Juno First: Classic Arcade Game Video, History & Game Play Overview

History

Juno First is thought to be Konami's most famous arcade game released during the shoot 'em up outer space craze during the early 1980s. Konami developed Juno First around the same time that Gyruss, another space themed game, was created. This accounts for the similar structure, theme and game play.

Considered to be a rare classic arcade game, Juno First did not gain much popularity during its heyday. After being released in 1983, Konami, Datasoft and Gottlieb worked to publish and port Juno First to several home video gaming systems. Compatible versions of Juno First were created for the Atari 8-bit PC first. Next was the Commodore 64.

A slightly modified version of Juno First was created for the Atari 2600 recently. This version was not licensed by Konami. Juno First is a single or two player game.

 

Game Play Overview

Basic controls for Juno First include an eight way joystick, the fire button and the warp key. Players can move forward, backward and side to side. A single spaceship represents the player's character, which is always situated toward the bottom of the screen.

This scrolling shooter implemented a few new features, such as a unique bird's eye view. The game is laid out in a grid formation, with enemies far off in the foreground slowly increasing in size until they enter the shooting area.

Your main, and only weapon, is a laser beam. The 'shots' that emerge from the player ship will actually be longer in length and more effective than ordinary bullets. This may be the reason that the laser beam is the only weapon that players have available in Juno First.

Like Gyruss, enemies attack individually and in formations. Attacks come in waves, and there are three 'warps' per wave. There are 16 waves, or levels, in Juno First. After the 16th level is completed, the game rolls over back to the beginning. After one million points are accumulated, the score goes back to zero.

Enemies mainly consist of brightly colored spaceships. The objective is to shoot enemies as soon as they come into range. As they get closer to the player ship, they become much more aggressive.

Enemy ships are capable of two different types of attacks. All enemy space ships shoot regular bombs at the player ship, which are fired in a straight trajectory. When evaded, these bombs will simply continue on their paths and disappear off screen. Smart bombs, however, are programmed to go after the player ship no matter where it is on the board.

Special Features

The warp key can only be used three times per game, at maximum. Warping allows you to move at a great speed and become invisible to your enemies. When you reappear, you will be in the exact same position on the screen. The warp feature becomes an invaluable tool on later stages when enemy fire becomes too great.

The mystery bonus is available on all stages. When a small astronaut enters the screen, it can be shot for a multiplier bonus. For every enemy that you shoot, you will earn 200 more points, on top of the regular point value. At maximum, you can get 3200 points for every enemy space ship shot down when the mystery bonus is active. In addition, the mystery bonus causes enemies to become docile and cease fire.

If there is any time left on the clock at the end of a level, you can earn a time bonus. These points will be added to your regular score. When you earn 100,000 points, an extra life is given. All games start with three lives. If you are hit with an enemy bomb, you will lose a turn.

Icons

Player ship – The small space ship that remains toward the bottom of the screen at all times.

Astronaut – This symbol will periodically appear during the game. Shoot it for a multiplier bonus as well as a break from enemy attacks.

Enemy Spacecrafts – Hundreds of enemy spaceships will converge upon you during your play time. Shoot your enemies before they shoot you.

How to Play Juno First

Given the fact that players are able to see the entire field, no matter where the player ship is positioned, the point of perspective in Juno First will give you several advantages. Enemies always attack from the front, so there will be no surprises. This will give you ample time to evade bombs, or to launch a counter attack.

Since you can move in eight directions, it will be fairly easy for you to avoid your opponents, even when they are close by. At the top of the screen, you will see a number next to the word 'warp.' Because there are three warps per wave, this will help you to remain aware of how many more enemies you have coming your way until the next stage begins.

Wave 1
Far off in the distance, you should start to see what looks like a few white dots. These dots are actually your enemies, and they will noticeably grow in size as they get closer. Hold off on firing until they are within range. Enemy ships will not fire until they are on the 'grid.'

During the first wave, enemies will be scattered and mildly aggressive. When you see the astronaut appear, shoot it and you’ll start to accumulate more points. The screen will momentarily turn green as the astronaut moves across the screen. Complete all three warps and proceed to wave two.

Wave 2
Wave two also features quite a few individual enemy ships. They will attack at random, but they will all come from the front. The easier way to shoot your enemies is to fire a shot aimed for their sides. Instead of attempting to shoot them straight on, move left and right quickly so that you can avoid their bombs. Your lasers only need to graze the sides of enemy ships in order to be effective.

Wave 3
On this level, your enemies will attack in formations reminiscent of those seen in Galaga. Coming in both single and double columns, they will fire and move swiftly. Although you will be much more susceptible to their rapid fire attacks, you will also be able to take out more of your enemies at once.

Keep moving and fire at the same time. You can always retreat or move to the sides if the gunfire gets too thick. Survive all three warps in order to make it to the fourth wave.

Waves 4, 5 and 6
You will again face three warps of attacks during each wave. During waves four and five, enemy ships will be sporadic. However, during wave six, there will be a flurry of spacecrafts coming in tight formations. Point values for all enemies destroyed during these waves will increase to 1200 points per hit.

Waves 7, 8 and 9
After you get past wave seven, you will reach the midpoint of the game. Although there are no group attacks on these levels, your opponents will come at you fast and hard. The speed of the player ship never increases, so you will need to become more efficient at avoiding bombs.

This is a good time to take advantage of the warp feature. If you become overwhelmed with enemies, use the warp key to 'blast' past them and regroup. Make it past the ninth wave and prepare for the next stage.

Waves 10, 11 and 12
Wave 10 will be just as fast paced as the previous level, if not more. During the 11th wave, you will again have to deal with your enemies attacking in a group. Typically, opponents attacking in an organized form tend to swoop down, snaking to the left or the right while firing.

Look for the astronaut so that you are able to halt the attacks for a few moments. At this point of the game, the key to surviving will be using all of the bonus features wisely.

Waves 13, 14, 15 and 16
The last few stages of Juno First are brutal. There will only be a formation styled attack on level 14, but the number of individual enemy attacks will increase greatly. You should be able to score enough points to get an extra life, which will also be greatly needed at this point.

If you shoot down the astronaut during these last stages, you will get upward of 3,000 points for the very first hit. Keep moving and dodging your enemies, and hopefully, you will be able to beat the final round.

Hints and Tips
- During the first three or four levels don't start shooting until after your enemies do. You will have a better chance of getting the mystery bonus, and thus, increasing your high score.

- The time bonus can help to increase your score by a great deal. When you have destroyed all but the last few enemies, hit the fire key rapidly to take care of the rest. This will add a few additional seconds to the timer, thus resulting in a better score and multiplier bonus.

 

We hope you enjoyed the video and the information shared on this classic arcade game.


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