Return of The Jedi

Arcade Video game published 39 years ago by Atari, Inc.

Listed in MAME

Return of The Jedi screenshot

Return of The Jedi © 1984 Atari.

Return of the Jedi is a scrolling shoot-em-up based on the legendary Star Wars trilogy (specifically, the third film, 'Episode VI: Return of the Jedi') and - unlike its vector-based prequel - is rendered in an isometric forced-perspective viewpoint, similar to that pioneered in Sega's 1982 classic, "Zaxxon".

The ultimate aim of the game is to reach and destroy the Death Star and escape alive. Success is achieved by surviving an 'attack wave', which consists of four different scenes. Play switches between Endor and space-based scenes, with each one putting the player in control of a different vehicle from the movie.

The scenes are based on three distinct locations taken from the original movie. They are: The forest moon of Endor, Attack on the Death Star, and Space battle.

* SCENE 1: Speeder Bike chase on Endor as Princess Leia. The goal is to reach the Ewok village alive.

* SCENE 2: Scout Walker chase on Endor as Chewbacca. The goal is to reach the shield generator.

* SCENE 3: Millennium Falcon attack on Death Star as Lando. The goal is to reach and destroy the Death Star power reactor.

* SCENE 4: Millennium Falcon escape from exploding Death Star. The goal is to escape the exploding Death Star.

* SPLIT SCENE: Play switches between scenes 2 and 3.

The scenes loop for as long as the player has lives remaining; although to increase variety, the order in which they appear is randomised as play progresses. Each successive wave increases in difficulty.

Goodies for Return of The Jedi
Click to enlarge
(members only)

This particular game was available as both a dedicated upright cabinet and a full scale sit-in cockpit. The cockpit cabinet was rather less widespread than the upright version. The marquee on the more common upright cab featured a 'Return of the Jedi' logo with red letters on a background of stars; with the Millennium Falcon and the Death Star clearly visible. The sideart only covered the top half of the machine. It was a montage of shots that was dominated by a picture of Princess Leia on a speeder bike and a large image of Darth Vader's head.

Game ID : 136030

Main CPU : MOS Technology M6502 (@ 2.5 Mhz), MOS Technology 6502 (@ 1.512 Mhz)
Sound Chips : (4x) POKEY (@ 1.512 Mhz), Texas Instruments TMS5220 (@ 672 Khz)

Control : stick
Buttons : 3


Return of The Jedi was released in September 1984. 800 Units were produced. the selling price was $2095.

Return of the Jedi was the second arcade game based on the 'Star Wars' movie franchise despite it being the THIRD film of the trilogy. This Atari title was actually released a full year before 'The Empire Strikes Back'. The films were released in the order; "Star Wars", "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi"; whereas the games were released as "Star Wars", "Return of the Jedi", and "The Empire Strikes Back".

This game is known in Japan as 'Jedi no Fukushuu' (translates from Japanese as 'Revenge of the Jedi').

Return of The Jedi was one of the first games to use a special graphics dithering method to make the graphics look visibly smoother.

This was one of the first Atari titles to modify all game options via a setup menu, rather than by using dip switches. Eighteen years later, the industry still hasn't fully converted over to being 'jumperless'.

All scenes are controlled with a flight yoke that is similar in design to the one used on the vector "Star Wars" game. This is usually the first thing to fail on any given machine. These can be rebuilt fairly easily though, but you may have to do a little bit of hacking to get them to work.

Goodies for Return of The Jedi
Click to see more
(members only)

* Hints :
1) Do not allow enemies to tail you too long. This is how they can destroy you.
2) Lead enemies to the top of the screen, then drop back quickly so you can destroy them.
3) The player must try to be the first through the EWOK traps in the forest of ENDOR.
4) By staying in the center of the screen, the player has more maneuverability.


Designer / Programmer : Dennis Harper
Graphic designer : Susan G. McBride
Audio designer : Synthia Petroka
Software support : Mike Mahar
Hardware designer : Gary Stempler
Technician : Cris Drobny
Project leader : Chris Downend


Atari ST (1987)
Amstrad CPC (1987)
Commodore Amiga (1988)
Commodore C64 (1988)
Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1989)


Game's ROM.
Game's picture.