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Missile Command - Atari - Atari 2600    Manual Scan icon HTML Manual   

Missile Command


                                                  MODEL CX2638

A Warner Communications Company

34 GAME                  SPECIAL                 HELPFUL HINTS
VARIATIONS               FEATURE                     Section 7

                           This Game
                          Program TM
                         versions for
                        young children.

NOTE: Always turn the console power switch off when inserting
or removing a Game Program TM. This will protect the
electronic components and prolong the life of your ATARI (R)
Video Computer System TM.                (c) 1981, ATARI, INC.


1. YOUR COMMANDING ORDERS                                    2

2. GAME PLAY                                                 3

3. USING THE CONTROLLERS                                     4

4. CONSOLE CONTROLS                                          5

5. SCORING                                                   6

6. GAME VARIATIONS                                           7

7. HELPFUL HINTS                                             8

8. GAME MATRIX                                               9


Aliens from the planet of Krytol have begun an attack on the
planet Zardon. The Krytolians are warriors out to destroy and
seize the planet of Zardon. Zardon is the last of the peaceful
planets. The Zardonians are skillful and hardworking people.
Their cities are built-up and rich in resources. It is truly a
planet void of crime and violence.

Zardon has built a powerful defense system. Several
antiballistic missile bases have been established within the
cities of Zardon. The Zardonians are ready for this attack,
and are prepared to fight to save their cities.

As base commander it is your responsibility to protect and
defend six cities on the planet of Zardon. The Krytolians have
begun firing interplanetary ballistic missiles. They are
aiming at your cities and missile bases. Your only defense is
to fire back with antiballistic missiles. But watch out, the
Krytolians are sly, they also have cruise missiles. Cruise
missiles look like satellites, but they are just as deadly as
the interplanetary ballistic missiles.

Use your antiballistic missiles (ABMs) to stop the enemy
before your happy and harmonious planet is destroyed.


The object of the game is to defend your cities and missile
bases. the enemy fires interplanetary ballistic missiles and
cruise missiles, both of which are aimed to destroy your
cities and missile base. There are only two types of cruise
missiles; smart cruise missiles, which try to evade your anti-
ballistic missiles (ABMs), and dumb cruise missiles, which
fall in a straight path.

The enemy attacks in a series of waves that may vary in the
number of attacking interplanetary ballistic missiles. Each
consecutive wave moves faster. The faster the wave, the more
difficult it is to defend the cities. So, the faster the wave,
the higher the scoring. See Section 5 for details about waves
and scoring.

With each wave you have 30 ABMs for defense (see Figure 1).
Your launching missile base, (bottom, centre of playfield)
contains only 10 ABMs at a time. As each set of 10 ABMs is
fired, you automatically receive 10 more from you underground
missile dump (bottom, left corner). Once you have fired all 30
ABMs, you are defenseless until a new wave begins.

[Figure 1]

You must protect your launching missile base from enemy fire.
Once it is hit, all of its contents are destroyed. However,
you still have the remaining missiles in the underground dump.
The game ends when all of the cities are destroyed.


            MOVE UP
            \  |  /
 MOVE       /  |  \
           MOVE DOWN     
Figure 2

Use your Joystick Controllers with this ATARI (R) Game Program
TM. Be sure to plug the controller cables firmly into the
jacks at the back of your Video Computer System TM. Hold the
controller with the red button to your upper left toward the
television screen. Use the LEFT CONTROLLER jack for one-player
games. See Section 3 of your owner's manual for further

Use the Joystick Controller as a target control for your ABMs.
Move the Joystick up, down, right, left, or diagonally to move
the cursor (blinking light) to the target where you wish your
antiballistic missile to explode. Push the controller button
to launch you ABM's. (See Figure 2.)

Consider the Joystick as a target control for your missiles.
Wherever the target control is on the screen when the button
is pressed will be the exact location that your ABM explodes.
Once you have launched an ABM, you can move to a new target
and launch again while the first ABM is in flight. The best
way to destroy the enemy is to place the target control
directly in the path of the interplanetary ballistic missiles.
The ABM must make contact with the tip of the enemy's
interplanetary ballistic missile.

Some game variations have a fast target control and some have
a slow target control. The faster the target control moves,
the harder it is to position below the enemy missiles. (See
the GAME SELECT MATRIX for games which feature a fast target
control or slow target control).


To select a MISSILE COMMAND game, press down the game select
switch. To quickly change the game number, hold down the game
select and the game reset switches at the same time.

The game number and the number of players appear in the middle
of the screen. The game number is to the left of the number of
players. (See Figure 3.) When you have selected the game you
wish to play, press down the game reset switch to start the
action. Each time game reset is pressed down the game starts
over. When game play starts the score appears at the top of
the screen.

Difficulty Switches

MISSILE COMMAND has two difficulty levels -a and b. The b
level is for normal game play. Level a is for the skilled
MISSILE COMMAND player. When the difficulty switch is in the a
position, your ABMs move at a slower pace, making it more
difficult to defend your cities and missile base. Each player
may choose his or her own difficulty level.

In a one-player game use the left difficulty switch. For two-
player games, the left player uses the left difficulty switch;
the right player uses the right difficulty switch. When you
become skilled at MISSILE COMMAND, try GAME 16 with difficulty
level a for a real challenge.


You score points when you destroy interplanetary ballistic
missiles and cruise missiles. You also score points for unused
antiballistic missiles and saved cities. Because each wave of
interplanetary ballistic missiles moves faster, the points for
the higher numbered waves are multiplied. For example, waves 9
and 10 are worth 5 times their original point value. (See

                 Points are scored as follows:

Interplanetary Ballistic Missiles                    25 points
Enemy Cruise Missiles                               125 points
Unused Antiballistic Missiles                         5 points
Saved Cities                                        100 points

                            Table 1
                      SCORING MULTIPLIER

WAVES 1-2                                       Single Scoring
WAVES 3-4                                       Double Scoring
WAVES 5-6                                       Triple Scoring
WAVES 7-8                                   Four Times Scoring
WAVES 9-10                                  Five Times Scoring
WAVES 11 and ABOVE                           Six Times Scoring

Wave 13 is the most difficult wave in this Game Program TM

Unused ABM's and saved cities are tallied at the end of each
wave. Between each consecutive wave, the cities fall and rise
again when the next wave starts (see Figure 4). A bonus city
is awarded every 10,000 points. If your score reaches 10,000
points at the end of a wave and all six of your cities are
destroyed, you still receive a bonus city and another wave of
interplanetary ballistic missiles will attack.

[Figure 4]

Bonus cities are saved if none of you cities are destroyed. A
musical tune is played each time a bonus city is used.


MISSILE COMMAND has 34 game variations. Games 1 through 17 are
one-player, and games 18 through 34 are two-player games. this
ATARI Game Program includes game variations for young
children, games 17 and 34. The game play is slower in the
children's versions (see CHILDREN'S GAMES).


Some game variations have fast target control and some have
slow target control. This means that your may move the cursor
fast or slow around the screen. Because you use the Joystick
to move the target control, the slower it moves, the more
control you will have; but the fewer amount of targets you'll
be able to hit. The faster the target control moves, the more
difficult it is to control; but the more targets you will be
able to hit.


After the 6th wave of interplanetary ballistic missiles, the
enemy may attack with cruise missiles. The dumb cruise
missiles travel in a straight line and are fairly easy to
destroy. The smart cruise missiles can detect and evade your
ABM explosions, making them more difficult to destroy.


The higher the wave number, the faster the enemy missiles
attack. Some game variations start at a low wave number and
progress to a higher  and faster wave number. The games that
start at a high wave number are fast in the beginning and
progress even faster with each wave. The faster waves score
more points.


Games 17 and 34 play at a slower and easier speed for young
children. They have dumb enemy cruise missiles, slow target
control, and the enemy attacks at a slower rate with less
missiles. As children become skilled at this level, they
should try the more difficult game variations, starting at
Game 1.


Games 18 through 34 are two-player games. In two-player games
each player alternates as base commander, one wave at a time.
The left controller player begins the game. Each player's
score appears at the top of the screen with each turn. At the
end of the game both players' scores are alternately displayed
on the screen.


1)   You may fire up to three defense missiles simultaneously.
     After pressing the controller (fire) button, move to the
     next enemy site and fire again. Do not wait for the
     explosion before moving.

2)   Once a city is destroyed you no longer can defend it, so
     concentrate only on your missile base and saved cities.
     Ignore enemy fire aimed at cities already destroyed.

3)   Smart enemy cruise missiles are easiest to destroy if
     your target control is directly on them. When it is
     directly on them, the enemy cannot detect your ABMs.

ONE-PLAYER GAME NO.     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

FAST TARGET CONTROL     -  X  -  X  -  X  -  X  -  X  -  X  -  X  -  X  C
SLOW TARGET CONTROL     X  -  X  -  X  -  X  -  X  -  X  -  X  -  X  -  H
DUMB CRUISE MISSILE     X  X  -  -  X  X  -  -  X  X  -  -  X  X  -  -  I
SMART CRUISE MISSILE    -  -  X  X  -  -  X  X  -  -  X  X  -  -  X  X  L
FIRST WAVE              1  1  1  1  7  7  7  7 11 11 11 11 15 15 15 15  D

TWO-PLAYER GAME NO.     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

FAST TARGET CONTROL     -  X  -  X  -  X  -  X  -  X  -  X  -  X  -  X  C
SLOW TARGET CONTROL     X  -  X  -  X  -  X  -  X  -  X  -  X  -  X  -  H
DUMB CRUISE MISSILE     X  X  -  -  X  X  -  -  X  X  -  -  X  X  -  -  I
SMART CRUISE MISSILE    -  -  X  X  -  -  X  X  -  -  X  X  -  -  X  X  L
FIRST WAVE              1  1  1  1  7  7  7  7 11 11 11 11 15 15 15 15  D


A Warner Communications Company

ATARI, INC., Consumer Division
               P.O.Box 427, Sunnyvale, CA 94086

C016943-38 REV. 1                            Printed in U.S.A.-------------------Atari 2600 Instructions Archive-------------------

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