ARROW: joystick
SPACE: fire

Game instructions

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Game Instructions (Scroll down)


by Activision

Designed by Alan Miller

Warning ...
Official Orders
Code Name: Robot Tank



As you well know, sophisticated enemy Robot Tanks are quickly advancing cross country, firing at will and stopping at nothing. You must command your own Robot Tanks to stop their charge of chaos. Avoid being hit by enemy fire, or your Robot Tanks may be destroyed. The rebels are currently headed towards downtown Santa Clara. Only you can stop them.

Good luck!

Game Play

  1. Hook up your video game system. Follow manufacturer's instructions.
  2. With power OFF, plug in the game cartridge.
  3. Turn power ON. If no picture appears, check connection of your game system to TV, then repeat steps 1-3.
  4. Plug Joystick into left controller port only. This is a solo mission.
  5. The game select switch and difficulty switches are not used.
  6. Use of Joystick Controller.
    • Hold Joystick Controller with red fire button in the upper left position.
    • Move Joystick left to maneuver and/or aim your Robot Tank left.
    • Move Joystick right to maneuver and/or aim your Robot Tank right.
    • Push Joystick forward to roll your Robot Tank forward.
    • Pull Joystick back to retreat.
    • Press the red fire button to shoot your Robot Tank cannon at rampaging enemy Robot Tanks. Hold button down to continuous fire.
  7. To begin play. Press game reset switch.
  8. Scoring. A small tank appears at the top of your screen for each enemy Robot Tank you destroy. A square with the number 12 appears at the top of your screen each time a squadron of twelve enemy Robot Tanks are destroyed.
  9. Reinforcements. You begin with one active Robot Tank and three reserves. Reserve Robot Tanks begin operation in perfect condition. You earn one bonus Robot Tank for every enemy squadron destroyed. The maximum number of bonus Robot Tanks allowed at any one time is 12.
  10. End of Game. You may lose your Robot Tank when it is hit by enemy rocket fire. Your video scrambles with static interference when this happens. Some hits may only damage your tank. (See "Damage Sensors" in "Special Features"). Game ends when all of your Robot Tanks are destroyed or all 12 enemy squadrons are destroyed.

The military clock is the time centered at the very top of the screen.

The enemy robot tanks are the tanks you see on the screen.

There are four damage sensors:

The radar damage sensor is represented by a "R".
The treads damage sensor is represented by a "T".
The video damage sensor is represented by a "V".
The cannons damage sensor is represented by a "C".

The reinforcement takes are on the bottom left corner of the screen.

The radar scan is the circular thing on the bottom center of the screen.

The destroyed enemy tanks are the black tanks at the top of your screen.


Your Robot Tank's electronic eye lets you view the battlefield from a remote control station. Perspectives are real. The size of enemy Robot Tanks and their fire increase on your remote screen as they get dangerously close.
From the first glimmer of sunrise, beyond the grey dusk and into darkened night, the enemy attacks relentlessly. For you, sleep becomes a distant memory. The military clock counts the hours and the days and can be used as a tool for strategy (see "Tips from Alan Miller"). How long can you go on?
Fog, rain and snow are reported to you through pre-dawn computer updates. In the snow, your tank will slip and slide. Rain significantly impedes your tanks mobility. In blanketing fog, enemy Robot Tanks are only visible when they are right in front of you. So, take advantage of bright sunshine while it lasts.
The circular radar scan at the bottom of your screen is your window on the entire battlefield. Your tank is at the center of the scan, and the moving dot describes location, distance and directional movement of the enemy Robot Tank. Enemy tanks only fire rockets when they are in FRONT of your tank. Your tank is safe when the enemy tank is behind you--when the moving dot is below the center of the scan.
Video, cannons, radar and treads can be damaged by an enemy hit. Sensors report the damage by flashing on your control panel:

V: Video, your view on the battlefield, blacks out periodically.

C: Cannons will never go completely out, but when damaged, don't count on them firing all the time.

R: Radar scan inoperative. You must depend on your video to fix enemy position.

T: Treads damaged. Mobility is brought to a crawl. Movement is almost entirely frozen in the snow.

Be forewarned! Damaged tanks can NEVER be repaired.
Your tank's cannon fire is continuously targetable while it's in-flight. It will follow the direction of your cross hairs. Also, enemy rocket fire can be prematurely detonated by intercepting it with your own cannon fire. Destroying an enemy Robot Tank automatically explodes its in-flight rockets.


To successfully stop the rampage of enemy Robot Tanks, you must first become completely at ease with your own machine. There will be enough tension in the throes of battle.

Start out by practicing simple maneuvers. Roll your tank in all directions -- forward, back, left and right. Pay strict attention to your tank's speed. It is important to know how quickly it can advance on enemy Robot Tanks or retreat from them.

Dodging enemy fire is a vital defensive move. Find out how close you can get to an enemy Robot Tank and still have time to avoid on-coming rocket fire.

The radar scanner is a very important monitoring device. It is the only consistent way to know where the enemy is located at night or in unforgiving fog. Practice using the scanner by firing your cannon when an enemy tank is directly above the center. It's the only time you can make a hit.


For service beyond the call of duty, you are eligible to join Activision's Tank Corps. If you destroy at least 48 enemy Robot Tanks (4 squadrons), then you've earned the Medal of Merit patch. Succeed in destroying 60 enemy Robot Tanks (5 squadrons), and you proudly deserve the Cross of Excellence patch. Distinguish yourself by destroying 72 enemy Robot Tanks (6 squadrons), and your meritorious achievement decorates you with the Star of Honor patch.

Please send us a picture of your tour-de-force (TV screen), and we'll issue you the appropriate Tank Corps patch, along with our salute and congratulations.

Be sure to write "ROBOT TANK" and the number of enemy Robot Tanks you destroyed on the bottom left-handed corner of the envelop.



Alan Miller is an award-winning senior designer at Activision. One of the "giants" in the field, he's created Checkers, Tennis, Ice Hockey, StarMaster and now, Robot Tank.

"Once you're locked in electronic battle, there's only one thing you can be sure of-nothing ever stays the same.

"Enemy Robot Tanks continually sneak up on you. You'll frequently end up losing visibility for one reason or another. So, practice aiming at enemy tanks using only the radar scan. If you can master this, you will have better battling success at night or in fog.

"When there's no visibility, I suggest constantly maneuvering your Robot Tank to keep the enemy behind you, so that the vulnerable front of your tank is safe. Then, you can wait until conditions improve.

"If your tank is damaged, and it's night, keep track of the time using the military clock. If it's close to 0500 hours, then you may decide to wait for the weather alert. Conditions may improve from the previous day, and your next offensive may prove more successful.

"Remember that you can neutralize enemy fire by shooting into it. But, it's a risky tactic. Your miss could backfire and become a hit for your attacker."

Alan Miller

"P.S. When you've put plenty of distance between your Robot Tanks and the enemy, and all robotic communication has normalized, issue me a battle report. I'd love to know how you and your machines are doing."


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