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Stronghold - CommaVid - Atari 2600     HTML Manual   


Destroy the Galactic Trap!

Space-security approaches the abandoned asteroid Stronghold activating
a volley of defense drones. Skillfully you must pilot your attack
ship through the explosive space-waste; a single scrape will pierce
the skin of your fragile ship.

Without warning the bleak surface of the heavily fortified Stronghold
is energized by three moving force-shields that protect a lethal
asteroid-crawler. The automatic systems of the seemingly derelict
Stronghold are functioning perfectly, heat sensor interceptors launch
to track and destroy your spacecraft.

Survival depends on blasting through the whirling forceshields and
devastating the crawling command center as it fires repeatedly trying
to eliminate your frail ship.

The diabolical Stronghold has one last defense mechanism; a magnetic
mega-field that forms at the outer limits of the asteroid's
atmosphere. Slowly it expands towards the surface trapping you within
a diminishing combat zone. Can you fight off the interceptors, blast
through the force-shields and exterminate the armored command crawler
before your time expires?

Tension mounts as hair-trigger reflexes and unerring accuracy are
mandatory for survival. Only you can annihilate the Stronghold and
move on through the galaxy to neutralize another, more deadly, space

Stronghold is the latest in a series of video challenges brought to you
by CommaVid.


Turn off your game console.

Insert the Stronghold game cartridge.

Be sure the left joystick controller is firmly connected to the
console (this is the only controller used).

Turn on your game console, you will see a nearly blank screen.

Set both difficulty switches to "b" (Note: On Sears TeleGame, the
difficulty switches are called skill switches and the "b" position is
called novice).

To play game variation #1, the basic game, start the game by
pressing the game reset switch. After a brief pause, your attack ship
will appear and a volley of defense drones will rise to meet it.

To select any one of the 16 possible game variations, repeatedly
press the game select switch until the desired game number appears in
the score area at the top right of the screen. Press game reset to
begin playing the selected game.

You must pilot your attack ship through the defense drones,
destroying or dodging them. When the shields close, blast through
them and destroy the command crawler to neutralize the Stronghold.

Consult the appropriate sections of this booklet for a complete
explanation of the game features and play variations.


Hold the base of the joystick in your hand with the fire button in
the left corner nearest the TV.

Pushing forward and backward on the joystick moves your attack ship
up and down the screen. Pushing left and right moves your attack ship
left and right across the screen. Pushing the joystick in any of the
four diagonal directions will move your attack ship diagonally on the

Push the fire button on the joystick to fire your attack ship's gun.
The gun always points in the direction your attack ship last moved.
However, the gun can never aim or fire directly to either side of
your attack ship.

In games with "rapid fire", your attack ship will keep firing as long
as the fire button is pressed. In other games, you must press and
release the fire button for each shot.

You can refire at any time by pressing the fire button. Any blast
already in flight will be instantly recalled and a new one fired.


When the game begins, you have five attack ships; one in play and four
in reserve. The reserve ships are displayed in the upper right corner
of the screen, below the score. A new reserve ship is earned each
time you destroy a command crawler and neutralize an asteroid. Up to
six attack ships can be held in reserve.

For each section of shield you knock out, 10 points are scored.
Destroying a drone, patroller or interceptor scores 20 points.
Destroying a Command Crawler scores 90 points.

Collisions with the drones, patrollers or interceptors will destroy
your attack ship. In addition, when you have broken a hole through
the shields, the Command Crawler will be able to fire deadly bolts
through the opening.

In game versions with the Mega-Field, it will begin to appear at the
top of the screen shortly after the shields close and the Command
Crawler emerges. The MegaField is a dull red region into which your
attack ship cannot move. As it moves down toward the asteroid's
surface, your maneuvering room is diminished until you are forced
into the patroller zone, where it can be very difficult to survive .


Remember that you can't shoot directly to either side. Don't get
"outflanked" by an attacker coming from the side.

Watch out for rapidly entering attackers. Stay away from the top and
bottom of the screen when new attackers are likely to come in.

To keep track of the position of the Command Crawler without looking
down at it, listen to the sound as it moves on the asteroid's
surface. The louder the sound, the nearer it is to your ship. When it
is directly beneath and locked on to fire, a shrill warning alarm is

Opportunities may arise to dive under the patrollers and blast the
shields, but a poorly timed attempt is likely to be fatal.

To survive the faster drone assaults, shoot a few to break up their
pattern and then concentrate on dodging them.


The difficulty switches allow you to select the first asteroid you
will attack. The higher asteroids have much better defenses than the
first ones.

Asteroid #  Left Difficulty  Right Difficulty
 1          b (novice)       b (novice)
 9          a (expert)       b (novice)
17          b (novice)       a (expert)
25          a (expert)       a (expert)


In STRONGHOLD you control a small spacecraft which you pilot on an
assault against a well defended asteroid. Your goal is to neutralize
the asteroid's defenses by destroying the Command Crawler that
controls them. First you must survive a barrage of drones launched
from the surface. As you maneuver to blast through the shields that
protect the Command Crawler, interceptors home in on your ship and
patrollers hover above the shields. When the shields are breached,
the Command Crawler itself begins to return your fire. If you can
destroy the Command Crawler, a new and better defended asteroid
awaits. STRONGHOLD is a video game cartridge for the ATARI Model 2600
Video Computer System, the Sears Tele-Game and other compatible video
game consoles and adapters.

The next time you are shopping for fun and games, remember to look for
-------------------Atari 2600 Instructions Archive-------------------

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