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Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference

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Stargate


Stargate (c) 11/1981 Williams.


The sequel to 1980's legendary "Defender", Stargate is a two-dimensional sideways scrolling shoot-em-up in which players fly a ship over the surface of a planet protecting humanoids from alien invaders.


Stargate plays very similarly to "Defender", although several enhancements have been made to the already superb and demanding game play. One main difference is the introduction of the stargate. If the player's ship enters the stargate when a humanoid is being abducted, the ship is taken to the location of the abduction. If four or more humanoids are attached to the ship, the player is warped forward three waves (the warp only works until wave 10). Otherwise, the stargate transports the ship to the opposite side of the planet.


Waves five, fifteen, twenty-five etc. are the incredibly difficult 'Yllabian Dogfight' waves, in which the player is in outer space (with no planet or humanoids) against an armada of Yllabian Space Guppies, Swarmers, and Dynamos. Waves ten, twenty, thirty etc. are 'Firebomber Showdown' waves which consist only of Firebombers and Pods.


A special 2000 point bonus can be gained by simultaneously catching and dropping off a falling humanoid as the last event in a wave once all the enemies have been destroyed.


- TECHNICAL -


Main CPU : M6809 (@ 1 Mhz)

Sound CPU : M6808 (@ 894.75 Khz)

Sound Chips : DAC (@ 894.75 Khz)


Screen orientation : Horizontal

Video resolution : 292 x 240 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.00 Hz

Palette colors : 16


Players : 1

Control : 2-way joystick (vertical)

Buttons : 6

=> Thrust, Fire, Reverse, Smart bomb, Inviso, Hyperspace


- TRIVIA -


Stargate was the first game designed by Vid kidz, the design firm founded by Jarvis and DeMar when they decided to go independent. Williams became desperate for a game after the designers left, so they took Vidkidz under contract. Stargate took four months to complete. All Vidkidz games were designed on a dual 8" floppy, 1 MHz 6809 Motorola Exorcisor system that cost $30,000 in those days. The name was changed to 'Defender II' right after the game had stopped being manufactured, because Williams wanted to make sure they could own the trademark on the title.


The name of the enemy Yllabian is created by reversing the spelling of Bally, one of Williams' competitors. Bally reversed becomes Yllab.


Approximately 26,000 uprights were made and about 1,000 cocktail tables.


A Stargate mini-cabinet was shown at the 2003 classic arcade games show 'California Extreme' in San Jose, California.


Changes from "Defender" : the game play for Stargate is very similar to Defender. A few notable differences that are worth mentioning:

* The addition of eight more enemies.

* The addition of the stargate. Going through the stargate allows the player to either :

1) Go to the opposite side of the planet if no humanoids are being threatened.

2) Arrive at the exact spot where a Lander is abducting a humanoid.

3) In addition, before Wave 10, if you fly forwards (not backwards) through the stargate while carrying four or more humanoids, you will warp forward three waves. You will get a bonus of Humans Left X 2,000 points for this achievement (Up to 20,000 points).

* The Inviso button allows you to cloak your ship in an anti-matter field. While cloaked, your ship is indestructible and you can destroy enemies by flying through them. You see your ship as a dull shimmer on the screen. You can still pick up falling humanoids while cloaked.



1) On wave 5 and every 10th wave thereafter : The Yllabian Dogfight.

2) On wave 10 and every 10th wave thereafter : The Firebomber Showdown.



* There is now a 'pod intersection' timer which appears in the scanner at the beginning of any wave which has at least 3 pods. It counts down to the moment when all the pods are together.


- SCORING -


Lander : 150 points

Mutant : 150 points

Bomber : 250 points

Pod : 1000 points

Baiter : 200 points

Swarmer : 150 points

Firebomber : 250 points

Fireball : 100 points

Dynamo : 200 points

Space Hum : 100 points

Yllabian Space Guppy : 200 points

Phred : 200 points

Big Red : 200 points

Munchies : 50 points


Rescuing abducted humanoids gives increasing bonuses if the humanoids are rescued consecutively without being immediately returned to the ground.

500 points for saving the 1st humanoid from a Lander, 1,000 points for saving the 2nd humanoid, 1,500 points for the 3rd, and 2,000 points for the 4th and higher.

500 points for each humanoid put back into the planet's surface.

250 points for a humanoid landing into the ground safely on his own.


Bonus at the end of each wave :

Wave 1 : Humanoids Left X 100.

Wave 2 : Humanoids Left X 200.

Wave 3 : Humanoids Left X 300.

Wave 4 : Humanoids Left X 400.

Wave 5 and all Yllabian Dogfight waves : 2,500 points.

Wave 6 and above : Humaniods Left X 500.

Warp : Humanoids Left X 2,000


- TIPS AND TRICKS -


* You start the game in the middle of the screen. You can look at your radar to see where the various enemies are. Get to learn the sounds of the game because they are an important clue as to what is going on out of your viewing range. First of all, learn how to use the buttons with proficiency. You don't want to be hunting around for the smart bomb or thrust button when you are in theb middle of a firefight. Practice is what will make you proficient.


* Learn to use your radar screen and after a while you will only look at the viewable area briefly to take care of business. Each enemy has a unique color on the radar so you should be able to easily identify what they are. In addition, you will also learn how each enemy moves around. This will definitely become a great benefit in the later waves.


* As I've already mentioned, listen to the sounds of the game. When you hear a high-pitched chatter, that means a Lander has picked up a human in order to create a mutant. Use your radar and look for the green shape going straight up; that's the lander. Try to get over there as quickly as possible. Just shoot the Lander, not the human it has taken. When you hear what sound like something being put together, that means a Lander has become a Mutant.


* Once you shoot the Lander, your job isn't over yet. If the height is too great, the human will fall and die on impact. Fortunately, your fighter is equipped for such emergencies. All you have to do is fly over the human and your fighter will pick them up. Anytime you scrape against the ground, you will set the human down. Some players continuously ride around with a human like this to prevent the planet from exploding.


* The planet will only explode when all ten humans are dead. Then you will have to go through waves of nothing but mutants and the other regular enemies until you make it to a bonus wave. After that, you will have 10 humans and a new planet again. Mutants are very dangerous to deal with because they not only tend to swarm, they also fire a lot of shots toward your fighter. Of course, real good players just shoot all the humans so they can have the challenge of going through these ''mutant'' waves.


* If you take too long on a wave, a saucer shaped enemy called a Baiter will appear. The Baiter is much quicker then your fighter and it has the tendency to fire pretty accurate shots. Try to clear waves as fast as possible. Also, Phred, Big Red, and Munchies will make an appearance to help out the Baiter to ensure your fighter doesn't survive.


* Use your smart bombs only when your viewing area is crowded with enemies. A lot of players like to get all the Pods into their viewing screen then touch off the smart bomb. A quick way to get a few thousand points. Another use is to break open the pods so that Swarmers are all over then touch off the smart bomb. Again, more points.


* Baiters can outrun your fighter. One of the tactics to ''throw'' them off is to reverse quickly a couple of times. This disorients them briefly and may give you a chance to shoot them.


* In addition to smart bombs, use your Invisio sparingly. A good tactic is to find a lot of enemy units bunched up. Fly fast toward them and at the last minute, activate your Invisio until you are clear (should amount to less then a second of time). You can destroy quite a few enemies this way and you conserve your Invisio energy.


* Use hyperspace only when you are in a totally desperate situation (like getting swarmed by Mutants or Swarmers). More times then not, the hyperspace will put you somewhere else but destroy your fighter in the process.


* Watch out for the bombers. Although they travel slowly, they have a bad habit of leaving strings of bombs. If you are not paying attention, you may become another statistic if you attempt to fly through them.


* The firebombers have a tendency to shoot a lot of fireballs at your fighter. Fortunately, you can destroy these fireballs. This can become complicated if there are four or five firebombers firing at the same time. The fireballs don't track your fighter.


* You can fly through and under the terrain (but you cannot exit the screen at the top and come up through the bottom or vice-versa). Use this to your advantage when maneuvering around.


* Since you ''wrap-around'' the screen, this gives you a little more maneuvering room. However, keep looking at your radar because the enemy that disappears off the left side will show up on the right side. Also, shots do not wrap around the edge.


* In addition to using the ''wrap-around'', keep in mind that you can also use the warp to your advantage. Some players hang around the warp until a human is abducted. They go through the warp, save the human, and go back to the warp again to await the next rescue. Also, the warp is great if being pursued by a lot of enemies who are intent on vaporizing your fighter since it transports you to the opposite side of the planet.


* Since you get a free fighter, smart bomb, and Invisio time at 10000 points, that should be your constant goal. As the waves get higher, though, things move a lot faster making even getting 10000 points a challenge. The most free fighters and smart bombs you can have is 256.


* Secret Message : The formula consists of three sequences of buttons, that all must be completed within a quarter of a second of each other, without the player dying onscreen. The moves are as follows...

1) Joystick Down, Reverse, 1P Start and Thrust.

2) Reverse, 2P Start and Fire.

3) Joystick Down, 1P Start, Thrust and Fire.


* An Undocumented Feature : You need to have killed everything off in the wave except for one lander. There must be at least one humanoid on the ground. Wait for the lander to pick up the humanoid. Shoot the lander and catch the humanoid JUST before it hits the ground. The screen'll flash like mad and you will be awarded 2000, presumably for catching the humanoid and depositing it on the ground in the tiny interval before the wave ends.


- SERIES -


1. Defender (1980)

2. Stargate (1981)

3. Strikeforce (1991)

4. Defender 2000 (1996, Atari Jaguar)


- STAFF -


Staff : Larry DeMar (LED), Sam Dicker (SAM), Steve Ritchie (SSR), Eugene Jarvis (DRJ) (EPJ), (JER)


- PORTS -


NOTE : in all ports released in 1995 and later, this game appears under the "Defender II" name.


* Consoles :

Atari 2600 (1984) : has been available under both "Stargate" and "Defender II" names.

Nintendo Super Famicom (1996, "Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits")

Sega Mega Drive (1996, "Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits")

Sega Saturn (1996, "Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits")

Sony PlayStation (1996, "Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits")

Sega Dreamcast (2000, "Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits Vol. 1")

Nintendo Game Boy Advance (2001, "Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits")

Sony PlayStation 2 (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")

Nintendo Gamecube (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")

Microsoft XBOX (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")

Nintendo Famicom ("Defender II")


* Computers :

Commodore VC20 (1982, "Defender II")

PC [Booter] (1983)

Commodore C64 (1984, "Guardian")

PC [MS-DOS] (1995, "Williams Arcade Classics")

PC [MS Windows] (1996, "Williams Arcade Classics")

PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2004, "Midway Arcade Treasure")


* Others :

VFD handheld game (1982) released by Entex.

Tiger Game.Com ("Arcade Classics")


- SOURCES -


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