Super Zaxxon

Critic Score User Score
Arcade
...
2.4
Apple II
...
4.5
Atari 8-bit
...
3.3
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Description

Super Zaxxon is a three-quarter perspective, space shooter style game. You must first go over a base on an asteroid. Things located on this base include gun implacements, fuel tanks, radar stations, missiles, and fighters. After you successfully navigate this base, you will go through a tunnel to tangle with enemy fighters, mine layers, and mines. You then will have to navigate through a series of barriers on another asteroid in order to take on the Super Zaxxon's, the enemy robot dragons.

The game is very similar in appearance to Zaxxon. The differences are:
  • Your fighter moves much faster. This makes going after ground targets a big challenge.

  • The graphics are different. Although this is more of a viewing difference, it can still change ones perspective after they have gotten used to the Zaxxon graphics.

  • There is no more outer space battle. Instead, you must go through a narrow tunnel to get to area 3.

  • Instead of 20 fighters, you now have to tangle with 25 fighters in area 2.

  • A new enemy, the Mine Layer, is introduced. As the name implies, this ship lays mines in your path. You can destroy the mines but it takes a few hits.

  • Instead of encountering one Zaxxon robot, you now have to deal with three Super Zaxxon, dragon looking robots.

  • The placement of things (fuel tanks, gun implacements, etc.) in areas 1 and 3 is different then in Zaxxon.

  • There are now indestructible, elevated guns in area 1. These guns sit on the right side and they are 2.5 units in altitude.

Screenshots

Super Zaxxon Commodore 64 Beginning of the game (Hesware tape/disk version)
Super Zaxxon Arcade Keep blasting.
Super Zaxxon PC Booter You need to fly through that narrow opening (CGA with composite monitor)
Super Zaxxon Atari 8-bit Another electric wall, need to fly over this one.

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Critic Reviews

All Game Guide Arcade 1998 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Atari 8-bit Apr, 1986 6 out of 10 60
Zzap! Commodore 64 Oct, 1985 57 out of 100 57

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Trivia

Commodore 64 licensing

Hesware's C64 license deal was the result of a scheme by one of SEGA's own lawyers, Robert Crane. After having sublicensed Zaxxon to Synapse using his position at SEGA through his own company Universal Licensing, he tried something similar for Super Zaxxon. However, the emerging copyright issues and Crane being laid off at SEGA in January 1984 soon caused complications. At one point, Crane signed with two different pseudonyms for Universal.
    Eventually, the whole thing blew up. Paramount's (SEGA's parent company) deputy general counsel and senior president Joshua Wattles later testified that Paramount paid HES $200,000 in exchange for withholding Super Zaxxon so Synapse could market Zaxxon first.
Sources: The case is described in Lawyers on Trial: Understanding Ethical Misconduct by Richard L. Abel. A shorter summary can also be found in the Entertainment Law Reporter, April 1991 issue.
Contributed to by RFGeneration (58553), Martin Smith (63024), magisterrex (477), Eli Tomlinson (2498) and Servo (55755)