Medieval Mayhem - Atari 2600



TV Type:  NTSC        PAL      

Fans of the popular four-player Atari 2600 game Warlords (which was also released as an arcade game of the same name) will be happy to learn that 2600 enthusiast Darrell Spice Jr. has created a new 2600 homebrew titled Medieval Mayhem, an updated take on Warlords. While the original version from Atari is still a blast to play, Medieval Mayhem adds arcade features such as the launch dragon, multiple fireballs, and a level of polish missing from the original 2600 release. It also includes a menu to select options before starting the game. Medieval Mayhem is a frenetic multi-player game that you can enjoy against your friends (up to four people may play) or against the computer AI!


  • Launch Dragon
  • Multiple Fireballs
  • 4 AI levels
  • Options Menu
  • Stereo Sound
  • Titlescreen Music
  • Demo mode
  • Individual Player Catch Setting
  • Fireball Flareups

In October 2006 AtariAge sponsored a Medieval Mayhem Label Contest to solicit artwork for the game. The winning entry was created by David Vazquez, whose art graces both the label and manual. You can view all the contest submissions here.

Additional Information

Includes cartridge and full-color manual. Available in NTSC and PAL television formats, please specify above when ordering.

Author Darrell Spice Jr.
Number of Players 1 - 4
Controller Paddles
Cartridge Size 32K
Label Design David Vazquez
Manual Design David Vazquez
Lee Keebz Kebler on 06/22/2020 08:20pm
This was my first homebrew purchase. And it did not disappoint. I loved warlords, but lets face it, the AI was pretty dumb. This game ups the graphics, music, animations, and options through the roof and then adds way better AI to boot. Its HARD.

But it's also a really interesting party game. When you have people over and they see an old atari next to the TV they ask to play (yes this happens a lot to me at least). This is the go to cart and it usually ends up pretty competitive. This is a great game!
William Kendrick on 06/08/2020 10:49pm
"Warlords" is a superb party game, and this is a great "more-frills" version for the 2600 (along the lines of Castle Crisis on the 8-bit). Get yourself a couple sets of paddles, set it up during a kid's birthday party, and you'll have them glued to it!
Rob Adams on 07/19/2019 09:52am
Amazing awesome game, absolutely a must have!
Stephen Matousek on 12/30/2018 04:54pm
The perfect paddle game in every, sound, gameplay, interface, AI, cut-scenes. Great.just great!!
Karl Garrison on 03/03/2018 12:02pm
Very simply, if you are a fan of the original Warlords, you will love this enhanced remake. The improved graphics, smarter computer players, and the option for multiple balls all make for more interesting gameplay. This one is a hit with my whole family!
GeekDragon on 01/05/2018 12:19am
This is what Warlords should've been. Now I'm not knocking Warlords, I consider that to be one of the best games on the 2600. This game is just as good, if not better. I highly recommend it.
VectorGamer on 08/17/2017 11:09am
This was the first homebrew I ever bought. Absolutely brilliant and a ton of fun if you have somebody else to play with - especially with four players. The computer opponents are way too easy to kill off.
Ben Combee on 08/17/2017 10:15am
The definitive version of Warlords rendered using the latest programming techniques. Whenever I want to be inspired by homebrew 2600 programming, I insert this game and give it a try.
David Bongo on 06/11/2013 08:20pm
I'm a longtime Warlords fan, and a few years ago I introduced a friend to the 2600 (he never played it before) and WARLORDS. Then I got this and it blew him away. He says he can't believe how much BETTER this is compared to the original.

Not everyone thinks it's better - I do have a couple of WARLORDS holdouts in my circle of friends and family, but even they admit this has some major advantages.

The only drawback is the AI is brutal. VERY tough, especially compared to the suicidal AI in the original.
Devin Cook on 08/29/2010 04:02pm
If you loved the classic Warlords, then you will absolutely adore this game! Medieval Mayhem is an incredible new version of Warlords with amazing sound, graphics, animation, and bright vibrant colors. Just look at animated dragon that starts the game.

But the game does not stop there.It increases the fun-factorr by adding multiple balls, sneaky computer opponents, and more.

This is a "must buy' game.
Roger Wolf on 05/28/2010 10:49am
The only thing I can do is to reinforce what has been already said! And my only complaint is, as also has been said, the PAL version of the game: the black bar at the bottom may have been smaller if the programmers had taken a bit more attention in this issue. But still: 5 out of 5!
David Kelly (davyK) on 02/25/2010 07:02am
This is quite simply the definitive version of Warlords on any platform. Before anyone starts up about XBOXlive or any other nonsense, the paddle controller means that the 2600 is the only platform worth playing this game on. Four players in one room is the only format too.

The Jakks paddle all-in-1 unit is a good effort and comes close - it even has the arcade original - but its only two player. Medieval Mayhem also trumps that version with its comprehensive options.

This game looks great, sounds great and most importantly of all - plays great. Options are legion - there is every setup tweak you could think of and the mind boggles how the old hardware squeezes out this amount of moving objects without any problems. As a professional computer programmer of 20 years I take my hat off to the developer of this.

Another massive improvement over the Atari original is the one player game which delivers a genuine, rock hard challenge.

I cannot fault this product - and it is PAL optimised for speed. The only minor thing in PAL land is the border at the bottom of the screen which is a bit on the big side - but really it's a minor point. I recommend this game without any reservation.

Absolutely top drawer and up there with the best ever on the 2600 and surely this is in the running for best ever single screen multi-player game on any platform.
Midnight Synergy on 01/21/2009 08:10pm
Never got to play Warlords in my youth (even though I programmed a homebrew version on the C64 - at least, how I imagined the game would be like) but this is a wonderful game. Our original VCS didn't have paddle controllers, so I'm only now discovering what fun a good paddle game can be (with properly cleaned controllers) - Kaboom and Circus Atari - and now this. Had a four player session with two different sets of friends two evenings in a row, and WOW - this game is FUN! Not to mention the technical side of things. The graphics, animation, music, all are really quite a marvel. Big thumbs up!
Joseph Kollar on 03/06/2008 10:46am
Medieval Mayhem is an absolute "must have" game for the VCS. Based on the gameplay of the classic Warlords but with amazing enhancements, this cart is amazing.

You know the basic game. Four castles in each corner of the screen fling a fireball at each other to break through the wall and kill the king. MM adds to this by giving you options for number of fireballs, speed, ability to catch the ball and a personal fav of mine, shutting off the 'flash' when you make a hit. Up to four players can battle at one time making MM a great party game. I was concerned the single player game wouldn't be so good but I was completely wrong. The computer AI is very good and keeps this game challenging.

Adding to all of the excellent play options are some very catchy music and fantastic graphics. The opening volley dragon looks more like a C64 graphic than anything else on the VCS. After each battle a knight marches out to announce the winner and this is also very done. I do wish you could push the button to skip the knight as this gets a little tiresome when playing long sessions but that's a really minor complaint.

This game is perfect, right up there with Thrust Plus Platinum and Conquest of Mars for best all time VCS homebrews.
Jason Bardis on 12/17/2007 08:19pm
My coworkers & I enjoy playing 2600 games after work on our big 10ft conference room screen. Warlords was our clear favorite. Was.

We fired up Medieval Mayhem after work this past Friday. WOW!!!

Much more fun than Warlords. Lots of options to customize gameplay. Multiple fireballs are great. Music is cool & catchy.

All around, much more fun than basic Warlords--thanks for making such a keen game! Well worth the money!
John Payson on 10/30/2007 09:23am
If you have paddles and do not have Medieval Mayhem, YOU NEED THIS GAME.

It may appear to just be Warlords with some eye candy, but the gameplay enhancements are far more important than the graphics. The ball in Warlords can only travel at a few angles, along very predictable paths, causing the game to get pretty boring pretty quickly. Medieval Mayhem not only adds a much wider range of angles--a huge improvement in and of itself--but it includes multi-ball play. Comparing this game to Warlords is like comparing a Porsche 911 to a Model T Ford.
Nathan Strum on 07/17/2007 08:53pm
In Medieval Mayhem, there are four castles, one in each corner of the screen. Each player must protect their castle from an onslaught of fireballs. If they fail, the King inside their castle will be killed, and their kingdom will be lost. Up to four players use paddle controllers to move a shield around the perimeter of their castles to deflect or catch fireballs. But if you catch one, you can't hold onto it for very long or it will start damaging your own castle.

Medieval Mayhem is a complete re-invention of the 2600 version of Warlords - one of the most highly regarded games for the system. So how do you make it better? Improve the graphics, improve the computer players, add more options, and make it closer to the original arcade game. This is exactly what Darrell Spice has accomplished with Medieval Mayhem. From detailed castles to a feature-packed options menu, better-looking kings and the delightful animation of the dragon and knights, the game looks amazing. But best of all, the gameplay that made Warlords so addictive is still completely intact, but with smarter computer opponents (if you can't round up a few human players), and up to three fireballs on screen at the same time, which adds a whole new dimension to the game. Medieval Mayhem is highly customizable thanks to an excellent menu system, so you can dial in exactly the options you want. There are also a couple of Easter Eggs hidden in the game, one of which will really test how good of a player you think you are.

If you liked Warlords, you'll love Medieval Mayhem. And even if you didn't like Warlords, Medieval Mayhem is such a quantum leap over the original, that you should buy it anyway. Grab yourself a set of paddles, and let the battle begin! Highly recommended!
Raul Torres on 03/09/2007 01:44am
Being a warlords fan, I had to have this one. The eye candy lured me in. I am happy to report that the eye candy alone is well worth this games price. The enhanced game play is a nice freebie.

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