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  Battlezone Horizone


Morphing Cabinets

Game Stats

  • Upright: November 1980
  • Cocktail: December 1980
  • Open Face: June 1981
Notes: B/W XY Horizontal 1 Player. Atari's first polygon based game. A special military version (see below) was built for the Army Red Baron games used Battlezone cabinets with some slight modification.

Game Description

Battlezone is first-person view from inside of a tank. Battles are fought within a large valley surrounded by mountains and volcanoes (Volcanos courtesy of Owen Rubin). There are "pyramids" and "boxes" that can provide shelter. The Enemies include slow and fast "super" tanks and intelligent missiles. Flying saucers also appear but do not attack, they are worth higher point values. There is a radar screen at the top center of the display showing current enemy positions. The player actually looks through a plastic viewfinder that is mounted to the front of the game, this makes the game much more realistic as well. The cabaret version of Battlezone did not have the viewfinder. It is not possible to reach the mountains :-(
The Battlezone cabinet is very tall and bulky, but solidly built, an Atari trademark. The PC boards consists of a CPU board and an Auxiliary "Math Box" board. The divider chips and the PROMS on the Aux. PCB have the habit of forming bad connections in their sockets which make the majority of Battlezone boards that I have seen "seem" bad when a simple cleaning does the trick!!
Prototype Battlezone Marquee Before "Battlezone" was the decided game name, there were a couple of other possibilities..."Future Tank" was one of them. Here is some info from an ex-atari employee.
"I believe the working title *was* "Future Tank". There couldn't have been more than two or three made under that name. By the time we got to AMOA (Amusement and Music Operators Association - the main trade show) it had been given its final name. At one time it looked like it was going to be called "Moon Tank", so when I was told to put some vectors together for a planet, I looked in my Almanac and did a crude picture of the East coast of Australia." -former Atari Employee (information and picture courtesy of Travis Haagen)

PLUS.. If you are looking to improve your gameplay, read Doug Jeffrey's tips on how to beat Battlezone. Army Battlezone

Army Battlezone

This has been a hot topic lately and I stumbled across this rendition (with the help of Ian Boffin) on The Atari Gaming Headquarter's hompage. Hopefully soon I will have a chance to see a real one, I will report more details at that time.

Repro Stuff!!

  • Tom W. has made repro Joystick Bellows!!


    Battlezone Pinouts
    Zipped ROM Images: This includes the mathbox
    Battlezone Self Test Errors
    Battlezone DIP Switch Settings

    Picture Gallery

    Battlezone Flyer: Front Battlezone Flyer: Back

    Go back to the Atari Vector Page

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