Championship Videogaming

Mario Bros.

To the Editors:

Your article on Mario Bros. in the October issue was great, but I believe there are a few more things worth mentioning.

First, the two types of fireballs, orange and white. There is always only one orange fireball on screen at a time. It will appear at the very top and center of the screen. Hitting the floor under the fireball while it is touching the floor will wipe out the orange fireball, as you said, and it will award you a thousand points, but as soon as it reappeaars, it will move around the screen faster than before, and sometimes it is too fast to outrun from a standing start.

The white fireball will usually not appear until the sixth or seventh screen unless you spend alot of time on one screen. The white fireballs will always appear on the level you happen to be standing on, and always start at the end of the screen farthest away from you. It is very dangerous to try to jump a white fireball, as it tends to move straight for a couple of inches on the screen, then quickly rise into the air, usually hitting your player in the process. On higher screens, screen ten and above, there can be two of these onscreen at the same time. Hitting the floor while these fireballs are touching it awards two hundred points. The white fireballs never accelerate.

Also, as you said, there are three pows per pow block, but you will get a fresh new pow block after bonus screen eight, fifteen and twenty two (and even more for higher levels).

After screen eight you get slipices—triangular blocks of ice which cannot be touched. These will stop in the middle of a platform and freeze it, making it very slippery. They can be destroyed by hitting the floor under them. They don’t flip over, they just disappear.

One good way to rack up points is to kick off overturned pests in rapid succession. Two pests, side by side and overturned, can be kicked for 800, then 1600 points. If there is a third pest nearby, keep running and kick it; it will be worth 2400 points. The next one is worth 3200, and so on. Also, there is a surprise addition to the game, beginning with screen sixteen…but I won’t reveal it.

Good luck!

Bob Cusolito
Tewksbury, MA


To the Editors:

On the beginning levels it’s best to fly around to kill your foes, but on later levels, stay close to the ground. If you are playing a one player game play defensively, on a two player game you will have to go out and be aggressive. Stay away from the dragon, it’s worth a lot of points to get him, but it’s not worth losing your life over. Pick up the green balls, because not only are they worth points, if you don’t they will reform into stronger enemies.

Ron Jeffries
Bridgeport, CT

Swords & Serpents>

To the Editors:

I have found a way to get into the serpent’s lair in Swords & Serpents without the aid of the wizard.

All you do is go to the lower right hand corner of the lair and position the prince so he is heading into the corner at an angle. Once the prince is positioned just so (practice will make it perfect), he will go through the walls of the lair, and into it! Note: you must keep the disc pressed in the same place until the prince is inside the lair, or he will be pushed back out.

I have also found a secret message in Imagic’s Truckin’. To find it, drive north on 101 until you reach San Jose, California (SJ). Now SJ is not on the map, nor is Santa Cruz. When you reach SJ, turn left off of 101. You will now be driving down highway 9 heading west. Now, highway 9 is not on the map either. After this, you will arrive in an imaginary city, RL, which also happen to be the designer’s initials. You will find an Imagic sign at the end of the road.

In fact, there is a highway 9, between San Jose and Santa Cruz, and it runs alongside Imagic’s headquarters in Los Gatos. Nice job, Richard Levine!

Paul Nurimen
El Segundo, CA

Time Pilot

To the Editors:

Here are some timely tips on Time Pilot. On all levels, concentrate your firepower on the large aircraft (blimps, bombers) as they offer the _ largest amount of points. They’re tough to kill, and will require several bursts. Attack them from all sides, as you loop around them. To cover the greatest amount of territory, fly on an angle (to the top left or right bottom of screen).

Tom Smith
Boston, MA.


This is not a best-seller list, although sales are taken into account. Rather, it is an unscientific list of the ten most popular games of October, assembled on the basis of interviews by phone and in person. VCI spoke to retailers, players buying games from those retailers, and players in arcades to get a sense of which games are being borrowed, purchased and played.

1. Q*Bert. Parker Brothers got it right this time with simultaneous releases for the 2600, ColecoVision and Intellivision…and a joyous game to play.

2. Enduro. 2600-only, Activision gets the checkered flag over Atari.

3. Ms. Pac-Man. The Pac phenomenon rolls and chomps on, inexplicably. 2600-only

4. Pole Position. In both a 2600 and 5200 version, this one rides the coattails of the continuing arcade smash.

5. BurgerTime. Intellivision and 2600. Fun, fun, fun. Note that the top five contain no blasting or destroying. Devouring, smashing and falling, yes, but…

6. Centipede. 5200 and 2600, has been a strong seller for a long time. Cannot be squashed.

7. Mr. Do! Brand new, starved ColecoVision owners pounce.

8. Time Pilot. The arcade game hangs on, and this ColecoVision offering premieres strongly.

9. Decathlon. Surprisingly favorable press reaction to this 2600 trial, look for it to cramp and die.

10. Jungle Hunt. Boulder and boulder, clings to 2600 popularity.

Bubbling near the top: Robot Tank, River Raid, Miner 2049er, Looping, Frogger…and Intellivision version breathes new life into Pitfall.


Roving reporter Bob Sodaro visited local arcades and elicited the following strategy tips:

Star Wars

Shoot all the little things, and get the hell out of the way.

Terry O’Connor


Joggle the joystick back and forth to get nasties to move into your line of fire. If using Warp Zone, make sure that the other end is clear before entering. When you are being attacked, try to keep your back protected so they don’t sneak up on you.

Tina Martin


First clear all of the blocks out of the way so you can maneuver better. Try to push all of the diamond blocks together, so you can get a higher score. You can electrocute the Snobees by getting them to touch the outside wall and then kicking it, only you can get caught yourself because it is hard to get away from them at this point.

Sarah Leibowitz
Samantha Farber


The most important thing to do is to quickly destroy the center satellite as soon as it, and its two blue companions, appear…this doubles your firepower and increases your survival time.

J.P. McClernan

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