Xari Arena

created and published by Atari in 1983, running on Atari 5200
This game has not passed the prototype stage.
type: action/reflex
perspective: bird's-eye fixed camera
player options: single player, shared-screen
other: Prototype
languages: eng

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CX-52xx (No product number). Prototype. North America NTSC. 1 player or 2 players simultaneous dynamically cooperative or competitive. 1 computer player is provided as an option.
It [[gameid:261 Breakout]] in reverse. Your walls are being attacked by Xari emerging from the well in the center of the screen. Each player can catch up to three fireballs. When you ram a Xari, it is destroyed and you lose a fireball. Ramming without any fireballs will stun your paddle. If you have three fireballs then additional ones will bounce off your paddle just like [[gameid:4033 Pong]] or [[gameid:261 Breakout]]. Also, the holding the bottom button will make your paddle reflective. The top controller button will activate a temporary shield for your wall. You one reserve shield is added every time you complete a level. If you defeat a level, a bunch of Xari will emerge from the well, play music, do a capitulation dance (or perhaps its a bone curse dance?), then commit hari-kari. There are 32 levels and beating them all game reveals a secret message. The computer player is quit good, able to continue playing as high as level 17. But it tends to save it's shields even when being hit by Xari. You can try and send fireballs into your opponents wall to score points; but having another paddle blasting Xari is well worth using a cooperative strategy. This game is also in hires mode <i>and</i> multi color (very rare). Both players score points, and so do the Xari (perhaps this was planned to be a 3 or 4 player game, paddles verse Xari?). The game has a rock music score that plays during levels. Xari Arena was ready for publishing on 1983-08-30, but wasn't. There are two other prototypes of this game that have other features. One of them has a fully analog flex-o-paddle so that players can aim the ball, slow it, down or speed it up by curving their paddle just right at the right moment. This other prototype also doesn't have fireball collecting.

Very rarely, fast moving Xari (on higher levels) can become trapped in the well. These cannot be hit, therefore the level becomes unbeatable.
(Zerothis) - # 2007-09-20 09:24:46

Technical specs

display: raster

Authors / Staff


John Seghers (programming)


Courtney Granner (graphics)

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Xari Arena in-game screen.
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