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Bosconian: Wikis


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A promotional poster for Bosconian
Developer(s) Namco
Publisher(s) Midway
Distributor(s) Bandai Games
Designer(s) Akira Takunda, Hurashi Nagumo
Composer(s) Nobuyuki Ohnagi
Platform(s) Arcade, Virtual Console
Release date(s) JP November 1981
Virtual Console
JP November 17, 2009
Genre(s) Multi-directional shooter
Mode(s) Up to 2 players, alternating turns
Input methods 8-way Joystick; 1 button
Cabinet Upright, cabaret, and cocktail
Arcade system Namco Galaga

Bosconian was a multi-directional shooter arcade game that was developed by Namco in 1981. It runs on Namco Galaga hardware but with a video system like that used in Rally-X.



The object of Bosconian is to score as many points as possible by destroying enemy bases and ships. The player controls a small fighter ship that can move in eight directions and can fire both forward and backward. Each level consists of a number of green space stations that must all be destroyed to advance to the next level (a semi-transparent mini-map helps identify their location). Each station consists of six cannons arranged in a hexagon, surrounding a central core. The player must either destroy all six cannons or shoot the core to destroy a station, and in later levels the core is capable of defending itself.

Additionally, the player must avoid or destroy asteroids, mines, and a variety of enemy missiles and ships that attempt to collide with the player's ship. Enemies occasionally launch formation attacks — destroying the leader causes all remaining enemies to disperse, but destroying all enemies in a formation scores extra bonus points. A spy ship (worth a random bonus value) also appears occasionally, which must be destroyed or the enemies will go berserk.

Throughout the game, a digitized voice alerts the player to various events:

  • "Blast off!" (level start)
  • "Alert! Alert!" (enemies attacking)
  • "Battle stations" (enemy formation approching)
  • "Spy ship sighted" (spy ship appears)
  • "Condition red!" (enemy attacks become more aggressive; occurs when the player takes too long to complete a level)

Like many games made during the Golden Age of Arcade Games, the game has no definite end, continuing until the player has lost all of his/her lives.

Similar to Galaga, Bosconian "rolls over" from Level 255 to Level 0, causing the game to behave abnormally during this level. If the player can successfully complete Level 0, the game continues to Level 1 as though the player had started a new game. Also, after the first ten levels, some of the previous levels will repeat in placement of the space stations (the only differences are the direction of the opening in the stations, the number of asteroids astray in the levels, and an increase in the number of enemy ships needed to be fought off).


A player fighting a fleet of enemy ships.

It was ported to several computer systems, including the Sharp X68000, MSX, Commodore 64 and the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, and later appeared in several of Namco's Namco Museum compilations for PlayStation and other consoles. The game has also been seen in Jakks Pacific's TV game controllers. A home computer sequel, Bosconian '87, was released in 1987 for the Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, and ZX Spectrum. An arcade sequel of sorts called Blast Off was released in 1989 only in Japan, a vertical-scrolling shooter which had more in common gameplay-wise with Namco's own Dragon Spirit than with Bosconian.

Clones of Bosconian include:

Dedicated Bosconian arcade machines have become somewhat of a rarity for arcade collectors, because many of them were converted to other, more profitable games over the years. Galaga was the most common conversion choice, because it uses the same basic hardware platform and wiring harness as Bosconian.

Bosconian was the first game to include the now-standard continue screen and timer at the end of a game, giving a player who just lost his/her last life a certain number of seconds to insert more money to continue the game from the same level. The continue feature could also be disabled entirely for arcade owners who did not want it by changing a DIP Switch setting. However, there is some debate over whether Bosconian or Tempest should be credited as the first video game to introduce the concept of continuing. Tempest is the older of the two games, but it did not have a continue screen and timer. Instead, it gave the player a choice of starting levels at the beginning of the game, up to the highest level currently unlocked on the machine. If it was the same player as the previous game, then he/she could opt to "continue" by selecting the same level where the previous game ended. Any future Tempest player was also free to start a new game at the higher level, though, whereas once Bosconian's continue timer expired, the next person to play had no choice but to start over at Level 1.


In the game Ridge Racer, a car has this game as a sponsor. It is a white and red car named RT Bosconian. Its sister car, from another Namco game is a white and blue car named RT Nebulasray. They were used in Ridge Racer, Ridge Racer 2, Ridge Racer 64, and Ridge Racer DS.

The origin of the keywords in Bosconian (as in the "Zwilniks of Boskone") is the Lensman space-opera saga, which in Japan always enjoyed high popularity.

  • Bosconian — Boskonian
  • I-Type missile — Eich
  • P-Type missile — Ploor
  • E-Type misslle — Eddore

In Namco Museum Volume 1 for the Playstation, the picture gallery for Bosconian listed the missiles as this:




G-Type-Green Space Station

External links

Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Box artwork for Bosconian.
Developer(s) Namco
Publisher(s) Namco (JP), Midway Games (US)
Japanese title ボスコニアン
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Shooter
System(s) Arcade, MSX, Commodore 64/128, Amstrad CPC
Players 1-2
Followed by Blast Off
Bosconian marquee

Bosconian is a multi-directional shooter arcade game that was released by Namco in 1981. After Namco succeeded in improving Rally-X with the release of New Rally-X, Namco investigated what other forms of gameplay could be developed to exploit the hardware that New Rally-X ran on. The result was Bosconian. One notable feature of the arcade is its use of digitized voice samples, which Namco first developed for the game King and Balloon. Another is that it is the first arcade game to offer a continue feature!

The focus of Bosconian is to fly around through space in search of large green enemy bases, and blow them up. You pilot a ship that can fire in two directions; in front and behind. But the enemy doesn't simply let you destroy their valuable stations. They send a variety of ships at you, some in formations, in an attempt to stop you from succeeding at your one man mission.

Despite being picked up by Midway Games for distribution in American, Bosconian never developed a large following outside of Japan. As a result, the only home conversions that it saw were for popular Japanese home computers like the MSX and the Sharp X68000 (which received an altered, graphically enhanced version of the game). A sequel to this game named Blast Off was released in 1989 in Japan. It was a vertical scrolling shooter, and had more in common with Namco's Dragon Spirit than with its predecessor. The story of Bosconian is followed up by Namco's Famicom entry Star Luster which has completely different game play, but takes place several hundred years after the Bosconian Wars took place.


Title screen

How the Bosconian Wars started, no one knows. The Federal Council suffered massive losses to the Bosconian enemy's seemingly impenetrable enemy base fortress. But the Federal Council's luck was about to change. A daring plan to send a spy in among the Bosconians finally paid off. The building plans for the enemy bases were finally revealed. The Council set about constructing a prototype Star Fighter, armed with the capability to exploit the enemy bases' weaknesses. With only so much material, and so little time, they could only prepare a few of these precious ships. In order to attract a little attention as possible, they would go in one at a time, and try to launch a strike against the enemy base in each sector of space before the enemy could realize what was happening and retaliate. The Bosconian War was about the close...

Table of Contents

Gameplay summary

  • You pilot a Star Fighter that can fly in eight directions, and fires simultaneously in two; in front and behind.
  • Each stage contains a number of Enemy Bases that are visible on the radar alongside the right-hand side of the screen.
  • In order to advance to the next stage, all Enemy Bases must be destroyed, either by hitting all six domes on the outside, or by blowing up the core.
  • The Enemy Bases will defend themselves with shots, and later on, missiles. In addition enemy craft will come along to destroy your Star Fighter.
  • You lose one Star Fighter if it collides with an enemy, asteroid, or space mine, or if it is hit by an enemy shot.
  • The combat computer will alert you to an enemy presence, or if you've been detected by a spy ship.

Simple English

Bosconian is a arcade video game made by Namco in 1981. The player moves a spaceship and tries to destroy "space stations". There are also other things in space that the player has to destroy to get to the space stations. The game was later used on many of the early personal computers.

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