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Video Games
January 1983
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Millipede by Atari (Arcade)

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Advertisement for the Millipede arcade game by Atari from the January 1983 issue of Video Games

Millipede, while a sequel, is still an arcade classic. It was released in 1982, two years after its predecessor Centipede. Both games are very similar. I centipede/millipede makes its way down from the top of the screen zigzagging back and forth between mushrooms. The player shoots at it from the bottom of the screen attempting to destroy it before it gets to you. As you shoot it, it breaks up into multiple segments that independently move across the screen. Meanwhile, other insects come along tying to kill you in various other patterns. Millipede is much the same as centipede just with more variety.

Millipede didn’t really make it to that many contemporary platforms. It was released for the Atari 2600 as well as Atari 8-bit computers. It also later made it to the Atari ST and Nintendo Entertainment System. But that was it. Other contemporary computers like the Commodore 64 and Apple II as well as other game systems all missed out on this one when it was first released. An Atari 5200 port was completed (identical to the Atari 8-bit version) but it was never released. Eventually, a few later systems did get re-releases of this game. A Game Boy version was released along with Centipede as part of Arcade Classics #2 in 1995. A couple of years later in 1997 it was released as part of Arcade’s Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection 2 for the PlayStation. Nearly a decade later in 2005 both the Atari 2600 version and arcade versions were released as part of the Atari Anthology for the Xbox and PlayStation 2. It also became available via Xbox Live Arcade for the Xbox 360 in 2007.

As far as the original ports, the Atari 8-bit version is definitely the best. Any of the ports after the Game Boy port are either arcade perfect or close to it. Of course, the best way to play for the purist is to find an original arcade machine or emulate it using MAME. You need a trackball controller if you want to play it right in any case.

The ad at the top is for the original arcade version and is from the January 1983 issue of Video Games magazine.



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