Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference

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Q*bert's Qubes

Q*bert's Qubes (c) 1983 Mylstar Electronics.

The object of Q*bert's Qubes is to jump around diamond formation of 25 cubes and rotate them so that one or more rows of cubes match the shown target cube (a tic-tac-toe) while avoiding the meltniks, the rat and the purple guys. Jumping on anything green is safe, catching the turtle slows down enemies for a short time and catching the freeze ball freezes enemies for a short time.

Each level has four rounds and a bonus round and there are 11 levels...

Level 1 : get 1 tic-tac-toe, cubes only have 2 colors

Level 2 : get 1 tic-tac-toe, cubes only have 3 colors

Level 3 : get 1 tic-tac-toe, cubes have 6 colors from this point on

Level 4 : get 2 tic-tac-toes

Level 5 : get 3 tic-tac-toes

Level 6 : get 1 tic-tac-toe, matched target cubes can be rotated

Level 7 : get 2 tic-tac-toes, matched target cubes can be rotated

Level 8 : get 3 tic-tac-toes, matched target cubes can be rotated

Level 9 : get 4 tic-tac-toes

Level 10 : get 3 tic-tac-toes, matched target cubes can be rotated

Level 11 : get 3 tic-tac-toes

After this levels 9-11 repeat indefinitely.


Game ID : GV-119

Main CPU : I8086 (@ 5 Mhz)

Sound CPU : M6502 (@ 894.886 Khz)

Sound Chips : DAC, Votrax SC-01

Screen orientation : Vertical

Video resolution : 240 x 256 pixels

Screen refresh : 61.00 Hz

Palette colors : 16

Players: 2

Control: 4-way joystick (diagonal)


This game was the first to have used both Mylstar and Gottlieb (Gottlieb was renamed Mylstar not too soon after the game was released, Warren Davis also joked that Mylstar is Rat Slime spelled backwards) on two different versions of the marquee).

A Votrax SC-01 speech synthesis chip is used to generate the incoherent speech of Q*bert swearing, Shoobops (high pitch) and Wrong Way and Ugg (low pitch). The only true speech ever generated is 'Hello, I'm turned on' when the game is first powered up and 'Bye Bye' after entering your initials at the end of a game.

The Rubik's Cube craze of the time served as a source of inspiration for this game.

Jean Baudin holds the official records for this game in 'hard Difficulty' setting with 2,146,905 points on 09/27/2001.


Land on cube : 5 points.

Match target cube : 100 points.

Catch freeze ball : 100 points.

Land on Shoobops : 100 points.

Land on turtle : 100 points.

Spin rat off cube : 5-500 points.


1. Q*bert (1982)

2. Q*bert's Qubes (1983)

3. Q*bert 3 (1993, Nintendo Super Famicom)


Programmed by : Neil Burnstein

Graphics by : Jeff Lee

Audio by : David Thiel

Cabinet graphics by : Terry Doerzaph


* Consoles :

Atari 2600


* Computers :

MSX (1986)