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Arcade flyer featuring the cocktail table version of the game and in-game screenshots.
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players|
|Display||Raster, standard resolution 256 x 224 (Horizontal) Colors 64|
In the game, the player assumes the role of a spy who infiltrates a building filled with elevators. He must collect secret documents from the building and traverse the 30 floors of the building using an increasingly complex series of elevators. The player is pursued by enemy agents who appear from behind closed doors. These agents must be dealt with via force or evasion. Successful completion of a level involves collecting all the secret documents and traversing the building from top to bottom. In the lower floors of the building, the elevator systems are so complex that some puzzle-solving skills are needed.
The game was available as a standard upright cabinet The controls consist of a 4-way joystick and two buttons, one for "shoot" and the other for jumping and kicking. The maximum number of players is two, alternating turns. The graphics are extremely simple, 2D color graphics and in-game music was composed by musician Yoshio Imamura. The game was followed by a sequel, Elevator Action II (also known as Elevator Action Returns).
The player assumes the role of Agent 17, codename: "Otto", a secret agent for an unspecified organization or government. As Otto, the player enters a 30-story building from the roof and must collect a series of secret documents hidden inside. Red doors indicate the location of these documents, and Otto must use the building's elevators and escalators to reach them while avoiding or defeating the enemy agents trying to stop him. Once Otto has all the documents, he must reach the basement and escape in a waiting car to advance. Each level contains a section in which the lights are out, making it difficult to see the enemy agents unless they are in an elevator. Beyond this section, the player must navigate a complex series of elevators to avoid agents, retrieve the last documents, and reach the basement exit.
Otto can move left or right and jump; when in an elevator or at one end of an escalator, pushing up or down will move him one floor in that direction. He can fire his pistol at enemy agents, up to three rounds at a time, and duck to avoid their bullets when not in an elevator. In addition, Otto can ride on top of an elevator car (but not have control of it) and, if the car is above him, jump across the empty shaft. He can defeat enemy agents in four ways: shooting them, getting close enough to jump and kick them, shooting out an overhead light so that it falls on them (which temporarily knocks out the building lights), or crushing them with a moving elevator.
On higher levels, the enemy agents will shoot more frequently and their bullets will travel faster. They will duck or assume a prone position to avoid Otto's shots, but cannot jump over low ones. If the player takes too much time, indicated by a hurry-up alarm sounds and sped-up background music, the agents become more aggressive and the elevators become slow to respond to the player's joystick movements. If the player tries to use the basement exit without collecting every document, Otto will be automatically transported back to the highest floor that still has an unopened red door.
Scoring system 
- Retrieve secret documents = 500 points
- Knock out an agent by falling light = 300 points
- Crush an agent using elevator = 300 points
- Knock out an agent by jumping/kicking = 150 points
- Shoot an agent = 100 points
- There is a 50 point bonus for shooting/kicking agents on the dark floors or when the lights are shot out.
- Bonus points are given with completion of each round (1,000 points per round up to a maximum of 10,000 points)
An extra life is earned when player reaches 10,000 points.
The Killer List of Videogames includes this game in its list of "Top 100 Video Games".
The title of the dojin game ElePaper Action is a parody of Elevator Action's title. The game's credits sequence features a mini-game similar to Elevator Action.
Two games for Palm OS, Agent Z and its sequel, Agent Z 2 by Ellams Software, are based on Elevator Action.
A port to the original Game Boy included the ability to acquire different weapons, such as a machine gun that fired more rapidly.
Other media 
The "Nintendo punk" band 14 Year Old Girls did a song about this game; the song is also called "Elevator Action".
Like many games of this era, Elevator Action was ported to some home systems in 1985 for personal use. It was ported to the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, MSX, Commodore 64, Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, and Sega SG-1000.
A port was planned for the Atari 2600, but never released. However, a prototype of the game was illegally published by CGE Services Corp. and sold in Classic Gaming Expo 2001. There are some issues with collision detection, and the game is only 95% complete, leading many to speculate that the video game crash of 1983 was a key factor in its non-release.
Sony published a mobile version of the game.
A remake of the game by Square Enix, titled Elevator Action Deluxe, was released on PlayStation Network on August 31, 2011. The game contains single player and multiplayer modes, as well as the original arcade version.
Compilation Releases 
The original Elevator Action has been included in various compilations, including:
- Elevator Action EX (Game Boy Color)
- Elevator Action Old & New (Game Boy Advance)
- Elevator Action Returns (Sega Saturn)
- Taito Legends (PlayStation 2, Xbox, Windows)
- Taito Legends Power Up (PSP)
- Elevator Action Deluxe (PlayStation Network)
See also 
- Elevator Action at World of Spectrum
- Elevator Action at the Killer List of Videogames
- Elevator Action at MobyGames
- Elevator Action NES review at X-Entertainment
- High Score Rankings for Elevator Action from Twin Galaxies