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Comments (8)
Gildahl - 14/07/2022
I was a big fan of the arcade version and strongly agree with other reviewers who credit this one with getting the gameplay right vs. being graphically impressive. Yup, looks are a bit deceiving here, looking rather blocky, and yet when you play it, it preserves the arcade feel much better than expected. For example, compared with the Colecovision translation I also had, this one is night-and-day better. Great title.
rave.N - 09/05/2016
The screenshot seen on the back of the published boxcover here, is not from this game! It is said to be from an Atari version made by Roklan which Parker Bros had commissioned then never used. The $65536 question: anybody got the Roklan version, even if it's unfinished?
sparkle - 25/11/2015
play hint: when the fleet of enemies is assembling, player is at risk of being rammed by ships unseen entering from off screen. the width of the background starfield collapses just before ships rush in, then starfield width expands to full screen when the outside edges are no longer dangerous.

freakin annoying asteroids always home directly in on you. one would think their appearance ought to be random, but this is what makes gyruss gyruss.
rave.N - 25/11/2015
typo on this page, in gameplay field, 1 player is allowed not just 2. BTW unlimited lives cheat hooks up both players when in 2 player mode. Also Gyruss has no menu and an unorthodox way to begin 2 players.

Press Start to begin or restart into 1 player mode.
Press Select to begin or restart for 2 players.
rave.N - 25/11/2015
This model 800 cartridge is messed up, and some file versions are bad too. The model 5200 cartridge is a good choice. Here I got "endless asteroids" also, but found only in a file version with buggy built in cheat modes named improperly as "Gyruss II", file can outright crash too.

PROPER CHEAT MODE unlimited lives, search Gyruss code for the sequence $D6 $F7 $D6 $AA then change "$D6 $AA" to "$EA $EA", programs contain a second instance of $D6 $AA not preceeded by $F7 which does not get changed. For this particular cartridge model 800 it means change 2 bytes: Offset $59F from $D6 to $EA and offset $5A0 from $AA to $EA. Also, activate an auto rapid fire controller for that invincible feeling.

What's wrong with this cart is it struggles to draw and puts out a lower frames per second, subtle tho, so for an obvious thing wrong look at the colors in use on the screenshot in the games list page. Purple stars, purple bullets, purple enemies, and purple writing. Might as well be missing a hardware register.

Gyruss has four color schemes: purple, blue, orange, & green. In the real game, color signifies your progress toward each planet. 3 warps away is purple, 2 warps away is blue, 1 warp away is orange, and "Chance" stages are always green like a traffic light implying the targets can't harm you in Chance rounds. Since the game always starts at 2 warps from planet Neptune, it is supposed to start Blue and not look all purply until the 4th stage.

This model 800 cartridge Gyruss begins every game with purple, off to a bad start, then every subsequent stage is randomly colored, RANDOMLY COLORED. You can be dealt the same color 2 or more times back to back, and Chance stages aren't always Green anymore. wtf?
rave.N - 23/08/2015
Arcade classic, a marriage of Galaga and Tempest. The "Challenge" waves are directly modeled on Galaga. The phenomenal music is JS Bach "Toccata i fuga d-moll" but also inspired by a version/band named "Sky" made in 1980.

Many arcade games don't translate perfectly to Atari 800 and writers typically must sacrifice 1 of 3 either graphics, sound, or gameplay. We find sound sacrificed a lot, gameplay too often because of untalented programming, but on Parker Bros Gyruss they daringly chose to let graphics go in return for gameplay and sound, and it worked good.
eppy2000 - 12/03/2015
A well-executed home conversion, the kind that's done so well that playing the actual arcade version seemed moot. This is another game where I never could fully master (in this case, safely reaching Earth) until I played it on an emulator. :) There is an annoying glitch to the game. Sometimes after clearing a wave, you do not hyperspace to the next sector, but instead fly endlessly no enemy ships in sight. And you have to sacrifice one of your ships by colliding into an asteroid in order to proceed. I always found that highly annoying. Especially when working on a high score or if remaining ships are at a premium!

I remember the Computer Games review quite well (still have the issue). The reviewer nailed it, in that it was an asset that game play took priority over visuals when compared to the mediocre Star Wars: The Arcade Game.
Gruppenfuhrer WOLF - 15/09/2010
Seriously, this is one of my favourite games for Atari! Simple but so addictive!


Gyruss atari screenshot
Gyruss atari screenshot
Gyruss atari screenshot
Gyruss atari screenshot
Gyruss atari screenshot
Gyruss atari screenshot


GenreShoot'em Up! - 3-DYear1984
LanguageMachine LanguagePublisherParker Brothers
ControlsJoystickDeveloperOn-Time Software, Inc.
Players1, 2 (alt.)CountryUSA


Graphic Artist(s)


Medium Cartridge


Cover Artist(s)[unknown]Serial1280
Dumpdownload atari Gyruss Download

Additional Comments

This program was first being developed by Roklan before Parker Brothers decided not to honor a verbal agreement between the two companies and eventually hand over the contract to On-Time Software, Inc.:


Gyruss Atari cartridge scan Gyruss Atari cartridge scan



Gyruss Atari ad


Gyruss Atari catalog Gyruss Atari catalog



Book / Magazine Reviews

 Computer Games · November, 1984Rating: A- 

While Parker Brothers chose graphics over play action on their Star Wars cartridge, they put play action first in this case. It pays off. This game, which looks something like Galaga-in-the-round, feels a lot like the arcade original. Satellites, meteors and enemy planes swirl frantically around the screen to the tune of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. You move in a wide circle... [more]

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