Tempest


  • Description
    • For a fantastic flash based version of the classic 1980 game Tempest - look no further! A nearly perfect conversion of the arcade classic to Flash/Shockwave. The mouse allows the fluid, high speed movement offered by the original analog control wheel of the arcade version. Tempest is a 1981 arcade game by Atari Inc., originally designed by legendary programmer Dave Theurer. The game is a tube shooter, a type of shoot 'em up where the environment is fixed and viewed from a three-dimensional perspective.
  • Instructions
    • The objective of Tempest is to survive as long as possible and score as many points as possible by clearing the screen of enemies that have landed on the playing field. The game takes place in a closed tube or open field which is viewed from one end and is divided into a dozen or more segments or lanes. The player controls a claw-shaped spaceship that crawls along the near edge of the playfield, moving from segment to segment. This ship can rapid-fire shots down the tube, destroying any enemies within the same segment, and is also equipped with a Superzapper, which destroys all enemies currently on the playfield once per level. (A second use of the Superzapper in a level destroys one random enemy.)
  • Trivia and Fun Facts
    • Tempest is featured as the video game that Reggie (Catherine Mary Stewart) plays in the 1984 film Night of the Comet, and the game serves to introduce a standing thread throughout the movie. While at the movie theater that saves her from exposure to the comet, she becomes obsessed with knocking someone with the initials "DMK" off the high score list. Additionally, the identity of "DMK" is revealed at the film's conclusion when another survivor suddenly appears with the custom license plate of "DMK".[7]
      Tempest is featured prominently in the Rush music video for their 1982 song "Subdivisions".
      Parzival encounters a version of Tempest in the first challenge though the crystal gate in Ernest Cline's book Ready Player One
  • Game History
    • Tempest was the first game to use Atari's Quadrascan color XY generator. The full-color vector graphics game was programmed by Missile Command designer Dave Theurer. Tempest is a shooting game that was based on an idea for a first-person Space Invaders. When Theurer's original game was deemed to similar to Space Invaders, Theurer presented a new idea. This idea was based on a nightmare he once had in which monsters climbed out of a hole and attacked. Theurer turned this idea into a successful video game. Tempest was one of the fastest and most challenging games of its time. In Tempest, players must shoot enemies coming up towards them from geometric tubes. Flippers, fuseballs, pulsars, and other enemies are killed with a C-shaped polygon weapon or a "superzapper" smart bomb. Players use a knob to spin the C-shaped weapon around in circles. To make up for the game's difficultly, players are rewarded with graphics and sound effects unlike any other game of the time. When a level is defeated, the game sucks you down the tube to the next level with a roar of sound. Fireworks light up the screen when a player writes their initials in for a high score. The Quadrascan color XY generator proved difficult to work with. The frequent overheating of the machines meant that maintenance was often needed. However, the full-color vector graphics of Tempest are well-worth any maintenance issues. Along with the game's challenging and innovative gameplay, the graphics are what make Tempest a classic