Zaxxon - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Zaxxon (1982)

No doubt about it, friends. Zaxxon, the isometric Sega space shooter from 1982 is a classic. As well as being an incredibly challenging arcade title. Furthermore it was the first arcade game to use axonmetric projection. Which is of course how Zaxxon got it’s name and helped it stand out in arcades!
Zaxxon - Arkadia Retrocade

Christopher Tupa has done a remarkable job of selecting games for his Retro Arcade Art project. Twenty-eight pieces of retro inspired art that focused on a classic arcade title. Many of them were quite unknown to me until I saw his work. It has been my pleasure to present the basics of the game to showcase his artwork for the last 28 weeks. Zaxxon happens to mark the last offering in CTupa’s Retro Arcade Art, however he certainly chose an important game to finish on.

Very much like Crystal Castles and even Q*bert, the isometric viewpoint takes some getting used to. In fact with it being the first arcade title to use it, it adds to the difficulty of the game by quite a bit. Players must attempt to pilot a spaceship through an enemy fortress, dodging many defenses and finally facing off against an evil robot, naturally named Zaxxon!
Zaxxon - Zaxxon Robot

Like many of the classic arcade games, that is easier said than done. Especially when you take into account the need to slip over and under electrical barriers. Thankfully the Player does have an altitude meter on the left hand side of the screen.
Zaxxon - Altitude Meter

Although for myself, I certainly used the shadow under the spaceship and where my shots were hitting to judge if it was safe to pass under a barrier or opening in the fortress wall.
Zaxxon - Spaceship Shadow

In Zaxxon when assaulting the space fortress, a Player will need to avoid a multitude of threats. Missiles launching from the fortress floor. Turrets firing towards your spaceship, stationary objects too, like radar dishes, fuel dumps and grounded spaceships. Obviously if you come in contact with any of these, you are treated to a fiery explosion and lose a life. Add to the mix that you must keep an eye on your fuel gauge and you can see why this game can be very tough.

Of course you can fill up your fuel meter by picking off those red fuel depots. Actually, I have always thought the hardest part of the game is after you clear a fortress. Because that is when you take on an opposing fleet of spaceships. I have a very hard time actually landing a shot on the enemy without getting hit myself. While crosshairs will appear when you have an enemy within your sights, I suppose I’m just not quick enough and get picked off.
Zaxxon - Enemy Planes

After making it through both the heavily armed fortress defenses and attacking fleet. Players will arrive at the headquarters of the villainous Zaxxon robot. Which is basically just another space fortress but at the end of that…awaits that deadly robot. Six direct hits upon the evil automaton’s missile is needed to defeat your foe.
Zaxxon - Zaxxon Robot Hit

Ready to see Zaxxon as well as Super Zaxxon in action?

[Via] Old Classic Retro Gaming

As always with CTupa’s Retro Arcade Art project, you can purchase the artwork featured in this post. The originals are ink and watercolor and are 5″x7″ on 8.5″x11″ size paper. You can hop on over to Christopher’s Official Site to contact him as well as check out more artwork from his project!

I hope you won’t forget to check out CTupa’s previous entries in his Retro Arcade Art project as well!

Furthermore, I would like to remind you that I have covered Zaxxon in the Diary of an Arcade Employee podcast as well.

Diary Of An Arcade Employee Podcast Episode 019 (Zaxxon)

Welcome friends to the 19th Diary of an Arcade Employee Podcast. For this show I discuss Sega/Gremlin’s 1982 arcade classic “Zaxxon” and we also have a special guest for this episode, John Monkus – one of the chief techs at the arcade. I also made sure to bring a few vintage audio treats for your listening pleasure.

If you have any suggestions for future games to cover or comments on the show itself you may email them to me at You can also contact me on Twitter and of course on Facebook. You can also keep up to date on what is going down at the Arkadia Retrocade by making sure to “Like” their Facebook Page or you can check in on the Official Diary of an Arcade Employee Facebook Page for your daily fix.

Our new ending theme entitled “River Raid” was graciously provided by the talented Tony Longworth, you can visit his official site by clicking that link and make sure to hop on over to his SoundCloud Page!

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Topps Candy Arcade Games

Topps Candy Arcade Games

I found myself browsing the Toy Archive website recently and I happened upon these wonderful Topps Candy Arcade Games, released in the mid 80’s.

Donkey Kong and Zaxxon are both great games and I would have loved these cardboard replicas as a child! Obviously I needed to know more, and the internet served me well, delivering me to the website which updated the list of released games to six, adding Q*Bert, Frogger, Centipede and Donkey Kong Jr. to the mix.

Topps Candy Arcade Games

I’m sure the “multi-colored coated bubble gum” was a good reason to buy at the time but for me it would have been the “graphics on each box [with] characters right off the video screen”!

Colorforms: “Video Rub n’ Play” Ad (1982)

A huge thanks to tOkKa over at the Retroist Image Pool for sharing this incredible ad for the Colorforms line of Run N’Play Transfers! tOkKa says that he used the Pac-Man transfers on his mother’s woodwork…and she wasn’t very happy about it. In tOkKa’s defense they do state you can “Rub ’em EVERYWHERE!”.

I know I at least had the Zaxxon and Robotron 2084 transfers back in my youth.