Xevious

Name:
Xevious
Company: Atari
Model #:
CX-7810
Programmer:
Tom Flaherty (GCC)
Year: 1988
Released?
Yes
Notes:
Port of the 1982 Namco Coin-Op

 

It's dangerous, it's devious, it's Xevious.  Never before has a tag line so perfectly summed up a video game.  Xevious was one of the first (if not the first) in a new genre of arcade games: the scrolling shooter.  While we make take such games for granted today, back in 1982 such a concept was unheard of.  Most games of the time had only one non-scrolling screen, which seriously limited their creativity.  One screen shooters like Galaga and Galaxian were ok, but players hungered for something different.  Xevious satisfied that hunger.

 

It's a nightmare, but it's true.  Scientific research has determined that we are the actual aliens on Earth and the evil Xevions are the original inhabitants.  Now the Xevions want Earth back. minus the humans! Earth's last hope is an experimental fighter plane known as the Solvalou.  The mission is dangerous, success isn't guaranteed, and odds are this is a one-way trip.  But at this point it's do or die!

 

As Earth's last hope, you must successfully defeat the Xevion assault fleet before they reclaim earth.  However this won't be an easy task, the Xevions have had over a millennia to develop the biggest, nastiest, and most destructive ships Earth has ever seen.  Thankfully the Solvalou is armed with the latest in weapons technology which will cut through the Xevion hordes like a hot knife through butter.  The Solvalou has two main weapons, a laser blaster for taking out air targets, and a photon bomber for destroying ground targets.  Over the course of the game you'll run into numerous enemy types which can only be destroyed using the appropriate weapon, so mastering the dual shot (air and ground) technique is vital.

 

Air targets come in the form of enemy ships.  There are a wide variety of ships, each with their own unique attack patterns and personalities:

Toroid Fleet Ships These round rotating objects are the first and most common enemy encountered in Xevious.  Gliding in from the left or right, a small squad of Toroids will stop in front of your ship, fire, and quickly retreat in the direction they came.  Thankfully Toroids are quite slow and don't pose much of a threat unless you happen to be distracted by something else at the time.
Torkan Scout Ships Torkan Scouts are similar to Toroids except they move much quicker and fly in from the top of the screen at different angles, then stops and releases a single shot before zooming even more quickly away from whence it came.
Zoshi Death Squads These odd shaped ufo's move in erratic patterns around the screen.  As their name suggests, Zoshi Death Squads are quick and deadly.  Take great care when attempting to engage them as it would be a very bad idea to let one or more get behind you.
Terazzi Deflector This oblong diamond-shaped ship has the ability to zoom quickly in and hover in place long enough to rapidly fire shots at you before evading and escaping.
Giddo Spario (Energy Blast) These tiny white balls of energy are fast and hard to see.  Unless you're careful a swarm of these will wipe your ship out in no time.  Take these kamikaze bastards out as quick as possible.

Zakato Energy Launcher (Black Ball)

Black Balls (also known as 8-Balls) are on of the deadliest enemies in Xevious.  Appearing out of nowhere, Black Balls self-destruct into a fast moving bullet which will then launch itself at you.  While one or two are easy to avoid, Black Balls like to swarm and appear right next to your ship making them all the more deadly.  Black Balls tend to herald the arrival of Andor Genesis, so when they start to appear you know Andor isn't far behind.

Mirrors (Bacura Shields)

Mirrors are the single most annoying enemy in Xevious.  These large rotating squares appear in large swarms at various points in the game.  Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but they are INDESTRUCTABLE!  That's right, all you can do is avoid them and hope one doesn't go smashing into your cockpit.  Thankfully Mirror swarms are fairly uncommon.
Andor Genesis This is the big one, the Mother Ship!  Andor Genesis is a hulking air fortress armed with four laser cannons just dying to blow you out of the sky.  The only way to defeat Andor Genesis is with a direct hit on the rector core with a photon bomb (think Star Wars), however getting close enough to Andor Genesis without being hit is a major challenge.  Destroying the rector will cause Andor Genesis will cause it to flee and prepare itself for another attack.

 

Ground targets are mostly optional since they pose far less danger than air targets.  Using the targeting computer (projected in front of the ship), you can carefully take out all those annoying defense stations scattered throughout the landscape.  Also note that your targeting computer will light up when a hidden citadel is detected.

Grobda Tank Grobda Tanks are a little craftier than the Domogram Rovers.  These tanks sit motionless until fired upon, one your bomb is dropped they will suddenly lurch forward or backward out of harms way.  Grobda Tanks are completely harmless and never shoot at your ship.
Logram Sphere Station Sphere Stations are the most common defensive structure that you'll encounter.  These small purplish domes will occasionally shoot a quick moving energy bullet at your ship.  Take them out quickly before they become a problem.
Boza Logram Dome Network No this isn't a TV station, these large cross structures contain four Sphere Stations surrounded by a central core.  A direct hit on the core will take out the whole structure and earn you big bonus points.
Derota Defense Station These nasty little structures are similar to Logram Sphere Stations except they fire a continuous stream of bullets at your ship.  Take these stations out ASAP or you'll find yourself in a whole world of trouble.
Garu Derota Mega Station The name says it all, these large structures are a supercharged version of the Derota Defense Station and shoot twice as fast.  Use extreme caution when attempting to bomb them.
Barra Energy Station These square pyramid shaped structures provide power for the Xevion assault fleet. Barra Energy Stations have absolutely no defenses and are completely harmless.  Take them out only when you're not under heavy attack.
Zolbak Detector Dome These round shaped structures resemble exhaust ports.  Like Barra Energy Stations, Zolbak Domes are completely harmless.  Take them out for extra points.
Sol Citadels Sol Citadels are special hidden structures which can only be detected by your targeting computer.  When your target lights up, a Citadel is hidden directly below it. Bombing a Citadel will cause it to rise out of the ground and allow you to bomb it again (this time destroying it).  Sol Citadels are hard to find, but are worth big points if you can destroy them.

 

With its large amount of enemies, Xevious is a most impressive game.  The Atari 7800 version is a great effort to bring the arcade magic home.  The graphics are sharp and well done and show off the 7800's color pallet nicely.  The sound effects are pretty much the same as the arcade game, but sound a tad fuzzy for some reason.  Another nice feature of the 7800 version is that even when there are tons of enemies on the screen there is absolutely no slowdown.  Xevious shows just how the 7800 could do a decent arcade to home conversion when the programmer put their mind to it (so what the heck happened with Hat Trick?).

 

 

Version Cart Text Description
8/10/84 Xevious Late stage WIP

 

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