Night Stalker © 1982 Mattel Electronics
Your man is trapped in the maze. Robots relentlessly track him down. Keep him away from spiders and bats. Watch out for robot fire! React quickly. The key to survival is to destroy them -- before they get the man! Rack up as many points as you can! It's you against them... to the end!
At the beginning of the development, this game was called 'Attacker'.
Steve Montero was an expert on robotics, so it was natural for him to program Night Stalker. In development late in 1981, the game was a favorite with other programmers, who didn't need their arms twisted to spend hours testing it. Unfortunately, the first time Marketing brought in some 12-year-old kid to try it out, he got further than any of the programmers had. A new, tougher robot had to be added to the game, at the cost of losing one of the best features: the spider's web (the game was only 4K in size). Originally, as the spider crawled around the maze it left a web that would slow you down considerably as you ran through it. You could shoot the web away, but you'd use up bullets. Without the web, the spider became like the bats: just a nuisance.
After Night Stalker was finished, game cartridges began getting larger in size, so Steve proposed Ms. Night Stalker, a 12K sequel that would include the web and all the other features he had wanted, including multiple weapons (bazookas to blast through walls!), multiple scrolling mazes and smarter robots. Marketing shelved the idea and Steve was assigned to program Space Shuttle instead, which may have been a contributing factor toward Steve leaving Mattel and the game industry not long after.
Destroy a spider and earn 100 points.
Destroy a bat and earn 300 points.
Destroy the blue robot and earn 500 points.
Destroy the white robot and earn 1,000 points.
Destroy the black robot and earn 2000 points.
Destroy the invisible robot and earn 4000 points.
* Once an aggressive robot is after the man, lay in wait at corners and intersections. When the robot advances, get off a shot and quickly retreat!
* For the white, black and invisible robots, it's helpful to count your bullets. Try to use your last bullet to blast the robot. This gives you some time to run and pick up the weapon while the next robot enters the maze.
* Carefully count how many bullets you have left. It's always wise to kill a robot with your last shot to give you time to get a new weapon.
* In the beginning, shooting bats is a good way to rack up points. However, after 5,000 points, remember every bat that you hit turns into a Gray Robot.
* Don't just concentrate on robots at higher point levels. The bats and spiders can sneak up on you when you're not watching.
* When being followed by the White Robot, don't be afraid to use the bunker. Peek your head out and fire a quick shot at him and then duck inside for cover.
* The only sure way to kill the Black Robot is to fire at him from pointblank range. Try ducking around a corner or come out of the bunker and fire off a quick shot. You have to be very close to make a direct hit.
* Trick from Steve Roney (B-17 Bomber designer): "Another trick to bagging the later robots has to do with there being only one moving object available for the robot bullets. If you wait just above the place where the robot appears and dangle your feet where the robot can see, the robot will shoot below your feet. You can then safely drop down and quickly get off all three shots to nail the robot before his bullet gets all the way across the bottom!!!!"