Kaos - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Kaos (1981)

Christopher Tupa has done it again. With Kaos his pick for this week’s Retro Arcade Art. He has chosen another arcade title that I have not heard of before. I am going to go out on a limb and assume that many of you have not heard of Kaos before today as well!

While Kaos might be a mystery to you. I will add that who is responsible for the design and production of the game also requires some sleuthing. If you go with the knowledgeable folks over at the International Arcade Museum the credit goes to Taiyo. Although as can be seen from that attract screen as well as the arcade cabinet itself, it was released by GamePlan, inc.
Kaos - Arcade Machine

However, mystery of who gets credit for Kaos aside. This 1981 game belongs to the maze genre of classic arcade titles. Although having said that this isn’t like Pac-Man. In fact it is a vertical maze that the Players have to navigate – jumping from one moving platform to another. I honestly feel that 1982’s Zoo Keeper was inspired by Kaos for the former’s bonus level.

Now the gameplay for Kaos is rather simple. Players attempt to catch coins as they glide across the moving platforms towards the bottom of the stage.
Kaos - Stage 1

This isn’t just because you are trying to rack up points of course. It turns out that in this video game universe when a coin reaches the bottom of the screen it becomes a deadly dragon! Who will naturally give chase to the Player.
Kaos - Dragons

As you might imagine if a dragon catches the Player you lose a life. But at the very least you can take comfort that you helped to fill a dragon’s stomach, right?
Kaos - Dragon is Fed

In later stages the dragons will actually spawn from the top of the stage. Beyond that another threat is the maze itself. For example some of the platforms will have walls attached to them that can slide you off. Or worse yet in early levels they can rake you to the side of the screen where you will be electrocuted. However in some later stages you can safely wraparound to the other side. Thankfully before each stage it will give you a friendly warning. In addition if you slip through a crack in the platforms at the bottom of the screen you will be fried as well.

Take heart though brave adventurer! The Player isn’t totally without a way to fight back. If you jump up to the top of the stage and make contact with a green pyramid. You are transformed into an almighty dragon-slaying King! At least for a little while. You can rush towards the foes and dispatch them with a touch…and net yourself a nice score in the process.

Kaos - King
Hail to the King, Baby!

Feel like trying Kaos for yourself? Good news it’s totally available on the Internet Archive Arcade!

Kaos - Service Manual

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!

Don’t forget to check out CTupa’s previous entries in his Retro Arcade Art project as well!
(Bomb Jack)
(Devil Fish)
(Dig Dug)


Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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