Archon: The Light and the Dark

Moby ID: 73


1001 Video Games

Archon appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Archon III

A pair of 13 year olds worked on a game they called Archon III: Exciter for a while, never completing it, and the beta version widely circulated the internet, until eventually myth mixed in with fact and it was wrongly believed to be a genuine unreleased official follow-up.

Cover art

The game's striking and distinctive cover artwork is apparently an homage to the work of Dutch artist M.C. Escher, combining his typical preoccupation of repeating and inverted tessellated patterns of animal silhouettes as well as a rendering of an exotic polyhedron. Though it is not a direct adaptation of any of his works, it is evocative of the 1948 wood engraving Stars.

Electronic Arts

As of 2001, one of the four large meeting rooms on the first floor of the "Mission Control" building of Electronic Arts Redwood City, CA campus is named "Archon". The four meeting rooms are named after EA's first four games.

Palm OS

This game has been ported to the Palm OS (Palm Pilot/Handspring Visor).


According to Jon Freeman ("The Making of..." in Retro Gamer 40) Archon is the very first game where AI can play against another AI and without any human intervention complete the game. At the beginning Archon was meant to be for two human players only. One month before the release Electronic Arts demanded to make a one human player approach, so the team started to create an AI. During the process they figured out that AI can be used for both sides. It helped in bugfixing and some slight changes in the initial design where made by Jon and Anne when they watched how AI played the game. This feature was also used in shops when Atari computers were placed behind the windows and the game played all by itself and all passing potential customers could see it.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15h anniversary issue) - #20 on the "150 Best Games of All Time" list
  • Game Art Beyond
    • Archon plays a special role in the intro to the C64 graphics collection Game Art Beyond, released 2018. The game also received a high resolution title picture as part of the collection, based on the original artwork created for the Amiga.
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 03/2013 – One of the "Ten Best C64 Games“
  • Happy Computer
    • Issue 04/1985 - #5 Best Game in 1984 (Readers' Vote) (Commodore 64 and Atari 8-bit version)

Information also contributed by Chris Mikesell, Martin Smith, nullnullnull, PCGamer77, Pseudo_Intellectual and FatherJack.

edit trivia · view history

Know of any trivia we're missing? Contribute.

Trivia contributed by Trixter, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, mailmanppa, Malte Mundt, FatherJack.