Star Destroyer Bosconian [Upright model]

Arcade Video game published 42 years ago by NAMCO, Ltd.

Listed in MAME

Star Destroyer Bosconian [Upright model] screenshot

Star Destroyer Bosconian © 1981 Namco.

Bosconian is a multi-directional shoot-em-up set in space, in which the player pilots a small craft called the 'Star Fighter' and must destroy waves of green space stations that form part of a huge enemy fleet. Each station consists of six cannons arranged in a hexagon, surrounding a central core. To destroy a station, the player must either destroy all six cannons or shoot the core. The core can only be reached by precisely firing through a single, narrow channel that leads directly to it. In later rounds, the core is more heavily defended, with both a rotating shield and missiles. All enemy stations must be destroyed to progress to the next round.

Players must also avoid or destroy asteroids, mines, enemy missiles and fighter ships. The space stations will also occasionally launch squadrons of ships that attack in formation. Destroying the leader of a formation causes all remaining enemies to disperse but destroying all enemies in a formation scores extra bonus points.

A spy ship will often appear and if this is not destroyed quickly, the enemy alert level will change to red, and the alien ships will attack the player with much greater aggression and speed. The spy ships can be identified by their yellow and green coloring.

The game's three alert levels are:
* GREEN: No enemies are within view.
* YELLOW: A small number of enemies are present.
* RED: The enemy are aware of the player and will attack aggressively and at speed.

Although there is no in-game power-up available, the player's ship fires from both the front and rear simultaneously. A radar map to the right of the play area shows the position of the player ship relative to any remaining enemy space stations. Active enemy squadrons are also shown.


[Upright model]

Main CPU : Zilog Z80 (x3), MB88xx
Sound Chips : Namco 3-channel WSG, custom DAC (for speech), discrete circuitry (for the shot and explosions sounds)

Players : 2
Control : 8-way joystick
Buttons : 1 (FIRE)


Bosconian was released in November 1981 in Japan.

The game's complete title is "Star Destroyer Bosconian". The "Star Destroyer" part of the title appears exclusively on the game's title screen.

The 'Spy Ship' in this game also makes a cameo appearance in "Galaga" as one of the three "transform" ships.

The radar map to the right of the screen is identical in appearance to the radar map in both "Rally-X" and "New Rally-X".

In the game "Ridge Racer", a car has this game as a sponsor. It is a white and red car named 'RT Bosconian'. Its sister car, from another Namco game is a white and blue car named 'RT Nebulasray'. They were used in "Ridge Racer", "Ridge Racer 2", "Ridge Racer 64", and "Ridge Racer DS".

The origin of the keywords in Bosconian (as in the 'Zwilniks of Boskone') is the Lensman space-opera saga, which in Japan always enjoyed high popularity.
Bosconian : Boskonian
I-Type missile : Eich
P-Type missile : Ploor
E-Type misslle : Eddore

Ken McLeod holds the official record for this game with 2,913,150 points on February 24, 1983.

Other releases:
"Star Destroyer Bosconian [Cocktail Table model]" (Namco)

Export releases:
"Star Destroyer Bosconian [Model 550]" (Midway, Upright model)
"Star Destroyer Bosconian [Model 555]" (Midway, Mini-Myte Model)
"Star Destroyer Bosconian [Model 557]" (Midway, Cocktail Table model)


In the NEW Namco version, the Enemy Base setup is different. Both versions have the same Enemy Base setups, but they are in different order as the rounds go up. This is also true regarding where your fighter starts at. For example, the setup for Round 4 on the other versions is the same as the setup for Round 6 on the new Namco version.

Asteroid 10 points
Cosmo Mine 20 points
I-Type Missile (Looks like fighter) 50 points
P-Type Missile (Looks like boomerang) 60 points
E-Type Missile (Looks like Enemy Base Missile) 70 points
Spy Ship 200 or 400 points
Enemy Station Cannon 200 points
Enemy Station 1,500 points
Enemy Formation 500, 1,000 or 1,500 points depending on missile type
Control Fighter in Formation (The off-colored fighter) 100, 120 or 140 points (twice the normal missile value)
Bonus for no-miss clear (completing a round without dying) - this bonus is given only when the game is set to auto difficulty multiplier x number of bases, the multiplier starts at 100 points and increases by 100 points each time you get the bonus up to 1,000 points.

* Easter Egg :
1) Enter service mode.
2) Keep B1 pressed and enter the following sequence : Up(x5), Right(x6), Down, Left(x4). '(c) 1981 NAMCO LTD.' will be added at the bottom of the screen.

* The action starts immediately as soon as you start your game (the synthesized voice will say "Blast Off!" at the start of each new stage and each new life). Your fighter will be put on the screen. Your radar display will show how many space stations need to be taken out. The radar doesn't show, though, all the space debris all over the place and the enemy fighters (unless they are in formation). Your fighter stays in the middle of the screen.

* Be aware that the enemy missiles are faster than your ship. This means you will have to learn to use the joystick proficiently so that you can maneuver away from these enemy missiles attempting to commit suicide on your ship.

* At the beginning of the round, quickly look at your radar to determine where the Enemy Stations are. Then quickly figure out a systematic way of destroying them since time is one's enemy in this game. Just because they are lined up in a row doesn't mean that the missile bays are facing the same direction.

* By that same token, your ship fires lasers from both the front and back. This means if anything is trying to 'sneak' up on you, they won't stand a chance.

* Use the space debris to your advantage. You score points regardless of whether you hit the enemy, or if you use other means to assist, such as the mines or rocks. Just keep in mind that the space debris doesn't return until the next round.

* The Enemy Stations can be destroyed two ways :
1) The first way is to fire a shot directly into their missile bay. This is easy to do on the first two rounds. By round three, the missile bay has a door which opens and closes to make it more of a challenge. After round three, the station will fire a missile if your fighter is in the missiles path. You can easily destroy this missile with your ship.
2) The other way is to destroy all six cannons around the space station. This method also enables you to get more points in the long run. To do this, though, means you will have to deal with more enemy missiles since you have to constantly loop around to hit the cannons. In addition, the pods fire back on your ship.

* Enemy Stations can be oriented with the missile bay facing left/right or up/down. Keep this in mind if you are taking on multiple stations in one area. While you are pounding on one Enemy Station, three more may be firing at your ship to prevent you from destroying your target.

* The warning conditions tell you how safe it is for the moment :
1) GREEN means no enemies within view.
2) YELLOW means enemies present.
3) RED means that either you have taken too long, or you failed to destroy the Spy Ship while it was within range, and the enemy is now moving twice as fast to ram you.

* You will also hear a synthesized voice saying, "Blast Off!" at the start of each new round, "Alarm! Alarm!" when enemies attack, "Battle Stations!" when an enemy formation approaches, "Spy Ship Sighted!" when the Spy Ship appears, and "Condition Red!" when you enter the red condition.

* At regular intervals, a formation of enemy missiles will head toward your ship. You can see what the formation of these enemy missiles are in by looking at the area above the top, left corner of the radar. This will show you if they are in a line, checkerboard pattern, etc. You will also see this formation (represented by a red dot) on your radar screen. Some quick tips for tangling with formations :
1) Enemy formations always appear as a control missile with four missiles.
2) If you destroy the control missile, the other missiles will spread out. You can still destroy them, but it is much harder to get the points for taking out the entire formation.
3) Try to maneuver in such a way as to be able to rapidly hit all the missiles. This is of course barring the fact there is no other things (rocks and mines) in the way that can destroy these missiles. This works well when they are in a line. If they are in a checkerboard pattern, you will have to move back and forth so you can hit everything but the control missile.
4) When you hear the synthesized voice say "Battle Stations", it announces that a formation is present.

* As mentioned before, if you take too long to take out the Enemy Stations, the condition will go to RED and enemy missiles will pour into the area with the only intent of ramming your ship. You will know this also by the sound the machine makes, as well as the synthesized voice repeatedly saying "Condition Red!"

* Continue to fly erratic patterns (unless you are going after Enemy Stations or formations) because the enemy missiles do move quicker than you do plus you will probably be able to take them out more effectively.

* Just as in "Time Pilot", there is a way you can stay on a level for as long as you want (This works best on level 2) : Stay away from all the bases, and fly horizontally from left to right. Just fire continuously at all the formations that come at you. The other ships will never be able to come after you. There is no time limit in the game, and it never gets any harder. You can stay on this level for as long as you want. It takes a VERY LONG TIME, though, to get a LARGE score.


1. Bosconian (1981)
2. Blast Off (1989)


Designed and programmed by : Akira Takundai, Hurashi Nagumo
Music by : Nobuyuki Ohnagi


NOTE: For ports released in North America usa, please see the Midway Upright version entry.

japan Sony PlayStation (nov.22, 1995) "Namco Museum Vol.1 [Model SLPS-00107]"
australia Sony PlayStation (1996) "Namco Museum Vol.1 [Model SCES-00243]"
europe Sony PlayStation (aug.1996) "Namco Museum Vol.1 [Model SCES-00243]"
japan Sony PS2 (jan.26, 2006) "Namco Museum Arcade Hits! [Model SLPS-25590]"
europe Microsoft XBOX (mar.24, 2006) "Namco Museum - 50th Anniversary"
europe Sony PS2 (mar.31, 2006) "Namco Museum - 50th Anniversary [Model SLES-53957]"
europe Nintendo GameCube (may.5, 2006) "Namco Museum - 50th Anniversary [Model DOL-G5NP-EUR]"
europe Microsoft XBOX 360 (may.15, 2009) "Namco Museum - Virtual Arcade"
australia Microsoft XBOX 360 (june.4, 2009) "Namco Museum - Virtual Arcade"
japan Microsoft XBOX 360 (nov.5, 2009) "Namco Museum - Virtual Arcade [Model 2RD-00001]"
japan Nintendo Wii [Virtual Console Arcade] japan (nov.17, 2009)

europe Sony PSP (dec.9, 2005) "Namco Museum Battle Collection [Model UCES-00116]"
japan Sony PSP (feb.23, 2006) "Namco Museum Vol.2 [Model ULJS-00047]"
korea Sony PSP (nov.8, 2007) "Namco Museum Vol.2"

japan MSX (1984)
europe Amstrad CPC (1987) "Bosconian '87"
europe Commodore C64 (1987) "Bosconian '87"
europe Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1987) "Bosconian '87"
japan Sharp X68000 (dec.1988) by Dempa Shinbunsha
japan PC 6001
japan PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (dec.24, 1998) "Namco History Vol.4"
europe PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (mar.27, 2006) "Namco Museum - 50th Anniversary"
australia PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (may.19, 2006) "Namco Museum - 50th Anniversary"
japan Sord M5


Game's ROM.
Game's picture.
F.A.Q. by Kevin Butler A.K.A. War Doc