Battlezone


  • Description
    • Battlezone is an arcade game from Atari released in November 1980. It displays a wireframe view (using vector graphics rather than raster graphics) on a horizontal black and white , along with green and red sectioned color overlay) on a vector monitor. Due to its unque controls, 'viewfinder', and simple yet addictive gameplay, Battlezone game was very popular for many years.
  • Instructions
    • Avoid the enemy tanks by maneuvering your tank to avoid their shots. Use keyboard arrows to move tank and [space] bar to fire. Use the geometric obstable to your advantage. The viewfinder will assist you in making the best shots by folding inward. Remember to take advantage of the radar
  • Trivia and Fun Facts
    • There was a persistent rumor/myth that the player actually “drive” to the erupting volcano in the background, make way up the side and into the crater only to discover a castle inside.
      This was false, but plans to include such a feature in future versions were inspired by this myth. A similar rumor insisted if one kept driving in the same direction for at least an hour without dying, one would eventually reach the mountains and see a "tank factory" pumping out enemy tanks.

      Others Battlezone rumors/legends involved the UFO, including one in which a mother ship would attack after a set number of UFOs were destroyed (would have been pretty awesome, sadly not true though)
      There was a bug in some machines ROMS which caused very high phony scores into the seven digits to be posted (after a player would enter his initials). Legitimately good players could actually reach this level after an about 2 hours of continuous play however.


      The music heard in the high score initials prompt is from Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.
      The original Battlezone full size arcade cabinet was housed in a standard upright arcade cabinet with a novel "periscope" viewfinder which the player used to view the game. Game spectators could also watch from the sides of the periscope. A later, less common version of the cabinet removed the periscope to improve visibility to non-players and improve the ergonomics for players who could not reach the periscope. This modification also was welcomed by some operators, who felt that the small “spectator windows” in the periscope version did not attract enough attention to the game when played.
  • Game History
    • Gameplay is on a plane with a mountainous horizon featuring an erupting volcano, crest moon, and various geometric solids like pyramids and blocks. The player views the screen, which includes an overhead radar view to find and destroy the slow standard tanks, or the much quicker moving supertanks. Saucer-shaped UFOs and guided missiles will occasionally show up for a bonus scoring opportunity.

      The saucers differ from the tanks in that they do not fire upon the player, and do not appear on radar. The player can hide behind the solids or maneuver in rapid turns once fired on to buy time with which to fire himself. Back in the early 80's, it was typical to receive three tanks for 25 cents.

      Scoring:
      Standard enemy tank 1,000 points
      Supertank 3,000 points
      Flying saucer 5,000 points.
      Guided Missile is worth 2,000 points

      Each of these targets can be destroyed with a single shot from the player's tank. An extra life is awarded when the player's score reaches 15,000 points, and a further tank is then awarded at 100,000 points.

      In the actual arcade game., no additional tanks are awarded until the score counter rolls over at TEN MILLION, and additional bonus tanks are again awarded at indicated scores of 15,000 and 100,000. The game only includes one hostile enemy on the game board at all times; the player never has to battle two enemy tanks at once, or a tank and guided missile. The UFO can appear on the screen at the same time as an enemy tank, and it can occasionally be destroyed by enemy fire.

      Contrary to arcade legend, the geometric solid obstacles are indestructible, and can block the movement of a player's tank. However, they are also useful as shields as they block enemy fire as well.