Home News Forum                            

Play your favorite classic games and more with the GameEx front end. Read more.

robotron: MAME ROM Information.


Robotron: 2084 (c) 1982 Williams.

Set in the year 2084, Robotron is a single-screen shoot-em-up in which super-intelligent self-aware robots known as 'Robotrons' - designed and built to help mankind - have revolted against their creators and vowed to either reprogram the humans into Robotrons or, failing this, wipe-out the human race entirely.

The player must destroy the robots and rescue the Earth's remaining human families. The player's only weapon is a multi-directional Anti-Robot Laser Gun. Used effectively, it will give players the power to destroy all the Robot waves, with the exception of the indestructible 'Hulk' unit.

At the start of the attack wave, players will have three chances to wipe out the enemy and advance to the next wave. Every 25, 000 points players are granted another chance to complete their mission.

MAN, WOMAN, CHILD : These are the only three types of human clones left on Earth. Defenseless and easy prey to the Robots, they are totally dependent upon players for their survival and will wander aimlessly until the player makes contact with them. Touching them will place them under the player's protective powers and earn them the following points: 1,000 for rescuing the 1st human; 2,000 for the 2nd: 3,000 for the 3rd; 4,000 for the 4th; 5,000 for the 5th; and 5,000 for every additional human saved. At the beginning of each new wave and when the player loses a turn, rescue scoring will again begin at 1,000.


TANK: Its goal is to kill the player by firing rebounding Shells. Annihilate the Tank for 300 points; the Shell for 50 points.

BRAIN: Red alert. The Brain is the most clever and dangerous of the Robot species. Its two-pronged attack will be launched every 5th wave. If it collides with the player, it will electrocute them where they stand. It also possesses the devastating power to fire Cruise Missiles which will follow the player until either contact is made or they are shot and destroyed. Kill the Brain for 500 points; demolish the Cruise Missile for 75 points.

The victims of the 2nd prong of the Brain's attack are the defenseless humans. If captured, a human will be irreversibly transformed - literally re-programmed by the Brain's incredible mind powers - into a Prog: a Robot that will viciously turn against its own protector, the player. Annihilate the Progs for 100 points or meet a violent death at their hands.

SPHEROID : This pulsating sphere may at first look harmless, but it is the mothership which spawns deadly Enforcer Embryos. Players must try to explode the Spheroid before it ejects the Embryos to earn 1, 000 points.

ENFORCER : The Embryos grow into evil Enforcers. Kill them for 200 points. Let them live and they will lessen the player's chance for survival by launching Enforcer Sparks. Destroy the Sparks for 25 points.

HULK : In all attack waves except every 5th, the Hulk will stalk his prey. He alone of the Robot species cannot be killed. The player's Laser Gun can only slow him down or divert him from his objective of crushing all life from the humans and the player. Players must avoid this Robot at all costs or the mission will be lost at the outset.

GRUNT : The least sophisticated species of Robot is the Grunt. He has no weapon and possesses only minimal intelligence. This does not mean he is to be dealt with lightly. He will single-mindedly pursue players to capture and destroy them. Kill him and score 100 points.

ELECTRODES : The pulsating, immobile Electrodes will attempt to block the player's path. A collision with them means instant death. Fortunately, the Grunts will also be annihilated by contact with the player. Electrodes must be avoided or destroyed with the Laser Gun. In each new attack wave they will assume a different shape, but remain just as deadly if contact is made.


Robotron was available in both upright and cocktail format, with the cocktail cabinet being fairly rare. The alternate cabinets also had different graphics (at least the color scheme was different), and are much more difficult to find replacement graphics for. The standard Robotron upright was 6'2'' tall and featured white sides and a black front. It had painted side-art in the form of a '2084' logo and a few stripes (this is a very simple design, and is easy to repaint if your cabinet happens to be scratched up). The control panel is covered with a geometric shape design, and has two 8-Way joysticks and two start buttons. These joysticks are of a peculiar design, but can easily be replaced with a pair of modern joysticks (purchase red ball tops ones, because that is what the originals had). The games marquee has the 'Robotron' logo in a font reminiscent of an early 80s computer. This is superimposed over a triangular design made from shapes and lines. The Robotron cocktail cabinet was finished completely with woodgrain laminate. The only graphics were on the control panels, and the small instruction cards that were placed under the top glass. The players would sit across from each other, and the screen image would flip for each player.

Main CPU : M6809 (@ 1 Mhz)

Sound CPU : M6808 (@ 894.75 Khz)

Sound Chips : DAC

Screen orientation : Horizontal

Video resolution : 292 x 240 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.00 Hz

Palette colors : 16

Players : 2

Control : Double 8-way joysticks (see 'Trivia' section for more information)


Released in March 1982. Total production is estimated at 18,000 units. The upright cabinet style is common. Both the cabaret (or mini) and cocktail styles were produced in much lower numbers, one estimate citing only 500 cocktails produced.

The basic play of Robotron was programmed in 3 days. The design of Robotron was influenced by "Berzerk" and the Commodore PET game 'Chase'. The concept name was 'Robot Wars - 1984'.

The original name for the production was '2084 - Robotron', but the name Robotron was more commonly used by virtually everyone involved, and the game was renamed shortly before production. This is why the cabinet side artwork simply has the number 2084 vertically.

Robotron was unique at the time in that the controls were two 8-way joysticks (one for running, one for shooting) rather than the more typical single joystick and fire button. This unique dual-joystick control was created because of two occurrences : Jarvis liked the game "Berzerk", but hated the joystick-and-button run-and-shoot configuration; and the fact that Jarvis's right hand had been broken in a car accident shortly after he finished creating "Stargate".

This game shares some sounds from "Defender".

The human characters in this game are named Mommy, Daddy and Mikey. The idea and the inspiration for the character Mikey was from the 1970's commercial for 'Life' cereal.

Williams were sued by Walt Disney Productions for copyright and patent infringement regarding Williams use of 'Tron' in Robotron. Williams won the suit and Walt Disney releases Tron on time.

A Robotron machine appears in the 1983 movie 'Koyaanisqatsi - Life out of Balance' and on the 1986 movie 'Better Off Dead'.


Yellow/Orange label :

* The default difficulty is 5.

* The demo calls the Quarks 'Cubeoids'.

* The default high score is 131682.

Blue label :

* The default difficulty is 3.

* The default high score is 151782.

* The 'shot-in-corner' bug is fixed.


G.R.U.N.T. (GROUND ROVING UNIT NETWORK TERMINATOR) - The red robots : 100 points

SPHEROID - The red circles that travel around the game screen : 1,000 points

QUARK - The white boxes with an 'X' in the middle that travel around the game screen : 1,000 points

ENFORCER - The blue, 'Robby the Robot' looking robots : 150 points

SPARKS (Shot by ENFORCERS) : 25 points

TANK - The red robots that have tracked wheels underneath them hence making them look like tanks : 200 points

TANK SHELLS : 50 points

BRAIN - The robots that are blue and have really large heads : 500 points

CRUISE MISSILES (shot by BRAINS) : 25 points

PROG (reprogrammed humans) : 100 points

FAMILY MEMBERS : 1,000 points for the first human rescued, progressing to 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, then 5,000 for every human rescued after that. The scoring starts over when the player is killed or finishes a wave.


* When you start the game, your man will be in the middle of the playing field surrounded by various robots. Depending on the wave that you are on will determine exactly what robots are ready to terminate your existence. The game is straight-forward, take out all the robots (except HULKS) to advance to the next wave. It is vital for your survival that you learn how to 'scoot and shoot'. If you don't learn how operate the controls independently and run in one direction while shooting in other directions, you won't survive very long in this game.

* Equally important to 'scoot and shoot' is your ability to be able to fire on the diagonal. It's easy firing up, down, left, and right, but it takes a little more mastery to fire in the diagonal directions.

* Learn the different things the enemy robots do. For example, the SPEROIDS have a tendency to congregate in the corners. This works to your advantage since you can blast about 3 or 4 before they discharge their supply of ENFORCER robots.

* Your main objective is to blast a path through the robots and get to the edge of the screen. It doesn't matter what edge, just get to one. The reason is painfully simple : It give the robots one less direction to assault you from, plus, you can lead them around in circles blasting them and also cleaning out the corners from the above-mentioned ENFORCERS.

* Enforcer Bug : The enforcer bug is when an enforcer is in the lower right corner and you shoot it diagonal there is a 1 in 3000 chance the game will reset. The reason for the game resetting is there is a bug in the diagonal explosion code for enforcers. The memory below the screen holds the stack and an unclipped pixel can get 'drawn' into the stack causing the game to lock and the watchdog to kick in and reset the system.

* The only times where you won't want to seek the sides is during the BRAIN and TANK robot waves. The BRAINS fire a homing shot at your man so you need as much room to maneuver as possible so going against the wall would restrict that movement. The same goes for the TANK robots which fire bounce shots. They may miss you initially but you might get hit by the shot as it bounces up. You are safer in the middle area where you have room to maneuver. Just watch out for other enemies (which will be very low in number).

* Try to rescue the humans as long as it doesn't put your man in danger of dying. You can rack up some major points on the BRAIN waves since they are loaded with humans for the BRAIN robots to 're-program'. Again, make sure you have an avenue of escape. Doesn't make sense to save a human, get the extra man, then die. You, in essence, gained nothing from that level. You can also shoot the HULK robots to push them away from humans also. On the BRAIN waves, make sure you pick off the BRAIN robots as soon as possible. This prevents them from reprogramming the humans and leaves you more people to get major points with.

* The 'Mikey' bug - on the first Brain wave. There are a lot of Mommies and only one Mikey. The Brains all go for Mikey - if you can protect him (don't pick him up, though!), the Brains will ignore all other humans, making for a point-fest if you can grab them all. As soon as you die, however, the Brains will grab any human they find. This actually works on all Brain waves, but in the other waves the 'golden human' is a random Daddy or Mommy or Mikey, so you don't know who to protect. It's a bug, but a cool one. For this bug to work, the player must make sure that no humans are left alive in the level previous.

* Since you don't have a limit on your shots, you can put up a 'wall' of energy in whatever direction you move. This can have a very devastating effect if applied right.

* Make sure you take a quick look at the wave to assess where the main threats are. You will have from 1 to 2 seconds to get ready for action. If you can survive the initial few seconds as you blast your way toward the edge, your chances of survival will be that much greater. Also be sure to remember what each wave has in store for you, this also will give you a greater chance of getting through the wave.

* If you get tired, you can take a break. That's right, wait for a TANK wave. Eliminate all of the robots except for one. After firing a few shots, the TANK robot will run out. After that, it's just a matter of avoiding the TANK and any other pesky robots.

* ENFORCERS, like their SPHEROID transports, tend to congregate in corners. Use this to your advantage. Every now and then one or two will zip very fast across the field. Their main threat, though, is volume of fire. When you are on the edges, watch out since their shots tend to roll toward your man.

* See all those pretty shapes on the playing field? They are there as a nuisance. They will kill your man if he hits them. They can, however, be shot out of the way but yield no points.

* Robotron Name Trick : 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 on-screen. The moves are as follows...

1) Fire Up while moving Right and press Player 1 button.

2) Fire Down while moving Up and press Player 2 button.

3) Move Down while firing Up.

The designer's names will appear and stay on the screen until the joystick is released from the Up position. Your game is over(!) once you've done this trick.


1. Robotron: 2084 (1982)

2. Blaster (1983)


Staff : Larry DeMar (LED), Eugene Jarvis (DRJ) (EPJ), (JER), (KID), (MLG), Steve Ritchie (SSR), (UNA), (JRS), (CJM)


* Consoles :

Atari 5200 (1983)

Atari 7800 (1984)

Atari XEGS

Atari Lynx (1991)

Nintendo Super Famicom (1996, "Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits")

Sega Mega Drive (1996, "Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits")

Sega Saturn (1996, "Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits")

Sony PlayStation (1996, "Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits")

Nintendo 64 (2000, "Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits Volume I")

Sega Dreamcast (2000, "Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits Vol. 1")

Nintendo Game Boy Advance (2001, "Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits")

Sony PlayStation 2 (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")

Nintendo GameCube (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")

Microsoft XBOX (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")

Microsoft XBOX 360 (2005, as a downloadable Live Arcade game) : boasts an upgrade in graphics, and a special achievements section, where players are rewarded for different achievements they make in the game [Retired in 2010].

* Computers :

Tandy Color Computer (1983, "Robotack")

Commodore VIC-20 (1983)

Commodore C64 (1983)

PC [Booter] (1983)

Apple II (1983)

BBC B ("Robotron", 1984 - Atarisoft)

ZX Spectrum (unreleased)

Atari ST (1987)

PC [MS-DOS] (1995, "Williams Arcade Classics")

PC [MS Windows] (1996, "Williams Arcade Classics")

PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2004, "Midway Arcade Treasure")

* Others :

Tiger Game.Com ("Arcade Classics")


Game's rom.

Machine's picture.

F.A.Q. by Kevin Butler A.K.A. War Doc

MAME Info:

0.23 [Steven Hugg]

Artwork available


- When you see "FACTORY SETTINGS RESTORED", hit F2 (Service Mode) to proceed.

- Press F2 for Test-Mode

- Press F1 + F2 for Bookkeeping/Setup


- 0.145u2: Williams blits with bit 2 set take approximately 2x as long because they are bus-shared with RAM. Should impact some timing behaviors such as later levels in Robotron, where approximately 10% of the blits are done with bit 2 set. Further refinements may be necessary but this addresses the most significant issue [Sean Riddle, Aaron Giles].

- 0.133u1: Renamed (robotryo) to (robotronyo).

- 9th July 2008: Mr. Do - Fixed some errors on the UK Robotron, and matched the colors from the UK and cabaret version to those of the US version, originally color matched by Ad_Enuff.

- 18th February 2007: Mr. Do - Fixed the colors and a couple missing elements on the Robotron Cabaret bezel.

- 26th November 2006: Mr. Do - The current US Robotron has been replaced, thanks to fine vectorizations by Zorg and to the loan by Vintage Arcade Superstore.

- 9th August 2006: Mr. Do - Thanks to Trigg, I realized that one game can have more than one view, including more than one type of artwork in the file. (Well, Aaron explained it, but I guess it went woosh over my head the first time). This will be good for a great deal of games. First one will be Robotron (three different bezels).

- 0.106u11: Aaron Giles added X and Y offset/scale controls for each screen. This allows you to control the actual position of the screen within its container. In order to see beyond the game-configured visible area, the game must have set up the screen size to be larger than the core visible area. The Williams drivers have been updated as an example. Eugene Jarvis mentioned that if you adjust your monitor, you can see the stack in Robotron off to the right, and now you can in MAME as well. The values configured in the OSD are saved in the config file for each game.

- 0.95u3: Changed cpu1 roms addresses from $0-8000 to $10000-18000.

- 0.92: Highwayman added proms ($0, 200 - video inversion for cocktail table).

- 0.57: Removed 3rd coin slot.

- 0.33b7: Changed description to 'Robotron (Solid Blue label)'.

- 0.30: Valerio Verrando added clone Robotron (Yellow/Orange label), where quarks are incorrectly called Cubeoids during the demo.

- 0.29: Changed description of 'robotron' to 'Robotron'.

- 0.25: Valerio Verrando fixed the Williams driver to support joystick in Blaster, Defender, Joust, Robotron, Splat and Stargate. Control: 1+2 = Goes into game setup menu and 2+3 = Diagnostic menu.

- 0.24: Marc Lafontaine provided drivers for Robotron, Splat, Defender, Joust, Stargate, Bubbles, Blaster and Sinistar. Bubbles doesn't start, and Sinistar do weird things at startup. The other games work very well, though. For this version I provide a set of fonts that can be used to avoid jerkiness in williams games. If you use zipped roms remember to include them in the ZIP files. Fixed rom names.

- 0.23: Added Robotron (Williams 1982). Steven Hugg provided a Williams games driver. Stargate, Robotron and Joust are currently supported and playable. Game is playable with accurate (?) colors and no sound. Control: Arrows = Move around and E,S,D,F = Fire. Known issues: Controls don't work right yet.


- Inspired by his never ending quest for progress, in 2084 man perfects the robotrons: A robot species so advanced that man is inferior to his own creation. Guided by their infallible logic, the robotrons conclude: The human race is inefficient and therefore must be destroyed. You are the last hope of mankind, due to a genetic engineering error, you possess superhuman powers. Your Mission is to stop the robotrons, and SAVE THE LAST HUMAN FAMILY. The adventure continuous in 'Blaster'.

Other Emulators:

* HiVE

* Retrocade

Recommended Games (Maze 2):



Wizard of Wor



Warp & Warp

Black Widow



Naughty Boy






Mazer Blazer

Screw Loose

Inferno (Williams)

Wiz Warz

Alien Arena


Smash T.V.

Dynablaster / Bomber Man

Bomber Man World

Neo Bomberman


Nitro Ball

Ultraman Club

Last Fighting

BnB Arcade

Recommended Games (Robots):

Robot Bowl




Hopper Robo

I, Robot

Marvin's Maze

Screw Loose

Hole Land


Galactic Warriors

Metal Clash

Metal Soldier Isaac II

Robo Wres 2001

Mutant Night

Star Guards


Atomic Robo-kid

Bakutotsu Kijuutei


Povar / Sobrat' Buran / Agroprom (Pssst)


Robocop 2

Robocop 3 (Nintendo Super System)

Act-Fancer Cybernetick Hyper Weapon

Escape from the Planet of the Robot Monsters

Robo Army

Terminator 2 - Judgment Day

Turbo Force

Battle of the Solar System


Schmeiser Robo

Cyberbots: Fullmetal Madness

Romset: 53 kb / 15 files / 35.4 zip

MAME XML Output:

       <game name="robotron" sourcefile="williams.c">
              <description>Robotron: 2084 (Solid Blue label)</description>
              <manufacturer>Williams / Vid Kidz</manufacturer>
              <rom name="robotron.sba" size="4096" crc="13797024" sha1="d426a50e75dabe936de643c83a548da5e399331c" region="maincpu" offset="d000"/>
              <rom name="robotron.sbb" size="4096" crc="7e3c1b87" sha1="f8c6cbe3688f256f41a121255fc08f575f6a4b4f" region="maincpu" offset="e000"/>
              <rom name="robotron.sbc" size="4096" crc="645d543e" sha1="fad7cea868ebf17347c4bc5193d647bbd8f9517b" region="maincpu" offset="f000"/>
              <rom name="robotron.sb1" size="4096" crc="66c7d3ef" sha1="f6d60e26c209c1df2cc01ac07ad5559daa1b7118" region="maincpu" offset="10000"/>
              <rom name="robotron.sb2" size="4096" crc="5bc6c614" sha1="4d6e82bc29f49100f7751ccfc6a9ff35695b84b3" region="maincpu" offset="11000"/>
              <rom name="robotron.sb3" size="4096" crc="e99a82be" sha1="06a8c8dd0b4726eb7f0bb0e89c8533931d75fc1c" region="maincpu" offset="12000"/>
              <rom name="robotron.sb4" size="4096" crc="afb1c561" sha1="aaf89c19fd8f4e8750717169eb1af476aef38a5e" region="maincpu" offset="13000"/>
              <rom name="robotron.sb5" size="4096" crc="62691e77" sha1="79b4680ce19bd28882ae823f0e7b293af17cbb91" region="maincpu" offset="14000"/>
              <rom name="robotron.sb6" size="4096" crc="bd2c853d" sha1="f76ec5432a7939b33a27be1c6855e2dbe6d9fdc8" region="maincpu" offset="15000"/>
              <rom name="robotron.sb7" size="4096" crc="49ac400c" sha1="06eae5138254723819a5e93cfd9e9f3285fcddf5" region="maincpu" offset="16000"/>
              <rom name="robotron.sb8" size="4096" crc="3a96e88c" sha1="7ae38a609ed9a6f62ca003cab719740ed7651b7c" region="maincpu" offset="17000"/>
              <rom name="robotron.sb9" size="4096" crc="b124367b" sha1="fd9d75b866f0ebbb723f84889337e6814496a103" region="maincpu" offset="18000"/>
              <rom name="robotron.snd" size="4096" crc="c56c1d28" sha1="15afefef11bfc3ab78f61ab046701db78d160ec3" region="soundcpu" offset="f000"/>
              <rom name="decoder.4" size="512" crc="e6631c23" sha1="9988723269367fb44ef83f627186a1c88cf7877e" region="proms" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="decoder.6" size="512" crc="83faf25e" sha1="30002643d08ed983a6701a7c4b5ee74a2f4a1adb" region="proms" offset="200"/>
              <chip type="cpu" tag="maincpu" name="M6809" clock="1000000"/>
              <chip type="cpu" tag="soundcpu" name="M6808" clock="3579545"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="mono" name="Speaker"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="wmsdac" name="DAC"/>
              <display tag="screen" type="raster" rotate="0" width="292" height="240" refresh="60.096154" pixclock="8000000" htotal="512" hbend="6" hbstart="298" vtotal="260" vbend="7" vbstart="247" />
              <sound channels="1"/>
              <input players="1" coins="3" tilt="yes">
                     <control type="doublejoy" ways="8" ways2="8"/>
              <driver status="good" emulation="good" color="good" sound="good" graphic="good" savestate="supported" palettesize="0"/>

emumovies.com      Retro bytes Portal           Bookmark and Share

Developed by: Spesoft  Headsoft     Terms of use     Privacy    Advertise