With Joust, Williams continued its reputation for hectic gameplay. This game has no fire button. Your only controls are left, right and a button to flap the wings of your charge. Set in an arena scattered with platforms above an active volcano, you are a brave warrior, mounted on your flying ostrich, and as the games name suggests the object of the game is to joust your opponents. You win a joust by hitting an enemy warrior with your jousting lance positioned higher than theirs, or by landing on them from above. The enemy is then dismounted and his charge flies off screen.
When you win a duel, your enemy is unseated and an egg(!) is released. Catch the egg in mid-air for bonus points or pick it up when it lands on a platform. Take too long and the egg hatches into a new warrior. A fresh ostrich will then arrive on screen to pick him up and you are then faced with a new jousting opponent.
It is possible to draw in a joust. If the lance of both you and your enemy contact at the same height you bounce away from each other to fight again. You lose a joust if your opponent's lance is higher than yours or if you are landed on from above, and this causes you to lose a life.
There are different types of enemy warrior. The hardest is the Shadowlord who is coloured blue, harder to kill and can flap its wings very fast. The warriors advance to this stage if they hatch from uncollected eggs, or on later levels some start as this type. From level 60 onwards, all enemies are Shadowlords.
If you take too long on a screen, an 'indestructible' pterodactyl will appear on screen. On earlier ROM revisions it is not invincible and you can kill it if your lance hits it in the mouth. This was corrected in later versions and it was then indeed indestructible.
Kill all the enemy warriors to advance to the next level. On later levels the lava pit at the bottom will open and platforms disappear making avoiding enemies trickier. Also, if you fly too close to the lava pit, a lava troll will grab you and try to pull you in. Flap like crazy to escape its clutches.
There are three types of levels you will encounter: firstly is the regular level where you just fight the enemies. Survival waves are essentially the same, except you win bonus points if you clear the level without dying. The last type is the egg wave where all the enemy warriors start as eggs on the platforms. You can collect the eggs to clear the screen or wait for them to hatch and then joust the warriors when they are picked up.
The levels get progressively harder with more and more enemy warriors to fight, and extra lives are awarded for every 20,000 points.
To get an extra 1,000 points on every screen, leave an egg on the middle left or right platform. Wait until the pterodactyl comes out and let it fly up to the middle level. As soon as it is high enough, grab the egg. The pterodactyl will then try to exit the screen and you can kill it just as it goes off the screen.
For lots of extra points during the egg waves, don't pick up the eggs - let them all hatch. But kill them quickly, or else the pterodactyl will come out.