Codex Gamicus

The Activision Decathlon (also known as Decathlon) is a game released by Activision for the Atari 2600 and ColecoVision. It is considered to be the inspiration of other Olympics-style games such as Track & Field, Hyper Sports, and California Games.


Text from back cover:

You do it for yourself, your country... and the gold.

All of the individual athletic disciplines are yours - speed, strenght, stamina and the desire to win. But they will all have to come together as one, because you're about to participate in the most prestigious video sporting event in history: THE ACTIVISION DECATHLON

Decathlete is fully animated throughout all events.

Speed Gauge registers your relative running speed.

Real-Time Clock counts fractions of seconds to minutes.

Distance Markers are accurately positioned.



There are a total of 10 events to play.

Text from manual:

  • 100-Meter Dash: Just one opportunity to sprint from start to finish. Explode out of the starting blocks, then give it your all by moving the Joystick as fast as you can for the entire dash. When you see the 100 meter marker, find a final burst of strength. The quicker your time, the higher your points. Every 1/100 of a second matters.
  • Long Jump: Each decathlete gets three jumps. You begin with a running start of 30 meters. Press the red button just before you reach the scratch line to jump. The faster you are running when you jump, the farther you'll go. Your longest jump earns the most points.
  • Shot Put: All contestants "put" the shot three times. Move the Joystick as rapidly as you can to approach the scratch line, then press the red button. The quicker your approach, the farther your "put" will go, and the more points you'll earn.
  • High Jump: You are allowed a maximum of three attempts at each height. Your turn ends when you miss the same height three times. There is a 30 meter approach run to the high jump standards. Press the red button to jump. Each time you successfully "clear" a height, the crossbar automatically raises. The higher you jump, the more points will be added to your total.
  • 400-Meter Race: It's one middle-distance race. Nothing to throw or jump. Pick your feet up and put 'em down as fast as you can. The distance markers, set every 100 meters, show how far you've run. The faster you complete the race, the more points you'll earn.
  • 110-Meter Hurdles: There are ten hurdles to jump over that are positioned at 10 meter intervals. Run by moving the Joystick, and jump the hurdles by pressing the red button. You won't be disqualified for 'spilling' a hurdle, but it will slow you down. And that's important, because the faster you complete the race, the more points you are awarded.
  • Discus Throw: You get three throws, but don't forfeit any of them by "scratching." The approach to the scratch line is just a few feet, so start moving the Joystick as fast as possible before pressing the red button to hurl the discus. The farther the throw, the greater the points awarded.
  • Pole Vault: Each vaulter gets a maximum of three tries at each height. Turn ends when you miss the same height three times. Run to the vault pit and plant your pole by pressing the red button. Continue to move the Joystick as you vault and, just at the peak, press the red button again to release the vaulting pole. Each time you "clear" a height, the crossbar automatically raises. The higher you vault, the more points you'll get.
  • Javelin Throw: All contestants throw the javelin three times. Run to the scratch line and press the red button to throw the javelin. The farthest of your three throws earns the most points. There's only one event left, so give this one your all.
  • 1500-Meter Race: Each decathlete gets one chance to score well in the final'd be too exhausted to race this one twice. Maintain a steady pace for the first 1300 meters and then sprint to the finish. Distance markers are placed every 100 meters, so you'll know how far the finish line is at all times. The faster you complete the race, the higher the number of points you'll earn. Good luck!