February 24, 2015

The First Production Baby, Screengrabbed

A couple of years ago Cabel Sasser wrote about Pixar's production babies, the kids born during the years-long creation of animated films, who get shoutouts in the credits. And he found evidence of what still stands as the earliest production baby, a birth announcement in the 1988 Intellivision video game Spiker! Super Pro Volleyball.

Steve Ettinger had worked on Spiker and put an easter egg announcing his daughter Jessica's birth in the game code. Cabel found the text, but the secret combo of button & joystick moves that located the egg were long lost.

spiker_production_baby_scr_atariage.gif

Until now. Intellivision high priest Joe Zbiciak analyzed the video game's ROM and discovered the codes, and has restored baby Jessica's birth announcement in its full emulated glory. Apparently the contorted cheat codes were a little easier to execute on the original game controllers.

By her own account, Jessica is doing fine, and as she lives her life, she probably looks forward to expanding her Wikipedia presence. She is glad, though, to now know the exact time of her birth. #LLAP

Lost Easter Egg in Spiker [atariage.com, thanks steve]
Previously:">The First Production Baby

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