Solomon's Key

aka: Arcade Archives: Solomon's Key, Solomon No Kagi
Moby ID: 13104
Arcade Specs
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Description official descriptions

Solomon's Key is a platform game with both action and strategy elements. On each level your goal is to retrieve a key which can then be used to unlock the exit. To help out, you have a magic wand which can be used to create and destroy blocks (though some blocks can't be destroyed). In order to reach the key you will need carefully to arrange the blocks on the screen so you can jump your way around safely. Wandering around each level are a variety of enemies which will cause you to lose a life if you're caught. Some creatures can be killed by destroying the block they are standing on, others must be dodged. Hidden bonuses and magic can be found on many of the levels, sometimes even hidden in blocks. Some treasures give you bonus points, others can form magic spells to help deal with the enemies. To make the game more difficult, each level has a time limit in which it must be completed.


  • ソロモンの鍵 - Japanese Famicom spelling
  • ソロモンの鍵 王女リヒタの涙 - Japanese SEGA Master System spelling

Groups +



Credits (Arcade version)

Music Composer (uncredited)



Average score: 78% (based on 26 ratings)


Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 54 ratings with 1 reviews)

An action puzzler cult master piece

The Good
Solomon's Key is an action puzzle platformer developed as an Arcade Machine by Tecmo. The gameplay is very simple. You control a young wizard, Dana, with the power of making blocks appear or disappear: and so, effectively creating platforms or holes to bring down or restrict a variety of enemies. The objective of each stage is to grasp a key that will open the exit door. Easily said than done. But to help your character you have some items: to wipe the screen of enemies, and give your character a fireball attack, extra time, extra lives, etc.

It was based on the multi-platform hit Lode Runner (1984, Douglas E. Smith) which in turn was made upon Space Panic (1980, Universal) a game designed by Kazutoshi Ueda, head of development at Tehkan (Tecmo's former name). And thus the man responsible for giving Solomon's Key a green light. He also demanded the game to be more of a puzzler.

But the key figure behind this game was Michitaka Tsuruta. He had some knowledge in animation and was the designer behind the characters (main and enemies) and levels. Infused the game with its mystic atmosphere: using the Zodiac constellation signs and some Greek Mythology elements (as well as the 1963 Jason and the Argonauts movie). He also came with the original concept of Dana's ability of creating blocks.

It has a total of 64 levels, 15 of which are secret. To actually get the true ending the player must access and beat all secret rooms getting the hidden Seals of Solomon, to finally encage back all demons with the help of the magic book: the Key of Solomon.

Some of the rooms are action oriented, where you need to quickly react to the enemy movements by jumping over them, create blocks or holes to obstruct their movement, or use the platforms to escape. Other rooms are strictly puzzles with a hidden path that you need to find. But the best rooms are the ones that combines both elements and demand from your character to use all its skills. At first Tsuruta wanted to make a pure action game where you had to deal with hordes and hordes of enemies. But thanks to Mr. Ueda's suggestion the game hit a strict balance between action, puzzles and platforming, making it a true classic.

The Bad
I can't really say anything bad about the game. Of course like most arcades of those days it is very difficult, frustrating at times.

The Bottom Line
Solomon's Key is a master piece of the Arcade era; showcasing the best of the simplistic gameplay elements from those days, but by 1986 complex enough to demand skillful timing and precision, as well as quick reaction and inventiveness from the players. Also allowing through better graphics and animation the perception of a self contained universe.

Arcade · by pelida77 (36) · 2023


1001 Video Games

Solomon's Key appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cheat card

The magazine Commodore User published a cheat card (no. 4) that contained a 23-line program giving the player the choice of infinite lives, infinite time, or unlimited fireballs, or all three. The player had to type the program in and then follow the on screen prompt to load their game.


  • Happy Computer
    • Issue 01/1988 - Best Dexterity Game in 1987
  • Power Play
    • 1987 - #2 Best CPC Game '87


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Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Servo.

Arcade added by Trypticon. Nintendo 3DS added by GTramp. Wii U added by Michael Cassidy. Wii added by Guy Chapman. Nintendo Switch added by Kam1Kaz3NL77. PlayStation 4 added by Sciere. Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum added by Kabushi. SEGA Master System added by Игги Друге.

Additional contributors: Shoddyan, chirinea, Sciere, Freeman, Patrick Bregger, piltdown_man, FatherJack.

Game added May 3, 2004. Last modified February 13, 2024.