Lost In Translation/Phoenix

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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.

Phoenix marquee.
No screen shot.
Phoenix control panel.
Manufacturer Amstar
Released 1980
2-way Joystick
2 Button(s)
Main CPU 8085A (@ 2.750 MHz)
Sound CPU Mono
TMS36XX (@ 0.372 kHz)
Custom (@ 120.000 kHz)
Raster (Vertical)
248 x 208 pixels
60.00 Hz
256 Palette colours
Screens 1
ROM Info 14 ROMs
25,088 bytes (24.50 KiB)
MAME ID phoenix · batman2 · condor · falcon · falcona · griffon · phoenix3 · phoenixa · phoenixc · phoenixt · vautour · vautour2

About The Game

Phoenix is an arcade video game shoot-em-up.

There are 5 basic stages to-each round of play. After a melodious introduction, the first stage begins with a wave of 16 small Phoenixes attacking the spaceship. They drop missiles and dive at the spaceship, in an effort to destroy it.

The spaceship manoeuvres left and right, evading the missiles and birds, and fires rockets, attempting to destroy the birds.

The spaceship can utilize the 'Force Field' as a means of protection from the missiles and birds, and can destroy the Phoenixes by colliding with them while in the Force Field. The Force Field only lasts a few seconds and then cannot be used for approximately 5 seconds afterwards.

After the first wave of Phoenixes is destroyed, a second wave appears, and can be destroyed in the same manner as in the first stage.

The 3rd stage begins with a wave of eight Eggs that are transformed into blue Phoenix birds that attack the spaceship. These birds can be destroyed by rocket fire from the spaceship. If the rocket hits the bird on centre, the bird is destroyed. If the rocket hits the bird to the left or right of centre, only that wing of the bird is destroyed. The wing will regenerate itself in a short time.

After all the blue Phoenixes have been shot down, the fourth stage appears on the screen. Two banks of eggs appear (four eggs in each row), and are transformed into pink Phoenixes, and can be destroyed in the same manner as the blue birds.

The 5th stage is the attack of the space fortress, which sends down waves of small birds to attack the spaceship, in addition to direct missile fire from the space fortress. Spaceship rocket fire can penetrate and break down the protective barrier shielding the space creature in the space fortress. The fifth stage is completed when the rocket from the spaceship destroys the space creature and the space fortress with a direct hit.

Additional Technical Information

Players : 2

Buttons : 2 (FIRE, SHIELD)


Released in December 1980.

Phoenix was the first multi-level space shooter and also the first shooter to include bosses. Despite its hardware issues, Phoenix's many game-play innovations ensured that it now is rightly regarded as a classic and, along with Taito's "Space Invaders" and Namco's "Pac-Man" shares the dubious honour of being one of the most cloned games of the 1980s; with numerous console and home computer 'tributes' appearing.

Mark Gotfraind holds the official record for this game with 987,620 points.

Official releases :

  • Phoenix (Amstar Electronics Corp.)
  • Phoenix [Maxi model] (Centuri, Inc.)
  • Phoenix [Upright model] (Centuri, Inc.)
  • Phoenix [Japanese Cocktail Table] (Taito Corp.)

Bootlegs/hacks :

  • Phoenix (Irecsa G.G.I Corp.)
  • Phoenix (T.P.N.)
  • Griffon (Videotron)
  • Falcon (BGV)
  • Vautour (Jeutel)
  • Condor (Sidam)
  • Batman Part 2


Scoring is a little complicated in this game due to the fact it depends on hits made and how close the Phoenix's are to your fighter:

  • Phoenix fighters : 20, 40, or 80 points; 200 points if flying as a bird.
  • Phoenix birds : 50 or 100 points/egg, 100 - 800 points/bird (depends on how many wings shot off and distance from fighter).
  • Space fortress : 800 - 9200 points (depends on the amount of damage to the spaceship, speedof destruction, as well as the number of spaceships destroyed). Usually, first 9 spaceships would increase by a thousand, then will be followed by nine 9000 point spaceships, then back to the first nine set, etc.

Tips and tricks

When you start the game, your fighter will be in the middle at the bottom of the screen. You will see a formation of enemy fighters at the top of the screen. This is the beginning of wave 1. A quick note about the shield. It lasts a couple of seconds and takes about five seconds to regenerate again.

Waves 1 & 2

  1. You will usually be attacked by multiple fighters at any one time. The movements of these fighters is pretty random.
  2. In addition to dropping bombs on your fighter, Phoenix fighters also tend to try to ram your fighter.
  3. After you clear out a few fighters, they will reassemble at the top of the screen. They will then move in synch with each other as they creep to the bottom of the screen.
  4. Sometimes a Phoenix fighter will hover right above your ship. If you're quick, you can get off a quick shot and move away before a bomb can be dropped on you.
  5. If multiple Phoenix fighters are at your level, use the shield to clear a path through them.

Waves 3 & 4

  1. The Phoenixes in wave 3 enter the screen in a zig-zag pattern while the Phoenixes in wave 4 arrive in a cross-over pattern of four Phoenixes per side.
  2. Once they get large, they start to do erratic zig-zag patterns across the screen. At the same time, they are dropping bombs toward your fighter. Your goal is to shoot off their wings. If you do this, it forces them to go straight down until the wing regenerates. They will still be dropping bombs, but at least they will be going straight down.
  3. If at all possible, try to hit the Phoenixes when they are close to your ship. Doing this gets you more points.
  4. In addition, try to shoot off both wings before destroying a Phoenix for more points.

Wave 5

  1. Your goal on this wave is to cut through the hull and shield and take out the alien inside.
  2. Start firing as rapidly as you can to quickly cut through the hull. It will take quite a few shots to get to the shield.
  3. The shield rotates so you will have to hit it a lot of times in order to get a wide enough hole in it to hit the alien.
  4. As all of this is going on, the Space fortress is continually descending upon your ship. In addition, the escorts are constantly harassing you.
  5. A good strategy is that once you have cut a path through the hull and shield, wait for the Space fortress to be almost on top of your ship. When you take out the alien, you will get a lot more points.
  6. Destroying the escorts does not end this wave. Once you complete wave 5, the cycle begins anew.

During the game three birds will attack all in a line. Let those birds fly all the way to the bottom and start to fly back up. As they are flying up, shoot all three in a row real quick (2 or 3 seconds) and you score will elevates your score to 204,000 regardless of what your current score is - The best way to get this bonus for shooting the three birds in a line is on the second stage of level 2. The blue and pink birds in an oval shape. Just wait, not firing at the bottom of the screen. A single bird will come down, fanny around and then fly back up, then 4 birds will fly down together in a line. When they start to fly back up - blast three of them for the bonus. It works best here because of the rapid fire allowed on this and every other 2nd stage. In addition, accomplishing the trick a second time again puts your score at 204,000, even if your score was higher.


  1. Phoenix (1980)
  2. Pleiads (1981)

Cabinet and Artwork


Atari 2600 (1982)
Emerson Arcadia (1982, "Space Vultures")
Sony PlayStation 2 (2005, "Taito Legends") (US & Europe)
Microsoft XBOX (2005, "Taito Legends") (US & Europe)
Sony PlayStation 2 (2007, Taito Memories II Vol. 2") (Japan only)
ZX-Spectrum ("Pheenix", 1983, Megadodo)
BBC B (1983, "EagleEmpire") : Alligata.
Tandy Color Computer (1983, "Demon Seed")
Commodore C64 (1984, "Eagle Empire")
Apple II ("Falcon")
PC [MS Windows] (2005, "Taito Legends") (US & Europe)
Arcade Legends : Space Invaders TV Game (2004 - Radica Games)

Soundtrack Releases

Album Name Catalogue No. Released Publisher Comments
Arcade Ambiance 1981 N/A[1] 2002-01-01 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.