the box art of bedlam

Mr. Dark
"Why read about a game when you could play it? So playing it is easier, of course!"
- Mr. Dark

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Bedlam cart

In the arcade game Tempest, players controlled a blaster that could move around the outermost lanes of a bunch of geometrically-shaped levels and fire at ships that emerged from the middle or innermost areas of those levels.

Bedlam, however, was described as a "Tempest in reverse", as players' ships (resembling the Millennium Falcon from several of the Star Wars movies) sat in the middle of sectors while ships emerged from points of those sectors and came inwards towards the player. Players turned their ships left and right and could spin them around quicker with the Fast Rotate button. Also, Zap, like the Superzapper on Tempest, would destroy everything onscreen and could only be used once per sector.

Getting rammed by an enemy would cause the player to lose a ship in reserve and the game would end once the player had no more remaining ships.

The game was created and distributed by GCE for the Vectrex in 1983.

Enemies, sectors and difficulty increasesEdit

There are several different types and mannerisms of enemies as well as sectors.


  • Escort Ships--heads straight for the player's ship without stopping
  • Astral Defenders--comes to a stop when the player faces it
  • Colonist Transports--cannot be destroyed with regular weapons due to its strong shields; can only be pushed back by being shot or can only be removed from the sector by using Zap
  • Destroyer Droids--encircles, then heads straight for the player's ship when it's directly behind it if it gets close enough


  • Sector 1: there are only three entry points for ships to emerge from, as this screen is shaped like a pyramid
  • Sector 2: four entry points for ships to emerge from; shaped like a bird's foot
  • Sector 3: six entry points on this one
  • Sector 4: this signifies the start of a next level, having only two points of entry for enemy ships on this one, which the sectors will start recycling after this sector is passed

Difficulty increasesEdit

  • level 2: sector areas start collapsing; the player must shoot out the ends of a sector to keep ships at bay. If the player allows the entry points of a sector to get real close then enemy ships can emerge from these points and be right on top of the player's ship. This also marks the debut of the Destroyers
  • level 2, sector 2: Colony ships debut
  • level 3: sectors start rotating around
  • level 5: sector areas start pulsating
  • level 6: sector areas not only rotate, but start doing so at a high rate of speed as the player turns left or right, making it hard to get a shot in at anything

Easter eggEdit

In order to make the programmer’s initials appear, hold down buttons one, two and four on the controller during the Bedlam title screen (which will occur after the music ends).