Atlantis (video game)

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This article is about the 1982 shoot 'em up game. For the 1997 adventure game, see Atlantis: The Lost Tales.
Atlantis Atari 2600 screenshot1a.png
Atlantis on the Atari 2600
Developer(s) Imagic
Publisher(s) Imagic
Designer(s) Dennis Koble
Platform(s) Atari 2600 (original)
Atari 8-bit, VIC-20, Intellivision, Magnavox Odyssey²
Release date(s) 1982[1]
Genre(s) Fixed shooter
Mode(s) Single player, Two player

Atlantis is a fixed shooter video game released by Imagic in July 1982, for the Atari 2600. It was written by Dennis Koble who also wrote Trick Shot, Solar Storm, and Shootin Gallery' for Imagic.[2] Atlantis was ported to the Atari 8-bit computers, Commodore VIC-20, Intellivision, and the Magnavox Odyssey².[3]


The player controls the last defenses of the City of Atlantis against the Gorgon invaders. The city has seven bases, which are vulnerable to attack. Three of these have firepower capabilities to destroy the Gorgon ships before they manage to fire death rays at one of the settlements. The gun bases have fixed cannons; the center base fires straight up, while the far left and far right bases fire diagonally upwards across the screen. The center cannon also creates a shield that protects the settlements from the death rays, so once the center cannon is destroyed, the remaining settlements become vulnerable to attack. The enemy ships pass back and forth from left to right four times before they enter firing range, giving an ample opportunity to blow them away. Lost bases can be regained by destroying enough Gorgon ships. However, regardless of the player's efforts to avert the tragedy, Atlantis is doomed. The only way the game can end is when all bases are destroyed. However, a tiny ship then rises from the rubble and speeds away, foreshadowing the events of the sequel Cosmic Ark.[4]

The Intellivision version features two gun turrets with a movable cursor that can be aimed onto enemy ships. There is also a deploy-able ship to take on enemies one-on-one. The game features day, dusk, and night settings, with the night setting limiting visibility to two moving searchlights.

Atlantis II[edit]

Imagic created Destination Atlantis, a high score competition in which players were invited to send in pictures of their high score screens. Those with the highest scores were rewarded with a copy of Atlantis II. This hacked version of the original game was nearly-identical visually to the original, but gameplay is much faster and fewer points are awarded for hits, making it much more difficult

Atlantis II was created competition cart for the top ten Defend Atlantis contestants. There were originally only supposed to be four people in this competition, but because Imagic needed the top ten players who scored above five million points to be only four players, they came up with this tie breaker cartridge to weed out the weaker players. Only ten of these cartridges were specially made with the same ROM set, costing Imagic only a few thousand dollars to produce by making slight changes to the original mask, as opposed to making a brand new ROM from scratch. Those who turned the game score over to 1,000,000 points five times or more would receive the competition cartridge. The score would reflect this with the last digit turning over each time one million points was scored, whereas the ones place on the screen would advance by one place. So a person with a score of 273,007 would have turned the game over seven times for a total score of 7,273,007; therefore, this player would earn a place among the top ten finalists. This method was how Imagic knew who would be in the top ten finalists when the contestants submitted the photos to Imagic via postal mail. The top four players were never flown to Bermuda to compete in a contest to win a chest of gold worth $10,000, due to Imagic's acquisition by Activision in early 1983. Imagic continued doing business under their own name until 1986 when Activision absorbed their assets.

Atlantis II is one of the rarest Atari 2600 cartridges. Its value has been rated at $6,000.00 by a few websites, but has sold for as much as $18,000.00 and may well be worth more because there are only ten of them in existence. Until recently it was never officially known how many of these competition carts were produced.


Video Games favorably reviewed the Intellivision version of Atlantis, calling it "a great shoot-'em-up for" the console,[5] and the Atari 2600 version received a Certificate of Merit in the "Video Game of the Year" category at the 4th annual Arkie Awards.[6]:30


  1. ^ Weiss, Brett Alan. "Atlantis - Overview - allgame". allgame. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  2. ^ "The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers". 
  3. ^ "Atlantis". Moby Games. Retrieved on March 8th, 2009.
  4. ^ "Game Trivia for Atlantis". Moby Games. Retrieved on March 8th, 2009.
  5. ^ Wiswell, Phil (March 1983). "New Games From Well-Known Names". Video Games. p. 69. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  6. ^ Kunkel, Bill; Katz, Arnie (February 1983). "Arcade Alley: The Fourth Annual Arcade Awards". Video. Reese Communications. 6 (11): 30, 108. ISSN 0147-8907. 

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