Retrogaming: 10 Links about Centipede

Retrogaming: 10 Links about Centipede (Jerz’s Literacy Weblog)

  1. Wikipedia’s Centipede (video game)

    I had no idea the PC in Centipede is a garden gnome. I always assumed I was playing an insect of some sort, squirting out venom to fight off attackers. (Elsewhere I’ve seen references to the PC having a magic wand.) The page is a good basic introduction to Atari’s garden-variety shooter, which first started feeding on quarters in 1980. Beware the spider!

  2. Killer List of Video Games: Coin-Op Museum: Centipede

    When coin-operated arcade games are stacked shoulder-to-shoulder, you can’t get a full view of the artwork along the sides. This site gives you full views of the cabinet design, as well as close-ups of game screens and the sparse but elegant instructions card. The control panel featured not a joystick, but a trackball.

  3. Retrogaming Times offers “The Many Faces of… Centipede” (scroll down to the middle of the page) which compares numerous different classic home versions of the game, on systems ranging from the Apple II to the TI 99/4a.
  4. In “Everything Old is New Again: Remaking Computer Games,” Richard Rouse III compares his role as lead designer in a remake of Centipede to the task of having to remake the Alfred Hitchcock movie Psycho: “[T]his classic recreation will never exactly replicate the original Centipede. As a result, I think, this replica has a deleterious effect on the entire enterprise.”
  5. I came across several scattered references to co-designer Donna Bailey as the first female game designer, but so far haven’t found more than a paragraph on her at a time. Her Wikipedia article, under the spelling “Dona Bailey,” remains a stub.
  6. Centipede screen captures from
  7. MobyGames has collected quaint advertising copy for Centipede.
  8. The Great Games Database entry for Centipede offers very technical information for serious retrogaming hardware collectors.
  9. Few online versions of classic arcade games are faithful to the originals, so playing them is like reading Cliffs Notes. Still, here’s a Shockwave version of Centipede. This Flash version doesn’t come close to emulating the whimsy and delicacy of the original.
  10. The novelty album Pac-Man Fever includes “Ode to a Centipede.” The musicians’ official website is buggy, but you can hear snippets of the songs for free, via the page where you can sample ringtones.