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What´s up with the arcade version of Centipede?

Rika C.

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The Coin-op Centipede is one of the few classic arcade games I do find around anymore, but I am curious if a machine was ever made without the tracball. I seriously dislike the tracball because I feel much less in control of the character than with the joy stick. Despite my arthritis problems in my wrists, I still prefer the aces to the ripped skin on my fingers from getting them caught in between the ball and the machine.


[ 12-22-2001: Message edited by: Lt. Luna of the Moon Patrol ]

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Centipede was designed for and only produced with a trackball. If you want to play it with a joystick I suppose you could in MAME, but you'd probably be restricted to moving in only 8 directions and of course lose the ability to vary the speed of your movement which a trackball provides nicely

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I never really had a problem with Centipede pinching my skin, the game that was truly evil in this regard was Atari's ancient two-player Football. Now that's a game that would cause you injury enough that you couldn't play the game. Here's a quote from the page I linked:


This can be one of the most physically challenging games that was ever manufactured. Since the speed of each player depends on how fast the trac-ball is spun, your shoulders must be strong and your hands must be tough. Painfully sore palms and pinched fingers have rendered the hands of unseasoned players useless for days.


This apparently was also the first game to use a trakball, so by the time Centipede came around it had been refined a bit. I personally think the trakball works great in Centipede (and Millipede) and can't imagine controlling it with a joystick. Well, I guess I can imagine it, having played Centipede and Millipede on the 2600 using a joystick.



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