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ldrun: MAME ROM Information.


Lode Runner (c) 1984 Irem.


Irem M-62 system hardware

Main CPU : Z80 (@ 4 Mhz)

Sound CPU : M6803 (@ 894.886 Khz)

Sound Chips : (2x) AY8910 (@ 894.886 Khz), (2x) MSM5205 (@ 384 Khz)

Players : 2

Control : 8-way joystick

Buttons : 2



Released in July 1984 by Irem under license from Broderbund.

The Bungeling Empire, made famous in the Lode Runner series, is also the antagonist in "Vs. Raid On Bungeling Bay". Both games were developed by Broderbund Software.

Here is the full story of the game from one of the makers : The person most responsible for the development of Lode Runner was Doug Smith. He and I both lived with our parents in Renton, Washington, and commuted to school at the University of Washington in Seattle. Doug attempted to get into the Computer Science Department twice before settling on a Physics major. Later, I was accepted to the Computer Science Department, but guess which one of us became a millionaire. Doug eventually dropped out of college in the wake of Lode Runner's success.

The earliest version of Lode Runner was written in Fortran on the University's VAX 1. It was called 'Kong' because of its similarities to "Donkey Kong". Since developing video games was not authorized use of the University's resources, it was known as 'graph' until its completion. 'graph' would prompt the user for a function, then crap out unless the secret password was entered to play 'Kong'. The secret password became common knowledge among students, so a 'show process' command would often report 80% of the users running 'graph'.

The only coauthor of 'Kong' was James Bratsanos (or something like that, I never met him). He contributed about 15% of the total man hours to the development of the Fortran version and 0% to later versions.

'Kong' worked on ASCII terminals. The bricks were solid block characters, the player was a dollar sign, and the bad guys were paragraph symbols. A paragraph symbol is basically a backwards capitol P with a double vertical line. Everyone thought they looked like cobras, and referred to them as snakes. The player bounced along rapidly and was hard to control. You had to hit the space bar to make him stop moving.

The next version was called 'Miner'. It was developed in Doug's bedroom in 6502 Assembly Language on an Apple II+ borrowed from Mark Ledbury. It was also Mark who prodded Doug to finish the game. Doug originally wanted to keep the bad guys as snakes, slithering around the screen. The most notorious 'feature' of this version is the lack of inter-square animation. Doug had stolen the four frame running man sequence from Dan Gorlin's "Choplifter" game, but still moved the man by leaps and bounds around the screen. It looked like he was ice skating.

Doug submitted 'Miner' to four video game marketing companies : Broderbund, Electronic Arts, Sirius Software and Epyx. Broderbund offered him an advance of $10,000 and 23% royalties on gross sales. One of the others offered him $100,000 flat. He made the right choice : Broderbund, of course. Doug blamed Sirius for leaking a copy of Miner which was widely distributed in southern California.

Broderbund gave him the advance with no strings attached other than he couldn't market it elsewhere. To get the royalties, he would have to complete the game to their satisfaction. This included the addition of inter-square animation, sound effects, and a new title page for a new name : Lode Runner. He would also have to deliver on the 150 screens he had promised.

With new incentive, Doug worked around the clock, dropping his classes for the quarter (Spring, 1983). He wasn't creative enough to think of 150 screens (he had about 30), so he let the neighborhood kids come over and design screens with the screen editor. He paid the kids on a per screen basis for every one that ended up in the final release. The game was ready by Summer of 1983.

Broderbund had an ex Walt Disney animator working in-house. For a cut of the profits, he would design a nice title page. Doug took him up on his offer. An in-house programmer, Dane Bingham, provided the Commodore C64 conversion and perhaps others. Doug worked on the conversion for the Atari 800 conversion himself. I'm not sure if he finished it. A Japanese company even made a little known arcade version with horrible sound. Doug offered James Bratsanos a flat payment for his role in the development of the Fortran version. James was surprised to receive anything at all, and accepted.

Doug's royalties started pouring in. He broke Dan Gorlin's Broderbund record of $77,000 in one month royalties. The last I heard, he had grossed 2 million dollars in total royalties. Apparently, he didn't get very good tax advice, because he paid about half of it to the IRS. With his net profits, Doug bought at Porsche 911 Carrera, a Bayliner speedboat, a house in Issaquah, and a wife (as a colleague once joked).

With the money going out so fast, Doug realized that he didn't have enough to retire on. He started his own company called QAD. It stood for Quick And Dirty, but he was prepared to say Quality And Diversity if he felt someone couldn't handle the real name. He and his two partners, Chip Bulkeley and Mark Ledbury soon began another project named Ralph. It was to be one of the first video games to utilize double-hires Apple II hardware. Mark just did the graphics. Chip ended up doing more work than Doug and insisted on renegotiating their split before proceeding. The project became more and more overdue and was eventually scrapped. Doug went back to making new and improved versions of Lode Runner, his bread and butter. I haven't heard from him since.

Although Broderbund is now owned by Mattel Interactive, Mr. Smith still owns the rights to Lode Runner.

Alberto Manenti, Emanuele Lubiani and Massimo Gaspari all hold the official record for this game with 999,999 points.

Alfa Records released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (R-Type : Irem Game Music - 28XA-199) on 25/01/1988.


* If you finish a level in less than half of the time, the time bonus is multiplied by 2.

* If you do not kill any enemy during a level, a 10,000 points bonus is granted.

* If you do not make any enemy fall in a hole during a level, a 20,000 points bonus is granted!

* If during a fall, you land on an enemy, you do not lose but obtain 1,000 points.

* Easter egg : there is a hidden monster from the next block on every level where digging is allowed (some levels have only stone, thus, the blaster cannot make holes). The monster can be uncovered by blasting the dirt that it is hiding in. Once it is uncovered, it will join in pursuing the player. If it is entrapped, it will leave behind a bonus of 3,000 to 8,000 points. Its entrapment will not count against the 20,000 entrapment bonus.


1. Lode Runner (1983)

2. Lode Runner - The Bungeling Strikes Back (1984)

3. Championship Lode Runner [Model HFC-CR] (1985, Nintendo Famicom)

3. Championship Lode Runner [Model HBS-G047C] (1985, MSX)

3. Championship Lode Runner [Sega My Card] [Model C-57] (1985, SG-1000)

3. Championship Lode Runner (1985, FM-7)

4. Lode Runner - Majin No Fukkatsu (1985)

5. Lode Runner II [Model HBS-G039C] (1985, MSX)

6. Lode Runner's Rescue (1985, Commodore C64)

7. Lode Runner - Teikoku Kara no Dasshutsu (1986)

8. Super Lode Runner [Model IFD-SLR] (1987, Nintendo Famicom Disk System)

8. Super Lode Runner [Model IM-03] (1987, MSX 2)

9. Hyper Lode Runner [Model DMG-HLA] (1989, Nintendo Game Boy)

10. Lode Runner - Lost Labyrinth [Model PV1004] (1990, NEC PC-Engine)

11. Battle Lode Runner [Model HC93054] (1993, NEC PC Engine)

12. Lode Runner Twin - Justy to Liberty no Daibouken [Model SHVC-7Z] (1994, Super Famicom)

13. Lode Runner - The Legend Returns (1994, Windows)

14. Lode Runner On-Line - The Mad Monks' Revenge (1995, PC [MS Windows 95])

15. Lode Runner - The Legend Returns [Model T-25101G] (1996, Sega Saturn)

16. Lode Runner 2 (1998, PC [Windows 95])

17. Power Lode Runner (1999, Super Famicom)

18. Lode Runner 3-D [Model NUS-NLRJ-JPN] (1999, Nintendo 64)

19. Lode Runner for WonderSwan [Model SWJ-BPR004] (2000, Bandai WonderSwan)

20. Lode Runner - Domdom Dan no Yabou [Model DMG-BXLJ-JPN] (2000, Nintendo Game Boy Colors)

21. Lode Runner 2 [SuperLite 1500 Series] (2000, Sony PlayStation)

22. Lode Runner - The Dig Fight (2000)

23. Lode Runner [Model AGB-A39J-JPN] (2003, Nintendo Game Boy Advance)

24. Cubic Lode Runner [Hudson Selection Vol.1] [Model DOL-GQRJ-JPN] (2003, Nintendo GameCube)

24. Cubic Lode Runner [Hudson Selection Vol.1] [Model SLPM-62404] (2003, Sony PlayStation 2)


Since this 'arcade version' IS already a port, here is the list of systems where this game appears...

* Consoles :

Atari 7800 (unreleased prototype)

Nintendo Famicom (Jul.1984, "Lode Runner [Model HFC-LR]")

Sega SG-1000/SC-3000 (Nov.1984, "Lode Runner [Model G-1031]")

Atari XE Game System (1987, Lode Runner)

Nintendo Game Boy Advance [JP] (Dec.2005, "Hudson Best Collection Vol.2 - Lode Runner Collection [Model AGB-B72J-JPN]")

* Computers :

Apple II (1983, Lode Runner)

Commodore C64 (1983, Lode Runner)

PC [MS-DOS] (1983)

Sharp X1 (1984)

MSX (Nov.1984, "Lode Runner [Model HBS-G020C]")

Fujitsu FM-7 (Nov.1984)

Apple Macintosh (1984, Lode Runner)

Tandy Color Computer (1985, "Gold Runner")

Amstrad CPC (Mar.1989, Lode Runner)

Nec PC-9801 (Jul.1989, "Lode Runner Hozonban")

* Others :

Mobile Phone (2008)

iPhone (2012, "Lode Runner-i")


Game's rom.

Machine's picture.

MAME Info:

0.34b3 [Nicola Salmoria]

0.31 [Lee Taylor]

Artwork available


- 6th September 2010: Mr. Do - Lode Runner is complete, thanks to Kiltron for cleaning, and to TrevEB for acquiring the bezel.

- 0.100u2: Pierpaolo Prazzoli fixed background graphics in Lode Runner (big door after winning in level 3).

- 0.37b6: Changed the M6803 CPU2 and the 2x AY-8910 clock speed to 894886 Hz.

- 0.35RC1: Brian Lewis and Andrea Mazzoleni added new tweaked VGA modes: 384x240 (for CPS1, Pang etc.), 384x256 (for Lode Runner etc.), 336x240 (for Gauntlet and other Atari games), 320x240 (for NeoGeo and others).

- 0.35b1: Added prom ($620 - video timing).

- 0.34RC1: Dave W. added high score saving to Lode Runner.

- 0.34b3: Nicola Salmoria added Lode Runner (set 1). Changed 'Lode Runner' to clone '(set 2)'. Renamed (lrunner) to (ldruna).

- 0.33b6: Nicola Salmoria fixed some wrong graphics in Lode Runner.

- 0.34b1: Added color proms ($0, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 - character red, sprite red, character green, sprite green, character blue and sprite blue).

- 0.31: Lee Taylor added Lode Runner (Irem 1984). Known issues: Apart from the other problems, dipswitches are wrong.

- 3rd April 1998: Malcor dumped Lode Runner (set 1) by IREM (1984).

LEVELS: 255 (endless - game crashes after 255th level)

Other Emulators:

* CottAGE

* FB Alpha


Recommended Games (Platform):

Space Panic

Steel Worker

Donkey Kong

FamicomBox (Donkey Kong)

Crazy Kong

Crazy Kong Part II

Kong (Brazil)

Donkey Kong Junior

FamicomBox (Donkey Kong Jr.)

Donkey Kong 3


Naughty Mouse

Treasure Island

Treasure Island (DECO Cassette)


Dock Man


Minky Monkey


Pop Flamer


FamicomBox (Popeye)



Boggy '84

Bristles (Max-A-Flex)

Congo Bongo

Dr. Micro

Hopper Robo

Jump Coaster


Namco Classic Collection Vol.1 (Mappy)


Roc'n Rope

Super Glob

Ben Bero Beh

Complex X

Jumping Jack

Lode Runner

Lode Runner II - The Bungeling Strikes Back

Lode Runner III - The Golden Labyrinth

Lode Runner IV - Teikoku Karano Dasshutsu

Lode Runner - The Dig Fight

Pandora's Palace

Peter Pack-Rat

Vs. Ice Climber

Vs. Ice Climber Dual

Vs. Wrecking Crew

Baluba-louk no Densetsu

Pig Out: Dine Like a Swine!

Sea Hunter Pengui

Multi 5 (Tong Boy)

Romset: 98 kb / 20 files / 44.9 zip

MAME XML Output:

       <game name="ldrun" sourcefile="m62.c">
              <description>Lode Runner (set 1)</description>
              <manufacturer>Irem (licensed from Broderbund)</manufacturer>
              <rom name="lr-a-4e" size="8192" crc="5d7e2a4d" sha1="fe8aeff360f6c3a8606d67a8b95148c3c2ef7267" region="maincpu" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="lr-a-4d" size="8192" crc="96f20473" sha1="e400c43f3f32e12f68ca204c60bcebdb2b3da55d" region="maincpu" offset="2000"/>
              <rom name="lr-a-4b" size="8192" crc="b041c4a9" sha1="77768b03ea2497e25c3e47b68a0eb2fe3e9aea35" region="maincpu" offset="4000"/>
              <rom name="lr-a-4a" size="8192" crc="645e42aa" sha1="c806ffce7ece418bad86854c987f78c70c13e492" region="maincpu" offset="6000"/>
              <rom name="lr-a-3f" size="8192" crc="7a96accd" sha1="e94815dbfaabbb562df8f3298060aa6bd7825904" region="iremsound" offset="c000"/>
              <rom name="lr-a-3h" size="8192" crc="3f7f3939" sha1="7ee25a21e74995bfb36ac11b45d384b33a6d8515" region="iremsound" offset="e000"/>
              <rom name="lr-e-2d" size="8192" crc="24f9b58d" sha1="e33224b910d37aaa85713b954c8dd50996245a8c" region="gfx1" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="lr-e-2j" size="8192" crc="43175e08" sha1="9dbafb27d46cf7df35f343a8753e8d91ea706993" region="gfx1" offset="2000"/>
              <rom name="lr-e-2f" size="8192" crc="e0317124" sha1="b766bd21e2da1673d2054148f62d61c33c95d38e" region="gfx1" offset="4000"/>
              <rom name="lr-b-4k" size="8192" crc="8141403e" sha1="65fa6bc872fb07c71aacbbcc35cee766b2877896" region="gfx2" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="lr-b-3n" size="8192" crc="55154154" sha1="35304676e1ab55adccdabdc766a4e0e0901d3cd0" region="gfx2" offset="2000"/>
              <rom name="lr-b-4c" size="8192" crc="924e34d0" sha1="6a841419797a129235fc7d0405a5be55e8d703da" region="gfx2" offset="4000"/>
              <rom name="lr-e-3m" size="256" crc="53040416" sha1="2c6915164d1c31afc60a21b557abdf023d5b3f46" region="proms" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="lr-b-1m" size="256" crc="4bae1c25" sha1="17a9e2567d9d648dca69510bb201f8af0738b068" region="proms" offset="100"/>
              <rom name="lr-e-3l" size="256" crc="67786037" sha1="cd40dfd94295afe57139733752643cf48b8566b1" region="proms" offset="200"/>
              <rom name="lr-b-1n" size="256" crc="9cd3db94" sha1="bff95965f946df0e4af1f99db5b2468bf1d4403f" region="proms" offset="300"/>
              <rom name="lr-e-3n" size="256" crc="5b716837" sha1="e3ea250891fec43a97e92ac1c3a4fbb5ee2d4a4d" region="proms" offset="400"/>
              <rom name="lr-b-1l" size="256" crc="08d8cf9a" sha1="a46213e0dc04e44b0544401eb341fd49eef331dd" region="proms" offset="500"/>
              <rom name="lr-b-5p" size="32" crc="e01f69e2" sha1="0d00ef348025ea4a9c274a7e3dbb006217d8449d" region="proms" offset="600"/>
              <rom name="lr-b-6f" size="256" crc="34d88d3c" sha1="727f4c5cfff33538886fa0a29fd119aa085d7008" region="proms" offset="620"/>
              <chip type="cpu" tag="maincpu" name="Z80" clock="4000000"/>
              <chip type="cpu" tag="iremsound" name="M6803" clock="3579545"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="mono" name="Speaker"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="irem_audio" name="Irem Audio"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="ay1" name="AY-3-8910A" clock="894886"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="ay2" name="AY-3-8910A" clock="894886"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="msm1" name="MSM5205" clock="384000"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="msm2" name="MSM5205" clock="384000"/>
              <display tag="screen" type="raster" rotate="0" width="384" height="256" refresh="55.000000" />
              <sound channels="1"/>
              <input players="2" buttons="2" coins="2">
                     <control type="joy" ways="8"/>
              <dipswitch name="Flip Screen" tag="DSW2" mask="1">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="1" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Cabinet" tag="DSW2" mask="2">
                     <dipvalue name="Upright" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Cocktail" value="2"/>
              <dipswitch name="Coin Mode" tag="DSW2" mask="4">
                     <dipvalue name="Mode 1" value="4" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Mode 2" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Unknown" tag="DSW2" mask="8">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="8" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Stop Mode (Cheat)" tag="DSW2" mask="16">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="16" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Level Selection Mode (Cheat)" tag="DSW2" mask="32">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="32" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Invulnerability (Cheat)" tag="DSW2" mask="64">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="64" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Service Mode" tag="DSW2" mask="128">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="128" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Timer" tag="DSW1" mask="3">
                     <dipvalue name="Slow" value="3" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Medium" value="2"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Fast" value="1"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Fastest" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Lives" tag="DSW1" mask="12">
                     <dipvalue name="2" value="8"/>
                     <dipvalue name="3" value="12" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="4" value="4"/>
                     <dipvalue name="5" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Coin A" tag="DSW1" mask="48">
                     <dipvalue name="3 Coins/1 Credit" value="16"/>
                     <dipvalue name="2 Coins/1 Credit" value="32"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/1 Credit" value="48" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Free Play" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Coin B" tag="DSW1" mask="192">
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/2 Credits" value="192" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/3 Credits" value="128"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/5 Credits" value="64"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/6 Credits" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Coinage" tag="DSW1" mask="240">
                     <dipvalue name="7 Coins/1 Credit" value="144"/>
                     <dipvalue name="6 Coins/1 Credit" value="160"/>
                     <dipvalue name="5 Coins/1 Credit" value="176"/>
                     <dipvalue name="4 Coins/1 Credit" value="192"/>
                     <dipvalue name="3 Coins/1 Credit" value="208"/>
                     <dipvalue name="2 Coins/1 Credit" value="224"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/1 Credit" value="240" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/2 Credits" value="112"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/3 Credits" value="96"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/4 Credits" value="80"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/5 Credits" value="64"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/6 Credits" value="48"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/7 Credits" value="32"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/8 Credits" value="16"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Free Play" value="0"/>
              <driver status="good" emulation="good" color="good" sound="good" graphic="good" savestate="supported" palettesize="512"/>

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