FAQ by War Doc

Version: 1.01 | Updated: 08/28/03 | Printable Version

                       | A S T E R O I D S |

              GAME:  ASTEROIDS
           CREATOR:  ATARI 1979
AUTHOR OF THIS FAQ:  Kevin Butler AKA War Doc
            E-MAIL:  kevinb(at)technologist(dot)com
       FAQ VERSION:  1.01


                              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 Asteroids 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   7/23/03:  A guide is born.

Version 1.01  8/28/03:  Fixed a couple of errors.

| 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 Asteroids.  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 Asteroids as the
subject.  If you don't, I'm liable to discard the e-mail as spam.

| 5.  OVERVIEW |===============================================================

Asteroids was Atari's answer to the Space Invader craze.  It featured a few
firsts such as people being able to put their initials next to their high score
and doing more then just moving back and forth shooting at something.
Asteroids was Atari's best selling arcade game.  Although the game is
relatively easy in concept, getting used to the controls and keeping track of a
few different things on the screen makes it a challenge.  Good luck.

******************************** U N I T  II **********************************

| 6.  THE GAME |===============================================================

Asteroids is a two-dimensional shooter.  You control your spaceship to
eliminate the endless supply of asteroids that threaten to pound it.  If that
isn't bad enough, you also have to contend with aliens trying to turn you into
stardust.  Of course, it's a game of kill or be killed.

/ 6.1  The Controls /__________________________________________________________

In order to become a master of this game, you must be familiar with the
controls.  The controls are a little complicated at first since there are more
buttons to work with.

-  Two buttons that rotate your spaceship right and left

-  A fire button

-  A thrust button to move your spaceship

-  A hyperspace button to get you quickly out of trouble (or quickly into it)

/ 6.2  The Playing Field /_____________________________________________________

The playing field consists of your spaceship, floating rocks, and the
occasional alien taking shots at you.  I have included an example of what the
playing field look like (a little larger then normal):

    |                 +---+                                             |
    |                 |   |                                             |
    |             +---+   +--+                                          |
    |             |           \                                         |
    |             +       +----+                                        |
    |              +--+   |                                             |
    |                 |   |                              +++            |
    |                 +---+                             ++ ++           |
    |                                                   |   |           |
    |                                                   +   +           |
    |                                 ^                  \+/            |
    |                                /_\                                |
    |                               /   \                               |
    |                                                                   |
    |                                                                   |
    |                                                                   |
    |                                                                   |
    |                                                                   |
    |                                                                   |
    |                                                                   |

You control the spaceship to avoid and blast the asteroids and aliens.

/ 6.3  Scoring /_______________________________________________________________

Scoring in this game is pretty simple:

Large Asteroids:     20 points
Medium Asteroids:    50 points
Small Asteroids:    100 points
Large Saucer:       200 points
Small Saucer:      1000 points.

On the normal machine set up, you earn a free spaceship every 10,000 points.
You start with 3 spaceships.

******************************** U N I T  III *********************************

| 7.  PLAYING THE GAME |=======================================================

When you start the game, your spaceship will be in the middle of the screen.
Heading toward your ship will be anywhere from 4 to 6 large asteroids.  Your
job is to blast those rocks.  However, when you blast them, they break up into
2 medium rocks.  Blasting a medium rock gives you 2 small rocks.  In addition,
you have to contend with large and small saucers.

-  On the first few screens, you can sit in the middle and blast rocks to your
   hearts content.  There isn't that much danger since the large saucer doesn't
   track and only fires random shots.  Keep in mind a couple of things when

   -  You can have 4 shots on the screen at any one time.  This is useful for
      when you are blasting rocks at close range.  You can pretty much drill
      them to dust.

   -  Your shots "wrap around" the screen.  This means any shot that goes past
      the edge of the screen will reappear on the opposite side traveling the
      same direction.  The saucers also have "wrap around" shots.

-  After 10,000 points, the small saucer becomes a permanent part of the game.
   You can no longer sit in one place since the small saucer is able to track
   your ship and take you out with the first or second shot.

-  Use hyperspace only in very desperate situations.  Something like having 4
   asteroids coming at you at once, and there is nowhere to escape would be a
   good reason.  I mention this because 8 times out of 10, hyperspace will
   either put your ship in danger or when you appear somewhere else, your ship
   will blow up.

-  Although there is danger from the rocks and saucers, you can also be a
   danger to yourself.  Use the thrust carefully or you will find yourself
   careening out of control on the screen.  Some players get really good,
   however, moving around and shooting.

-  For those desired high scores, you can use the hunting trick.  It goes
   something like this:

   -  After 10,000 points, the small saucers appear.  They are worth 1000
      points apiece.  First, blast every rock until you have one small rocks

   -  Go sit in the upper left or right corner of the game screen.

   -  If the small saucer appears from the side you are on, then you can blast
      it before it gets off a shot.  If it appears on the opposite side, use
      the shot "wrap around" to take care of it.  Some people have done this
      for hours on end and racked up scores in the millions. Of course, it
      takes a long time at 1000 points a pop.

   -  Also keep in mind that the small saucer can wrap shots so you may have
      to move out of danger.

********************************  U N I T  IV *********************************

| 8.  CONCLUSION |=============================================================

I remember when this game first came out, my friends and I kept that machine
pretty busy.  If for anything else, to get the chance to put our high score up
and get our initials on the "big screen".  It led to sore fingers for many days
constantly pressing on those buttons.  This isn't to mention sore feet and legs
from standing hours on end hunting small saucers to claim the title of highest
score.  If anything, it was definitely a test of ones stamina and endurance to
play hours on end.  The game was complicated when it came out since it had so
many buttons to remember, however, once you got good, stand back.  Un-
fortunately, 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 ~~~