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Squad Challenge - Major Havoc (Arcade/MAME)


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Major Havoc
Arcade / MAME
Difficulty Level: Medium, Bonus Life at 100,000 Pts, Adaptive Difficulty: Yes
Play on: Real Hardware / Dedicated Console / MAME / Emulation OK! ✔
Squad Challenge ends 11:59 pm PST November 30, 2020




Play for the highest possible score using the difficulty settings defined in the challenge. Post a photo or YouTube video of your score in this thread. Scores must be achieved between November 15th through November 30th, 2020. Screen captures are not allowed as they are more easily manipulated for falsified scores. Multiple submissions are permitted. The player with the highest score at the end of the competition is the victor!



Anyone can join in. All players are welcome!


Play Rules

Games may be played on real hardware, Flashback / Mini console, or emulation, using any controller or keyboard, following all rules and game settings defined in the challenge. Choosing between real hardware or emulation, and choosing which controller to play on is part of formulating your strategy. Enhancements, rewinds and hacked versions of this game are not allowed.


Difficulty Level

Game Difficulty: Medium. Bonus Life at 100,000 Points. Adaptive Difficulty: Yes


Fair Play

Your integrity is everything. 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 we will not allow cheats, hacks, cartridge frying, enhancements, rewinds, deceitful photo manipulation, subterfuge, or any other unfair advantage. Everybody hates a cheater.



To review detailed rules on how to play, please visit the High Score Squad page here: 




Welcome to our 92nd Squad Challenge! We're going for a one-two punch with our second MAME Squad Challenge in a row! There was such great excitement and enthusiasm for our first MAME Squad Challenge, BTB convinced me to do this again! While everybody's got their MAME setup in action and ready to go, we're going to do back-to-back MAME challenges. The Adventures of Major Havoc was released to arcades by Atari, Inc. in 1983. It was largely designed by Owen Rubin with assistance from Marc Cerny. The original arcade machine uses a unique cylindrical "Roller-Controller" which plays like rolling a pop can left or right. Major Havoc was on the cusp of becoming an Atari mascot, and Sam Tramiel even mentioned in an interview the possibility of introducing Major Havoc into a new Jaguar game and being resurrected as a mascot for Atari Corp. The Adventures of Major Havoc is a super cool arcade game that has never made it to Atari game systems. We're jumping back into MAME for this Squad Challenge and once again if you need help with Emulation, please ask! There are enough kind and knowledgable people in the forums who will be here to help you get up and running. If you're new to Emulation, be sure to stop by our Emulation forum. Instructions and ROM are provided below. You may play this game using emulation (MAME) through whatever means necessary, through "arcade classics" mamecades, or play on real hardware using an original arcade machine. And a special WELCOME to all our new Members playing in this Squad Challenge! Good luck to everybody participating! 


NOTE: Another great Squad Challenge is right around the corner!








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43,300 -- I had heard of the name before but never seen nor played Major Havoc. I ❤️ vector graphics. The gameplay of this game is a bit more complicated than Elevator Action. The controls are simple enough but you have multiple distinct game mechanics from shooter to platforming in a Berzerk-like maze, and then there's the mini Breakout game. It truly is The Adventures of Major Havoc.


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FYI, The arcade game is included on Atari Anthology, which was released for the Xbox, PS2 & Windows in the mid 2000's


It was also included on Atari Greatest Hits Volume 2 for the DS


And here's a fun fact. In an interview with Next Generation Magazine (July 1995), Sam Tramiel said that they were going to make Major Havoc their version of Sonic or Mario icon/mascot game. Imagine that! Major Havoc: Jaguar Mascot. Of course the system would be discontinued the following year and I have not heard if work on a Jaguar Major Havoc game ever got started.


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

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MAME on OpenEMU using a USB controller.

Found a rom but think it glitches. Maybe because its a spinner game, not sure. The dude running tends to do as he wishes. Sometimes the screen goes black. Either way, I dig this one and want badly to join in. 


Edited by Atari Creep

Don't just watch TV, PLAY IT!

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I am currently using the d-pad on the 8Bitdo gamepad.

Looking at the manual that Justin attached (figure 4-3), the original Major Havoc cabinet used a cylinder shaped roller that rolled only left and right. I read that several other game cabinets (e.g., Tempest) were converted to play Major Havoc, so the controls would be different on the converted cabinets.

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I was thinking about this game last night while drifting off to sleep.  I think it's a beautiful looking game, but it just doesn't have that "it" factor.  Why?  IMO, the platforming aspect has bad controls.  The way your dude gets stunned for a second when he hits the ceiling.  The way you have to fight the controls to do what you want to do.  Also, the weird inclusion of breakout, and how it just "ends" even though you haven't lost the ball -- and no real clue why that's even there. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm going to keep trying and am enjoying myself.  But this game is no Asteroids or Tempest. 

I think if I'd have found this game in the arcade in 1983, I would have tried it a few times and then moved on.  On the other hand, this would have made an EXCELLENT home console game -- more complex gameplay, the various types of gameplay, and a higher learning curve....

I'm thankful to experience this game for the first time.  THANKS, Justin for this choice.

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36 minutes ago, RickR said:

I was thinking about this game last night while drifting off to sleep.  I think it's a beautiful looking game, but it just doesn't have that "it" factor.

I agree. It's a cool game. But it didn't do for Atari what Mario, Zelda, Metroid, etc. did for Nintendo. And it potentially could have.

37 minutes ago, RickR said:

I'm thankful to experience this game for the first time.  THANKS, Justin for this choice.

You're welcome Rick ☺️

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Oh, no, everyone! MAME Wii doesn't like this one!

It's not emulation issues. It's that it doesn't like the game at all. Like, it won't even show up on the menu. I've tried moving everything into a separate folder so it's the only game in the MAME directory, but it still won't show up. I don't understand why. It's not the file type; all of the rest of the MAME files are .zips.

I can't miss out on this challenge. I just love the game so much. So, from what I've seen, I have three options:

  1. I can try to download a different ROM for the game off of another site. I'm using the one Justin posted.
  2. I can play the game on the Atari Anthology disc on my XBOX. I'm assuming it's the original ROM as all of the others (besides Pong) appear to be the same as their arcade counterparts.
  3. I can set up some emulation on my new Raspberry Pi. I'm very frustrated with the thing at the present as it doesn't seem to do anything I want it to. My godfather was correct with his description when he sent it: it's my heaven and hell at the same time. Right now, my main problem is getting composite out on the thing and trying to access the NOOBS menu again. Anyways, I'm getting off track.

Don't worry: though I'm going to be a bit late, I'm going to join! I love this game!

Thanks again @Justin for picking this! This game and Elevator Action are very similar in my eyes. They were both some of my favorites from childhood that I played on XBOX. I've always just used the XBOX for retro compilations, mostly. Nothing else on the platform really sticks. I can enjoy some games, but they aren't really my cup of tea and I don't go back to them often.

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Feels kinda like a Gravitar inspired platformer. I like the maze leading into the third base. It also has one of my favorite things: games within games.

I wonder if anything special happens if you clear out the breakout bricks?


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

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