Robotron’s Extra Life Bonanza

  • Watch the Bonanaza at 99,975,000! Youtube
  • Happens at 99,975,000 using a 25K bonus life setting.
  • Happens at 99,980,000 using a 20K bonus life setting.
  • Happens at 99,950,000 using a 50K bonus life setting.

History- Defender had a unique “feature” at 999,990k after the player had played about 50 minutes where each item hit scored an extra life, but after the score went back to 0, the player had to pay back those bonus lives by scoring proper points to cover the deficit.  It is explained in detail by Don Hodges HERE or by Larry DeMar HERE

On the weekend of January 3rd, 2014, Ken House was the first person in documented competition to reach 100 million points on 1 single credit on Robotron: 2084 (Details of the Gauntlet are HERE) which can be replayed on TwitchTV HERE. Taking 23 hours and 12 minutes of non-stop effort!!!!!!

What the challenge DISCOVERED…. for the first time in 32 years of Robotron 2084 being played, Robotron too has an extra life Bonanza or “Goldilocks zone.”  As a result one of the original Vid Kidz and programmer Larry DeMar provided some commentary as seen below.

SUMMARY- all of the players who believed they “beat” Robotron by rolling the score at 9,999,975 in the past, did NOT actually roll the internal counter in Robotron.  The joke is on the players annnnnddddddd…….The Robotrons win again!!!!!!!!!!!

Follow-up from Larry DeMar (Jan 2014)- I was watching when he quit. I saw it happen and was thinking about the same thing. No memory, but we must have added 1 byte to the score which would be 2 digits, even though we only showed one of them

Last week’s event clearly shows that the score rolls at 100 Million (the ten million’s digit is kept internally, confirmed by the Free Man bonanza at 99,975,000 exposing the same bug that inflicts Defender at 990,000).

For those following and interested, Score digits are stored two per byte (in BCD) which means that Defender used 3 bytes to represent the score while Robotron used 4 bytes. There’s no reason to believe that the 10 Million’s place (high half of the 10 Million/Million byte) would ever have been masked or disregarded as it would take extra steps to do this with no real benefit.

As a side-note, it was mentioned by the Joust programmer, Pfutz, that Joust may have an extra score digit not displayed, then it was confirmed by research from MAME Developer Sean Riddle.  So it actually takes 100 million points on 1 credit to roll the score on Joust, too!  50 hours of non-stop play!


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