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Fireball - Starpath - Atari 2600     HTML Manual   

Fireball (Arcadia)

How to Play



How to Supercharge your Video Game System.

  • Set up your Atari® Video Computer System™ (or just about any game system that takes Video Computer System™ game cartridges) according to manufacturer instructions. Plug a pair of paddle controllers into the “left controller” jack.
  • Make sure the power switch is OFF, and insert the Arcadia™ Supercharger™ with label up. Be careful not to force it or insert crookedly.
  • Connect the plug on the end of the Supercharger™ cable to the earphone jack of any cassette recorder/player. The earphone jack may also be labeled “monitor,” “mon.,” “ear,” or “output.”*
    [The referenced footnote appears at the bottom of the page, between the fifth and sixth list items:]
    *If you use a large cassette deck with a “phone” type earphone jack, you may purchase an adaptor at most electronics specialty stores.
  • Turn the power switch of the game system ON. The TV screen should read “REWIND TAPE, PRESS PLAY.” If not, turn the power off and check to make sure the system is properly hooked up and the Supercharger™ fully inserted.
  • Insert the FIREBALL™ cassette, label side up, into the cassette player. Turn the volume and tone controls about halfway up.
  • Press REWIND and wait until the tape stops moving. Now press PLAY.
  • In a few moments, you will hear the sounds of the game loading and see colored panels fill the screen. A moment later “STOP TAPE” will appear, and you'll be ready to play FIREBALL.™

If you have trouble...

  • If the tape player makes a screeching noise, you have not plugged the Supercharger™ cable into the “earphone” jack.
  • If the tape doesn't move, the batteries in the cassette player may be too weak.
  • You may have forgotten to rewind the tape completely.
  • If everything else seems OK, try turning up the TONE and VOLUME controls on the cassette player. If the screen remains unchanged, remove the cassette, turn it over (label side down), rewind it, and press PLAY.


Imagine this: You're a juggler. You've practiced long and hard to become a very good juggler. You can juggle rubber balls, fragile plates, even razor-sharp daggers. Now you're ready for the ultimate test — the Fireball Competition.

The situation: You've done well in the early matches of the International Tournament of Jugglers. Most of the competitors have been eliminated. You've survived. Now it's down to the final event: the Fireball.™

Your objective: Catch the blazing Fireball and hurl it back at the wall of blocks. Rack up points by smashing blocks and clearing the screen. And prove your skill as a juggler by keeping a number of Fireballs in the air. First one, then two, three, four...

You have five tries, just in case the Fireball becomes a little too hot to handle.

Juggling a Fireball

You move left and right across the bottom of the screen, using standard paddle controllers. When you get close to a falling Fireball, you'll be able to catch it with your closest free hand. Press the red button on the paddle controller and you'll hurl the Fireball back toward the blocks. The Fireball will travel at an angle toward the side of the hand holding it.

You can hold up to two Fireballs at any time. But not for too long, because you'll automatically hurl the Fireball when it gets too hot to handle.

If you choose not to catch the Fireball — and want to deflect it back immediately — keep the controller button pressed down.

Each time you eliminate a set of blocks another ball will be added to the game — up to a maximum of six balls. If you wish to add a ball at any time, you can do so by rapidly pressing the button three times. As described later, you will get more points when more balls are in play.

[Illustration of game in Firetrap mode. In the upper right corner there is a number 0, which the manual labels “SCORE.”. Below the score are a pair of block walls, each imprisoning a Fireball. Below the walls are four right-justified zeroes. The manual labels these numbers “NUMBER OF PLAYERS (AND PREVIOUS HIGH SCORE).”]

Game Selection

Select the game and number of players with the GAME SELECT switch. Each time you tug on the switch, you'll add a player — or move on to the next variation. Pressing the games select switch and the Game Reset switch at the same time moves you directly to the next game. The numbers on the lower right of the screen show the number of players and their high scores during the current playing round.

In the illustration above, there are four players. Since all “high score” figures are zero, this is the first match of the current playing round.

Starting Play

Press RESET when you have selected the game and number of players desired. The first player up then presses the button on the paddle controller to launch the first Fireball.


[Graphic A is identical to the illustration preceding the “Game Selection” section, except that the scores are not labeled. The two side-by-side sections of reddish wall enclosing the Fireballs are slightly wide rectangles with recessed corners. A free Fireball flies between the walled area and the juggler standing at the bottom of the screen. The left, right, and top edges of the playfield (which includes the scores) are indicated by blue lines. The background is solid black.]

Firetrap (Playfield A)

Smash away at the block walls imprisoning the two additional Fireballs. Once you've broken through, the extra Fireballs will come tumbling toward you...

[Graphic B shows a similar playfield whose rectangle shapes have been replaced with three single-layer walls stretching horizontally across the playfield. A Fireball is visible above each wall, and three fly between the bottommost wall and the juggler. (The scores in this and the following graphics are different also.)]

Marching Blocks (Playfield B)

Each time you catch a Fireball, the rows of blocks march one step toward you. You'll be able to free Fireballs trapped between rows of blocks. And, every once in a while, a mystery Fireball will appear.

[Graphic C shows a five-layer horizontal wall with two Fireballs above the wall and four Fireballs between the wall and the juggler.]

Knock-A-Block (Playfield C)

A good variation for beginners, for warm-up, or perhaps for that occasional game before breakfast. Blast away at solid walls of blocks until you've reduced them to...a whole new wall of blocks.

[Graphic D is similar to graphic C, but the wall is missing an apparently random selection of bricks. One fireball is trapped in a gap in the wall, and another flies between the wall and the juggler.]

Migrating Blocks (Playfield D)

Just when you think you're about to hurl the Fireball into a convenient cavity...the cavity disappears! Every few seconds, the rows of blocks rota te in one direction or another.

[Graphic E shows a five-layer wall whose shape resembles an upside-down house with twin peaks. Five “windows” in the house each contain a Fireball; a sixth Fireball flies between the wall and the juggler.]

Cascade (Playfield E)

Five extra Fireballs, trapped in five cavities. Smash through and release them. And get ready to juggle for dear life.

Tips for Top Scores

  • Try to anticipate where the tumbling Fireballs will land. Then get there ahead of them and wait.
  • If you're juggling more than two Fireballs, you may find it easier to not catch them. Keep the controller button pressed down, and the Fireballs will simply bounce off you.
  • Stay alert for the arrival of mystery Fireballs.

Keeping It Challenging

  • One of the variations that forces you to handle six Fireballs simultaneously should be challenge enough for any video game connoisseur.
  • Make the game more challenging by flicking the difficulty switch from “B” to “A.” In the “A” position, you have to be more precise in catching the Fireballs.
  • Players 1 and 3 share the left difficulty switch. Players 2 and 4 share the right difficulty switch.


  • You earn points for each block smashed.
  • You earn points for each set of blocks eliminated.
  • The closer to the top of the screen, the more the block is worth.
  • The more Fireballs in play, the more each block is worth.

Supercharged Game Previews

To get a preview of other great Arcadia™ games, follow these simple instructions:

  • When loading FIREBALL,™ be sure to push the STOP button on your cassette player as soon as the TV screen fills with colored panels and the “STOP TAPE” message appears.
  • Don't rewind the tape. When you're ready for a preview, flick the power switch on the game system OFF, then ON again.
  • The TV screen should read “REWIND TAPE, PRESS PLAY.” Don't rewind the tape. Simply press PLAY. As soon as the “STOP TAPE” message appears, press STOP.
  • You'll see a “self-play” preview of one exciting Arcadia™ game. You can't actually play it (so don't bother pressing any more switches), but you can appreciate the great graphics and game action.
  • To see the next game preview, simply repeat the above instructions. When no more games appear, you have seen all the previews on your cassette.

Changing Games

To load another Arcadia™ game:

  • Flick the power switch OFF, then ON again.
  • Rewind and replace place [sic] the cassette with another Arcadia™ game cassette.
  • Rewind the tape, then press PLAY.

To remove the Supercharger™

  • Turn the power switch OFF.
  • Gently remove the Supercharger.™

Limited 90 Day Warranty


ARCADIA CORP. warrants to the original purchaser of this ARCADIA™ product that it will be free from defects in materials and workmanship for ninety days from the date of purchase. If this product is discovered to be defective within the warranty period, return to place of purchase for replacement.

This warranty is limited to electronic and mechanical parts within the product. It is not applicable to normal wear and tear and is not applicable and shall be void if the defect has arisen through, or the product shows signs of, misuse, excessive wear, modifications, or tampering.


Some states do not allow limitations on how long an implied warranty lasts or the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the limitations or exclusions set forth may not apply to you. This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights which vary from state to state.

Repair Service

Should your SUPERCHARGER™ require service after the ninety day limited warranty period, a charge of $15 will be assessed to restore it to full working condition. Send the SUPERCHARGER™ unit, shipping prepaid, to:

324 Martin Avenue
Santa Clara, CA 95050

ARCADIA™ takes pride in providing you the finest, most challenging video games available today. We welcome your comments and suggestions for ways to make our game selection even more enjoyable. Please write to: ARCADIA™ CONSUMER AFFAIRS DEPT., P.O. Box 2070, Saratoga, CA 95070.

Atari® and Video Computer System™ are trademarks of ATARI, INC. ARCADIA CORP. is not related to ATARI, INC.

© 1982 ARCADIA CORP. Printed in USA.
© 1982 ARCADIA CORP. (Game Program)

[This manual was transcribed by the Night Phantom for the Atari Age. Descriptions of graphic elements appearing in the original manual have been omitted, except where comprehension of the text would require them.]