Gorf (arcade)  1981


First game with different levels design


Arcade system: Bally Midway Astrocade


Gameplay video


Review - All Game Guide (1998)

"Gorf, a combination of different flavors of slide-and-shoot action, is actually historically important for being the first-ever multi-level arcade game. The game begins with a simple knock-off of Space Invaders, replacing the three shields with an even flimsier single arc-shaped shield. The second level has two clusters of five alien craft attacking with enormous high-powered lasers which span most of the height of the screen. Level 3 is another copycat game, this time using the game mechanics of Galaxian. The fourth level sees Gorfian robots spiraling out of a space warp, firing at the player's ship and generally looping around in hard-to-catch patterns, while the final level is a showdown between the player and a massive enemy flagship with only a single weak point (and its own shield, naturally). With its robotic speech synthesis and colorful graphics, Gorf was a hit in its heyday. It's also a curiosity in its combination of characters from other arcade games: the invaders seen in the Space Attack level are the Space Invaders aliens, and those from the Galaxians level are truly from Galaxian. (Since Bally/Midway had the rights to both games in the U.S., Gorf still managed to be lawsuit-proof; in actuality, Space Invaders and Galaxian were both originated in Japan by rival arcade manufacturers Taito and Namco.) Due to those same rights issues, however, virtually every home version of Gorf -- which spanned platforms from the Atari VCS to the Commodore VIC-20 -- omitted the Galaxian level. The unique handgrip-with-trigger joystick first seen on Gorf coin-ops was later reused, in a more colorful form, in Midway's Tron arcade game."

1) The programmer called it Gorf since it's Frog spelled backwards. It is also an acronym for "Galactic Orbital Robot Force".
2) Originally it should be game version of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", but when the game designers read the film's script, they realized that the concept would not work as a video game. Still, the player's ship bears a passing resemblance to the Starship Enterprise viewed from above.
3) The game's creator, Jay Fenton, designed a sequel to Gorf called Ms. Gorf, but it was never released.

4) First game with separate levels is Ozma Wars (1979).      

5) First video game to have two separate different levels design.

6) Emulated in: MAME

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