FAQ by War Doc

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

                           | B A T T L E Z O N E |

              GAME:  BATTLEZONE
           CREATOR:  ATARI 1980
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


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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 Battlezone 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 friends.

| 2.  VERSION INFORMATION |====================================================

Version 1.0   8/25/03:  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 Battlezone.  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 Battlezone as the
subject.  If you don't, I'm liable to discard the e-mail as spam.

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

Atari started to lose its dominating position when the 1980's arrived.
Companies such Midway (a licensee of Namco), Taito, Cinematronics, and Stern to
name a few were starting to put out arcade machines.  With this many competitor
in the field, it wasn't any wonder why Atari was losing the market edge.  They
needed a game to put them back in the spotlight again.  Battlezone proved to be
just the game.  It was one of the first true three-dimensional games.  Pushing
the CPU to the limit by using vectored graphics, Atari proved again why it was
a leader in the cutting edge.  The game proved to be so popular and somewhat
realistic, the army approached Atari about making a military version.  The
programmers complained about writing code for a military application, but Atari
went ahead and did it anyway.  The result was a tank simulator for use by the
army's tank crews.  This, however, also spelled the beginning of the end for
Atari since many of those programmers left for greener pastures as the decade
wore on.

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

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

Battlezone is a three-dimensional shooter, vector-lined shooter.  You control
your tank through obstacles and enemy units to ensure your survival.  Your job
is to eliminate all enemy units which consist of tanks and missiles.  Of
course, they are trying to do the same to you so it becomes the law of the
fittest survive in this three-dimensional "paradise".  Good luck and good

/ 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.

-  Two two-way joysticks with firing triggers on them

To move, you must move the joysticks certain ways:

Forward :  Both joysticks forward.
Backward:  Both joysticks backward.
Left    :  Left joystick backward, right joystick forward.
Right   :  Left joystick forward, right joystick backward.

/ 6.2  The Playing Field /_____________________________________________________

The playing field consists of a three-dimensional landscape littered with
various objects and enemy units.  In the background is a mountain range which
even has an exploding volcano.  I have included an example of what the playing
field looks like (a little larger then normal):

    | +---------------------+     +----+       +----------------------+ |
    | |                     |    /\    /\      | \___/<-TANKS LEFT    | |
    | |                     |    | \  /  |     |                      | |
    | |                     |    |  \/   |     | SCORE                | |
    | |                     |     \   \ /      | HIGH SCORE           | |
    | +---------------------+      +---+       +----------------------+ |
    |                                                         .         |
    |                                                   .  .  .         |
    |                                                      ._.       +--|
    |   /\         /\                                      / \      /   |
    |  /  \ /\    /\/\                 +----+       /\    /   \    /    |
    | /    / +-----+  \               /     |\     /  \  /     \  /     |
    |/    /  \ \/  |\  \             /      | \   /    \/      ___      |
    |----+---|\++--|-+--+-----------+-------+--+-+-----+------/ O \-----|
    |        +-|---+ |                            ENEMY TANK->+---+     |
    |         \|    \|<-OBSTACLE                              +---+     |
    |          +-----+                                                  |
    |                                                                   |
    |                                                                   |
    |                                                                   |
    |                                                                   |
    |                                                                   |
    |                                                                   |
    |                                                                   |
    |                                                                   |
    |                                                                   |

You control your tank through this landscape.

/ 6.3  Scoring /_______________________________________________________________

Scoring in this game is pretty simple:

Regular Tank:  1000 points
Super Tank  :  3000 points
Missile     :  2000 points
Saucer      :  5000 points

Depending on the machine set up, you will earn a free tank in the following

15,000 and 100,000 points
20,000 and 100,000 points
50,000 and 100,000 points
100,000 points

Missiles will start appearing depending on what the machine is set up to:

5,000, 10,000, 20,000, or 30,000 points

You start with three tanks.

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

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

When you start the game, you will be put into a surrealistic landscape.
Almost immediately, an enemy will appear on the screen.  You will know this by
a warning sound the machine makes plus the enemy will show up on your radar.
Now it's time to go to work.

-  First of all, this game will be very different because you must look through
   a periscope apparatus.  This is to give the feeling of being confined in a
   tank.  Get used to limited movement of your head and use your eyes to
   quickly take in the entire battlefield in a glance.

-  You must be able to identify different sounds in this game.  Sounds you need
   to know are:

   -  The warning that an enemy is on the battlefield.

   -  The sound of an incoming missile.

   -  The sound of a shot being fired (by you or at you).

   -  The sound of the saucer.

   -  The joyous sound of actually destroying something.

   -  The sound when your tank bumps into an object (enemy unit or battlefield

-  Your field of vision is approximately 45 degrees.  This means you will have
   to learn to use your radar effectively for anything out of your field of
   vision.  The 45 degree wedge always faces forward (your line of site).
   Enemies (except the saucer) will show up on your radar as a white dot.  Plus
   you will hear the beep as the radar sweep continues to cross over it.

-  Be not only aware of where the enemies are, but also where the obstacles are
   also.  There's nothing more frustrating then having the perfect shot lined
   up, or the perfect escape planned when you run into something.  This is
   especially true when you are moving backwards.

-  In order to line up with an enemy tank, you must turn your entire tank
   toward the enemy.  The turret and tank are one piece versus being able to
   turn the turret independently of the tank.

-  You can only have one shot out at a time.  This can prove to be the
   difference between life and death since if you fire a stray shot, you must
   wait for that shot to disappear into the horizon before your tank is loaded
   again.  This can take a couple of seconds.  On the same note, the enemy
   tanks also work under this restriction.  In other words, make sure you have
   your target lined up before taking a shot.

-  The game starts out giving you the standard tanks.  These tanks move slower
   then your tanks so they are pretty easy to kill.  After the 30,000 point
   mark, however, the supertanks make their appearance.  These tanks are much
   quicker then your tank so you have to take them out quickly.

-  Tank killing isn't actually too hard once you get the rhythm of how to do
   it down.  There are a few methods for killing tanks:

   -  When the tank first appears on your radar, turn around so that you are
      facing it.  The enemy tank will of course take a shot at your tank.

   -  Now, move backwards and turn slightly in the same direction of where the
      enemy tank is.  In other words, if the enemy tank is slightly to your
      left, then go backwards while turning your own tank to the left. You may
      even see the enemy's tank shot appear in your field of vision.  That
      means you have the right angle on the turn.

   -  At the same time you are moving backwards, the enemy tank will be moving
      up to engage your tank.  Continue the above until the enemy tank is
      practically on top of your tank.  Then rapidly turn left or right and hit
      him with a point-blank shot.  Sometimes the enemy tank hits yours.  Just
      like an obstacle, the enemy tank will back up and speed away.  Turn
      rapidly to hit him before he can set up for a shot.  Again, the Super-
      tanks recover much quicker then the standard tanks.

   -  This will work on both regular tanks and Supertanks.  The difference is
      the fact that Supertanks close the distance much quicker then regular

   -  Another way is to put an obstacle between yourself and the enemy tank.
      When an enemy tank hits an obstacle, they back up and move quickly away
      for a brief moment before they turn again to fire on your tank.  If you
      are good, you can "lead" the target when they are backing up or going
      forward and score a kill that way.  Of course, this method is much more

-  Don't attempt to outrun a Supertank.  They can easily catch up to you.
   Plus, they like to get behind your tank to blast you from the rear.  Nothing
   like not hearing the shot that destroys your tank.

-  Another battlefield hazard is the missile.  The first missile is dependent
   on the score setting.  It is an easy one that comes straight for your tank.
   Just sit there and blow it apart.  After that, though, things aren't as
   easy.  As with the tanks, there is a method and certain rhythm to taking out

   -  The missile will come down and take a hard turn to the right (as you are
      facing it).  Then it will take a hard turn to the left.  Then another
      hard turn to the right to hit your tank.

   -  You can stay still and just turn your tank slightly.  When the missile is
      turning to the left, fire ahead of it and you can destroy it.

   -  Move backwards and turn toward your left.  That way the missile will go
      across your field of vision before it makes its right turn again.

   -  When the missile comes, move backward and take a "blind" shot.  You may
      get lucky.  Even if you don't, moving backwards will enable you to get
      another shot.

   -  If you are really good, you can wait until it takes the last turn to the
      right toward your tank.  Spin around and hit it like that.  This is a
      very rough shot to execute.

   -  If you mess up, sometimes you can move forward and to the right to cause
      the missile to miss.  You also can usually cause a miss by putting tall
      (not the short ones you can shoot over) obstacles in your way.

   -  Regardless of method, make sure there are not obstacles between you and
      the missile.  The missile is capable of jumping all obstacles and it will
      also eliminate the missiles pattern.  Nothing like a missile jumping over
      an obstacle and landing on top of your tank.

   -  For multiple missiles, you will have to adjust your direction so that
      when the next missile lands, it will be centered in your gunsight.  You
      can also confirm this by using your radar.

-  You will usually get a missile after about five tanks.  Missiles usually
   come in twos or threes to make your life more exciting.

-  Saucers are a great way to earn points.  They are, unfortunately, on the
   battlefield when other enemies are present.  If you have a safe, clear shot,
   then go for them.  If not, you can still take a pot shot at them.  This is
   usually when you are spinning your tank around to deal with another enemy.
   If a saucer happens to be in the way, take a shot at it.  You don't get
   points, however, if an enemy tank takes out a saucer.

-  Another great thing about this game is that you will only have to deal with
   one enemy at a time.  For example, if the missile appears, then the tank
   will disappear so you can concentrate on the missile.

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

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

This has to rank as my all time favorite game.  I remember when it came out,
you had to basically fight your way through the crowd to get a chance to play
this game.  It definitely wasn't for the claustrophobic since you had to put
your face to the periscope which gave you a feeling of being confined.  Also,
the controls were easy to use and your tank responded quickly to any movements
you made with the controls.  As the game progressed, it was the sheer
excitement of hunting enemy units that would take control and the good players
could stay on the machine hours on end.  Even the sounds and music were unique
to the game and you would never mistake it for something else.  Although the
graphics weren't flashy (as compared to today's standards), they were, in my
opinion, more effective.  Even when you knew where the enemy was, it was still
a challenge to get them before they got you.  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 game-
play 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

To see other FAQ's I have written please go to:


           ~~~  No trees were harmed in the making of this FAQ ~~~