You're at the top of a long tube. Lots of colorful things are crawling up the tube at you, and shooting things at you. When you shoot them all, you go whizzing down the tube... to yet another tube.

The game came into creation when programmer Dave Theurer came up with the idea after having a nightmare about monsters crawling out of a hole. It's a ShootEmUp, and fun enough that it doesn't need any excuse. "Besides, we're Creator/{{Atari}}, and this is UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfVideoGames; we know you're going to keep feeding quarters into anything with our logo on it, story or no. Go nuts, guys!" This video game was released in 1981.

Not to be confused with Creator/WilliamShakespeare's ''Theatre/TheTempest,'' which is a Third Person "Romance" about [[Film/ForbiddenPlanet a long-lost genius, his beautiful daughter, and the fell things that are discovered in their seeming paradise when a foreign ship crashes there...]]

For the UrbanLegend version, see ''VideoGame/{{Polybius}}''.
!! ''Tempest'' provides examples of:
* TheArtifact: The illustrations on the side of the original cabinet show actual monsters rather than the abstract squiggles that serve as the enemies/targets in the actual game. This was because they were designed and printed at a time when the plan was for them to look like that. By the time the developers threw in the towel on making credible-looking monsters with the game's vector graphics, it was too late to change them.
* AsteroidsMonster: The Tankers will split into two Flippers when shot at. Later on in the Yellow levels they can split into Fuseballs and Pulsars.
* ColorCodedCharacters: As you start out, your player is yellow, the playfield's blue, the spikes are green and the enemies are red & purple. [[PaletteSwap Everything changes colors after the cycle of 16 playfields resets, however.]]
* EndlessGame: There are 16 different field designs, and once you beat the last level, you're sent back to the first but with a difficulty increase and [[PaletteSwap the color palette altered]], coloring the fields in the next loops red, yellow, cyan, black, and green in that order. Once you clear the final green level (Level 96), the next two levels (97 and 98) are repeats of levels 81 and 82 respectively, and then you're stuck in a random sequence of green levels, while the level counter is {{cap}}ped at 99.
* EveryTenThousandPoints: Depends on the setting. {{Subverted|Trope}} that if you succeed in a Skill Step level (start at Level 9, for instance) with enough for more than one extra life, the game only gives one extra life.
* EverythingTryingToKillYou
* ExcusePlot: It's an old-school arcade game, what did you expect?
* HardModePerks: Starting on higher waves gives you a point bonus, which is usually a much higher value than if you reach the level naturally.
* InterfaceScrew: In levels 65 to 80, the playfield is all black. Lanes still light up if you're in them, or if a Pulsar zaps them.
* KaizoTrap: Sort of. As you zoom through the end of a stage to the next, if you hit a spike you will die. The first few levels with spikes at least give you a brief "Avoid Spikes" warning.
* ShootEmUp
* SmartBomb: The Super Zapper (renamed the Super Tapper in ''[=TxK=]''). You get one free use each level, and it will eliminate every enemy on the field automatically. Try to use it a second time and it will result in a weaker blast that only kills one enemy[[note]]Usually the one closest to the top or the strongest enemy currently present at the time of use[[/note]].
* VectorGame

!! The sequels (''Tempest 2000'', ''Tempest 3000'', ''Space Giraffe'' and [=TxK=]) provide examples of:
* ActionBomb: ''[=TxK=]'' has two enemies shaped like rainbow polygonal shapes that detonate when shot.
* AnimalMotifs: A recurring theme in the sequels as with many of Jeff's projects is the mention of ungulates such as bulls, cows, llamas, ox, and sheep.
* CameraScrew: Specific to ''Space Giraffe'', where the camera is positioned to create blind spots in your vision (i.e. columns perpendicular to the screen). Additionally, there is camera spinning starting on stage 49.
* CyberpunkIsTechno: listen to the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffFyxC-s2Qg iconic soundtrack]]. This was also sold as a stand-alone audio CD. Jeff Minter originally [[WhatCouldHaveBeen wanted to use the same soundtrack for Space Giraffe too]], but he did not because, in his words, "attempting to acquire the rights from Atari was hell". This might also be why [[ImplausibleDeniability he keeps denying that Space Giraffe is Tempest]].
* DamnYouMuscleMemory: In ''[=TxK=]'', the in-between level sequences where you can gain a few bonus points by lining up the particle with the center of the screen, you're using reversed flying controls (where up makes you go up and down makes you go down). However in the "Fly through Rings" bonus stages, you use normal flying controls (where hitting up makes you go down, and vice versa).
* EliteMook: Mutant Flippers in ''Tempest 2000'' and ''[=TxK=]'', and Mutant Flowers in ''[=TxK=]''.
* EverythingsBetterWithLlamas: the games contain multiple references to llamas and other ungulates, in the form of psychedelic imagery (during the game) and text (the names of some levels and some entries in the high score table).
* GameBreakingBug:
** ''[=TxK=]'' has one on the form of the player randomly moving even when no input is being touched on the left analog stick. This mostly seems to happen when you're in the middle of exiting a level. What's that? A Spike? Have fun with your ship randomly deciding to run into it even when you're in a lane that's 100% clear of obstacles.
** Another one happens in the "Stay on the Green Path" bonus stages. If you're moving with the left Analog Stick, the particle you're moving will suddenly lock in place as you're moving it. If it happens near the end, it will without a doubt screw up your entire run, denying you the 50,000 point bonus.
* HaveANiceDeath: When you die in ''Tempest 2000'', you can read on your screen what caused your death (e.g. "Caught you!" "Shot you!" and so on). This was changed since ''Tempest 3000'', where you just get different sound effects depending on how you died.
* InterfaceScrew: Thanks to the camera in most of these sequels, you usually cannot see enemies or enemy projectiles that are in the same lane or directly adjacent to you. In ''[=TxK=]'' you can turn the camera left and right by tilting your device, but nothing happens if you tilt it up/down, which would be the more useful view angles to look around in.
* MarathonLevel: Usually, the final level of a world in ''[=TxK=]'' (the eighth of each world) will be longer than usual. The levels of World 13 (levels 97-100) contain perhaps the longest number of enemies the player will face at once by far.
* MoreDakka: In the twelfth world of ''[=TxK=]'', the Gunship enemy is introduced that stays below the web where your shots can't reach and will unleash BulletHell in the columns that it's in.
* MusicalNod: ''[=TxK=]'''s ending screen [[spoiler:uses the "Flossie's Frolic" music from ''Space Giraffe'']].
* SdrawkcabName: The first two levels (65 and 66) of the ninth world in ''[=TxK=]'' are named "Olleh" and "Xob", as they are remixed versions of the first two levels ("Hello" and "Box") now mobile instead of static.
* SelfImposedChallenge: In ''[=TxK=]'', beating levels without ever jumping [[note]]In ''[=TxK=]'', you can no longer gain score if your ship is in mid-air, compared to past installments that don't have this rule in place[[/note]].
* [[invoked]] ThatOneLevel:
** In a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRHJMf_jY8A#t=39m12 Google Tech Talk video]], Jeff Minter had a discussion about his games created at Llamasoft. He discussed ''Space Giraffe'', where he designated level 64 "Flumm Ox" as that one level. "If you get to level 64, I guarantee the first time you get there you would just go 'What the smeg is going on there' and you'll die." He then plays through the level. \\
In particular, Level 64 is a 4-pointed star, with the tips being tight together. Enemies are generally slow, and everything has a psychedelic shading to look different. The level being with a large number of "danger!" announcements (those enemies that reach the top shoot two horizontal bullets), followed by spheres, flowers that extend past the limit. The combination of these makes the level difficult, at least according to the author. \\
Choosing Space Giraffe NUXX on startup removes the color shift that plagues level 64, and renames the level to "Stargoat". The NUXX option tones down the background and psychedelic effects, but doesn't change the overall difficulty of the level.
* TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon: World 13 in ''[=TxK=]''; It's the shortest of the worlds in the game and the only one not to introduce a new enemy species, but it's a survival against four very difficult [[ZergRush Zerg Rushes]].
* WarpZone:
** In ''Tempest 2000'', if you succeed in any of the bonus rounds, you will gain a 20,000 point bonus and warp ahead five levels. The warp doesn't happen if you're nearing the end of the game.
** ''[=TxK=]'' changes this to instead give 50,000 points, but without the warp.
* AWinnerIsYou:
** Beating a level in ''Space Giraffe'' shows this, along with "[[{{Engrish}} CONGRATURATION! YOU SUCCESS]]"[[note]]Almost certainly a ShoutOut to [[Creator/HudsonSoft "Stop the Express"]] on the UsefulNotes/ZXSpectrum[[/note]] and "[[YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle BUT OUR GIRAFFE IS IN ANOTHER CASTLE]]".
** The final message you receive upon finishing ''[=TxK=]''? [[spoiler:"Congoatulations"]].
* XtremeKoolLetterz: A ''Tempest 2000'' review on [=YouTube=] mentioned that, had it been actually made in 2000, it would have been called "Tempest 2K". So in 2013, Jeff Minter made another ''Tempest'' sequel and called it T'''xK'''.

Vwooooooooooooooooopp--[[KaizoTrap P-POW!]]