3 versions exist.  The original version had a scoring bug/cheat, and the attract mode ran a display routine that overstressed the monitor’s deflection circuits. Also, in test mode, the spinner values are in HEX (later versions display the rotation as a rotating line).  Rev 2 addresses all these issues.  Rev 3 fixes the screen collapse between 1 and 2 players in 2-player mode.

2 prototype versions exist – Aliens (the earliest, which doesn’t have rapid fire) and Vortex (see picture).

Tempest Tubes is a homebrew version of Tempest with different levels.

Scoring tricks – These “cheat” codes were left in by someone at Atari, and removed in Rev 2 (in ROMs 217 and 222). In the test mode, you can zero the high score table and examine the game parameters, but not modify them. Using these codes may or may not require having the score in this form: XXYYZZ, where XX > 16, 29 < YY < 60, and ZZ is a code. Complete level 8 and earn the 188,000 point bonus.  Shoot the spikes until your score ends in one of the following 2-digit combinations, and then use up all your remaining lives to get the results.  Codes for ZZ are as follows:

00 – freezes screen
01 – access to bookkeeping totals
05 – allows playing during attract mode
06, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18 – 40 free credits
14, 15 – credit sound w/o actual credits
41 – last 2 digits of score switch
42 – score increases quickly
46 – start at any level (up to level 81)
50, 51 – player moves by itself<
60 – objects drift down
66 – objects drift right
67 – objects jump
68, 70 – objects drift up

Two more tricks (the coolest?) can be activated by playing the attract mode (05) and setting the last 2 digits to:

46 - random-colored level with wrong enemies!
48 - 255 extra lives

For the other (early ROM) cheats to work, your score must be between 189,999 and 208,000 at game's end.  The codes are actually a form of copy protection.  If any of the screens were altered (via hacking), the codes would work.  The reason they work with real versions is that the location of a copyright message was altered shortly before release, and that change wasn’t taken into effect, thereby nullifying the copy protection.

On a level that is not a fully enclosed shape, you can often sit at one of the far ends, and when an approaching enemy is right next to you, hold down your fire button, and they will be destroyed.  Also, most levels in general have a ‘sweet spot’ like this.

When playing Tempest, at the end of any level you have a certain amount of "Time" to insert another coin to continue your game on/about where you left off, but that "Time" runs out after a few seconds of not continuing. This is not true once you reach the 33rd level (where the grids turn Yellow). As long as at least 1 credit remains in the machine, you can return to that level at any time in the future. (I've walked away from mine at level 36 for two days, and it still allowed me to pick up my game where I left off.  {Scott Payton}

The score rolls over at 999,999.

Tempest multi-game kit (Clay Cowgill): To access Super V-Breakout, highlight V-Breakout on the menu, press and hold the player-1 START button, and press FIRE.  The bricks and ball will be new.  {Lance Lewis}

Tempest multi-game kit (Clay Cowgill): To access Hyper V-Breakout, first enable Super V-Breakout and let the game go into demo mode.  Press and hold FIRE and SUPERZAPPER, and then press P2 start button – each time you press it, the game scrolls thru different variations of brick patterns.  Press P1 start to play your favorite!  {Lance Lewis}



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