Vanguard (A26)

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Platform: Atari 2600
Year: 1982
Developer: Tose Co., Ltd., General Computer Corporation
Buy: Amazon

Vanguard is an early scrolling shoot-em-up originally designed by Tose for the arcade. You pilot the Vanguard ship through several underground tunnels clogged with various enemy ships. Each zone features different enemies and different natural hazards in the walls. Your goal is to reach the City of Mystery and destroy the boss, Gond which will permit you access to the next world. In the tunnels you'll come across energy pods which will make you invincible for a short period of time.

Each zone may change both the direction of scrolling (horizontal or vertical), and the direction of the ship (top to bottom, bottom to top). The game also uses an interesting mechanic where you automatically shoot in the direction you're moving, and it is only by holding down the fire button that you stop shooting for a boost of speed. The Atari 2600 port, though not as visually appealing, manages to capture the functionality and spirit of the original.


Vanguard - A26 - 1.png

The title screen

Vanguard - A26 - 2.png

Fighting Mists in the Mountain Zone

Vanguard - A26 - 3.png

In the Rainbow Zone dodging Helm balloons

Vanguard - A26 - 4.png

Fighting Harleys in the Stick Zone

Vanguard - A26 - 5.png

Taking out bases in the Stripped Zone

Vanguard - A26 - 6.png

Finishing off Gond in the City of Mystery


The melodic synthesizer tune of Vanguard's energy theme was taken from the soundtrack of the film Flash Gordon. In particular, it comes from the song "Vultan's Theme (Attack of the Hawk Men)", composed by Freddie Mercury from the band Queen.


# Title ComposerArranger Length Listen Download
01 Vultan's Theme (Attack of the Hawk Men) Freddie MercuryDave Payne 0:10


Since Atari 2600 games were usually created or ported by a single programmer, it can safely be assumed that the game's porter, Dave Payne, also arranged the tune for the TIA chip.

Game Rip





The music has yet to be ripped. The current recording was made by recording the audio of an Atari emulator while playing the game.


  USA.svg   USA
Title: Vanguard
Platform: Atari 2600
Released: 1982-??-??
Publisher: Atari, Inc.