<table> <tr> <td class=headerlogo> <p class=image><a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net" target="_parent"><img src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/logo/hg101logo.png" alt="Logo by MP83"></a></p> </td> <td> <table class=headerright> <tr> <td class=headermenu> <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/alpha.htm" target="_parent">Articles</a> | <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/features.htm" target="_parent">Features</a> | <a href="http://blog.hardcoregaming101.net" target="_parent">Blog</a> | <a href="http://hg101.proboards.com/" target="_parent">Forums</a> | <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/about.htm" target="_parent">About</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hardcore-Gaming-101/109837535712670" target="_blank"><img alt=" " src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/facebook.png"></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/HG_101" target="_blank"><img alt=" " src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/twitter.png"></a> </td> <td class=searchbox> <form action="http://www.google.com/cse" id="cse-search-box" target="_parent"> <div> <input type="hidden" name="cx" value="partner-pub-5230184257141993:xfg3mydy24k"> <input type="hidden" name="ie" value="ISO-8859-1"> <input type="text" name="q" size="30"> <input type="submit" name="sa" value="Search"> </div> </form> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.google.com/coop/cse/brand?form=cse-search-box&amp;lang=en"></script> </td> </tr> </table> <table class=headerad> <tr> <td> <script type="text/javascript"><!-- google_ad_client = "pub-5230184257141993"; /* HG101 */ google_ad_slot = "4961941287"; google_ad_width = 728; google_ad_height = 90; //--> </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> </script> </td> </tr> </table> </td> </tr> </table>

Konami Shoot-'em-ups

<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
1979-1983 Arcade Shooters

Page 2:
1983-1985 Arcade Shooters

Page 3:
1987-1988 Arcade Shooters

Page 4:
1990-1997 Arcade Shooters

Page 5:
MSX Shooters

Page 6:
Famicom/SNES Shooters

Page 7:
Miscellaneous

Back to the Index


by Kurt Kalata - July 10th, 2009

As far as shooters go, Konami is mostly known for their holy trilogy: Gradius, Twinbee, and Parodius. Yet beyond these three series, there are dozens of other games ranging from back to the earliest days of arcade gaming history. Some of them are products of their time (i.e. not terribly good), some are lost classics, and some show off the finest that the genre has to offer.

Thanks to ZZZ for compiling the exhausive list of shooters that Konami worked on, ReyVGM for getting Space Manbow for the DS up and working, Rob Strangman for getting me into Konami shooters in the first place, Acidonia for bringing up the Yu-Gi-Oh cards, Asch The Hated for uploading the save game for Airforce Delta Strike so I didn't actually have to unlock all of those ships... AND YOU. THANK YOU FOR PLAYING. WE LOVE SHOOTING GAMES!


Space King / Space King 2 - Arcade (1979)

Space King 2 Title Screen

Wait, what's this? This looks exactly like Space Invaders! Indeed, Konami's first foray in the arcade gaming market consist of two Space Invaders clones, using identical graphics. This was published under the name Leijac, which they continued to use for a few more years, up until the release of Scramble in 1981.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Konami

Publisher:

Leijac

Genre:

Shoot-'em-Up: Other

Themes:

Space Combat


Space King 2 (Arcade)


Additional Screenshots


Tactician - Arcade (1981)

European Arcade Flyer

At its core, Tactician might seem like another Space Invaders / Galaxian clone - you control a small ship at the bottom of the screen, which can actually move up or down a bit, instead of just left and right - but it has a pretty cool gimmick going for it. At the beginning of each stage, you can "draw" a barrier by placing little dots around the playing field. After several seconds, enemies are released from their bases and begin to swarm the screen. They'll usually make quick work of the barrier, but if you shoot the red ball it'll explode and destroy anything near it. Quite a cool concept for something from 1981 - it's a shame that Tactician is so unknown, and that the idea was never expanded on in any other games. Some versions list the game as copyrighted by Sega, but they apparently only distributed the game in certain territories.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Konami

Publisher:

Sega

Genre:

Shoot-'em-Up: Other

Themes:

Space Combat


Tactician (Arcade)


Additional Screenshots


The End - Arcade (1981)

American Arcade Flyer

What a dramatic name. The End is a combination of Namco's Galaxian with Cinematronics' Rip Off. You control a ship at the bottom of the screen who must fend off a group of alien invaders. In other words, pretty typical... except there are three structures at the bottom of the screen. They aren't qutie shields, but they can be dismantled brick by brick and carried to the top of the screen by the enemies. Once they steal enough and spell out "END" at the top of the screen, the game is over. The object is simply to survive long enough - the enemy spacecraft will continue to pop out new creatures as long as you keep killing them. The End was the first game licensed to Stern by Konami for North American distribution. They made some minor graphical changes, as well as sticking the structures beneath your ship, making it easier to guard.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Konami

Publisher:

Konami
Stern (NA)

Genre:

Shoot-'em-Up: Other

Themes:

Space Combat


The End (Arcade)


Additional Screenshots

Comparison Screenshots


Scramble (スクランブル) - Arcade, Vectrex, Commodore 64, Standalone Tabletop, PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, XBLA, Windows (1981)

American Arcade Flyer

European Vectrex Cover

One of the earliest known side-scroller shooters, Scramble is credited in Gradius Generations for the GBA as the progenitor of the Gradius series. It's not directly related, but you can kinda see the parallels. Your ship is armed with two weapons - a standard gun, and missiles which fly towards the ground. It was distributed in the US by Stern Electronics.

Merely surviving is not enough though - your ship is constantly running out of fuel and needs to be replenished constantly. Fortunately, the landscape is littered with little FUEL containers, which will mystically replenish a bit when destroyed. Now, Scramble arms your rocket ship with two weapons - bullets, which fire straight forward, and missiles, which drop downward at an arc. The key is, dropped rockets travel along with your ship, sort of like the papers to Paperboy. This might make targeting difficult at first, but a skilled player can use this to manipulate the missiles in their favor.

Scramble (Arcade)

The game is only six stages long, alternating between fields and caverns, before entering the enemy base. Enemies are sparse in the base, but the extremely narrow passages require exact precision to maneuver through. Once completed, you simply need to bomb the final target to win the game and begin the next loop. It's probably unfair to criticize the graphics of a game from 1981, from Scramble is really ugly. This is mostly because the palette cycles through a series of eye gashing colors every few seconds, which is both trippy and distracting.

The only real ports of Scramble at the time of release were for the Vectrex and Commodore 64. The Vectrex one looks pretty awesome if you're into vector graphics, naturally. There appear to be several versions of Scramble for the Commodore 64, but many are either ripoffs or homebrewed.

Years down the line, Scramble also showed up on several Konami arcade compilations for the PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, DS and Xbox 360 Live Arcade. The PlayStation and DS versions are straight emulations, the latter of which obviously has a bit of trouble due to the resolution changes. The Game Boy Advance version zooms in the display and shrinks the status bar to fit on the right side of the screen. If you enter the Konami Code, you'll activate an updated version that include three ships to pilot, updated graphics, and actual music. It's certainly better from a technological standpoint, although the new visuals are equally as gaudy as the original - ugly, but somehow appropriate. The Xbox 360 version offers updated graphics as well, which looks substantially better.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Konami

Publisher:

Konami

Genre:

Shoot-'em-Up: Horizontal

Themes:

Space Combat


Scramble (Arcade)

Scramble (Arcade)

Scramble (Arcade)

Scramble (GBA)


Comparison Screenshots

Standalone Tabletop


Super Cobra (スーパーコブラ) - Arcade, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Commodore 64, ColecoVision, Intellivision, Odyssey², Atari 8-bit, MSX, PlayStation, Windows, XBLA (1981)

European MSX Cover

American Atari 2600 Cover

Super Cobra is the sequel to Scramble, although it really just expands on some of the concepts without really adding a whole lot. Primarily, you pilot a helicopter instead of a rocket, although it handles the same way. It's a much harder game overall, but at least you can continue where you left off. Most of the graphics are the same, but there are a few new enemies, and the game is substantially longer, with eleven stages in total compared to the six of its predecessor. Also, at the end, you need to pick up a briefcase instead of bombing a building.

Super Cobra (Arcade)

Evidently most companies at the time felt that Super Cobra was the definitive version of Scramble, so that's what they based on their console and arcade ports of. These include ports for the Atari 2600, Atari 5200 (and 8-bit computers), Commodore 64, Colecovision, Intellivision, and Odyssey². Most of these versions were published by Parker Brothers and some lack all of the stages. The only modern compilation it's appeared on is the Konami Arcade Classics for the PSOne.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Konami

Publisher:

Konami

Genre:

Shoot-'em-Up: Horizontal

Themes:

Space Combat


Super Cobra (Arcade)

Super Cobra (Arcade)

Super Cobra (Arcade)


Comparison Screenshots


Juno First (ジュノファースト) - Arcade, Atari 2600, Atari 8-bit, MSX, Commodore 64, Windows, XBLA (1983)

American Arcade Flyer

European MSX Cover

Juno First combines the aesthetics of Defender with the basic concept of Galaxian. Though the visuals are outwardly spartan, they exude a certain retro-cool style, especially noted by the pixellacious explosions. Each stage consists of an infinitely looping playing field, and a series of enemies which repeat wave after wave. Once destroyed, naturally, you progress to the next stage, but Juno First lets you speed both forward and backward, giving you more options than simply moving left and right. The overhead perspective is slightly isometric, giving it a unique feel compared to other shooters at the time. It's a pretty obscure game, but like Tactician, undeservedly so. Ports were released for the MSX, Commodore 64 and Atari 8-bit computers, the latter two by Datasoft, and a homebrew version was released in 2008 for the Atari 2600.

Juno First

Quick Info:

Developer:

Konami

Publisher:

Konami

Genre:

Shoot-'em-Up: Other

Themes:

Space Combat


Juno First (Arcade)

Juno First (Arcade)


Comparison Screenshots


Mega Zone - Arcade (1983)

American Arcade Flyer

American Arcade Flyer Alternate

A very early shooter where you control a tank. You can roll across water but not across trees. Every few screens the scenery changes to a bizarre series of blue squares before cycling back to the regular scenery. This happens a few times before you happen upon the final boss, whose variations turrents and cannons form a giant face. The game may actually have been developed by a company called Kosuka, but their name does not appear anywhere outside of Mega Zone, so who knows how much Konami actually had to do with it, beyond its distribution.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Konami

Publisher:

Konami

Genre:

Shoot-'em-Up: Other

Themes:

Military


Mega Zone (Arcade)


Additional Screenshots


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
1979-1983 Arcade Shooters

Page 2:
1983-1985 Arcade Shooters

Page 3:
1987-1988 Arcade Shooters

Page 4:
1990-1997 Arcade Shooters

Page 5:
MSX Shooters

Page 6:
Famicom/SNES Shooters

Page 7:
Miscellaneous

Back to the Index