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Centipede - Japanese Title

Centipede - marquee

Name: Centipede
Manufacturer: Atari
Year: 1980
Type: Videogame

Class: Wide Release
Genre: Shooter

  • Orientation: Vertical
  • Type: Raster: Standard Resolution
  • CRT: Color
Conversion Class: unique
Game Specific: Centipede Pinout
Settings: Centipede Dipswitch Settings

Number of Simultaneous Players: 1
Maximum number of Players: 2
Gameplay: Alternating
Control Panel Layout: Single Player

  • Buttons: 1 [Fire]
  • Trackball: Optical

Sound: Unamplified Mono (requires one-channel amp)

Cabinet Styles:

  • Upright/Standard
  • Cocktail
  • Cabaret/Mini
  • Candy/Japanese (Video Games)
  • Cabaret/Mini

Click here to contribute another image.

Centipede 3-D Model (QuickTime (TM))

Centipede Bezel Image
Centipede Control Panel Image
Centipede Instruction Card Image
Centipede Side Art Image

Centipede Description

Centipede was produced by Atari in 1980.

Atari released 139 different machines in our database under this trade name, starting in 1972.

Other machines made by Atari during the time period Centipede was produced include Warlords, Monza, Missile Command, Bradley Trainer, Asteroids Deluxe, Atari Baseball, Hercules, Atari Soccer, Road Runner, and Superman.

The player controls a gun that can only move in the bottom fifth of the screen. The object is to shoot a centipede that works its way down to the player area through a field of mushrooms. Other attacking enemies are fleas, spiders, and scorpions.

Centipede - KLOV/IAM 5 Point User Score: 3.91 (24 votes)

 Personal Impressions Score: 4.00

     Overall 'Like': 4.22
     Fun (Social): 3.57
     Fun (Solo): 4.09
     Collector Desire: 3.61 
Technical Impressions Score: 3.94

     Gameplay: 4.21
     Graphics: 3.96
     Originality: 4.35
     Sound/Music: 3.52

Personal Impressions and Technical Impressions each account for half of the total score. Within the Personal Impressions category, "Like" carries a little more weight than the other factors.

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Cabinet Information

The cabinet has detailed, colorful graphics of a large, viscious centipede. The artwork covers the entirety of both sides of the game. Cabaret mini cabinets and cocktail units were released with 19inch monitors and there were also a limited number cocktails built with only 13inch monitors. A minor note is the color of the outline around the side art design which can be in yellow, purple or blue.

Cabinet Style Weights and Measures

Candy/Japanese (Video Games)

Cheats, Tricks, Bugs, and Easter Eggs

On levels that have complete Centipedes, fleas will never appear.PTo trap the centipede, allow the centipede to come near the bottom of the screen. When it is close to the left or right side, shoot the centipede once, causing a mushroom to appear and the centipede to come back under and near the mushroom. Now, shoot and make another mushroom. Repeat this process until you have a row of mushrooms almost vertically lined up near the bottom of the screen. Then, by either dying or just allowing the centipede to work his way back up, the centipede will be trapped between the edge of the screen and the mushrooms allowing you to shoot everything else.


It is possible, with some light work, to convert this to IMillipedeI.


There were two different versions of side art made for this game, one with a yellow glow around the centipede and one with a pink glow. Compare the cabinet image with the side art image to see the difference.

Game Play

The object of the game is to destroy as many enemies as possible. During every level, you must destroy all the segments of a centipede. Once the centipede enters the bottom area of the screen where the gun moves, the player is in danger of colliding with the centipede. The centipede will break into pieces as its segments are shot. Once it makes it to the bottom of the screen, it heads back up until it reaches the top of the player zone. It then repeats the process. Once the centipede has hit the bottom of the screen, new segments are created that move within the player zone. When a centipede segment hits a mushroom or another segment, it reverses direction.

Every level, the centipede configuration is different. On the first level, all segments are attached. On the next level, one segment is independent. On the next, two are independent, and so on until all segments are independent.

The spider is another enemy that threatens the player. It bounces around within the player zone, but when it hits a mushroom, the mushroom disappears.

The flea will drop from the top of the screen and fall all of the way to the bottom when there are less than a certain number of mushrooms in the player zone. It leaves mushrooms behind.

The scorpion streaks across the screen periodically, changing any mushrooms it hits into poisonous mushrooms. When a centipede segment hits one of these, the centipede plummets to the bottom of the screen and then heads back up.

Extra lives are awarded every 12000 points by default.


ULLIIGalipedei Uses Centipede graphics in a iGalagaI game.LIIPacipedeI Changes the graphics to make them look more like those from IPacManI.UL


Centipede is available on the iPad and iPhone via Atari's Greatest Hits application.

VAPS Arcade/Coin-Op Centipede Census

There are 10,226 members of the Video Arcade Preservation Society / Vintage Arcade Preservation Society, 8,291 whom participate in our arcade census project of games owned, wanted, or for sale. Census data currently includes 136,611 machines (6,073 unique titles).

Very Common - There are 688 known instances of this machine owned by Centipede collectors who are active members. Of these, 641 of them are original dedicated machines, 6 of them are conversions in which game circuit boards (and possibly cabinet graphics) have been placed in (and on) another game cabinet, and 41 of them are only circuit boards which a collector could put into a generic case if desired.

For Sale - There are 19 active VAPS members with Centipede machines for sale. There are 4 active VAPS members with extra Centipede circuit boards for sale.

Wanted - Very Popular - There are 32 active VAPS members currently looking for Centipede. There is one active VAPS member looking for a Centipede circuit board set.

This game ranks a 99 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census ownership records.

This game ranks a 66 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often wanted, 1=least common) in popularity based on census want list records.

Rarity and Popularity independently are NOT necessarily indications of value. [More Information]


The game uses a 6502 microprocessor and one Atari Pokey sound chip.


This was the first arcade game to be designed by a woman Dona Bailey.PThe side artwork features a grasshopper, while it is not present during gameplay, it can be seen in test mode.


The rollers and bearings in the track ball wear out and after a while the movement of the guncannon becomes difficult. Replacement parts for trackballs are available from a number of parts retailers.


  1. Centipede
  2. Millipede


  1. Centipede Cabaret ST-189 1st Printing Backdoor Sheet  1 Pages, 801 kB File.
  2. Operation, Maintenance and Service Manual with illustrated parts catalog  63 Pages, 6.3 MB File.
  3. Operation, Maintenance and Service Manual with illustrated parts catalog (2)  51 Pages, 5.2 MB File.
  4. Drawing Package Supplement  8 Pages, 512 kB File.
  5. Diagnostics Test  8 Pages, 586 kB File.
  6. Schematics  8 Pages, 610 kB File.
  7. Schematics (2)  8 Pages, 584 kB File.
  8. Power Supple Schematic  8 Pages, 2.2 MB File.
  9. Signature Analysis Guide  5 Pages, 365 kB File.
  10. Signature Analysis (2)  4 Pages, 238 kB File.

Foto-Finder™ (books)

  1. Arcade Treasures, Kurtz (ISBN 088740619X): Page: 109; Color photo; Price guide: 1994
  2. The Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games, Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256): Page: 105; Color photo;
  3. Arcade Fever, Sellers (ISBN 0762409371): Page: 64; Color photo; Price guide:
  4. Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games, Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256): Page: 105; Color photo; Price guide:
  5. Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games, Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256): Page: 135; Color photo; Price guide:

Video Clips

    Centipede Cabaret Arcade Game Review with MULTIPEDE - Centipede/Millipede Multig

    Centipede shortplay by Ivan Paduano


See Recent Video Links Added to Other Records

Additional References
(logged in members often see more)

  1. The Arcade Flyer Archive (TAFA): Centipede Flyer #190    
  2. The Arcade Flyer Archive (TAFA): Centipede Flyer #3851    
  3. The Arcade Flyer Archive (TAFA): Centipede Flyer #3852    
  4. The Arcade Flyer Archive (TAFA): Centipede Flyer #4389    
  5. The Arcade Flyer Archive (TAFA): Centipede Flyer #6076    
  6. The Arcade Flyer Archive (TAFA): Centipede Flyer #4534    
  7. The Arcade Flyer Archive (TAFA): Centipede Flyer #4816    


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eBay Listings

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Centipede - Cabinet Image

Centipede - Cabinet Image
Photo contributed by: Jason Bradley

Centipede - Cabinet Image

Centipede - Title screen image

Centipede - Title screen image

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