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Author Topic: Cloak & Dagger  (Read 10189 times)
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« on: June 30, 2006, 02:16:04 PM »

Company : Atari
Cabinet : Dedicated
Monitor : 19" horizontal color raster

I picked up this game from it's original owner. Actually, to be more accurate, I picked it up from the guy who programmed the game for Atari, Rusty Dawe. This is the original Cloak & Dagger, serial #UR00001, the very same game that was used in the filming of the movie by the same name. This is the machine they used to film the gameplay footage from, since the game didn't exist for the Atari 5200 used in the movie.

Rusty was kind enough to autograph the control panel for me. He also told me a little history behind the game. It started out called Mad Bomber, then Agent X, but soon after focus testing began, a deal was struck to tie it in with a new movie coming out called, you guessed it, Cloak & Dagger. 20 of these dedicated cabinets were made and six of them had Agent X marquees on them. All the PCBs were changed to Cloak & Dagger before the game even went out on field test, so no PCBs survived with an Agent X title screen, although many of them have the name Agent X etched in copper. The six with Agent X marquees were changed into Cloak & Dagger and the marquees were given/traded away by Rusty. (At least the keychain it came with still says Agent X. (-: ) When it came time for mass production, Atari decided to make it a kit-only game, that was designed to convert Williams cabinets like Defender or Joust, but with mono sound. Only the 20 original cabinets had stereo sound.

The game is in near perfect condition, as you can see from the pictures. But it did have a rough ride in shipping. When it arrived, the neck board was knocked off the monitor, the PCB interconnect board at the rear of the main PCB was knocked off and the shadow mask on the inside face of the picture tube came off on the left side. The shippers must have dropped it on it's back. The cabinet itself was not damaged and the game still works, but the monitor needs to be replaced because of the shadow mask.

The high scores on the game are the scores Rusty put on it when he first brought it home from Atari. Needless to say, they are huge. I dumped the contents of the NVRAM chip from the game to disk to preserve the scores for posterity.That old RAM can't have many moons left in it. Download here. It'll work in MAME if you copy/paste the data into MAME's NVRAM file for C&D.

This is the second dedicated Cloak & Dagger I've owned. You can still see my page for the first one I owned here. Rusty gave me a little more info about that game that I never knew when I owned it. He told me "So, you got the machine with the Key Club mod, eh? <grin>. That was an experiment to see if we could make it work, though we never had plans to make Cloak & Dagger one of the games that would use it.... The Key Club was something an arcade owner could sell its patrons. It allowed games to remember who played them, including the ability to do games that took more than one session to play (ie. You could start up again on your last level instead of having to work your way back up from the beginning). It is actually used now (the same technology, that is) in many Casinos in Vegas & other spots for "players clubs", etc. They remember how much you've bet, etc. and let you get cheap "stuff"... Anyway, it was a fun little test, the technology worked, but marketing axe'd it after pushing us to try it. Typical <grin>."

Of the original 20 cabinets, besides the Key Club version that I sold to Pete Ashedown, I only know of one other that has survived. It's owned by Brian Wiklem, who also has three of the six Agent X marquees. He's also the one who found the Key Club version in the first place and sold it to me when he got his new one.

More pics (click to enlarge):

Autographed CPO.

Serial number plate.


The game can be seen at 1:35:10 of the Cloak & Dagger DVD.

Some emails from Rusty regarding the game:

Hi Tim,
    Yes, it is hard to let go <grin>.  But I'd rather have the game go
to someone who knows & loves it...  I would be okay with $XXXX
shipping.  If you can do that, it's yours!  I'll even sign the control
panel (so it'll be a "signature machine" <grin>.  I have full manuals,
and I'd tell you that this was the nicest of the 20 games Atari produced
(which is why they used it for filming) in terms of condition, panel
graphics, etc.  I think shipping runs around $150 to get to the LA area,
but I can check out in more detail (or you can)...  I know that there is
an air freight (it would go to LAX) for $200 if it is on a pallet...  It
should be cheaper via ground, though.

Okay, its on its way!  I dropped it off at the CRST site at BDL (Bradley
International) this afternoon.  It will be at the LAX affiliate on
Monday (probably around mid-day).  Here is the info for the LAX site in
    Agent name: Dan / Ceasar
    Air Ride Ltl
    901 W. Arbovitae St.
    Inglewood, CA
    (310) 568-3311 (the fax wasn't good here, it is possible this is
588-3311 -- try that if 568 doesn't work)   

I put all the manuals, supplements, schematics, etc. in the lower coin
box drawer.  I also threw in one of the sales sheets for the Cloak &
Dagger (and one from a later game I did called Thunderjaws just for
grins).  One set of keys is in the coin return slot (which you should be
able to reach from outside after you remove the shrink wrap stuff).  The
second set is just inside the coin door on the hook there.

The game is sent with "no liability" which means the onus is on me if it
gets screwed up, but I'm trusting that won't happen.  Once it goes on
the truck back here, it is a straight shot to the LAX site, so it isn't
moved around much and should be okay.

Hope all goes well, give me a note when it gets there and let me know
how it is...  The high score table is intact from when I brought it home
from Atari back when <grin>.  Feel free to reset it if you want to, but
it'll give you an idea of what some really good scores can be <grin>.


I dumped the EEPROM with his high scores on it. You can copy/paste them with a hex editor into MAME's VRAM file for Cloak & Dagger if you like. I tried it and it works fine.

The Agent X marquees came from me -- I had 6 of them that we had to
remove off field test games when we switched to Cloak & Dagger (6 of the
20 went out for about a week as Agent X in our first trial before we
switched over).  I held onto most of them for awhile then either gave
'em away or traded 'em.  I was thinking of making a desk lamp with 'em
for a short time <grin>.  I think we had several other Agent X marquees
that never went out and went to the various team members who wanted
them, too.  So there were probably around 10 of them made.

arcadecollecting wrote:

> On Monday, June 10, 2002, at 02:25  PM, Rusty Dawe wrote:
>>  I had to adjust the yoke of this monitor once, tightening it up and
>> pushing it toward the front of the tube (there is a clamp that holds
>> it in place right near the little adjustment levers)...  It may just
>> need to be pushed foreward again, but I never saw the effect you are
>> mentioning.
> The neck board was off and the interconnect board at the far side of
> the PCB was off, so I'd imagine it could have taken enough of a knock
> to dislodge the yoke, too. It also might be the shadow mask come off,
> in which case, I'll just swap the chassis onto a different tube.
>>    Again, glad you like it!  It was a bit of angst to sell it --
>> notice it has serial number 000001 <grin>.  Anyway, it makes me feel
>> better knowing it went to a good home!
>>    Rusty
> It's in good hands. :-) A friend of mine, who's a big Cloak & Dagger
> nut (Brian Wiklem) is frothing over the machine. I waited to tell him
> about it until I had it in my possession. He's the one I bought the
> Key Club version from. I only got him to sell it to me because he
> located another one of the 20 dedicated machines and he thought it was
> in better shape. He wanted me to ask you about Agent-X marquees. He's
> got three marquees and wonders if any of these dedicated machines went
> out into the wild with one or if they must have come from someone
> inside Atari?
> Tim

   Mad Bomber was the original concept idea that led to Agent
X/Cloak & Dagger.  Of course, once you start designing something with
one name, it never ends up staying with that name, nor does every bit of
documentation or code change right away when given a new name...  The
EPROMs have MY handwriting on them (so I guess I'm guilty <grin>).  Mad
Bomber stayed the name for about the first 4 months of development, then
it went to Agent X for about the next 4-6 months, then finally to Cloak
& Dagger after we made the deal with Universal to tie the game in with
the movie (we are only about 1 month from release when that happened)
and already had prototype Agent X games out on field test.  The EPROMs
reflected the code naming convention had MB (for Mad Bomber) and either
S or M (for slave or master processor).  Cloak & Dagger/Agent X/Mad
Bomber was Atari's first dual processor game.  The main processor dealt
with the sprites and playfield (and audio), the 2nd processor did the
bitmap graphics (like the boxes and all the elevator animations).
Basically, we took a centipedes hardware and a missile command hardware
and joined 'em together with a little glue (hehehe).  Actually, that IS
what we did, but changed the bitmap hardware to be more efficient with
the kinds of graphics we were drawing.

RB Breighton Dawe
"Creativity only happens in a space of harmony"

-----Original Message-----
From: arcadecollecting []
Sent: Tuesday, January 14, 2003 5:41 PM
To: Rusty Dawe
Subject: Re: Agent X

Hiya Rusty,

Know anything about this?


Good question.  I would guess that it would have "Agent X" as the title
screen.  Mad Bomber was not even the game name when we went to focus
group, let alone field test.  However, the name of the code modules
stayed MBxxx for a long time.  When we finally switched to Agent X
names, the code still had many MBxxx references in it and only some of
the file names ever had CADxxx as their names <grin>.  That final name
change happened just to late to do all the work it would take to rename
everything (for no good reason).

RB Breighton Dawe
"Creativity only happens in a space of harmony"

-----Original Message-----
From: arcadecollecting []
Sent: Tuesday, January 14, 2003 6:58 PM
Subject: Re: Agent X

Neat-o! So do you think the board in the pictures is one of the
pre-field test ones with Mad Bomber code on it, or will it turn out to
have a C&D title screen on it?

« Last Edit: August 26, 2008, 02:57:47 PM by tim » Logged
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