Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sure you were good at games...

...but were you good enough to get a sew on patch for your efforts?

These patches, which were offered on quite a few of the classic Activision games, were one of the things that really set Activision apart from the rest of the game developers. In your manual you would have a set or sets of scores to achieve and then with your Polaroid camera you took a picture of the television screen and submitted it...then in a few weeks you would get back an awesome bragging right to sew onto your silver Atari jackets!

The only one that I seemed to have a knack for was Robot Tank, kind of a swiped version of Atari's own Battlezone...though Activision improved upon it. You had four parts of your tank that could be damaged, your treads, speed, radar, and of course the view screen. It also had varying weather patterns to cause all manner of havoc on you, especially in fog when your view screen is rolling and sparking out.

How good did you have to be in Robot Tank? 4 Squadrons/48 tanks for the Medal of Merit. 5 Squadrons/60 tanks for the Cross of Excellence. 6 Squadrons/72 tanks for the Star of Honor.
These were not easy things to achieve and to this day I long to be able to buy someone's collection of Activision patches...as well as one of those silver Atari jackets.
Oh, to get the Explorer's Club patch? You needed to get 20,000 points in Pitfall. Yet again, no easy task back in the day. There were a total of 32 treasures and to achieve this score you needed to not die, not get 'hurt' like landing on fire or touching the rolling logs, falling into a pit, etc.

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