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sinistar1: MAME ROM Information.


Sinistar [Upright model] (c) 1983 Williams.

YOUR INTERGALACTIC CRYSTAL-MINING MISSION takes you to the antipodes of the known universe. But your parametric DeepSpace scanner faithfully displays the sector of the galaxy you presently occupy (including an area fully 3 parsecs across, no less)!

KEEP THE GALAXY SAFE for all it's sinizens! Fiendish Worker ships from the planet Sporg will attempt to fabricate a Sinistar from the remains of derelict planetoids in your very sector. You must not let them do this for two reasons :

1) These planetoids contain the life-sustaining crystals that your civilisation requires for its vital technologies.

2) With the eminently unstable Sinistar in their possession, the Sprogites can lay waste to any civilization in your sector. You alone stand in their way.

YOU MUST MINE THE SINISITE CRYSTALS. Williams has equipped you with the latest heuristic electret cannon technology. All you need to do is aim at a planetoid and shoot. Now collect your motherlode!

IN FACT, ONLY WITH SINISITE CAN YOU MANUFACTURE SINIBOMBS to eradicate the Sinistar. But you must also rebuff the Workers and disintegrate their even more aggressive comrades-at-arms, the evil skelomorphic Warriors! Intelligent beings everywhere depend on your courage, your dedication, your reserve, your shrewd command of tactical invention! It's up to you space cadet!


Main CPU : M6809 (@ 1 Mhz)

Sound CPU : M6808 (@ 894.75 Khz)

Sound Chips : DAC, HC55516 (@ 894.75 Khz)

Screen orientation : Vertical

Video resolution : 240 x 292 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.00 Hz

Palette colors : 16

Players : 2

Control : 8-way joystick

Buttons : 2

=> [1] FIRE, [2] SINIBOMB


Released in February 1983.

Also released as :

"Sinistar [Cockpit model]"

"Sinistar [DuraMold model]"

This game was originally going to be called "Juggernaut", then "Darkstar". The prototype version called Sinistar is a machine that was displayed at the November 1982 AMOA show in Las Vegas. The revision 2 was the most common version of the game.

The game is jokingly referred to as 'Opie-Star' at Williams' offices, because Sinistar's 'Run, Coward!' taunt sounded like he's saying 'Ron Howard' (acclaimed actor and director).

Sinistar's phrases :

'Beware I live'

'I hunger'

'I hunger coward'

'Beware coward'

'Run coward'

'Run run run'

'I am Sinistar'

A Sinistar unit appears in the 1983 movie 'WarGames'.

A Sinistar unit appears in the 1984 music video, 'Almost Over You' by Sheena Easton.



* The Sinistar logo in the attract mode uses a Rocky-Horror-esque 'dripping blood' font.

* The letter 'T' shows up behind the 'dripping blood' logo, possibly part of the trademark?.

* The Sinistar death sequence sometimes occurs offscreen.

* There seem to be more crystals per planetoid than in the release revision.

* Missing the 'set attract mode message' option in the game adjustments screen.

* High score entry uses fire to advance to the next character, rather than the joystick.

* Warping to the next level can occur in any direction, not just upper-right.

* Sinistar's 'roar' occurs multiple times in rapid succession, cutting off each time he is hit by a sinibomb.

* When a player's ship is destroyed by the Sinistar, it explodes rather than spinning out first.

* After defeating Sinistar, his face outline doesn't appear in the center of the screen.

* You can set the extra ship points AND extra ship point factors to ZERO. As soon as you get a point, the game program gets caught in an infinite loop. You'll also hear an EXTENDED extra ship noise. You can break the loop by hitting advance and looking at ALL the extra ships you just received.

* Stuff (like the Sini-bombs, warriors and even the Sinistar himself (if it has a gender)) doesn't travel well from scanner to playfield and these objects can make quick second passes and sometimes even just skip the playfield all together.

* Survivors Today Has the following initials when tables are cleared : YYY XYS MAA AAA AAA AAA BDG MAA AAA AAA ABC EJS MAA AAA AAA RED HPG MAA AAA AAB CFL XYS MAA AAA AAB DGN DBG MAA AAA BCE.

* Scores start at 19045 and are listed with the following algorithm (-265, -365, -265, repeat).


* Added 'Set Attract mode message' option in the game adjustments menu.

* The Survivors Today has the following initials (the initial are mostly those of the people who contributed programming, artwork, sound, playtesting or ideas (or a little of each)). Note : They keep the same order, but rotate position every time the machine is reset. :

N-F = Noah Falstein

KJF = Ken Fedesna

KAG = Ken Graham

FRG = ???

YAK = ???

JJK = John Kotlarik

KFL = Ken Lantz

PJM = Pam McMahon

DOC = ???

JLM = John Meissen

E-Z = Mike Metz

=M= = ???

TIM = Tim Murphy

JRN = John Newcommer

TOM = ???

PFZ = Bill Pfutzenreuter

RTP = ???

BFD = Dave Rzepka

MBS = ???

MRS = Mike Stroll

EJS = ???

STU = ???

WIT = Rich Witt

MOM = ???

FAC = ???

GOD = ???

KAY = ???

HEC = ???

SAM = Sam Dicker

KYD = ???


* Latest revision.

* Some bugs fixed.


Planetoid : 5 points.

Worker : 150 points.

Crystal : 200 points.

Warrior : 500 points.

Sinistar Piece : 500 points.

Destroying Sinistar : 15,000 points.


* Programming Credits And Williams message :

1) Set lives to 1 (this is optional, it merely saves time).

2) Insert one credit.

3) Bump into a Planetoid (rock).

4) Push the fire button 7 times.

5) Avoid Planetoids and Workers, don't fire at anything and get shot by a Warrior. If you set lives to 1, the game will now be over. If not, lose all lives in this manner until the game ends.

6) Enter initials.

7) Press the 2 Player button 3 times, then insert one coin and start a new 1 Player game.

8) Don't move or fire, just push the Sinibomb button once.

There are now two messages which can be displayed for the credits :

9) Insert 3 coins, then push the Sinibomb button again. The 'crossword' credits should now be displayed.

* For the Williams Electronics message :

10) Simply end the game by getting shot without hitting a Planetoid or firing, then push the 1 Player button to display the message.

* 255 Lives Trick : This little trick is harder than the game itself, but worth it if you pull it off. On your last man, make sure a warrior fires at you just as Sinistar sucks you in. As the Sinistar sucks you in, you will lose your last man, but when the warrior's bullet hits you, you will have one less than zero ships.

Note : The warriors stop shooting as soon as you are 'caught' by Sinistar. The game was programmed this way, to prevent you from dying twice. Since you are trying to die twice, you have to let a warrior shoot at you, before you get sucked in, then hope that the shot hits you after you have been sucked in. This is very tricky.

Note 2 : 8-bit processors can only handle values from 0-255, for a total of 256 values. Therefore, 'one less than zero ships' will roll around to 255.


Project leader & co-designer : Noah Falstein (N-F)

Lead programmer : Sam Dicker (SAM)

Programmers : Robert J. Mical, Richard A. Witt (WIT)

Original design & storyline : John Newcomer (JRN)

Artwork / graphics : Jack E. Haeger

Sound effects by : Michael Metz (E-Z)

Hardware designers : Rich Grande, Greg Wepner

Mechanical : Leo Ludzia, Gary Berge

Tech. support by : John Meissen (JLM)


* Consoles :

Atari 2600 (1984) : was a prototype only. It was never released.

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")

Sony PSP (2005, "Midway Arcade Treasures - Extended Play")

* Computers :

Tandy Color Computer 3 (1989, "Sinistaar")

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

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

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

* Others :

Palm OS ("Midway Arcade Classic")

Tiger Game.Com ("Arcade Classics")


Game's rom.

Machine's picture.

MAME Info:

0.24 [Marc Lafontaine, Steven Hugg]

Artwork available


- When you see "FACTORY SETTINGS RESTORED", press F2 to proceed.

- Press F2 for Test-Mode

- Press F1 + F2 for Bookkeeping/Setup


- 0.133u1: Renamed (sinista1) to (sinistar1) and (sinista2) to (sinistar2).

- 3rd September 2006: Mr. Do - Ad_Enuff optimized Sinistar bezel. File sizes are now half of what they were (with no loss in quality).

- 4th August 2006: Mr. Do - Added Sinistar bezel, Addy throws in yesterday.

- 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.

- 0.36b7: Rewritten the HC55516 CVSD decoder [Aaron Giles]. This affects Sinistar, Joust 2, Arch Rivals, Pigskin, Tri-Sports, Smash TV, Trog and Narc.

- 0.35b2: Alex Pasadyn emulated speech in Sinistar. Samples are no longer used. CVSD emulation, used for speech in Sinistar and in the 34010 games (Smash TV etc.) [Larry Bank, Alex Pasadyn]. Added HC55516 sound, 4x cpu2 speech roms and removed samples.

- 0.35b1: Nicola Salmoria added analog joystick support to Sinistar.

- 0.34b8: Howie Cohen added clone Sinistar (revision 2). Changed parent description to 'Sinistar (revision 3)'. Renamed (oldsin) to (sinista1).

- 0.33b5: Brian Deuel added clone Sinistar (prototype version) (Testdriver). Allegedly from a prototype machine that was displayed at the 1982 AMOA show in Las Vegas.

- 0.31: Howie Cohen added speech to Sinistar, through samples. Aaron Giles and Brad Oliver improved the blitter for the Williams games. Sinistar now works correctly.

- 22nd March 1998: ASG - Fixed Sinistar head drawing, did another major cleanup. Rewrote the blitter routines. Fixed interrupt timing finally!

- 12th March 1998: LBO - Added Sinistar speech samples provided by Howie Cohen. Fixed clipping circuit with help from Sean Riddle and Pat Lawrence.

- 0.29: Several fixes to the Williams driver [Marc Lafontaine]: Sinistar is playable but there are some blitter bugs. Sean Riddle and Pat Lawrence improved the blitter for Sinistar, but there are still some problems.

- 0.24: Added Sinistar (Williams 1982) - not playable yet. 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. Game is playable with accurate colors and sound.


- Blast crystals off planetoids. Pick up crystals to fill bombbay with sinibombs.

- Firing does not affect the mighty SINISTAR. Only sinibombs can affect this nemesis.

- Once the SINISTAR is built you must destroy or you had better run.

Other Emulators:

* Retrocade

Recommended Games (Sinistar):



Astro Chase (Max-A-Flex)



Time Pilot '84

Vanguard II


Last Mission

Ark Area

Recommended Games (Asteroids):



Asteroids Deluxe

Dai San Wakusei Meteor


Space Duel

Space Force


Moon Shuttle

Moon War

Space Fortress


Spectrum I+ (Vectrex - Mine Storm)


Space Lords

Romset: 65 kb / 18 files / 48.7 zip

MAME XML Output:

       <game name="sinistar1" sourcefile="williams.c" cloneof="sinistar" romof="sinistar">
              <description>Sinistar (prototype version)</description>
              <rom name="sinrev1.10" size="4096" crc="ea87a53f" sha1="4e4bad5315a8f5740c926ee5681879919a5be37f" region="maincpu" offset="e000"/>
              <rom name="sinrev1.11" size="4096" crc="88d36e80" sha1="bb9adaf5b73f9874e52dc2f5fd35e22f8b4fc258" region="maincpu" offset="f000"/>
              <rom name="sinrev1.01" size="4096" crc="3810d7b8" sha1="dcd690cbc958a2f97f022765315d77fb7c7d8e8b" region="maincpu" offset="10000"/>
              <rom name="sinistar.02" merge="sinistar.02" size="4096" crc="cab3185c" sha1="423d1e3b0c07333ec582529bc4d0b7baf591820a" region="maincpu" offset="11000"/>
              <rom name="sinrev1.03" size="4096" crc="7c984ca9" sha1="b32b7d15194051db5d29acf95b049e2eccf6d393" region="maincpu" offset="12000"/>
              <rom name="sinrev1.04" size="4096" crc="cc6c4f24" sha1="b4375544e02a19458c6fcc85edb31025c0b8eb71" region="maincpu" offset="13000"/>
              <rom name="sinrev1.05" size="4096" crc="12285bfe" sha1="6d433103332ddda2f2af23febc0b15aa93db1f31" region="maincpu" offset="14000"/>
              <rom name="sinrev1.06" size="4096" crc="7a675f35" sha1="3a7e9fdb2aef52dc29d33799694737038802b6e0" region="maincpu" offset="15000"/>
              <rom name="sinrev1.07" size="4096" crc="b0463243" sha1="95d597856a1942bd176f5f62db0d691f8f2f2932" region="maincpu" offset="16000"/>
              <rom name="sinrev1.08" size="4096" crc="909040d4" sha1="5361cc378bdace0799227e901341747dce9bb029" region="maincpu" offset="17000"/>
              <rom name="sinrev1.09" size="4096" crc="cc949810" sha1="2d2d1cccd7e43b63e424c34ab5215a412e2b9809" region="maincpu" offset="18000"/>
              <rom name="speech.ic7" merge="speech.ic7" size="4096" crc="e1019568" sha1="442f4f3ccd2e1db2136d2ffb121ea442921f87ca" region="soundcpu" offset="b000"/>
              <rom name="speech.ic5" merge="speech.ic5" size="4096" crc="cf3b5ffd" sha1="d5d51c550581c9d46ab331dd4fd32541a2ef598e" region="soundcpu" offset="c000"/>
              <rom name="speech.ic6" merge="speech.ic6" size="4096" crc="ff8d2645" sha1="16fa2a602acbbc182dd96bab113ab18356f3daf0" region="soundcpu" offset="d000"/>
              <rom name="speech.ic4" merge="speech.ic4" size="4096" crc="4b56a626" sha1="44430cd5c110ec751b0bfb8ae99b26d443350db1" region="soundcpu" offset="e000"/>
              <rom name="sinistar.snd" merge="sinistar.snd" size="4096" crc="b82f4ddb" sha1="c70c7dd6e88897920d7709a260f27810f66aade1" region="soundcpu" offset="f000"/>
              <rom name="decoder.4" merge="decoder.4" size="512" crc="e6631c23" sha1="9988723269367fb44ef83f627186a1c88cf7877e" region="proms" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="decoder.6" merge="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"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="cvsd" name="HC-55516"/>
              <display tag="screen" type="raster" rotate="270" 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" buttons="2" coins="3" tilt="yes">
                     <control type="stick" minimum="0" maximum="111" sensitivity="100" keydelta="10" reverse="yes"/>
              <driver status="good" emulation="good" color="good" sound="good" graphic="good" savestate="supported" palettesize="0"/>

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