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Circus Charlie Circus Charlie - Japanese Logo - Katakana / Kanji

Circus Charlie - Cabinet - Video Game Marquee


Guide Charlie through six different circus events including Fire Rings, Tightrope, Trampoline, Ball Walk, Springs, and Flying Trapeze. Timer bonus points are added for finishing a level and more points are awarded for completing a round without losing Charlie. The game is over when all Circus Charlies are lost.

Circus Charlie was produced by Konami in 1984.

Konami released 434 machines in our database under this trade name, starting in 1978. Konami was based in Japan.

Other machines made by Konami during the time period Circus Charlie was produced include: Venus, Track & Field, Roc'n Rope, Mega Zone, Juno First, Antarctic Adventure, Badlands, Comic Bakery, Hyper Olympic '84, and Hyper Sports


Name Circus Charlie
Developer Konami (Japan)
Year 1984
Type Videogame
KLOV/MOG # 7341
Class Wide Release
Genre Platform
Conversion Class Konami Classic
Game Specific Circus Charlie Pinout
Dipswitch Settings

Circus Charlie Dipswitch Settings (user contributed)

# Simultaneous Players 1
# Maximum Players 2
Game Play Alternating
Control Panel Layout Single Player Ambidextrous
  • Joystick: 2-way (left, right)
  • Buttons: 1 - Jump
Sound Amplified Mono (one channel)
Cabinet Styles
  • Upright/Standard
  • Cocktail
PCB Circus Charlie PCB Image

Game Introduction

You are Circus Charlie and are performing for the crowd. There are six different acts - each with their own hazards.

This game has two different versions. One version lets you select which level you wish to play right from the beginning - even playing the same level over and over - while the other version requires you to complete the six different levels in order before giving you the level select screen. You can only play each level six times before it locks you out of that level.

A bonus countdown determines how much bonus you get at the end of the level.

Game Play

The six levels are:

Fire Rings: Ride your lion and jump through the rings. You can move/jump forward or backwards, but touching any fire will burn you up. Smaller rings contain money bags that increase in value.

Tightrope: Negotiate the tightrope while jumping over the monkeys. Watch out for the purple monkeys that will leapfrog their brown counterparts!

Trampolines: Bounce back and forth among the trampolines while dodging fire breathers and knife jugglers. Each jump on the same trampoline will go higher than the last until you move to a new trampoline. You can only bounce three times on each trampoline, and the fourth will send you through the roof of the tent. Money bags will be above some trampolines and can be obtained on the 3rd bounce. They increase in value as you progress towards the finish. After you finish the 2nd, 4th, and 6th levels of Trampolines, you will have to complete another level over water with jumping dolphins appearing in certain areas.

Balance Balls: Move left or right to "walk" your ball. Time your jumps to switch between balls. Jumping from one ball over the next ball to a 3rd ball will award bonus points. If your ball makes contact with another ball, you will lose your balance and fall off.

Springs: Ride your horse and jump to bounce off spring platforms for points. Holding left will cause you to ride/bounce slower, and holding right will cause you to ride/bounce faster. Each spring is worth different points, and multiple bounces on the same spring will cause those points to multiply by each bounce. You can ride under high spring platforms, but you'll hit your head on lower platforms. Time the jump from the horse to the end platform, as your inertia will carry you forward as you jump.

Trapeze: Swing among the trapezes to the finish. You can move your joystick left and right to speed up or slow down your swing. Even if you catch a trapeze and seem to be hanging straight down and not moving, you can use your joystick to get yourself swinging again. You only catch a trapeze by grabbing the bar. When you land on the end platform, a girl will hop down from above and kiss you, causing you to split into many Charlies and jump for joy.

The game is over when you lose all your lives, or complete all six levels six times.

Circus Charlie KLOV/IAM 5 Point User Score: 3.65 (12 votes)

Fun Factor: 3.64

Overall Like 4.36
Fun (Social) 2.82
Fun (Solo) 4.00
Collector Desire 3.25

Technical Rating: 3.91

Gameplay 4.18
Graphics 3.64
Originality 4.18
Sound/Music 3.27

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

Fire Rings: Successfully jumping backwards through a fire ring will cause the next ring to appear onscreen to be replaced by a Charlie doll which will award an extra life. Jumping 3 times before jumping through the first ring will accomplish the same thing. Only one free life per level, but you can play the level 6 times to get 6 free lives.

Fire Rings: Jumping backwards over a firepot will sometimes cause a coin to shoot up out of the pot. Jump forward again to get the coin before it falls back into the pot. If you miss it, it will not appear again. This happens only once per level, and the firepot is chosen randomly.

Fire Rings: If you get all of the possible money bags and the hidden coin, when you arrive at the finish a bird will come out and shower you with bonus coins. This happens only if you have made no misses in that level.

Tightrope: If you jump over both the brown and purple monkeys at once, you get a 1000-pt bonus.

Tightrope: If you perform perpendicular jumps over all monkeys and complete the level without dying, a bird will bring a Charlie doll and you get an extra player.

Tightrope: At the end of the level, do not jump on the end platform right away. Watching out for monkeys, walk past it to the far right edge of the screen. A money bag will appear on the platform. Jump to it and you will receive a 5000-pt bonus.

Trampoline: If you get all money bags and reach the goal without dying, a bird will come out and shower you with bonus coins.

Acrobatic jump: If you bounce on each spring only once and get to the goal without falling, a bird will bring a Charlie doll and you get an extra player.

Trapeze: If you execute a difficult "passing jump" by skipping a trapeze in midair, you will receive bonus points.

Trapeze: Moving from one trapeze to another by falling and bouncing off of a trampoline back up to the next trapeze will award bonus points.

More pictures


Licensed to Centuri for US manufacture and distribution.

VAPS Arcade/Coin-Op Circus Charlie Census

There are 14,839 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 164,922 machines (6,919 unique titles).

Very Common - There are 92 known instances of this machine owned by Circus Charlie collectors who are active members. Of these, 40 of them are original dedicated machines. 6 of them are conversions in which game circuit boards (and possibly cabinet graphics) have been placed in (and on) another game cabinet. 46 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 Circus Charlie circuit boards for sale.

Wanted - There are 5 active VAPS members currently looking for Circus Charlie.

This game ranks a 27 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census ownership records.

This game ranks a 8 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]



Foto-Finder® (Books)

  1. The Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 182; Color photo Price guide: No
  2. Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 182; Color photo

Additional References (logged in members often see more)

  1. 3D Model (External): Dedicated

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Circus Charlie Arcade Marquee 26" x 8"

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Circus Charlie Arcade Game Manual

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Circus Charlie konami 1984 arcade video game Manual #4412

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Circus Charlie Arcade Control Panel Overlay CPO Textured Polycarbonate

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