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Star Wars - Empire Strikes Back Star Wars - Empire Strikes Back - Japanese Logo - Katakana / Kanji

Star Wars - Empire Strikes Back - Cabinet - Video Game Marquee


A color vector game with four different scenarios per level 1 Probots, 2 Imperial Walkers, 3 Tie fighters, 4 Asteroid field. The game uses several music and dialogue samples from the movie of the same name.

Star Wars - Empire Strikes Back was produced by Atari Games in 1985.

Atari Games released 88 machines in our database under this trade name, starting in 1984. Atari Games was based in United States.

Other machines made by Atari Games during the time period Star Wars - Empire Strikes Back was produced include: E.T., Last Starfighter The, Marble Madness, Paperboy, Gauntlet (PlayChoice), Peter Pack Rat, Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom, Road Runner, and Gauntlet


Name Star Wars - Empire Strikes Back
Developer Atari Games (United States)
Year 1985
Type Videogame
KLOV/MOG # 7708
Class Wide Release
Genre Air Combat
  • Orientation: Horizontal
  • Type: Vector
  • Color: Color
Conversion Class unique
Dipswitch Settings

Star Wars - Empire Strikes Back Dipswitch Settings (user contributed)

# Simultaneous Players 1
# Maximum Players 1
Game Play Single
Control Panel Layout Single Player
  • Steering: X/Y-directional yoke with common triggers and thumb buttons
  • Buttons: 2 - FireDefend
Sound Unamplified Stereo (requires two-channel amp)
Cabinet Styles
  • Upright/Standard

Game Play

The player flys a either a Snowspeeder or the Millenium Falcon through four stages to complete each level. During each stage, the player can earn a letter to spell "JEDI" which for a limited time will destroy all enemy shots the moment they are fired which you receive points for, plus a set of stripes next to your name if you make the high score list.

In the first stage, the player flies a Snowspeeder over the terrain of Hoth, shooting down Probots who shoot fireballs and send transmission signals. The player can shoot down the transmission signals to prolong the stage, but if enough signals make it though, the game automatically advances to the next stage. To earn a letter in this stage, you must shoot down the indicated number of Probots.

In stage 2, the player flies a Snowspeeder over the terrain of Hoth with the goal of destroying Imperial Walkers and Scout Walkers before they reach the main power generator. Shooting the red viewports in the heads of either type of Walker will destroy it. An alternate method is to launch tow cables at the legs of the Walkers. This scores more points than shooting them. However, the number of tow cables is limited. To earn the JEDI letter in this stage, the player must destroy the indicated number of Walkers.

In stage 3, the player must fight his way through a wave of Tie Fighters in the Millenium Falcon. To earn the JEDI letter in this stage, the player must destroy the indicated number of Tie Fighters.

In stage 4, the player flies the Millenium Falcon through an Asteroid field. To earn the JEDI letter in this stage, the player must simply survive.

The stages get progressively more difficult with the advancement of each level.

Star Wars - Empire Strikes Back KLOV/IAM 5 Point User Score: 3.26 (3 votes)

Fun Factor: 3.27

Overall Like 3.33
Fun (Social) 2.67
Fun (Solo) 3.33
Collector Desire 3.67

Technical Rating: 3.25

Gameplay 3.33
Graphics 3.33
Originality 3.00
Sound/Music 3.33

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: Flying between the legs of Imperial Walkers can yield a rather hefty bonus. 5000 points for the first time, 10000 more points for the second, 15000 additional points for the third, and so on. The best way to do this is to line up and fly through it from the side. After flying through, continue forward and the next walker will appear directly ahead.

TRICK: During the tie fighter sequence, if you shoot the ships before they leave the screen, you will stay focused on the Executor and have a very target-rich environment.

TRICK: The best way through the asteroid field is to aim for a far corner and stick with it unless you absolutely have to dodge an oncoming asteroid.

TRICK: It is not obvious, but when the high score list is displayed at any time, you can use the flight yoke to scroll up and down the list to see all of the top 25 players. Moving the flight yoke far left and far right will switch between the instructions and the high score list.

BUG: At the end of the asteroid field, the game says it is awarding points and a Jedi letter. However, the points are never added to the player's score.

BUG: If the player spells "JEDI" at the end of the tie-fighter sequence and dies during the asteroid field, the Jedi bonus timer will continue to run during the attract mode.

MISC: The high score list will reset if the Jedi-letter mode is changed on the game options screen.

More pictures

Cabinet Information

Made as a conversion kit for Star Wars, the game uses the same upright cabinet depicting various scenes, characters, and vehicles from the movie. The cabinet's sides are black with blue, white, gray, and red artwork of Tie fighters, the Death Star, Darth Vader, and X-Wings on both sides. Two one on each side small 5.5 inch x 7 inch stickers of the Empire Strikes Back logo are affixed at the top front corners.

The marquee's colors are blue, black, white, red, and yellow. There are pictures of Imperial Walkers on the left side and the Millenium Falcon flying through an asteroid field on the right. In the center is the Empire Strikes Back logo. The lower-front portion of the game is painted in black and gray in a pattern resembling pipes and conduits.

A smoke-tinted glass plate covers the monitor and a molded black plastic shroud frames-in the monitor area resembling the interior of an X-Wing cockpit. The flight controller is mounted on a overlay that simulates a control panel.


This game is a conversion produced by Atari Games in 1984. Based on the same game engine as Star Wars, made by Atari in 1983, the conversion from Star Wars to Empire Strikes Back is achieved through a chipset replacement on the Star Wars game PCB.

Clay Cowgill sells a kit that can be installed into the boardset to create a switchable Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back arcade game.


LICENSOR: Lucasfilm Ltd.

VAPS Arcade/Coin-Op Star Wars - Empire Strikes Back 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 78 known instances of this machine owned by Star Wars - Empire Strikes Back collectors who are active members. Of these, 30 of them are original dedicated machines. 18 of them are conversions in which game circuit boards (and possibly cabinet graphics) have been placed in (and on) another game cabinet. 30 of them are only circuit boards which a collector could put into a generic case if desired.

For Sale - There is one active VAPS member with a Star Wars - Empire Strikes Back machine for sale. There is one active VAPS member with an extra Star Wars - Empire Strikes Back circuit board for sale.

Wanted - There are 8 active VAPS members currently looking for Star Wars - Empire Strikes Back. There is one active VAPS member looking for a Star Wars - Empire Strikes Back circuit board set.

This game ranks a 31 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census ownership records.

This game ranks a 13 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]



Off of the screen, and to the right of the word "JEDI" or the wave number indicator is a two digit number. For very simple displays, the number may be 12 for so. As the playfield becomes more complex and the game slows, this number will go to 40 or 50.

It is not a measure of the number of vectors on the screen or the frame rate, but appears to be a timing delay indicator. Obviously, it was intended for the programmers of the game, and it should have been removed before production. It is visible if you shrink the game in the X axis. Drawing an object that far out probably puts a small additional strain on the deflector PCB.


A dead Amplifone HV flyback is the most common failure, but replacement with a Wintron flyback fixes this problem. Also, replacing the Amplifone monitor with a Wells-Gardner K6100 series monitor is another option.


  1. Star Wars
  2. Return Of The Jedi
  3. Star Wars - Empire Strikes Back


Foto-Finder® (Books)

  1. The Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 192; Color photo Price guide: No

Additional References (logged in members often see more)

  1. 3D Model (External): Upright

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Auction Results

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Auctions Recap

Year Count Median $ Average $
2017 1 2,478.00 2,478.00
All Years 1 2,478.00 2,478.00


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