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Subject:polybius
Time:09:52 pm
Taken from gooddealgames.com:

Polybius was a puzzle game that had a very limited release, reportededly restricted to less than a dozen arcades in a small Portland suburb. The games history is hazy. Reports indicate that children that played Polybius could no longer remember common and basic information critical to their lifestyle such as how to find their home or even recall their own name. It is unknown if these effects of amnesia were permanent. It is known that those that played the program were victims of unbearable nightmares often waking up at night screaming in fear.


One of the previous arcade operators vows that gentlemen dressed in black coats would periodically come to retrieve play statistics and other records from the coin-op. The mysterious collectors failed to take the coin earnings, nor did they seem interested in or recognize any monetary potential that is usually associated with such devices.

Supposedly it is rumored to have been developed by some kind of uncanny military tech offshoot organization. It was said to have some kind of proprietary behavior modification algorithms developed for the CIA or other other secretive outfit.

The game itself is very abstract in design with fast action and puzzle elements. While the kids that played Polybius refrained from playing other videogames aftwerwards, one in particular became a big anti-videogame advocate. We have contacted an individual that knows him, and he claims that the Polybius machines were removed from arcade premesis within a period of four to six weeks. For over twenty years all has been silent concerning polybius until the ROM recently appeared. Our source regrets mentioning his involvement, and claims that our hobby is not his hobby, and wishes to wash his hands of the entire story.
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lanemeyer
Subject:from gamebunker.com:
Link:(Link)
Time:2003-12-21 08:49 pm (UTC)
my sources have informed me....

Polybius was a vector style maze game that players navigated by using the old Wico knob type controllers. A few sites have credited the guy who created Battle Zone as the guy who created the game for Atari. (Actually Atari doesn't credit anyone with the game, but it adds a sinister element to the myth that this game came out at about the same time that Atari was commissioned to tweak Battle Zone to simulate the U.S. Military's experimental Bradley tank)

Atari test marketed the game in Portland suburbs of Beaverton and Hillsboro. As a joke, Atari used the pseudonymous "Sinnesloschen" during the beta phase, a reference to long nights of coding without sleep and lots of Heineken. Atari cut the beta phase short after several complaints that the rotating mazes and flashing backgrounds made players disoriented and nauseous. Vertigo and photosensitive seizures were probably the main culprits in the game not being released officially.

The game looks like a prototype for Tempest. In comparison, Tempest is more streamlined than Polybius, and not nearly as noisy. The knob controls left and right movement while engine physics controls "down" movement, gravity is a key element in making choices to get through a screen. Once you go down, you don't go back up, if you get trapped, you start back at the beginning of the level. The strategy is in avoiding booby traps and dead ends while the screen flashes, making it difficult to see where you're going.

Supposedly there's a working model of Polybius at a gaming supply place in Nevada. I've also heard that another model made its way down to Houston...NASA of all places (which might be another explaination for the "Techs In Black" rumors surrounding the game.)


But later in the thread, someone explains how vector displays can't trigger chemical reations in the brain. Also no one has played the ROM and come forward about it, so it would seem not to exist. This is also interesting:
http://www.toolband.com/news/letter/2003_09.php
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