Arcade Video game published 42 years ago by Williams Electronics, Inc.

Listed in MAME

Stargate screenshot

Stargate © 1981 Williams.

Stargate, also known as 'Defender II', will transport you to a whole new dimension in video games! Not only will the skills you learned with "Defender" be challenged and refined, but new strategies must come into play if you are to be victorious in rescuing the humanoids from the clutches of the aliens and in entering the Stargate! Your ability to react quickly and with on-target precision will be tested against the evil Yllabian Space Guppies, Dynamos, Space Hums, Firebombers and their Fireballs, Phreds, Big Reds and Munchies! If you succeed in maneuvering your ship into the Stargate, you'll be instantly trans-located to that part of the planet where the humanoids are being abducted! To open up spectacular scoring possibilities, rescue four Humanoids, re-enter Stargate and you'll warp 3 waves ahead in space and time, setting off dazzling special effects and racking up high points!

If you must destroy everything in your path or risk self-destruction, activate the Inviso anti-matter cloaking device and become invisible and invulnerable! Inviso time plus a new ship and a Smart Bomb are earned with every 10,000 points you score!

If all ten Humanoids in a wave are abducted, the universe will explode into smithereens, leaving deadly Mutants on the attack! Survive until Wave 5 and the universe will be restored, the humanoids safe... but you'll be the target of an Yllabian Dog Fight! There'll be no Landers to abduct the Humanoids, but all the other aliens will have stronger and larger forces concentrated against you! It will be an out space battle reaching the outer limits of aggression and will call up your last ounce of determination and courage!


Main CPU : Motorola M6809 (@ 1 Mhz)
Sound CPU : M6808 (@ 894.75 Khz)
Sound Chips : DAC

Players : 1
Control : 2-way joystick (vertical)
Buttons : 6
=> Thrust, Fire, Reverse, Smart bomb, Inviso, Hyperspace


Stargate was released in October 1981 in the USA.

Stargate was the first game designed by Vid Kidz, the design firm founded by Jarvis and DeMar when they decided to go independent. Williams became desperate for a game after the designers left, so they took Vid Kidz under contract. Stargate took four months to complete. All Vid Kidz games were designed on a dual 8" floppy, 1 MHz 6809 Motorola Exorcisor system that cost $30,000 in those days.

The name was changed to 'Defender II' right after the game had stopped being manufactured, because Williams wanted to make sure they could own the trademark on the title. All compilation packs released for home consoles and computers in 1995 and later (see Ports section below for the complete listing) feature the game under the 'Defender II' moniker.

The name of the enemy Yllabian is created by reversing the spelling of Bally, one of Williams' competitors. Bally reversed becomes Yllab.

Shooting a Pod will release between four and seven Swarmers.

Approximately 26,000 upright cabinets and about 1,000 cocktail tables were made.

Stargate plays very similarly to "Defender", although several enhancements have been made to the already superb and demanding game play. Changes from "Defender" :
* The addition of eight more enemies.
* The addition of the Stargate. Going through the Stargate allows the player to either :
1) Go to the opposite side of the planet if no Humanoids are being threatened.
2) Arrive at the exact spot where a Lander is abducting a Humanoid.
3) In addition, before Wave 10, if you fly forwards (not backwards) through the Stargate while carrying four or more Humanoids, you will warp forward three waves. You will get a bonus of Humanoids left X 2,000 points for this achievement (up to 20,000 points).
* The Inviso button allows you to cloak your ship in an anti-matter field. While cloaked, your ship is indestructible and you can destroy enemies by flying through them. You can still pick up falling Humanoids while cloaked.
* There are now bonus waves in the game. After completing these bonus waves, you start again with ten Humanoids on the planet's surface. The bonus waves are:
1) On Wave 5 and every tenth wave thereafter : The Yllabian Dogfight.
2) On Wave 10 and every tenth wave thereafter : The Firebomber Showdown.
* When the last Humanoid left on the planet's surface is abducted, the planet surface starts flashing, and the message under the scanner reads : 'PLANET SURFACE UNSTABLE!'. This is the warning that planetary explosion will occur soon unless at least one Humanoid is saved.
* When all Landers in a wave are destroyed, the message under the scanner reads : 'ALL LANDERS DESTROYED!'.
* There is now a 'Pod Intersection' timer which appears in the scanner at the beginning of any wave which has at least three Pods. It counts down to the moment when all the Pods come together.

Lander 150 points.
Mutant 150 points.
Bomber 250 points.
Pod 1,000 points.
Baiter 200 points.
Swarmer 150 points.
Firebomber 250 points.
Fireball 100 points.
Dynamo 200 points.
Space Hum 100 points.
Yllabian Space Guppy 200 points.
Phred 200 points.
Big Red 200 points.
Munchies 50 points.
Getting hit by an enemy bullet 25 points .
Destroying a Pod with a Smart Bomb will award either 1,450 or 1,600 points.
Rescuing abducted Humanoids gives increasing bonuses if they are rescued consecutively without being immediately returned to the ground.
First 500 points.
Second 1,000 points.
Third 1,500 points.
fourth and higher 2,000 points.
Humanoid put back into the planet's surface 500 points.
Humanoid landing into the ground safely on his own 250 points.
Bonus at the end of each wave
Wave 1 Humanoids Left X 100.
Wave 2 Humanoids Left X 200.
Wave 3 Humanoids Left X 300.
Wave 4 Humanoids Left X 400.
Wave 5 and all Yllabian Dogfight waves 2,500 points.
Wave 6 and above Humaniods Left X 500.
Warp Humanoids Left X 2,000.

The enemies that initially appear in each wave are:
Wave 1 : 11 Landers, 2 Dynamos, 3 Firebombers
Wave 2 : 10 Landers, 2 Dynamos, 3 Firebombers, 7 Yllabian Space Guppies
Wave 3 : 10 Landers, 2 Dynamos, 6 Firebombers, 4 Yllabian Space Guppies, 3 Pods
Wave 4 : 17 Landers, 3 Dynamos, 3 Firebombers, 5 Yllabian Space Guppies, 4 Pods
Wave 5 and every Yllabian Dogfight : 6 Dynamos, 22 Yllabian Space Guppies, 8 Swarmers
Wave 6 : 17 Landers, 3 Dynamos, 3 Firebombers, 5 Yllabian Space Guppies, 4 Pods, 2 Bombers
Waves 7, 8, and 9 : 17 Landers, 3 Dynamos, 3 Firebombers, 5 Yllabian Space Guppies, 4 Pods, 3 Bombers
Wave 10 and every Firebomber Showdown : 13 Firebombers, 6 Pods
Wave 11 and every regular wave higher : 18 Landers, 4 Dynamos, 4 Firebombers, 3 Yllabian Space Guppies, 4 Pods, 2 Bombers

If the planet is destroyed, all Landers are replaced with Mutants.

* You start the game in the middle of the screen. You can look at your radar to see where the various enemies are. Get to learn the sounds of the game because they are an important clue as to what is going on out of your viewing range. First of all, learn how to use the buttons with proficiency. You don't want to be hunting around for the smart bomb or thrust button when you are in the middle of a firefight. Practice will make you proficient.

* The player's ship can shoot a maximum of four lasers on the screen at any one time.

* Learn to use your radar screen and after a while you will only look at the viewable area briefly to take care of business. Each enemy has a unique color on the radar so you should be able to easily identify what they are. In addition, you will also learn how each enemy moves around. This will definitely become a great benefit in the later waves.

* Listen to the sounds of the game. When you hear a high-pitched chatter, that means a Lander has picked up a Humanoid in order to create a Mutant. Use your radar and look for the green shape going straight up; that's the Lander. Try to get over there as quickly as possible. Just shoot the Lander, not the Humanoid it has taken. When you hear what sound like something being put together, that means a Lander has become a Mutant.

* Once you shoot the Lander, your job isn't over yet. If the height is too great, the Humanoid will fall and die on impact. You have to fly over the Humanoid and your fighter will pick it up. Any time you scrape against the ground, you will set the Humanoid down. Some players continuously ride around with a Humanoid to prevent the planet from exploding.

* The planet will only explode when all ten Humanoids are dead. Then you will have to go through waves of nothing but Mutants and the other regular enemies until you make it to a bonus wave. After that, you will have ten humans and a new planet again. Mutants are very dangerous to deal with because they tend to swarm and fire a lot of shots toward your ship. Of course, expert players just shoot all the Humanoids so they can have the challenge of going through these Mutant waves.

* Try to clear waves as quickly as possible. If you take too long on a wave, a Baiter, Phred, or a Big Red will appear. These enemies are much faster than your fighter and can outrun it. The Baiter also has the tendency to fire pretty accurate shots. One of the tactics to throw them off is to reverse quickly a couple of times. This disorients them briefly and may give you a chance to shoot them. These enemies make their appearance to ensure you finish waves quickly.

* Use your Smart Bombs only when the screen is crowded with enemies. A lot of players like to get all the Pods together and then touch off a Smart Bomb. Another way is to break open the Pods so that Swarmers are all over then hit the Smart Bomb.

* Use your Inviso sparingly. A good tactic is to find a lot of enemy units bunched up. Fly fast toward them and at the last second activate your Inviso until you are clear (should amount to less then a second of time). You can destroy quite a few enemies this way and you conserve your Invisio energy.

* Use Hyperspace only when you are in a totally desperate situation (like getting swarmed by Mutants or Swarmers). Sometimes Hyperspace will destroy your ship on re-entry.

* Watch out for the Bombers. Although they travel slowly, they leave strings of bombs. If you are not paying attention, you may crash if you attempt to fly through them.

* The Firebombers have a tendency to shoot a lot of Fireballs at your fighter. Fortunately, you can destroy these Fireballs. This can become complicated if there are four or five Firebombers firing at the same time. The Fireballs don't track your ship. The Firebombers don't start shooting Fireballs until Wave 2.

* You can fly through and under the terrain (but you cannot exit the screen at the top and come up through the bottom or vice-versa). Use this to your advantage when maneuvering around.

* Since you 'wrap-around' the screen, this gives you a little more maneuvering room. However, keep looking at your radar because the enemy that disappears off the left side will show up on the right side. Also, shots do not wrap around the edge.

* In addition to using the 'wrap-around', keep in mind that you can also use the Stargate to your advantage. Some players hang around the Stargate until a Humanoid is abducted. They go through the Stargate, save the Humanoid, and go back to the Stargate again to await the next rescue. Also, the Stargate is useful if you are being pursued by a lot of enemies since it transports you to the opposite side of the planet.

* Since you get an extra ship, Smart Bomb, and Inviso time every 10,000 points, that should be your constant goal. However, as the waves get higher things move a lot faster, making even getting 10,000 points a challenge.

* The most extra ships or Smart Bombs that can be obtained is 255. If the player has 255 extra ships or Smart Bombs and then wins an extra one, the counter rolls back to zero.

* Secret Message:
The formula consists of three sequences of buttons, that all must be completed within a quarter of a second of each other, without the player dying onscreen. The moves are as follows...
1) Joystick Down, Reverse, 1P Start and Thrust.
2) Reverse, 2P Start and Fire.
3) Joystick Down, 1P Start, Thrust and Fire.

* Stargate attack waves 'roll over' at wave 100, which is displayed, when started and after being completed, as Wave 0. The game keeps track of the actual number of waves, even though they are not shown properly. For example, the next wave will be counted as Wave 101, even though it shows being completed as Wave 1. The game will 'roll over' again at Wave 200, which is displayed, when started and after being completed, as Wave 0 as well. The next 'roll over' occurs at Wave 256. Upon completion of Wave 255, the next wave is a wave very similar to the very first wave, except that the Firebombers shoot. This level is counted and displayed as Wave 0, and the player is awarded a bonus of Humanoids left X 0 points (the bonus for this wave is always 0 points). The next is Wave 1, and the game now plays just as if the player had started a new game (warps are now again possible up to Wave 10), except the player gets to keep his score and all of his bonus ships and Smart Bombs.

* Bonus:
A special undocumented bonus can be gained by dropping off a Humanoid as the last event in a wave. There are two ways to do this. One way requires you to have killed everything off in the wave except for one Lander. Wait for the Lander to pick up a Humanoid. Shoot the Lander and catch the Humanoid JUST before it hits the ground. The other way is to deposit a Humanoid that your ship is carrying at the exact moment when you kill the last enemy of the wave. Either way, when this is done properly the screen will flash several times and you will be awarded 2,000 points.


1. Defender (1980, ARC)
2. Stargate (1981, ARC)
3. Strikeforce (1991, ARC)
4. Defender 2000 [Model J9041E] (1996, Jaguar)


usa Atari 2600 (1984) "Stargate [Model CX26120]"
usa Atari 5200 (1984) "Stargate [Model CX5219]"
japan Nintendo Famicom (sept.24, 1987) "Star Gate [Model HAL-SB]"
usa Atari 2600 (1988) "Defender II [Model CX26120]"
usa Nintendo NES (jul.1988) "Defender II [Model NES-SB-USA]"
usa Nintendo SNES (oct.1996) "Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits [Model SNS-AW8E-USA]"
europe Nintendo SNES (jan.8, 1997) "Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits [Model SNSP-AW8P-EUR]"
usa Sega Genesis (1996) "Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits"
europe Sega Mega Drive (1996) "Arcade's Greatest Hits [Model T-97126-50]"
usa Sega Saturn (1996) "Arcade's Greatest Hits [Model T-9703H]"
usa Sony PlayStation (apr.10, 1996) "Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits [Model SLUS-00201]"
europe Sony PlayStation (sept.1, 1996) "Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits [Model SLES-00323]"
usa Sega Dreamcast (june.27, 2000) "Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits Vol. 1 [Model T-9713N]"
usa Sega Dreamcast (jul.28, 2000) "Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits Vol. 1 [Model T-9710D-50]"
usa Sony PS2 (nov.18, 2003) "Midway Arcade Treasures [Model SLUS-20801]"
usa Microsoft XBOX (nov.24, 2003) "Midway Arcade Treasures"
usa Nintendo GameCube (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]"
usa Microsoft XBOX 360 (nov.6, 2012) "Midway Arcade Origins"
usa Sony PlayStation 3 (nov.6, 2012) "Midway Arcade Origins [Model BLUS-31083]"
europe Microsoft XBOX 360 (nov.15, 2012) "Midway Arcade Origins"
europe Sony PlayStation 3 (nov.15, 2012) "Midway Arcade Origins [Model BLES-01768]"

usa Commodore VIC-20 (1982) "Defender II"
usa Apple II (1983)
usa PC [Booter] (1983)
usa europe Commodore C64 (1984) "Guardian"
usa PC [MS Windows 3.1/DOS, CD-ROM] (1995) "Williams Arcade Classics"
usa PC [MS Windows 95/DOS, CD-ROM] (1996) "Williams Arcade Classics"
usa PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (aug.27, 2004) "Midway Arcade Treasures"
europe PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (nov.23, 2004) "Midway Arcade Treasures"

usa Palm OS (aug.2001) "Midway Arcade Classic"
VFD handheld game (1982) by Entex
usa Tiger Game.com (1997) "Williams Arcade Classics [Model 71-722]"


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