Before the Atari Jaguar
game console was abandoned and Atari
was sold off, a game called Battlesphere was started by ScatoLOGIC
for the Jaguar platform and was one of the most heavily anticipated titles for the system. When the Jaguar was proclaimed dead, work continued on Battlesphere and went on as a labour of love until it was complete.
At this point there was a problem. The code that is needed in the creation of the cartridges had been lost while what remained of Atari was being shuffled around. A good number of Jaguars were set up in parallel in order to brute force the start-up code. Finally, in February of 2000, several years after the game’s completion, Battlesphere was released. Despite the Jaguar being a dead console, the demand for Battlesphere outweighed the supply of 27C160 EPROMS that could be acquired for a reasonable price. This caused (and still causes) the carts to be sold sporadically and in relatively small batches. The release of the game helped create interest in classic consoles, causing many to search Ebay for a used Jaguar to play the game. An amusing aside is that a Jaguar console can actually can be acquired for a fraction of what is needed to purchase Battlesphere.
As for the game itself, it is essentially a space dog fighting game similar to Wing Commander or Tie Fighter in control. The premise is based around a number of different alien species settling their differences with limited combat (as opposed to grand wars in which everyone’s resources would be destroyed) in a Battlesphere. Each race has their own ship(s) and have reasonably different attributes to them, giving each their own feel. There are a huge number of different play modes and secrets more of which can be found in the gold version of the game released in March of 2002. The graphics, while by modern console standards aren’t much, are the best the Jaguar has to offer using things like decal mapping among other effects.
The Jaguar platform was chosen because it was to be the first of the consoles capable of networking. It turns out there was a bug with the Jaguar that made this networking far more difficult than it should have been; never-the-less one can play networked Battlesphere games. Backward compatibility is maintained in network games between the Gold and regular editions of Battlesphere.