Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference

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Arkanoid (Game Corporation bootleg, set 1)

Arkanoid (c) 1986 Taito.

After a sudden alien assault, the Arkanoid spaceship has been destroyed and the only survivor, the small 'Vaus' space vessel, has been mysteriously trapped in another dimension by an unknown enemy. The player is charged with helping the 'Vaus' overcome the security systems, as well as the many enemies that guard them, before finally finding and destroying 'DOH', the alien responsible for the attack.

Arkanoid is an update of the early ball and paddle video games - and specifically of Atari's 1978 classic, "Super Breakout" - in which the player takes control of a paddle at the bottom of the screen and must use it to deflect a ball into rows of bricks at the top of the screen, thus destroying them and, eventually, clearing the screen to progress to the next level.

As well as impressive and colourful graphics, Arkanoid introduced a number of new elements to the classic bat 'n' ball gameplay. Certain bricks, when destroyed, would release a power-up - in the form of a falling capsule. the player had to catch the capsule to retrieve the power-up. Among the many enhancements the power-ups provided were an increased 'bat' size, multiple balls, 'sticky' ball (which would stick to the bat and could be released when the player chose) and even a laser, which allowed the player to shoot the bricks.


Prom Stickers : A75

Main CPU : Z80 (@ 6 Mhz), M68705 (@ 500 Khz)

Sound Chips : AY8910 (@ 1.5 Mhz)

Screen orientation : Vertical

Video resolution : 224 x 256 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.00 Hz

Palette colors : 512

Players : 2

Control : paddle

Buttons : 1


Licensed to Romstar for US distribution (12/1986).

Arkanoid has remained a popular game and is commonly cloned by aspiring game developers in freeware and shareware titles. Many companies have also regularly cloned the game in arcades.

Arkanoid's popularity led to it being featured in "Rainbow Islands - The Story of Bubble Bobble 2", which has a whole level (4 stages in all) dedicated to the game, including DOH as the level boss.

Jason Wilson holds the official record for this game on extremely hard settings with 554,300 points on September 1, 1997.

Zack Hample holds the official record for this game on normal settings with 1,658,110 points on March 13, 2000.

An Arkanoid machine was shown at the 2003 classic arcade games show 'California Extreme' in San Jose, California.

Two bootlegs of this game are known as "Block" and "Paddle 2". There is a hack made by Two-Bits score known as "Arkanoid Plus".


Bootlegs version don't use the M68705 @ 500 Khz :-)

The Japanese version supports cocktail mode whereas the others don't.


Points are scored for destroying bricks and killings aliens.


* Pill descriptions :

S - Slow : slows down the energy ball.

L - Laser : enables the vaus to fire laser beams.

C - Catch : catches the energy ball and shoots it when you want it.

B - Break : allow player to move to next playfield.

E - Expand : expands the vaus.

P - Player : gains an additional vaus.

D - Disrupt : splits the energy ball into three particles.

* The power pills are not quite random. There are essentially two types of games. One has lots of light blue multi-ball pills and the pink warp pills - this is a low scoring game. The high scoring game gives you more of the other pills.

* On each level, the ball will not speed up completely until it hits the back wall, so :

1) Try to remove bricks from the bottom up, or punch a hole through thicker areas of bricks rather than go straight through (e.g. take out the left side of level 2 rather than the single block at the right as you will catch far more pills).

2) If you have collected a lot of S pills and the ball has been in play for a bit of time, be prepared for a sudden speedup.

* Also, the D token speeds up the balls and is pretty useless on most levels (the one with the enclosed diamond is the only good example I can think of).

* As only one pill can fall at a time, multiple balls can reduce your potential score quite drastically. Every pill is worth 1000 points. For the first few levels, get every pill you can, but do not use the special powers. You will get a lot of extra ships and should get a gray P or two - thereby starting early with 6 or 7 ships.

* In the final level, where you face DOH himself, you should get 15 hits (1000 points per hit) on DOH/per man until you defeat DOH with the 16th hit on your last man to end the game.


1. Arkanoid (1986)

2. Arkanoid - Revenge of Doh (1987)

3. Arkanoid - Doh It Again (1997, Nintendo Super NES)

4. Arkanoid Returns (1997)


Game designed by : Akira Fujita (AKR)

Programmed by : Yasumasa Sasabe (SSB)

Director of hardware & co-programmer : Toshiyuki Sanada (SND)

Assistant programmer : Toru T. (TOR)

Graphic designer : Onijust H. (ONJ)

Sound composer : Hisayoshi Ogura

Sound effects : Tadashi Kimijima

Pattern designer : Akira Iwai


* Consoles :

Nintendo Famicom (1986) : This version of Arkanoid included its own controller in the package (a smaller version of the spinner used in the arcade version).

Nintendo Super Famicom (1997)

* Computers :

PC [MS-DOS] (1986)

MSX (1986)

BBC B (1987, "Arkanoid" - Imagine)

Thomson TO7 (1987)

Tandy (1987)

Commodore C64 (1987)

Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1987)

Apple II (1987)

Atari 800 (1987)

Atari ST (1987)

Commodore Amiga (1987)

Amstrad CPC (1987)

Thomson M05

Thomson TO8