Zaxxon: Wikis


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Zaxxon flyer.jpg
North American arcade flyer
Developer(s) Sega but see main article
Publisher(s) Sega
Platform(s) Arcade, Virtual Console
Release date(s) 1982
Genre(s) Shoot 'em up
Mode(s) Up to 2 players, alternating turns
Rating(s) ESRB: E
Input methods 8-way joystick, 1 button
Cabinet Upright and cocktail
Arcade system Sega Zaxxon hardware
CPU Z80 (@ 3.04125 MHz)
Sound Samples
Screenshot of Zaxxon (Arcade)

Zaxxon is a 1982 arcade game developed and released by Sega. Some sources[1][2][3] claim that Japanese electronics company Ikegami Tsushinki also worked on the development of Zaxxon. The game gives the player the experience of flying a fighter craft through a fortress while shooting at enemy entities (missiles, enemy gunfire, etc.) The object of the game is to hit as many targets as possible without being shot down or running out of fuel—which can be replenished by shooting fuel drums.[4]

At the time of its release, Zaxxon was unique as it was the first game to employ axonometric projection, which lent its name to the game (AXXON from AXONometric projection). The type of axonometric projection is isometric projection: this effect simulated three dimensions from a third-person viewpoint.

The world record on Zaxxon is 4,680,740 points scored by Vernon Kalanikaus of Lā'ie, Hawai'i, on March 15, 1982, according to the Twin Galaxies Intergalactic Scoreboard.[5]

A bootleg of the game was released in the arcades in 1982 called Jackson.[6]



A popular game, Zaxxon was ported to almost all home computer and video game console systems between 1982 and 1985. Among them were DOS (as a booter), Apple II, Atari 400/800, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari XL, MSX, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Dragon 32, ColecoVision, Intellivision, Sega SG-1000 and TRS-80 Color Computer.[7]. Unauthorized adaptations of the game were published for the TI 99/4A (as Arcturus), Amstrad CPC (as Zaxx), and the TRS-80 Color Computer (as Zakssund).

The Atari 2600 and Intellivision ports were noticeably different because they used a three-dimensional perspective instead of the isometric graphics of the other versions. This is probably due to technical limitations of these consoles. The ColecoVision version, designed by Coleco staffer Lawrence Schick, was the first home version to use the isometric graphics.

In 2006, Zaxxon games were included as bonus game on the Sega Genesis Collection for Sony's PlayStation 2 and PSP consoles. The original Zaxxon is the game included on the PS2, and Super Zaxxon is the one available on the PSP. It was also included as an unlockable game in Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

The arcade version was released on the Wii Virtual Console in Japan on December 15, 2009[8] and in the PAL region on March 5, 2010. It is also scheduled for a future release in North America.


Due to its success, Zaxxon spawned an arcade sequel, Super Zaxxon. It did not do as well as the original.

In 1987, Zaxxon 3-D was released for the Sega Master System. This console variation made use of its 3D glasses add-on for extra depth perception.

Zaxxon's Motherbase 2000 was released for the Sega 32X in 1995. It is the only Zaxxon game to use full 3D graphics. The game bore the Zaxxon brand only in the United States, as the Japanese version was named Parasquad and the European version was named Motherbase.

  1. Zaxxon (1982)
  2. Super Zaxxon (1982)
  3. Zaxxon 3D (1987)
  4. Zaxxon's Motherbase 2000 (1995)

Board game

In 1982, Milton Bradley made a Zaxxon board game.[9][10]

Tabletop and handheld games

In 1982 Sega released Zaxxon as a tabletop game and a handheld version as well.[11] Bandai[12] and Coleco[13] also released Zaxxon handheld games.

Remakes and clones

In 1987's Panther one had to rescue men and avoid enemy ships in a same isometric 3d-view game.[14]

The 2003 Retro Remakes competition produced clones for Linux and Windows.[15]

Similar games

  • Future Spy was created by Sega in 1984. This game uses the same hardware as Zaxxon and has very similar game play but with a more realistic military theme.[16]
  • Viewpoint was released by Sammy in 1992 for the Neo-Geo system. This game features the same 3/4 view perspective and similar gameplay as Zaxxon.[17]
  • Blue Max, a World War I flying game for the Commodore 64 and 8-bit Atari computers, had a similar isometric perspective and similar gameplay, and was described by one reviewer as "a souped-up version of Zaxxon." [18]


  1. ^ Company:Ikegami Tsushinki - Game Developer Research Institute
  2. ^ ドンキーコング裁判についてちょこっと考えてみる Thinking a bit about Donkey Kong, accessed 2009-02-01
  3. ^ It started from Pong (それは『ポン』から始まった : アーケードTVゲームの成り立ち sore wa pon kara hajimatta: ākēdo terebi gēmu no naritachi?), Masumi Akagi (赤木真澄 Akagi Masumi?), Amusement Tsūshinsha (アミューズメント通信社 Amyūzumento Tsūshinsha?), 2005, ISBN 4-9902512-0-2.
  4. ^ Zaxxon from the Killer List of Videogames (KLOV)
  5. ^ Zaxxon entry from
  6. ^ Jackson entry from CAESAR (Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference)
  7. ^ Zaxxon at MobyGames
  8. ^ December 2009 releases in Japan
  9. ^ Zaxxon from the Great Game Database (GGDb)
  10. ^ Zaxxon at BoardGameGeek
  11. ^ Handheld Zaxxon from the GGDb
  12. ^ Bandai Zaxxon from the GGDb
  13. ^ Coleco Zaxxon from the GGDb
  14. ^ Panther on AtariMania. Retrieved on 2009-04-28.
  15. ^ Gary Pankhurst. "Zaxxon RetroRemake - HomePage". Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  16. ^ Future Spy from the KLOV
  17. ^ Viewpoint from the KLOV
  18. ^ Analog Computing Magazine #19, June 1984

External links


Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Box artwork for Zaxxon.
Developer(s) Sega
Publisher(s) Sega
Japanese title ザクソン
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Shooter
System(s) Arcade, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64/128, ColecoVision, Intellivision, MSX, Sega SG-1000, Apple II, MS-DOS, TRS-80 Color Computer, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, GameTap
Players 1-2
Followed by Super Zaxxon
Series Zaxxon
Zaxxon marquee

Zaxxon was a surprise success in a time when space shooters were on the wane in arcades, and "cute" games were the real quarter earners. Sega released Zaxxon in 1982, and it was an immediate head turner. By employing an isometric display for the graphics, Zaxxon presented players with an unprecedented approximation in 3D graphics. Not only could players fly left and right across the landscape, they could also increase or decrease their altitude, all the while flying forward. The joystick resembled an aircraft control stick with a trigger fire button.

In Zaxxon, players had to pilot a ship through what amounted to an obstacle course. Walls and energy fences had to be flown over, or through, at just the right altitude, in order to survive. Enemies served more as bonus point targets than real threats, although missiles and cannon fire had to be avoided. Each stage contained two pockets of landscapes separated by a section of open space, where enemy ships attacked vigorously. Ultimately, the player went head to head with a large robot.

Because of Zaxxon's novel presentation, and great popularity in the arcades, it was seen as a obvious choice for conversion to the home console and computer market. While Coleco snapped up the rights to publish the game on many popular home consoles, Sega actually took it upon themselves to develop Zaxxon for a few platforms through their new home development department. Datasoft and Synapse targeted any remaining platforms that the first two companies did not develop for.

Table of Contents

Title screen

Gameplay Summary

  • You control an attack ship that must be piloted over two asteroid city landscapes.
  • Your ship can move left and right, as well as climb and dive. An altimeter displays your current height above the ground.
  • You can fire a laser to destroy ground targets and aerial opponents. You must be at the same height as your target to destroy it.
  • You will lose one ship if you collide with any object, or are hit by enemy fire.
  • Between the first and second city landscape, you will fly through empty space while being attacked by a squad of enemy spacecraft.
  • At the end of the second landscape, you will face a large robot in a duel to the death.
  • You must hit the robot's missile six times to defeat it, or you will be destroyed.

editZaxxon series

Zaxxon · Super Zaxxon · Zaxxon 3-D · Zaxxon's Motherbase 2000


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!


Developer(s) Ikegami Tsushinki
Publisher(s) Coleco
Release date Atari 2600:
1982 (NA)
1982 (NA)
Genre Semi 3D Shoot 'em up
Mode(s) Single player
1-2 players alternating
Age rating(s) N/A
Atari 2600
Platform(s) Atari 2600
Input Atari 2600 Joystick
Intellivision Controller
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Zaxxon is an arcade game released in 1982. It was ported to the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, ColecoVision, Intellivision, and home computers. It was followed in the arcades by Super Zaxxon.


You play a small space fighter attacking an alien weapons installation built upon an asteroid, blasting away at cannons, rockets, and fuel dumps while avoiding laser fire, force fields, and collisions. In between asteroids, you fly through space dealing with fleets of fighter ships attacking you. On the second asteroid, you'll face off against the giant robot Zaxxon, who will launch its rocket at you if you don't shoot it straight inside its launcher to destroy it.

In all versions but the Atari 2600 and the Intellivision versions, the game screen scrolls diagonally in isometric 3D.


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