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Spy Hunter Spy Hunter - Japanese Logo - Katakana / Kanji

Spy Hunter - Cabinet - Video Game Marquee


The player is a secret agent driving a car or a boat, rigged with all sorts of weapons, who fights other bad guys in various vehicles. The player drives on a vertically scrolling road on both dry pavement and snow. The theme music is Peter Gunn.

Spy Hunter was produced by Bally Midway in 1983.

Bally Midway released 96 machines in our database under this trade name, starting in 1980. Bally Midway was based in United States.

Other machines made by Bally Midway during the time period Spy Hunter was produced include: Baby Pac-Man, Blue Print, Bump 'n Jump, BurgerTime, Earth Friend, Domino Man, Discs Of Tron, Grand Slam (4 player version), Gold Ball, and E2088


Name Spy Hunter
Developer Bally Midway (United States)
Year 1983
Type Videogame
KLOV/MOG # 9742
Class Wide Release
Genre Racing
Conversion Class Midway MCR III
Dipswitch Settings

Spy Hunter Dipswitch Settings (user contributed)

# Simultaneous Players 1
# Maximum Players 1
Game Play Single
Control Panel Layout Single Player
  • Steering: X Yoke with five buttons - Oil Slick-Smoke Screen-Machine Gun-Missiles-Weapons Van
  • Shifter: 2-position (low, high)
  • Pedals: 1
Sound Unamplified Stereo (requires two-channel amp)
Cabinet Styles
  • Upright/Standard
  • Environmental/Cockpit
Control Panel Spy Hunter Control Panel Image
Side Art Spy Hunter Side Art Image
PCB Spy Hunter PCB Image

Game Introduction

Basically an all-around great game with superior play, music, and sounds. A unique driving game that was one of the first to combine driving and shooting at the same time during play. There are a variety of weapons that become available during gameplay -- 4 in all: Machine-Guns, Oil Slick, Smoke Screen, and Missiles.

The game also features the ability to take a side road during game play and turn the car into a boat, taking the battle onto the water.

There are five different enemies in the road sequence: tire slashers called "Switchblade" or "Never To Be Trusted" armored cars called "The Road Lord" or "Bulletproof Bully" limousines called "The Enforcer" or "Double Barrel Action" and helicopters called "The Mad Bomber" or "Master Of The Sky".

Game Play

This driving game has a gas pedal, steering wheel, gear shifter, and four buttons on the wheel. The driver is a secret agent driving along a vertically scrolling highway to the tune of Peter Gunn.

The bad spies drive blue cars that resemble '57 Chevies. They can disable the player with wheel-mounted spikes. These make the player spin out and explode. The player can shoot these enemies from behind with grill-mounted machine guns or ram them off the road assuming their spikes are not deployed. Other enemies, called 'Bullies', drive armored cars that try to ram you off the road. The machine guns are ineffective, but they can be rammed. The boss bad guy drives a limo and attempts to pull up beside you and shoot you with a shotgun. This limo can be gunned down or rammed.

Periodically, you pass an ally, the weapons van. The van will catch up to you and extend ramps. You can drive into the van and obtain special weapons: oil slick, smoke screen, or missiles. The oil slick and smoke screen can be used to wreck or slow down all three of the ground-based enemies.

Occasionally, a chopper flies overhead and tries to kill you with bombs. These bombs do not have to hit you to kill you. If you drive through the pothole that they leave, you are just as dead. They also kill the bad guys. You can use the missiles to blow the chopper away.

As you progress, you can voluntarily swerve into the boat house and proceed on water. Your boat also has machine guns and the special weapons. Enemy boats try to kill you by throwing floating charges in your path. The big boat fires torpedoes at you from behind or in front. The chopper also harasses you in the water. You can be forced into the water when a bridge is out.

Sometimes you must also drive on snow. This makes it very tricky to swerve enemies that you have just shot.

The whole time, civilian traffic is on the road. If you shoot or ram them, you lose points.

Spy Hunter KLOV/IAM 5 Point User Score: 3.95 (15 votes)

Fun Factor: 4.12

Overall Like 4.50
Fun (Social) 2.64
Fun (Solo) 4.36
Collector Desire 3.93

Technical Rating: 3.99

Gameplay 4.43
Graphics 3.80
Originality 4.07
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

If the road is drawn to the extreme right side of the screen when the car is dropped off by the weapons van, one can drive across the grass and Water to pass any difficult areas that might be ahead.

The Accelerator can be dislodged to increase the default speed of the car if there is no access to the test switch i.e., if one finds the game at a bowling alley and want to drive faster than it allows.

After being let out of the semi, due to crash or weapons upgrade, one can use the truck itself as a buffer to smash other cars off the road.

If you can get to 18,000 points before the time runs out, you are awarded 2 cars.

It is possible to knock switchblades with their blades extended off the road, by bumping the front or back corners of their car with your car.

If you manage to be sideswiped from the right by a switchblade just as the exit for the boathouse has come up, your vehicle spins off the road but actually traverses down the exit ramp and through the boathouse. Your vehicle is renewed and play continues, but the game is now fixed in a never ending ride. Your vehicle is now actually on the left side of the entire screen as a car, not a boat, and cannot be steered. Additionally, the accelerator and machine guns work, but there's nothing to shoot. The score continues to increase and you can drive indefinitely, but there is no way to end the game and enter a high score without turning the power switch off. Disabling the power is the only way known to reset the game back to normal play. This bug technique is extremely difficult to accomplish.

On the levels where the bridge is out - if you call up the van so you enter it just after the last bend before the bridge out section, when you are dropped off on the extreme right hand side you can drive over the broken bridge. The first time you do this go slowly on the approach to the missing bridge and the enforcer will pull alongside you on the opposite side of the road. When he hits the broken section, keep edging slowly across and - if done correctly - the enforcer-boat equivalent will no longer appear for the rest of the game.

More pictures


Contrary to legend shared on the East Coast, this game actually has no end whatsoever. The graveyard level does not exist nor at any time does the driver of the vehicle get out of the car.

The sequel to this is Spy Hunter II, perhaps the worst sequel in the history of gaming.

The prototype for Spy Hunter originally played with the James Bond theme, which was the theme originally sought after for use in the game. The Peter Gunn theme was used when Midway could not obtain the rights to use the James Bond theme in the game.

The name of the car, the G6155, is a clever tribute to designer George Gomez - the numbers stand for his birthdate. The Mercedes C311 is the basis for the white car on the cabinet. This car has a 4-rotor wankel engine and gull wing doors. It was featured on the cover of Road and Track magazine around 1981.

A helicopter sequence was originally planned, but was deleted due to lack of time and memory.

Cabinet Information

The game was manufactured in both upright and sitdown models.


This - and other MCR type - game has been reported as having sync issues when using newer monitors - especially those with sync-sensing circuits. Older-style monitors work fine.


Play the game online requires Shockwave at www.shockwave.comswcontentspyhunter

VAPS Arcade/Coin-Op Spy Hunter Census

There are 14,769 members of the Video Arcade Preservation Society / Vintage Arcade Preservation Society, 9,481 whom participate in our arcade census project of games owned, wanted, or for sale. Census data currently includes 164,607 machines (6,903 unique titles).

Very Common - There are 455 known instances of this machine owned by Spy Hunter collectors who are active members. Of these, 429 of them are original dedicated machines. One is a conversion in which game circuit boards (and possibly cabinet graphics) have been placed in (and on) another game cabinet. 24 of them are only circuit boards which a collector could put into a generic case if desired.

For Sale - There are 12 active VAPS members with a Spy Hunter machines for sale. There are 2 active VAPS members with a Spy Hunter circuit boards for sale.

Wanted - Very Popular - There are 65 active VAPS members currently looking for Spy Hunter. There is one active VAPS member looking for a Spy Hunter circuit board set.

This game ranks a 81 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census ownership records.

This game ranks a 80 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]



One channel is dedicated to the Peter Gunn theme which comes exclusively from the Cheap Squeak Deluxe sound board. The other channel is dedicated to the other game sounds, such as the machine guns and the chopper rotors. This is produced on the sound IO board ONLY.


  1. Spy Hunter
  2. Spy Hunter II


Foto-Finder® (Books)

  1. The Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 174; Color photo Price guide: No
  2. Arcade Fever Sellers (ISBN 0762409371) Page: 130; Color photo
  3. Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 174; Color photo

Additional References (logged in members often see more)

  1. 3D Model (External): Cockpit
  2. 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

Vintage Spy Hunter Video Arcade Game Sign (All Glass Sign)

Auction ends in: 6 days, 15 hours


Spy Hunter Mini Arcade Classics Midway Classic Arcade

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Midway Original Glass SPY Hunter Environmental Cockpit BIG Rear Marquee

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Spy Hunter Arcade Marquee

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Midway Original Glass SPY Hunter Marquee ( Please See Pictures )

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Reproduction Bally SPY HUNTER Steering Springs and busing set

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