Aztarac © 1983 Centuri.
The actual game has you piloting a little space tank. The tank and its turret are controlled independently, which allows you to move in one direction while shooting in another. Your mission is to guard various space outposts from hordes of incoming enemy ships. Each level will have several outposts all clustered together in the center. If an enemy ship touches an outpost, then the outpost is destroyed. You can activate a long range scanner by using your second button. This allows you to locate enemies before they get close, that way you can fly off and get them before they even have a shot at the outposts.
Aztarac was only available in an upright dedicated cabinet. You might remember this title as the game that had a round plastic bubble over the monitor. Basically the monitor bezel stuck out towards the player. This provided a nice 'warp' effect on the center area of the game. The marquee simply had a yellow 'Aztarac' logo floating over a blue grid. The control panel had similar grid graphics and featured an analog joystick that had two buttons, along with an optical spinner. The sideart on this title was a painted Aztarac logo, along with a geometric spaceship, and a whole bunch of stripes. This sideart is easily repaintable due to the simple design. It has been said that only 500 units were built.
Cabinet dimensions : 73'' (185,42cm) high x 28'' (71,12cm) wide x 32'' (81,28cm) deep. Weight : 330 lbs (150 kg). Monitor : Wells Gardner 19K6401 color X-Y.
Main CPU : Motorola 68000 (@ 8 Mhz)
Sound CPU : Zilog Z80 (@ 2 Mhz)
Sound Chips : (4x) General Instrument AY8910 (@ 2 Mhz)
Screen orientation : Horizontal
Players : 2
Control : dial
Buttons : 2
This is the second and last Vector based game ever produced by Centuri.
Here is a copy of an original game proposal document by Tim Stryker : Defend the starbase from alien invaders (sounds really novel so far, right?). Ship is maneuverable in two dimensions, has laser weaponry, and can use radar to locate menacing planetoids and enemy squadrons. Enemy squadrons come in two flavors : slow, Space-Invader-like phalanxes of twenty to forty ships bearing rockets, and fast, elite loners bearing lasers. Field of play (the simulated 'universe') is considerably larger than what can be seen on the screen at any one time : the player's ship is always displayed at the center of the screen and only 'sees' the portion of the universe within a given radius about its current position. Enemy ships attack from random points around the compass, bent on destroying the starbase, but will engage the player's ship if it presents itself. Ship has limited fuel and laser energy, but may return to starbase to refuel and recharge at any time. Points are awarded for each enemy craft destroyed, and are deducted for each defending ship lost. Game ends when starbase is destroyed by enemy; limitation of playing time is achieved through gradual escalation of enemy attacks.
Tim committed suicide in the Blue Mountains of Colorado in August of 1996 for unknown reasons. On the night of Aug. 6, Tim Stryker, 41, pulled off a remote road in the Blue Mountains in northwest Colorado, stepped out of his car, put a shotgun to his head and pulled the trigger.
Dennis Bartlett holds the official record for this game with 142,390 points on February 11, 1984.
* Programmer's name : spinning the spinner at a high rate during parts of the attract-mode will result in the programmer's name (Tim Stryker) appearing in approximately 3-inch-high letters across the center of the screen.
Designed and programmed by : Tim Stryker