Easter Eggs

Game Easter Eggs

· Free plane - On certain levels, a red “V” formation of planes will appear straight down from the top.  If you kill all 5 of them and it turns into a black & red “POW”, pick it u for a free plane.

· At times, a slow plane will come out from either the right or left side.  If shot, it will turn into a special object.  If you fly over it, you’ll get 5,000 points.

· It’s possible to finish the game.  A special screen will appear with the message “We give up!” with a special bonus of 10 million points!

· BUG: Getting a 100% shooting accuracy will net 10,000 points (or so it says on the screen), but you actually get 50,000!  If you let the last plane go and get a 99% rating, you’ll get 20,000 points.

· Ammunition trick - A little known trick in the game is to hold down the fire "A" button at the very end of a board immediately after beating the boss. By holding down the button until the plane takes off in the subsequent board, the game gives you a full ammunition load (65 Seconds)! This trick only works every third board or so and it may even change your selected weapon.

· Scoring trick - In each "boss level", kill all the enemies except the boss. If you do not kill the boss you will start back at the beginning of the level. This trick works only one time for each "level boss", but in the last level, round 16, if you never kill the boss you will continue to start back at the beginning every time. It is theoretically possible to score an infinite amount of points!

· BUG: A scoring glitch similar to the one in Paperboy also exists in this game, although currently it’s unknown how to reproduce it.

· HIDDEN MESSAGE: The initials “AM” appear in the mouth of one of the criminals (picture #1), as well as the initials “AJM” on the hat of another (picture #2).  There’s also a steam locomotive with the name “MURPHY” on the side of it.  These are all for artist Alan Murphy.  {Alan Murphy}

· Warps:  If you hold down the FIRE button while pushing SIREN to start the game, you’ll have the option to warp from any day from 1 to 8. Press GUN+SIREN and start to get a level 1-16 warp.

· If you are having problems catching up to an A.P.B., simply stop and he/she will drive off the screen and re-appear right behind you in a couple of seconds (this works real well on narrow, crowded roads).

· When making the A.P.B. confess, be sure to tap one gun and one siren button. If you tap both gun or siren buttons, they will cancel each other out.

· You can arrest common criminals faster if you have the gun by tapping both the siren and gun at the same time (just be sure you are aiming right at them).

· List of criminals:

Day 03, FREDDY FREAK, Small town USA bar (1000 dollars)
Day 05, CANDY GOODBODY, Dead man Corner bar (2000 dollars) 
Day 07, BERNIE GASMAN, Highway 20 Forest Bar (3000 dollars) 
Day 09, PHILLIP FUSE, Highway 30 overpass (4000 dollars) 
Day 11, COOL HAND DUKE, Highway 00 in drinkerstown (5000 dollars)
Day 13, BUZZ GEIGER, Highway 40 past GasnGrub (6000 dollars)
Day 15, JOE KORNCOB, Highway 44 near GasnGrub (7000 dollars)
Day 17, LUIGI DE MUCCIO, Highway 50 at Milk Toast (8000 dollars) 
Day 19, DICK SLOB, Highway 70 near aquaduct (9000 dollars) 
Day 21, IGGY DINGDONG, Highway 70 (10000 dollars) 
Day 23, JUAN FINGERS, Highway 70 Alpine Flats (11000 dollars) 
Day 25, HANS OOP, Highway 99 Cactus Falls (12000 dollars) 
Day 27, FAKE FRANK, Highway 10 Police Station (13000 dollars) 
Day 29, SID SNIPER, Highway 70 overpass (14000 dollars) 
Day 31, BILLY BOB JACK, Highway 50 near bar (15000 dollars)

· Along the road you’ll see billboards for other Atari games – Paperboy, Gauntlet, Championship Sprint, and I,Robot (pictures #3 and #4).  You can see all of them on the first day.  Leave the station and take the first right.

· BUG: If you stop in front of a train, it will push you down the tracks and into the wood, where you end up permanently stuck (picture #5).  Also, you’ll hear various (voice) sound effects continuously playing.

· RUMOR: According to a booklet that came with the Feb 1988 issue of Computers and Video Games magazine, there’s a bug that can get you a lot of points. It's described as follows, “When you find the train, get in front of it, and let it push you across the screen. It will shove you through a lot of rubbish, and after a while you will get millions of points”.  The bug can’t be reproduced either on a real machine or in MAME, as of yet.

· The game will play itself if it has the credits to continue.

· Super power-up - When your ship first appears, don’t touch/shoot anything.  Let yourself die.  When the next ship appears, you will restart with the maximum size ship with Homing Missiles.  Also, the longer you manage to stay alive this first time, the larger your cheat bonus will be.

· Whenever the player selects "Wing" (for additional pods of the current weapon type), or changes weapon type entirely, there is a grace period of about two seconds during which all enemy shots will pass right through the ship.

· BUG: If you grab an alien and jump just as the stage times out (pictures #1-#6), you’ll max the score counter (9,999,9XX).

· BUG: If your score is low enough, purposely hitting slalom poles on the 2nd round will cause your score to roll-over backwards, to 999,999! (see picture)

· There is an undocumented option available that switches the planes into UFO's. Pin 14 of the 003127 IC (a PROM located at grid location K1) is tied to ground (at Pin 8 of K2), but also has a pull-up resistor. Cutting the ground trace causes address bit A4 to be pulled high, selecting the UFO data. A jumper can be installed to easily switch back and forth between planes and UFO's. The UFO version of the game was probably never released.

· BUG: Pixels are missing from the top of the 5 (see picture). This is a fault common to the code of the original ROMs on all of the boards (both Sun and Atari).

· Position yourself behind an opposing player and press the shoot and pass buttons at the same time. Your player will dive forward and pull down the pants of the opposing player. This will make him drop the ball as well as "freeze" for a couple of seconds while he pulls up his pants. Take this time to steal the ball. This is not much of a trick because if you play long enough the game will tell you how to do it. 

· Pressing the attack button while selecting rider allows you to mix and match the sled and rider of your choice. Pressing Start and Attack on the track select screen will toggle 'no drone' mode and a harder difficulty setting. All three apply for one race only.

· Secret Rooms: There are many secret rooms that can be entered by shooting combinations of inanimate objects in the game. For example, shooting all the office windows out after going up the ladder in the hangar will take you to "Shake your Buddha", where you can take shots at the stationary heads of the development team and increase your score and streak. Taking out all the windows on the back wall of the hangar will take you to another secret room full of power-ups.

· Kron Hunter: Instead of starting out the game normally, avoid shooting the aliens. Instead, shoot the first three members of STAAR that appear on the screen (the guys in blue). Do not worry, after your health gets down to one, the aliens will not hurt you any more. After shooting the third member of STAAR, you will get an info screen talking about Kron Hunters, and you will start the game over as one. The graphics palette will be completely whacked, and when you are done, a Kron Hunter symbol (a green K) will appear next to your high score, rather than a military ranking.

· Some cheats are accessible by shooting certain objects on the screen that are in the background, which will lead you to a different path in the level. Another cheat is to be a perfect shot with your gun with a 100 percent hit ratio, this will bring you into a bonus round.

· A hidden level not normally accessible can be revealed by using a cheat code in MAME (see picture).

· As soon as the match begins, if your timing is right, pushing "left" will catch the computer player off guard and score an automatic full "power" and generally helps you to beat the computer player faster. Be careful not to foul twice or your game is over!

· Programmer Tim Skelly states the Morse code sounds actually spell out "DONT REGISTER".  This was in reference to the U.S. Government's ploy on army conscription at this time in history (1980), forcing every male of age to register, even though there was no draft.

· Finish a level with 0 seconds left and you will get credit for the maximum time on a level. On some levels this can be worth an extra 17,000 points! {Mitch Ross}

· Space walk: On level 1, it's possible to drive your tank over the rocky edges of a level into open space! Approach the 2 cannons at the end of level 1. Destroy the left one. Shoot the right one until he is one nuke from exploding: 8 shots or 2 nukes. Face the right canon, and back up. Drive near the right wall. When he's almost at the top of the screen, hit him with a nuke. Immediately drive backwards and turn around the corner to your bottom right. If you've done it right, you'll end the level with a space walk!  {Mitch Ross}

· When you start a level, the Enemies aren't alive. They only wake up when you drive near them. This "near" distance ranges from half a screen to one and a half screens ahead of you.

· When using the lift, you wake up (a lot of) distant enemies. Some of them may start moving away from you, rapidly going beyond this limit. The result is that when you use the lift, you often won't see all of the enemies present on the level. Try playing level one with and without the lift- you'll always get a lower score with the lift. This is because there are fewer enemies left to shoot.

· Enemies disappear when a certain distance from you.  This is because the CPU isn’t fast enough to render all the enemies at once without having the framerate drop. The same rules also apply to buildings and enemy rubble. When you move far enough away from rubble, it goes away, revealing the clean unharmed ground below. For buildings, this means they rebuild themselves.  {Mitch Ross}

· On one level (8?), there are small orange tanks hidden in small domes. These domes rebuild, and when shot the rebuilt tanks appear too!  {Mitch Ross}

· On the higher levels (9 and up) the yellow tanks can be made to appear on command. Approach the edges of a level slowly, and you can make each wave of them appear on queue. It takes practice, but once mastered you can clean up on the points.

· On last level, run around outside edge and all enemies (except cannons) will disappear!

· The pcb is capable of outputting 3-D stereo sound, but the cabinet only has a single speaker.  The test mode hints at other features that were never implemented (3-D shutter glasses, 2-player controls, multi-game linking, and cocktail table mode).

· Unused music is hidden in the ROMS, which was later used as the intro music for Assault Plus.

· BUG: The manual states your grenades are triple the fire power of your tank's standard shots, but they’re actually the same as 4 shots.

· 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).

· 2 versions of the game exist.  When the game came out, players complained it was too hard, so an easier set was created (often called the “European” version).  Determining which version you are playing can be discerned by noting when the first appearance of a Killer Satellite occurs - in the original version this is near the end of the second wave, in the revised version it will appear near the end of the first wave (and moves much more slowly).  The 2ndversion allows you to hunt for satellites much like you could hunt UFOs in the original Asteroids.  A 3rd version is believed to have been made that didn’t allow for this.

· Although the attract screen claims a 1980 copyright, the game was officially introduced in March of 1981.

· The front glass on the upright was originally square with the cabinet. This produced a glare on the screen. Atari later released a "glare reduction kit" which retro fit an angled glass into the cabinet that reduced glare. Once applied, the kit enclosed the speaker which resulted in deeper base tones.  Another revision did away with the internal mirror altogether and had the monitor facing out like the original Asteroids machine.

· The score rolls over at 1 million.

· There are 25 secret bonuses! Only a few are known (listed below):

· You get 1,000 points for shooting w/o missing throughout “Fuel Status Marginal”.

· You get 700 points for demolishing an entire horizontally moving attack force before it reaches the right-hand side of the screen.

· You get 600 points for going through an entire sector w/o hitting “critical” laser temp.

· You get 500 points for not losing a ship through an entire sector.

· Docking with mother ship without moving your ship (dead center is worth 1,000 points; close-to-the-edge dockings are worth 1,500). In addition, you can get from 400 to 1,500 points for docking perfectly w/o using the directional buttons.

· There is a 10k bonus trick.  Normally, if you hit the GS mother ship with your first shot you get 950 points, otherwise you get 300.   However, if you miss with you first shot and then destroy it with your 55th shot (counting from the beginning of the level, or when you start with a new ship) you get 10k!  There are 4 waves per level - 11 enemies on the 1st, 12 on the 2nd and 3rd, and 15 on the 4th (50 total), so you can miss 3 times (or hit comets) before you reach the mother ship.

· BUG: If you press “5” during the attract mode, occasionally part of the Stern Mother Ship will remain on the screen (until a game starts).  {Scott Huggins}

· Some of the video footage came from a 1979 Toei space film, some came from "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan", and some came from the 1980 film "Battle Beyond the Stars." The rest was made specifically for the game.

· BUG: In some two-player models built in late 1978 and early 1979, there was a bug that would allow the QB to throw a pass after crossing the line of scrimmage, then going back behind it. When the QB crossed scrimmage, all the defending X players would leave their receivers open as they pursued the run, making long completions easy.

· Spinning the spinner at a high rate during parts of the attract-mode will result in the programmer's name (Tim Stryker) appearing in approx. three inch letters across the center of the screen.

· Except for the first level, the wheelbarrow can randomly appear on either the leftmost screen or the rightmost screen to start the level.

· BUG: If you die while holding the last bag in your hand, you progress to the next level but do not get the extra life.

· The game’s full credts are shown every third time the theme music plays during the attract mode.

· The default initials on the high score table are of the some of the programming team (picture #1), except for the first 2 spots, which are for Batman and The Joker.

· It’s possible for one of The Joker’s henchman to shoot him off the Cathedral (picture #2).  {Scott Stilphen}

· BUG: If Batman knocks The Joker off the Cathedral at the same he dies – either by The Joker or one of his henchmen (picture #3), the game will ignore The Joker being “killed” and if you have any reserve lives, you’ll simply restart at the last section.  However, if you’re on your last life in the same situation, you’ll see The Joker fall to his death while the options to continue the game will be onscreen (picture #4)!

· BUG: Occasionally if Batman knocks The Joker off the Cathedral at the same time he falls (picture $5), when The Joker hits the ground, the game will be stuck in a loop where the Joker’s scream keeps playing over and over while Batman keeps briefly appearing at the bottom of the screen (picture #6).  Moving the joystick Left will cause the Batman graphic to face left.  Most times, however, this endless loop bug won’t occur, and the only odd thing that might happen is a brief appearance of Batman at the bottom, near the right side of the Cathedral (picture #7).

· BUG: The graphics for the Batman logo sometimes appear glitched after losing a life (picture #8).

· When the game is first turned on, the rank/difficulty is at the hardest level. After it’s left in the attract mode for a while (approximately 30 minutes), the level drops down to the easiest.  This was done in response to players who took advantage of a “loophole” in the company’s previous title, Battle Garegga.

· When the game is first turned on, the rank/difficulty is reset to the easiest level.  Players soon learned about this and would cycle the power on the game every time they played.

· different early names were used – Future Tank and Moon Tank.  From programmer, Ed Rotberg: "I believe the working title was Future Tank. There couldn't have been more than 2 or 3 made under that name. By the time we got to AMOA (Amusement and Music Operators Association - the main trade show) it had been given its final name. At one time it looked like it was going to be called Moon Tank, so when I was told to put some vectors together for a planet, I looked in my Almanac and did a crude picture of the East coast of Australia.". Also, a prototype of a cocktail version was developed, including full glass-top artwork and control panel. Only one is known to exist as it was not released for production.

· A special version was designed for the U.S. Army, commonly referred to as “Army Battlezone”. Only 2 were made. The first version is called the IFV(Infantry Fighting Vehicle) and was sent to Ft. Eustice, VA.  It used a down-sized controller that was adapted from an actual Bradley.  The second version is called the Bradley Trainer (or the Bradley Fighting Vehicle), and the controller was slightly redesigned, which was later used in Star Wars and a few other games (pictures #1-#6). The game is more a simulation, solely designed for the purpose of training tank gunners. The other tanks do not fire at you (although their turrets will *flash* to show they are), and the only way to end the game is to run out of ammo or shoot a 'friendly' tank or helicopter. A small blurb about the game appeared in the first issue of Atari Age magazine (picture #7). For more information, check out:http://coinop.org/kb_dl.aspx/KB/gametech/armybattlezone.html

· Missiles will jump over any objects in your path, but if you hide behind an object while a missile attacks, it will jump over both the object and your tank!

· The initials of the some of the programming team are on the high score table (at power-up):

EDR = Ed Rotberg (programmer)
MPH - ?
JED - Jed Margolin (engineer)
DES - ?
TKE - ?
VKB - ?
EL - ?
HAD - ?
ORR - Owen Rubin (programmed volcano activity)
GJR - ?

· BUG: If the game is left on a long time or played for a long time, it may put up a bizarre score in hex.  {Ed Rotberg}

· RUMOR: Backing into a saucer is worth twice as many points (10,000).

· 2 versions exist.  The original release only had 3 different-colored robots (yellow, red, and white) of which the maximum # of (slow) bullets they’ll fire is 2.  Also, Evil Otto will double its speed at 5,000.  In the later version, extra robots (purple, green, and light blue) were added that eventually fire a max of 7 (fast) bullets.  Also, Evil Otto doesn’t speed up.

· “Necktie trick” - Bullets can pass between your head and body.

· BUG: Humanoid “ghost” trick - Walking through walls can sometimes be done.  Try with entrance barriers the same color as your humanoid (green).  There’s also a spot (?) where you can pass through the thick, outer wall between the bottom exit and the lower right corner.

· HIDDEN MESSAGE: Some of the larger (?) rocks around the course boundaries have messages on them, such as “NENKO” (picture #1), “SASAEI” (picture #2), and “OFHARA” (picture #3).  These are thought to be the programmer names.  You have to get the ball right next to it to make out the text clearly, but often you can tell if a rock has it from about 50 yards out (you can see one from the 16th tee).

· BUG: There’s a kill screen around 900k points. The game ends on a bonus screen.

· A prototype version exists with 30 waves and a continue option.  As a result of play testing, the game was then modified with a reduced level count and no continue.

· Free game & level warp - Picking up the S (special) coin awards one free credit.  It also takes you to the next level automatically. 

· BUG: Note the spelling of “lucky” as “lucy”!

· The early name for this was Breakthru.  Some pcbs actually have it screened on them.

· On the title screen, press LEFTJUMPLEFT1PLEFTFIRELEFT1P.  If done correctly, “Power Up” will appear at the bottom of the screen (in red), and you’ll have super speed and rapid fire.  This also works on BOBBLE BOBBLE.

· On the title screen, press BUBBLE, JUMP, BUBBLE, JUMP, BUBBLE, JUMP, RIGHT, 1P. If done correctly, “Original Game” will appear at the bottom of the screen (in blue).  You’ll get a lot more special power-ups during the game, such as the cross, level skips, entrance to the diamond room (every 20 levels?), and a few other cool things.
· To get the treasure room at level 20, 30, 40, and 50, press: FIRE, JUMP, FIRE, JUMP, FIRE, JUMP, LEFT, 1P.  If done correctly, “Original Game” will appear.

· There another secret mode, called Super (it will appear in the upper-left corner) that lets you start at stage 101. The sequence might be JUMP, BUBBLE, LEFT, RIGHT, BUBBLE, 1P.

· Special bonuses: If you can finish a level without destroying any cars, you’ll receive 50,000 points. Also, if you can land on one of the small islands, you’ll earn 1,000 points.  Both of these are mentioned in the manual.

· Try bumping cars only when they are behind you as you will not lose any speed (you will usually speed up, in fact) and you will not lose as much control either.

· BUG: If the road is wide enough and you are driving fast enough, you can actually jump off one side of the screen and reappear on the other side and land without crashing.

· If you can group all the enemies and drop them together it’s worth 32k points.

· The score rolls over at 1 million.

· The extra lives counter resets at 256.

· BUG: If the player dies while the last burger is completed (i.e., the final piece drops into place), Peter’s ‘death’ animation will briefly play before changing into the ‘victory’ animation, but you won’t lose a life.  Also, if you earn at least 1 extra life after that, you might see “GAME OVER” briefly flash when you lose all the lives you had at the point this trick is done.

· BUG: At level 28 and after, the level will start with the enemies moving at approximately 3x their normal speed but then they’ll begin to slow down, eventually to the point that they’re barely moving!