ZAXXON (ザクソン) is a 1982 isometric shooter arcade game
developed and released by
Sega . Some sources claim that Japanese
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, paradoxically, by blowing up fuel
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. It was also one of the first
video games to display shadows, to indicate the ship's altitude above
the surface; the game also employed an altitude meter, allowing the
player to control how high or low the ship is above the surface. It
was also the first arcade game to be advertised on television, with a
commercial produced by
Paramount Pictures for $150,000.
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.
A bootleg of the game was released in the arcades in 1982 called
* 1 Ports
* 2 Clones
* 3 Reception
* 4 Legacy
* 5 In popular culture
* 6 Similar games
* 7 References
* 8 External links
Between 1982 and 1985,
Zaxxon was ported to IBM PC compatibles (as a
Amiga 1000 ,
Apple II ,
Atari 8-bit family ,
Atari 2600 ,
Atari 5200 ,
ZX Spectrum ,
Commodore 64 ,
Dragon 32 ,
TRS-80 Color Computer
and Model I .
Atari 2600 and
Intellivision ports were noticeably different
because they used a 3rd person, behind the ship 3D perspective instead
of the isometric graphics of the other versions. The ColecoVision
version, designed by
Lawrence Schick , was the first
home version to use the isometric graphics.
Coleco released a table top version of
Zaxxon with a double
panel VFD screen.
Bandai released 2
Zaxxon handhelds: one VFD table
top for the European and Japanese market, and an LCD card game sold
Zaxxon games were included as bonuses on the
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 .
Zaxxon was also included as an unlockable
arcade game in Sonic\'s Ultimate Genesis Collection for the Xbox 360
PlayStation 3 .
The arcade version was released on the
Virtual Console in Japan
on December 15, 2009, the PAL region on March 5, 2010 and North
America on April 12, 2010.
Unauthorized adaptations of the game were published for the TI 99/4A
Amstrad CPC (as Zaxx),
BBC Micro (as Fortress ) (1984),
TRS-80 Color Computer
TRS-80 Color Computer (as Zakssund, 1983).
Hostile All Terrain Encounter (H.A.T.E.) is a
Zaxxon clone developed
Vortex Software for several 8-bit and 16-bit computers and
Gremlin Graphics in 1989.
39 / 40 (MSX)
9 / 10 (ColecoVision)
Home Computing Weekly
8 / 10 (TRS-80)
Arcade Awards (1982)
Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Coin-Op Game (Certificate of Merit)
Arcade Awards (1983)
Videogame of the Year (Certificate of Merit)
Arkie Awards (1984)
Game of the Year , Computer Game of the Year
(Certificate of Merit)
Hall of Fame
Video Games in 1983 called the
ColecoVision version of
Zaxxon a "coup
for this new system". Video magazine also praised the ColecoVision
version in its "Arcade Alley" column, describing it as "one of the
most thrilling games available", and noting in passing that the only
"serious criticism" of the arcade original was that "many players felt
they needed flying lessons to have even a ghost of a chance of
performing well". :26 Softline in 1983 called the Atari 8-bit version
"a superb three-dimensional computer game ... Not since
a game looked so impressive". The magazine also liked the graphics of
Apple II and
TRS-80 versions despite those computers' hardware
limitations, and predicted that
Zaxxon would be a "long-lived
bestseller". In 1984 the magazine's readers named the game the fifth
most-popular Apple program, the worst Apple program, and third-worst
Atari program of 1983. K-Power rated the Color Computer version with
8 points out of 10. The magazine praised its "excellent
three-dimensional graphics", and concluded that "
Zaxxon is a game that
can't be praised enough".
II Computing listed
Zaxxon fourth on its list of top
Apple II games
as of late 1985, based on sales and market-share data.
Zaxxon spawned an arcade sequel: Super Zaxxon. The color scheme is
different, the player's ship flies faster (making the game more
difficult), and the robot at the end of the second fortress is
replaced by a dragon. It did not do as well as the original.
Milton Bradley made a
Zaxxon board game.
Zaxxon 3-D was released for the
Master System . This
console variation made use of its
3-D glasses add-on for extra depth
perception. As with the
Atari 2600 and
Intellivision ports, it was
forward-scrolling rather than isometric.
Zaxxon\'s Motherbase 2000 was released for the
Sega 32X in 1995. It
is the first
Zaxxon game to incorporate polygon graphics . The game
Zaxxon brand only in the United States, as the Japanese
version was named Parasquad and the European version was named
Motherbase. U.S. gaming critics generally remarked that the game was
not similar enough to
Zaxxon to justify the use of the brand.
Zaxxon was shown at 'The Art of Video Games' exhibition at
A direct sequel,
Zaxxon Escape , was released on October 4, 2012 for
Apple and Android devices. The game was criticized for having little
resemblance to the original.
IN POPULAR CULTURE
A home video game console port of
Zaxxon was shown in the music video
for the New Order track "Blue Monday ".
Zaxxon was a featured plot device of the 1986 independent feature
Hollywood Zap! .
Zaxxon makes an appearance in
The Powers of Matthew Star episode
In the horror film Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter , Tommy Jarvis
was playing "Zaxxon" while wearing one of his home made masks.
Zaxxon was seen numerous times in a video gamed-themed storyline of
Remington Steele episode "Steele Waters Run Deep".
NPR podcast "Pop Culture Happy Hour" holds its hosts to the
Zaxxon Rule," wherein they are forbidden to bring up topics which are
unrelatable to the audience, such as events in one's personal life.
In the "
Home Improvement " episode "Up Your Alley" Brad and Randy
Taylor get into a fight with a bully while playing "Zaxxon."
* Future Spy was created by
Sega in 1984. This game uses the same
Zaxxon and has very similar game play but with a more
realistic military theme.
* Viewpoint was released by Sammy in 1992 for the Neo-Geo system.
This game features the same 3/4 view perspective and similar gameplay
* ^ "Zaxxon". Arcade History. October 17, 2010. Retrieved 26
* ^ A B
Zaxxon (ColecoVision) at
* ^ A B
Zaxxon (Atari 5200) at
* ^ A B
Zaxxon (Intellivision) at
* ^ A B
Zaxxon (Atari VCS) at
* ^ A B
Zaxxon (Apple II) at
* ^ A B
Zaxxon (Atari 400/800/XL/XE) at
* ^ A B
Zaxxon (Commodore 64/128) at
* ^ Gamer's High Futabasha Super Mook (in Japanese). Tokyo:
Futabasha. 2015. p. 58. ISBN 978-4-5754-5554-0 .
* ^ "ザクソン まとめ / ファミ通.com". Famitsu.com.
2014-02-22. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
* ^ "ザクソン3D （マスターシステム） まとめ /
ファミ通.com". Famitsu.com. 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
* ^ A B December 2009 releases in Japan
* ^ Company:
Ikegami Tsushinki - Game Developer Research Institute
Thinking a bit about Donkey Kong, accessed 2009-02-01
* ^ 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 .
Zaxxon from the
Killer List of Videogames (KLOV)
* ^ Bernard Perron & Mark J. P. Wolf (2008), Video game theory
reader two, p. 158, Taylor Elizabeth Broun (2012). The Art of Video
Games: From Pac-Man to Mass Effect. Welcome Books. pp. 28–9. ISBN
159962110X . Retrieved 17 May 2012.
* ^ Mark J. P. Wolf (2008), The video game explosion: a history
from PONG to Playstation and beyond, p. xviii,
ABC-CLIO , ISBN
* ^ Harmetz, Aljean (July 3, 1982). "Movie Themes Come To Video
Star-News . Retrieved 28 February 2012.
Zaxxon entry from TwinGalaxies.com
* ^ Jackson entry from CAESAR (Catalogue of Arcade Emulation
Software - the Absolute Reference)
* ^ InfoWorld Jan. 1983
* ^ Announcement of Handheld
Electronic Games Magazine July
Zaxxon from handheldmuseum.com
* ^ Boyle, L. Curtis. "Zaksund". NitrOS9. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
Zaxxon (Arcade) at
* ^ "CVG Magazine Issue 044". Archive.org. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
* ^ "The HotSeat : Review of New Products" (PDF). Digitpress.com.
1982-11-21. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
* ^ "Spectrum Software Reviews". Home Computing Weekly. No. 52. 6
March 1984. p. 8. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
* ^ A B Lentvorski, Andrew Jr. (February 1984). "Zaxxon". K-Power.
p. 59. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
* ^ "Le site des anciennes revues informatiques".
Abandonware-magazines.org. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
* ^ "Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Coin-Op Game".
Electronic Games .
Vol. 1 no. 11. January 1983. p. 35. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
* ^ "Videogame of the Year".
Electronic Games . Vol. 2 no. 23.
January 1984. p. 67. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
* ^ "1985 Arkie Awards".
Electronic Games . Vol. 3 no. 35. January
1985. pp. 28–9. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
* ^ "Hall of Fame Winners".
Electronic Games . Vol. 3 no. 35.
January 1985. pp. 58–59 . Retrieved 11 February 2012.
* ^ Wiswell, Phil (March 1983). "New Games From Well-Known Names".
Video Games. p. 69. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
* ^ Kunkel, Bill ; Katz, Arnie (April 1983). "Arcade Alley: Zaxxon,
Turbo, and Two for Apple II". Video. Vol. 7 no. 1. Reese
Communications. pp. 26, 28–29. ISSN 0147-8907 .
* ^ Bang, Derrick; Shore, Howard A. (July–August 1983). "Zaxxon".
Softline. pp. 22–23. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
* ^ "The Best and the Rest". St.Game. Mar–Apr 1984. p. 49.
Retrieved 28 July 2014.
* ^ Ciraolo, Michael (Oct–Nov 1985). "Top Software / A List of
Favorites". II Computing. p. 51. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
Zaxxon from the Great Game Database (GGDb)
* ^ "ProReview: Zaxxon's Motherbase 2000".
GamePro . No. 82. IDG .
July 1995. p. 46.
* ^ "Review Crew: Zaxxon's Motherbase 2000". Electronic Gaming
Monthly . No. 71.
Ziff Davis . June 1995. p. 36.
* ^ Choney, Suzanne. "80 video games head for
exhibit". NBC News. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
* ^ "\'
Zaxxon Escape\' Review - Hardly A Resemblance (Review)".
TouchArcade.com. 2013-12-06. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
* ^ Future Spy from the KLOV
* ^ Viewpoint from the KLOV
Zaxxon at SpectrumComputing.co.uk
* The MS-DOS version of
Zaxxon can be played for free in the browser
* High Score Rankings for
Zaxxon from Twin