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Box artwork for Stargate.
Box artwork for Stargate.
Developer(s)Vid Kidz
Year released1981
System(s)Arcade, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Commodore 64/128, DOS
Preceded byDefender
Followed byStrike Force
Designer(s)Eugene Jarvis
ModesSingle player, Multiplayer
Star Gate
Defender II
Developer(s)HAL Laboratory
Publisher(s)HAL Laboratory
Year released1987
Neoseeker Related Pages
LinksStargate at PCGamingWikiStargate ChannelSearchSearch
For games based on the film and TV franchise, see Category:Stargate. For the cabinet conversion kit, see Alien Arena.
Stargate marquee

When Eugene Jarvis first created Defender, it was thought that players would rarely make it past the fifth level with any frequency. But hardcore arcade players proved him wrong, and some managed to become masters of the game who could play on a single quarter for hours. When Jarvis went back to the drawing boards, he was determined to make a sequel that was more challenging, and he succeeded.

Stargate pretty much started with Defender, and simply adds to it. Everything that Defender contained can be found in Stargate, but your strategies must be adapted to the additional enemies and abilities of your spaceship. In addition to smart bombs and hyperspace, your spaceship is outfitted with a limited supply of the Inviso cloaking device, rendering you impervious to destruction while it is activated. The game gets its name from the addition of the "star gate" that is present in every stage. Traveling through it warps you to the other side of the world, provided no humanoids are in any danger. However, if one is being lifted by a Lander, the star gate will transport you right to the scene of the crime in order to commence a quick rescue.

Players did indeed find Stargate more challenging than Defender, and some players embraced the change while others returned to the original. Due to its complexity and lower popularity than its precursor, it was ported to fewer systems, but the Atari 2600 version was surprisingly well done, pushing the limits of the system and released shortly before the video game market crashed in 1983. Due to licensing issues (which do not stem from the movie of the same name, contrary to popular belief), Stargate was also commonly known as Defender II when it was released for a few popular home gaming systems.


Your job as the Defender is not over. The Landers are back, and this time, they've brought a lot more of the friends. But your spaceship is outfitted with the latest in technology, including the Inviso cloaking device, and the star gate trans warp drive. The battle over the Humanoids has just begun.

Gameplay summary[edit]

  • You pilot the spaceship Defender with the controls. The joystick controls your height. Use Thrust and Reverse to control your position over the world.
  • You must destroy every enemy to advance to the next stage.
  • You must defend the Humanoid population from being abducted by Landers.
  • Your ship can fire a laser, launch a smart bomb that eliminates every visible enemy, hyperspace, or use the Inviso cloaking device.
  • If a Lander abducts a Humanoid, fly over as quickly as possible, destroy the Lander, capture the Humanoid before it hits the ground, and safely return it.
  • If a Humanoid is being abducted, enter the Stargate to immediately warp to the site. Otherwise the Stargate sends you to the opposite side of the world.
  • If a Lander makes it to the top of the screen with a Humanoid, it becomes a Mutant.
  • If all of the Humanoids are capture, the world explodes and every stage is a Mutant stage until after the next fifth round.
  • All Humanoids are restored after every fifth round.

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