Missile Command: Trak-Ball - Atari 2600



Controller Type:  CX-80        CX-22        Amiga Mouse      
TV Type:  NTSC        PAL      

Thomas Jentzsch is at it again and this time he has created a versions of Atari's Missile Command that work with the Atari CX-80 Trak-Ball, CX-22 Trak-Ball, Atari ST Mouse and Amiga Mouse. This allows you to play Missile Command for the 2600 that is more faithful to the original arcade version, which also utilizes a Trak-Ball controller. Here is the list of major changes to this version:

  • Trak-Ball/Mouse instead of Joystick support
  • Different Trak-Ball/Mouse speeds (normal, fast, kid)
  • New variations that allow two-player games with one Trak-Ball/Mouse
  • Very slightly changed font to better match arcade version

This version of Missile Command TB comes complete with a professionally printed label with artwork modified from the original cartridge.

NOTE: Some Atari CX-80 trak-balls behave as a CX-22 trak-ball instead. These CX-80s require the CX-22 version of Missile Command TB. Unfortunately there is no way to tell these two different versions apart on the outside. However, the CX-80 trak-ball will function as an Atari ST mouse (if you happen to have an Atari ST). If you purchase the CX-80 version of the cartridge and you end up needing the CX-22 version, we will gladly exchange the cartridge for you.

Original Game Missile Command
Hacked By Thomas Jentzsch
Number of Players 2
Controller CX-22 and CX-80 Trak-Ball Controllers, ST and Amiga Mice
Cartridge Size 4K
Label Design Dale Crum

Marc Dussault on 10/04/2010 09:02pm
This trackball version is awesome! At last we can play missile command the way it plays in the arcade with more accuracy, speed and confort compare to the frustrating joystick version. Now it's more enjoyable because the trackball allows us to concentrate only of what happens on the screen due to better control respond. The option of 2 payers playing with just one trackball is a great addition. If you don't own missile command TB buy it immediately even if you have the regular version. A 7800 version with improved graphics would be nice.
Nathan Strum on 07/11/2009 04:18am
The underlying question of a hack is: does it improve the game enough to make it worth buying again, if you already own the original? With Missile Command TB (for use with the Atari Trak-Ball) the answer is "yes". The arcade version of Missile Command used a Trak-Ball to aim with, but the 2600's joystick control always fell short. Missile Command TB solves this by bringing Trak-Ball control home.

Prior to this hack, you could already plug in a Trak-Ball and use it with the 2600 version of Missile Command, but it wasn't true analog control with variable speed and direction. Instead, it simply reproduced the eight directions and one speed of a joystick, no matter how the ball was rolled. But now Missile Command TB allows you to switch the Trak-Ball from Joystick mode to true Trak-Ball mode, and gain full analog control over the aiming cursor. Speed, direction and distance all respond exactly the way they should. This really transforms what was already an excellent game into a much more satisfying arcade-like experience, giving you incredibly responsive and precise control. There were no instructions included with Missile Command TB on how to select different Trak-Ball speeds, or choose any other game options, so you'll need to go online somewhere and dig that up. Still, not only is this hack worth buying, it's worth buying a Trak-Ball for, too.
Chris Johnson on 09/30/2003 06:19am
I finally got around to digging out my Amiga mouse for my recently purchased Missile Command AM cart. Wow. It's so much more enjoyable. The gameplay instantly better matches the arcade and other versions that use either a mouse or trackball. No more dragging the cursor across the screen desperately trying to get to the right spot to fire a missile at. Now it's purely working out where that right spot is. Thanks be to Thomas.

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