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Video Game / Spider-Man (Atari 2600)

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The first Spider-Man video game, released by Parker Brothers in 1982.

The Green Goblin has planted "Super Bombs" on the tops of skyscrapers, and Spider-Man has to defuse them. You play Spidey, using his web-shooter to climb up the side of each building. Each building has a lower section, with windows, and an upper section, a lattice of girders. Spidey's web can only grab onto the walls and girders, not the windows or the sky.

Criminals appear in the windows; if your web touches them, they'll cut it and you'll fall. But if Spidey himself touches them, he'll capture them, score points, and replenish his web fluid. Likewise with bombs planted in the girder section. The Green Goblin appears from time to time, moving back and forth across the screen; he has to be avoided. Once you get to the Super Bomb, swing Spidey over it to defuse it.


Web fluid runs out with time. On higher levels, it runs out faster. The game is endless; once you finish level 6, it repeats level 6 again. The game ends when you lose all your lives. Which is actually one of the most gruesome deaths depicted on the Atari 2600; Spidey falls to the ground and lands on his back with a splat noise.

Atari 2600 Spider-Man provides examples of:

  • Big Bad: The Green Goblin, flying back and forth at the top of each skyscraper.
  • Difficulty Levels: Three, but they just start you on different levels. Difficulty level 1 starts you on level 1, difficulty 2 starts you on level 3, and difficulty 3 starts you on level 5.
  • Disney Villain Death: Poor Spidey falls to his death and audibly splats on the sidewalk if he runs out of web fluid.
  • Endless Game: After you complete level 6, it just repeats level 6 forever.
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  • Event Flag: If you capture too many criminals and/or bombs, the Green Goblin will light the fuse on the Super Bomb. You then have a limited time to defuse the bomb.
  • Every 10,000 Points: You get an extra life.
  • Everything Fades: Criminals and bombs disappear when you capture/defuse them.
  • Game Levels: Six different skyscrapers.
  • Game Over: When you run out of lives.
  • High-Altitude Battle: Spidey web-shoots his way up skyscrapers while capturing criminals, defusing bombs, and avoiding the Green Goblin.
  • Instant-Win Condition: You win by defusing the Super Bomb - remaining smaller bombs, criminals, and the Green Goblin don't matter.
  • It's All Upstairs From Here: In a modern setting.
  • Ledge Bats: All the enemies. If your webbing touches them, down you go. Shoot another web to stop your fall.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: Spidey falls at a constant rate. Throw a web at any time and he's back in action.
  • Recurring Boss: The Green Goblin can show up two or three times in one level.
  • Reward from Nowhere: Web fluid from criminals and bombs.
  • Scoring Points: You score points when you capture a criminal, defuse a bomb, or complete the level by defusing the Super Bomb.
  • Side View: The skyscraper is seen from the side. Spidey is seen from behind.
  • Timed Mission: Spidey's web fluid decreases with time, but can be replenished by capturing criminals or defusing bombs. Do too much of this, though, and another timed mission begins: Defuse the Super Bomb before it goes off.
  • Video-Game Lives: Spidey gets three lives, represented by spider icons.
  • Wall Crawl: You crawl up skyscrapers the entire game.

Alternative Title(s): Atari 2600 Spider Man