The Videomaster Rally Home T.V. Game system,
model VM 4, was released ub 1975 just after the 1974 Home
T.V. Game. It used six CMOS chips of the 40xx series in analog logic
mode and played two types of games.
The first game is the simplest version of Tennis (PONG), just like the original 1968 prototype built at Sanders Associates: two paddles and a ball. No central line, no on-screen scoring, no sound effects. Service is manual and scores are marked with two cursors on the system itself. Amazingly, early specimens had a wrong screen-shot on their box showing a dashed central line (compare the above picture with the early box below). This line was later manually removed using black markers. The reason for this mistake is obvious: the Vidomaster Rally box was made using a Videomaster Olympic screen-shot, the next model which displayed the dashed central line. To save production costs, both models used the same styrofoam package.
The second type of games is same as the first with only one difference: the right paddle is inverted and forms a vertical line with a hole. The user manual proposes three games in this mode: Find The Gap (single player game: the goal is to make the ball go into the hole), Wall Game (two-player game where the first player must put the ball into the hole while the second player moves the hole) and Stonewaller, is a Squash game in solo (also called "Practice" with other systems) by turning the knob of the second player to the minimum or maximum position so as to put its hole outside of the screen and leave a full height vertical line.
More games can be imagined depending on how the hole is placed on the screen. For example, Solo Basketball can be played if the hole is put on the top of the screen so as to form a basketball net. Mouse can also be played by moving the hole on the bottom of the screen so that it acts as a mouse hole, where the ball (mouse) must go.
Several similar systems could play the same games. The Orelec PP-2000 is a good example, but does not use plastic cursors for scoring, so cannot play the games as described in the Videomaster Rally user manual.
Early box showing the (unimplemented) central line.
Styrofoam packaging was same for Videomaster Olympic, hence the hole near the
ball speed button for passing the video cable, not fitted inside the unit like Rally.
Note the square holes in the top part where the Olympic scoring metal balls are kept.
The video cable fits inside the unit when not in use.
Circuit board of Videomaster Rally: only six chips and a few discrete components. Simplest CMOS design.
Left: Top cover of the user manual. Right: Instructions to play four games.
Videomaster Rally advertisement showing a simple case with few knobs and switches.
This is the later version with green push-buttons.