ACTIVISION DRAGSTER INSTRUCTIONS
Copyright 1980 Activision AG-001-03 Rev 3
Game before: none (this was the first from Activision)
Game after: Boxing AG-002
You have in your hand one of the most exciting video
games every designed. ONE WORD OF CAUTION: this games
takes a little time to learn because it's so challenging.
It's very tricky. So please read these directions and give
yourself some practice time. Then you can aim for the
1. Hook up your video game system. Follow manufacturer's
2. With power OFF, plug in game cartridge.
3. Turn power ON. If no picture appears, check connection
of your game system to TV, then try steps 1-3 again.
4. Difficulty settings have no effect on the game. (Skill
settings on Sears TeleGame Video Arcade Systems have no effect.)
5. Select game with game select switch.
Game 1: Straight-ahead Dragster, one or two players.
Game 2: Steerable Dragster, one or two players.
6. Your Joystick Controller is both the clutch and gear shift
for your Dragster; the red button is your gas pedal. Use left
Joystick for the top car; right one for bottom car. Hold
Joystick with button in upper left.
7. To shift gears, CLUTCH by pushing Joystick to the left and
SHIFT by letting the Joystick spring back to the center.
8. Give your Dragster gas by pressing the Joystick button.
9. Your car starts each race in neutral (N). There are four
gear positions - 1,2,3,4 - and you must clutch and shift between
each gear. You cannot downshift.
10. Press game reset or push Joystick to the right to start each
race. The race starts with a new countdown and both cars in
11. When the countdown reaches 0, you can start. If you drop
into gear too soon, before the end of the countdown, EARLY will
appear on the screen and you have to wait for the next race.
You can clutch during the countdown, but you cannot drop into
1st until 0.
12. The object of Dragster is to beat your opponent across
the screen, or to race against the clock for best time.
WATCH YOUR TACH
The tachometer (tach) shows how fast your engine is turning
over. A dark green line that starts at the left side of your
TV screen for each can and turns red at about the middle is
your tach. When it turns red, you are in the high power - but
danger!- area. You'll find that you get your best speed in each
gear by red-lining your tach close to the maximum and you'll
learn by experience just where that maximum is. But watch out!
If you rev your engine too much, it will BLOW. So be careful.
Once you blow your engine, the race is over for you (your motor
The way to build maximum speed is to quickly clutch shift and
accelerate through all four gears WITH MAXIMUM POWER AT EACH
Once you start shifting gears, you can't downshift. But if
you shift too soon, your engine will lug (work heavily);
you will accelerate slowly and lose some time. It's tricky
and takes practice, but your patience and perseverance
will be rewarded with good times.
WORLD CLASS TIMES
In a one-on-one game, you win if you beat the other player.
If you want to become an expert drag racer, you'll want to
come in under 6.50 seconds. And if you can do better than
6 seconds, take a picture of the screen and send it to us.
We'll enroll you in our World Class Dragster Club. Be sure
to send a photo of the screen.
READY FOR A BIGGER CHALLENGE?
Try Game 2. Not only do you have to clutch and shift your
acer quickly through four gears and give it the gas without
blowing your engine, you also have to STEER YOUR DRAGSTER
between the grandstands and the center divider. You steer
by moving your Joystick up and down. Any time under 6.20
seconds in Game 2 is sensational.
(picture of screen goes here)
HOW TO BE A WORLD CLASS DRAGSTER DRIVER
(Tips from David Crane, Designer of Dragster by ACTIVISION.)
(David's Picture goes here) David Crane, a senior member of
Activision's design team, started computer game playing as
a team leader of a college project. David is also the designer
of Freeway, Fishing Derby, and Laser Blast by ACTIVISION.
Dave specializes in games that other designers consider
"The key to World Class times in Dragster is training your
reflexes to clutch and shift quickly, accelerating at maximum
power in each gear without blowing your engine. Call it racing
shifting, if you like, but it's the only way you'll get your
speed down under seven seconds."
"There are a couple of tricks that are not so obvious, For
example, put the clutch in during the last numbers of the
countdown, hold it in, rev up (careful) and pop the clutch
by letting go of the Joystick the instant the screen reads 0."
"Then you should try to rev your engine to KEEP THE TACH IN
THE RED AS YOU GO THROUGH ALL FOUR GEARS (without blowing your
engine). You've got to keep your revs up for speed."
"If you drop out of the red in any gear (and particularly
in third or forth), try tapping the Joystick quickly to the
left a few times ("popping the clutch") to get added acceleration."
"Do a wheelie? Sure, go ahead. When your front wheels come
up off the road, you're getting maximum acceleration. But
watch out! Push the gas too hard and you'll blow!"
"I had great fun doing Dragster. Hope you enjoy it. Write
and let me know how you do. And if you break 6.00 seconds,
take a photo of the screen and send it to us. So far the
World Record is 5.61 seconds. If you break that, it will
(David Crane's Signature here)
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