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International Arcade Museum® — Killer List of Videogames®

Moon Patrol Moon Patrol - Japanese Logo - Katakana / Kanji

Moon Patrol - Cabinet - Video Game Marquee


Player drives a moon buggy jumping over craters, rocks and land mines, shooting simultaneously at rocks in front and aliens above while dodging their missiles. Features very catchy background music and cute bouncing tires when the buggy is destroyed. Foreground and background terrain scroll at different rates giving the illusion of depth.

Moon Patrol was produced by Irem in 1982.

Irem released 89 machines in our database under this trade name, starting in 1978. Irem was based in Japan.

Other machines made by Irem during the time period Moon Patrol was produced include: Demoneye-X, Red Alert, Andromeda, Panther, Sky Chuter, Zippy Race, Traverse USA, Tropical Angel, Lode Runner, and Spartan X


Name Moon Patrol
Developer Irem (Japan)
Year 1982
Type Videogame
KLOV/MOG # 8747
Class Wide Release
Genre Platform
Conversion Class Irem
Game Specific Moon Patrol Pinout
Dipswitch Settings

Moon Patrol Dipswitch Settings (user contributed)

# Simultaneous Players 1
# Maximum Players 2
Game Play Alternating
Control Panel Layout Single Player
  • Joystick: 2-way (left, right) - DecelerateAccelerate
  • Buttons: 2 - FireJump
Sound Amplified Mono (one channel)
Cabinet Styles
  • Upright/Standard
  • Cocktail
  • Candy/Japanese (Video Games)
Control Panel Moon Patrol Control Panel Image
PCB Moon Patrol PCB Image

Game Play

The object is to complete the varying legs of the patrol course as quickly as you can while avoiding rocks, craters, mines, and attacks from enemy craft. Your buggy has two guns: a short-range cannon that fires ahead of you and an anti-aircraft gun that fires upwards. You can use the cannon to blast away rocks that block your progress. Most rocks will crumble in one hit, but large ones qill need two hits. There are also tiny rocks that can only be destroyed with precision shooting otherwise, you will have to jump it.

Your on-screen display has three indicator lights to warn you of approaching danger.

When the top one flashes, there are enemy saucers coming in. Attack them using your gun and avoid their bombs. The spinning saucers are particularly nasty, as they bomb the ground ahead of you and make fresh craters. The middle light indicates a minefield. Proceed with caution here and time your jumps to avoid the mines on the road. Finally, the bottom light indicates an enemy behind you. Sometimes, an enemy hovercraft will stalk behind you for a bit and then charge at you. You need to jump so it passes under you and then take it out with your cannon when you come back down.

Points E, J, O, and T are checkpoints. When you reach them, you are evaluated against the average. If you beat the average, you gain bonus points. If you reach the end of the course point Z, you automatically receive a special bonus in addition to any time bonus you may receive.

59 seconds is the fastest time possible to reach checkpoints E, J, O, T, or Z. The game keeps track of the best times to reach these points. If you complete the Beginner's Course, the second course is called the Champion or Expert Course which repeats after successful completion. Mastering speed control and simultaneous use of jump/fire buttons will give you the edge you need to master the game.

Moon Patrol KLOV/IAM 5 Point User Score: 3.86 (17 votes)

Fun Factor: 3.74

Overall Like 3.94
Fun (Social) 3.06
Fun (Solo) 3.82
Collector Desire 3.76

Technical Rating: 3.97

Gameplay 4.19
Graphics 4.00
Originality 4.13
Sound/Music 4.12

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

TRICK: You have a better chance of hitting a UFO directly above if you jump while firing rapidly. This will compress your shots, making it harder for a UFO to slip through the space between bullets.


Cabinet Information

Two small transparent stickers are placed on the side-art. The first is a rectangular "T.M." Trademark sticker placed on the "L" of the Moon Patrol logo. The second is a circle with an "R" inside it Registered Trademark, placed after the Williams logo.


BOOTLEG: Moon Ranger

The game was created by Irem Corporation Japan and licensed to Williams Electronics, Inc. for US manufacture and distribution.

VAPS Arcade/Coin-Op Moon Patrol Census

There are 14,958 members of the Video Arcade Preservation Society / Vintage Arcade Preservation Society, 9,547 whom participate in our arcade census project of games owned, wanted, or for sale. Census data currently includes 165,359 machines (6,939 unique titles).

Very Common - There are 468 known instances of this machine owned by Moon Patrol collectors who are active members. Of these, 336 of them are original dedicated machines. 8 of them are conversions in which game circuit boards (and possibly cabinet graphics) have been placed in (and on) another game cabinet. 122 of them are only circuit boards which a collector could put into a generic case if desired.

For Sale - There are 14 active VAPS members with a Moon Patrol machines for sale. There are 11 active VAPS members with a Moon Patrol circuit boards for sale.

Wanted - Very Popular - There are 36 active VAPS members currently looking for Moon Patrol. There are 4 active VAPS members looking for Moon Patrol boards sets.

This game ranks a 84 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census ownership records.

This game ranks a 63 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]



The game uses a Z80 microprocessor and a 6803 microprocessor. For sound it uses two AY-3-8910 PSGs and a MSM5205.

Some boardsets are configured to use a positive composite sync. Use a TTL inverter e.g. 7404 to convert this signal to the JAMMA standard negative composite sync.

The boardset is comprised of three equal-sized PCBs and a 1/3 size PCB for sound generation. The main PCB utilizes a Z-80. The boardset requires a 22/44 pin edge connector for interfacing.


Foto-Finder® (Books)

  1. The Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 134; Color photo Price guide: No
  2. Arcade Fever Sellers (ISBN 0762409371) Page: 102; Color photo
  3. Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 134; Color photo

Additional References (logged in members often see more)

  1. 3D Model (External): Upright

See the game at:

This game is available at the following public arcades, bars or museums:

Name Location State Country Details Check-ins
Level One Bar + Arcade 130 Hutchinson Ave, Columbus Ohio United States 0

eBay Listings

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Ebay Compatible Application

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Auction Results

Logged in members can see all related auctions.

Auctions Recap

Year Count Median $ Average $
2015 1 690.00 690.00
2017 1 354.00 354.00
2018 1 944.00 944.00
All Years 3 690.00 662.67


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