Arcade, Computer, ColecoVision, Atari 5200, and Atari 2600 Game
Produced by: Midway
(Arcade) and CBS Games
(2600 and 5200)
80010 (2600) and 4L 2711 (5200)
3 Uncommon (2600 and 5200)
Year of Release: 1981
(Arcade and 2600) and 1983
Programmer: Alex Leavens
(2600), Jay Fenton
(Arcade) (Jay is now known as Jamie Fenton)
Long Live Gorf!
Gorf was one of the first video games to have more than 1 level. There are 5 different levels in this classic space shooter (4 in the Atari version). Many people remember this game because it was also one of the first talking games. It would taunt the players to try and beat it.
The first level was a Space Invaders clone with a few minor differences. You had a full curving force field instead of the four shields used in classic Space Invaders. You can also move all around the lower half of the screen, instead of being confined to the very bottom.
You are up against 2 ships armed with deadly lasers, which are defended by several Galaxian style escort ships. This is a quick and easy level, although you may find yourself zapped if you aren't careful. The laser ships regenerate every few seconds as long as other ships remain on screen. But there are so few ships that a good player can beat this level in seconds.
Another clone level. This one fairly faithfully recreates Galaxian. The only major difference is that once again you have more freedom of movement. It must be noted that neither the Atari nor the Vic 20 versions include this level.
A whirlpool like vortex fills the center of the screen. Enemy ships spiral out from the middle growing larger as the get closer. They only attack one at a time. So this level isn't very difficult (at least not the first time around).
From the manual (2600)
Avoid the rockets of the mothership while you try and score a hit on its only weak spot (the internal power
reactor vent). Once that is hit the ship explodes and you start the game over at a higher difficulty setting.
MESSAGE FROM INTERSTELLAR SPACE FORCE COMMAND
By the time you read this communique, we of the Interstellar Space Force
Command will have been destroyed. The evil Gorfian Empire has launched
an all-out attack. You are Earth's last hope! Your assignment is to
repel the invasion and launch a counterattack. You will engage various
hostile spacecraft as you journey toward a dramatic confrontation with
the enemy Flag Ship! You will be rewarded for your success with
promotions in rank and praise from a grateful planet. But you must act
quickly, Space Cadet! Brief yourself on the Gorfian Robot Armada and
then attack before it's...TOO LATE!!
Gorf arcade units came in a blue and grey dedicated cabinet with sticker sideart of several spaceships locked in battle. Cabaret and cocktail versions were also common. (The cabaret models had wood grain paneling with no sideart). Play was controlled with a center mounted "flight stick" type controller. The speech synthesis units on these machines are notorious for their high failure rates. So always check those out before buying one of these. As of September 2001 a Gorf machine in good working condition is worth about $350 USD, although this can vary wildly by location.
The Atari 2600 and Atari 5200 Gorf cartridges are fairly common, and worth around $3 USD (as of September 2001). Games with boxes and manuals are worth more.
There were a lot of ports of Gorf to various systems. Please /msg me if you have any port specific information that I may be missing.