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Countermeasure - Atari - Atari 5200     HTML Manual   



  • ATARI welcomes your comments. Please address all correspondence to:

    ATARI Customer Relations, 1312 Crossman Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94086

  • To insert your ATARI 5200 game cartridge, hold the cartridge so the name on the label reads right-side-up. Then carefully insert the cartridge into the slot in the center of the console. Be sure the cartridge is firmly seated, but do not force it. The POWER ON/OFF switch is located on the lower right side of the 5200 console unit. Press this switch to turn the power on after inserting your game cartridge. See your Owner's Manual for further information.


    1. Attention! All Supertank Units

    2. Game Play

    3. Using The 5200 Controllers

    4. Skill Levels

    5. Strategy


  • We've just received word that terrorists have seized one of our missile silo complexes and are threatening to blow up Washington, D.C. These lunatics aren't fooling! They've wired the missiles to a silo computer and started the launch sequence timer. In just 10 minutes the missiles will lift off for Washington . . . unless YOU stop them. Destroy all the silos in the complex with your long-range turret gun before the timer runs out. If you complete this mission, you'll win the Congressional Medal of Honor . . . along with 10,000 bonus points and a bonus life.

  • If the timer runs out before you destroy all the silos, you still have a chance to prevent disaster. In the seconds before impact, dock your supertank at a silo, enter the War Room, and guess the fail-safe code that disarms the missiles: The code is some combination of the letters L, E, and O . . . for example, ELL, OOO, or OLE. Succeed and you win 10,000 bonus points and a bonus life. Fail and . . . well, you'll find out.

    2. GAME PLAY


  • The scrolling map shows you the seven sites in the missile silo complex (see Figure 1 on the following page). Each site contains a silo, a supply depot (which you'll need for refueling), and four or five pillboxes strategically placed to protect the silo and supply depot. When you press START to begin a game, the computer selects one of the sites at random and places your supertank at the bottom of the television screen. As your tank travels to the top of the site, the map scrolls to reveal another site.

    [Screenshot with the following items labeled: Launch Sequence Timer, Silo, Supply Depot, Supertank, and Pillbox.]
    Figure 1 - Silo Site


  • Your supertank (Figure 1) has three lives and earns a bonus life every 10,000 points. Its long-range turret gun rotates 360 degrees and moves independently of the tank body. (See Section 3 - USING THE 5200 CONTROLLERS for tank and turret gun control.)

  • The tank moves fast in the open, slower through fields, and slowest through woods and towns.


    The terrorists control all of the silo defenses:

    * Pillboxes [pictures of pillboxes]

    * Remote-controlled tanks and jeeps [pictures of a jeep and a tank]

    * Cruise missiles. [pictures of cruise missiles]

    Pillboxes: To reach silos and supply depots, you have to pass pillboxes, which rotate and fire in your direction. Trees and buildings do not shield you from them. Destroy pillboxes with your turret gun when they get in the way of your mission. Incidentally, don't try to drive through them. You'll wreck your tank and lose a life.

    Tanks, Jeeps, and Cruise Missiles: The skill level of your game determines when these appear and how often. Tanks and jeeps home in and shoot at you, but their range is half that of yours. Your turret gun is the only thing that stops them. You can run them down, but that costs you lives and is probably not worth it. Screaming cruise missiles try to impact on your tank but blow up if they hit trees or buildings (except at skill level 9).

  • Anything you hit with your turret gun explodes and becomes a pile of burning rubble. You can drive through this debris, though it may be slow going.

  • The longer you survive, the harder the terrorists try to stop you and the rougher it gets. Console yourself with the points you pile up for hitting silos, pillboxes, and other terrorist weapons (see SCORING).


    WARNING! Supertanks explode when they run out of fuel.

  • The fuel gauge turns red (see Figure 2) when your tank is low on fuel. To refuel, drive to a supply depot and dock (touch the depot). After refueling, the fuel gauge turns green. (NOTE: Colors may vary, depending on your TV control settings.)


  • In addition to fuel, you pick up fail-safe clues at supply depots. One letter of the code, in its correct position, appears in the center of your fuel gauge (Figure 2). The computer gives clues at random. Don't count on getting all three code letters, even if you reach all seven supply depots.

    [Screenshot with the Fuel Gauge in the lower left corner and the Fail-Safe Code in the lower center labeled.]
    Figure 2 - Refueling


  • If the launch sequence timer runs out before you have destroyed all the silos, you must dock at a silo and enter your fail-safe code guess into the computer in the War Room (Figure 3). However, you do not have to wait until the timer runs out. You can dock at a silo and guess the code any time you're ready. Use your controller keypad to enter the code (see KEYPAD in Section 3). If you guess right, you win 10,000 points and a bonus life. WARNING! If your tank gets too close to a silo, you will be transported into the War Room and have to guess the fail-safe code, ready or not.

    [War Room Screenshot--just a map of the world.]
    Figure 3 - War Room


  • A game continues until you run out of lives, whether your mission succeeds or fails. If a life remains at the end of a mission, the terrorists seize another silo complex, reset the launch sequence timer, and begin a new wave of terror at the next highest skill level. The computer starts the new wave automatically; you do not have to press any keys on your 5200 controller.

  • If you have no lives left at the end of a mission, the computer resets to the scrolling map. Press START to begin a new game at the same skill level.


  • Player 1 (using the controller plugged into jack 1) starts the game. When he loses a life, Player 2 takes his turn. Players alternate until one player loses his last life. The play then continues with the remaining player until he also runs out of lives. The player with the highest score wins.


  • Score counters, lives remaining counters, and the highest game score appear at the top of the television screen (Figure 4).
    Reaching Depot                   50 Points
    Pillbox                         100 Points
    Jeep                            200 Points
    Tank                            300 Points
    Silo                            500 Points
    Cruise Missile                 1000 Points
    Destroying Silos in Time     10,000 Points
    Guessing Fail-Safe Code      10,000 Points
    Bonus life every 10,000 points.
    NOTE: Zapping silos after the launch sequence timer runs out is cause for courtmartial and dishonorable discharge from the Super tank Corps. If you destroy the last silo after the timer runs out, you forfeit the 10,000 bonus points and bonus life.

    [Screenshot with the following items on the bar at the top of the screen labeled: Player 1 Lives Remaining, Player 2 Lives Remaining, Player Scores, and Highest Game Score.] Figure 4 - Game Counters


  • For one-player games, plug a 5200 controller into jack 1 on the front of the console unit. For two-player games, plug an additional controller into jack 2 (see Figure 5).

    [Photo of a 5200 pointing out where to plug in the controllers. Duh!]
    Figure 5 - Controller Connections


  • For your convenience, two keypad overlays are included with this game (Figure 6). Slip the overlay tabs into the slots provided on the controller keypad.
              L          E            O
          --------    --------    --------
         |        |  |        |  |        |
         |        |  |        |  |        |
          --------    --------    --------
          --------    --------    --------
         |        |  |        |  |        |
         |        |  |        |  |        |
          --------    --------    --------
          --------    --------    --------
         |        |  |        |  |        |
         |        |  |        |  |        |
          --------    --------    --------
          --------    --------    --------
         |        |  |        |  |        |
         |        |  |        |  |        |
          --------    --------    --------
              Figure 6 - Keypad Overlay

    START. Press START to begin a game. In two-player games. Player 1 starts the first game. Thereafter, the one who played last starts the game. To interrupt a game and start over, press PAUSE and then START

    PAUSE. Press PAUSE to freeze the action temporarily. Press PAUSE again to continue playing.

    RESET. Press RESET to display the options (Figure 7) before starting a game. After starting a game, press PAUSE and then RESET to display the options.

    [Screenshot before the start of a game with the options display at the top of the screen.]
    Figure 7 - Options Display


    L, E, and O (Keys 1, 2, and 3). Press these keys to enter the fail-safe code. Keep pressing keys, in any sequence, until you guess the code and save Washington or the missiles impact and you take the consequences.

    1-2 PLAYERS (Key *). COUNTERMEASURE is set for one player. Press this key to select the 2 PLAYERS option. Press it again to select the 1 PLAYER option.

    AUTO-TANK/STOP-TANK (Key 0). COUNTERMEASURE is set for AUTO-TANK. Press this key to select STOP-TANK. Press it again to return to AUTO-TANK.

    * STOP-TANK. Supertank stops when you press the bottom red button to turn the turret gun (see JOYSTICK).

    * AUTO-TANK. Supertank keeps moving when you press the bottom red button to turn the gun.

    SKILL LEVEL (Key #). Press to change the skill level. COUNTERMEASURE is set for skill level 1. (Skill levels are discussed in Section 4.)


    See Figure 8.

    Top Button. Press to fire your turret gun.

    Bottom Button. Press to turn the turret gun with the joystick.

    [Photo of a 5200 controller. The top fire button is labeled "Fire Gun," and the bottom button is labeled "Turn Gun."]
    Figure 8 - 5200 Controller


  • Use the joystick on your 5200 controller to drive your supertank and to turn the turret gun (see Figure 9). Hold in the bottom red button to turn the gun. Release the button to drive the tank. The turret gun is independent of the tank and remains set when you move the tank.

    [Drawing of a compass rose indicating the possible directions of movement, e.g. up, down left, right and diagonal. Did they really need to include a figure for this?]
    Figure 9 - Joystick Moves


  • There are 10 skill levels, from 0 to 9. In general, the higher the skill level, the faster the game. Advancing to a higher level increases the pace and difficulty as follows:

    * Turret gun shoots faster and further.

    * Pillboxes rotate faster and shoot further.

    * Jeeps, tanks, and cruise missiles appear sooner and more often.

    * Cruise missiles home in more accurately.

    * Impact timer counts down faster.

  • Level 9 is the most difficult skill level and may even be hard for experts. If you're an expert, give it a try. Cruise missiles never impact on trees and buildings and seldom miss the target.

  • Level 0 is slow and easy. It's a good level for practicing maneuvers and working out strategy. 5. STRATEGY

  • Here are a few tips to help you succeed in your mission:

  • KEEP MOVING. As everyone knows, a moving target is harder to hit. For that reason, you may prefer the AUTO-TANK option to STOP-TANK at higher skill levels.

  • REMEMBER YOUR GOAL. Your primary objective is to destroy all the silos before the timer runs out. You'll never make it if you go for every pillbox and supply depot. Concentrate on the pillboxes that are in your way. Pass up a supply depot if you have enough fuel to make it to the next depot.

  • PACE THE PILLBOXES. At the start of a game, pillboxes will rotate twice before they start firing at you. Take advantage of this to zap one or two. You can also draw their fire and then go for them while their guns are rotating away from you. But watch out for crossfire from other pillboxes. They don't all rotate in sync.

  • SHOOT DIAGONALLY. Your turret gun shoots further when it's line of fire is diagonal to the target.

  • DON'T BE AN EASY TARGET. When cruise missiles start looking for you, trees and buildings are your best defense. So stick to the forests and towns and cross open country as fast as possible. (This tip won't help you at skill level 9.)


    Typed by Jay Tilton

    for Atari Gaming Headquarters

    Used with permission from Atari Gaming Headquarters