Centipede (revision 3)

Arcade 1980 Atari Shooter Gallery
Centipede is a 1- or 2-player game with a color raster-scan monitor. The fast-moving game action takes place on a magical mushroom patch and includes a variety of insects that drop down from the top of the screen or enter from the sides of the screen, most of them to attack the Bug Blaster, controlled by the player. The Bug Blaster is represented on the screen by a somewhat humanoid head. The object of the game is to shoot at and destroy as many of these insects and mushrooms as possible for a high point score, before the player's lives are all used up.

Player control consists of a Mini-Trak Ball control and a FIRE button. The Bug Blaster is moved by rotating the Midi-Trak Ball control. The Bug Blaster can be moved in all directions, but only within the bottom 5th of the screen. However, the Bug Blaster must move around mushrooms, since these are fixed, not 'transparent', objects. Pressing the button causes the Bug Blaster to fire individual shots upward, either singly or in rapid-fire mode, if held down constantly. (Only one shot appears on the screen at a time.)

Game play begins with a playfield of randomly-placed mushrooms in a mushroom patch. A Centipede starts snaking its way across from the center top of the screen. The Centipede changes direction when it runs into a mushroom or either the left or right boundaries of the playfield.

When a segment of the Centipede is shot, it is destroyed and a mushroom appears where that segment was shot. When a body segment is shot, the Centipede breaks into two smaller Centipedes, each with its own head. When a Centipede reaches the bottom of the screen, it starts back up, but remains within the area of the Bug Blaster (the bottom fifth of the screen).

If a Centipede reaches the bottom of the screen without being shot, it releases its tail. This tail changes into a new head. Also to provide the player a challenge, if a Centipede is still alive when it reaches the bottom, new heads will enter the screen almost at the bottom of the sides. More of these heads will appear as time progresses.

A round of play ends when all Centipede segments are destroyed.

The randomly moving Spiders also appear in the first wave. The Spiders can destroy any mushrooms they move over. This eliminates many mushroom targets for a player. Depending on a special option switch setting, the Spider moves slowly until the player reaches a specific score, and then it speeds up. If the Bug Blaster and a Spider collide, both are destroyed.

Whan a Centipede with fewer than eleven body segments appears, a bombardment of Fleas starts; as a Flea descends, it leaves a trail of new mushrooms behind it. Fleas appear when a certain number of mushrooms remains at the bottom of the screen. This number increases as the game progresses, meaning Fleas appear more often later on in the game. The Bug Blaster must hit a Flea twice to destroy it; the first shot just speeds it up.

When a Centipede with fewer than ten body segments appears, a Scorpion enters from either side, moving at a relatively slow speed. As the player earns more points, the Scorpion's speed increases.

As the Scorpion travels across the screen, it 'poisons' the mushrooms that it moves over and changes their colors. These mushrooms cause any Centipedes that would collide with them to head straight towards the bottom of the screen, rather than continue snaking around. The Bug Blaster can stop a poisoned Centipede by shooting its head.

In addition, these poisoned mushrooms as well as any partially shot mushrooms add 5 points to the player's score as the mushroom patch resets after a player loses a life.

If the players are very skilled and earn at least 60000 points, two things happen to increase player challenge : the Fleas descend at a faster speed and the Spiders restrict their movement to a smaller area at the bottom of the screen.

An important new feature of this game is the operator option for easy/hard game difficulty. At Easy, the Spider moves slowly up to a 5000-point score, and then bounces at a higher speed. It also changes direction less often throughout the game than at the hard setting. At Hard, the Spider moves slowly only for the first 1000 points, and then speeds up. It also changes direction more often throughout the game. In either setting, the Spider always moves at a 45-degree angle or straight up and down.
Centipede (revision 3)

Partager Centipede (revision 3)


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  • maincpu M6502 (@ 1 Mhz)
  • pokey POKEY (@ 1 Mhz)
  • POKEY (@ 1 Mhz)
  • Orientation Tate
  • Résolution 255 x 240
  • Fréquence 60 Hz
  • Nombre de joueurs 2
  • Nombre de boutons 1
  • Type de contrôle
    1. joy (8 ways)
    2. joy (8 ways)

Screenshots de Centipede (revision 3)

Centipede (revision 3) - Screen 1
Centipede (revision 3) - Screen 2
Centipede (revision 3) - Screen 3
Centipede (revision 3) - Screen 4
Centipede (revision 3) - Screen 5

Les clones de Centipede (revision 3)

Scoring de Centipede (revision 3)

Mushrooms & Poisoned Mushrooms : 1 point (Takes 4 hits to destroy)
Centipede (Body) : 10 points
Centipede (Head) : 100 points
Flea : 200 points (Takes 2 hits. First hit speeds it up, second hit destroys it)
Spider : 300, 600, 900 points (Points increase the closer the Spider is to the Bug Blaster when hit)
Scorpion : 1000 points

When the mushroom patch is reset after a player loses a life, each partially destroyed/poisoned mushroom that is restored awards the player 5 bonus points.

Tips sur Centipede (revision 3)

* When you start the game, you will be put in the middle at the bottom of the screen. You have an area five mushrooms high (about 20% of the playing area) to maneuver your Bug Blaster in. The game will start when the enemies enters the screen. Know your enemies! This is the single most important aspect of this game. If you don't know how each of the enemies behave, you won't last long. The enemies are :

1) Centipede (Body and Head) : Goes back and forth across the screen. Will drop to the next level when it encounters a mushroom or the side of the game field. It will go all the way to the bottom when it hits a poisoned mushroom.

2) Spider : These appear from the top left or right of the player area. They will either bounce across the player's area at 45 degree angles or bounce in at a 45 degree angle, bounce up and down a couple of times, go to the middle at a 45 degree angle, bounce up and down a couple of times, then finally go to the right side (at a 45 degree angle), bounce up and down, then exit the area. They destroy mushrooms they cross over.

3) Flea : These appear in wave 2. They will appear when you have cleared out most of the mushrooms in the player area.

4) Scorpion : These appear in wave 3. They go across the screen and poison all the mushrooms in their path.

* The Centipede will start out as a head and 11 body segments on Wave 1. Wave 2 will be a head with 10 body segments and a head that enters from the opposite side. Wave 3 will be a head with 9 body segments and 2 heads that enter from opposite sides. This progression keeps going until Wave 12 when all that enter the screen are heads. The progression then starts back up again in a never ending cycle.

* You must eliminate the Wave 1 Centipede only once. Then, until you score reaches 40000 points, you must destroy each subsequent Centipede wave twice--first as the Centipede moves slowly towards you, then as it moves fast. After your score reaches 40000 points, each Centipede will only need to be destroyed once.

* Shooting the Centipede can have 2 effects :

1) If you shoot the head, that part turns into a mushroom and the next segment becomes the new head and the Centipede will travel in the opposite direction (since it hit the new mushroom created).

2) If you shoot the middle of the body, then the segment hit will become a mushroom. The old Centipede will continue in the same direction. The new Centipede will develop a head at the next segment after the break and head off in the opposite direction.

* A good strategy to ensure you destroy the Centipedes in one stroke and to keep the Fleas at bay is to create 'mushroom corridors'. Mushroom corridors are basically corridors between two rows of mushrooms where you can funnel the Centipede down and destroy it when it is moving head-first at your Bug Blaster.

* A good defense against the Flea is to keep a certain amount of mushrooms on the screen. There is no hard set value but when the Fleas don't come down, you have enough. This number gets higher as your score increases.

* Speaking of score, Fleas start traveling faster after 60000 points.

* Watch out for the Spiders. They enter at either the top or bottom corners. Your Bug Blaster may be in the way if this happens. In addition to collisions, the Spiders wipe out all mushrooms that are in its path. This can create problems when you are creating mushroom corridors. It can also cause the Fleas to appear since you won't have many mushrooms in the player area.

* Spiders are unpredictable, so be careful. Sometimes they pounce using long, high leaps and sometimes it bounces in a series of short jumps. Aim your shots and plan your moves based on where the Spider is, and not where you think it is going.

* Remember that Spiders never turns back. Once one passes your Bug Blaster on its journey from one side of the mushroom patch to the next, you can ignore it. If the Spider emerges from the right side of the screen, it will work its way toward the left side of the screen, and vice versa. It may pause along its way to bounce straight up and down, but it will never reverse direction.

* Blast the Fleas! They are relatively easy to pick off, especially once you get good at moving your Bug Blaster smoothly across the bottom of the screen. Be careful, though! It takes 2 shots to kill a Flea and after the first hit the falling speed increases.

* Blast the Fleas as soon as you can. Stop them from laying mushrooms because you'll just have to blast them out of the way later. The more mushroom on the screen (especially in the player area), the more quickly the Centipedes work their way to the bottom.

* If you don't like Fleas, always leave 5 mushrooms in your area (out of your line of fire). Fleas stop falling when there are 5 or more mushrooms in the player area. But be on the lookout for Spiders. They destroy mushrooms and if the count drops below 5, the Fleas start falling again.

* Keep track of where the Scorpions move across the screen. As soon as the Centipede hits a poisoned mushroom, it will immediately head for the bottom of the screen. The only way to stop this headlong plunge is to shoot it in the head. In the later waves, it is not uncommon to have multiple Scorpions going across the screen. They also provide the most points in the game, but they are hard to get. Often rows of mushrooms protect them.

* Play the cycles. As the waves progress and more Centipede segments are entering the mushroom patch as independent heads, put more effort into blasting the heads than into chasing Fleas and Spiders. If your area gets too crowded with Centipede heads, you'll have to move your Bug Blaster with exceptional speed and smoothness to stay alive.

* If you get unlucky and let the Centipede into your area, you need to destroy it before it gets to the bottom of the player area. Once it reaches the bottom, it will ascend (it will never leave the player area, though). If it does reach the bottom of the player area, another head will come out from the opposite side to start its back and forth march across the screen. This will continue until you destroy all the Centipede parts in the player area or until your Bug Blaster is destroyed.

* If your Bug Blaster gets destroyed, all partially shot up mushrooms are regenerated, all poisoned mushrooms are restored to normal, and you start at the beginning of the wave you got killed on.

* Depending on machine set up, all enemies (except the Centipede and Flea) speed up at the 1000 or 5000 point mark.

* Bottom Side Tunnels : To perform this trick, you must do the following...

1) When the Centipede is one row over the player's area (5th mushroom up), go to the opposite side that the Centipede is on.

2) When the Centipede turns around, it will be in the player's area. It then will make it to the side you are on. Right when it hits the side of the screen and turns around, shoot it. This creates a mushroom and forces the Centipede to turn around and go down one level.

3) Again, after the Centipede hits the wall, shoot it, create a mushroom, and force it down another level.

4) Continue to do this until you have only the bottom part left. There are two ways to do this :
a) If you get killed by the Centipede, this will also create a mushroom and you will have a vertical line of mushrooms along one of the side.
b) If you are quick, you can pick off the Centipede and create this last mushroom.

5) Repeat this for the other side.

6) Regardless of how you create this 'Side Tunnel', you will now have a trapped Centipede since the only thing it can do is go up and down within the player's area. New heads that come out will also be trapped.

7) Now you can pick off enemies at your leisure. The only enemy you need to make sure you take out is the Spider since it can wipe out part of your 'Side Tunnel'.

8) Good players consider this 'cheating' since it basically lets the player have free reign over the game.

* Central Tunnel : This trick works along the same line as the 'Bottom Side Tunnel' trick. The difference is that you create a tunnel down the center of the screen...

1) When the Centipede starts its descent, hit it. This will cause it to reverse direction after hitting the new mushroom.

2) After going one or two mushroom lengths, hit it. Again, this will cause it to reverse direction.

3) Continue to do this until you have built a 'tunnel' that touches the player's area.

4) Also make sure you build up mushrooms to the left and right of the tunnel to prevent the Fleas from coming down and depositing their random mushrooms.

5) From this point on, when the Centipede approaches your tunnel, all it will take is one hit to force it to descend. In a sense, you are causing the same effect that a Scorpion causes, but on your terms.

6) Since you are keeping the top left and right areas clear, it should take a longer time for the individual heads to make it to the player's area.

7) It will take a few waves to build up your areas. Once built up, you should be the master of the game.

8) As for the other tunnel, make sure you take care of the Spiders when they first enter so they don't do any damage to your 'Central Tunnel'.

9) Also make sure that you keep your tunnel cleared out by destroying any stray mushrooms within it.

* Fortress : If you are patient, you could build a mushroom fortress around your Bug Blaster. Then all you would do is shoot Spiders for the rest of the game.

Centipede (revision 3) et M.A.M.E.

0.10 [Nicola Salmoria, Ivan Mackintosh, Edward Massey, Peter Rittwage]

Artwork available

- To see the color test, keep T pressed then hit F2. Insert a coin to proceed to the convergence test. Press T and F2 again to exit.

- Clone Centipede (bootleg set 1 / set 2) uses a AY8910 for sound, all other uses Pokey sound.

- 0.146u2: Changed description of clones 'Caterpillar' to 'Caterpillar (bootleg of Centipede)', 'Millpac' to 'Millpac (bootleg of Centipede)' and 'Magic Worm (bootleg)' to 'Magic Worm (bootleg of Centipede)'.
- 0.146u1: Minor changes to Centipede low pass filtering. Fixed clones Caterpillar and Magic Worm (bootleg) crash before OK [Couriersud].
- 6th September 2010: Mr. Do - After much labor and sweat, Jcroach finished up the Centipede bezel, and we can finally throw out the old version. And by taking the same AI file, and photos available on the net, I've also added in one of the Euro versions of the bezel (where much of the green detail is red).
- 18th October 2009: Smitdogg - Stefan Lindberg dumped a Japanese version of Centipede.
- 0.133u1: Renamed (centipd2) to (centiped2).
- 0.129: Added clone Centipede Dux (hack) (1980).
- 0.127u1: Couriersud fixed missing sound in clones Centipede (bootleg), Magic Worm (bootleg) and Millpac.
- 9th July 2008: Mr. Do - Centipede now has cocktail artwork, thanks to the BYOAC/CAG artwork. Centipede has always bugged me. (Ooooh, a pun, and I didn't even try). Until such time that the actual artwork is finished (which is now coming soon, I think), I adjusted the existing vector to at least be the same shape and colors as the original US bezel. Still far from correct, but a lot better than before.
- 0.122u8: Zsolt Vasvari removed colortables from Centipede and a number of other drivers, as part of a larger move to phase out old-style colortables. Changed palettesize to 260 colors.
- 21st January 2008: Mr. Do - I'm almost positive that the current version of the Centipede bezelis based off of one of the Atari PC compilations - YUK! There are five different versions of this in the works coming soon: Upright, cabaret (two kinds), euro, and cocktail.
- 0.108u1: Fixed rom names.
- 12th August 2006: Mr. Do - I learned a few more new tricks in the artwork system. Most notably how to crop the viewing area without touching the artwork, and using multiple views for one game. If you notice below, I've changed the table (again), and some games show view_2 or more. With the new system, we are no longer limited to one piece of art per game, or one view with that piece of art. For examples, check out Centipede (one piece of art; two different views). For the games that have multiple views, you can choose which one to use from the Video Options selection in the [TAB] menu. This works for both MAME and MAME32, and settings are saved in the gamename.cfg file.
- 9th August 2006: Mr. Do - Thanks to Trigg, I realized that one game can have more than one view, including more than one type of artwork in the file. (Well, Aaron explained it, but I guess it went woosh over my head the first time). This will be good for a great deal of games. First one will be Centipede (full and cropped bezel).
- 4th August 2006: Mr. Do - Ad_Enuff cropped the Centipede bezel; changed this one to centiped, and made the other one centipd2.
- 0.104: Verified that original Centipede PCB (revision 3) takes some time to register coins.
- 0.97u5: Aaron Giles fixed sprites rotating in cocktail mode.
- 0.92: Highwayman added prom ($0 - sync).
- 0.84u5: Stefan Jokisch fixed naming of the various Centipede bootlegs. Changed description of clones Centipede (bootleg set 2) to 'Centipede (bootleg)' and 'Centipede (bootleg set 1)' to 'Caterpillar'. Renamed (centipb2) to (centipdb) and (centipdb) to (caterplr). Added new gfx1 rom ($800) to Caterpillar.
- 0.78u1: Stefan Jokisch added prom ($0 - unused) to clone Millpac.
- 0.68: Chris Hardy added clone Millpac (1980 Valadon).
- 15th May 2003: Chris Hardy added Millpac to the Centipede driver.
- 19th November 2002: Stephane Humbert added a clone called Caterpillar to the Centipede driver.
- 0.62: Added clone Centipede (1 player, timed). Removed 3rd coin slot.
- 20th July 2002: Zsolt Vasvari added a timed version of Centipede to the Centipede driver.
- 0.60: Aaron Giles added clone Magic Worm (bootleg). Changed palettesize from 20 to 8 colors.
- 14th April 2002: Aaron Giles added a bootleg called Magic Worm to the Centipede driver.
- 15th April 2002: Aaron Giles merged the Centipede, Millipede, Warlords and Qwak prototype drivers because they were similar.
- 12th December 2001: Nicola Salmoria fixed the sprite orientation in the Centipede test screen.
- 16th April 2001: Zsolt Vasvari fixed Centipede cocktail mode.
- 2nd September 2000: Brad Oliver abstracted the dirty handling from Centipede and sped up Atari Tetris.
- 27th February 2000: Nicola Salmoria fixed a Centipede palette bug.
- 0.36RC1: Nicola Salmoria fixed a rounding error in IPF_CENTER handling which caused problems with Centipede. Note, however, that it would be advisable to not use IPF_CENTER at all for trackball/dial inputs, since this is probably not how the hardware works in reality. For the same reason, also removed the "clip" parameter from the PORT_ANALOG() macro.
- 0.36b11: Zsolt Vasvari added clone Centipede (bootleg set 2). Changed description of clone 'Centipede (bootleg)' to '(bootleg set 1)'.
- 29th November 1999: Zsolt Vasvari added another Centipede bootleg romset.
- 0.35b2: Zsolt Vasvari added Centipede (bootleg) with AY8910 instead of Pokey.
- 0.33b7: Changed description to 'Centipede (revision 3)' and clone '(rev 1)' to '(revision 2)'. Renamed (centipd1) to (centipd2). Known issues: For some unknown reason, revision 2 boots asking you to enter your name and doesn't go further. You can work around this by entering and exiting service mode (F2).
- 0.33b1: Brad Oliver added clone Centipede (rev 1). Service mode in Centipede works [Brad Oliver]. Changed the 6502 emulation to disable interrupts on a reset. Not sure if this is the correct behaviour, but Centipede needed it for the service mode to work. Nicola Salmoria fixed colors in Centipede, including service mode multiplexed color test. Known issues: The rev1 set doesn't seem to work with the trackball. Are coins supposed to take over a second to register? Need to confirm CPU and Pokey clocks.
- 0.27: Thanks to the precious information on the Pokey random number generator provided by Eric Smith, Hedley Rainnie and Sean Trowbridge, some problems with Centipede (start with 18 credits) and Tempest (hang after level 13) are now solved.
- 0.26a: Mirko Buffoni worked with the wrong source, now everything is back to normality in Centipede.
- 0.26: Patrick Lawrence did a great work adding trackball support to the main core system. Trackball is enable with -trak parameter. Trackball support has been added to Centipede and Reactor.
- 0.22: Mirko Buffoni fixed colors in Centipede. Thanks to Ivan Mackintosh for sending the info.
- 0.14: Nicola Salmoria fixed bug which sometimes caused 6502 games not to run (actually they did run, but interrupts didn't happen) and added high score saving to Centipede. Ron Fries provided a new version of his Pokey emulator which fixes problems in the interface with the SEAL audio library (signed vs. unsigned samples).
- 0.13: Use latest version of Marat's 6502 engine [Nicola Salmoria].
- 0.12: Sound in Centipede [Nicola Salmoria], through Ron Fries' POKEY emulator.
- 0.11: Centipede information taken from Centipede emulator by Ivan Mackintosh, MageX 0.3 by Edward Massey and memory map by Peter Rittwage.
- 0.10: Nicola Salmoria added Centipede (Atari 1980). Game is playable with wrong colors and no sound. Control: Arrows = Move around and CTRL = Fire. This is the first 6502 game supported by MAME. I'm currently using Marat Fayzullin's engine. Memory map comes directly from the Atari schematics (1981). Known issues: What is the clock speed of the original machine? I'm currently using 1Mhz, I don't know if the game runs correctly. The game awards you 18 credits on startup.

Other Emulators:
* Retrocade

Romset: 13 kb / 7 files / 8.39 zip
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