Tempest Arcade

In addition to writing books, I have a couple of other esoteric, creative-type hobbies. One such being pinball. I love to play pinball. Something about the kinetic, real-world physics aspect of slapping a ball and hitting targets, some unexpectedly, that I find satisfying. Arcade machines are cool too, but more for a nostalgia reason. Since I am a creative, I couldn't stop at just playing. I tinker too.

Tempest, like many Atari titles from the early 1980's, was an adreniline fueled conflict-based game. It was unique in that it did not use a raster based screen, like almost all arcade games of the era, but a vector screen. These are super hard to find anymore and one of the weak links to keeping a Tempest running. Tempest wasn't quite as popular as Asteroids, another vector game, but almost and unlike Asteroids, Tempest used a color vector screen.

I did this project sometime after Arkanoid, maybe in 2005 or 2006 and basically had the same idea, take a great game and make different levels for it. Tempest has 16 different levels. If you make it past the 16th, it starts back at the beginning level but changes the edge colors and becomes increasingly difficult.

I sold my Tempest sometime after I redid the levels because, like I said, it is a game that was difficult to keep running.

Here are images of the original screens and my new screens.

Original 1 Mine 1 Original 2 Mine 2
Original 3 Mine 3 Original 4 Mine 4
Original 5 Mine 5 Original 6 Mine 6
Original 7 Mine 7 Original 8 Mine 8
Original 9 Original 10
Original 11 Mine 11 Original 12 Mine 12
Original 13 Mine 13 Original 14 Mine 14
Original 15 Mine 15 Original 16 Mine 16


Tempest Arcade

If you would like to play the levels that I created, you will need access to a rom burner and need to burn a single chip and swap it out on your board.

If you choose to do this and something goes wrong, I will not be held responsible. The hardware is 36 years old and if you fiddle, you could break something. The chip to replace is in the 118 position and all of the level data is stored on that one chip.