Mattel Aquarius

My dusty corner of rediscovery and contributions toward the oft-forgotten early-80s Mattel Aquarius Home Computer...

Aquarius Draw was developed to rapidly assist with prototyping, art and design work with respect to the technical limitations imposed by the Mattel Aquarius home computer (1983). It also serves as a general purpose utility for producing authentic retro art that can be easily exported for further manipulation or external use. The web-based application includes a comprehensive and faithful reproduction of the original character set and restrictions of the Aquarius hardware, but with an intuitive and modern paint-like interface.

In addition to designing simple-to-complex scenes, Aquarius Draw can also generate saveable, copy-paste ready BASIC and ASM (machine language) output. This provides an immediate method for transferring your creations to physical or emulated devices, and makes it easy to programmatically expand the template code into the app of your dreams. The created artwork can also be previewed in various ways and exported as PNG or submitted to the online gallery. You may press F1 in the application to display a keyboard shortcut cheat sheet.

Aquarius Draw: Application | Aquarius Draw: Gallery | Aquarius Draw: User Guide


Applications can be developed for the Mattel Aquarius using a subset of Microsoft BASIC or Z80 Machine Language. In order to utilize the mini-expander enhancements including four-channel sound or joystick control, assembly programming is required. In fact, even basic graphic and visual manipulation will benefit greatly from machine language, versus the slow and tedious POKE/PEEK commands offered in BASIC. Here are a few resources...

Aquarius ROM S2 Annoted Disassembly | M. v.d. Steenoven's Aquarius Site | Mapping the Aquarius (WIP) | Facebook User Group