Yars' Revenge!

Last Updated: 08/25/2003

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In a distant galaxy the civilization known as the Yars were attacked by the fierce Qotiles. Though badly damaged, the Yars' fought back using their mechanical ships that look like giant metal insects. The Qotiles have many laser cannons shielded behind celluliod barriers which are capable of destroying the Yars. It's up to you to control your Yar ships and dig your way through the shields and fire your powerful Zorlon Cannon into the Qotiles. The enemy is relentless; there are thousands of laser cannons surrounding the people of Yar, each one is capable of firing deadly energy swirls at the Yars. They are also protected with a destroyer missile that will constantly track you down and detonate your Yar ship. It's up to you to save the Yars, good luck!

Yars' Revenge was the most popular original-concept Atari game ever. It was released for the Atari 2600 in 1981, and programmed by Howard Scott Warshaw (The same man who wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark, and E.T.). It's a fast pace action game that will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time you're playing it. And it is certainly one of my favorite Atari games.

In Yars' Revenge you are the piolet of a Yar ship. The Yar system was attacked by the Qotiles and you are trying to stop them. The joystick controls your movement and the fire button shoots your cannon.


The Qotile's Laser Cannon is shielded behind a large group of red cells. Every other Qotile has a moving shield which makes it even more difficult to hit them. If you fire your small missiles into the cells it will destroy a small chunk of them. You can also fly up to the shield and bite off a cell. When you eat a cell you get energy to fire your Zorlon Cannon. The Zorlon Cannon is the only weapon in your aresenal capable of destroying the Qotile. The problem is that the Zorlon Cannon is so dangerous that it can also destroy you. You can also use the Zorlon Cannon to hits the shield but it will only destroy one cell.

The Qotiles have more defenses then just their shields. They also have a destroyer missile guarding every Qotile Laser Cannon. The missile relentlessly hunts you down and if it touches you your Yar ship will be destroyed.

As if that were not enough the Qotile's Laser Cannon has the ability to turn into a swirl of destructive energy and shoot out at you killing you if you are hit.

Luckily, there are a few things that will help you on your way. In the middle of the screen is a flickering and glittering field. This is the neutral zone. As long as you remain in it you are safe from the destroyer missile. However, you will be unable to shoot your weapon as well. This isn't a true safe heaven though, as the Qotile's swirls can still kill you, regardless of whether you're in the neutral zone.

Keep an eye on the Qotile's Laser Cannon. It pulsates different colors, when it turns red it will turn into an energy swirl. If timed right you'll never be surprised by the Qotiles.

As you progress in the game, the Qotiles get smarter and faster. Check the table below to see what happens.

Score Shield Laser Cannon
70,000 Blue Swirls triple in frequency. (Red, Blue, Green) Sometimes fire instantly.
150,000 Gray Swirls back to normal frequency, but they now change direction in mid-flight.
230,000 Pink Three swirls again, with mid-flight direction changes, and they sometimes fire instantly.

For added difficulty, the neutral zone has a tendancy to disappear after awhile into the game. It comes back eventually though.

It's better to never use your cannon until the later stages because you don't get as many points as when you bite the shield. Also, it's to your benefit to try and kill the Qotile when it's in swirl form in the air because you get a bonus Yar ship (easier said than done). Also, if you want to live longer stay near the edges of the screen (top and bottom) to better avoid the Qotile. This is a tactic you'll learn quickly when the Qotile starts changing direction in mid-air.

Action Points
Cell hit by missile 69
Cell devoured by Yar 69 + 100 bonus points
Qotile Destroyed 1000
Swirl destroyed in place 2000
Swirl destroyed in air 6000 + bonus ship

Winning? Oh, please! You want everything! There is no real way to beat Yars' Revenge (as with many older games). However, for a good stopping point, if you can reach 999,999 points consider yourself an expert (yes, it is possible). My personal highest score ever for this game is: 245,863.

Here is a Yars' Revenge Word Search.

www.thealmightyguru.com/theguru/projects/index.html - My re-make of the classic.
http://www.atariage.com/software_page.html?SoftwareLabelID=603 - Atari Age's Yars' Revenge Page. (Manual, ROM, etc.)
http://pw1.netcom.com/~hsw - Howard Scott Warshaw's web page.
www.flyingomelette.com/yars.html - A nice game review.
cgi.gamefaqs.com/boards/gentopic.asp?board=5376 - The Yars' Revenge GameFAQ's messageboard.
www.telegames.com/yars.htm - The Telegames page for Yars' Revenge on the GameBoy Color.
www.angelfire.com/games/gamegalore1/yars_revenge.htm - Yars' Revenge shockwave game. This is NOT the real game.


© Copyright 2002: Dean Tersigni. All rights reserved.