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Activision Decathlon, The - Activision - Atari 2600     HTML Manual   



Requiring discipline and sweat, stamina and speed, with muscles opposing
muscles, compete in the most celebrated game of the Olympics: the ten events
of the decathlon.  Earn points for each event.  Highest final score wins!

1. Insert game cartridge into video game system with power OFF.  Then, turn
power ON.

2. Plug Joystick into left controller port only.  One to four contestants may
compete, taking turns using the Joystick.

3. The game select switch is pressed to choose the number of contestants.
This switch may also be used to play individual events. (See "Practice Heats"
under "Special Highlights.")

4. The difficulty switch is not used.

5. Use of Joystick Controller.
   * Hold Joystick with the red button in the upper left corner.
   * Continually move Joystick to the left and rigth to run or to approach the
scratch line.
   * Press red button to jump, throw, hurdle, put the shot or vault.
   * Total scores may be reviewed by pressing the red button before any event.

6. To begin the Games, press game reset switch.

7. The ten decathlon events are: 100-Meter Dash, Long Jump, Shot Put,
High Jump, 400-Meter Race, 110-Meter Hurdles, Discus Throw, Pole Vault, Javelin
Throw and 1500-Meter Race.

8. Contestants compete separately in each event.  Some events allow more than
one attempt per contestant.  When all contestants have completed an event,
the next even automatically appears.

9. Scoring.  Contestants earn points for each event.  Screen displays the
contestant's event score following the event, and then each contestant's
total score is displayed.  For the events that allow multiple attempts, only
the highest event score is added to the total score.

10. End of competition.  When the last contestant has completed the 1500-Meter
run, The Activision Decathlon is concluded.  Final scores for all contestants
are displayed.

Special Highlights

Speed Gauge.  Registers your relative running speed or approach speed
throughout each event.  The faster or quicker you move the Joystick, the
closer the gauge measures to the right-hand limit.

Real-Time Clock.  Counts the minutes, seconds and fractions of seconds on
the screen during all races.

Distance Measure.  In each throwing event - Shot Put, Discus, and Javelin -
the distance of each throw displays on the screen in meters.  The distance
measure also calculates how far you jump in the Long Jump.

Scratch Line.  Don't cross the scratch line before pressing the red button
to jump the Long Jump, throw the javelin, put the shot or hurl the discus.
"Scratching" disqualifies the attempt, resulting in a score of 0.

Musical Tribute.  Each time you score 1000 or more points in any event, a
musical tribute recognizes your special accomplishment.

Current Contestant. A small square enclosing the number 1, 2, 3 or 4 reminds
all contestants which decathlete is currently competing.

Practice Heats.  All decathletes can practice any event before the Games.
Hold the game select switch down and the name of each event will appear on the
screen one at a time.  When the event you want to practice appears, release the
game select switch and press the game reset switch.


100-Meter Dash. Just one opportunity to sprint from start to finish.  Explode
out of the starting blocks, then give it your all by moving the Joystick as
fast as you can for the entire dash.  When you see the 100 meter marker, find
a final burst of strength.  The quicker your time, the higher your points.
Every 1/100 of a second matters.

Long Jump. Each decathlete gets three jumps.  You begin with a running start
of 30 meters.  Pres the red button just before you reach the scratch line to
jump.  The faster you are running when you jump, the farther you'll go.  Your
longest jump earns the most points.

Shot Put.  All contestants "put" the shot three times.  Move the Joystick as
rapidly as you can to approach the scratch line, then press the red button.
The quicker your approach, the farther your "put" will go, and the more points
you'll earn.

High Jump. You are allowed a maximum of three attempts at each height.  Your
turn ends when you miss the same height three times.  There is a 30 meter
approach run to the high jump standards.  Press the red button to jump.  Each
time you successfully "clear" a height, the crossbar automatically raises.
The higher you jump, the more points will be added to your total.

400-Meter Race. It's one middle-distance race.  Nothing to throw or jump.
Pick your feet up and put 'em down as fast as you can.  The distance markers,
set every 100 meters, show how far you've run.  The faster you complete the
race, the more points you'll earn.

110-Meter Hurdles.  There are ten hurdles to jump over that are positioned at
10 meter intervals.  Run by moving the Joystick, and jump the hurdles by
pressing the red button.  You won't be disqualified for 'spilling' a hurdle,
but it will slow you down.  And that's important, because the faster you
complete the race, the more points you are awarded.

Discus Throw. You get three throws, but don't forfeit any of them by 
"scratching."  The approach to the scratch line is just a few feet, so start
moving the Joystick as fast as possible before pressing the red button to
hurl the discus.  The farther the throw, the greater the points awarded.

Pole Vault.  Each vaulter gets a maximum of three tries at each height.  Turn
ends when you miss the same height three times.  Run to the vault pit and
plant your pole by pressing the red button.  Continue to move the Joystick
as you vault and, just at the peak, press the red button again to release
the vaulting pole.  Each time you "clear" a height, the crossbar automatically
raises.  The higher you vault, the more points you'll get.

Javelin Throw. All contestants throw the javelin three times.  Run to the
scratch line and press the red button to throw the javelin.  The farthest of
your three throws earns the most points.  There's only one event left, so give
this one your all.

1500-Meter Race.  Each decathlete gets one chance to score well in the final'd be too exhausted to race this one twice.  Maintain a steady pace
for the first 1300 meters and then sprint to the finish.  Distance markers
are placed every 100 meters, so you'll know how far the finish line is at all
times.  The faster you complete the race, the higher the number of points
you'll earn.  Good luck!

The Activision Decathlon Club

If your final score is from 8,600 to 8,999 points, then step up to the first
award level and receive your Bronze Medal patch.  Let all contestants take
special notice if you scored from 9,000 to 9,9999 points, and climb to the
second award level to receive your spirited Silver Medal patch.  Stand at
the top award level, where only champions have stood, if you score 10,000
or more points, and be presented with the glorious Gold Medal patch.

Send us a picture of your paramount performance (TV screen), and we'll mail
you the appropriate Activision Decathlon Medal patch.

Please write "The Activision Decathlon" and your final score on the bottom
left corner of the envelope.

David Crane's Personal Best Event Scores

EVENT                     SCORE                PERFORMANCE
100-Meter Dash             991                  10.29 seconds
Long Jump                 1148                   8.66 meters
Shot Put                   949                  17.81 meters
High Jump                 1025                   2.2 meters
400-Meter Race             989                  46.2 seconds
110-Meter Hurdles          937                  14.19 seconds
Discus Throw              1052                  60.75 meters
Pole Vault                1052                   5.0 meters
Javelin Throw              996                  80.68 meters
1500-Meter Race            994                  3:41.00
       TOTAL            10,133 points

Win the Gold Medal Patch

Tips from David Crane, designer of The Activision Decathlon.

David Crane is a multiple award-winning senior designer at Activision.
Recognized as one of the premier designers by the video game industry, David
has created Dragster(R), Fishing Derby(R), Laser Blast(R), Grand Prix(TM),
Freeway(R), Pitfall!(TM) and now The Activision Decathlon.

"It won't take you very long to realize that The Activision Decathlon is
very physically demanding.  Therefore, the best tip I can give you is to
pace yourself.  It won't do you any good to use up all of your energy in the
early events, only to become too tired to complete the final 1500-meter run.

"Since each event includes some form of running, even if it's just a short
approach to the scratch line, it is important to know that you don't have to
move the Joystick to its left-hand and right-hand limits.  It is only the
continual left-to-right motion of the Joystick that makes you run.

"Another characteristic of The Activision Decathlon is balance.  Remember
that every even adds to your final score equally.  You must excel in all
events, so practice those that you are weakest at.

"Also, watch the speed gauge to measure your progress as you compete.  If you
can keep the red speed bar at 5/6 of the distance towards the right limit
of the gauge throughout a race, or at that level when you jump or throw, then
you'll score close to 1,000 points and will be on your way to winning the

"But most important, enjoy yourself.  Compete at your absolute best and send
me a scorecard telling me how your progress is going.  I'd love to know how
I compare."

[Picture of a very arrogant dweeb looking David Crane.]

Let us get to know you!

If you have questions or comments about our games or clubs, or want to be
added to our mailing list, drop us a note or call the "Game Hotline" toll-free
at (800) 633-GAME.  In California please call (415) 940-6044/5.

Activision, Inc. Drawere No. 7287
Mountain View, CA  94039

Atari(R), 2600(TM) and Video Computer System(TM) are trademarks of ATARI, Inc.

Activision is the registered trademark of Activision, Inc.

(C) 1983 Activision AZ-030-03  Printed in U.S.A.

This document obtained from the History of Home Video Games Homepage, �1997-1998 by Greg Chance