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Popeye Popeye - Japanese Logo - Katakana / Kanji

Popeye - Cabinet - Video Game Marquee


You play Popeye who must win the love of Olive Oyl in three different scenarios while avoiding the nasty Bluto. Your main weapon against this relentless brute is the cans of spinach that appear at the beginning of each screen. You must dodge the projectiles thrown by Bluto and the Sea Hag, as well as Bluto's punches.

Popeye was produced by Nintendo in 1982.

Nintendo released 107 machines in our database under this trade name, starting in 1970. Nintendo was based in Japan.

Other machines made by Nintendo during the time period Popeye was produced include: Donkey Kong, Space Fever (Black & White), Vs. UniSystem, Sheriff, Heli Fire, Sky Skipper, Donkey Kong Junior, Mario Bros. (PlayChoice), Mario Bros., and Donkey Kong 3


Name Popeye
Developer Nintendo (Japan)
Year 1982
Type Videogame
KLOV/MOG # 9090
Class Wide Release
Genre Platform
Conversion Class Nintendo Classic
Game Specific Popeye Pinout
Dipswitch Settings

Popeye Dipswitch Settings (user contributed)

# Simultaneous Players 1
# Maximum Players 2
Game Play Alternating
Control Panel Layout Single Player
  • Joystick: 8-way
  • Buttons: 1 - Punch
Sound Unamplified Mono (requires one-channel amp)
Cabinet Styles
  • Upright/Standard
  • Cocktail
Bezel Popeye Bezel Image
Control Panel Popeye Control Panel Image
Side Art Popeye Side Art Image
PCB Popeye PCB Image

Game Introduction

Olive, who stands or walks around at the top of the screen, tosses out hearts, musical notes or "HELP!" cries for Popeye to catch. He must chase after these items and collect them before they fall to the ground and break.

Other Popeye characters to make an appearance in the game are Wimpy, Sweetpea, the Sea Hag and her Vulture. Each of these characters appear at various points throughout the game.

The game's three levels are the dock scene, the street scene and the shipboard scene. These repeat with increasing difficulty.

Game Play

On the first level, Olive Oyl stands ata the top of the screen and tosses 24 hearts one at a time down to the bottom, hoping that Popeye will catch them all. If a heart reaches the bottom of the screen, you will have about 10 seconds to pick it up before it breaks, costing you one life. Try to catch the hearts as high as possible, since they decrease in value as they get closer to the bottom.

If Bluto harasses you, cross the edge of the screen from left to right and wait for him to stop directly underneath the bucket. Hit the punching bag at this point and the bucket will fall onto his head, rendering him helpless for a while. This will score you 2000 points and give you some time to catch a few more hearts.

Like in the cartoons, Popeye becomes stronger after eating spinach. A can of spinach moves between the second and third floors of the screen and you can have Popeye eat it by punching the can. Afterwards, Popeye will turn red and become stronger than Bluto for about 10 seconds. If you can punch Bluto at this time, he falls into the sea, temporarily knocked out, and you will be awarded 3000 points.

Bluto will eventually recover so make good use of this time by catching as many falling hearts as possible. They are worth twice as much when Popeye is under the influence of spinach, so catching some of the higher hearts can really help your score. And since extra lives are only awarded at a very high score 60,000 points on most machines, you should be as greedy as possible.

Spinach can only be used once per level, and it is never restored after you lose a life. Do not use it too soon collect about two thirds of the total number of hearts, and have as many hearts fill the air as possible before getting the spinach.

If you want to risk getting 4000 points instead of 2000, do not use the punching bag immediately. Wait until you have punched Bluto best done when after eating spinach and next position Popeye to the punching bag. After Bluto comes out of the sea, he will move underneath the bucket on the bottom floor. With some practice and timing you should be able to drop the bucket onto his head for 4000 points. NOTE:touching Bluto while the bucket is on his head is not fatal. But be careful, because after the bucket comes off he can easily knock out Popeye.

To make up for his lumbering slowness, Bluto is capable of throwing beer bottles at Popeye. You should try to force him to throw bottles as often as possible four at a timeinstead of avoiding them, so you can score extra points.

The Sea Hag also throws bottles, except she only throws one at a time. The Sea Hag materializes on the edge of the screen for a moment, chucks a bottle, and disappears. She can also be on both sides of the screen at once. So if you are caught between two Sea Hags or between Bluto and The Sea Hag, you will have to quick on the joystick and Punch button to survive.

The second level is much like the first, except Olive Oyl is dropping musical notes now 16 of them, one at a time, the major difference is the layout, with Wimpy on the plank in the lower corner. If Popeye jumps off the second floor, he will be catapulted up to the third floor. With some careful timing, you can even make Popeye leap all the way up to the fourth floor, where Sweetpea is waiting on a balloon platform. Touching the bottom of Sweetpea will score 500 points 1000 points while under the influence of spinach.

The setting for the third level is a ship, with a sliding platform on the top floor. At the beginning of the board you should be able to slide Popeye across the platform several times, catching the letters H-E-L-P that Olive Oyl is dropping directly above.

Every time Popeye catches a letter, one step is added to a ladder which goes up to Olive Oyl When the ladder is finished, Olive Oyl is rescued. This is the most difficult level, because a large number of letters are needed to complete the ladder and save Olive Oyl. The Vulture will constantly appear from the left side of the screen. While sliding back and forth across the platform, you should try to punch The Vulture as many times as possible, to score 1000 points per punch.

After Popeye has rescued Olive Oyl on the third level, there will be an intermission that will have Popeye's face while "I'm Popeye The Sailor Man" plays followed by Popeye blowing his pipe and going "Toot! Toot!". Afterwards, the game begins again with increased difficulty.

On all levels, Bluto can reach from underneath or bend down from higher floors to lower ones- be careful that you are not underneath him.

When the game restarts from the first level with increased difficulty, The Sea Hag will throwing down deadly bouncing skulls from the edges of the screen and must be punched when they are bouncing upward. You must also make sure that there are no skulls directly above Popeye, since they drop down a floor or two and hit him on the head.

Continue to avoid Bluto and the beer bottles and keep catching whatever Olive Oyl throws down.

Popeye KLOV/IAM 5 Point User Score: 3.69 (17 votes)

Fun Factor: 3.56

Overall Like 3.88
Fun (Social) 3.00
Fun (Solo) 3.82
Collector Desire 3.25

Technical Rating: 3.82

Gameplay 3.76
Graphics 4.24
Originality 3.81
Sound/Music 3.65

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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  • Popeye Pacman - Uses the popeye's head in a hack of Hangly Man a Pac-Man clone.

More pictures


This video game is based on the animated cartoons of the same name.

This game was released to coincide with the 1980 movie Popeye starring Robin Williams.

VAPS Arcade/Coin-Op Popeye Census

There are 14,748 members of the Video Arcade Preservation Society / Vintage Arcade Preservation Society, 9,472 whom participate in our arcade census project of games owned, wanted, or for sale. Census data currently includes 164,455 machines (6,894 unique titles).

Very Common - There are 562 known instances of this machine owned by Popeye collectors who are active members. Of these, 423 of them are original dedicated machines. 20 of them are conversions in which game circuit boards (and possibly cabinet graphics) have been placed in (and on) another game cabinet. 117 of them are only circuit boards which a collector could put into a generic case if desired.

For Sale - There are 18 active VAPS members with a Popeye machines for sale. There are 4 active VAPS members with a Popeye circuit boards for sale.

Wanted - Very Popular - There are 28 active VAPS members currently looking for Popeye. There is one active VAPS member looking for a Popeye circuit board set.

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 45 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: 120; Color photo Price guide: No
  2. The Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 157; Color photo Price guide: No
  3. Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 120; Color photo

Additional References (logged in members often see more)

  1. 3D Model (External): cocktail
  2. 3D Model (External): Dedicated

See the game at:

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

Name Location State Country Details Check-ins
Upstate Pinball & Arcade Museum 109A West Trade St, Simpsonville South Carolina United States Arcade (Classic Videogame)
Children: Allowed
Focus: Classic Games
Food: No
Alcohol: No
Payment Method: Admission Charge

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Auction Results

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Auctions Recap

Year Count Median $ Average $
2018 1 1,770.00 1,770.00
All Years 1 1,770.00 1,770.00


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