Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference

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Joust 2 - Survival of the Fittest (set 1)

Joust 2 - Survival of the Fittest (c) 12/1986 Williams.

You pilot a knight who rides on top of a large bird. The object is to smash into your opponents to destroy them, but you have to be at a higher elevation when you hit them, otherwise they destroy you instead.


This game uses a redesign of the 'Williams Classic' platform. It is not compatible with the older titles, but they could possibly run on this platform with a little bit of tweaking. The game is contained on a set of two PCB boards, and a third board does audio duties. This title was released in an upright dedicated cabinet that was very similar in design to the original "Joust" cabinet (you would have to set them side by side to be able to spot the differences). It is decorated with stencil style painted side-art of a knight riding on a large bird (this was one of the last games to have stenciled side-art, stickers and other painting methods had been the norm for several years). The rest of the cabinet artwork is all based on the original "Joust" artwork, but has much more detail. The biggest difference between this cabinet and an original "Joust" cabinet is that this game uses a vertical monitor, rather than a horizontal one.

Main CPU : M6809 (@ 1 Mhz)

Sound CPU : M6808 (@ 1 Mhz), M6809 (@ 2 Mhz)

Sound Chips : YM2151 (@ 3.57958 Mhz), DAC, HC55516 (@ 3.57958 Mhz)

Screen orientation : Vertical

Video resolution : 240 x 276 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.00 Hz

Palette colors : 1024

Players : 2

Control : 2-way joystick

Buttons : 2 (FLAP, TRANSFORM)


The year was 1986 and the arcade industry was in a big slump, the golden age had been over for a few years, and the brief revival of the late 80s had not yet begun. Williams decided to do a sequel to their classic Joust title, and came up with Joust 2 - Survival Of The Fittest. This was a complete update to the original with new enemies and a variety of different levels, but it had one little flaw, it just simply was not as fun as the original. It was a great game on its own, but not when compared to "Joust". They only ended up making about 1000 of these, and most of them saw little action on the arcade floor. The players seemed to prefer the original "Joust" (which most arcades still had back then). Most of these machines ended up being pulled from the arcades after only a few months, and have survived to the present day in excellent conditions (It seems they were pulled for lack of profits, but most of them were not converted, because by 1986 most operators had a whole warehouse full of games to convert, and would usually select an older title rather than a new one that they could possibly sell off to someone else).

Dwayne Richard holds the official record for this game with 2,655,600 points.

A Joust 2 machine was shown at the 2003 classic arcade games show 'California Extreme' in San Jose, California.


1. Joust (1982)

2. Joust 2 - Survival of the Fittest (1986)


Designed by : John Newcomer (JRN)

Programmed by : Joe Hellesen (JOE), Kristina Donofrio (KVD), Warren Davis (WBD)

Sounds by : Chris Granner (C G)

Graphics by : John Newcomer (JRN), Jack E. Haeger

Cabinet graphics by : Tim Elliott


* Consoles :

Sony PlayStation (1997, "Arcade's Greatest Hits - The Midway Collection 2")

Sony PlayStation 2 (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")

Nintendo Gamecube (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")

Microsoft XBOX (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")

* Computers :

PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (1997, "Arcade's Greatest Hits - The Midway Collection 2")

PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2004, "Midway Arcade Treasure")