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River Raid - Activision - Atari 5200     HTML Manual   



River Raid Plan of Operation

Activision 5200 Series FZ-002-03

  • YOUR MISSION score as many points as possible by destroying enemy battleships, helicopters, fuel depots, jets, land tanks, hot air balloons, and bridges before your jet crashes or runs out of fuel.

    Initial Setup

    1. Insert cartridge into your Atari 5200 console with the power OFF. Then, turn power on.

    2. Plug in controller(s). Solo player uses left controller.

    3. Slip keypad overlay onto controller(s)

    4. Select game variation by pressing appropriate number on controller keypad. There are 8 variations (see chart).

    5. To begin or start a new game at any time, press the START key.

    6. To select a new game variation, press the RESET key. Then select desired game.

    7. To start the action, press the lower RED BUTTON on either side of your controller.

    8. Pause the action whenever you like by pressing the PAUSE key on your controller. To resume the game, press the same key again or press the red button on either side of your controller.

    9. Turn power OFF before removing RIVER RAID cartridge.


  • The River of No Return. The river is divided into sections, with a bridge at the end of each section. You will encounter islands, narrow channels, bays and lots of enemy air, land and water craft moving in to block your path. Also, the farther down the river you fly, the more harrowing things get.

  • The current bridge number is displayed on-screen and is an indication of your progress up the river. It is updated whenever a bridge is destroyed. Advanced pilots may start the game at later bridges, bypassing the easier sections of the river. Here are your options:
    Game Variation Chart:
    Game Number    Starting Bridge    # of Players
        1               1                 ONE
        2               1                 TWO
        3               5                 ONE
        4               5                 TWO
        5              20                 ONE
        6              20                 TWO
        7              50                 ONE
        8              50                 TWO
  • Your jet fighter will bank to the left or right when you move the control stick left or right. To accelerate, push it forward. To slow down, pull it back. There are a wide range of left/right and forward speeds. Remember: Center your control stick before you start moving to prevent a crash. Press the lower red button on either side of the controller to fire missiles (hold for continuous fire).

  • Your Squadron: You'll begin with four jets (one active, three on reserve). With each 10,000-point increase, you're given an additional jet. You lose a jet when it runs out of fuel, or touches anything except a fuel depot or the brown river bank. River Raid ends when all of your jets are lost.

  • Fuel Gauge: Always keep an eye and an ear on your fuel gauge. Fuel is used up at a constant rate, regardless of speed. When your fuel drops below 1/4 full, a warning siren sounds off to alert you. To refuel, fly over a fuel depot. The slower you fly over it, the more fuel you will receive. A bell will sound when you are refueling. This sound changes to a higher pitch when your fuel tank is full. If you don't need fuel, you can blow up the fuel depot. But keep in mind that the farther down the river you fly, the fewer fuel depots you'll find.

  • Land Tanks appear on the road at the first bridge. Beginning with bridge 7, they'll dodge up to the shoreline and commence shooting. You can fly right through their line of fire, but avoid the explosions they cause on the river.


    Target            Points
    Battleship          30
    Helicopter          60
    Balloon             60
    Fuel Depot          80
    Enemy Jet          100
    Helicopter Gunner  150
    Bridge             500
    Bridge with Tank   750
    Join the Activision "River Raiders"

  • If you reach a score of 40,000 points or more, you are eligible for the official rank of River Raider. Just send us a picture of your TV screen showing your score along with your name and address, and we'll send you an official River Raider emblem. Be sure to write "River Raid, 5200" and your score on the front corner of the envelope.

    "How to raid the river..."

  • Tips from Carol Shaw. Carol is a first class game designer and a computer science scholar. She's also a serious bicyclist, and can often be found cycling through the wilds of her native California coast. Her most recent hit was Happy Trails for Intellivision.

  • "The River of No Return holds many special challenges and dangers for would-be River Raiders. You'll not only have to know your assault jet, but you'll need to have a good idea of your basic flight plan before you start.

  • By knowing the river, pinpointing the areas with the highest concentration of enemy, AND the most fuel depots, you'll have a much better chance of surviving. Since the river is in sections, try jotting down notes for each important section as flight aids.

  • Fuel is also a critical factor. When you're far up the river, fuel is scarce. Hence, flying to the next fuel depot should be your top priority.

  • When you become really skilled, you'll find that you can actually blow up the fuel depot right in the middle of refueling. That way, you can gain the points and some fuel at the same time.

  • Remember that a bridge with a tank on it is worth the most points. Practice timing your bridge approaches so you can fire while a tank is crossing.

  • If you make it back to Allied territory and need some R and R, kick back and drop me a note. I'm always up for a high-flying tale."

    Carol B. Shaw (signed)

  • Let us get to know you! If you have any questions or comments about our games or clubs, or want to be added to our mailing list, drop us a note or call the "Game Hotline" at 1-800-633-GAME. In California, call (415) 940-6044 or (415) 940-6045.


    Activision, INC. Drawer 7287, Mountain View, CA 94039 (C)1982, 1983 Activision FZ-002-03


    Typed by Dan Reinholtz

    for Atari Gaming Headquarters

    Used with permission from Atari Gaming Headquarters