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Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference

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Millipede


Millipede (c) 11/1982 Atari.


Millipede is a two-dimensional shooter. You use your shooter to take out the insects and the mushrooms. Your job won't be easy, though, since you will have to deal with multiple enemies. In addition, each of these enemies has a certain pattern of attack that you must know to successfully get through each round. Your dream of being an exterminator is now a reality.


- TECHNICAL -


Approximately 10,000 units were produced. Millipede came in two different form factors, an upright and a cocktail table, and it was also available as a conversion kit for "Kangaroo", "Dig Dug", and "Arabian". The uprights were by far the most common. They all have control panels with a trackball, although the upright version uses a larger ball than the other ones do. All of the trackballs are prone to wear and tear, but replacement parts are readily available. The upright was in a white cabinet that was rather strangely shaped. It really accented the speaker area in a way that no other games did. The game featured ornate painted sideart of a huge orange bug along with a hunter inside a forest scene. That graphic wasn't just on the sides either, it continued all the way around the front of the machine as well. The control panel was dark and rather plain, it had the trackball, some game instructions, and a few graphics of leaves. The marquee for this title shows a hunter clad in red, firing a longbow at an orange millipede. The cocktail version is black and woodgrained, and has two control panels. It is mildly decorated with light blue graphics under the glass and on the control panels. This was the style of cocktails where both players sat across from each other, and not the side by side style that some other titles used.


Game ID : 136013


Main CPU : M6502 (@ 1.512 Mhz)

Sound Chips : (2x) POKEY (@ 1.512 Mhz)


Screen orientation : Vertical

Video resolution : 240 x 256 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.00 Hz

Palette colors : 32


Players : 2

Control : Optical trackball

Buttons : 1 (FIRE)


- TRIVIA -


Sequels to arcade games can be a 'hit and miss' thing. Taito was able to make a successful sequel to its "Space Invaders" game by releasing "Space Invaders II". Atari also attempted to make a sequel to its hit "Asteroids" called "Asteroids Deluxe". Unfortunately, the sequel was not received well and Atari took a loss with it. Atari had another runaway hit in 1980 called "Centipede". The game basically involved having the player take out insects and mushrooms that dotted the playing screen. Taking another chance, Atari released a sequel in 1982 called Millipede. Fortunately, Millipede received a better reception then "Asteroids Deluxe" did as a sequel and it did fairly well at the arcades. Other games that Atari released such as "Dig Dug", "Gravitar", and "Pole Position" may have also helped the sequel along. The game play was essentially the same as the original.


If you go into test mode, you will see a hidden 'Logg' sprite which refers to the game programmer Ed Logg.


Originally called 'Centipede Deluxe'. Here is the main differences between Millipede and "Centipede" :

* Instead of the Centipede and three enemies, you now have to deal with the Millipede and seven enemies.

* In addition to the Bee dropping mushrooms, the Dragonfly also drops them. The difference between the two enemies is that the Bee goes in a straight line from top to bottom while the Dragonfly zig-zags across the screen from top to bottom.

* Beetles turn mushrooms into flowers which can only be destroyed with DDT bombs or by Spiders.

* On some screens, some of the mushrooms will disappear while others grow in other random places.

* The Shooter now shoots arrows instead of laser-type shots.

* The screen advances down one level after each round is completed or for each Beetle that is hit. This will reveal other things when a new top level is revealed. Mosquitos cause the screen to advance up by one level.

* Different events are based on how many segments the Millipede has (a segment is defined as not being the head).

* DDT (a chemical that was banned in the 60's for pest control) bombs have been added to help you take out areas of bugs, flowers, and mushrooms.

* A new bonus setting has been implemented. It works depending on what the machine is set at for gaining bonus Shooters. Once you cross that threshold multiple, you can start a new game from that score minus the original bonus score. The score tops out at 300,000 points. You have 30 seconds after your game ends to choose to do this. It works like this :

1) The maximum level a player can start at is one level lower then the last free Shooter they received. For example, you receive a free Shooter every 20,000 points. If you achieved a score of 50,000 points, then the last free shooter you received was at 40,000 points. Going one level lower, you can either start with a bonus of 0 or 20,000 points. It works the same for free Shooters awarded at 12,000 or 15,000 points.

2) The player will also be allowed to start a new game at a bonus level. Again, depending on what the machine settings are for free Shooters will determine this bonus. The bonus will be 0, 1, 2, or 3 times whatever the score required is for a free Shooter (i.e. 0, 12,000, 24,000, or 36,000 points to name one). You will have ten seconds to make a decision.

* There are more score dependent settings for the game. This means more enemies will do different things depending on the player's score.

* Millipede cycles back and forth with head to body ratio instead of just having heads like Centipede does.


James Schneider holds the official record for this game with 6,995,962 points.


A Millipede unit appears in the 1983 movie 'Joysticks' and in the 1988 movie 'Arthur 2 - On the Rocks'.


A Millipede machine was shown at the 2003 classic arcade games show 'California Extreme' in San Jose, California.


In 1982, Atari released a set of 12 collector pins including : "Missile Command", "Battle Zone", "Tempest", "Asteroids Deluxe", "Space Duel", "Centipede", "Gravitar", "Dig Dug", "Kangaroo", "Xevious", "Millipede" and "Food Fight".


- SCORING -


Millipede (Body) : 10 points

Millipede (Head) : 100 points

Spider : 300, 600, 900, 1200 points (Points increase the closer the Spider is to the player's Shooter when shot)

Earwig : 1000 points

DDT Bomb : 800 points

Dragonfly : 500 points

Mosquito : 400 points

Beetle : 300 points

Bee : 200 points (Takes 2 hits. First hit speeds it up, second hit destroys it)

Inchworm : 100 points

Mushrooms & Poisoned Mushrooms : 1 point (Takes 4 hits to destroy). When the mushroom patch is reset after a player loses a life, each partially destroyed mushroom, poisoned mushroom or flower that is restored awards the player 5 bonus points.

Raids : 100 points per insect which increments 100 points per additional insect to a maximum of 1,000 points per insect.


Enemies killed inside DDT blasts are worth 3 times their normal score. The exception to this are Spiders which are worth 1,800 points when killed by DDT and enemies on the raids which are worth their normal (progressive) point values.


Raids : Normal points for the first raiding insect killed. Additional kills on raiding insects are worth 100 points more than the previous one, up to a maximum of 1,000 points each.


- TIPS AND TRICKS -


* 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) MILLIPEDE (Body and Head) : Goes back and forth across the screen. Will drop to the next level when it encounters a mushroom, flower, DDT bomb, another insect, 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 flowers and mushrooms they pass over.

3) DRAGONFLY : These appear when the Millipede has less then ten body segments. It goes in a zig-zag pattern from top to bottom leaving a trail of mushrooms in its wake.

4) BEE : These appear randomly. They will usually appear when you have cleared out most of the mushrooms in the player area.

5) EARWIG : These appear when the Millipede has less then eleven body segments. They go across the screen and poison all the mushrooms in their path.

6) BEETLES : These appear randomly after round one. They enter from the side of the screen, then go to the bottom. They travel at least halfway along the bottom before going up to their original entry level. They then exit from the side. All mushrooms in their path are converted to flowers.

7) MOSQUITOS : Randomly enter the screen and fly in a diagonal pattern from the upper left or upper right corners. Hitting them causes the screen to go up one level.

8) INCHWORM : These appear when a Millipede has less then eleven body segments. Hitting them causes all enemies on the screen to slow down for about three seconds.


* The Millipede will start out as a head and eleven body segments on round one. Round two will be a head with ten body segments and a head that enters from the opposite side. Round three will be a head with nine body segments and two heads that enter from opposite sides. This progression keeps going until round twelve where you have twelve heads. It will then reverse this progression on round thirteen. This cycle occurs every twelve rounds.


* Shooting the Millipede can have two effects :

1) If you shoot the head, then that part turns into a mushroom and the next segment becomes the new head and the Millipede 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 Millipede will continue in the same direction. The new Millipede 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 Millipede's in one stroke and to keep the Bees at bay is to create 'mushroom corridors'. Mushroom corridors are basically corridors between two rows of mushrooms where you can funnel the Millipede down and destroy it when it is moving head-first at your shooter.


* In reference to the above 'mushroom corridors', keep in mind that on random screens, some mushrooms die while others take their place. This means you may have to clean up the area since some of your corridors may have been affected by this change.


* Watch out for the Spiders. They enter at either the top or bottom corners. Your shooter 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 Bees to appear since you won't have many mushrooms in the player area. In later rounds, multiple Spiders may appear in the player area.


* At the beginning of a round, take a quick look to see how many segments the Millipede has. This will determine the behavior of enemies on that or subsequent rounds.


* On rounds where the Millipede has an odd number of segments (i.e. one, three, five, etc.), be prepared for the next round after clearing out the current round. The next round will have a RAID of bees, dragonflies, mosquitos, or a mixture of the three. When you shoot one of these you get 100 points. For each insect hit thereafter, you add 100 points to the previous score. This will reach a maximum of 1,000 points per insect.


* On the round where the Millipede only has four segments, the screen will scroll down once every two seconds. The only way to stop this from happening is to set off a DDT bomb or destroy the Millipede. Of course this can work to your advantage when you need to get more DDT bombs or a different configuration of mushrooms in a hurry.


* You can have a maximum of four DDT bombs on the screen at any given time. Wait until either the Millipede is right next to one or there is a heavy concentration of enemies before setting it off.


* Beetles can cause a lot of problems if they aren't dealt with quickly. Of course, if you have your mushroom corridor set up, they may be a blessing. Since they create relatively indestructible flowers in their path, this would help prevent you from shooting them accidently. Of course, you still have to worry about the Spiders and DDT bombs.


* Keep track of where the Earwigs move across the screen. As soon as the Millipede 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 rounds, it is not uncommon to have multiple Earwigs going across the screen. They also provide the most points in the game.


* Another way mushrooms get poisoned is if they grow next to a DDT bomb. Again, watch the screen for new growth.


* If you get unlucky and let the Millipede 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 again and remain in the player area. 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 Millipede parts in the player area or until your Shooter is destroyed.


* If your shooter gets destroyed, all partially shot-up mushrooms and poisoned mushrooms are reset. Flowers created by beetles are also changed back into mushrooms. You then start at the beginning of the round you got killed on.


* Depending on the difficulty the machine is set up at, the following events occur :

1) At easy, the Spider moves slowly up to 10,000 points. At hard, the Spider moves slowly up to 5,000 points.

2) At easy, the Beetle moves slowly up to 400,000 points and four Beetles appear in each round after 500,000 points. At hard, the Beetle moves slowly up to 300,000 points and four Beetles appear in each round after 350,000 points.

3) Regardless of setting, the Inchworm will move faster after the player reaches 80,000 points.

4) All other enemies move at their same speeds.


- SERIES -


1. Centipede (1981)

2. Millipede (1982)


- STAFF -


Designed and programmed by : Ed Logg

Also worked on Millipede : Dave Snyder


- PORTS -


* Consoles :

Atari 2600 (1983)

Atari 5200 (1984)

Atari XEGS

Nintendo Famicom (1988)

Nintendo Game Boy (1995, "Centipede / Millipede")

Sony PlayStation (1998, "Arcade's Greatest Hits - The Atari Collection 2")

Sony PlayStation (2001, "Atari Anniversary Edition")

Sega Dreamcast (2001, "Atari Anniversary Edition")

Sony PlayStation 2 (2004, "Atari Anthology") : appears in both arcade and Atari 2600 forms.

Microsoft XBOX (2004, "Atari Anthology") : appears in both arcade and Atari 2600 forms.

Nintendo Game Boy Advance (2005, "Millipede / Super Breakout / Lunar Lander")


* Computers :

Atari 800 (1983)

Atari ST (1986)

Tandy Color Computer (1987, "Kingpede")

PC [CD-Rom] (2000, "Atari Arcade hits 2")

PC [CD-Rom] (2001, "Atari Anniversary Edition")

PC [CD-Rom] (2003, "Atari - 80 Classic Games in One!") : appears in both arcade and Atari 2600 forms.


* Others :

Nokia N-Gage (2005, "Atari Masterpieces Volume 1")

Atari Flashback 2 (2005)


- SOURCES -


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