Gremlins (A52)

From Video Game Music Preservation Foundation Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Gremlins - A52 - Front.jpg
Platform: Atari 5200
Year: 1986
Developer: Atari

Gremlins is a hack-and-slay game based on the mogwai species from the then brand-new Gremlins movie. It is entirely different from Gremlins (A26) and uses movie elements much more cleverly, as both decorations and gameplay elements.

Every night, mogwai and/or gremlins walk in Billy's living room (your screen). You have to either collect and cage mogwai one by one and slay gremlins before they touch you (leaving a skeleton), or wait till sunlight at 6 am kills them, earning you no points. You can stun them all using a flashcube (as Kate does in the movie) for exactly 2 seconds. When a creature gets wet, it doubles. When a mogwai eats food before you collect either, it putates. You can stomp it before it hatches into a gremlin. Creatures walk towards you, food compartments, or the pen.

This Atari 5200 version is the original, and the only console version. However, all cartridges remained unpublished for 2 years, and all three ports (for competing computers) came out first.


Gremlins - A52 - Title.png

The title screen.

Gremlins - A52 - Main Menu.png

The main menu. Did Atari find nights 1 and 2 too easy?

Issue - Screenshots.svg

This page needs more screenshots.



Robert Vieira composed a theme just for this game. Why he did not use any movie music is unknown, but the audio and colors set a fitting sinister mood. The full theme plays over the main menu and first get-ready screen, the second half plays over any other began level (plus first seconds of gaming), the bass over game-over, a quick variation over level-completed, and a sedate variation that rises with the sun. In-game, 15 different sound effects spread effectively over the POKEY chip's 4 voices.

Instrument-wise, the bass is doubled and detuned to achieve a chorus. The volumes fluctuate a bit. Whether Vieira performed these arrangements using (then brand-new) MIDI or cherry-picked in assembly is unknown.


To record every song once, this game was played in Altirra 3.90. Unfortunately, the bass and melody volumes add up to overdrive there. Whether they do on a real Atari 5200 is unconfirmed.

# Title Composer Length Listen Download
01 Main Menu, Start Robert Vieira 0:09
02 Get Ready Robert Vieira 0:05
03 Sunlight Robert Vieira 0:03
04 Level Completed Robert Vieira 0:01
05 Game Over Robert Vieira 0:09


(Source: Back cover.)

Game Rip






Audio Devices

This game uses the console's built-in POKEY chip.


  USA.svg   USA
Gremlins - A52 - Front.jpg
Title: Gremlins
Platform: Atari 5200
Released: 1986-??-??
Publisher: Atari


Gremlins Platform - A26.png
Gremlins Platform - A2.png • Platform - C64.png • Platform - PCB.png • Platform - A52.png
Gremlins Platform - C64.png
Gremlins 2: The New Batch Platform - NES.png
Gremlins 2: The New Batch Platform - AMI.png • Platform - AST.png • Platform - DOS.png • Platform - C64.png
Gremlins 2: The New Batch Platform - GB.png
Gremlins 2: The New Batch Platform - DOS.png
Gremlins: Unleashed Platform - GBC.png
Gremlins: Gizmo vs Stripe Platform - GBA.png