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ATPM 8.03
March 2002




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Review: Centipede

by Gregory Tetrault,


Developer: MacSoft division of WizardWorks at Infogrames, Inc.

Price: $20

Requirements: G3-based Mac with Mac OS 8.6, 64 MB RAM, 8x CD-ROM.

Recommended: 333 MHz Mac, 8 MB of VRAM, 96 MB of RAM, 16x CD-ROM.

Trial: None.


Centipede was an old arcade game popular in the early 1980s. Your shooter had limited mobility at the bottom of the screen. You shot bullets at a segmented centipede, and each segment turned into an immovable mushroom after being shot. The object of the game was to blast the centipedes, spiders, and other enemies while acquiring special weapons or power-ups. Centipede went on to become an Atari 2600 game cartridge. The current incarnation of Centipede has a 3D Arcade version with game play similar to the original. The new game also has an Adventure version that combines the 3D Arcade-style game play with a five worlds “protect and rescue the good guys” action game.



The CD contains a data partition with the Centipede Vise installer. Standard installation places the application and some data files on the hard drive you designate. Custom installation lets you install most (215 MB) or all components (290 MB) except the movies. The CD contains installers for QuickTime 4.1.2, OpenGL 1.2.1, and GameSprockets 1.7.5. A second CD partition contains audio tracks for background music.


Files Installed on Hard Drive

Game Setup

The first time you launch, or anytime you hold down the Command key and launch, you are presented with a settings window. You can choose the screen resolution, refresh rate, rendering mode, detail and texture quality, and video extras such as fog, shadows, dithering, and 32-bit color. The manual provides no information on these settings. The Read Me file has a small amount of information.


Centipede Resolution and Appearance Options

Game Play

Centipede has single-player and two-player modes. Single-player modes include Arcade (based on the old Atari game), 3D Arcade (new to this game), and Adventure. I could not get Arcade to work at any resolution. The 3D Arcade game resembles the original Centipede game. It is really a 2.5D game with a 3D perspective. Movement felt choppy and suffered from excessive lag time. The mushrooms are rounded tetrahedrons on stalks. The spider enemy is just a spheroid associated with a spray of long triangular legs. I disliked the look and feel of the 3D Arcade game. Also, the repetitive background music quickly became annoying. Fortunately, you can turn it off.


Initial Game Menu


3D Arcade Game Screen Shot

Adventure can be played singly, with two players at one computer (that displays a screen split into left and right halves), or with two players over a network. I tested only the single player version. Adventure is a mixture of 3D Arcade Centipede and the old Defender arcade game. You appear on a playing field with rocks, walls, water barriers, bridges, and the inevitable mushrooms, centipedes, and spiders.


First Level of Adventure Game

There are also Wee creatures and Wee buildings that need to be protected. You maneuver your Shooter through the landscape, blasting mushrooms, spiders, centipedes, and other enemies to protect Wee buildings. You rescue the Wees by touching them with your shooter. You advance through the “worlds” (Weedom, Frostonia, Infurnium, Enigma, and E-Vile) by blasting or pushing back all the enemies. Again, I felt hindered by a perceptible lag when controlling the Shooter. Jumping is hard to control. It is possible to get your shooter stuck against objects. Also, it is sometimes difficult to identify objects against the background.


Mission Description Window

Centipede has an undocumented feature: screen shots. If you type Command-Shift-3, a screen shot (in PictureViewer format) will be placed in a Screenshots folder within your Centipede folder.

Instructions and Help

Centipede comes with a CD jewel case-sized, 28-page manual. The manual adequately describes hardware and software requirements and the installation process. It does not describe the resolution and graphic details setup options at all. It skimps when describing how to set control options for mice, game pads, and joysticks. The manual doesn’t describe the Arcade game (which doesn’t appear on the screen shots of the “Select A Game” screen). The manual uses “Arcade” when referring to the 3D Arcade option. The manual adequately describes game play in 3D Arcade and Adventure modes. Obviously, the manual is a slapdash rewrite of the Windows version.

No online help is available during game setup or game play.


I could not get Centipede to launch when running Mac OS 8.6. Though I have a 3dfx card, the Glide rendering option was never selectable. Centipede intermittently crashed when launching under OS 9, probably due to resolution switching problems. I could not get the Arcade version to work no matter what resolution options I tried.


I did not enjoy Centipede in its 3D Arcade version at all. The Adventure game was somewhat more interesting, but it wasn’t great. If the $5 price at isn’t a mistake, then I would consider it acceptable for the money. However, Ambrosia Software’s Centipede-like game, Apeiron, is more fun. Apeiron was created in 1995, but it still runs under OS 7-9 and doesn’t cause crashes. It sells for $15.


Apeiron Screen Shot

Reader Comments (36)

Toni Seth · March 3, 2002 - 13:37 EST #1
I believe in you. Your site is most informative. I am
very careful about what I choose in games for my
grandchildren. They attend a private school and are
not subject to any violence or hatred. They are well-mannered and extremely bright children. Their mom has an iMac / 2001 computer and she allows
them to play only non-violent games, so I believe that your site is the best that I've seen so far on the
internet. Thanks for being there.
Jane · April 24, 2002 - 19:45 EST #2
My daughter and I really find the two-player adventure game exciting to play together. Unfortunately, we cannot defeat Ant May and are stuck in her world no matter what we try. Do you have any suggestions? It would be greatly appreciated!

Sincerely, Jane and Liz
Kelly · January 15, 2003 - 23:38 EST #3
I cannot defeat Ant May. Any help!? Thanks.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · January 15, 2003 - 23:43 EST #4
Kelly - one word. "Practice." ;-)
Kelly · January 16, 2003 - 13:14 EST #5
I defeated Ant May by hiding behind the crystal and shooting it from behind. It takes a lot of shots, but I did it the first time I tried. Thanks for the great hint, Lee, "practice." I'm just glad someone else told me how to kill it.
Rick · January 21, 2003 - 22:02 EST #6
I am on the "Evil Mission 6 Her Dread Power The Queen Pede" level. Does anyone know how to beat this level? Thank you.

anonymous · February 5, 2003 - 23:32 EST #7
Rick, use an invincibility cheat and then destroy all her little centipedes. Shoot her a couple of times and she'll lose another segment.
judy · August 20, 2004 - 22:33 EST #8
How do you beat the Huckleberry Friend in Frostonia Mission 6, I keep hiding and shooting at her and hit her alot but can never seem to damage her before the water starts rising and gets me.
Grandma · August 23, 2004 - 23:53 EST #9
I'm like jane and Kelly stuck in Ant May can't seem to figure out how to kill that darn ant. Help!
jade · August 30, 2004 - 16:31 EST #10
Im like judy, need help in huckleberry friend
robert ernst · October 16, 2004 - 21:34 EST #11
i am in level 6 and seen previous messages on how to kill the dreaded ant (i think it is a praying mantis) whatever.... what is a invincibility cheat??? i kill all the little ones except after i get into the ring of hell... most times i have every available weapon and it still doesnt help. i guess i could use more help in defeating this cursed insect. somebody please help i cant stand it, i have to know. thank you very much
Jeffrey · November 19, 2004 - 16:33 EST #12
Huckleberry Friend is so annoying. It seems impossible. How do you beat it? Every time I kill all the centipedes, the water rises or the praying mantis destroys the moon polarizer. Help!
Jen · January 4, 2005 - 19:27 EST #13
To kill Ant May, you need to get the double lady bug shields and wait until she's eating one of the crystals. The trick is to leave the druids so they freeze the centipede and such. You then need to increase your firing power by collecting the triple shooter--all the while trying not to loose your shield. Once she is eating, sneak up from behind and shoot away. She'll get slower and slower as she tries to get away--it only takes 100 shots.
As for me, I'm hating that praying mantis!
Sue Wills · March 6, 2005 - 17:39 EST #14
When someone defeats Huckleberry friend, let us all know.
Max · April 19, 2005 - 21:59 EST #15
i am in level 6 and seen messages on how to kill the dreaded ant i kill all the little ones except after i get into the ring of hell... most times i have every available weapon and it still doesnt help. i guess i could use more help in defeating this insect. somebody please help i cant stand it, i have to know. thank you
j'net · April 24, 2005 - 18:35 EST #16
Ok, first's not a praying's name is "Ant May"'s an ANT :-)
Second, I am stuck in the ice world (just after Ant May). There's steps to the next area...but I don't know how to get up the steps...any ideas???
j'net · April 25, 2005 - 13:52 EST #17
Now stuck in Frotonia level one. Didn't do to well defending the ice homes, but Wally survived. Now I can't climb the two steps to were I can see some Druids running around. Anyone know hwow to get up there???
Rachelle · June 7, 2005 - 10:56 EST #18
I'm with j'net, im stuck on Frostonia mission one. what do you do with the snowflake that comes down and how do you get up the two steps that lead to the big double doors? please help.
j'net · June 14, 2005 - 09:26 EST #19
Question on the snow flakes...shoot them! They have cool weapons, etc for you and sometime an extra man :-)
To climb steps use shift key to jump and move forward at the same time with the arrow key.
Oh, and at the end of Frostonia is the praying mantis...use double shields and the "burst" weapon (little blue flower looking weapon that come sout of plashing mushrooms). Hide behind the crystle thing in the middle, very clsoe to it, to aviod the praying mantises weapons (they cruve around to follow you).
I am stuck in evil-e leve1 2. Only have one man when I went in and ca;t get past the first few seonds...ugh!
Calvin · August 16, 2005 - 20:47 EST #20
hi... I GOT THE MANTIS i shot it a LOT! AND i have complete THE GAME!!.....anyone else BYE BYE PEDE! WOOH!!
Leigh Menconi · November 29, 2005 - 20:10 EST #21
to get almost infinite lives while your in one of the levels type in " get a life" and enter
Blake · January 9, 2006 - 15:02 EST #22
I beat ant may by hiding behind the stonehenge-ish things
that you start behind. No sheilds or anything, all you need is patience.
"B" weitz · February 15, 2006 - 01:40 EST #23
I Have read all od the comments regarding the dreaded centipede on level 6. i now have over 150 lives, lots of weapons, but, I cannot kill that monster! I have sat for hours, curse this level, and keep going. Please! Will someone tell me exactly how to beat this miserable bug? and what is hell in this game? thanks
Rick · February 15, 2006 - 02:13 EST #24
"B" Weitz Try to keep the shields when you get to the Queen Pede, and just keep shooting her until she breaks up into the smaller sections and keep repeating the steps.
The main key is to go back to the front and wait until she gets back to the front, so you have enough room to shoot her into smaller segments and you return to the back and keep shooting her. Make sure you move back and fourth to avoid her shooting you.
The bonus shooter and weapons really help to kill her quickly.
Good Luck...Keep us informed of of progress
Bea Weitz · February 15, 2006 - 18:52 EST #25
I am trying to kill that miserable bug, the dreaded centipede. I have had more than 117 men, and weopons, but after days of attempts, i complain about how much I hate this game and then keep on playing! Help me, someone, anyone and tell me how to kill this bug! Please post and respond. I need your help before it drives me crazy!
J'net · August 28, 2006 - 08:51 EST #26
"wimp" worked! Which has a good point of how long I have been stuck at the Queen Pede and frustrated...however there is a bit of triumph missing having done it with a "super shied" around me the whole time.
Eric W. · September 2, 2006 - 12:37 EST #27
Hay, J'net, how do you feel now that you have beaten the game?
Eric W. · November 19, 2006 - 19:48 EST #28
Yo, Bea Weitz, about you gettn' pissed off about the dreaded centipide, did you ever get my message on this site about the cheat code "wimp"?
Hilda Stepaniuk · April 27, 2007 - 12:45 EST #29
I recently revived 'Centipede. Playing the Adventure game I have gotten further than before. I am stuck at E-VILE level 1... how do you get across from the first island on the moving platforms to continue playing? I've tried every angle I can think of.
Judith Briseno · January 5, 2008 - 16:19 EST #30
I would like to know if there is any way to get infinite lives on the centipede adventure game. Thank You, Judith Briseno
Eric Whitney · January 5, 2008 - 16:50 EST #31
Judith Briseno, to get infinite lives, type in getalife and hit the enter key.
jeff pepper · February 7, 2008 - 20:33 EST #32
I finally (after 2 weeks of obsessive playing) gotten to the final Queen Pede level. I've discovered how to trap her but not how to kill her. I wait till the Queen turns to the left, then I dash up to the front right corner and wedge myself into a little spot near the metal gates that block the path at that corner. If I time it right, the Queen turns to the right, runs into a wall, and starts turning over and over in a circle, or gets wedged. So far so good... unfortunately I can't kill her no matter how many (thousands) of shots I fire into her. Any thoughts on how to get her would be hugely appreciated :)
Eric W. · February 7, 2008 - 22:38 EST #33
Jeff Pepper, you have to keep shooting at her until centipedes come out, kill those, then keep repeating the process untill she only has three segments left (including the head). Then keep shooting at her untill she turns into a stone and you've won. She's not all that's there to shoot. I think she lights up when centipedes break out of her segments, or she lights up when you have to shoot her, I haven't played the game in a while. It says that before you start the level. Hope this helped :)
jeff pepper · February 8, 2008 - 15:14 EST #34
Here's another way to beat Huckleberry Friend (the giant praying mantis in the round arena), and it doesn't require any special power-ups or shields, and not a whole lot of skill either :)

There are several entrances to the round arena. At one of them, I forget which one, you can leave the arena and hide just outside, on the left side of the doorway behind a rock outcropping. If you find just the right spot, the mantis won't be able to shoot you because you're hidden, but you can shoot the exposed edge of the mantis. It's really fun when it explodes :)
jeff pepper · March 12, 2008 - 22:42 EST #35
OK, big news from the land of the Queen Pede, I finally finished her off!!! This is after playing the final level who knows, maybe 400 times. It got to the point where I think I knew the level better than the designer, but I guess that's the point of the game.

A few tips. First of all, ignore my post of Feb 7 about trapping her. That only works for eliminating one segment, if you're lucky. And there are some drawbacks, such as the possibility that she will disappear completely (maybe she goes in the water?) and the game just sort of goes nowhere and you have to restart, must be an obscure bug.

You have to eliminate EACH of her segments, each time finishing off the regular centipede that sprouts off, while avoiding all the other critters (fleas, spiders, etc) that are attacking you.

Eliminate her segments one by one till there's only one or two left. In my (lucky) case, when she only had 1 or 2 segments left, I managed to lob a purple bomb right onto her and she turned to stone! So I can't say if there's any other way to finish her off, as this worked for me and there's no way I will ever try again :)

It's somewhat easier if you start off with a red shield or two (or three) when the Queen Pede arrives. But to be honest, when I finally beat her it was with no shields, just a whole lot of luck.

Incidentally, I did this without using any of the cheat codes, and without a joystick, just the arrow keys on the keyboard and three keys to control secondary weapons. Not that I'm such a great player, I mean really, it took me 2 months to finish this game... but the point is that you don't need to use the cheat codes to win.

Well, overall this was fun. I love this game, especially now that it's over :) Good luck everyone.
David J · August 27, 2009 - 06:38 EST #36
About Ant May:

An infinitely quicker way to beat it is to get that blue "shoot-in-all-directions" weapons and do as Jen said ("wait until she's eating one of the crystals." It only takes 2-4 shots to do it this way.

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