Terminator 2: Judgment Day (arcade game)

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Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Promotional image of a Terminator endoskeleton playing the game.
Developer(s) Midway (arcade)
Probe (ports)
Beam Software (Game Boy version)
Publisher(s) Midway (arcade)
Acclaim (ports)
Director(s) George Petro
Jack Haeger
Producer(s) Neil Nicastro
Ken Fedesna
Designer(s) Jack E. Haeger
Tim Coman
John Vogel
Programmer(s) George Petro
Warren Davis
William F. Dabelstein, Jr.
Todd R. Allen
Composer(s) Chris Granner
Release date(s) October 31, 1991
Genre(s) Shooter game
Mode(s) 2 players simultaneously
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system Midway Y Unit hardware (1991–1994)
Midway X Unit hardware (1994–current)
CPU TMS34010 (@ 6.25 MHz)
Sound Sound CPU: M6809 (@ 2 MHz)
Sound Chips:

YM2151 (@ 3.57958 MHz), DAC (@ 3.57958 MHz), OKI6295 (@ 8 kHz)

Display Raster, 400 x 256 pixels (Horizontal),

4096 colors

Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a gun shooting video game based on the film of the same name produced by Midway Manufacturing Company for the arcades in 1991.[1] Home conversions were released by Acclaim Entertainment for various platforms under the title of T2: The Arcade Game in order to avoid confusion with the numerous tie-in games also based on the movie.


The story of the game falls in line with the movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day: to save the leader of the Human Resistance, John Connor, and his mother Sarah from the T-1000, a mimetic poly-alloy Terminator, bent on killing them both.

The player takes the role of a T-800 Terminator cyborg, already captured and reprogrammed by the human resistance, and fights alongside them against Skynet in the year 2029. Eventually, the T-800 and John Connor penetrate Skynet's headquarters and destroy the system CPU. Discovering the time displacement equipment, the T-800 is sent back through time to John's childhood, with the mission to protect him from the T-1000 that Skynet has already sent back. In the past, John, Sarah, and the T-800 launch an attack on Cyberdyne Systems in order to prevent the development and creation of Skynet. The T-1000 catches up to the group and pursues them in a police helicopter and a liquid nitrogen truck. The T-800 is able to freeze and shatter the T-1000 with the liquid nitrogen, but it quickly melts and reforms in order to continue its pursuit of John. Ultimately, the T-800 must stop the T-1000 from killing John and blast it into a vat of molten steel to destroy it.

The amount of equipment destroyed in the Cyberdyne raid determines whether or not the company's research will continue, either averting Judgment Day or allowing the possibility that it can still occur.


Running on the Williams/Midway Y-Unit arcade hardware and Midway X-Unit, the 2 players essentially take part in controlling a T-800 model and gun down the terminators of the opposing side. The gameplay utilizes a first-person perspective, like the rest of the games in the genre.


Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robert Patrick, and Eddie Furlong all reprised their respective roles for the making of the arcade game. Linda Hamilton did not lend her likeness as Sarah Connor in any footage of the game; she is instead played by Debbie Evans. In the demo sequence, the game has been rated "R" (for Righteous) by the Motion Picture Gaming Association of America.

Prototype differences[edit]

In-game art that appears on the US version of the arcade flyer shows several details that were not present in the released game. One image shows the T-1000 appearing on the Cyberdyne Systems level, implying that the player would have to protect John and Sarah from the T-1000. Another image has John Connor trying to open the fence the player destroys at the beginning of the Skynet level, a scene where the player may have had to protect John as he crosses the battle field. Other differences between the flyer and the release game include the omission of the credit count for a level number, a different graphic representing the players' missile count, as well as the use of commas in the players' scores. Flyer [2]

Concept designs used[edit]

Concept art included with the special edition DVD of Terminator 2: Judgement Day shows certain enemies and areas not used in the movie, such as the "Silver Fish" snake-like enemy, the flying Orbs enemy and the time machine within Skynet.[3]


The game was converted to the 16-bit game consoles to the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and SNES, along with the 8-bit Sega Master System and Nintendo Game Boy. However, the Mega Drive/Genesis and Master System versions could not do scaling due to hardware limitations, and many of the images were redrawn at different sizes. The Game Boy version got around this problem by having the enemies move from the side or top of the screen.[4]

The MS-DOS port of the game was very loyal to the arcade game in terms of graphics and speed. However, it was notoriously difficult to run because of the high amount of conventional memory needed to run (580K out of 640K) and would usually need either a boot disk or memory tweaking (or both) in order to load.

The game was also retitled to T2: The Arcade Game to avoid conflict with the platform game. Players could control the gun cursor with the control pad. The Super NES version supported the Super Scope and the Super NES Mouse in addition to the standard control pad.[5] Other lower graphical ports include the Commodore Amiga and the Sega Game Gear. In North America it was one of the few games which supported the Mega Drive/Genesis's Menacer, but on the Master System, the Light Phaser was not supported, only a joypad.


GamePro commented that the graphics in the SNES version "closely match the arcade version." They also praised the digitized voices and fun gameplay, and concluded that the game is "probably the only good excuse you have for getting a Super Scope", though they also commented that the SNES Mouse is the best control option for the game.[5] Electronic Gaming Monthly likewise rated the SNES version as a good conversion, though they complained that game was too difficult. They gave it a 6.8 out of 10.[6]

Terminator 2: Judgment Day was ranked as the 18th best arcade game of the 1990s by Complex.[7]


  1. ^ "Terminator 2: Judgment Day". The International Arcade Museum. Retrieved 3 Oct 2013. 
  2. ^ "The Arcade Flyer Archive". 
  3. ^ "Terminatorfiles.com". 
  4. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxXl7Ydjfkk
  5. ^ a b "ProReview: T2: The Arcade Game". GamePro (55) (IDG). February 1994. p. 108. 
  6. ^ "T2: The Arcade Game Review". Electronic Gaming Monthly (54) (EGM Media, LLC). January 1994. p. 42. 
  7. ^ Rich Knight, Hanuman Welch, The 30 Best Arcade Video Games of the 1990s, Complex.com, August 28, 2013.

External links[edit]