Lost In Translation/Head On

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Out Run (Sinclair ZX Spectrum version)

This page is a stub for arcade games that are part of the Lost In Translation series using information based on MAME (version 0.113u2).
For an example of preferred content and layout please refer to Out Run or The Ninja Warriors.

Head On
Head On marquee.
No title screen.
Head On control panel.
Manufacturer Gremlin
Released 1979
4-way Joystick
1 Button(s)
Main CPU Z80 (@ 1.934 MHz)
Sound CPU Mono
Raster (Horizontal)
256 x 224 pixels
60.00 Hz
Palette colours
Screens 1
ROM Info 10 ROMs
7,264 bytes (7.09 KiB)
MAME ID headon · headonb

About The Game

Head On is a 2-D maze racing arcade video game.

You control your car through the maze to pick up the dots while at the same time avoiding the car, or cars, that are constantly trying to ram you. Successfully get through one maze and many more await you. This is good practice for freeway driving in the big city.


Released during April 1979. Head On was another in a short line of arcade games made by the partnership of Sega and Gremlin. Although Gremlin eventually went out of business, Sega continued to produce arcade games. Other notable games produced by this partnership include "Deep Scan", "Astro Blaster", and "Frogger".

The game Head On is reputed to be the first game in which the player must eat all of the dots in order to progress to the next level - one year before "Pac-Man", Head On was the first 'eat-the-dots'-style game. The game itself didn't do that great but it did help establish Sega as an arcade machine maker. Other games that came out didn't really allow this game to go far. "Asteroids" and "Space Invaders", to name a couple, were still the big money makers.

Chris Ayra holds the official record for this game with 300,000 points.

A bootleg was made by Sidam under the same name.

A bootleg of this game is known as "Super Crash".


Dots - 5 points. There are 140 dots per maze to clear giving you 700 points per maze.

Tips and tricks

  • When you start the game, your car will be located in the open space in the middle of the bottom of the screen in lane one. The jam car will be located in the middle left of the screen in lane one. On the higher levels, they will progress through lanes one, two, and/or three. As you progress through the levels, the number or speed of the jam cars increases. Here is the breakdown :
    • Level 1 : One Slow Jam Car
    • Level 2 : One Fast Jam Car
    • Level 3 : Two Slow Jam Cars
    • Level 4 : Two Fast Jam Cars
    • Level 5 : Three Slow Jam Cars
    • Level 6 and beyond : Three Fast Jam Cars
  • Always be aware of where the Jam Car(s) is/are located. They can only make one lane change at a time but that lane change may be into your lane.
  • The faster you go, the fewer lanes you can cross. At full acceleration, you will only be able to change one lane at a time. In the earlier levels, this will be fine since you will only be dealing with one car. In the multiple Jam Car levels, this can be a very bad thing. Decelerate (take your finger off the accelerate button) to go across multiple lanes.
  • The Jam Car(s) always travel in a clockwise motion while you travel in a counterclockwise motion. Remember that so that you don't get confused when there are multiple cars in the maze. Also, the color of the Jam Car is red while yours is white.
  • Don't try to get all the dots on one of the lanes. You need to anticipate where your next move is well before you enter the lane change area since you cannot change lanes at any other time. Sometimes, on the earlier levels, it is best to do a staggered type dot pickup where you do lane one, change to lane two, to lane three, lane four, lane five, then back to lane one. If you time it right, the Jam Car or Cars will still be in the maze.
  • Don't let the speed of the Jam Car(s) throw you. Just plan to be out of your lane and in the lane change area before them. If both cars enter at the same time, you run a big risk of a collision.
  • Since the game isn't timed, take your time planning on how you will take care of the dots. Don't take chances since you will have to restart the level if your car gets destroyed.


  1. Head On (1979)
  2. Head On 2 (1979)

Cabinet and Artwork


Nintendo Game Boy (1990)
Sega Saturn (1997, "Sega Memorial Selection Vol.1")
Commodore C64 (1982)
Apple II
VTech Laser-VZ ("Crash")
Mobile phones (2001)

The contents of this page are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
The sources used include MAME (version 0.113u2) and history.dat (revision 1.28 - 2008-10-18).
Please see http://www.arcade-history.com for credits.