SINISTAR

HIDDEN MESSAGE: Here’s how to reveal 2 different messages (pictures #1 and #2):

  1. Set to pricing mode 3 (won’t work on free play)
  2. One ship per game (not required but easier for trick)
  3. Make sure there are no credits already on game.  Coin up 1 credit and press 1-player button
  4. Bump into asteroid once
  5. Press FIRE button 7 times (doesn’t matter how many shots are actually fired)
  6. Get shot.  Don’t bump into another asteroid or shoot anything – if you do, go back to #4
  7. Press 2-player button 3 times
  8. Coin up 1 credit and press 1-player button
  9. Press SINIBOMBS button once
  10. Coin up 3 credits
  11. Press SINIBOMBS button once
  12. Get shot. Don’t bump into another asteroid or shoot anything!
  13. Press 1-player button

At this point you have two choices.  To reveal the programmer names, coin up 3 credits and press the SINIBOMBS button.  To reveal the company name, get shot (again, don’t bump another asteroid or shoot anything) and press the 1-player button.  Note: don't let the attract mode cycle between games, because the attract mode ship hitting an asteroid will also count against you.

The game was originally going to be called "DarkStar" (only a few prototype marquees exist). John Newcomer's original idea for this game was titled “Juggernaut”.

A prototype version exists which has the following difference:

  1. The Sinistar logo on the title screen uses a "dripping blood" font (picture #3), instead of the somewhat-bland title screen of the released version (picture #4).
  2. The Sinistar death sequence sometimes occurs off-screen
  3. There seem to be more crystals per planetoid than in the release version
  4. The "set attract mode message" option in the operator adjustments screen is missing
  5. High score entry uses fire to advance to the next character, rather than the joystick
  6. Warping to the next level can occur in any direction, not just upper-right
  7. Sinistar's "roar" occurs multiple times in rapid succession, cutting off each time
  8. Sinistar always enters the visible playfield with his mouth closed, regardless of whether he is speaking or not. (He should enter the playfield with an open mouth if he is speaking or roaring at the time.)
  9. When a player's ship is destroyed by the Sinistar, it explodes rather than spinning out first
  10. BUG: During the tests for Sound, two sounds are not present. The common version of Sinistar has only four sounds (The SOUND LINE X jumps over two digits). This set has six sounds, but two of them are silence.
  11. BUG: You are able to set the extra ship and extra ship bonus factors at zero, effectively putting the program in a loop to give you infinite lives (the games locks up, and you get an extended *extra ship* sound. Hitting ADVANCE will bring you to the book keeping totals, and you can see all the free ships awarded.)

2 versions exist! The game play was not supposed to be quite so difficult, but just before production started, the upper-management decided to make the game harder. In May of 1998, an alternate ROM set (believed to have been burned for the 1983 AMOA Trade Show in Las Vegas) was discovered. This set offers slightly different game play and has ROM chip serial numbers ranging from 16-3004-12 through 16-3004-22. The programmers of Sinistar believe this set may have the coveted easier difficulty settings.

BUG: Extra ships – With the original version of the ROMs, getting killed twice is possible (before being “crushed” by the Sinistar – while still spinning in its mouth, get shot by a Warrior).  If you have more than 1 ship left, you will lose 2 ships; if you have 1 ship left, the program’s ship reserve counter resets to 255 ships (reverse byte roll-over bug)! 

 

 


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