Lost In Translation/Klax

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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.

Klax marquee.
No screen shot.
Klax control panel.
Manufacturer Atari Games
Released 1989
8-way Joystick
1 Button(s)
Main CPU 68000 (@ 7.159 MHz)
Sound CPU Mono
OKI6295 (@ 894.886 kHz)
Raster (Horizontal)
336 x 240 pixels
59.92 Hz
512 Palette colours
Screens 1
ROM Info 12 ROMs
786,432 bytes (768.00 KiB)
MAME ID klax · klax2 · klax3 · klaxd · klaxj · klaxp1 · klaxp2

About The Game

Klax is arcade video puzzle game.

The tiles klank end over end down the ramp. Catch them on the paddle, or they fall in the pit. Flip them from the paddle into the bins, matching the same-colored tiles horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Each line of colored tiles is a Klax. When you've made a Klax, you hear a fanfare. When you complete a wave, the crowd cheers. Let a tile fall in the pit, and you hear a scream as it falls in. If you fail to complete a wave, the crowd is disappointed. Stay alive, complete the waves and don't drop any tiles!

Catch the tiles as they come to the end of the ramp on the paddle. Flip a tile into a bin by pressing the start/flip button. Pull the joystick forward to increase the speed of the closest tile as it klanks down the ramp. Push the joystick back and toss the top tile on the paddle back on the ramp and gain a little time.

The paddle can hold up to five tiles. As long as the green light is on below the paddle, you can pile more tiles on the paddle. When the red light appears, you must flip at least one tile in a bin or toss it back on the ramp before you can collect any more tiles. You can flip tiles into a bin as long as the green light is on below the bin.

To succeed in Klax, make points and also complete each wave. Create a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row of at least three tiles (just like in tic-tac-toe) in the bins to make a Klax and make points. You receive the most points for diagonals, less for horizontals and the least for verticals. When you create a Klax, the tiles in the Klax disappear to make room for more tiles in the bins.

Each wave has a different task to be completed, which is shown on the To Go Meter. This task could be making a certain number of Klaxes or points or surviving a certain number of tiles. Complete the task before too many tiles drop in the pit and you complete the wave. When you complete a wave, you receive bonus points for the tiles remaining on the ramp, on the paddle, and any empty spaces in the bins. If you fail, you can start again at the same wave.

Klax does not have a clock for you to race against, but as your playing time increases, the tiles klank down the ramp faster and faster.

Waves : When you first enter the game, you can start at wave 1, 6, or 11. Wave 1 teaches you how to play the game and use the controls. At every fifth wave you can choose to play the next wave, the fifth wave beyond, or the tenth wave beyond.

Klax has five different types of waves and more than five different backgrounds. There are five waves per level, and one hundred waves to complete.

Each time you begin a wave, the To Go meter shows what kind of Klaxes or how many points you need to accumulate to complete the wave. The different types of waves are :

  • Klaxes To Go, which are the easiest. Just create Klaxes horizontally, vertically or horizontally. Create enough Klaxes to complete the wave before you drop too many tiles in the pit.
  • Tiles To Go requires you to survive a certain number of tiles. Create Klaxes in any of the three ways to collect points and to clear the bins to hold more tiles.
  • Points To Go requires you to make a certain number of points. Create Klaxes to collect points but make diagonals, four- or five-of-a-kind Klaxes, and simultaneous Klaxes for higher points.
  • Diagonals To Go requires you to create diagonals. Create Klaxes in any way to collect points; but only the correct number of diagonals will complete the wave.
  • Horizontals To Go requires you to create horizontals. Only horizontal Klaxes will complete the wave; but you can create Klaxes vertically and diagonally to collect points.

You see several kinds of information on the screen. These are the :

  • To Go Meter which continuously calculates the number of Klaxes, tiles, points, diagonals or horizontals still required to complete the wave. The number depends on the type of wave you are playing.
  • Drop Count, which shows the number of dropped tiles. The drop count is continuously calculated. When the number of tiles dropped is reached, the wave is over.
  • High Score, which shows the highest score to date, regardless of the number of continues that player had.
  • Wave Indicator, which shows what wave you are playing.


Dave Akers originally programmed this in AmigaBASIC, then ported it line-by-line to C. It was written in just a few weeks on "Escape From the Planet of the Robot Monsters" hardware.

A Klax machine was shown at the 2003 classic arcade games show 'California Extreme' in San Jose, California.


The prototype versions have different graphics, only one background with different palettes, and uglier tiles. Tiles sometimes look wrongly placed. When you throw the tile back, it's flying much further (approx. 6 seconds instead of 1). This version has 'By MSP and DSA' on the titlescreen.


Action Points
3 Vertical Klax 50
4 Vertical Klax 10,000
5 Vertical Klax 15,000
3 Horizontal Klax 1,000
4 Horizontal Klax 5,000
5 Horizontal Klax 10,000
3 Diagonal Klax 5,000
4 Diagonal Klax 10,000
5 Diagonal Klax 20,000
Large 'X' Klax 80,000
Big Sandwich 100,000 - 440,000


David S. Akers (DSA)
Brad Fuller
Tim Hubberstey (TJH)
Farrokh Khodadadi (FRK)
Pat McCarthy (PMC)
Jerry Momoda
Mark Stephen Pierce (MSP)
John Ray (RAY)
John Salwitz (JFS)

Cabinet and Artwork


Box art for the DoMark port of Klax.
NEC PC-Engine (1990)
Sega Mega Drive (1990)
Atari Lynx (1990)
Atari 2600 (1990)
Nintendo Famicom (1990)
Amstrad GX4000 (1990)
Nintendo Game Boy (1990)
Sega Game Gear (1991)
Sega Master System (1991)
Atari 7800 (1992) : unreleased.
Nintendo Game Boy Color (2000)
Sony PlayStation (2000, "Arcade Party Pak")
Sony PlayStation 2 (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")
Nintendo Gamecube (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")
Microsoft XBOX (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")
Sony PSP (2005, "Midway Arcade Treasures - Extended Play")
Nintendo Game Boy Advance (2005, "Marble Madness / Klax")
Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1990)
Commodore C64 (1990)
Amstrad CPC (1990)
Amstrad CPC+ (1990)
Commodore Amiga ("Klax", 1990, DoMark)
Atari ST (1990)
PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2004, "Midway Arcade Treasure")

Soundtrack Releases

Album Name Catalogue No. Released Publisher Comments
That's Atari Music -G.S.M. ATARI GAMES 1- PCCB-00066[1] 1991-07-21 Pony Canyon/Scitron CD version.
That's Atari Music -G.S.M. ATARI GAMES 1- SCDC-00313[2] 2003-12-03 Scitron Digital Content Inc. CD version.
Arcade Ambiance 1992 N/A[3] 2007-09-14 Andy Hofle Digital download only.

External Links


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.