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A decade ago the Olympic games were being held down under in Sydney, Australia. As any other major event on the planet, the Olympic games of course have to have it's own official video game, a great way to earn a quick
buck for some game publisher. The Sydney games were no exception of course. Attention To Detail, or in short ATD, a Warwickshire-based (UK) game developer founded in 1988, made some rather poor games during the 1990's
for the Atari Jaguar, oops! I'll most likely get the whole AtariAge community on my back again for saying that :-)
In 1997 ATD was aqquired by Geoff Brown Holdings Ltd, also known as the GBH Group, and they were given the task to develop the official Olympics game for Sydney 2000. Along with a Nintendo64 version, ATD also worked on
versions for the Sega Dreamcast, Sony Playstation and PC. Being published by Eidos the Dreamcast, Playstation and PC versions all saw the light of day, the Nintendo64 version however did not.
The game was previewed by IGN back in July 2000 which was only a few months before the Olympics started. Even then Eidos was very hesitant to release the N64 version which was a port of the PC version. Gaming wise it
found feature (taken from IGN):
The events included would be 100m Sprint, 110m Hurdles, Hammer, Javelin, Triple Jump, High Jump, 100m Freestyle Swimming, Olympic Sprint Cycling, Skeet Shooting, Super Heavyweight Weight Lifting, 10m Platform Diving
and Kayak K1 Slalom.
As stated there are three modes of play, the Arcade version could me used for a quick play while the Olympic and Coaching modes are a little more interesting, the following was taken from IGN's preview
- 12 Olympic events
- 3D polygonal graphics
- Arcade, Olympic and Coaching modes
- Four-player support
- Rumble Pak and Controller Pak compatibility
Olympic is a bit more interesting. Players begin with a base character, which they train to Olympic level. An athlete's stamina, strength, skill and morale is boosted during the training. At any time, they can save
the player for later training. After building strength in the Cyber Gym, players go through rigorous Olympic trials. Once completing those and the championship, players find themselves in the Olympics, vying for the
gold medal. There are three difficulty settings to adjust based on the player's skill level.
In the Coaching mode, players are taught how to succeed in the actual events. The coach provides hints, as the player practices the sport over and over to increase their skill. Instead of training a character as in
the Olympic mode, players train themselves.
With almost 3 years in development the Nintendo64 owner should've been in for a real treat of a sports game, heck the game would even feature commentary... voice in a Nintendo64 game?! No way! Yeah so uhh anyway, the
Olympics came, but the Nintendo64 game didn't. On October 10th IGN forwarded the dirturbing news that Eidos had decided to cancel the Nintendo64 version. As IGN wrote, it really came as no surprise as the Olympic
event had already ended, and who would pay full price for a game that took place in an event that by now was a part of the history.
Now fast forward to September 2010, nearly 10 years after the Olympic event was held, no less than two binaries of the Nintendo64 version of Sydney 2000 magically appeared on the internet, released by a "group" called
"Carrot", who has released other unreleased N64 games in the past, such as "Frogger 2" and "Or Die Trying 64 (ODT). So finally the public got to see what the Nintendo64 would've been like, had it been released.
After having played the game I can honestly say that I don't blame Eidos for deciding not to release this version, which is rubbish at its worst. Okay so the game was said to be 100% complete, but I don't think this is
a final build as it's missing Eidos logo in the intro. But it must be pretty close as the game is playable... well sort of.
I have to admit too that I havn't played the game for very long, due to the fact that the controls are impossible mixed with the "hard to make out what's what", especially in the 100m hurdles or the absolutely horrible
controls presented in the kayaking event.
The ROMs can be downloaded here, but please note that the upload wasn't made by yours truly and this website has no connection to the person who did it.