First there was Space Invaders, and then there was Asteroids. Apparently outer space was not a very friendly realm in the eyes of software developers back in the day.

Then in 1980, the battleground shifted to, well… the ground. When Centipede first arrived, we noticed two things right-off. First– there wasn’t an alien in site. No rockets, no missiles, no byoo-byoo! sound as you fired.

The second thing?Where the heck’s the joystick?? And what’s this ball-lookin’ thingy?

Yes, friends, Centipede introduced us to the brave new world of the track ball. And, oh, what a wonderful world it was. Suddenly we could zip-zap all over the screen with unparalleled ease! And with all those spiders flying around, not to mention the slugs, fleas, and scorpoins, well heck, we needed all the help we could get.

Centipede began with a 12-segment long centipede scrambling down at you from the top of the screen. Hit it, and that segment transforms into a mushroom, and the ‘pede itself splits into two smaller ‘pedes. To make it a little easier for you to succeed, you had free range of motion up, down, left, right, diagonally, and sure, while you were only able to move about 1/4 of the way up the board, it was a heck of a lot better than just sitting there in Space Invaders going back and forth like some duck in a carnival game.

But the best part of Centipede had to be the sound effects. Any time you walked into an arcade and heard what sounded like a combo of someone shooting little blasts of compressed air while munching popcorn, well, you knew Centipede was in the house.

We ♥ Centipede.



~ by weheart80s on April 12, 2011.

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