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Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference

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Astro Fighter (set 3)


Astro Fighter (c) 1979 Data East.


Astro Fighter is a two-dimensional, space shooter style game. Your job is to protect the various sectors from the hoards of invading aliens. You will have to defeat four waves of alien spaceships in order to dock with the 'GS' ship and refuel. In addition to battling the alien spaceships, you will also have to dodge bombs that seem to come out of nowhere. Armed only with your fighter and a lot of spirit, you must ensure that you clear the screen of invaders before they pass you by. All in all, another walk in the park.


- TECHNICAL -


Upright cabinet dimensions : 25,5'' (64,77cm) wide x 67'' (171,8cm) high x 28'' (71,12cm) deep. Weith : 290 lbs (132 kg).

Slimline cabinet dimensions : 19'' (48cm) wide x 35'' (89cm) high x 22,5'' (57cm) deep. Weight : 120 lbs (54 kg).


Board Number : AG070001

Prom Stickers : AG01-AG06


Main CPU : M6502 (Number : AG070002) (@ 662.187 Khz)

Sound Chips : Samples


Screen orientation : Vertical

Video resolution : 240 x 240 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.00 Hz

Palette colors : 16


Players : 2

Buttons : 3 (LEFT, RIGHT, FIRE)


- TRIVIA -


This is the first game manufactured by Data East. Astro Fighter came as a result of a merging of ideas between Sega and Data East. Unfortunately, this game wasn't well received and didn't sell many units. Sega would improve on the overall design and release "Astro Blaster", which was a superior game in every way to this one. Astro Fighter, though, was still a challenging game and a definite departure from the standard 'shoot'em up' type of space games, it just never caught on.


Tim McIiroy holds the official record for this game with 15,470 points on June 27, 2002.


This game is also known as "Astro Fire". Three bootlegs of this game are known as "Astro Combat", "Astro Battle", and "Super Star Battle".


An Astro Fighter unit appears in the 1982 movie 'Rocky III'.


- UPDATES -


Set 1 :

* 16Kbit ROMs.

* Green/Hollow empty fuel bar.

* 60 points for every bomb destroyed.


Set 2 :

* 8Kbit ROMs.

* Blue/Solid empty fuel bar.

* 60 points for every bomb destroyed.


Set 3 :

* 8Kbit ROMs.

* Blue/Solid empty fuel bar.

* 300 points for every seven bombs destroyed.


- SCORING -


Blue Alien : 20 points

Purple Alien : 30 points

Green Alien : 40 points

Yellow Alien : 50 points

'GS' Alien : 300-1000 points

Bomb : 60 or 300 points per seven bombs destroyed (depends on what version machine you play, see ''Updates'' section).

Fuel Bonus : 3,000, 6,000 or 9000 points

Spaceship Bonus : 5000 points/spaceship


- TIPS AND TRICKS -


* When you start the game, your fighter will be in the middle at the bottom of the screen. The alien spaceships have two ways they shoot at your fighter. They either shoot straight down or they shoot diagonally. You must take out all the alien spaceships on a screen. If you fail to do so, you will have to deal with their full complement again and your fighter will be set at the next higher level. If you happen to get killed during a wave, you only have to deal with the remaining alien spaceships.


* Fuel is a precious commodity in this game. You may be able to let one or two waves of aliens escape but you will really be pressed to finish the entire round with enough fuel. If your fuel runs out, your game is over regardless of how many fighters you have left.


* You can only have one shot on the screen at a time. This means you will need to plan your shots and don't fire unless you need to.


* The first four waves of alien spaceships, with 15 alien spaceships per wave. They come down in distinct formations. Understanding how these formations are set up is the key to taking them out quickly.

1) The Blue Aliens come down in a 'pyramid-type' formation. Starting from the bottom, the numbers are five at the bottom, four at the next level, three at the next level, two at the next level, and one at the top.

2) The Purple Aliens come down in two straight lines. With seven in the bottom line and eight in the top line.

3) The Green Aliens come down in a haphazard-type formation. They move back and forth across the screen and they are the hardest spaceships to deal with.

4) The Yellow Aliens come down in three rows with five spaceships per row.


* As you shoot the alien formations, you will notice that the remaining alien spaceships will speed up. The key is to shoot them high up on the screen so that you are not desperately trying to take out the last ones at the bottom. This also means taking out the bottom attackers first to give yourself some 'breathing' room.


* In addition to the alien spaceships, you must be wary of the bombs that drop down. When you are lining up your shots at the alien spaceships, always be aware of where the bombs may be heading and act accordingly.


* On the fifth wave, you will have to deal with the 'GS' ship. Its shots are pretty easy to avoid and it must be hit dead center to stop it, collect the points, and refuel your fighter for the next round.


- SERIES -


1. Astro Fighter (1980)

2. Super Astro Fighter (1981)


- PORTS -


* Computers :

Microtan 65

Tandy Color Computer (1982, "Astro Blast")

ZX-Spectrum (1983, "Starclash") : Micromega (UK), programmed by Derek Brewster.


- SOURCES -


F.A.Q. by Kevin Butler A.K.A. War Doc