Home News Forum                            

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

irobot: MAME ROM Information.


I, Robot (c) 1983 Atari.

I, Robot is a 3-D shoot-em-up in which the player controls the "Interface Robot (#1984)" in a rebellion against the all-controlling Big Brother and his ever-watchful 'Evil Eyes'.

The game is set over a series of platform-based stages constructed from solid coloured blocks and to complete a stage, the player must "eliminate the red zones". This is achieved by moving the robot over all of a stage's horizontal surfaces, changing their colour from red to blue. In order to reach all of the platforms and surfaces, the Interface robot will need to jump. This must be carefully timed, however, as jumping is not allowed under Big Brother's regime and his Evil eye will open at regular intervals to watch over the interface robot. Should the eye turn red while the robot is mid-jump, he will be spotted and destroyed, costing the player a life.

Once all of the red squares on a stage, the enemy's shield is destroyed and the Interface Robot will automatically shoot and destroy that stage's Evil Eye before launching itself into space from the top of the pyramid on which the eye was located. A small space-flight to the next stage then follows, with three-dimensional objects hurling through space that must be either avoided or destroyed.

Every third terrain contains a red pyramid which the Robot must enter after destroying the Evil Eye. Once inside the pyramid, the Robot has one chance to collect as many of the jewels as possible before once again destroying that stage's Evil Eye. If the Robot is destroyed while inside the pyramid, he is immediately thrust back into space. The player must then battle through three more terrains and destroy a further three Evil Eyes before he has another chance to collect the jewels inside of the pyramid.

I, Robot was very much ahead of its time and the game featured many new and ground-breaking innovations that the games industry would later adopt. The most striking and obvious of these was the game's graphics. While I, Robot wasn't the world's first fully three-dimensional game (Atari's own "Battlezone" had been released three years earlier), it was the first game to feature solid, filled-polygon graphics, as opposed to the wireframe graphics adopted by other three-dimensional games of the time. The concept of the player being able to switch viewpoints also appeared here first, and is activated by pressing the game's 'Start' button. The final innovation was 'Doodle City'. Instead of playing the game, players could instead choose to use the game's colourful three-dimensional object to draw pictures on the monitor screen.


There was only one kind of I, Robot machine made, the upright dedicated cabinet. The only other game that used this exact cabinet was "Firefox", although the "Major Havoc" cabinet was similar. The best way to describe this cabinet is to say that it looked really top heavy. This cabinet wasn't just a straight up and down affair; the monitor area, control panel, and bottom section were all different sizes and the whole machine flared out at the bottom. The game featured partial sideart in the form of a field of red, blue, and yellow blocks floating in a field of stars. The marquee showed an 'I, Robot' logo composed of 3-D multicolored blocks. There were no important decorations on the control panel or monitor bezel, although the monitor did have a pair of grill-like plastic plates on either side of it. The action was controlled with a single 'Hall Effect' joystick mounted centrally and a camera button on the side of the control panel. This joystick was a fairly new kind of gaming control, but it never did catch on, a few other titles such as "Road Runner" used this stick, but they are almost impossible to find today. A joystick that worked off of magnetic fields probably wasn't the best idea anyway. Some people have managed to replace these joysticks with other kinds of analog sticks, but it requires custom work, and doesn't have the same feel as the Hall Effect stick.

Game ID : 136029

Main CPU : M6809 (@ 1.5 Mhz)

Sound Chips : (4x) POKEY (@ 1.25 Mhz)

Screen orientation : Horizontal

Video resolution : 256 x 232 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.00 Hz

Palette colors : 96

Players : 1

Control : 8-way joystick with FIRING button

Buttons : 2 (VIEW, VIEW)


I, Robot was an utterly unique arcade experience, with several innovations that were frankly years ahead of their time : SOLID 3-D polygons, at a time when the first "Star Wars" game's wire frame antics were still blowing everyone away, appeared HERE first. Selectable camera angles; now a staple of 3d games, were another innovation that I, Robot introduced to the gaming world. The game's very uniqueness would also prove its downfall. Arcade goers of the time were seemingly unable to cope with the game's surrealism and groundbreaking graphics and I, Robot was a commercial flop. Approximately 1,000 units were produced and shipped worldwide but Atari only sold around 500 of them.

I, Robot was originally called "Ice Castles" and consisted of three boards rather than the usual two. At the time of I, Robot's development, Atari exercised the somewhat unusual policy of awarding bonuses to engineers based entirely on revenue from sales of the machines, WITHOUT taking into account the amount of engineering resources (man years) spent developing it. In other words, just the sales revenue minus the manufacturing cost. Consequently, Atari's engineers were motivated to spend ridiculous amounts of time doing little more than reducing the manufacturing cost. They decided that the only way to reduce the cost of the game hardware was to replace a lot of TTL logic with an ASIC. Unfortunately, they assigned very inexperienced people to do the ASIC design. The resulting chip had very low yield; it's unlikely that ANY of them worked over the normal voltage and temperature ranges that commercial semiconductors are normally rated for. By this time, however, the game was so late that they weren't allowed to fix the ASIC problems. Apart from the time it would take to redo the chip, fixing it would also require putting it in a larger package with more power and ground pins, and so the board would have to be redone as well.

So for each production unit they just tried chips until they found one that seemed to work, and shipped the unit. They threw away a lot of chips.


Scoring in this game is a little complicated since many things score differently (even the same things can score differently) :

Birds, Balls, Spiked Balls, etc. on the Platforms : 25-100 pts.

Polygon Asteroids, Pyramids, Cones, etc. in Space : 1-300 pts.

Once you destroy the Eye on the Platforms round, you get whatever bonus is left. Bonuses are variable per Platform and range from 3000 to 7000 points and decrement as you play.

You get 100 points per jewel collected when you take out the Eye in the control area. There are a maximum of ten jewels in the control area. Your maximum score you can get, though, is 999 points.

In space, you get points for everything you can kill.

If your score is greater then the BEST time on the Platforms or the BEST score in Space, you get a bonus of 2,500 points. You do not receive this bonus if you get killed on the Platform or in Space and have to start again.

When you enter a transporter pod, you get 20,000 points/level skipped if you successfully complete the Platform you transported to. You can only go to level 79 this way.


* Hints for Game Play :

1) The player can advance to higher play levels while inside the Transporter.

2) Objects to be destroyed for points include a buzz saw, a soccer ball, a small ball dropped by a bird, the polygons, and a rolling log.

3) The player can achieve a bonus for shooting all of the tetrahedrons in a space wave. The player can also achieve bonus points by spelling I ROBOT by shooting the letters as they appear sequentially in space waves.

4) The player must shoot the polygons with SEVEN shots in order to destroy them and achieve points.

* Warp : Hold down both Start buttons when entering the transporter on level 1. You can now warp as high as level 10.


* One block of claimed area will reduce the shield strength down by one. The shield strength is basically the total of all these unclaimed blocks per level. So if you see a shield strength of two, but don't see any unclaimed areas, this means you will definitely have to look around for them.

* Some Platform levels only have a few blocks separated by gaps while others have long walkways also separated by gaps. You must bridge the gaps between these blocks. To bridge any gap :

a) The game will show you when a gap can be bridged. The section under your robot will blink and a corresponding section across the gap will blink.

b) Bridges created are the same color that other claimed areas are.

c) If you jump when the Eye is open, your robot will be destroyed by the Eye.

* Sometimes unclaimed areas are hidden behind blocks. Use the point of view buttons to look for these areas.

* Your robot is equipped with lasers. They are useful when taking out the smaller objects such as birds and spiked balls. They won't work on the big beach balls or the walkway grinders.

* Using the above tip, remember to constantly shoot when you are jumping. Your lasers only fire toward the eye regardless of which way you jump. This usually prevents something from hitting your robot in mid-flight.

* Watch the shield below the Eye. The number will go down as long as you claim areas on the walkways. If the number is at one or two and you don't see any unclaimed areas, change your point of view and look around for unclaimed areas.

* There are indestructible creatures called ''Point of View'' killers. If you don't change your point of view by the time these things make it to your robot, your robot will be destroyed.

* In the middle, at the bottom of the screen is a phrase showing you how often the Eye opens and closes. This time is variable so you need to check out the bottom of the screen to see the frequency the eye opens. If there isn't a time, then it is once every five seconds.

* Keep in mind, you are on a timer. This basically means planning out in advance of where you want to move since there isn't really any time to sit around and take in the scenery.

* You must land on the unclaimed block in front of the eye in order to destroy it.

* Every third level, after you destroy the Eye from the outside, you will be able to enter a control area to take on the Eye in its environment. To make your job harder, a buzz saw starts at the back of this platform and eats it away toward the Eye. In addition, you may have to blast through walls in order to get the jewels and proceed toward the eye.


* The best way to get through this area is to rapidly shoot. Most objects require at least five to ten shots to take them out.

* Never let the tetras go. If you don't destroy them, they will come around from the backside and destroy your robot.

* There are other enemies such as tankers. If you hit them, they get mad and hit your robot from the backside if you don't destroy them.

* You can't destroy the saucers, but you can lead them into the rocks to kill them.

* You can also maneuver around the shapes but in the later levels, this is made harder by the life ring shaped objects that are on the outer edges.

* Every fourth level, you have to deal with a three-dimensional head. Although not particularly tough, it is a nuisance :

a) Fire at one side of the head to force it to rotate around. If the head isn't facing your robot, the danger is minimized considerably since he won't fire his cone-shaped projectiles at your robot.

b) You must hit every cone-shaped projectile fired from the head. If you don't, they come around and hit your robot from the backside.

c) You will have to survive this encounter for about 20 seconds. After that, you will be done with that part of the level.

* If you successfully destroy the letters IROBOT during the Space part of the level, you get a 5000 point bonus.

* After level two, you must successfully land your robot on the next level Platform.


Designed and programmed by : Dave Theurer (DAV), Russel Dawe (RUS), Cris Drobny


Game's rom.

Machine's picture.

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

MAME Info:

0.36b10 [Dan Boris, John Dickson]

0.33b3 [Dan Boris]

Artwork available


- src\mame\machine\irobot.c doesn't compile with DISASSEMBLE_MB_ROM set to 1. Firewave (ID 03202)


- 0.146: Couriersud improved sound emulation for POKEY chip. Changed audio emulation to emulate borrow 3 clock delay and proper channel reset. New frequency only becomes effective after the counter hits 0. Emulation also treats counters as 8 bit counters which are linked now instead of monolytic 16 bit counters. Fixed high pass filters for POKEY. Added POKEYN device based on modern device. Fixed random lfsr generation. Consolidated polynom code. Removed legacy left overs from pokey code. Added a internal pokey_channel class. Convert all remaining drivers to use the modern pokey device.

- 0.136u3: Phil Bennett and Tafoid added XTAL values from manual and hooked up to IRobot driver for main/sound CPU. Tafoid added/verified DIP locations per manual and test mode for I, Robot. Changed M6809 CPU1 and the 4x POKEY clock speeds to 1512000 Hz.

- 0.131u2: MooglyGuy merged memory maps and cleaned up some comments in I, Robot.

- 0.126u3: Aaron Giles fixed hang in I, Robot.

- 9th July 2008: Mr. Do - Fixed the blue in the proto version of the I, Robot instruction card.

- 0.122u8: Zsolt Vasvari removed colortables from I, Robot and a number of other drivers, as part of a larger move to phase out old-style colortables.

- 0.113u4: Zsolt Vasvari fixed I, Robot crash introduced in last timing update.

- 0.110: Luigi30 fixed joystick X/Y range in I, Robot (see JOYSTICK TEST 1 in Service Mode).

- 24th August 2006: Mr. Do - Added I, Robot artwork.

- 0.97u3: MASH fixed bitmap displaying in I, Robot.

- 0.37b9: Changed cpu2 roms ($c000-f000) to proms and fixed cpu2 rom loading.

- 14th June 2000: John Dickson fixed a few graphics glitches in I, Robot.

- 6th January 2000: Vernon C. Brooks fixed an I, Robot reset problem and some Namco System 1 drivers' problems.

- 0.36b12: Added 'Demo Mode' dipswitch.

- 10th December 1999: Aaron Giles fixed the speed of I, Robot's mathbox.

- 7th December 1999: Aaron Giles sent in a nice optimization to the I, Robot driver.

- 2nd December 1999: Bernd Wiebelt fixed some things in I, Robot and added 16bpp support.

- 0.36b10: Re-added 'I, Robot'. Changed visible area to 256x232. Suggestion: Turn off autoframeskip.

- 19th November 1999: Dan Boris submitted a different version of the I-Robot driver.

- 16th November 1999: Dan Boris finally sent in the I, Robot driver.

- 12th November 1999: Dan Boris and John Dickson have gotten I, Robot fully playable, but don't yet expect to see it in the next beta.

- 3rd November 1999: John Dickson has made some progress with I, Robot, but don't expect to see anything soon.

- 0.36b4: Moved 'I, Robot' to Testdriver.

- 0.33b3: Dan Boris added 'I, Robot' (Atari 1983), preliminary.


- Move robot over all red zones. When red zones are eliminated jump to eye to complete each wave.

- Do not jump if eye is red.

- To jump: Go to an edge and push joystick in desired direction (flashing squares indicate where you can land).

- Avoid all enemy objects. Some can be destroyed by using fire button.

- In the space waves shoot all pyramids to get maximum points. Some objects cannot be destroyed.

- Hints: The shield counts down the number of red zones remaining. To select higher levels enter transporter. To change perspective press start buttons.

Other Emulators:

* I,Robot emulator (http://manfreda.org/LordFrito/)

Movie: I, Robot

Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller

Year: USA 2004

Director: Alex Proyas

Studio: 20th Century-Fox

Cast: Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood, James Cromwell and Chi McBride

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

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: 152 kb / 25 files / 83.1 zip

MAME XML Output:

       <game name="irobot" sourcefile="irobot.c">
              <description>I, Robot</description>
              <rom name="136029-208.bin" size="8192" crc="b4d0be59" sha1="5b476dbee8b171a96301b2204420161333d4ca97" region="maincpu" offset="6000"/>
              <rom name="136029-209.bin" size="16384" crc="f6be3cd0" sha1="a88ae0cc9ee22aa5dd3db0173f24313189f894f8" region="maincpu" offset="8000"/>
              <rom name="136029-210.bin" size="16384" crc="c0eb2133" sha1="daa77293678b7e822d0672b90789c53098c5451e" region="maincpu" offset="c000"/>
              <rom name="136029-405.bin" size="16384" crc="9163efe4" sha1="5d71d8ec80c9be4726189d48ad519b4638160d64" region="maincpu" offset="10000"/>
              <rom name="136029-206.bin" size="16384" crc="e114a526" sha1="bd94ad4d536f681efa81153050a12098a31d79cf" region="maincpu" offset="14000"/>
              <rom name="136029-207.bin" size="16384" crc="b4556cb0" sha1="2e0c1e4c265e7d232ca86d5c8760e32fc49fe08d" region="maincpu" offset="18000"/>
              <rom name="136029-104.bin" size="8192" crc="0a6cdcca" sha1="b9fd76eae8ca24fa3abc30c46bbf30d89943d97d" region="mathbox" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="136029-103.bin" size="8192" crc="0c83296d" sha1="c1f4041a58f395e24855254849604dfe3b8b0d71" region="mathbox" offset="1"/>
              <rom name="136029-102.bin" size="16384" crc="9d588f22" sha1="787ec3e642e1dc3417477348afa88c764e1f2a88" region="mathbox" offset="4000"/>
              <rom name="136029-101.bin" size="16384" crc="62a38c08" sha1="868bb3fe5657a4ce45c3dd04ba26a7fb5a5ded42" region="mathbox" offset="4001"/>
              <rom name="136029-124.bin" size="2048" crc="848948b6" sha1="743c6570c787bc9a2a14716adc66b8e2fe57129f" region="gfx1" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="136029-125.bin" size="32" crc="446335ba" sha1="5b42cc065bfac467028ae883844c8f94465c3666" region="proms" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="136029-111.bin" size="1024" crc="9fbc9bf3" sha1="33dee2382e1e3899ffbaea859a67af7334270b4a" region="proms" offset="20"/>
              <rom name="136029-112.bin" size="1024" crc="b2713214" sha1="4e1ea039e7a3e341796097b0c6943a4805b89f56" region="proms" offset="420"/>
              <rom name="136029-113.bin" size="1024" crc="7875930a" sha1="63a3818450a76d230a75f038b140c3934659313e" region="proms" offset="820"/>
              <rom name="136029-114.bin" size="1024" crc="51d29666" sha1="34887df0f1ac064b4cf4252a225406e8b30872c6" region="proms" offset="c20"/>
              <rom name="136029-115.bin" size="1024" crc="00f9b304" sha1="46b4495002ddf80668a66a4f85cab99432677b50" region="proms" offset="1020"/>
              <rom name="136029-116.bin" size="1024" crc="326aba54" sha1="e4caab90910b3aa16c314909f8c02eaf212449a1" region="proms" offset="1420"/>
              <rom name="136029-117.bin" size="1024" crc="98efe8d0" sha1="39532fc1b14714396764500a9b1c9e4fed97a970" region="proms" offset="1820"/>
              <rom name="136029-118.bin" size="1024" crc="4a6aa7f9" sha1="163e8e764b400d726c725b6a45901c311e62667e" region="proms" offset="1c20"/>
              <rom name="136029-119.bin" size="1024" crc="a5a13ad8" sha1="964a87c879c953563ca84f8e3c1201302c7b2b91" region="proms" offset="2020"/>
              <rom name="136029-120.bin" size="1024" crc="2a083465" sha1="35ca23d5bbdc2827afb823a974864b96eb135797" region="proms" offset="2420"/>
              <rom name="136029-121.bin" size="1024" crc="adebcb99" sha1="4628f8af43d82e578833b1452ec747eeb822b4e4" region="proms" offset="2820"/>
              <rom name="136029-122.bin" size="1024" crc="da7b6f79" sha1="02398ba6e7c56d961bf92e2755e530db1144219d" region="proms" offset="2c20"/>
              <rom name="136029-123.bin" size="1024" crc="39fff18f" sha1="85f338eeff7d8ed58804611bf8446ebb697d196d" region="proms" offset="3020"/>
              <chip type="cpu" tag="maincpu" name="M6809" clock="1512000"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="mono" name="Speaker"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="pokey1" name="POKEYN" clock="1512000"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="pokey2" name="POKEYN" clock="1512000"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="pokey3" name="POKEYN" clock="1512000"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="pokey4" name="POKEYN" clock="1512000"/>
              <display tag="screen" type="raster" rotate="0" width="256" height="232" refresh="60.000000" />
              <sound channels="1"/>
              <input players="1" buttons="2" coins="3">
                     <control type="stick" minimum="96" maximum="159" sensitivity="50" keydelta="50" reverse="yes"/>
              <dipswitch name="Service Mode" tag="IN0" mask="16">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="16" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Language" tag="DSW2" mask="1">
                     <dipvalue name="English" value="1" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="German" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Minimum Game Time" tag="DSW2" mask="2">
                     <dipvalue name="90 Seconds on Level 1" value="0"/>
                     <dipvalue name="None" value="2" default="yes"/>
              <dipswitch name="Bonus Life" tag="DSW2" mask="12">
                     <dipvalue name="None" value="8"/>
                     <dipvalue name="20000" value="12" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="30000" value="0"/>
                     <dipvalue name="50000" value="4"/>
              <dipswitch name="Lives" tag="DSW2" mask="48">
                     <dipvalue name="2" value="32"/>
                     <dipvalue name="3" value="48" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="4" value="0"/>
                     <dipvalue name="5" value="16"/>
              <dipswitch name="Difficulty" tag="DSW2" mask="64">
                     <dipvalue name="Easy" value="0"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Medium" value="64" default="yes"/>
              <dipswitch name="Demo Mode" tag="DSW2" mask="128">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="128" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Coins Per Credit" tag="DSW1" mask="3">
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin 1 Credit" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="2 Coins 1 Credit" value="1"/>
                     <dipvalue name="3 Coins 1 Credit" value="2"/>
                     <dipvalue name="4 Coins 1 Credit" value="3"/>
              <dipswitch name="Right Coin" tag="DSW1" mask="12">
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin for 1 Coin Unit" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin for 4 Coin Units" value="4"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin for 5 Coin Units" value="8"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin for 6 Coin Units" value="12"/>
              <dipswitch name="Left Coin" tag="DSW1" mask="16">
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin for 1 Coin Unit" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin for 2 Coin Units" value="16"/>
              <dipswitch name="Bonus Adder" tag="DSW1" mask="224">
                     <dipvalue name="None" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Credit for 2 Coin Units" value="32"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Credit for 3 Coin Units" value="160"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Credit for 4 Coin Units" value="64"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Credit for 5 Coin Units" value="128"/>
                     <dipvalue name="2 Credits for 4 Coin Units" value="96"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Free Play" value="224"/>
              <driver status="good" emulation="good" color="good" sound="good" graphic="good" savestate="unsupported" palettesize="96"/>

emumovies.com      Retro bytes Portal           Bookmark and Share

Developed by: Spesoft  Headsoft     Terms of use     Privacy    Advertise