ASTEROIDS

2 versions of the game program exist (with each having 2 minor revisions). The original version had some glitches (described below) that were corrected in the later version.

2 in-house versions were made, as practical jokes. One was nicknamed “Turtleroids” where the UFOs were replaced by turtles. The other was a modification to the high score table to replace Own Rubin’s initials (“ORR”) with Ed Logg’s.

3 cabinet variations were produced, one with a white border around the edges (picture #1) and one with “ASTEROIDS” in large red letters on the sides (picture #2). The white border versions are thought to have all been produced in Atari’s Ireland plant. The earliest Asteroids games produced actually used Lunar Lander cabinets (with the graphics intact). In addition, 3 different coin doors were used – the (then-standard) flat coin door, the more common newer style, and one with 3 coin slots.

A special gold cabinet (with different marquee and control panel art) was made to celebrate the 50,000 machine produced (pictures #3). The gold Asteroids appeared in worse shape (but with a different marquee?) in Atari’s final days (pictures #4 and #5). Perhaps there were more than one made?

There are 2 known variations of the monitor glass. Early production machines had the lettering in gold (picture #6). Later machines had all-white lettering.

The reserve ships can stretch across the entire top of the screen (up to 59)!

BUG: Rev. 1 tricks - The original software version (says “Asteroids by Atari” at bottom of screen, instead of “1979 Atari”) had an invulnerability glitch, where you could hide in the upper corners (in the score) and nothing would hit you. Also, you can get your ship to fly backwards- thrust in one direction until reaching full speed, and then quickly turn around 180 degrees and continue thrusting.

BUG: Rev. 1 – the hyperspace button for player 2 won’t make a tone when pressed in test mode.

BUG: Rev. 2a - every time you start a game, the last letter (initial) in the 10th score is erased. This was fixed with Rev 2b.

BUG: When too many asteroids are on the screen (there’s a limit), and a larger one is shot, it will disappear completely!

BUG: If the reserve ships reach 256, the counter may reset, or the game may crash (no one has yet verified what happens).

 

 

 


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