Home News Forum                            

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

bosco: MAME ROM Information.


Bosconian - Star Destroyer (c) 1981 Namco.

Bosconian is a multi-directional space shooter where the player must destroy several enemy bases on each round while evading enemy ships, asteroids and mines. Enemy bases are destroyed either with a shot to the center or by shooting out all 6 base cannons. The player's ship is always positioned in the center of the screen with everything else scrolling around it as the player flies. A radar map to the right shows the position of the player, enemy bases, and occasional formation attack groups.


[Upright model]

Main CPU : Z80 (x3), MB88xx

Sound Chips : Namco 3-channel WSG, custom DAC (for speech), discrete circuitry (for the shot and explosions sounds)

Screen orientation : Horizontal

Video resolution : 288 x 224 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.61 Hz

Palette colors : 32

Players : 2

Control : 8-way joystick

Buttons : 1 (FIRE)


Released in November 1981.

Bosconian was famous for being the first game to have a continue feature. When the game was released, Midway gave out strategy booklets to the game from a display attached to the machine.

The "Spy Ship" in this game also makes a cameo appearance in "Galaga" as one of the three "transform" ships.

In the game Ridge Racer, a car has this game as a sponsor. It is a white and red car named RT Bosconian. Its sister car, from another Namco game is a white and blue car named RT Nebulasray. They were used in Ridge Racer, Ridge Racer 2, Ridge Racer 64, and Ridge Racer DS.

The origin of the keywords in Bosconian (as in the 'Zwilniks of Boskone') is the Lensman space-opera saga, which in Japan always enjoyed high popularity.

Bosconian : Boskonian

I-Type missile : Eich

P-Type missile : Ploor

E-Type misslle : Eddore

Ken McLeod holds the official record for this game with 2913150 points on February 24, 1983.

Original products:

Bosconian - Star Destroyer [Upright model] (Namco)

Bosconian - Star Destroyer [Cocktail Table model] (Namco)

Licensed products:

Bosconian - Star Destroyer [Upright model] [No. 550] (Midway)

Bosconian - Star Destroyer [Mini-Myte model] [No. 555] (Midway)

Bosconian - Star Destroyer [Cocktail Table model] [No. 557] (Midway)


In the NEW Namco version, the Enemy Base setup is different. Both versions have the same Enemy Base setups, but they are in different order as the rounds go up. This is also true regarding where your fighter starts at. For example, the setup for Round 4 on the other versions is the same as the setup for Round 6 on the new Namco version.


Asteroid : 10 points

Cosmo Mine : 20 points

I-Type Missile (Looks like fighter) : 50 points

P-Type Missile (Looks like boomerang) : 60 points

E-Type Missile (Looks like Enemy Base Missile) : 70 points

Spy Ship : 200 or 400 points

Enemy Station Cannon : 200 points

Enemy Station : 1500 points

Enemy Formation : 500, 1000 or 1500 points depending on missile type

Control Fighter in Formation (The off-colored fighter) : 100, 120 or 140 points (twice the normal missile value)

Bonus for no-miss clear (completing a round without dying) - this bonus is given only when the game is set to auto difficulty : multiplier x number of bases, the multiplier starts at 100 points and increases by 100 points each time you get the bonus up to 1000 points.


* Easter Egg :

1) Enter service mode.

2) Keep B1 pressed and enter the following sequence : Up(x5), Right(x6), Down, Left(x4). '(c) 1981 NAMCO LTD.' will be added at the bottom of the screen.

* The action starts immediately as soon as you start your game (the synthesized voice will state "Blast Off!" at the start of each new stage and each new life). Your fighter will be put on the screen. Your radar display will show how many space stations need to be taken out. The radar doesn't show, though, all the space debris all over the place and the enemy fighters (unless they are in formation). Your fighter stays in the middle of the screen.

* Be aware that the enemy missiles are faster then your ship. This means you will have to learn to use the joystick proficiently so that you can maneuver away from these enemy missiles attempting to commit suicide on your ship.

* At the beginning of the round, quickly look at your radar to determine where the Enemy Stations are. Then quickly figure out a systematic way of destroying them since time is one's enemy in this game. Just because they are lined up in a row doesn't mean that the missile bays are facing the same direction.

* By that same token, your ship fires lasers from both the front and back. This means if anything is trying to 'sneak' up on you, they won't stand a chance.

* Use the space debris to your advantage. You score points regardless of whether you hit the enemy, or if you use other means to assist, such as the mines or rocks. Just keep in mind that the space debris doesn't return until the next round.

* The Enemy Stations can be destroyed two ways :

1) The first way is to fire a shot directly into their missile bay. This is easy to do on the first two rounds. By round three, the missile bay has a door which opens and closes to make it more of a challenge. After round three, the station will fire a missile if your fighter is in the missiles path. You can easily destroy this missile with your ship.

2) The other way is to destroy all six cannons around the space station. This method also enables you to get more points in the long run. To do this, though, means you will have to deal with more enemy missiles since you have to constantly loop around to hit the cannons. In addition, the pods fire back on your ship.

* Enemy Stations can be oriented with the missile bay facing left/right or up/down. Keep this in mind if you are taking on multiple stations in one area. While you are pounding on one Enemy Station, three more may be firing at your ship to prevent you from destroying your target.

* The warning conditions tell you how safe it is for the moment :

1) GREEN means no enemies within view.

2) YELLOW means enemies present.

3) RED means that you have taken too long and the enemy is now moving twice as fast to ram you.

* You will also hear synthesized voice prompts stating "Blast Off!" at the start of each new round, "Alert! Alert!" when enemies attack, "Battle Stations!" when an enemy formation approaches, "Spy Ship Sighted!" when the Spy Ship appears, and "Condition Red!" when you enter the red condition.

* At regular intervals, a formation of enemy missiles will head toward your ship. You can see what the formation of these enemy missiles are in by looking at the area above the top, left corner of the radar. This will show you if they are in a line, checkerboard pattern, etc. You will also see this formation (represented by a red dot) on your radar screen. Some quick tips for tangling with formations :

1) Enemy formations always appear as a control missile with four missiles.

2) If you destroy the control missile, the other missiles will spread out. You can still destroy them but it is much harder to get the points for taking out the entire formation.

3) Try to maneuver in such a way as to be able to rapidly hit all the missiles. This is of course barring the fact there is no other things (rocks and mines) in the way that can destroy these missiles. This works well when they are in a line. If they are in a checkerboard pattern, you will have to move back and forth so you can hit everything but the control missile.

4) A synthesized voice stating 'Battle Stations' will announce when a formation is present.

* As mentioned before, if you take too long to take out the Enemy Stations, the condition will go to RED and enemy missiles will pour into the area with the only intent of ramming your ship. You will know this also by the sound the machine makes.

* Continue to fly erratic patterns (unless you are going after Enemy Stations or formations) because the enemy missiles do move quicker then you do plus you will probably be able to take them out more effectively.

* Just as in "Time Pilot", there is a way you can stay on a level for as long as you want (This works best on level 2) : Stay away from all the bases, and fly horizontally from left to right. Just fire continuously at all the formations that come at you. The other ships will never be able to come after you. There is no time limit in the game, and it never gets any harder. You can stay on this level for as long as you want. It takes a VERY LONG TIME, though, to get a LARGE score.


1. Bosconian - Star Destroyer (1981)

2. Blast Off (1989)


Designed and programmed by : Akira Takundai, Hurashi Nagumo

Music by : Nobuyuki Ohnagi


* Consoles :

Sony PlayStation (1995, "Namco Museum Vol.1")

Sony PlayStation 2 (2005, "Namco Museum 50th Anniversary")

Microsoft XBOX (2005, "Namco Museum 50th Anniversary")

Nintendo GameCube (2005,"Namco Museum 50th Anniversary")

Sony PSP (2005, "Namco Museum Battle Collection")

Microsoft XBOX 360 (2008, "Namco Museum Virtual Arcade")

Nintendo Wii (2010, "Namco Museum Megamix")

* Computers :

Sharp X68000 (1981)

MSX (1984)

Commodore C64 (1987, "Bosconian 87")

Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1987, "Bosconian 87")

PC 6001

PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2005, "Namco Museum 50th Anniversary")


* Others :

Namco Classics TV Game (2003 - Jakks Pacific)

Ms. Pac-Man TV Game Wireless Version (2005 - Jakks Pacific)

Arcade Gold featuring Pac-Man (2007 - Jakks Pacific)

Retro Arcade featuring Pac-Man (2008 - Jakks Pacific)


Game's rom.

Machine's picture.

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

MAME Info:

0.36RC2 [?]

0.35b13 [Toninho]

0.27 [Martin Scragg]

Artwork available


- Press 'Insert' to speed up the slow IC test routine.


- Explosion of a space mine or a base changes the pitch of the player's shooting sound. Gyrovision (ID 00472)

- bosco and clones: [possible] About the graphic of title screen. Prophet (ID 00480)


- 0.144u1: hap fixed game resets at various times in Bosconian (new version) and clone (Midway, new version).

- 0.143u8: Kanikani fixed DIPSW and DIP locations in Bosconian. Added 'Unused' dipswitch.

- 0.139u1: Alex Jackson fixed Bosconian from reboots or hangs.

- 0.133u2: Fixed rom names.

- 0.133u1: Brian Troha added DIP locations to Bosconian. Added proper conditional bonus (based on number of starting fighters) to Bosconian.

- 0.131u3: Aaron Giles changed the Namco 52xx and 53xx devices to run the actual MCU instead of simulating the behavior. Hooked them up properly in Bosconian. Replaced audio Namco 52XX with 2x MB8843 (1536000 Hz) CPU6/7. Changed MB8842 CPU4/5 and MB8844 CPU8 clock speeds to 1536000 Hz.

- 21st January 2008: Mr. Do - Zorg is back, and vectorized Bosconian, to make it look even sharper and crisper than ever.

- 0.119u3: David Haywood added the rom loading for roms 51xx and 52xx.bin, which are dumped but not yet hooked up.

- 0.118u5: Changed palettesize to 580 colors.

- 0.114u1: Nicola Salmoria added actual emulation of the microcontroller used for the Namco 50xx chip as found in Bosconian and Xevious. Added 2x MB8842 (256000 Hz) CPU4/5 and 2x 50xx.bin cpu4/5 roms (Namco 50xx internal ROM - 2k). Replaced MB88xx CPU4 with MB8844.

- 0.112u2: Replaced 3x DAC sound with Discrete.

- 0.112u1: Replaced implementation of Namco 54xx sound chip with new MB8844 CPU core running the original embedded ROM code. Removed old sound core. Pole Position and Bosconian no longer require samples as a result [Nicola Salmora, Ernesto Corvi, Guru]. Added MB88xx (256000 Hz) CPU4 with 1k rom and replaced Namco 54XX and Samples with 3x DAC sound.

- 12th November 2006: Mr. Do - We have Bosconian bezel, thanks to the loan by Vintage Arcade Superstore and cleanup by Ad_Enuff.

- 0.94u5: James Rowan corrected Bosconian starfield.

- 0.94u2: Derrick Renaud added proper watchdog to Bosconian.

- 0.90u3: Derrick Renaud added proper filters to the Namco52 sample player of Bosconian, Galaga, Pole Position and Xevious. Adjusted relative effect volumes per schematics.

- 0.90u2: Derrick Renaud updated the Namco 54xx noise sound and added R/C values to Bosconian, Galaga, Pole Position and Xevious.

- 0.89u5: Jarek Burczynski improved the Namco 54xx Noise Generator (Type A and B emulated, type C algo still unknown). Removed samples (bigbang and midbang.wav).

- 0.79u1: Nicola Salmoria fixed tile/sprite priority handling in Bosconian and added a better emulation of the 50XX custom chip (no more need for hacks). Bosconian now uses a different sound PROM, which seems more correct. Changed Z80 CPU1/2/3 clock speeds to 3072000 Hz and replaced Custom sound with Namco 52XX (1536000 Hz) and Namco 54XX (1536000 Hz). Removed 3rd coin slot.

- 0.37b12: Changed VSync to 60.606060Hz.

- 0.37b2: Added clone Bosconian (older version).

- 0.36RC2: Added Bosconian (new version) (Namco 1981). Changed 'Bosconian' to clone '(old version)'. Renamed (bosco) to (boscoo).

- 0.36b13: Changed description of clones 'Bosconian (Midway, set 1)' to '(Midway, old version)' and '(Midway, set 2)' to '(Midway, new version)'. Renamed (boscomd) to (boscomdo) and (boscomd2) to (boscomd).

- 0.36b11: Vernon C. Brooks fixed Bosconian score handling.

- 0.36b4: Gamester fixed scores in Bosconian.

- 0.36b1: Nicola Salmoria fixed controls and graphics in Commando (Sega), which is now fully playable. This also fixes diagonal shots in Bosconian. Added proms (dots, video layout, video timing and timing).

- 0.35b13: Changed clone 'Bosconian (Namco)' to parent 'Bosconian'. Renamed (bosco) to (boscomd), (bosconm) to (bosco) and (bosco2) to (boscomd2).

- 10th July 1999: Nicola made a major improvement to Bosconian, Commando (Sega), Rally-X and the rest, adding a missing character PROM.

- 0.35b5: Zsolt Vasvari added clone Bosconian (Midway, set 2). Changed parent description to 'Bosconian (Midway, set 1)' and added sound1 prom.

- 26th February 1999: Zsolt Vasvari has added several clones (for Smash TV, Galaxian, Rampage, Satan's Hollow, Bosconian).

- 0.34b1: Added sound and color proms ($0, 20 - palette and lookup table).

- 0.30: Martin Scragg added the background starfield and fixed Bosconian crashing: This was the speech processor being used for a protection check. Known issues: Some of the dipswitches for bosconm are wrong.

- 0.29: Toninho added clone Bosconian (Namco). Changed parent description to 'Bosconian (Midway)'.

- 0.28: Changed description of 'bosco' to Bosconian.

- 0.27: Martin Scragg added support for Bosconian (Midway 1981). The sounds are from the M-ulator V 0.14 by Martin Scragg. Control: Arrows = Move around and CTRL = Fire.

LEVELS: 255 (endless)

Other Emulators:

* Retrocade

Recommended Games (Sinistar):



Astro Chase (Max-A-Flex)



Time Pilot '84

Vanguard II


Last Mission

Ark Area

Romset: 50 kb / 19 files / 35.5 zip

MAME XML Output:

       <game name="bosco" sourcefile="galaga.c">
              <description>Bosconian (new version)</description>
              <rom name="bos3_1.3n" size="4096" crc="96021267" sha1="bd49b0caabcccf9df45a272d767456a4fc8a7c07" region="maincpu" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="bos1_2.3m" size="4096" crc="2d8f3ebe" sha1="75de1cba7531ae4bf7fbbef7b8e37b9fec4ed0d0" region="maincpu" offset="1000"/>
              <rom name="bos1_3.3l" size="4096" crc="c80ccfa5" sha1="f2bbec2ea9846d4601f06c0b4242744447a88fda" region="maincpu" offset="2000"/>
              <rom name="bos1_4b.3k" size="4096" crc="a3f7f4ab" sha1="eb26184311bae0767c7a5593926e6eadcbcb680e" region="maincpu" offset="3000"/>
              <rom name="bos1_5c.3j" size="4096" crc="a7c8e432" sha1="3607be75daa10f1f98dbfd9e600c5ba513130d44" region="sub" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="bos3_6.3h" size="4096" crc="4543cf82" sha1="50ad7d1ab6694eb8fab88d0fa79ee04f6984f3ca" region="sub" offset="1000"/>
              <rom name="bos1_7.3e" size="4096" crc="d45a4911" sha1="547236adca9174f5cc0ec05b9649618bb92ba630" region="sub2" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="bos1_14.5d" size="4096" crc="a956d3c5" sha1="c5a9d7b1f9b4acda8fb9762414e085cb5fb80c9e" region="gfx1" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="bos1_13.5e" size="4096" crc="e869219c" sha1="425614cd0642743a82ef9c1aada29774a92203ea" region="gfx2" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="bos1-4.2r" size="256" crc="9b69b543" sha1="47af3f67e50794e839b74fe61197af2228084efd" region="gfx3" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="bos1-6.6b" size="32" crc="d2b96fb0" sha1="54c100ec9d173d7dd48a453ebed5f625053cb6e0" region="proms" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="bos1-5.4m" size="256" crc="4e15d59c" sha1="3542ead6421d169c3569e121ec2be304e108787c" region="proms" offset="20"/>
              <rom name="bos1-3.2d" size="32" crc="b88d5ba9" sha1="7b97a38a540b7ca4b7d9ae338ec38b9b1a337846" region="proms" offset="120"/>
              <rom name="bos1-7.7h" size="32" crc="87d61353" sha1="c7493e52662c921625676a4a4e8cf4371bd938b7" region="proms" offset="140"/>
              <rom name="bos1-1.1d" size="256" crc="de2316c6" sha1="0e55c56046331888d1d3f0d9823d2ceb203e7d3f" region="namco" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="bos1-2.5c" size="256" crc="77245b66" sha1="0c4d0bee858b97632411c440bea6948a74759746" region="namco" offset="100"/>
              <rom name="bos1_9.5n" size="4096" crc="09acc978" sha1="2b264aaeb6eba70ad91593413dca733990e5467b" region="52xx" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="bos1_10.5m" size="4096" crc="e571e959" sha1="9c81d7bec73bc605f7dd9a089171b0f34c4bb09a" region="52xx" offset="1000"/>
              <rom name="bos1_11.5k" size="4096" crc="17ac9511" sha1="266f3fae90d2fe38d109096d352863a52b379899" region="52xx" offset="2000"/>
              <device_ref name="namco50"/>
              <device_ref name="namco50"/>
              <device_ref name="namco51"/>
              <device_ref name="namco52"/>
              <device_ref name="namco54"/>
              <chip type="cpu" tag="maincpu" name="Z80" clock="3072000"/>
              <chip type="cpu" tag="sub" name="Z80" clock="3072000"/>
              <chip type="cpu" tag="sub2" name="Z80" clock="3072000"/>
              <chip type="cpu" tag="50xx_1:mcu" name="MB8842" clock="1536000"/>
              <chip type="cpu" tag="50xx_2:mcu" name="MB8842" clock="1536000"/>
              <chip type="cpu" tag="51xx:mcu" name="MB8843" clock="1536000"/>
              <chip type="cpu" tag="52xx:mcu" name="MB8843" clock="1536000"/>
              <chip type="cpu" tag="54xx:mcu" name="MB8844" clock="1536000"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="mono" name="Speaker"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="namco" name="Namco" clock="96000"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="discrete" name="DISCRETE"/>
              <display tag="screen" type="raster" rotate="0" width="288" height="224" refresh="60.606061" pixclock="6144000" htotal="384" hbend="0" hbstart="288" vtotal="264" vbend="16" vbstart="240" />
              <sound channels="1"/>
              <input players="2" buttons="1" coins="2">
                     <control type="joy" ways="8"/>
              <dipswitch name="Service Mode" tag="IN0H" mask="8">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="8" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Difficulty" tag="DSWA" mask="3">
                     <dipvalue name="Easy" value="1"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Medium" value="3" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Hardest" value="2"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Auto" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Allow Continue" tag="DSWA" mask="4">
                     <dipvalue name="No" value="0"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Yes" value="4" default="yes"/>
              <dipswitch name="Demo Sounds" tag="DSWA" mask="8">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="8"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0" default="yes"/>
              <dipswitch name="Freeze" tag="DSWA" mask="16">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="16" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Unused" tag="DSWA" mask="32">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="32" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Unused" tag="DSWA" mask="64">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="64" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Cabinet" tag="DSWA" mask="128">
                     <dipvalue name="Upright" value="128" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Cocktail" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Coinage" tag="DSWB" mask="7">
                     <dipvalue name="4 Coins/1 Credit" value="1"/>
                     <dipvalue name="3 Coins/1 Credit" value="2"/>
                     <dipvalue name="2 Coins/1 Credit" value="3"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/1 Credit" value="7" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="2 Coins/3 Credits" value="4"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/2 Credits" value="6"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/3 Credits" value="5"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Free Play" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Bonus Fighter" tag="DSWB" mask="56">
                     <dipvalue name="15K and 50K Only" value="48"/>
                     <dipvalue name="20K and 70K Only" value="56"/>
                     <dipvalue name="10K, 50K, Every 50K" value="8"/>
                     <dipvalue name="15K, 50K, Every 50K" value="16"/>
                     <dipvalue name="15K, 70K, Every 70K" value="24"/>
                     <dipvalue name="20K, 70K, Every 70K" value="32" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="30K, 100K, Every 100K" value="40"/>
                     <dipvalue name="None" value="0"/>
                     <dipvalue name="30K, 100K, Every 100K" value="48"/>
                     <dipvalue name="30K, 120K, Every 120K" value="56"/>
                     <dipvalue name="15K and 70K Only" value="8"/>
                     <dipvalue name="20K and 70K Only" value="16"/>
                     <dipvalue name="20K and 100K Only" value="24"/>
                     <dipvalue name="30K and 120K Only" value="32" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="30K, 80K, Every 80K" value="40"/>
                     <dipvalue name="None" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Lives" tag="DSWB" mask="192">
                     <dipvalue name="1" value="0"/>
                     <dipvalue name="2" value="64"/>
                     <dipvalue name="3" value="128" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="5" value="192"/>
              <driver status="imperfect" emulation="good" color="good" sound="good" graphic="imperfect" savestate="supported" palettesize="580"/>

emumovies.com      Retro bytes Portal           Bookmark and Share

Developed by: Spesoft  Headsoft     Terms of use     Privacy    Advertise