Old-School: My Atari had a broken Wang

So, I have been rather nostalgic lately, and spending a lot of time scrolling through my Steam library thinking “It never used to be this hard to pick a game!”.
I used to open the cabinet, choose from one of my 10 Atari games (90% likely that River Raid was coming out) and then spend the next happy hours of my life shooting planes and collecting fuel.

What does any normal person do when feeling nostalgic? Look at a photo album? Google some info?

… you’d be wrong.
They immediately hit up their local ‘Buy Swap and Sell’ facebook group asking who is selling an Atari 2600.  Am I right!?

And I got this!!

A very tidy haul if I do say so myself!!

Now, out of the above, only 1 of the Atari (Atari? Atari’s? How does one exactly plural this console’s name?) actually worked, the second one he threw in because ‘it’s a fancy paperweight’.
And I’m sure you noticed, as I, that nice little box that reads ‘River Raid’ on the cover!!

Out of all the games I got with this…


…only 1 of them doesn’t work.
Guess which one?

After a few moments of weeping in my soul, I moved onto inspecting my new collection of 20th century adventures.

This bad boy, looks like he has legitimately NEVER BEEN USED.


But then again, who in their right mind plays Golf games anyways?

Now, Atari number 1 was all plugged in and happily beeping away as I died repeatedly in GORF, but Atari number 2 was sitting there looking at me like as if it had been neglected and wanted some attention.

So I popped open the case to see if there was anything obviously wrong with it.


The answer would partially be – because it is HELLA filthy. Ew.
Like, I don’t judge smokers guys, I don’t.
But if you DO smoke around electrical equipment, it’s going to end up with a nice gooey grime layer like this.

Please don’t smoke around pets, children and retro gaming systems. This public service announcement was approved for use by the Ellie Foundation of Gaming.

Anyways, after about an hours worth of cleaning, I noticed that the contact points on the capacitor were not correctly touching, so I wriggled it around until it had a good connection.


I love that this is called a ‘Wang Scap’….because I’m a child.
My Atari’s ‘wang’ was broken guys. It was broken. But I fixed it.


Now! I am the proud owner of 2 baller level Atari 2600’s.
Hahaha, why I need 2 is beyond me, but I’m stoked none the less.

Bring on the 8-bit adventure!

~ Love you all,


2 thoughts on “Old-School: My Atari had a broken Wang

  1. It takes a tremendous amount of abuse to actually damage an atari cart to the point where it won’t play (running over them repeatedly doesn’t always do the trick, even), so odds are good that all hope is not lost where your river raid desires are concerned. Some cleaning of the contacts is probably worth a serious try. Start by just inserting and removing the cart from the system a few dozen times. If no luck, move on to a white eraser (the pencil shaped ones in the plastic sleeves can sometimes work on an atari cart without having to open it up). If still nothing you might need to open the cart so you can really scrub at it.
    Hopefully there’s no need to get any more intense than that.
    Of course, atari generally put the cart screws under the stickers, so opening it will totally hurt is collectability, but who wants a pretty river raid that they can’t play? Grin.

    • Thank you very much!! 😀
      I actually had a girl that lives in my area ask if I wanted her Atari games as she doesn’t have the device and one of the games she gave me was a second copy of River Raid!! Yay!
      So her copy works perfectly fine, but one interesting thing I did notice was that inside the opening to the cart itself, her copy looks like every other standard Atari cartridge – but the one that doesn’t work has this big chip attached to the top of the circuit board.

      I can’t find any reference to this weird chip online so I have no idea what it is. Maybe someone tried to mod it at one point and broke it? But I doubt that as – like you said it would of damaged the sticker opening it up and the broken River Raid doesn’t seem to have any signed of having ever been opened.

      Might open the broken one and see what I can find !

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