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 the name of an arcade game released by WMS Industries (the owners of the Williams and Midway brands) in 1991.[1] The game is loosely based on the film of the same name. The home console versions are titled T2: The Arcade Game to avoid conflict with the platform games.


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 The Terminator, already captured and reprogrammed by the Human Resistance, and fights alongside them against Skynet in the year 2029. Eventually, The Terminator and John Connor penetrate Skynet's headquarters and destroy the system CPU. Discovering the time displacement equipment, The Terminator is sent back through time to when John was a child with the mission to protect him from the T-1000 that Skynet had also sent back. In the past, The Terminator, John, and Sarah Connor 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 Terminator is able to freeze and shatter the T-1000 with the liquid nitrogen, but, it re-liquefies itself and continues to pursue John. Ultimately, The Terminator is able to blast the T-1000 into a pool of molten steel and save John. Depending on how much damage the player inflicts at Cyberdyne, Judgment Day will either be averted or research at Cyberdyne will continue, allowing Judgment Day to possibly still happen.


Running on the once-popular Williams/Midway Y-Unit arcade hardware and currently 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, but what was noteworthy about T2 was the use of digitized actors from footage specially shot during the making of the film. This made for realistic 2D sprites in a Light gun game for the time.


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.


Pressing either start button without having entered any credits will trigger Arnold saying "No way Jose!!".

When John Connor positions himself on the right side of the platform for the final portion of the Steel Mill level, you can cause him to shift off screen by repeatedly shooting him with shotgun shells before the T-1000 appears.

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. However, the Mega Drive/Genesis version could not do scaling due to hardware limitation, and many of the images were redrawn at different sizes.

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 would mainly control the gun cursor with the control pad. Other lower graphical ports include the Amiga, the Game Boy, the Sega Game Gear and the Sega Master System. The Super NES version did support the Super Scope and the Super NES Mouse. In North America it was one of the few games which supported the Genesis/Mega Drive's Menacer, but on the Master System, the Light Phaser was not supported, only a joypad.


Terminator 2: Judgment Day was ranked as the 18th best arcade game of the 1990s by Complex.[4]


  1. ^ "Terminator 2: Judgment Day". The International Arcade Museum. Retrieved 03OCT2013. 
  2. ^ "The Arcade Flyer Archive". 
  3. ^ "Terminatorfiles.com". 
  4. ^ Rich Knight, Hanuman Welch, The 30 Best Arcade Video Games of the 1990s, Complex.com, August 28, 2013.

External links[edit]