Xari Arena - Atari 5200



Box Upgrade:  No        Yes (Add $10.00)      


Your time has come at last! The day you've been waiting for, the chance to earn your freedom!

It's been a rough road to salvation. Your home planet conquered. The survivors captured, imprisoned, and tortured. You've become nothing more than a slave without a name serving the imperial Xari High Lords, but all of that changes today. You have been chosen to represent your planet in the galactic arena, the perverse pleasure dome built for entertaining the galaxy's masses. In accordance with the ancient traditions of the galaxy, the Galactic High Council has decreed that on the high feast of Shi'ru a planet will be given a chance at freedom. To earn this freedom, one citizen must fight his planet's oppressors in the galactic arena.

The rules of the battle are simple. You will pilot the XA-01, one of the fastest ships in the galaxy, and take on the Xari horde. However, the High Council wants an entertaining fight, so the XA-01 has no weapons. Instead, it has been outfitted with the latest in trans-phase shield matrix technology, allowing it to absorb and reflect Xari pyro blasts. It's a suicide mission with little hope of success, but that's just the way you like it.

Xari Arena

About Xari Arena

Xari Arena is an original, unreleased game for the Atari 5200 that was programmed by John Seghers back when he was working for Atari. The game never saw release, and an earlier version has been available for some time in digital form. Xari Arena is one of the few unique titles for the Atari 5200 that was not released on any other platforms.

Archivist Ken Van Mersbergen recently uncovered a newer version of the game, and one of the changes was the addition of Trak-Ball support. This is the version we are making available. We then worked with artist and graphic designer David Exton to produce original artwork for Xari Arena, as well as the layout of the label, box and manual. Matt Reichert developed the underlying game story and the manual text. To mimic the style of the original boxes Atari produced back in the day, we had the boxes professionally, offset printed, including a special process to replicate the silver-ink of Atari's boxes.

Xari Arena Xari Arena Xari Arena Xari Arena

You can learn more about Xari Arena over at AtariProtos.com.


You will face wave after wave of Xari ships, each one armed to the teeth with deadly pyro blasts. Your ship, however, has no armaments of its own, but it is not defenseless. It has systems that can absorb and reflect energy.

There are two ways to destroy a Xari ship: Reflect a pyro blast back at them or smash them with your ship's onboard shield. However, before the shield can be activated it must be charged. This is accomplished by absorbing a pyro blast from a Xari ship. Your ship can store up to four pyro blasts, after which it will automatically start reflecting blasts. Should your ship come in direct contact with a Xari, the shield matrix will short circuit for a short period of time. You will not be able to absorb or reflect pyro blasts until the shield matrix comes back online.

Although this shield makes your ship indestructible, it still has one weakness. The shield is powered by an energy array situated behind your ship. The array is divided into 45 energy cells (three rows of fifteen). If the energy array is completely destroyed, your ship will lose structural integrity and explode. The Xari fleet knows of this weakness and will stop at nothing to destroy the energy array with their pyro blasts. Thankfully the High Council has granted you three force fields that can be used to protect your array. You may activate one at any time, but its functional duration is limited. You will also gain a bonus force field for every Xari wave you destroy.

Game Options

Xari Arena supports both the original Atari 5200 joystick controllers, as well as the excellent Atari 5200 Trak-Ball controllers. Two players can join the battle simultaneously to fight the Xari invaders!

Xari Arena

Xari Arena can be played by a single player or by two players. You can choose to allow the computer to play the second ship, or go at it alone for an even greater challenge! You can even allow the computer to play both ships.

The initial starting wave (1-9) can be selected before starting a new game.

Additional Information

Xari Arena includes game cartridge and a twelve-page, full-color manual.

Get a Xari Arena Box!

Xari Arena BoxXari Arena BoxIf you'd like a boxed copy of Xari Arena, please select "Box Upgrade: Yes" at the top of the page before adding Xari Arena to your cart. The Xari Arena box uses a special silver printing process to mimic Atari's original boxes. Our boxes are professionally printed and include a box insert to hold your Xari Arena cartridge in place. We want you to play our games, so we have not sealed or shrinkwrapped the boxes in any way, allowing you easy access to the game cartridge and manual.

These boxes are the same size as boxes Atari produced for their games "back in the day". They look great sitting on a shelf with your other boxed homebrew games, or alongside games from the classic Atari library. We only have a limited number of boxes for each game, and there is no guarantee they will become available again once our supplies are exhausted. Click on the images to the right to see larger photos of the box.

Number of Players 1 - 2
Controller 5200 Joystick Controller, 5200 Trak-Ball Controller
Cartridge Size 32K
Programming John Seghers
Graphics Courtney Granner
Archivist Ken Van Mersbergen
Artwork, Box, and Manual David Exton
Manual Text Matt Reichert
River Raider on 01/16/2018 05:17pm
The 5200 was a great system for playing the classic arcade titles; but this is the first fresh true arcade-style game for a console that I think I've played that wasn't a port, or a clone of a port. I had never seen, let alone, ever played it before, and it was a real treat!

Nice POKEY sound and music; fluid and steady movement with the CX52 controller; solid black playfield/background matte with very colorful animations and graphics in the forefront.

Fantastic game concept; I don't know whether this was abandoned code from long ago, or a contemporary original title. Either way, it's a genuine, polished, and solid title. I can't believe no one's reviewed it already. It's a great 2-player game, and we've had hours of fun! A must-have for your video-game library.

Of all the 5200 titles released on AA, I have to say Xari Arena is probably the swankiest, and, quite frankly, it raises the bar for contemporary releases for classic consoles.

Outstanding! Six stars! Thank you!

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