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MSX Cover art
|Platform(s)||Arcade, Adventure Vision, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit, Colecovision, Intellivision, MSX, Sord M5|
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players, alternating turns|
|Arcade system||Konami Scramble|
|CPU||2x Zilog Z80|
|Display||Vertical orientation, Raster, 224 x 256 resolution|
Super Cobra (スーパーコブラ Sūpā Kobura) is a 1981 arcade game, the sequel to popular horizontally scrolling shooter Scramble, Super Cobra was developed by Konami and manufactured and distributed by Stern in North America. It is similar in concept to its predecessor, but much more difficult.
The game was a success, selling 12,337 video game arcade cabinets in the United States in four months, by October 2, 1981, becoming Stern's third best-selling arcade classic after Berzerk and Scramble. Scramble sold 15,136 cabinets in the U.S. in five months earlier that year, adding up to 27,473 U.S. cabinet sales for both.
The player controls a helicopter through tight caverns, and the slightest misstep will result in the loss of a life. However, unlike Scramble, the game can be continued where the player left off by adding more credits.
The joystick accelerates, decelerates, moves up, and moves down. The helicopter uses a laser and bomb to destroy defenders, tanks, and UFOs while infiltrating 10 Super Cobra defense systems.
The ship has a limited fuel supply, which is depleted over time. More fuel can be acquired by destroying fuel tanks in the game.
The game is divided into ten sections, plus a finale, each with a different style of terrain and different obstacles. Players navigate through ten levels and a base, where they must safely make it through the level and remove the booty. The levels are described as follows,
- Player must maneuver the chopper over mountainous terrain against fast and slow firing rockets.
- Chopper faces Arcing missiles over a mountain terrain.
- Smart Bombs flying in groups of four over mountainous terrain. Rockets appear, but do not fire.
- Single Smart Bombs over mountainous terrain. Again, Rockets appear, but do not fire.
- Chopper flies through a cavern-like terrain against falling mines.
- Rapidly firing, roving tanks over mountainous terrain. Rockets appear, but do not fire.
- Maneuver through a field of meteors which explode when hit with bombs or 3 times with laser, plus a single, green, shadow meteor directly in front of chopper which explodes when hit five times with laser. Rockets appear but do not fire.
- Chopper flies over mountainous terrain against rapidly firing UFOs. Tanks and rockets appear, but do not fire.
- Chopper faces arcing missiles over tall buildings.
- Firing rockets in a building maze.
- Base: Player must maneuver the chopper over tall buildings against arcing missiles and rapidly firing tanks to reach the Booty and safely carry it away.
There is no intermission between each section; the game simply scrolls into the new terrain. If the player destroys the booty on the final level, they must start back at the beginning of the level.
Ports and re-releases
The game was ported to the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, ColecoVision, Intellivision, Odyssey², and Atari 8-bit family by Parker Brothers. It was released also for Sord M5 (in 1981), for MSX (in 1983) and for the Entex Adventure Vision (in 1982). Entex also made a standalone tabletop version of the game.
Super Cobra appeared alongside Scramble on the retro compilation Konami Arcade Classics, released for the Sony PlayStation in 1999. It was made available on Microsoft's Game Room service for its Xbox 360 console and for Windows-based PCs on March 24, 2010.
Super Cobra was well received upon release.
The Entex Adventure Vision version was reviewed in 1982 and well received. Arcade Express in November 1982 gave the game a score of 9 out of 10. They concluded that it "takes real skill to master, and represents the state-of-the-art of scrolling shoot-outs".
The Atari 2600 version was awarded a Certificate of Merit in the category of "Best Action Videogame" at the 5th annual Arkie Awards for 1983.:42 They compared it to Vanguard and said it "provides the same brand of relentless, multi-scenario action."
- "Stern Production Numbers and More CCI Photos". 1 May 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
- Stern Electronics. Stern Super Cobra Manual (PDF). p. 3. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- "Entex Arcade Defender and Super Cobra Handhelds". Retroist. May 3, 2013.
- "The Hotseat: Reviews of New Products" (PDF). Arcade Express. November 7, 1982. pp. 6–8 . Retrieved 2 February 2012.
- Kunkel, Bill; Katz, Arnie (January 1984). "Arcade Alley: The Arcade Awards, Part 1". Video. Reese Communications. 7 (10): 40–42. ISSN 0147-8907.
- Kunkel, Bill; Katz, Arnie (January 1984). "1984 Arcade Awards". Electronic Games. Reese Communications. 2 (11): 71–72. ISSN 0730-6687.