Boot Hill [No. 612]

The Arcade Video Game by Midway Mfg. Co.

Boot Hill [No. 612] screenshot



Emulated in MAME ! Coin-Operated Arcade Video Game

Boot Hill © 1977 Midway.

A classic 1 or 2-player western gunfight game, featuring a monochrome display overlaid via mirror onto back-lit plastic background. Each player uses a small joystick to move their cowboy up and down the play area, while a second, much larger joystick is used to aim the pistol and shoot - this larger stick also has a trigger button. The game's single goal is simply to shoot the other player, who is situated on the opposite side of the game area. Wagons and cacti litter the middle of the play area, providing temporary cover from the opponent's gunfire (while, of course, providing the opponent with cover from the PLAYER'S shots). These obstacles slowly disintegrate as they are shot; much like the shields in Taito's "Space Invaders".

Boot Hill is time-based NOT life based, with the factory default set at ninety seconds. This is, of course, operator adjustable via the dip settings. The computer opponent is quite easy to beat with a little practice, but a human opponent provides a much stronger challenge.


Boot Hill [No. 612] the  Arcade Video Game
Click to enlarge
(members only)
Game No. 612

This game was released in an upright dedicated cabinet, mostly yellow, but it was covered with stencil style painted cowboy sideart that showed two different cowboys on each side. The front of the machine had a few more cowboys painted on it (one with a black hat and one with a white hat). There was no marquee at all, the game had its title printed on the monitor bezel, which also showed a detailed cartoon scene of a few cowboys shooting it out in a graveyard on top of a hill. The game used a 23'' monochrome open frame monitor that was buried deep within the machine.

Cabinet dimensions : 26'' (66cm) Wide x 24'' (61cm) Deep x 67'' (170cm) High.

Main CPU : Intel 8080 (@ 1.9968 Mhz)
Sound Chips : Discrete

Screen orientation : Horizontal
Video resolution : 256 x 224 pixels
Screen refresh : 60.00 Hz
Palette colors : 2

Players : 2
Control : 2-way joystick, 8-way joystick


Boot Hill was released in March 1977.

On the surface, Boot Hill seemed to represent quite a leap forward in technological terms. The highly detailed and colourful backdrop was very striking for the time. It was, of course, achieved with something far simpler than a technological leap forward; the wholly unscientific method of having a drawn, printed backdrop over which the in-game monochrome graphics were projected, via a large mirror.

This game was one of several early video and non-video arcade games to feature, albeit briefly, in George Romero's horror movie classic 'Dawn of the Dead' (1977) - the sequel to 1968's 'Night of the Living Dead'. The scene, occurring roughly halfway through the film, features four survivors of a zombie holocaust who are seeking refuge from hordes of the walking dead in a giant shopping mall; which, of course, just happens to have an arcade. The version of Boot Hill played in the movie seems to be without the backdrop.


1. Gun Fight (1975)
2. Boot Hill [No. 612] (1977)


Designed and programmed by : Dave Nutting, Alan McNeil

Game's ROM.
Game's picture.

Page last modified on November 08, 2012