Lost In Translation/Paperboy

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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.

Paperboy marquee.
Paperboy title screen.
Paperboy control panel.
Manufacturer Atari Games
Released 1984
Analog joystick
2 Button(s)
Main CPU T11 (@ 10.000 MHz)
M6502 (@ 1.790 MHz)
Sound CPU Stereo
YM2151 (@ 3.580 MHz)
(2x) POKEY (@ 1.790 MHz)
TMS5220 (@ 625.000 kHz)
Raster (Horizontal)
512 x 384 pixels
60.00 Hz
256 Palette colours
Screens 1
ROM Info 26 ROMs
581,632 bytes (568.00 KiB)
MAME ID Paperboy · paperbr1 · paperbr2

About The Game

Paperboy is an arcade video game where your main objective is to deliver papers to your customers from Monday through Sunday, eventually completing an entire week of delivery Successfully completing an entire week of deliveries concludes the game.

You begin the game with ten customers and ten non-customers. Your customers live in the brightly colored houses; non-customers live in dark colored houses. To deliver to a customer, you must throw a paper either on their porch or into their mailbox. Failure to deliver a paper to a customer results in the loss of that customer on the next day. Any damage done to a customer's property also results in the loss of that customer. Losing all ten of your customers will get you fired and your game is over. However, each time you deliver to all your customers you will receive a Perfect Delivery Bonus for that day. And, if you have previously lost any of your ten customers, you will get one of them back as a re-subscriber.

Non-customers' houses and yards are loaded with targets at which to throw your extra papers (windows, lamps, statues, etc.). Upon hitting any of these targets, its respective point value goes into the Breakage Bonus, which is displayed at the top center of the screen. The Breakage Bonus is awarded to the player at the end of each day (or at the end of the game-whichever comes first).

If you lose a customer, that customer's house will be dark colored the next day. As a non-subscriber, this house now presents more targets at which to throw for building up your Breakage Bonus.

Paperboy can carry a maximum of ten papers at a time, but can restock his supply by riding over paper bundles placed here and there on his route. A paper supply indicator is displayed underneath the player's score.

While riding down the street, Paperboy must avoid collisions with all stationary objects and other characters moving about the neighborhood. To avoid collisions, Paperboy can ride his bike anywhere - on the sidewalk, in the street, or into front yards. A collision with anything results in the loss of a life.

The large cast of colorful characters make it increasingly more difficult for Paperboy to make his way down the street. Eventually, the player must develop great skill in maneuvering Paperboy to avoid street traffic, dogs, cats, various pedestrians, etc. In addition, many of the houses have certain characters associated with them. Non-subscribers are hostile to Paperboy and will attack him and try to knock him down. If you damage a subscriber's property, that character may also attack. So the more customers you lose, the more hostile the neighborhood gets toward Paperboy, and the tougher it becomes to avoid all the characters that are out to get Paperboy.

At the end of each delivery day, you have a chance to sharpen your skills by guiding Paperboy through the Paperboy Training Grounds. This obstacle course is filled with various targets at which to throw and jumps to make. You can't lose lives in this bonus round - any collision just ends the training course segment, after which you move on to the next delivery day. You must move fast through this course and try to cross the finish line before the time at the top of the screen runs out.

At the start of each day, a map of your route is displayed to indicate subscriber and non-subscriber houses. This map is helpful in reminding you of what customers you may have lost on the previous day and the location of your remaining customers.

Select a Street. At the start of each game, you will be presented with a chance to choose your paper route - Easy Street, Middle Road, or Hard Way. Each of these streets has distinctly different house designs and character appearance. Also, each street differs in its aggressiveness (scores are doubled on Middle Road, tripled on Hard Way) and has a unique training course at the end of each day.

You will find that the different streets require different skill levels. One may call for a good deal of throwing accuracy, another lots of tricky maneuvering, and the third a combination of all skills. It's really three games in one.


Released in December 1984.

On Monday, June 30, 1986; Mr. Mark Caesar and Mr. Robin Hallingstad filed a suit against Atari Games Corp. for $1 million plus profits alleging that the company stole the idea for a video game that was marketed by the name of Paperboy. The boys had submitted to Atari a detailed proposal for a similar game in July 1983.

After a score of 10,000,000 or more is achieved, the initial in the top 10 ranking merges with the score to produce a truly impressive score display. For example, if you had top score at 10,000,000, this would appear as '110,000,000'.

The default high score screen of "Cyberball 2072" features names of many Atari arcade games, including Paperboy.

Phil Britt holds the official record for this game ('Grand Slam' score of all three streets combined) with 1,136,435 points.

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

Tips and tricks

  1. Be careful not to move too slowly - swarms of bees or nasty whirlwinds may come to push you along.
  2. Develop skill in maneuvering in and out of tight situations using the handlebar control.
  3. Build up your Breakage Bonus by riding over flowers in non-subscribers' yards.
  4. Some players prefer to lose many of their customers so they can do more 'trashing'. Others like to try for Perfect Deliveries. See which strategy scores highest for you.
  5. Try hitting characters with papers - you might be pleased with the results!
  6. Dirt piles in the streets can be used for making jumps, which will also score points


  1. Paperboy (1984)
  2. Paperboy II (1992, Sega Mega Drive)
  3. Paperboy (1999, Nintendo 64)


Designed & Programmed By
John Salwitz
Dave Ralston
Russel Dawe (Rusty)
Game Art By
Doug Snyder
Sound By
Hal Canon
Animation By
Will Noble

Cabinet and Artwork


Box art for Encore's re-release port of Paperboy.
Nintendo Famicom (1988)
Sega Master System
Atari Lynx (1990)
Nintendo Game Boy (1990)
Sega Mega Drive (1990)
Sega Game Gear (1992)
Sony PlayStation (1998, "Arcade's Greatest Hits - The Atari Collection 2")
Nintendo Game Boy Color (1999)
Sega Dreamcast (2000, "Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits Volume 2")
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, "Paperboy / Rampage")
Tandy Color Computer (1985, "Paper Route")
Commodore 16 (1986)
Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1986)
Commodore C64 (1986)
Amstrad CPC (1987) [Elite Systems]
PC [MS-DOS] (1988)
Atari ST (1989)
Commodore Amiga ("Paperboy", 1989, Elite)
PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (1998, "Arcade's Greatest Hits : The Atari Collection 2")
PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2004, "Midway Arcade Treasure")
Tiger Handheld LCD Game (1988)
Mobile Phones (2006)

Soundtrack Releases

Album Name Catalogue No. Released Publisher Comments
That's Atari Music Vol.II -G.S.M. ATARI GAMES 2- PCCB-00070[1] 1991-09-21 Pony Canyon/Scitron CD version.
That's Atari Music Vol.II -G.S.M. ATARI GAMES 2- SCDC-00314[2] 2003-12-03 Scitron Digital Content Inc. CD version.
The Z-Show Gold Collection CZCD 021[3] 2007-07-13 Binary Zone Interactive 2 CD version.
Arcade Ambiance 1986 N/A[4] 2004-08-27 Andy Hofle Digital download only.

Sound Comparison

Platform Song Titles Sound Source
Arcade Pick A Street Main BGM Course Intro & Course BGM Course Complete Subscription Cancelled Game Over Hiscore You're Fired (1) You're Fired (2) You're Fired (3) M1 v0.7.8a6 & MAME 0.125

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.