T:ME Salvo - Atari 7800



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The Time Traveller

When I travelled to the future, I was expecting to see flying machines and cities that reached far into the sky. Instead I found ruins. Mankind had withered away and devolved into the Eloi, a feeble humanoid people. Their saving grace was that they were kind and welcoming, and truthfully I was glad for their company.

When the first night of my visit fell, I became acquainted with humanity's other new children, the Morlocks. They are the feared shadows that stalk the night in this age. They prowl relentlessly, until they can satisfy their taste for human flesh.

Last night the Morlocks took away my Eloi companion, Weena. My poor sweet Weena. One moment she had been playfully sticking flowers into my pockets with her tiny hands, and the next moment claws were dragging her away into the eternal darkness.

Morning has now dawned, and I swear I will destroy this filthy Morlock scourge. I will fix this horrible thing time has done to humanity. I will avenge my Weena.

- the Time Traveler

T:ME Salvo


Your goal is to shoot all of the Morlock enemies, avoid being shot, and protect the four humanoids that eventually appear in each level.

If you happen to lose all humanoids in a level, the lights will go out. In the dark the enemies will become more agressive, and an invincible hulking enemy will tirelessly hunt you down, until the level is complete. Shooting at the hulk will push him back, but only a little.

If the brain enemy manages to touch a humanoid, it will be converted into a killer prog. The prog will race through the battlefield after you until you shoot it, or it kills you. Periodically you'll need to reload ammunition. An alarm will sound when you have ten bullets left, and you'll see a pack of replacement ammunition appear on the battlefield. Touch the ammunition to reload.

A destroyed enemy will sometimes leave behind a smart bomb. If you touch the smart bomb before it disappears, each enemy on the battlefield will be destroyed.

Every two levels you'll encounter the challenge stage, where four waves of enemies will race across the screen in differing patterns. If you manage to shoot all of the enemies in the challenge stage, you'll earn an extra life!


T:ME Salvo Screenshot T:ME Salvo Screenshot
T:ME Salvo Screenshot T:ME Salvo Screenshot

Dual Joystick Support

If you have two joysticks that are suitably anchored, you can switch T:ME Salvo into "2Stick" mode at the title screen. When using this mode, the left stick moves the player, and the right stick controls the shooting direction, similar to the arcade game Robotron: 2084.

AtariVox Support

T:ME Salvo supports saving its high score table to either the Atari 7800 High Score Cartridge, or the AtariVox/SaveKey devices. If you have both the High Score Cartridge and AtariVox/SaveKey peripherals, T:ME Salvo will use the AtariVox/SaveKey as the preferred saving device, due to its larger save space and portability. T:ME Salvo also supports the AtariVox voice function and speaks several phrases throughout the game.

Additional Information

T:ME Salvo includes a game cartridge and full-color, 8-page manual.

Get a T:ME Salvo Box!

T:ME Salvo BoxT:ME Salvo Box

If you'd like a boxed copy of T:ME Salvo, please select "Box Upgrade: Yes" at the top of the page before adding T:ME Salvo to your cart. Our boxes are professionally printed and include a box insert to hold your T:ME Salvo 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 2600 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
Controller 1 or 2 Joysticks
Cartridge Size 48K
Code and Design Mike Saarna
Label/Cover Art/Manual Corey Kramer

Tony Jay on 06/24/2023 03:06pm
I enjoy playing this game
Very fun
Joel Ressler on 08/28/2022 02:37pm
I find this game infuriating, a threat to my self-esteem and triggers fits of rage. But I still love it! Maybe it's because I'm old and the quick reflexes I had in the 80's are long gone or maybe because I'm too cheap to spend the money on a dual stick controller, but this game is HARD. The instruction manual says there is a bonus level after every two normal levels, and I was starting to wonder if I'd ever see it. But I persevered and finally made it to the bonus (only to get curb stomped immediately after). If you want some old school action with some even older school arcade challenge, this is your game. Just be warned, if you've become accustomed to modern gaming's difficulty levels "so everyone one can enjoy the story," prepare to be psychologically scarred.
Silver Back on 12/29/2021 09:10am
I'm a huge fan of Robotron 2084, so when I heard this was another twin stick shooter I was sold immediately. T:me Salvo isn't just a Robotron clone however; it's a game that has its own style and identity. And I love the style and identity it has!
The only negative I have is that this game supports twin sticks (using both controller ports) and the atarivox peripheral. There isn't enough controller ports to do it all at once, so you either need to compromise on control (single stick isn't awful mind you but I prefer dual) or sound. So the only problem is that there's TOO MANY EXCELLENT FEATURES and not enough ports to enjoy all of them at once! Boy life isn't fair sometimes.
But I love everything else about T:me Salvo. Either method of control works well, the game and enemies have great personality, and the challenge to fun ratio is perfect. You can tell a lot of love went into creating this game. If your just getting into 7800 homebrew and aren't sure what game to start with, I recommend this one. It's something a little bit different from the maze games and famous arcade ports, and it will keep your attention for a long time. Oh and that label art and box art is just so incredibly awesome, a great package all around!
Joseph Janoski on 09/23/2021 06:57pm
"Alert Alert! Time Worrior Detected!"

First quote you will hear if you start playing Time Salvo with the AtariVox accessory connected to a speaker. Time Salvo is an interesting concept where you Time Warrior patrol the town at night of any incoming robots and monsters that seek to kill or reprogram humans to build an indestructible Hulk.

The gameplay is solid where you patrol and rescue any human that comes out of the building from Morlock enemies and Robots from Robotron 2084. You will stay alive longer towards the bottom row of the map as there are less enemies surrounding you.

Opening music has a catchy tune to it, and the sound effects is spot on when you shoot, destroy and get shot by enemies. With addition the 80's style voice from the AtariVox accessory adds the fun to the game, few voice clips made me laugh quite a bit. Graphics is great that you see the Robotron, Berserk and two original enemies very close to their arcade counterpart.

Controls are great having the option for a one button fire in the direction you tilt the joystick and the twin stick where one stick moves and the other shoots in the direction towards the enemy.

It is really cool that there is a little Easter Egg where everything turns to Christmas theme of the game which those that to purchase this game will have to figure out how to unlock the Easter Egg within the game. Overall, a nice edition to the Atari 7800 owners out there for those that want the arcade style shooter experience without getting frustrated in any shape and form.
Jonathan Clark on 03/28/2021 11:20am
I had never heard of Crossfire, so this game represented a nice introduction for me, and it is refreshing to see a 7800 homebrew that isn't a well-known arcade game. The gameplay is very compelling and keeps you interested despite the single-screen. I mostly bought this to take advantage of the twin stick-y-ness. It is definitely a different experience using 2 controllers, but still very playable without.
Joe T on 03/06/2018 11:06am
The game looks great with great visuals and graphics. At first, I tried the game with just one joystick, which made the game so hard that I quickly lost interest in it. Recently, I gave it another try using two joysticks, Robotron-style, and wow! I ended up playing it for a couple hours straight! Now to make a suitable dual joystick holder
save2600 on 01/24/2018 02:10pm
T:ME Salvo is largely based on Crossfire, which is an old computer game from the 80's. With the added graphics and gameplay, some make comparisons to Robotron or Berzerk - but unlike the two aforementioned, T:ME Salvo is a tile based maze game. Even the "lights out" segment of the game is tiled. Yes, you can change direction fairly quickly, but you don't have the luxury or ability to really hide behind a block as you're constantly on the move and always set back to a place where you are vulnerable. Your player also moves at a quicker rate horizontally than he does vertically, an uneven "feature" I usually do not expect or really appreciate in maze games.

Playfield can get hectic, especially when so many humanoids are in your "custody". Am glad your player is drawn the way he is though, as he can get lost in the crowd of humanoids at times - which results in untimely deaths! If only you could drop them off somewhere.

Fortunately, there's a few different strategies in which one can choose to attack T:ME Salvo. After some time with it, I preferred to stick near the bottom of the screen and let enemies come to me and pick-off when in range. Only ran out to grab humans, ammo or the smart bomb when available and found I scored highest when playing this way.

Unfortunately, speech does not work correctly using my AtariVox. High scores save fine, just that speech is garbled with random bits of high pitched sound effects here and there.

Overall, I found T:ME Salvo to be fairly enjoyable and can appreciate what it's got going for it. Not sure if the game will continue to grow on me, but am looking forward to an enhanced sequel of sorts!
tkarner on 10/04/2017 07:44pm
T:me Salvo is basically Crossfire for the Atari 8-bit but with several twists. Nothing wrong with that because Crossfire is a great game. T:me Salvo is even better. Faster paced too.
Funkmaster V on 09/06/2017 10:56pm
I think there is a universal truth: If you can program a kick ass game, you can't come up with a good title to save your life. T:ME Salvo? Gross, dude. Gimmie a break. But this box art and weird, schmaltzy Dr Who inspired story in the instruction book is what's up.

I could go on about the gameplay. but I wont because others have. At first, I thought this game was gonna be a Robotron rip-off, and I was not impressed the first few times I played it. THEN I PLAYED IT FOR 5 HOURS STRAIGHT. This game is the epitome of pick up and play. Holy cow. it's Atari crack.

I like a lot about this title. BUY IT. Hey kids. it's an original, exclusive for the ATARI 7800 game and it is brand new. and guess what? It's one of the best games in the library. Bravo!
Andy on 08/23/2017 08:28pm
I have only word for this game: MASTERPIECE.

I bought this as a birthday gift for myself, and did I ever treat myself well this year!

Let's start with the box art. It looks like something pulled straight out of Fairly Odd Parents! I mean that as a compliment. It's so detailed and vibrant! It's nice to see a homebrew title with such high production value in regards to its packaging.

Thankfully, the actual game lives up to the high standard set by its excellent artwork! Think Robotron meets Galaga on a Bomberman map. Sound awesome? Well, it very much is. T:ME Salvo is both highly addictive and wonderfully challenging. It can stand up comfortably and confidently next to the classic arcade games of the era!

After so many excellent arcade conversions for the Atari 7800, it's refreshing to have an original game released that can scratch that twitch-gaming itch as well.

In summary, T:ME Salvo is a highly enjoyable mashup of classic arcade gaming concepts, all stuffed inside a wonderfully designed package.

The bar has been raised yet again! Congratulations to all involved on a job well done!
Swami on 08/17/2017 01:22pm
This is a great game. It is, I would say, a combination of robotron and pac man. As such, it is much more enjoyable if you have a twin joystick unit that plugs into player1/player2 for two stick action - so you can choose fire direction with one stick and movement direction with the other - and 4-way joysticks for making the sharp right angle turns. Can also be played with a single joystick . I believe you fire in the direction you are facing. The graphics of the sprites are really well done. This is also great because it feels like an creative and really well done official sequel to Robotron 2084. I could really have imagined this being a late 1980's aracade game named Robobtron 3084. The game can be especially challenging because of the many obstacles, especially when having more than one human in tow.
Trebor on 07/26/2017 12:00pm
Some of the greatest shooters of the classic arcade era, demonstrated a balance among difficulty, variety, and gameplay mechanics. They also keep a steady pace of excitement and thrills that entice both the newcomer and the seasoned veteran. While T:ME Salvo is not from the classic era, and contains a lot of familiarity for those that have played Crossfire on classic computers that dominated the 1980s, this is one excellent Arcade styled shoot 'em up in its own right. It pulls off a fantastic balancing job with the abundance of items and concepts it is incorporating.

Off the bat, players can opt for either one controller or two controller action. Salvo plays great either way, but admittedly the dual joystick option is a tad bit sweeter.

Part of the beauty in the game%u2019s design is not only the control mechanics option, but also offensive style approach of the player, whether shoot and run, or camp and shoot, ultimately needs to be mixed. Mastering one or the other will only get a player so far. The game encourages and fosters someone to be an overall better player.

The game is not just contingent on destroy or be destroyed, there are humanoids that can be saved, released at different time intervals, noted on screen by a rising bar threshold assigned to each of the four areas in which a humanoid will appear. One of the questions on a player's mind may be: "Do I save or abandon the humans?"

Unlike the Arcade game Robotron: 2084 where points are the only thing being lost when lives are not saved, lose all 4 of the captives, the maze goes dark, and the daunting and indestructible Hulk robot comes aggressively at the player.

However, saving a humanoid is not enough, for the duration of the level the player must keep the innocent protected in his tow; not always an easy feat. A brush with the enemy means death for the innocent in many cases. However, at other times, the walking monstrous brains will turn a human into an enemy drone which turns on their savior in a rabid kamikaze style.

Speaking of kamikaze, the explosions/death animations are top notch. The burst of a mini-light show of particles erupting on the screen is almost euphoric and is arguably only trumped by the bouncing level and other notifications the appear at the beginning of level. Nearly as cool is the scrolling left to right and right to left bonus round notifications which the rounds themselves serve as a mini-breather and chance for a player to increase their score considerably.

Sprinkled through the level is a destruct-all type bomb which can be a lifesaver and short reprieve from the onslaught of enemies. The care and attention to details for the enemies is impressive. It is not just an ordinary cosmetic change either - which itself is beautifully executed as each line of characters are distinct and have very nice detail and animation; additionally, their style and attack patterns vary.

Shot utilization needs to be carefully monitored at times and risks planned accordingly. Throughout the level an indicator will provide both notice the player is running low on ammo and where the player must go to retrieve more. It adds another layer of strategy and excitement to an already thrilling game.

As if all of that was not enough, the game supports a copious amount of speech and high score saving through an AtariVox connected into. Last but not least, there is a very nice Easter Egg to be discovered.

We're really just touching the surface here. This game can only be fully appreciated when experienced. The wonderful introduction melody (Nearly unbelievable under TIA) is worth the price of admission alone. Nonetheless, this is not a quick fly by night work, but arcade gaming at some of its absolute finest. Highly recommended!

Note: Apologies for what is likely incorrect naming of game characters and some items in the above review. While writing the review I did not have the manual at my disposal. A lot of creative time and energy went in naming of the characters, features, as well as an intriguing backstory. A well-polished and excellently presented title from every aspect and angle; money indeed well spent.
Luke "Mr. Beefy" Morris on 07/19/2017 12:24pm
T:ME Salvo is a great arcade shooter in a similar vein of Berserk and more closely to Roboton.

When you turn on the system you are presented with a snazzy title screen with good music making a very appealing attract mode.

Gameplay: I did not have a good way to use dual joysticks, so I mainly used the standard controller setup. This game provides some difficult arcade action. You must be both efficient in you grid movement and when you shoot. Controls are tight and require just a little bit getting use to. In addition to the shooting of baddies you are trying to track down and save other humans. The gameplay of trying to shoot, avoid bullets and keep humans from touching the baddies both fun and challenging. Sometimes it's best to not try and shoot an better to retreat a distance. It is nice when you get a smart bomb to clear the board and frantic when you need to track down bullets when running low. Great academic action!

Graphics: The opening looks great. Sprites are varied. There is a nice little homage to Berserk with one of the bad guys. The human and Ayer sprites are simple and not flashy but it works for this game.� If sprites were any bigger, it would be too much of a cluster on a playfield that can get crazy in the heat of battle.

Sounds: The opening has great intro music. Gameplay sounds are simple but adequate.

Other things: It might have been cool if there was a 2 player cooperative mode or competitive mode where you are fighting for saving more humans. The wife and myself did have some 2 player fun by setting the controller style to dual. That way one of use would move and the other was shooting. Game wasn't designed for that but we found it fun. Also I won't give away how to find it but there is also a neat little festive Easter Egg.

Final thoughts: I have really enjoyed this game so far! If you like Robotron or something like Berserk and Frenzy this is an easy choice. This game will easily get plenty of play on my 7800 and it's always great to see an original for the 7800.

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