AtariAge Logo 2600
  Have You Played Atari Today? 2600|5200|7800|Lynx|Jaguar|Forums|Store  



Centipede - Atari - Atari 2600     HTML Manual   


1. The Enchanted Forest
  Once upon a time in a misty, enchanted forest, there lived a colony of
good elves.  These elves had a major problem, though.  There prized
mushroom garden was infested with pests--a giant Centipede, a
posoin-spreading scorpion, a mischief-making spider, and a pesky flea. 
The good elves tried everything they could to rid their garden of these
bugs.  But nothing worked.
  One day, an elf named Oliver was hacking away at a poisoned mushroom in
the garden.  Suddenly, he saw an unusual stick gleaming in the dirt.  Just
as Oliver picked up the stick, a spider jumped out from behind a mushroom
and rushed at him.  When Oliver waved his hands wildly to try to scare the
spider away, sparks flew from his stick and the spider disappeared!
  "How did that happen?" Oliver wondered out load.  "Could this be a magic
  Soon Oliver had another chance to try the wand.  When the scorpion
scurried across a row of mushroom, poisoning every mushroom it touched,
Oliver pointed the wand at the scorpion and shouted, "Be gone!"
  Instantly, the scorpion disappeared and the poisoned mushrooms were
transformed back into normal mushrooms.
  "This is great!  This is the tool we need to clean up our mushroom
garden!" Oliver shouted ecstatically.
  With his new found magic wand, Oliver hid behind a mushroom.
  "OK, you great big Centipede," he said.  "Come out whever you are.  I'm
ready for you now!"

2. Game Play
  You start the game with three magic wands.  Every time you score 10,000
points, you win a bonus wand.  You can have a total of 7 magic wands at
one time.  Any wands won after that are not held in reserve.  When you
lose your last magic wand, the game ends.
  If the Centipede, spider, or flea bites you, your wand is snatched away
and you become temporarily paralyzed.  The game will stop momentarily and
all the mushrooms are counted for bonus points.  Your points are added to
your running score, and the rejuvenated Centipede attacks again from the
top.  You must replay the previous wave until the Centipede is totally
  Objective: Use your magic wands to score as many points as possible (see
Section 5 for information on scoring).  Use strategy and quick thinking to
avoid the paralyzing insect bites.  The Enchanted Forest is a challenging,
but danderous region.  By learning about the dangers that lurk behind
every mushroom, you can become a skilled and heroic wand wielder.
  Inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest:
  Centipede:  Consisting of nine body segments, the Centipede attacks from
the top of the screen and winds down toward you.  Each time you hit a
segment, it becomes a powerless mushroom and the body segment behind that
mushroom becomes the head of a new Centipede.  When you shoot every
segment of a Centipede, the Centipede disappears breifly, then reappears
at the top in a new and fiercer attack formation.
  The Centipede attacks in 8 distinct waves.  In Wave 1, the Centipede is
composed of a head attached to 8 body parts.  In Wave 2, it has a head
attacked to 7 body parts, plus a detached head.  The Wave 3 Centipede is
composed of 6 body segments with 1 head attached and 2 detached heads. 
The Centipede continues to transform a body segment into a head until Wave
8, at which time it has 9 independently moving heads.
  You must eliminate the Wave 1 centipede only once.  Then, until you
score passes 40,000 points, you must destroy each subsequent Centipede
wave twice--first as the Centipede moves slowly towards you, then as it
moves fast.  After you score over 40,000 points, each Centipede will only
need to be destroyed once.
  Mushrooms:  Dotting the forest floor are mushrooms.  The Centipede
slides along horizontally in one direction.  When it touches a mushroom or
the edge of the screen, it drops down to the next row of mushrooms and
reverses direction.  It takes 3 consecutive hits to eliminate an entire
  Spider:  In its attempt to distract you from shooting the Centipede, the
spider jumps all over the battlefield, eliminating some of the mushrooms
it touches.  You score 300, 600, or 900 points when you zap the spider. 
The closer the spider is to your wand, the greater the score.  When you hit
it, the spider's score lights up on the screen.
  Flea:  The flea start bugging you after you shoot away most of the
mushrooms near you.  It drops straight down, creating mushrooms as it
falls.  You must hit the flea twice to make it disappear.  Warning:  After
the first shot, the flea drops twice as fast!
  Scorpion:  Sometime after you clear 3 Centipede screens, the scorpion
screens, the scorpion will scurry across the battlefield, poisoning every
mushroom it touches.  But, if you zap the scorpion before it runs across
an entire row of mushrooms, the spell of poison is broken and the
mushrooms remain normal.
  Poisoned Mushrooms:  Poisoned mushrooms are created by the scorpion. 
These are a deadly white color.  When the Centipede bumps into a poisoned
mushroom, it goes wild and plunges straight through the field of mushrooms
toward you.  As with normal mushrooms, you must hit a poisoned mushroom 3
times in succession to destroy it.  Each time you lose a wand, poisoned
mushrooms transform back into normal mushrooms.

3. Using the Controller
  Use your Joystick Controller with this ATARI Game Program cartridge. 
For this 1-player game, plug the controller cable firmly into the LEFT
CONTROLLER jack at the back of your 2600 Video Computer System console. 
Hold the controller with the red button to your upper left, toward the
television screen.  (See your Owner's Manual for further details.)
  Controller Action:  Move your Joystick in the same direction you want to
move your magic wand.  You can move about one-quarter of the way up the
screen as well as to the left and right edges of the screen.
  To shoot sparks, press the red fire button.  You can fire sparks as long
as you press the fire button, your supply is unlimited.

4. Console Controls
  Game Select Switch:  Use the GAME SELECT switch to choose the game you
want to play.  If you press and hold this switch down, you will
automatically cycle through the 2 CENTIPEDE game variations, EASY PLAY and
STANDARD PLAY.  A teddy bear figure appears at the bottom right side of
the screen to denote EASY PLAY.  For STANDARD PLAY, there is no teddy bear.
  Game Reset:  Press GAME RESET to start the attack.  Each time GAME RESET
is pressed, the game starts over.
  TV Type Switch:  Set this to COLOR is you're playing on a color
telivision set.  Set it to B-W to play the game in black and white.
  Difficulty Switches:  DIFFICULTY switches are not used in this game.

5.  Scoring
  In the standard CENTIPEDE game, you can score a total of 999,999 points
before the score rolls back to zero.  In the easy game variation, you can
score a total of 99,999 points.

Centipede Body Segment                              10 points
Centipede Head                                     100
Spider (distant range)                             300
Spider (medium range)                              600
Spider (close range--look out!)                    900
Flea                                               200
Scorpion                                          1000
Mushroom (totally eliminated)                        1
Mushroom (wounded or intact at end of turn)          5 for every 2
Poisoned Mushroom (totally eliminated)               1
Poisoned Mushroom (wounded or intact at end of turn) 5 for every 2
Bonus Wand                                Every 10,000

6. Game Variations
  CENTIPEDE offers 2 game variations: EASY PLAY for beginners and
children, and STANDARD PLAY for skilled players.
  In EASY games, you do not lose a magic wand when the flea or spider
touches you, and the Centipede always starts the attack in a single
formation, never with detached heads.

7. Helpful Hints
* Shoot away mushrooms in a straight line up the screen to create a
  "corridor."  When the Centipede reaches this "gap," it will fall straight
  down the battlefield and can be easilty picked off.
* Since the flea doesn't appear until you have eliminated most of the
  mushrooms near you, you can set up a shield to prevent this lightening-
  fast pest from striking.  Simply leave at least 5 mushrooms on the lower
  third of the screen.  After you score 120,000 points, you'll need to leave
  10 mushrooms.
* Shoot Centipede heads to create new heads out of the body segments left
  behind.  Since heads are worth 10 times the point value of body
  segments, you'll score lots of points.
* Each creature makes a distinct sound.  By becoming familiar with these
  sounds, you will know without looking, what is attacking and where it
  is on the screen.

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

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