Museum of the Game ®

International Arcade Museum® — Killer List of Videogames®

Moon Cresta Moon Cresta - Japanese Logo - Katakana / Kanji

Moon Cresta - Cabinet - Video Game Marquee


Aliens swarm at the top of the screen, swooping down on your spacecraft. Your craft begins with three segments, one deployed at a time. After the "insect" and "fireball" levels, you are able to attempt docking the segments together. A successful dock gives you more firepower for the upcoming levels.

Moon Cresta was produced by Nichibutsu in 1980.

Nichibutsu released 93 machines in our database under this trade name, starting in 1979. Nichibutsu was based in Japan.

Other machines made by Nichibutsu during the time period Moon Cresta was produced include: Galaxian Part X, Rolling Crash, Moon Base, Moon Tracker, Moon Alien Part II, Moon Quasar, Moon Alien, Moon Alpha, and Moon Raker


Name Moon Cresta
Developer Nichibutsu (Japan)
Year 1980
Type Videogame
KLOV/MOG # 8745
Class Wide Release
Genre Shooter
Conversion Class unique
Game Specific Moon Cresta Pinout
# Simultaneous Players 1
# Maximum Players 2
Game Play Alternating
Control Panel Layout Single Player
  • Joystick: 2-way (left, right)
  • Buttons: 1 - Fire
Sound Amplified Mono (one channel)
Cabinet Styles
  • Upright/Standard
  • Cocktail
Control Panel Moon Cresta Control Panel Image

Game Introduction

This was one of the earliest "multi level" shoot-em-ups that was very sophisticated for its time. The concept of the three docked ships remains pretty unique and it even pre-dates Galaga.

The key to this game is docking as quickly as possible -- and never failing to dock. Also, once you have lost ships one and two, you are doomed. Ship three is huge, and easily hit. The real action is when ships two and three are docked, but you can lose ship one and still do well at this game. Only the best players manage to keep ship one for any length of time.

At 60,000 points you get a "replay" opportunity. After 60,000 points, once your last ship is destroyed remember there are three ships which dock together", you get the message "enjoy another game", and you get a fresh stack of three ships. However, you continue to play at the same level, which by now is probably insanely fast!

Game Play

If your docked spaceship is hit, only the first of the docked ships to be hit is destroyed. If you manage to dock all three ships, you can fire five shots. If you then get killed by something crashing into the middle ship you end up with a small ship and a huge ship - which look strange when docked.

You get more points for docking your ships quickly, and this can make a big difference to your chance of getting a replay 60,000 points, which is actually very difficult.

It is therefore smart to centre your ship as you kill the last of the aliens before each docking mission. Docking occurs after the second wave of "flies" and the fireballs. There are two waves of every type of alien, which differ in colour.

It is really important to race to the right hand side of the screen after you have finished off the second wave of the aliens called "four-D" which look and sound bird-like. Straight after this wave, you are assaulted by fireballs which are hard to kill. You are in grave danger if you do not hide on the right hand side of the screen for this wave, and only move inwards to fire well-aimed shots and then retreat again! The fireballs are the only things you do not have to shoot to finish the wave, but they are worth the most points.

The "four-d" aliens which look and sound bird-like can disappear and re-appear, but continue to move while they are invisible.

Moon Cresta KLOV/IAM 5 Point User Score: 3.47 (7 votes)

Fun Factor: 3.47

Overall Like 3.43
Fun (Social) 3.14
Fun (Solo) 3.57
Collector Desire 3.67

Technical Rating: 3.46

Gameplay 4.17
Graphics 3.57
Originality 3.29
Sound/Music 3.00

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.

Log in to rate this game!



The most common clone of Moon Cresta has a graphic with a semicircle and a dot in place of the Nichibutsu logo. There is also a hacked version Super Moon Cresta where you can fire faster, but the aliens drop bombs. This added no value at all to the gameplay!

There were versions of this game released through Nichibutsu and Gremlin.

MOVIE APPEARANCES: "The Lost Boys" 1987 sound only

VAPS Arcade/Coin-Op Moon Cresta Census

There are 14,965 members of the Video Arcade Preservation Society / Vintage Arcade Preservation Society, 9,552 whom participate in our arcade census project of games owned, wanted, or for sale. Census data currently includes 165,380 machines (6,942 unique titles).

Very Common - There are 93 known instances of this machine owned by Moon Cresta collectors who are active members. Of these, 44 of them are original dedicated machines. 5 of them are conversions in which game circuit boards (and possibly cabinet graphics) have been placed in (and on) another game cabinet. 44 of them are only circuit boards which a collector could put into a generic case if desired.

For Sale - There are 4 active VAPS members with a Moon Cresta machines for sale. There are 3 active VAPS members with a Moon Cresta circuit boards for sale.

Wanted - There are 3 active VAPS members currently looking for Moon Cresta. There is one active VAPS member looking for a Moon Cresta circuit board set.

This game ranks a 30 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]



CPU: Z80
SOUND: Custom


eBay Listings

Click to search eBay for Moon Cresta Videogame machines and related items.

Click to search eBay for Nichibutsu for machines and parts.

When you click on links below to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Such revenue helps to fund this site's operations. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.


Ebay Compatible Application

23 7/8/6.6” original Moon Cresta plexiglass arcade sign marquee C17

Auction ends in: 3 weeks, 5 days


Not Working Moon Cresta Sega arcade game board PCB IFC-2

Auction ends in: 3 weeks, 2 days


original Moon Cresta Sega Gremlin ARCADE VIDEO GAME PCB BOARD C1t

Auction ends in: 1 week, 22 hours


pages loose MOON CRESTA GREMLIN SEGA arcade game owners manual

Auction ends in: 1 week, 22 hours


original Moon Cresta Sega Gremlin ARCADE VIDEO GAME PCB BOARD C10

Auction ends in: 1 week, 22 hours


Vintage 1980 Gremlin Sega Moon Cresta Arcade Service Repair Owners Manual

Auction ends in: 19 hours, 21 minutes



Auction ends in: 1 month, 7 hours



  1. Log in to contribute content to this page
  2. Please consider donating to the International Arcade Museum Library