Phoenix © 1982 Atari, Incorporated.
In ancient times, legend says, there was a bird of great beauty. About the size of an eagle, it had brilliant scarlet and gold feathers, a melodious song, and was the only one of its kind in the entire world.
This fabulous creature lived in Arabia and had a life span of over five hundred years. At the end of its life, the phoenix built a nest of frankincense, myrrh, and other aromatic spices. After setting fire to the nest by rapidly beating its wings, the beautiful bird settled down to die amidst the flames.
From the ashes of that fire miraculously arose a young, revitalized Phoenix. This new bird then took the remains of its parent to the temple of the sun at Heliopolis in Egypt, and sacrificed them on the high altar.
The long life of the Phoenix and the dramatic rebirth from its own ashes has made this legendary bird a symbol of immortality and spiritual rebirth in many cultures. The Egyptians saw the myth as a symbol of the life cycle of the sun, which dies every day at sunset and is reborn every morning at dawn. Most others interpret the legend as a general symbol for the regeneration of life after death.
However, something awful has happened to tarnish the long-standing image of the Phoenix. Due to the effects of radioactive fallout on its nest, the Phoenix has unfortunately mutated into a bird of prey.
Now, several birds arise from the ashes, but these are not like the beautiful, friendly bird of old. These birds are mean. Their cries areshrill. They have developed a tough, metallic-like skin that makes them almost indestructible. And they have turned their backs on the human race to offer their services to alien beings determined to drain away earth's energy resources.
Your mission: Eliminate these seemingly immortal war hawks, destroy the alien spaceship, and safeguard our planet from ravaging energy-thieves.
You have five lives in which to survive the bombing attacks of four separate flocks of Phoenix war birds who protect the alien spaceship. Your challenge is to eliminate the birds, get to the spaceship that follows the fourth wave of birds, and shoot the alien pilot.
To eliminate the large, menacing Phoenixes of the third and fourth waves, you have to hit them in the center. If you only wing a Phoenix, like its ancient ancestor, it will soon regenerate the missing part and become a whole bird to attack you some more.
To destroy the alien pilot, you have to erode the multi-colored hull of the spaceship directly beneath the cockpit to create a clear shot at him. But one of the hull layers - the blue layer - rotates the length of the spaceship. So, you not only have to chip away at the blue layer, but you also have to time your shot at the alien to coincide with the hole passing directly under him.
* Overcome the temptation to fire away the first time the small birds appear. Instead, take a few moments to study their patterns. Observe what happens when you are positioned directly beneath the birds, andwhen you are not. Study the attack patterns of the lower birds. Learn how to move your laser cannon between the bombs without getting blown apart.
* In all phases of the game except for the second wave of small birds, you must press the red fire button each time you want to squeeze off a shot. However, in the second wave of small birds, you'll get continuous firing if you hold the button down.
* Don't waste lives trying to accumulate a lot of points in the early waves. Play it safe. Save your stamina for the large birds and for the spaceship, where the real big points are scored.
* For the first two times you encounter the alien spaceship, you can chip away the blue layer of the spaceship without getting bombed if you fire close to the edges furthest from the cockpit. Starting with the third encounter with the spaceship, however, bombs will fall from those edges and the alien's shots will be faster-paced and more accurate - just to make things more challenging for advanced players! At all times, you need two shots at the same point to create a hole in the blue layer.
* Use your force field sparingly and as a strategic device in emergency situations. If a bird brushes up against your force field, it will be disintegrated; but if a bird crashes into your unprotected laser cannon, you're both dead ducks. The moral: Keep a watchful eye for low flying birds!