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    FAQ by War Doc

    Version: 1.05 | Updated: 09/02/03 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

                                  | I   R O B O T |
                  GAME:  I, ROBOT
              PLATFORM:  ARCADE
                 GENRE:  ARCADE SHOOTER
               CREATOR:  ATARI 1983
    AUTHOR OF THIS FAQ:  Kevin Butler AKA War Doc
                E-MAIL:  kevinb(at)technologist(dot)com
           FAQ VERSION:  1.05
                                  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
        6.4  Level Setup
    7.  Playing the Game
        7.1  Platforms
        7.2  Space
    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 I, Robot 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   9/ 1/03:  A guide is born.
    Version 1.05  9/ 2/03:  1.  Added a section about level characteristics.
                            2.  Fixed up and added some more facts.
    | 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 I, Robot.  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 I, Robot as the
    subject.  If you don't, I'm liable to discard the e-mail as spam.
    | 5.  OVERVIEW |===============================================================
    I, Robot was another in a long line of Atari games that showed its innovation.
    Atari, of course, created the first commercially successful game with Pong.
    Then they went on and developed vector graphics with Lunar Lander.  Battlezone
    was on the cutting edge of technology, at the time, with its three-dimensional
    vector lines.  I, Robot was the first arcade game to introduce filled polygons
    as game objects.  The landscapes and objects created were totally revolutionary
    at that time.  Unfortunately, sometimes being revolutionary, cutting-edge, and
    ahead of one's time has its drawbacks as well.  Because the graphics were so
    advanced, people didn't respond favorably to this game since they didn't seem
    ready for a world made of filled polygons.  In addition to the game itself,
    Atari also added a feature which allowed an individual to "draw" with different
    polygon shapes and even animate them.  All these features, though, didn't help
    the game out.  The result was the game didn't sell well at all and most units
    were shipped to Japan.
    ******************************** U N I T  II **********************************
    | 6.  THE GAME |===============================================================
    I, Robot is a three-dimensional, filled polygon shooter.  You control your
    robot through different worlds.  Your goal is to destroy the shield that is
    protecting the Eye.  It won't be easy since there are other enemies, besides
    the Eye, who want to eliminate your robot.  After you have destroyed the
    shield, your robot must destroy the Eye itself.  Between worlds, your robot
    must fly through a polygon-filled space in order to reach the next world.  The
    action is fast-paced and if you let your guard down for a moment, your robot
    will be history.  Good luck on battling the Eye.
    / 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.
    -  An eight-way joystick with firing button
    -  Two buttons that control the player's point of view
    / 6.2  The Playing Field /_____________________________________________________
    The playing field consists of your robot and either a landscape or the polygon
    filled space in between.  I have included an example of what the playing field
    look like on the platforms and in space (a little larger then normal):
                                    | PLATFORMS |
        |                           -------                                 |
        |                          /  /\   \<-EYE                           |
        |                          \__\/___/                                |
        |                  +------------------------------+                 |
        |                 /       /\                       \                |
        |                /     +-+  +-+                     \               |
        |               /      |      |<-SHIELD LEFT         \              |
        |              /        \    /                        \             |
        |             /          \__/                          \            |
        |            +------------------------------------------+           |
        |           +--------------------------------------------+          |
        |           |                                            |          |
        |           +--------------------------------------------+          |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                        /\<-YOUR ROBOT             |
        |          +----------------------------/||\-------------+          |
        |         /                              ||             / |         |
        |        +--------+---+------------------------+---+---+  |         |
        |        |       /   /|                        |\   \  |  +         |
        |        |      /   / |                        | \   \ | /          |
        |        +-----/   /  +------------------------+  \   \+/           |
        |             /   /   /                         \  \   \            |
        |            /   /   /                           \  \   \           |
        |           /   /   /                             \  \   \          |
        |          /   /   /                               \  \   \         |
        |         /   /   / FREQUENCY EYE OPENS (IN SECONDS)\  \   \        |
        | TIMER #### /   /                                   \  \   \       |
        | BEST #### /   /                                  LEVEL #   \      |
                                      | SPACE |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                       +--+            __                          |
        |                      /    \         /\  /                         |
        |                  +--+      +       /__\/<-PYRAMID                 |
        |                 /    \    /                                       |
        |       POLYGON->+      +--+                                        |
        |        ROCK     \    /                                            |
        |                  +--+                                             |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                              /\                                   |
        |                             /||\<-YOUR ROBOT                      |
        |                              ||                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        | #### NOW <-YOUR SCORE                                             |
        | #### BEST                                        LEVEL #          |
    You control your robot on both of these screens.
    / 6.3  Scoring /_______________________________________________________________
    Scoring in this game is a little complicated since many things score
    differently (even the same things can score differently):
    Birds, Balls, Spiked Balls, etc on the Platforms:  25-100 points
    Polygon Asteroids, Pyramids, Cones, etc in Space:   1-300 points
    Once you destroy the Eye on the Platforms round, you get whatever bonus is
    left.  Bonuses are variable per Platform and range from 3,000 to 7,000 points
    and decrement as you play.
    You get 100 points per jewel collected when you take out the Eye in the control
    area.  There are a maximum of ten jewels in the control area.  Your maximum
    score you can get, though, is 999 points.
    In space, you get points for everything you can kill.
    If your score is greater then the BEST time on the Platforms or the BEST score
    in Space, you get a bonus of 2,500 points.  You do not receive this bonus if
    you get killed on the Platform or in Space and have to start again.
    When you enter a transporter pod, you get 20,000 points/level skipped if you
    successfully complete the Platform you transported to.  You can only go to
    level 79 this way.
    You start out with anywhere from two to five robots.  You get a bonus robot at
    20,000, 30,000, or 50,000 points.
    When in drawing mode, you get three minutes to be creative.
    / 6.3  Level Setup /___________________________________________________________
    The level setup on the Platforms has a few basic type setups.  These setups
    involve either walkways, full platforms, columns, or any combination of these.
    In addition, other things are added such as walls that need to be destroyed
    either by your robot or by bombs lobbed at your robot.  Below I will discuss
    the various setups and show an example or two of the levels that represent them
    (overhead view).  Again, many of these levels repeat a couple of times in the
    game.  The only variables are how long the Eye opens and closes and the enemies
    you have to contend with.
    | WALKWAYS |
    These levels are basically walkways at right angles to each other.  These walk-
    ways can also have several walkways parallel to each other requiring one only to
    jump to the next walkway.  There may be gaps between sections of walkways, but
    your robot will have to do very little jumping on these kinds of levels.  These
    levels also boast many of the ground-level enemies such as moving land mines,
    sharks, big beach balls, and a cheese-grater looking apparatus.  Level 5 is a
    good example of a walkway-type level:
                                       LEVEL 5
                           |    +------------------+    |
                           |    +------------------+    |
                           |                            |
                           |    + +      + +     + +    |
                           |    + +      | |     + +    |
                           |             | |            |
                           |    + +      | |     + +    |
                           |    | |      | |     | |    |
                           |    | +------+-+-----+ |    |
                           |    +------------------+    |
    | COLUMNS |
    These levels require a lot of jumping.  This means the hazards are much greater
    because you must constantly be aware of not only when the Eye's opening/closing
    interval is, but you must also contend with flying creatures such as birds,
    spiked balls, and bombs.  These levels typically have some kind of pattern to
    them since some areas are blocked off by "indestructible" blocks.  In later
    levels, these "indestructible" blocks are usually eliminated by the flying
    bombs.  Level 2 is a good example of a column-type level (Note how the columns
    stagger outward forcing you to go back and forth):
                                       LEVEL 2
                           |    +------------------+    |
                           |    +------------------+    |
                           |                            |
                           |      C             C       |
                           |       C            C       |
                           |       C           C        |
                           |        C          C        |
                           |        C         C         |
                           |          C       C         |
                           |          C     C           |
                           |            +---+           |
                           |            +---+           |
                           C = Column
    These levels are very deceptive.  Granted, you will have to do no jumping until
    you are ready to take on the Eye.  The bad news is the fact that there is a
    string of moving land mines intent on terminating your robot.  Plus, the entire
    platform is an unclaimed area so that means you must claim the entire platform.
    With these enemies running around, your job will be very difficult to achieve
    this.  Level 14 is a good example of a platform-type level:
                                       LEVEL 14
                           |    +------------------+    |
                           |    +------------------+    |
                           |                            |
                           |    +------------------+    |
                           |    |                  |    |
                           |    |                  |    |
                           |    |                  |    |
                           |    |                  |    |
                           |    |                  |    |
                           |    +------------------+    |
    Some of the unclaimed area may be hiding behind walls.  There are two types of
    walls:  Destructible and "Indestructible".  I put the latter in quotes because
    on the levels where you enter the control center of the Eye, bombs fly out from
    the doorway and actually help you out by destroying these "indestructible"
    walls.  Of course, these bombs are aiming for your robot so if you position
    your robot around these walls, you can have them do your work for you.  The
    dark blue walls are ones you can blast while the green walls are the ones only
    the bombs can eliminate.  Level 6 is an example of destructible walls while
    Level 24 is an example of indestructible walls:
                                       LEVEL 6
                           |    +------------------+    |
                           |    +------------------+    |
                           |                            |
                           |    + +      C       + +    |
                           |    | WWWW        WWWW |    |
                           |    | W  W   C    W  W |    |
                           |    | WWWW        WWWW |    |
                           |    + +      C       + +    |
                           |                            |
                           |    +------------------+    |
                           |    +------------------+    |
                           W = Destructible Wall
                           C = Column
                                       LEVEL 24
                           |    +------------------+    |
                           |    +------------------+    |
                           |                            |
                           |    + +              + +    |
                           |    WWWWWW        WWWWWW    |
                           |    W    W        W    W    |
                           |    WWWWWW        WWWWWW    |
                           |    | +----WWWWWW----+ |    |
                           |    | +----W    W----+ |    |
                           |    | |    WWWWWW    | |    |
                           |    | +-----+ +------+ |    |
                           |    +------------------+    |
                           W = Indestructible Wall
    The combination levels are basically a combination of the above levels.  For
    example, level 6 is a combination of walkways, columns, and destructible walls.
    The combination levels also involve the turning of walkways at right angles and
    adding columns in between or putting up walls along the "easier" routes.  Many
    of these combinations get repeated throughout the game.
    ******************************** U N I T  III *********************************
    | 7.  PLAYING THE GAME |=======================================================
    You start you game with your robot in the middle of the farthest walkway from
    the Eye.  You must change the walkways from one color to another.  In other
    words, you are claiming areas by recoloring them.  For example, if the walkways
    are blue, you must change them to red.  This is the only way you can reduce the
    value of the shield guarding the Eye.  In space, you just have to make it to
    the next Platform.  Each Platform/Space combination constitutes one level.
    There are 99 levels in this game.
    / 7.1  Platforms /_____________________________________________________________
    -  One block of claimed area will reduce the shield strength down by one.  The
       shield strength is basically the total of all these unclaimed blocks per
       level.  So if you see a shield strength of two, but don't see any unclaimed
       areas, this means you will definitely have to look around for them.
    -  Some Platform levels only have a few blocks separated by gaps while others
       have long walkways also separated by gaps.  You must bridge the gaps between
       these blocks.  To bridge any gap:
       -  The game will show you when a gap can be bridged.  The section under
          your robot will blink and a corresponding section across the gap will
       -  Bridges created are the same color that other claimed areas are.
       -  If you jump when the Eye is open, your robot will be destroyed by the
    -  Sometimes unclaimed areas are hidden behind blocks.  Use the point of view
       buttons to look for these areas.
    -  Your robot is equipped with lasers.  They are useful when taking out the
       smaller objects such as birds and spiked balls.  They won't work on the big
       beach balls or the walkway grinders.
    -  Using the above tip, remember to constantly shoot when you are jumping.
       Your lasers only fire toward the eye regardless of which way you jump.  This
       usually prevents something from hitting your robot in mid-flight.
    -  Watch the shield below the Eye.  The number will go down as long as you
       claim areas on the walkways.  If the number is at one or two and you don't
       see any unclaimed areas, change your point of view and look around for un-
       claimed areas.
    -  There are indestructible creatures called "Point of View" killers.  If you
       don't change your point of view by the time these things make it to your
       robot, your robot will be destroyed.
    -  In the middle, at the bottom of the screen is a phrase showing you how often
       the Eye opens and closes.  This time is variable so you need to check out
       the bottom of the screen to see the frequency the eye opens.  If there isn't
       a time, then it is once every five seconds.
    -  Keep in mind, you are on a timer.  This basically means planning out in
       advance of where you want to move since there isn't really any time to sit
       around and take in the scenery.
    -  You must land on the unclaimed block in front of the eye in order to destroy it.
    -  Every third level, after you destroy the Eye from the outside, you will be
       able to enter a control area to take on the Eye in its environment.  To make
       your job harder, a buzz saw starts at the back of this platform and eats it
       away toward the Eye.  In addition, you may have to blast through walls in
       order to get the jewels and proceed toward the eye.
    / 7.2  Space /_________________________________________________________________
    -  The best way to get through this area is to rapidly shoot.  Most objects
       require at least five to ten shots to take them out.
    -  Never let the tetras go.  If you don't destroy them, they will come around
       from the backside and destroy your robot.
    -  There are other enemies such as tankers.  If you hit them, they get mad and
       hit your robot from the backside if you don't destroy them.
    -  You can't destroy the saucers, but you can lead them into the rocks to kill them.
    -  You can also maneuver around the shapes but in the later levels, this is
       made harder by the life ring shaped objects that are on the outer edges.
    -  Every fourth level, you have to deal with a three-dimensional head.  Although
       not particularly tough, it is a nuisance:
       -  Fire at one side of the head to force it to rotate around.  If the head
          isn't facing your robot, the danger is minimized considerably since he
          won't fire his cone-shaped projectiles at your robot.
       -  You must hit every cone-shaped projectile fired from the head.  If you
          don't, they come around and hit your robot from the backside.
       -  You will have to survive this encounter for about 20 seconds.  After
          that, you will be done with that part of the level.
    -  If you successfully destroy the letters IROBOT during the Space part of the
       level, you get a 5,000 point bonus.
    -  After level two, you must successfully land your robot on the next level
    ********************************  U N I T  IV *********************************
    | 8.  CONCLUSION |=============================================================
    This game was tucked away in the corner of a snack bar on a military base when
    I first played it.  A few of us gathered around trying to figure this machine
    out.  At first, we played with the doodling program but that got boring rather
    fast.  We finally started to play the game and instantly realized that it posed
    a definite challenge.  Instead of the regular "flat" perspective we had gotten
    used to playing games, this one made you rethink your strategies in a three-
    dimensional setting.  The big challenge was trying to claim all the areas and
    figuring out where you could jump.  Of course, you couldn't just concentrate on
    these things since other objects on the screen were trying to do your robot in.
    If this wasn't bad enough, you had to always be watchful of the Eye and make
    sure it was closed before you decided to bridge your next gap.  The action was
    fast enough that you had to be rather precise in your movements with the robot
    or you would overshoot your targets.  The game, though, had a high degree of
    replayability and it was a definite shame that it didn't grow to become popular
    since it was a definite test of one's video game skills.  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 ~~~