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Assault start screen.png

Namco's 1988 multi-directional shooter arcade game Assault (which is the last title from that company to be licensed to Atari Games for US manufacture and distribution) is divided into eleven different stages, based in four areas: Progress Planetary Circumstances (Stage 1), Memorial Land Forever (Stage 2), Crops Grow in River Side (Stages 3-5 and 10), and And Reconstruct Our Ruined Home (Stages 6-9 and 11). When you insert a coin into the cabinet, that text of "PUSH 1P BUTTON" will appear on the screen (as shown in that image above); however, if you insert a second coin into the cabinet, the text "PUSH 1P OR 2P BUTTON" will appear on the screen, even though the game does not have a 2-player mode. If you are using MAME to play the game, pressing "2" on that start screen (even though it functions) will have exactly the same effect as pressing "1" (that is, it will start a 1-player game, because this is what it is) - and if you can enable game cheats, a simpler controlling system will also be available (which has the tank move using the arrow keys).

At the start of each stage, all enemies are dormant, and will only become active when your tank approaches them; however, once you have been raised into the air after driving onto a Jump Zone, every enemy in view will instantly become active. You should therefore be careful when doing this on a stage with lots of enemies, as they will time their shots to hit your tank while it is dropping back down to the ground - and on all later stages, the game can also suffer severe slowdowns. To compensate for this, enemies that are far enough away from your tank will disappear from that stage; this distance is a little further than your nuclear missiles can reach when you have been raised into the air by a Jump Zone. This rule also applies to the craters that the enemy tanks leave behind when killed, which will slow yours down if it tries to cross over them (much like they had done to Namco's own Grobda back in 1984).

At the end of each stage, you will receive 50 bonus points for every second of time you have remaining (the timer will only be displayed at the top of the screen when you have less than 100 seconds, or 1:40, remaining); if you can time it correctly, you can end a stage with exactly 0 seconds left. Because this game has a bug which does not recognize that 0 seconds is worth 0 points, it wraps the timer around to its maximum point value - and this trick can earn you as much as 18000 points on the later stages if you manage to pull it off. However, if you time it all incorrectly, it will immediately cost you a life.

Also, if the arcade operator has set that "ROUND SELECT" setting in the game's options menu to "ON", you'll have the option of starting the game from Stage 1 as usual ("GRAND ASSAULT GAME") or starting it from Stage 6 ("HALF ASSAULT GAME") after you have pressed the Start Button; however, starting the game from Stage 6 means that you won't be able to see the ending sequence after you have cleared that eleventh stage, and the game will immediately go into high-score mode once the screen has faded out. Therefore, the only way to see the ending sequence is to start from the beginning.