Asteroids (Arcade)

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Arcade, November 1979
            Series : Asteroids
         Developer : Atari
             Genre : Multidirectional shoot 'em up
          Graphics : Vector graphics
                     1-bit Graphics
      Release Info : MiSTer implementation
        Other Tags : MOS Technology 6502
       Emulated in : Atari 50 (2022 PS5) 

not completed.

Asteroids is a multi-directional shooters with Space War-inspired thrust controls, enemy UFOs, and of course asteroids that divides into halves when shot, slowly making the screen more and more dangerous to traverse. The screen wraps around both horizontally and vertically, enabling asteroids, bullets, and even the player ship to exit one side and enter the other. A hyperspace jump button enables rapid escapes from bad situations to a random location on screen. The vector screen of the original arcade machine has intense contrast, and looks quite stunning.

The game is running on the same hardware as Lunar Lander, another Atari game released only a couple of months earlier. The game is running on a MOS 6502 CPU from 1975, also used in home computers such as the Atari 8-bit, the Apple II, and the Commodore 64.



Scores - MAME:
 21420 ...........  on 2019-04-22

Other scores:
 13770 ...........  on 2016-03-20
 12000 ...........  on 2012-03-07

Scores - atari50:
 9680 ............  on 2024-04-20

Log entries

  • Although Google had some exceptionally disappointing talks at Game Developers Conference 2012, their party really was something else; they had filled the center of the dancefloor with classic arcade cabinets and pinball tables, and I was able to try many of the classic arcade games for the first time in all of their pure unemulated awesomeness, accompanied by some appropriately hard house from the DJ. This party, pandering as it was, was a unique experience, one I wouldn't have been without. And seeing the original Asteroids on a real vector screen was a revelation. It was so vivid, the ship and the shots glowing with great intensity, looking like nothing a modern screen could reproduce. And, as is usually the case with old games using CRTs, it controlled perfectly without the horrible lag, we have grown accustomed to on our modern displays.
  • Got the score 12000. Got a score > 12000 (that I can't remember exactly) on an original Asteroids cabinet at the Google GDC Party 2012. Noone beat it that evening :)
  • 2016-03-20
  • Got the score 13770. Sunday was our last day in San Fransisco, we didn't have anything planned, and I could think of nothing better than to go back to Musée Mécanique and play some more arcade games. Asteroids is an old favorite of mine, and after a couple of games getting shot down by small UFOs, I managed to get the second highest score on the machine.
  • 2019-01-30
  • I was experimenting with enabling HLSL stuff in MAME and making this game look like I remember the real arcade machine looking.
  • 2019-01-31
  • Before our board meeting, I played a little Asteroids. The more I play, the more I enjoy this game.
  • 2019-04-22
  • I've been trying to record good looking videos from MAME Asteroids, but it's proven tricky:
    • For the vector screen to look realistic, enabling HLSL effects is required (hlsl_enable 1)
    • Internal MAME recording using -aviwrite doesn't record the HLSL effects
  • Got the score 21420 in MAME. I ended up recording the MAME window FRAPS.
  • 2020-02-29
  • I played a little bit of Asteroids in the Brooklyn Barcade.
  • 2024-04-20
  • Got the score 9680 in atari50.

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Screenshots marked with 🍒 are created by syltefar and are considered public domain, free to use for anything. If you want to, you can note where you found it and link to this page. v.2.3.4 2024-07-08