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RoboCop - The Future of Law Enforcement

Arcade Video game published 36 years ago by Data East Corp.

Listed in MAME

RoboCop - The Future of Law Enforcement screenshot

RoboCop - The Future of Law Enforcement © 1988 Data East.

RoboCop is a single player horizontally-scrolling platform shoot-em-up based on the 1987 movie of the same name. The game's story mirrors that of the film, with former city cop Murphy, now a half-human cyborg called 'RoboCop', on a mission to bring down the evil OCP corporation that created him.

The game features nine levels of action. Seven of these are platform-based stages that comprise the main game, with the additional two stages being into-the-screen target ranges. The ranges are effectively bonus stages, in which players accrue points by shooting as many targets as possible within a time limit. Additional player health is then awarded depending on the amount of points earned.

In the platform-based stages, wooden crates and barrels occasionally bar RoboCop's progress, these can be punched to remove them. Robocop is armed with an infinite-ammo machine pistol, but one of three weapon upgrades can be found hidden inside marked wooden crates (or occasionally dropped by defeated enemies). The three possible upgrades are; Three-way Gun, Dual Laser or the incredibly powerful Cobra Gun. The power-ups have only a limited number of shots, however, with remaining shots displayed in the upper-right corner of the screen.

As well as weapons, small jars of baby food can also be found (again, mirroring the movie) that when picked up, will restore some of Robocop's health.

During the game, Robocop will occasionally come across a criminal holding a girl hostage. He must kill the criminal without killing the hostage, otherwise some of Robocop's health is lost. The criminal will periodically duck while firing, Robocop must also duck but to avoid killing the hostage, must only shoot while the criminal is ducking.

The film's incidental music plays throughout the game and RoboCop's speech is sampled directly from the original film.

Goodies for RoboCop - The Future of Law Enforcement
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Main CPU : Motorola 68000 (@ 10 Mhz), HuC6280 (@ 1.342325 Mhz)
Sound CPU : MOS Technology M6502 (@ 1.5 Mhz)
Sound Chips : YM2203 (@ 1.5 Mhz), YM3812 (@ 3 Mhz), OKI6295 (@ 7.757 Khz)

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


RoboCop was released in November 1988.

After Ocean Software secured the RoboCop license, they sub-licensed it to Data East who created the coin-up game. Ocean then ported the game to various home computers.

Most of RoboCop's sounds were borrowed from "Heavy Barrel".

A Robocop Cabinet can be seen in the Nickelodeon shows All That (from 1994 to 1997) and Kenan and Kel. However both shows shared the same cabinet, but with different fictional marquees.

Pony Canyon / Scitron released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (G.S.M. Data East 1 - D25B1002) on June 21, 1989.

Goodies for RoboCop - The Future of Law Enforcement
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The bootleg version does not use the HuC6280 @ 1.342325 Mhz :-)


The following cheat for RoboCop can earn (theoretically) infinite scores : There exists a level in the game (the Junkyard), where there is an elevator. It's just after you get the Cobra gun. Anyway, you get on the elevator and ride to the top. When the elevator reaches the top, DON'T MOVE! Your score will suddenly start to increase, and will continue to do so until you step off the elevator.

Bad guys come onto the screen when you pass a certain pixel. Move back and kill them off; don't charge through the game. Learn the enemy movement patterns as they are the same in every play.

Here are some strategies for each level:

  • LEVEL ONE : The motorbike which damages you before you draw your gun can be beaten by jumping just before it comes on the screen. A shop window has a small menu type poster in it; jump around about there. When you land, punch the bike (it flashes green and doesn't damage you). Punch it when it returns to kill it.

    When fighting the ED209, time your jumps until just AFTER it has fired at you, allowing you to jump over its shots. When it moves to the left third of the screen, stand close to it. RoboCop's weapons arm will now point at a steeper angle (more into the ground). Now move away slightly and jump away when ED209 fires. Its shots will go into the ground and not trap you at the left edge of the screen.

    Another approach allows you to defeat the ED-209 almost instantaneously: First, make sure you still have the Three-Way Gun (not essential but makes things a little quicker and easier), then as soon as you clear the area of enemies the music will change and the ED-209 will growl. Simply walk to the right side of the screen (Before ED-209 enters) and fire repeatedly diagonally up and right. If done correctly, the ED-209 will come out already defeated and run away without so much as scratching you.

  • LEVEL TWO ; To get extra health, shoot the fat guy using a girl as a shield. He moves forward to shoot at you - shoot him then.

    Target practice : Getting all of the targets (100% hit) gives *extra* capacity for your energy bar.

    Bug : Missing one target sometimes still gives 100% (but don't rely on it.).

  • LEVEL THREE : Go over the top of the car crushers, and pick up the baby food. Try and save the Cobra assault cannon for the end of the level - this makes thing much easier. If you shoot just under the cab of the final enemy, you can kill the guy throwing grenades at you.

    Alternate way : Get the cobra cannon, clean all the enemies at the elevator, the raise the elevator until the cobra cannon is slightly higher than ground level (about 1/4 inch or less), fire ONCE to the right and watch your score soar. Don't move or your score will stop. Also, this only works on the bootleg board - the original did not do this, probably due to a bug (At the far right, just outside of the screen, are some boxes and the machine thinks you hit them but doesn't destroy them).

  • LEVEL FOUR : Shoot the metal crushers with the Cobra Cannon, or PUNCH repeatedly if you get trapped. The final enemy is a crane which swings a steel ball suspended from an extensible chain. Don't shoot the wooden box, stand on it and shoot the cab of the crane. Also, try to save the Cobra Cannon (by punching bad guys instead of shooting them) and use it on the crane.

  • LEVEL FIVE : Don't charge through this level, especially on the conveyor belt. Be wary of the first guy armed with a flame thrower; if you're quick enough, you can shoot him before he gets a chance to shoot at you.

    The military ED209 at the end of the level can be beaten by crouching under the OCP logo when it charges. Jump and shoot the weapon arm when it retreats.

  • LEVEL SIX : You need to move through this level fairly quickly as time is a little tight. The ground-based moving gun turrets can be shot from the platform below, and careful diagonal shooting can destroy laser emplacements situated on any platforms above you. Concentrate on laser turrets which are diagonally away from you, as their fire is the hardest to dodge.

    The last baby food on the level replenishes all of RoboCop's energy. Try and keep the laser shots until the end of the level. When you reach the top platform, move as far to the right as possible and shoot the military ED209 as much as possible before it activates. There is a comparatively safe position just at the end of the military ED209's forward walk (like the end of level five, but with no OCP marker). Kill the military ED209 first. Tactics for the other ED209 are similar to those of level 1.

  • LEVEL SEVEN : Use diagonal shooting to destroy laser turrets on the platform above you (see also Level Six comment).

    The baby food stored in the box gives all your energy back. When you reach the single lift which goes up multiple floors, the best way to avoid being trapped on it by laser fire is to JUMP onto the next level just before the lift reaches it. Timing between the laser shots is critical.

    When this lift reaches the top, stop just short of the floor (you should be able to see/hear the light curtains and laser turrets) and then go back down as far as you can. The laser turrets and curtains sometimes disappear.

    The final ED209 can be destroyed by standing at the far left of the screen and jumping up and down. Missiles launched at you can be destroyed by shooting or punching. When the ED209 gets too close, use the tactic of level one.

    When ED209 is destroyed, kill Dick Jones (in the same way as a gunman holding a hostage is killed). The president is not harmed by your gun shots and must be punched from close range.


    1. RoboCop - The Future of Law Enforcement (1988)
    2. RoboCop 2 (1991)
    3. RoboCop 3 (1992 - SNES)
    4. RoboCop vs The Terminator (1993 - SNES)


    Game designer : Yoshiyuki Unishibara
    Assistant game designer & Main graphic designer : T. Adachi
    Programmer : Ryoji
    Sound effects : Azusa Ma
    Graphic designers : A. Kaneko, Mix man, Y. Kaiho
    Programmers : Mr. Deco men, K. Takahashi, S. Tamura, M. Tamura
    Music : Hiroaki Yoshida (MARO), Hiroyuki, Hitomi Komatsu


    japan Nintendo Famicom (aug.25, 1989) "RoboCop [Model DFC-CP]"
    usa Nintendo NES (dec.1989) "RoboCop [Model CES-CP]"
    europe Nintendo Game Boy (1990) "RoboCop [Model DMG-P-CP]"
    usa Nintendo Game Boy (dec.1990) "RoboCop [Model DMG-CP-USA]"
    japan Nintendo Game Boy (mar.1, 1991) "RoboCop [Model DMG-CPA]"
    europe Nintendo NES (apr.25, 1991) "RoboCop [Model CES-CP]"

    Tandy Color Computer usa
    europe Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1988)
    europe Amstrad CPC (1988) 128 ko version
    Commodore Amiga usa (1989)
    usa Commodore C64 europe (1989)
    usa Apple II (1988)
    MSX europe (1988)
    europe Atari ST (1989)
    PC [MS-DOS] usa (1989)

    Mobile Phones usa (nov.6, 2004)


    Game's manual.
    Game's picture.
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    Game's screenshots.