Cosmic Ark

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Cosmic Ark
Cosmic Ark Atari 2600 screenshot1a.png
Developer(s) Imagic
Publisher(s) Imagic
Designer(s) Rob Fulop
Platform(s) Atari 2600
Release date(s) 1982
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single player, Two-player (alternating)

Cosmic Ark is a 1982 Atari 2600 video game, developed and published by Imagic as the sequel to the Atlantis (video game).[1] It is believed to be the first-ever console game sequel. The objective is to gather specimens from different planets aboard a cosmic ark, which contains the survivors from the city of Atlantis.


In the first stage, the player must fend off meteor showers from all four sides of the screen by pushing the joystick to fire in the desired direction, similar to the 1980 arcade game Space Zap. The second stage requires the player to pilot a shuttle to a planet and use its tractor beam to pick up life forms. While near the planet's surface, planetary defenses will fire at the shuttle. If hit, one previously captured specimen will be freed, forcing the player to retrieve another. After a set period of time, a klaxon will warn of renewed meteor activity, and the player must return immediately to defend the ark.[2]

Cosmic Ark does not provide a set number of lives. Instead, the player's ark starts with 40 fuel units, which are lost with each meteor strike or shot fired, and gained by destroying a meteor or capturing a life form. Capturing both life forms from a planet before the warning klaxon will top off fuel reserves. If the ark runs out of energy, the next hit it takes will end the game.[3]

Like its predecessor, Atlantis, Cosmic Ark ends with the destruction of the Ark but the smaller shuttle ship escaping. However, a sequel was never made to address this.[4]


There are two versions of Cosmic Ark.[5] One allows the player to toggle starfield display by changing the Atari 2600's "TV Type" switch. The other version features a starfield display that cannot be disabled. The starfield effect uses a bug in the Atari 2600 hardware.[6]


  1. ^ Moby Games. "Game Trivia for Cosmic Ark," (retrieved on March 8th, 2009).
  2. ^ Moby Games. "Cosmic Ark for Atari 2600," (retrieved on March 8th, 2009).
  3. ^ Atari Age. "Atari 2600 - Cosmic Ark (Imagic)," (retrieved on March 8th, 2009).
  4. ^ Moby Games. "Game Trivia for Cosmic Ark," (retrieved on March 8th, 2009).
  5. ^ Atari Age. "Atari 2600 - Cosmic Ark (Imagic)," (retrieved on March 8th, 2009).
  6. ^ DP Interviews Rob Furlop (retrieved on October 16, 2012)