The Terminator Vision HUD Source Code Explained

By: On August 15th, 2017


Ever wondered what all those codes and numbers mean in the HUD display of The Terminator T-800 CSM-101? Thanks to a youtube channel Behind The Screens; the majority of it is explained in a nice and easy way for Terminator Fans, kinda…

The source code in the HUD; when Schwarzenegger sees everything in red, display (known by a majority of fans as “Terminator Vision”) is powered by  code designed for the 6502 microprocessor of Apple II computer.

Apple II Terminator Vision HUD Source Code

Strands of codes were also written in COBOL computer language, which was usually used for accounting software. This retro computer in the 1980s was top of the range tech for computer nerds…

The source code itself was originally printed in Nibble Magazine,- a popular magazine for Apple users who would be able to type in various source codes from the publication in order to run their own programs and code.

All the program codes from The Terminator (1984) came from the August and September 1984 issues of Nibble Magazine and one of the program codes;- HIRESEX ( Hi-Res-Ex) was responsible for reportedly swapping up to 5 images on screen at once (as that is all Apple II’s internal memory could handle).

TERMINATOR 2: PureArts T-800 Battle Damaged Edition 1/1 Scale Art Mask

Also, other binary/source codes were used as various hacks to distribute ram within the system for more processor power and these codes can been seen in the HUD display too.
Wolfie James Cameron

This same output of MON.E is seen on the overlay to the HUD of Terminator Vision when The Terminator is at the Tiki Motel looking at James Cameron’s pet dog Wolfie (a fine animal actor).

Other codes seen in source code for Terminator Vision are Key Perfect 4.0 (a source code error checker to prevent crashes). Key perfect in The Terminator was run on OVLY.OBJ.

Obviously as mentioned,- the visual effects of the Terminator vision were being worked on up until very near the release of the movie- which was in October 1984.

Hollywood has tried to upgrade Terminator vision in the last few movies to look more swish and upgraded, to move with the times… but we will always prefer the ultra gritty HUD Terminator Vision of 1984 which is far more sinister, don’t you agree?


Categories: Arnold SchwarzeneggerArtificial IntelligenceFan ReportsHemdaleJames CameronMGMMoviesOrionReportsRobotsScience & TechnologySTUDIOCANALT-800The Terminator (1984)VFXVideo


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