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This article is about the 1980s television program on WTBS. For other uses, see Starcade (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Starrcade.
Starcade logo.png
Format Game Show
Created by James Caruso
Mavis Arthur
Developed by James Caruso
Mavis Arthur
Presented by Mike Eruzione (1981 Pilot)
Alex Trebek (1982 Pilots)
Mark Richards (1982-1983)
Geoff Edwards (1983-1984)
Narrated by Kevin McMahan
Opening theme Mindseed
Edwin Anderson
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 133 + 4 pilots
Executive producer(s) James Caruso
Mavis Arthur
Running time 24 minutes (approximately)
Production company(s) JM Production Company
Turner Program Services
Original channel WTBS (1982-1983)
Syndicated (1983-1984)
G4 (repeats)
Original run December 27, 1982 – September 1984
External links

Starcade was a game show where contestants competed against one another by playing arcade video games. The series originally aired on WTBS from 1982–1983, followed by a run in syndication for the following season.

The series was first hosted by Mark Richards. Geoff Edwards replaced Richards after the first 23 shows, and continued until the show's cancellation.

Broadcast history[edit]

Starcade was produced by JM Production Company for Ted Turner to air on WTBS and later syndication by Turner Program Services (TPS). Starcade was the first to be a video arcade game show, and set the blueprint for similar game shows like Video Power, Nick Arcade, and Arena. The show was used to showcase brand new arcade games.

Shortly after the series' cancellation, a second JM-produced video arcade game show, The Video Game, was aired for a brief period from 1984 to 1985.

Starcade aired in repeats on the G4 network from its inception in 2002 to 2004, shortly before its merger with Tech TV.


Two players (or teams; age-regardless) competed. Three rounds were played.

Each round began with a video arcade-game related toss-up question. The player who buzzed in and answered correctly chose one of five free-standing arcade games in the studio and was given 40 seconds (later 60, then 50) to amass as high a score as possible. The opponent then played the same game, and whatever points the players earned were added to their overall scores. If a player's game ended before time ran out, the turn ended immediately and the player was credited with whatever points he/she had earned.[1]

The second and third rounds were played identically, with 40 seconds (later 50) game playing time for the second round, and 30 seconds (later 40) for the third. Once a game was chosen for play in any round, it could not be chosen again. At the end of the second round (and third when the series began), the player in the lead played "Name the Game," attempting to identify four arcade games by screenshots. The player won a prize for correctly identifying at least three of the games.

One of the five games was the "mystery game," which awarded a prize to the player who chose it in any of the three rounds.

The player in the lead at the end of the third and final round won the game and a bonus prize, and moved on to the bonus round.

Bonus Round[edit]

The player selected one of the two games that had not yet been played, and was given 30 seconds to beat the average score of 20 other players on that game. If the player did so, he/she won the day's grand prize, which consisted of either an arcade game, a home entertainment robot, a jukebox, or even a vacation (in certain "invitational" episodes).


The original pilot for Starcade was hosted by Mike Eruzione[2] (famous for scoring the game-winning goal for the 1980 U.S. Men's Olympic Hockey Team vs. Russia) and featured an almost entirely different format. There were three rows of eight players (24 in total) and their own separate arcade game systems. All three rows featured a different video game; in this case, the first one featured eight Defender systems, the second one featured eight Centipede systems, and the third one featured eight Pac-Man systems. Each player had 30 seconds to accumulate a relatively high total. Whoever had the highest out of all eight on their team was selected to play against the two other highest-scoring players on an arcade game (Berzerk in this case) for the grand prize – their very own arcade game (Asteroids Deluxe, in this case) and an Apple II Home Computer System.

The overall winner would then play a brand-new arcade game against a celebrity "just for fun". The winner, David Dyche, played the then-new game Donkey Kong against Larry Wilcox, best known to viewers as police officer Jon Baker on the NBC crime-drama CHiPs.

The original pilot aired as a special on a handful of syndicated stations, where it rated quite well. Three more pilots were then shot for NBC, featuring a retooled format (more similar to the series as aired) and host Alex Trebek (who was suggested by NBC), a clip of which can be found at[3] The pilot was picked up by Ted Turner in 1982, and the show began its life on WTBS in December with Mark Richards as host.

Richards, however, appeared to be uncomfortable on-camera; more importantly to Turner, Richards did not appear to be interested in video games. Richards was replaced by veteran game-show host Geoff Edwards on the 24th WTBS episode. Previously, Edwards had never played video games; but he became a fan soon after receiving the job.

The show's original theme was an eight-bit melody similar to those heard in various arcade games of the time. Halfway through Richards' run, the theme was changed to one composed by "Mindseed" (Ed and Joanne Anderson), who were also employed by Data East at the time.

Occasionally, special episodes where produced such as team episodes, and others in which only one game was played repeatedly through the entire episode. Games that were featured in an episode of their own were Cliff Hanger, Dragon's Lair, and the 1983 Star Wars game.[4]

The final first-run show aired on February 24, 1984, with reruns airing in syndication until September 1984. TBS then reran episodes of Starcade on Sunday mornings until January 1985.

Episode status[edit]

All episodes except episode #35 are known to exist, according to the official website.

Episodes list[edit]

List of Starcade episodes[5][6]
Show Season Episode Date Games Grand Prize Notes
#0 Pilot S01 0  ? Defender, Centipede, Pac Man, Berzerk, Donkey Kong Asteroids Deluxe, Apple II
#1 S01 1 27.12.1982 Blue Print, BurgerTime, Swimmer, Time Pilot, Tutankam Eyes
#2 S01 2 28.12.1982 Moon Patrol, Super Zaxxon, Ms Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Pooyan Jungle Hunt
#3 S01 3 29.12.1982 Monster Bash, Time Pilot, BurgerTime, Super Pac Man, Buck Rogers Tempest
#4 S01 4 30.12.1982 Super Zaxxon, Eyes, Jungle Hunt, Pooyan, Ms Pac Man Triple Punch
#5 S01 5 31.12.1982 Q*Bert, Pole Position, Pengo, Holey Moley, Rescue BurgerTime
#6 S01 6 03.01.1983 Domino Man, Buck Rogers, Tron, Millipede, Donkey Kong Jr Reactor
#7 S01 7 04.01.1983 Q*Bert, Pengo, Robotron, Super Zaxxon, Eyes Jungle Hunt
#8 S01 8 05.01.1983 Domino Man, Buck Rogers, Pole Position, Holey Moley, Rescue Swimmer
#9 S01 9 06.01.1983 Time Pilot, Super Pac Man, BurgerTime, Blue Print, Swimmer Slither
#10 S01 10 07.01.1983 Burning Rubber, Q*Bert, Robotron, Super Pac Man, Super Zaxxon Pooyan
#11 S01 11 10.01.1983 Donkey Kong, Pooyan, Pengo, Xevious, Popeye BurgerTime
#12 S01 12 11.01.1983 Q*Bert, Star Trek, Pole Position, BurgerTime, Millipede Wacko
#13 S01 13 12.01.1983 Munch Mobile, Pooyan, Millipede, Ms Pac Man, Galaga Tempest
#14 S01 14 13.01.1983 Super Pac Man, Donkey Kong Jr, Ms Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Pac Man Popeye
#15 S01 15 14.01.1983 Donkey Kong, Wacko, Q*Bert, BagMan, Pole Position Xevious
#16 S01 16 17.01.1983 Lost Tomb, Donkey Kong Jr, Ms Pac Man, Lock & Chase, Pac Man Q*Bert
#17 S01 17 18.01.1983 Time Pilot, Star Trek, BagMan, Xevious, Super Zaxxon Donkey Kong Jr.
#18 S01 18 19.01.1983 Pengo, Popeye, Q*Bert, BurgerTime, Pooyan Wacko
#19 S01 19 20.01.1983 Super Pac Man, Buck Rogers, Tac Scan, Star Trek, Super Zaxxon Pooyan
#20 S01 20 21.01.1983 Rescue, Lock N Chase, Lost Tomb, Super Pac Man, Time Pilot Wacko
#21 S01 21 24.01.1983 Munch Mobile, Buck Rogers, Tac Scan, Star Trek, Galaga Pooyan
#22 S01 22 25.01.1983 Pooyan, Wacko, BagMan, Popeye, Pole Position Q*Bert
#23 S01 23 26.01.1983 Rescue, Super Zaxxon, Galaga, Time Pilot, Explorer Wacko
#24 S01 24 27.01.1983 Bagman, Mazer Blazer, Xevious, Amidar, Bally's Journey Munch Mobile
#25 S02 1 22.08.1983 Bagman, Xevious, Time Pilot, Buck Rogers, Gyruss Tron
#26 S02 2 23.08.1983 Arabian, Wacko, Zoo Keeper, Mario Bros, Congo Bongo Amidar
#27 S02 3 24.08.1983 Bagman, Super Pac Man, Super Zaxxon, Pole Position, Star Trek Burgertime
#28 S02 4 25.08.1983 Food Fight, Congo Bongo, Zoar, Tron, Super Pac Man Stern's Journey
#29 S02 5  ? Bally's Journey, Munch Mobile, Mappy, BurgerTime, Gyruss Amidar
#30 S02 6  ? Donkey Kong Jr, Graplop, Pengo, Bagman, Zoo Keeper BurgerTime
#31 S02 7  ? Buck Rogers, Graplop, Mario Bros, Pengo, Popeye Rescue
#32 S02 8  ? Munch Mobile, Pole Position, Star Trek, Tron, Super Pac Man Stern's Journey
#33 S02 9  ? Arabian, Wacko, Mappy, Popeye, Donkey Kong Jr Amidar
#34 S02 10 02.09.1983 Zoar, Stargate, Stern's Journey, Star Trek, Galaxian Munch Mobile
#35 S02 11 06.09.1983 Xevious, Galaga, Joust, Pac Man, Pro Bowling Black Widow
#36 S02 12  ? Krull, Galaxian, Guzzler, Bagman, Wild Western Buck Rogers
#37 S02 13  ? Wacko, Bally's Journey, Congo Bongo, Krull, Buck Rogers Sinistar
#38 S02 14  ? Dragon's Lair A trip to Hawaii
#39 S02 15 12.09.1983 Sinistar, Berzerk, Munch Mobile, Zoo Keeper, Bubbles Tron
#40 S02 16 13.09.1983 Popeye, Bump N Jump, Super Pac Man, Donkey Kong Jr, Tazzmania Buck Rogers
#41 S02 17  ? Sinistar, Gyruss, Super Zaxxon, Tron, Krull Wacko
#42 S02 18  ? Tac Scan, Bubbles, Arabian, Popeye, Bagman RB5X Robot
#43 S02 19 16.09.1983 Mario Bros, Tac Scan, Zoo Keeper, Gyruss, Motorace USA RB5X Robot
#44 S02 20 19.09.1983 Tac Scan, Pro Bowling, Millipede, Wild Western, Donkey Kong Pengo
#45 S02 21  ? Pengo, Congo Bongo, Qyx, Graplop, Gyruss Tron
#46 S02 22  ? Wild Western, Wacko, Pengo, Zoo Keeper, BurgerTime Q*Bert
#47 S02 23  ? Congo Bongo, Food Fight, Zoar, Tron, Super Pac Man Stern's Journey
#48 S02 24  ? Buck Rogers, Star Wars, Gyruss, Congo Bongo, Zoo Keeper RB5X Robot
#49 S02 25 26.09.1983 Space Invaders, Donkey Kong Jr, Popeye, Tazzmania, Bump N Jump RB5X Robot
#50 S02 26 27.09.1983 Munch Mobile, Pole Position, Star Trek, Tron, Super Pac Man Stern's Journey
#51 S02 27 28.09.1983 Star Trek, Galaxian, Stern's Journey, Stargate, Zoar Munch Mobile
#52 S02 28 29.09.1983 Ms Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Super Pac Man, Donkey Kong Jr, Pac Man RB5X Robot
#53 S02 29  ? Star Wars Star Wars
#54 S02 30 03.10.1983 Sinistar, Krull, Star Trek, Solar Fox, Galaxian Bubbles
#55 S02 31 04.10.1983 Xevious, Stargate, Pole Position, Cosmic Chasm, Crystal Castles Sinistar
#56 S02 32 05.10.1983 Bagman, Xevious, Time Pilot, Buck Rogers, Gyruss Tron
#57 S02 33 06.10.1983 Bump N Jump, Pop Flamer, Wild Western, Galaxian, Congo Bongo RB5X Robot
#58 S02 34  ? Bubbles, Star Trek, Galaga, Crystal Castles, Arabian RB5X Robot
#59 S02 35 10.10.1983 Joust, Star Wars, Bally's Journey, Donkey Kong Jr, Pole Position Bump N Jump
#60 S02 36 11.10.1983 Donkey Kong Jr, Congo Bongo, Munch Mobile, BurgerTime, Mappy Tron
#61 S02 37 12.10.1983 Galaga, Q*Bert, Time Pilot, Congo Bongo, Graplop Tron
#62 S02 38 13.10.1983 Super Pac Man, Super Zaxxon, Bagman, Pole Position, Star Trek BurgerTime
#63 S02 39 14.10.1983 Zoo Keeper, Star Wars, Pole Position, Gyruss, Krull RB5X Robot
#64 S02 40 17.10.1983 Arabian, Pengo, Xevious, Crystal Castles, Ms. Pac Man Munch Mobile
#65 S02 41 18.10.1983 Gyruss, Mappy, Munch Mobile, Bally's Journey, BurgerTime Amidar
#66 S02 42 19.10.1983 Bagman, Super Cobra, Guzzler, Popeye, Zoar Pengo
#67 S02 43 20.10.1983 Sinistar, Super Cobra, Moon Patrol, Wild Western, Stern's Journey Wacko
#68 S02 44 21.10.1983 Zoar, Guzzler, Time Pilot, Super Zaxxon, Super Pac Man RB5X Robot
#69 S02 45  ? Graplop, Zoo Keeper, Bagman, Donkey Kong Jr, Pengo BurgerTime
#70 S02 46  ? Tron, Moon Patrol, Super Cobra, Space Invaders, Tazzmania Gravitar
#71 S02 47 26.10.1983 Motorace USA, Star Wars, Berzerk, Tac Scan, Pole Position RB5X Robot
#72 S02 48 27.10.1983 Mazer Blazer, Xevious, Bagman, Journey, Amidar Munch Mobile
#73 S02 49  ? Wacko, Millipede, Xevious, Star Wars, Mappy A trip to Hawaii
#74 S02 50 31.10.1983 Qyx, Bubbles, Bally's Journey, Stargate, Tazzmania Q*Bert
#75 S02 51  ? Wacko, Mappy, Bally's Journey, Moon Patrol, Graplop Sinistar
#76 S02 52  ? Graplop, Buck Rogers, Popeye, Mario Bros, Pengo Rescue
#77 S02 53 03.11.1983 Pro Bowling, Q*Bert, Guzzler, Crystal Castles, Galaga RB5X Robot
#78 S02 54  ? Time Pilot, Star Wars, Popeye, Donkey Kong Jr, Dorodon A trip to Hawaii
#79 S02 55  ? Gravitar, Congo Bongo, Stargate, Wild Western, Berzerk Super Pac Man
#80 S02 56  ? Donkey Kong Jr, Pac Man, Super Pac Man, Ms Pac Man, Donkey Kong RB5X Robot
#81 S02 57  ? Motorace USA, Star Wars, Tron, Super Zaxxon, Cosmic Chasm RB5X Robot
#82 S02 58  ? Wacko, Arabian, Popeye, Donkey Kong Jr, Mappy Amidar
#83 S02 59  ? Bubbles, Guzzler, Sinistar, Zoo Keeper, Congo Bongo A trip to Hawaii
#84 S02 60  ? Pac Man, Bump N Jump, Time Pilot, Joust, Zoar Black Widow
#85 S02 61  ? Arabian, Wacko, Mario Bros, Congo Bongo, Zoo Keeper Amidar
#86 S02 62  ? Q*Bert, Bump N Jump, Pole Position, Mario Bros, Ms Pac Man Black Widow
#87 S02 63  ? Mario Bros, Q*Bert, Dorodon, Berzerk, Pengo Super Zaxxon
#88 S02 64 18.11.1983 Mazer Blazer, Black Widow, Star Wars, Arabian, Pole Position Zoo Keeper
#89 S03 1 26.12.1983 Buck Rogers, Solar Fox, Bally's Journey, Super Zaxxon, Gyruss Bubbles
#90 S03 2 27.12.1983 Bubbles, Star Wars, Stargate, Arabian, Black Widow Tac Scan
#91 S03 3 28.12.1983 Berzerk, Space Invaders, Moon Patrol, Donkey Kong Jr, Super Cobra Buck Rogers
#92 S03 4  ? Scramble, Super Cobra, Guzzler, Time Pilot, Tazzmania RB5X Robot
#93 S03 5  ? Pro Bowling, Popeye, Mappy, Donkey Kong Jr, Galaxian Dorodon
#94 S03 6  ? Pole Position II, TX-1 Pole Position II
#95 S03 7  ? Interstellar Laser Fantasy, Dig Dug, Roc N Rope, Major Havoc, Stargate Mega Zone
#96 S03 8  ? Track & Field Track & Field
#97 S03 9 05.01.1984 Astron Belt, Pole Position II, Dragon's Lair, Sinistar, Begas Battle Seeburg Jukebox
#98 S03 10 06.01.1984 Cube Quest, M.A.C.H. 3, Track & Field, Pole Position II, Begas Battle Moon Patrol
#99 S03 11 09.01.1984 Dragon's Lair Dragon's Lair
#100 S03 12 10.01.1984 Cosmic Chasm, M.A.C.H. 3, Pole Position II, Begas Battle, Mega Zone Seeburg Jukebox
#101 S03 13  ? Donkey Kong 3, Motorace USA, Elevator Action, Juno First, Star Wars Mr Do
#102 S03 14 12.01.1984 Cube Quest, Blaster, Star Wars, Astron Belt, Mazer Blazer Mega Zone
#103 S03 15  ? Cliff Hanger Cliff Hanger
#104 S03 16  ? Ms Pac Man, Pac Man, Snake Pit, Pac Man Plus, Super Pac Man Seeburg Jukebox
#105 S03 17  ? Cliff Hanger, Mr Do, Pole Position II, Begas Battle, Mr Do's Castle Joust
#106 S03 18  ? Motorace USA, Track & Field, Tron, Spy Hunter, Pro Soccer Super Zaxxon
#107 S03 19 19.01.1984 Solar Fox, Roc N Rope, Discs of Tron, Motorace USA, The Pit Front Line
#108 S03 20  ? Major Havoc, Marvin's Maze, Change Lanes, Elevator Action, Snake Pit Super Zaxxon
#109 S03 21 23.01.1984 Super Astrofighter, Star Wars, Pac Man Plus, Calipso, Tunnel Hunt Joust
#110 S03 22  ? Dragon's Lair, Cosmic Chasm, The Pit, Mr Do's Castle, Blaster Seeburg Jukebox
#111 S03 23  ? Pole Position II, Track & Field, Change Lanes, TX-1, Motorace USA Crystal Castles
#112 S03 24  ? Discs of Tron, Frogger, Dig Dug, Super Astrofighter, M.A.C.H. 3 Moon Patrol
#113 S03 25  ? Q*Bert, Dig Dug, Bubbles, Cosmic Chasm, Anteater Stargate
#114 S03 26 30.01.1984 Change Lanes, M.A.C.H. 3, Dragon's Lair, Astron Belt, Robotron Moon Patrol
#115 S03 27 31.01.1984 Angler Dangler, Frogger, Dig Dug, Mr Do's Castle, Discs of Tron Mega Zone
#116 S03 28  ? Pro Soccer, Pac Man, Motorace USA, Spy Hunter, Elevator Action Mr Do
#117 S03 29  ? Mr Do's Castle, Pole Position II, Juno First, Astron Belt, M.A.C.H. 3 Seeburg Jukebox
#118 S03 30 03.02.1984 Motorace USA, Pole Position II, M.A.C.H. 3, TX-1, Sinistar Joust
#119 S03 31 06.02.1984 Dig Dug, Lady Bug, Discs of Tron, Angler Dangler, Dragon's Lair Mega Zone
#120 S03 32  ? Elevator Action, Major Havoc, Crystal Castles, Joust, Motorace USA Stargate
#121 S03 33  ? Star Wars, Zoo Keeper, Anteater, Dorodon, Munch Mobile Tron
#122 S03 34  ? Blaster, Q*Bert, Astron Belt, Super Astrofighter, Stargate Joust
#123 S03 35  ? Pac Man Plus, Mr Do's Castle, Discs of Tron, Cliff Hanger, Q*Bert Moon Patrol
#124 S03 36  ? Robotron, Dig Dug, Cosmic Chasm, Pole Position II, Zoo Keeper Seeburg Jukebox
#125 S03 37  ? Major Havoc, Elevator Action, Stargate, Joust, Roc N Rope Tron
#126 S03 38  ? Motorace USA, Krull, Change Lanes, Sinistar, Mazer Blazer Front Line
#127 S03 39  ? Crystal Castles, Mazer Blazer, Astron Belt, Juno First, M.A.C.H. 3 Marvin's Maze
#128 S03 40  ? Stargate, Roc N Rope, Tron, Lady Bug, Pac Man Plus Joust
#129 S03 41 20.02.1984 Frogger, Star Wars, Zoo Keeper, Moon Patrol, Super Astrofighter Angler Dangler
#130 S03 42  ? Dragon's Lair, Krull, Pac Man Plus, Motorace USA, Q*Bert Tron
#131 S03 43  ? Roc N Rope, Dorodon, Solar Fox, Moon Patrol, Astron Belt Joust
#132 S03 44  ? Q*Bert, Cosmic Chasm, Mazer Blazer, Moon Patrol, Angler Dangler Super Astrofighter
#133 S03 45 24.02.1984 Zoo Keeper, Calipso, Sinistar, Change Lanes, Dig Dug Moon Patrol

See also[edit]


  1. ^ This happened many times over the course of the series, episodes of which can be seen here. This happened multiple times in episode 90.
  2. ^ Internet Movie Database's ( cast information for 'Starcade'.
  3. ^ Clip 'Starcade'.
  4. ^ GameRoom Magazine December 1999
  5. ^ Starcade on - Episode Guide
  6. ^ Starcade on IMDb - Episode List

External links[edit]