is a multi-directional shooter arcade game
that was made by Namco
in 1981. It runs on Namco Galaga
hardware but with a video system like that used in Rally-X
The object of Bosconian
is to score as many points as possible by destroying enemy bases and ships. The player controls a small fighter ship
that can move in eight directions and can fire both forward and backward. Each level consists of a number of green space stations
that must all be destroyed to advance to the next level (a semi-transparent mini-map helps identify their location). Each station consists of six cannons arranged in a hexagon
, surrounding a central core. The player must either destroy all six cannons or shoot the core to destroy a station, and in later levels the core is capable of defending itself.
Additionally, the player must avoid or destroy asteroids, mines, and a variety of enemy missiles and ships that attempt to collide with the player's ship. Enemies occasionally launch formation attacks — destroying the leader causes all remaining enemies to disperse, but destroying all enemies in a formation scores extra bonus points. A spy ship (worth a random bonus value) also appears occasionally, which must be destroyed or the enemies will go berserk.
Throughout the game, a digitized voice alerts the player to various events:
- "Blast off!" (level start)
- "Alert! Alert!" (enemies attacking)
- "Battle stations" (enemy formation approching)
- "Spy ship sighted" (spy ship appears)
- "Condition red!" (enemy attacks become more aggressive; occurs when the player takes too long to complete a level)
Like many games made during the Golden Age of Arcade Games, the game has no definite end, continuing until the player has lost all of his/her lives.
Similar to Galaga, Bosconian "rolls over" from Level 255 to Level 0, causing the game to behave abnormally during this level. If the player can successfully complete Level 0, the game continues to Level 1 as though the player had started a new game. Also, after the first ten levels, some of the previous levels will repeat in placement of boss ships (the only differences are the direction of the opening in the bosses, the number of asteroids astray in the levels, and an increase in the number of enemy ships needed to be fought off).
It was ported to several computer
systems, including the Sharp X68000
, Commodore 64
and the Sinclair ZX Spectrum
, and later appeared in several of Namco's Namco Museum
compilations for PlayStation and other consoles. The game has also been seen in Jakks Pacific
's TV game controllers. A clone of Bosconian
, named Draconian
, was released also for the TRS-80 Color Computer
in 1984 by Tom Mix Software
. A home computer sequel, Bosconian 87
, was released in 1987 for the Amstrad CPC
, Commodore 64
, and ZX Spectrum
. An arcade sequel of sorts called Blast Off
was released in 1989 only in Japan
, a vertical-scrolling shooter which had more in common gameplay-wise with Namco's own Dragon Spirit
than with Bosconian
Dedicated Bosconian arcade machines have become somewhat of a rarity for arcade collectors, because many of them were converted to other, more profitable games over the years. Galaga was the most common conversion choice, because it uses the same basic hardware platform and wiring harness as Bosconian.
Some claim that Bosconian was the first game to allow players to insert more coins to continue a game from where they lost their last life. The concept of the continue, by this logic, comes from Bosconian. This distinction more properly belongs to Tempest.
In the game Ridge Racer
, a car has this game as a sponsor. It is a white and red car named RT Bosconian. Its sister car, from another Namco
game is a white and blue car named RT Nebulasray. They were used in Ridge Racer
, Ridge Racer 2
, Ridge Racer 64
, and Ridge Racer DS
The origin of the keywords in Bosconian (as in the "Zwilniks of Boskone") is the Lensman space-opera saga, which in Japan always enjoyed high popularity.
- Bosconian — Boskonian
- I-Type missile — Eich
- P-Type missile — Ploor
- E-Type misslle — Eddore
In Namco Museum Volume 1 for the Playstation, the picture gallery for Bosconian listed the missiles as this:
G-Type-Green Space Station