Most retro consoles have the ability to be linked together for multiplayer purposes, and the Jaguar is no different. If you look on the back of the Jag, you'll notice that there are two exposed circuit board connectors. The longer of the two is used by the Jaguar SCART or S-Video connectors, and the other one is - surprise - used by the JagLink system networking device. I'm going to go out on a limb here are say that there are probably very few Jaguar consoles out there that have ever had anything slotted onto that narrower connector, simply because the JagLink is a pretty uncommon peripheral and only three games actually use it: Doom, Battlesphere and Aircars. As you'd expect, in order to fully make use of the JagLink, you need two Jaguars, two TVs, a willing friend and two copies of whichever game it is you want to play.
The lesser-spotted Network Capable logo
I had pretty much everything on that tick list, apart from the second copy of Doom...but when I bought my JagLink from an eBay seller, I mentioned that I'd also be looking for another copy of Doom and he sent me a brand new (sealed) boxed copy for free! For that completely selfless act of kindness, I'd like to thank eBayer retro_xtreme.

It's actually a little odd that, considering how much of a fan of the Doom series I am, I've never actually played the game in multiplayer; so it was quite apt that my first ever taste of co-op Doom came about using the Jaguar version. Many times over the years I've looked at that gameplay mode option in the menu of Jaguar Doom, and only now have I had the ability to actually select 'co-op' or 'deathmatch' and been able to jump into a game with a second player...and it really does add something extra to a game I thought I had seen every side of (actually, you can only see one side of pretty much everything in the sprite-based engine...but you know what I mean!). To be honest, I was really impressed with the speed at which the JagLink networked my two systems and there was none of the stuttering or freezing up mentioned in the Doom manual (see image below). The only issue I encountered was that my modded 60Hz system does occasionally freeze while running Doom for reasons unbeknown to me, and that's not really anything to do with the JagLink - it does it in single player too.

Game-play experiences aside, the JagLink itself is a nice looking device. It comprises two network adaptor boxes that attach to the back of each system and a network cable that goes between the two. I do also have an unofficial network cable but I've not actually tried it to see if it works simply because the connectors on the ends of it are very wide and I can't connect the SCART and S-Video cables at the same time. If it does indeed work, it makes me wonder why the official version of the JagLink has the little boxes...but I digress.

It's a great little addition to my collection and that it's boxed and in really good condition is a massive bonus; and the free copy of Doom it came with only sweetened the deal.

Grab A Seat At The Jag Bar

There are plenty of videos focusing on the Jaguar on YouTube. Most of them specifically set out to berate the system, the management fumbles made by Atari and all that other stupid shit that idiots like to bring up whenever anyone even dares to utter the words "Atari Jaguar." It's with great pleasure though, that I am able to bring to your attention a totally new web series from YouTuber Brian Thomas Barnhart: The Jag Bar, a 64-bit Interactive Multimedia Show. It's a pretty original concept in which your host will sit down with a different guest in each episode and dissect some of the gems (and stinkers) that make up the underrated console's library. Here's a look at the pilot episode:

The Price We Must (Not) Pay

It's no secret that in recent times the cost of absolutely everything to do with retrogaming has gone through the roof. It wasn't too long ago that you could pick older games up for peanuts because they were considered junk by the vast majority. This trend has, until quite recently, not really been an issue for many Jaguar owners and collectors though. Certainly in my experience, the price of Jaguar games and consoles, while not exactly 'dirt cheap,' has remained fairly constant. Some games are almost universally cheap; while others such as Towers II, Iron Soldier 2, Fight For Life, Skyhammer, Gorf, and a couple of other CD-based and unreleased titles have always commanded 'premium' prices for whatever reason; and likewise with the Jaguar CD unit itself.

The reason I've been prompted to write this post though, is that I've recently been looking to purchase another Jaguar console. I do already have two systems, but the one I had modded with a 60Hz switch has decided that it doesn't like running Doom with the Jaglink (more to come on this in a planned post) and so I've been on the hunt for a reasonably-priced console so I might enjoy some co-op and deathmatch Doom without having the game crash every 5 minutes. I have seen a few systems in the wild but they've generally been priced at around £100...which in my opinion at least is a little bit too much to pay for what is essentially going to be a console that will only get played when I can convince somebody to play multiplayer Doom with me. Fair enough I thought - maybe I'll be able to find a cheap and cheerful 'spares and repair' or 'console only - untested' deal online. Wrong. The price of Jaguar consoles appears, in my absence from searching for them, to have gone absolutely stratospheric:
Yep. £580 for a Jag and some games?! £300+ for a boxed one? Who are these people kidding? Now, I'm not one to try to detract from the price of my own collection, but from what these jokers are charging my own Jaguar hoard must be worth about £10,000! Not a chance. So, it seems that the rip-off merchants have finally discovered our little secret and this makes me both sad and angry. How long until we start seeing copies of Cybermorph changing hands for £50 a pop? Hopefully this will not happen, but it's a scary prospect.
My own Jaguar collection, as of about a month ago.