#CX5202 Released for the Atari 5200 SuperSystem (C)1982
Warning: To insert your 5200(tm) game cartridge, hold the cartridge
so the name on the label face toward you and reads right-side-up.
Then carefully insert the cartridge into the slot in the center of
the console unit, Be sure the cartridge is firmly seated, but do not
force it in. The POWER ON/OFF switch is located on the bottom right
side of the Atari 5200. Pressthis switch to turn the power on AFTER
inserting your game cartridge. See Your Owner's Manual for further
Table of Contents:
1) Operation: Defense....................1
2) Game Play.............................3
3) Using the 5200(tm) Controllers........5
4) Trak-Ball Option......................8
6) Game Strategy........................10
RED ALERT! MISSILE ATTACK!
In 2203 the planet Zardon was established as Earth's outermost
colony. Originally, Zardon was intended to be the front line of
defense in the event of an interplanetary attack. A missile base
stocked with antiballistic missiles [ABMs] was the first order of
business. After its completion, the founding colonists set about
building a town.
In the years that ensued, the town flourished and grew into a city.
Eventuly, five other cities evolved to keep up with the burgeoning
population. Today, Zardon far supercedes its inital function as
front-line-defender. Back on Earth, it is known as the "Resource
Planet" because precious mines and ores are mined from Zardon's rich
deposits. Zardonians go about their business with a sense of pride
and well-being. They have actually built a utopia for themselves.
But now this very utopia is threatened by chaos and destruction, for
all is not peace and harmony in the celestial spheres.
Unlike Zardon, the planet Krytolia is undergoing a terrible
upheaval. Poverty, crime, and civil unrest plague it like a
contagious disease. Although Zardon has continuously give the less
fortunate interplanetary aid, the latter have merely exhibited token
appreciation. Secretly, they resent Zardon and covet its rich
resources. Krytolia has turned many of the Zardonian supplies into
warheads--missiles, satelites, and bombs. For several years, the
Krytolians have bided their time, scheming and plotting to attack
Zardon, to make the "Resource Planet" their own! At this very
moment, the surprise attack is on its way!
At Zardon missile base, the hot line flashes wildly.
"Commander! Our radar just picked up a barrage of missiles headed
straight toward us!"
"What? But that's incredible! Who...? You cut your question short,
realizing this is no time to ask, rather it is time to act.
You command Zardon missile base. You are responsible for the defense
of your home planet. You must employ quick thining and strategy to
successfully pit Zardon's ABMs against the invaders' fierce onrush of
weapons. Otherwise, the Zardonian civilization will perish.
2. Game Play
Your duty is to defend the six cities on your planet by destroying
the enemy's weapons with your antiballistic missiles [ABMs]. The
more enemy weapons you destroy and the longer you defend your cities,
the more points you score. When the enemy annihilates all your
cities, the game is over.
Missile Command can be played by one or two players. In single-
player games the object is to beat your own highest score. In two
-player games the object is to score more points than your opponent.
The enemy attacks your cities and missile base with IPBMs
[Interplanetary Ballistic Missiles], MIRVs [Multiple Independent
Reentry Vehicles], smart missiles, killer satelites, and bombers
(see figure 1). Attacks come in waves lasting 30-45 seconds. Each
wave is more difficult than the previous one. On the sixth wave, the
enemy launches smart missiles that can evade your ABMs and "home-in"
on your missile base and cities.
The enemy can destroy three cities per wave and zap your missile
base as often as you allow it. Each time your missile base is
blasted, you lose all missiles waiting to be launched. You have a
total of 30 ABMs per wave, with six in your launch pad at a time. As
each set of ABMs is fired, you receive 6 more, until all 30 are gone
or the wave ends. When your last six ABMs are on the launch pad, the
cursor warns you by changing from (empty center) into a solid like
this (center of cross full).
Sometimes, all you'll get when you press the fire button is a
high-pitched "oink" sound. That's the "no launch" signal telling you
that you can't fire ABMs for the following reasons:
* You have no more ABMs to launch.
* Your ABMs are not ready for launching.
* You already have eight ABM explosions on the scree. (You may
never have more than eight explosions on the screen at one time).
At the end of each wave, the cities and ABMs that you saved
are displayed, as shown in Figure 2, and bonus points for them are
added to your score. For more about SCORING, see Section 5.
A game ends when the enemy destroys all your cities and THE END
apprears on your television screen (Figure 3).
3. Using the 5200 Controllers.
Use one or two 5200 controllers with this Atari game cartridge.
For one player games, plug the controller into controller jack 1 on
your console. For a two-player game, plug the second controller
into the number 2 jack. In two-player games, the player using the
number 1 jack controls game selection and starts the game.
For your convenience, two keypad overlays are included with this
game. Slip the tabs into the slots above and below the keypad on
your controller (see Figure 5).
Press the left * key (on your overlay the square marked 1-2
Players) to choose a one or two-player game. THe message 1 PLAYER or
2 PLAYER is displayed at the top left of the screen (see figure 6).
Press START to begin the attack. The cursor, score counters, and
wave point multiplier will appear, as shown in figure 7. You can
restart a game at any time by pressing this key.
Press the RESET key at any time to return to the first display.
To suspend a turn in progress, press the PAUSE key. All action
will instantly freeze on the screen. To continue play, press PAUSE
Move the joystick up, down, left, right, or diagonally to place the
cursor where you wish your ABM to explode. To launch an ABM, press
either or both of the bottom red buttons on the front right and left
sides of the controller, as shown in Figure 4.
Game Options: SKIP WAVE MODE
If you wish to start Missile Command at a more difficult (and
higher scoring) wave level, press the 0 key on your keypad (or, the
square marked SKIP MODE on your keypad overlay). When you press this
key, a flashing question mark will appear on your television screen
after the word SKIP (See figure 9). To skip the first wave, press
the 1 key. SKIP 1 will appear at the top, center of the screen and
you'll start the game at Wave 2. If you skip two waves [SKIP 2],
you'll start the game at Wave 3 and so on up to 9 waves maximum.
After selecting the number of waves to be skipped, press the START
key to begin the game.
Game Options: Pracice Mode
If you want to practice hitting smart missiles, press the 8 key
on your keypad [or the PRACTICE square on your keypad overlay]. Then
press start and only smart missiles will appear (see Figure 10).
Smart missile games can be started at different wave levels, the
same as mixed weapons games, see SKIP WAVE MODE. To return to mixed
weapons games, press the 8
or PRACTICE key again.
Game Options: Bonus Cities
MISSILE COMMAND gives you a bonus city every time you score 10,000
points. If you wish to play without this feature, press the # key
[or, the square marked BONUS on your overlay). The word BONUS will
disappear from the top of the first display [Figure 6]. Press START
to begin game play without bonus cities. To restore bonus cities,
press # or BONUS again.
4. Trak-Ball [Future Accessory]
This MISSILE COMMAND cartridge offers a TRAK-BALL option. A
TRAK-BALL may be purchased seperately. To play the game with a
TRAK-BALL, plug the TRAK-BALL into the number 1 jack on the front
of your game console. Follow the instructions in Section 3, USING THE
5200 CONTROLLERS, for player selection and game options. You do not
need a seperate TRAK-BALL for each player. Simply pass the TRAK-BALL
back and forth as each turn comes up. The computer switches
between players and keeps score automatically. NOTE: You cannot use
a TRAK-BALL with a 5200 controller in a two player game. If you
switch from one type of controller to the other mid-game, plug in the
new controller and press start. You will restart the game option you
Move your TRAK-BALL in any direction to place your cursor on a
target. Press the fire button to fire ABMs. SEE your TRAK-BALL
Owner's Manual for details.
You score points for every enemy weapon destroyed and bonus points
for every city and ABM remaining at the end of a wave. Table 1 shows
the point system for the first two waves of MISSILE COMMAND:
Points for Weapons Destroyed:
IPBM 25 Points
MIRV 25 Points
BOMBER 100 Points
SATELLITE 100 Points
SMART MISSILE 125 Points
ABM 5 Points
City 100 Points
All cities and ABMs left at the end of a wave are displayed on the
screen (as shown in figure 2), and bonus points are automatically
added to your score.
Display Colors and Wave Point Multlipliers
Every two waves, the display colors change and the wave multiplier
increases. For example, all points are doubled in Waves 3 and 4,
tripled in Waved 5 and 6, and quadrupled in Waves 7 and 8. Wave
point multlipliers are displayed at the start of every wave (see
Waves continue as long as you have cities left. After Wave 20, the
colors repeat. Wave 21 and 22, for example, are the same colors as
Waves 1 and 2. However, with Wave 11, points are always multiplied
Table 2 shows the display colors and the wave point multiplier for
each wave. Note: Colors may vary, depending upon the color control
settings of your television set.
Waves Colors Multiplier
1 & 2 Blue & Red on Black 1 x points
3 & 4 Blue & Green on Black 2 x points
5 & 6 Yellow-Green & Red on 3 x points
7 & 8 Light Blue & Yellow on 4 x points
9 & 10 Black & Pink on Blue 5 x points
11 & 12 Blue & light Red on 6 x points
13 & 14 Light Yellow & Black 6 x points
15 & 16 Light Red & Black on 6 x points
17 & 18 Light Purple & light 6 x points
Yellow-Green on Gray
19 & 20 Light Blue & Black on 6 x points
Bonus City Points:
Every 10,000 points you receive a bonus city and a musical salute.
Your bouns city is placed at a vacant site chosen at random. If you
prefer, you can play Missile Command without the bonus city
feature. Check GAME OPTIONS in Section 3 for information on this.
If you have no vacant sites at 10,000 points (or multiples of
10,000 points), your bonus city is held in reserve until a city is
destroyed. The bonus city is set on the vacant site at the start
of the next wave. Bonus cities will be reserved untill your score
reaches 1,000,000 points. At 1,000,000 points, you lose all cities
6. GAME STRATEGY
- As soon as you've launched an ABM and marked the target for
detonation, move the cursor to another target. Don't wait for
- Aim just in front of missiles, satellites, and bombers, and let
them travelinto your exploding ABM's
- Hit bombers and killer satellites before they can drop missiles.
Also, the sooner they'll reappear and the more points you can
score. You may want to launch "insurance" ABM's at the left and
right sides od the screen before a bomber or satellite appears, in
the chance that one will travel into the ABM explosion.
- Hit IPBM's before they "MIRV" (divide into multiple warheads)
- Hit smart missiles dead on, since they're designed to evade your
ABM detonators. If you're not good at direct hits, try surrounding
smart missiles with detonations.
- Hit targets before they cross radar line. The radar line is an
invisible line marking the cursor's lower limit. Since you can't
position the cursor below this line, any enemy missile that crosses
it is beyond the range of your ABMs
- Don't waste ABMs on enemy missiles that are heading for dirt (bomb
craters or vacant sites). Defend your missile base and cities
first. If all your cities are destroyed or are on the verge of
earning a bonus city, then it is good strategy to go for the high-score
targets like smart missiles, even if they are heading for
- Don't let smart missiles distract you. Sometimes you can try so
hard to hit smart missiles you forget to defend your planet.
Remember that a smart missile can only hit one target.
- As waves become more difficult, you may be forced to sacrifice
some cities. Give up the outside cities first. Save the cities
nearest your missile base; they're easier to defend. When waves
become really tough, you may want to defend one city and go for
as many high score targets as possible.
- Since the enemy can destroy three cities per wave, after you've
lost three cities, concentrate on destroying high-score enemy
targets. Of course, you still have to defend your missile base.
- Protect your cities with a missile umbrella. This is a line of
ABM explosions spread across the television screen to trap and
destroy oncoming enemy weapons. To setup a missile umbrella, move
the cursor rapidly across the screen, just below the enemy missiles
and leave a string of detonation marks. Space the marks close
enough to form a chain of explosions beneath enemy targets. If
possible, spread the missile umbrella in the path of a bomber or
Atari Missile Command CX5202
A Warner Communications Company
Typed by Dan Reinholtz
for Atari Gaming Headquarters
Used with permission from Atari Gaming Headquarters