Arcade / Atari, Inc. 1982


“Millipede” is an iconic arcade game developed and published by Atari, Inc. in 1982, serving as the sequel to the highly successful “Centipede.” In this fixed shooter game, players maneuver a small ship-like character at the bottom of the screen, tasked with destroying a millipede advancing through a field of mushrooms, along with other insects like spiders, earwigs, and beetles. The gameplay is notable for its increased complexity and faster pace compared to its predecessor, offering a challenging and engaging experience. The game features vibrant graphics and a nature-inspired theme, consistent with the aesthetic introduced in “Centipede.”

The development of “Millipede” was a direct response to the popularity of “Centipede.” Atari aimed to capitalize on the success of the original game while introducing new elements to enhance the gameplay. The development team, while preserving the core mechanics of “Centipede,” integrated additional enemies, more intricate movement patterns, and new gameplay features like DDT bombs to add depth and variety. This sequel was designed to cater to both fans of “Centipede” and new players, offering a fresh yet familiar arcade experience.

Upon its release, “Millipede” received positive reviews and enjoyed popularity in arcades, though it did not surpass the monumental success of “Centipede.” The game was praised for its challenging gameplay, improved graphics, and innovative additions to the original format. However, it faced stiff competition in a rapidly evolving arcade market, which perhaps limited its reach compared to its predecessor.

“Millipede” saw several adaptations for home gaming systems, including the Atari 2600 and Atari 5200, among others. These versions often featured alterations due to the hardware constraints of home consoles. The game has also been included in various Atari compilations for modern systems, ensuring its continued presence in the gaming world. It inspired other games in the shooter genre, though none directly replicated its unique blend of gameplay and design.

Regarding rarity and value, original “Millipede” arcade machines are considered collectibles, especially in good condition. The exact number of units produced is not widely documented, making it challenging to ascertain its rarity definitively. The value of an original “Millipede” arcade machine can vary significantly based on condition, working status, and originality of parts, with prices ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars in the collector’s market.

The hardware specifications of “Millipede” are reflective of the early 1980s arcade technology. Key components include a MOS 6502 CPU running at 1.512 MHz, a POKEY sound chip providing distinctive audio capabilities, and a standard resolution CRT monitor for display. The game utilized a trackball for player input, offering precise control. For repairs, essential parts include the CPU, sound chip, power supply, trackball assembly, control panel, and CRT monitor. Additionally, maintaining the game’s PCB (Printed Circuit Board) and addressing any wiring issues are crucial for functionality. Due to the age of these machines, finding replacement parts can be a challenge, often requiring sourcing from other decommissioned arcade machines or specialized suppliers.

Arcade Video Game Price and Field Guide:

Dedicated Upright, Cocktail, Conversion Kit
Genre: Shooter

Upright Dedicated (8,690 Manufactured)

Lower – 700
Average – 825
Higher – 1000

Upright “Euro Cabinet” Dedicated

Lower – 1250
Average – 1500
Higher – 2000

Upright Conversion

Lower – 625
Average – 800
Higher – 975

Cocktail (1,300 Manufactured)

Lower – 475
Average – 550
Higher – 775

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