Millipede

For: Arcade, Atari 8-bit

Genres

Main Genre:
Action
Perspective:
3rd-Person
Visual Presentation:
Fixed Screen
Gameplay Style:
Shooter

Overview

Arcade version of Millipede
Arcade version of Millipede
Millipede is an action game originally released in arcades by Atari in 1982 and later ported to several home systems including the Atari 2600 and Atari 8-bit computers. It is the sequel to Centipede and has similar gameplay while adding some new features. As in Centipede, the goal of the game is to earn as many points as possible by shooting the numerous attacking insects.

Gameplay

Gameplay in Millipede takes place in a forest of randomly placed mushrooms. Players control an archer which can move anywhere near the bottom of the screen which is capable of firing shots to destroy opponents and obstacles. As each level in the game begins, the titular millipede appears in the top center of the screen and makes its way towards the bottom. The millipede travels either left or right until it hits and obstacle or the edge of the screen; it will then reverse direction and drop down a row. The millipede consists of multiple segments, most parts form the body which is lead by a head segment. Each time a segment is shot, it will turn into a mushroom and the remainder of the millipede continues on; if a body segment is shot, a new head is formed and two millipedes are formed. The level ends when all millipede segments are destroyed and the game then repeats with a higher level of difficulty. In addition to the millipede, numerous other insects appear as well, most of them deadly but a few also provide bonuses. Anytime the player's archer is hit by an insect a life is lost, and the game ends when there are no more lives in reserve.

Insects and More

Millipede features many new insects and other obstacles; the opponents encountered are the following:
  • The Millipede
    The millipede consists of 12 segments that need to be shot to complete each level. Similar to Centipede, there is initially one head segment followed by 11 body segments; on wave 2 the millipede then has a head with 10 body segments and one head segment on its own. Each wave after follows the pattern of removing one segment from the millipede which appears on its own until there are only 12 heads and then the pattern repeats. Except for the first wave, each wave in the game needs to be completed twice, first with the millipede moving slowly and then with it moving quickly.
  • Spider
    The spider acts the same as in Centipede; it will appear near the bottom of the screen on either the left or right and randomly bounce towards the opposite side. Any mushrooms in it's way will be destroyed. On later levels it's possible for two spiders to appear at a time. Bonus points are earned for shooting spiders (the amount of points earned depend on how close to the archer it is when shot).
  • Bee
    Bees are essentially the same as fleas in Centipede; they appear at the top of the screen and fall straight down rapidly leaving additional mushrooms in their path. It takes two shots to destroy a bee; after the first shot, it will begin falling even faster. Bees usually appear when an area of the screen has few mushrooms.
  • Earwig
    Earwigs are similar to the scorpions found in Centipede; they appear on either the left or right side of the screen and travel to the opposite side. If they touch any mushrooms along the way, the mushroom becomes poisoned. If a millipede (or millipede segment) touches a poisoned mushroom, it wall head straight towards the bottom of the screen instead of moving left/right.
  • DDT Bomb
    A DDT Bombs are scattered throughout the screen; if the player shoots one, it explodes and will destroy any mushrooms and insects that are nearby.
  • Dragonfly
    Dragonflies appear at the top of the screen and fly towards the bottom in a zig-zag pattern leaving a trail of mushrooms behind them. Dragonflies begin appearing when the millipede begins with less than 10 body segments.
  • Mosquito
    Mosquitos fly diagonally towards the left or right; for each mosquito shot, the entire mushroom forest moves up one row. Mosquito begin appearing when the millipede begins with fewer than 9 body segments.
  • Beetle
    Beetles appear randomly and enter from the left or right side of the screen; they will travel part way across, then drop towards the bottom. After traveling further, they return to their original row then leave. If beetles touch any mushrooms along the way it will turn into a flower. The flowers can not be destroy by the archer. Shooting a beetle causes the entire forest to drop down one level.
  • Inchworm
    Inchworms appear from either the left or right side of the screen and head straight towards the opposite side. Shooting an inchworm will cause all opponents on the screen to slow down for several seconds.
  • Mushrooms and Flowers
    Mushrooms are randomly placed throughout the playfield and earn points when shot. When the player loses a life, any mushrooms that are partially shot are restored to a full mushroom and points are earned. Mushrooms can provide cover for the player or simply get in the way. Flowers act the same as mushrooms, however they can't be destroyed; if the player loses a life, all flowers on the screen are reverted to mushrooms.

Scoring

Points are earned for shooting the various insects and obstacles as follows:
  • Millipede body segment: 10 points
  • Millipede head segment: 100 points
  • Spider: 300, 600, 900, or 1,200 points (depending on distance from archer when shot)
  • Earwig: 1,000 points
  • DDT Bomb: 800 points
  • Dragonfly: 500 points
  • Mosquito: 400 points
  • Beetle: 300 points
  • Bee: 200 points
  • Inchworm: 100 points
In the 12 level sequence there are 5 insect raids that occur; during a raid there's no millipede but numerous insects appear very rapidly (only bees, dragonflies, and mosquitos will appear either by themselves or in some combination). Raids can be useful to earn lots of points, or even clear portions of the screen of mushrooms. During a raid each insect shot is worth 100 points more than the previous one, up to a maximum of 1000.

Any insects killed by a DDT explosion are worth three times their usual value (except spiders which are worth 1,800). Insects during a raid retain their original value even when destroyed by DDT.

Bonus lives are awarded for reaching certain point thresholds; the number of points needed can vary depending on the game settings or difficulty level selected.

Credits

Platform: Atari 8-bit
Programmed by: Stephan R. Crandall
Computer Graphics by: Gary Johnson
Audio by: Brad Fuller

Pictures

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Millipede
Arcade Version

Related Games

Documentation

Instruction Manual
Atari 8-bit

Marketing

Product catalogs, magazines, flyers, or other documentation Millipede has appeared in.
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Magazine Advertisements
January 1983 magazine ad Atari Age magazine March/April 1984 promotion

Packaging/Label Styles

This game has releases with the following standardized packaging styles: