Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference

Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

Large CAESAR Logo

Moon Patrol

Moon Patrol (c) 05/1982 Irem.

The player controls a moon buggy, viewing it from the side, that travels over the moon's surface. While driving it must avoid obstacles such as craters and mines. The buggy is also attacked by UFOs from above and tanks on the ground.


The Moon Patrol cabinet is a similar design to the one used on "Joust", but with a slightly thicker control panel. This title features painted sideart (a scene showing a moon buggy being attacked, which is done in several shades of blue), and uses a horizontal monitor. The marquee shows another moon scene (this one done up in Marvel comics style graphics) of a yellow moon buggy attacking a hovercraft, with a purple space castle in the background (All of those things are different colors than the ones actually in the game, they probably neglected to show the graphic artist the actual game). The control panel uses a single 2-Way joystick which is mounted centrally, fire and jump buttons are on either side (meaning you can play this title with either hand).

Irem M-52 hardware

Main CPU : Z80 (@ 3.072 Mhz)

Sound CPU : M6803 (@ 894.886 Khz)

Sound Chips : (2x) AY8910 (@ 894.886 Khz), (2x) MSM5205 (@ 384 Khz)

Screen orientation : Horizontal

Video resolution : 240 x 248 pixels

Screen refresh : 57.00 Hz

Palette colors : 576

Players : 2

Control : 2-way joystick (controls speed of moon buggy)

Buttons : 2 (FIRE, JUMP)


Licensed to Williams for US manufacture and distribution.

Moon Patrol was one of the earliest linear side-scrolling shoot'em ups and the first game to feature parallax scrolling.

Mark Robichek holds the official record for this game with 1,214,600 points.

A Moon Patrol unit appears in the 1983 movie 'Joysticks' and in the 1984 movie 'The Karate Kid'.

A Bootleg of this game is called "Moon Ranger".

Alfa Records released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (R-Type : Irem Game Music - 28XA-199) on 25/01/1988.


* Hint 1 : When alien ships fly over, keep adjusting your speed or they will eventually hit you with a bomb. Draw their bombs to one end of the screen, then shift to the other.

* Hint 2 : Although the part of the mines seems to be the more difficult, it isn't - all you have to do is not move your tank at all, only pressing the jump button. You won't get many bonus points, but at least you'll survive.

* Hint 3 : The big key to this game is memorization. After the beginner course, you go on to the champion course, which never changes no matter how many times you pass it. Memorize the two courses, and you will almost never lose a life.


* Consoles :

Atari 2600 (1983)

Atari 5200 (1983)

Atari XEGS

Colecovision (1984)

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

Nintendo Game Boy Color (1999, "Arcade Hits - Moon Patrol / Spy Hunter")

Sega Dreamcast (2000, "Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits Volume 2")

* Computers :

Atari 800 (1982)

PC [Booter] (1983)

Commodore VIC-20 (1983)

Commodore C64 (1983)

Tandy Color Computer (1983, "Moon Hopper")

Tandy Color Computer (1983, "Desert Patrol")

Tandy Color Computer (1983, "Lunar Rover Patrol")

MSX (1984)

Atari ST (1987)

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

Apple II


* Others :

LCD handheld game (1982) released by Gakken.