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Super Cobra was an old arcade game released by Konami way back in 1981. Stern distributed this title in the United States (their version was functionally identical). This title was the sequel to Scramble.

Invade The Base And Carry Away Booty!

This is a horizontal scrolling game. Your helicopter is equipped with a gun that shoots forward and can drop bombs to attack gound targets. The game mostly consists of dodging missiles, manuevering inside tight quarters, and dropping bombs on fuel tanks to gain more fuel.

There are ten levels and then at the end of it all you have to snatch the "booty" and escape, at which point the game starts over again. The graphics are enjoyably bad, as is the sound. The gameplay is rock solid though and will stand up to many repeated playing sessions. This is a very difficult game at first, but it becomes easier once you get used to it. But expect to crash into the walls repeatedly the first few times you play.

The Machine

Super Cobra came in the standard "Stern Cabinet" which was the same one used for Scramble, The End, Berzerk, and many others. This title features painted "Stern" sideart and uses a vertical monitor. The marquee is reddish and shows a helicopter, a few missiles and a very 70s looking "Super Cobra" logo. The control panel uses a single 8-Way leaf switch joystick which is mounted centrally, fire and bomb buttons are on either side (meaning you can play this title with either hand).

Internally the game runs on the Scramble platform (Lost Tomb, The End and several others run on this same platform). The boards are prone to failure, but can usually be repaired rather easily by a knowledgable technician (but not by me, as I haven't been able to repair any of my defective Scramble platform boards).

Where to play

Super Cobra was ported to most of the early console systems and there was also a handheld version. These versions are fairly common, and easy to purchase on eBay. Or you can play the original version on your personal computer using the MAME emulator. If "The Man" happens to bust in on your emulation session, feel free to tell him that you are playing my copy of the game, as I have two defective sets of Super Cobra hardware sitting in my closet.

Buying a Super Cobra machine for your arcade game collection isn't a bad idea. They are fairly easy to piece together if you are unable to locate a complete one. Just beware of "untested" Super Cobra boardsets, I have two of them, and they don't work.

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