypad, and the finger

rollers that were later introduced on the Super Controllers.

The finger rollers, which were to have been located between the keypad

and joystick, were supposed to be available for use as either speed

controllers, or as a paddle controller. They were dropped at the last

minute, though if you open up a controller you can see the schematic for

it on the circuit board. - 07

The finger rollers shown in Daniel Cohen's book "Video Games", page 57,

are located beneath the keypad. - 24

Intellivision Adapter by Coleco.

Coleco had plans for an adapter that would play Intellivision cartridges.

Supposedly there are several working prototypes of this adapter that were

shown at electronic shows. If Coleco would have only gone through with

production, the ColecoVision would have been able to play Intellivision,

2600, and ColecoVision cartridges! - JC

Modem by AT&T/Coleco.

Not to be confused with the ADAM modem, which does exist.

An article in Newsweek, September 19, 1983, on page 69 announced the


'American Telephone and Telegraph Co. and Donkey Kong? An unlikely

combination, perhaps, but one that became a reality last week when the

venerable communications giant hooked up with Coleco Industries, the

videogame maker, in a join effort to make entertainment software

available by telephone to 25 million owners of video games and home


'Under the plan, AT&T and Coleco will develop a "modem", an electronic

device that will connect a home computer or video game by telephone to

a central data base. Coleco will supply the software programs, such

as Donkey Kong or two of its other popular video games, Smurf and

Zaxxon. The service will be offered sometime next year for about $20

a month; the modem is expected to cost $100.' - 13

Sensory Grip Controller by Coleco.

The Super Action Controllers were supposed to have a sensory feature,

so that when (for example) Rocky threw a punch in Super Action Boxing,

you would feel it in the handle. - 13

3.3) Review of the Telegames Personal Arcade by James Carter


TELEGAMES produces and sells a ColecoVision compatible system called the

"Personal Arcade". The Personal Arcade was originally produced several

years after Coleco stopped production of the ColecoVision. It's very small

(12"x5"x1"), white, and comes with Nintendo-like gamepads. It uses a normal

sized power supply (6' cord) which is less than 1/2 the size of the

ColecoVision's ridiculously bulky one. It also comes with a game/TV

switchbox (10' cord) like the ColecoVision. It also contains two separate

expansion ports that were never taken advantage of.


The ads and box say "Compatible with over 100 ColecoVision cartridges".

TELEGAMES operators claim that it is compatible with 95% of all the

ColecoVision cartridges, but won't provide a list of which ones it won't

work with. So far I've come up with 10 after testing it on 65 cartridges.

Actually, *all* the cartridges work, it's just that the "Personal Arcade"

uses different joystick wiring and any cartridge made specifically for

the Super Action Controllers, Driving Module, or the Roller Controller

will be unplayable, among others. In fact, regular ColecoVision or Atari

compatible joysticks cannot be used on the Personal Arcade either.


The gamepads are 1 3/4" x 4 3/4" and nicely fit into the sides of the

unit. The cables are 3 feet long and stiffer than normal. A personal

grudge is the fact that the cables attach to the side of the gamepad

instead of the rear, making it harder to comfortably grasp. They are

also slightly too small and cheaply made in my opinion.


A single keypad is built into the unit and the buttons are a smaller

3/8" square, compared to the 5/8" square of the normal ColecoVision

controller. It is made of a thin membrane that works with the slightest

touch. The keypad has no frame like on the ColecoVision controller.

It looks like the following:

1 2 3 4 5 *

6 7 8 9 0 #

This changed keypad size and format means overlays cannot be used. It

also means it is very difficult to play keypad intensive games where

quick reflexes are needed. Now you must take your hand off the gamepad,

and look down to press the right key, instead of the ColecoVision

joystick where you just move your thumb without looking.


The following are unplayable on the Personal Arcade due to controller problems:

Fortune Builder (needs 2 separate keypads in 2-player head-to-head mode)

Front Line (Super Action Controller game)

Rocky Super Action Boxing (Super Action Controller game)

Slither (Roller Controller game)

Super Action Baseball (Super Action Controller game)

Super Action Football (Super Action Controller game)

Super Action Soccer (Super Action Controller game)

Super Cobra (2nd button "bomb" doesn't work)

Turbo (Driving Module Game)

Victory (Roller Controller game)


The following do work perfectly on the Personal Arcade, but are difficult

to play because of the need for very quick keypad presses:


Blockade Runner

Mouse Trap

Spy Hunter

War Games


The Personal Arcade comes with a built-in game called "Meteoric Shower".

A decent shoot'em up game in which you have a ship in the middle of the

screen and you shoot waves of enemy ships that attack from above and below.


The Personal Arcade removes the famous multi-colored "ColecoVision"

opening screen from all of Coleco's cartridges, replacing it with a green

background and Japanese writing, with the words "1986 BIT CORPORATION".

Other publisher's opening screens are unaffected.



The best thing the personal arcade has going for it is the price. Only

$39.95 for a brand new system, with a decent built in game, and you get

to choose 1 brand new cartridge ($19.95 or less, about 40 to choose from)

also. If you prefer gamepads, then that is a plus also. The smallness

of the system makes it much easier to store and move around.


If you have a perfectly working ColecoVision there is really no reason

to buy the Personal arcade, unless you want a back-up system. (...or you

have a burning desire to play Meteoric Shower. - JH) The gamepads are

less than desired, and no other joysticks can be used in their place.

The fact that you can't use Super Action or Roller Controller games

(not to mention others) is a big thumbs down for those that already

invested in those controllers and cartridges. The keypad on the system

may be great for choosing levels, but is a pain to use keypad intensive


NOTE: Telegames lost all of their Personal Arcade stock to a tornado

in April, 1994.

3.4) Hardware Tidbits

Atari Touch Pad / Children's Controller / Star Raiders Controller -

The following buttons and/or combinations of buttons correspond to

various inputs on the ColecoVision:




1 * position

2 7 position

3 1 + * + 7. The 7 may not be necessary.

4 1 + 4 + 7 + *.

5 4 + 7.

6 1




* 4 + *

0 1 + 4

# 1 + 7

Left button

Right button 1 + 3, or 4 + 6, or 7 + 9, or * + #. - 20


CBS ColecoVision -

Looks and operates just like my 'standard' ColecoVisions, but the

metallic faceplates are different. On top, it says "1 / 0" instead of

"Off / On", and the front plate reads:


CBS Coleco Video Game/Home Computer System [expansion slot] CBS




CBS Electronics bought out the Coleco rights when Coleco bit the bullet.

They marketed mostly in Europe. You can find most if not all of the Coleco

games with a CBS label. They are all or mostly all PAL games. However,

since the ColecoVision doesn't care, it doesn't matter. Plug them in and

they play like NTSC! - 20, 22

Champ Adapter -

A near exact duplicate of the Coleco Keypad, minus the upper half that

contains the joystick. Instead it has a 9-pin slot so you can plug

in your favorite joystick and still have use of the keypad. It also

can double as a joystick extension cable since the Champ Adapter cable

is 6' long. - JC

Co-Stickler -

Plastic "snap" on joysticks for the standard ColecoVision

controllers. - JH

Expansion Module #1 -


The following Atari 2600 cartridges are incompatible with the 2600


Texas Chainsaw Massacre - JH

Most Tigervision titles - 19 (but Miner 2049'er works - JH)

All Supercharger games - 19 (will work, but only if cover of

expansion module has been removed) - 26

Expansion Module #1 Adapter -

This device plugs into Expansion Module #1 (2600 Adapter) to allow

some Atari 2600 cartridges which have compatibility problems to be

played. Supposedly it was only sent through the mail to those

customers who called Coleco with complaints of 2600 cartridge

problems. - JC

Expansion Module #2 -

The driving controller can be used to play Victory, which officially

requires the Roller Controller. - 46

Grabber Balls -

They're red balls of a stick that snap on the ColecoVision controller,

making it more arcade-style. Work *fantastic* when locked into the

Roller Controller, and played with Robotron on the 7800. - JC

Joy Sensor -

A lot like an Intellivision II controler. Has a membrane kepad area

and a membrane joystick, plus what appear to be rapid fire controls

that might be variable. Well made. - 41

Perma Power Battery Eliminator/AC Adapter -

Replaces the batteries in Expansion Module #2 (Driving Controller) - JC

This is a _weird_ device. Since the only way to power the unit is with

batteries (there's no alternate for a power source, so the connection

is required), the "Battery Eliminator" is shaped like batteries. - JH

Power Stick -

A great joystick for non-keypad, one button games. Having the keypad

and second button above the joystick makes it awkward for those games,

though. - JH

Roller Controller -

To use the Roller Controller on a game which doesn't require its use

(such as Centipede or Omega Rage), leave the Joystick/Roller switch

in the Joystick position. - JH

Driving Module games can be played with the Roller Controller by

doing the following:

1) Switch the setting to "Joystick".

2) Choose the game you wish to play.

3) Switch the setting to "Roller Controller".

4) Go. The leftmost button acts as the accelerator.

Direction can be changed using the joystick in some as-yet

undetermined manner. - 24

You can get very strange behavior by using the roller controller

for joystick games? Try wiggling it around while playing Smurf

and you can move above or under the proper "ground" area

so that none of the enemies can kill you! - 14

Super Sketch Pad -

Came in a box with a black background and a horizontal rainbow across

the top, marked "Super Sketch". In addition to the ColecoVision

version, there were Commodore 64, Atari 8-bit, & TI 99/4A models.

The ColecoVision version has a silver sticker on the top right corner

that says Model G2500 For Use with Colecovision. The Sketch Unit

itself is white with a brown plastic piece used for the drawing. One

of the strangest things about it is that it does not plug into the

joystick port. The cable is attached directly to the right side of

the cartridge. The cartridge label is mostly silver with Super

Sketch with the horizontal rainbow with it.

The sketch unit it has 5 controls. Two "Lift" buttons, one on each

side, allow drawing to be turned off. "Select" allows selection of

colors and menu items on the left side of the screen; "Menu" brings

the menu up and/or removes it.

The program itself say Super Sketch while fluctuating through different

colors upon power-up. Just below that it says:

Copyright 1984 Personal Peripherals, Inc.


By: Steve Roubik

Press MENU to proceed.

The program really is nothing more than a doodle program. Menu

options are:





(The 16 Colors)





It comes with a large white envelope that says Super Sketch starter

kit. Inside is the owners manual, quick reference card, 6 drawings

to trace with, and a warranty card. - 42

Telegames Personal Arcade -

The Personal Arcades were originally made by the Bit Corporation, and

marked as DINA units with a second cartridge slot for some unknown

purpose. - 30

The joypads that come with the Personal Arcade are 2600 compatible;

they also have an irksome quirk for anyone used to the ColecoVision:

they're reversed (i.e. right is left, left is right).

Besides the games listed above, Smurf Rescue in Gargamel's Castle is

incompatible with some Personal Arcades, and the 2600 Adapter will

not work due to power and RF cable positioning.

The pause switch is incompatible with ColecoVision cartridges, so

it is apparently used by cartridges which go in the second slot. - 14, 52

At least two different version of the Personal Arcade (with different

power supplies) exist. - JH


4.0) Cartridge List


Name -

(d) Demo

(p) Prototype

(C) End label notes the cart is for ColecoVision

(CA) End label notes the cart is for ColecoVision and ADAM

(C/CA) Both end label varieties are available

(S) Came with Silver and Blue SierraVision label

(W) Came with White SierraVision label

(S/W) Both SierraVision label varieties are available

Manufacturer -

20) 20th Century

AC) Activision

AT) AtariSoft

BC) Bit Corp.

BR) Broderbund


CO) Coleco

CV) ColecoVision Reverse-engineering Society

EP) Epyx

FP) Fisher Price

FS) First Star

IM) Imagic

IN) Interphase

KO) Konami

MA) Mattel

MF) Micro Fun

OD) Odyssey

PB) Parker Brothers

PP) Personal Peripherals

PR) Probe 2000

SE) Sega

SI) SierraVision

SP) Spinnaker

ST) Starpath

SU) Sunrise

SV) Spectravideo

SY) Sydney

TG) Telegames

TI) Tigervision

XO) Xonox

Yr - Year of Release

Number - Part Number

Cn (controller) -

C) Standard ColecoVision Controller _only_

D) Driving Controller

Do) Driving Controller (optional)

P) Super Sketch Pad (Personal Peripherals)

R) Roller Controller

Ro) Roller Controller (optional)

S) Super Action Controllers -only-

So) Super Action Controller (optional)

The default is Standard Coleco -or- Super Action Controller.

K (memory, in kilobytes) -

8) 8KB ROM

16) 16KB ROM

24) 24KB ROM

32) 32KB ROM

O (overlay) -

X) Overlay Exists for Standard Controller

Y) Overlay Exists for Super Action Controller

Z) Overlay Exists for Standard Controller _and_ Super Action


R? (rarity) -

C) Common

U) Uncommon

R) Rare

ER) Extremely Rare

UR) Unbelievably Rare

NA) Not Available

Rating -

1) Awful

2) Poor

3) OK

4) Good

5) Very Good

N/A) Not Applicable

Format: Rating/# of people rating.

For example, 3.3/4 would mean 4 people had rated the

cartridge, with an average rating of 3.3.

Type -

Adv - Adventure Game

Avoid - Shot Avoidance Game

Card - Card Game

Chase - Chase Game

Defend - Defensive Shoot 'em Up Game (i.e., you can only shoot shots)

Demo - Demonstration Cartridge

Drive - Driving Game

Educ - Educational Game

Ladder - Games Which Require Climbing to an Objective

Maze - Maze Game

Misc - A Combination of Various Game Types

Pinbll - Pinball Game

Pool - Pool Game

Puzzle - Puzzle Game

Round - Collect Items Game

Shoot - Shoot 'em Up Game

Split - Split & Recombine Game

Sport - Sports Game

Strat - Strategy Game

Test - Test Cartridge

Text - Text Adventure

Note - Telegames owns the rights to manufacture many ColecoVision cartridges,

and still does so. As a result, many games listed below are also available

from Telegames in assorted cases (many reused) with varied labels. Games

listed below for Telegames are either (1) only available from Telegames, (2)

only available from Telegames and Bit Corp, or (3) are marketed by Telegames

under a different name.

Note - CBS produced games for Coleco for European release. As a result, many

Coleco titles listed below are also available from CBS in PAL format. Games

listed below for CBS are those marketed by CBS under a different name.

Note - CBS also produced many "prototype" games in Europe. These cartridges

have been packaged and sold in many places; on the list below, prototypes

produced in quantity by CBS are marked (p - CBS).

4.1) Carts known to exist

Name Manuf. Yr Number Cn K O R? Rating Type


2010: The Graphic Action CO 84 2618 32 X R 3.8/5 Puzzle

Game (CA)

A.E. (p) CO UR Shoot

ADAM Demo Cartridge (d) CO UR Demo

Alcazar the Forgotten Fortress TG TC-201 32 R 4.0/1 Adv

Alphabet Zoo SP 83 ABC-CV 16 R 3.0/2 Educ

Amazing Bumpman TG 16 R 2.0/1 Educ

Antarctic Adventure (CA) CO 84 2429 16 U 4.0/4 Drive

Aquattack IN 84 2-004 16 ER 3.0/1 Shoot

Artillery Duel XO 83 99022 16 R 4.5/4 Strat

Artillery Duel/Chuck Norris XO 83 6233 16/16 UR N/A

Superkicks (double-end)

B.C.'s Quest for Tires (S) SI 83 OTL-902 16 U 4.0/7 Adv

B.C.'s Quest for Tires II: CO 84 2620 24 R 3.5/4 Adv

Grog's Revenge (CA)

Beamrider AC 83 VS-003 16 U 4.6/5 Shoot

Blockade Runner IN 84 2-002 16 R 2.5/4 Shoot

Boulder Dash TG TC203 16 R Ladder

Brainstrainers (CA) CO 2696 16 R 2.0/2 Educ

Buck Rogers Planet of Zoom (CA) CO 83 2615 24 C 2.8/4 Shoot

Bump 'n' Jump (CA) CO 84 2440 Do 24 U 3.4/5 Drive

Bump 'n' Jump (p) MA 7575 16 UR Drive

BurgerTime (CA) CO 84 2430 16 U 4.0/6 Ladder

BurgerTime (p) MA 7514 UR Ladder

Cabbage Patch Kids CO 84 2682 16 U 3.0/5 Adv

Adventure in the Park (CA)

Cabbage Patch Kids Adventure CO 16 UR Adv

in the Park (p)

Cabbage Patch Kids Picture CO 84 2600 32 X R 2.0/3 Educ

Show (CA)

Campaign '84 SU 83 1604 16 ER 3.3/3 Strat

Carnival (C) CO 82 2445 16 C 3.3/7 Shoot

Centipede AT 83 70004 Ro 16 C 4.1/7 Shoot

Choplifter! (CA) CO 84 2690 16 ER 3.8/4 Shoot

Chuck Norris Superkicks XO 83 16 R 2.5/2 Adv

Congo Bongo (CA) CO 84 2669 24 U 3.4/5 Ladder

Cosmic Avenger (C) CO 82 2434 16 C 2.9/10 Shoot

Cosmic Crisis BC PG901 16 UR Maze

Cosmic Crisis TG 16 R Maze

Dam Busters, The (CA) CO 84 2686 32 X R 2.0/3 Shoot

Dance Fantasy FP DCF-CV 16 ER 2.0/1 Educ

Decathlon AC 83 VS-006 16 U 3.5/6 Sport

Defender AT 83 70002 24 U 3.5/8 Shoot

Destructor (CA) CO 83 2602 D 32 U 2.7/7 Shoot

Dig Dug (p) AT UR Maze

Dr. Seuss: Fix-Up the Mix-Up CO 84 2699 16 X R 3.0/3 Puzzle

Puzzler (CA)

Donkey Kong (C/CA) CO 82 2411 C 3.5/11 Ladder

Donkey Kong Junior (C) CO 83 2601 16 C 4.1/9 Ladder

Dragonfire IM O6611 16 R 3.0/1 Adv

Dukes of Hazzard (CA) CO 84 2607 D 32 R 2.0/3 Drive

Escape From the Mindmaster (p) EP 6200 UR

Evolution (CA) SY 83 16 R 4.0/2 Misc

Facemaker SP FMK-CV 16 X R 1.0/2 Educ

Fall Guy (p - CBS) 20 Do 16 UR Drive

Fathom IM O6205 16 R 3.0/1 Adv

Final Test Cartridge CO 16 UR 2.0/1 Demo

Flipper Slipper SV SE291 16 R 2.0/1 Pinbll

Flying Brassieres (p) AT UR Shoot

Fortune Builder (CA) CO 84 2681 32 X R 4.3/4 Strat

Fraction Fever SP 83 FRF-CV 16 R 2.3/3 Educ

Frantic Freddie SV SE232 16 R 3.0/1 Ladder

Frenzy (CA) CO 84 2613 24 U 4.3/6 Shoot

Frogger PB 83 9830 16 U 4.0/4 Ladder

Frogger II Threedeep! PB 84 9990 16 R 2.8/5 Ladder

Front Line (CA) CO 83 2650 S 24 Y U 2.8/5 Shoot

Galaxian AT 83 70006 32 ER 4.5/2 Shoot

Gateway to Apshai EP 84 610R 16 R 3.4/5 Adv

Gorf (C) CO 83 2449 16 C 3.5/11 Shoot

Gust Buster SU 1601 16 ER 2.0/2 Adv

Gyruss PB 84 9980 16 R 4.2/6 Shoot

H.E.R.O. AC VS-005 16 U 5.0/5 Shoot

Heist, The MF 83 MCL520 24 U 3.5/4 Chase

Illusions (CA) CO 84 2621 16 R 3.3/3 Split

It's Only Rock 'n' Roll XO 99062 16 ER 1.0/2 Text

James Bond 007 PB 83 9900 16 R 3.0/3 Adv

Joust (p) AT UR Shoot

Juke Box SP JUK-CV 16 R 3.0/2 Puzzle

Jumpman Junior EP 590R 16 U 4.5/6 Ladder

Jungle Hunt AT 70007 24 ER 3.7/3 Adv

Ken Uston Blackjack / Poker (C) CO 82 2439 X C 2.7/7 Card

Kevtris CV 96 ER 5.0/1 Puzzle

Keystone Kapers AC 84 VS-004 16 R 2.7/3 Chase

Kung Fu Superkicks TG 83 16 R 3.0/1 Adv

Lady Bug (C) CO 82 2433 16 C 4.0/10 Maze

Learning with Leeper (S/W) SI LLL-901 16 R 2.5/2 Educ

Linking Logic FP 84 LNL-CV 16 ER 5.0/2 Educ

Logic Levels FP LLV-CV 16 ER 5.0/1 Educ

Looping (C) CO 83 2603 16 C 3.0/9 Shoot

M*A*S*H (p - CBS) 20 16 UR Avoid

Make-A-Face SP 16 X UR 1.0/2 Educ

Masters of the Universe: The MA 84 7759 UR

Power of He-Man (p)

Masters of the Universe II (p) MA 84 UR

Memory Manor FP MEM-CV 16 ER 3.0/1 Educ

Meteoric Shower BC 86 16 NA 2.7/3 Shoot

Miner 2049er MF 83 MCL521 24 C 3.9/7 Ladder

Mr. Do! (C/CA) CO 83 2622 24 C 3.9/10 Maze

Mr. Do!'s Castle PB A9820 16 R 4.5/4 Ladder

Monkey Academy (CA) CO 84 2694 32 R 3.3/3 Educ

Montezuma's Revenge PB 84 9660 16 U 4.3/6 Ladder

Moon Patrol (p) AT UR Shoot

Moonsweeper IM 83 O6207 16 C 3.8/4 Shoot

Motocross Racer XO 99026 16 ER 3.0/3 Drive

Motocross Racer/Tomarc the XO 83 16/16 UR N/A

Barbarian (double-end)

Mountain King SU 84 1605 16 ER 3.3/3 Ladder

Mouse Trap (C) CO 82 2419 16 X C 3.6/10 Maze

Music Box Demo (d) CO 32 UR Demo

Nova Blast IM 83 O6607 32 U 3.5/4 Shoot

Oil's Well (S) SI 83 OWL-901 16 R 3.8/4 Maze

Omega Race (CA) CO 83 2448 Ro 16 C 3.8/9 Shoot

One-On-One MF 84 24 R 3.0/1 Sport

Pac-Man (p) AT 83 70001 UR 5.0/1 Maze

Pepper II (C/CA) CO 83 2605 16 C 3.4/8 Maze

Pitfall! AC 83 VS-001 16 U 3.2/5 Adv

Pitfall II AC 84 VS-008 16 U 3.5/2 Adv

Pitstop EP 83 600R Do 16 U 3.0/6 Drive

Popeye PB 83 9810 16 C 3.3/10 Adv

Porky's (p) 20 UR

Power Grabber (p) SY UR

Q*Bert PB 83 9800 8 C 4.2/10 Maze

Q*Bert's Qubes PB 9950 16 ER 5.0/3 Puzzle

Quest for Quintana Roo SU 83 1603 16 R 3.7/3 Adv

River Raid AC 84 VS-002 16 U 3.4/5 Shoot

Robin Hood XO 83 99023 16 R 3.7/3 Adv

Robin Hood/Sir Lancelot XO 83 16/16 UR N/A


Roc 'n Rope (CA) CO 84 2668 24 U 3.6/5 Ladder

Rock 'n' Bolt TG TC-202 16 R 5.0/1 Puzzle

Rocky Super Action Boxing (CA) CO 83 2606 S 24 Y C 3.3/6 Sport

Rolloverture SU 1602 16 ER 3.0/1 Puzzle

Root Beer Tapper (CA) CO 84 2616 32 R 3.7/6 Shoot

Sammy Lightfoot (S) SI SLL-901 16 ER 3.0/2 Ladder

Schtroumpfs CB 4L1939 16 ER 3.1/9 Adv

Sector Alpha SV SE220 24 ER 2.5/2 Shoot

Sewer Sam IN 84 2-001 24 ER 3.2/5 Shoot

Sir Lancelot XO 83 99024 16 ER 3.0/2 Adv

Sketch Master PP G2500 P UR 4.0/1 Educ

Skiing TG 16 R Sport

Slither (CA) CO 83 2492 R 16 C 4.2/9 Shoot

Slurpy XO 99061 16 ER 2.5/2 Shoot

Smurf Paint 'n' Play CO 84 2697 32 X R 2.0/3 Educ

Workshop (CA)

Smurf Rescue in Gargamel's CO 82 2443 16 C 3.1/9 Adv

Castle (C)

Space Fury (C) CO 82 2415 16 C 2.7/7 Shoot

Space Panic (C) CO 82 2447 16 C 2.6/8 Ladder

Spectron SV 83 SE234 16 R 3.5/2 Shoot

Spy Hunter (CA) CO 84 2617 So 32 Z R 4.5/5 Drive

Squish'em featuring Sam IN 84 2-003 16 U 3.7/3 Ladder

Star Trek: Strategic CO 84 2680 So 24 Y U 4.0/7 Shoot

Operations Simulator (CA)

Star Wars: The Arcade Game PB 84 9940 16 U 3.5/6 Shoot

Strike It TG 16 R 2.0/1

Subroc (CA) CO 83 2614 24 C 2.4/9 Shoot

Super Action Baseball (C/CA) CO 83 2491 S 32 Y C 3.1/7 Sport

Super Action Football CB S Y ER Sport

Super Action Football (CA) CO 83 2422 S 32 Y C 3.0/3 Sport

Super Action Soccer CO S 32 Y ER Sport

Super Cobra PB 83 9850 8 R 2.5/4 Shoot

Super Controller Test Cartridge CO UR Test

Super Cross Force SV SE237 16 R 3.3/3 Shoot

Super Front Line Demo (p) CO UR Demo

Tank Wars BC PG902 16 UR Shoot

Tank Wars TG 16 R Shoot

Tarzan (CA) CO 84 2632 24 R 3.0/5 Adv

Telly Turtle (CA) CO 2698 16 R 2.3/3 Educ

Threshold (S) SI 83 THQ903 16 ER 2.7/3 Shoot

Time Pilot (C/CA) CO 83 2633 16 C 3.0/7 Shoot

Tomarc the Barbarian XO 99025 16 ER 2.0/1 Adv

Tournament Tennis IM 84 O6030 32 ER 3.0/1 Sport

Tunnels & Trolls (d) CO 2441 32 UR Demo

Turbo (C) CO 82 2413 D 16 C 2.9/9 Drive

Tutankham PB 83 9840 16 R 3.5/4 Adv

Up 'n Down SE 84 009-21 16 ER 4.7/3 Drive

Venture (C) CO 82 2417 16 C 3.9/10 Adv

Victory (CA) CO 83 2446 R 24 U 3.3/7 Shoot

Video Hustler (p - CBS) KO 16 UR 3.0/1 Pool

War Games (CA) CO 84 2632 R 24 X C 3.9/7 Defend

War Room PR 83 2153CL Ro 32 X U 4.3/6 Defend

Wing War IM 83 O6209 16 U 4.3/4 Shoot

Wiz Math (W) SI WML-900 16 ER 2.0/1 Educ

Word Feud XO 99060 16 ER 3.0/1 Educ

Yolk's on You (p - CBS) 20 16 UR 3.0/1 Round

Zaxxon (C) CO 82 2435 24 C 3.2/9 Shoot

Zenji AC 84 VS-007 16 R 5.0/1 Puzzle

4.2) Carts believed -not- to exist

Coleco was infamous for not putting out advertised cartridges. Several

of the carts were shown in the catalog that came with the ColecoVision.

It is not known if the screen shots shown were simple artist renditions,

or if somewhere an actual demo or prototype of the cartridges exist. - JC

The following cartridges, put out by the listed manufacturer, reportedly

do not exist, even as a prototype or demo cart. Solid evidence of their

existence would be greatly appreciated.

Name Manuf. Number Notes


005 CO (Unreleased)

9 to 5 20 (Unreleased)

Air Defense OD 2153CL (Released as War Room by PR?)

Alcazar the Forgotten Fortress AC (Only Telegames release exists)

Apple Cider Spider SI (Unreleased)

Aquatron IN (Released as Aquattack?)

Armoured Assault SV SE232 (Unreleased)

Astro Chase PB 9860 (Unreleased)

Barbados Booty PB (Unreleased)

Boulder Dash FS (Only Telegames release exists)

Bung the Juggler SY (Wiz game - never finished)

Cabbage Patch Playground CO (Unreleased)

Capture the Flag CO (Unreleased)

Caverns and Creatures OD 2147CL (Unreleased)

Chess Challenger CO 2438 (Unreleased)

Choplifter! BR (Only Coleco release exists)

Circus Charlie PB (Unreleased)

Crash Dive PB 66013 (Unreleased)

Crisis Mountain MF (Unreleased)

Destruction Derby CO (Working title for Destructor?)

Dimensional Puzzles CO (Unreleased)

Dino Eggs MF (Unreleased)

Domino Man CB 80013 (Unreleased)

Donkey Kong 3 CO (Unreleased)

Dot to Dot Zot! SY (Unreleased)

Dracula CO 2608 (Unreleased)

Dragon's Lair CO (Unreleased)

Dragonstomper ST 6400 (Unreleased)

Dungeons & Dragons IV MA 7861 (Unreleased)

The Earth Dies Screaming 20 (Unreleased)

Flashlight MA 7863 (Unreleased)

Flashpoint OD 2148CL (Unreleased)

Globe Grabber MF (Unreleased)

Grog! SY (Working title for B.C. II)

Head to Head Baseball CO 2423 (Super Action BB released instead)

Head to Head Football CO 2422 (Super Action FB released instead)

Horse Racing CO 2442 (Unreleased)

Hydroplane MA 7866 (Unreleased)

Illusions MA 7760 (Sold to Coleco for release)

Jawbreaker SI (Unreleased)

Journey CO (Unreleased)

Lord of the Dungeon PR (Unreleased)

Lunar Leeper SI (Unreleased)

M.A.S.H. II PB 66015 (Unreleased)

Maddenness CB 80122 (Unreleased)

Magic Carpet MA 7865 (Unreleased)

Master Builder SV SE233 (Unreleased)

Masters of the Universe MA (Unreleased)

Ms. Pac-Man AT (Unreleased)

Missile Command AT (Untested Prototype ROM exists!)

Mr. Cool SI (Unreleased)

Mr. Turtle CO 2432 (Unreleased)

Mountain King CB (Only Sunrise release exists)

Necromancer CO (Unreleased)

Number Bumper SU (Unreleased)

Pastfinder AC (Unreleased)

Phaser Patrol ST 6100 (Unreleased)

Phoenix CO (Unreleased)

Pink Panther PR 2152CL (Unreleased)

PizzaTime MA 7864 (Unreleased)

Pole Position AT (Unreleased)

Power Lords PR 2149CL (Unreleased; advertisement exists)

Rainbow Walker CO (Unreleased)

Rip Cord CO 2431 (Unreleased)

Rock 'n' Bolt AC (Only Telegames release exists)

Round Up CO (Unreleased)

Satan's Hollow CB (Unreleased)

Scraper Caper TI (Unreleased)

Short Circuit MF (Unreleased)

Side Trak CO 2418 (Unreleased)

Silicon Warrior EP (Unreleased)

Skiing CO 2436 (Only Telegames release exists)

Smurf Plan and Learn CO 2444 (Unreleased)

Smurfette's Birthday CO 2444 (Unreleased)

Spacemaster X-7 20 (Unreleased)

Spectar CO 2421 (Unreleased)

Spook Maze SY (Working title for Wiz Math)

Stunt Flyer SI (Unreleased)

Summer Games EP (Unreleased)

Sword & the Sorcerer CO 2619 (Unreleased)

Tac-Scan CO 2635 (Unreleased)

Temple of Apshai EP (Unreleased)

Time Runner MF (Unreleased)

Toy Bizarre AC (Unreleased)

Wild Western CO (Unreleased)

Wings CB (Unreleased)

Wizard of Id's Adventure SY (Unreleased)

The Wizard of Oz CO 2636 (Unreleased)

Wizard of Wor CB 2421 (Unreleased)

Wiz Lab SY (Unreleased)

Wiz Music SY (Unreleased)

Wiz Type SY (Unreleased)

Wiz Words SY (Unreleased)

Wiz World SY (Unreleased)

Wrath of Quintana Roo SU (Unreleased)


4.3) CBS product numbers - 55

Coleco games for the European market were produced by CBS Electronics in

England. The carts have the same size as the US ones, but the upper end

has a different shape. There is a finger-thick indentation on each side,

probably to make it easier to get the cart out of the system slot. The

labels are black; on the upper half there's the CBS/Colecovision character

and the name of the game. Below is a white box with a lot of writing,

copyright and production information, the model number (4Lxxxx), and often

the sentence "for use on pal-tv-system only". Sometimes the labels are


Cartridge Coleco # CBS #

========= ======== =====

2010: The Graphic Action Game 2618 ???

Antarctic Adventure 2429 ???

B.C.'s Quest for Tires II: Grog's Revenge 2620 ???

Brainstrainers 2696 ???

Buck Rogers Planet of Zoom 2615 4L4448

Bump 'n' Jump 2440 ???

BurgerTime 2430 4L4454

Cabbage Patch Kids Adventure in the Park 2682 ???

Cabbage Patch Kids Picture Show 2600 ???

Carnival 2445 4L2007

Choplifter! 2690 ???

Congo Bongo 2669 ???

Cosmic Avenger 2434 4L2024

Dam Busters, The 2686 ???

Destructor 2602 4L4460

Dr. Seuss: Fix-Up the Mix-Up Puzzler 2699 ???

Donkey Kong 2411 4L1922

Donkey Kong Junior 2601 4L1980

Dukes of Hazzard 2607 ???

Fortune Builder 2681 ???

Frenzy 2613 4L4311

Front Line 2650 ???

Gorf 2449 4L1905

Illusions 2621 ???

Ken Uston Blackjack / Poker 2439 ???

Lady Bug 2433 4L2039

Looping 2603 ???

Mr. Do! 2622 4L2073

Monkey Academy 2694 ???

Mouse Trap 2419 4L1990

Omega Race 2448 4L4305

Pepper II 2605 4L1878

Roc 'n Rope 2668 ???

Rocky Super Action Boxing 2606 ???

Root Beer Tapper 2616 ???

Slither 2492 4L4255

Smurf Paint 'n' Play Workshop 2697 ???

Smurf Rescue in Gargamel's Castle / Schtroumpfs 2443 4L1939

Space Fury 2415 4L1998

Space Panic 2447 4L1952

Spy Hunter 2617 ???

Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator 2680 ???

Subroc 2614 ???

Super Action Baseball 2491 ???

Super Action Football 2422 ???

Super Action Soccer / Super Action Football ??? ???

Tarzan 2632 ???

Telly Turtle 2698 ???

Time Pilot 2633 ???

Tunnels & Trolls 2441 ???

Turbo 2413 4L2057

Venture 2417 4L1973

Victory 2446 4L4065

War Games 2632 ???

Zaxxon 2435 4L1956


4.3) Cartridge Tidbits, Tips, and Easter Eggs:

Alcazar the Forgotten Fortress -

This game was designed by Activision, but never released by them.

All known copies were released by Telegames, but with a combined

Activision/Telegames label.

B.C.'s Quest for Tires II: Grog's Revenge -

The following secret codes can be used to change levels: - 17

Mountain 1: 2,2 in cave 3

3,3 in cave 5

4,4 in cave 1

5,5 in cave 1

Mountain 2: 2,2 in cave 1

2,3 in cave 1

4,4 in cave 1

4,5 in cave 5

6,2 in cave 10

7,8 in cave 5

Mountain 3: 3,1 in cave 5 (hint: "as easy as pi", ie. 3.1415925)

4,1 in cave 7

5,9 in cave 8

2,5 in cave 8

Blockade Runner -

Need the manual - 01

Bump 'n' Jump -

Pales in comparison to Intellivision version, with off-key music,

washed-out colors, sluggish control, unforgiving collision detection,

and other errors and annoyances. - 20

BurgerTime -

After completing the first round of boards, the game speeds up. Thus,

pepper is in short supply as well as your patience. Includes six

boards, two _more_ than the arcade version (the Intellivision version

actually includes still two more). Based upon the arcade game by Data

East. - 24

Cabbage Patch Kids Adventure in the Park -

Prototype is an enhanced version of the released product, not a

predecessor. - JH

Carnival -

Shoot the hardest targets (pipes and letters) first; once you get

down to a few targets the ducks come out in volume, leaving little

time or ammunition to shoot the harder stuff. - JC

Based upon the arcade game Sega. - 24

Centipede -

Atarisoft made a perfect port of Centipede for ColecoVision. With

roller controller, you have the arcade version at home! Based upon

the arcade game by Atari. - 24

In the Centipede cart rom, there is a message at the end of the code:







START DATE: 04/20/83

COMPLETION DATE: 08/23/83 - 31

Chess Challenger -

From the catalog: - 24

Chess Challenger by Fidelity (Chess Challenger (C) 1977)

Strategy Game Cartridge



This game uses the World Champion Chess programs by Fidelity. Plan

your defense with care -- the computer is a formidable opponent. But

don't get too confident -- he'll never play the same way again!

Chuck Norris Superkicks -

Also released as Kung Fu Superkicks, by Telegames. - JC

Congo Bongo -

Based upon the arcade game by Sega. - 24

Cosmic Avenger -

With some skill, you can make the homing missile that come at you

strike the UFO's by dodging the missile so it goes in front of you,

then moving up and down, using it like a guided missile. - JC

For a completely different gaming experience, trying seeing how long

you can survive using bombs _only_. - JH

Based upon the arcade game by Universal. - 24

The Dam Busters -

This game is damn near impossible without the manuals - 01

Survival tips:

Don't fly over the icons on the map. These are German bases that

will throw up a bunch of flak.


Don't let your engines overheat, turn down the throttle after takeoff.


If an engine catches fire extinguish it and shut down the

corresponding one on the other wing. If you don't the Lanc. will

be difficult to control. Don't do this a second time.


You must come in at a certain altitude and airspeed to drop the bomb.

Don't forget to get the bomb spinning or the indicators will not

come up on the pilot's window.


Be certain to retract the landing gear after takeoff.


To shake fighters, try a corkscrew maneuver (downward spiral). - 17

Dig Dug -

Programming of this game was completed. - 53

Defender -

Since the ColecoVision could not handle scrolling very well due its

electronic design, the scrolling leaves Defender to be desired.

However, it keeps true to the Williams arcade game. - 24


Donkey Kong -

Move Mario up the first broken ladder then bring him back down, walk

him to the left so that his back is almost touching the same broken

ladder, and then move him a step of two to the right and jump.

Depending on the version you have, he'll fall through the bottom and

land in screen 2, or after several seconds he'll appear on the top

girder next to Kong. This apparently doesn't work with all versions

of the cartridge. - JC

In the 3rd screen, get to the top right hand part of the screen where

the purse is. Below is a short ladder, get right above it and wiggle

up & down, you'll fall through the metal floor. - JC

When climbing up or down any ladder, you can move at super speed by

pausing momentarily (allowing the joystick to center), and then

continuing your climb. - JC

Perfect port of the original game except for two flaws. First, Donkey

Kong is on the wrong side of the first board (easy for anyone to pick

up). Second, there is no mudpie level which means the rivet and

elevator (with no "bouncing springs") levels are repeated. Based

upon the arcade game by Nintendo. - 24

You can score for jumping when underneath a rolling barrel. On the

fourth girder (one level below Donkey Kong), wait until a barrel one

level above comes to the lower end of the girder. As it comes across,

follow it, and jump while underneath it. - 24

On the elevator screen, go up to donkey kong instead of climbing the

ladder. He won't kill you; you could climb the second ladder and

jump around him and make his face turn brown. - 48


Donkey Kong Jr. -

Uses the same music for the key-n-lock level as used for the final

level on Popeye for ColecoVision. Based upon the arcade game by

Nintendo. - 24

In the screen containing pelicans, you can actually climb through

the dirt. To do so, get underneath a patch of dirt, and climb all

the way up to the dirt. At that point, move Donkey Kong Jr. left,

right, and left again. You can then climb right through the dirt. - 32

On the springboard birds screen, jump to the top ledge on the right

of the screen, and approach the gap. Walking off the ledge, Junior

grabs an invisible vine that let you climb up to the celing in

midair. - 48

Dot to Dot Zot! -

Originally created for the Nabu Home Computer network, a ColecoVision

conversion was rumored but never completed. - 17

Dragon's Lair -

Right before the crash, Coleco had the rights to Dragon's Lair, and

was going to release an expansion unit to let you hook up an LD

player. The idea was the controller would be the ColecoVision, and

you could play Dragon's Lair in its entirety. - 16

A version of Dragon's Lair was released for ADAM. - JH

Dungeons & Dragons IV -

The Intellivision D&D game then in development, Tower of Mystery,

was the third D&D game from Mattel, so apparently this game was

envisioned as an original. Started 11/28/83. - 36

Epyx games -

Two case variants, one has a normal rounded case end and the other has

a tapered end much like Imagic carts. Gateway To Apshai is normally

the regular case and the other two normally have tapered cases." - 01

Escape From the Mindmaster -

Of note: the startup screen is an EPYX screen, not an Arcadia or

Starpath screen, so this effort apparently occured after Starpath

had been acquired by Epyx. - 5

Facemaker -

It's Mr. Potato-Head on a cartridge! - 01

Also released as Make-A-Face. - JC

Flashlight -

Conversion of an Intellivision/Atari game then in development.

Scheduled start: 12/19/83. - 36

Flying Brassieres -

Never intended for release, this prototype is actually a privately

burned variation upon Moon Patrol, with a different variety of

objects (including bras) to shoot at. - 22

Fortune Builder -

The mother of all Sim* games! But you need both the manual and the

"Strategy Guide" to play - 01

And the overlays certainly don't hurt, either. - JH

Frenzy -

Pressing "#" during the game resets the game. - 24

Killing Otto in the Big Otto maze is a deadly mistake - Big

Otto sends out hordes of super-fast Ottos to get you. - 24

Frogger -

Perfect port of the arcade game by Sega. - 24

Frontline -

You can get away with using a normal controller by hitting 1-2-3 at

once on the keypad to launch a grenade/get into the tank - 01

You can move through the holes in the wall by rotating and pushing

forward at the same time. - JC

Galaxian -

The following dedication is coded into the ROM for the cart:



Gateway to Apshai -

Manual helpful but not necessary - 01

Gorf -

Loses points for not having the "Galaxian" stage like the arcade

game - 01

Based upon the arcade game by Bally/Midway. - 24

Horse Racing -

From the catalog: - 24

Horse Racing by Fidelity (Original copyright is (C) 1982)

Casino Game Cartridge


They're off and running! Watch the board as the odds change. The

horses start out of the gate -- then jockey for position on the

straightaway. Which horse will win ... place ... show? For the next

race, the computer changes the entries and if you want, even the

track conditions! It's a different race every time!

Hydroplane -

A point-of-view speedboat race, based on an Intellivision game in

development at the time. Program start 11/21/83. - 36

Illusions -

Very surreal game once you figure out what to do... - 01

And it makes -no- sense until you do... - JH

Journey -

In 1983, Electronic Games magazine reported that Coleco had purchased

exclusive rights to the Bally/Midway Journey arcade game (not to be

confused with Journey Escape for the 2600). - 38

Joust -

Programming was completed for this game. - 53

I've had one report that Joust was released, but absolutely no

independent confirmation of this. - JH

Kung Fu Superkicks -

Also released as Chuck Norris Superkicks, by Xonox. - JC

Lady Bug -

This is (IMHO) the BEST arcade conversion available on the

ColecoVision. - 18

Based upon the arcade game by Universal. - 24

Linking Logic -

Imagine this: a man on a pedestal sitting on the left side of the TV

screen. You, his faithful fowl pet, are sitting on the other side on

a similar pedestal at the same height. Your mission: help your master

make it through the room maze using parts lying around. Can you fly

around placing the parts in the right spots before your master sets foot

into the maze?

Like Sierra On-line's "The Incredible Machine," you must place the parts

(such as a ladder or crossover board) to help your master safely pass

through the maze. You have a limited amount of time, though, because

the pedestals raise up every few seconds. When it gets to the top floor,

your master will go through the maze.

Designed by Freida Lennekerker. - 24

Looping -

Similar to the later game, Sopwith, for PC, you fly a plane around

the screen and shoot at things. What Sopwith lacked in graphics,

this game lacked in gameplay. Based upon the arcade game by Venture

Line. - 24

Magic Carpet -

Scheduled to begin 2/6/84. Since the Nice group continued working

after 1/20/84, it's possible that a playable version of this game

was developed. - 36

Make-A-Face -

Also released as Facemaker. - JC

Listed as a pirated version in the Digital Press Price Guide. - JH

Masters of the Universe: The Power of He-Man -

Programmed by Steve Roney, based upon the original Atari version

of the game. The game was completed just before Mattel Electronics

closed down, but was never released. - 36

Masters of the Universe II -

Being programmed by Eric del Sesto based upon the original

Intellivision version (which was never released by Mattel, but

instead reworked by INTV Corp. using different characters and

released as Diner, a sequel to BurgerTime). Unfinished. - 36

Meteoric Shower -

Not released as a cartridge, the game is only available in the built

in version that comes with the Telegames Personal Arcade. - JH

Missile Command -

A playable version was never developed. Only a title screen was

created. - 53

Mr. Do! -

If you drop two adjacent apples and get crushed by the first one, you

are squished but don't die. You then have to restart the game. - JC

The pause button is "*". Hit it once for a blank screen with

repetitious music; hit is twice more to begin play again. Based

upon the arcade game by Universal. - 24

You can fire through thin walls at short distance in Mr. Do!, and

can freeze all enemies by taking the "treat" in the middle when the

Extra apple at the top of the screen is on a red letter. - 54

Mr. Do!'s Castle -

In order to get the most alphamonsters in "Mr. Do!'s Castle", hit

one or two of the key blocks with your hammer as you cross the

board. After destroying all the monsters except for two or three,

you can hit the last key block and run up to the top of the board

and stand near the door. Wait for the unicorns to get near you and

get the door "prize" and hammer away! This was an old arcade trick

I used quite frequently, and it still works for this game.

In "Castle", red unicorns are the tamest ones. Green unicorns are a

bit wilder, and both red and green unicorns can be knocked down a

level. However, the blue unicorns are the meanest, and a lone

unicorn will double into two blue unicorns if it gets stuck in a

hole or cannot find you. This can work to your advantage if you

have reached the door "prize" and let a lone unicorn get stuck in a

hole. When it doubles and turns blue, they will immediately come up

to you at the top of the castle so you can grab the prize and knock

two of the letters out really quickly.

"Castle" is the best arcade translation of all the ColecoVision games.

It also proves that Coleco's version of Mr. Do! could have been better,

looking like a rush job in comparison. However, both Mr. Do! games

are worth getting because they have a lot of replayability in them. - 24

Most boards have sections with skulls such that you can kick a ladder

away, leaving only one path for the unicorns to approach from. To take

maximum advantage of these setups, do the following:

1) Knock out the frontmost skull (on the side enemies will approach


2) Hammer the frontmost cherry.

3) As red unicorns approach, simply knock them through the hole.

There's no need to waste the skull traps on them, since they are

easy to deal with.

4) When a lone green unicorn lands in the hole, knock it through. It

will turn purple, but don't worry! Back up to the next cherry, and

hammer it as the newly formed purple unicorn dashes forward, crushing


5) Back up and repeat the process until there are no cherrys left,

several green unicorns approach at once, or one or more purple

unicorns storm into the trap. As soon as there are purples

approaching, continue retreating and hammer free any remaining

cherries, then hit the final skull to kill all squirming purples

as well as any unicorns unfortunate enough to be standing below the


With good timing, it is possible to hammer a unicorn that is rising

out of a hole just as the new block forms, and kill it (or knock it

back into the hole if it is a purple one). This is helpful when you

are cornered in a tight spot.

To maximize the number of letters you catch on any given stage, try the

following strategy:

1) Hammer two of the keys, leaving the key closest to the top of the


2) Hammer as many holes as you can while luring the unicorns downwards,

until you have a free path from the third key to the magic door at

the top of the screen. Avoid killing the unicorns unless necessary.

3) Hit the final key, and immediately dash to the top of the screen,

turning the unicorns into letters. The longer you wait after

grabbing the third key before touching the magic door, the shorter

the period of time that the unicorns will remain as letters.

Conversely, if you do it quickly, the unicorns will remain letters

for a very long time!

4) The letters will flee towards the bottom of the screen. Chase them,

dropping down the holes you already made whenever possible (this is

quicker than climbing down ladders, and better yet you can land on

top of letters and squish them).

With this method (even on the difficult levels later in the game), you

can easily grab 3 or more letters per screen. It's even possible to

get a full "EXTRA" all on one stage! - 45

Mr. Turtle -

From the catalog: - 24

Mr. Turtle (TM)

Action Game Cartridge


Mr. Turtle (TM) comes to life on the screen, but needs your help on his

treasure hunt. His goal is to collect the prizes that are located on

both land and under water. But -- each prise is guarded by an animal,

some firece, some funny. Mr. Turtle (TM) must outwit the creatures to

obtain each treasure and score points.

Mouse Trap -

Since there's no pause feature in this game, you can trap yourself

in one of the rooms if you need a break. You can also trap the cats

in rooms to make it easier for you to do the maze. - JC

The keypad gets in the way of the gameplay. The 2600 version is more

fun because it has one button, but Coleco could have chosen to make

the doors open using one button and eating the biscuit being the other

button. Based upon the arcade game by Exidy. - 24

Nice Ideas -

At one time a division of Mattel Electronics located in Nice,

France. Due to French laws, Mattel was not allowed to shut down

their Nice office on January 20, 1984 with the rest of Mattel

Electronics - instead, they were required to find a buyer for

the division. The programmers stayed on the Mattel payroll working

on their games until finally the division found investors that

enabled them to buy the operation themselves, renaming it Nice Ideas.

They sold two of their completed Intellivision games to INTV Corp.

and three of their completed ColecoVision games (Bump 'n' Jump,

BurgerTime and Illusions) to Coleco. - 36

Omega Race -

If you use Roller Controller for the two play game, you will make both

ships mirror the other's actions. One RC controls both ships! Based

upon the arcade game by Bally/Midway. - 24

In a one play game, rotate your ship so that it points straight up

or down, and thrust until you bump into one of the walls. You will

then keep bouncing between the top and bottom, and can rotate your

ship toward the right hand side of the screen, and fire away. Works

well until you get to higher levels. - 54

Parker Brothers -

There are two boxes used by Parker Bros. One is the typical "boxed"

game with two box parts that open up to reveal the game and

instructions. The other is a clone of the standard Coleco box with

Parker Bros. written on it instead. - 24

Parker Bros. used the same serial numbers for their games around the

world with one exception--for foreign release, a "A" was added

to the serial number of the game. - 24

Pac-Man -

Has the same aspect ratio as the 2600 (and 5200 - JH) version; plays

really well, and maintains all the bonuses and intermissions. The title

screen includes a neat dissolve-in of "Pac Man". Atari did not

release the cartridge because of their advertising campaign at the

time, which boasted "you will only be able to play Pac-Man on the

Atari!". - 53

The _best_ home version of Pac-Man I've ever played. Scores over the

competition on the basis of:

2600 - absolutely everything (no big surprise)

5200 - better detail (the ghosts have eyes) and better control

NES - better control (which outweighs the aspect ratio and

attract screen advantages of the NES version in my opinion)

Seems to be 100% complete and ready for release. - JH

Pepper II -

Graphics are very similar to those of the unreleased Side Trak. Based

upon the arcade game by Exidy. - 24

Pitfall! -

You can walk through some walls by jumping at them. - JC

PizzaTime -

The _real_ sequel to BurgerTime, started 1/3/84. Since the

Nice group continued working after 1/20/84, it's possible that

a playable version of this game was developed. - 36

Popeye -

Very good port, but the characters needed a bit more detail (which

I'm sure the ColecoVision could have handled). On the other hand,

this is the only port I know of which has the Sea Hag and Sweet Pea.

Based upon the arcade game by Nintendo. - 24

Porky's -

The cartridge shell looks like a bare Epyx/Spinnaker style case, with

a plain white rectangular hand written label. Inside, there is a

standard board with 2 EPROMs.

The start up screen is all blue, with a 1983 "Fox Electronics" copyright

notice, and skill options at the bottom of the screen. According to a

guy who has the Porky's programmer for an instructor, he never made a

2600 port, so that was done after he had left.

The game play is similar to the 2600, only with better graphics and

sounds (yes, the female showering looks more female). The first

Screen is the Frogger-like sequence in the same order, just with

improved graphics. The second screen is the "pole-valut-over-the-lake"

screen. You still have to build the ladder wrung by wrung; and Porky

is himself is walking around the ledges beneath the ladders. Porky

is particularly well-animated--with a black ten-gallon hat, white

T-shirt, blue jeans, and a cigarette in his mouth.

The third screen, the "girls shower room" had the girl scrubbing up

in the shower, she was slightly more rounded and womanlike than the 2600

version; the silhouette was dark gray, and the shower curtain light

gray. When Mrs. Ballbricker comes after you, she is also well-done;

with gray hair, a green shirt, and blue pants. She also clearly has

tweezers she is pinching in the air. Only two different objects can

be retreived from the shower room to stop the objects in the

Frogger-like screen: the detonator, and either a coil of rope or a

fork or a wrench. These objects alternate for each row of the first

screen; the first object stopped the odd rows, the second the even rows.

In the last screen, "The girders beneath Porky's", still had Porky

walking around, making a nusciance out of himself, and it still had

those annoying arrows supposedly to point you in the right direction

to climb.

The only problem with the game is that after getting past the locker

room screen to the screen underneath Porky's--you cannot go

anyplace. - 01, 43

Q*Bert -

Just like the arcade game by Gottlieb. - 24

Q*Bert's Qubes -

Very fun puzzle game. As Q*Bert moves, he turns six-sided cubes

around. To win a level, you need to match up tic-tac-toes of cubes.

The "Coily"-like mouse will chase you around the diamond playfield,

but will fall of if he lands on a turning cube. Sam and Slick are a

real pain on the higher levels. The pause button is "0". Based upon

the arcade game by Mylstar.

Level One -- Two sides orange, four sides blue

Win 1 tic-tac-toe

Level Two -- Three sides orange, three sides blue (1st two screens)

Six colors (white, red, blue, orange, yellow, green)

(3rd and 4th screens)

Win 1 tic-tac-toe

Level Three -- Six colors and win 2 tic-tac-toes

Level Four -- Six colors and win 3 tic-tac-toes

Level Five -- Six colors, win 1 tic-tac-toe, but you can undo

completed cubes

The label on the cart is the logo of Q*Bert's Qubes with no picture

of Q*Bert or the playfield. Unlike the first Q*Bert, the label is

designed to be read while inserted into the ColecoVision on the

correct side. (Q*Bert's Qubes & Mr. Do!'s Castle are the only two

Parker Brothers releases with this style of label design. - JH) - 24

If you'd like to try the arcade version, there was one up and running

at HersheyPark (Hershey, PA) as of 1994. The ColecoVision version is

a wonderful port. - JH

Quest for Quintana Roo -

Manual helpful but not necessary - 01

Rip Cord -

From the catalog: - 24

Rip Cord (TM) by Exidy (Original game copyright is (C) 1978)

Arcade Game Cartridge


This sky diving game puts you in charge of a parachutist. You've

got to time his jump, and allow him to free fall as long as you dare.

Then, pull his rip cord, and get him to land exactly on one of the

targets. But watch out - the sky is full of dangerous helicopters.

Roc 'n Rope -

Based upon the arcade game by Konami. - 24

Root Beer Tapper -

When at the end of bar grabbing a tip, just tap the joystick and you

instantly appear back at the front of the bar. - JC

Sammy Lightfoot -

Plays just like the old Apple II version. This should _not_ be taken

as a compliment... B^) - JH

Schtroumpfs -

A French release of Smurf Rescue. - JH

Side Trak -

From the catalog: - 24

Side Trak (TM) by Exidy (Original game copyright is (C) 1979)

Arcade Game Cartridge


You must direct the locomotive down the track and pick up passengers

along the way. In doing so, you must avoid a deadly runaway train that

is out to demolish your locomotive! Can you stay on the track and score?

Skiing (Coleco) -

From the catalog: - 24


Sports Game Cartridge


See the course right through the skier's goggles! He must race down

the snow covered slopes, nogotiating the sharp curves with precision

and avoiding the treacherous moguls, trees, and other obstacles. His

goal is to traverse the course and reach the finish in record time!

Skiing (Telegames) -

Telegames Skiing does not have the same graphics as the Coleco

Skiing which was in the introductory catalog. Whereas Coleco's

catalog showed a 1st-person perspective, Telegames' Skiing

is more like Activision Skiing for the Atari 2600. - 08

Slither -

Based upon the arcade game by Century II. - 24

Smurf Play and Learn -

From the catalog: - 24

Smurf Play and Learn Cartridge by Peyo (Smurf (TM) Peyo (C) 1982)

Play & Learn Cartridge


This educational cartridge with Smurf (TM) characters bring basic

learning concepts to the screen and encourages children to solve the

problems and situations. Their zany antics make learning fun!

Smurf Rescue in Gargamel's Castle -

At the last screen with the skull and Smurfette, leave the room and

Smurfette will drop her dress. - JC

If you come up to a hard screen, go back to the screen you just came

through, and then return - the screen will change shape each time, so

you can do it until an easier one appears. - JC

On game 4, move back and forth between screens 1 & 2 for about a minute,

and you'll receive 919,500 points. - JC

Space Fury -

Save the best dock for last, since you'll be stuck with it for the

rest of the game. - JC

Space Panic -

The stupidest game I have ever played, IMHO. Why would you want to

dig holes, let a monster fall in, and they fall down a level and die?

Stupid! Based upon the arcade game by Universal. - 24

Spectar -

From the catalog: - 24

Spectar (TM) by Exidy (Original game copyright is (C) 1980)

Arcade Game Cartridge


You must direct an armoured car through a tangled maze - negotiating

sharp turns at high speeds. But as you traverse the terrain, a variety

of tank-like vehicles emerge to attack and destroy your car.

Spy Hunter -

At the fork in the road, the left path give's you the oil supply

truck, and the right gives you the missiles. You can use the supply

truck as a weapon by not entering it and moving it back and forth so

it collides with your enemies. When in the boat, it's safer to stick

to the right; you don't get attacked as much and that's the side the

exit is on. - JC

Squish'em featuring Sam -

If you like 20th Century Fox's 2600 game "Fast Eddie," you will like

Squish'em. It has similar gameplay plus has, IMHO, the first "sound-

byte" included in it. Sam actually talks to you (i.e., "Ouch!"

"Wow!"). It's worth the price of admission! Also of note is the fact

the cart has a hanger built into it. - 24

The following dedication is coded into the ROM for the cart:

This space dedicated to all those hackers who program in 8K but

are given 16K and to all accountants who want 15K promos - 8

Star Wars: The Arcade Game -

Explosion of death star not as impressive as other versions - 01

Subroc -

Sega could not decide whether to make a submarine or an airplane game.

So they compromised. Based upon the arcade game by Sega. - 24

Super Action Football (CBS) -

This is equivalent to Coleco's Super Action Soccer. - JH

Super Action Football (Coleco) -

My copy of the instructions give the part number as 2422 - the

intended number (per the ColecoVision catalog) for Head to Head

Football. - JH

Super Cobra -

"Missing levels" - 01

Sydney Development -

While Sydney only released one game on their own (Evolution), they

were a major player in the ColecoVision arena. Many, many games

were created or translated for ColecoVision by Sydney. Among


River Raid

Keystone Kapers

B.C.'s Quest for Tires

B.C.'s Quest for Tires II: Grog's Revenge

Wiz Math

The Dam Busters

The company survived past the video game market crash by switching

over to the Commodore 64 and IBM PC. - 17

Tarzan -

If you are low on energy, keep punching the hunter at the campsite

until you are at full strength. - JC

Designed by Lawrance Schick - 51

Time Pilot -

"Handles like its constipated" - 01

Different feel using the ColecoVision controller than the arcade game,

which was put out by Konami. - 24

The Roller Controller works much better; with it, Time Pilot has

the feel of the original. - 20

Tunnels & Trolls -

Only contains opening title. - JC

From the catalog: - 24

Tunnels & Trolls (TM) by Flying Buffalo, Inc. (T&T (C) 1975)

Fantasy Game Cartridge



Your expedition involves your entrance into a dungeon made up of

hallways and chambers. But -- the underground is populated by

monsters. Choose to fight or run! Select a weapon, cast magic

spells or use your wits to defeat the monsters and claim the

treasures! For one to four players.

Turbo -

Based upon the arcade game by Sega. - 24

Venture -

Move in and out of a room several times very fast, and a demon

outside will appear from nowhere and kill you. - JC

Based upon the arcade game by Exidy. - 24

Victory -

Based upon the arcade game by Exidy. - 24

The CBS release of Victory has the Quarks (and other features) that

were missing in the Coleco release. - 40

Video Hustler -

Nearly finished. - JC

War Games -

"Need the manual" - 01

Roller Controller is used for 2 player game only. - JH

War Room -

"Manual helpful but not necessary" - 01

Wing War -

Though it is not exactly known what triggers the egg, the designers

initials appear in the sky. - JC

Wiz Type -

A Commodore 64 version was finished, but buried by Sierra. The

ColecoVision version was never done. - 17

Zaxxon -

Based upon the arcade game by Sega. - 24

Tips from ColecoVision Experience magazine:

As each round opens, your ship approaches the first asteroid,

which is topped by a high wall. To avoid crashing into the wall,

use your laser cannon to confirm your flight path. Since the

laser cannon fires straight ahead, the position where your shots

detonate indicates the path of your ship. If your opening shots

strike the wall, move until they pass through the center area of

the wall's opening. This will ensure that you enter the asteroid


As you fly along the surface of the asteroid, stay low enough (about

the first mark on the altimeter scale at left) to hit the turrets

and tanks on the asteroid surface. Keep to the left as much as

possible, destroying enemy turrets first, and fuel tanks after

you've eliminated the turrets that defend them. The turrets fire

both forward and sideways, and theirmissiles move rapidly, so

you'll almost certainly be hit if you get close to a turret without

destroying it. Fire at the turrets from a distance, then weave back

to the right to hit fuel tanks. Remember to keep an eye out for the

vertically rising missiles that come out of the ground silos - and

don't forget the equally deadly missiles launched from the turrets.

Don't climb unless necessary to avoid a missile or a wall - even two

seconds at high altitude will bring a fast, hard-to-avoid homing

missile down on you.

As you leave the first asteroid to enter deep space, move toward the

center of the screen to give yourself maximum maneuverability. Then

wait for the first of the enemy fighters. You'll find that they're

very hard to hit until they approach and prepare to launch their

missiles. The best technique for survival in deep space is 1. Wait

until crosshairs appear in front of your ship. 2. Fire instantly.

3. Dive or climb immediately. Don't fire and remain still - even if

you hit the enemy fighter its missile will still destroy you.

Practice this wait-fire-move sequence until you can confidently

destroy the enemy fighters. By the way, it can't hurt to start

firing at enemy fighters as soon as they appear on the edge of the

screen. Unfortunately, long distance hits are hard to come by.

The action will abruptly slow as you approach the mighty ZAXXON. Move

your ship to the right to draw ZAXXON over toward that side of the

asteroid so you can fire at it. Then rise to an altitude of about

2 1/2 marks on the screen altimeter, and begin firing as rapidly as

possible. When ZAXXON launches a homing missile, try to hit it

several times to neutralize it (you'll see it change color), then

continue to fire at ZAXXON itself. Remember, only multiple hits at

the right height can destroy ZAXXON - and earn you points. If you

can't score these hits and destroy the homing missile, your fire

will at least drive ZAXXON back and you can begin another round of

attack. - 35

Zenji -

Manual is roughly the size of a bookmark, and is completely

unnecessary. - JH

4.4) Cartridge Hardware Cheats

As in many systems, a careful change to the right address can

significantly change the flavor of a game. For those using a

ColecoVision emulator, data at the following addresses can be

changed with various effects.

Antartic Adventure - 49

Addresses 0AEA-0AEBh - Rest Dist. - Decimal Digits

Addresses 0AEC-0AEDh - Time - Decimal Digits; bytes are reversed

B.C.'s Quest For Tires - 31, 49

Address 0388h - Extra Lives - FFh means "None"; 254 maximum

Address 22EAh - Lives Check - Set to 00h for infinite lives

B.C.'s Quest For Tires II: Grog's Revenge - 31, 49

Address 032Fh - Extra Lives - FFh means "None"; 254 maximum

Address 0351h - Extra Lives - FFh means "None"; 254 maximum

Address 037Dh - Lives Check - Set to 00h for infinite lives

Buck Rogers Planet of Zoom - 49

Address 0104h - Areas Left - 00 = 01 = Skip round 1

BurgerTime - 31

Address 01F4h - Lives Check - Set to 00h for infinite lives

Addresses 127C-127Eh - Monster Gen - Set all to 00h for no monsters

Addresses 1332-1334h - Hit Detect - Set all to 00h to become invincible

Carnival - 49

Address 01D7h - Bullets - Max 3C = 60

Cosmic Avenger - 49

Address 00ADh - Extra Lives - FFh means "None"; 254 maximum

Donkey Kong - 31,49

Addresses 01FB-01FDh - Lives Check - Set all to 00h for infinite lives

Addresses 0560-0561h - Score - In hex; max 06 27 = 9990 (0 added)

Addresses 05AA-05ABh - Bonus Score - In hex

Address 186Ch - Extra Lives - For harder levels

Address 1875h - Extra Lives - For easy levels

Donkey Kong Junior - 31

Address 020Ch - Extra Lives - For harder levels, player 1

Address 0216h - Extra Lives - For easy levels, player 1

Addresses 034D-034Fh - Lives Check - Set all to 00h for infinite lives

Frantic Freddy - 49

Address 044Fh - Enemies Left - Enemies needed to kill on level

Frenzy - 49

Address 06EDh - Movement? - 01 = move to next screen

Frogger - 49

Address 1612h - Extra Lives - FFh = 255 maximum

Galaxian - 31, 49

Addresses 0240-0242h - Lives Check - Set all to 00h for infinite lives

(Setting 0242h to any number but 03

is sufficient)

Gorf - 31

Address 0133h - Extra Lives - FFh means "None"; 254 maximum

Address 28E8h - Lives Check - Set to 00h for infinite lives

Jumpman Junior

Address 0394h - Extra Lives - FFh = 255 maximum

Address 0399h - Level

Lady Bug - 31,49

Addresses 0125-0127h - Lives Check - Set all to 00h for infinite lives

Address 0390h - Extra Lives - FFh means "None"; FEh = 255 maximum

Addresses 0393-0395h - Score - Decimal digits; 999,999 maximum

Looping - 49

Address 0171h - Extra Lives - 80h = 128 maximum

Moonsweeper - 49

Address 1A4Dh - Extra Lives - FFh = 255 maximum

Mouse Trap - 31, 49

Address 0362h - Extra Lives - FFh means "None"; 254 maximum

Address 0365h - Dog Biscuits - FFh means "None"; 254 maximum

Addresses 0366-036Bh - Score - Decimal digits; 999,999 maximum

Address 08A1h - Transform - Set to 00h, become dog permanently

Address 2A38h - ??? - Set to 00h, "Score becomes crazy"

Pepper II - 49

Address 00F0h - Extra Lives - Maximum FDh = 254

Address 00FFh - Extra Lives - For Player 2

Addresses 020B-020Dh - Score - Hex; max 9F 86 01 - 99999 (0 added)

Addresses 0216-0218h - Score - For Player 2

Popeye - 49


Address 00D4h - Extra lives - Maximum 3Fh = 15

Address 00D9h - Round - Maximum 39h = 9

Q*Bert - 49

Address 005Bh - Level/Round - 19 = 1/1, 1F = 1/7, 20 = 28 = 2/0

Address 05B4h - Coordinates

Address 0638h - Lives Check - Set to any but 05h for infinite lives

Root Beer Tapper - 31

Addresses 2963-2965h - Lives Check - Set all to 00h for infinite lives

Smurf Rescue in Gargamel's Castle - 49

Address 00A2h - Extra lives - Maximum FFh = 255

Address 0167h - Energy - Maximum FFh = 255

Spy Hunter - 49

Addresses 0053-0055h - Score - Maximum 3Fh 42h 0Fh = 999,999

Addresses 0056-0057h - Bonus Timer - Maximum E7h 03h = 999

Super Cobra - 49

Address 0108h - Level - Range: 1-11

Address 0176h - Extra Lives - Maximum 55h = 86

Address 01BFh - Fuel - Maximum 6Fh = 111; 0B/full, 78/error

Tutankham - 31

Address 0161h - Lamps - Maximum 0Fh = 15

Address 0876h - Extra Lives - For easy level, player 1; max 15

Address 087Eh - Extra Lives - For hard level, player 1

Address 0880h - Extra Lives - For medium level, player 1

Address 0882h - Extra Lives - For easy level, player 2

Address 0886h - Extra Lives - For medium level, player 2

Address 0888h - Extra Lives - For hard level, player 2

Address 0B69h - Monster Gen - Set to 00h for no monster generation

Address 2269h - Monster Move - Set to 00h to keep monsters in nests

Up 'n Down - 49

Address 01C5h - Extra Lives - Maximum FFh = 255

Venture - 31, 49

Addresses 032E-0330h - Lives Check - Set all to 00h for infinite lives

Address 09B3h - Extra Lives - FFh means "None"; 254 maximum

Zaxxon - 31,49

Addresses 0085-0086h - Score - Maximum E7 03 = 999 (00 added)

Addresses 011A-011Bh - Score - Player 2

Address 01B9h - Extra Lives - For easy levels

Address 01BDh - Extra Lives - For harder levels

Address 01E4h - Status - 00/player 2 left, 02/player 1-2 lives

Address 01E6h - Lives Check - Player 2

Address 02CEh - Lives Check - Set to 00h for infinite lives

4.5) ColecoVision and ColecoVision/ADAM catalogs

Unlike Atari and Mattel, Coleco didn't put out catalogs regularly.

The catalog was included with the unit is better known for the titles

that _didn't_ turn up than those that did. A second catalog with a

mixture of ColecoVision and ADAM items appears to have been released

shortly before the death of both systems, as it appears to include

nearly all of the late ColecoVision releases. The contents of each


1982 catalog: -24

Introduction to ColecoVision

Introduction of Expansion Module #1 and #2 coming soon

Donkey Kong (# 2441, Ninendo, Arcade)

Space Fury (The Official, # 2415, Sega, Arcade)

Venture (# 2417, Exidy, Arcade)

Side Trak (# 2418, Exidy, Arcade)

Mouse Trap (# 2419, Exidy, Arcade)

Spectar (# 2421, Exidy, Arcade)

Rip Cord (# 2431, Exidy, Arcade)

LadyBug (# 2433, Universal, Arcade)

Cosmic Avenger (# 2434, Universal, Arcade)

Zaxxon (The Official, # 2435, Sega, Arcade)

Carnival (The Official, # 2445, Sega, Arcade)

Turbo (The Official, # 2413, Sega, Arcade)

head-to-head baseball (# 2423, Sports)

head-to-head football (# 2422; Sports)

Skiing (# 2436, Sports)

Horse Racing (# 2442, Fidelity Electronics, Inc., Casino)

Blackjack/Poker (Ken Uston) (# 2439, Casino)

Tunnels & Trolls (# 2441, Flying Buffalo, Inc., Fantasy)

Chess Challenger (# 2438, Fidelity, Strategy)

Smurf (# 2444, Play & Learn)

Smurf Rescue In Gargamel's Castle (# 2443, Action)

Mr. Turtle (# 2432, Action)

Expansion Module Descriptions

1 -- Atari 2600 adapter # 2405

2 -- Driving Module # 2413

Note that _none_ of the pictures appear to be actual screen

shots; there are subtle differences between the pictures and

the actual games in the case of every released game.

1984? catalog: - JH

* - ADAM only

ColecoVision Video Game System (#2400)

ADAM The ColecoVision Family Computer System (#2410)

*ADAM 5 1/4 Disk Drive (#7817)

*ADAMLink Direct Connect Modem (#7818)

*ADAM Second Digital Data Drive (#2409)

*ADAM 64K Memory Expander (#2562)

ColecoVision/ADAM Super Action Controller Set (#2491)

ColecoVision/ADAM Roller Controller (#2492)

ColecoVision/ADAM Expanstion Module #2 (#2413)

(The Perma Power Battery Eliminator, #2298, is mentioned)

*ADAM Blank Digital Data Pack (#2564)

*ADAM Replacement Ribbon Cartridges (#7806)

Brain Strainers (#2696)

Telly Turtle (#2698)

Mokey Academy (#2694)

Smurf Paint 'N' Play Workshop (#2697)

*Electronic Flashcard Maker (#7662)

*Flash Facts: Vocabulator (#2900)

*Flash Facts: Flashbacks (#2901)

*Flash Facts: Trivia (#2902)

*Expertype (#7602)

Fortune Builder (#2681)

*Wacky Word Games (#7657)

*Richard Scarry's Best Electronic Word Book Ever (#7658)

Cabbage Patch Kids Picture Show (#2600)

Dr. Seuss Fix-Up The Mix-Up Puzzler (#2699)

*ADAMCALC (#7831)

*Smartletters & Forms (#7805)

*ADAM Home Software Library (#7826)

*Smartfiler (#7813)

*Recipe Filer (#7814)

*Address Book Filer (#7815)

*Smartlogo (#7600)

*CP/M 2.2 and Assembler (#7832)

*Dragon's Lair (#2683)

*The Official Zaxxon (#2623)

*Donkey Kong Junior (#2629)

*Donkey Kong (#2628)

*The Best of Broderbund (Choplifter & A.E.) (#7850)

*2010: The Text Adventure Game (#7849 - Data Pack; #9659 - Disk)

*The Best of Electronic Arts (Hard Hat Mack & Pinball Construction

Set) (#7852)

*Family Feud (#7710)

*Jeopardy (#7716)

2010: The Graphic Action Game (#2618)

Root Beer Tapper (#2616)

Illusions (#2621)

The Dam Busters (#2686)

BC's Quest For Tires II: Grog's Revenge (#2620)

Omega Race (#2448)

Victory (#2446)

Roc 'N Rope (#2668)

The Official Carnival (#2445)

The Official Buck Rogers Planet of Zoom (#2615)

Bump 'N Jump (#2440)

The Official Congo Bongo (#2669)

Donkey Kong (#2411)

The Official Zaxxon (#2435)

Exidy's Mousetrap (#2419)

Front Line (#2650)

The Official Space Fury (#2415)

Looping (#2603)

Donkey Kong Junior (#2601)

Gorf (#2449)

Venture (#2417)

Time Pilot (#2633)

Star Trek Strategic Operations Simulator (#2680)

The Official Subroc (#2614)

Super Action Football (#2422)

Rocky Super Action Boxing (#2606)

Choplifter (#2690)

Destructor (#2602)

The Dukes of Hazzard (#2607)

Antarctic Adventure (#2429)

Tarzan (#2632)

War Games (#2637)

Cabbage Patch Kids Adventures in the Park (#2682)

Burgertime (#2430)

Mr. Do (#2622)

Cosmic Avenger (#2434)

4.6) The BEST cartridges

Just what the best cartridges for any system are is largely a

matter of taste. One person's favorite is often another's dust

collector. However, the following cartridges have all been rated

highly by a significant number of FAQ contributors, and therefore

might be most worth seeking out by a collector new to ColecoVision.

Antarctic Adventure

Artillery Duel

B.C.'s Quest for Tires




Donkey Kong Junior

Fortune Builder





Jumpman Junior

Lady Bug

Mr. Do!'s Castle

Montezuma's Revenge



Spy Hunter

Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator

War Room

Wing War

4.7) The most popular cartridges

ColecoVision Experience magazine (see 5.2.1) ran a "most popular/

best selling" titles list in each issue.

Spring, 1983; most popular:

1. Donkey Kong

2. Zaxxon

3. Venture

4. Ladybug

5. Cosmic Avenger

6. Mouse Trap

7. Carnival

8. Smurf Rescue in Gargamel's Castle

Fall, 1983; best selling as of June 1983:

1. Donkey Kong Junior

2. Zaxxon

3. Gorf

4. Space Fury

5. Mouse Trap

6. Space Panic

7. Lady Bug

8. Pepper II

9. Cosmic Avenger

10. Smurf Rescue in Gargamel's Castle

Winter, 1984; best selling as of September 1983:

1. Donkey Kong Junior

2. Zaxxon

3. Space Fury

4. Mouse Trap

5. Smurf Rescue in Gargamel's Castle

6. Space Panic

7. Gorf

8. Looping

9. Pepper II

10. Lady Bug

4.8) Rare gems

The following cartridges haven't been rated by enough people to

justify including them among the "BEST" cartridges, but have

received great support from those who have rated them. Worth

taking a second look at, should you have the luck to happen upon




Linking Logic

Logic Levels


Q*Bert's Qubes

Rock 'n' Bolt

Up 'n' Down


4.9) High scores

ColecoVision Experience magazine (see 5.2.1) included a high score

list in their Winter, 1984 issue:

Lady Bug

Level - 139

Score - 3,714,220

Chris Heverman

Montgomery, AL

Donkey Kong Junior

Score - 232,700

Gary Reimer

McAlester, OK

Pepper II

Score - 1,837,930

Elizabeth Kaleita

Sterling Heights, MI


Score - 1,985,000

Richard Abate

New Haven, CT

Smurf Rescue In Gargamel's Castle

Score - 451,000

Jim Brogan

St. Paul, MN


5.0) WWW sites

5.1) Instructions

James Carter has put together a repository of ColecoVision

instructions. These include the text of the instructions only,

and are in a text file format. They are available at no cost;

however, it is asked that if you have any instructions which

are not currently available, that you either enter them yourself

or make them available for James to scan.

The instructions are available via WWW at Greg Chance's History

of Home Video Games Homepage:


Or via email from James at:

5.2) Books and Periodicals

A list of books and periodicals covering classic videogames is maintained

by Lee Seitz, and is available via WWW at:


5.2.1) ColecoVision Experience

Of particular note among ColecoVision literature is the ColecoVision

Experience magazine, brought out by Coleco. Three issues came out,

containing ColecoVision news, new products, best seller lists, high

scores, strategy tips, and articles about such subjects as the ADAM

computer, the making of War Games, and intervies with game designers. - 35

5.3) ColecoVision Homepage

A ColecoVision Homepage created by Norman Sippel can be found at:


5.4) Coleco FTP Site

An FTP site has been created for Coleco stuff. The addresses:

For downloads: /pub/Coleco

For uploads: /incoming/Coleco

Items at the site include the ColEm ColecoVision emulator,

documentation, and ROM images. - 47


6.0) Stickers

When the ColecoVision arrived, part of the hype was sets of puffy stickers.

One sheet contained stickers for Mr. Turtle, Head-To-Head Football,

Mouse Trap, and Rip Cord; another contained Head-To-Head Baseball,

Spectar, Side Trak, and Venture. Each had a screen shot.


Some notes of interest:


o Spectar and Rip Cord are the same pictures as the ColecoVision box.


o Head-To-Head Baseball, other than the diamond itself, doesn't share the

same graphics as Super Action Baseball.


o Side Trak looks an awful lot like Pepper II. Instead of a man running

around the track, a track cart is running on the tracks trying to pick

up little men. - 24


7.0) Technical Details

7.1) ColecoVision Memory Map

0000H - BIOS ROM



2000H - Expansion port



4000H - Expansion port



6000H - Start of RAM (1K mapped into an 8K spot)



8000H - Cart ROM (broken into 4 sections, each enabled seperately)



7.2) ColecoVision I/O Map

00-1F - No Connection

20-3F - No Connection

40-5F - Video

60-7F - Video

80-9F - No Connection

A0-BF - No Connection

C0-DF - Sound

E0-FF - Controllers; E2 is special, as well as E0 - E0 appears

to be the readback, and E2 appears to be the scan - 39

7.3) ColecoVision BIOS Details

The ColecoVision contains a ROM which essentially acts as a BIOS for the

system. Upon startup, it begins to execute code at 0000H. The first step

executed is a check to see if a cart is plugged in. This is performed by

checking two locations in the cart's memory - if the two bytes read are

55H and AAH then the ColecoVision knows a cart is in the system. Otherwise,

it displays the standard "Turn Power Off Before..." screen.

If a cart is in the system, the BIOS passes control to the cart. The cart

can then use some, all, or none the functions found in the BIOS. Some of

the functions provided in the BIOS include the title screen and game select


The famous twelve second delay is part of the title screen routine. - 8

The address range for cartridges is 8000H to FFFFH, a total of 32K. - 29, 31

7.4) ColecoVision Video RAM Details

The video RAM is broken up into tables which are user movable.

The tables which exist include:

The Name Table (this tells us what is in the background)

The Pattern Table (this tells us how each 8x8 character looks)

The Color Table (this tells us what colors to use for a given 8x8 pattern)

The Sprite Table (this tells us where sprites are, what they will look like,

their color, and how many to display)

The Sprite Pattern Table (this defines the 8x8 or 16x16 pattern for a sprite)

Four video modes exist:

A text 40x24 mode.

A multi-color mode w/ sprites (multi-color breaks the backgroun into

4x4 squares of 1 color per square. Smurf Paint 'n Play uses this mode.)

Graphics 1 mode w/ sprites (32x24 8x8 character background. Each

character is made up of 1 color only.)

Graphics 2 mode w/ sprites (same as Graphics 1 mode except each

character can have different colors for each of it's 8 rows.)

The Video RAM is accessable _only_ through the I/O ports, which is why

scrolling is difficult. - 8, 39

7.5) Cartridge Slot Pinout

Looking from the top of the unit:

D2 D1 D0 A0 A1 A2 SHLD A3 A4 A13 A5 A6 A7 E000 GND

1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29

2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30

C000 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 A11 A10 8000 A14 A000 A12 A9 A8 +5

Pin 13 is the shield ground. It is connected to a screw post, but not to a

signal The four chip selects are active low. - 29

7.6) ADAM Printer/Power Port

(Colors of COLECO wires are indicated after voltage ratings)

1 2 3 4 5

6 7 8 9

Pin 1 = 12V BROWN

Pin 2 = 12V RED

Pin 3 = 5V ORANGE

Pin 4 = -5V YELLOW

Pin 5 = Ground GREEN

Pins 6, 7, 8 = Serial Data Clock, Serial Data, Signal Ground?

Pin 9 = No connection - 13

7.7) ADAM Programming Tips

Computers and Electronics April 1984 issue includes a number of programming

tips and ideas for the ADAM, including a number of projects. - 44


8.0) Separate Audio/Video Hack by Sean Kelly

(The following is a modification which can be used to improve your

ColecoVision. The authors of this list and this modification can not

be responsible for any damage done to your unit or person as a result

of attempting this modification.)

This is a rather feeble attempt at describing the hack to the ColecoVision

video game system to give separate audio and video outputs to the system.

I am what I call an "Electronics Tinkerer" meaning I have no formal

education in electronics and basically only know what I have been able to

figure out by ripping apart everything I own !

I am a collector of Classic video games and systems and ran across this

hack on one of the many ColecoVision systems I own. It actually works

quite well and gives the on-screen images a much crisper look to them.

Audio is generally pretty poor on the ColecoVision and this hack doesn't

do much to help it.

In order to get things started you have to open up the ColecoVision by

removing the 8 screws on the bottom of the case. With the screws removed,

the case is still something of a pain to open because of the lip on the

expansion port, but just keep working at it and it will eventually come

apart. Next thing is to remove the screws holding down the motherboard

itself (three of them I believe) and take the motherboard out of the case.

On some versions of the ColecoVision the aluminum cover is soldered to

the circuit board. If this is the case on yours, you will have to desolder

it and remove both the top and bottom parts to the aluminum cover. Set

everything but the motherboard aside and you are ready to get to work.

The person that did the hack on this system uses a small automotive-type

fuse block terminal to mount the components of the circuit board on. I

have located it in the 1992 Radio Shack catalog (page 150) and it is RS

part #274-688. It comes in a package of four for $1.29. Here is a list

of the components used: AGAIN - I have no formal electronics education

and don't really know how to read all the weird symbols on the parts. I

will do my best to describe them (I have also labeled them on the line

below for future reference - take note):

Transistor - No part # markings at all. Only thing on it is a white, red,

(T1) and green stripe in that order from top to bottom. I assume

this tells what kind/type it is?

POSSIBLE (!) RS Part #276-1617 $1.98 (pkg. of 2)

Capacitor - Electrolytic type with part #N8408 on it. It also has the

(C1) marking "470uf 35v", but the "u" is one of the funny symbols

that I have no idea what it means.

RS Part #272-1030 $ .99

Capacitor - Ceramic Disc type. Only marking on it is an underlined "47".


RS Part #272-121 $ .39 (pkg. of 2)

Resistor - I know these are defined by the colored stripes (See - I'm

(R1) not a complete idiot!! haha). The stripes are: Orange,

Orange, Brown, and Gold.

A/V Cable - One Audio/Video cable with the RCA plugs cut off on one end.

You will also need about 5 small pieces of wire around 4" long each.

We're looking at a total of about five bucks to do this so for parts that do

not come in packages of two or more, I would suggest buying an extra one,

unless you know what you're doing, in case you screw something up.

The center connector on your terminal will be the ground for all the

components because it is the only terminal that sticks out on both sides

of the block. The part the extends on the bottom will be used to mount

to terminal to the ColecoVision motherboard. Directly to the right of

the RF modulator (big silver box on the motherboard) right under the

letter of the revision of the motherboard (the one I am looking at is

"J") you will have to scrape off a section of the green coating so you

can solder the terminal on the bottom to the motherboard. After

soldering this bend the terminal block so that it is standing straight

up from the motherboard.

Since many of the components will be "tied" together, you might want to

connect them all to the posts first and then solder them later. The way

I am going to describe how to connect them will (hopefully) make it as

easy as possible to understand. The following is a listing of each post

numbered from 1-5, left to right, looking at the terminal block from the

back of the motherboard. Looking at the "back" you will be looking at

the channel 3-4 switch as well as the RCA plug that is used to connect

the ColecoVision to the TV/Game switch now. Here is what goes on each post:

Post #1 - The LEFT "leg" of the transistor. I am looking at the

transistor on the side that is curved - where you can see the

color bands.

One of the small pieces of wire goes from this post to the right

leg of the disc capacitor on the ColecoVision motherboard

itself marked "C22".

Post #2 - The CENTER "leg" of the transistor.

One "leg" from the Disc capacitor.

One of the small pieces of wire goes from this post to the

underside of the ColecoVision motherboard. It will be EXTREMELY

hard for me to explain where to connect this on the bottom of

the motherboard since there are no markings on this side. The

only way I can describe it is to say that it is being connected

to one of the components in the RF modulator. The RF modulator

is "outlined" in a sense on the bottom of the MB with solder

because of grounding. You need to connect it to the pin that

has the marking "+12" at about 5 O'Clock. This is the closest

pin to he "+12" marking.


Post #3 - This is the GROUND post. One side of the resistor is connected


The two ground wires from the RCA cables must be connected here

also. Each Audio/Video wire has two wires inside of it. In

general, one is shielded in plastic and the other is not. The

unshielded wire is the ground. Connect the unshielded wire from

each cable to this post.


Post #4 - The side of the Electrolytic capacitor (C1) that the arrow

printed on the capacitor points to.

This is where I am sort of unable to help you. The positive

wire from the Audio or Video wire needs to be connected to this

post. Since the RCA ends are cut off the cable I don't know

which is which. It should not damage anything by connecting

them the wrong way, so you will have to take a guess. One of

them goes on this post and the other goes on post #5.

Post #5 - The other of the positive Audio/Video wires gets connected here.

One of the small pieces of wire goes here. This one is even

harder to describe than the one on post 2. The "outline" in

solder around where the RF modulator is mounted on the opposite

side is where you are going to connect this wire. Looking at

the bottom of the MB with the expansion port facing you the part

of the "outline" you need to connect this wire to will be on

your left. It's small section of solder (compared to the

section on the right) and is about 1.5-2 inches long. Connect

this wire anyplace here.

You now have one leg of the transistor (T1), one leg of the resistor (R1),

and one leg of each capacitor just hanging there right? Connect all of

these together, but do not connect them to any of the posts. Just sort

of let them hang there.

The person who did this to my system also has one other wire connected

to the bottom of the motherboard, but the other end of it has been cut and

is not connected to anything. I assume this serves no purpose.


9.0) Copying ColecoVision Cartridges

Some ingenious hackers figured out a way to copy the ADAM Computer's

Super Data Packs to blank cartridges that then can be used on the

ColecoVision. Most of the ADAM Super Data Packs were duplicates of

ColecoVision Cartridges, but contained an extra screen or other extras

the cartridge version lacked. - JC

FWIW, I've now seen both a Super Donkey Kong and Super Donkey Kong Junior

cart. The only extras I saw in Super DK Jr. were music during the level

selection, and a fourth screen, but Super Donkey Kong adds some end-of-

screen graphics (the carry-away after screen 1 and falling girders after

screen 2) in addition to its fourth screen. - JH

Note that copying cartridges or software is a violation of copyright

law unless permission to do so has been received from the rights holder.

Also note that pirated and reproduction cartridges for ColecoVision do

exist. Some dealers sell them; some refuse to. Not surprisingly, pirated

cartridges are considered to have very little collectible value, so be

aware that they exist - particularly if you run across demo carts and/or

extremely rare titles.


10.0) Repair Tips

The following are suggestions for solving problems with your

ColecoVision. The authors of this list and these tips can not be

responsible for any damage done to your unit or carts as a result

of attempting these fixes.

10.1) To fix a rolling picture/video problems:

The problem is with the power switch. You'll notice that if you were

to jiggle it a little without turning the system off that it will make

a complete mess of your screen. What I suggest is that you desolder

the power switch from the circuit board, take the metal cover off of

it and clean all the contacts and re-grease them after cleaning them.

Make sure the metal cover is REALLY TIGHT when you put it back on though.

>From then on if you are very careful when turning the unit on/off it

should work OK for you.

If you still have a problem go to an electronics store... and get a

similar switch and replace it. Nothing else you can do really. - 05

- - -

Sorry if this is stating the obvious, but you seem to have a combination

of an intermittent open and a heat sensitive component.

Get a can of "cold spray" made for isolating thermal intermittents:

should be a couple of bucks at a local electronics shop. If you can

get the box open and get to all the components, it should be fairly

straightforward to figure out which one is the bad guy.

Actually, by your description (starts good, goes bad after 2 minutes,

can be affected mechanically) leans towards a bad solder connection

(or socket it the darn thing has them). It may be as easy as touching

up a few solder connections. - 06

- - -

If the video problem is simply vertical lines dragging behind the sprites,

it can sometimes be solved by using a different power supply. - 16

- - -

A number of problems (warping sprites, lack of audio, lines in sprites,

etc.) can, in many circumstances, be solved simply by assuring a solid

connection between the power supply and unit. This can require

hardwiring the power supply to the unit. - 33

- - -

In some cases, sprite problems can be solved by cleaning the cartridge

in question. But if the startup screen has letters screwed up, such as

CKHACK, you probably have a bad DRAM. U10 is D7 and U17 is D0. CKHACK

indicates a bad D2 line, which would be U15. General directions for

replacing a bad chip can be found in Section 10.3. - 29


10.2) To avoid an automatic level select problem:

One common ColecoVision trouble is that the controller ports break down

easily, causing symptoms such as the ColecoVision thinking the keypad is

constantly being pressed (which can cause the a game to be automatically

started, as the level select is essentially instantaneous). A frequent

source for this problem is the high sensitivity to static electricity

which the controller port pins exhibit. To avoid the problem, simply

don't touch the controller port pins unless properly grounded. - 08

10.3) To fix an automatic level select problem:

One possible piece which can be blown by static electricity at the

controller ports (see 10.2) is the SN74LS541N chip, a 3-to-8 decoder.

If this is the chip that's blown, then replacing this chip (a generic

component, available at any good electronics store) can solve the

problem. - 13, 15


A good soldering iron (with a very thin tip)

Computer solder (thin)

Solder wick

Needle nose pliers

An SN74LS541N chip

Two 2.2K K27 resistor packets (optional/recommended)

Getting started:

Plug in and turn on the Coleco with a Donkey Kong cart inserted. When the

game automatically goes into play mode, note if the Mario moves without

touching the joystick. If so, then the 1st player chip is definitely

damaged. If a two player game is the one automatically started (which

seems to be the prevalent fail mode) automatic movement of the second

player's Mario likewise indicates that the 2nd player chip is certainly

damaged. Lack of automatic movement does not rule out the possibility that

either or both chips are damaged; indeed, given the automatic select problem,

it's likely that at least one chip is damaged. But determining that one

chip is certainly damaged can minimize your work.


1) Turn off and unplug your ColecoVision, removing the cartridge.

2) Make certain that you are properly grounded, if possible.

3) Open the plastic casing for the unit.

4) Remove the metal cover from the board by desoldering it. It just

gets in the way so its better to remove it. It is not essential to

the working of the game, though it can be resoldered later if desired.

5) the bare board upside down and find the soldering connections for the

SN74LS541N chip that you wish to replace.

6) Note the orientation of the SN74LS541N you intend to replace, so that

you can be certain that you provide the same orientation for the

replacement chip.

7) Take the soldering iron and solder wick. Place the wick on one of

the solder connections on the board. Press the solder iron on the wick.

The iron will heat up the wick which will heat up the solder. The

solder will turn liquid and be absorbed by the wick. This takes some

practice before you get the hang of it.

8) Absorb as much of the solder as possible from all of the connections

to the chip you're removing as possible.

9) Flip the board back over and take the pliers. This is where you have

to get tough with your Coleco, and let it know who's boss! Growl at

it occasionally to let off steam. Now, being careful not to

harm any other components on the board, grip the defective chip with

the pliers and pull and pry. It's OK to break the chip because it's

defective garbage anyway.

*** Note - it's a good idea to wiffle each of the pins to pop them off

any remaining solder. In fact, if the chip really is dead, it's

better to just snip or Dremel all the pins off first, _then_ desolder

the pins individually. - 29

10) After forcibly removing bits of the defective chip from the board,

remove any broken pins stuck in the board, extra solder, etc. so that

the area that was occupied by that chip is clean. Suck up the solder

from the pinholes with the wick so that you can see right through the

board through each pinhole. Gee, your ColecoVision never looked better!

11) Take the new SN74LS541N chip and gently install it in the board,

inserting the pins in the pinholes. Make sure that the chip is

oriented in the same direction that the original chip was! Gently

bend the pins if necessary so that they all go in the holes. Be

careful not to press too hard as you might bend some pins that aren't

properly aligned with their holes.

12) Flip the board over. Take the solder iron and the computer solder

and solder each connection carefully. Isn't this fun? Don't you

feel like a computer technician now? :)

13) Optional/recommended: Replace the resistor packets on the port in a

similar (though much easier) manner. For these parts, note the DOT

orientation when replacing.

14) Put the board back in the plastic case to avoid shock.

10.4) To fix a broken roller controller:

When a roller controller will not register movement in one pair of

directions (up-down or right-left), the problem might be with the infrared

motion detectors. The pair of sensors appropriate to the direction

simply need to be replaced with new off the shelf send and receive sensors.

Jumping and contact problems can usually be traced to the bearings.

Sometimes these problems can be solved by cleaning the bearings; often,

however, the problem can not be solved. - 11, 14

10.5) To fix a poorly responding controller:

A simple cleaning with a can of compressed air and TV tuner cleaner can

greatly improve the responsiveness of the standard controllers.

10.6) To fix a dead cartridge:

Most cartridge problems are a result of bad (or no) contact between the

cartridge and the system. Cleaning the cartridge and system contacts

with alcohol usually solves the problem. As a last resort, a pencil

eraser or emery board can be used on the contacts of the cartridge. - JH


11.0) ColecoVision Dealers

ColecoVision cartridges are nearly always cheapest when purchased from a

thrift store or flea market. For example, I've purchased a great majority

of the carts I own, including a number of difficult to find titles, for

$1 to $5. However, when you can't find a cartridge, there are a number

of dealers who sell (via mail order) a line of ColecoVision cartridges:

Note: the following are listed alphabetically. An attempt has been

made to provide basic information about their ColecoVision lines.

Inclusion on this list carries with it no recommendation, either

positive or negative, about the dealer. Additional dealers who

sell a line of ColecoVision products via mail order will be gladly

added to the list.


Adam's House

Snail Mail: Rt. 2, Box 2756

Pearland, TX 77581

Phone: (713) 482-5040

Carry a wide range of cartridges and hardware, all new. Take

MC/VI. Cartridge review manual available free with any order.

Note: According to Adam's House, a number of the titles in

their catalog are reproductions, produced under a European

license and imported. If you want to know whether a title

is the original version or a reproduction, ask them.

Dayton Discount

Snail Mail: Hwy 92

Belleville, WI 53508

Phone: (608) 424-6111

JerryG Visionaries

Snail Mail: 14700 NW Bonneville Loop

Beaverton, OR 97006

EMail (preferred):

Carries a wide range of cartridges and hardware, new and used.

Catalog available via email. Takes MC/VI.

Sean Kelly

Snail Mail: 5789 N. Milwaukee

Chicago, IL 60646

Phone: (708) 583-1552


Carries a wide range of cartridges and hardware, new and used.

MP Games

Snail Mail: 2 Rock Ridge Dr.

Norwalk, CT 06854

Phone: (203) 866-5946

Carries a small selection of used cartridges and hardware.

Telegames UK

Snail Mail: Wigston




Phone: 011-44-533-880445

Carry a wide range of cartridges and hardware, all new. Take

MC/VI. Overseas shipping is #10.00 and up (U.S. - #12).

Note: Telegames has legitimate parts for games they do not

have cases for, and will package said parts in other cases.

Telegames USA

Snail Mail: Box 901

Lancaster, TX 75146

Phone: (214) 228-0690

Carry a wide range of cartridges and hardware, all new. Take

MC/VI. Note: Telegames has legitimate parts for games they do

not have cases for, and will package said parts in other cases.

Then Games (Scott Stone/Mark Terry)

Snail Mail: 100-23 West Milton Road

Milton, Vermont 05468

Phone: 6-9pm EST (802) 893-3004 ask for Scott -or-

(802) 879-0210 ask for Mark


Carry a moderate variery of new and used cartridges. Catalog

available via email.

Steven J. Tucker

Snail Mail: 9897 York Road

North Royalton, OH 44133

EMail: dh395@cleveland.Freenet.Edu

Carries a moderate variety of used titles and hardware. Catalog

available via email.

Video Magic (Frank Polosky)

Snail Mail: P.O. Box 9542

Pittsburgh, PA 15223

Phone: (412) 781-2241

Carries a wide range of cartridges and hardware, new and used.

Gregg Woodcock

Phone: (214) 684-7380


Carries a small selection of cartridges and hardware, new and

used, including the Telegames Personal Arcade.

In addition, numerous collectors will post carts for sale or trade on and


12.0) ADAM Dealers, User Groups, and Bulletin Boards

The following list was posted by Joey McDonald. Others to include

additions/corrections/etc. include:

Geoff Oltmans


Howard Pines, Oscar's Computers

224-F Eglin Parkway

Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

(904) 862-1007

Terry Fowler, ADAM's HOUSE

Rt. 2, Box 2756, 1829-1 Co. Rd. 130

Pearland, TX 77581

(713) 482-5040



2337 South 600 East

Salt Lake City, Utah 84106

(801) 484-5114

Steve Major, The ADAM Connection

P.O. Box 562, Mason Road

Champlain, N.Y. 12919-0562



P.O. Box 4934

Fort Walton Beach, FL 32549-4934

--- ADAM BBS's ---


300 Baud-9pm/9am-7days


sysop: Shawn Merrick


300/1200/-24 hours


Sysop: Steve Majors


300/1200/2400/-24 hours


Sysop: George Koczwara


300/1200 Buad-24hours


Sysop: Rusty Gillott


300/1200 6pm/9am+wkends


Sysop: Alan Neeley


300-24 hours


Sysop: Fred Vicente


300 24hours


Sysop: ?


300/1200 24hours


Sysop: Jeff Jodoin


300/1200 24hours


Sysop: Pete Ames


300 8pm/12mid/7days


Sysop: Daryll Quinn


300/1200 24hours



300/1200 24hours


Sysop: Larry Overman


300/1200 24hours



300 24-hours









300/1200/2400 (24hourswkends)



300/2400 24hrs



300/1200 24hrs



300/1200 24hrs









300/1200/2400 24hrs



300/1200 24hrs




Created: April 1, 1996. Updated: September 10, 1996.

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