subdirectory_arrow_right Joust (Game), Stargate (Game), Balloon Fight (Game)
Attachment The Nintendo Entertainment System versions of Defender II, Joust, and Millipede were all conceived as part of a failed deal between Nintendo and Atari to distribute the Famicom internationally. Development was outsourced to HAL Laboratory, who decided to publish the games themselves in 1987 after Nintendo took international distribution of the console into their own hands two years prior. One additional title was put together as part of the Atari deal, but it was never released, with none of the parties involved revealing what it was.

Because of the circumstances behind their conception, the Japanese versions of these three games all feature title screens reminiscent of Famicom launch titles, with the copyright information uniformly reading "COPYRIGHT 1983 ATARI". When Nintendo of America exported the games to North America in 1988, the title screens were made more elaborate and the copyright info was updated. The ways of accessing the game's modes are also changed in the North American release; instead of having them all available on the title screen, the player must press Start in Defender II and Millipede to bring up a menu (itself displaying additional copyright information). In Joust, pressing Start skips the menu and automatically begins Game A; the player must press Select in order to access the menu.

The development of Joust as a launch title for an Atari-distributed system would have a prominent knock-on effect on HAL and Nintendo's future. The game was one of the first titles to be programmed by Satoru Iwata, who would go on to become a vital asset to HAL thanks to his coding skills before becoming Nintendo's president in 2002, and his experiences developing Joust would help him program Balloon Fight.
person VinchVolt calendar_month November 28, 2023
Attachment There is an unused image stored with the title screen graphics that looks like a robot. The three letters on its chest, "HAI", stands for "HAL America, Inc."

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