|Dave Staugas (Programmer), Jerome Domurat
(Graphics), Robert Vieira & Andrew Fuchs (Sound)
||"DAVE STAUGAS LOVES
BEATRICE HABLIG" is hidden three times in the game code.
While not as successful as its predecessor Centipede,
Millipede is still a great game. Millipede added new
enemies and gameplay twists while keeping all the elements that
made the original Centipede one of the most popular games of all
time. However Millipede fell into what I like to call the
"Asteroids Deluxe" trap. With all the new "upgrades" that
Atari added to the game, it made it impossible for gamers to use
the same strategies that allowed them to play Centipede for
hours at a time. While this was good news for arcade
operators (the more often you die the more money they make),
gamers complained and abandoned Millipede in droves just like
they had with Asteroids Deluxe.
Millipede can best be described as Centipede Deluxe (which was
its original name). The basic game is the same, but many
improvements were made. The first major change was the
addition of DDT bombs, which are scattered around the screen. When
shot these bombs form a deadly poison cloud, which will kill any
enemy that touches it. Wise use of the DDT bombs can make
life much easier, especially on the higher levels. Another
significant change was the introduction of new enemies: Beetles,
Mosquitoes, Earwigs, Inchworms, Bees, and Dragonflies all make
their first appearance in Millipede. Many of these new
insects are similar to their predecessors (Earwigs = Scorpions,
Beetles = Fleas, Millipedes = Centipedes), but some have entirely
new properties. For instance, Inchworms which slowly move
across the screen cause all enemies to slow down for a few seconds
when it's shot, Mosquitoes quickly dart down the screen in a
Kamikaze fashion, and Bees and Dragonflies like to randomly move
around the screen making them hard to hit.
Another new twist added to Millipede was the
"Swarm" stage. Every few boards you'll be swarmed by either
Mosquitoes, Dragonflies, or Bees. During these swarms large
numbers of enemies rapidly drop down the screen at random
angles. If your careful you can shoot them for big points,
but its best to just try and survive (not an easy task).
Swarm stages keep the game lively and tend to make even the
coolest player a bit flustered. Millipede also features a
stage select of sorts, which allows the player to start at a
certain score (the higher the score, the higher the starting
level). This feature is greatly appreciated by players who
mastered the lower levels and don't want to play through them
again to get to the challenging levels.
Did you know that both Atari and GCC created
versions of Millipede for the 2600? Atari had always
intended for its own internal developers to program Millipede, but
for some reason GCC decided that they would do one anyway despite
being told not to (probably in an attempt to prove they were the
better programming team). While the GCC version is
considered by some people to be the better version, Atari stuck
with its own people and never released the GCC version.
Rumor has it that Dave Staugas also made a harder version of
Millipede for his own private use, however this version has not
been found yet.
Millipede never received a fair shake in the
arcades, and was frowned upon by Centipede loyalists (mostly due
to the Asteroids Deluxe effect). While it may have been a
close call at the arcades, most players agree that Millipede was
definitely the more superior of the two on the home consoles.
Millipede is one of the better arcade to home translations
on the 2600, and well worthy of the 16K of space it takes up.
||Earlier version with minor
|Very late beta
to 2600 Software