Skull & Crossbones

The Arcade Video Game by Atari Games Corp.

Skull & Crossbones screenshot


Emulated in MAME ! Coin-Operated Arcade Video Game

Skull & Crossbones © 1989 Atari Games Corporation.

Skull & Crossbones is a swashbuckling adventure in which players portray two pirates competing for food, drink, booty, and revenge. Players use a joystick and button to control the unique sword-fighting action.

The game begins with an encounter with the evil Wizard, who robs our heroes of all of their booty. The pirates swear revenge and set off on a quest to destroy the Wizard and recover their treasure.

The adventure takes them around the world. The pirates battle the fierce captains and crews of opponent ships. They encounter the soldier guards and the merciless Executioner in the Spanish castle. In the ninja camp they fight the Ninja Master and his followers. On the beach the heroes encounter the dreaded Medusa and a horde of wicked skeletons that rise from the dead.

Finally, the pirates reach the Wizard's Island, where they must again do battle against the shadow figures of the Executioner, the Ninja Master, and the Medusa before they can fight face-to-face with the evil Wizard. If they make it to the throne room and overcome the Wizard, players are rewarded with a room full of treasure.

Players use a joystick and sword button in a combination of defensive and offensive maneuvers to battle the various enemies. Players can learn the lunge and back-slash, two. skilled sword-fighting moves that are the most effective.

In order to increase the long-term appeal of the game, players can select various difficulty levels of easy, medium, and hard to vary their paths through the game. By selecting the longer hard path, players are rewarded with more food, drink, and booty along the way.


Skull & Crossbones the  Arcade Video Game
Click to enlarge
(members only)
Game ID : 136072

Main CPU : Motorola 68000 (@ 7.15909 Mhz), MOS Technology 6502 (@ 1.7895 Mhz)
Sound Chips : Yamaha YM2151 (@ 3.579 Mhz), OKI6295 (@ 9.037 Khz)

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


Skull & Crossbones was released on September 29, 1989.

Only 65 dedicated game were produced in the USA. The selling price was $2295.
875 conversion kits were produced in the USA. The selling price was $1295. This kit was most evil, because it was one of the few kits that had a marquee and control panel overlay big enough to fit a "Dragon's Lair" machine (the marquee was even three-fold, just like the Dragon's Lair one). Most of these games were converted within months. Very few original games remain today, and Atari quickly dropped the game from their lineup.


• Build date : OS : 29SEP1989 16 :53 :40 / PG : 11OCT1989 11 :22 :07

• Build date : OS : 29SEP1989 16 :53 :40 / PG : 16OCT1989 10 :24 :08

• Build date : OS : 29SEP1989 16 :53 :40 / PG : 24OCT1989 15 :43 :18

• Build date : OS : 29SEP1989 16 :53 :40 / PG : 03NOV1989 11 :44 :33

• Build date : OS : 29SEP1989 16 :53 :40 / PG : 09NOV1989 17 :36 :00


• Stand over the white crossed bones that mark the spot of buried treasure and press the sword button to dig it up. Walk over the treasure to collect it.

• In order to get the highest score, first start the digging, then battle the opponents on each screen. Collect all the treasure before moving on to the next scene.

• The most difficult opponents in each wave (ship captains, Executioner, Ninja Master and Medusa) each protect a special treasure. By destroying these enemies, the players are given the special item that will protect them in the final round on the Wizard's Island. In a two-player game, the two players must duel over these special treasures.


Staff : Cris Drobny



Nintendo NES (1990)


Commodore C64 (1991)
Amstrad CPC (1991)
Atari ST (1991)
Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1991)

Game's picture.
Game's ROM.
Game's screenshots.
See goodies section.

Page last modified on March 19, 2014