Arcade Video game published 40 years ago by Atari, Inc.

Liberator screenshot

Listed and emulated in MAME.

Liberator © 1982 Atari.

The Liberator controls consist of a trackball, fire button, and shield button. The player controls a coordinated attack from four star ships at the corners of the screen. The primary target of the attack are enemy bases on a rotating planet in the center of the screen. The trackball is used to move a cross-shaped cursor. The fire button fires a missile at the cursor's location from your closest ship. The shield button is used to activate force fields around the ships. The shield can only take four hits each round, and the count is shared between all ships.

At the beginning of each level, the player is flying through outer space and spaceships fly on screen from the left and right and leave in an arc. They try to ram into your ships. Note that shields do not work during this stage.

After this stage, the player is taken to a view of a rotating planet. The most prominent enemies are red flashing missile bases. They shoot missiles, fireballs, and star balls at your ships. The enemy bases can also detach from the planet, turn into satellites, and orbit the planet while shooting missiles. Once all missile bases are destroyed, the player moves onto the next level. At higher levels, there is the white master base. It is very intelligent, and it can change the direction or speed of the planet rotation to avoid getting hit.

Goodies for Liberator
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Game ID : 136012

Main CPU : MOS Technology M6502 (@ 1.25 Mhz)
Sound Chips : (2x) POKEY (@ 1.78979 Mhz)

Players : 2
Control : trackball
Buttons : 2


Liberator was released in November 1982. The arcade game was not very popular and only 762 arcade machines were ever made. The intro price was $2,095.

Liberator is commonly described as the opposite of "Missile Command". The objective of "Missile Command" is to defend your bases from a space-based attack. Liberator's objective is the exact opposite, destroy enemy bases as you orbit their planet.

Liberator features the character Commander Martin Champion of the Atari Force mini-comic books. This limited series was made by DC Comics for Atari and was packaged with certain science-fiction themed games for the Atari 2600 console, including "Star Raiders" and "Defender". The mini-comics were spun off into a full size Atari Force comic series and the Star Raiders graphic novel.

David Drake holds the official record for this game with 14,232,130 points.


Missiles can be destroyed, although some split into four smaller particles when destroyed.

Fireballs take four hits to destroy, but they slow down on each hit.

Star balls take four hits to destroy, much like fireballs. However, unlike fireballs, they return to normal speed soon after being hit.

Flying saucers will sometimes appear from the planet. flying saucers shoot a large, deadly laser which cannot be stopped.

Bonus ships can be earned, but they are not applied immediately. Instead, they are added only after each stage.

After inserting coins, if the player holds the fire button then presses the start button, they will be taken to a level select, allowing them to start at any third level (1, 4, 7... up to 22).


Designed and programmed by : Dennis Harper (DEN) (NIS) (HRP) (DDH)
Team leader : John Ray
Management : Chris Downend (CAD)
Software support by : Mark Cerny (MEC), Max Behensky (MRB)
Hardware designer : Sam Ly (S L)
Technician : Paul Mancuso (PDM)
Game graphics by : Barbara Singh (BFS)


[US] Microsoft XBOX (nov.16, 2004) "Atari Anthology [Model 26084]"
[US] Sony PS2 (nov.22, 2004) "Atari Anthology [Model SLUS-21076]"
[EU] Microsoft XBOX (nov.26, 2004) "Atari Anthology"
[EU] Sony PS2 (feb.18, 2005) "Atari Anthology [Model SLES-53061]"
[JP] Microsoft XBOX (aug.4, 2005) "Atari Anthology [Model B7X-00001]"

[US] Nintendo DS (mar.8, 2011) "Atari Greatest Hits Vol.2 [Model NTR-BR7E-USA]"

[US] PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (nov.11, 2003) "Atari - 80 Classic Games in One! [Model 25069J]"
[EU] PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (june.10, 2005) "Atari - 80 Classic Games in One! [Replay]"
[US] Steam (mar.24, 2016) "Atari Vault [Model 400020]"
[US] Sony PlayStation 4 (oct.18, 2016) "Atari Flashback Classics Vol.1"
[US] Microsoft XBOX One (nov.1, 2016) "Atari Flashback Classics Vol.1"

[US] Nokia N-Gage (feb.2006) "Atari Masterpieces Vol. II"
[EU] Nokia N-Gage (mar.30, 2006) "Atari Masterpieces Vol. II"
Apple Store (2012) "Atari Greatest Hits"
Google Play (2012) "Atari Greatest Hits"


Game's ROM.
Game's picture.