Retrofinds remembers Star Wars the Arcade Game

I have to admit something right now. It was very rare that I would find an arcade game I was actually any good at. Driving games were my thing but when it came to side scrolling shooters such as Ghost and Goblins or Defender it was fare to say I was useless. I always tried to find arcade games that I would get good value out of. Fortunately for me, one arcade game I would always spend a good amount of time on was STAR WARS.

I would always try to find the sit-down version of the game for that added atmosphere. Depending on how much money I had on me would determine the level I started at. If I didn’t have much money then I would start at the easy level to make the game last longer.

The player assumes the role of Luke Skywalker ("Red Five"), as he pilots an X-wing fighter from a first-person perspective. “Red Five standing by” would blare out as I chose my Death Star level to start. The player's ultimate goal is to destroy the Death Star through three attack phases.

* In the first phase of the game, the player begins in outer space above the Death Star. He must engage in a dog fight with Darth Vader and enemy TIE fighters.

* In the second phase (occurring beginning with the second wave), the player reaches the Death Star's surface as laser turrets on towers rise to confront the player. If the player manages to destroy all of the towers, he will receive a sizeable point bonus.

* In the final scenario, the player finds himself speeding through the trench of the Death Star, avoiding obstacles (of which there would always be a double barrier on the bottom followed by one on the top) and blasting gun turrets until, finally firing a proton torpedo at the correct time for a direct hit on the exhaust port target. What follows, if the player is successful, is the Death Star exploding in a multitude of different colours. If the player manages to do this without firing at anything but the exhaust port, he will receive a sizeable point bonus for "using the force." Then you start all over again.

Each successive Death Star run greatly increases the difficulty; TIE Fighters shoot more often, there are more Laser towers and batteries in the second round, and there are many more obstacles and laser fire during the trench run. Unlike the movie, where the units shoot beams similar to lasers, the enemy units in this game shoot projectiles resembling fireballs, in order to give the player a chance to destroy the fired shots.

Loved this arcade game. I would spend loads of money making sure my name or my three initials were on the top of the leaderboard. Great game with loads of atmosphere.