Starting the Journey

Preface by Twin Galaxies legend, Walter Day-

Of all games of the Golden Age, to me Robotron was the perfect game — the game that challenged “fast-reaction-time,”  “eye-hand-coordination,” “mind-body-coordination” and “deep comprehensive thinking.” The gamer need to have all these facets completely developed or they would not survive very long in the gameplay. And, the champions were the ones who could clearly understand the dynamics on the screen at a deeper, more intuitive level, than their less-gifted counterparts. To survive, you had to instantaneously recognize the “next-best-maneuver” in order to move from screen to screen without losing your man. This “deep-thinking” was even rare among champion Robotron players.  -5/29/2012

Believe in yourself and family comes first

  • Robotron is a fast paced game where the player moves around a rectangular play field with the left joystick.  Movement is in 8 directions- horizontal, vertical, and diagonals.
  • The right joystick controls blaster firing which is also 8 directions.
  • Your game starts with 3 lives and a bonus life is awarded every 25,000 points.

Risk vs. Reward-

  • Humans, nicknamed Mikey’s, are provided on each screen which enhances the motivation to risk your life for reward of bonus points.
  • First human is 1000, second is 2000, third is 3000, fourth is 4000, then fifth human and beyond is 5000.
  • The risk is- when you die on a screen, the human bonus points start back to 1000.
  • Risk vs reward is the underlying theme of the whole game (same psychology as gambling)  If you aren’t ready to become slightly obsessed with the addiction of robotron, stop reading now.

Know thy enemy-  Similar to chess, the game is populated with enemies that each have unique strengths and weaknesses.

Grunts–  Strength in numbers

  • They will move toward you no matter where you are like a magnet.
  • The weakness is- you can circle and herd them like sheep.
  • Click HERE to learn more about Grunts, or click HERE for wave Walkthroughs


  • These are stationary inanimate objects that just get in your way.  So it’s good to throw in random shots to get rid of them if you see they are going to be in your future path of movement.
  • An advantage is that they are deadly to grunts too.

Hulks– relentless and oversized lummoxes

  • They walk mindlessly and get in your way.  If you stay in one area too long they will block you in.
  • The weakness is- they have to take a 90 degree turn every so often, they can’t stay moving in a straight line.  You will usually have an exit path away from them if you are patient.
  • Click HERE to learn more about Hulks, or click HERE for wave Walkthroughs

Enforcers– Power of tenacity

  • Get to know this enemy as you will face it on every screen and most of your deaths will come from this attacker.
  • Their strength is- they are constantly zeroing in shots at your present location. Unrelenting onslaught of shots being fired at you.
  • The weakness is- they can’t predict where you are going, so you can circle back and stay a step ahead of the barrage.
  • Enforcers are spawned from Spheroids, so it is wise to shoot the Spheroids before they generate a batch of Enforcers.
  • Click HERE to learn more about Enforcers, or click HERE for wave Walkthroughs

Tanks–  Power of prediction

  • These are a lethal opponent and will take the most time to master.
  • But once you have a good intuitive feel for angles and trajectories, this enemy won’t seem as wicked as they will during your training.
  • Tanks will provide you a short time to start moving on the screen.
  • Although, they are thinking the whole time you are moving, trying to predict your velocity.  They will send out bouncing shots of varying speed and direction, intended to box you in.  (think of the double bank shot with a pool ball in the game of billiards)
  • Where MIGHT you end up, is what they’ll concern themselves with.  And it’ll be amazingly frustrating that the game is SO GOOD at predicting your path of movement.
  • The weakness is- you have some time to pick them off when they aren’t shooting.  And with proper movement strategies, you’ll render them quite ineffective at their game of prediction.
  • Tanks are spawned from Quarks, so try to shoot the Quarks before they generate many Tanks.
  • Click HERE to learn more about Tanks, or click HERE for wave Walkthroughs

Brains– Power of suggestion

  • This enemy is the one enemy which will keep you from full mastery of the game, and the most potent enemy to anyone that can play the game for extended periods of time.
  • Don’t be fooled, they are rather lazy and move really slow.  But they use their resources well!
  • They will shoot fast zig-zaggy lightning bolts (cruise missiles) at you, which will keep you on the run.
  • Plus they will capture any nearby humans to turn them into “Progs” that mindlessly race toward you.
  • The ultimate weakness is- they are fixated on capturing humans, meaning you can position yourself and kill them in groups at one time.
  • Reducing their ability to capture humans, and neutralizing the lightning bolts with good firing technique will allow you to regain the offense on the tricky Brain waves that appear every 5 waves.
  • Click HERE to learn more about Brains, or click HERE for wave Walkthroughs

Gregg from ArcadeImpossible visiting Underground Retrocade



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