Zoo Keeper (video game)

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This article is about the 1982 arcade game. For the online/console puzzle game, see Zoo Keeper. For other uses, see Zookeeper (disambiguation).
Zoo Keeper
Developer(s) Taito
Publisher(s) Taito
Designer(s) Keith Egging, John Morgan, Mark Blazczyk, Rex Battenberg, Tom Fosha, Phil Raba, Rich Pagnusat, Charlie Schultz
Platform(s) Arcade
Release date(s) 1982
Genre(s) Retro/Platform
Mode(s) Up to 2 players, alternating turns
Cabinet Standard
CPU (2x) M6809E (@ 1.25 MHz) and M68705 (@ 1 MHz)
Sound M6802 (@ 921.6 kHz)
Display Raster, 256 x 240 pixels (Horizontal), 1024 colors

Zoo Keeper is an arcade game created by Taito America and released in 1982. The player controls Zeke, a zookeeper, whose girlfriend Zelda has been kidnapped by a malicious monkey. To distract Zeke, the monkey has unlocked the cages in the zoo, allowing the animals to escape. The player runs, jumps, builds walls, and collects bonus items in an effort to recapture and contain the animals before finally rescuing Zelda.

Zoo Keeper was not ported to home systems until 2005, when it was part of the part of the Taito Legends arcade game collection for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and home PCs.


Zoo Keeper has three different types of stages. In the zoo stage, Zeke must run around the edges of the screen to build up the zoo's outer wall and keep the animals from escaping as they try to break through it from inside. Each of these stages is timed, with items appearing periodically that can be picked up for bonus points. One item is always a net; if Zeke picks this up, he can use it for a few seconds to capture animals and put them back in the cage. Multiple nets appear in later zoo stages. When time runs out, the player earns bonus points for every animal that is not outside the wall perimeter. Points are also earned for jumping over animals.

After every second zoo stage, the player enters a stage in which the goal is to maneuver Zeke from the bottom of the screen to a platform at top center, where Zelda is tied to a tree. All platforms except the top one scroll across the screen, some carrying bonus items; the player scores points for moving from one level to another (up or down), grabbing items, and touching Zelda to rescue her. At the same time, a monkey throws down coconuts that bounce among the platforms and must be avoided.

After every platform stage except the first, the player enters a bonus stage with several escalators and a cage in front of each one. Zeke must cross the screen to get to each escalator, jumping over both the animals running toward him and the cage itself. Zelda waits for him at the top of the last escalator; if he reaches her, the player earns an extra life. The first bonus stage has two escalators, the second one has three, and all subsequent bonus stages have four.

If Zeke touches an animal without holding a net, is hit by a coconut, or falls off the bottom edge of the screen, one life is lost and the player must replay the current stage from the beginning. Any built-up walls on the zoo stages will remain in place from one life to the next.

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