The play mode begins when either start pushbutton is pressed. The mode ends when the player's last ship of the game is lost.
If the 1 PLAYER START pushbutton is pressed, the following picture is displayed: the PLAYER 2's score disappears; the PLAYER 1's score becomes 00, and the number of ships (3 or 4, depending on the operator's setting) for the game appears below that score. The message PLAYER 1 also appears below the high score to date. Two seconds after pressing the 1 PLAYER START button the PLAYER 1 message disappears, and the game ship appears at the center of the display. Four large asteroids appear and drift in from the outer edges of the display.
If the 2 PLAYER START pushbutton is pressed, the following picture is displayed: the PLAYER 1 and PLAYER 2 scores become 00, and the number of ships for the game appears below each score. The player 1 score also flashes as the message PLAYER 1 appears below the high score to date. Two seconds after the 2 PLAYER START pushbutton is pressed, the PLAYER 1 message disappears. The game ship for player 1 appears at the center of the display as four large asteroids appear and drift in from the outer edges of the display.
By pressing the LEFT ROTATE and RIGHT ROTATE pushbuttons on the control panel, the player may aim a spaceship toward any of the asteroids. By pressing the FIRE pushbutton, the player may shoot at the asteroids.
When shot, each large asteroid divides into two medium-sized asteroids and the game adds twenty points to the player's score. Medium-sized asteroids, when shot, divide into two small-sized asteroids, and the player receives fifty points. Small-sized asteroids, when shot, will completely disappear, and the game awards 100 points to the player. When players have shot all asteroids, a new set of large asteroids again appear and drift in from the outer edges of the TV monitor display. At the beginning of the game, four large asteroids appear. At the beginning of the next cycle when large asteroids reappear, there are six, the next time eight, and thereafter ten—to increase player challenge.
At any time during game play, a flying saucer may appear from either side of the display. The game awards players 200 points for shooting a large saucer and 1000 poi nts for a smal I saucer. (The latter is a smaller target for players, though not any faster moving than the large one. It also shoots more accurately.)
The player's objective in the game is to shoot and destroy as many asteroids as possible before all his or her spaceships are destroyed. A ship is destroyed if an asteroid or saucer smashes into it, or if a flying saucer shoots it. To prevent losing a ship, the player may press the THRUST pushbutton to move out of the path of an asteroid or saucer. As an emergency maneuver, players can press the HYPERSPACE pushbutton: the ship disappears and reappears at a random location on the display—however, possibly right on top of, or in the path of, an asteroid. The ship may also explode on reentry.
The game awards an extra ship each time a player's score reaches multiples of 10,000; i.e., one ship is awarded at 10,000 points, another ship at 20,000 points, etc.
When the last ship of the game is destroyed, the message GAME OVER appears below the high score. This message remains for 3 seconds before the high score initial mode begins.
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