YAR'S REVENGE Atari 2600

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Yars' Revenge is a video game released for the Atari 2600 in 1982. It was created by Howard Scott Warshaw, who also wrote the 2600 titles Raiders of the Lost Ark and the much-derided E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Yars' Revenge was Atari's best selling original title for the 2600.


The game began as a licensed port of the Cinematronics arcade game Star Castle. In the original game, a powerful cannon is protected by three layers of counter-rotating shields. The player must shoot holes in these shields in order to destroy the cannon inside. But once these holes are made, the cannon can also shoot out at the player. If the outermost layer is completely destroyed, new layers of shields are grown. Harassing the player are three free roaming mines that hunt out the player's ship.

As the Atari version grew, change after change was introduced until the final product had very little resemblance to the original. In this game, the hero (a Yar) is an insect-like creature who must nibble or shoot through a barrier in order to fire his "Zorlon Cannon" into the breach and destroy the evil Qotile, which exists on the other side of the barrier. The Qotile can shoot at the Yar even if the barrier is undamaged, by turning into the "Swirl" - fortunately, the player is warned before the shot is fired, and he can retreat to a safe distance to dodge the enemy's energy blast. Also in the game is a safe area, "the neutral zone", where the pursuing enemy torpedo cannot harm him (although the Swirl can). The Yar cannot shoot from within the neutral zone.
Scoring and levels of difficulty




Shooting a block of the Qotile's shield - 69 points
Eating a block of the Qotile's shield - 169 points
Shooting the Qotile with the Zorlon Cannon - 1000 points
Shooting the Swirl with the Zorlon Cannon before it launches - 2000 points
Shooting the Swirl in mid-air with the Zorlon Cannon - 6000 points and an extra life (maximum of 9 lives stored)

Each level ends with the destruction of the Qotile or Swirl. Odd-numbered levels will have a stationary shield protecting the Qotile, even-numbered levels will have a rotating shield protecting the Qotile. The destroyer missile will follow the player faster as levels progress.

When a player's score reaches 70,000 points, the Qotile's shield will turn blue and the Swirl will begin to fire three times more frequently, sometimes firing without warning.
When a player's score reaches 150,000 points, the Qotile's shield will turn gray, the Swirl will return to its normal frequency but turn into a guided missile, remaining in mid-air to try to kill the player.
When a player's score reaches 230,000 points, the Qotile's shield will turn pink and the Swirl will again begin to fire three times more frequently, sometimes firing without warning.
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