Description official descriptions
Star Wars is a first-person shooter based around the final scenes of the original Star Wars film. It first appeared for arcade coin-operated machines and was subsequently converted to other gaming platforms.
You take on the role of Luke Skywalker, aiming to destroy the Death Star. In the first phase you have to pass swarms of TIE Fighters, including dogfighting the one piloted by Darth Vader himself. In the second phase the station's surface is protected by laser towers, third involves attacking its weakest spot - the unprotected exhaust port - with proton torpedos. Your X-Wing starts with six shields, but more can be awarded for good performance. Complete the game and it loops back around at ever-increasing difficulty.
The game uses vector graphics, which allow lots of action at high speed on comparatively slow systems.
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Credits (Arcade version)
1001 Video Games
The Arcade version of Star Wars appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
The original coin-op Star Wars game was built using Ed Rotberg's incomplete spaceflight fortress assault game entitled Warp Speed. Add the joystick from his Military Battlezone and some licensed properties, and voila -- Star Wars!
Commodore 64 versions
There were two licensed conversions of Star Wars: The Arcade Game for the Commodore 64. The first was a cartridge by Parker Brothers. This version used simple sprites for the TIE fighters and clusters of dots to represent the fireballs. Several years later, Domark put out a much more faithful conversion which used vector graphics for all the game elements. Unfortunately while it was quite accurate, it suffered from poor frame rates which often made it difficult to play.
My hazy memory recalls: The front of the box contained an embedded LED that blinked slowly, like once every 3 seconds. I believe the LED was part of R2D2's head poking out of the top of the X-Wing.
References to the game
In the 1984 Christmas horror film Gremlins some of the Gremlin's can be seen briefly playing the original Arcade cabinet version of Star Wars.
Rogue Squadron III
In the Gamecube title Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III - Rebel Strike, the full version of Star Wars: The Arcade Game was an unlockable bonus feature.
Resourceful programmer tricks #2: The function keys serve as multiple different functional boss-keys, information about the programmer, and other neat little functions -- way above and beyond a typical boss-key. Poke around the keyboard while the game is running and see what you find!
- Retro Gamer
- September 2004 (Issue #8) – #87 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
Information also contributed by Guy Chapman, Pseudo_Intellectual, Rekrul, vedder and FatherJack
Related Sites +
Star Wars - The arcade machine
Information about the original arcade machine, from the killer list of videogames homepage.
The History of Star Wars Video Games
The people at Gamespot have written a great article about the history of Star Wars games on the PC and on the Consoles, goining back as far as the days of the Atari 2600.
Video review of Star Wars games (WARNING: Language)
The Angry Video Game Nerd, James Rolfe, reviews various <i>Stars Wars</i>-based games, including <i>Star Wars: The Arcade Game</i> on Atari 2600.
- MobyGames ID: 3929
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Roedie.
Arcade added by Rola. GameCube added by Lain Crowley. BBC Micro, Electron added by Sciere. Amiga, ZX Spectrum added by Martin Smith. Amstrad CPC added by Skitchy. Antstream added by lights out party. Atari 8-bit added by Terok Nor. Commodore 64, Atari 2600, Atari ST, ColecoVision added by Servo. Macintosh added by Scaryfun. Atari 5200 added by Jeanne.
Additional contributors: Trixter, Servo, Martin Smith, LepricahnsGold, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.
Last modified February 27th, 2023.