ATARI(R) 7800(TM) Game Manual


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material after the date of publication and disclaims liability for
changes, errors, or omissions. Reproduction of this document or of
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Atari, the Atari logo, MeltDown, and 7800 are trademarks or
registered trademarks of Atari Corporation.

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Copyright © 1990, Atari Corporation
Sunnyvale, CA 94089-1302
All rights reserved

Donít panic! A gang of international terrorists has systematically set
about destroying the world. They have sabotaged a number of nuclear
reactors by unleashing a deadly string of Ďsparkxí that will break down
the protective control rods and make their way into the very core of each
reactor. If the sparkx reach the core, the end result will be a dreaded
MeltDown. It the terrorists are successful in their hideous plot, we can
kiss this world goodbye!

Only you stand between life as we know it and total annihilation. You are
armed with a specially engineered sparkx-destroying gun, a blueprint of
each reactor, your wits, and your desire to save the world. Get moving.
Thereís no time to lose!

1. With your 7800 game system switched off, insert the MeltDown cartridge
into the cartridge slot as described in your ownerís manual.

2. Connect a light gun to the left controller port. Press the POWER button
on your console.

3. Switch on your TV.

4. The MeltDown title screen displays. Press SELECT to choose number of
players (one or two players) and the difficulty level (Novice or Expert).
The Expert level contains faster and more numerous Sparkx. Pull the
light gun trigger to select the displayed options.

5. The Passkey screen displays. Begin play on level one by shooting the
word START. Begin play on a specific level by entering that levelís four
character passkey code. To enter a passkey code, shoot the arrows
above and below each character slot to display a higher or lower number.
Shoot the word START to begin on that level.

Note: The passkey screen displays a levelís four character passkey code
the first time you advance to that level. To begin play, shoot the word Start.

Optional Game Controls
The following optional game controls allow you to pause and restart the game:

 To pause the game press PAUSE. Repeat to resume play

 To return to the title screen and restart the game (during gameplay),
press RESET

MeltDown is a fast-action arcade game. The object of the game is to keep
deadly sparkx from eating away at the cores of twenty different nuclear
reactors. If you canít blast the sparkx before they chew up the reactor
cores, the result is a MeltDown!

The area surrounding each reactorís core is filled with radioactive matter.
Two protons rapidly circle the core. When the two protons intersect, sparkx are
released into the reactor. As many as 14 sparkx can be on screen at the same
time. You must shoot the sparkx quickly before they can damage the reactor core.

Inside the core of each reactor are eight or nine blue control rods
arranged in various geometric patterns. Each time a sparkx hits a control
rod, the rod sustains damage. These rods keep the walls of the reactor
from collapsing. If the rods are damaged, the reactor waIls begin to
collapse. If the rods are destroyed the walls collapse completely and the
entire reactor suffers a MeltDown. Use the light gun to shoot at the sparkx
as they bounce off the borders and control rods. When you destroy a sparkx
it will disappear. Be careful! A bad shot from you can damage the control rods.
If you place a shot outside the reactor core into the containment wall you
will also damage the reactor.

If you shoot and donít hit anything, a barrier will appear. The barrier
will function like a wall until it fades away. You can have up to four
barriers on screen at a time. The sparkx will rebound off the barriers,
so well-placed shots can reflect sparkx away from the control rods. In
addition to shooting sparkx and setting up barriers, you can also protect
the reactor core by using special protective Power Crystals and bonus blocks
found in each reactor. (See Power Crystals and Bonus Blocks.)

After a time the earth will suffer damage from reactor radiation. The
damage will result in increased seismic activity. The earthquakes will
further damage the control rods. Protected rods suffer less damage from
earthquakes. (See Protect Control Rod power crystal.)

Save all 20 reactors to win the game. If your score is higher than the lowest
score displayed on the high scores screen, the high scores initials screen
displays. Enter your initials to be displayed next to your high score. The
high scores screen will then display in demo mode. High scores are only
retained during the current play session. Once the game is switched off,
your high scores earned are erased.

Two MeltDown screens are important to actual game play. One is the Reactor
Statistics screen which lists information about each reactor. The other is
the Action screen, where game play takes place.

Reactor Statistics Screen
The Reactor Statistics screen appears whenever you advance to a new reactor.

 High Score displays the high score for the current play session.

 Reactor Blueprint displays a layout of the reactor. This helps you plan out
your attack before you begin play.

 Score displays your current score. The score is accumulated over the current
play session.

 Sparkx to Eliminate lists how many Sparkx you need to destroy to save the reactor.

Action Screen
 Control Rods provide the necessary protection to keep the reactors cool
and prevent potential MeltDowns. Each control rod can sustain five hits
before it is destroyed.

 Power Crystals displays the types of Power Crystals you will encounter in
the reactor.

 Protons move more quickly to make more sparkx when you destroy all the
sparkx currently in a reactor. This helps you finish the round more quickly
before the 5 earthquakes hit.

 Reactor Number displays the number of the reactor you are currently attempting
to save.

 Reactor Walls collapse in on the reactor core when the reactor rods sustain damage.

 Score lists your current score.

 Sparkx Remaining lists the number of sparkx still to be destroyed before the
reactor is saved.

In addition to deadly Sparkx, other items can be found in reactors. These
items can help you in your fight to rid each reactor from Sparkx.

Sparkx are the deadly invaders that threaten power plants with devastating
meltdown. Shoot Sparkx to destroy them.

Container Sparkx open every round of play. Container Sparkx can float into
the reactor from various points. If they hit the reactor wall, a control rod,
or one of your shots, they will burst into six different Bounder Sparkx,
which will bounce all over the playing field. Then you must corner and destroy
all six Bounder Sparkx!

Bounder Sparkx are the most common type of sparkx. These tiny sparkx bounce
off the different elements within the reactor and off the reactor itself,
inflicting damage wherever they hit.

Exploding Sparkx are very deadly. These sparkx slowly change color from blue
to red. If you blast an exploding sparkx while it is still blue, the energy
is absorbed. If you hit one of these sparkx after it has changed to red, it
sends particles flying in four directions, away from the point of impact.

Expanding Sparkx require five hits to destroy, and they expand slightly each
time they are hit. These sparkx are slightly more damaging it they hit the
reactorís wall after they have expanded.

Quick Sparkx also require five hits to destroy, but they increase in speed
rather than size with each hit,

Note:	Red sparkx are more damaging than blue sparkx.

Power Crystals
Power Crystals are identified by a single letter or number (shown in parenthesis
after the name of each Power Crystal). Shoot a Power Crystal icon release its
special power. The special power of the shot crystal will remain in effect until
you finish that reactor level. The single exception is Control Rod Repair.

Big Shot (B) doubles the size of your shotís barrier for that round. This is
especially helpful in creating blocks around sparkx and around the control rods.

2 Extra Shots (2) allows you to place up to six barriers, instead of the usual four.

Continuous Shot (C) allows you to shoot continuously-- a real finger saver!

Freeze (F) causes everything inside the reactor to slow and then freeze for
a short time, before thawing and resuming full speed.

Killer Barriers (K) are deadly to sparkx. Instead of bouncing oft the barriers
left by missed shots, sparkx running into Killer Barriers are destroyed.

Control Rod Repair (R) repairs some of the damage done to the control rods
in that round.

Protect Control Rods (P) puts a series of indestructible barriers around each
of the control rods for the duration of the round.

Double Points (D) bonus doubles the point value for each item you have eliminated.

Bonus Blocks
Bonus Blocks are impervious to sparkx damage. A bonus block appears at
random locations within the reactor whenever you temporarily eliminate
all the sparkx from the reactor before the next sparkx is released. The block
remains in position for a short time and then disappears.

Use the Freeze Power Crystal as often as you can. Destroy frozen sparkx before
they thaw.

Hit the sparkx as soon as they appear. The earlier you destroy sparkx, the
less damage they cause.

Learn to protect control rods by surrounding them with barriers. Protected
control rods suffer less damage from sparkx and earthquakes.

 Container Sparkx...........................10 points
 Bounder Sparkx.............................20 points
 Exploding Sparkx...........................40 points
 Exploded Sparkx Particles..................40 points
 Expanding Sparkx
      (The first 1 to 4 hits)...........10 points/hit
      (The fifth and final hit).............50 points
 Quick Sparkx
      (The first 1 to 4 hits)...........10 points/hit
      (The fifth and final hit).............50 points
 Sparkx hitting barriers......................1 point

Bonus Blocks are worth 100 points for the first block, and 100 additional
points for subsequent blocks. For example, your first block is worth 100 points,
but your fourth block is worth 400 points. If you miss a block, the block point
value drops back to 100 points.

Shooting a Double Points power crystal doubles all earned points from bonus blocks.

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Copyright © 1990, Atari Corporation
Sunnyvale, CA 94089-1302
All rights reserved.

Printed in Hong Kong.    G.C.11.1990     C300018-075 Rev. A

This document scanned and edited by Mitchell Orman