North American arcade flyer of Moon Patrol
|Genre(s)||Run and gun
Vehicular combat game
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players, alternating turns|
|Arcade system||Irem M-52 hardware
Main CPU: Z80 (@ 3.072 MHz)
Sound CPU: M6803 (@ 894.886 kHz)
Sound Chips: (2x) AY8910 (@ 894.886 kHz), (2x) MSM5205 (@ 384 kHz)
|Display||Raster resolution 240×248 (Horizontal) Palette Colors 576|
The player controls a moon buggy, viewing it from the side, that travels over the moon's surface. While driving it, obstacles such as craters and mines must be avoided. The buggy is also attacked by UFOs from above and tanks on the ground. Moon Patrol was one of the earliest side-scrolling shooters and is credited for the introduction of parallax scrolling in side-scrolling video games -- although Jump Bug featured it first.
The player takes the role of a Luna City police officer assigned to Sector Nine, the home of the "toughest thugs in the galaxy."
The top portion of the screen shows a timeline-style map of the current course, and three indicator lights. The top light indicates upcoming enemy aerial attacks, the middle one indicates an upcoming minefield, and the bottom one indicates enemies approaching from behind.
The map shows five different checkpoints labeled E, J, O, T and Z. Similar to racing games, the time spent during between each checkpoint is compared to the average which determines the number of bonus points allocated to the player. The game contains two courses, the regular and champion course; after completing the first course your buggy's color changes from pink to red and the game continues on.
There have been many ports of Moon Patrol to home computers and console game systems, including:
- Apple II
- Atari 800
- Atari 2600
- Atari 5200
- Atari ST
- ColecoVision (in prototype form; never released to the public)
- Commodore 64
- Commodore VIC-20
- Mobile (Moon Patrol EX & Lunar Patrol)
- Game Boy Color (Arcade Hits: Moon Patrol & Spy Hunter)
- PC booter
- Dreamcast (included in Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits Volume 2)
- PlayStation (included in Midway Presents Arcade's Greatest Hits - The Midway Collection 2)
- Texas Instruments TI-99/4A
- TRS-80 Color Computer
- Windows 95 (included in Midway Presents Arcade's Greatest Hits - The Midway Collection 2)
- ZX Spectrum (completed but never released)
- Intellivision ( named "Space Patrol")
- A bootleg version called Moon Ranger was released in the arcades the same year.
- An open-source clone named moon-buggy for Unix-like terminals is included in most modern linux distributions.
- Moon Patrol at the Killer List of Videogames
- Moon Patrol at the Arcade History database
- Moon Patrol guide at StrategyWiki
- Moon Patrol at MobyGames
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