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    FAQ by War Doc

    Version: 1.0 | Updated: 10/05/03 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

                                | A V A L A N C H E |
                  GAME:  AVALANCHE
              PLATFORM:  ARCADE
                 GENRE:  ACTION
               CREATOR:  ATARI 1978
    AUTHOR OF THIS FAQ:  Kevin Butler AKA War Doc
                E-MAIL:  kevinb(at)technologist(dot)com
           FAQ VERSION:  1.0
                                  TABLE OF CONTENTS
    1.  Legal Stuff
    2.  Version Information
    3.  Acknowledgements
    4.  Welcome
    5.  Overview
    6.  The Game
        6.1  The Controls
        6.2  The Playing Field
        6.3  Scoring
    7.  Playing the Game
    8.  Conclusion
    To find a particular chapter or subchapter do the following:
    1.  Highlight the chapter or subchapter name you wish to find.
    2.  Press CTRL-C
    3.  Press CTRL-F
    4.  Press CTRL-V
    5.  Press CTRL-F
    5.  You will arrive at the desired chapter or subchapter.
    ********************************* U N I T  I **********************************
    | 1.  LEGAL STUFF |============================================================
    This guide may not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal
    private use.  It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed
    publicly without advanced permission from the author.  Use of this guide on
    any other web sit or as part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and
    a violation of copyright.  All content in this guide is Copyright 2003 by
    Kevin Butler.  Only the sites listed below have permission to publish this
    work or to display it:
    If you wish to put this guide on your site, e-mail me and ask.  Save yourself
    the headache of putting up with lawsuits and whatnot because you failed to ask
    a simple "Can I post your guide on <insert site>?".  If you wish to use info
    in this guide, please acknowledge that you have done so.
    If you see this guide on any other site then the one listed above, please
    e-mail me.  If you wish to ask questions or give input to this guide, please
    e-mail me.  Just have Avalanche as the subject so I know it isn't another kooky
    vendor trying to sell me hair gel or another XXX site telling me I have new
    | 2.  VERSION INFORMATION |====================================================
    Version 1.0  10/ 5/03:  A guide is born.
    | 3.  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS |=======================================================
    The following are a list of people or organizations that have made this FAQ
    My wonderful family (who has had to put up with the tapping on the keyboard)
    Atari for making a great arcade game
    GameFAQ's for putting up this FAQ
    | 4.  WELCOME |================================================================
    Welcome to my FAQ for Avalanche.  Since the game is just a shooter that goes
    until all your men are killed, there is no walkthrough per se.  Instead it will
    be broken up into the game itself, strategies for survival, and some in-
    teresting quirks in the game.  Input is appreciated along with constructive
    criticism.  If you wish to e-mail me thoughts on this FAQ, better ways of doing
    things, other strategies, etc., feel free.  Make sure you put Avalanche as the
    subject.  If you don't, I'm liable to discard the e-mail as spam.
    | 5.  OVERVIEW |===============================================================
    1978 proved to be a pivotal year in the arcade industry.  Atari was still the
    big name in arcade games, but that title would soon be threatened.  A
    relatively unknown company out of Japan called Taito partnered up with the well
    known company Midway in the United States.  The game that took the world by
    storm was called Space Invaders.  It proved to be such a huge success, quarter
    shortages were reported due to all the gameplay.  This also meant that other
    arcades that came out during 1978 received significantly less patronage.
    Therefore, Avalanche didn't do very well at the arcades.  It was resurrected,
    though, when the Atari 2600 came out.  A company by the name of Activision
    released a version of the game called Kaboom!.  Instead of catching falling
    rocks, the player had to catch falling bombs on a multi-storied platform.  In
    either game, the player's degree of skill determined their success in this
    game.  Many of Atari's games from this period were based more on the skill of
    the player then anything else.  Although Atari released many memorable arcade
    games after this period, times would never be the same.  With the big video-
    game collapse during the early 80's coupled with poor management, Atari started
    a downward spiral it would never recover from.  Avalanche was a simple game in
    which you had to prevent rocks from reaching the ground.  Of course, the longer
    the game went, the harder it was to achieve this goal.  Good luck preventing
    the avalanche from burying you.
    ******************************** U N I T  II **********************************
    | 6.  THE GAME |===============================================================
    Avalanche is a two-dimensional game of skill.  You control a multi-storied
    platform with a spinner-knob.  Your goal is to prevent the falling rocks from
    ever reaching the ground.  There are six rows of rocks to deal with.  You start
    with a six-storied platform and you lose one platform per row of rocks cleared.
    You score points for those rocks you prevent from reaching the ground.  Of
    course, the farther the row of rocks, the smaller and faster they become.  Your
    ultimate goal is to get enough points so that you can continue your game should
    you lose your first one.  Get your hard hat out and prepare to catch some rogue
    / 6.1  The Controls /__________________________________________________________
    In order to become a master of this game, you must be familiar with the
    controls.  The controls are pretty easy to work.  You just have to play the
    game some to get used to them.
    -  A rotating knob that moves your platform left and right
    -  A "serve" button
    / 6.2  The Playing Field /_____________________________________________________
    The playing field consists of six rows of rocks at the top of the screen.  At
    the bottom is your multi-storied platform for catching said rocks.  I have 
    included an example of what the playing field looks like (a little larger then
        |   MISSES #                                       HIGH SCORE ###   |
        |   PLAYER 1- ###                                    PLAYER 2- ###  |
        |                                                               ROW |
        |o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o  6 |
        |o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o  5 |
        |O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O  4 |
        |O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O  3 |
        |()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()() 2 |
        |()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()() 1 |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                          __________               |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                          __________               |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                          __________<-PLAYER'S     |
        |                                                      PLATFORM(S)  |
        |                                          __________               |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                          __________               |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                          __________               |
    You control your platform on this screen.
    / 6.3  Scoring /_______________________________________________________________
    Scoring in this game is pretty simple:
    The score for each rock corresponds to its row number.  Rows are numbered 1-6
    starting from the lowest row and moving up.  Therefore, the rocks values are:
    Row 1:  1 point
    Row 2:  2 points
    Row 3:  3 points
    Row 4:  4 points
    Row 5:  5 points
    Row 6:  6 points
    Depending on the machine set up, you will get a replay at one of the following
    3 more misses at 450 points
    5 more misses at 750 points
    You start the game with either 3 or 5 misses.
    ******************************** U N I T  III *********************************
    | 7.  PLAYING THE GAME |=======================================================
    When you start the game, you will see six rows of rocks.  Each row contains 32
    rocks in it.  At the bottom of the screen you will have your six-story platform
    to catch the falling rocks.  Gameplay starts as soon as you press the "serve"
    button or after five seconds, whichever comes first.
    -  First, you must know how the game works so you can better play it.
       -  You start with a six-story platform.  Each time a row of 32 rocks is
          cleared (either by you catching it or it hits the ground), you lose one
          story and the remaining platform(s) become shorter.
       -  Every two rows of rocks (64 rocks) become smaller then the previous two
          rows.  In addition, they travel faster down toward your platform(s)
       -  If you happen to clear out all six rows of rocks, the game will reload
          the top with more rocks.  You will now start with a three-story platform.
          If you clear those rows, it will be a two-story platform.  The final re-
          loading of rocks will give you a single platform to catch rocks with.
          You can only have a maximum of three rock refills (not counting the
          initial rocks at the beginning of the game.
    -  The maximum score you can get on each level is 687 points.
    -  When you are playing the game, only concentrate on catching the rocks with
       your bottom platform.  If you have a multi-storied platform, you will catch
       a lot of the rocks before they even reach the bottom platform.  Of course,
       in the later rows, this won't be the case.
    -  If you happen to get a miss, all the rocks that were falling will be placed
       back at the top (including the one you missed).
    -  Learn not to spin the control knob.  This prevents you from losing control
       of where your platform is.  Instead, learn how to turn it gently to where
       you need to go.  There is enough time to move from side to side.
    -  Speaking of placement, always try to keep near the middle.  That way you can
       react faster to where the rocks are falling instead of going all the way
       left or right all the time.
    -  Whenever you either clear a screen or get enough points for extended play,
       there is a couple of second delay while the board sets up.
    ********************************  U N I T  IV *********************************
    | 8.  CONCLUSION |=============================================================
    Avalanche was another one of those games that required skill and a good eye.
    It was the next step up from the breakout-type games that seemed to dominate
    video games in the 70's.  The rules, though changed for this game.  Instead of
    sending a ball up and bouncing it off a paddle to knock out bricks, the player
    now had to catch falling objects with a platform.  The action got faster as you
    went up into the rows of rocks.  In addtion, more challenge was added when you
    lost stories to your platform and your platforms grew shorter.  I remember
    putting quite a few quarters into this machine.  It required a high degree of
    hand-eye coordination to be able to catch all those falling rocks.  The
    ultimate challenge was clearing the entire screen.  Replayability on this game
    was good because the same thing never seemed to happen twice.  Unfortunately,
    it is very rare to find this machine anywhere.  However, through the miracle of
    emulation, a whole new generation is realizing what we "old" folks enjoyed
    those many years ago.  I hope this guide helps you in being able to get the
    most amount of gameplay for this game.  If you do have other ideas or thoughts,
    please e-mail me and share them.  Who knows, maybe I'll start a Q&A Chapter in
    this guide if enough people ask the same questions.  Anyway, thank you again
    for reading this guide.
    To see other FAQ's I have written please go to:
               ~~~  No trees were harmed in the making of this FAQ ~~~