Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference

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Space Ace (US Rev. A2)

Space Ace (c) 10/1983 Leland.

Like Dragon's Lair, the gameplay of Space Ace requires the player to move the joystick in the right direction or press the Fire button at the right moment in order to avoid the various hazards Ace/Dexter faces. Space Ace introduced a few gameplay enhancements, most notably selectable skill levels and multiple paths through several of the scenes. At the start of the game the player could select one of three skill levels; 'Cadet', 'Captain' or 'Ace' for easy, medium and hard respectively - only by choosing the toughest skill level could the player see all the sequences in the game (only around half the scenes are played on the easiest setting). A number of the scenes had 'multiple choice' moments when the player could choose how to act, sometimes by choosing which way to turn in a passageway, or by choosing whether or not to react to the on-screen 'Energize!' message and transform back into Ace. Dexter usually progresses through scenes by avoiding obstacles and enemies, but Ace goes on the offensive, attacking enemies rather than running away. For example, in the first scene of the game, Dexter is escaping from Borf's robot drones, and if the player presses the fire button at the right moment, Dexter transforms temporarily back into Ace and can fight them, whereas if the player chooses to stay as Dexter they must dodge the robots' drill attacks instead.


Space Ace was made available to distributors in two different formats; a dedicated cabinet, and a conversion kit that could be used to turn an existing copy of "Dragon's Lair" into a Space Ace game. The conversion kit included the Space Ace laserdisc, new EPROMs containing the game program, an additional circuit board to add the skill level buttons, and replacement artwork for the cabinet. The game originally used the Pioneer LD-V1000 or PR-7820 laserdisc players, but an adaptor kit now exists to allow Sony LDP series players to be used as replacements if the original player is no longer functional.

Main CPU : Z80

Sound Chips : AY8910, Custom

Players : 1

Buttons : 1


The animation staff provided their own voices for their own characters, in order to keep the costs down. Animator, Jeff Etter was the voice of Ace. Storyman / animator Will Finn was the voice of Dexter. Animator, Lorna Pomeroy (wife of Co-Producer, John Pomeroy) was the voice of Kimmy. Don Bluth was the voice of Commander Borf. The narrator was Michael Rye and the musical score was created by Christopher Stone.

The scantily-clad heroine Kimberly was named after one of the people of the animation staff whose name was Kimberly Coy.

Space Ace were released 1984 by Cinematronics/magicom and licensed to Atari and Sidam (only Italy) for the European market. The European version of Space ace don't have the skill select that the Cinematronics version have. The Atari's and Sidam's version were made for the PAL system and Cinematronics version were made for the NTSC system.

The Cinematronics hardware and software were also totally different from Atari's/Sidam's.

Space Ace was re-released in 1991, this time without the different skill levels, were released as a conversion kit for "Dragon's Lair II - Time Warp". But this time it was Leland that produced the game.

Cinematronics went out of business late in 1984, the same year Space Ace were first released. None of the hardware or software from Cinematronics 1984 version were used in Lelands 1993 version.

Space Ace were again licensed to Atari and Sidam (only Italy) for the European market. But this time Leland, Atari and Sidam used some of the same hardware for the 1991 version of Space Ace. Leland used a Sony 1450 LD-player. Atari and Sidam Again used a Philips player, allowing them to skip the NTSC pcb.

A Space Ace machine was showed up at the 2003 classic arcade games show 'California Extreme', San Jose, California.

Space Ace was also featured as an animated series : Ruby-Spears Productions. Produced By Joe Ruby, Ken Spears. Aired as part the second season of 'Saturday Supercade' on CBS.


Some scenes are left out in Cinematronics version, depending on the skill level the player plays. In skill level 'Space Ace' all scenes are included.

In 1991, Leland released a slightly updated version of Space Ace in the form of a conversion kit for the then recently-released "Dragon's Lair II - Time Warp". The updated version added more complicated moves (including diagonal moves), and dropped the easier skill levels, meaning only the 'Ace' (difficult) level could be played.


* Consoles :

Philips CD-I (1993)

Nintendo Super Famicom (1994)

Sega Mega-CD (1994)

Panasonic 3DO (1995)

Atari Jaguar CD (1996)

* Computers :

Commodore Amiga (1990)

Commodore Amiga (1993, "The Animation Classics Pack")

PC [MS-DOS, CD-ROM] (1994)

PC [MS Windows 9x, CD-ROM] (2003)