Arkanoid Controller

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Vaus Controller by Taito
NES (US/Europe) version Vaus.
Famicom version

The Arkanoid Controller, or Vaus, is an optional game controller for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and MSX game Arkanoid which enhances the feel and play of the game.


The name Vaus is derived from the name of the ship that is controlled at the bottom of the screen, i.e. the paddle, which escaped from the mothership, called Arkanoid.

The Vaus controller is constructed from the same color gray plastic as the standard NES controller and is roughly the same size and shape. It has one black button at the top, a black spinner below, an adjustment port, as well as an embossed Taito logo and a raised Arkanoid logo on the front. Unlike its arcade counterpart, the knob on the NES Vaus was not free-spinning; instead it had a limited turning radius. The point at which the knob stops coincides with the on-screen Vaus (paddle) hitting the left or right walls.

The player uses the knob to move the paddle left and right at variable speed, like in a video arcade. A standard NES controller can be used for Arkanoid, using the left and right directions on the D-pad, although speed is constant. The Vaus, however, contains a potentiometer and the faster the knob is turned, the quicker the paddle moves left and right. There is one button on the controller so that the player can launch the ball, fire lasers, and access the options menu.

The Vaus was offered for sale packaged with Arkanoid in 1986, but neither the game nor the controller were available individually for purchase. It is one of only a few NES games that came in a non-standard box due to an accessory (Stack-Up and Where in Time is Carmen San Diego are others).

A similar controller was packaged with the Famicom releases of Arkanoid and Arkanoid: Revenge of Doh, although the coloring and plug varied from the U.S. version. The Famicom Vaus for Arkanoid was shaped like the NES controller but with black plastic with red buttons, just like the same controller for the MSX. Arkanoid 2's Vaus controller was blue with green buttons and also featured a controller port on top. This port was designed to accept the Japanese Arkanoid 1 Vaus controller, enabling 2-player multiplayer.[1] The MSX2 version of the Arkanoid 2 controller was red with black buttons, but otherwise identical and compatible with the Arkanoid 1 controller.

The 3rd game in the series, released for the SNES in 1997,[2] did not have a dedicated controller. Instead it allowed analog position control via the SNES Mouse.

The packaging for the NES version advertises: "SPECIAL VAUS CONTROLLER INSIDE"

One other game, Chase H.Q. for the Nintendo Famicom, has an option which specifically supports the Japanese Arkanoid controller.


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-05-02. Retrieved 2008-09-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^