ColecoVision FAQ

ColecoVision FAQ

Version 4.1


Copyright (c) 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2005 Martijn Wenting, Kevin Bowen, Thomas J. Crugnale, Joseph M. Huber and James Carter

All rights reserved. This document may be copied, in whole or in part, by any means provided the copyright and contributors sections remain intact and no fee is charged for the information. Contributors retain the copyright to their individual contributions.

The data contained herein is provided for informational purposes only. No warranty is made with regards to the accuracy of the information.

Additional contributions always welcome! Please mail additional information, opinions, and comments to:

Martijn Wenting –

Last update: January 24, 2006


Revision History:

Version 4.10:


Lots of small updates:

  • Enhanced the HTML version
  • Added system and accessories variantions
  • Added new european game information, added european game numbers
  • Added information about CBS-Australian games
  • Added information about promotional materials and catalogues
  • Updated specifications on the SEM
  • Corrected some small errors

Version 4.00:

After a long period of silence, the ColecoVision FAQ has been revived as Colecoworld’s ColecoVision FAQ and is maintained by Martijn Wenting of Based on the colecovision FAQ 3.7, numerous additions have been made, broken links and obsolete adresses are fixed.


Here is a small list of changes:

  • Additions to 0 What is ColecoVision and the ColecoVision timeline.
  • Reorganised the game releases, added re-releases and modern
  • Reorganised the hardware
  • Fixed/added European game-numbers
  • Removed WWW links section 0, moved to section 15
  • Updated emulators section
  • Added new hardware developments
  • Updated Colecovision/Adam vendors, Added vendors for modern game
  • Removed obsolete user group/vendor Contact me if you have updates.



1.0) What is ColecoVision?

2.0) ColecoVision and ADAM Specs

3.0) Hardware List

  • The Hardware
  • Third party accessories
  • Unreleased Hardware/Prototypes
  • The Adam computer
  • The Telegames Personal Arcade/Dina2-in-1 system
  • Other ColecoVision clones
  • Hardware Tidbits

4.0) Cartridge List

  • US Game releases
  • European/CBS Game releases
  • Unreleased games
  • Re-released games
  • Modern games
  • Cartridge Tidbits, Tips, and Easter Eggs
  • Cartridge Hardware Cheats
  • ColecoVision and ColecoVision/ADAM catalogs
  • The BEST cartridges
  • The most popular cartridges
  • Rare gems
  • High scores


5.0) ColecoVision Emulators


6.0) Promotional material


  • Stickers
  • Adverts


7.0) Technical Details


  • ColecoVision Memory Map
  • ColecoVision I/O Map
  • ColecoVision BIOS Details
  • ColecoVision Video RAM Details
  • ColecoVision Programming Tips
  • Cartridge Slot Pinout
  • ADAM Printer/Power Port
  • ADAM Programming Tips


8.0) New hardware developments

9.0) Separate Audio/Video Hack

10.0) Automatic RF Switch

11.0) Replacing The ColecoVision ROM

12.0) Copying ColecoVision Cartridges

13.0) Repair Tips

  • To fix a rolling picture/video problems:
  • To avoid an automatic level select problem:
  • To fix an automatic level select problem:
  • To fix a broken roller controller:
  • To fix a poorly responding controller:
  • To fix a dead cartridge:


14.0) ColecoVision/ADAM Dealers

  • ColecoVision vendors
  • Modern game vendors

15.0) Other links

Appendix) Contributors



1.0) What is ColecoVision?

 Coleco (a contraction of COnneticut LEather COmpany) was the first company to introduce a “dedicated chip” home video game system, with the Telstar Arcade in 1976. (The Magnavox Odyssey, based on Analog technology, was the first home video game system overall, debuting in 1973.) Trying to build upon the enormous initial success of the unit, Coleco decided to bring out nine different Telstar models. But within a year, 75 other manufacturers had introduced similar units, and combined with with production snags, a shortage of chips, and a push towards hand held games, Coleco skirted with disaster. While Coleco sold over $20 million of hand held games, it had to dump over a million Telstar units, and the company lost $22.3 million in 1978. With the introduction of units with games stored on interchangeable cartridges, Fairchild and then Atari had eliminated any remaining market for the simple pong games.


On June 1, 1982, Coleco re-entered the fray with the announcement of its “third generation” video game system, ColecoVision. Touting “arcade quality”, ColecoVision took aim at the seemingly unassailable Atari 2600. Coleco wanted “Donkey Kong”, a very hot arcade hit, to be their pack-in. In December ’81, they went to Japan to make a deal with Nintendo for the rights to Donkey Kong. The Coleco executive wanted to return to the US to show his lawyers the contract before signing, but was told to sign now, or risk losing Donkey Kong to Atari or Mattel, who were currently going though channels to get the rights themselves. Under the pressure, the Coleco executive signed.


In April ’82 Coleco and Nintendo were threatened with lawsuits from Universal Studios who claimed Donkey Kong was an infringement on their King Kong. Coleco had invested a fortune in the ColecoVision version of Donkey Kong that was only 4 months from its premiere release. Thinking that they didn’t stand a chance in court, Coleco decided to settle, agreeing to pay Universal 3% of all Donkey Kong sales. Nintendo decided to fight it, and some time later actually won. Coleco then filed suit and got some of their lost royalties back.


The bulk of Coleco’s library, however, was comprised of overlooked coin-op games such as Venture and Lady Bug. With a library of twelve games, and a catalog showing ten more on the way (many of which were never released), the first one million ColecoVisions sold in record time. In 1983 it topped sales charts, beating out Atari and Mattel, with much of its success being contributed to its pack-in, Donkey Kong. The


ColecoVision soon had more cartridges than any system except the Atari 2600, and with the 2600 converter still today has more playable games than any other system.


The ColecoVision introduced two new concepts to the home videogame industry – the ability to expand the hardware system, and the ability to play other video game system games.


The Atari 2600 expansion kit caused a flurry of lawsuits between Atari and Coleco. After the dust cleared, the courts had decided that it was acceptable for Coleco to sell the units. As a result of this Coleco was also able to make and sell the Gemini game system which was an exact clone of an Atari 2600 with combined joystick/paddle controllers.


Coleco was also the first home videogame maker to devote the majority of their product line to arcade conversions, using the superior graphics of the ColecoVision to produce nearly arcade-quality games, albeit often missing a screen or level.


Coleco truly shocked the industry by doing so well. In a year, the stock rose in value from 6 7/8 a share to 36 3/4. The following items were taken from Fortune or March 7, 1983:


“Six months ago, hardly anyone expected Coleco to ride so high. [Company President Arnold] Greenberg was known in the industry as a self-promoter overly sanguine about Coleco’s prospects. Says one security analyst: “He was always gilding the lily. Wall Street developed a basic distrust of the company.” So did the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 1980 it charged Coleco with misstating financial results to mask troubles.”


“But almost overnight Coleco’s image has changed. ColecoVision, the video game player introduced last August, is one of the most popular consumer products around. The trade, paying homage to its technological advancement, has dubbed it “the third wave” – wave one being the Atari VCS, wave two being Mattel’s Intellivision – and the most discerning critics, kids, love it. The 550,000 game players Coleco made last year flew off the shelves by Christmas-time. Coleco’s sales nearly tripled from $178 million in 1981 to $510 million last year, and the net income shot up 420% to $40 million.”


“Coleco’s charge into the market last summer was well timed. Atari and Mattel were engaged in a multimillion-dollar mud-slinging battle on television. George Plimpton in Mattel commercials lampooned the graphics on Atari’s VCS game player, while Atari blasted Intellivision’s dearth of hit games. Then Coleco suddenly arrived on the scene with the best of both: good graphics and good games. With a greater amount of memory allocated to screen graphics, ColecoVision provided a much better picture than Atari.

Although ColecoVision at $175 was $75 more expensive than Atari’s VCS, discerning video players were willing to pay a higher price for more lifelike graphics.

ColecoVision’s pictures were also better than those of Intellivision, and the retail was $35 lower.”


“To make ColecoVision even more attractive the company gave away with each unit a

$35 Donkey Kong cartridge. “Donkey Kong was a very serviceable gorilla,” says Greenberg. “Once we convinced the consumer of the merits of the hardware, Donkey Kong pushed him into buying.””


“Another popular feature has been ColecoVision’s expandability. Accessories like the $55 Turbo module, a steering wheel, gas pedal, and gear shift used to play a road racing   game, can be plugged into the console. The company’s $60 Atari adapter enables ColecoVision to play Atari VCS-compatible cartridges. Atari doesn’t approve – it’s suing Coleco for $850 million, charging patent infringement – but game addicts do. Coleco sold 150,000 Atari adapters in just two months. Coleco’s latest add-on, the Super Game module, was shown at last week’s American Toy Fair. It adds more memory to ColecoVision and provides additional play variations.”


“Coleco’s software approach was to go after licensed arcade games and to make  cartridges for Atari’s VCS and Intellivision in addition to it’s own game player. Although Coleco hadn’t built a single ColecoVision when it was negotiating licensees in 1981, the licensers liked Coleco’s plan to make products for all three leading game systems. Coleco reached agreements with five firms, landing nine hit arcade licensees. Last year the company sold eight million cartridges.”


“Flush with last year’s successful foray in video games, Arnold Greenberg predicts even more good news is on the way. “We are a terror in the marketplace,” he boasts.

Greenberg proclaims that Coleco will increase it’s market share in video game players this year from 8% to 25%, supplanting Mattel as No. 2.”


“Achieving such lofty goals may be difficult. Coleco last year paid only $250,000 for the rights to Donkey Kong, but Atari later had to pay an estimated $21 million to license E.T. for it’s coin-operated and home video games. Late last year Coleco reached an agreement with the game maker Centuri for licenses to three arcade games: Phoenix, Vanguard, and Challenger. Then just before the contract was to be signed, Atari won the license by making a higher offer. Parker Brothers also outbid Coleco for the Popeye license. “Coleco’s position is still not assured,” says Barbara S. Isgur, a security analyst at Paine Webber. “They were helped last year by the phenomenal success of Donkey Kong. What will they do for an encore?”


“Arnold Greenberg remains optimistic. He notes that Coleco has already signed license agreements to bring out 30 new games by year-end. In January, Coleco made CBS the principal foreign distributor for it’s products. In return Coleco will begin developing and marketing for ColecoVision home video cartridges licensed by CBS from Bally, a major arcade game maker.”


Unfortunately, the ColecoVision suffered the same fate as the rest in the great video  game shake-out of 1984. Coleco’s unsuccessful bug-ridden ADAM computer only complicated the problem; running behind schedule, Coleco is rumored to have used another manufacturer’s computer as the Adam prototype at a CES show while at the same


time Adam software was being developed with the system. Some believe if it wasn’t for Coleco’s Cabbage Patch dolls, they would have completely disappeared. Even the Cabbage Patch dolls couldn’t keep Coleco going forever, though; the company went under for good a few years later. Ironically, Mattel (the producers of Intellivision) now own the rights to the Cabbage Patch dolls.


Coleco stopped production of the ColecoVision in 1984. Their last few titles (Illusions, Spy Hunter, Telly Turtle, and Root Beer Tapper) were barely seen in stores.


When Coleco left the industry they had sold more than 6 million ColecoVisions in just two years, even with the last year being troubled by the shake-out. Many in the industry believe if it wasn’t for the videogame crash of ’84, that Coleco could have gone through the 80’s as the system of choice, especially with its proposed Super Game Module. It was clearly beating Atari and Mattel, but just didn’t have the installed base to last out the crash.


Almost immediately after Coleco stopped producing the ColecoVision, Telegames acquired the rights to the ColecoVision and bought most of Coleco’s stock. The Britain- based company also released a few titles of its own. In 1985, Telegames began manufacturing and distributing the Bit Corporation-designed Dina 2-in-1 ColecoVision clone. Telegames renamed the console the Telegames Personal Arcade, and has  continued selling them to this day. It’s much smaller than the original ColecoVision and uses joypads instead of the awkward ColecoVision stick. The pads have no numeric keypad, which is instead built into the unit. There is only one keypad, however, so two- player games requiring the keypad won’t work on the Personal Arcade. The Personal Arcade also has an expansion port, but its physical configuration makes it incompatible with Coleco’s expansion units. In addition, there have been a number of claims that some Personal Arcade machines have a defect where the screen RAM chips are fed too much voltage. As a result, these machines can become permanently damaged after even short periods of play. The Personal Arcade console comes with its own built-in game, Meteoric Shower.


Also Adam’s House/eColeco was contacted by Coleco and bought some of the remaining stock – 66


In April 1994, Telegames lost all of their Personal Arcade stock to a tornado. Soon thereafter, in 1995, they released Personal Arcade Volume One (not to be confused with its console), a collection of ten emulated ColecoVision games for Windows 95. That same year, Coleco sold all their remaining licenses and rights to toy giant Hasbro.


In September 2004, after years of silently supporting sales for the ColecoVision, Telegames decided to cease support for all classic systems, including the ColecoVision and their Personal Arcade.


Soon thereafter, in 2005, the Coleco brand-name was bought by River West Branding and the website is revived. This resulted in the release of a Coleco branded product line by toy-manufacturer Techno Source in the spring of 2005.


As you can see, with the revival of the coleco brand, and the release of various new modern colecovision games, the colecovision is far from being a dead system and we are having exciting times ahead.





Aug 1982 – ColecoVision released
Fall 1982 – Expansion Module #1: Atari 2600 Converter released
Fall 1982 – Module #2, Driving Controller released

Feb 1983 – Super Game Module announced

Spring 1983 – Super Game Module demoed (non-playable) at New York Toy Show

May 1983 – Advertising of the Super Game Module starts; runs through July

Jun 1983 – ADAM computer introduced

Aug 1983 – Super Game Module schedule to go on sale Oct 1983 – Super Game Module dropped

Fall 1983 – ColecoVision Roller Controller released

Fall 1983 – ColecoVision Super Action Controllers released Winter 1983 – The video game market begins to crash


Spring 1984 – The video game industry collapses. All production stops.


Jan 1985 – Coleco drops the ADAM computer

Mid 1985 – Telegames picks up where Coleco left off, putting out new titles

Fall 1985 – Telegames starts selling the “Personal Arcade” ColecoVision clone through mailorder.


1989 – Coleco sells all remaining licenses and rights to toy giant Hasbro.


Apr 1994 – A tornado wipes out all remaining stock of the Personal Arcade system.


1995 – Telegames releases the “Personal Arcade” collection for PC/Windows platform.





1996 – First attempts at Colecovision homebrew development are



Sep 2004 – Telegames USA ceases all support for classic systems, including Colecovision


Jan 2005 – The Coleco brand is bought by River West Branding. website is revived.

Spring 2005 – Techno Source launches Coleco-branded product line of LCD and TV games.

Sep 2005 – Techno Source Coleco Toys Win 2005 Awards From Dr. Toy

– MW, JH, JC, 03, 07, 10, 13, 14, 25, 50, & 65


2.0) ColecoVision and ADAM Specs



Resolution: 256 x 192

CPU: Z-80A

Bits: 8

Speed: 3.58 MHz RAM: 8K

Video RAM: 16K (8×4116)

Video Display Processor: Texas Instruments TMS9928A

Sprites: 32

Colors: 16

Sound: Texas Instruments SN76489AN; 3 tone channels,


1 noise

Cartridge ROM: 8K/16K/24K/32K ADAM:


Resolution: 256 x 192

CPU: Z-80A

Bits: 8

Speed: 3.58 MHz Video Speed: 10.7 MHz

RAM: 64K (128K optional) Video RAM: 16K (8×4116)


Video Display Processor: Texas Instruments TMS9928A

Sprites: 32

Colors: 16

Sound: Texas Instruments SN76489AN; 3 tone channels,


1 noise

Cartridge ROM: 8K/16K/24K/32K Disk Drives: 2 * 160K (opt)


Digital Data Drives: 2 * 256K

Modem: 300 Baud (opt)

Printer: 120 wpm Daisy Wheel, 16K buffer

Other: Serial/Parallel Port (opt), Auto Dialer (opt)


What really distinguished the ColecoVision from other systems of the era was its 32 sprite capability. It made it easier to design sprite intensive games like Slither.


Scrolling on the Coleco was sort of chunky because they did not have special hardware for scrolling like the Atari units did – but some games (notably Jungle Hunt and  Defender) _do_ manage to scroll well, so there was a software workaround of some kind.


All Coleco cartridges, and many third party titles, incorporated a patience-testing twelve second delay before the game select screen showed up. One story commonly cited (and apparently mentioned in Electronic Games magazine at the time) is the following: before ColecoVision reached the marketplace, Coleco invested heavily in advertising for the system, building up significant demand. The problem was software support. Few programmers knew the ColecoVision’s quirky assembly language, and there wasn’t time to train more. So the engineers at Coleco designed an emulator that allowed progammers to code in a far more common and well known language, Pascal. Coleco then hired programmers familiar with Pascal to design software for the ColecoVision, and thus were able to provide software to meet the demand. The only problem with the scheme was the twelve second delay the emulator caused while starting up.


As good a story as this makes, it’s incorrect. The real reason behind the twelve second delay is a loop in the ColecoVision BIOS – the delay was purely intentional. The way companies such as Parker Brothers, Activision, and Micro Fun avoided the delay was to simply bypass the ColecoVision BIOS. – JC, 08, 10, 12, 27, 29




3.0) Hardware List

Key: Manufacturer –

  1. AM) Amiga
  2. CB) CBS Electronics
  3. CE) Championship Electronics CO) Coleco
  4. HS) High Score
  5. PP) Personal Peripherals PS) Pusher Sales
  6. SU) Suncom
  7. SV) Spectravideo TG) Telegames
  8. VP) Video Product Sales WI) Wico



3.1)   The Hardware


Name                                    Manuf.    Number   Comes With…



ColecoVision                                 CO           Donkey Kong Perma Power Battery Eliminator/AC Adapter                      CO   2298

Dust Cover                                 CO

Expansion Module #1 (2600 Adapter)          CO   2405 Expansion Module #1 Adapter                                    CO

Expansion Module #2 (Driving Controller)    CO   2413     Turbo Expansion Module #3 (ADAM Computer)                                  CO           Buck Rogers Roller Controller                                           CO   2492     Slither


Super Action Controllers                   CO   2491     Super Action Baseball



3.2)   Third party accessories


Name                                    Manuf.    Number   Comes With…




Champ Adapter CE CA-340  
CBS ColecoVision CB   Donkey Kong
Co-Stickler PS    
EVE Voice Module ??    
Grabber Balls HS    
Injoy-A-Stick VP    
Joy Sensor SU    
Joystick, ColecoVision WI    
Personal Arcade TG   Meteoric Shower
Power Stick AM    
Quickshot III Deluxe SV SV103  
Snapper SU CLC-006  
Super Sketch Pad PP G2500 Sketch Master


3.3)   Unreleased Hardware / Prototypes


Expansion Module #3 (Super Game Module – wafer version) by Coleco.


With 30K RAM and 128K “microwafers” shaped like miniature diskettes. The games were to have intermissions, high-score lists, and extra levels. It was to be packaged with Super Donkey Kong; later, that was changed to Super Buck Rogers and Super Gorf. It could have been an excellent addition to the ColecoVision system allowing you to play your old carts and the new Super Games, but Coleco decided to turn it into the ADAM computer. – JC, 25


Kevin Slywka submits the following:


The following is a quote from the article, One million A.C.(after ColecoVision) Brown, Michael William; Electronic Fun: Computers and Games; June 1983


-Note: The article contains several screen shots and a what appears to be a mock up of the Super Game and several game wafers. “…the Super Games are stored on mini-cassettes (which are about the length and width of a business card) called Super Game Wafers… the module has a magnetic micro-tape drive mechanism behind a slot in the front left panel. Inside the wafers is approximately 50 feet of specially formulated magnetic tape about an eighth of an inch wide.” (Brown p41)


Brown claims to have played the system for 8 hours over two different days. Load time for the wafers is clocked at about 10 seconds. Super Games Brown tested: Super Donkey Kong, Super Donkey Kong Jr., Super Smurf Rescue in Gargamel’s Castle. Brown further notes better colors and additional levels in all three games. Planned titles included: Zaxxon, Buck Rogers Planet of Zoom, Time Pilot, Turbo and Sub-Roc. Brown also notes the ability to enter your initials for high score, which is then stored on the tape.


In Video Games Magazine(Feb.’84) an article on the Texas Instruments Compact Computer 40(a peripheral for the TI 99/4A) mentions the tape wafers meant for the Super Games: “…this system uses the Entrepo floppy wafer system that is in use elsewhere, and was almost part of Coleco’s Super Game Module and ADAM.”


The Super Game Module appeared to not have a realistic chance of success at Coleco Industries. In an interview of Coleco president, Arnold Greenberg, by Steve Bloom (Video Games, Oct. ’82) Bloom paraphrases Greenberg as saying, “…it is Colecos resolve to market a keyboard (Module #3) some time next year.” In Electronic Games (Jan. ’83): Test Lab (Cohen, Henry B.) writes that, “…Coleco is working on a keyboard and Ram Cram for ColecoVision which should turn the system into a full- scale, high powered home computer system.” Clearly Coleco intended to develop a ADAM-like computer all along, but the question remains as to why they decided to develop the Super system in the first place. If the Super module had been released it likely would have insured Colecos success for at least a while longer. Although given the cynicism of magazine writers and consumers after the Super Module failed to appear it is uncertain if it would have been enough to save Coleco from its eventual fate.


Description of the pictures in the Electronic Fun magazine article(kws):


The module shown appears to be the real thing(although almost certainly a mock-up) with a slot for the super tape wafers on the left side of the module(even a small slot that corresponds to the door on the super wafer can be seen). A small LED is near the super wafer door, probably to indicate a read\write or power light. The “Expansion Module Interface” is on the lower right of the module. The top of the unit has the ColecoVision face-plate and a reset button on the far right.


Below the module three wafers are shown: They have the appearance of micro-cassettes, they are all black and appear to have a door on the left  rear of the wafer. Super Donkey Kong, Super Donkey Kong Junior, and Super Smurf (in fine print: Rescue in Gargamel’s Castle) are represented. There is a game package which bears a striking resemblance to a CD jewel


case(although it appears to be made of vinyl) has Buck Rogers Planet of Doom on the cover. The by-line on the case states:


“For use with ColecoVision Expansion Module #3” “AN ADVANCED VIDEO GAME THAT”



The vinyl game case carries a part number of “#2645” – 25 Expansion Module #3 (Super Game Module – CED version) by Coleco.

A second Super Game module was also rumored. It used a format called CED, using video records – vinyl records with much finer grooves, stored in cases so as to avoid contact save by the needle of the system. In an interview with Ralph Baer, who worked on this system, he said it was really zippy and in some respects better than CDROM. – 11, 34


CED stands for Capacitance Electronic Disk system, and was pioneered   by RCA. RCA used this technology in all of there CED video disk players, which competed with the Laserdisc format until 1985 when RCA discontinued all of its players. Coleco chose the CED format because RCA could create a computer controllable random access machine that was very affordable. The Coleco CED system would have come with two major components: the Coleco “controller” Module (#3) that plugs into the front of the system, and the RCA/COLECO CED player that connected to the Module and the T.V. set. Reportedly the price would be around $395-$495 for a complete set-up. Interestingly, the Coleco CED system would still play all of RCA’s movie and music video disks, which was a big selling point for RCA. So you would have a Video Quality arcade system, and movie player – all in one.


From Video Games and Computer Entertainment, June 1991: ‘Talk of the future reminds Baer of the aborted, ahead-of-its-time project he launched in 1982. The ideal interface, the ColecoVision video game console and an RCA CED player. “Things advanced to the point that RCA actually made a few CED peripherals. Then along came the ADAM computer and ended it all. What I’d like to see is not going to happen.” He’d like to see CED revived, instead of the industry going to CD. He worries that CD will fail to deliver the full-motion video that people expect.’ – 12


ColecoVision (THE ORIGINAL VERSION) by Coleco.


Remember seeing the first “glimpses” of the ColecoVision system in Electronic Games magazine? The first pictures of the system showed a much more attractive looking system than what we got as a final product. The system itself had a white faceplate where the ColecoVision logo


appears now and the controllers were very different. They had blue side buttons, orange pound and star keys on the keypad, and the finger rollers that were later introduced on the Super Controllers.


The finger rollers, which were to have been located between the keypad and joystick, were supposed to be available for use as either speed controllers, or as a paddle controller. They were dropped at the last minute, though if you open up a controller you can see the schematic for it on     the circuit board. – 07


The finger rollers shown in Daniel Cohen’s book “Video Games”, page 57, are located beneath the keypad. – 24


Intellivision Adapter by Coleco.


Coleco had plans for an adapter that would play Intellivision cartridges. Supposedly there are several working prototypes of this adapter that were shown at electronic shows. If Coleco would have only gone through with production, the ColecoVision would have been able to play Intellivision, 2600, and ColecoVision cartridges! – JC


Modem by AT&T/Coleco.


Not to be confused with the ADAM modem, which does exist.


An article in Newsweek, September 19, 1983, on page 69 announced the following: ‘American Telephone and Telegraph Co. and Donkey Kong?  An unlikely combination, perhaps, but one that became a reality last week when the venerable communications giant hooked up with Coleco Industries, the videogame maker, in a join effort to make entertainment software available by telephone to 25 million owners of video games and home computers.’ ‘Under the plan, AT&T and Coleco will develop a “modem”, an electronic device that will connect a home computer or video game by telephone to a central data base. Coleco will supply the software programs, such as Donkey Kong or two of its other popular video games, Smurf and Zaxxon. The service will be offered sometime next year for about $20 a month; the modem is expected to cost $100.’ – 13


Sensory Grip Controller by Coleco.


The Super Action Controllers were supposed to have a sensory feature, so that when (for example) Rocky threw a punch in Super Action Boxing, you would feel it in the handle. – 13




3.4)   The Coleco Adam computer



The Coleco Adam was designed and built in the early 80s as a compliment to the Colecovision video game system. The Adam computer uses a similar internal architecture but adds four slots (that are reported to be nearly Apple ][ compatible) as well as a peripheral “network” to which everything in the system is attached. The disk drives, keyboard, controllers and printer all communicate with the CPU via this network.

Interestingly, the Adam printer (a slow and noisy daisy wheel) is the power source for the entire system.


The Adam computer has a built-in word processor that is the default program run when the machine is powered on. Other software can be run from either the cartridge slot or the two high-speed tape drives built in to the front of the unit. Being a Z-80 based machine with reasonable memory (64K) the Adam was even capable of running CP/M. The  Coleco ADAM came in two forms. You could buy the complete system, or, if you  already owned a ColecoVision game system, you could buy an add-on for it.




3.5)   The Telegames Personal Arcade/Dina2-in-1 system






TELEGAMES produced and sold a ColecoVision compatible system called the “Personal Arcade”. The Personal Arcade was originally produced several years after Coleco stopped production of the ColecoVision. It’s very small (12″x5″x1″), white, and comes             with Nintendo-like gamepads. It uses a normal sized power supply (6′ cord) which is less than 1/2 the size of the ColecoVision’s ridiculously bulky one. It also comes with a game/TV switchbox (10′ cord) like the ColecoVision. It also contains two separate expansion ports that were never taken advantage of.




The ads and box say “Compatible with over 100 ColecoVision cartridges”. TELEGAMES operators claim that it is compatible with 95% of all the ColecoVision cartridges, but won’t provide a list of which ones it won’t work with. So far I’ve come up with 10 after testing it on 65 cartridges. Actually, *all* the cartridges work, it’s just that the “Personal Arcade” uses different joystick wiring and any cartridge made specifically for the Super Action Controllers, Driving Module, or the Roller Controller will be


unplayable, among others. In fact, regular ColecoVision or Atari compatible joysticks cannot be used on the Personal Arcade either.




The gamepads are 1 3/4″ x 4 3/4″ and nicely fit into the sides of the unit. The cables are 3 feet long and stiffer than normal. A personal grudge is the fact that the cables attach to the side of the gamepad instead of the rear, making it harder to comfortably grasp. They      are also slightly too small and cheaply made in my opinion.




A single keypad is built into the unit and the buttons are a smaller 3/8″ square, compared to the 5/8″ square of the normal ColecoVision controller. It is made of a thin membrane that works with the slightest touch. The keypad has no frame like on the ColecoVision controller. It looks like the following:


1 2 3 4 5 *

6 7 8 9 0 #


This changed keypad size and format means overlays cannot be used. It also means it is very difficult to play keypad intensive games where quick reflexes are needed. Now you must take your hand off the gamepad, and look down to press the right key, instead of the ColecoVision joystick where you just move your thumb without looking.




The following are unplayable on the Personal Arcade due to controller problems:


Fortune Builder (needs 2 separate keypads in 2-player head-to-head mode) Front Line (Super Action Controller game) Rocky Super Action Boxing (Super Action Controller game) Slither (Roller Controller game) Super Action Baseball (Super Action Controller game) Super Action Football (Super Action Controller game) Super Action Soccer (Super Action Controller game) Super Cobra (2nd button “bomb” doesn’t work) Turbo (Driving Module Game) Victory (Roller Controller game)




The following do work perfectly on the Personal Arcade, but are difficult to play because of the need for very quick keypad presses:


Aquattack Blockade Runner Mouse Trap Spy Hunter War Games BUILT IN GAME:


The Personal Arcade comes with a built-in game called “Meteoric Shower”. A decent shoot’em up game in which you have a ship in the middle of the screen and you shoot waves of enemy ships that attack from above and below.




The Personal Arcade removes the famous multi-colored “ColecoVision” opening screen from all of Coleco’s cartridges, replacing it with a green background and Japanese writing, with the words “1986 BIT CORPORATION”. Other publisher’s opening screens are unaffected.


Based upon a review by James Carter


NOTE: Telegames lost all of their Personal Arcade stock to a tornado in April, 1994.




3.6)   Other ColecoVision Clones


Bit Corporation – the ILO 90


Developed in 1984, this computer was apparently never distributed via an official circuits in the west. Very largely inspired of the design and the hardware of Sega SC-3000. It is rumoured to be compatible with this system as well.


Hanimex Pencil II


The Hanimex company, known for its pong clones, developed this obscure machine in 1984. The machine can, thanks to an extension, use the Colecovision cartridges.




This is a Brazilian clone manufactured by a Brazillian telephone compant (Splice). It is rumoured that an 2600 adapter was also developed for this system.


ColecoVision Extension for the Spectravideo SVI-603


This is not a stand-alone system, but an extension intended for Spectravision 318 and 328 consoles.




3.7)   Hardware Tidbits


Atari Touch Pad / Children’s Controller / Star Raiders Controller –


The following buttons and/or combinations of buttons correspond to various inputs on the ColecoVision:




  • * position
  • 7 position
  • 1 + * + The 7 may not be necessary.

4          1 + 4 + 7 + *.

5          4 + 7.

6          1




*          4 + *

0          1 + 4

#          1 + 7


Left button

Right button 1 + 3, or 4 + 6, or 7 + 9, or * + #. – 20


CBS ColecoVision –


Looks and operates just like my ‘standard’ ColecoVisions, but the metallic faceplates are different. On top, it says “1 / 0” instead of “Off / On”, and the front plate reads:




CBS  Coleco    Video Game/Home Computer System

[expansion slot]   CBS

Vision Electronics





CBS Electronics bought out the Coleco rights when Coleco bit the bullet. They marketed mostly in Europe. You can find most if not all of the Coleco games with a CBS label. They are all or mostly all PAL games.

However, since the ColecoVision doesn’t care, it doesn’t matter. Plug them in and they play like NTSC! – 20, 22


CBS ColecoVision – France –


The front plate for the French ColecoVision reads:




CBS  Coleco    Ordinateur de jeuz Multi-Services

[expansion slot]   CBS

Vision Electronics





In France, the Coleco system was introduced as a Micro-Computer, and remained in stores until 1985. The ADAM was very lightly marketed in France. – 61


Champ Adapter –


A near exact duplicate of the Coleco Keypad, minus the upper half that contains the joystick. Instead it has a 9-pin slot so you can plug in your favorite joystick and still have use of the keypad. It also can double as a joystick extension cable since the Champ Adapter cable is 6′ long. – JC


Co-Stickler –


Plastic “snap” on joysticks for the standard ColecoVision controllers. – JH EVE Voice Module –

A seperate white box which plugged in to the expansion port on the ADAM. – 60


Expansion Module #1 –


The following Atari 2600 cartridges are incompatible with the 2600 Adapter:


Texas Chainsaw Massacre – JH

Most Tigervision titles – 19 (but Miner 2049’er works – JH)

All Supercharger games – 19 (will work, but only if cover of expansion module has been removed) – 26


Expansion Module #1 Adapter –


This device plugs into Expansion Module #1 (2600 Adapter) to allow some Atari 2600 cartridges which have compatibility problems to be played. Supposedly it was only sent through the mail to those customers who called Coleco with complaints of 2600 cartridge problems. – JC


Expansion Module #2 –


The driving controller can be used to play Victory, which officially requires the Roller Controller. – 46


Grabber Balls –


They’re red balls of a stick that snap on the ColecoVision controller, making it more arcade-style. Work *fantastic* when locked into the Roller Controller, and played with Robotron on the 7800. – JC


Injoy-A-Stick –


Replacements for the standard ColecoVision knob joysticks, which are considerably longer. – 63


Joy Sensor –


A lot like an Intellivision II controler. Has a membrane kepad area and a membrane joystick, plus what appear to be rapid fire controls that might be variable. Well made. – 41


Perma Power Battery Eliminator/AC Adapter –


Replaces the batteries in Expansion Module #2 (Driving Controller) – JC This is a _weird_ device. Since the only way to power the unit is with batteries (there’s no alternate for a power source, so the connection is required), the “Battery Eliminator” is shaped like batteries. – JH


Power Stick –


A great joystick for non-keypad, one button games. Having the keypad and second button above the joystick makes it awkward for those games, though. – JH


Roller Controller –


To use the Roller Controller on a game which doesn’t require its use (such as Centipede or Omega Rage), leave the Joystick/Roller switch in the Joystick position. – JH


Driving Module games can be played with the Roller Controller by doing the following:


1) Switch the setting to “Joystick”. 2) Choose the game you wish to play. 3) Switch the setting to “Roller Controller”. 4) Go. The leftmost button acts as the accelerator.


Direction can be changed using the joystick in some as-yet undetermined manner. – 24


You can get very strange behavior by using the roller controller for joystick games? Try wiggling it around while playing Smurf and you can move above or under the proper “ground” area so that none of the enemies can kill you! – 14


Snapper –


Joystick height extenders which snap onto the joysticks. Of limited usefullness, as they come off easily. – 63


Super Action Controller –


To play games that require the Driving Module with the Super Action Controllers Roller acts as steering wheel except when you roll it left the car turns right and vice versa. Up on the joystick is to shift gears to make the car go faster. Gas pedal is either automatically pressed down or try the buttons on the controller. – TC


Super Sketch Pad –


Came in a box with a black background and a horizontal rainbow across the top, marked “Super Sketch”. In addition to the ColecoVision version, there were Commodore 64, Atari 8-bit, & TI 99/4A models. The ColecoVision version has a silver sticker on the top right corner that says Model G2500 For Use with Colecovision. The Sketch Unit itself is white with a brown plastic piece used for the drawing. One of the strangest things about it is that it does not plug into the joystick port. The cable is attached directly to the right side of the cartridge. The cartridge label is mostly silver with Super Sketch with the horizontal rainbow with it.


The sketch unit it has 5 controls. Two “Lift” buttons, one on each side, allow drawing to be turned off. “Select” allows selection of colors and menu items on the left side of the screen; “Menu” brings the menu up and/or removes it.


The program itself say Super Sketch while fluctuating through different colors upon power-up. Just below that it says:


Copyright 1984 Personal Peripherals, Inc.

Irving,Texas By: Steve Roubik

Press MENU to proceed.


The program really is nothing more than a doodle program. Menu options are:


Clear Swap Expert Brush

(The 16 Colors) Eraser

Draw Fill Show


It comes with a large white envelope that says Super Sketch starter kit. Inside is the owners manual, quick reference card, 6 drawings to trace with, and a warranty card. – 42


Telegames Personal Arcade –


The Personal Arcades were originally made by the Bit Corporation, and marked as DINA units with a second cartridge slot for some unknown purpose. – 30


The joypads that come with the Personal Arcade are 2600 compatible; they also have an irksome quirk for anyone used to the ColecoVision: they’re reversed (i.e. right is left, left is right).


Besides the games listed above, Smurf Rescue in Gargamel’s Castle is incompatible with some Personal Arcades, and the 2600 Adapter will not work due to power and RF cable positioning.


The pause switch is incompatible with ColecoVision cartridges, so it is apparently used by cartridges which go in the second slot. – 14, 52


At least two different version of the Personal Arcade (with different power supplies) exist. – JH




4.0) Cartridge List




Name –

(d) Demo

(p) Prototype

(C) End label notes the cart is for ColecoVision

(CA) End label notes the cart is for ColecoVision and ADAM (C/CA) Both end label varieties are available

(S) Came with Silver and Blue SierraVision label

(W) Came with White SierraVision label

(S/W) Both SierraVision label varieties are available



Manufacturer –

20) 20th Century AC) Activision AT) AtariSoft BC) Bit Corp. BR) Broderbund CB) CBS

  1. CO) Coleco
  2. CV) ColecoVision Reverse-engineering Society EP) Epyx
  3. FP) Fisher Price FS) First Star IM) Imagic
  4. IN) Interphase KO) Konami


  1. MA) Mattel MF) Micro Fun OD) Odyssey
  2. PB) Parker Brothers
  3. PP) Personal Peripherals PR) Probe 2000
  4. SE) Sega
  5. SI) SierraVision SP) Spinnaker ST) Starpath
  6. SU) Sunrise
  7. SV) Spectravideo SY) Sydney
  8. TG) Telegames TI) Tigervision XO) Xonox


Yr – Year of Release

Number – Part Number Cn (controller) –

  1. Standard ColecoVision Controller _only_
  2. Driving Controller

Do) Driving Controller (optional)

  1. P) Super Sketch Pad (Personal Peripherals)
  2. Roller Controller

Ro) Roller Controller (optional)

  1. Super Action Controllers -only- So) Super Action Controller (optional)

The default is Standard Coleco -or- Super Action Controller.


K (memory, in kilobytes) –

8)  8KB ROM

16) 16KB ROM

24) 24KB ROM

32) 32KB ROM


O (overlay) –

  1. Overlay Exists for Standard Controller
  2. Overlay Exists for Super Action Controller
  3. Overlay Exists for Standard Controller _and_ Super Action Controller


R? (rarity) –

  1. C) Common
  2. U) Uncommon
  3. R) Rare
  4. ER) Extremely Rare UR) Unbelievably Rare NA) Not Available



Rating –

  • Awful
  • Poor
  • OK
  • Good


  • Very Good

N/A) Not Applicable


Format: Rating/# of people rating.

For example, 3.3/4 would mean 4 people had rated the cartridge, with an average rating of 3.3.



Type –







Adv    – Adventure Game Avoid – Shot Avoidance Game Card       – Card Game

Chase   – Chase Game

Defend – Defensive Shoot ’em Up Game (i.e., you can only shoot


Demo    – Demonstration Cartridge Drive    – Driving Game

Educ    – Educational Game

Ladder – Games Which Require Climbing to an Objective Maze  – Maze Game

Misc    – A Combination of Various Game Types Pinbll – Pinball Game

Pool    – Pool Game Puzzle – Puzzle Game

Round   – Collect Items Game Shoot   – Shoot ’em Up Game Split   – Split & Recombine Game Sport     – Sports Game

Strat   – Strategy Game Test   – Test Cartridge Text       – Text Adventure



Note – Telegames owns the rights to manufacture many ColecoVision cartridges, and still does so. As a result, many games listed below are also available from Telegames in assorted cases (many reused) with varied labels. Games listed below for Telegames are either (1) only available from Telegames, (2) only available from Telegames and Bit Corp, or (3) are marketed by Telegames under a different name.


Games Telegames owns rights to are: Alcazar The Forgotten Fortress, Beamrider, H.E.R.O., Keystone Kapers, Pitfall, Pitfall II, River Raid, Rock ‘N’ Bolt, Zenji, Decathlon, Gustbuster, Rolloverture, Campaign ’84, Quest for Quintana Roo, Mountain King, Skiing, Amazing Bumpman, Tank War, Strike It, Meteoric Shower, Wing War, Fathom, Moonsweeper, Nova Blast, Tournament Tennis, Dragonfire, Kung Fu Superkicks, Motocross Racer, Sir Lancelot, Artillery Duel, Tomark the Barbarian, Robin Hood, AquaAttack, Blockade Runner, Sewer Sam, Squish-em Sam, Boulderdash, AstroChase, and Centipede. – TC


Note – CBS produced games for Coleco for European release. As a result, many Coleco titles listed below are also available from CBS in PAL format. Games listed below for CBS are those marketed by CBS under a different name.


Note – CBS also produced many “prototype” games in Europe. These cartridges have been packaged and sold in many places; on the list below, prototypes produced in quantity by CBS are marked (p – CBS).


Note – Most of the 20th Century Fox games were unreleased. We bought most of the stuff from Coleco and had CBS produce the games for us with the labels. – 66


Note – Coleco had a number of reproductions done of certain unreleased carts such as Fall Guy, Escape from the Mindmaster, MASH, etc. They had the completed games and had CBS produce some carts and labels. Many can still be purchased from them. These are as close to an official release of these games as there was. Evidently, they held Colecovision license. – 66









4.1) US Game releases


























































2010: The Graphic Action Puzzle















Game (CA)                
A.E. (p)


ADAM Demo Cartridge (d) Demo

Alcazar the Forgotten Fortress





















Alphabet Zoo














Amazing Bumpman










Antarctic Adventure (CA)













Drive Aquattack  












Shoot Artillery Duel  













Artillery Duel/Chuck Norris













Superkicks (double-end)
B.C.’s Quest for Tires (S)


B.C.’s Quest for Tires II:



















Grog’s Revenge















Blockade Runner













Shoot Boulder Dash      













Brainstrainers (CA) Educ

Buck Rogers Planet of Zoom (CA)




















Bump ‘n’ Jump (CA)
















Bump ‘n’ Jump (p)









Drive BurgerTime (CA)  












Ladder BurgerTime (p)  







Cabbage Patch Kids














Adventure in the Park (CA) Cabbage Patch Kids Adventure










in the Park (p)                
Cabbage Patch Kids Picture


Show (CA) Campaign ’84

























Strat Carnival (C)  












Shoot Centipede  














Shoot Choplifter! (CA)  













Chuck Norris Superkicks












Congo Bongo (CA)














Cosmic Avenger (C)














Cosmic Crisis










Cosmic Crisis








Dam Busters, The (CA)
















Dance Fantasy











Educ Decathlon  












Sport Defender  












Shoot Destructor (CA)  















Dig Dug (p)








Dr. Seuss: Fix-Up the Mix-Up















Puzzler (CA)                

Donkey Kong (C/CA)              CO  82  2411                C    3.5/11 Ladder



Donkey Kong Junior (C)   CO 83 2601   16   C 4.1/9
Dragonfire   IM   O6611   16   R 3.0/1
Dukes of Hazzard (CA)   CO 84 2607 D 32   R 2.0/3
Escape From the Mindmaster (p) EP 83 6200       UR  
Evolution (CA)   SY 83     16   R 4.0/2
Facemaker   SP   FMK-CV   16 X R 1.0/2
Fall Guy (p – CBS)   20     Do 16   UR  
Fathom   IM   O6205   16   R 3.0/1
Final Test Cartridge   CO       16   UR 2.0/1
Flipper Slipper   SV   SE291   16   R 2.0/1
Flying Brassieres (p)   AT           UR  
Fortune Builder (CA)   CO 84 2681   32 X R 4.3/4
Fraction Fever   SP 83 FRF-CV   16   R 2.3/3
Frantic Freddie   SV   SE232   16   R 3.0/1
Frenzy (CA)   CO 84 2613   24   U 4.3/6
Frogger   PB 83 9830   16   U 4.0/4
Frogger II Threedeep!   PB 84 9990   16   R 2.8/5
Front Line (CA)   CO 83 2650 S 24 Y U 2.8/5
Galaxian   AT 83 70006   32   ER 4.5/2
Gateway to Apshai   EP 84 610R   16   R 3.4/5
Gorf (C)   CO 83 2449   16   C 3.5/11
Gust Buster   SU   1601   16   ER 2.0/2
Gyruss   PB 84 9980   16   R 4.2/6
H.E.R.O.   AC   VS-005   16   U 5.0/5
Heist, The   MF 83 MCL520   24   U 3.5/4
Illusions (CA)   CO 84 2621   16   R 3.3/3
It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll   XO   99062   16   ER 1.0/2
James Bond 007   PB 83 9900   16   R 3.0/3
Joust (p)   AT           UR 4.0/1



Juke Box       SP   JUK-CV 16   R 3.0/2
Jumpman Junior       EP   590R 16   U 4.5/6
Jungle Hunt       AT   70007 24   ER 3.7/3
Ken Uston Blackjack / Poker (C) CO 82 2439   X C 2.7/7
Kevtris       CV 96       ER 5.0/1
Keystone Kapers       AC 84 VS-004 16   R 2.7/3
Kung Fu Superkicks       TG 83   16   R 3.0/1
Lady Bug (C)       CO 82 2433 16   C 4.0/10
Learning with Leeper   (S/W)   SI   LLL-901 16   R 2.5/2
Linking Logic       FP 84 LNL-CV 16   ER 5.0/2
Logic Levels       FP   LLV-CV 16   ER 5.0/1
Looping (C)       CO 83 2603 16   C 3.0/9
M*A*S*H (p – CBS)       20     16   UR  

Make-A-Face                      SP                  16  X  UR   1.0/2 Educ

Masters of the Universe: The    MA  84  7759                UR Power of He-Man (p)


Masters of the Universe

Memory Manor Educ

Meteoric Shower

II (p) MA























Miner 2049er














Mr. Do! (C/CA)














Mr. Do!’s Castle












Monkey Academy (CA)














Montezuma’s Revenge














Moon Patrol (p) Shoot Moonsweeper

    AT IM  












UR U  





Motocross Racer












Motocross Racer/Tomarc













Barbarian (double-end)
Mountain King


Mouse Trap (C)

























Music Box Demo (d) CO       32 UR  
Nova Blast   IM 83 O6607   32 U 3.5/4
Oil’s Well (S) SI 83 OWL-901   16 R 3.8/4
Omega Race (CA) CO 83 2448 Ro 16 C 3.8/9
One-On-One   MF 84     24 R 3.0/1
Pac-Man (p)   AT 83 70001     UR 5.0/1
Pepper II (C/CA) CO 83 2605   16 C 3.4/8
Pitfall! AC 83 VS-001   16 U 3.2/5
Pitfall II     AC 84 VS-008   16 U 3.5/2
Pitstop       EP 83 600R Do 16 U 3.0/6
Popeye       PB 83 9810   16 C 3.3/10
Porky’s (p)     20         UR  
Power Grabber (p) SY         UR  
Q*Bert   PB 83 9800   8 C 4.2/10
Q*Bert’s Qubes   PB   9950   16 ER 5.0/3
Quest for Quintana Roo SU 83 1603   16 R 3.7/3
River Raid AC 84 VS-002   16 U 3.4/5
Robin Hood XO 83 99023   16 R 3.7/3
Robin Hood/Sir Lancelot XO 83     16/16 UR N/A


Roc ‘n Rope (CA)                CO  84  2668         24     U    3.6/5


Rock ‘n’ Bolt                   TG      TC-202       16     R    5.0/1


Rocky Super Action Boxing (CA)   CO  83  2606     S   24  Y  C    3.3/6 Sport

Rolloverture                      SU      1602         16     ER   3.0/1 Puzzle

Root Beer Tapper (CA)           CO  84  2616         32     R    3.7/6 Shoot


Sammy Lightfoot (S) SI   SLL-901 16 ER 3.0/2
Schtroumpfs   CB   4L1939 16 ER 3.1/9
Sector Alpha   SV   SE220 24 ER 2.5/2
Sewer Sam   IN 84 2-001 24 ER 3.2/5
Sir Lancelot   XO 83 99024 16 ER 3.0/2



Sketch Master Educ





  G2500 P  






Sport Slither (CA)      














Shoot Slurpy      











Smurf Paint ‘n’

















Workshop (CA)
Smurf Rescue in Garg


Castle (C) Space Fury (C)

amel’s CO

























Space Panic (C)













Ladder Spectron    













Spy Hunter (CA)


















Squish’em featuring
















Star Trek: Strategic

















Operations Simulator (CA)
Star Wars: The

Shoot Strike It

Arcade Game PB



84 9940   16









Subroc (CA) Shoot     CO 83 2614   24   C 2.4/9
Super Action


Super Action Sport

Super Action


Foot Foot


ball ball



































Super Action
















Super Cobra














Super Contro












Super Cross














Super Front Demo

Tank Wars







CO BC    








  UR UR  
Shoot Tank Wars        






Shoot Tarzan (CA)        













Telly Turtle
















Threshold (S) SI 83 THQ903   16   ER 2.7/3
Time Pilot (C/CA) CO 83 2633   16   C 3.0/7
Tomarc the Barbarian XO   99025   16   ER 2.0/1
Tournament Tennis IM 84 O6030   32   ER 3.0/1
Tunnels & Trolls (d) CO   2441   32   UR  
Turbo (C)     CO 82 2413 D 16   C 2.9/9
Tutankham     PB 83 9840   16   R 3.5/4
Up ‘n Down     SE 84 009-21   16   ER 4.7/3
Venture (C)     CO 82 2417   16   C 3.9/10
Victory (CA)     CO 83 2446 R 24   U 3.3/7
Video Hustler (p – CBS) KO       16   UR 3.0/1
War Games (CA)     CO 84 2632 R 24 X C 3.9/7
War Room     PR 83 2153CL Ro 32 X U 4.3/6
Wing War     IM 83 O6209   16   U 4.3/4
Wiz Math (W)     SI   WML-900   16   ER 2.0/1
Word Feud     XO   99060   16   ER 3.0/1
Yolk’s on You (p – CBS) 20       16   UR 3.0/1
Zaxxon (C)     CO 82 2435   24   C 3.2/9
Zenji     AC 84 VS-007   16   R 5.0/1


4.2)   European/CBS Game releases – 55, MW


Coleco games for the European market were produced by CBS Electronics in England. The carts have the same size as the US ones, but the upper end has a different shape.

There is a finger-thick indentation on each side, probably to make it easier to get the cart out of the system slot. The labels are black; on the upper half there’s the CBS/Colecovision character and the name of the game. Below is a white box with a lot of writing, copyright and production information, the model number (4Lxxxx), and often the sentence “for use on pal-tv-system only”. Sometimes the labels are multilingual.


Cartridge   Coleco # CBS #
=========   ======== =====
2010: The Graphic Action Game 2618 ???
Antarctic Adventure 2429 ???



B.C.’s Quest for Tires II: Grog’s Revenge 2620 ???
Brainstrainers 2696 ???
Buck Rogers Planet of Zoom 2615 4L4448
Bump ‘n’ Jump 2440 ???
BurgerTime 2430 4L4454
Cabbage Patch Kids Adventure in the Park 2682 ???
Cabbage Patch Kids Picture Show 2600 ???
Carnival 2445 4L2007
Choplifter! 2690 ???
Congo Bongo 2669 ???
Cosmic Avenger 2434 4L2023
Dam Busters, The 2686 ???
Destructor 2602 4L4460
Dr. Seuss: Fix-Up the Mix-Up Puzzler 2699 ???
Donkey Kong 2411 4L1920
Donkey Kong Junior 2601 4L1716
Dukes of Hazzard 2607 ???
Fortune Builder 2681 ???
Frenzy 2613 4L4311
Front Line 2650 ???
Gorf 2449 4L1905
Illusions 2621 ???
Ken Uston Blackjack / Poker 2439 ???
Lady Bug 2433 4L2039
Looping 2603 4L2330
Mr. Do! 2622 4L2100
Monkey Academy 2694 ???
Mouse Trap 2419 4L1988
Omega Race 2448 4L4305
Pepper II 2605 4L1878
Roc ‘n Rope 2668 ???
Rocky Super Action Boxing 2606 4L4254
Root Beer Tapper 2616 ???
Slither 2492 4L4255
Smurf Paint ‘n’ Play Workshop 2697 ???
Smurf (Rescue in Gargamel’s Castle)/Schtroumpfs 2443 4L1937
Space Fury 2415 4L1998
Space Panic 2447 4L1952
Spy Hunter 2617 ???
Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator 2680 ???
Subroc 2614 4L4161
Super Action Baseball 2491 ???
Super Action Football 2422 ???
Super Action Soccer / Super Action Football ??? 4L4505
Tarzan       2632 ???
Telly Turtle       2698 ???
Time Pilot       2633 4L4038
Tunnels & Trolls       2441 ???
Turbo       2413 4L2057
Venture       2417 4L1974
Victory       2446 4L4065
War Games       2632 4L4457
Zaxxon       2435 4L1954


Frogger (Parker) Popeye (Parker)


Q-Bert (Parker) Super Cobra (Parker) Tutankham (Parker)

Meteoric Shower (Bitcorp)



4.3)   Unreleased games


Coleco was infamous for not putting out advertised cartridges. Several of the carts were shown in the catalog that came with the ColecoVision. It is not known if the screen shots shown were simple artist renditions, or if somewhere an actual demo or prototype of the cartridges exist. – JC


Being in the toy business, Coleco was a marketing-driven company. All kinds of screens, demos, and such were developed to be shown at various trade shows (CES, Toy Fair) and if the wholesale buyers didn’t bite, they wouldn’t get produced. Additionally, the box art was *always* produced months before the real game art was even designed properly (due to the print lag time), so by the time the box was printed, the game art probably had changed significantly. – 56


In the specific case of 2010: The Graphic Action Game a brochure with a picture of a screen shot was produced before any coding had begun. – 65


The following cartridges, put out by the listed manufacturer, reportedly do not exist, even as a prototype or demo cart. Solid evidence of their existence would be greatly appreciated.


Name                          Manuf.   Number   Notes




005 CO   (Unreleased)
9 to 5 20   (Unreleased)
Air Defense OD 2153CL (Released as War Room by
Alcazar the Forgotten Fortress AC   (Only Telegames release
Apple Cider Spider SI   (Unreleased)
Aquatron IN   (Released as Aquattack?)
Armoured Assault SV SE232 (Unreleased)
Astro Chase PB 9860 (Unreleased)
Barbados Booty PB   (Unreleased)
Boulder Dash FS   (Only Telegames release
Bung the Juggler SY   (Wiz game – never
Cabbage Patch Playground CO   (Unreleased)
Capture the Flag CO   (Unreleased)
Caverns and Creatures OD 2147CL (Unreleased)
Chess Challenger CO 2438 (Unreleased)
Choplifter! BR   (Only Coleco release
Circus Charlie PB   (Unreleased)



Crash Dive PB 66013 (Unreleased)
Crisis Mountain MF   (Unreleased)
Destruction Derby CO   (Working title for
Dimensional Puzzles CO   (Unreleased)
Dino Eggs MF   (Unreleased)
Domino Man CB 80013 (Unreleased)
Donkey Kong 3 CO   (Unreleased)
Dot to Dot Zot! SY   (Unreleased)
Dracula CO 2608 (Unreleased)
Dragon’s Lair CO   (Unreleased)
Dragonstomper ST 6400 (Unreleased)
Dungeons & Dragons IV MA 7861 (Unreleased)
The Earth Dies Screaming 20   (Unreleased)
Flashlight MA 7863 (Unreleased)
Flashpoint OD 2148CL (Unreleased)
Globe Grabber MF   (Unreleased)
Grog! SY   (Working title for B.C.
Head to Head Baseball CO 2423 (Super Action BB released
Head to Head Football CO 2422 (Super Action FB released
Horse Racing CO 2442 (Unreleased)
Hydroplane MA 7866 (Unreleased)
Illusions MA 7760 (Sold to Coleco for
Jawbreaker SI   (Unreleased)
Journey CO   (Unreleased)
Lord of the Dungeon PR   (Unreleased)
Lunar Leeper SI   (Unreleased)
M.A.S.H. II PB 66015 (Unreleased)
Maddenness CB 80122 (Unreleased)
Magic Carpet MA 7865 (Unreleased)
Master Builder SV SE233 (Unreleased)
Masters of the Universe MA   (Unreleased)
Ms. Pac-Man AT   (Unreleased)
Missile Command AT   (Untested Prototype ROM
Mr. Cool SI   (Unreleased)
Mr. Turtle CO 2432 (Unreleased)
Mountain King CB   (Only Sunrise release
Necromancer CO   (Unreleased)
Number Bumper SU   (Unreleased)
Pastfinder AC   (Unreleased)
Phaser Patrol ST 6100 (Unreleased)
Phoenix CO   (Unreleased)
Pink Panther PR 2152CL (Unreleased)
PizzaTime MA 7864 (Unreleased)
Pole Position AT   (Unreleased)
Rainbow Walker CO   (Unreleased)
Rip Cord CO 2431 (Unreleased)
Rock ‘n’ Bolt AC   (Only Telegames release
Round Up CO   (Unreleased)
Satan’s Hollow CB   (Unreleased)



Scraper Caper TI   (Unreleased)
Short Circuit MF   (Unreleased)
Side Trak CO 2418 (Unreleased)
Silicon Warrior EP   (Unreleased)
Skiing CO 2436 (Only Telegames release
Smurf Plan and Learn CO 2444 (Unreleased)
Smurfette’s Birthday CO 2444 (Unreleased)
Spacemaster X-7 20   (Unreleased)
Spectar CO 2421 (Unreleased)    
Spook Maze SY   (Working title for Wiz
Stunt Flyer SI   (Unreleased)    
Summer Games EP   (Unreleased)    
Sword & the Sorcerer CO 2619 (Unreleased)    
Tac-Scan CO 2635 (Unreleased)    
Temple of Apshai EP   (Unreleased)    
Time Runner MF   (Unreleased)    
Toy Bizarre AC   (Unreleased)    
Wild Western CO   (Unreleased)    
Wings CB   (Unreleased)    
Wizard of Id’s Adventure SY   (Unreleased)    
The Wizard of Oz CO 2636 (Unreleased)    
Wizard of Wor CB 2421 (Unreleased)    
Wiz Lab SY   (Unreleased)    
Wiz Music SY   (Unreleased)    
Wiz Type SY   (Unreleased)    
Wiz Words SY   (Unreleased)    
Wiz World SY   (Unreleased)    
Wrath of Quintana Roo SU   (Unreleased)    


4.4)   Re-released games – MW


Some of the previously unreleased Coleco games, have been re-released. Find a list of re- released games below:


Name                          Manuf.   Number   Notes




Dig Dug     AT   (Re-released at CGE2k1)
Joust     AT   (Re-released at CGE2k1)
Lord of the Dungeon PR   (Re-released at CGE2k1)
Pac Man     AT   (Re-released at CGE2k1)
Power Lords   PR 2149CL (Re-released at CGE2k)
Steamroller   AC   (Re-released at CGE2k)




4.5)   Modern games – MW


Since 1996 there have been several modern game releases on cart. Find a list of modern game releases below (these are all modern releases that have been released on cart, sorted by their releasedate):


Name                                     Developer          Notes



Astro Invaders (2005)                  Scott Huggins

Yie-Ar Kung Fu (2005)                 Konami/Opcode

Deflektor Kollection (2005)            Daniel Bienvenu

Sky Jaguar (2004)                     Konami/Opcode Space Invaders Collection (2004)                       Opcode games

Colecovision Game pack #2 (2004)         Daniel Bienvenu          10

pre-release carts exist

Double Breakout [30 limited]           Daniel Bienvenu    10 pre-release carts exist

Reversi+Diamond Dash (2003)            Daniel Bienvenu

Reversi (2003) [20 limited]            Daniel Bienvenu

CV Drum (2003)                         E-Mancanics Colecovision Game pack #1 (2002)                               Daniel Bienvenu

Ms. Star Fury (2001) [75 limited]       Daniel Bienvenu     10 pre- release carts exist

Cosmo Fighter 3 (2001)                        Marcel de Kogel Dac-man (2000)                                       Daniel Bienvenu

Dac-man L.E. (2000) [50 limited]         Daniel Bienvenu Space Invasion (1998)                                 John Dondzila

Star Fortress (1997)                   John Dondzila Colecovision Creations (1997)[limited]               John Dondzila Kevtris (1996) [100 limited]                          Kevin Horton


NOTE – The following are in development by Opcode games:

Billiards                        KO           Converted by Opcode games


Castlevania++ KO Converted by Opcode games
Goonies+ KO Converted by Opcode games
Gradius+ KO Converted by Opcode games
Knightmare KO Converted by Opcode games
Magical Tree KO Converted by Opcode games
Mario Bros NI Converted by Opcode games
Metal Gear++ KO Converted by Opcode games
Ping-pong KO Converted by Opcode games
Rally-X NM Converted by Opcode games
Road Fighter KO Converted by Opcode games
Steamroller KO Converted by Opcode games

+ = Memorypack needed

++ = Super Expansion Module needed



4.6)   Cartridge Tidbits, Tips, and Easter Eggs:


2010: The Graphic Action Game –


Jim Wolf and two colleagues included an easter egg in the game which causes their names to scroll across the screen. To see it, power up all 5 communication circuits in skill level 5 before powering up any other circuits, then squeeze both firing buttons simultaneously. – 65


Alcazar the Forgotten Fortress –


This game was designed by Activision, but never released by them. All known copies were released by Telegames, but with a combined Activision/Telegames label.


  • .’s Quest for Tires II: Grog’s Revenge –


The following secret codes can be used to change levels: – 17

Mountain 1:   2,2 in cave 3

3,3 in cave 5

4,4 in cave 1

5,5 in cave 1


Mountain 2:   2,2 in cave 1

2,3 in cave 1

4,4 in cave 1

4,5 in cave 5

6,2 in cave 10

7,8 in cave 5


Mountain 3:   3,1 in cave 5  (hint: “as easy as pi”, ie. 3.1415925)

4,1 in cave 7

5,9 in cave 8

2,5 in cave 8



[Editor’s note: I just realized – for whatever reason, the value of pi given here is wrong. It’s 3.14159265; the last digit should thus be 6, or perhaps 7 if rounding, but not 5.]


Blockade Runner –


Need the manual – 01 Bump ‘n’ Jump –

Pales in comparison to Intellivision version, with off-key music, washed- out colors, sluggish control, unforgiving collision detection, and other errors and annoyances. – 20


There is a bonus of 50,000 points when you complete a level without bumping off any emery cars. You can also cheat by speeding up at the very beginning of a level and jumping off to the side of the screen where you can’t see your car. Landing there, you can cruise through the whole level without doing anything. If you play it to a million the letter G appears by the number of guys you have left. You can now have infinate lives for one or two levels. – 60


BurgerTime –


After completing the first round of boards, the game speeds up. Thus, pepper is in short supply as well as your patience. Includes six boards, two

_more_ than the arcade version (the Intellivision version actually includes still two more). Based upon the arcade game by Data East. – 24 To do well at BurgerTime, you need to let your Chefs get killed when you have an excess and reserve you peppers till when you really need to use them. It is much easier to gain extra lives than it is to build up a big supply of peppers. Extra lives come quickly and easily in the game, peppers don’t.

Go to the screen where there are two long ladders on the right side of the screen. Use this screen to build up your supply of peppers. Enemies can be easily avoided on this level. Just run around avoiding enemies and wait for peppers to pop up and grab them. Do this over and over until you have an ample supply then finish level. If you let yourself get killed instead of using up all your peppers to stay alive you can play this game for as long as you like. The hardest part of the game is that it is impossible to fake out the enemies by going one way and then switching directions. They never fall for it. – 60


Cabbage Patch Kids Adventure in the Park –


Prototype is an enhanced version of the released product, not a predecessor. – JH


Carnival –


Shoot the hardest targets (pipes and letters) first; once you get down to a few targets the ducks come out in volume, leaving little time or ammunition to shoot the harder stuff. – JC


Based upon the arcade game Sega. – 24 Centipede –

Atarisoft made a perfect port of Centipede for ColecoVision. With roller controller, you have the arcade version at home! Based upon the arcade game by Atari. – 24 In the Centipede cart rom, there is a message at the end of the code:





PROGRAMMED BY:              L CLAGUE GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION BY:               L CLAGUE SOUND DATA SUPPLIED BY:                         A FUCHS START DATE:                            04/20/83

COMPLETION DATE:            08/23/83 – 31


Chess Challenger –


From the catalog: – 24


Chess Challenger by Fidelity (Chess Challenger (C) 1977) Strategy Game Cartridge #2438


This game uses the World Champion Chess programs by Fidelity. Plan your defense with care — the computer is a formidable opponent. But don’t get too confident — he’ll never play the same way again!


Chuck Norris Superkicks –


Also released as Kung Fu Superkicks, by Telegames. – JC Congo Bongo –

Based upon the arcade game by Sega. – 24 Cosmic Avenger –

With some skill, you can make the homing missile that come at you strike the UFO’s by dodging the missile so it goes in front of you, then moving up and down, using it like a guided missile. – JC


For a completely different gaming experience, trying seeing how long you can survive using bombs _only_. – JH


Based upon the arcade game by Universal. – 24 The Dam Busters –

This game is damn near impossible without the manuals – 01 Survival tips:

Don’t fly over the icons on the map. These are German bases that will throw up a bunch of flak.


Don’t let your engines overheat, turn down the throttle after takeoff.


If an engine catches fire extinguish it and shut down the corresponding one on the other wing. If you don’t the Lanc. will be difficult to control. Don’t do this a second time.


You must come in at a certain altitude and airspeed to drop the bomb. Don’t forget to get the bomb spinning or the indicators will not come up on the pilot’s window.


Be certain to retract the landing gear after takeoff.


To shake fighters, try a corkscrew maneuver (downward spiral). – 17


Barnes Wallace, who was involved with the WW II Lancaster Dambusters, was the technical consultant for the game. – 57


Dig Dug –


Programming of this game was completed. – 53


All-in-all, the ColecoVision version of this classic was reasonable. Given that I’m not the world’s foremost authority on Dig Dug, it doesn’t really seem to stand out from the Intellivison or Atari 5200 versions. – JH


Defender –


Since the ColecoVision could not handle scrolling very well due its electronic design, the scrolling leaves Defender to be desired. However, it keeps true to the Williams arcade game. – 24


Donkey Kong –


Move Mario up the first broken ladder then bring him back down, walk him to the left so that his back is almost touching the same broken ladder, and then move him a step of two to the right and jump. Depending on the version you have, he’ll fall through the bottom and land in screen 2, or after several seconds he’ll appear on the top girder next to Kong. This apparently doesn’t work with all versions of the cartridge. – JC


In the 3rd screen, get to the top right hand part of the screen where the purse is. Below is a short ladder, get right above it and wiggle up & down, you’ll fall through the metal floor. – JC


When climbing up or down any ladder, you can move at super speed by pausing momentarily (allowing the joystick to center), and then continuing your climb. – JC


Perfect port of the original game except for two flaws. First, Donkey Kong is on the wrong side of the first board (easy for anyone to pick up).

Second, there is no mudpie level which means the rivet and elevator (with


no “bouncing springs”) levels are repeated. Based upon the arcade game by Nintendo. – 24


You can score for jumping when underneath a rolling barrel. On the fourth girder (one level below Donkey Kong), wait until a barrel one level above comes to the lower end of the girder. As it comes across, follow it, and jump while underneath it. – 24


On the elevator screen, go up to donkey kong instead of climbing the ladder. He won’t kill you; you could climb the second ladder and jump around him and make his face turn brown. – 48


Donkey Kong Jr. –


Uses the same music for the key-n-lock level as used for the final level on Popeye for ColecoVision. Based upon the arcade game by Nintendo. – 24


In the screen containing pelicans, you can actually climb through the dirt. To do so, get underneath a patch of dirt, and climb all the way up to the dirt. At that point, move Donkey Kong Jr. left, right, and left again. You can then climb right through the dirt. – 32


On the springboard birds screen, jump to the top ledge on the right of the screen, and approach the gap. Walking off the ledge, Junior grabs an invisible vine that let you climb up to the celing in midair. – 48


Dot to Dot Zot! –


Originally created for the Nabu Home Computer network, a ColecoVision conversion was rumored but never completed. – 17


Dragon’s Lair –


Right before the crash, Coleco had the rights to Dragon’s Lair, and was going to release an expansion unit to let you hook up an LD player. The idea was the controller would be the ColecoVision, and you could play Dragon’s Lair in its entirety. – 16


A version of Dragon’s Lair was released for ADAM. – JH Dungeons & Dragons IV –

The Intellivision D&D game then in development, Tower of Mystery, was the third D&D game from Mattel, so apparently this game was envisioned as an original. Started 11/28/83. – 36


Epyx games –


Two case variants, one has a normal rounded case end and the other has a tapered end much like Imagic carts. Gateway To Apshai is normally the regular case and the other two normally have tapered cases.” – 01


Escape From the Mindmaster –


Of note: the startup screen is an EPYX screen, not an Arcadia or Starpath screen, so this effort apparently occured after Starpath had been acquired by Epyx. – 5


Facemaker –


It’s Mr. Potato-Head on a cartridge! – 01 Also released as Make-A-Face. – JC

Flashlight –


Conversion of an Intellivision/Atari game then in development. Scheduled start: 12/19/83. – 36


Flying Brassieres –


Never intended for release, this prototype is actually a privately burned variation upon Moon Patrol, with a different variety of objects (including bras) to shoot at. – 22


Fortune Builder –


The mother of all Sim* games! But you need both the manual and the “Strategy Guide” to play – 01


And the overlays certainly don’t hurt, either. – JH Frenzy –

Pressing “#” during the game resets the game. – 24


Killing Otto in the Big Otto maze is a deadly mistake – Big Otto sends out hordes of super-fast Ottos to get you. – 24


Frogger –


Perfect port of the arcade game by Sega. – 24


Frontline –


You can get away with using a normal controller by hitting 1-2-3 at once on the keypad to launch a grenade/get into the tank – 01


You can move through the holes in the wall by rotating and pushing forward at the same time. – JC


Galaxian –


The following dedication is coded into the ROM for the cart:




Gateway to Apshai –


Manual helpful but not necessary – 01


Gorf –


Loses points for not having the “Galaxian” stage like the arcade game. – 01


The “Galaxian” stage for Gorf was programmed by Jim Wolf and Joe Clark at Nuvatec, Inc., but was dropped by Coleco to keep the cartridge to 16K. – 65


Based upon the arcade game by Bally/Midway. – 24 Horse Racing –

From the catalog: – 24


Horse Racing by Fidelity (Original copyright is (C) 1982) Casino Game Cartridge #2442


They’re off and running! Watch the board as the odds change. The horses start out of the gate — then jockey for position on the straightaway. Which horse will win … place … show? For the next race, the computer changes the entries and if you want, even the track conditions! It’s a different race every time!


Hydroplane –


A point-of-view speedboat race, based on an Intellivision game in development at the time. Program start 11/21/83. – 36


Illusions –


Very surreal game once you figure out what to do… – 01 And it makes -no- sense until you do… – JH

Journey –


In 1983, Electronic Games magazine reported that Coleco had purchased exclusive rights to the Bally/Midway Journey arcade game (not to be confused with Journey Escape for the 2600). – 38


Joust –


Programming was completed for this game. – 53


I’ve had one report that Joust was released, but absolutely no independent confirmation of this. I have played the completed prototype, and it’s quite good – better than the 5200 or NES versions, IMHO. The control is a bit less responsive than I’d like, and the version I played had no sound, but it’s still the best of what I’ve always considered a weak lot of conversions. –  JH


Ken Uston’s Blackjack/Poker –


Very good party game to play with friends. Overlays are a bit helpful during a Blackjack game but not all that neccessary for a Poker game. Up to 4 players at a time. – TC


Kung Fu Superkicks –


Also released as Chuck Norris Superkicks, by Xonox. – JC Lady Bug –

This is (IMHO) the BEST arcade conversion available on the ColecoVision. – 18


Based upon the arcade game by Universal. – 24 Linking Logic –

Imagine this: a man on a pedestal sitting on the left side of the TV screen. You, his faithful fowl pet, are sitting on the other side on a similar pedestal at the same height. Your mission: help your master make it through the room maze using parts lying around. Can you fly around placing the parts in the right spots before your master sets foot into the maze?


Like Sierra On-line’s “The Incredible Machine,” you must place the parts (such as a ladder or crossover board) to help your master safely pass through the maze. You have a limited amount of time, though, because the pedestals raise up every few seconds. When it gets to the top floor, your master will go through the maze.


Designed by Freida Lennekerker. – 24 Looping –

Similar to the later game, Sopwith, for PC, you fly a plane around the screen and shoot at things. What Sopwith lacked in graphics, this game lacked in gameplay. Based upon the arcade game by Venture Line. – 24


Magic Carpet –


Scheduled to begin 2/6/84. Since the Nice group continued working after 1/20/84, it’s possible that a playable version of this game was developed. – 36


Make-A-Face –


Also released as Facemaker. – JC


Listed as a pirated version in the Digital Press Price Guide. – JH Masters of the Universe: The Power of He-Man –

Programmed by Steve Roney, based upon the original Atari version of the game. The game was completed just before Mattel Electronics closed down, but was never released. – 36


Masters of the Universe II –


Being programmed by Eric del Sesto based upon the original Intellivision version (which was never released by Mattel, but instead reworked by INTV Corp. using different characters and released as Diner, a sequel to BurgerTime). Unfinished. – 36


Meteoric Shower –


Not released as a cartridge, the game is only available in the built in version that comes with the Telegames Personal Arcade. – JH


Missile Command –


A playable version was never developed. Only a title screen was created. – 53


Mr. Do! –


If you drop two adjacent apples and get crushed by the first one, you are squished but don’t die. You then have to restart the game. – JC


The pause button is “*”. Hit it once for a blank screen with repetitious music; hit is twice more to begin play again. Based upon the arcade game by Universal. – 24


You can fire through thin walls at short distance in Mr. Do!, and can  freeze all enemies by taking the “treat” in the middle when the Extra apple at the top of the screen is on a red letter. – 54


Mr. Do!’s Castle –


In order to get the most alphamonsters in “Mr. Do!’s Castle”, hit one or two of the key blocks with your hammer as you cross the board. After destroying all the monsters except for two or three, you can hit the last key block and run up to the top of the board and stand near the door. Wait for the unicorns to get near you and get the door “prize” and hammer away!

This was an old arcade trick I used quite frequently, and it still works for this game.


In “Castle”, red unicorns are the tamest ones. Green unicorns are a bit wilder, and both red and green unicorns can be knocked down a level. However, the blue unicorns are the meanest, and a lone unicorn will double into two blue unicorns if it gets stuck in a hole or cannot find you. This can work to your advantage if you have reached the door “prize” and let a lone unicorn get stuck in a hole. When it doubles and turns blue, they will immediately come up to you at the top of the castle so you can grab the prize and knock two of the letters out really quickly.


“Castle” is the best arcade translation of all the ColecoVision games. It also proves that Coleco’s version of Mr. Do! could have been better, looking like a rush job in comparison. However, both Mr. Do! games are worth getting because they have a lot of replayability in them. – 24


Most boards have sections with skulls such that you can kick a ladder away, leaving only one path for the unicorns to approach from. To take maximum advantage of these setups, do the following:


  • Knock out the frontmost skull (on the side enemies will approach from).


  • Hammer the frontmost


  • As red unicorns approach, simply knock them through the There’s no need to waste the skull traps on them, since they are easy to deal with.


  • When a lone green unicorn lands in the hole, knock it It will turn purple, but don’t worry! Back up to the next cherry, and hammer it as the newly formed purple unicorn dashes forward, crushing it.


  • Back up and repeat the process until there are no cherrys left, several green unicorns approach at once, or one or more purple unicorns storm into the As soon as there are purples approaching, continue retreating and hammer free any remaining cherries, then hit the final skull to kill all squirming purples as well as any unicorns unfortunate enough to be standing below the platform.


With good timing, it is possible to hammer a unicorn that is rising out of a hole just as the new block forms, and kill it (or knock it back into the hole if it is a purple one). This is helpful when you are cornered in a tight spot.


To maximize the number of letters you catch on any given stage, try the following strategy:


  • Hammer two of the keys, leaving the key closest to the top of the


  • Hammer as many holes as you can while luring the unicorns downwards, until you have a free path from the third key to the magic door at the top of the Avoid killing the unicorns unless necessary.


  • Hit the final key, and immediately dash to the top of the screen, turning the unicorns into The longer you wait after grabbing the third key before touching the magic door, the shorter the period of time that the unicorns will remain as letters. Conversely, if you do it quickly, the unicorns will remain letters for a very long time!


  • The letters will flee towards the bottom of the Chase them, dropping down the holes you already made whenever possible (this is quicker than climbing down ladders, and better yet you can land on top of letters and squish them).


With this method (even on the difficult levels later in the game), you can easily grab 3 or more letters per screen. It’s even possible to get a full “EXTRA” all on one stage! – 45


Mr. Do!’s Castle contains a bug in the programming which provides infinite lives when triggered. Norman Sippel describes how he once triggered it:


“During scene 3, there was one last red unicorn to destroy. I grabbed the prize at the top of the castle right after I hit the third key block, and went to the second floor. I was going to hit the letter enemy with a block but instead fell through the hole, squashing him.”


“When he squashed, it was on level one. The letter “X” completed my “E- X-T-R-A”, and the game paused with music. When it came back, the guy was resquashed–this time he came out of the prize door on level seven and fell down into level six. I thought “no sweat” because I still had two lives left.”


“During the next level, I died twice. I thought “Game Over” but instead the game continued on. After dying again, I realized I triggered off the infinite lives bug.”


“The game messes up at level 32 in numbering levels. It goes like this: 31 -> 3: -> 3; -> 42… (normal counting)… 46 -> 42… (normal)… 53

“I was on level 53 when I quit. I was stuck on it because I killed off the last unicorn, but the game messed up when I hit it over the head with a block. Instead of going to the next board, the monster and block became a blotch on the screen (covering up a window) and I was free to terrorize at will. By accident, I trapped myself out of the last cherry to complete the board.” – 24


Mr. Turtle –


From the catalog: – 24


Mr. Turtle (TM) Action Game Cartridge



Mr. Turtle (TM) comes to life on the screen, but needs your help on his treasure hunt. His goal is to collect the prizes that are located on both land and under water. But — each prise is guarded by an animal, some firece, some funny. Mr. Turtle (TM) must outwit the creatures to obtain each treasure and score points.


Coleco had produced Mr.Turtle pool toys before the idea of this game, the idea for the game probably came from this. – TC


Mouse Trap –


Since there’s no pause feature in this game, you can trap yourself in one of the rooms if you need a break. You can also trap the cats in rooms to make it easier for you to do the maze. – JC


The keypad gets in the way of the gameplay. The 2600 version is more fun because it has one button, but Coleco could have chosen to make the doors open using one button and eating the biscuit being the other button. Based upon the arcade game by Exidy. – 24


Also if you are in a big hurry to get a door open and you press the wrong number on the keypad, its lights out for you 🙂 – TC


Nice Ideas –


At one time a division of Mattel Electronics located in Nice, France. Due to French laws, Mattel was not allowed to shut down their Nice office on January 20, 1984 with the rest of Mattel Electronics – instead, they were required to find a buyer for the division. The programmers stayed on the Mattel payroll working on their games until finally the division found investors that enabled them to buy the operation themselves, renaming it Nice Ideas. They sold two of their completed Intellivision games to INTV Corp. and three of their completed ColecoVision games (Bump ‘n’ Jump, BurgerTime and Illusions) to Coleco. – 36


Nuvatec, Inc. –


Nuvatec, Inc., located in Downers Grove, IL, programmed several games for the ColecoVision under contract including Turbo, Cosmic Avenger, Gorf, Slither, Time Pilot, Looping, 2010: The Graphic Action Game, and Frontline. – 65


Omega Race –


If you use Roller Controller for the two play game, you will make both ships mirror the other’s actions. One RC controls both ships! Based upon the arcade game by Bally/Midway. – 24


In a one play game, rotate your ship so that it points straight up or down, and thrust until you bump into one of the walls. You will then keep bouncing between the top and bottom, and can rotate your ship toward the right hand side of the screen, and fire away. Works well until you get to higher levels. – 54


Parker Brothers –


There are two boxes used by Parker Bros. One is the typical “boxed” game with two box parts that open up to reveal the game and instructions. The other is a clone of the standard Coleco box with Parker Bros. written on it instead. – 24


Parker Bros. used the same serial numbers for their games around the world with one exception–for foreign release, a “A” was added to the serial number of the game. – 24


Pac-Man –


Has the same aspect ratio as the 2600 (and 5200 – JH) version; plays really well, and maintains all the bonuses and intermissions. The title screen includes a neat dissolve-in of “Pac Man”. Atari did not release the  cartridge because of their advertising campaign at the time, which boasted “you will only be able to play Pac-Man on the Atari!”. – 53


The _best_ home version of Pac-Man I’ve ever played. Scores over the competition on the basis of:


2600 – absolutely everything (no big surprise)

5200 – better detail (the ghosts have eyes) and better control

NES – better control (which outweighs the aspect ratio and attract screen advantages of the NES version in my opinion)


Seems to be 100% complete and ready for release. – JH Pepper II –

Graphics are very similar to those of the unreleased Side Trak. Based upon the arcade game by Exidy. – 24


Nice game though can easily be rolled over. – TC Pitfall! –

You can walk through some walls by jumping at them. – JC PizzaTime –

The _real_ sequel to BurgerTime, started 1/3/84. Since the Nice group continued working after 1/20/84, it’s possible that a playable version of this game was developed. – 36


Popeye –


Very good port, but the characters needed a bit more detail (which I’m sure the ColecoVision could have handled). On the other hand, this is the only port I know of which has the Sea Hag and Sweet Pea. Based upon the arcade game by Nintendo. – 24


Porky’s –


The cartridge shell looks like a bare Epyx/Spinnaker style case, with a plain white rectangular hand written label. Inside, there is a standard board with 2 EPROMs.


The start up screen is all blue, with a 1983 “Fox Electronics” copyright notice, and skill options at the bottom of the screen. According to a guy who has the Porky’s programmer for an instructor, he never made a 2600 port, so that was done after he had left.


The game play is similar to the 2600, only with better graphics and sounds (yes, the female showering looks more female). The first Screen is the Frogger-like sequence in the same order, just with improved graphics. The second screen is the “pole-valut-over-the-lake” screen. You still have to build the ladder wrung by wrung; and Porky is himself is walking around the ledges beneath the ladders. Porky is particularly well-animated–with a black ten-gallon hat, white T-shirt, blue jeans, and a cigarette in his mouth.


The third screen, the “girls shower room” had the girl scrubbing up in the shower, she was slightly more rounded and womanlike than the 2600 version; the silhouette was dark gray, and the shower curtain light gray. When Mrs. Ballbricker comes after you, she is also well-done; with gray hair, a green shirt, and blue pants. She also clearly has tweezers she is pinching in the air. Only two different objects can be retreived from the shower room to stop the objects in the Frogger-like screen: the detonator, and either a coil of rope or a fork or a wrench. These objects alternate for each row of the first screen; the first object stopped the odd rows, the second the even rows.


In the last screen, “The girders beneath Porky’s”, still had Porky walking around, making a nusciance out of himself, and it still had those annoying arrows supposedly to point you in the right direction to climb.


The only problem with the game is that after getting past the locker room screen to the screen underneath Porky’s–you cannot go anyplace. – 01, 43


Q*Bert –


Just like the arcade game by Gottlieb. – 24


Playing this game after a long game of Q*Bert’s Qubes can be rather frustrating because of the difference in gameplay and the speed of gameplay. – TC


Q*Bert’s Qubes –


Very fun puzzle game. As Q*Bert moves, he turns six-sided cubes around. To win a level, you need to match up tic-tac-toes of cubes. The “Coily”- like mouse will chase you around the diamond playfield, but will fall of if he lands on a turning cube. Sam and Slick are a real pain on the higher levels. The pause button is “0”. Based upon the arcade game by Mylstar.


Level One — Two sides orange, four sides blue Win 1 tic-tac-toe


Level Two — Three sides orange, three sides blue (1st two screens) Six colors (white, red, blue, orange, yellow, green) (3rd and 4th screens) Win 1 tic-tac-toe


Level Three — Six colors and win 2 tic-tac-toes Level Four — Six colors and win 3 tic-tac-toes

Level Five — Six colors, win 1 tic-tac-toe, but you can undo completed cubes


The label on the cart is the logo of Q*Bert’s Qubes with no picture of Q*Bert or the playfield. Unlike the first Q*Bert, the label is designed to be read while inserted into the ColecoVision on the correct side. (Q*Bert’s Qubes & Mr. Do!’s Castle are the only two Parker Brothers releases with this style of label design. – JH) – 24


If you’d like to try the arcade version, there was one up and running at HersheyPark (Hershey, PA) as of 1994. The ColecoVision version is a wonderful port. – JH


To skip to level 2 of gameplay, press the ‘#’ key on the keypad at the level select screen. – TC


To make lines go down the screen on the beginning of any level when the cubes flash, (use super action controller) press down all 4 buttons on the controller. The cubes also dissapear and the gameplay is slowed down. -TC


Quest for Quintana Roo –


Manual helpful but not necessary – 01 Rip Cord –

From the catalog: – 24


Rip Cord (TM) by Exidy (Original game copyright is (C) 1978) Arcade Game Cartridge



This sky diving game puts you in charge of a parachutist. You’ve got to time his jump, and allow him to free fall as long as you dare. Then, pull his rip cord, and get him to land exactly on one of the targets. But watch out – the sky is full of dangerous helicopters.


Roc ‘n Rope –


Based upon the arcade game by Konami. – 24 Root Beer Tapper –

When at the end of bar grabbing a tip, just tap the joystick and you instantly appear back at the front of the bar. – JC


Sammy Lightfoot –


Plays just like the old Apple II version. This should _not_ be taken as a compliment… B^) – JH


Schtroumpfs –


A French release of Smurf Rescue. – JH Side Trak –

From the catalog: – 24


Side Trak (TM) by Exidy (Original game copyright is (C) 1979) Arcade Game Cartridge



You must direct the locomotive down the track and pick up passengers along the way. In doing so, you must avoid a deadly runaway train that is out to demolish your locomotive! Can you stay on the track and score?


Skiing (Coleco) –

From the catalog: – 24 Skiing

Sports Game Cartridge



See the course right through the skier’s goggles! He must race down the snow covered slopes, nogotiating the sharp curves with precision and avoiding the treacherous moguls, trees, and other obstacles. His goal is to traverse the course and reach the finish in record time!


Skiing (Telegames) –


Telegames Skiing does not have the same graphics as the Coleco Skiing which was in the introductory catalog. Whereas Coleco’s catalog showed a 1st-person perspective, Telegames’ Skiing is more like Activision Skiing for the Atari 2600. – 08


Slither –


Based upon the arcade game by Century II. – 24 Smurf Play and Learn –

From the catalog: – 24


Smurf Play and Learn Cartridge by Peyo (Smurf (TM) Peyo (C) 1982) Play & Learn Cartridge



This educational cartridge with Smurf (TM) characters bring basic learning concepts to the screen and encourages children to solve the problems and situations. Their zany antics make learning fun!


Smurf Rescue in Gargamel’s Castle –


At the last screen with the skull and Smurfette, leave the room and Smurfette will drop her dress. – JC


If you come up to a hard screen, go back to the screen you just came through, and then return – the screen will change shape each time, so you can do it until an easier one appears. – JC


On game 4, move back and forth between screens 1 & 2 for about a minute, and you’ll receive 919,500 points. – JC


The original cartridge was created not by Peyo (the originator of the Smurfs), but by Belokapi, a French company. – 61


Space Fury –


Save the best dock for last, since you’ll be stuck with it for the rest of the game. – JC


If you wanted to get a feel for some of the docks during the game, pick a dock to use and then when you come back to the bonus docking screen, let the time run out and you can use the dock you still have. BTW, you can change docks next time you come to that screen. – TC


Space Panic –


The stupidest game I have ever played, IMHO. Why would you want to dig holes, let a monster fall in, and they fall down a level and die? Stupid! Based upon the arcade game by Universal. – 24


Spectar –


From the catalog: – 24


Spectar (TM) by Exidy (Original game copyright is (C) 1980) Arcade Game Cartridge



You must direct an armoured car through a tangled maze – negotiating sharp turns at high speeds. But as you traverse the terrain, a variety of tank-like vehicles emerge to attack and destroy your car.


Spy Hunter –


At the fork in the road, the left path give’s you the oil supply truck, and the right gives you the missiles. You can use the supply truck as a weapon by not entering it and moving it back and forth so it collides with your enemies. When in the boat, it’s safer to stick to the right; you don’t get attacked as much and that’s the side the exit is on. – JC


Squish’em featuring Sam –


If you like 20th Century Fox’s 2600 game “Fast Eddie,” you will like Squish’em. It has similar gameplay plus has, IMHO, the first “sound- byte” included in it. Sam actually talks to you (i.e., “Ouch!” “Wow!”). It’s worth the price of admission! Also of note is the fact the cart has a hanger built into it. – 24


The following dedication is coded into the ROM for the cart:


This space dedicated to all those hackers who program in 8K but are given 16K and to all accountants who want 15K promos – 8


Star Wars: The Arcade Game –


Explosion of death star not as impressive as other versions – 01 Subroc –

Sega could not decide whether to make a submarine or an airplane game. So they compromised. Based upon the arcade game by Sega. – 24


This game is highly underrated and if you like this game, try using the Super Action controller to play. It gives an arcade feel and can get you feeling in the zone easily. -TC


Super Action Football (CBS) –


This is equivalent to Coleco’s Super Action Soccer. – JH Super Action Football (Coleco) –

My copy of the instructions give the part number as 2422 – the intended number (per the ColecoVision catalog) for Head to Head Football. – JH


Super Cobra –


“Missing levels” – 01 Sydney Development –

While Sydney only released one game on their own (Evolution), they were a major player in the ColecoVision arena. Many, many games were  created or translated for ColecoVision by Sydney. Among these:


River Raid Keystone Kapers

B.C.’s Quest for Tires

B.C.’s Quest for Tires II: Grog’s Revenge Wiz Math

The Dam Busters


The company survived past the video game market crash by switching over to the Commodore 64 and IBM PC. – 17


Tac-Scan –


The first two stages of Tac-Scan were completed at Nuvatec, Inc., by Jim Wolf and Joe Clark before Coleco instructed that all work on it be stopped. – 65


Tarzan –


If you are low on energy, keep punching the hunter at the campsite until you are at full strength. – JC


Designed by Lawrance Schick – 51 Time Pilot –

“Handles like its constipated” – 01


Different feel using the ColecoVision controller than the arcade game, which was put out by Konami. – 24


The Roller Controller works much better; with it, Time Pilot has the feel of the original. – 20


Tunnels & Trolls –


Only contains opening title. – JC


From the catalog: – 24 Tunnels & Trolls (TM) by Flying Buffalo, Inc. (T&T (C) 1975)

Fantasy Game Cartridge



Your expedition involves your entrance into a dungeon made up of hallways and chambers. But — the underground is populated by monsters. Choose to fight or run! Select a weapon, cast magic spells or use your wits to defeat the monsters and claim the treasures! For one to four players.


Turbo –


Based upon the arcade game by Sega. – 24 Unnamed Shoot-em-up Space Game –

Jim Wolf programmed an original shoot-em-up space game which never got released. It consisted of a top-down view of a spacefighter flying through fields of asteroids looking for enemy fighters to shoot down.

Additional obstacles included an occasional meteor tumbling down from the top of the screen at high speed, and lethal electric “fences” which


suddenly appeared between two enemy space stations masquerading as two meteors lazily floating through space. – 65


Venture –


Move in and out of a room several times very fast, and a demon outside will appear from nowhere and kill you. – JC


Based upon the arcade game by Exidy. – 24 Victory –

Based upon the arcade game by Exidy. – 24


The CBS release of Victory has the Quarks (and other features) that were missing in the Coleco release. – 40


Video Hustler –


Nearly finished. – JC War Games –

“Need the manual” – 01


Roller Controller is used for 2 player game only. – JH War Room –

“Manual helpful but not necessary” – 01 Wing War –

Though it is not exactly known what triggers the egg, the designers initials appear in the sky. – JC


Wiz Type –


A Commodore 64 version was finished, but buried by Sierra. The ColecoVision version was never done. – 17


Zaxxon –


Based upon the arcade game by Sega. – 24 Tips from ColecoVision Experience magazine:


As each round opens, your ship approaches the first asteroid, which is topped by a high wall. To avoid crashing into the wall, use your laser cannon to confirm your flight path. Since the laser cannon fires straight ahead, the position where your shots detonate indicates the path of your ship. If your opening shots strike the wall, move until they pass through the center area of the wall’s opening. This will ensure that you enter the asteroid safely.


As you fly along the surface of the asteroid, stay low enough (about the first mark on the altimeter scale at left) to hit the turrets and tanks on the asteroid surface. Keep to the left as much as possible, destroying enemy turrets first, and fuel tanks after you’ve eliminated the turrets that defend them. The turrets fire both forward and sideways, and theirmissiles move rapidly, so you’ll almost certainly be hit if you get close to a turret without destroying it. Fire at the turrets from a distance, then weave back to the right to hit fuel tanks. Remember to keep an eye out for the vertically rising missiles that come out of the ground silos – and don’t forget the equally deadly missiles launched from the turrets. Don’t climb unless necessary to avoid a missile or a wall – even two seconds at high altitude will bring a fast, hard-to-avoid homing missile down on you.


As you leave the first asteroid to enter deep space, move toward the center of the screen to give yourself maximum maneuverability. Then wait for the first of the enemy fighters. You’ll find that they’re very hard to hit until they approach and prepare to launch their missiles. The best technique for survival in deep space is 1. Wait until crosshairs appear in front of your ship. 2. Fire instantly. 3. Dive or climb immediately. Don’t fire and remain still – even if you hit the enemy fighter its missile will still destroy you.

Practice this wait-fire-move sequence until you can confidently destroy the enemy fighters. By the way, it can’t hurt to start firing at enemy fighters as soon as they appear on the edge of the screen. Unfortunately, long distance hits are hard to come by.


The action will abruptly slow as you approach the mighty ZAXXON. Move your ship to the right to draw ZAXXON over toward that side of the asteroid so you can fire at it. Then rise to an altitude of about 2 1/2 marks on the screen altimeter, and begin firing as rapidly as possible. When ZAXXON launches a homing missile, try to hit it several times to neutralize it (you’ll see it change color), then continue to fire at ZAXXON itself. Remember, only multiple hits at the right height can destroy ZAXXON – and earn you points. If you can’t score these hits and destroy the homing missile, your fire will at least drive ZAXXON back and you can begin another round of attack. – 35


Zenji –


Manual is roughly the size of a bookmark, and is completely unnecessary.

– JH



4.7)   Cartridge Hardware Cheats


As in many systems, a careful change to the right address can significantly change the flavor of a game. For those using a ColecoVision emulator, data at the following addresses can be changed with various effects.



Antartic Adventure – 49


Addresses 0AEA-0AEBh – Rest Dist.    – Decimal Digits

Addresses 0AEC-0AEDh – Time         – Decimal Digits; bytes are reversed


B.C.’s Quest For Tires – 31, 49


Address 0388h – Extra Lives – FFh means “None”; 254 maximum
Address 22EAh – Lives Check – Set to 00h for infinite lives

B.C.’s Quest For Tires II: Grog’s Revenge – 31, 49


Address 032Fh – Extra Lives – FFh means “None”; 254 maximum Address 0351h – Extra Lives – FFh means “None”; 254 maximum Address       037Dh – Lives Check – Set to 00h for infinite lives


Buck Rogers Planet of Zoom – 49


Address         0104h – Areas Left   – 00 = 01 = Skip round 1 BurgerTime – 31

Address 01F4h – Lives Check – Set to 00h for infinite lives Addresses 127C-127Eh – Monster Gen – Set all to 00h for no


Addresses 1332-1334h – Hit Detect    – Set all to 00h to become invincible


Carnival – 49


Address         01D7h – Bullets      – Max 3C = 60 Cosmic Avenger – 49

Address         00ADh – Extra Lives  – FFh means “None”; 254 maximum Donkey Kong – 31,49

Addresses 01FB-01FDh – Lives Check   – Set all to 00h for infinite lives

Addresses 0560-0561h – Score        – In hex; max 06 27 = 9990 (0 added)


Addresses 05AA-05ABh – Bonus Score   – In hex

Address         186Ch – Extra Lives  – For harder levels Address     1875h – Extra Lives    – For easy levels


Donkey Kong Junior – 31


Address         020Ch – Extra Lives  – For harder levels, player 1 Address 0216h – Extra Lives    – For easy levels, player 1 Addresses 034D-034Fh – Lives Check   – Set all to 00h for infinite



Frantic Freddy – 49


Address         044Fh – Enemies Left – Enemies needed to kill on level


Frenzy – 49


Address         06EDh – Movement?    – 01 = move to next screen Frogger – 49

Address         1612h – Extra Lives  – FFh = 255 maximum Galaxian – 31, 49

Addresses 0240-0242h – Lives Check   – Set all to 00h for infinite lives



but 03

(Setting 0242h to any number is sufficient)


Gorf – 31


Address         0133h – Extra Lives  – FFh means “None”; 254 maximum Address     28E8h – Lives Check    – Set to 00h for infinite lives


Jumpman Junior


Address         0394h – Extra Lives  – FFh = 255 maximum Address     0399h – Level


Lady Bug – 31,49


Addresses 0125-0127h – Lives Check   – Set all to 00h for infinite lives

Address         0390h – Extra Lives  – FFh means “None”; FEh = 255 maximum

Addresses 0393-0395h – Score        – Decimal digits; 999,999 maximum


Looping – 49


Address         0171h – Extra Lives  – 80h = 128 maximum Moonsweeper – 49


Address         1A4Dh – Extra Lives  – FFh = 255 maximum Mouse Trap – 31, 49

Address 0362h – Extra Lives – FFh means “None”; 254 maximum Address 0365h – Dog Biscuits – FFh means “None”; 254 maximum Addresses 0366-036Bh – Score       – Decimal digits; 999,999


Address         08A1h – Transform    – Set to 00h, become dog permanently

Address         2A38h – ???          – Set to 00h, “Score becomes crazy”


Pepper II – 49


Address         00F0h – Extra Lives  – Maximum FDh = 254 Address     00FFh – Extra Lives    – For Player 2

Addresses 020B-020Dh – Score        – Hex; max 9F 86 01 – 99999 (0 added)

Addresses 0216-0218h – Score        – For Player 2 Popeye – 49

Address         00D4h – Extra lives  – Maximum 3Fh = 15 Address      00D9h – Round        – Maximum 39h = 9


Q*Bert – 49





Address         005Bh – Level/Round  – 19 = 1/1, 1F = 1/7, 20 = 28 =


Address         05B4h – Coordinates

Address         0638h – Lives Check  – Set to any but 05h for


infinite lives


Root Beer Tapper – 31


Addresses 2963-2965h – Lives Check   – Set all to 00h for infinite lives


Smurf Rescue in Gargamel’s Castle – 49


Address         00A2h – Extra lives  – Maximum FFh = 255 Address     0167h – Energy         – Maximum FFh = 255


Spy Hunter – 49


Addresses 0053-0055h – Score        – Maximum 3Fh 42h 0Fh = 999,999 Addresses 0056-0057h – Bonus Timer                 – Maximum E7h 03h = 999


Super Cobra – 49


Address         0108h – Level        – Range: 1-11 Address     0176h – Extra Lives    – Maximum 55h = 86

Address         01BFh – Fuel         – Maximum 6Fh = 111; 0B/full, 78/error


Tutankham – 31


Address         0161h – Lamps        – Maximum 0Fh = 15

Address         0876h – Extra Lives  – For easy level, player 1; max


Address         087Eh – Extra Lives  – For hard level, player 1 Address    0880h – Extra Lives    – For medium level, player 1 Address     0882h – Extra Lives     – For easy level, player 2 Address     0886h – Extra Lives      – For medium level, player 2 Address                     0888h – Extra Lives      – For hard level, player 2 Address                     0B69h – Monster Gen      – Set to 00h for no monster


Address         2269h – Monster Move – Set to 00h to keep monsters in nests


Up ‘n Down – 49


Address         01C5h – Extra Lives  – Maximum FFh = 255 Venture – 31, 49

Addresses 032E-0330h – Lives Check   – Set all to 00h for infinite lives

Address         09B3h – Extra Lives  – FFh means “None”; 254 maximum Zaxxon – 31,49

Addresses 0085-0086h – Score        – Maximum E7 03 = 999 (00 added)

Addresses 011A-011Bh – Score        – Player 2 Address  01B9h – Extra Lives          – For easy levels

Address         01BDh – Extra Lives  – For harder levels

Address         01E4h – Status       – 00/player 2 left, 02/player 1-2 lives


Address 01E6h – Lives Check – Player 2
Address 02CEh – Lives Check – Set to 00h for infinite lives


4.6)   ColecoVision and ColecoVision/ADAM catalogs


Unlike Atari and Mattel, Coleco didn’t put out catalogs regularly. The catalog was included with the unit is better known for the titles that _didn’t_ turn up than those that did. A second catalog with a mixture of ColecoVision and ADAM items appears to have been released shortly before the death of both systems, as it appears to include nearly all of the late ColecoVision releases. The contents of each catalog:


1982 catalog: -24


Introduction to ColecoVision

Introduction of Expansion Module #1 and #2 coming soon Donkey Kong (# 2441, Ninendo, Arcade)

Space Fury (The Official, # 2415, Sega, Arcade) Venture (# 2417, Exidy, Arcade)

Side Trak (# 2418, Exidy, Arcade) Mouse Trap (# 2419, Exidy, Arcade)


Spectar (# 2421, Exidy, Arcade) Rip Cord (# 2431, Exidy, Arcade)

LadyBug (# 2433, Universal, Arcade)

Cosmic Avenger (# 2434, Universal, Arcade) Zaxxon (The Official, # 2435, Sega, Arcade) Carnival (The Official, # 2445, Sega, Arcade) Turbo (The Official, # 2413, Sega, Arcade) head-to-head baseball (# 2423, Sports)

head-to-head football (# 2422; Sports) Skiing (# 2436, Sports)

Horse Racing (# 2442, Fidelity Electronics, Inc., Casino) Blackjack/Poker (Ken Uston) (# 2439, Casino)

Tunnels & Trolls (# 2441, Flying Buffalo, Inc., Fantasy) Chess Challenger (# 2438, Fidelity, Strategy)

Smurf (# 2444, Play & Learn)

Smurf Rescue In Gargamel’s Castle (# 2443, Action) Mr. Turtle (# 2432, Action)

Expansion Module Descriptions

  • — Atari 2600 adapter # 2405
  • — Driving Module # 2413


Note that _none_ of the pictures appear to be actual screen shots; there are subtle differences between the pictures and the actual games in the case of every released game.


1984? catalog: – JH


* – ADAM only


ColecoVision Video Game System (#2400)

ADAM The ColecoVision Family Computer System (#2410)

*ADAM 5 1/4 Disk Drive (#7817)

*ADAMLink Direct Connect Modem (#7818)

*ADAM Second Digital Data Drive (#2409)

*ADAM 64K Memory Expander (#2562)

ColecoVision/ADAM Super Action Controller Set (#2491) ColecoVision/ADAM Roller Controller (#2492) ColecoVision/ADAM Expanstion Module #2 (#2413)

(The Perma Power Battery Eliminator, #2298, is mentioned)

*ADAM Blank Digital Data Pack (#2564)

*ADAM Replacement Ribbon Cartridges (#7806) Brain Strainers (#2696)

Telly Turtle (#2698)

Mokey Academy (#2694)

Smurf Paint ‘N’ Play Workshop (#2697)

*Electronic Flashcard Maker (#7662)

*Flash Facts: Vocabulator (#2900)

*Flash Facts: Flashbacks (#2901)

*Flash Facts: Trivia (#2902)

*Expertype (#7602)

Fortune Builder (#2681)

*Wacky Word Games (#7657)

*Richard Scarry’s Best Electronic Word Book Ever (#7658) Cabbage Patch Kids Picture Show (#2600)

Dr. Seuss Fix-Up The Mix-Up Puzzler (#2699)

*ADAMCALC (#7831)

*Smartletters & Forms (#7805)















*ADAM Home Software Library (#7826)

*Smartfiler (#7813)

*Recipe Filer (#7814)

*Address Book Filer (#7815)

*Smartlogo (#7600)

*CP/M 2.2 and Assembler (#7832)

*Dragon’s Lair (#2683)

*The Official Zaxxon (#2623)

*Donkey Kong Junior (#2629)

*Donkey Kong (#2628)

*The Best of Broderbund (Choplifter & A.E.) (#7850)

*2010: The Text Adventure Game (#7849 – Data Pack; #9659 –


*The Best of Electronic Arts (Hard Hat Mack & Pinball



Set) (#7852)


*Family Feud (#7710)

*Jeopardy (#7716)

2010: The Graphic Action Game (#2618) Root Beer Tapper (#2616)

Illusions (#2621)

The Dam Busters (#2686)

BC’s Quest For Tires II: Grog’s Revenge (#2620) Omega Race (#2448)

Victory (#2446)

Roc ‘N Rope (#2668)

The Official Carnival (#2445)

The Official Buck Rogers Planet of Zoom (#2615) Bump ‘N Jump (#2440)

The Official Congo Bongo (#2669) Donkey Kong (#2411)

The Official Zaxxon (#2435) Exidy’s Mousetrap (#2419)

Front Line (#2650)

The Official Space Fury (#2415) Looping (#2603)

Donkey Kong Junior (#2601) Gorf (#2449)

Venture (#2417)

Time Pilot (#2633)

Star Trek Strategic Operations Simulator (#2680) The Official Subroc (#2614)

Super Action Football (#2422) Rocky Super Action Boxing (#2606) Choplifter (#2690)

Destructor (#2602)

The Dukes of Hazzard (#2607) Antarctic Adventure (#2429)

Tarzan (#2632)

War Games (#2637)

Cabbage Patch Kids Adventures in the Park (#2682) Burgertime (#2430)

Mr. Do (#2622)

Cosmic Avenger (#2434)



4.9)   The BEST cartridges


Just what the best cartridges for any system are is largely a matter of taste. One person’s favorite is often another’s dust collector. However, the following cartridges have all been rated highly by a significant number of FAQ contributors, and therefore might be most worth seeking out by a collector new to ColecoVision.


Antarctic Adventure Artillery Duel

B.C.’s Quest for Tires Beamrider Burgertime Centipede

Donkey Kong Junior Fortune Builder Frenzy

Frogger Gyruss H.E.R.O.

Jumpman Junior Lady Bug

Mr. Do!’s Castle Montezuma’s Revenge Q*Bert


Spy Hunter

Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator War Room

Wing War


4.10)    The most popular cartridges


ColecoVision Experience magazine (see 5.2.1) ran a “most popular/ best selling” titles list in each issue.



Spring, 1983; most popular:


  1. Donkey Kong
  2. Zaxxon
  3. Venture
  4. Ladybug
  5. Cosmic Avenger
  6. Mouse Trap
  7. Carnival
  8. Smurf Rescue in Gargamel’s Castle Fall, 1983; best selling as of June 1983:


  1. Donkey Kong Junior
  2. Zaxxon
  3. Gorf
  4. Space Fury
  5. Mouse Trap
  6. Space Panic
  7. Lady Bug
  8. Pepper II
  9. Cosmic Avenger
  10. Smurf Rescue in Gargamel’s Castle


Winter, 1984; best selling as of September 1983:


  1. Donkey Kong Junior
  2. Zaxxon
  3. Space Fury
  4. Mouse Trap
  5. Smurf Rescue in Gargamel’s Castle
  6. Space Panic
  7. Gorf
  8. Looping
  9. Pepper II
  10. Lady Bug



4.11)    Rare gems


The following cartridges haven’t been rated by enough people to justify including them among the “BEST” cartridges, but have received great support from those who have rated them. Worth taking a second look at, should you have the luck to happen upon them…


Galaxian Kevtris  Linking Logic Logic Levels Pac-Man Q*Bert’s Qubes Rock ‘n’ Bolt Up ‘n’ Down Zenji




4.12)    High scores


ColecoVision Experience magazine (see 5.2.1) included a high score list in their Winter, 1984 issue:


Lady Bug

Level – 139

Score – 3,714,220


Chris Heverman Montgomery, AL


Donkey Kong Junior Score – 232,700


Gary Reimer McAlester, OK


Pepper II

Score – 1,837,930


Elizabeth Kaleita Sterling Heights, MI



Score – 1,985,000


Richard Abate New Haven, CT


Smurf Rescue In Gargamel’s Castle Score – 451,000


Jim Brogan St. Paul, MN



5.0) ColecoVision Emulators

Emulators are pieces of software which emulate a hardware platform. A few ColecoVision emulators have popped up, and the following is a listing of the most popular ones. If you’re new to the world of emulation, you may want to read the Classic Gaming Newbie Guide at


Emulators for Home Computers:


Emulator                Version:        Platform(s):            Homepage:



ColEm                   1.00            Win32,DOS,OS2,MacOS

AdamEm                  1.00           Win32,DOS

Virtual ColecoVision   2.11a           Win32,Java

Koleko VOS             1.33            Win32

MESS                   1.02            Win32,DOS,MacOS

MEKA                   0.72            Win32


FreezeSMS               4.6             Win32

TinyMSD                 0.37            Win32                   –


Emulators for Consoles/Handheld/Classic Systems:


Emulator                Version:        Platform(s):            Homepage:



DColEm                  0.99           Dreamcast

ColEmPS2                1.0b            PS2

adamX                   0.1b            Xbox                   –

Koleko-X                0.5             Xbox                   –

ColecoTech              0.1b            Nintendo GBA           –

CoG                    0.97b           Nintendo GBA           –

ColEm                   1.0             Nintendo GBA           –

fCol32                  0.2b            GP32                   –

ColEm                   0.3             GP32                   –

ColecoDS                0.2b            Nintendo NDS           –

ColEm                   1.00            Sony PSP               –

Columbo                 0.07            Palm OS5               –

PocketColeco            1.00b           PocketPC

Mission                 1.1             MSX


These emulators do you no good without ROM images. Since ROM images are technically illegal to distribute due to copyright laws, this FAQ does not provide links to pages that have them.




6.0) Promotional material

6.1)   Stickers


When the ColecoVision arrived, part of the hype was sets of puffy stickers. One sheet contained stickers for Mr. Turtle, Head-To-Head Football, Mouse Trap, and Rip Cord; another contained Head-To-Head Baseball, Spectar, Side Trak, and Venture. Each had a screen shot.


Some notes of interest:


  • Spectar and Rip Cord are the same pictures as the ColecoVision


  • Head-To-Head Baseball, other than the diamond itself, doesn’t share the same graphics as Super Action


  • Side Trak looks an awful lot like Pepper Instead of a man running around the track, a track cart is running on the tracks trying to pick up little men. – 24




6.2)   Adverts


There are known adverts for US and French territories. More on this follows.




7.0) Technical Details

7.1)   ColecoVision Memory Map


0000H – BIOS ROM



2000H – Expansion port



4000H – Expansion port



6000H – Start of RAM (1K mapped into an 8K spot)



8000H – Cart ROM (broken into 4 sections, each enabled seperately)





7.2)   ColecoVision I/O Map


00-1F – No Connection 20-3F – No Connection 40-5F – Video

60-7F – Video

80-9F – No Connection A0-BF – No Connection C0-DF – Sound

E0-FF – Controllers; E2 is special, as well as E0 – E0 appears to be the readback, and E2 appears to be the scan – 39



7.3)   ColecoVision BIOS Details


The ColecoVision contains a ROM which essentially acts as a BIOS for the system.  Upon startup, it begins to execute code at 0000H. The first step executed is a check to see


if a cart is plugged in. This is performed by checking two locations in the cart’s memory – if the two bytes read are 55H and AAH then the ColecoVision knows a cart is in the system. Otherwise, it displays the standard “Turn Power Off Before…” screen.


If a cart is in the system, the BIOS passes control to the cart. The cart can then use some, all, or none the functions found in the BIOS. Some of the functions provided in the BIOS include the title screen and game select screen.


The famous twelve second delay is part of the title screen routine. – 8


The address range for cartridges is 8000H to FFFFH, a total of 32K. – 29, 31




7.4)   ColecoVision Video RAM Details


The video RAM is broken up into tables which are user movable. The tables which exist include:


The Name Table (this tells us what is in the background)

The Pattern Table (this tells us how each 8×8 character looks)

The Color Table (this tells us what colors to use for a given 8×8 pattern)

The Sprite Table (this tells us where sprites are, what they will look like, their color, and how many to display)

The Sprite Pattern Table (this defines the 8×8 or 16×16 pattern for a sprite) Four video modes exist:

A text 40×24 mode.


A multi-color mode w/ sprites (multi-color breaks the backgroun into 4×4 squares of 1 color per square. Smurf Paint ‘n Play uses this mode.)


Graphics 1 mode w/ sprites (32×24 8×8 character background. Each character is made up of 1 color only.)


Graphics 2 mode w/ sprites (same as Graphics 1 mode except each character can have different colors for each of it’s 8 rows.)


The Video RAM is accessable _only_ through the I/O ports, which is why scrolling is difficult. – 8, 39




7.5)   ColecoVision Programming Tips


9918A Programming Information – Extracted from the TI Editor/Assembler manual by Tursi – (pages 326-340)




This applies to the TI-99/4A, but most should apply to the ColecoVision, too. I’m uncertain if it’s the 9918 or the 9918A in there, but the only difference is that that 9918A has bitmap mode and the other doesn’t. 😉


************************ VDP Write-Only Registers



NOTE: -bit 0 is MSB (ie: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7, 0=128 and 7=1)

-“enables” are active when set to 1

-“>” represents a hexadecimal number (ie: >400 = 400 hex)


Register 0 – Bits 0-5   – Reserved, set to 000000

Bit  6     – Mode bit 3 (M3) – sets bitmap mode

Bit  7     – Enable external video source (replaces color 1 (transparent))


Register 1 – Bit  0     – 4/16k switch, if set, uses 16k Bit      1     – blank enable (blanks display) Bit  2     – Interrupt enable

Bit  3     – Mode bit 1 (M1) – sets text mode

Bit  4     – Mode bit 2 (M2) – sets multicolor mode Bit    5     – reserved – set to 0

Bit  6     – sprite size – 0=normal (8×8), 1=large (16×16) Bit   7     – sprite magnification enable


Register 2 – Base address of the Screen Image Table. Multiply this value by >400


Register 3 – Base address of the Color Table. Multiply this value by >40


Register 4 – Base address of the Pattern Descriptor Table. Multiply this value by >800


Register 5 – Base address of the Sprite Attribute List. Multiply this value by >80


Register 6 – Base address of the Sprite Descriptor Table. Multiply this value by >800


Register 7 – Bits 0-3   – Foreground color in Text mode only Bits 4-7  – Background color in all modes


The mode bits, M1, M2 and M3 determine the mode of the display. If they are all 0, the display is in Graphics mode. Else as listed above. Below the various modes are explained.


************* Graphics Mode



Graphics mode uses an array of 32 columns by 24 lines. Each position may have one of the 256 patterns in the pattern table (usually including ASCII characters). Foreground and background colors may be set for the characters, and sprites are available.




This table contains descriptions for each of the 256 patterns. Each takes 8 bytes, for a total size of 2048 bytes. Character 0 is located at the base address, character 1 at the base+8, and so forth.


To define a character, you must convert the pattern to hexadecimal bytes (at least, this is easiest). If you define the character in an 8×8 grid, simply treat dots as 1 and background as 0’s, and convert the binary to hexadecimal. For instance, a man may look like this:


##    = 0001 1000 = 18  So the series of bytes to enter would

####    = 0011 1100 = 3C  be: >18, >3C, >3C, >18, >7E, >18, >24, >42

####    = 0011 1100 = 3C

##    = 0001 1000 = 18

######   = 0111 1110 = 7E

##    = 0001 1000 = 18

#  #   = 0010 0100 = 24

#    #  = 0100 0010 = 42


In case hexadecimal makes no sense, here’s a quick conversion chart:

















0001 = 1 = 1
0010 = 2 = 2
0011 = 3 = 3
0100 = 4 = 4
0101 = 5 = 5
0110 = 6 = 6
0111 = 7 = 7
1000 = 8 = 8
1001 = 9 = 9
1010 = A = 10
1011 = B = 11
1100 = C = 12
1101 = D = 13
1110 = E = 14
1111 = F = 15


To find the base address for a character description, multiple the character by 8 and add the table’s base address (remember that you can do a faster multiply by 8 by shifting left by 3 (8=2^3))




This table contains the foreground and background colors of all the characters. The high nibble is the foreground color, and the low nibble is the background color. Each byte represents a group of 8 characters (ie: the first entry is for characters 0-7, the second for characters 8-15, etc). The table is 32 bytes long.


The colors are: (in hex)

Transparent   = 0                Medium Red   = 8

Black         = 1                Light Red    = 9

Medium Green = 2                Dark Yellow  = A

Light Green  = 3                Light Yellow = B

Dark Blue    = 4                Dark Green   = C

Light Blue   = 5                Magenta       = D

Dark Red     = 6                Gray          = E

Cyan          = 7                White         = F


To determine which color group a character is in, divide it’s number by 8 (or shift right by 3). Remember that you affect all 8 characters if you change the entry.




This specifies which character occupies each position on the screen. It is 768 bytes long. Whatever byte is at each position is what appears at that location.


To calculate an address from X and Y, use (Y*32)+X (or (Y<<5)+x) and add the base address.


*************** MULTICOLOR MODE



In multicolor mode, the screen is 48 rows, and 64 columns wide, with each ‘box’ being 4 pixels by 4 pixels. There are thus 3072 boxes, each of which can be a different color with no restrictions. Sprites are available.


The general way to set up is like so: SCREEN IMAGE TABLE

Initialize the Screen Image Table so that the first >80 bytes contain >00 through >1F repeated 4 times, the next >80 bytes contain >20 through >3F repeated 4 times, and so on, so that the last >80 bytes contain >A0 through >BF repeated 4 times.




The pattern descriptor table now contains colors, instead of patterns. They are still organized in 8-character blocks, with each byte describing the colors of two boxes. The high nibble is the first block, and the low nibble is the block to it’s right.


The first byte defines the first two blocks in row 1. The second byte is the first two blocks in row 2. This continues until the eighth byte (the first two blocks in row 8), and then  goes back to row one. This continues until the first 32 eight-byte segments have been defined, describing all the blocks in the first 8 rows.


It’s very messy… but draw yourself a picture and it should make sense.


Essentially, each entry in the screen image table still points to an 8-byte ‘definition’, but the definition defines the colours, not the pixels, now, making each character a 2×8 colored group. 🙂 Initializing the screen image table as above lets you change the screen by editing the pattern descriptor table, but it’s not the only way. 🙂


********* TEXT MODE



Text mode is 40 columns by 24 lines, and sprites are not permitted.


The layout of the tables is the same as in graphics mode, however, each character is only 6×8, instead of 8×8. Also, the screen image table is now 960 bytes instead of 768. The last two bits of each definition are ignored to make the smaller characters.


Only two colors are allowed in text mode, as defined by VDP register 7.


*********** BITMAP MODE



Bitmap mode allows independantly defining each of the 768 screen positions, and allows a bit more color freedom as well. Sprites are also allowed. As normal, the patterns for each position are in the Screen Image Table, the descriptions are in the Pattern Descriptor Table, and the colors are in the Color Table.




As before, each entry is a single byte from >00 to >FF defining which pattern to place at each location. In bitmap mode, however, it is divided into 3 sections of 256 bytes each, each pointing essentially to a different character set. The first section uses the first 256 entries in the pattern and color table, the second section uses the next 256 entries, and the third uses the last 256 entries. Normally this table is set at >1800 (assuming 16k VDP ram) (VDP register 2 = >06)




It works the same as in graphics mode, except that there are now 3 sections, each 256 patterns long, allowing 768 possible patterns. It’s size is 6144 bytes.


The first section is for the first third of the screen, and so on.


It should normally be placed at either >0000 or >2000 (VDP register 4 = >00 or >04). The color table will sit at the other address.




The color table works much like it did in graphics mode, except that each entry now defines a single character, and every row of that character has it’s own color entry. It matches byte-for-byte the entries in the pattern descriptor table, with the high nibble being the foreground colour, and the low nibble being the background color for that row of the pattern.


It is also divided into three 256 character sections, and each entry is also 8 bytes long. It is 6144 bytes long, and should be placed at either >0000 or >2000, whichever the PDT is not at. (VDP register 3 = >00 or >04).


DISCUSSION of bitmap mode


For using bitmap mode, it is usually easiest (but not fastest!) to initialize the Screen Image Table with >00 through >FF three times, and then alter the entries in the Pattern Descriptor table and Color table.


Thus, to alter a pixel on the screen, you must calculate the byte and bit to be changed in the pattern descriptor table. The same offset will let you alter the color table.


I don’t know what processor the Coleco uses, but here is a psuedo code for a weird and wacky formula that will calculate the byte offset and bit offset of a given coordinate, ready to be indexed into the appropriate table. 🙂 Note this is all 16-bit math. Don’t ask me why it works, but it does seem to. 🙂


XIn = X coordinate 0-255 YIn = Y coordinate 0-191

ByteOut = Byte Offset into tables

BitOut = Bit offset into byte in pattern descriptor table


  1. Copy YIn to ByteOut
  2. Shift ByteOut left 5 times (ie: multiply by 32)
  3. OR YIn into ByteOut
  4. AND ByteOut with >FF07
  5. Copy XIn to BitOut


  1. AND Bitout with >0007
  2. Add XIn to ByteOut
  3. Subtract BitOut from ByteOut


******* SPRITES



Sprites are independant of the screen and their patterns can be in addition to those in the pattern descriptor table (or the sprite descriptor table can be set up to overlap). There can be up to 32 sprites and there are 4 available sizes.




This list defines the position and color of each of the 32 sprites, 0-31. To move a sprite, you must update the entries in this table. Sprites may be located at any visible position (0- 255 and 0-191), or off the bottom of the screen (y>191).


Each definition is 4 bytes long, thus the table is 128 bytes long. The first row on the screen is >FF, the next is >00 and so on to >BE. (so it says!) 🙂


Byte 1 – Y position of the sprite. >D0 means end of the sprite list, so be aware if allowing sprites off the bottom.

Byte 2 – X position of the sprite. >00 – >FF

Byte 3 – pattern of the sprite, from >00 to >FF, in the SPRITE Descriptor Table

Byte 4 –

Bits 0-2 = apparently undefined

Bit  3   = Early clock attribute – Normally, the coordinates indicate the top left corner of the sprite, and sprites can scroll smoothly off the right side of the screen. If this bit is set, the early clock is enabled, and the sprite is shifted 32 pixels to the left, and scrolls smoothly off the left

of the screen.

Bit  4-7 = Sprite color




This table is defined exactly the same way as the pattern descriptor table in graphics mode. However, sprites can be double-sized or magnified. A magnified sprite simply has each pixel twice it’s normal size. A double-size sprite uses four consecutive characters, laid out like this:


1 3

2 4


Sprites thus range from 8×8 pixels to 32×32 pixels, but only 16×16 pixels of detail.




7.6)   Cartridge Slot Pinout


Looking from the top of the unit:











































2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28






























Pin 13 is the shield ground. It is connected to a screw post, but not to a signal The four chip selects are active low. – 29




7.7)   ADAM Printer/Power Port

(Colors of COLECO wires are indicated after voltage ratings) 1    2     3     4   5

6  7  8  9


Pin 1 = 12V BROWN Pin 2 = 12V RED Pin 3 = 5V      ORANGE Pin 4 = -5V YELLOW

Pin 5 = Ground GREEN

Pins 6, 7, 8 = Serial Data Clock, Serial Data, Signal Ground? Pin 9 = No connection – 13



7.8)   ADAM Programming Tips


Computers and Electronics April 1984 issue includes a number of programming tips and ideas for the ADAM, including a number of projects. – 44




8.0) New hardware developments

New hardware developments for the colecovision have been rare. Below you find all hardware projects i’ve known or heard about.

If you have any hardware project to report, please contact me at:


Super Expansion Module, by Opcode games (releasedate: 2006/2007) Memory pack, by Opcode games (releasedate: 2006)

Multi-console adapter, by Richard Hutchinson (beta-stage) Colecovision Retrobox, by Retrozone

Colecovision RAM, by Kevin Horton Colecovision multicart, by Kevin Horton

Colecovision serial-communication, by Jeff Frohwein




9.0) Separate Audio/Video Hack by Sean Kelly

(The following is a modification which can be used to improve your ColecoVision. The authors of this list and this modification can not be responsible for any damage done to your unit or person as a result of attempting this modification.)


This is a rather feeble attempt at describing the hack to the ColecoVision video game system to give separate audio and video outputs to the system. I am what I call an “Electronics Tinkerer” meaning I have no formal education in electronics and basically only know what I have been able to figure out by ripping apart everything I own !


I am a collector of Classic video games and systems and ran across this hack on one of the many ColecoVision systems I own. It actually works quite well and gives the on- screen images a much crisper look to them. Audio is generally pretty poor on the ColecoVision and this hack doesn’t do much to help it.


In order to get things started you have to open up the ColecoVision by removing the 8 screws on the bottom of the case. With the screws removed, the case is still something of a pain to open because of the lip on the expansion port, but just keep working at it and it will eventually come apart. Next thing is to remove the screws holding down the motherboard itself (three of them I believe) and take the motherboard out of the case. On some versions of the ColecoVision the aluminum cover is soldered to the circuit board. If this is the case on yours, you will have to desolder it and remove both the top and bottom parts to the aluminum cover. Set everything but the motherboard aside and you are ready to get to work.


The person that did the hack on this system uses a small automotive-type fuse block terminal to mount the components of the circuit board on. I have located it in the 1992 Radio Shack catalog (page 150) and it is RS part #274-688. It comes in a package of four for $1.29. Here is a list of the components used: AGAIN – I have no formal electronics education and don’t really know how to read all the weird symbols on the parts. I will do my best to describe them (I have also labeled them on the line below for future reference

– take note):


Transistor – No part # markings at all.  Only thing on it is a white, red,


(T1)          and green stripe in that order from top to bottom.  I assume

this tells what kind/type it is?


POSSIBLE (!) RS Part #276-1617    $1.98 (pkg. of 2)


Capacitor   – Electrolytic type with  part #N8408 on it.  It also has the

(C1)          marking “470uf 35v”, but the “u” is one of the funny symbols

that I have no idea what it means. RS Part #272-1030                     $ .99

Capacitor   – Ceramic Disc type.  Only marking on it is an underlined “47”.



RS Part #272-121   $ .39 (pkg. of 2)


Resistor    – I know these are defined by the colored stripes (See –


(R1)          not a complete idiot!!  haha).   The stripes are: Orange, Orange, Brown, and Gold.


A/V Cable  – One Audio/Video cable with the RCA plugs cut off on one end.


You will also need about 5 small pieces of wire around 4″ long each.


We’re looking at a total of about five bucks to do this so for parts that do not come in packages of two or more, I would suggest buying an extra one, unless you know what you’re doing, in case you screw something up.


The center connector on your terminal will be the ground for all the components because it is the only terminal that sticks out on both sides of the block. The part the extends on the bottom will be used to mount to terminal to the ColecoVision motherboard. Directly to the right of the RF modulator (big silver box on the motherboard) right under the letter of the revision of the motherboard (the one I am looking at is “J”) you will have to scrape off a section of the green coating so you can solder the terminal on the bottom to the motherboard. After soldering this bend the terminal block so that it is standing straight up from the motherboard.


Since many of the components will be “tied” together, you might want to connect them all to the posts first and then solder them later. The way I am going to describe how to connect them will (hopefully) make it as easy as possible to understand. The following is a listing of each post numbered from 1-5, left to right, looking at the terminal block from the back of the motherboard. Looking at the “back” you will be looking at the channel 3- 4 switch as well as the RCA plug that is used to connect the ColecoVision to the TV/Game switch now. Here is what goes on each post:


Post #1 – The LEFT “leg” of the transistor.  I am looking at the transistor on the side that is curved – where you can see







color bands.


One of the small pieces of wire goes from this post to the


leg of the disc capacitor on the ColecoVision motherboard itself marked “C22”.



Post #2 – The CENTER “leg” of the transistor. One “leg” from the Disc capacitor.






of The

connected modulator solder that closest

One of the small pieces of wire goes from this post to the underside of the ColecoVision motherboard.                                It will be


hard for me to explain where to connect this on the bottom the motherboard since there are no markings on this side. only way I can describe it is to say that it is being

to one of the components in the RF modulator.  The RF is “outlined” in a sense on the bottom of the MB with

because of grounding.  You need to connect it to the pin has the marking “+12” at about 5 O’Clock.             This is the pin to he “+12” marking.



Post #3 – This is the GROUND post.  One side of the resistor is connected





here In The from

The two ground wires from the RCA cables must be connected also.  Each Audio/Video wire has two wires inside of it. general, one is shielded in plastic and the other is not. unshielded wire is the ground.   Connect the unshielded wire each cable to this post.



Post #4 – The side of the Electrolytic capacitor (C1) that the arrow printed on the capacitor points to.




positive this

This is where I am sort of unable to help you.  The


wire from the Audio or Video wire needs to be connected to



know connecting of

post.   Since the RCA ends are cut off the cable I don’t which is which. It should not damage anything by

them the wrong way, so you will have to take a guess.  One them goes on this post and the other goes on post #5.


Post #5 – The other of the positive Audio/Video wires gets connected here.




even in

opposite at

part on



One of the small pieces of wire goes here.  This one is harder to describe than the one on post 2.                                  The “outline” solder around where the RF modulator is mounted on the side is where you are going to connect this wire.      Looking

the bottom of the MB with the expansion port facing you the of the “outline” you need to connect this wire to will be

your left.  It’s   small section of solder (compared to the section on the right) and is about 1.5-2 inches long.


this wire anyplace here.



You now have one leg of the transistor (T1), one leg of the resistor (R1), and one leg of each capacitor just hanging there right? Connect all of these together, but do not connect them to any of the posts. Just sort of let them hang there.


The person who did this to my system also has one other wire connected to the bottom of the motherboard, but the other end of it has been cut and is not connected to anything. I assume this serves no purpose.




10.0) Automatic RF Switch

Creating an automatic RF switch (similar to that found on the NES and Super Nintendo) is relatively simple. Just add a 220-330 ohm 1/2W resistor from 12V thru a 180uh inductor to the center terminal on the modulator’s output. The resistor limits the current in          case the cable gets shorted, and the inductor keeps the RF out of the power supply, and interference out of the signal. The inductor size isn’t too critical; anything from 80uh- 330uh should do the trick. – 39


Alternatively, a 47 ohm resistor can be used; a 100pf DC blocking capactior is also recommended. – 29




11.0) Replacing The ColecoVision ROM

This procedure can be used either to replace a bad ROM, or to install a custom programmed EPROM.


Parts needed:


28 pin IC socket 2764 EPROM chip programmed with the COLECO.BIN file Two short pieces of wire Soldering iron, solder, desoldering iron, etc.


(Note: If you haven’t opened your ColecoVision before, you may have to use the desoldering iron to suck up some solder so that you can open up the RF shield and get to the circuit board. Also, you may want to consider repairing your power switch. Desolder it, take it apart, clean it, pack it with “dielectric grease” from an auto supply store, reassemble it, then resolder it.)


  • Desolder the old ROM (U2) If you haven’t desoldered chips before, get some practice or buy a pizza and split it with a friend who has. (See end of this section for tips on how to desolder an IC chip.) Also suck the solder out of the four extra holes, and out of the holes marked “WJ4” and “WJ5”.


  • Insert the 28 pin socket into the holes and solder it Test your work by putting the ROM chip back in and turning the unit on. If the “COLECOVISION” screen comes up, everything is okay.


  • Solder short pieces of wire into the WJ4 and WJ5


  • On the underside of the circuit board are two small “bumps” in two short traces coming from the WJ5 Cut the traces. Do NOT cut the long trace that ends in a “Y” next to a WJ5 hole.


  • Program a 2764 EPROM with the contents of BIN, which can be found with the ColecoVision emulator.


  • Put the 2764 EPROM into the socket and test everything by turning on the unit and checking for the “COLECOVISION” Now you’re done!


Hints for desoldering:


  • I use a Radio Shack desoldering This has a red rubber bulb on it and a hollow tip. It’s cheap and works well.
  • Use a fresh tip for important projects! It’s not worth trying to save two bucks only to ruin a circuit board or a Tinning your tip is a good idea, too.
  • Wait for the joint to completely melt before sucking out the If you suck too soon, you may not be able to melt the joint properly any more. Wait about four seconds, or five for the four “corner” pins.


  • When you have sucked out the solder from all of the holes, push all the pins to “crack” them off of the remaining
  • If you have done everything right, the chip should practically fall out of the – 29




12.0) Copying ColecoVision Cartridges

Some ingenious hackers figured out a way to copy the ADAM Computer’s Super Data Packs to blank cartridges that then can be used on the ColecoVision. Most of the ADAM Super Data Packs were duplicates of ColecoVision Cartridges, but contained an extra screen or other extras the cartridge version lacked. – JC


FWIW, I’ve now seen both a Super Donkey Kong and Super Donkey Kong Junior cart. The only extras I saw in Super DK Jr. were music during the level selection, and a fourth screen, but Super Donkey Kong adds some end-of- screen graphics (the carry-away after screen 1 and falling girders after screen 2) in addition to its fourth screen. – JH


Note that copying cartridges or software is a violation of copyright law unless permission to do so has been received from the rights holder.


Also note that pirated and reproduction cartridges for ColecoVision do exist. Some dealers sell them; some refuse to. Not surprisingly, pirated cartridges are considered to have very little collectible value, so be aware that they exist – particularly if you run across demo carts and/or extremely rare titles.




13.0) Repair Tips

The following are suggestions for solving problems with your ColecoVision. The authors of this list and these tips can not be responsible for any damage done to your unit or carts as a result of attempting these fixes.




13.1)    To fix a rolling picture/video problems:


The problem is with the power switch. You’ll notice that if you were to jiggle it a little without turning the system off that it will make a complete mess of your screen. What I suggest is that you desolder the power switch from the circuit board, take the metal cover off of it and clean all the contacts and re-grease them after cleaning them. Make sure the metal cover is REALLY TIGHT when you put it back on though. From then on if you are very careful when turning the unit on/off it should work OK for you.


If you still have a problem go to an electronics store… and get a similar switch and replace it. Nothing else you can do really. – 05


Sorry if this is stating the obvious, but you seem to have a combination of an intermittent open and a heat sensitive component.


Get a can of “cold spray” made for isolating thermal intermittents: should be a couple of bucks at a local electronics shop. If you can get the box open and get to all the components, it should be fairly straightforward to figure out which one is the bad guy.


Actually, by your description (starts good, goes bad after 2 minutes, can be affected mechanically) leans towards a bad solder connection (or socket it the darn thing has them). It may be as easy as touching up a few solder connections. – 06


If the video problem is simply vertical lines dragging behind the sprites, it can sometimes be solved by using a different power supply. – 16


A number of problems (warping sprites, lack of audio, lines in sprites, etc.) can, in many circumstances, be solved simply by assuring a solid connection between the power supply and unit. This can require hardwiring the power supply to the unit. – 33


In some cases, sprite problems can be solved by cleaning the cartridge in question. But if the startup screen has letters screwed up, such as CKHACK, you probably have a bad DRAM. U10 is D7 and U17 is D0. CKHACK indicates a bad D2 line, which would be U15. General directions for replacing a bad chip can be found in Section 10.3. – 29




13.2)    To avoid an automatic level select problem:


One common ColecoVision trouble is that the controller ports break down easily, causing symptoms such as the ColecoVision thinking the keypad is constantly being pressed (which can cause the a game to be automatically started, as the level select is essentially instantaneous). A frequent source for this problem is the high sensitivity to static electricity which the controller port pins exhibit. To avoid the problem, simply don’t touch the controller port pins unless properly grounded. – 08




13.3)    To fix an automatic level select problem:


One possible piece which can be blown by static electricity at the controller ports (see 10.2) is the SN74LS541N chip, a 3-to-8 decoder. If this is the chip that’s blown, then replacing this chip (a generic component, available at any good electronics store) can solve the problem. – 13, 15




A good soldering iron (with a very thin tip) Computer solder (thin) Solder wick Needle nose pliers An SN74LS541N chip Two 2.2K K27 resistor packets (optional/recommended)


Getting started:


Plug in and turn on the Coleco with a Donkey Kong cart inserted. When the game automatically goes into play mode, note if the Mario moves without touching the joystick. If so, then the 1st player chip is definitely damaged. If a two player game is the one automatically started (which seems to be the prevalent fail mode) automatic movement of the second player’s Mario likewise indicates that the 2nd player chip is certainly damaged. Lack of automatic movement does not rule out the possibility that either or both chips are damaged; indeed, given the automatic select problem, it’s likely that at least one chip is damaged. But determining that one chip is certainly damaged can minimize your work.




  • Turn off and unplug your ColecoVision, removing the


  • Make certain that you are properly grounded, if


  • Open the plastic casing for the


  • Remove the metal cover from the board by desoldering It just gets in the way so its better to remove it. It is not essential to the working of the game, though it can be resoldered later if desired.


  • the bare board upside down and find the soldering connections for the SN74LS541N chip that you wish to


  • Note the orientation of the SN74LS541N you intend to replace, so that you can be certain that you provide the same orientation for the replacement


  • Take the soldering iron and solder Place the wick on one of the solder connections on the board. Press the solder iron on the wick. The iron will heat up the wick which will heat up the solder. The solder will turn liquid and be absorbed by the wick. This takes some practice before you get the hang of it.


  • Absorb as much of the solder as possible from all of the connections to the chip you’re removing as


  • Flip the board back over and take the This is where you have to get tough with your Coleco, and let it know who’s boss! Growl at it occasionally to let off steam. Now,


being careful not to harm any other components on the board, grip the defective chip with the pliers and pull and pry. It’s OK to break the chip because it’s defective garbage anyway.


*** Note – it’s a good idea to wiffle each of the pins to pop them off any remaining solder. In fact, if the chip really is dead, it’s better to just snip or Dremel all the pins off first, _then_ desolder the pins individually. – 29


  • After forcibly removing bits of the defective chip from the board, remove any broken pins stuck in the board, extra solder, so that the area that was occupied by that chip is clean. Suck up the solder from the pinholes with the wick so that you can see right through the board through each pinhole. Gee, your ColecoVision never looked better!


  • Take the new SN74LS541N chip and gently install it in the board, inserting the pins in the Make sure that the chip is oriented in the same direction that the original chip was! Gently bend the pins if necessary so that they all go in the holes. Be careful not to press too hard as you might bend some pins that aren’t properly aligned with their holes.


  • Flip the board Take the solder iron and the computer solder and solder each connection carefully. Isn’t this fun? Don’t you feel like a computer technician now? 🙂


  • Optional/recommended: Replace the resistor packets on the port in a similar (though much easier) For these parts, note the DOT orientation when replacing.


  • Put the board back in the plastic case to avoid




13.4)    To fix a broken roller controller:


When a roller controller will not register movement in one pair of directions (up-down or right-left), the problem might be with the infrared motion detectors. The pair of sensors appropriate to the direction simply need to be replaced with new off the shelf send and receive sensors.


Jumping and contact problems can usually be traced to the bearings. Sometimes these problems can be solved by cleaning the bearings; often, however, the problem can not be solved. – 11, 14




13.5)    To fix a poorly responding controller:


A simple cleaning with a can of compressed air and TV tuner cleaner can greatly improve the responsiveness of the standard controllers.




13.6)    To fix a dead cartridge:


Most cartridge problems are a result of bad (or no) contact between the cartridge and the system. Cleaning the cartridge and system contacts with alcohol usually solves the problem. As a last resort, a pencil eraser can be used on the contacts of the cartridge. – JH




14.0) ColecoVision/Adam Dealers

14.1)    ColecoVision vendors:


ColecoVision cartridges are nearly always cheapest when purchased from a thrift store or flea market. For example, I’ve purchased a great majority of the carts I own, including a number of difficult to find titles, for $1 to $5. However, when you can’t find a cartridge, there are a number of dealers who sell (via mail order) a line of ColecoVision cartridges:


Note: An attempt has been made to provide basic information about their ColecoVision lines. Inclusion on this list carries with it no recommendation, either positive or negative, about the dealer. Additional dealers who sell a line of ColecoVision products via mail order will be gladly added to the list.


We have no idea how up-to-date this information is. If you find any of this information to be outdated, please contact us at the address listed at the top of this FAQ. Thanks. – MW


eColeco – Colecovision store and servicecenter EMail:



Carries a wide range of cartridges and hardware, new and used.


JerryG Visionaries

Snail Mail: 663 S. Dodge

Gilbert, AZ 85233

EMail (preferred): WWW:


Carries a wide range of cartridges and hardware, new and used. Catalog available via email.                    Takes MC/VI.


Telegames UK

Snail Mail: Kilby Bridge

Wigston Leicester LE18 3TE


Phone: 0116 288 0445 (International: +44 116 288 0445)

Sales Line: 0116 288 0445


Sales Fax: 0116 281 3437

Sales Email:






Carries a wide range of cartridges and hardware, both new and


Even though Telegames US ceased all support for classic gaming



Telegames UK still sells games and parts.




In addition, numerous collectors will post carts for sale or trade on and




14.2)    Modern game vendors:


Revival Studios – Classic game development EMail: WWW:


Develops, Publishes and sells modern games for the Colecovision



AtariAge Store



Publishes and Sells modern games for various classic gaming systems, including the Colecovision



Good Deal Games




Publishes and Sells modern games for the Colecovision





15.0) Other WWW links


The ultimate resource for your colecovision.


Revival Studios

Classic Game development for Colecovision.


Coleco coorperate website


Coleconation Magazine


Opcode games


Daniel Bienvenu’s homepage


Norman G. Sippel’s ColecoVision homepage


The Coleco Adam homepage




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