Howard Scott Warshaw Day 2016

Howard Scott Warshaw Day 2016

[easy-share buttons=”facebook,twitter,google,pinterest,digg,stumbleupon,tumblr,mail,reddit,buffer” counters=0 native=”no”]

Justin Atari

By Justin  |  Retroist  |  Instagram

CELEBRATE HOWARD SCOTT WARSHAW DAY 2016 AT THE ATARI I/O OPEN HOUSE! Join your friends in the Atari.IO Forums on Saturday, July 30, 2016 for a day of Atari fun & festivities!


Howard Scott Warshaw Atari E.T. Yars' Revenge


July 30th is Howard Scott Warshaw Day 2016! Howard was a game designer at Atari who was responsible for creating some of the 2600’s most memorable titles. Howard’s birthday is July 30th. We’ve chosen this day every year to celebrate Howard’s creations as one of Atari’s most prolific game designers! This year we’re celebrating with some fun events taking place in the forums:

This year Brian Thomas Barnhart will debut his new Atari-themed YouTube show “7800 Avenue” with a special Yars’ Revenge episode celebrating Howard Scott Warshaw. 7800 Avenue focuses on Atari 2600 and 7800 with a look at different games and accessories in each episode!



Celebrate #HSWDAY at 7800 Ave. by playing the Atari classic Yars’ Revenge. Happy Birthday Howard Scott Warsaw, and thank you for creating Atari’s best-selling original title for the 2600, this game still rocks! [Via] Brian Thomas Barnhart


Ultimate Yars is the most challenging variant in Yars’ Revenge! It can be played by setting the Difficulty Level to GAME 6.

Ultimate Yars features a bouncing Zorlon Cannon, plus some unusual twists that distinguish it from the other Difficulty Levels in Yars’ Revenge. First, you must bounce the Yar against the left side of the screen to make the Zorlon Cannon appear. Also, to make the cannon appear, you need five TRONS. TRONS are units of energy which you can collect at the following rate:

  • Eat a cell from the shield: 1 TRON
  • Touch the Qotile: 2 TRONS
  • Catch a Zorlon Cannon shot after it bounces off the shield: 4 TRONS

If a Yar bounces on the left side with less than five TRONS, it will not get a shot, but it won’t lose the TRONS it has either. (Each time a Yar is destroyed, it loses its TRONS). Each Yar has a capacity of 255 TRONS. If a Yar tries to take on more than that, it will short out and the Yar will lose all its TRONS. The count of TRONS is not displayed on the screen. Yar scouts understand the count instinctively.


Atari Yars' Revenge art


One of the most enduring and successful original games for the 2600, Yars’ Revenge was the first game created by Howard Scott Warshaw. Originally conceived as a conversion of the popular arcade game Star Castle, Warshaw believed he couldn’t do that title justice, and decided to create his own game using basic elements drawn from Star Castle.

The name of the game is even a reference to Atari’s CEO Ray Kassar, as “RAY” was spelled backwards to read “YAR”. Warshaw developed a detailed backstory for the game that ended up as part of an exclusive pack-in Yars’ Revenge Comic Book.


Atari E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Yars' Revenge by Howard Scott Warshaw HSW


Howard also created an unreleased game called Saboteur, as well as Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Atari 2600 adventure game based on the movie of the same title. All of Howard’s games that were released by Atari became million-sellers.

Following on the success of Raiders, Howard Scott Warshaw was hand-picked by Steven Spielberg and Atari to turn another memorable movie into a game cartridge for the Atari 2600 – E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.



Zak Penn’s documentary Atari: Game Over was released in 2014 and focuses on Howard Scott Warshaw’s role in the development of the E.T. cartridge, the financial collapse of Atari during 1983-1984, the events that led to Atari’s warehouse dump in the desert, and how Howard Scott Warshaw became ensnared in the legend.

Atari Chat will be active throughout the day and into the night. The friendly retrogaming community at Atari I/O will be on hand to share in your love of classic video games, tv, movies, and more!

Hope to see you there!




Justin is a Technology Entrepreneur, Futurist and Raconteur, and an avid Atari aficionado behind the creation of Atari I/O. He is also a contributing writer at The Retroist under the name Atari I/O. You can follow him at his website