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Author Topic: R.O.B  (Read 4434 times)
DahrenDreamcast
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« on: June 06, 2013, 01:48:46 AM »

Anyone here have a R.O.B? A friend of mine BITD bought the box set - I had a PAL NES on release. Was always put off by the lack of software - but i-m keen to look into this - when my new computer arrives. Was there 2 titles in the end.....sorry - struggling- net access from xbox still.
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nerdynebraskan
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I'm Jackson. I play and collect 8-bit Nintendo.


« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2013, 02:02:19 AM »

I have a R.O.B. with full accessories to play both Gyromite and Stack-Up. Yes, these were the only two games that made use of R.O.B., and barely at that.

Gyromite is essentially a platformer that requires the A and B buttons on controller 2 to move the pillars that block your path. With the proper accessories, R.O.B. will hold the buttons down for you. Unfortunately, the little guy moves very slowly, and the apparatus to push the buttons is so overly complicated that Nintendo might as well have commissioned Rube Goldberg to design it. It's actually a decent game, but you'll have a much easier time if you just get a friend to play it with you.

Stack-Up is much rarer than Gyromite. It's technically a puzzle game, but it's not much more than a glorified demo program for the robot. R.O.B. is given five plastic bases, and five round blocks to sit on them. You're basically asked to move the blocks to match the formations demanded of you by the game. The funny thing is that the game has no way to know whether you've actually built the formation or not. You just push a button on the controller when you get it done, and it scores you for remaining time. It literally runs on the honor system.

R.O.B. was really just a stunt to manipulate toy stores into thinking Nintendo was "more than" a video game, because they were reluctant to shelve video games in the aftermath of Atari's crash and burn in 1983. "Look! It's a robot. We're selling toys!" Once the Trojan Horse got Nintendo a foothold at Toys R US, he was pretty quickly retired.

Still, he was a pretty interesting piece of gaming history and technology for the time. I wonder sometimes what might've been possible if Nintendo had actually taken it seriously as a gaming peripheral. But I suppose we'll never know.
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DahrenDreamcast
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2013, 02:39:44 AM »

That is a really nice write-up - Thank You for sharing  Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2013, 10:36:07 AM »

Nerdynebraskan sums it up pretty well and I have not much to add.

I have the Famicom version of the Robot and the two games, all CIB (I plan to scan the manuals one day). I think they are cheaper than R.O.B. but they might not be very easy to find and they are very expensive on ebay. Robot Block is not rare at all unlike it's NES counter part (Stack-up) and I read that it was the game that was included with the Robot in japan while Robot Gyro (Gyromite) was included with R.O.B. in USA and probably Europe (we didn't get R.O.B. in Scandinavia but I've seen what I think was French PAL versions of it).

I agree that Robot Gyro is actually quite good and it has the coolest set (the Gyro Set). It's very hard though, by the time when you get the robot to move the gyros were you want Dr Hector has probably already been cornered by the enemies long ago. And this is like just the second level. I haven't played it a lot though. Robot Block is not nearly as fun as Robot Gyro, but it's maybe more iconic.

Since the robot doesn't connect to the Famicom elecrtically in any way and the Famicom just sends instructions to it by blinking the screen like it does for the Zapper, it can be used by any system as long as you can program the correct blinking and hook it up to CRT TV. This guy http://atariage.com/forums/topic/190214-i-got-my-atari-to-control-my-nintendo-rob-robot/ made a software for it for Atari 2600. Pretty cool since it doesn't seems to exist any homebrew for it on Famicom.

Makes me want to explore the possibilities to program the robot in Family Basic. Cheesy
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UglyJoe
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2013, 12:28:36 PM »

Makes me want to explore the possibilities to program the robot in Family Basic. Cheesy

Wish I had thought of that Cheesy
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YAMAHA
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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2013, 12:44:29 PM »

I didn't think either game was included with the Famicom Robot?  At least, I have all three new and unused and they're three separate packages.  I imagined them all sitting on store shelves together, not selling Smiley
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My for Sale / Trade thread
http://www.famicomworld.com/forum/index.php?topic=9423.msg133828#msg133828
大事なのは、オチに至るまでの積み重ねなのです。
nerdynebraskan
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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2013, 03:25:15 PM »

I do remember that Famicom Robot Block carts and accessories were significantly cheaper than the US equivalents when I was hunting for my Stack-Up set a couple of years ago. I also remember getting a kick out of how ROB is different colors on different sides of the Pacific, so that he can match both the original Famicom (with the red trim... a good look) and his gray US appearance to match the classic toaster console. I wouldn't mind a Famicom ROB for my collection, but it's probably not worth the shipping costs to me.

Stack-Up is definitely the toughest black-box era cart to find, at least in the US. The game is just as notorious for the fact that literally every copy ever sold here has a Famicom board internally attached to a 60-72 pin adapter. Its scarcity might be partially due to this fact, as the game was probably gobbled up and cannibalized for those adapters for years before the game became valuable in its scarcity. Today, it's worth 2-3 times as much as a confirmed Fami converter copy of a more common game like Gyromite or Excitebike, so I'm hoping they're not still getting scrapped for parts.

Gyromite is a pretty decent game, and easy to find in the dollar bin of any sane game store. It's definitely much easier with a friend (or even double-fisting it solo, if you're coordinated enough). I played it solo once and reached around stage 10-15. I'm not sure if I made it to level 3 the time I tried to actually play it with ROB.

And if anyone here ever makes a homebrew ROB game, count me in for a pre-order!
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YAMAHA
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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2013, 04:07:13 PM »

What would that game be?  8-bit Smash Bros Brawl?
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My for Sale / Trade thread
http://www.famicomworld.com/forum/index.php?topic=9423.msg133828#msg133828
大事なのは、オチに至るまでの積み重ねなのです。
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« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2013, 11:19:58 PM »

Makes me want to explore the possibilities to program the robot in Family Basic. Cheesy

Wish I had thought of that Cheesy
Don't let it stop you. I'm no programmer and I'm still not sure how to write and CALL 6502 machine language subroutines in BASIC (for not mentioning getting familiar with 6502). It will take a while for me. This http://atariage.com/forums/topic/177286-any-interest-in-nes-rob-homebrews/ thread appears to have all the info for all commands the robot accepts. The guy making that atari game used this code and confirmed it.

I didn't think either game was included with the Famicom Robot?  At least, I have all three new and unused and they're three separate packages.  I imagined them all sitting on store shelves together, not selling Smiley
Yeah we discussed this in another thread. They all come in separate boxes that won't fit into each other. But the robot is usuless on it's own and you can't even control it without a game, so I wonder if it was really sold separately. Maybe it was later so people could pick Gyro Set instead.

And if anyone here ever makes a homebrew ROB game, count me in for a pre-order!
What would that game be?  8-bit Smash Bros Brawl?
Haha I would love to make that if I could! Grin Maybe a simple version in Family BASIC first.

Oh by the way, there is at least a third official "game" that is compatible with the robot... http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/profile.php?id=4648
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YAMAHA
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« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2013, 11:40:20 AM »

Cool to know!  Alas,  Boot's is down Sad
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My for Sale / Trade thread
http://www.famicomworld.com/forum/index.php?topic=9423.msg133828#msg133828
大事なのは、オチに至るまでの積み重ねなのです。
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« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2013, 12:28:48 PM »

Really? It works for me now. Don't get too excited though since it's just a NTF2 Test cartridge. Here's another link http://www.nintendoage.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=Element.View&egID=1633&lgID=714

Oh and I just gotta post the music for Block Set and Gyro Set. It's really good!
Robot Block (Game Music Graffiti): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zooKVF22s8&list=PL4C91FE28CF4982D2
Robot Gyro (Game Music Graffiti): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNiD3nrYm2s&list=PL4C91FE28CF4982D2
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2013, 07:39:30 AM »

The number of people having both ROB and Family Basic is probably not very many, but thanks to SSTONES I can now make NES ROMs of my Family Basic creations. Here is my first ROB demo http://www.famicomworld.com/forum/index.php?topic=9542.msg135171#msg135171. I still haven't figured out how to program ROB in Family Basic though, and it's not a playable game so don't expect too much.
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wholesalewatch648
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« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2013, 12:56:14 AM »

i got a ROB and gyromite CIB for $5.00 at a garage sale years ago but I have never used it, because I never have NES plugged in Cry
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I am a big Nintendo fan! especially GameBoy, N64, SFC, GC. And of course Mario games
I collect SFC/N64 mainly. Some rare famicom stuff too. Also miscellaneous video game stuff.
nerdynebraskan
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I'm Jackson. I play and collect 8-bit Nintendo.


« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2013, 07:53:35 PM »

The big-box or small-box Gyromite? Did it have the accessories to play Gyromite? That's a solid deal for just the robot and Gyromite, but a straight-up steal if it had all of Gyromite accessories.
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