Starship 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Starship 1
Developer(s)Atari
Designer(s)Ron Milner
Steve Mayer
Dave Shepperd
Dennis Koble
Platform(s)Arcade
Release1977
Genre(s)Shooter
Mode(s)1 player
CabinetUpright
Arcade systemAtari System 16
DisplayBlack and white raster, standard resolution

Starship 1 is a first-person shooter[1] arcade game developed, manufactured, and released by Atari in 1977. It contains the first known Easter egg in any arcade game.[2] Starship 1 was later ported to the Atari VCS as Star Ship.[3]

Gameplay[edit]

The object of Starship 1 is to destroy alien spacecraft while maneuvering through star and asteroid fields.

The game uses a first person perspective on a black-and-white monitor. The player's ship is controlled with a control yoke that is connected to two potentiometers. There is also a lever that controls whether the ship is moving "fast" or "slow".[4] Compared to common arcade games of the time, Starship 1 was comparatively advanced, but used quite a bit of analog technology that would become less common in arcade games in following years.

As enemies appear onscreen, the player tries to center the enemy in the crosshairs and shoot it with his "phasors" by pulling a trigger on the control yoke. Alternatively, the player has 5 "proton torpedoes" per game that can be fired by pressing a large white button on the dashboard. This will destroy any enemy ship on screen, regardless of whether it is in the crosshairs (which are not game generated graphics but taped directly on the monitor screen).

Four distinct enemies appear: Star Trek-inspired starships worth 50 points, eyed worm-like alien creatures and Klingon type ships each worth 100 points, and a flashing flying saucer craft worth 200 points.

The player does not view the game monitor directly; the monitor is recessed in the cabinet, and the player views a reflected image of the monitor in a half-silvered mirror with a space background.

Easter egg[edit]

According to research by Ed Fries, Starship 1 contains the first known Easter egg in any arcade game. Fries confirmed with designer Ron Milner that by activating the machine's controls in the appropriate sequence, the game would display the message "Hi Ron!" (in reference to Milner) and let the player play 10 free games.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Weiss, Brett. Classic Home Video Games, 1972–1984: A Complete Reference Guide. McFarland & Co. p. 112. Publisher: Atari. Developer: Atari. First-Person Shooter.
  2. ^ Starship 1 at the Killer List of Videogames
  3. ^ Interview with Bob Whitehead from DP Interviews
  4. ^ Starship 1 service manual, Atari.
  5. ^ Fries, Ed (March 22, 2017). "Chasing the First Arcade Easter Egg".