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Sega Zaxxon Arcade Game

Updated 21 April 2020

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Introduction

The Sega Zaxxon arcade game is a unique isometric 3D shoot-em-up arcade game that was released as both a standing cabinet and cocktail table in 1982. This article looks at the marketing brochure and a few videos on how the game actually plays. This arcade game was ported to the whole range of 8-bit microcomputers at that time. At the time of its release, Zaxxon was unique as it was the first game to employ axonometric projection, which lent its name to the game (AXXON from AXONometric projection). The game still has a fresh and unique feel to the gameplay. The Zaxxon game is rumoured to appear in the 1983 movie WarGames.

Television Commercial

Wikipedia claims that Zaxxon was the first arcade game to be advertised on television. We can't verify this claim, but you can watch a Zaxxon advertisement for yourself. This particular version looks more like an industry marketing campaign than a consumer orientated advert.

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Why is Sega Zaxxon so important?

Game developers keep on going back to Sega Zaxxon because it was so innovative. Zaxxon was hailed by many critics as a breakthrough of its time. Zaxxon introduced the concept of axonometric projection that was a total revelation and looked like no other game in the arcade. The premium Zaxxon arcade cabinet included a realistic flight joystick that was a beautiful sight and enjoyable to hold. It really gave players the sense of being in control of a space craft. This is important as players had to navigate terrain and control the crafts altitude to refuel and maximise the game score. Players could just take a high altitude in the first level to stay away from obstacles, but further levels ensure that you were ducking an weaving to refuel and destroy enemy installations. Deeper into the game, the attackers are also masters of flight and change altitude in order to ensure you do not make it to the boss level.

Arcade Sales Flyer

Arcade Gameplay

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Zaxxon Arcade Owner's Manual

Sega Zaxxon Arcade Owner's Manual

Contents

  1. Important Notes
  2. Game Concept
  3. Options Selection
  4. Joystick Maintenance Instructions
  5. Functional Game Block Diagram
  6. Circuit Description
  7. Self-Test
  8. Trouble Shooting Diagram
  9. Index to ICs
  10. Parts Catalog
  11. Schematics


download here
download here
(external)

Zaxxon on the Internet

Wikipedia Article on the Zaxxon franchise

Zaxxon article
(external)

International Arcade Museum entry on Zaxxon arcade game

International Arcade Museum™
(external)

Internet Arcade browser emulation of Zaxxon

Internet Arcade
browser emulation (external)

Wireframe Magazine Zaxxon sourcecode

Wireframe Magazine
Zaxxon source code (external)

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