Joust 2 - Survival of the Fittest

Arcade Video game published 37 years ago by Williams Electronics, Inc.

Listed in MAME

Joust 2 - Survival of the Fittest screenshot

Joust 2 - Survival of the Fittest © 1986 Williams Electronics, Incorporated.

On the planet of the floating cliffs, society calls upon its wing-mounted Gladiators to solve conflicts. You, the Gladiator, must enter the fray, participating in a challenge of honor, a Joust... where only the fittest survive!

The legend of "Joust" continues in Joust 2. Players must solve the puzzle of what strategy will be most effective in dealing with the buzzards and other winged enemies on each of Joust 2's 35 different backgrounds.

The object of Joust 2 is to defeat all winged enemies by colliding with them. To survive a collision (joust), the Gladiator's lance must be higher.

Defeating a Buzzard Enemy in a Joust causes release of an Egg. Eggs may be caught in the air or collected on landing areas for bonus points. Be Careful! Eggs falling into the Lava form into aggressive mutants, while uncollected Eggs hatch into dangerous warriors.

Danger lurks everywhere! Giant Statues come to life; Bats fall out of crystals embedded in the rocks; Lava Trolls and Water Monsters eat unsuspecting bird-mounts; Lightning fills the air; and Unbeatable? Pterodactyls patrol the skies. A gigantic Knight presides on several waves. You, the Gladiator, must destroy him! Hitting all four of his red pins explodes the Knight and all his servants.

Gold Egg Feature : A Gold Egg may randomly appear on any wave. Collecting the Gold Egg before it hatches opens a window of awards in the background. To collect an award, step on the red button above the window before a timer expires. Both players reap the benefits of the posted award, which may include bonuses of 1,000 to 10,000 points, 'super zapping' all enemies on the screen, or even receiving an extra life.

Prepare thyself for War!

Buy-In : Joust 2 is designed for action entertainment for one or two simultaneous players. Players who have started the game may continue where they left off by using the buy-in feature. When a player has used all of his lives, he will hear : "Wish to continue?" A 10-second timer appears in the players score area to allow the game to continue by using a Credit, or inserting a coin, before the player presses the Start button.

Level Selection : At the beginning of a game, the player selects, via the Flap button, one of six different waves, corresponding to the player's skill level. Then, pressing the Start button begins the game. If the player wins the starting wave, he receives an award of points, approximating the scoring from preceding waves.


This game uses a redesign of the 'Williams Classic' platform. It is not compatible with the older titles, but they could possibly run on this platform with a little bit of tweaking. The game is contained on a set of two PCB boards, and a third board does audio duties. This title was released in an upright dedicated cabinet that was very similar in design to the original "Joust" cabinet (you would have to set them side by side to be able to spot the differences). It is decorated with stencil style painted side-art of a knight riding on a large bird (this was one of the last games to have stenciled side-art, stickers and other painting methods had been the norm for several years). The rest of the cabinet artwork is all based on the original "Joust" artwork, but has much more detail. The biggest difference between this cabinet and an original "Joust" cabinet is that this game uses a vertical monitor, rather than a horizontal one.

Main CPU : Motorola M6809 (@ 1 Mhz)
Sound CPU : M6808 (@ 1 Mhz), M6809 (@ 2 Mhz)
Sound Chips : Yamaha YM2151 (@ 3.57958 Mhz), DAC, HC55516 (@ 3.57958 Mhz)

Players : 2
Control : 2-Way Joystick
Buttons : 2
=> [1] Flap; [2] Transform


Joust 2 - Survival of the Fittest was released in December 1986.

This year, the arcade industry was in a big slump, the golden age had been over for a few years, and the brief revival of the late 80s had not yet begun. Williams decided to do a sequel to their classic Joust title, and came up with Joust 2 - Survival of the Fittest. This was a complete update to the original with new enemies and a variety of different levels, but it had one little flaw, it just simply was not as fun as the original. It was a great game on its own, but not when compared to "Joust". They only ended up making about 1,000 of these, and most of them saw little action on the arcade floor. The players seemed to prefer the original "Joust" (which most arcades still had back then). Most of these machines ended up being pulled from the arcades after only a few months, and have survived to the present day in excellent conditions (It seems they were pulled for lack of profits, but most of them were not converted, because by 1986 most operators had a whole warehouse full of games to convert, and would usually select an older title rather than a new one that they could possibly sell off to someone else).

Dwayne Richard holds the official record for this game with 2,655,600 points.


usa Sony PlayStation (nov.30, 1997) "Arcade's Greatest Hits - The Midway Collection 2 [Model SLUS-00450]"
europe Sony PlayStation (mar.1998) "Arcade's Greatest Hits - The Midway Collection 2 [Model SLES-00739]"
usa Sony PS2 (nov.18, 2003) "Midway Arcade Treasures [Model SLUS-20801]"
usa Microsoft XBOX (nov.24, 2003) "Midway Arcade Treasures"
Nintendo GameCube usa (dec.18, 2003) "Midway Arcade Treasures [Model DOL-GAKE-USA]"
europe Microsoft XBOX (feb.6, 2004) "Midway Arcade Treasures"
europe Sony PS2 (feb.6, 2004) "Midway Arcade Treasures [Model SLES-51927]"
Microsoft XBOX 360 usa (nov.6, 2012) "Midway Arcade Origins"
Sony PlayStation 3 usa (nov.6, 2012) "Midway Arcade Origins [Model BLUS-31083]"
europe Microsoft XBOX 360 (nov.15, 2012) "Midway Arcade Origins"
Sony PlayStation 3 europe (nov.15, 2012) "Midway Arcade Origins [Model BLES-01768]"

PC [MS Windows 95, CD-ROM] usa (1997) "Arcade's Greatest Hits - The Midway Collection 2"
usa PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (aug.27, 2004) "Midway Arcade Treasures"
europe PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (nov.23, 2004) "Midway Arcade Treasures"


Game's ROM.
Game's picture.