Jump to content

Squad Challenge - Centipede (Atari 5200)


Recommended Posts




Atari 5200
Difficulty Level: Standard Play
Achieve high score to win challenge
Play on: Real Hardware / Dedicated Console / MAME / Emulation OK! ✔
Squad Challenge ends 11:59 pm PST February 14th, 2019



Objective: Play for the highest possible score using the difficulty settings defined in the challenge. Post a photo or video of your score in this thread. Scores must be achieved between February 1st through February 14th, 2019. Screen captures are not allowed as they are easily manipulated for falsified scores. Multiple submissions are permitted. The player with the highest score at the end of the competition is the victor!


Eligibility: Anyone can join in. All players are welcome!


Play Rules: Games may be played on real hardware or emulation, using any controller or keyboard, following rules and game settings as delineated in the Squad Challenge. Enhancements, rewinds and hacked versions of this game are not allowed.


Difficulty Level: Standard Play. Be sure to cycle through the various difficulty settings using the GAME SELECT button (# button) on your controller to confirm you are using Standard Play.


Fair Play: Players should play fairly, be honest, and have fun! Falsified scores will result in your immediate removal from the site. It goes without saying that no use of cheats, hacks, cartridge frying, enhancements, rewinds, Photoshop, subterfuge, or any other unfair advantage is allowed. Everybody hates a cheater.


More: To review detailed rules on how to play, please visit the High Score Squad page here: http://forums.atari.io/index.php/topic/1219-high-score-squad-how-to-play/


Message: Welcome to our 52nd Squad Challenge! To celebrate our 52nd Squad Challenge we are playing our first 5200 Squad Challenge! Centipede is an absolute icon. It became one of the most fun and most well known games Atari every produced, both in the arcade and at home. Atari produced versions of Centipede for every video game system and home computer they produced through the end of the decade, and even the Lynx had a version of Centipede in development. Centipede is possibly one of the best reasons to own an Atari 5200, with nice graphics and stellar gameplay, and a great reason to pull out the "Dan Kramer special" Atari 5200 Trak-Ball controller. A very special WELCOME to all Atari 5200 players joining us for this Squad Challenge! I hope you have a lot of fun with this challenge and get in some good scores! PDF Centipede Instruction Booklet is attached below. Good luck!








Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've got to get a magicgate card reader.  I miss getting to use my Sony camera.  Anyway, I couldn't get the high score to focus (10199) so I will start with 10183.  My controller is not doing well so I will perform a quick teardown before trying again.  I really need to replace the POTs with new ones as these are about shot.  Buttons as well.  Flex circuit, surprisingly, is in great shape.


This is one machine where emulation doesn't justify the original controllers.  Played on actual hardware of course.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, kamakazi20012 said:

Awww...not right.  You got the trakball controller.  So not fair LOL.  That combined with the 5200 and either Centipede or Missile Command are about as close as one can get to the arcades.  Nice setup RickR!

The Trak Ball is the way to go for the 5200.  That thing is a beautiful piece of engineering.  Example:  The buttons have the metal bubble switch instead of the stupid rubber and mylar.  Get one if you can.  Highly recommended.

Plus, it's totally awesome on the side-to-side games too.  Space Invaders, Galaxian, Super Breakout all become infinitely more fun with the track ball. 

I'd have loved to see Atari take the Track Ball design and replace the ball with a joystick for an "Arcade Stick" product.  It would have been a HUGE improvement.  I can't tell you how nice it is to have those buttons flat on the face instead of on the side of the controller. 


Link to comment
Share on other sites


I'm sticking to my initial assessment:  This game is damn hard.  As good as it is, I think there are some flaws.  The scoring on the spider is suspect.  I've got him one millimeter from my wand...300 points!  WTH!  Autofire is absolutely necessary to save your thumb...but it's terrible.  It won't fire when you need it to. 

Still, you have to admire the incredible speed of everything here.  No flicker.  This game gets flying and I don't think any other system of the time could do it like this. 


5200 001.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a Trackball controller when I was a kid.  Mom found one at K-Mart on clearance.  Loved that thing!  Pole Position is a blast to play with it.  But, yea, my standard controller is getting a workout.  I've got to clean and recalibrate the POTs again, though.  

I have to admit...the 5200 version of Centipede remains my favorite.  I like the 2600 and 7800 ports but they nailed it on the 5200 version.  I am always cursing that spider.  I'll be doing good and that spider will jump out from the side and kill me.  It moves so random its hard to predict.  I try to stay clear of it and avoid it at all costs.  And killing it just above your wand should have netted 900 points.  You got robbed!

I'm actually content with the 5200 games I have.  I managed to get the games I had plus a few I never had before.  There are a few I'm still after but I'm in no hurry to obtain them.  That SD cart sounds like a good investment, though.

Justin...ever thought about picking a single game and allowing all Atari, Coleco, and Intellivision versions to count?  Something to consider.

Edited by kamakazi20012
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, kamakazi20012 said:

Justin...ever thought about picking a single game and allowing all Atari, Coleco, and Intellivision versions to count?  Something to consider.

Yes I have, that's what Atari Cup Tournament is. We'll be playing in teams: Seattle Super Marios, Oakland Star Raiders, Washington Warlords, Detroit Defender, etc. each with their own individual private Clubs in the forums. It's been sitting here ready to go but we need a few more people to join to make it viable. Maybe later in the year. Right now I want to get High Score Squad sizzling again and Wednesday Night Atari Chat too. Lots of fun things to come!

2 hours ago, kamakazi20012 said:

I'm actually content with the 5200 games I have.  I managed to get the games I had plus a few I never had before.  There are a few I'm still after but I'm in no hurry to obtain them. 

What Atari 5200 games do you have?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Berzerk, Centipede, Dig Dug, Galaxian, Mario Bros., Moon Patrol, Pole Position, Popeye, Q*Bert, Qix, Star Raiders, Super Breakout, and Tempest all CIB.  Buck Rogers, Countermeasure, Football, Frogger, Joust, Missile Command, Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man, RS Soccer, RS Tennis, Space Dungeon (x2), Space Invaders, Star Wars Arcade, and Vanguard are loose, some with overlays, some without.  I'm still after Kangaroo.  I forgot I haven't replaced that one yet.  I'm also after a few I never had like Ballblazer, Pengo, Super Cobra, and Gyruss.  That's 27 games for my 5200 not counting dupes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I forgot to mention that my ultimate holy grail would be to have one of the prototypes sitting next to my loved 5200.  I don't see that happening mainly because i could never financially afford it but I can dream.  Id have to play it, though.  I could never just let it sit there.  Those that have the System X, a name that should have stuck, are very lucky people.  I am also after the Pac-Man Arcade for the 5200.  That game is impressive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, RickR said:

You need to also get my favorite:  RealSports Baseball. 

Is that a good Baseball game? In all these years I've never heard or read much about Atari sports games. Other than what George Plimpton has to say about them of course  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, RickR said:

It is the best classic baseball game imo. The speech is cool. And the batting uses the analog stick to great effect. It is awesome. 

Great take Rick, I never knew that. Almost 20 years ago when this website had a store, one of the items that never sold was RealSports Baseball for Atari 7800. For whatever reason it had a bad rap. I thought it was 5200 RealSports Baseball with stepped up graphics and gameplay, so if the 7800 version wasn't great the 5200 version wouldn't be either. I never gave sports games enough play, or the 5200 for that matter, but I'll have to pull that game out and give it another try. Your recommendation goes a long way around here. Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, RickR said:

7800 RS Baseball is awful. Just to be clear. I do love 7800 One on One Basketball however. 

Pete Rose Baseball however is an excellent game for the 7800 (and 2600 too)

...and we now return you to your regularly scheduled Squad Challenge

The No Swear Gamer on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChtJuo040EOCTVziObIgVcg

Host of The Atari 7800 Game by Game Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and YouTube

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Justin said:

 I never gave sports games enough play,

I usually love giving sports games a try, as I loved to play most sports as a young person.  It's kind of amazing how the older systems really could do a good job of making a fun and accurate version of complicated sports games.  The Intellivision is famous for it's sports games.  While those games are fun for two players, the usually offer nothing for a single player. 

Just to add more to 5200 RealSports Baseball...it's also really easy to play once you get the hang of the controls.  Intuitive is a word I'd use.  And the single player game is really fun too. 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Join the Atari Party! :donkey_kong_big:

    How lucky are you that you've finally found this place?
    It's time to join the best kept secret in classic gaming.
    Membership is limited, so let's get started! :wreck-it-ralph:


  • Create New...