The Lynx Portable Video Game System

________ ________ / \_________________/ A \ | |o L Y N X | B ( )| | | ___________ | ( ) | | __ |[]/ _________ \[]| ||| | | __| |__| || || | ||||| | ||__ __|[]|| ||[]| ||||||| | | |__| | ||_________|| | ||||| | | |[]\___________/[]| ||| | | | /|\ Atari | ( ) | | |_________________| B ( )| \\________/=================\______A_// \________/ \________/ About the Atari Lynx The Atari Lynx is noted for being the world's first color portable video game system. It was first announced by Atari and Epyx at the Summer Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in June, 1989. Atari Corp. purchased the rights to the Lynx from Epyx just before the show began. The creators of the Lynx, RJ Mical and Dave Needle were years ahead of their time. The next color portable with a price comparable to the Lynx was released two years later-- the Game Gear. The Game Gear, however, does not have the zoom, scaling, and scrolling abilities of the Lynx. And the Game Gear also does not have the price. The Lynx is selling at most places for just $30.00 more than the monochrome GameBoy--$79.99! The Lynx system can display 16 colors simultaneously out of a palette of 4,096 colors in a resolution of 160x102 pixels. The Lynx uses the 8-bit 65C02 microprocessor with 16-bit address space. It also uses a 16-bit graphics processor and a 32-bit sound processor at the speed of 16 MHz. The graphics processor chip, also called Suzie, allows for advanced graphics features found on no other portable. This includes scaling, super zoom, and scrolling. The Lynx has a powerful four channel sound chip or Mikey that provides for excellent music during game play. It has 64k of RAM and is capable of handling game cards up to 16 megabits of information. The Lynx's screen is a backlit 3.5 inch color LCD screen (largest of any portable). The system measures 9.25" x 4.25" x 2" and weighs less than a pound. It's control is an eight-way joypad, two fire buttons, and three option buttons that allow up to five different functions. By pressing the "flip" button, the Lynx allows left handers to play as well as right handed game players. A special sun shade snaps over its screen that allows a game player to play the Lynx even in the bright sunshine. There are three jacks on the backside of the handheld. One is for power (AC adaptor can be purchased for the Lynx), another is for headphones, and the last one is a comlynx port that can connect up to 16 Lynxs together. The ability for the Lynx systems to connect and play multi-player games is probably its best feature. No other portable game system on the market can use this feature to the extent that the Lynx can. In fact, when the Lynx was first released, it was the only portable on the market that could connect with more than one other system. With the right game cards, the Lynx jumps into another generation of video gaming--true multi-player games. The Lynx allows each player to have a different perspective within the same game. Since the Lynx was created with this purpose in mind, it may always lead in this area. The Lynx can be played without the AC adaptor by using 6 AA batteries that last a little over six hours. A cigarette lighter plug and long-play power pack are also available for it. The Lynx is sold either in a package with batteries, comlynx cable, pouch, and the game card California Games at a suggested retail price of $129.99 or by itself for $99.99. Some of the retailers that carry the Lynx sell the base unit for $79.99. In 1991, Atari announced a redesigned Lynx at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show. This Lynx is lighter, smaller, and slicker looking than the original Lynx. It has a slightly longer battery life and a screen that can be turned off when paused to conserve battery power. The original Lynx shut itself off after 5 minutes of non-use, the new Lynx does not. This is because the 5 minute auto shut-off was a pain to both, the user and Atari. The user could not stop playing the game for 5 minutes for fear it would be lost and Atari could not demonstrate the Lynx's graphics and sound abilities at toy stores. The new Lynx also has rubber grasps on the back of the system so it can be held better. A power LED has been added (which blinks when battery power is low), and cartridges can be slipped in and out a little easier. There is a special protective, magnifying screen over the LCD. In the past, people have broken or scratched the original Lynx screen which is very hard to replace. Atari has made the new Lynx screen so it snaps off easily for replacement if necessary. The new Lynx also has stereo with panning when used with earphones. The speaker has also been replaced with a smaller speaker that doesn't offer the volume as the original but still does an adequate job for all but the most noisy situations. If the sound is still not adequate, small stereo speakers can be connected to it through the headphone port. Atari's engineers also combined a few chips together so it would be less expensive for you to purchase. How does the Lynx compare to other systems? Even though the Turbo-Express and Sega Game Gear have been released much later than the Lynx, the Lynx still seems to be the best deal. The Nintendo GameBoy costs $49.95. Since you can purchase a Lynx for just a little more, there is no comparison. The Lynx is in color. The GameBoy is in monochrome. The Lynx has arcade-like graphics, the GameBoy does not. The Lynx can comlynx with 8-players in some games, the GameBoy was not made for this. The Lynx is very fast, the GameBoy is very slow. Most GameBoy owners recommend a special magnifying light that places over the screen. This, however, costs as much as $30.00 more. The Sega Game Gear costs $99.95. This price was most likely lowered in response to the Lynx's suggested retail price of $99.95. But since most retailers sell the Lynx for a lot less, the Lynx is again the better choice. The Game Gear was released two years later than the Lynx. The graphics and sound are nearly equal to that of the Lynx. The screen is sharper but also smaller. The graphics speed is 8 MHz compared to the Lynx's 16 MHz. There are no special graphics features such as scaling. The Game Gear's main advantage over the Lynx is Sega's strong developers support. This will bring more games to the Game Gear. However, most of these games are already on the Sega Genesis. The Lynx has a huge lead in multi-player games and arcade game conversions. The Turbo-Express costs $199.95. Even though it plays all Turbo-Graphix 16 games, it costs $100 more than the Lynx. For the price, the Lynx is the overall best deal. What is the main draw-back of the Lynx? The lack of advertising and promotion of the Lynx by Atari Corporation making it difficult to find it at retail stores. Many people are hoping this will change in the next few months. As of the end of 1993, the Lynx has close to 70 game cards available for it. Half of those are multi-player games. Expect to see these titles now: TAKEN FROM: Lynx Frequently Asked Questions -- Maintained by Robert Jung. ============================================================================== Title Stereo? Players Description ----------------- ------- ------- ----------------------------------- A.P.B. no 1 Patrol the city and look for felons Awesome Golf no 1-4 Go for par on three 18-hole courses Baseball Heroes no 1-2 The all-American sport for one or two Basketbrawl no 1-2 Shoot hoops and slash opponents Batman Returns no 1 The Dark Knight Returns again BattleWheels yes 1-6 Car wars -- fast and furious! Block Out no 1 Three-dimensional Tetris Blue Lightning no 1 High-speed jet combat Bill & Ted's no 1-2 A non-heinous adventure through time Excellent Adventure California Games no 1-4(1) Harmless fun in the sun and sand Checkered Flag yes 1-6 High-performance Indy auto racing Chip's Challenge no 1 144 block-pushing puzzles Crystal Mines II no 1 180 dirt-digging mining puzzles | Desert Strike no 1 Wage an Apache attack in the desert Dinolympics no 1 Prehistoric puzzles with cavemen Dirty Larry: yes 1 Blow away the punks and scum Renegade Cop Double Dragon no 1-2 Fight the street thugs Dracula the Undead no 1 Escape from the Count's castle Electrocop no 1 3-D rescue adventure European Soccer no 1-2 Enter the Tournament with 130 teams Challenge Fidelity Ultimate no 1-2(2) Kings, queens, and pawns on the go Chess Challenge Gates of Zendocon no 1 Side scrolling space shooter Gauntlet: The no 1-4 Fight through dungeons for a gem Third Encounter Gordo 106 no 1 Help the lab monkey escape! Hard Drivin' no 1 Stunt and speed driving simulator Hockey no 1-2 Hot action on the cold ice Hydra no 1 Pilot a flying boat over the seas Ishido: The Way of no 1-n(4) Place colored tiles in matching sets the Stones Jimmy Connors Tennis no 1-4 Team tennis and Connors' comments Joust no 1-2 Air warfare on the back of an ostrich Klax yes 1 Catch and position color tiles Kung Food no 1 Bouts and routs in the refrigerator Lemmings no 1 Save the little green haired rodents Lynx Casino no 1-2 Try to beat the odds the safe way Ms. Pac-Man no 1 Run the mazes and eat the dots NFL Football no 1-2 Pigskin action with real teams Ninja Gaiden no 1 Martial arts in the big city Pac-Land no 1-2(2) Run and jump through Pac-Land Paperboy no 1 Deliver newspapers to keep your job Pinball Jam no 2 Two real-life pinballs on one card Pit-Fighter no 1-2 Fight and brawl in underworld arenas Power Factor no 1 Run and blast the Sinledo aliens Qix no 1-2(2) Draw lines and trap the helix Rampage no 1-4 Ravage cities as a giant monster Rampart no 1-2 Build a castle and defend it Road Blasters yes 1 Auto racing with guns and rockets Robo-Squash yes(3) 1-2 3D racquetball Robotron:2084 yes 1 Save the humans from robots Rygar no 1 Run and battle beasts of the land Scrapyard Dog no 1 Run and jump to rescue your pet Shadow of the Beast no 1 Explore and fight the Beast Lord Shanghai no 1-2 Remove all of the tiles Steel Talons no 1 Helicopter combat flight simulator S.T.U.N. Runner no 1 3-D tunnel warfare at 700mph Super Skweek no 1-2 Paint tiles to save the day Switchblade II no 1 Slash through Havok's forces of evil Todd's Adventures no 1-8 Explore slimy caves for treasure in Slime World Toki no 1 A spitting monkey saves the day? Tournament no 1-4 Futuristic robot football Cyberball 2072 Turbo Sub no 1-2(4) 3-D shooter in the sea and air Viking Child no 1 Jump and fight to save your family Warbirds no 1-4 WWI biplane flight/combat simulator World Class Soccer no 1-2 Soccer with 100 international teams Xenophobe yes 1-4 Destroy aliens in the space stations Xybots no 1-2 Destroy robots in a 3-D maze Zarlor Mercenary no 1-4 Shoot enemies for big bucks Footnotes: (1) Manual says 1-2 players, 1-4 is possible (2) Multiple players on one Lynx, alternating turns. (3) Stereo sound does not match game action. (4) Players can compare scores, but not interact directly Possible games in the future: TAKEN FROM: Lynx Frequently Asked Questions -- Maintained by Robert Jung. ============================================================================== Title Players Description ----------------- ------- ------------------------------------------ Aliens v. Predator 1? Two mean monsters, head-to-head! Battlezone 2000 1-2 Update of the classic tank battle Blood & Guts Hockey 1-2 Hockey with the violence knob turned up Cabal 1-2 Shoot for your country and your freedom Cybervirus 1 Stop the berserk robots invading the base Daemonsgate 1? Fantasy role-playing Defender/Stargate/ 1? The arcade classics from Williams Defender II Eye of the Beholder 1 First-person dungeon-exploring adventure Full Court Press 1-2 Fast action basketball Basketball The Guardians: Storms Over Doria 1-4 Large scale role playing-type game Heavyweight 1-2 First-person boxing action Contender Krazy Ace Minature 1-4 Putt for par against zany obstacles. Comes Golf with course construction kit Malibu Beach 1-2 Ball-bouncing fun on the beach Volleyball Mechtiles 1-4 Giant robots meet big guns Ninja Gaiden III: 1-2? Sequel to the martial arts game Ancient Ship of Doom (port from the Nintendo) Ninja Nerd 1 Time-travelling, nerds, and ninjas Operation Desert 1 The UN vs. Saddam! Storm R.C. Destruction 1-4 Radio-controlled car-blasting Derby Relief Pitcher 1-2 Realistic baseball action from the arcade Rai-Den 1-2 You vs. the aliens in a scrolling shooter Road Riot 4WD 1-2 Off-roading mania with a stun gun! Rolling Thunder 1 One agent against the evil empire 720 1 Skateboarding for fame and profit Spacewar 1-2? Warfare in the final frontier Super Asteroids & 1? Two updated classics on one game-card Missile Command Super Off-Road 1-4 Off-road racing on the Lynx Ultra Star Raiders 1? Enhanced version of the computer classic | Ultra Vortex 1-2 One-on-one fighting on the go Vindicators 1-2 Use your tank to destroy space stations ============================================================================== Updated: 01-12-94
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