BeatHead(Atari, Unreleased - prototype ROM and hardware dated 1993)
Bobinator introduced me to this one a while ago - I don’t know what Early-mid ‘90s Atari’s artists were on, but I seriously want some so I can work this sorta weirdness into my own stuff. This kind of thing was pretty typical of their games from the period, for how weird it might seem.
The hardware this one runs on is extremely peculiar - on boot, it displays the message “Stella on Steroids”. “Stella” was Atari’s internal codename for the Atari 2600 VCS… and it doesn’t seem like there’s any direct connection between BeatHead’s hardware and the 2600 VCS. A simple developer in-joke?
Two other hardware-related factoids worth mentioning: BeatHead appears to use a custom developed CPU known as the ASAP… and I can’t find anything else on it. Also, Arcade-History notes that the GPU doesn’t work with sprites at all and instead uses a bitmap of sorts - extremely strange, for something that came out this late.
When I think of Super Bowl Sunday, I think of Super Bowl XXIX, the year my family actually didn’t force me to watch and I got to play Final Fantasy IV uninterrupted and finally beat it. That ending sequence was mind-blowing to 12-year-old me. And I just rewatched today, and damned if it doesn’t hold up. That music — the way Uematsu weaves together all the characters’ themes? The way you realize that Locke’s theme and Celes’ theme harmonize beautifully and were maybe always two halves of one theme?