[CONSOLE] Atari 2600 Cart.
Space Invaders © 1980 Atari, Incorporated.
Each time you turn on SPACE INVADERS you will be at war with enemies from space who are threatening the earth. Your objective is to destroy these invaders by firing your laser cannon. You must wipe out the invaders either before they reach the earth (bottom of the screen), or before they hit you three times with their laser bombs.
Your long-term objective is to score as many points as possible. Points are scored each time you hit one of the SPACE INVADERS. They are worth different amounts of points, depending on their initial position on the screen (See SCORING).
If you destroy all 36 SPACE INVADERS before they reach the earth, a new set of invaders will appear on the screen. Each time the invaders are reset on the screen they will start from a position closer to the earth until they reach the closest position possible. The SPACE INVADERS can be reset on the screen indefinitely during a game.
There are several GAME VARIATIONS programmed into SPACE INVADERS. The variations are intended to challenge the experienced player, as well as to provide variety in general. The variations include:
* Moving Shields - the SHIELDS move back and forth on the screen, as opposed to remaining in a fixed or stationary position. Using them for protection becomes hazardous.
* Zigzagging Laser Bombs - the laser bombs zigzag back and forth as they come down the screen. It is difficult to know exactly where they are going to land, and thus, stay out of their path.
* Fast Laser Bombs - they drop quickly and are much more difficult to avoid. (When the laser bombs are both zigzagging AND fast, even the experienced players will have their hands full.)
* Invisible Invaders - the invaders are invisible on the screen after game play begins. Each time one is hit, the remainder of the invaders appear momentarily on the screen, and then disappear until one is hit again.
In addition to the GAME VARIATIONS, there are several ways in which one or two players may play SPACE INVADERS.
A. The normal or basic game for one player. (GAMES 1-16) GAME VARIATIONS are optional, but one player always competes against the computer.
B. Two opposing players taking alternate turns. (Games 17-32) Left player goes first (starts on left side of screen), then the right player takes a turn (starting from right side). The screen display changes so that each player has his or her own set of invaders. The SHIELDS are completely restored for each new turn. Play ends for each player after three enemy hits, or when invaders reach the earth. Highest score wins.
C. Two opposing players competing at the same time. (Games 33-48) Both players fire away simultaneously and compete for a higher score. The COMMAND ALIEN SHIP is worth 100 points. Whenever you are hit, you opponents is awarded 200 points. Play ends after three hits are taken between the two players, or when the invaders reach the earth.
D. Two opposing players competing at the same time, taking alternate shots. (Games 49-64) If you wait too long, your laser cannon is fired automatically and your opponent can set up a shot. All other game play characteristics are the same is in C above.
E. Two player partnership game. (Games 65-80) Both players control a common laser cannon. Each player can move in one direction only. Right player moves the cannon to the right, left player moves it to the left. Either play may fire. Otherwise, this version is like a one-player normal game. (one score display.)
F. Two-player partnership game with alternating firing and controlling of the cannon. (Games 81-96) The left player starts and may move the cannon in either direction. After ONE shot by the left player, the right player then has control and fires one shot. Both players are striving for a common (high) score, as in the E version above.
G. Two-player partnership game with one player controlling cannon movement and the other player firing laser beams. (games 97-112) Left player moves the cannon, right player fires. Otherwise, this version is the same as the other partnership games.
Space Invaders for the Atari 2600 was the first ever arcade to home game license, becoming a huge best seller.
The original Space Invaders game was in black & white and used colored overlays to produce some very limited colors. Since the 2600 was capable of producing 128 colors, Atari decided that they would use them. For the first time ever, Space Invaders was in color, and it never looked so good. Some liberties were also taken with the graphics since the 2600 didn't have quite as high a resolution as the original arcade machine. Finally due to the graphical constraints of the 2600, the invaders formation was changed to a 6x6 pattern instead of the arcade's 11x5.
Even though Atari made millions from Space Invaders, programmer Rick Maurer only received around $11,000 for his amazing conversion. Rick left Atari shortly after he finished Space Invaders because of this.
The SPACE INVADERS are worth 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 points in the first through sixth rows respectively. The point value of each target stays the same as it drops lower on the screen. Each complete set of SPACE INVADERS is worth 630 points.
Although scoring can be infinite, there is only room for four digits on the display, so that the highest score any player will ever see on the screen is 9999. This does not represent the highest score possible, but rather the highest score that can be displayed on the screen.
The COMMAND SHIP is worth 200 points. (In games C and D, it worth 100 points.)