Unsolved Jaguar Mysteries

Sherlock Holmes, Poirot, That old lady off Murder She Wrote. All great detectives. Now I shall join their ranks. Actually, I probably won't, because these mysteries remain unsolved - hence the name...but you get the idea. You see, in the few months I've been collecting Jaguar stuff, I've become very familiar with the console, the games, the overall aesthetic appearance and stylised feel that Atari were trying to give to the machine. To this end, whenever something a little...inconsistent pops up, I instantly notice. I personally like to call it the 'Eye of the Jaguar.' Which is a bit like the Eye of the Tiger, but slightly different and doesn't involve boxing.

You may have already (but let's be honest, probably haven't) read my article on the second Jaguar controller I bought, and the strange differences it has to the one that comes bundled with the console (go here to have a gander); but I've noticed a few minor inconsistencies with other Jag stuff too. And here, I proudly serve them up for your reading pleasure:

Trevor McFur's Cartridge
OK, I did say these were minor inconsistencies, so don't start hating on me just yet. The issue here, is that the plastic used for the Trevor McFur cart is a totally different colour to all of the other carts I own (and I've got 31 games in total). True, I haven't got another copy of Trevor McFur to compare it with, just to see if it was just an oddly coloured batch of plastic...but look for yourself (apologies - the image doesn't give a true representation of the colour difference) :

The black cart in the centre is Trevor McFur...all the rest are a fairly consistent shade of charcoal grey.

I think this picture gives a better impression...but it's still not as if you were seeing them with your own peepers. You'll just have to take my word for it...but still, weird huh?! Maybe it's just black because the game is set in space (well some of it is), and Atari wanted to give the impression that the cartridge was fashioned out of cold, black space rock. But now we'll never know...and in space, no-one can hear you playing Trevor McFur.

Flip Out!'s Box Logo
Again, this is something most people probably wouldn't notice or give a toss about...but I found this one a bit odd. Most Jaguar boxes have a fairly standard design: black bar down the left, main art/game logo in the middle, screenshot in bottom left, Jaguar logo in the bottom right. Some games do deviate slightly - Val D'Isere has snow on the Jaguar logo just for shits and giggles...and because it's a skiing/snowboarding game:

But apart from the white stuff, it still looks like every other logo. Now check out the Jag logo on the Flip Out! box (with another box shot for comparison, just to clarify):

Flip Out!

Flip Out! (Bottom) and Dragon (Top)
What's with the odd white outline? And look at the yellow '64-Bit' circles - they're rounded and shaded like spheres (or balls, if you prefer. Quite). Also, the text at the bottom has a totally different colour and font to what is on pretty much every other box - it's more like the Spider Man / early PS3 typeface. I wonder what the story behind that is. I'm probably reading too much into it (usually the case), but interesting bullshit nonetheless I guess.

The 'Non-Atari' Cartridges
By 'Non-Atari,' I mean that on the back of the carts, there is no Atari logo pressed into the plastic. This may be something to do with licensing...but I find it odd that four of the carts I own do not have this imprint, yet the rest of them do. If all of these games were homebrews or from the same developer or publisher there could be some easy explanation for this...but the games are:

  • Theme Park - Ocean
  • Cannon Fodder - Sensible Software/Virgin
  • Power Drive Rally - Rage/Time Warner
  • Troy Aikman NFL Football - Williams

So they aren't connected at all. Here's a pic:

The two on the end are for comparison
So there we are. Three cold cases that I'm certain Mulder and Scully would just love to dive into. And if they weren't available on account of being totally fictional, then I'm sure Iron Man, Thor and the rest of the Avengers would be interested in solving these mind-bending mysteries for me.

In semi-related news, it's become apparent that I can't plug both my SCART adapter and Jag Link cable into the back of my Jag at the same time because both adapters are too wide to accommodate each other in the gap on the back of the console...but I only have the one Jag anyway so I'm not going to lose any sleep over that...yet!


  1. My copy of Raiden is a darker black then the rest of my jag carts too.

  2. Hi Matt. Since I wrote this, I've read comments on the Atari Age forums that solve a few of the things I mention here. The black carts are to differentiate between PAL/NTSC games or something, and the Atari logos are (apparently) to do with Atari being involved with publishing the game. Also, I have noticed a few other later Jag boxes have the updated font on them. It was just a bit of fun and things I noticed and was puzzled by. The internet came to the rescue though!