Nowadays, everyone assumes the latest adventure movie or family film will have a video game to go with it. Everyone also assumes that game most likely will be a poor substitute for the movie. Neither were the case in early 1982, when Atari produced their first game based on a movie, the 2600's Raiders of the Lost Ark. Developed before the days when video game studios fight to acquire movie licenses and then seemingly rush to get those titles out the door as quickly as they can, Raiders of the Lost Ark is an intricate puzzle and adventure game that took important steps in showing how well a good video game can complement a good movie. (Atari was also instrumental in establishing the tradition of lousy video game tie-ins, but that's another story.)
Raiders of the Lost Ark wasn't just Atari's first movie tie-in, however. The game also expanded on ideas first introduced in Atari 2600's Adventure, and was the first game to implement features now commonplace in role-playing titles like The Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy. Managing an inventory of multiple items, and figuring out where to be at just the right time of day to solve the next piece of the puzzle, are just a couple of tricks Raiders first used and countless games later copied.
Raiders of the Lost Ark was the second game programmed by Howard Scott Warshaw, best known at the time for creating the highest selling original title for the 2600, Yars' Revenge. Unfortunately for Warshaw, he would go on to make E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, after which he became known as the man behind the game that allegedly brought down an entire industry. In between those two undeniably historic titles is Raiders, Warshaw's first contribution to movie and adventure games, not nearly as well known, yet arguably just as historic.