The Adventures of MAJOR HAVOC

HIDDEN MESSAGE: You can slip through a bottom corner of level 1,5,9,13,17,ect., where you’ll fall down through space and will see a special surprise (a list of names)!  {Owen Rubin}

The game was originally called Tollian Web (by the designer).  The earliest ‘official’ name was Alpha 1 (a proto marquee and pcb were produced with that name, which were in a white Crystal Castles cabinet. The controller was also an early version – pictures #1 and #2).  It was later changed (briefly) to Rex Havoc (which contained a “Star Castle” level – picture #3) before the final name was decided.

During each tactical scanner wave, you can press the fire button and play Breakout.  This is where you enter codes to warp to higher levels. Watch for an intercepted message during the tactical scanner of level 5 about the 1st secret warp.  The known warps are: Red-23, Yellow-46, Green-824 (Mark Cerny's B-Day), and Aqua-315 (Owen Rubin's B-Day). If you clear all the bricks you’ll earn a bonus life.

A magic key can be found in the reactor maze, which allows you to escape through the bottom (instead of returning to the surface).

When prompted to type in your name, do nothing. After intervals of one minute or so, the game speaks out saying things like 'Do not be shy, enter your name', 'Have you gone to the toilet?', 'Do not be a stranger now, enter your name', 'Look lively now' and a whole host of other 'funny' comments.

Although the game hints at the possibility of reaching the home planet at some point, it doesn’t exist.  There are 16 levels, after which the last 4 keep repeating indefinitely. From Owen Rubin –

When we originally designed it, you were going to get to "A" home world every fourth wave. You will notice along the left side of the screen during the "tactical scan" part of the game there are 4 dots and the edge of a planet, and as you move through the 4 waves, the ship gets closer to the planet. Because of time, we never got the planet waves done.

Then we thought that we would END the game with a large planet wave, that was Vaxx. It was designed on paper a bit, but again, time and ROM space kept us from doing it.

I know, it says "Keep playing, the home world is near." I inserted a bunch of messages into the message table very early on in the game for each wave and never removed them later. So that message got left behind when the original design was to reach the home world.

The wave was going to be like a ship wave, except after you fought ALL the enemies at the same time in space (web spinners, ships, fish, and lines) you would land on the planet. Inside the planet, just like a base ship would be ALL the objects you had seen before. The only difference was that you would have about 3 to 4 minutes of time to trigger 3 or 4 reactors, each of which would count down. The countdown was longer of course, but your time was limited by oxygen as usual (but lots more) and then the 180 seconds of it takes each reactor to blow (of course, if one blows, they ALL blow!) The maze was going to be VERY large, with lots of transporters, and it would take much time to learn. I am just sorry we never had time to finish that.

There is a story going about that when the game was in the arcade, one person spent several thousands of dollars trying to find the home world. Seems he saw the message, and kept playing. We received a picture of a screen shot on level 56 (or close), which means that the last 4 waves were played over and over getting harder and harder, and as you know, you cannot start higher then level 12! This person was good. But they threatened to sue Atari for the thousands they spent playing the game looking for the end.

I had left Atari by that time, and I understand that Atari sent him a check, and his own copy of the game.

I never imagined a small message left in the game would cause such problems.”

On level 13 (and later), a clock will appear in the maze, which requires a key to access, but there’s no key in the game.  From Owen Rubin -

Strangely enough, the code is still in the ROM, but we decided what it did only made the game longer. When that wave was originally written, getting in was MUCH easier than getting out. The Out path had WAY too many fireballs and robots.

If you found the key to that wall, you could open it and touch the clock. It slowed EVERYTHING in the game down considerably - everything including the timers, but NOT Major Havoc. It made getting out much easier. But we were not sure we liked it, and the level reviews said it did not work, so it was easier to simply remove the key from the level and reduce the number of objects.
I did see someone get to the clock (using the bug listed below) otherwise they were never put into full use. We just did not remove them.
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The game contains some unused graphics (pictures #4-#6).  Picture #4 was a ‘boss’ character (patterned after Maximilian from The Black Hole) meant for the final on the planet.  Picture #5 was a floating mine that might have been meant for use on the space waves. The purpose of the “6” (picture #6) is unknown.  {Owen Rubin}

BUG: Exiting Level 13 while "turning-on" the finger, allows you to end the level just before the reactor is shut off. If the timing is correct you will return to level 13 next time but without any enemies. This only works on the older ROM Version 2.

BUG: There is a collision bug that occasionally lets you get through a wall. You have to reverse roller directions AND your velocity EXACTLY on the frame you hit the wall. The computer thinks you came from the other direction and passed through the wall, and will transport you to the other side. It is very difficult to do.  {Owen Rubin}

 

 

     


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