I'm looking to identify a vertical shooter from the 80s.

The setting is futuristic, with the main ship being able to get upgrades based on the floating bonus which is a letter. One of the was a flamethrower, another was a six shooter. When taking the letter, parts were combined into the ship to give the upgrade. The letter "P" would give an extra life, unless it was a brown colored "P" which would instead instantly kill you.

The first boss was a ship with some sort of long "tentacles" made of circles sprites.

I played it around 1982 or something like that.

EDIT: it was an arcade game that I used to play in a pizzeria near my house. It was way before the time of Xenon 2, the next year my parents bought me a ZX spectrum 16K

  • Could it have been Xenon 2? On which platform, was there music or sound effects?
    – Justme
    May 13, 2021 at 9:40
  • 3
    Arcade? Console? Home computer?
    – Alan B
    May 13, 2021 at 11:05
  • @alan b sorry, please see my edit
    – ChatterOne
    May 13, 2021 at 13:45
  • Terra Cresta (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terra_Cresta) comes to mind for the ship upgrades, but I don't remember the boss having tentacles made of circle sprites - but then I was never very good at tyhe game. It's from 1985, but it's a sequel to Moon Cresta from 1980,
    – LAK
    May 13, 2021 at 14:25
  • 1
    I know terra cresta very well (the phoenix is easy to remember) , it was a completely different game unfortunately
    – ChatterOne
    May 13, 2021 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


It's a little later than 1982 but I think this is SNK's 'Alpha Mission', also known as 'ASO : Armored Scrum Object'.

It has standard pickups for power-ups but also brown versions which are 'power downs'. The ship has various armour sets that you can switch between, changing the appearance. The stage 1 boss is a round sprite tentacle affair.

  • Very nice find! There is even a 'P' extra life powerup, and brown ones are de-powerups. No mention of a brown P that kills you, but that could be a misrememberence.
    – LAK
    May 14, 2021 at 16:28
  • Yep, you're right, I had the year wrong (by 3 years, but that's a lot in videogames). Thanks a lot for this 😊
    – ChatterOne
    May 14, 2021 at 19:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.