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International Arcade Museum® — Killer List of Videogames®

Astro Blaster Astro Blaster - Japanese Logo - Katakana / Kanji

Astro Blaster - Cabinet - Video Game Marquee


A multi-wave colour raster shoot-em-up. Features include speech, a warp button that slows enemies, docking to refuel and secret bonuses. Two items must be monitored throughout the game the laser temperature since overheating renders ship unable to fire and a fuel gauge that, when depleted, ends the entire game even if you have ships remaining.

Astro Blaster was produced by Sega/Gremlin in 1981.

Sega/Gremlin released 21 machines in our database under this trade name, starting in 1976. Sega/Gremlin was based in United States.

Other machines made by Sega/Gremlin during the time period Astro Blaster was produced include: Digger, Monaco GP, Deep Scan, Fortress, Head On 2, Eliminator, Frogger, Pulsar, Space Fury, and Space Odyssey


Name Astro Blaster
Developer Sega/Gremlin (United States)
Year 1981
Type Videogame
KLOV/MOG # 6943
Class Wide Release
Genre Shooter
Conversion Class Sega G80 System Raster
Game Specific Astro Blaster Pinout
# Simultaneous Players 1
# Maximum Players 2
Game Play Alternating
Control Panel Layout Single Player
  • Buttons: Rotational (left, right)
  • Buttons: 2 - FireWarp
Sound Amplified Mono (one channel)
Cabinet Styles
  • Upright/Standard
  • Cabaret/Mini
  • Cocktail
  • Upright/Standard
Bezel Astro Blaster Bezel Image

Game Introduction

The game harbours many secret bonuses, some of which were mentioned in Tom Hershfield's book Mastering the VideoGames Bantam circa 1983, but others appear to be more elusive. The speech adds a great deal to the gameplay as it acts as your on-board computer.

The two-player mode is slightly unusual in that the players alternate between rounds rather than between ships a round is four or more waves plus a meteor/fireball wave plus a docking sequence. Hence, if player one does not survive round one then player two ends up playing alone!

Game Play

You control a ship at bottom of screen that shoots through waves of aliens, maneuvers through an asteroid belt and then docks with mother ship. Firing shots too fast causes the laser to overheat and become unoperational until it cools down. The warp button causes aliens and alien fire to slow down for timed duration. Fuel counts down while playing and if it runs out the game is over.

Astro Blaster KLOV/IAM 5 Point User Score: 3.41 (3 votes)

Fun Factor: 3.07

Overall Like 3.33
Fun (Social) 3.00
Fun (Solo) 3.33
Collector Desire 2.33

Technical Rating: 3.75

Gameplay 3.67
Graphics 4.00
Originality 3.33
Sound/Music 4.00

Personal Impressions and Technical Impressions each account for half of the total score. Within the Personal Impressions category, Like carries a little more weight than the other factors.

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Cheats, Tricks, Bugs, and Easter Eggs

There are 25 secret bonuses. Some are: destroying entire alien wave before it cycles, having all of your shots hit aliens in a wave no misses and docking with mother ship without moving your ship dead center is 1000 bonus, on the edge paint-scraper is 1500 bonus.

More pictures


The "teal cabinet" is featured in the Sega Dreamcast game Shenmue in the arcade. It is adorned with an "Out of Order" sign, though, so you can't actually play it.

Cabinet Information

The game has light blue artwork depicting a space ship. There is a clear perspex screen in front of the actual monitor.

The second cabinet photo is of the seemingly rare teal/aqua color scheme in a white cabinet.


This game was based upon Sega's "G-80 Card Cage" system. The majority of G-80 games were vector, but the handful of raster G-80 games can be changed with a simple card swap inside the G-80 cage and some minor control panel re-wiring.


There are a couple of versions of this game in existence. The original ROM version had a different attract screen that did not contain any instructions. The waves were longer and the player was given the option of "buying-in" an extra number of ships, although the player was not allowed to buy extra fuel -- the main difficulty of the game.

This early release of Astro Blaster was practically imposisble to play because it was so difficult. The game was later modified to include instructions in the attract mode and the waves were shortened to reduce the overall difficulty. Even this later version is very challenging to the casual player and many seasoned players cannot even clear four out of the eight levels. To help players progress further, there exists a ROM hack that slows down fuel consumption and laser overheating.

VAPS Arcade/Coin-Op Astro Blaster Census

There are 14,836 members of the Video Arcade Preservation Society / Vintage Arcade Preservation Society, 9,506 whom participate in our arcade census project of games owned, wanted, or for sale. Census data currently includes 164,889 machines (6,918 unique titles).

Very Common - There are 84 known instances of this machine owned by Astro Blaster collectors who are active members. Of these, 76 of them are original dedicated machines. 7 of them are only circuit boards which a collector could put into a generic case if desired.

For Sale - There are 2 active VAPS members with a Astro Blaster machines for sale. There is one active VAPS member with an extra Astro Blaster circuit board for sale.

Wanted - There are 8 active VAPS members currently looking for Astro Blaster.

This game ranks a 16 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census ownership records.

This game ranks a 10 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census want list records.

Rarity and Popularity independently are not necessarily indications of value. [More Information]



There are no DIP switches to set difficulty. The game uses Gremlin's G-80 System that was based upon the Z80A CPU. The video board implements the VIC IC that can display eight shades of red, eight shades of green and four of blue. The game's extensive speech is powered by a 8035 CPU.


Foto-Finder® (Books)

  1. The Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 107; Color photo Price guide: No
  2. Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 107; Color photo

Additional References (logged in members often see more)

  1. 3D Model (External): Upright

eBay Listings

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