Programmed as well as designed by Dave Theurer (Missile Command) and released by Atari into the arcade wilds in 1982, Tempest, lays claim to the first arcade game title that would allow you to select which level you started at. Though most fans at the time, including myself, believed this was a space game, David Theurer has gone on record stating that the player was actually travelling through a hole in the ground. The setting was inspired by a reoccurring nightmare the game designer had, “with monsters from the center of the Earth that are trying to get out of the hole.”
Thanks as always to The Arcade Flyer Archive for the awesome scanned flyers you see below. Especially that Tempest coupon!
A big thanks to GlassDarkly for uploading the interview with Dave Theurer over on YouTube!