The end game

Arcade title/score table screenshot

The End started out as an arcade game where players had to prevent space bandits from stealing their bricks and spelling out "END" on the screen. It was developed by Konami and marketed by Stern Electronics in 1980. An unofficial homebrew port would be released decades later for the Atari 2600.


The player(s) control a beetle at the bottom of the screen; a mother ship is at the top. Multiple rows of space bricks make up three defense bases located below the beetle.

At the start of each level (known as an "attack"), bandits start emerging from the top of the mother ship and begin descending towards the bottom of the screen. The player can shoot them, but if they collide with them or their shots the player will lose a life and the game will end if all lives are depleted.

If a bandit makes it to a defense base, it will steal a brick and start flying back towards the top. If they are not destroyed they will place a brick near the top of the screen. If all bricks are placed then three more defense bases’ worth of bricks will replenish the spent supply. If enough bricks are placed to spell out "END" the game will end no matter how many lives in reserve the player has.

Bandits begin as all red, slightly changing directions upon their descent. Once the player has shot several of them, purple bandits start appearing, moving faster towards the blocks and usually more at a diagonal angle. The fastest ones of all are the blue and yellow bandits, making a fast, mostly straight dive for defense bases.

Starting with the second attack, bandits will begin shooting. (Note: blocks right above the mother ship denote how many bandits are left during an attack.) Some attacks are known as "chance time", which have a much fewer amount of bandits, but the majority of the bandits are the purple and blue and yellow ones. Shooting the bandits or the mother ship will also subtract bricks during these attacks.

Atari 2600 portEdit

The game was unofficially ported via homebrewer C-Centeno in 2019. Differences included that the bricks are located above, rather than below the player's beetle. The bandits emerge straight from center of the mother ship one by one, rather than several at a time, plus there are no indicators how many bandits are left during an attack. The enemy sprites are a lot larger than the arcade version/the onscreen ratio is a lot smaller as compared with the arcade original. The bandits also move side to side/in a slightly different manner, along with hovering/pausing briefly without diving. Fewer bandits are also onscreen at once as well.

Controls (original)Edit

  • Move beetle (left/right only)–joystick
  • Fire–button

(Atari 2600)Edit

  • Move beetle (left/right only)–joystick
  • Fire–button
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