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Proto:Atari Karts

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This page details one or more prototype versions of Atari Karts.

A prototype version of Atari Karts was discovered presumably sometime after 2009. It seems almost finished, but it's not quite there, lacking one-or-two features and a bit of polish.


Title Screen

AtariKarts Splash Screen.png

The final version of the game shows this splash screen before moving along. This is completely absent in the prototype build.

Prototype Final
AtariKarts-Beta Title Screen.png AtariKarts Title Screen.png

At this point in development, the title screen lacks the game's title and copyright information.

Vulky also appears as the first character after a cold boot, rather than Bentley Bear. Resetting the console with # and * will display a different character.

Lastly, a short, one-lap demo plays after a few seconds in the final. There are no demos in the prototype.


Prototype Final
AtariKarts-Beta Challenge Select.png AtariKarts Challenge Select.png

The menus in the prototype build are just text over a black background. The final version adds a monochrome Atari Karts license plate behind that.

Prototype Final
Easy Beginner
Medium Warrior
Hard Miracle
Miracle Jaguar Aces

The difficulty levels have different names between versions. Additionally, "Medium" is unlocked from the beginning whereas "Warrior", in the final, has to be unlocked by playing Beginner first.

Prototype Final
AtariKarts-Beta Options.png AtariKarts Options.png

The option to change a player's name has yet to be implemented. Everything else is about the same.

Prototype Final
AtariKarts-Beta Player Select.png AtariKarts Player Select.png

Each player originally had their own selection screen due to how it was laid out. This was changed to a two-person screen in the final. The graphics for character stats are also different, as are most of the stats. (See below.)

It's also worth noting that Miz Tress and Haratari swapped spots in the final version. Also, all characters are unlocked right from the start in the prototype.

Prototype Final
AtariKarts-Beta Cup Select.png AtariKarts Cup Select.png
Prototype Final
Level 1 Borregas Cup
Level 2 Carleton Cup
Level 3 Tempest Cup
Boss Miracle Race

The cups had yet to be named in the prototype build. All four choices are there, but each cup's course order differs when compared to the final. (Again, see below.)

Prototype Final
AtariKarts-Beta Podium.png AtariKarts Podium.png

The final podium is roughly the same as the final. However, two things are much different. There is no "congratulations" and the name of the game had yet to be finalized. Seemingly, this version was simply called "Miracle Designs Racing".

In the final, pressing any of the C, B, or A buttons will continue the game. In the prototype, however, the only way out is via soft-reset (# and * on the number pad).

Challenge Complete

Prototype Final
AtariKarts-Beta Congratulations.png AtariKarts Congratulations.png

The screen for beating a difficulty's courses is completely different between the two, the obvious major change being the "character unlocked" notification.

Character Differences

Each character's stats were redistributed and redone between the prototype and the final – possibly to cut down on character redundancy as each pair of Regius and Pulpito, Skully and Haratari, Miz Tress and Bentley Bear, Vulky and Ptarmgan, and Pum King and Firebug were all functionally identical to one another.

Prototype Final
Speed Accel. Grip
Regius 2.7 2.0 2.4
Skully 2.4 2.9 1.7
Pulpito 2.7 2.0 2.4
Miz Tress 2.0 3.0 3.9
Bentley Bear 2.0 3.0 3.9
Vulky 3.0 1.7 3.0
Ptarmigan 3.0 1.7 3.0
Haratari 2.4 2.9 1.7
Pum King 3.4 3.6 2.4
Firebug 3.4 3.6 2.4
Miracle Man 3.9 4.0 3.6
Speed Accel. Steer
Regius 2.5 1.5 3.5
Skully 1.6 2.0 2.5
Pulpito 2.9 1.5 2.8
Miz Tress 1.6 3.5 2.5
Bentley Bear 2.5 2.5 2.5
Vulky 3.4 1.5 1.5
Ptarmigan 2.9 2.0 1.5
Haratari 2.0 2.5 2.0
Pum King 3.4 3.0 3.8
Firebug 3.4 3.5 3.8
Miracle Man 3.9 3.0 3.8

For the most part, Acceleration was significantly toned down while Grip/Steering was increased for most characters. Additionally, Bentley Bear – Atari's semi-sort of mascot of the time – was changed from a Grip/Steer driver to an all-arounder.

Cup Differences

In the prototype version, each Level consists of seven courses. In the final game, this was reduced to six for each Cup.

The course order for each Level/Cup was also changed between versions:

Prototype Final
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
Japan 1 Sea 2 Universe 3
Ice World 1 Ice World 2 Japan 3
Bentley Bear 1 Japan 2 Bentley Bear 3
Sea 1 Route 99 2 Sea 3
Universe 1 Universe 2 Farm 3
Farm 1 Farm 2 Ice World 3
Route 99 1 Bentley Bear 2 Route 99 3
Borregas Cup Carleton Cup Tempest Cup
Universe 1 Ice World 2 Sea 3
Ice World 1 Bentley Bear 2 Farm 3
Farm 1 Universe 2 Bentley Bear 3
Sea 1 Route 99 2 Route 99 3
Bentley Bear 1 Sea 2 Ice World 3
Route 99 1 Farm 2 Universe 3
Japan 1 Japan 2 Japan 3
Halloween 1 Halloween 2 Halloween 3
Lava (Hell) 1 Lava (Hell) 2 Lava (Hell) 3

In the final game, cups consist of six-to-nine courses, depending on the difficulty, with Japan, Halloween, and Lava (Hell) tracks only appear on higher difficulties and played in sequence. Meanwhile, Japan 1-3 is part of the normal selection in the prototype and cups only have seven courses each regardless of difficulty.

Miracle Race Differences

At the end of every difficulty is a Miracle Race which pits the player against a boss character. Should they beat the boss, they unlock the next difficulty and the ability to play as that boss.

Prototype Final
Opponent Alt. Opponent(s) Course
Easy Pum King Firebug, Miz Tress Halloween 1
Medium Firebug Pum King, Miz Tress Lava (Hell) 1
Hard Pum King Firebug, Miz Tress Halloween 2
Miracle Firebug Pum King, Miz Tress Lava (Hell) 3
Opponent Alt. Opponent(s) Course
Beginner Haratari Pum King, Firebug Japan 2
Warrior Pum King Firebug, Haratari Halloween 1
Miracle Firebug Pum King, Haratari Lava (Hell) 1
Jaguar Aces Miracle Man Firebug, Pum King Miracle

Alternative opponents only appear when Player 1 plays as the course's normal boss character, or Player 1 plays as the boss while Player 2 plays as the 1st Alternative.

The bosses were seemingly redone between revision with Haratari and Miracle Man joining the club. It seems like Haratari took Miz Tress' place as a boss alternative in later versions, too. Curiously, she never appears as an AI opponent, otherwise.

Music Differences

Prototype Final

The title screen uses a completely different piece of music, "One Night Shot" in the released product. There are some passing similarities between the two songs, though.

Other Differences

  • Pausing during the race doesn't fade the music or sound effects.
  • The spin-out functionality for the oil slicks in Route 99 has not been programmed yet.
  • There is no zoom-out after finishing a race.
Prototype Final
AtariKarts-Beta Hazard-Turtle.png AtariKarts Hazard-Turtle.png
  • The graphic for the "Turtle" power-down was completely redrawn.
  • The "Race Finished" text lingers for longer after finishing.
  • The player can still use Bonus Items after finishing.
  • Player names are not yet highlighted on the results screen.
  • Many more ramps were added between the islands of the Sea levels in the final.