Original System: Atari 400/800
Also known as the game that sold more Atari 8-bit computers than any application program ever could. Star Raiders was so popular that Atari knew they had to have it on all their systems including both the Atari 2600 and 5200. While the 2600 required a separate keypad to map the Atari 400/800's keyboard controls, the Atari 5200 came with a keypad already on the controller. This allowed for players to quickly press keys without having to take their hands off the controller.
While the original Atari 400/800 version of Star Raiders
is considered by many to be the perfect game, some small
enhancements and bug fixes were made when it was ported to the
5200. First, the Atari 5200 version removes the game title
and copyright messages that are in the 400/800 version.
This is because the Atari 5200 already has a splash screen with
this information on it before the game starts.
Next the Atari 5200 version fixed the message for when the player was destroyed by an asteroid. In the original 400/800 version the game would always say "Star Cruiser 7 was destroyed by Zylon fire" no matter what killed you. The 5200 version simply says "Star Cruiser 7 was destroyed" when you die.
Another change made to the 5200 version was that the game
automatically switches to the Fore View when you warp from the
galactic chart. In the Atari 400/800 version you had to do
this manually which was somewhat annoying.
The Atari 5200 version has some minor graphical
enhancements to the galactic map. The Star Base icons have
had a hole put in the middle of them for some reason and the
icons for your current location and target location have been
updated from a dash and and a dot to a plus and a swarm of dots