Defender

Play Atari 2600 Defender online

 

Rate this game!

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 3

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this game.


Add Defender to your favorites!

Total favorite count: 6

Defender Atari 2600 game facts

GAME TITLE: Defender

PLATFORM: Atari 2600

GAME ORIGIN: Atari original

MODEL NUMBER: CX-2609

DEVELOPER:

PUBLISHER:

RELEASE DATE: 1982

GAME GENRE: Action

FAVORITE COUNT: 6

USER RATING:

5
(3)

Sears title: Defender

Licensed by Williams Electronics

DEFENDER ORIGINAL ATARI 2600 GAME INSTRUCTIONS 

ATARI DEFENDER is very similar to the Williams coin-operated DEFENDER game. However, you will find some differences in the game play as well as in the graphic images and game controls. For example, in the coin-operated DEFENDER game, two or more Alien Landers can kidnap Humanoids simultaneously, whereas in the ATARI version, Landers can abduct only one Humanoid at a time. In the coin-operated game, you can accidentally kill a Humanoid with your own missile fire while attempting a rescue, and even lose a life in Hyperspace. Such tragedies cannot happen in ATARI DEFENDER. ATARI Humanoids are invulnerable to missile fire, and Universal Space Ship Defender will always emerge from Hyperspace intact.

Scoring is the same in the ATARI and coin-operated DEFENDER games, with one exception: ATARI gives you 500 points instead of 150 points for blasting a cluster of Alien Swarmers with your laser missiles.

The game differences are mostly minor and technical. We feel sure that they will not detract from the fun you will have with this exciting and popular ATARI game.

*DEFENDER is a Trademark of Williams Electronics. Inc.

 

DEFENDER SPECIAL FEATURE

 This Game Program TM contains additional versions for young children.

NOTE: Always turn the console POWER switch OFF when inserting or removing an ATARI (R) Game Program TM cartridge. This will protect the electronic components and prolong the life of your ATARI Video Computer System TM game.

 

DEFENDER – RESCUE THE HUMANOIDS

Earth’s “friendship” signals, beamed into deep space and beyond the Milky Way, have attracted extraterrestrial beings, all right, but not the ones we expected. Now wave after wave

of warlike Aliens from some unidentified solar system “home in” and attack. In the cockpit of Universal Space Ship Defender, you wait tensely, watching your scanner for approaching aliens. There they are! First comes a lone Bomber, laying space mines. You pick that off with your laser missiles with no trouble. But an innocent-looking Pod ship explodes when you hit it, releasing clusters of missile-splitting Swarmers. Whew! That was close! Now what? Your Scanner shows a convoy of saucer-shaped Baiters coming fast and escorting a squadron of Landers. Space Intelligence has informed you that the Landers’ diabolical mission is to kidnap Earth’s Humanoids and transform them into hideous flying Mutants programmed to destroy the cities and take over the Earth.

In the city below, Humanoids run helter-skelter through the streets like frightened ants. Some cower in doorways, hoping, no doubt, that the Landers will overlook them. No chance!

Look! See that terrified Humanoid wriggling helplessly in the force of the Lander beam? No time to lose! Thrust out and blast that Lander with your laser missiles. There! That got him. Now dive down and catch the Humanoid. Hurry! Hurry! He’s falling fast!

 

DEFENDER GAME PLAY

 

[Figure 1 – DEFENDER Game Elements]

As Commander of Universal Space Ship Defender, you have been assigned by Earth Security to rid Planet Earth of the Aliens and rescue Humanoids from the Landers. You score points for each Alien space ship you destroy with your laser bombs and smart bombs and for each Humanoid you save. (see SCORING.) In one-player games, your object is to top your highest score. In two-player games, the player with the highest score wins the game. A game ends when the Aliens finally destroy defender and conquer Earth.

LIVES AND SMART BOMBS

You begin a game with three Defender lives and three smart bombs. The number of lives remaining in a game is displayed at the bottom left of the television screen, and the number of smart bombs remaining is shown at the bottom right (see Figure 1). For a discussion of how to use smart bombs, see YOUR DEFENSE in this section.

Each time Defender collides with an Alien missile or mine, it disintegrates with a “whoosh” and vanishes. If it’s Defender’s last life, the game is over. If a life remains, Defender rematerialises in its starting position on the left side of the television screen and the game continues.

Every 10,000 points, Defender acquires a bonus life and smart bomb. You can earn any number of bonus lives and bombs, but the computer only displays three at a time. The computer gives you an audible signal when you earn another life and smart bomb.

ALIEN ATTACK WAVES

The first wave of Aliens attack when you press the red button on your Joystick Controller (or the GAME RESET switch on your game console) to start the action. Be ready with your Joystick Controller to blast Aliens as soon as you hear the air raid alarm. See USING THE CONTROLLERS for Joystick maneuvers.

Here is a briefing on Alien characteristics:

 

                                                                ##
                                                         ###  ##  ###
                                                         ### #### ###
    [[[[[                                                  ######
  [[[[[   ###                                          ########
[[[[[[[ ########                         ####################
    [[[ ###########                     ####################
    [[[ ###############                        ########
[[[[[[[ ####################                ######
  [[[[[    ##########                          ### #### ###
   [[[[[                                              ###  ##  ###
                                                              ##

  Defender                                              Pod

 

                                              #
                                           ###        # 
      ##############           #####      ###
 ######            ######        ###      #####
 ######            ######         #        ###
####################                 #
            Baiter                          #
                                             ###
                                           #####        #
                                            ###        ###
                                             #        #####
  ####################                   ###
  ####################                    #
   #######      #######            Swarmers
   #######      #######              
   #######      #######
  ####################
  ####################
              Bomber                          ####                  ####
                                                          ###########
                                                          ###########
                      #####                           ###########
                    #######                              #####
                  #########                       ###########
                   #######                         ##            ##
                    #####                           ###########
                ###     ###               #####                   ######
        #################                        Mutant
##########################
                    Lander                                

[Figure 2 – Alien Attack Wave]

Bombers lay mines to trap you. Baiters are fast pursuit ships that home in and shoot at you. Pods explode when hit and release Swarmers, fast little ships that travel in clusters of four and fire missiles. Landers also fire missiles as they search the city for Humanoids to kidnap and mutate. Mutants move in fast for the kill, shooting as they come.

When Defender has destroyed all the Aliens in the first wave, another wave of Aliens – faster and tougher than the first ones – moves in. The longer Defender survives, the harder the waves of Aliens become.

END OF A WAVE

A wave does not end until Defender has destroyed all the Aliens in it. When that happens, the number of the wave completed flashes in the centre of the television screen, as shown in Figure 3.

 

[Figure 3 – End of a Wave]

 

DEFENDER – YOUR DEFENSE

Defender uses conventional laser missiles and smart bombs to blast enemy Aliens and can employ its secret weapon; Hyperspace Time Warp, to stage a “strategic retreat.”

Laser Missiles: Laser missiles are Defender’s first line of defense. Fortunately, they are unlimited. To deploy missiles, point Defender at the target and press the red controller button. (See USING THE CONTROLLERS for details.)

Smart Bombs: Smart bombs are an effective means of mass destruction. One detonation takes care of every Alien on the television screen in front of you, and you earn points for each Alien destroyed. To detonate a smart bomb, move Defender down behind the city and press the red controller button.

Use smart bombs sparingly and strategically. It’s a good idea to keep one in reserve in case you get fenced in by Aliens or need a push across a 10,000 point boundary to win another life and smart bomb. Under HELPFUL HINTS you will find other suggestions for deploying smart bombs.

Hyperspace Time Warp

This Ultra Secret device enable Defender to disappear, warp through time and space, and instantly reappear in another space quadrant. It’s an effective maneuver when Defender needs to stage a “strategic withdrawal,” or get away fast. A word of caution, however. Your new position is selected by the computer at random,and there is no guarantee that it will be better than the old one.

To enter Hyperspace, push the Joystick Controller fully forward (away from you) and hold it in that position until Defender has moved to the top of the television screen and disappeared behind the Scanner. Then press the red controller button on your Joystick. As Defender warps through time and space, Aliens disappear. When Defender reappears, the Aliens also reappear.

USING THE SCANNER

Get into the habit of using the Scanner to fight Aliens and rescue Humanoids. The Scanner gives you the following vital information:

*    How many Aliens are approaching, what kind of Aliens they are, and what their positions are.

*    Which Humanoid is being abducted by a Lander.

*    How many Humanoids remain to be defended and where they are.

[Figure 4 – Using the Scanner]

The Scanner is similar to a radar screen. Every “blip” on it reflects an object in the game. In Figure 4, the rectangular blip is Defender. The four small stationary blips at the bottom of the Scanner are Humanoids. A fifth Humanoid is being kidnapped by a Lander and carried toward the top of the television screen. The remaining blips are Aliens.

Aliens can “wrap” around the television screen horizontally and vertically. For example, an Alien traveling across the screen right to left can leave the screen at the left side and reenter at the right; one traveling from bottom to top can leave the screen at the top and reenter at the bottom.

The blips are colored to help you distinguish between blue Baiters and Bombers, orange Landers and Pods, or red Mutants. The positions of the blips on the Scanner give you the approximate altitude, range, and position of the Aliens. Fore-armed with this information, you can maneuver Defender into position to blast Aliens with missiles or smart bombs as soon as they appear.

RESCUING HUMANOIDS

While destroying Aliens is very important, your chief obligation is to rescue the Humanoids from the Landers. At the end of a wave, you score 100 bonus points for every Humanoid survivor.

The five Humanoids are cowering near the buildings at the bottom of the television screen (see Figure 4). You can’t see all five at one time, but if you push the Joystick Controller to the right or left and take a slow flight over the city, you will see them all.

Defender is the Humanoids’ only defense against the Landers. Use the Scanner to locate them and patrol their positions. When a Humanoid is kidnapped and you hear his plaintive cry for help (like the chatter of an excited chipmunk), go to his rescue immediately. Nine times out of ten, however, he won’t be on the television screen in front of you and you will have to locate him. If you fly over the city searching for him, you may arrive too late to save him. Use the Scanner.

The Scanner is the fastest way to spot a kidnapping. Look for the Humanoid that is being lifted up toward the top of the Scanner (see Figure 4). Keep monitoring the Humanoid’s position on the scanner as you fly to his rescue, and adjust Defender’s position accordingly. With practice, you will arrive in time to blast the Lander and save the Humanoid even during the fastest waves.

 

HOW TO SAVE A HUMANOID

Figure 5 illustrates two ways to save a humanoid:

*    Destroy the Lander and let the Humanoid free-fall safely to earth.

*    Destroy the Lander, catch the Humanoid, and carry him back to earth.

[Figure 5 – Two Ways to Save a Humanoid]

The free-fall rescue is only effective if the Humanoid is close enough to the earth to land safely. You’ll have to do a little experimenting to find out how close that is. If the Humanoid lands safely, the computer plays a short happy tune and adds 250 bonus points to your score (in addition to the 150 points you earn for destroying the Lander). If the Humanoid does not land safely, the computer emits a little “crash” or “crunch” sound and that’s all. Needless to say, no bonus points are added to your score when a Humanoid crash-lands.

NOTE: Don’t worry about the Humanoid getting hit, either by an Alien missile or your own missile, during an attempted rescue or free-fall. Atari Humanoids are not vulnerable to missiles and bombs, only to heights.

Catching a Humanoid in midair and bringing him back alive is much more difficult than the free-fall rescue and earns more bonus points. To catch a Humanoid, maneuver Defender into contact with him, as shown in figure 5. If you succeed in catching the Humanoid and bringing him back to Earth, you earn 1000 bonus points. If you manage to catch him but do not return him safely to Earth, you earn 500 points.

There are times when you may want to catch a Humanoid and hold on to him instead of returning him to Earth. As long as you hold a Humanoid, Alien Landers cannot abduct any other Humanoids during the wave. At the end of the wave, the Humanoid counts as a survivor and earns you 100 bonus points.

However, you are not allowed to carry him into the next wave; the computer automatically returns him to the city. See HELPFUL HINTS for some applications of this Humanoid capability.

NOTE: A Humanoid cannot get hit while Defender is carrying him around, since he in invulnerable to missiles.

Self-Sacrifice

There is a third way to save a Humanoid. Defender can sacrifice a life for him by colliding with the Lander abductor. While this is very noble, it is not very practical unless Defender has lives to spare. Defender’s self-sacrifice does not earn you any bonus points; only 150 points for destroying the Lander.

 

DEFENDER – MUTANT TAKEOVER

If the Defender does not succeed in rescuing a Humanoid, the Lander that abducted him carries him up into space, transforms him into a Mutant, and programs him to return and attack Earth.

When all five Humanoids have been destroyed, whether by mutating or falling, the city blows up and disappears, and Mutant populations take over the Earth. The game continues with the Mutants until they destroy Defender or revert to Humanoids in Wave 5 or a multiple of Wave 5.

NOTE: Game action is the same after a Mutant takeover. To detonate a smart bomb, move Defender down behind the blasted plain where the city once stood and press the red controller button.

 

DEFENDER – THE FIFTH WAVE

The Mutant takeover is only good for four waves. Every fifth wave, the Mutants revert to Humanoids and any cities destroyed are rebuilt. Unfortunately, the rebirth of the Earth attracts more Aliens and the struggle for survival begins again. That’s life.

DEFENDER – USING THE CONTROLLERS: Use your Joystick Controllers with this ATARI (R) Game Program TM cartridge. Be sure the controller cables are firmly plugged into the CONTROLLER jacks at the back of your ATARI Video Computer System TM game. For one-player games, use the Joystick Controller plugged into the LEFT CONTROLLER jack. Hold the Joystick with the red button to your upper left, toward the television screen. See your owner’s manual for further details.

DEFENDER MOVES: Defender moves in the direction you move the Joystick Controller (see Figure 6). To move toward the right, push the Joystick Controller right; to reverse direction and move left, push the Joystick left; and to move Defender diagonally, push the Joystick diagonally. Push the Joystick forward to move Defender up toward the top of the television screen; pull back on the Joystick to move Defender down.

 

                  MOVE UP

                        ^

                     \  |  /

                       \|/

¬†MOVE LEFT <———> MOVE RIGHT

                       /|\

 MOVE            /  |  \

DIAGONALLY      v

           MOVE DOWN    

 

Figure 6 – Joystick Moves

FIRE BUTTON

The red controller button on your Joystick Controller is the fire button. Press it to fire laser missiles, detonate smart bombs, and enter Hyperspace. See GAME PLAY for information on smart bombs and Hyperspace Time Warp.

TWO-PLAYER GAME CONTROL

In two-player games, players take turns controlling Defender, starting with the player using the left Joystick Controller. At the end of a wave, control of Defender passes to the player using the right Joystick. When one player loses his last Defender life, the play continues with the remaining player. When both players are out of Defender lives, the game ends. Press the red controller button to play the same game again.

 

DEFENDER – CONSOLE CONTROLS

GAME SELECT SWITCH: Find the number of the game you want to play in the GAME SELECT MATRIX. Press the GAME SELECT switch until the number appears in the game window at the bottom of the television screen (see Figure 7). The number on the left is the game number; the number on the right indicates the number of players.

NOTE: Press and continue to hold down the GAME SELECT switch to cycle through the game numbers.

[Figure 7 – Game Selection]

GAME RESET SWITCH: When you have selected your game, start the action by pressing the GAME RESET switch or the red button on your Joystick Controller. Note that the score counter appears in the game window at the bottom of the television screen (see Figure 8). To interrupt a game and start over with zero score, use the GAME RESET switch. The Joystick Controller button cannot be used to interrupt a game.

DIFFICULTY SWITCHES: If you are using the left Joystick Controller, your DIFFICULTY switch is on the left side of the Video Computer System console. If you have the right Joystick, your DIFFICULTY switch is on the right side of the console.

Switch Positions

The position of your DIFFICULTY switch determines Defender’s vertical speed:

Set to B: Defender rises and descends rapidly.

Set to A: Defender rises and descends slowly, making it harder to chase Aliens and rescue Humanoids.

Handicap

To give yourself a handicap when playing against a less skilled player, set your DIFFICULTY switch to A and your opponent’s switch to B.

 

DEFENDER – SCORING

Your score appears in the game window at the bottom of the television screen when you press the GAME RESET switch or the red button on your Joystick Controller to begin a game (see Figure 8).

[Figure 8 – Score Counter]

In two-player games, you and your opponent take turns scoring. When it’s your opponent’s turn to score, the computer resets the score counter for him. But it keeps track of your score and status so that you can resume the game where you left off when it’s your turn again. Don’t worry, you can trust the computer.

When the game ends, the computer flashes your score and your opponent’s score, alternately. Highest score wins.

POINTS

Aliens Destroyed                                        Points

Pod                                                       1000

Swarmer                                                    500

Bomber                                                     250

Baiter                                                     200

Lander                                                     150

Mutant                                                     150

 

Humanoid Rescue Mission                   150 for Lander Plus:

Falls from Lander and lives                                250

Caught but not brought back                                500

Caught and brought back                                   1000

Bonus: Each Humanoid alive at end of wave                  100

BONUS LIVES AND SMART BOMBS

Every 10,000 points, you can earn an additional Defender life and smart bomb. There is no limit to the number of lives and bombs you can earn, but only three lives and three bombs can appear on the television screen at one time. If you have more than three lives or bombs, the computer holds the extra ones in reserve for you until it can display them on the television screen.

 

DEFENDER GAME VARIATIONS

Take your choice of 20 different DEFENDER games. Games 1 through 10 are for one player; Games 11 through 20 are for two players; and Games 10 and 20 are for young children. See the GAME SELECT MATRIX for a summary of all DEFENDER games.

GAME SPEEDS: Game speeds vary from slow children’s games (10 and 20) to very fast all-Mutant games (Games 3, 6, 9, and 13, 16, 19). Games with mixed Aliens are either fast or moderately fats, depending upon the speed with which Landers kidnap Humanoids and Baiters attack Defender. See the GAME SELECT MATRIX for details.

MUTANT TRAINING MISSION: One-player Games 3, 6, 9 and two-player Games 13, 16, 19 are special Mutant Training Missions (MTM’s). They help players develop the skills required to survive the Mutant takeover that occurs when all five Humanoids have been mutated (see Figure 9).

[Figure 9 – Mutant Training Mission]

SKIP WAVES: Single-player Games 4, 5, 6 and two-player Games 14, 15, 16 skip the first two attack waves and begin at Wave 3. These games are for experienced players looking for greater challenge.

Games 7, 8, 9 for one player and Games 17, 18, 19 for two players begin at Wave 5 and are recommended for very experienced to expert players.

 

DEFENDER HELPFUL HINTS

  1. LISTEN TO THE SOUNDS: DEFENDER sounds are important to you and a life-and-death matter to the Humanoids. A high-pitched “chatter” like an excited chipmunk is a Humanoids’s cry for help. When you hear it, immediately go to the rescue. If you let a Humanoid free-fall to earth and hear “crash” or “crunch” instead of a short happy tune, you know that you Humanoid crash-landed and you did not score 250 bonus points. You don’t even have to look at the score counter.
  2. USE THE SCANNER: Practice using the Scanner to find out where Aliens are coming from, which Humanoid is being kidnapped, and which Humanoids remain to be defended. the Scanner is an important strategic element in any game. When you learn to rely on it, it will help you improve your score. See USING THE SCANNER and RESCUING HUMANOIDS in GAME PLAY for help in reading the Scanner.
  3. SPEED IS IMPORTANT: Keep Defender moving forward at the highest speed you can manage without losing control. Remember that a moving target is harder to hit.
  4. SUDDEN REVERSALS: Reversing direction suddenly is a good ploy. It confuses Aliens and stops them in their tracks. In the instant it takes an Alien to recover, you can get Defender into a strategic position, reverse again, and blast the Alien with your laser missiles.
  5. SMART BOMBS: If you don’t want to let loose a lot of Swarmers at the start of a wave, use smart bombs instead of laser missiles to destroy Pods. But use the bombs sparingly. You may need one to save a Humanoid in the nick of time, or to blast enough aliens to cross a 10,000 point boundary and win another life and smart bomb.
  6. CATCH AND CARRY: If you are in a fast wave, catch and carry a Humanoid. Remember that a Lander can’t pick up another Humanoid while Defender is holding one. A good strategy in the later waves is to wait until you’ve destroyed all but one Alien before you set the Humanoid down.

DEFENDER GAME SELECT MATRIX

One Player Game12345678910*
Humanoid Pickup Speed 2323231
Mutant Training MissionXXX
Mutant & Baiter Speed2342342341
Starting Wave 1113335551
Defender: One player game

Two Player Game11121314151617181920*
Humanoid Pickup Speed 2323231
Mutant Training MissionXXX
Mutant & Baiter Speed2342342341
Starting Wave 1113335551
Defender: Two player game

NOTE:
1 = Slow;
2 = Moderately Fast;
3 = Fast;
4 = Very Fast
*Children’s Version