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In Silpheed, the player pilots a spaceship through levels of increasing difficulty, in a pseudo-3D vertically scrolling field, shooting everything in his path. New weapons will become available as he gathers points, and power-ups are sprinkled throughout the levels.

The game is one of the first-ever that used music as a selling point.


Silpheed DOS Choose your weapons (EGA)
Silpheed DOS A fortress level (CGA)
Silpheed DOS A later fortress level (EGA)
Silpheed DOS Title screen (CGA)

Promo Images

There are no promo images for this game

Alternate Titles

  • "Silpheed: Super Dogfighter" -- In-game title
  • "シルフィード" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Group

User Reviews

A very good shooter that has excellent music and challenging gameplay. DOS Katakis | カタキス (42945)
One of the best shooters made for the PC. DOS Jason Doucette (2)
Addictive. DOS Mirrorshades2k (282)
A good vertically scrolling shooter with a twist. DOS RmM (73)

Critic Reviews

Dragon DOS Nov, 1989 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) DOS Sep, 1989 905 out of 1000 90
Power Play DOS Jun, 1989 63 out of 100 63
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) DOS May, 1989 6.6 out of 12 55
Computer Gaming World (CGW) DOS Aug, 1989 Unscored Unscored


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OEM release

This game came free with the CMS Game Blaster sound card.

Second release

A second version of Silpheed was released shortly after the initial release that has the following fixes and enhancements:
  • Text is printed out when Xacalite "speaks" at the beginning of the game so you can finally decipher what he's saying.
  • The joystick routines were tweaked to make them more compatible with faster machines.
  • CMS ("Game Blaster") sound board support was added.
  • The music volume could be controlled through a key combination.
  • PCjr support added.

Sound and Music

Silpheed supports a variety of sound hardware, but this is for music only. Sound effects are always played through the internal speaker.

There was a later version (3.2) released that specifically supported the IBM PS/1 Audio Card, and is the only DOS version of the game to have support for sampled sound effects and speech. The card supports 3-voice Tandy sound style music, but can work with another music device like the Roland MT-32 with the PS/1 Audio Card being used for sound effects and speech. This version may have been bundled with the PS/1 Audio Card or could be sent away for.

Video modes

Silpheed supports a variety of video hardware, and there are quite a few differences (especially in the colors used, even between different 16 color modes). Here are some of the major changes between video modes:
  • EGA is in 640x200 resolution, all other modes are in 320x200.
  • During the opening sequence: In EGA, the opening titles fade in and out against a background of yellow stars. In MCGA/Tandy/PCjr, the opening titles do not fade in/out, and are against a background of cyan stars.
  • During the opening sequence: In EGA, the wireframe for both the Silpheed and space station are green. In MCGA/Tandy/PCjr, the Silpheed wireframe is green while the space station wireframe is blue. (This may be the only point in the game where the EGA version is more difficult to see clearly.)
  • On an above planet level or a fortress level: In EGA and MCGA all objects retain their normal colors. In Tandy/PCjr/CGA modes all objects become a solid shade of red. (When pixels overlap a non black pixel in these modes on any level, the color changes. So it looks as if the sprites may have been XOR'd against the background in order to speed up the game with these video cards.)
  • On an above planet level: In MCGA every other vertical column of pixels in the planet background is missing when compared with the other video modes.
  • In EGA, each fortress level is a different color. In MCGA/Tandy/PCjr modes, each fortress level is green.
  • In EGA, the closing credits scroll vertically. In all other video modes, the closing credits are static.

Silpheed includes separate drivers for Tandy 1000 and PCjr graphics modes (which do indeed work only on their respective hardware.) This seems a bit unusual since the Tandy was a clone of the PCjr. It is not clear what differences led to this.

Information also contributed by Great Hierophant, Mirrorshades2k and Servo.
Contributed to by Eurythmic (2694), Corn Popper (68933), Eli Tomlinson (2509) and Terok Nor (32626)
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