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Q. My keyboard worked fine until I bought Defender. Now I am having problems. --Bob Day, IL
A. The keyboard on your computer can only take so much. When saw the way to activate the smart bomb on Defernder, I knew there would be problems. People play Defender in my stores, and they slam their hand down hard on the space bar to set the smart bomb off. Even though the keyboard can take a lot of pounding I recommend that you be very gentle when using Defender or it will cost around $130.00 to get a new keyboard.
There aren't enough buttons on your joystick, so Atari placed the Smart Romb on the keyboard's [SPACEBAR]. The only time you'll use the Smart Bomb is to nuke a whole swarm of bad guys when the pressure is on. Under such pressure, players tend to pound the [SPACEBAR] as if they were hammering ten-penny nails into an oak 2 x 4. The result is damaged keyboards, many of them.
The revised version for the XEGS will probably use one of the console keys, which are flush with the computer case. If you loved the coin-op Defender and must have a version at home, this will do fine.
Excerpts from an interview with Steve Baker by Scott Stilphen:
SS: "I must say that your Atari version of Defender was simply incredible! Did you have the chance to meet with Eugene Jarvis when doing your version or did he offer any help / advice?"
SB: "I had originally done Defender for the Apple ][ as an exercise in programming. Atari wanted it for the 400-800-5200 so that was the first game I did for them. Yes, Eugene and I had an informal meeting at a park near Atari and I just told him how I programmed it from what I saw and he confirmed it. I did find out the swarmers (little red ones) do not fire behind themselves... LOL! It’s a great trick".