After 29 Years…You Can Finally Buy Tempest For Your Atari 5200!

tempest
About three weeks ago the always impressive AtariAge made available a port of the classic arcade game Tempest for the Atari 5200! Follow the link provided to secure your own copy from AtariAge. Another exciting bit of news is that cartridge was cancelled back in the day but in 1999 the prototype was found and the original programmer, Keithen Hayenga, finished up the job he started 29 years earlier.

From the Press Release: “The hit Atari coin-op finally comes home in this exciting and challenging 3-D game for your Atari 5200 System. You control the “Blaster”, patrolling the rim of an electric “tube” playfield, in a constant battle with the myriad enemies that are making their way up the tube’s rails.

Your enemies are fast, varied and devious. Each class of enemy has its own special attack. All you have are your wits, your Blaster and your devastating, but limited, SUPER ZAPPER. Destroy every enemy and you will warp through the liberated tube, on to an even more challenging one.

Tempest was Atari’s first color vector arcade game, released to arcades in 1980. Known for its frantic, addictive gameplay, Tempest was one of Atari’s most successful vector arcade games. Versions of Tempest were being developed for Atari’s 2600 and 5200 game consoles, but they were never completed or released commercially. A box for the 5200 version of Tempest is actually visible in the 1984 movie Cloak & Dagger.

For 15 years, the existence of an Atari 5200 version of Tempest was thought to be only myth. No prototypes had ever surfaced. A crude 2600 version had come to light, along with a prototype box. Then, in 1999, an unfinished working 5200 prototype appeared on eBay. The game was eventually dumped and the binary freely distributed around the Internet. Another decade has gone by since the game’s discovery, and the original Atari 5200 Tempest programmer, Keithen Hayenga, worked to complete Tempest so it could finally see the light of day in completed form!

You can read about the “unfinished” 5200 prototype on AtariProtos.com.

Additional Information

Tempest 5200 includes the game cartridge with glossy label, twelve page full-color, glossy manual, professionally offset printed box using chipboard paper stock, and cartridge insert to keep the cartridge in place. Only 250 boxed copies of Tempest will be produced! After that, the game will be sold without the box. If you want a boxed copy of the game, don’t wait too long!”

Number of Players 1 – 2
Controller Atari 5200 Joystick Controller or Atari 5200 Trak-Ball Controller
Cartridge Size 32K
Programming Keithen Hayenga
Additional Programming Ken Van Mersbergen, Dennis Debro
Graphics Michael Kosaka
Box, Manual, and Label Design George Reese, David Exton

VicSage

Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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