Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference

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Super Cobra

Super Cobra (c) 03/1981 Konami.

Super Cobra is a two-dimensional, scrolling shooter style game. You are the pilot of a helicopter that must penetrate the enemy defense system to grab the booty. The system consists of ten areas before you get to the base. The areas you are going through, though, won't be easy. With danger from all sides, both enemy and terrain, you will have to keep a sharp eye and have quick reflexes to get through some of the more difficult areas of this game. In addition to worrying about danger, you must constantly keep your helicopter fueled or it will crash. This means you will have to devise tactics that keep your helicopter somewhat out of danger while at the same time getting the fuel tanks. Of course, after you get through the enemy defense system and grab the booty, you get to start the mission anew. Looks like it's retirement is starting to look pretty good.


Game ID : GX316

Main CPU : Z80 (@ 3.072 Mhz)

Sound CPU : Z80 (@ 1.78975 Mhz)

Sound Chips : (2x) AY8910 (@ 1.78975 Mhz)

Screen orientation : Vertical

Video resolution : 224 x 256 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.61 Hz

Palette colors : 99

Players : 2

Control : 8-way joystick

Buttons : 2 (FIRE, BOMB)


Licensed to Stern (07/1981) and Sega.

Super Cobra came out at the same time as "Scramble". While Scramble only went through five areas to the base, Super Cobra went through ten areas. Super Cobra also had more enemies to deal with besides the missiles such as gun batteries and sidewinder missiles. The premise, though, is the same. Penetrate the enemy defenses to make it to the base to pick up the booty. What do you have against all this defense, you have your Super Cobra of course. It will, though, require all of your skills as a pilot to be able to go the distance to get the booty. This game never gained the popularity of Scramble but it still remains a cult classic and actually seems to have had better staying power then Scramble. Perhaps the reason was because it was more of a challenge, who knows.

Super Cobra came in the standard 'Stern Cabinet' which was the same one used for "Scramble", "The End", "Berzerk", and many others. This title features painted 'Stern' sideart and uses a vertical monitor. The marquee is reddish and shows a helicopter, a few missiles and a very 70s looking 'Super Cobra' logo. The control panel uses a single 8-Way leaf switch joystick which is mounted centrally, FIRE and BOMB buttons are on either side (meaning you can play this title with either hand).

A bootleg was released the same year by Karateco.

A Super Cobra unit appears in the 1982 movie ''Fast Times at Ridgemont High''.


10 points per second of flying.

Missile on ground : 30 points

Sidewinder missile on ground : 40 points

Missile in air : 50 points

Sidewinder missile in air : 60 points

Red UFO : 100 points

UFO : 100 points

Fuel tank : 50 points

Gun battery : 100, 200, or 300 points

Green fireball : 150 points

Missile in ceiling : 30 points

Missile dropping from ceiling : 50 points

Booty : 800 points


* When you start the game, your helicopter will be at the left side of the screen. Keep in mind, this is a scrolling game. This means you can go no faster then the right side and no slower then the left side. You can, however, vary your speed in-between by pushing the joystick back and forth. The biggest key in getting through this game is learning how to use the joystick to speed up and slow down because you will sometimes be put into some very tight areas that will require precision joystick control. You will hit a clear area and a message will come up such as '1000 miles cleared', '2000 miles cleared', etc... until your reach the base.

1ST AREA : This is a basic introductory area. It will allow you to get used to the controls while the threat level remains relatively low. The area is a mix of both mountainous and city.

a) Learn how to vary your speed and you can drop bombs with pinpoint precision. You can only have two bombs on the screen at any one time. You will have to go close to the surface to really make a difference. The biggest threat is the missiles that rise up to meet you.

b) Fuel is a very precious commodity in this game. Don't take a chance trying to bomb a fuel tank. It's better, if you have a flat section, to take out what's under your rocket, and strafe the rest of the way. This way, you ensure you can hit the fuel tank or tanks.

c) Watch the terrain. Sometimes you may be cruising when a mountain will appear suddenly requiring quick reflexes and space you may not have.

d) You also need to watch out for ground fire from the gun batteries. They tend to fire random shots and if you aren't careful, they will hit your helicopter.

2ND AREA : This area introduces you to the sidewinder missile. These missiles are unusual in the fact that they fire at an arc and come back down again. This means your helicopter can get hit two ways. Of course, if it misses your helicopter, it tends to sometimes be helpful by taking out other ground targets such as missiles and gun batteries. The terrain is mountainous.

a) Follow the same pattern as you did in the 1st Area. This time, you need to be wary of the sidewinder missiles.

b) As always, make sure you keep a high fuel level and watch out for those gun batteries.

3RD AREA : You get to deal with the red UFO's in this area. Also, the mountains will get steeper and create ''choke points'' at the top of the screen. Of course, you will have to contend with the UFO's coming through the other side. The terrain is mountainous.

a) The red UFO's aren't too difficult to deal with. They have a tendency to stop in pairs, then come at your helicopter. Again, it's easy to shoot them down.

b) The biggest threats are the 'choke points'. You usually will arrive at the same time as a UFO to see who's first over the mountain. This will require quick reflexes.

c) Even though no missiles come up at you, the gun batteries will still harass you.

4TH AREA : This is a continuation of the 3rd Area. Except this time the area you are flying in is significantly narrowed to a point where it seems like you are going through natural caverns. Use the same methods as the 3rd Area.

5TH AREA : You will have to deal with threats both from above and below in this area. There are missiles in the ceiling of the caverns that will drop down. Although missiles aren't firing from the ground, you still have to deal with gun batteries. The terrain is mountainous and caves.

a) You will have to be real careful in this area, the missiles in the ceiling are pretty concentrated. You will have to be able to speed up and slow down on a dime to avoid them or to shoot them.

b) Don't get too close to the ground since the terrain goes from mountains to canyons very quickly.

c) As already mentioned, get fuel and avoid ground fire.

6TH AREA : The main threat in this area is the fact the gun batteries now move. That's right, they track right along with your helicopter until they hit an obstacle. They travel equally well in the canyons as well as the mountains. This makes them especially dangerous since they are firing at the same time.

a) You will have to accelerate and decelerate frequently to 'fool' the moving gun batteries.

b) When you destroy ground targets, be selective in which ones you hit because if you hit targets in the path of the moving gun batteries, you just allow them to travel farther.

7TH AREA : This area is a little trickier since you now have fireballs coming at your helicopter. In addition, there is a green fireball that likes to track your helicopter and prevent your shots from gaining any distance. It takes seven shots to take out this fireball. The terrain is mountainous.

a) You will be staying in the valleys most of the time in this area. This is a good time to shoot things up on the ground since again, the missiles won't fly up at your helicopter. Gun batteries, though, will continue to harass you.

b) Timing again is important in this area since there are hills in the valley you must cross over. Of course, the tops of these hills are exposed to the fireballs. Time it so that right after a fireball passes over a hill, accelerate and drop into the next valley. Then decelerate in preparation for the next hill.

8TH AREA : This is repeat of the 3rd area except this time you will be dealing with 'chains' of white UFO's. Use the same tactics as the 3rd Area.

9TH AREA : This is a very short city area. Just watch out for sidewinder missiles.

10TH AREA : This is the area that will get most players. The movements have to be precise in the caves or you will end up part of the wall.

a) Learn quickly when to accelerate and decelerate within the caves. Right when you come to a ledge, push the joystick all the way back and start lining up for the next cave. Accelerate quickly through it, decelerate and repeat this pattern.

b) Don't worry about running out of fuel in the caves, there are plenty of fuel tanks to top your helicopter off. Plus, you will need all that fuel for not only navigating through the caves, but also the base since it doesn't have any fuel tanks.

BASE : This is the second hardest area that gets a lot of players. You have to be very precise in your movement. You will have to deal with gun batteries firing at you while you are trying to pick up the booty.

a) You will see the KONAMI sign atop one of the buildings. Once you see this, you need to decelerate rapidly and drop down quickly to the shorter building next to the base. Once you almost clear that building, you will have to rapidly decelerate, drop down, grab the booty, and rise quickly to avoid the building on the right.

b) If you fail to grab the booty on a pass, the screen will repeat itself until you either destroy the base or run out of rockets to use on it.

Once you have completed the Base, the action goes back to the 1st Area again. Things, however, will speed up. Fuel consumption is quicker and the enemies also are faster.


1. Scramble (1981)

2. Super Cobra (1981)


* Consoles :

Entex Adventurevision (1982)

G7000 Videopac

Magnavox Odyssey 2 (1983, "Super Cobra" - Parker Brothers)

Mattel Intellivision (1983)

Colecovision (1983)

Atari 2600 (1983)

Atari 5200 (1983)

Atari XEGS

Sony PlayStation (1999, "Konami Arcade Classics")

* Computers :

Atari 800 (1983)

Commodore Plus/4 (1987)



* Others :

VFD handheld game (1982) released by Entex.

VFD handheld game (19??) released by Gakken : Two different body styles were released.


F.A.Q. by Kevin Butler A.K.A. War Doc