Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference

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Quantum (rev 2)

Quantum (c) 12/1982 Atari.

The game itself has an interesting concept, similar to "Qix". You have to encircle various particles using a trackball controller.


Approximately 500 units were produced. The game came in the same cabinet as "Space Duel" and "Gravitar", but it was not a conversion kit. It had totally different art, and was only available in full dedicated cabinet form. Like all vector games, Quantum is very problematic, and monitor failures are very common.

Game ID : 136016

Main CPU : 68000 (@ 6.048 Mhz)

Sound Chips : (2x) POKEY (@ 600 Khz)

Screen orientation : Vertical

Video resolution : 256 x 231 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.00 Hz

Palette colors : 32768

Players : 1

Control : trackball


Quantum was the first Atari game to allow a player to try the game without inserting a coin. During the attract mode, the game allowed the player to move the comet to try to capture a particle. During this mode, the messages 'TRY CAPTURING THIS ATOM' and 'MOVE THE TRACKBALL'.

Quantum was also the first game to allow player to 'draw' his name with the trackball when he gets the high score.

Quantum was designed by General Computer for Atari as part of a lawsuit settlement for a "Missile Command" speedup kit to which they affixed their copyright.

Three Quantum machines were shown at the 2003 classic arcade games show 'California Extreme' in San Jose, California.

Quantum was released in very limited quantities. Atari employees have said that there were 500 or fewer games produced.


Electron : 20 points.

Triphon : 100 points.

Splitter : 100 points.

Photon : 200 points.

Positron : 200 points.

Tryd : 300 points.

Nucleus : 300 points.

Pulsar : 400 points.


* Once you capture a particle (or anything), you should keep circling it. You can keep capturing it over and over until you get tired. For 4x the score, you can apply this trick to two particles at once. Obviously this trick is easier to do on the very early levels.

* White particles always move vertically, while colored particles always move diagonally. Knowing this may make capturing them easier.

* If the player earns the highest score, a special option allows them to sign their name using the trackball, as well as enter their initials into the high score table.