Elevator Action

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Elevator Action
Elevator Action.png
Arcade flyer
Micronics (FC/NES)
Composer(s)Yoshio Imamura[citation needed]
Platform(s)Arcade, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Game Boy, MSX, NES, SG-1000, ZX Spectrum
Genre(s)Platform, shooter
Mode(s)Up to 2 players alternating
CabinetUpright, cocktail
DisplayRaster, standard resolution 256×224 (Horizontal), 64 colors

Elevator Action (エレベーターアクション, Erebētā Akushon) is a 1983 arcade game by Taito.[1] A mix of the platform and shooter genres,[2] the player assumes the role of a spy infiltrating a 30-story building filled with elevators and enemy agents who appear from behind closed doors.


Screenshot of the first level

The player assumes the role of Agent 17, codename: "Otto", a secret agent for an unspecified organization or government.[3] Otto enters a 30-story building at roof level and must work his way down to the basement, collecting secret documents whose locations are marked by red doors. Along the way, he must use the building's elevator and escalator systems to move from floor to floor and avoid or kill the enemy agents trying to stop him. After picking up all the documents, Otto can escape to the basement and drive away in a waiting car to end the level.

The player controls consist of a four-position joystick and separate buttons to control jumping and firing. Otto can move left and right, jump, duck, and fire up to three shots at a time from his pistol. While Otto is in an elevator, the player can push up or down to send him to a higher or lower floor; however, Otto cannot duck as long as he is inside. He can run or jump across an empty shaft as long as the elevator is above him, and can ride on its roof but not control its motion or cross to the other side. The player can push up or down to make Otto ride an escalator.

If Otto tries to leave the building without collecting all the documents, he will be transported to the highest floor that still has an unopened red door and must work his way back down. In addition, if he takes too long to clear a level, an alarm will sound; the enemy agents then become more aggressive, and the elevators will be slower to respond to the player's joystick movements.

Each building contains a section in which the lights are out, making it harder to see approaching enemies. On other floors, Otto can temporarily disable the lights by shooting one of the overhead fixtures. Otto can kill enemy agents by shooting them, jump-kicking them at close range, dropping a light fixture on their heads, or crushing them with an elevator. If he is shot or crushed, or if he falls down an open shaft, the player loses one life.

The background music is the same for all levels and only changes when the hidden time limit expires. As Otto lands on the first building's rooftop at the start of the game, Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2, popularly known as Funeral March, is briefly heard.


In Japan, Game Machine listed Elevator Action on their August 1, 1983 issue as being the most-successful new table arcade unit of the year.[4]


Elevator Action was ported to the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, MSX, Commodore 64, Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, and Sega SG-1000. The Game Boy version includes the ability to acquire different weapons, such as a machine gun that fires more rapidly.

A port was planned for the Atari 2600, but never released. A prototype of the game was published by CGE Services Corp. and sold at Classic Gaming Expo 2001.[5]

Elevator Action Returns, called Elevator Action II in North America, is an official sequel released in arcades in 1994. Elevator Action EX is an updated version of the game released for the Game Boy Color in 2000. Elevator Action Old & New is a further update for the Game Boy Advance, published in 2002.

Revealed at AOU 2009, Elevator Action: Death Parade is a lightgun shooter that uses elevator doors when changing scenarios.[6]

A later remake of the game by Square Enix, titled Elevator Action Deluxe, was released on PlayStation Network on August 31, 2011. The game contains single player and multiplayer modes, as well as the original arcade version.[7]

Elevator Action is included in the compilations Taito Legends and Taito Legends Power Up. On March 5, 2007, the NES port of Elevator Action was released for the Wii Virtual Console.[8] It was also released for the Wii U Virtual Console, but only in Japan.[9]

The game was released on the Nintendo Switch in the Nintendo eShop on 14 March 2019 by Hamster Corporation as part of their Arcade Archives series[10] and also on the PlayStation 4 on 9 November 2017 as part of the same series.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Elevator Action". The International Arcade Museum. Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 5 Oct 2013.
  2. ^ Fox, Matt (2012). The Video Games Guide: 1,000+ Arcade, Console, and Computer Games, 1962–2012 (Second ed.). McFarland & Company. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-4766-0067-3.
  3. ^ "Elevator Action". MobyGames. Archived from the original on 13 August 2017. Retrieved 9 Nov 2013.
  4. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - テーブル型新製品 (New Videos-Table Type)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 217. Amusement Press. 1 August 1983. p. 29.
  5. ^ "Atari 2600 - Elevator Action (Atari)". AtariAge. Archived from the original on 1 October 2018. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  6. ^ McWhertor, Michael (2 March 2009). "Elevator Action Arcade Shooter Has Great name, Even Better Gimmick". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 14 December 2018.
  7. ^ Ryan, Paul (31 August 2011). "Square Enix shocks world with Elevator Action reboot on PSN". GamesRadar. Archived from the original on 14 October 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  8. ^ "Elevator Action". Nintendo Game Store. Nintendo.
  9. ^ "Elevator Action | Wii U" (in Japanese). Nintendo.
  10. ^ Lane, Gavin (2020-03-13). "Guide: Every Arcade Archives Game On Nintendo Switch, Plus Our Top Picks". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  11. ^ "Arcade Archives | HAMSTER Corporation". www.hamster.co.jp. Retrieved 2020-03-28.

External links[edit]