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Popeye - Parker Brothers - Atari 5200     HTML Manual   




  • In this game, you're POPEYE! And your goal is to catch all of Olive's hearts, notes, and cries for H-E-L-P before they hit the water and sink--or before Brutus, the Sea Hag, or some vulture knocks you over. Each time you complete a round, you'll automatically proceed to the next--and more difficult one.


    1. Place the cartridge firmly into the cartridge slot.
    2. Plug one or two hand-held controllers into the controller jacks labeled "1" and "2." Use the controller in jack "1" for a one-player game.
    3. Press the ON/OFF switch to ON.
    4. Press the "#" button on the keypad to choose a one or two-player game. (NOTE: For a two-player game, zeros must appear at the top, right-hand side of the screen, next to where "2 UP" appears).
    5. Press either the START button or a BOTTOM "FIRE" button on the controller in the "1" jack to start the action.


  • Use the joystick on the handheld controller to guide Popeye up and down stairs, and across the platforms. Press either of the BOTTOM "FIRE" buttons whenever you want Popeye to punch bottles, hit the punching bag, knock out vultures, or grab his spinach. With each press of the "FIRE" button, Popeye will swing his fist once. NOTE: holding down the "FIRE" button will not repeat this action.


  • At any time during the game, if you wish to "freeze" the action and your score on the screen, press down the PAUSE button on the keypad. To start again, simply press the PAUSE button.


  • When you begin each round, the number of Popeyes remaining is indicated at the top, right-hand side of the screen. The first Popeye will appear on the left, topmost ledge as soon as you press the START button.

  • In each round, Popeye must win Olive Oyl's affection by catching all of her hearts, notes, or cries for H-E-L-P, depending on which round you're playing, before they fall into the water and sink. But Brutus, the Sea Hag, and the vultures all do their best to knock Popeye over--Brutus with his fists, the Sea Hag with her fast-flying bottles, and the vultures with their good aim! When any of them hits Popeye--or if any of Olive's tokens fall into the water and are not pulled out in time--you lose him and the next Popeye appears on the left, topmost ledge ready to try again.


  • Throughout the rounds, Popeye's spinach will randomly appear in specific places on the screen (see "Spinach" section under each round). Whenever you see it, move Popeye over to the spinach and press the "FIRE" button. If you reach it in time, Popeye will change color and you'll hear the "Popeye Theme." This is your chance to catch up with Brutus and knock him over. If you do, you gain 3000 points! In addition, if you catch any of Olive's tokens while the tune is playing, you receive DOUBLE THE SCORE FOR EACH. Once Popeye uses his spinach in any of the rounds, it will not appear during that same round again.

    The Sea Hag

  • You never know when this nasty ol' biddy is going to jump out from the side lines and pelt Popeye with a bottle. But she'll only let one fly when she's on the same platform as Popeye. If Popeye's not fast enough with his fists to punch the bottle, and it hits him, you lose this Popeye. If you have a remaining Popeye, he will appear at the top of the ledge.



  • In this round, you must catch all 24 hearts before they fall into the water and sink--and without being hit by Brutus or the Sea Hag. Each time you catch a heart, a one will appear on the side of Popeye's house, located at the top of the screen. Once there are 24 hearts, you'll automatically begin the next round.

    "Thru" Ledges

  • As the round begins, Popeye appears on the left, topmost ledge. You may move Popeye off this ledge and land him safely onto the platform below. Or you may move him in the opposite direction and he'll travel around to the other ledge. You may move Popeye back and forth between ledges or off either side and onto the platform below at any time. Brutus cannot walk on either of these ledges, BUT HE CAN JUMP UP AND KNOCK POPEYE OVER!


  • On each platform, there are sets of stairs which Popeye and Brutus must use to move from platform to platform. Use your joystick to guide Popeye up and down these sets of stairs.


  • Popeye's spinach will randomly appear on the stairs to the left, either on platform #2 or platform #3.

    "Down" Ladder

  • In the center of the screen, there is a ladder which connects platform #2 and platform #3. Popeye is the only one who can use this ladder, and only to move down from the 2nd platform to the 3rd platform. However, Brutus can reach up or down the ladder and knock Popeye over.

    Punching Bag and Bucket

  • You'll notice a punching bag and a bucket located near the center, topmost part of the screen. Whenever Popeye jumps off the right "thru" ledge, he may punch the bag, causing the bucket to fall. If Brutus is directly below it, the bucket will stop him in his tracks and you gain extra points. (See "Scoring" section.)



  • Here, you must catch all 16 love notes before they sink into the water, and without being knocked over. Once you've caught all 16 notes, you'll automatically begin the next round.

    "Thru" Ledges

  • In this round, the "thru" ledges are located on platform #2. Again, Popeye can move off the ledge and land safely onto the platform below, or he can move around to the opposite ledge. Brutus can also move about these ledges, but cannot travel around to the opposite ledge.


  • At the bottom, left-hand side of the screen, there is a see-saw. Whenever Popeye is on the 3rd platform he can jump off the ledge, land on the see-saw and bounce upwards. If Popeye "grabs" onto Swee'Pea once he reaches the top, Popeye will land on platform #1, and you gain 500 POINTS! If not, then Popeye will land on the platform #2. However, when Brutus bounces on the see-saw, he will always land on the 2nd platform.


  • Popeye's spinach will appear on the right-hand side of the 3rd platform.

    H-E-I-P! - ROUND #3

  • This time, Olive Oyl is crying for HELP and Popeye must catch all of the letters: H-E-L-P. Each time you catch a letter, another rung is added to the ladder located in the center of the screen. When the ladder is completely built, you'll automatically return to Round #1, but at a greater difficulty level.

    Sliding Platform

  • In the center of platform #1, there is a sliding platform. When Popeye steps onto it, he'll be whisked to the other side of the mast. This sliding floor moves in both directions, and Popeye is the only one who can use it. If Popeye misses the sliding platform, he falls to the next platform.


  • In this round, vultures may suddenly appear and swoop down at Popeye. If you're quick enough, Popeye can punch each of these vultures and gain 1000 points for each one he clobbers. But if not, the vultures will knock Popeye over and you lose him. If you have another Popeye, he will appear on the top, left-hand side of the screen.


  • In this round, Popeye's spinach will randomly appear on the right-hand side of the 2nd and 3rd platform.


  • The round ends once you've collected all of Olive's tokens. As long as you have a remaining Popeye, you'll automatically advance to the next round.


  • When you complete all of the first three rounds, you will begin again at round #1, but at a greater level of difficulty.

    The following things will happen as you advance from level to level:

      * The speed at which Olive's tokens fall will increase.
      * The Sea Hag's bottles will fly across the screen more often and at a faster rate.
      * Brutus will chase Popeye more closely and at a faster rate.

  • The game ends when you run out of Popeyes. To play again, simply press down the START button. To play a two-player game, press the # button, then the START button.

    Two-Player Games

  • In a two-player game, players alternate as Popeye. The LEFT player goes first. Each player's score is displayed throughout the game. The first player's score is to the left; the second player's score to the right.

  • * In a two-player game, when one player loses all his or her remaining Popeyes, he or she is out of the game. The opponent, however, may continue to play as long as he or she has a remaining Popeye.


  • The number of points for each heart, note, or letter caught depends upon which platform Popeye is on when he catches it.

    EXAMPLE: If Popeye is on platform #2 when he catches any kind of token from Olive, you gain 300 points. If he is on platform #4, the token is worth 50 points.

    Hearts, Notes, & Letters
    Platform #1 .....................  500 points
    Platform #2 .....................  300 points
    Platform #3 .....................  100 points
    Platform #4 .....................   50 points
    Tokens in Water .................   50 points
    Punching Bottles ................  100 points
    Punching Vultures ............... 1000 points
    Hitting Punching Bag ............   30 points
    Hitting Brutus with Bucket
      Platform #2 ................... 1000 points
      Platform #3 ................... 2000 points
      Platform #4 ................... 4000 points
    Knocking Brutus Over ............ 3000 points
    Grabbing Swee'Pea ...............  500 points
    Bonus Popeye
  • You'll receive a bonus Popeye after the first 40,000 points accumulated in the game.

    Double Points

  • Remember: You'll receive double the point value for catching a token or Swee'Pea, if caught while the "Popeye theme" is playing (after Popeye picks up his spinach).


    Typed by Jay Tilton

    for Atari Gaming Headquarters

    Used with permission from Atari Gaming Headquarters