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Super Breakout - Atari - Atari 5200     HTML Manual   



  • To insert your 5200 game cartridge, hold the cartridge so the name on the label faces toward you and reads right-side-up. Then carefully insert the cartridge into the slot in the center of the console unit. Be sure the cartridge is firmly seated. but do not force it. The POWER ON/OFF switch is located on the bottom right side of the ATARI 5200. Press this switch to turn the power on AFTER inserting your game cartridge. See your Owner's Manual for further information.


    1. Super Assignment
    2. Game Play
    3. Using The 5200 Controllers
    4. Trak-Ball Option
    5. Paddle Action
    6. Game Variations
    7. Rating Your Score
    8. Helpful Hints
    9. Your Best Game Scores


  • You're the pilot of a super-powered space shuttle and you're blazing a path through distant superclusters at incredible space- age speed. The uncharted planet Ieris is your destination. You know from preliminary briefing that Ieris is surrounded by a mysterious, colorful force field. Astronomers have photographed the iridescent force field with high-powered telescopic cameras. There is much conjecture on Earth as to what the wall of colors around Ieris might be, but no one is certain.

  • Your mission is to break up the force field. Your space ship is equipped with special hardware to help you complete this important assignment. As you smash out the bright-colored matter, sensors will analyze it, grade it and relay the results back to scientists on Earth. You, too, will see the scores.

  • Your computer signals that Ieris is dead ahead. A brilliant band of colors flashes into view. Wow! This is more startling and impressive than any of the photos you saw back on Earth. Your hands eagerly grip the controls as you prepare to blast through!

    2. GAME PLAY

    SUPER BREAKOUT contains the following game variations:

      * BREAKOUT
      * DOUBLE
      * CAVITY
  • Each game may be played by one to four players. For a detailed description of each game, check Section 6--GAME VARIATIONS.

  • The object in all of the games is to keep the ball in play while scoring the highest possible number of points, or to score more points than your opponent.

  • Points are scored by hitting the ball into the rows of bricks. The bricks crumble and disappear, one at a time, when hit. The point value in all games is determined by brick color, as follows:
      Gold = 1 point
      Red = 3 points
      Blue = 5 points
      Green = 7 points

      NOTE: Colors may vary slightly on different television sets.

  • In DOUBLE and CAVITY it is possible to score double or triple your normal point value when two or three balls are in play simultaneously (see Section 6, GAME VARIATIONS). Players get five serves or turns in all games. The turn or ball number is displayed at the far, left side of the screen. Figure 1 shows what a four-player BREAKOUT game looks like.

    [Screenshot with the ball number, player scores, and brick point values labeled.]
    Figure 1 - 4-Player Breakout

  • Before each player's turn, the message: PLAYER 1 UP (or, PLAYER 2 UP, etc.) is displayed at the bottom of the screen. The message disappears when the serve button is pressed; then the score is activated for the player who is up.

  • Each turn ends when the ball is missed and disappears off the bottom of the screen. In games with two or three balls in play, a turn ends when the last ball is missed.


    [Photo of a 5200 controller with the bottom side button labeled "Serve Button."]
    Figure 2 - 5200 Controller

  • Use one, two, three, or four 5200 controllers with this ATARI game cartridge. For one-player games plug the controller into controller jack 1 on your console.


  • For your convenience, two keypad overlays are included with this game. Slip the tabs into the slots above and below the keypad on your controller.
       --------    --------    --------
      |        |  |        |  |        |
      |        |  |        |  |        |
       --------    --------    --------
       --------    --------    --------
      |        |  |        |  |        |
      |        |  |        |  |        |
       --------    --------    --------
       --------    --------    --------
      |        |  |        |  |        |
      |        |  |        |  |        |
       --------    --------    --------
      1-4 PLAYERS             GAME SELECT
       --------    --------    --------
      |        |  |        |  |        |
      |        |  |        |  |        |
       --------    --------    --------
    Figure 3 - Keypad Overlay


  • Press the * key (or, on your overlay, the square marked 1-4 PLAYERS) to cycle through 1 to 4 players. Stop at the number of players you want.


  • Press the # key (or, on your overlay, the square marked GAME SELECT) to select the game of your choice. It will cycle through the game names in the following order: BREAKOUT, PROGRESSIVE, DOUBLE, CAVITY.


    Press the START key to begin game play.


  • Press either one of the bottom, red buttons on the front right and left sides of the controller to serve the ball (see Figure 2). The top, red buttons on the front right and left sides of the controller do not function in this game.


  • Press the RESET key to return to the first option, which is one- player BREAKOUT.


    * PAUSE

  • To suspend a turn in progress, press the PAUSE key. The ball will immediately freeze in its present position on the screen and the game will be in a temporary state of suspension. To continue play, press the PAUSE key again.

    NOTE: The PAUSE feature can only be activated when a ball is in play.


  • If you wish to extend your current game, you may do so by acquiring five new balls. To receive five extra serves, press the number 1 key (or, on your overlay, the square marked EXTRA GAMES) before the fifth ball is served in a one-player game. In a multiple-player game, this must be done before player 1 serves the fifth ball. Each player will then receive five new serves.

  • When this feature is activated, a solid square appears on the screen below the ball or serve number, as shown in Figure 4.

    NOTE: The 5-extra-serves option can only be used once per game.

    [Screenshot with the Extra Serve Indicator labeled.]
    Figure 4 - Extra Serves

    4. TRAK-BALL OPTION (Future Accessory)

  • This SUPER BREAKOUT cartridge offers a TRAK-BALL option. A TRAK-BALL may be purchased separately. To play any of the game variations with a TRAK-BALL, plug the TRAK-BALL into the far, left (number 1) controller jack on your console. To select the number of players and game, follow the instructions in Section 3, USING THE 5200 CONTROLLERS. You do not need a separate TRAK-BALL for each player. Simply pass the TRAK-BALL from player to player as each turn comes up.

    NOTE: You can use only a TRAK-BALL or a 5200 controller in any one game. If you switch from one type of controller to the other mid-game, plug in the new controller and press START. You will restart the game you last played. To serve the ball, press the fire button on your TRAK-BALL. See your TRAK-BALL Owner's Manual for details.


  • After serving the ball, to make contact and keep the ball in play, push your joystick or TRAK-BALL right or left. This will move your paddle horizontally back and forth across the bottom of the screen.

  • The angle of the ball as it rebounds off the paddle depends on which part of the paddle it hits. The paddle is divided into four sections. For the first through fourth hits, the ball will bounce off the paddle as shown in Figure 5-A. After the fifth hit, the ball will deflect as shown in Figure 5-B. At this time, the ball will appear to speed up slightly. Figure 5-C shows how the ball reacts after the ninth hit. After the thirteenth hit, the ball will speed up again and bounce as shown in Figure 5-D. The ball will also speed up after hitting any blue or green bricks (last four rows).

  • Whenever you break through the last row of bricks and the ball makes contact with the boundary at the top of the playfield, the paddle is reduced to half its original size. The paddle returns to normal size when a new turn begins.

    [Figure showing the angles the ball deflects off the paddle in the four cases described above.]
    Figure 5 - Paddle Deflections


  • There are four separate games contained in this SUPER BREAKOUT game cartridge. The rating system and score breakdown are explained in Section 7, RATING YOUR SCORE.


  • Each player has his own wall of bricks and corresponding score, which are displayed on the screen during that player's turn. Figure 6 shows a typical BREAKOUT playfield.

  • Each wall of bricks contains eight rows with 14 bricks in a row. If you knock out all the bricks within five turns, a new wall will appear on the screen. Each wall of bricks is worth 448 points. (See Figure 1 for individual point values.) The number of times a new wall of bricks can be reset during a game is infinite.

  • The maximum attainable score for BREAKOUT is infinite since the wall of bricks will reset indefinitely. However, since the screen display has room for only four digits per score, a player's score will reset to 0000 if it passes 9999.

    Figure 6 - BREAKOUT Playfield


  • The playfield in PROGRESSIVE is set up somewhat differently than BREAKOUT. When the game begins, the playfield contains four rows of bricks at the top of the screen, followed by four blank rows, and then four more rows of bricks, as shown in Figure 7. There are 14 bricks per row and the point value for these is defined by color, as explained in Section 2, GAME PLAY

  • Once PROGRESSIVE game play begins, the brick walls move down or "scroll" toward the bottom of the screen. As the bricks are knocked out and the walls progress toward your paddle, new bricks enter the playfield at a progressively faster rate. Four rows of bricks are always separated by four rows of blank space. As the brick walls progress downward, their colors change, but point values for each color remain the same.

  • The maximum score for PROGRESSIVE is infinite, although the score will reset to 0000 when it passes 9999, as in BREAKOUT.

    Figure 7 - Progressive Playfield


  • The DOUBLE playfield is the same as the BREAKOUT playfield, except that there are two paddles and two balls served. The paddles are stacked one on top of the other, as shown in Figure 8. The point value for each brick is defined by color, as in BREAKOUT and PROGRESSIVE, except when two balls are in play, then each brick is worth twice its normal amount. When only one ball is in play, point value returns to normal.

  • If you miss the first ball served, it counts as a miss and goes against your allotted serves (turns) per game. Otherwise, the second ball is served. If you miss the second ball after hitting the first ball, play continues until you miss the first ball. After both balls are in play (have been hit at least once), one may be missed while the other remains in play.

  • The wall of bricks will reset two additional times after the initial wall is knocked out. The maximum score possible for DOUBLE is 2688.

    Figure 8 - Double Playfield


  • The CAVITY playfield contains slightly fewer bricks than other SUPER BREAKOUT games. This allows room for two "cavities", each of which contains a ball (see Figure 9). When the game begins, the balls bounce inside each cavity but are held captive. There are two paddles, as in DOUBLE.

  • A ball is served. Point values of the bricks remain the same as in other games when only one ball is in play. However, when enough bricks are broken out to release a captive ball, each brick is then worth twice its normal amount when hit. If the second captive ball is freed and three balls are kept in play, bricks are worth triple their normal amount.

  • If any one of the three balls is missed, the scoring returns to double points. If the second ball is missed and only one ball remains on the playfield, the point value of the bricks returns to normal.

  • The wall of bricks will reset two additional times, making a maximum score possibility of approximately 3500 points.

    Figure 9 - Cavity Playfield


  • At the conclusion of each game a "rating" is alternately displayed on the screen in the same position as your total score. In multiple-player games, the ratings are alternately displayed with each player's total score.

    The following chart gives a point breakdown of the various ratings:

                        RATING CHART
    OOPS      0-99       0-199      0-199      0-199
    FAIR    100-199    200-399    200-399    200-399
    GOOD    200-599    400-799    400-599    400-799
    ACE     600-999    800-1399   600-999    800-1199
    PRO    1000-1599  1400-2199  1000-1399  1200-1799
    STAR   1600-2499  2200-3199  1400-1999  1800-2399
    WOW!   2500-3599  3200-4399  2000-2599  2400-2699
    BEST   3600 and   4400 and   2600 to    2700 and
             above      above    2688 max.    above

  • When playing any of the SUPER BREAKOUT games, your best bet is to work your way out through the right or left corner of the playfield. The corners seem to be the easiest points at which to establish a "groove".

  • Be prepared for the ball to return at a faster speed when it hits the bricks in the last four rows (or the upper rows of bricks in PROGRESSIVE). You can miss a lot of shots simply by not being prepared.

  • Don't panic when the ball reaches the top boundary of the playfield and your paddle reduces to half its original size. All it takes to keep the ball in play at this point is a little more concentration, and a finer touch on the controller. In time you'll have no trouble at all keeping the ball in play when your paddle is reduced in size.

  • Learn to anticipate where the ball is going to be. Anticipation can be a key factor, particularly when the ball bounces off one of the side boundaries near the bottom of the playfield. When the ball is traveling at high speed, you won't always have time to react and move your paddle to the right position. Your paddle will have to be in the correct position in advance.


    Name:             Date:    Score:
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    Typed by Jay Tilton

    for Atari Gaming Headquarters

    Used with permission from Atari Gaming Headquarters