Lost In Translation/Super Cobra

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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.

Super Cobra
Super Cobra marquee.
No screen shot.
Super Cobra control panel.
Manufacturer Konami
Released 1981
8-way Joystick
2 Button(s)
Main CPU Z80 (@ 3.072 MHz)
Z80 (@ 1.790 MHz)
Sound CPU Mono
(2x) AY-3-8910A (@ 1.790 MHz)
Raster (Vertical)
256 x 224 pixels
60.61 Hz
99 Palette colours
Screens 1
ROM Info 12 ROMs
34,848 bytes (34.03 KiB)
MAME ID scobra · scobrab · scobras · scobrase

About The Game

Super Cobra is an horizontally scrolling arcade video game shoot-em-up.

The object of the game is to invade 10 SUPER COBRA defence systems of increasing difficulty and safely pick up the BOOTY.

Use the joystick to move up, down, accelerate and decelerate. Use the Laser and Bombs to destroy defenders. Hitting tanks scores Mystery Value worth 100, 200, or 300 points. Rockets, Tanks, Missiles, and UFO's may all fire at invader. Hit fuel tanks for extra fuel for CHOPPER. The Chopper uses up fuel as it flies, except in between defence levels.

At 10,000 points, the player is awarded a BONUS CHOPPER.

At the end of the game, the player can continue at the defence level he left off on by depositing extra coins and pressing the discharge button on the left-hand side of the panel.

If the Booty is destroyed on the BASE level, the player may try again. When the Booty is safely recovered, a Bonus Chopper is awarded and play resumes at defence level Number 1 where the fuel is used up faster and the defenders fire more often.

Super Cobra Defence Level Descriptions

  • Fuel Tanks appear on every defence level.
  • Tanks appear and fire on all levels except level 8 where they do not fire.
Level 1

Player must manoeuvre the chopper over mountainous terrain against fast and slow firing rockets.

Level 2

Chopper faces Arcing missiles over a mountain terrain.

Level 3

Smart Bombs flying in groups of 4 over mountainous terrain. Rockets appear, but do not fire.

Level 4

Single Smart Bombs over mountainous terrain. Again, Rockets appear but do not fire.

Level 5

Chopper flies through a cavern-like terrain against Falling Mines.

Level 6

Rapidly firing, Roving Tanks over mountainous terrain. Rockets appear, but do not fire.

Level 7

Manoeuvre through a field of meteors which explode when hit with bombs or 3 times with Laser, plus a single, green, shadow meteor directly in front of Chopper which explodes when hit 5 times with Laser. Rockets appear but do not fire.

Level 8

Chopper flies over mountainous terrain against rapidly firing UFO's. Tanks and Rockets appear, but do not fire.

Level 9

Chopper faces arcing missiles over tall buildings. Level 10-Firing rockets in a Building Maze.

Base - Player must manoeuvre the Chopper over tall buildings against arcing missiles and rapidly firing tanks to reach the Booty and safely carry it away.

Additional Technical Information

Players : 2

Control : 8-way joystick

Buttons : 2 (FIRE, BOMB)


Licensed to Stern (07/1981) and Sega.

Super Cobra came out at the same time as "Scramble". While Scramble only went through five areas to the base, Super Cobra went through ten areas. Super Cobra also had more enemies to deal with besides the missiles such as gun batteries and sidewinder missiles. The premise, though, is the same. Penetrate the enemy defences to make it to the base to pick up the booty. What do you have against all this defence, you have your Super Cobra of course. It will, though, require all of your skills as a pilot to be able to go the distance to get the booty. This game never gained the popularity of Scramble but it still remains a cult classic and actually seems to have had better staying power then Scramble. Perhaps the reason was because it was more of a challenge, who knows.

Super Cobra came in the standard 'Stern Cabinet' which was the same one used for "Scramble", "The End", "Berzerk", and many others. This title features painted 'Stern' side-art and uses a vertical monitor. The marquee is reddish and shows a helicopter, a few missiles and a very 70s looking 'Super Cobra' logo. The control panel uses a single 8-Way leaf switch joystick which is mounted centrally, FIRE and BOMB buttons are on either side (meaning you can play this title with either hand).

A bootleg was released the same year by Karateco.

A Super Cobra unit appears in the 1982 movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High".


10 points per second of flying.

Target Points
Missile on ground 30
Sidewinder missile on ground 40
Missile in air 50
Sidewinder missile in air 60
Red UFO 100
UFO 100
Fuel tank 50
Gun battery 100, 200, or 300
Green fireball 150
Missile in ceiling 30
Missile dropping from ceiling 50
Booty 800

Tips and tricks

When you start the game, your helicopter will be at the left side of the screen. Keep in mind, this is a scrolling game. This means you can go no faster then the right side and no slower then the left side. You can, however, vary your speed in-between by pushing the joystick back and forth. The biggest key in getting through this game is learning how to use the joystick to speed up and slow down because you will sometimes be put into some very tight areas that will require precision joystick control. You will hit a clear area and a message will come up such as '1000 miles cleared', '2000 miles cleared', etc... until your reach the base.

1st Area

This is a basic introductory area. It will allow you to get used to the controls while the threat level remains relatively low. The area is a mix of both mountainous and city: -

  1. Learn how to vary your speed and you can drop bombs with pinpoint precision. You can only have two bombs on the screen at any one time. You will have to go close to the surface to really make a difference. The biggest threat is the missiles that rise up to meet you.
  2. Fuel is a very precious commodity in this game. Don't take a chance trying to bomb a fuel tank. It's better, if you have a flat section, to take out what's under your rocket, and strafe the rest of the way. This way, you ensure you can hit the fuel tank or tanks.
  3. Watch the terrain. Sometimes you may be cruising when a mountain will appear suddenly requiring quick reflexes and space you may not have.
  4. You also need to watch out for ground fire from the gun batteries. They tend to fire random shots and if you aren't careful, they will hit your helicopter.

2nd Area

This area introduces you to the sidewinder missile. These missiles are unusual in the fact that they fire at an arc and come back down again. This means your helicopter can get hit two ways. Of course, if it misses your helicopter, it tends to sometimes be helpful by taking out other ground targets such as missiles and gun batteries. The terrain is mountainous: -

  1. Follow the same pattern as you did in the 1st Area. This time, you need to be wary of the sidewinder missiles.
  2. As always, make sure you keep a high fuel level and watch out for those gun batteries.

3rd Area

You get to deal with the red UFO's in this area. Also, the mountains will get steeper and create 'choke points' at the top of the screen. Of course, you will have to contend with the UFO's coming through the other side. The terrain is mountainous: -

  1. The red UFO's aren't too difficult to deal with. They have a tendency to stop in pairs, then come at your helicopter. Again, it's easy to shoot them down.
  2. The biggest threats are the 'choke points'. You usually will arrive at the same time as a UFO to see who's first over the mountain. This will require quick reflexes.
  3. Even though no missiles come up at you, the gun batteries will still harass you.

4th Area

This is a continuation of the 3rd Area. Except this time the area you are flying in is significantly narrowed to a point where it seems like you are going through natural caverns. Use the same methods as the 3rd Area.

5th Area

You will have to deal with threats both from above and below in this area. There are missiles in the ceiling of the caverns that will drop down. Although missiles aren't firing from the ground, you still have to deal with gun batteries. The terrain is mountainous and caves: -

  1. You will have to be real careful in this area, the missiles in the ceiling are pretty concentrated. You will have to be able to speed up and slow down on a dime to avoid them or to shoot them.
  2. Don't get too close to the ground since the terrain goes from mountains to canyons very quickly.
  3. As already mentioned, get fuel and avoid ground fire.

6th Area

The main threat in this area is the fact the gun batteries now move. That's right, they track right along with your helicopter until they hit an obstacle. They travel equally well in the canyons as well as the mountains. This makes them especially dangerous since they are firing at the same time: -

  1. You will have to accelerate and decelerate frequently to 'fool' the moving gun batteries.
  2. When you destroy ground targets, be selective in which ones you hit because if you hit targets in the path of the moving gun batteries, you just allow them to travel farther.

7th Area

This area is a little trickier since you now have fireballs coming at your helicopter. In addition, there is a green fireball that likes to track your helicopter and prevent your shots from gaining any distance. It takes seven shots to take out this fireball. The terrain is mountainous: -

  1. You will be staying in the valleys most of the time in this area. This is a good time to shoot things up on the ground since again, the missiles won't fly up at your helicopter. Gun batteries, though, will continue to harass you.
  2. Timing again is important in this area since there are hills in the valley you must cross over. Of course, the tops of these hills are exposed to the fireballs. Time it so that right after a fireball passes over a hill, accelerate and drop into the next valley. Then decelerate in preparation for the next hill.

8th Area

This is repeat of the 3rd area except this time you will be dealing with 'chains' of white UFO's. Use the same tactics as the 3rd Area.

9th Area

This is a very short city area. Just watch out for sidewinder missiles.

10th Area

This is the area that will get most players. The movements have to be precise in the caves or you will end up part of the wall: -

  1. Learn quickly when to accelerate and decelerate within the caves. Right when you come to a ledge, push the joystick all the way back and start lining up for the next cave. Accelerate quickly through it, decelerate and repeat this pattern.
  2. Don't worry about running out of fuel in the caves, there are plenty of fuel tanks to top your helicopter off. Plus, you will need all that fuel for not only navigating through the caves, but also the base since it doesn't have any fuel tanks.


This is the second hardest area that gets a lot of players. You have to be very precise in your movement. You will have to deal with gun batteries firing at you while you are trying to pick up the booty: -

  1. You will see the KONAMI sign atop one of the buildings. Once you see this, you need to decelerate rapidly and drop down quickly to the shorter building next to the base. Once you almost clear that building, you will have to rapidly decelerate, drop down, grab the booty, and rise quickly to avoid the building on the right.
  2. If you fail to grab the booty on a pass, the screen will repeat itself until you either destroy the base or run out of rockets to use on it.

Once you have completed the Base, the action goes back to the 1st Area again. Things, however, will speed up. Fuel consumption is quicker and the enemies also are faster.


  1. Scramble (1981)
  2. Super Cobra (1981)

Cabinet and Artwork


Entex Adventurevision (1982)
G7000 Videopac
Magnavox Odyssey 2 (1983, "Super Cobra" - Parker Brothers)
Mattel Intellivision (1983)
Colecovision (1983)
Atari 2600 (1983)
Atari 5200 (1983)
Atari XEGS
Sony PlayStation (1999, "Konami Arcade Classics")
Atari 800 (1983)
Amstrad CPC (1987, "Killer Cobra" - Mastertronic)
Commodore Plus/4 (1987)
VFD handheld game (1982, released by Entex)
VFD handheld game (19??, released by Gakken)

Soundtrack Releases

Album Name Catalogue No. Released Publisher Comments
Konami Special Music Golden Treasure Chest 220A-7721~3[1] 1989-12-21 King Records Inc. 3 CD version.


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.