Stop the Express

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Stop the Express
Developer(s)Honeybee Soft[1]/Hudson Soft
Publisher(s)Hudson Soft(X1, MSX)
Sinclair Research Ltd(ZX Spectrum)
Designer(s)Fumihiko Itagaki[2]
Platform(s)Sharp X1, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, MSX
Mode(s)Single player

Stop the Express (also known as Bousou Tokkyuu SOS (暴走特急SOS, "Runaway Express SOS")in Japan) is a video game created by Hudson Soft in 1983 . It was made for Sharp X1 first, and later ported to the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and the MSX.

It was remade for Nintendo Family Computer as Challenger(チャレンジャー) in 1985.


In Stage 1, the player runs along the top of an express train, jumping between carriages while avoiding enemy knives and obstacles. Halfway along the train, the player enters the train, and Stage 2 begins. The player must then proceed through the carriages, towards the front of the train, so that it can be stopped.

Upon the completion of each level, the game displays the Engrish message "Congraturation! You Sucsess!". The game then repeats from Stage 1, with more enemies. Enemies, known as "redmen" initially pursue from the rear on the roof of the train, and the front once inside, and will throw knives which the player must dodge by ducking under, or jumping over, them. In addition, once inside the train, the player can jump up and hang from the overhead straps out of the way of the redmen. However, ghosts flit up and down the carriages making it extremely dangerous to stay there too long. Once a few levels have been completed, redmen will approach from both front and rear.

The player has only two weapons at his disposal. When on the roof of the train, he can catch birds that fly overhead and then release them to run along the carriage and knock the redmen off, as well as high kicking them. Whilst inside, the high kick is the only option.

Critical acclaim[edit]

Stop the Express was rated as the 4th best Spectrum game by Your Sinclair, in their list of the top 100 Spectrum games.[3]


In 2004, a remake of Stop The Express by Jetmans Dad took second place in the Retro Remakes competition. The remake is faithful to the original in most respects, although some aspects of the gameplay are tweaked slightly - the player can now pick up knives discarded by the redmen to assist in his task, and the ghosts have been replaced by robot sentries which also fire lasers on higher levels.

There was a NES/Famicom port being planned, but due to only having the first train level, three levels were added and became Challenger, which was released only in Japan.


  1. ^ All Honeybee Soft software that they developed / published | Generation MSX
  3. ^ "The YS Top 100 Speccy Games Of All Time (Ever!)". Your Sinclair (70): 31. October 1991. Archived from the original on 16 August 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-04.

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