RoboCop (1988 video game)

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RoboCop arcade flyer.jpg
North American arcade flyer
Designer(s)Yoshiyuki Urushibara
Programmer(s)Ryōji Minagawa
Artist(s)Tomoo Adachi
Composer(s)Hiroaki Yoshida
Hitomi Komatsu
Genre(s)Beat 'em up, run and gun
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
(not in all versions)
Arcade systemData East MEC-M1[5]
CPU16-bit: 68000 (@ 10 MHz),
8-bit: HuC6280 (@ 1.3 MHz)[5]
SoundSound CPU:
M6502 (@ 1.5 MHz),
Sound chips:[5]
YM2203, YM3812, OKI6295
DisplayRaster, 256 x 240 pixels (Horizontal)

RoboCop is a beat 'em up/run and gun arcade game developed and published by Data East in 1988 based on the 1987 film of the same name.[6] It was sub-licensed to Data East by Ocean Software, who obtained the rights from Orion Pictures at the script stage.[1][7]


Gameplay screenshot of the Arcade game

Robocop is a hybrid game, featuring elements from both beat 'em up as well as run and gun titles.


Despite being an arcade game, numerous versions appeared for home computers and video game consoles, most of them developed and published by Ocean. Unlike the other home versions, the Commodore 64, Amstrad and ZX Spectrum versions were mostly original games that only loosely followed the arcade version. An Atari Jaguar version of the game was planned by Ocean but it never released.[8][9]


Review scores
Sinclair User94%[12]
Your Sinclair8/10[13]
The Games Machine81%[15]
CrashCrash Smash
Computer and Video GamesGame of the Month

The ZX Spectrum version of RoboCop achieved particular critical success, receiving a CRASH Smash award from CRASH,[16] 94% in Sinclair User[12] and Your Sinclair gave 8.8 out of 10,[17] also placing it at number 94 in the Your Sinclair official top 100. The overall opinion was that this game was better than the original arcade game. Its capture of the original material, smooth scrolling and animation, sampled speech and sound effects were highlighted.

In addition, the ZX Spectrum RoboCop was one of the biggest selling games of all time on that platform and was number one in the sales charts for over a year and a half.[18] It entered the charts in April 1989, and was still in the top five in February 1991.[19] The readers of YS voted it the 9th best game of all time.[20]

The title theme of the Ocean Software versions (composed by Jonathan Dunn) has become well known for its serene, calm tune, which heavily contrasted the tone of both the actual game and the source material; the version of the theme heard in the Game Boy port was later licensed by European kitchen appliance company Ariston for use in a series of TV adverts.[21] The song was also used as the theme song for Charlie Brooker's documentary, How Videogames Changed the World,[22] as well as the music for the Internet short, "Dilbert 3".[21] The song was sampled in Lil B's song, "In Down Bad", from his mixtape "White Flame".[21][23]


  1. ^ a b Mason, Graeme (January 19, 2014). "The making of Robocop - Thank you for your co-operation". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  2. ^ The Retro Brothers (October 4, 2009). "ZX Spectrum Games - Robocop". Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  3. ^ "FAMICOM Soft > 1989". GAME Data Room. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  4. ^ "GAMEBOY Soft > 1991". GAME Data Room. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  5. ^ a b c "Data East MEC-M1 Hardware (Data East)". 2015-02-12. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  6. ^ "RoboCop - The Future of Law Enforcement". Retrieved 2018-09-12.
  7. ^ Mellor, Robert (January 2008). "The Making Of: RoboCop". Retro Gamer. No. 46. Future Publishing. pp. 62–65.
  8. ^ "Atari Jaguar Sector II Forum Link". Archived from the original on December 2, 2006. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  9. ^ "Atari Jaguar Lost Games". Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  10. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  11. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  12. ^ a b "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  13. ^ "Robocop". Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  14. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  15. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  16. ^ RoboCop review from CRASH issue 59, December 1988; retrieved from CRASH Online
  17. ^ RoboCop Archived March 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. review from Your Sinclair issue 39, March 1989; retrieved from The Your Sinclair Rock 'n' Roll Years
  18. ^ "The YS Complete Guide To Shoot-'em-ups Part II" Archived July 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. from Your Sinclair issue 56, August 1990; retrieved from The Your Sinclair Rock 'n' Roll Years
  19. ^ "The YS Rock'n'Roll Years - Issue 62". Archived from the original on September 7, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  20. ^ Your Sinclair magazine issue 93, Future Publishing, September 1993, page 58
  21. ^ a b c Person, Chris (February 16, 2012). "What do Robocop, Washing Machines, Dilbert & Lil B have in Common?". Kotaku. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  22. ^ Whitehead, Dan (December 5, 2013). "TV review: How Videogames Changed the World". Eurogamer. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  23. ^ Rougeau, Michael (February 16, 2016). "Gameboy "Robocop"'s Theme Song Also Sold Washers, Made Dilbert Homicidal And Got Sampled By Lil B". Complex. Retrieved October 25, 2016.

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