Dark Invader

Coin-op Misc. game published 43 years ago by Ramtek

Not listed in MAME yet.

Dark Invader (c) 1978 RamTek.

A first person shooter, using a laser and mechanical 'pop-up' alien space ship 'targets'.


Dark Invader uses a 5mw helium-neon gas laser (mfg. by Metrologic) and a spinning a front surface mirror (mounted on the gun) to create the laser beam 'scanning' effect. The alien space ships are actually heavy gage wires, bent into interesting shapes, and painted in fluorescent colors. The wires are spun under UV lamps, and the ships swirl and pulsate because of the stroboscopic effect.

To achieve the look of 'deep space', the player looks through a viewing port at a partially front-surfaced mirror, down into the body of the cabinet. A lot of forced perspective is used in the targeting matrix grid, and the targets.

Cabinet dimensions : 62in. high x 32in. wide x 46in. deep. Weight : 250 lbs.


At that time, Ramtek was looking for an alternative to the video arcade game because of the intensive competition, and the blatant copying of successful game ROMs. The answer seemed to be a return to the old mechanical arcade games with a microprocessor twist.

Because of the viewing port, only the player can see the action. When the prototype was tested at the Santa Cruz (California) Beach Boardwalk Arcade, kids would all be stacked up trying to grab a peek through the port, at what was going on. Part of the fascination of the game.


Designed by : Bill Heine


Machine's picture.