Lost In Translation/Tapper

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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.

Tapper marquee.
No screen shot.
Tapper control panel.
Manufacturer Bally Midway
Released 1983
4-way Joystick
1 Button(s)
Main CPU Z80 (@ 5.000 MHz)
Z80 (@ 2.000 MHz)
Sound CPU Stereo
(2x) AY-3-8910A (@ 2.000 MHz)
Raster (Horizontal)
512 x 480 pixels
30.00 Hz
64 Palette colours
Screens 1
ROM Info 19 ROMs
237,600 bytes (232.03 KiB)
MAME ID tapper · rbtapper · sutapper · tappera

About The Game

Tappper is an arcade video game where the player takes on the role of an overworked bartender, serving beer to the ever-thirsty patrons that populate his bar.

All customers must be served before they work their way up to the beer kegs. Empty glasses must also be collected before they slide off the end of the bar and smash to the floor. Extra points are awarded for collecting tips, while bonus rounds involve locating the one beer that has not been shaken, and serving it. The game features 4 different levels :

  1. Cowboys
  2. Athletes
  3. Punk Rockers
  4. Aliens


Released in December 1983.

There were 2 other versions of Tapper: "Root Beer" (01/1984) and "Suntory" (Japan, Game ID : 834-5385 / 834-5387). The Suntory version was a Sega board, Suntory is a Japanese beer (see "Updates" section for more information).

The main character in the game (as well as the main character of two other Bally Midway games; "Domino Man", and "Timber") is based on a Marvin Glass employee called Mike Ferris, who had the same distinctive moustache and bald head and reputedly wore a red T-shirt all of the time.

The music for the third stage (the punk bar) was loosely inspired by new wave music group Devo's song 'Workin' in the Coal Mine'.

Tapper was play tested in a Chicago-area Rush Streetbar called 'The Snuggery' and received much positive feedback from the bar's patrons. Digitized belches were originally going to be used in the game, but, perhaps thankfully, they never made it into the final version.

The cabinet is designed to resemble a real bar - replete with a brass foot rail and two brass drink or ashtray holders (one on each side of the control panel). The cabinet and game-play on the beer version features the Budweiser logo. The pour spouts have mock-up Budweiser handles that closely resemble the Budweiser taps that appear in real bars throughout the world.

Approximately 3,300 Tapper uprights were made and around the first 100 or so were released with colour side art. About 300 cocktail machines were also made.


  • Root Beer version is almost identical to the Budweiser version, except the player is a soda jerk serving non-alcoholic root beer.
  • Suntory version has different graphics and most likely different music.


Action Points
Serving a cowboy/girl patron with beer 50
Serving a sports bar patron with beer 75
Serving a punk patron with beer 100
Serving an alien patron with beer 150
Collecting an empty beer glass 100
Collecting a tip left on the bar 1,500
Guessing the correct can on the bonus screen 3,000

Tips and tricks

  • Take your time in the first few levels. You can make a high score by leaving one person and waiting for more people.
  • The last guy in the row will almost always leave a tip.
  • If a person leaves the bar in the first level you get 50 points but, if you let them get close to the end of the bar, they will drink the beer and stay. It's 100 for getting the empty mug.
  • The longer you stay in the level, the faster the people and mugs move.

Easter Egg

In the attract mode, wait until the word Tapper is filling up with beer, and hold down the joystick, both taps, and the player 1 & 2 buttons. You will then see the names of the game designers.


Designed & Programmed By
Steve Meyer
Graphics By
Scott Morrison
Sounds By
Rick Hicaro
Support By
Elaine Ditton

Cabinet and Artwork


Colecovision (1983)
Atari 2600 (1983)
Atari XEGS
Sony PlayStation (1997, "Arcade's Greatest Hits - The Midway Collection 2")
Nintendo 64 (2000, "Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits Volume I")
Sony PlayStation 2 (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")
Nintendo GameCube (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")
Microsoft XBOX (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")
PC [Booter] (1983)
Commodore C64 (1984)
Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1985)
Atari 800
Apple II (Unreleased)
Amstrad CPC (1987, "Tapper - Official Arcade Game")
PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (1997, Arcade's Greatest Hits - The Midway Collection 2")
PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2004, "Midway Arcade Treasure")
Palm OS ("Midway Arcade Classic")

Soundtrack Releases

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