Scramble (video game)
North American promotional flyer for Scramble
|Genre(s)||Horizontal scrolling shooter|
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players, alternating turns|
|Arcade system||Konami Scramble|
|CPU||Zilog Z80 @ 3.072MHz
Zilog Z80 @ 1.78975MHz
|Sound||2× AY-3-8910 @ 1.78975MHz|
|Display||Raster, 224 × 256, vertical orientation|
Scramble (スクランブル Sukuranburu?) is a 1981 side-scrolling shoot 'em up arcade game. It was developed by Konami, and manufactured and distributed by Leijac in Japan and Stern in North America. It was the first side-scrolling shooter with forced scrolling and multiple distinct levels. The Konami Scramble arcade system board hardware uses two Zilog Z80 microprocessors for the central processing unit, two AY-3-8910 sound chips for the sound, and Namco Galaxian video hardware for the graphics.
The game was a success, selling 15,136 video game arcade cabinets in the United States within five months, by August 4, 1981, becoming Stern's second best-selling arcade classic after Berzerk. Its sequel Super Cobra sold 12,337 cabinets in the US in four months that same year, adding up to 27,473 US cabinet sales for both, by October 1981.
The player controls an aircraft, referred to in the game as a "Jet," and has to guide it across a scrolling terrain, battling obstacles along the way. The ship is armed with a forward-firing weapon and bombs; each weapon has its own button. The player must avoid colliding with the terrain and other enemies, while simultaneously maintaining its limited fuel supply which diminishes over time. More fuel can be acquired by destroying fuel tanks in the game.
The game is divided into six sections, each with a different style of terrain and different obstacles. There is no intermission between each section; the game simply scrolls into the new terrain. Points are awarded based upon the number of seconds of being alive, and on destroying enemies and fuel tanks. In the final section, the player must destroy a "base". Once this has been accomplished, a flag denoting a completed mission is posted at the bottom right of the screen. The game then continues by returning to the first section once more, with a slight increase in difficulty.
Reception and legacy
Scramble was critically acclaimed in its time. In 1982, Arcade Express gave the dedicated Tomytronic version of the game a score of 9 out of 10, describing it as an "engrossing" game that "rates as one of the year's best so far."
The direct sequel to Scramble was the helicopter arcade game Super Cobra. Unlike Scramble, Super Cobra was widely ported to video game systems and home computers of the time.
An updated version of Scramble is available in Konami Collector's Series: Arcade Advanced by inputting the Konami Code in the game's title screen. This version allows three different ships to be chosen: the Renegade, the Shori, and the Gunslinger. The only difference between the ships besides their appearance are the shots they fire. The Renegade's shots are the same as in the original Scramble, the Shori has rapid-fire capabilities triggered by holding down the fire button, and the Gunslinger's shots can pierce through enemies, meaning they can be used for multiple hits with a single shot.
Scramble was included on Konami Arcade Classics in 1999.
Scramble made the list of Top 100 arcade games in the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition
Scramble was the subject of an important court case in the field of Intellectual Property, specifically copyrights. In Stern Electronics, Inc. v. Kaufman, 669 F.2d 852, the Second Circuit held that Stern could copyright the images and sounds in the game, not just the source code that produced them.
Notes and references
- "Stern Production Numbers and More CCI Photos". 1 May 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
- Game Genres: Shmups, Professor Jim Whitehead, January 29, 2007, Accessed June 17, 2008
- Scramble at the Killer List of Videogames
- "The Hotseat: Reviews of New Products" (PDF). Arcade Express 1 (1): 6–7 . August 15, 1982. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
- Brandon Rash. "Case: Stern Elec. v. Kaufman (2nd Cir. 1982)". Patent Arcade. Retrieved 2006-09-16.
- Official Arcade Archives website (Japanese)
- Official PlayStation Minisite (Japanese)
- Scramble at the Killer List of Videogames
- Scramble at the Arcade History database
- Scramble at MobyGames