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warlords: MAME ROM Information.


Warlords (c) 1980 Atari.

Atari's Warlords depicts a third-person view of four castles. The player-controlled Warlords and computer-controlled Black Knights use shields to defend their castle walls from the fireballs that ricochet around the playfield.

Players can capture and catapult the fireballs at opposing castles, using their shield control and 'Power Stone' pushbutton. When a fireball hits a castle wall, it destroys one or more bricks, depending on its speed.

A castle not paid for is controlled by the computer, with a Black Knight displayed in the appropriate castle. The Black Knights catapult fireballs at the players with increasing accuracy, to provide challenge.

Game play begins when any start button is pressed and the countdown has ended. The game ends when the last Warlord's castle (containing a crown) has been penetrated by a fireball. At this point a white cloud envelopes the crown, and the latter disappears.

During the countdown, a dragon flies back and forth across the screen with a fireball in its mouth. At the end of the countdown, a position activated by a start button has its Black Knight changed to a Warlord's crown. A position not activated remains as a Black Knight and is controlled by the computer. The dragon then spits the fireball from its mouth toward a Warlord's castle.

The objective is to destroy the three other castles, while protecting one's own castle with the moving shield. The LED pushbuttons have dual functions: in the ready-to-play mode they work as start switches, and during game play they become 'Power Stones' to allow players to capture and catapult fireballs at opponents.

The spinning fireballs released from a shield have more destructive force on a castle wall than a fireball simply deflected from another wall or the sides of the playfield. However, players will soon find out that they cannot hold onto a fireball for long, since it slowly destroys their own castle walls adjacent to the fireball.

Additional fireballs appear at predetermined intervals or when a castle is destroyed, whichever comes first. A maximum of 4 fireballs simultaneously appear on the screen.

In 1- and 2-player games, the Warlords' crowns will be accompanied by a zero, to begin scoring. The point-scoring system is printed on each control panel (the Black Knights do not earn points).

If a Black Knight has the surviving castle, the game ends. However, if a Warlord has the surviving castle, that player receives bonus points, all castles are rebuilt, and the game continues with a new battle at a higher level. In a 2-player game, both players continue in the game, but only one player can get bonus points. If both Black Knights are eliminated first and only Warlords remain, the level becomes a free-for-all between the two Warlords until one is eliminated. The other Warlord then gets the bonus points, and the game begins again.

The subsequent levels begin, as mentioned before, with the fireball thrown out by the dragon. In the higher levels, Black Knights play more accurately and faster.

3- and 4-player games (available in the cocktail version only) are free-for-alls. No scores are kept, and the game ends as soon as there is only one castle left.


[Upright model]

Game ID : 037153-037159

The upright version only supports up to 2 players and uses a 23" black-and-white raster-scan monitor with a color overlay and a mirrored 3-D colored playfield. Only the two lower castles are available for play; the two upper castles will always have Black Knights in them.

Main CPU : M6502 (@ 1.512 Mhz)

Sound Chips : POKEY (@ 1.512 Mhz)

Players : 2

Control : paddle

Buttons : 1 (Power Stone)


Released in April 1980.

Licensed to Sega for Japan market.

1,014 Upright units were produced.

Official releases:

Atari's "Warlords [Upright model]" (April 1980)

Atari's "Warlords [Cocktail model]" (April 1980)

Prototype versions:

"Castles & Kings"


Damaging a castle wall : 125 points

Destroying any Warlord (any Human player) : 1000 Points

Destroying any Black Knight (any Computer player) : 2500 Points

Surviving player gains 5000 points x current level.


Designed and programmed by: Greg Rivera, Norm Avellar


* Consoles :

Atari 2600 (1981)

Atari XEGS

DynaVision [BR] (198?, Warlords)

Sony PlayStation (2001, "Atari Anniversary Edition Redux")

Sega Dreamcast (2001, "Atari Anniversary Edition")

Sony PlayStation 2 (2004, "Atari Anthology") : appears in both arcade and Atari 2600 forms.

Microsoft XBOX (2004, "Atari Anthology") : appears in both arcade and Atari 2600 forms.

Nintendo DS (2005, "Retro Atari Classics")

Nintendo Game Boy Advance (2005, "Centipede / Breakout / Warlords")

* Computers :

Tandy Color Computer (1982, "War Kings")

PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2000, "Atari Arcade hits 2")

PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2001, "Atari Anniversary Edition")

PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2002, as part of "Atari Revival") : features new 3-D graphical settings, also features an option to play the original game.

PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2003, "Atari - 80 Classic Games in One!") : appears in both arcade and Atari 2600 forms.

* Others :

Atari 10 in 1 TV Game (2002 - Jakk's Pacific)

Atari Paddle TV Game (2004 - Jakk's Pacific) : appears in both Arcade and Atari 2600 forms.

Atari Flashback Classic Game Console (2005)

Nokia N-Gage (2006, "Atari Masterpieces Volume 2")

Apple Store (2011, "Atari Greatest Hits")

Android Market (2011, "Atari Greatest Hits")


Game's rom.

Machine's picture.

MAME Info:

0.27 [Lee Taylor, John Clegg]

Artwork available


- 0.140u3: Added 3x 'Unknown' dipswitches.

- 7th December 2009: Mr. Do - I was able to borrow a Warlords backdrop from Gene some time ago, and played around with it and a blacklight. One of the photos came out just right. Hopefully, this gives an "improved player experience".

- 0.122u8: Zsolt Vasvari removed colortables from Warlords and a number of other drivers, as part of a larger move to phase out old-style colortables. Changed palettesize to 64 colors.

- 9th August 2006: Mr. Do - A few adjustments to Warlords artwork.

- 4th August 2006: Mr. Do - When fixing Warlords artwork, i also corrected for the backdrop and overlay. Castles now touching backdrop castle walls. Your shield no longer turns half-yellow when going around the center part of your castle.

- 30th July 2006: Mr. Do - Added Warlords artwork.

- 0.85u2: Aaron Giles turned off autocentering by default in Warlords. There are probably others that should have this as well.

- 28th May 2004: Chris Hardy fixed a graphics bug in Warlords when it's set into upright mode.

- 0.62: Removed 3rd coin slot.

- 0.60: Changed 6502 CPU1 clock speed to 1512000 Hz. Renamed (warlord) to (warlords).

- 15th April 2002: Aaron Giles merged the Centipede, Millipede, Warlords and Qwak prototype drivers because they were similar.

- 0.34b1: Added color prom. Only the first 0x80 bytes are used by the hardware. A7 is grounded. Bytes 0x00-0x3f are used fore the color cocktail version. Bytes 0x40-0x7f are for the upright version of the cabinet with a mirror and painted background.

- 0.33: Zsolt Vasvari added accurate colors to Warlords.

- 0.27: Lee Taylor and John Clegg provided a driver for Warlords (Atari 1980). The movement keys cannot be remapped. This game was designed to run either in a cocktail cabinet with color monitor, or in an upright cabinet with b/w monitor, mirror and painted background. By default, the driver runs in cocktail mode. Control: Q,W = Move player 1, I,O = Move player 2 and 1,2 = Fire player 1/2. Known issues: The movement keys cannot be remapped.

- 27th February 1997: Gary Walton dumped Warlords by ATARI.

Other Emulators:


Recommended Games (Knights):


Demons & Dragons


Dragon's Lair



Dragon Buster

The Tower of Druaga

Ghosts'n Goblins

Ghouls'n Ghosts

Ghouls'n Ghosts (Mega-Tech)

Vs. Castlevania

Castlevania (PlayChoice-10)


Dragon Unit

Dark Seal


Crossed Swords

The King of Dragons

Knights of the Round


Wizard Fire

Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom

Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara

Light Bringer

Action Hollywood (Excaliwood)

Sol Divide

Knights of Valour

Knights of Valour Plus

Knights of Valour Super Heroes

Knights of Valour 2

Knights of Valour - The Seven Spirits

The Crystal of Kings

Romset: 15 kb / 8 files / 10.5 zip

MAME XML Output:

       <game name="warlords" sourcefile="centiped.c">
              <rom name="037154.1m" size="2048" crc="18006c87" sha1="6b4aab1b1710819d29f4bbc29269eb9c915626c0" region="maincpu" offset="5000"/>
              <rom name="037153.1k" size="2048" crc="67758f4c" sha1="b65ca677b54de7a8202838207d9a7bb0aed3e0f2" region="maincpu" offset="5800"/>
              <rom name="037158.1j" size="2048" crc="1f043a86" sha1="b1e271c0979d62202ae86c4b6860fb67bbef6400" region="maincpu" offset="6000"/>
              <rom name="037157.1h" size="2048" crc="1a639100" sha1="41ec333aee7192f8aeef49e5257f201f4db01cff" region="maincpu" offset="6800"/>
              <rom name="037156.1e" size="2048" crc="534f34b4" sha1="1680982ded17350c2ae10bb47f7eb8908bb10db2" region="maincpu" offset="7000"/>
              <rom name="037155.1d" size="2048" crc="23b94210" sha1="d74c1ca90caf15942805043b4ebe4ee077799da0" region="maincpu" offset="7800"/>
              <rom name="037159.6e" size="2048" crc="ff979a08" sha1="422053473e41e3e1f71eb28e40eedc78f22326b3" region="gfx1" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="warlord.clr" size="256" crc="a2c5c277" sha1="f04de9fb6ee9619b4a4aae10c92b16b3123046cf" region="proms" offset="0"/>
              <chip type="cpu" tag="maincpu" name="M6502" clock="1512000"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="mono" name="Speaker"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="pokey" name="POKEYN" clock="1512000"/>
              <display tag="screen" type="raster" rotate="0" width="256" height="240" refresh="60.000000" pixclock="3932160" htotal="256" hbend="0" hbstart="256" vtotal="256" vbend="0" vbstart="240" />
              <sound channels="1"/>
              <input players="4" buttons="1" coins="2" tilt="yes">
                     <control type="paddle" minimum="29" maximum="203" sensitivity="50" keydelta="10"/>
              <dipswitch name="Diag Step" tag="IN0" mask="16">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="16"/>
              <dipswitch name="Service Mode" tag="IN0" mask="32">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="32" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Cabinet" tag="IN0" mask="128">
                     <dipvalue name="Upright (overlay)" value="128"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Cocktail (no overlay)" value="0" default="yes"/>
              <dipswitch name="Language" tag="DSW1" mask="3">
                     <dipvalue name="English" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="French" value="1"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Spanish" value="2"/>
                     <dipvalue name="German" value="3"/>
              <dipswitch name="Music" tag="DSW1" mask="4">
                     <dipvalue name="End of game" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="High score only" value="4"/>
              <dipswitch name="Unknown" tag="DSW1" mask="8">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="8"/>
              <dipswitch name="Credits" tag="DSW1" mask="48">
                     <dipvalue name="1p/2p = 1 credit" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1p = 1, 2p = 2" value="16"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1p/2p = 2 credits" value="32"/>
              <dipswitch name="Unknown" tag="DSW1" mask="64">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="64"/>
              <dipswitch name="Unknown" tag="DSW1" mask="128">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="128"/>
              <dipswitch name="Coinage" tag="DSW2" mask="3">
                     <dipvalue name="2 Coins/1 Credit" value="3"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/1 Credit" value="2" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/2 Credits" value="1"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Free Play" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Right Coin" tag="DSW2" mask="12">
                     <dipvalue name="*1" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="*4" value="4"/>
                     <dipvalue name="*5" value="8"/>
                     <dipvalue name="*6" value="12"/>
              <dipswitch name="Left Coin" tag="DSW2" mask="16">
                     <dipvalue name="*1" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="*2" value="16"/>
              <dipswitch name="Bonus Coins" tag="DSW2" mask="224">
                     <dipvalue name="None" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="3 credits/2 coins" value="32"/>
                     <dipvalue name="5 credits/4 coins" value="64"/>
                     <dipvalue name="6 credits/4 coins" value="96"/>
                     <dipvalue name="6 credits/5 coins" value="128"/>
              <driver status="good" emulation="good" color="good" sound="good" graphic="good" savestate="supported" palettesize="64"/>

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