Game Trivia

  • The game was originally designed with a periscope viewfinder to simulate the feeling of being inside a war tank. Later production units of Battlezone removed the periscope peripheral for ergonomic reasons. Some players could not reach the periscope and viewing the game was difficult.

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  • The game had two different names during the prototype stage: Future Tank and Moon Tank.

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  • Battlezone was being developed at the same time as Red Baron resulting in identical cabinet designs. Both of these cabinets can run either game respectively.

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  • An alternate version of the game was designed called The Bradley Trainer, also known as Army Battlezone or Military Battlezone. This version of the game was designed for use by the U.S. Army as targeting training for gunners on the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

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  • In development of The Bradley Trainer, some Atari staff members including original designer Ed Rotberg refused to work on the project due to its association with the Army. Rotberg was promised by management not to have to work on any projects with the U.S. Army again.

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  • Only two Bradley Trainer cabinets of Battlezone were produced. One was delivered to the U.S. Army and is presumed lost, while the other is in a private collection owned by Scott Evans, who found it by a dumpster in the back parking lot of Midway Games.

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  • The Bradley Trainer version of the game is very different from the original Battlezone. It features helicopters, missiles, and machine guns. Also the actual tank does not move, instead the guns simply rotate.

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  • Battlezone is sometimes considered the first virtual reality game due to its first-person semi 3D graphics and its periscope viewing peripheral.

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  • The game was to be ported to the Atari 5200 and scheduled for a November, 1983 release but was cancelled.

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  • The Atari ST port of Battlezone is notable for containing much of the game's original MOS Technology 6502 code which is emulated in real time.

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  • Battlezone earned an honorable mention for "Best Commercial Arcade Game" in 1982 at the Third Annual Arkie Awards.

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  • A prototype cocktail version of Battlezone was developed, including full artwork and control panel. It was supposedly market tested but was not met with success. Only one is known to exist as it was not released for production. There is also no color overlay for the cocktail version since the images needs to flip for the second player.

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