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starhawk: MAME ROM Information.


Star Hawk (c) 1979 Cinematronics.

Star Hawk is a 3-D wireframe shoot-em-up which places a strong emphasis on player timing. Players move a cross hair around the screen and must blast the approaching enemy spaceships.

The skill level settings affect how quickly the cross hairs move in response to the joystick input. As the game progresses, the speed of the enemy craft increases. If one particular enemy ship is not destroyed quickly enough, it will zap 800 points off the player's score, with the enemy itself also worth 800 points.

Star Hawk can effectively be played indefinitely, providing the player keeps shooting enough enemy ships.


Main CPU : CCPU (@ 5 Mhz)

Screen orientation : Horizontal

Players : 2

Control : 8-way joystick

Buttons : 4


Released in March 1979.

Licensed to Sega for Japan market.

Star Hawk was the first arcade game ever released to be based on the film 'Star Wars'. This game literally came out right after the movie. This was an unlicensed translation, but the Tie Fighters and the Death Star inspired background are obvious. This was only the second or third game in history to use an X-Y monitor.

Larry Rosenthal left Cinematronics to form his own company (Vectorbeam). When he left the company, he took all of the development tools that were used for Space Wars with him. Tim Skelly was hired in this time, and was left with nothing to write his games on except for the main board! Luckily, Larry had ran into a time crunch and had to hire a technician to help him out. Tim found the tech, who had the opcodes for the board, and Dennis Halverson was hired to write the macro assembler for the DEC computers used at the company. Cinematronics needed a game, and fast. So rather than wait for the tools to be developed, Skelly wrote Star Hawk on paper using opcodes. The Star Hawk code was the first machine language code that Skelly wrote that actually worked.

Skelly says, "Obviously, things eventually worked out. I managed to crank out Starhawk in time for a winter game show in London. But what still angers me to this day besides being put on the spot like that, is the fact that more than a hundred employees were depending on a new game to maintain their livelihood, and I was clearly chosen as the guy who couldn't come up with one. I think you can see that, under the circumstances, there was no love lost between the Cinematronics and Vectorbeam camps".

Star Hawk came in a large cabinet that had a front that was completely vertical, while the back section sloped away slightly from the marquee. This title actually had two marquees, one with the game logo, and a second one right below it that had some game instructions. The monitor bezel was just tinted plastic with more game instructions below it. The control panel had a pair of odd 8-Way fire button joysticks that looked a bit like handgrips on a childrens bicycle. These were positioned to be used with the right hand, eventually the industry would decide that joysticks go in the left hand, but this one was the other way around. The cabinet features painted sideart of a barely disguised X-Wing swooping down on a barely disguised Death Star, with a few unrelated red and orange bubbles above them.


Command ships – 800

Starship – 500

Rocket – 300

Missile – 100

Bomber – 100


Designed & programmed by : Tim Skelly


* Consoles :

GCE Vectrex (1982)


Game's rom.

Machine's picture.

MAME Info:

0.35b6 [Aaron Giles, Zonn Moore, Jeff Mitchell, Neil Bradley]

Artwork available

Samples required


- 29th January 2012: Mr. Do - Nightvoice did a lot of work on marquees and control panels for the last year and a half. It's about time I start adding this stuff. For today, we have the control panels for Star Hawk. With the artwork now, the game are a bit easier to understand.

- 0.87u3: Aaron Giles added sound to Barrier, Star Hawk, War of the Worlds and Boxing Bugs (note that samples don't exist yet, but I'm working with Zonn Moore to get them for everything except Barrier). Added Samples sound (explode, rlaser, llaser, k, master and kexit.wav).

- 0.35: Changed 4-way Joystick to 8-way.

- 0.35b6: Added Star Hawk (Cinematronics 1981) [Aaron Giles, Zonn Moore, Jeff Mitchell, Neil Bradley]. TODO: Fix controls.

- 7th March 1999: Brad Oliver has finally sent in the Cinematronics vector games driver with working support for Space Wars, Barrier, Star Castle, Tailgunner, Rip Off, Armor Attack, War of the Worlds, Warrior, Star Hawk and Solar Quest.

LEVELS: 1 (endless)

Other Emulators:


* Cinelator


* Retrocade

Recommended Games (Starfighter):

Starship 1

Star Fire

Star Fire 2

Star Hawk


Tunnel Hunt

Warp Speed

Space Encounters

Space Seeker

Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom



Star Trek




Cube Quest

I, Robot

Star Wars

The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars Arcade

Star Wars Trilogy

Star Wars Pod Racer

Tube Panic

High Voltage


Splendor Blast

Vs. Star Luster

Shrike Avenger

Thunder Ceptor

Galaxy Force 2


Galactic Storm

Space Lords

Solar Assault


Vapor TRX

Romset: 5 kb / 8 files / 4.34 zip

MAME XML Output:

       <game name="starhawk" sourcefile="cinemat.c" sampleof="starhawk">
              <description>Star Hawk</description>
              <rom name="u7" size="2048" crc="376e6c5c" sha1="7d9530ed2e75464578b541f61408ba64ee9d2a95" region="maincpu" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="r7" size="2048" crc="bb71144f" sha1="79591cd3ef8df78ec26e158f7e82ca0dcd72260d" region="maincpu" offset="1"/>
              <rom name="prom.f14" size="256" crc="9edbf536" sha1="036ad8a231284e05f44b1106d38fc0c7e041b6e8" region="proms" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="prom.e14" size="32" crc="29dbfb87" sha1="d8c40ab010b2ea30f29b2c443819e2b69f376c04" region="proms" offset="100"/>
              <rom name="prom.d14" size="32" crc="9a05afbf" sha1="5d806a42424942ba5ef0b70a1d629315b37f931b" region="proms" offset="120"/>
              <rom name="prom.c14" size="32" crc="07492cda" sha1="32df9148797c23f70db47b840139c40e046dd710" region="proms" offset="140"/>
              <rom name="prom.j14" size="32" crc="a481ca71" sha1="ce145d61686f600cc16b77febfd5c783bf8c13b0" region="proms" offset="160"/>
              <rom name="prom.e8" size="32" crc="791ec9e1" sha1="6f7fcce4aa3be9020595235568381588adaab88e" region="proms" offset="180"/>
              <sample name="explode"/>
              <sample name="rlaser"/>
              <sample name="llaser"/>
              <sample name="k"/>
              <sample name="master"/>
              <sample name="kexit"/>
              <chip type="cpu" tag="maincpu" name="CCPU" clock="4980750"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="mono" name="Speaker"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="samples" name="Samples"/>
              <display tag="screen" type="vector" rotate="180" flipx="yes" refresh="38.000000" />
              <sound channels="1"/>
              <input players="2" buttons="4" coins="1">
                     <control type="joy" ways="8"/>
              <dipswitch name="Game Time" tag="SWITCHES" mask="3">
                     <dipvalue name="2:00/4:00" value="3" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1:30/3:00" value="1"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1:00/2:00" value="2"/>
                     <dipvalue name="0:45/1:30" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Unknown" tag="SWITCHES" mask="64">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="64" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <driver status="imperfect" emulation="good" color="good" sound="imperfect" graphic="good" savestate="supported" palettesize="0"/>

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