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Classic Atari 2600/VCS video game. Not namespaced as per the computer and video game node naming convention since it's highly unlikely Yar's Revenge will ever be used to describe anything else. In Yar's Revenge, you play a spaceship (The Good Guy) on the left vertical half of the screen. You're originally armed with a common blaster, but if you manage to touch the Qotile (The Bad Guy) while it's dormant in the technicolor neutral zone (midscreen), you're rewarded for your valor with a Zorlon Cannon. Every so often, the Qotile (on the right vertical half of the screen) spins and launches a homing missile. If you blast away enough of the Qotile's protective barrier and hit it with your Zorlon Cannon, it dies. It then gets resurrected, moving faster this time, with a new barrier. For an (admittedly lousy) ASCII art screenshot:                              Homing Missile                
                      & * X %                              
                       X + X      |                        
                      + * X +     v                        
                       X + X     ===                       
                      * +   *            XXXX              
                       " * #            XXXXX              
                      * $ % X          XXXXX               
                       * # *          XXXXX                
                      X   $ X         XXXX                 
   =>        -         X * #          XXXX  <*|   <- Qotile
    ^        ^        X # $ %         XXXXX                
    |        |         * & X           XXXXX               
  ship     Zorlon       @ X *           XXXXX              
           cannon     X + * "            XXXX              
            ammo       * " %                               
                      * & % X             ^                
                       X @ $              |                
                      # $ % X           Qotile's           
                       $ % X          defense shield       
                   Barrier / Neutral                       

For a better (color) screenshot, see http://www.digitpress.com/reviews/yars.htm.   Overall, a great, great game. The sound effects were hypnotic, and the game play was the kind of simple, unforgettable action that the Atari 2600 was known for. The game was written by Howard Scott Warshaw, and was named for raY Kassar when he was Atari's chief designer. It was also re-released on the Game Boy Color recently.

On further reflection, I really botched the game description above. Here's a much better one, gratuitously ripped from one Blaine at ClassicGaming.com. I'll let the inferior one above stand for now, just for a future sense of perspective.

"Basically a Star Castle clone, the object is to destroy the enemy base by first penetrating its shields while avoiding projectiles. You control a Yar warrior's movement with the joystick. The red joystick button fires shots. The Qotile base moves up and down on the far right behind a shield made of cells. The Yar has the ability to eat cells by bouncing off the shield. One slow-moving destroyer missile tracks your Yar warrior. Occasionally, the Qotile will attack directly with a swirl which homes is on your exact location! (For some strange reason, the Qotile becomes the swirl rather than just shooting it.) In the middle of the screen lies the neutral zone, the reminents(sic) of the Yar world the Qotile had destroyed. While inside this zone your warrior cannot shoot, but is safe from the destroyer missile though swirls are still deadly.

Once the shield is penetrated, the Yar must destroy the Qotile with the Zorlon Cannon. To bring up the Zorlon Cannon, the worrior must either eat a cell from the Qotile's shield, or touch the Qotile base itself. The Zorlon Cannon appears on the far left, moving with the Yar. The Yar must then line itself up with the Qotile and fire, quickley(sic) moving out of the way of the deadly Zorlon Cannon. A skillful warrior can shoot the swirl for maximum points! ...

At higher levels, the shield changes color, the Destryer(sic) Missiles become faster, the swirls triple in frequency and the shield changes from a static crescent shape to a rectangle of moving cells."

Howard Scott Warshaw uses a neat trick to generate the Neutral Zone in Yar's Revenge. His display kernel simply grabs the actual game code and renders it as graphics data to that area of the screen. In his words, brilliant!

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