Asteroids: Instruction Manual

Game: Asteroids
Platform: Atari 7800


Atari 7800 Game Manual

Blast Your Way Through the Asteroid Avalanche!

Asteroids plunge at you! Trapped in a gigantic cloud of asteroids, your struggling spaceship hurls towards its doom. You'll have to pulverize all the asteroids with your photon cannon to save your ship and your life!

Rubble from an exploding asteroid bounces off your ship's hull. A glowing blur flashes across your viewing screen. So that's where the rubble came from! The asteroid was blasted by an Alien Robot Saucer!

Alien Robot Saucers are also trapped in the asteroid cloud. And they fire at random! You know that the metal in your ship's hull will register on their target finders before the asteroids do. The saucers could be a worse danger than the asteroids!

More rubble strikes your ship. Its hull rings like a bell. If you don't get busy, that could be your death knell!
Getting Started
  1. Insert the Asteroids™ cartridge into your ATARI® 7800™ ProSystem as explained in your Owner's Manual, and turn on your console.
  2. Plug a controller into the left controller jack for one player, and another into the right controller jack for two players.
  3. Move the controller handle forward or backward, or press [Select] to choose a one-player game, two-player Competition game, or two-player Team game. Move the controller handle to the left or right to choose one of four difficulty levels: Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, or Expert.
  4. Press [Reset] or the left controller button to start the game.
  5. Press a controller button to fire. Shots are fired in the direction the ship on screen is pointing.
  6. Move the controller handle forward to move the ship forward. Move it left or right to turn the ship. Move it back to warp into hyperspace at a random location on screen.
  7. Press [Pause] to pause the game; press it again to resume play.
Playing the Game
Facing the Asteroid Avalanche
Asteroids crowd in on your ship in waves from all corners of the screen. When you empty the screen of asteroids, a new wave crowds in. Each wave you face is more difficult to destroy than the last.

You have more than enough photon power to destroy all the asteroids, but you can fire only four shots into the asteroid field at a time. When hit, small asteroids disintegrate; medium asteroids split into two small asteroids; and large asteroids break into two medium asteroids. (In the Novice level, medium and large asteroids get smaller when hit.)

Watch out for Alien Robot Saucers! They are armed with special photon lasers that destroy anything they hit under all battle conditions. Both small and large saucers explode when hit. (There are no saucers in the Novice level.)

A reserve fleet of three ships stands ready in hyperspace. Each time an asteroid hits you, destroying your ship, a reserve ship appears in the starting position. When the screen is clear of passing asteroids, your new ship begins play. This continues until all your ships are destroyed.

To escape from the asteroid cloud, pull back on the controller handle to warp into hyperspace -- but watch out! You can be warped back at any time, or the warp could destroy your ship.

The highest score of the game is displayed on the ending screen and updated as higher scores are tallied in later games. The highest score remains on screen until you turn off your console.

You can shoot at anything on screen, but you will score more points with a target priority. The following tips can help you preserve your ship and score high:

Fire first at the asteroids closest to your ship. Then fire at the fastest moving target approaching you. Fire at the saucers last.

You don't need to move your ship forward to play. You can stay in one place and fire, turning on HYPERSPACE to protect yourself from asteroid collisions. However, learning to move your ship can extend your playing time by three or four ships per game.

In a two-player Team game, get together with the other player in the center of the screen and divide the battle zone into equal sectors. Protect the other player from a rear approach. The asteroids will almost never be able to approach a player until the final waves.
Game Variations
Standard Play
This variation is for one player, or two players alternating.
Competition Asteroids
Two players appear on screen at the same time. Your ship is vulnerable to shots fired by the other player. Both players are supplied with ships as long as either player has ships in reserve. You benefit by helping the other player stay alive.
Team Asteroids
Two players appear on screen at the same time and share reserve ships. Your photon shots pass through the other player's ships without disabling them.

Use your photon cannon to destroy the foe and gain points. Player 1's score is displayed in the upper left corner of the screen; Player 2's in the upper right corner. The number of ships you have remaining is listed next to your score.
You gain a bonus ship for every 10,000 points you score. Points are scored in the following way:
    Small saucer              1000 points
    Other player's ship        500 points
    Large saucer               200 points
    Small asteroid             100 points
    Medium asteroid             50 points
    Large asteroid              20 points

Reproduction of this document or any portion of its contents is not allowed without the specific written permission of Atari Corp.

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the product documentation in this manual. However, because we are constantly improving and updating our computer software and hardware, Atari Corp. is unable to guarantee the accuracy of printed material after the date of publication and disclaims liability for changes, errors, and omissions.

ATARI is a registered trademark, and Asteroids and 7800 are trademark of Atari Corp.

Copyright (C) 1986, Atari Corp.
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
All Rights Reserved.

Printed in Taiwan
CO24857-02 Rev. B