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Megamania
Megamania

Atari 2600 cart.

Developers Activision
Aspyr
Barking Lizards
Code Mystics Inc.
Contraband Entertainment
MacPlay
MumboJumbo
Nikko-Europe
Publisher Activision
Publishers
(unofficial)
CCE
Digivision
Dynacom
H. E. S.
Polyvox
Tron
Zirok
Systems Android
Atari 2600
Atari 5200
Atari 8-bit
digiBlast
Game Boy Advance
iOS
Macintosh
PC
PlayStation Portable
PlayStation 2
Release Dates 1982 (Original release)
1983 (Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit)
2002-2003, 2005, 2012
(Re-releases)
Modes Single player
2 players alternating
Media Cartridge
Digital download
Disc

BackgroundEdit

At the time of its release, Megamania was one of the very few bottom of the screen shooters for the Atari 2600 where objects that the player(s) had to shoot down had their attack patterns change with every new enemy that was introduced. And rather than the common sci-fi theme where players faced aliens and/or spaceships, a more whimsical route was taken this time around, as players faced the everyday items of Hamburgers, Bow Ties, Steam Irons, etc. instead.

The game was ported to the Atari 8-bit and Atari 5200 platforms, along with being included in many compilations on various additional modern platforms years later.

Releases, originalEdit

Atari 2600 version/gameplayEdit

Players controlled a mobile blaster at the bottom of the screen as enemy objects appeared overhead. Their attack patterns varied, as many objects would horizontally scroll from the left to the right side of the screen, although with every other wave, other objects (such as Cookies) would travel horizontally for a few seconds, then dip down closer to the player’s(/s’) blaster(s) and reverse direction. Also, if not all of these objects were destroyed by the time they reached the bottom of the screen, they would reappear at the top (which this act was known as the “MegaSphere”).

Once players faced all enemy objects and made it past the final wave of Space Dice, the game would start back over at the first wave (which was known as a “MegaCycle”), but at a higher level of difficulty, as attack patterns would change, such as the Hamburgers would start pausing during a wave, then move across the screen at a faster rate for a second or two, rather than just scrolling across the screen horizontally without stopping as they did originally. Other enemies that moved downwards from the top of the screen (like the aforementioned Cookies) would dive down this time around, Space Dice would no longer travel straight down vertically any more, but at about a 45 degree angle, etc. And if players could make it through the MegaCycle a second time, dive-bombing enemies began traveling even faster towards the bottom of the screen, along with their shots moving faster as well.

Players also had an energy bar that would constantly drain during a wave, which, if the bar became totally depleted, the player would lose that mobile blaster. Successfully completing a wave would recharge the bar though. If a player’s(s’) blaster came in contact with any enemy or their missiles they would also lose a blaster and the game would end if there were no remaining blasters in reserve.

Game/fire variationsEdit

Games 1-2 allows players to guide missiles after they have been fired, which game two is for two players alternating turns. Games 3-4 allows players to fire straight missiles (with game four being for two players), although players have to press the controller button every time they want to shoot, as holding down the button to fire does not work in these variations as they do for games 1-2.

The players’ firing rate can also be slowed down by setting the Difficulty Switch(es) in the A position.

Controls, startupEdit

  • Select game–Game Select switch
  • Start game–Game Reset switch
(in-game)Edit
  • Move ship–Joystick (left/right only)
  • Steer missile–Joystick (games 1-2)
  • Fire–button
  • Change difficulty level–Difficulty Switch

ScoringEdit

  • Hamburgers–20 points
  • Cookies–30 points
  • Bugs–40 points
  • Radial Tires–50 points
  • Diamonds–60 points
  • Steam Irons–70 points
  • Bow Ties–80 points
  • Space Dice–90 points
  • All objects after first cycle–90 points each
  • Extra blaster–Every 10,000 points
  • Bonus points at end of wave–Each leftover energy unit is worth current enemy point value

Atari 5200 versionEdit

This is pretty much the same as the Atari 2600 version, although this and the Atari 8-bit versions had improved graphics (objects are much easier to tell what they are, along with being in several colors, rather than just one). Some of the objects were renamed and an alarm now sounds when a player’s blaster is low on energy (which was not on the original).

Controls, startupEdit

  • Select players–# key
  • Choose missile type–* key
  • Start game–Start key
(in-game)Edit
  • Move ship–Joystick (left/right only)
  • Fire–Lower button
  • Pause–Pause button

ScoringEdit

  • Deluxe Hamburgers–20 points
  • Ice Cream Sandwiches–30 points
  • Refrigerator Magnets–40 points
  • Radial Tires–50 points
  • Diamond Rings–60 points
  • Steaming Irons–70 points
  • Party Bow Ties–80 points
  • Dreaded Space Dice–90 points
  • Every object after first MegaCycle–90 points
  • Extra blaster–Every 10,000 points
  • MegaBonus–Varies

Atari 8-bit versionEdit

This is reportedly the same as the Atari 5200 version.

Controls, startupEdit

(in-game)Edit
  • Move ship–Joystick (left/right only)
  • Fire–button?

Re-releases, later platformsEdit

Megamania appeared on the Activision Anthology compilation for most of the following platforms.

AndroidEdit

Game Boy AdvanceEdit

The Atari 2600 version is pretty closely emulated.

Controls, startupEdit

  • Choose difficulty–left shoulder button + left or right on D-Pad
  • Start game–Select button
(in-game)Edit
  • Move ship–D-pad
  • Fire–A button
  • Pause game–Start button

digiBlastEdit

iOSEdit

MacintoshEdit

(On Activision Anthology Remix compilation)

PCEdit

(On Activision Anthology Remix)

PlayStation 2Edit

PlayStation PortableEdit

(On Activision Hits: Remixed compilation)

Pirate versions and hacksEdit

Pirated editions of the Atari 2600 version were released by CCE, Digivision, Dynacom, H. E. S., Polyvox, Tron and Zirok.

Due to Hack-o-Matic and the like programs, people can change graphics and even play elements of video games, which many hacks were done of Megamania. A few include Ventrra Invaders 2002 (changing Megamania enemies into various Space Invaders incarnations), Intellivision Lives? (players control an Intellivision Blaster that must rid Atari characters), and Nitemare (giving the game a Halloween theme).

TriviaEdit

  • The full title of the game is Megamania (A Space Nightmare).
  • Megamania programmer Steve Cartwright was reportedly influenced by Astro Blaster.
  • During the game’s original release, players that could score 45,000 points or more for both the Atari 2600 and Atari 5200 versions could send a photo of their score to Activision to receive a Megamaniacs patch. Some virtual patches can be earned nowadays with the modern re-release of the game as well.
  • The original Atari 2600 cartridge came in a picture and blue label, the latter of which is a bit more rare.

LinksEdit


Stub

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