Centipede Retail Packaging
|Original Retail Price||$44.95 (USD) |
|Programmer(s)||James G. Landowski|
|Format(s)||Solid State SoftwareTM Command Module|
|Release||1983 (4th quarter) |
Centipede is a vertically oriented shooter game originally developed by Atari in June of 1981. It was ported to TI-99/4A by Atarisoft in the 4th quarter of 1983. In Centipede, the player fights off centipedes (as the name implies), spiders, scorpions, and fleas. The winding centipedes are the main enemy of each level, and a level is completed after the centipede is destroyed.
The TI-99/4A port was released during the 4th quarter of 1983 on a gaming cartridge called by Texas Instruments a Solid State SoftwareTM Command Module. The Texas Instruments version was ported by James G. Landowski. The gaming cartridge retailed at $44.95 (USD) originally.
- 1 Gameplay
- 2 Advertising Blurb
- 3 Manual
- 4 Downloads
- 5 References
- 6 External Links
The player controls an insect-like fighter at the bottom of the screen referred to as the Bug Blaster. The player can move left, right, up (to a limited height), and down to the bottom of the screen. While moving to avoid enemies, the player also fires darts in an attempt to hit and destroy foes. The main enemy, the centipede, appears in multiple segments. When the player hits a segment with a dart, that segment becomes a mushroom in the mushroom patch. If the centipede segment was in the middle of the centipede, the centipede splits into two portions with the rear portion sprouting its own head. The player can face multiple centipedes, all of which descend and attempt to destroy the player. It is, therefore, advantageous for the player to focus shots on either the head or tailpiece of the centipede so as to limit the number of enemies to destroy. The head is worth 100 points when shot, whereas all other segments are worth only 10 points.
The original centipede is 10 to 12 segments long and always starts at the top of the playing area, and works its way down toward the Bug Blaster. With each level, the centipede decreases in size by one segment, with the missing segment becoming its own head which moves at a faster speed. This pattern of segments starting out as heads continue until all segments have become individual heads, at which point, the games repeats itself beginning over with a single, full-length centipede.
Centipedes always travel exactly left or right, and change directions and drop one level down each time they reach the edge of the screen or touch a mushroom of the patch. Mushrooms can be destroyed in an effort to prevent the centipede(s) from descending upon as rapidly, but each mushroom requires four shots to eliminate. When a centipede reaches the bottom of the screen, it moves back and forth within the player's area, and a periodic new head will appear. This continues until the original centipede and all additional heads are destroyed.
Besides centipedes, the player will also encounter various other insect enemies, including fleas, spiders, and scorpions.
Fleas descend vertically down the screen and disappear when they reach the bottom of the screen. Fleas occasionally deposit trails of mushrooms in their path making centipedes descend quicker upon the player. When darted by the player, fleas are worth 200 points and require two hits to destroy.
Spiders move across the player area in a zig-zag pattern and east some of the mushrooms. They are worth either 300, 600, or 900 points depending on how close they are to the player when shot.
Scorpions move horizontally across the playing area turning every mushroom they touch into a poisonous mushroom. These poisonous mushrooms then cause any centipede that comes in contact with it to attack the player in a straight down manner. The centipede will return to normal behavior once it reaches the bottom of the screen. Scorpions are worth 1,000 point each.
The player's Bug Blaster is destroyed when it is hit by an enemy of any kind. After the player loses a blaster, any poisonous or partially damaged mushroom is returned to its normal state. Five points are awarded for each of these regenerated mushrooms. The player earns extra lives during gameplay for every 10,000 points earned.
From Back of Retail Packaging
Get out your bug blaster and save that fungus! The thrill of the arcade game.
An insidious invasion of multiplying insects (centipedes, jumping spiders, poisonous scorpions, and frenzied fleas) pose different perils to the mushroom patch. You must repeatedly blast enraged creepers and stubborn obstacles or lose your enchanted fungus. Remember to listen for the distinctive sounds of the attacking bugs, and watch out for blasted centipede segments, each one grows a new head!