Home News Forum                            

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

phoenix: MAME ROM Information.


Phoenix (c) 1980 Amstar.

Phoenix is a classic shoot-em-up in the mould of Taito's "Space Invaders" and Namco's "Galaxian", but takes the concept further with the introduction of progressive stages of play (instead of simply repeating a single playfield over and over with an increasing difficulty level).

The player's ship moves along the botton of the playfield firing upwards. The ship can also utilize a temporary 'Force Field' to protect it from missiles and birds. Any Phoenix that collide with the Force Field are destroyed. The Force Field only lasts for two seconds and then cannot be used again for another five seconds.

There are five attack waves to each round of play.

The first wave begins with a formation of sixteen Phoenix attacking the player's ship. They drop missiles and dive at the ship in an effort to destroy it.

The second wave is a variation of the first, only with a different enemy attack pattern.

The third wave begins with pattern of eight eggs that when shot hatch into blue Phoenix birds that then attack the player's ship. These birds can be destroyed by rocket fire from the ship. If the rocket hits the bird on center, the bird is destroyed. If the rocket hits the bird to the left or right of center, only that wing of the bird is destroyed. The wing will regenerate itself if the bird is not quickly destroyed.

The fourth wave is similar to the third, only with two banks of eggs instead of one.

The fifth and final wave is the attack of the Space fortress mothership; a huge mothership piloted by a purple-coloured alien that sends down waves of small birds to attack the player's ship, as well as launching missiles from the fortress itself. The alien is protected by a barrier that must be shot several times before both the alien and mothership are destroyed.

Once the mothership has been destroyed, the game starts over with an increased level of difficulty.


Most Phoenix games will be in a standard Centuri woodgrain cabinet, but several other cabinets exist, due to this game being sold by multiple companies at the same time. These use sticker sideart (which covers the upper half of the machine), and glass marquees. The control panel is made up entirely of buttons, no joysticks are present. The monitor in this machine is mounted vertically, and the monitor bezel is relatively unadorned. Phoenix uses a unique wiring harness, which isn't know to be compatible with any other games.

Main CPU : 8085A

Sound Chips : TMS36XX, Discrete circuitry

Screen orientation : Vertical

Video resolution : 208 x 248 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.00 Hz

Palette colors : 256

Players : 2



Titlescreen's copyright notice :




Released in December 1980.

Phoenix was the first multi-level space shooter and also the first shooter to include bosses. Despite its hardware issues, Phoenix's many gameplay innovations ensured that it now is rightly regarded as a classic and, along with Taito's "Space Invaders" and Namco's "Pac-Man" shares the dubious honour of being one of the most cloned games of the 1980s; with numerous console and home computer 'tributes' appearing.

Mark Gotfraind holds the official record for this game with 987,620 points.

Official releases :

Phoenix (Amstar Electronics Corp.)

Phoenix [Maxi model] (Centuri, Inc.)

Phoenix [Upright model] (Centuri, Inc.)

Phoenix [Japanese Cocktail Table] (Taito Corp.)

Bootlegs/hacks :

Phoenix (Irecsa G.G.I Corp.)

Phoenix (T.P.N.)

Griffon (Videotron)

Falcon (BGV)

Vautour (Jeutel)

Condor (Sidam)

Batman Part 2


Scoring is a little complicated in this game due to the fact it depends on hits made and how close the Phoenix's are to your fighter.

Phoenix fighters : 20, 40, or 80 points; 200 points if flying as a bird.

Phoenix birds : 50 or 100 points/egg, 100 - 800 points/bird (depends on how many wings shot off and distance from fighter).

Spacefortress : 800 - 9200 points (depends on the amount of damage to the spaceship, speedof destruction, as well as the number of spaceships destroyed). Usually, first 9 spaceships would increase by a thousand, then will be followed by nine 9000 point spaceships, then back to the first nine set, etc...


* When you start the game, your fighter will be in the middle at the bottom of the screen. You will see a formation of enemy fighters at the top of the screen. This is the beginning of wave 1. A quick note about the shield. It lasts a couple of seconds and takes about five seconds to regenerate again.


1) You will usually be attacked by multiple fighters at any one time. The movements of these fighters is pretty random.

2) In addition to dropping bombs on your fighter, Phoenix fighters also tend to try to ram your fighter.

3) After you clear out a few fighters, they will reassemble at the top of the screen. They will then move in synch with each other as they creep to the bottom of the screen.

4) Sometimes a Phoenix fighter will hover right above your ship. If you're quick, you can get off a quick shot and move away before a bomb can be dropped on you.

5) If multiple Phoenix fighters are at your level, use the shield to clear a path through them.

WAVE 3 AND 4 :

1) The Phoenixes in wave 3 enter the screen in a zig-zag pattern while the Phoenixes in wave 4 arrive in a cross-over pattern of four Phoenixes per side.

2) Once they get large, they start to do erratic zig-zag patterns across the screen. At the same time, they are dropping bombs toward your fighter. Your goal is to shoot off their wings. If you do this, it forces them to go straight down until the wing regenerates. They will still be dropping bombs, but at least they will be going straight down.

3) If at all possible, try to hit the Phoenixes when they are close to your ship. Doing this gets you more points.

4) In addition, try to shoot off both wings before destroying a Phoenix for more points.

WAVE 5 :

1) Your goal on this wave is to cut through the hull and shield and take out the alien inside.

2) Start firing as rapidly as you can to quickly cut through the hull. It will take quite a few shots to get to the shield.

3) The shield rotates so you will have to hit it a lot of times in order to get a wide enough hole in it to hit the alien.

4) As all of this is going on, the Spacefortress is continually descending upon your ship. In addition, the escorts are constantly harassing you.

5) A good strategy is that once you have cut a path through the hull and shield, wait for the Spacefortress to be almost on top of your ship. When you take out the alien, you will get a lot more points.

6) Destroying the escorts does not end this wave. Once you complete wave 5, the cycle begins anew.

* During the game three birds will attack all in a line. Let those birds fly all the way to the bottom and start to fly back up. As they are flying up, shoot all three in a row real quick (2 or 3 seconds) and you score will elevates your score to 204,000 regardless of what your current score is - The best way to get this bonus for shooting the three birds in a line is on the second stage of level 2. The blue and pink birds in an oval shape. Just wait, not firing at the bottom of the screen. A single bird will come down, fanny around and then fly back up, then 4 birds will fly down together in a line. When they start to fly back up - blast three of them for the bonus. It works best here because of the rapid fire allowed on this and every other 2nd stage. In addition, accomplishing the trick a second time again puts your score at 204,000, even if your score was higher.


1. Phoenix (1980)

2. Pleiads (1981)


* Consoles :

Atari 2600 (1982)

Emerson Arcadia (1982, "Space Vultures")

ZX-Spectrum (1983, "Pheenix") : Megadodo Software.

BBC B (1983, "EagleEmpire") : Alligata.

Sony PlayStation 2 (2005, "Taito Legends") (US & Europe)

Microsoft XBOX (2005, "Taito Legends") (US & Europe)

Sony PlayStation 2 (2007, Taito Memories II Vol. 2") (Japan only)

* Computers :

Tandy Color Computer (1983, "Demon Seed")

Commodore C64 (1984, "Eagle Empire")

Apple II ("Falcon")

PC [MS Windows] (2005, "Taito Legends") (US & Europe)

* Others :

Arcade Legends : Space Invaders TV Game (2004 - Radica Games)


Game's rom.

Machine's picture.

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

MAME Info:

0.07 [Brad Oliver, Mirko Buffoni]

Artwork available


- "Phoenix" side-by-side test. Gary Walton (ID 01026)

- [possible] During the demo, after the first game over, the last line low of the screen does not come cleaned up. zaxxon1 (ID 01192)

- falcon, fenix: Initialisation "garbage" differs between 32bit and 64bit Firewave (ID 03329)

- phoenix, phoenixa, phoenixb, phoenixc, phoenix3, phoenixt: Ship's firing shot sound is incorrect. inkeye (ID 03339)


- 0.143u5: Changed description of clones 'Phoenix (Irecsa / G.G.I Corp)' to 'Phoenix (Irecsa / G.G.I Corp, set 1)' and 'Phoenix (Irecsa / G.G.I Corp - set 2)' to 'Phoenix (Irecsa / G.G.I Corp, set 2)'.

- 0.143u4: f205v and robotype added clone Phoenix (Irecsa / G.G.I Corp - set 2).

- 0.138u1: Changed description of clones 'Phoenix (Taito Japan Ver.)' to 'Phoenix (Taito Japan)' and 'Phoenix (IRECSA, G.G.I Corp)' to 'Phoenix (Irecsa / G.G.I Corp)'.

- 18th May 2010: Smitdogg - We dumped a Model racing bootleg of Phoenix/Griffon.

- 18th March 2010: ANY Dumping Union dumped Griffon (alt bootleg of Phoenix). griffon.03 is the only different rom from the supported set, don't know what the difference are. griffon.k11 is the real prom used on griffon PCB. maybe the data is the same as the 2 proms.

- 18th March 2010: Smitdogg - We got an alt. version of Griffon.

- 22nd February 2010: Mr. Do - Gregf pointed out an auction for a Taito Phoenix bezel, which looked a lot like Rock Climber. After checking through The Arcade Flyer Archive, it seems there quite a few Taito Japan games that used this type of bezel, just with different colors. So, based on the TAFA flyers, there are new bezels for Phoenix.

- 0.134u4: Changed 'Phoenix Part 2' from a parent set to a clone of Phoenix. Changed region gfx2 to gfx1 and gfx1 roms addresses in 'Phoenix Part 2'.

- 0.134u3: Andy Welburn and Dumping Union added Phoenix Part 2 (bootleg 1981).

- 6th October 2009: Smitdogg - Another dump from our friend Andrew Welburn. BrianT hooked it up. It has some issues on my pc which may or may not be specific to my computer but either way as you can see, some nice progress has been made. This is a bootleg running on Galaxian style hardware.

- 0.129u4: Team Japump added clone Phoenix (Taito Japan Ver.). Changed Custom sound to Phoenix Custom.

- 0.128u2: More Discrete module optimizations [Derrick Renaud]. This module optimizations speed up Phoenix 13%.

- 0.124u2: Changed description of clones 'Falcon (bootleg of Phoenix) (set 1)' to 'Falcon (bootleg of Phoenix) (8085A CPU)', 'Falcon (bootleg of Phoenix) (set 2)' to 'Falcon (bootleg of Phoenix) (Z80 CPU)', 'Vautour (bootleg of Phoenix) (set 1)' to 'Vautour (bootleg of Phoenix) (8085A CPU)' and 'Vautour (bootleg of Phoenix) (set 2)' to 'Vautour (bootleg of Phoenix) (Z80 CPU)'. Renamed (falcona) to (falconz) and (vautour2) to (vautourz).

- 0.122u7: Changed 8085A CPU1 clock speed to 5.5MHz.

- 0.122u6: Phoenix and clones [Couriersud]: Video timing from schematics, palette from schematics (resnet.h), no more colortable and added save state. Changed visible area to 208x256 and VSync to 61.035156 Hz.

- 0.121u2: David Haywood added clone Next Fase (bootleg of Phoenix). Changed description of clones 'Condor' to 'Condor (bootleg of Phoenix)', 'Fenix' to 'Fenix (bootleg of Phoenix)', 'Falcon (bootleg set 1)' to 'Falcon (bootleg of Phoenix) (set 1)', 'Vautour (set 1 - Jeutel France)' to 'Vautour (bootleg of Phoenix) (set 1)', 'Vautour (set 2)' to 'Vautour (bootleg of Phoenix) (set 2)', 'Griffon' to 'Griffon (bootleg of Phoenix)' and 'Falcon (bootleg set 2)' to 'Falcon (bootleg of Phoenix) (set 2)'.

- 14th November 2007: Paturlas dumped Next Fase (bootleg of Phoenix). It's a clone of Phoenix, developed in Spain. It looks like they changed title screen and DIPs. A more accurate code analysis is needed to tell apart differences.

- 18th February 2007: Mr. Do - Added cocktail layout for Phoenix, thanks to the BYOAC group purchase.

- 0.110u5: Brian Troha added clone 'Phoenix (Centuri), Set 1'. Changed description of clone 'Phoenix (Centuri)' to 'Phoenix (Centuri), Set 2'. Renamed (phoenixa) to (phoenixb). Fixed rom names.

- 2nd December 2006: f205v dumped Phoenix (Centuri), Set 1. This is an Original Amstar PCB, where EPROMs 1,2,3,4 have been replaced from original with Centuri licensed ones. The main important thing is that there is a different version/revision of the sound chip and the background music as game start is different!

- 0.110u2: Added clone Fenix (bootleg 1980). This is an italian bootleg based on Vautour.

- 0.104: Derrick Renaud changed R22 to 470 ohm per real board of the Phoenix discrete sounds. This should fix the remaining complaints with the discrete sound. The shot & explosion noise sounds still need discrete emulation.

- 0.103u5: Derrick Renaud tweaked Phoenix effect #2 sound to be more accurate matching oscilliscope data. Changed the Phoenix discrete clock rate to a fixed rate of 120000 allowing the simulation to be more accurate with less alaising noise at the cost of speed.

- 0.103u2: Hans Andersson fixed discrete sound effect #2 in Phoenix.

- 0.99u1: Added clone Vautour (set 2) (bootleg 1980). Changed description of clone 'Vautour (Jeutel France)' to 'Vautour (set 1 - Jeutel France)'.

- 0.97u5: Pierpaolo Prazzoli added coin 2 and fixed some dipswitches in the Phoenix clones: Phoenix (T.P.N.), Condor, Griffon and Falcon (bootleg set 2).

- 0.97u1: Pierpaolo Prazzoli added clone Falcon (bootleg set 2). Changed description of clone 'Falcon' to 'Falcon (bootleg set 1)'.

- 10th June 2005: Alessio dumped Falcon (bootleg of Phoenix) (Z80 CPU).

- 22nd May 2005: f205v dumped Fenix (1980).

- 0.95u3: Derrick Renaud updated tone sounds in Phoenix to use discrete system. Added Discrete sound.

- 0.80u2: Pierpaolo Prazzoli added clone Griffon (Videotron 1980).

- 0.69: Smitdogg added clone Falcon (bootleg).

- 0.68: Chris Hardy added clone Vautour (Jeutel France).

- 12th May 2003: Chris Hardy added Vautour to the Phoenix driver.

- 0.61: Added clone Condor (Sidam 1981).

- 24th May 2002: Stephane Humbert fixed dipswitch settings in Condor.

- 23rd May 2002: Zsolt Vasvari added Condor to the Phoenix driver, which is basically a version of Phoenix running on Z80 instead of I8085, and it has a time limit.

- 30th March 2002: Smitdogg Jones re-submitted the Phoenix driver with Falcon added to it.

- 7th October 2001: William Kucharski fixed the Phoenix cocktail mode bug.

- 0.37b16: Added clone Batman Part 2 (bootleg).

- 0.37b15: Replaced 8080 CPU with 8085A (2.75 MHz).

- 9th April 2001: Zsolt Vasvari fixed the dipswitch settings in Phoenix and Pleiads.

- 0.37b14: Added 'Cabinet' dipswitch. Added 2nd player input.

- 17th September 2000: Zsolt Vasvari fixed a problem in Phoenix hiscore loading.

- 20th March 2000: Juergen Buchmueller fixed some SN76477 and Phoenix sound bugs.

- 0.36RC2: Rewritten sound emulation in Phoenix, samples are no longer used [Juergen Buchmueller]. Added TMS36XX sound.

- 12th March 2000: Juergen Buchmueller sent in a sound core for TMS36xx sound chips emulation and modified Phoenix, Pleiads, Naughty Boy, Pop Flamer and Monster Bash to use it. Phoenix samples are no longer used.

- 9th March 2000: Juergen Buchmueller sent a preliminary Phoenix analog sound driver.

- 0.36b11: Mike Haaland added clone Phoenix (Centuri).

- 29th November 1999: Mike Haaland added another Phoenix romset.

- 0.36b7: Added Custom sound.

- 0.35b11: Richard Davies fixed tune in Phoenix.

- 0.35b6: Replaced I8085 CPU with I8080.

- 0.35b1: Zsolt Vasvari fixed two players games in Phoenix.

- 0.34b5: David Winter added clone Phoenix (IRECSA, G.G.I Corp).

- 0.33b7: Added color proms ($0, 100 - palette low and high bits).

- 0.30: Brad Oliver support music in Phoenix, via samples.

- 0.29: The background was clipped too low in Phoenix [Nicola Salmoria]. Accurate colors in Phoenix [Tim Lindquist, Nicola Salmoria]. Fixed gfx rom loading.

- 0.27: InputPorts now can automatically handle VBlank bits [Nicola Salmoria]. No more need to write custom code. Phoenix use this feature. Renamed (phoenix) to (phoenixt) and (phoenixa) to (phoenix). Changed 'Phoenix (Centuri)' to clone 'Phoenix (Taito)' and clone 'Phoenix (Taito)' to parent.

- 0.26a: Mirko Buffoni worked with the wrong source, now everything is back to normality in Phoenix.

- 0.26: Andrew Scott provided a better sound support for Phoenix. Melody is still missing, because Shaun's board doesn't have it.

- 0.23: Added clone Phoenix (T.P.N.). I've also added hiscore support to all Phoenix and Pleiads as well [Mirko Buffoni].

- 0.22: Added clone Phoenix (Amstar).

- 0.21.5: Fixed a bug in sound init of Phoenix that caused the game to crash under DOS.

- 0.20: Brad Oliver found a lot of bugs around the code, Phoenix sound init routine (all those caused trashes on MAC).

- 0.19: Shaun Stephenson provided me original Phoenix sound samples [Mirko Buffoni], so I adjusted sound driver to achieve correct sound modulation and frequency, and substituted noise generator for shots and explosions with a couple of samples. Noise generator can be still used (just don't put the samples in the directory) with Phoenix and it's used in Pleiads. I changed white noise waveshape and adjusted frequency, so now it sounds better.

- 0.14: Richard Davies updated the audio routines in Phoenix, sound is now closer to the original and noise is emulated.

- 0.13: Richard Davies provided a new Phoenix/Pleiads driver with partial sound support.

- 0.10: Thanks to Richard Davies for info on Phoenix.

- 0.091: Even this time I managed to screw up one game (Phoenix). It works again [Nicola Salmoria].

- 0.07: Brad Oliver and Mirko Buffoni added 'Phoenix (Centuri)' (Centuri 1981). Game is playable, colors are close to be accurate and no sound. Control: Arrows = Move around, CTRL = Fire and ALT = Barrier.

- 26th April 1993: Dumped Phoenix (Amstar).


Other Emulators:

* FB Alpha


* Retrocade


Recommended Games (Space Shooter 2):

Devil Zone

Killer Comet



Radar Scope

Space Firebird

Zero Hour

Astro Blaster

Astro Fantasia (DECO Cassette)

Black Hole


Laser Battle

Red Clash

Satan of Saturn

Space Cruiser


Azurian Attack

Battle Cross


Sky Base

Space Raider



Juno First

Mad Planets


Halley's Comet

Sky Fox

Star Fighter

Space Bomber

Romset: 25 kb / 14 files / 15.6 zip

MAME XML Output:

       <game name="phoenix" sourcefile="phoenix.c">
              <description>Phoenix (Amstar)</description>
              <rom name="ic45" size="2048" crc="9f68086b" sha1="fc3cef299bf03bf0586c4047c6b96ca666846220" region="maincpu" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="ic46" size="2048" crc="273a4a82" sha1="6f3019a074e73ff50ceb92f655fcf15659f34919" region="maincpu" offset="800"/>
              <rom name="ic47" size="2048" crc="3d4284b9" sha1="6e69f8f0d537fe89140cd95d2398531d7e93d102" region="maincpu" offset="1000"/>
              <rom name="ic48" size="2048" crc="cb5d9915" sha1="49bcf55a5721cfcc02c3b811a4b601e35ea576db" region="maincpu" offset="1800"/>
              <rom name="h5-ic49.5a" size="2048" crc="a105e4e7" sha1="b35142a91b6b7fdf7535202671793393c9f4685f" region="maincpu" offset="2000"/>
              <rom name="h6-ic50.6a" size="2048" crc="ac5e9ec1" sha1="0402e5241d99759d804291998efd43f37ce99917" region="maincpu" offset="2800"/>
              <rom name="h7-ic51.7a" size="2048" crc="2eab35b4" sha1="849bf8273317cc869bdd67e50c68399ee8ece81d" region="maincpu" offset="3000"/>
              <rom name="h8-ic52.8a" size="2048" crc="aff8e9c5" sha1="e4164f85ec12d4d9bcbffba27ab1f51b3599f6d0" region="maincpu" offset="3800"/>
              <rom name="ic23.3d" size="2048" crc="3c7e623f" sha1="e7ff5fc371664af44785c079e92eeb2d8530187b" region="gfx1" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="ic24.4d" size="2048" crc="59916d3b" sha1="71aec70a8e096ed1f0c2297b3ae7dca1b8ecc38d" region="gfx1" offset="800"/>
              <rom name="b1-ic39.3b" size="2048" crc="53413e8f" sha1="d772358505b973b10da840d204afb210c0c746ec" region="gfx2" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="b2-ic40.4b" size="2048" crc="0be2ba91" sha1="af9243ee23377b632b9b7d0b84d341d06bf22480" region="gfx2" offset="800"/>
              <rom name="mmi6301.ic40" size="256" crc="79350b25" sha1="57411be4c1d89677f7919ae295446da90612c8a8" region="proms" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="mmi6301.ic41" size="256" crc="e176b768" sha1="e2184dd495ed579f10b6da0b78379e02d7a6229f" region="proms" offset="100"/>
              <chip type="cpu" tag="maincpu" name="8085A" clock="5500000"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="mono" name="Speaker"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="tms" name="TMS36XX" clock="372"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="cust" name="Phoenix Custom"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="discrete" name="DISCRETE" clock="120000"/>
              <display tag="screen" type="raster" rotate="90" width="256" height="208" refresh="61.035156" pixclock="5500000" htotal="352" hbend="0" hbstart="256" vtotal="256" vbend="0" vbstart="208" />
              <sound channels="1"/>
              <input players="2" buttons="2" coins="1">
                     <control type="joy" ways="2"/>
              <dipswitch name="Lives" tag="DSW0" mask="3">
                     <dipvalue name="3" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="4" value="1"/>
                     <dipvalue name="5" value="2"/>
                     <dipvalue name="6" value="3"/>
              <dipswitch name="Bonus Life" tag="DSW0" mask="12">
                     <dipvalue name="3K 30K" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="4K 40K" value="4"/>
                     <dipvalue name="5K 50K" value="8"/>
                     <dipvalue name="6K 60K" value="12"/>
              <dipswitch name="Coinage" tag="DSW0" mask="16">
                     <dipvalue name="2 Coins/1 Credit" value="16"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/1 Credit" value="0" default="yes"/>
              <dipswitch name="Unknown" tag="DSW0" mask="32">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="32" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Unknown" tag="DSW0" mask="64">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="64" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Cabinet" tag="CAB" mask="1">
                     <dipvalue name="Upright" value="0" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Cocktail" value="1"/>
              <driver status="good" emulation="good" color="good" sound="good" graphic="good" savestate="supported" palettesize="256"/>

emumovies.com      Retro bytes Portal           Bookmark and Share

Developed by: Spesoft  Headsoft     Terms of use     Privacy    Advertise