Missile Command: Recharged – Did You Know?

Missile Command: Recharged is a great take on the original. Like the arcade game it is based on, it may look easy, but the difficulty curve sneaks up on you. Before too long you are intensely focused on taking out incoming missiles and enemy planes, and taking desperate measures to save your remaining cities.

Missile Command: Recharged takes the classic arcade game and adds several layers of oomph and pizzazz. It introduces more power-ups, new enemies, and a suite of challenges that limit the number of counter-defenses at your disposal.  Players are telling us one of their favorite additions is the ability to spend accumulated points to upgrade your defenses in Arcade mode. And an amazing new soundtrack from the incomparable Megan McDuffee perfectly complements the gameplay and adds depth and variety.

Missile Command Arcade Flyer
Missile Command Arcade Flyer

Why did we decide to do a Recharged version of Missile Command? Because the original is such a strong game, and it lent itself so well to modernizing touches. The sheer number of fun facts about the original didn’t hurt either:

  • The six cities in the arcade game were originally named after real cities located on the California coastline: Eureka, San Francisco, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
  • In late 1980, a two-player sequel was created, field tested, but ultimately never released. But now in Missile Command: Recharged, two-player co-op is finally here!
  • The working title was ‘Armageddon’. Other names considered were ‘World War 3’, ‘Apocalypse’ and ‘Edge of Blight.’ All a bit depressing, so you can understand why Atari settled on Missile Command.
  • During its development, the creator, Dave Theurer would have regular nightmares about nuclear war. See above about depressing.
  • Missile Command is featured in the 1991 movie ‘Terminator 2’. John Connor is seen briefly playing the game in an arcade
  • Missile Command was the first Atari coin operated set in the factory for 50 cents single play instead of 25 cents.
  • The initials of the development team responsible for the arcade version of Missile Command are hidden in the default high score table.
  • Programmer Rob Fulop hid an easter egg inside the 2600 version of Missile Command. The 2600 port of the game would go on to ship over 2.5 million units! That is a lot of eggs.

The Atari 2600 version was supported with a TV ad that shows the arcade version. The ad features the actor Christopher Hewitt, who would make his name in TV as Mr. Belvedere in an ABC sitcom by the same name that ran from 1085 to 1990. If you want to learn more about the ad, read this post from the eagle-eyed Pop Culture Retrorama.

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