Space Invaders (Arcade)

🎲 random genres graphics themes release info hardware features

Space Invaders with the Midway backdrop. (Taito's original backdrop looks different)


Scores - MAME:
 3050 ............  on 2014-06-12
 2110 ............  on 2014-05-29

Scores - MiSTer:
 2200 ............  on 2023-06-09

Other scores:
 1690 ............  on 2024-03-23


  • As can be seen from these frames from this video and this video, Space Invaders has a vertically oriented monitor which makes scan lines appear vertically, not horizontally. Space Invaders scan lines.

  • The CRT display is mounted facing upwards, reflected towards a semi-transparent mirror, behind which is a plastic cutout of the planetary surface. The reflection of the CRT appears over the cutout, serving as a backdrop. The CRT had colored overlays on the display itself, to add color to the black and white image. Thus, both the colors and background of Space Invaders are non-digital optical effects. Also note that the actual CRT image is mirrored to appear correct in the reflection.
    Inside Space Invaders cabinet (Photo by dbrainjr on


  • I adore the little animations where the invader steals and flips the Y in PLAY, and the red invader shooting the extra C in INSERT COIN.

Log entries

  • Got the score 2110 in MAME. I've played many games of Space Invaders before, but I didn't keep track of my scores until now. So here goes...
  • 2014-06-12
  • Got the score 3050 in MAME.
  • 2023-06-09
  • Got the score 2200 in MiSTer.

    I played with the MiSTer backdrop enabled. I still think it looks weird, but the game looked more or less like this originally.

  • 2023-06-18
  • For a while now, I've been using a custom MiSTer video filter with interpolation and subtle horizontal scanlines. Everything looks great, but I realized that arcade games with vertical monitor orientation should have vertical scanlines, not horizontal ones. I never really looked for this, but confirmed it with YouTube videos of the real arcade hardware. I have now made a corresponding vertical video filter for games like Space Invaders.

  • 2024-03-23
  • Got the score 1690.

    Playing the real arcade again at the Musée Mécanique, I noticed my findings about the vertical monitor are indeed correct, and enjoyed the feeling of depth from the parallax effect between the backdrop and the half-mirror showing the computer display. This generation of games seems to carry over a lot of the gimmicks from the electro-mechanical arcade games that preceeded them, making up for the lack of graphical effects output by the arcade displays themselves.

webrender.rb:2218:output_full_game(DB, @968, options: {})ocdgamer.rb:899:output_entries_filtered(
  @968, headline:Passwords / Cheat Codes, [filter],  show_dates:false)
  @968, headline:Facts, [filter],  show_dates:false)
  @968, headline:Analysis, [filter],  show_dates:false)
  @968, headline:Quotes, [filter],  show_dates:false)
  @968, headline:Technical Notes, [filter],  show_dates:false)
  @968, headline:Log entries, [filter],  show_dates:true)


Main pages
Game Database
External links

Screenshots marked with 🍒 are created by syltefar and are considered public domain, free to use for anything. If you want to, you can note where you found it and link to this page. v.2.3.4 2024-07-08