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Zaxxon Zaxxon - Japanese Logo - Katakana / Kanji

Zaxxon - Cabinet - Video Game Marquee


You pilot an attack shuttle whose mission is to strafe the enemy's "Asteroid City". Destroy fuel tanks, gun implacements, missiles, fighters and a large enemy robot. The game uses an isometric three-quarters perspective that was a unique concept to arcade games of that era.

Zaxxon was produced by Sega/Gremlin in 1982.

Sega/Gremlin released 21 machines in our database under this trade name, starting in 1976. Sega/Gremlin was based in United States.

Other machines made by Sega/Gremlin during the time period Zaxxon was produced include: Astro Blaster, Space Fury, Star Raker, Eliminator, Frogger, Battle Star, and Wanted


Name Zaxxon
Developer Sega/Gremlin (United States)
Year 1982
Type Videogame
KLOV/MOG # 12757
Class Wide Release
Genre Space
Conversion Class Sega Zaxxon
# Simultaneous Players 1
# Maximum Players 2
Game Play Alternating
Control Panel Layout Single Player Ambidextrous
Sound Amplified Mono (one channel)
Cabinet Styles
  • Upright/Standard
  • Cabaret/Mini - 182 lbs
  • Cocktail
Control Panel Zaxxon Control Panel Image

Game Introduction

Using your on-screen altimeter, you control your ship with an aircraft-style joystick, barnstorming your way through wall openings, under electronic barriers, dodging rockets and in a later round, dueling with the ominous enemy robot. Your ship gains fuel by destroying the fuel tanks. A successful attack-run across Zaxxon leads you to a deep-space dogfight with enemy planes. A "cross-hair" appears indicating when an incoming plane is able to be hit by your laser. After a specified number of ships have been destroyed, the robot appears. To destroy the robot, you must hit it's missile launcher six times, after which the round changes and the difficulty increases.

Game Play

The game is much harder than it appears. If you hover over the asteroid city and do nothing, Zaxxon will shoot a homing missle at you. Enemy missles will create turbulence which will lower your altitude and shake your plane.

The attract mode does an excellent job of showing how the game is played.

Zaxxon KLOV/IAM 5 Point User Score: 3.72 (22 votes)

Fun Factor: 3.57

Overall Like 3.95
Fun (Social) 2.95
Fun (Solo) 3.64
Collector Desire 3.29

Technical Rating: 3.87

Gameplay 3.68
Graphics 4.14
Originality 4.36
Sound/Music 3.18

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

Use the altimeter well since it is a very important part of this game. Shoot the red cylindrical fuel tanks to replenish your fuel. There are also two fuel tanks that fly by in space. Both can be shot if your altitude is one mark below the top.

If you destroy 20 planes in a single round, you will get a bonus of 1,000 points. Planes on the ground also count. In space, the best altitude is about 2 to 2.5 marks from the bottom. When you are in line with an enemy plane, a cross hairs will show up along with a beeping sound.

Hit as many radar towers as possible, they are worth 1,000 points each but usually located in dangerous areas (if you drop down and right immediately after you enter the first asteroid, you can always get that first one on the right).

To get past the electronic barriers or through the holes in the walls, align yourself approximately with the hole and start firing, if/when your shots go through without hitting anything then you are aligned and can fly through safely.

If you fly too high for too long (except in space), Zaxxon will fire a homing missile at you. While possible to destroy it, it's very difficult to do so and you are better off trying to escape by flying below it.

Zaxxon (the robot) can be destroyed with six well placed shots on his missile before he launches it. Fly at an altitude of 2.5 marks from the bottom. Position yourself so the nose of your plane is pointing between the second and third hexagon on the ground (see last screenshot on this page for approximate position). If you fire fast enough, you can take out Zaxxon before it has a chance to even try and avoid you. Destroying Zaxxon gives you a whoppin' 1,000 point bonus. If it manages to launch the missile, you can still destroy the missile, but that will only give you 200 points.

The guns are worth 200 to 500 points randomly. The planes are worth 100 with an additional 50 points per level tacked on after level 2. Radar Towers are worth 1,000 points. Zaxxon is worth 1,000 points.



In the game, Zaxxon is the name of the enemy robot who you must destroy.Milton Bradley turned this and other Sega titles into board games. "Can You Complete Your Mission Before Zaxxon Zaps You?"

Cabinet Information

The full-size stand up version uses a really nice metal flight stick with a trigger and an LED on top. The cocktail version uses a standard WICO-style ball joystick.


The game shares a common pinout with three other games: Congo Bongo, Super Zaxxon and Future Spy. These last two games are conversions that use an original Zaxxon boardset, but require added daughter cards or custom globs and hacks besides the usual ROM swaps. Also, Future Spy requires a second button for bombing.

VAPS Arcade/Coin-Op Zaxxon Census

There are 14,911 members of the Video Arcade Preservation Society / Vintage Arcade Preservation Society, 9,532 whom participate in our arcade census project of games owned, wanted, or for sale. Census data currently includes 165,200 machines (6,928 unique titles).

Very Common - There are 411 known instances of this machine owned by Zaxxon collectors who are active members. Of these, 322 of them are original dedicated machines. 2 of them are conversions in which game circuit boards (and possibly cabinet graphics) have been placed in (and on) another game cabinet. 86 of them are only circuit boards which a collector could put into a generic case if desired.

For Sale - There are 19 active VAPS members with a Zaxxon machines for sale. There are 5 active VAPS members with a Zaxxon circuit boards for sale.

Wanted - There are 6 active VAPS members currently looking for Zaxxon.

This game ranks a 78 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census ownership records.

This game ranks a 10 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 two-PCB set is huge and filled with simple components.

On dedicated machines the crude Zaxxon logo may be mildly burnt into the screen as well as the score info and the Sega 1982 in the bottom right corner.


This game is notorious for having some sounds fade out after a couple minutes (most notably the flying sounds and the explosions). This is a simple fix. Replace all 2.2uF 50v capacitors on the sound portion of the board with cheapo polarized equivalents. There are 13 total and are: C28, C29, C32, C38, C41, C55, C59, C68, C69, C74, C76, C80 and C93. They are labeled clearly on the board so they should be easy to find. Be sure to install the caps properly, however (again, polarity is marked on the board too).

Also see: for an alternate fix.


  1. Zaxxon
  2. Super Zaxxon
  3. Future Spy


Foto-Finder® (Books)

  1. Arcade 1 Historical Guide to Arcade Machines Vol. 1 Bueschel (ISBN 086667-051-3) Page: 301; Black and white photo
  2. The Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 142; Color photo Price guide: No
  3. Arcade Fever Sellers (ISBN 0762409371) Page: 120; Color photo
  4. Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 142; 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
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

eBay Listings

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