Robo-Race to 1 Million on Atari 5200 – Hashtag TheWorstPortOf TheBunchGetsTheMostLove

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History- Twin Galaxies arcade (TG) started up in 1981, and by 1982 it was tracking video game scores for any and all game players who knew about it.  Score lists were posted in the back of video game magazines which were the competitive fodder for a generation.

By the turn of the 2000’s, TG was an online entity and once again taking in scores for the “International Scoreboard.”  A highlight for TG came in 2011 as Walter Day hosted a 30th anniversary party in Ottumwa, IA.  Unfortunately, that also marked a time of change for the organization.  And in 2012 TG was turned over to a bar in Colorado where the focus was on promoting a Donkey Kong competition in the late fall.  The end of that event also marked the closing of the TG doors.

Shortly afterwards, Jace Hall from Hollywood, CA acquired TG and completely revamped the score submission process for the TGIS…bringing an antiquated system to modern ages and beyond.  January 2015 was a glorious moment where the lights came back on for the scoreboard, an automated voting submission was implemented where users could post score submissions online, then the community could vote accept/reject.  A level of public scrutiny for score submissions which allows a high level of accuracy in the gaming accomplishments by the TG community.  Guinness took note and jumped back onboard to support and recognize TG as a leader in recognition of gaming accomplishments.  Thus the Twin Galaxies Score Adjudication Process (TGSAP) was alive and healthy again!

One key aspect of TG past was the competitive nature of Robotron: 2084 in the arcade.  The game was ported to the Atari 5200 home console by 1983.  A port that is fun but nothing in accuracy like the later Atari 7800 port a number of years later.  But accuracy to the arcade does not need to equate to competitive fun when it comes to home console gaming, now does it.

Taking a look at the TG scoreboard for Atari 5200, it was noted that the top score for Robo was in the 400k range by Michael Ferguson.  A score track that hadn’t seen action since the early days of the online iteration of TG!

  • 76k, Stephen Knox , May 2001
  • 57k, Greg Troutman, Jun 2004
  • 53k, Ron Corcoran, May 2001
  • 44k, Alan Hewston, Aug 2001

So your author did some research, found a console on ebay, and checked the game out.  Man, those analog controllers are a bear to control on a game of accuracy such as Robotron’s dual stick setup for moving the player and firing at the robots!  But a decent score was obtained on video and a submission was entered, a mere 512k at 40 waves.

Then what happened was quite impressive to a fan of Robo competition.  The past champion wasn’t to be outdone and submitted a new high score at 559k! Awesome!

And the arcade crowd took notice, with David Gomez, fresh off a 150million point gauntlet win at TGLive, stepped into the fray.  What you see below is the back and forth growth of scores.

Leaving the ultimate question….who will be the first to record a 10 million point game on this cult classic?????

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