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Steel Talons Steel Talons - Japanese Logo - Katakana / Kanji

Steel Talons - Cabinet - Video Game Marquee


A two-player cockpit 3-D solid-polygon helicopter simulator. One or two players may play at the same time. Players may compete head to head or cooperate to destroy computer controlled targets in a virtual terrain simulation.

Steel Talons was produced by Atari Games in 1991.

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 Steel Talons was produced include: Gumball Rally, Pit-Fighter, Hydra, Race Drivin', Rampart, Off The Wall, Road Riot 4WD, Marble Madness 2 Marble Man, Race Drivin Panorama, and BMX Heat


Name Steel Talons
Developer Atari Games (United States)
Year 1991
Type Videogame
KLOV/MOG # 9785
Class Wide Release
Genre Simulator
Conversion Class unique
# Simultaneous Players 2
# Maximum Players 2
Game Play Either
Control Panel Layout Multiple Player
  • Other - Analog Collective lever
  • Joystick: Analog with two buttons - Missile Launch|30mm Cannon. Simulation buttons of zoom mode|lighted Real Heli Flight control simulation viewpoint/difficulty.
  • Steering: Rudder Pedals
Sound Amplified Either (Mono or Stereo)
Cabinet Styles
  • Environmental/Cockpit - DELUXE/THEMED
Control Panel Steel Talons Control Panel Image
Side Art Steel Talons Side Art Image

Game Introduction

According to the attract mode, this game is a training simulator for the elite "Steel Talons" attack gunship squadron. The game's strongpoint is its amazing use of a 3-D filled polygon world in which more than one player can compete. At the time of it's relase (1991) this type of game was at the forefront of technology.

The helicopter simulation can be played in any of three modes:

  1. A chase plane angle is used where the player can see his own chopper from slightly above and behind.
  2. In Zoom mode, the player's view changes to that of the helicopter pilot looking out of the windshield (this is more difficult, but useful for shooting rockets in head-to-head mode).
  3. In Real Heli Flight mode, the chopper responds accurately as a real world machine would. This mode is almost impossible to play even for an expert gamer (unless you are a heli pilot maybe).

These modes may be selected at any time during gameplay by pressing the buttons located on the player's control panel.

A "rump thumper" device is built into each player seat. When the player takes damage from an enemy round, the rump thumper accentuates the audio feedback with a solid thump to the player's seat. This adds greatly to the suspension of disbelief for the simulation, especially in head-to-head combat mode.

Game Play

In single-player mode the player attempts to advance through 19 different computer simulated missions. The helicopter is armed with a 30mm computer guided heat tracking cannon and a heat seeking rocket launcher. The object of the mission is to destroy moving computer targets (trucks, jeeps, tanks, etc.), some of which fight back. A mission is complete when all the targets have been destroyed. For the player, fuel is the governing factor since each mission expends fuel for flight and each time the player crashes or is hit an additional amount of fuel is lost. A rating is given at the end of each mission based upon the time of completion. Extra fuel is also awarded based upon time and in comparison to a player database of completion times for that mission.

Two players may cooperate in the computer driven simulation world as described above, or they may choose to go head-to-head where the mission objective is to destroy the other player. In this mode, the rocket launcher (which is normally heat seeking) becomes a straight shoot to increase the challenge of the simulation.

Steel Talons KLOV/IAM 5 Point User Score: 3.24 (3 votes)

Fun Factor: 3.07

Overall Like 3.33
Fun (Social) 4.50
Fun (Solo) 4.00
Collector Desire 3.00

Technical Rating: 3.42

Gameplay 5.00
Graphics 3.33
Originality 5.00
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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More pictures


In the default high score settings, the top score is held by the developer Ed Logg (Asteroids, Centipede, Millipede, and Gauntlet). None of the other default high scores are complete names.

Cabinet Information

The dedicated cockpit cabinet has two player stations positioned side by side. Each player station consists of a 25-inch color raster monitor and a set of controls (joystick, collective, rudder pedals). The seats include "rump thumpers" that provide feedback when a player is hit.

VAPS Arcade/Coin-Op Steel Talons Census

There are 14,834 members of the Video Arcade Preservation Society / Vintage Arcade Preservation Society, 9,506 whom participate in our arcade census project of games owned, wanted, or for sale. Census data currently includes 164,890 machines (6,918 unique titles).

Common - There are 34 known instances of this machine owned by Steel Talons collectors who are active members. Of these, 25 of them are original dedicated machines. 9 of them are only circuit boards which a collector could put into a generic case if desired.

For Sale - There are 2 active VAPS members with a Steel Talons machines for sale. There are 4 active VAPS members with a Steel Talons circuit boards for sale.

Wanted - No active members have added this machine to their wish list.

This game ranks a 11 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census ownership records.

Rarity and Popularity independently are not necessarily indications of value. [More Information]



There are no DIP switches on this unit since all the programming is accomplished using on-screen menus that are selected by the player controls. Programming is done by opening the coin box and flipping a slide switch into the up position. A programming menu category is entered by pressing the Zoom button. Menu options are selected with the trigger button on the joystick. Menu options can be changed by holding the Real Heli Flight button and pressing the trigger.

The volume controls for the player stations are also located in the area directly behind the coin slots (important safety tip because this game can be LOUD!). The volume controls aren't linear so be sure to calibrate them in the "Operator Screens" portion of the setup unless you want to be deafened.

Another important tip: at powerup, cycle all player controls to their fullest extents prior to starting the simulation. This allows the game to auto calibrate the analog pot settings. Failure to do this may lead to the incorrect assumption that the controls are broken.


Additional References (logged in members often see more)

  1. 3D Model (External): Dedicated

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Auction Results

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Auctions Recap

Year Count Median $ Average $
2016 1 287.50 287.50
2017 1 57.50 57.50
All Years 2 172.50 172.50


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