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Tempest 2000

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Tempest 2000 is a 1994 remake by Jeff Minter of the Dave Theurer 1981 arcade game classic, Tempest, for the Atari Jaguar. Originally being exclusive to the Atari Jaguar, the game received critical praise for its 3D graphics, soundtrack, and gameplay.


Tempest 2000 modifies the gameplay of the original Tempest by adding bonus levels, collectible power-ups, more sophisticated enemy types, and wildly varying web (level) designs.

File:JAG Tempest 2000.png

The game contains a total of 100 webs, with new frame colors and variations every 15 levels. In all versions, the player's progress is saved every couple of levels, and players are allowed to resume by using "keys" (as the game calls it) to return to the last stage the game saved at.

Power-ups appear as small floating polygons that appear in after shooting a number of enemies, float up towards you. Catching the polygon will activate one of a number of progressively more useful capabilities:

  • Particle Laser
    Particle Laser enhances the ship's firepower and allows you to destroy spikes much more quickly.
  • Points
    Between certain power-ups, you can gain bonuses of 2000 points.
  • Jump
    Allows you to jump off of the web, useful for avoiding enemies that are traveling along the edge, and for avoiding the attack of Pulsars.
  • A.I. Droid
    An autonomous polygonal ship appears floating above the web, and shoots at enemies.
  • Warp Token
    Collect three tokens to play a bonus stage when you complete the web you're on.
  • Outta Here!
    Collecting this power-up will destroy all enemies on the web and warp you to the next stage - however spikes are not destroyed, and it is still possible to lose a life by hitting one as the player warps down the web.

If a power-up is caught while you begin to warp off of a completed web, the increasingly high-pitched sound of a woman saying "Yes! Yes! Yes!" is played, and the first power-up you receive in the next stage will be the A.I. Droid.

If you successfully completed all 100 levels, you unlocked a special "Beast mode". This allowes you to play the standard game at a harder setting where the enemies move faster, fire more often while you fire at a reduced rate.


Tempest 2000 was ported to PC's running DOS, Macintosh, Sega Saturn and PlayStation game consoles, the latter version with several changes to the design under the name of Tempest X3. Interplay released a Microsoft Windows version later.

The DOS version contains optional AdLib and Roland MT-32 versions of the music. The Windows version is rendered in higher resolution, and has some unique glitches, like registering bonus level scores incorrectly.[citation needed]

The Sega Saturn version, programmed by High Voltage Software, uses a limited amount of sound channels, causing thin sound.[citation needed] In this version, the third type of bonus level has been completely removed.

Tempest X3, the PlayStation version, was released on November 30, 1996, with updated graphics and sound. However, the following gameplay differences from the original version were identified by Jeff Minter himself in a Usenet post:[citation needed]

  • The "AI Droid" only follows the player, instead of acting autonomously. A new, "Super AI Droid" powerup rectifies this somewhat, but it takes a very long time within a level to acquire it.
  • Pulsars now move slowly around the top of the Web if they reach it (rather than electrifying the whole top edge the moment they arrive).
  • The Particle Laser is no more effective than the normal laser against Spikes (in the original, it destroys them very quickly).
  • Some of the harder, "sticking point" webs have been removed from the game entirely.

Entering the name "YIFF!" on the highscore table will activate a secret mode, allowing the user to choose to play the original Tempest 2000 game; however, any high scores made in this mode are not saved, the music (wave-captured from the original modules) is muffled and the effectiveness of the Particle Laser against Spikes is not restored even in this original mode.

The PlayStation version of Tempest X3 includes support for Namco's rotary neGcon analog controller.[citation needed]

Jeff Minter himself returned to the genre with Tempest 3000 and again with Space Giraffe.[citation needed]


Tempest 2000, though initially dismissed by the creator of the Atari Jaguar[1], is generally regarded as one of the best video games for the system. The game received critical acclaim from such video game magazines such as GamePro, Electronic Gaming Monthly (won EGM's Game of the Month award), and Diehard GameFan.Template:Volume needed Of particular critical acclaim was the game's intense techno music soundtrack. A separate soundtrack CD with newly-done versions was also released; this was the basis for the audio for all conversions to come.


The original Jaguar version's music was created by Ian Howe, Alastair Lindsay and Kevin Saville[2] of Imagitec Design Inc. (AKA Dream Weavers)[3], who also created the music for Jeff Minter's Defender 2000 on the Atari Jaguar.

The music was composed in the Commodore Amiga MOD music file format, although non-Jaguar releases of the game played music off of CD.[4]. At the time of its release, the music soundtrack could also be purchased on CD directly from Atari.

The Windows Version CD also included the songs in standard CD format, to be spooled from the CD drive to the speakers during gameplay. This could be played in a standard CD player, but was not advertised as such, as Atari was selling the soundtrack CD as an addition.

Soundtrack album track listing

  1. "Thermal Resolution"
  2. "Mind's Eye"
  3. "T2K"
  4. "Ease Yourself"
  5. "Tracking Depth"
  6. "Constructive Demolition"
  7. "Future Tense"
  8. "Digital Terror"
  9. "Hyper Prism"
  10. "Glide Control"
  11. "Ultra Yak"
  12. "2000 Dub"

Jaguar rotary controller

There is an option to use a rotary controller (similar to the controller on the Tempest arcade machine) with Tempest 2000 on the Jaguar, but there are two obstacles:

  • The option must be unlocked by holding Pause on Controller 1 and Controller 2 at the same time on the Options menu.
  • Atari never made a Jaguar rotary controller. Such a controller was planned for development and release by Atari, but no prototypes exist. [citation needed] However, several homebrew options exist by using parts from a Jaguar controller and either an Atari 2600 Driving Controller or new, higher-precision rotary encoders. [citation needed]

The one used by Jeff Minter during testing was made from a hacked-up 2600 driving controller, and until about 2004, he had never actually played with a more suitable controller. [citation needed]


Tempest 2000 was awarded Best Jaguar Game of 1994 by Electronic Gaming Monthly.[5]


External links

fr:Tempest 2000 pt:Tempest 2000

Facts about "Tempest 2000"RDF feed
ContentTypeVideo Game +
DisplayNameTempest 2000 +
GameCatVideo Game +
NameTempest 2000 +
NamePageTempest 2000 +
NamesTempest 2000 +
PageNameTempest 2000 +
PageTypeVideo Games + and Games +
StatusReleased +

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