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European arcade flyer
Designer(s)Yoshiki Okamoto[4]
Programmer(s)Toshio Arima
Artist(s)Hideki Ooyama
Masahiro Inoue
Atsushi Fujio
Yuichi Sakakura
Harumi Ueko[5]
Platform(s)Arcade, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit, ColecoVision, Commodore 64, NES, Famicom Disk System, PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, Mobile phone
March 1983
  • Arcade
    Atari 2600, Atari 5200, ColecoVision, Atari 8-bit, C64
    • WW: 1984
    Famicom Disk System
    • JP: November 18, 1988
    • NA: February 1989
    • WW: 1999
    Game Boy Advance
    • WW: 2002
    Mobile phones
Genre(s)Shoot 'em up
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Gyruss (ジャイラス, Jairasu) is shoot 'em up arcade video game designed by Yoshiki Okamoto and released by Konami in 1983.[4] Gyruss was initially licensed to Centuri in the United States for dedicated machines, before Konami released their own self-distributed conversion kits for the game. Parker Brothers released contemporary ports for home systems. An enhanced version for the Family Computer Disk System was released in 1988, which was released to the North American Nintendo Entertainment System in early 1989.

The gameplay is similar to that of Galaga in a tube shooter format, with the player's ship facing into the screen and able to move around the perimeter of an implicit circle. Stars come into view at the centre of the screen and fly outward, giving the impression of the player's ship moving through space.

Gyruss is the second and last game Yoshiki Okamoto designed for Konami, after Time Pilot. Due to pay disputes, he was fired after the release of this game, and he soon joined Capcom, where he wrote 1942 and produced Street Fighter II.


Commodore 64 version

The graphics are displayed using one-point perspective, with the vanishing point in the center of the screen. The player's ship is restricted to a circumference around the edge of the screen and may move in either direction along this path. All shots from the player converge at the vanishing point.

The majority of enemies are spaceships, which must be destroyed to complete a level. They appear either from the centre of the screen or from one of the edges, and move in swirling patterns. They can shoot the player's ship or destroy it by contact. They hover near the centre of the screen after completing their deployment pattern, and occasionally fly outwards and shoot at the player. If not destroyed by the player, the enemy ships gradually fly away one by one.

There are also several other types of enemies: satellites, asteroids, and laser beam generators. These appear intermittently and soon disappear of their own accord if not destroyed by the player.

Satellites materialise in a group of three just in front of the player after the ordinary enemy ships have finished deployment. They gyrate in small circles and shoot at the player. If the player has the basic weapon when the satellites appear the middle one will be a sun-like object. If destroyed, the player's ship gets a better weapon. If the better weapon has already been gained then all satellites are identical.

Asteroids fly straight outwards from the centre of the screen at regular intervals. They cannot be destroyed, but a small points bonus is given for shooting at them.

Laser beam generators occasionally fly straight outwards from the centre of the screen. They consist of two generator segments with a laser beam between them; destroying either generator deactivates the beam. The player's ship is destroyed by contact with either the generators or the beam.

The player begins the game "2 WARPS TO NEPTUNE". After completing each level, the player is one warp closer to a planet. Each time a planet is reached, the player's ship is seen flying towards it and then a short bonus round is played, where the player can shoot enemy ships for bonus points without worrying about being destroyed by them. Each enemy destroyed in the bonus stage scores 100 or 10,000 for all 40. After reaching Neptune, the player is then three warps from Uranus, and progresses through Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and finally Earth, taking three warps to reach each planet, then repeats thereafter. At stage 1 and every 10th stage thereafter, the enemies do not fire on the player when entering the screen.

After completing Earth's bonus stage, the player must travel through the very fast "3 WARPS TO NEPTUNE" level before he/she can return to the start of the game.

Extra lives will be given at certain point thresholds, varying from one machine to another, but when the player's score is higher than 999,990 points, he/she can no longer obtain score-based extra lives.


The game's background music is an electronic, uptempo arrangement of J. S. Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565; this particular track is similar to "Toccata", a rock arrangement by the UK-based instrumentalist group Sky. Gyruss uses stereo sound, which according to the bonus material for Konami Arcade Classics, was achieved by utilizing discrete audio circuits.

The audio system consists of five 3-voice General Instrument AY-3-8910A sound chips.[6]


Parker Brothers released contemporary ports for the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit computers, ColecoVision, and Commodore 64. A version for the ZX Spectrum was coded but never released.

NES title screen (left) and FDS title screen (right)

Gyruss was remade for the Family Computer Disk System in Japan, and later the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America, released by Konami's subsidiary Ultra Games. These versions include several major revisions:

  1. The player can use a super phaser attack in addition to the normal guns, which cost energy.
  2. There are additional enemies, including boss fights when the player reaches each planet.
  3. Bonus stages after each planet's boss is defeated, for a chance to gain additional powerups.
  4. There is a definite ending to the game. In the NES version, it's a brief text about the Universe being at peace. In the FDS version, there is a full ending sequence with credits.
  5. In addition to the satellites providing the usual double guns and bonus points, they can also provide extra phasers, a smart bomb, and even an extra life.
  6. Instead of the arcade's 24 stages, there are 39, including Venus, Mercury, and the Sun.
  7. The player can enter the Konami code at the title screen for extra lives, but it must be entered in reverse (A-B-A-B-right-left-right-left-down-down-up-up).


In Japan, Game Machine listed Gyruss on their July 1, 1983 issue as being the seventh most-successful table arcade unit of the month.[7] Computer Games magazine gave the ColecoVision and home computer conversions an A− rating, calling it a "very good adaptation of the Galaga-in-the-round arcade game".[8]


The GBA port, in Konami Collector's Series: Arcade Advanced

The Famicom version of the game is included in the Majesco Entertainment TV Game Konami Collector's Series: Arcade Advanced and was released for Japanese mobile phones in 2004.

Gyruss is included in the compilation Konami 80's Arcade Gallery, released for both the arcade and PlayStation (known as Konami 80's AC Special in western arcades and Konami Arcade Classics in the North American PlayStation version). It is also part of Konami Collector's Series: Arcade Advanced for the Game Boy Advance.[9]

The Konami Live! Plug and Play PC controller includes an emulated on;ine Gyruss, as well as five other Konami titles.[10]

Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 2 contains a remix of the Gyruss music as a playable song.


A bootleg arcade version exists with the name Venus.[11]

Gyruss was cloned as a mini-game in the games Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (named "They Crawled from Uranus") and Contra: Legacy of War.


The movie "Cannon Arm And the Arcade Quest" follows the current world record holder Kim "Kanonarm" Köbke and friends in Kim's attempt to set a new world record. Kim "Kanonarm" Köbke sets the record of 70,736,950 during a game of 62 hours and 23 minutes in the summer of 2019.[12]


  1. ^ a b Akagi, Masumi (13 October 2006). アーケードTVゲームリスト国内•海外編(1971-2005) [Arcade TV Game List: Domestic • Overseas Edition (1971-2005)] (in Japanese). Japan: Amusement News Agency. pp. 27, 113, 121. ISBN 978-4990251215.
  2. ^ Nintendo staff. "NES Games" (PDF). Nintendo. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 21, 2010. Retrieved September 24, 2011.
  3. ^ "KONAMI コナミ商品・サービス情報サイト". KONAMI コナミ商品・サービス情報サイト.
  4. ^ a b Hague, James. "The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers".
  5. ^ "File:Gyruss - FDS - Credits.png - Video Game Music Preservation Foundation Wiki". www.vgmpf.com.
  6. ^ "Gyruss". Arcade History.
  7. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - テーブル型TVゲーム機 (Table Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 215. Amusement Press, Inc. 1 July 1983. p. 29.
  8. ^ "1985 Software Buyer's Guide". Computer Games. Vol. 3, no. 5. United States: Carnegie Publications. February 1985. pp. 11–8, 51–8.
  9. ^ Harris, Craig (March 26, 2002). "Arcade Advanced". IGN. Retrieved March 21, 2022.
  10. ^ "Konami Plugs Into Fun With Konami(R) Live! Online Game Controllers". GamesIndustry.biz. December 8, 2006.
  11. ^ "Venus". Arcade History.
  12. ^ Twin Galaxies. "Gyruss". Retrieved September 11, 2020.

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