Lost In Translation/Sinistar

From ExoticA
Out Run (Arcade version)
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.

Sinistar marquee.
No screen shot.
Sinistar control panel.
Manufacturer Williams
Released 1982
Analog joystick
2 Button(s)
Main CPU M6809 (@ 1.000 MHz)
M6808 (@ 894.750 kHz)
Sound CPU Mono
Raster (Vertical)
292 x 240 pixels
60.10 Hz
16 Palette colours
Screens 1
ROM Info 18 ROMs
66,560 bytes (65.00 KiB)
MAME ID sinistar · sinista1 · sinista2

About The Game

Sinistar is multi-directional scrolling arcade video game shoot-em-up.

YOUR INTERGALACTIC CRYSTAL-MINING MISSION takes you to the antipodes of the known universe. But your parametric DeepSpace scanner faithfully displays the sector of the galaxy you presently occupy (including an area fully 3 parsecs across, no less)!

KEEP THE GALAXY SAFE for all it's sinizens! Fiendish Worker ships from the planet Sporg will attempt to fabricate a Sinistar from the remains of derelict planetoids in your very sector. You must not let them do this for two reasons :

  1. These planetoids contain the life-sustaining crystals that your civilisation requires for its vital technologies.
  2. With the eminently unstable Sinistar in their possession, the Sprogites can lay waste to any civilization in your sector. You alone stand in their way.

YOU MUST MINE THE SINISITE CRYSTALS. Williams has equipped you with the latest heuristic electret cannon technology. All you need to do is aim at a planetoid and shoot. Now collect your motherlode!

IN FACT, ONLY WITH SINISITE CAN YOU MANUFACTURE SINIBOMBS to eradicate the Sinistar. But you must also rebuff the Workers and disintegrate their even more aggressive comrades-at-arms, the evil skelomorphic Warriors! Intelligent beings everywhere depend on your courage, your dedication, your reserve, your shrewd command of tactical invention! It's up to you space cadet!

Additional Technical Information

Players : 2

Control : 8-way joystick

Buttons : 2

=> [1] FIRE, [2] SINIBOMB


Released in February 1983.

Also released as :

  • "Sinistar [Cockpit model]"
  • "Sinistar [DuraMold model]"

This game was originally going to be called "Juggernaut", then "Darkstar". The prototype version called Sinistar is a machine that was displayed at the November 1982 AMOA show in Las Vegas. The revision 2 was the most common version of the game.

The game is jokingly referred to as 'Opie-Star' at Williams' offices, because Sinistar's 'Run, Coward!' taunt sounded like he's saying 'Ron Howard' (acclaimed actor and director).

Sinistar's phrases :

  • 'Beware, I live'
  • 'I hunger'
  • 'I hunger, coward'
  • 'Beware, coward'
  • 'Run, coward'
  • 'Run, run, run'
  • 'I am Sinistar'

A Sinistar unit appears in the 1983 movie 'WarGames'.

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



  • The Sinistar logo in the attract mode uses a Rocky-Horror-esque 'dripping blood' font.
  • The letter 'T' shows up behind the 'dripping blood' logo, possibly part of the trademark?.
  • The Sinistar death sequence sometimes occurs off-screen.
  • There seem to be more crystals per planetoid than in the release revision.
  • Missing the 'set attract mode message' option in the game adjustments screen.
  • High score entry uses fire to advance to the next character, rather than the joystick.
  • Warping to the next level can occur in any direction, not just upper-right.
  • Sinistar's 'roar' occurs multiple times in rapid succession, cutting off each time he is hit by a sinibomb.
  • When a player's ship is destroyed by the Sinistar, it explodes rather than spinning out first.
  • After defeating Sinistar, his face outline doesn't appear in the center of the screen.
  • You can set the extra ship points AND extra ship point factors to ZERO. As soon as you get a point, the game program gets caught in an infinite loop. You'll also hear an EXTENDED extra ship noise. You can break the loop by hitting advance and looking at ALL the extra ships you just received.
  • Stuff (like the Sini-bombs, warriors and even the Sinistar himself (if it has a gender)) doesn't travel well from scanner to playfield and these objects can make quick second passes and sometimes even just skip the playfield all together.
  • Survivors Today Has the following initials when tables are cleared : YYY XYS MAA AAA AAA AAA BDG MAA AAA AAA ABC EJS MAA AAA AAA RED HPG MAA AAA AAB CFL XYS MAA AAA AAB DGN DBG MAA AAA BCE.
  • Scores start at 19045 and are listed with the following algorithm (-265, -365, -265, repeat).


  • Added 'Set Attract mode message' option in the game adjustments menu.
  • The Survivors Today has the following initials (the initial are mostly those of the people who contributed programming, artwork, sound, play-testing or ideas (or a little of each)). Note : They keep the same order, but rotate position every time the machine is reset. :
Initials Name
N-F Noah Falstein
KJF Ken Fedesna
KAG Ken Graham
FRG ???
YAK ???
JJK John Kotlarik
KFL Ken Lantz
PJM Pam McMahon
DOC ???
JLM John Meissen
E-Z Mike Metz
=M= ???
TIM Tim Murphy
JRN John Newcommer
TOM ???
PFZ Bill Pfutzenreuter
RTP ???
BFD Dave Rzepka
MBS ???
MRS Mike Stroll
EJS ???
STU ???
WIT Rich Witt
MOM ???
FAC ???
GOD ???
KAY ???
HEC ???
SAM Sam Dicker
KYD ???


  • Latest revision.
  • Some bugs fixed.


Target Points
Planetoid 5
Worker 150
Crystal 200
Warrior 500
Sinistar Piece 500
Destroying Sinistar 15,000

Tips and tricks

Programming Credits And Williams Message

  1. Set lives to 1 (this is optional, it merely saves time).
  2. Insert one credit.
  3. Bump into a Planetoid (rock).
  4. Push the fire button 7 times.
  5. Avoid Planetoids and Workers, don't fire at anything and get shot by a Warrior. If you set lives to 1, the game will now be over. If not, lose all lives in this manner until the game ends.
  6. Enter initials.
  7. Press the 2 Player button 3 times, then insert one coin and start a new 1 Player game.
  8. Don't move or fire, just push the Sinibomb button once. There are now two messages which can be displayed for the credits.
  9. Insert 3 coins, then push the Sinibomb button again. The 'crossword' credits should now be displayed.
  10. For the Williams Electronics message simply end the game by getting shot without hitting a Planetoid or firing, then push the 1 Player button to display the message.

255 Lives Trick

This little trick is harder than the game itself, but worth it if you pull it off. On your last man, make sure a warrior fires at you just as Sinistar sucks you in. As the Sinistar sucks you in, you will lose your last man, but when the warrior's bullet hits you, you will have one less than zero ships.

Note : The warriors stop shooting as soon as you are 'caught' by Sinistar. The game was programmed this way, to prevent you from dying twice. Since you are trying to die twice, you have to let a warrior shoot at you, before you get sucked in, then hope that the shot hits you after you have been sucked in. This is very tricky.

Note 2 : 8-bit processors can only handle values from 0-255, for a total of 256 values. Therefore, 'one less than zero ships' will roll around to 255.


Project Leader & Co-designer
Noah Falstein (N-F)
Lead Programmer
Sam Dicker (SAM)
Robert J. Mical
Richard A. Witt (WIT)
Original Design & Storyline
John Newcomer (JRN)
Artwork / Graphics
Jack E. Haeger
Sound Effects By
Michael Metz (E-Z)
Hardware Designers
Rich Grande
Greg Wepner
Leo Ludzia
Gary Berge
Tech. Support By
John Meissen (JLM)

Cabinet and Artwork


Atari 2600 (1984) (Prototype only - was never released.)
Nintendo Super Famicom (1996, "Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits")
Sega Mega Drive (1996, "Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits")
Sega Saturn (1996, "Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits")
Sony PlayStation (1996, "Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits")
Nintendo 64 (2000, "Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits Volume I")
Sega Dreamcast (2000, "Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits Vol. 1")
Nintendo Game Boy Advance (2001, "Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits")
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")
Tandy Color Computer 3 (1989, "Sinistaar")
PC [MS-DOS] (1995, "Williams Arcade Classics")
PC [MS Windows] (1996, "Williams Arcade Classics")
PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2004, "Midway Arcade Treasure")
Palm OS ("Midway Arcade Classic")
Tiger Game.Com ("Arcade Classics")

Soundtrack Releases

Album Name Catalogue No. Released Publisher Comments
Arcade Ambiance 1983 N/A[1] 2003-01-01 Andy Hofle Digital download only.


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.