18. Space Invaders

Space Invaders (1982, Atari 5200) by Taito

Current 5200 Points Leaderboard (speedrun.com)

Space Invaders
-Super Breakout
-Pole Position

(Note: for this themed episode, I only considered games for the Atari 5200)

The Atari 5200.  Oh dear.

As a video game collector, I typically try to play every single AVGN Trials game on real hardware every time (and on real cartridge or disc/disk when applicable).  There’s something about the experience, the way it was intended, that appeals to me.  Unfortunately, the 5200 is both rare AND unreliable, and I do not own one.  Rather than hunt one down and repair it just for this trial, I just emulated this run on Kat5200.  It went well and played perfectly!

Space Invaders needs no introduction, if you’re here.  If you haven’t played or seen it, go!  It’s a classic, and a ton of fun!  The haters said “Space Invaders cannot be speedran!” but here we go.  I was able to create a category that is both challenging, fun, and frantic.

Certain enemies give more points when they change color.  You need to reach that stage and kill them as quickly as you can, before they change color back.  This not only gets you more points but cuts down on the waiting between cycles.  This is a category that I could certainly see gain traction with the right folks pushing it.

The game itself is a faithful port.  This was my first (and as of now, my only) 5200 experience, and it wasn’t too bad, but I’m sure there’s better ways to play Space Invaders out there.  Still, if you are looking for an obscure game to speedrun, check this out!

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