Free Major Havoc level editor

Late last month, right around the time of the Owen Rubin live chat at Coinopspace I had written a post about Jess Askey announcing that he was going to make a free level editor for Atari’s Major Havoc that would allow the average user to drag and drop elements in a graphical interface to create their own stages that could then be taken and burned onto ROMs. In case you missed it, Jess quitely released his editor and one level has been made.

Jess Askeys arcade talents are amazing

He’s so humble about it, but Jess has spent some stupid amounts of time, all in the name of passion for Major Havoc. This is what this hobby should still be about, I do not believe that collecting has to die out, but for those guys that love Major Havoc, they need to get involved. Show your passion for the game, just create a level, it is ridiculously easy even I could do it. Or just try the editor and suggest additional features for it. Jess was asking for feedback on the features of the editor.

Francis went through and made a level immediately. Granted, Francis knows he way around electronics, but this level editor is literally – move your cursor, grab the element, and then put it where you want it and save”. You can get as complex as you want. Here are some screenshots from Jess Askey’s Major Havoc level editor.

Major Havoc Level Editor Objects

And the level Francis designed (omnipotent view). Thanks to both Jess and Francis for letting me re-use these captures;

Francis M. Major Havoc Level Design
Download the Major Havoc level editor

Jess released the link for the Major Havoc editor last month in the Major Havoc group on Coinopspace. Owen has been involved in the group on the site, even pointing out during the live chat that in his original Major Havoc source code there may be commented out lines for the Star Castle level, and the gun on the ship in wave four. Jess didn’t have that code set, so Owen was going to look back and see what he might have. All of that could be released with a new set of user designed levels, but not if there is no participation.

So, go out, download the editor and start playing. You’ll need to upgrade your .NET framework to 3.5, I don’t think it’s a required Windows download. But that is pretty simple and your off and running. Thanks to Jess, I hope you continue to stay passionate and self motivated no matter who does or doesn’t get involved actively. We look forward to the next stage of the level editor which should have some bug reporting tools and the ability to ‘run’ the maze and see everything animate.

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I want to thank you for taking the time to write what you did. Jess’ talents are as you said, amazing, and what he’s done is unprecedented. I am a bit stunned that all those people that have joined the Major Havoc group at CoinOpSpace that do in fact Major Havocs, have done nothing with this. It tells me though, that most of the Major Havoc owners out there actually don’t play their Major Havoc, but rather just like having it in their collection so they can say they have one. For those that do truly play and enjoy the game, they would have by now at least downloaded the necessary files and created at least 1 simple level. It’s not rocket science as you said, and it just takes all of 5-10 minutes.

And to Jess: not to sound like a broken record, but again, THANK YOU very much. I, for one, do appreciate all that you’ve contributed and might possibly do in the future as well. I am really looking forward to the animate feature you mentioned you might be adding. That would help quickly gauge how tough (or not) enemy placement really is.
Awesome stuff Jess, truly.

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a quick update… I have animation working for pyroids and perkoids now and am working on the cannon animation… however, this is presenting a problem and I need to make a decision… maybe you all can give me some feedback….

Basically, the animation I have now is pretty basic and as I get into the cannon, that represents the most complex animation. My animation engine is very simple as I said and in the end won’t give much value to the project as the end the result is to actually dump the maze designs directly in MAME and show them there… so there are two path’s I can take…

1. Quick and dirty animation in the editor which will be done quicker but not help the process of creating a playable ROM in the end.

2. Animation by dumping the single maze to a ROM and just running the maze in MAME (the preview will not go to attract mode etc in MAME but rather just go straight to a maze with unlimited lives to repeat. If you complete the maze, it will just begin again).


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“2. Animation by dumping the single maze to a ROM and just running the maze in MAME (the preview will not go to attract mode etc in MAME but rather just go straight to a maze with unlimited lives to repeat. If you complete the maze, it will just begin again).”

This sounds like the way to go Jess.

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Thanks for the valuable tool Jess. I myself do not have a Major Havoc but from what I’ve checked out in MAME and YouTube it is a game I’ve suddenly put on my list.

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Sounds like the Major Havoc editor is getting closer to being able to dump a user created level to a ROM. Jess discarded the animation he was attempting to do in WinForm, and is instead using a level preview by using Mame. It will just loop…

Jess Askey’s Major Havoc Level Editor on Coinopspace.com

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