Dig Dug

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About Atari 2600 Dig Dug

Licensed by Namco

DIG DUG original Atari 2600 manual


You are Dig Dug, the underground miner. With your jet-powered shovel, you create intricate, subterranean mazes. Ever on the watch for vegetable prizes, you must also look out for the fierce Fygar(tm) and mean Pooka(tm) that lurk underground. Their touch kills| Worse, these two meanies can transform into spooky ghosts that will appear out of nowhere and haunt you to death.

Use your Joystick Controller to dig through the earth in this one-player game. Your objective: Destroy the meanies who lurk below and uproot the prized produce. Destroy meanies by using the fire button on your controller to pump them up until they burst or by drooping boulders on them. To get the valuable vegetable, dig to it as soon as it appears and cover it completely by moving Dig Dug over it.

Each round is completed when you destroy all the meanies or when the last one escapes. The game ends when you lose all your lives


Create your own tunnels and escape routes as you carve your way through the earth. You dig in the same direction as you move your Joystick.
The meanies who chase you are: the fire-breathing Fygar, whose flames fry you, the balloon-like Pooka, and the ghosts of Fygar and Pooka. You lose a life when any meanie touches you.

To blow up a meanie: Press the red fire button on your Joystick once or twice to stun the creature, then continue pressing the button to pump up the meanie until it bursts. (See USING THE CONTROLLER for details.)
To drop a rock: Dig under the rock, then move away fast| The falling rock will crush any close-pursuing meanie(s) that it touches. It can crush you, too, if you don’t get out of the way.

When only one meanie is left, he will always try to escape, thus ending that round of the game.

Your underground mine is composed of four layers of dirt. You receive more points for blowing up meanies in the bottom layers that in the top soil.

A high-scoring prize, which is usually a vegetable, appears once per round at the same spot where you started digging. It appears for only a few seconds and you must get Dig Dug to completely cover the prize to score big points. So keep your eyes open and watch for it.

You start the game with five lives. Remaining lives are displayed as squares at the lower left side of the screen. (See the Game Screen.) You can also earn bonus lives. You win your first bonus life at 20,000 points. After that, a bonus life is won at every multiple of 50,000 points up to 200,000 points. The maximum number of lives you can have at any one time is eight.

Periodically, the game action speeds up. The musical tempo increases, the meanies move more quickly and turn into ghosts more often than usual.
To keep the challenge hugh, you can restart a game at the same round you last played after you lose all your lives. To do this, simply press the red fire button on your controller after a game ends and while the title DIG DUG appears on the screen.


Plug your Joystick Controller into the LEFT CONTROLLER jack at the back of your 2600(tm) Video Computer System(tm) console. Hold the Controller with the fire button to your upper left, toward the television screen. See your owner’s manual for details.

You can move Dig Dug up, down, right, or left on the screen. Just move your Joystick in the diretion you want him to go.

Fire button: Press the red fire button to start the game. To restart the game at the same round you last played, press the fire button while the DIG DUG title screen is displayed. You will have approximately ten seconds after losing your last Dig Dug life to do this.

During game play, press the red fire button once or twice to stun the meanies. Then hold the button down or use a multiple pumping action to pump up meanies until they explode.


Your score is displayed at the lower right side of the screen. You can score a total of 999,990 points before the score resets. In EASY play, the top score is 99,990. The table below gives point values for the DIG DUG game.

Digging 10 points every two chunks
Dropping rocks on meanies

1 meanie 1,000
2 meanies at once 2,500
3 meanies at once 4,000
4 meanies at once 6,000
5 meanies at once 8,000
6 meanies at once 10,000
7 meanies at once 12,000

Round Number Prize Round Number Prize

Round 1 Carrot Rounds 10 & 11 Tomato
400 points 4,000 points

Round 2 Turnip Rounds 12 & 13 Onion
600 points 5,000 points

Round 3 Mushroom Rounds 14 & 15 Watermelon
800 points 6,000 points

Rounds 4 & 5 Cucumber Rounds 16 & 17 Galaxian
1,000 points 7,000 points

Rounds 6 & 7 Eggplant Rounds 18 on Pineapple
2,000 points 8,000 points

Rounds 8 & 9 Bell Pepper
3,000 points

Inflating Pooka; Inflating Fygar from above or below

Top soil layer 200
2nd soil layer 300
3rd soil layer 400
Bottom soil layer 500

Inflating Fygar from the side

Top soil layer 400
2nd soil layer 600
3rd soil layer 800
Bottom soil layer 1000


DIG DIG contains two game variations: EASY play and NORMAL play.

  1. EASY: There is only one pattern of tunnels, rocks, and meanies. Each round is identical to the previous round, with only two meanies per round. The meanies never speed up and they never turn into ghosts. The prize is always a carrot worth 400 points. A teddy bear head indicated easy game play and appears in the top score digit throughout the EASY play.
  2. NORMAL: The pattern of tunnels, rocks, and meanies varies from round to round. Pooka and Fygar frequently turn into ghosts and the game action periodically speeds up. In higher rounds, as many as seven meanies can be on the screen at once. The prize changes and increases in value with higher rounds.


  • GAME SELECT: Use the GAME SELECT switch to choose a NORMAL or EASY game variation. The EASY game variation is indicated by a teddy bear head in the center of the title screen.
  • GAME RESET: Press GAME RESET to start the game action or to restart a game at round one.
  • DIFFICULTY SWITCHES: The DIFFICULTY switches have no function in DIG DUG.
  • TV TYPE SWITCH: Set the TV TYPE switch to color to play the game on a color TV. Set it to B/W to play on a black and white TV.


  • At higher rounds your priority should be to get the bonus vegetables because they’re worth more points than destroying meanies.
  • The prize will not appear in a round until two boulders have fallen and there are fewer than seven meanies on the screen.
  • The last meanie on a screen will always try to escape, thus ending the round. So, if just one meanie remains and the prize hasn’t appeared, you may want to stun that meanie long enough to allow the prize to appear.
  • Since the last meanie will always try to escape at the top left side of the screen, you can strategically position yourself above ground on the left and wait for the meanie to emerge then quickly blow him up.
  • You can’t pump through the soil, so back off if a ghost is approaching through the dirt toward your tunnel. Wait until the ghost gets indise the tunnel then quickly turn and pump it up.
  • To crush a ghost, tunnel under a rock and wait (as long as you don’t move, the rock won’t fall). When a ghost covers the rock, quickly move out of the way and the ghost will be crushed.
  • A good way to trap and squash several creatures at once is to tunnel straight up under a rock and wait for the meanies to follow. When they get close, quickly move out of the way to the right or left. They will be trapped in the path of the falling rock.
  • If a meanie is pursuing you, try to get to a tunnel. Since you move more quickly in a tunnel than through soil, this gives you a better chance to escape.
  • Try to group meanies behind you by stunning them and then running. (You can run right through a stunned meanie.) When several are in pursuit, lead them toward a boulder and drop it on them for high points.

Dig Dug Atari 2600 game facts


PLATFORM: Atari 2600

GAME ORIGIN: Atari original