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Dragster - Activision - Atari 2600    Manual Scan icon HTML Manual   





You have in your hand one of the most exciting video games ever designed. One word of caution: this game takes a little time to learn because it's so challenging. It's very tricky. So, please read these directions and give yourself some practice time. Then you can aim for the World Record.



  1. Hook up your video game system. Follow manufacturer's instructions.
  2. With power OFF, plug in game cartridge.
  3. Turn power ON. If no picture appears, check connection of your game system to TV, then try steps 1-3 again.
  4. Difficulty settings have no effect on the game. (Skill settings on Sears Tele- Game Video Arcade systems have no effect.)
  5. Select game with game select switch.
    Game 1: Straight-ahead Dragster, one or two players.
    Game 2: Steerable Dragster, one or two players.
  6. Your Joystick Controller is both the clutch and gear shift for your Dragster; the red button is your gas pedal. Use left Joystick for the top car; right one for bottom car. Hold Joystick with button at the upper left.
  7. To shift gears, clutch by pushing Joystick to the left and shift by letting the Joystick spring back to the center.
  8. Give your Dragster gas by pressing the Joystick button.
  9. Your car starts each race in neutral (N). There are four gear positions--1, 2, 3, 4--and you must clutch and shift between each gear. You cannot downshift.
  10. Press game reset or push Joystick to the right to start each race. The race starts with a new countdown and both cars in neutral.
  11. When the countdown reaches 0, you can start. If you drop into gear too soon, before the end of the countdown, EARLY will appear on the screen and you have to wait for the next race. You can clutch during the countdown, but you cannot drop into 1st until 0.
  12. The object of Dragster is to beat your opponent across the screen, or to race against the clock for best time.


The tachometer (tach) shows how fast your engine is turning over. A dark green line that starts at the left side of your TV screen for each car and turns red at about the middle is your tach. When it turns red, you are in the high Power- but danger!-area. You'll find that you get your best speed in each gear by red-lining your tach close to maximum and you'll learn by experience just where that maximum is. But watch out! If you rev your engine too much, it will BLOW. So be careful. Once you blow your engine, the race is over for you (your motor falls out!). The way to build maximum speed is to quickly clutch, shift and accelerate through all four gears with maximum power at each gear level. Once you start shifting gears, you can't downshift. But if you shift too soon, your engine will lug (work heavily); you will accelerate slowly and lose time. It's tricky and takes practice, but your patience and perseverance will be rewarded with good times.


In a one-on-one game, you win if you beat the other player. If you want to become an expert drag racer, you'll want to come in under 6.50 seconds. And if you can do better than 6 seconds, take a picture of the screen and send it to us. We'll enroll you in our World Class Dragster Club. Be sure to send a photo of the screen.


Try Game 2. Not only do you have to clutch and shift your racer quickly through four gears and give it the gas without blowing your engine, you also have to steer your Dragster between the grandstands and the center divider. You steer by moving your Joystick up and down. Any time under 6.20 seconds in Game 2 is sensational.


Tips from David Crane, Designer of Dragster by ACTIVISION

David Crane, a senior member of Activision's design team, started computer game playing as team leader of a college project. David is also the designer of Freeway, Fishing Derby, and Laser Blast by ACTIVISION. Dave specializes in games that other designers consider impossible.

"The key to World Class times in Dragster is training your reflexes to clutch and shift quickly, accelerating at maximum power in each gear without blowing your engine. Call it racing shifting, if you like, but it's the only way you'll get your speed down under seven seconds.

"There are a couple of tricks that are not so obvious. For example, put the clutch in during the last numbers of the countdown, hold it in, rev up (careful) and pop the clutch by letting go of the Joystick the instant the screen reads 0.

"Then you should try to rev your engine to keep the tach in the red as you go through all four gears (without blowing your engine). You've got to keep your revs up for speed.

"If you drop out of the red in any gear (and particularly in third or fourth), try tapping the Joystick quickly to the left a few times ("popping the clutch") to get added acceleration.

"Do a wheelie? Sure, go ahead. When your front wheels come up off the road, you're getting maximum acceleration. But watch out! Push the gas too hard and you'll blow!

"I had great fun doing Dragster. Hope you enjoy it. Write and let me know how you do. And if you break 6.00 seconds, take a photo of the screen and send it to us. So far the World Record is 5.61 seconds. If you break that, it will make news!"

David Crane

Look for more Activision video games wherever you buy video game cartridges. Drop us a note and we'll gladly add your name to our mailing list and keep you posted on new Activision game cartridges as they become available.

Activision, Inc., 3255-2 Scott Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95051

(c)1980 ACTIVISION AG-001-03 Rev. 3
Printed in U.S.A.

Converted to HTML by Albert Yarusso, [email protected] 2/6/99