Zaxxon (ザクソン) is a 1982 isometric shooter arcade game, developed and released by Sega, in which the player pilots a ship through heavily defended space fortresses. Some sources claim that Japanese electronics company Ikegami Tsushinki also worked on the development of the game.
North American arcade flyer
Datasoft (Atari 8-bit)
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players, alternating turns|
|Cabinet||Upright and cocktail|
|Arcade system||Sega Zaxxon hardware|
|CPU||1 × Z80 @ 3.04 MHz|
|Display||Raster, 224 × 256 pixels (Vertical), |
256 out of 512 colors
Zaxxon was the first game to employ axonometric projection, which lent its name to the game (AXXON from AXONometric projection). The type of axonometric projection is isometric projection: this effect simulates three dimensions from a third-person viewpoint. It was also the first arcade game to be advertised on television, with a commercial produced by Paramount Pictures for $150,000.
The object of the game is to hit as many targets as possible without being shot down or running out of fuel—which can be replenished, paradoxically, by blowing up fuel drums (300 points). Blowing up satellites or gun turrets score 200, 500 or 1,000 points.
There are two fortresses to fly through, with an outer space segment between them. At the end of the second fortress is a boss in the form of the Zaxxon robot. Destroying robot with rocket with six hits before firing scores 1,000; otherwise, 200 for surviving the ordeal. In the outer space scene, destroying 20 ships scores 1,000 points.
The player's ship casts a shadow to indicate its height. An altimeter is also displayed; in space there is nothing for the ship to cast a shadow on. The walls at the entrance and exit of each fortress have openings that the ship must be at the right altitude to pass through. Within each fortress are additional walls that the ship's shadow and altimeter aid in flying over successfully.
An extra ship is awarded usually at 10,000 points; thereafter, no more lives. And, after 19 levels are completed, a "Give Up" will appear in the lower right corner of the screen.
Between 1982 and 1985, Zaxxon was ported to the Apple II, Atari 8-bit family, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, MSX, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Dragon 32, ColecoVision, Intellivision, IBM PC compatibles, Sega SG-1000, TRS-80 Color Computer, and TRS-80.
The Atari 2600 and Intellivision ports were noticeably different because they used a 3rd-person, behind-the-ship 3D perspective instead of the isometric graphics of the other versions. The ColecoVision version, programmed by Coleco staffer Lawrence Schick, was the first home version to use the isometric graphics.
In 1983 Coleco released a table top version of Zaxxon with a double-panel VFD screen. Bandai released 2 Zaxxon handhelds: one VFD table top for the European and Japanese market, and an LCD card game sold worldwide.
Video Games in 1983 called the ColecoVision version of Zaxxon a "coup for this new system". Video magazine also praised the ColecoVision version in its "Arcade Alley" column, describing it as "one of the most thrilling games available", and noting in passing that the only "serious criticism" of the arcade original was that "many players felt they needed flying lessons to have even a ghost of a chance of performing well".:26 K-Power rated the Color Computer version with 8 points out of 10. The magazine praised its "excellent three-dimensional graphics", and concluded that "Zaxxon is a game that can't be praised enough".
Softline in 1983 called the Atari 8-bit version "a superb three-dimensional computer game ... Not since Choplifter has a game looked so impressive". The magazine also liked the graphics of the Apple II and TRS-80 versions despite those computers' hardware limitations, and predicted that Zaxxon would be a "long-lived bestseller". In 1984 the magazine's readers named the game the fifth most-popular Apple program, the worst Apple program, and third-worst Atari program of 1983.
II Computing listed Zaxxon fourth on its list of top Apple II games as of late 1985, based on sales and market-share data.
In 2006, Zaxxon games were included as bonuses on the Sega Genesis Collection for Sony's PlayStation 2 and PSP consoles. The original Zaxxon is the game included on the PS2, and Super Zaxxon is the one available on the PSP. Zaxxon was also included as an unlockable arcade game in Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Zaxxon spawned an arcade sequel: Super Zaxxon. The color scheme is different, the player's ship flies faster (making the game more difficult), and the robot at the end of the second fortress is replaced by a dragon. It did not do as well as the original. Future Spy was released by Sega in 1984, which uses the same hardware as Zaxxon and has very similar gameplay but with a more realistic military theme.
In 1987 Zaxxon 3-D was released for the Master System. This console variation made use of its 3-D glasses add-on for extra depth perception. As with the Atari 2600 and Intellivision ports, it was forward-scrolling rather than isometric. In October 1993, Atari Corporation filed a lawsuit against Sega for an alleged infringement of a patent originally created by Atari Corp. in the 1980s, with the former seeking a preliminary injunction to stop manufacturing, usage and sales of hardware and software for both Sega Genesis and Game Gear. On September 28, 1994, both parties reached a settlement in which it involved a cross-licensing agreement to publish up to five titles each year across their systems until 2001. Zaxxon 3-D was one of the first five titles approved from the deal by Sega in order to be converted for the Atari Jaguar, but it was never released.
Zaxxon's Motherbase 2000 was released for the Sega 32X in 1995. It is the first Zaxxon game to incorporate polygon graphics. The game bore the Zaxxon brand only in the United States, as the Japanese version was named Parasquad and the European version was named Motherbase. U.S. gaming critics generally remarked that the game was not similar enough to Zaxxon to justify the use of the brand.
A bootleg was released in the arcades in 1982 called Jackson.
In popular cultureEdit
Zaxxon was a featured plot device of the 1986 independent feature film Hollywood Zap!.
Zaxxon was seen numerous times in a video gamed-themed storyline of the show Remington Steele episode "Steele Waters Run Deep".
The NPR podcast "Pop Culture Happy Hour" holds its hosts to the "Zaxxon Rule," wherein they are forbidden to bring up topics which are unrelatable to the audience, such as events in one's personal life.
In the Season 1 episode "Up Your Alley" from the ABC sitcom Home Improvement, Randy plays Zaxxon at a bowling alley, attempting to set a record while a bully tries to stop him from playing.
- "Zaxxon". Arcade History. October 17, 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-05-27. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
- Zaxxon (ColecoVision) at AllGame
- Zaxxon (Atari 5200) at AllGame
- Zaxxon (Intellivision) at AllGame
- "Atari 400 800 XL XE Zaxxon". Atari Mania. Archived from the original on 2018-04-14. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
- Zaxxon (Atari VCS) at AllGame
- Zaxxon (Apple II) at AllGame
- Zaxxon (Commodore 64/128) at AllGame
- Gamer's High Futabasha Super Mook (in Japanese). Tokyo: Futabasha. 2015. p. 58. ISBN 978-4-5754-5554-0.
- "ザクソン まとめ [MSX] / ファミ通.com". Famitsu.com. 2014-02-22. Archived from the original on 2016-03-06. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
- "ザクソン3D （マスターシステム） まとめ [セガ・マークIII] / ファミ通.com". Famitsu.com. 2014-02-22. Archived from the original on 2016-03-06. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
- "Company:Ikegami Tsushinki - Game Developer Research Institute". Archived from the original on 2011-01-07. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
- ドンキーコング裁判についてちょこっと考えてみる Archived 2010-03-12 at the Wayback Machine Thinking a bit about Donkey Kong, accessed 2009-02-01
- It started from Pong (それは『ポン』から始まった : アーケードTVゲームの成り立ち sore wa pon kara hajimatta: ākēdo terebi gēmu no naritachi), Masumi Akagi (赤木真澄 Akagi Masumi), Amusement Tsūshinsha (アミューズメント通信社 Amyūzumento Tsūshinsha), 2005, ISBN 4-9902512-0-2.
- Mark J. P. Wolf (2008), The video game explosion: a history from PONG to Playstation and beyond Archived 2018-04-14 at the Wayback Machine, p. xviii, ABC-CLIO, ISBN 0-313-33868-X
- Harmetz, Aljean (July 3, 1982). "Movie Themes Come To Video Games". Star-News. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- Zaxxon entry Archived 2007-10-25 at the Wayback Machine from TwinGalaxies.com
- Zaxxon from the Killer List of Videogames (KLOV)
- Bernard Perron & Mark J. P. Wolf (2008), Video game theory reader two, p. 158 Archived 2015-02-25 at the Wayback Machine, Taylor & Francis, ISBN 0-415-96282-X
- Chris Melissinos; Elizabeth Broun (2012). The Art of Video Games: From Pac-Man to Mass Effect. Welcome Books. pp. 28–9. ISBN 159962110X. Archived from the original on 2012-07-12. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
- "InfoWorld Jan. 1983". Archived from the original on 2017-10-14. Retrieved 2017-10-13.
- Announcement of Handheld Zaxxon Archived 2011-10-15 at the Wayback Machine Electronic Games Magazine July 1983
- Bandai Zaxxon Archived 2011-11-24 at the Wayback Machine from handheldmuseum.com
- Zaxxon (Arcade) at AllGame
- Zaxxon (Atari 400/800/XL/XE) at AllGame
- "CVG Magazine Issue 044". Archive.org. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
- "The HotSeat : Review of New Products" (PDF). Digitpress.com. 1982-11-21. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
- "Spectrum Software Reviews". Home Computing Weekly. No. 52. 6 March 1984. p. 8. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
- Lentvorski, Andrew Jr. (February 1984). "Zaxxon". K-Power. p. 59. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
- "Le site des anciennes revues informatiques". Abandonware-magazines.org. Archived from the original on 2016-03-12. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
- "Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Coin-Op Game". Electronic Games. Vol. 1 no. 11. January 1983. p. 35. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
- "Videogame of the Year". Electronic Games. Vol. 2 no. 23. January 1984. p. 67. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
- "1985 Arkie Awards". Electronic Games. Vol. 3 no. 35. January 1985. pp. 28–9. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
- "Hall of Fame Winners". Electronic Games. Vol. 3 no. 35. January 1985. pp. 58–59 . Retrieved 11 February 2012.
- Wiswell, Phil (March 1983). "New Games From Well-Known Names". Video Games. p. 69. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
- Kunkel, Bill; Katz, Arnie (April 1983). "Arcade Alley: Zaxxon, Turbo, and Two for Apple II". Video. Vol. 7 no. 1. Reese Communications. pp. 26, 28–29. ISSN 0147-8907.
- Bang, Derrick; Shore, Howard A. (July–August 1983). "Zaxxon". Softline. pp. 22–23. Archived from the original on 2014-07-29. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "The Best and the Rest". St.Game. Mar–Apr 1984. p. 49. Archived from the original on 2014-07-29. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- Ciraolo, Michael (Oct–Nov 1985). "Top Software / A List of Favorites". II Computing. p. 51. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- "December 2009 releases in Japan". Archived from the original on 2009-11-30. Retrieved 2009-11-27.
- Future Spy from the KLOV
- Zaxxon Archived 2006-10-19 at the Wayback Machine from the Great Game Database (GGDb)
- Zaxxon at BoardGameGeek
- "Atari Corp. v. Sega of America, Inc., 869 F. Supp. 783 (N.D. Cal. 1994)". justia.com. August 12, 1994. Archived from the original on 2018-11-16. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- "ProNews: Atari Sues Sega". GamePro. No. 54. IDG. January 1994. p. 258. Archived from the original on 2018-11-16. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- CRV (August 6, 2017). "Blog:Legal Brief: Atari vs. Sega". gdri.smspower.org. Archived from the original on 2018-11-16. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- Tramiel, Garry (September 28, 1994). "To Our Valued Customer". atari-history.com. Archived from the original on 2000-09-19. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- "Sega And Atari Announce Long-Term Licensing Agreements, Equity Investment, and Resolution of Disputes". atari-history.com. September 28, 1994. Archived from the original on 2000-09-19. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- "The Enter*Active File - Entertainment Industry News Of Info Systems, Video Games & Retail-Tech Media". Billboard. Vol. 106 no. 49. Lynne Segall. December 3, 1994. p. 82.
- "ProNews: Sega, Atari Settle Differences". GamePro. No. 65. IDG. December 1994. p. 282. Archived from the original on 2018-11-16. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- Peers, Nick (December 1994). "The News - The Latest News - Atari Vs Sega". ST Format. No. 65. Future plc. p. 11. Archived from the original on 2018-11-16. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- "Ultimate Update - A legal battle over..." Ultimate Future Games. No. 1. Future Publishing. December 1994. p. 20. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
- "Reportage - Le Japon En Direct - Jaguar: Coup De Griffe Sur Le Japon! - Atari Et Sega". Consoles + (in French). No. 39. M.E.R.7. January 1995. p. 26. Archived from the original on 2018-11-16. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- "News - Front Page - Sega buys into Atari". Game Players. No. 68. Signal Research. February 1995. p. 14.
- "Special - Atari: from boom to bust and back again". Edge. No. 18. Future plc. March 1995. pp. 58–65. Archived from the original on 2019-01-18. Retrieved 2019-09-16.
- "Special - Atari: from boom to bust and back again". Next Generation. No. 4. Imagine Media. April 1995. pp. 34–41.
- "CVG News - Atari's Cat Gets The CD Cream - Big Cat Claws EA Deal". Computer and Video Games. No. 163. Future Publishing. June 1995. pp. 12–13. Archived from the original on 2018-10-18. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
- "ProReview: Zaxxon's Motherbase 2000". GamePro. No. 82. IDG. July 1995. p. 46.
- "Review Crew: Zaxxon's Motherbase 2000". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 71. Ziff Davis. June 1995. p. 36.
- "'Zaxxon Escape' Review - Hardly A Resemblance (Review)". TouchArcade.com. 2013-12-06. Archived from the original on 2016-03-12. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
- Jackson entry Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine from CAESAR (Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference)
- Boyle, L. Curtis. "Zaksund". NitrOS9. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
- Choney, Suzanne. "80 video games head for Smithsonian art exhibit". NBC News. Archived from the original on 2014-03-13. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-07-16. Retrieved 2018-07-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)