Just reaching you guys because I'm completely unable to identify the game, and I haven't seen it in any compilation neither in Mame, etc. The following data are based just in my memories from the 80's. I rembember playing the game around 1985-1986:

  • It was a vertical shoot'em up in the old Galaga style (arcade coin-up)
  • At the beginning, you had to take off with your spaceship (it was not authomatical, or so do I believe)
  • Gameplay was similar to Galaga and some of the enemies were listed in the intro screens as "destroyers" (that looked like crabs!), "saucer" (typical UFO's) or "perseus".

I have to admit that this is just for the sake of curiosity, but I've been trying to identify the game for years and I have been unable to, so any help would be much appreciated.

  • it is certainly in MAME but there are too many games to check even within a 1 year period Commented Dec 30, 2022 at 23:01
  • Did it scroll with a background or just static screen? Commented Dec 30, 2022 at 23:09
  • 2
    I'm guessing either Pleiades, Gorf, or Moon Cresta. Commented Dec 31, 2022 at 3:02
  • Thanks to everyone so far. JF: it was an static screen, as far as I can remember. John: many thanks but it is not any of those you mention (checked Youtube). Still searching!
    – user26311
    Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 22:35
  • @JohnGordon: I've played Gorf, and recall that it had 3 or 4 distinct types of levels. The first one was a straight Space Invaders clone, and the last one was a boss fight in which you could shoot away parts of the enemy spaceship until you hit the one magic pixel that exploded. Then the cycle repeated, but faster.
    – dan04
    Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 21:39

1 Answer 1


Using the advanced search at Museum of the Game, I was able to identify 46 vertical space-themed games released from 1980 to 1987.

Your description resembles 1981's Satan of Saturn, which is sometimes called Zarzon.


  • 1
    More than that - a search on adb.arcadeitalia.net/lista_mame.php (a far better resource than Museum Of The Game IMO) for those years and the genre 'Shooter/Gallery' comes back with over 300. Lots of bootlegs and clones no doubt but still.
    – Alan B
    Commented Feb 1, 2023 at 17:19
  • 1
    Oooo! I didn't know about that. VERY cool! Editing answer to be less authoritative about the number. Commented Feb 2, 2023 at 9:25
  • Thanks, but it was not Satan of Saturn :(. Still searching!
    – user26311
    Commented Feb 12, 2023 at 22:37
  • That's surprising. If it's really a vertical space related shooter, there's only 46 choices from 1980-1987. If it's not Satan of Saturn of Zarzon, there must be some other some detail wrong (Is is really vertical? Is it really an arcade game? Are the years correct?) I recommend using the linked search to conduct additional research. Commented Feb 13, 2023 at 18:25
  • 1
    Oh! Finally I believe I managed to find it, and it seems my memories played some kind of trick with me, because it is no "vertical" shooter, but a semi 3d one. The game, finally, with a 99% chance of sucess is the Ambush arcade. Everything matches: the beginning in which you have to take off, the different enemies (saucer, destroyer, etc.) and so on. Only drawback is that it was not a vertical shooter, but I was a 6 year old and I could have been mistaken from the beginning. Thanks a lot for your help! adb.arcadeitalia.net/…
    – user26311
    Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 22:21

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