Xenon was a computer game released by the Bitmap Brothers in 1988.
Available on the Atari ST, Amiga, PC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and others.
Nice, slick futuristic shoot-em-up.

A gas that appears in our atmosphere in trace amounts.

It was discovered in 1898 by Sir William Ramsay who isolated it using fractional distilation. He named it with the greek word xenos, which means strange one.

In 1962 Neil Bartlett made the first noble gas compound using xenon and platinum hexafluoride. Of the noble gases, only xenon and krypton have been made to form compounds.

As a monatonic molecule xenon is used in electrical discharge tubes to produce light. Xenon produces a strong white light, and is used in strobe lights. A mixture of xenon and krypton is used in flashbulbs.

a cheesy little blurb i wrote freshman year of college about how lonely noble gasses must be. I can't vouch for the accuracy of the alleged chemical reactions mentioned because i got a D in chemistry.:

I'm just a lonely xenon molecule
what will become of me?
I have a full valence shell
theres nothing I can really be
im destined to stay here alone
for all eternity

They say someday that I will bond
they say im really not alone
they say a flourine-xenon bond
once formed forever has to hold
but if its really possible
its something that ive never known

it sucks to be a noble gas
it sucks with my full valence shell
I drift about and hit the walls
in my enclosing beaker hell
And no one really likes me cuz
ive got no color, shape or smell

yes I hate being xenon
because I have no one to hold
Anyone will bond with sodium
or dumb whores like iron or Gold
but having no attractive charges
begins quickly to get old

You think you're so cool.
Walking down the hall
after chem lab, you think
you're too good for us,
never looking us in the eye.

We'll bring you down. We'll
make you mix with common folk.
It's not a joke. The wackos think
there's fluoride in tap water
to sap their strength of spirit.
Wrong. To sap yours: perforce
to form of you a compound,
willy-nilly, Xenon, you bitch.

-- Ben Ostrowsky

Xenon
Symbol: Xe
Atomic Number: 54
Atomic Weight: 131.29
Boiling Point: 165.1 K
Melting Point: 161.39 K
Density at 300K: 5.90 g/cm3
Covalent radius: 1.31
Atomic radius: 1.24
Atomic volume: 42.9 cm3/mol
First ionization potental: 12.130 V
Specific heat capacity: 0.158 J g-1 K-1
Thermal conductivity: 0.00569 W m-1 K-1
Electrical conductivity: N/A
Heat of fusion: 2.30 kJ/mol
Heat of vaporization: 12.64 kJ/mol
Electronegativity: 2.6 (Pauling's)

Previous Iodine---Caesium Next
To the Periodic Table

One of the heavier "noble gases" (column 8A of the periodic table), Xenon has found widespread application as in strobe lights and extra-bright automobile headlights. (Xenon bulbs)

Originally thought to be inert, it is now well-known (as whort points out) that Xenon will form chemical compounds with reactive elements, most commonly fluorine and oxygen which are useful as oxidizing agents.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about Xenon is its apparent psychoactive properties. Although costs are still prohibitive, Xenon has been clinically shown to have anesthetic effects similar to nitrous oxide when inhaled (almost always in a mixture with oxygen). Possibly a dissociative, Xenon has been shown to be safer than nitrous oxide and most gaseous anesthetics in modern use due to its extremely chemically inert properties (as a noble gas.)

While costs continue to keep Xenon anesthesia from widespread use in the medical world, advances continue to be made in Xenon manufacture in order to make this useful (and unfortunately trace) gas more cost-effective in medical applications. The majority of xenon continues to be used in high-intensity light bulbs.

Xenon

By Bally

Model No: 1196-E
Released: November 26, 1979

Designed By: Greg Kmiec
Art By: Paul Farris

A very popular pinball by Bally, with 11,000 units produced. The machine was noteworthy for a couple reasons. First, the color schele was a significant departure from what pinballs usually went with. They usually stuck with reds and yellows. Xenon, however, used a lot of blue in the design. All of the plastic posts were blue, and the pop bumpers used translucent blue bumper caps, giving a nice glow to the playfield. This was done because of the strong bluish tint that xenon light gives off.

The second, and more noteworthy feature, were the voices. Hitting bumpers and other targets would bring up "ooh"s and "aah"s, starting the game would cause a response of "Enter Xenon", with other sayings, such as "Try A Tube Shot" scattered around. The voices were done by Suzanne Ciani, of Ciani Musica. This was especially noteworthy because the female voice tends to require twice the storage capacity of a male voice for the same quality - which is why all of the previous stored voices were by men.

When Ciani was asked to do the voices, she used her own equipment (as she was creating "New Age" music with various electronics), and, given the restrictions of the chips that the voice would be stored on, created a number of voice samples.

I had a grouping of voice processing gear that I designed into something I called the "Voice Box." This included a Harmonizer, a Vocoder, various filters and processing modules. I modified my own voice with the Voice Box to produce all of the voices.

I was given the specs on the chips that would be used for the project. I replicated the limitations of these chips in my very expensive Synclavier and then worked within those parameters. I wanted to maximize the use of the chips. There were two: one a voice chip that was newly designed and more powerful than earlier chips and thus capable of reproducing the higher frequency female voice. The other was a simple sound chip which was used for the "musical" part of the sound design.

In the end, 12 of them were selected, and included in the final game.

The game used chaser lights around the edges of the backglass, along with a special mirror to create the "infinity" effect that was introduced on their Space Invaders machine. The lights kept tempo with the music of the game, and as the tempo increased during play, the lights would speed up, faster and faster.

The Playfield:

The first thing you'll notice about the playfield is the large transparent tube reaching horizontally across the upper section of the playfield - with lights that "chase" the ball every time a shot is made into it. There is a ramp on the far right leading to it, and the tube exit leads to a little alcove on the left, with a saucer-type kicker at the bottom - the "tube chamber", where a ball will be locked for later multiball. There's an opening at the bottom of the chamber, where the ball will be kicked out.

The top center of the playfield, where the plunger lane exits, has four rollovers, and then below them, a single solitary saucer. Below it are four pop bumpers, in a 'Y' shape, each sticking out with it's blue cap. On the far left side, at a spot about the same as halfway between the bottom two bumpers, is a spinner, and a lane leading up to the top of the playfield.

The middle right of the playfield has a set of four drop targets, and the middle left a pair of stand-up targets, located right between the spinner and the tube chamber kick-out.

There's a standard pair of flippers at the bottom, each with a single inlane and a single outlane, and the triangular slingshots right above and forming one side of the inlane.

The Rules:

The general goal of the game is to hit the top saucer. Each shot into the saucer adds an 'X' token. Collecting three of these tokens allows you to make a tube shot to capture a ball. Three more tokens collected will kick out the captured ball, starting a two-ball multiball. Then just score points by making a lot of tube shots.

Hitting all four drop targets on the right scores the lit award, and the targets are reset for the next award. It also lights the targets on the left to advance the Xenon bonus for collection at the end of a ball.

The tube chamber also has a bonus, which advances during a game as it's collected, eventually rewarding a special.

Sources:
Bally Xenon, http://www.dreamstasys.com/xenon.htm
Xenon Speaks (again), an interview with Suzanne Ciani, http://www.baverstock.com/xenonQA.html
The Internet Pinball Database, http://www lysator.liu.se/pinball/IPD/

Xenon has also been shown to be useful as a general anesthetic. The gas can be inhaled or injected in solution, and will put a patient to sleep rapidly. It is very close to the ideal anesthetic since it is an inert gas. So far, no dangerous sideffects have been reported. However, acceptance has been slow due to the high cost of acquiring Xenon.

Xen"on (?), n. [Gr. &?;, neut. of &?; strange.] (Chem.)

A very heavy, inert gaseous element occurring in the atmosphere in the proportion of one volume is about 20 millions. It was discovered by Ramsay and Travers in 1898. It can be condensed to a liquid boiling at -109° C., and to a solid which volatilizes without melting. Symbol Xe or X; atomic weight 130.2.

 

© Webster 1913

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