You are currently viewing Space Shuttle by Activision: Tips, Tricks, Hints, and Strategies

Space Shuttle by Activision: Tips, Tricks, Hints, and Strategies

The minimum score required in Space Shuttle by Activision for the Atari 2600 to earn a patch was: for the PILOT Patch — dock 5 times with greater than 4,500 units of fuel remaining. For the COMMANDER Patch — dock 6 times with greater than 7,500 units of fuel remaining. The best advice in Space Shuttle is to read the manual, so that you know all of the nuances of the game. The manual gives some really good tips. Make sure both difficulty switches are set to B. You will need the paper “overlays” to play this game properly, which originally came with the game and extensive instruction manual. Space Shuttle by Activision was designed by Steve Kitchen.

Space Shuttle is one of the hardest and most complex games made by Activision. Space Shuttle offers an entire different level of gaming experience. This rather intricate game is made to make you feel like an astronaut, with all the stress included. There is really so much to say about this game that it can be overwhelming, lengthy, and perhaps boring to the ones who really don’t understand the command of flight. But it is a very entertaining and fun game once you get the hang of how to fly and guide the shuttle.

The controls are color/bw switch is for primary engines, left difficulty switch is for the back-up engines, right difficulty switch is for the cargo doors and landing gear. And the game select switch is for the status. The game reset initiates the countdown.

The joystick controls are left and right which guide the planes (A & Y axis). While the red button is pressed, up or down will control the Z axis. There are many things that are needed to be a pilot in this game. You contend with all sorts of details: Flight Preparation, Equipment Check, Flight Selection, Flight Evaluation, and then the Ranking. All of these factor in the level of difficulty that is ahead of you and you will need to know all of them very very well.

The objective of this game is to launch the space shuttle into space, rendezvous and dock with the orbiting satellite station the greatest number of times that you can while expending the least possible amount of fuel, then pilot the shuttle back to Earth. Each time you do this, the orbiting satellite becomes more and more unstable. So getting the hang of this is a must in the latter part of docking.

There are three flight selections to choose from. 1 & 2 are the training modes, which you must learn before attempting number 3, which is a full blown flight with no assistance. Your ranking at the end records all of the details on how the flight progressed. You will be shown and graded on just how well you did with the ranking description.

Each game starts off with a lovely blue window with clouds outside. You are on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral. It is evening and time to begin the mission. The space company, NASA, appears in the center of the console. But once started that changes to MET “Main Engine Cut-Out”. Above NASA or MET are “C & T” which stand for Computer and Thrust.

When you are at launch position you’ll have 15 seconds to engage all of your check list before launch. As you start to fly you’ll see indicators that move with all of your responses. As the game proceeds, the spot that says MET changes as your flight progresses with each modification that you make. It will change to “ALT for altitude” to “Fuel”, “Y & A axis”, “Z axis”, “RNG” which is your landing. The green screen of your computer below indicates which selection that you are viewing that will correspond with all the above changes, so that you can compensate for its variances.

Once you are in space at the altitude of 210 miles above the Earth, the search begins for the orbiting satellite. The screen will indicate when the satellite is present and it will appear on the screen. Once you’ve done this the screen will flash RENDEVOUS. At that point it will be followed by FUEL and your fuel is replenished to 9999 max. Once that is completed the satellite will move away and then it’s your (A, X, and Z axis) controls again for your descent and reentry back to Earth.

It will not be that simple as there is the reentry burn stage at or around 170 miles above the Earth’s surface. There are other hazards that you’ll have to monitor constantly throughout the descent. Warnings and alert signs are usually accompanied by flashing and audible sounds. The burn stage will last till about 100 miles above the Earth’s surface when the window screen stops flashing. As you navigate through space back to Earth, you will constantly view what is being displayed on the green screen for guidance. As you get out of the burn stage, the visible sky becomes present again with stars. The sky color will change from blue, purple, to a pinkish color, and will begin flashing again.

When you do finally reach close to the Earth’s surface, the view will change to an orange and reddish color for land. This is now time to go into search mode for the landing strip. You rely once again on your computer’s green screen for positioning. Place the blinking white dot in the center of that inverted V-shaped visual on the screen for the landing strip. The landing strip, once in site, will show up glowing white and will be more present and larger as you get closer to landing. Once you have landed, it’s time to get rewarded for your stellar performance. Good job Commander!!!

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