Fixing E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial for the Atari 2600


E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial for the Atari 2600 is a very contentious title. It was the game of dreams that frustrated owners and helped ruin a company. I was one of those lucky kids who received a copy and although I found it frustrating I never really hated it like everyone else. I have had to listen to people complain for decades now with nothing to say back to them except, “well it really isn’t that bad”. Naturally they just scoff at that and roll their eyes.

Thanks to, I finally have something new in my arsenal as an Atari E.T. apologist because they have put together a piece called Fixing E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial for the Atari 2600. The project will walk you through how to fix the game to make it easier, improve gameplay and just make it look better.

If you have some tech inclinations and love Atari, stop on by and give it a try. Maybe you will get that childhood experience you were always dreaming of for you Atari.

[via] Metafilter

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. DirkBlackpool

    It was an enjoyable game that my sister and I spent hours playing back in the day. I never had a problem with it, and also never understood all the hatred directed towards the game. Guess it’s just trendy these days to hate on the game – half the people complaining about it probably never played it anyway.

  2. I was just telling my friend Morgan about this exact fix yesterday. I did the fix myself, then loaded it up on my Harmony 2600 cartridge. Works like a charm. The site you linked to also offers up the compiled fixed ROM for those who just want to check it out in an emulator or if you have a 2600 Harmony cartridge, you can play it on real hardware.

  3. vinvectrex

    Fantastic stuff. I always found the game difficult, but loved the title screen and the little guy enough to keep coming back to it. I’m glad to find a few other non-haters out there!

  4. Drahken

    “There were multiple ways to complete goals. You can actually finish the game without falling in a single well.” <–I have to call bull**** on this. You can't blame the game for 10 SECONDS without falling into at least half a dozen wells (unless you count waiting for the title screen "playing"). This, combined with the near impossibility of getting back OUT of the damned wells was why I despised the game. It's pretty hard to not hate a game that is simply unplayable due to being perpetually dropped into pits, not being provided enough energy to levitate back out of said pits, and on the rare occaision that you do manage to somehow escape, you fall right back in 2 seconds later. The wells situation makes the game so utterly impossible to play that I found it to be a minor miracle the one time I managed to get to the second screen, too bad I died seconds later & was never able to get that far again. A game where you can't even get TO the second screen is a terrible game. Period.
    The site looks interesting, I might download their hacked game & give it a try, see if it's actually playable (unlike the original).

  5. plcary

    I also liked this game. I have often wondered if a lot of the haters just didn’t want to admit they liked it back in the day.

  6. Drahken

    You guys’ll probably find this video interesting:

    I stumbled onto it a while back, it’s some guy who got tired of all the hating on the ET game, and made a list of 10 games that are worse.

  7. The Retroist

    A great video. I have seen these videos by Joe Santulli in other things before and I have been to the store a few times (NJ). For some reason he looks really familiar to me, like I met him before. Okay that was a lot of digression.

    I think he makes a lot of good points. All of those games are worse than ET.

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