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Warlords [Upright model]

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

Warlords [Upright model] screenshot

Listed and emulated in MAME !

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Warlords © 1980 Atari.

Atari's Warlords depicts a third-person view of four castles. The player-controlled Warlords and computer-controlled Black Knights use shields to defend their castle walls from the fireballs that ricochet around the playfield.

Players can capture and catapult the fireballs at opposing castles, using their shield control and 'Power Stone' pushbutton. When a fireball hits a castle wall, it destroys one or more bricks, depending on its speed.

A castle not paid for is controlled by the computer, with a Black Knight displayed in the appropriate castle. The Black Knights catapult fireballs at the players with increasing accuracy, to provide challenge.

Game play begins when any start button is pressed and the countdown has ended. The game ends when the last Warlord's castle (containing a crown) has been penetrated by a fireball. At this point a white cloud envelopes the crown, and the latter disappears.

During the countdown, a dragon flies back and forth across the screen with a fireball in its mouth. At the end of the countdown, a position activated by a Start button has its Black Knight changed to a Warlord's crown. A position not activated remains as a Black Knight and is controlled by the computer. The dragon then spits the fireball from its mouth toward a Warlord's castle.

The objective is to destroy the three other castles, while protecting one's own castle with the moving shield. The LED pushbuttons have dual functions: in the Ready-to-Play mode they work as Start switches, and during game play they become 'Power Stones' to allow players to capture and catapult fireballs at opponents.

The spinning fireballs released from a shield have more destructive force on a castle wall than a fireball simply deflected from another wall or the sides of the playfield. However, players will soon find out that they cannot hold onto a fireball for long, since it slowly destroys their own castle walls adjacent to the fireball.

Additional fireballs appear at predetermined intervals or when a castle is destroyed, whichever comes first. A maximum of four fireballs simultaneously appear on the screen.

In 1- and 2-player games, the Warlords' crowns will be accompanied by a zero, to begin scoring. The point-scoring system is printed on each control panel (the Black Knights do not score points).

If a Black Knight has the surviving castle, the game ends. However, if a Warlord has the surviving castle, that player receives bonus points, all castles are rebuilt, and the game continues with a new battle at a higher level. In a 2-player game, both players continue in the game, but only one player can get bonus points. If both Black Knights are eliminated first and only Warlords remain, the level becomes a free-for-all between the two Warlords until one is eliminated. The other Warlord then gets the bonus points, and the game begins again.

The subsequent levels begin, as mentioned before, with the fireball thrown out by the dragon. In the higher levels, Black Knights play more accurately and faster.

3- and 4-player games (available in the cocktail version only) are free-for-alls. No scores are kept, and the game ends as soon as there is only one castle left.
Goodies for Warlords [Upright model]
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[Upright model]
Game ID : 037153-037159

The upright version only supports up to 2 players and uses a 23" black-and-white raster-scan monitor with a color overlay and a mirrored 3-D colored playfield. Only the two lower castles are available for play; the two upper castles will always have Black Knights in them.

Main CPU : MOS Technology M6502 (@ 1.512 Mhz)
Sound Chips : POKEY (@ 1.512 Mhz)

Players : 2

Control : paddle
Buttons : 1 (Power Stone)


Warlords was released in April 1980.

Licensed to Sega for Japan market.

1,014 Upright units were produced.


Damaging a castle wall : 125 points
Destroying any Warlord (any Human player) : 1,000 Points
Destroying any Black Knight (any Computer player) : 2,500 Points
Surviving player gains 5,000 points x current level.


1. Warlords (1980)
2. Warlords (2002, PC CD-ROM) : exclusively as part of "Atari Revival"


Designed and programmed by: Greg Rivera, Norm Avellar


[US] Atari 2600 (1981) "Warlords [Model CX2610]"
Atari 2600 [EU] (1981) "Warlords [Model CX2610P]"
[JP] Atari 2600 (1983)
Atari XEGS
DynaVision [BR] (198?)
[US] Sony PlayStation (2001) "Atari Anniversary Edition Redux [Model SLUS-01427]"
[US] Sega Dreamcast (jul.2, 2001) "Atari Anniversary Edition [Model T-15130N]"
[EU] Sony PlayStation (mar.1, 2002) "Atari Anniversary Edition Redux [Model SLES-03808]"
[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"
[JP] Microsoft XBOX (aug.4, 2005) "Atari Anthology [Model B7X-00001]"
[EU] Sony PS2 (feb.18, 2005) "Atari Anthology [Model SLES-53061]"
[US] Sony PlayStation 4 (oct.18, 2016) "Atari Flashback Classics Vol.1"
[US] [EU] Microsoft XBOX One (nov.1, 2016) "Atari Flashback Classics Vol.1"

[UK] Nintendo DS (mar.11, 2005) "Retro Atari Classics [Model NTR-ATAE-UKV]"
[EU] Nintendo DS (mar.11, 2005) "Retro Atari Classics [Model NTR-ATAE-EUR]"
[US] Nintendo DS (mar.16, 2005) "Retro Atari Classics [Model NTR-ATAE-USA]"
[JP] Nintendo DS (june.30, 2005) "Atarimix Happy 10 Games [Model NTR-ATAJ-JPN]"
[AU] Nintendo DS (nov.2007) "Retro Atari Classics [Model NTR-ATAE-AUS]"
[US] Nintendo GBA (aug.21, 2005) "3 Games in One! Breakout - Centipede - Warlords [Model AGB-B6ZE-USA]"
[EU] Nintendo GBA (sept.9, 2005) "3 Games in One! Breakout - Centipede - Warlords [Model AGB-B6ZP]"
[US] Sony PSP (dec.19, 2007) "Atari Classics Evolved [Model ULUS-10325]"
[AU] Sony PSP (mar.7, 2008) "Atari Classics Evolved"
[US] Nintendo DS (mar.8, 2011) "Atari Greatest Hits Vol.2 [Model NTR-BR7E-USA]"

Tandy Color Computer [US] (1982) "War Kings"
[US] PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (apr.4, 1998) "Atari Arcade Hits 2"
[EU] PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2000) "Atari Arcade Hits 2"
[US] PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (jul.9, 2001) "Atari Anniversary Edition"
[EU] PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (dec.14, 2001) "Atari Anniversary Edition"
[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] Atari Paddle TV Game (2004) by Jakk's Pacific
[US] Nokia N-Gage (feb.2006) "Atari Masterpieces Vol. II"
[EU] Nokia N-Gage (mar.30, 2006) "Atari Masterpieces Vol. II"
Apple Store (2011) "Atari Greatest Hits"
Android Market (2011) "Atari Greatest Hits"

Game's ROM.
Game's picture.