Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference

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Return of the Jedi

Return of The Jedi (c) 09/1984 Atari.

This title is very different from the first Star Wars arcade game, which featured smooth and fast 3D vector graphics with the action taking place in the first person perspective. Jedi adopted an isometric forced-perspective approach, similar to that used in Sega's 1982 clasic, "Zaxxon".

Jedi features three distinct level settings : Forest Moon of Endor, Attack on the Death Star and Space battle. These three backdrops are 'mixed and matched' to give the game some much needed variety. Some of the game's scenarios are: Princess Leia on a speeder bike (Endor), the Falcon's attack on the Death Star and Chewbacca piloting an At-ST Imperial walker (Endor). All scenes run on the same raster-based engine and play almost identically to each other.


This particular game was available as both a dedicated upright cabinet and a full scale sit-in cockpit. The cockpit cabinet was rather less widespread than the upright version. The marquee on the more common upright cab featured a 'Return of the Jedi' logo with red letters on a background of stars; with the Millennium Falcon and the Death Star clearly visible. The sideart only covered the top half of the machine. It was a montage of shots that was dominated by a picture of Princess Leia on a speeder bike and a large image of Darth Vader's head.

Game ID : 136030

Main CPU : M6502 (@ 2.5 Mhz), M6502 (@ 1.512 Mhz)

Sound Chips : (4x) POKEY (@ 1.512 Mhz), TMS5220 (@ 672 Khz)

Screen orientation : Horizontal

Video resolution : 296 x 240 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.00 Hz

Palette colors : 1025

Players : 1

Control : stick

Buttons : 3


Return of the Jedi was the second arcade game based on the 'Star Wars' movie franchise despite it being the THIRD film of the trilogy. This Atari title was actually released a full year before 'The Empire Strikes Back'. The films were released in the order; "Star Wars", "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi"; whereas the games were released as "Star Wars", "Return of the Jedi", and "The Empire Strikes Back".

This game is known in Japan as 'Jedi no Fukushuu' (translates from Japanese as 'Revenge of the Jedi').

Return of The Jedi was one of the first games to use a special graphics dithering method to make the graphics look visibly smoother.

This was one of the first Atari titles to modify all game options via a setup menu, rather than by using dip switches. Eighteen years later, the industry still hasn't fully converted over to being 'jumperless'.

All scenes are controlled with a flight yoke that is similar in design to the one used on the vector "Star Wars" game. This is usually the first thing to fail on any given machine. These can be rebuilt fairly easily though, but you may have to do a little bit of hacking to get them to work.


1. Star Wars (1983)

2. Return of The Jedi (1984)

3. The Empire Strikes Back (1985)


Designer / Programmer : Dennis Harper

Graphic designer : Susan G. McBride

Audio designer : Synthia Petroka

Software support : Mike Mahar


* Computers :

Atari ST (1987)

Amstrad CPC (1987)

Commodore Amiga (1988)

Commodore C64 (1988)

Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1989)