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Gravitar - Atari - Atari 2600    Manual Scan icon HTML Manual   


The evil Gravitar has set out to destroy the universe| His deadly weapon?

Gravitar bombards unsuspecting galaxies with his hostile gravitational
forces. He then installs a powerful reactor within each solar system of the
defeated galaxy, creating a killer sun that destroys all life on the
surrounding planets. He blockades those planets with lethal rammers and
with automated bunkers programmed to shoot.

So far, Gravitar has conquered four galaxies, each made up of three solar
systems. And intelligence reports hint that our galaxy may be next. Gravitar
must be stopped before he adds our galaxy to his list|

Getting Started:

1. With your television turned on, insert the Gravitar cartridge into your
Atari 2600 (or 7800) as explained in your Owner's Manual, and then turn on
your console. The Gravitar title screen appears.

2. Plug a joystick into the left controller port.

3. Press [Select] to choose one of the five game levels. (The game level
number appears at the bottom of the title screen.)

  - Level 1 is the most challenging, with only 6 spaceships at your disposal.

  - At level 2, you have 15 ships in your fleet.

  - At level 3, you have 6 spaceships, but the planetary bunkers and enemy
    saucers cannot fire at you.

  - Level 4 offers a good practice game. You have 100 spaceships in your fleet;
    but watch out for shooting saucers and enemy bunkers.

  - At level 5, you have 25 spaceships and no gravity to fight; this level is
    a good place for beginners to start.

4. Press the joystick fire button to begin the game.

5. Hold the joystick so that the red button is in the upper left corner. Move
the joystick handle right or left to rotate your ship in that direction. Push
the joystick handle forward to thrust in the direction your ship is pointing.
Pull back on the joystick handle to activate your tractor beam and to raise
your protective shields. Press the joystick fire button to release missiles.

6. During a game, press [Reset] to return to the title screen to make a new
game selection.

Playing the Game:

Your task is to break Gravitar's hold on the 12 solar systems under his power.
You can do this by destroying all bunkers on every planet or by setting off
the reactor in the alien reactor base.

Each solar system consists of a killer sun, an alien reactor base, and three
or four blockaded planets - each housing fuel deposits and enemy bunkers.

To move from one solar system to the next, you must either visit all the
planets and destroy every enemy bunker or activate the reactor at the core of
the alien reactor base and escape before it explodes.

When you complete your mission in the three solar systems of one galaxy, you
are automatically transported to another galaxy, where your rescue mission
will continue.

You start the game with 6 to 100 starships, depending on the game level, and
with 10,000 fuel units. Your ship consumes fuel every time you use your
thrust engines, activate your shields, or extend your tractor beam. A
warning beep sounds when your fuel level goes below 2,000 units.

The game ends when you run out of fuel or lose all your spaceships. When
you complete your mission, the game resets and your points continue to

Solar Systems:

As the ship leaves its entry port in the solar system, you must steer out
of the gravitational field of the killer sun and head for a plaet. If your
ship is drawn into the killer sun, you will crash.

The alien reactor base of each solar system sends out enemy saucers to shoot
at you, except in game level 3. If you fly near a saucer, you will both be
thrown out into deep space, where you must duel until your ship or the saucer
is destroyed.


One way to complete your mission in a solar system is to visit every planet
and destroy all bunkers. You enter a planet's atmosphere by flying very near
it. You cannot leave a planet until you have blown up every bunker.

Each planet has its own craggy landscape, and, except in game 5, each has a
strong gravitational force that makes your flight around the planet very
treacherous. If you fly too close to a planet, your starship will be crushed
by its gravity.

Watch out for the rammers that hover above most planets. If one of these
enemy ships rams you, you lose a starship.

Shoot your missiles to blow up the bunkers and the rammers. You can also
destroy a bunker by crashing into it, but you'll lose a spaceship. Use your
tractor beam to pick up fuel capsules as needed.

After destroying all the bunkers, fly your ship to the top of the screen to
leave the planet and return to the solar system screen. The planet you have
just left will then explode.

Alien Reactor Base:

The other way to complete your mission in a solar system is to destroy the
alien reactor base. The alien reactor base is a port into the next solar
system. It consists of a winding tunnel that leads to a reactor at the core of
the planet.

A clock at the top of the screen counts down the seconds you have to reach
the reactor, activate it by firing into its center, and escape before it

As you move through the first two galaxies, your countdown time on the alien
reactor base decreases, from 60 seconds in the first solar system to a
harrowing 25 seconds in the sixth. When you reach the third galaxy, the
countdown cycle starts over.

You can leave the alien reactor base without setting off the reactor. If your
ship is destroyed on the base, you will be returned to your entry port in the
solar system. If you blow up the alien reactor base, the explosion will
catapult you into the next solar system.


When you make it through all three solar systems in one galaxy, you
automatically go on to the next galaxy.

The four galaxies are similar, except for factors of light and gravity. In
the second and fourth galaxies, each planet exerts a reverse gravitational
force that repels your ship. In the third and fourth galaxies, the
landscape of each planet, including that alien reactor base, is completely
dark; only the bunkers, rammers, and fuel deposits are visable.


Be careful when using your shields. Although they protect your ship from
enemy fire, your shields will not withstand a crash or collision with an
enemy ship.

When leaving the entry port, rotate the ship to the left or right; then thrust
forward to move away from the sun.

Use a light touch on your joystick when thrusting. If your ship hits the side
of the screen, it will be repelled by a force field and may be hard to control.

Since the force of gravity gets stronger as you near a planet's surface, aim
the nose of your ship away from the planet when picking up fuel. You can then
thrust away from the surface as soon as you have the fuel.

To pick up the fuel, steer your ship over the fuel depot and activate the
tractor beam by pulling the joystick handle toward you. You can pick up fuel
with your ship aimed in any direction.

When picking up fuel, pull back on your joystick and quickly release it. You'll
use a minimum amount of energy, and your chances of crashing will be reduced.

You may want to wait until you have destroyed every bunker on a planet before
you beam up the fuel. Be careful not to fly near the top of the screen or
you'll enter the solar system before you get all the fuel.

When traveling through the dark galaxies, you can find out where the planet
surface is by firing missiles. Each time your missile hits, the explosion will
briefly illuminate the landscape. This technique works in the alien reactor
base as well.


You score points for destroying enemy saucers, rammers, and bunkers. Each time
you enter a new solar system, you can receive 7,000 fuel units, two bonus
ships, and 4,000 extra points. You can earn a total of 999,950 points before
the score resets. At the end of a game, your final score appears below the
game level number.

Saucer..................................................100 points

Rammer..................................................100 points

Bunker..................................................250 points

Fuel depot........................................5,000 fuel units

Bonus ship.....................................Every 10,000 points

Atari(r), the Atari logo, Gravitar(tm), 2600(tm), and 7800(tm) are trademarks
or registered trademarks of Atari Corporation.

Copyright (c)1988, Atari Corporation, Sunnyvale, CA 94086. All rights reserved.

-------------------Atari 2600 Instructions Archive-------------------

This document obtained from the History of Home Video Games Homepage, �1997-1998 by Greg Chance