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You are sent to check out an abandoned asteroid base called Stronghold. As you approach, drones are launched from the surface. It may be abandoned but apparently the automatic defense system still works.

You must shoot or avoid the drones. If the drones are cloned, and traveling in sets, shooting any drone in the set destroys all the ones in the set, if they are destroyable (see Game variations). You can move in any direction but cannot shoot straight left or right. You can shoot in any other direction, however. After you get past the drones, three shields form near the bottom of the screen. Also, interceptor and patrol ships appear. The interceptors track you and the patrol ships just move back and forth over the shields.

You must shoot through the shields while dodging these ships so you can shoot the command crawler on the asteroid's surface. Be warned, though, that once there is a hole in the shield, the command crawler will shoot through it to destroy you. The crawler tries to stay below you but it is slow. In some game variations, the Mega-Field starts to form at the top of the screen, reducing your maneuvering room(see Game variations).

Difficulty switches
The difficulty switches determine what level you will start on.
Both are set to B=start at level 1
Left is set to A and right is set to B=start at level 9
Left is set to B and right is set to A=start at level 17
Both set to A=start at level 25

Game variations
A=drones cannot be destroyed, only avoided
R=you will keep firing if you hold down the button (Rapid fire)
M=Mega-Field is in the game
C=drones are cloned and travel in sets

Game 1 R; M
Game 2 A; R; M
Game 3 M
Game 4 A; M
Game 5 R
Game 6 A; R
Game 7
Game 8 A
Game 9 R; M; C
Game 10 A; R; M; C
Game 11 M; C
Game 12 A; C
Game 13 R; C
Game 14 A; R; C
Game 15 C
Game 16 A; C


Stronghold Atari 2600 Single drones are rising from the asteroid
Stronghold Atari 2600 I need to get get through the shields but not get killed
Stronghold Atari 2600 Starting screen
Stronghold Atari 2600 The Mega-Field is beginning to form at the top.

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Critic Reviews

Woodgrain Wonderland Apr 17, 2018 B 75
The Video Game Critic May 16, 2012 C 50
TeleMatch Nov, 1983 4 out of 6 40
Electronic Fun with Computers & Games Mar, 1984 1.5 out of 4 38


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A demo on EPROM called "Frog" was used to test possible sprite theories used in Stronghold.


Stronghold was released during the video game crash of 1983-84 and never made it into stores. The game was initially available through the Columbia House Video Club, and later available by request direct from a nearly-defunct CommaVid. It is very hard to find today.
LepricahnsGold (132164) added Stronghold (Atari 2600) on Sep 17, 2006