Omega Race (c) 1981 Midway
Omega Race is a vector-based single-screen shoot-em-up set in the year 2003, in which the Omegan system has developed a way of training its warriors to protect their star colonies against invading alien androids. Players must pilot an Omegan Space Fighter to engage and destroy the aliens and the mines they have planted.
The Omegan Fighter can rotate through 360 degrees and thrust to move forwards, it's also armed with forward-firing lasers with which to shoot the enemy ships. Battles take place in an enclosed area and when the player's ship reaches the edge of the screen it bounces off an invisible barrier, although the barrier briefly appears when hit or shot.
As well as firing lasers at the player, some enemy ships also drop mines that must be shot or avoided. As players progress through the waves, the number of enemy attackers and their aggression increases.
Main CPU : Zilog Z80 (@ 3 Mhz)
Sound CPU : Zilog Z80 (@ 1.5 Mhz)
Sound Chips : (2x) General Instrument AY8910 (@ 1.5 Mhz)
Screen orientation : Horizontal
Palette colors : 32768
Players : 2
Control : Spinner knob
Buttons : 2 (FIRE, THRUST)
Omega Race was released in June 1981 and was Midway's only vector game created.
According to Arcade Engineering co-founder (and former Allied Leisure designer) Jack Pearson, the idea for Omega Race came when some designers obtained a copy of Atari's "Asteroids" and created a new game by putting masking tape on the screen to create a track and they ignored the asteroids and were trying to fly around the track.
Omega Race differed significantly from "Asteroids" in a few respects. First, there was no 'wrap-around' (where you exit on one edge and return to the opposite edge). The walls would stop the player's fighter if it impacted them. Second, all the information such as high score and ships left were in a box in the middle of the playing field. Last, you could be expected to encounter multiple attackers in each wave. Although Omega Race wasn't a big seller, it still created a following. Unfortunately, this game came out when games such as "Pac-Man" were at their peak.
One thing of note is that the high score table will not display the initial FUK or FUC (early censorship at its best).
Thomas Gault holds the official record for this game with 3290900 points.
Photon Mine : 350 points
Vapor Mine : 500 points
Droid Ship : 1000 points
Command Ship : 1500 points
Death Ship : 2500 points
* When you start the game, your fighter will be in either the left or right corner of the screen. The enemy Droid Ships will be in one of the lower corners diagonally opposite from your fighter. Your job is to eliminate all the enemy Droid Ships in order to advance to the next wave. You will start with six enemy Droid Ships in wave one. The number of Droid Ships will increase by two until you will be dealing with twelve enemy Droid Ship per wave. Not only will you have to deal with enemy Droid Ships, you will also have to deal with the mines that they lay.
* The spinner knob is very sensitive on this game. That means you don't have to turn it too much to make your fighter respond. This can be very helpful if you are attempting to line up a shot and you 'overspin' the knob, thereby leaving yourself vulnerable to an enemy attack.
* Go down the side opposite of where the enemy Droid Ships are. Since you have rapid fire, try to destroy as many enemy Droid Ships as possible. This will become important in later waves since multiple Command and Death ships will appear amongst the enemy Droid Ships.
* When moving around the screen, make sure you keep firing toward the enemy ships. Although shots in this game have a limited range, if you put up a wall of fire, you can catch the enemy Command or Death ships in a nasty trap. Keep in mind that your rate of fire is only limited by how fast you can push the fire button.
* If you accelerate too much in one direction, turn your fighter toward any one of the walls so that you ram it. This will cause your fighter to instantly stop so that you can get your bearings again to deal with enemy threats.
* After the second wave, the enemy Droid Ships tend to migrate around the middle box in a direction opposite of where your fighter appears. After the fourth wave, the enemy Droid Ships tend to split up with a Command ship with each of these groups to make your job even harder.
* Command ships located in the pack of enemy Droid Ships will not pursue your fighter. This doesn't mean, however, that they aren't helpless. If you get too close to one of these packs, that Command ship will fire on your fighter.
* Enemy fire isn't the only danger you will have to deal with. Command and Death ships also deposit mines. If you don't destroy the Photon mines, they eventually become Vapor mines. Both of these mines can present a major obstacle if you are trying to get away from the enemy or trying to set yourself up into a better firing position.
* If you take too long to bring down a Command ship, it will transform into a Death ship. Death ships are much harder to hit because they fly quickly around the screen shooting and laying mines.
* Don't get to close to any Command or Death ship since both of these ships have pretty accurate fire when they get close to your fighter.
* After Wave 5, a Droid Ship will transform into a Death ship near the beginning of the wave to create an even bigger challenge of getting through the wave.
Designed by : Ron Halliburton (Founder of Arcade Engineering)
Colecovision [US] (1981) [Model 2448]
[US] Atari 2600 (1983) [Model 80090]
[US] Atari 5200 : Release canceled
Tandy Color Computer [US] (1982, "Space Race")
[US] Commodore C64 (1982) [Model C-64 614]
[EU] Commodore C64 (1982)
Commodore VIC-20 [US] (1982) [Model VIC-1924]
VFD tabletop game [US] (1981) by Coleco : Unfortunately, this game was never released.
F.A.Q. by Kevin Butler A.K.A. War Doc.
All In Color For a Quarter - Keith Smith.