gorf Gorf

Immagine gioco: Gorf
Available images:

Romset name: gorf.zip
Production year: 1981
Manufacturer: Dave Nutting Associates / Midway

Game genre: Shooter
Category: Shooter / Gallery

This machine has the following clones:
 • Gorf (program 1, with German Language ROM)
 • Gorf (program 1)

This machine works in MAME with problems This machine works in MAME with problems

Overall emulation: Good
Color emulation: Good
Sound emulation: Imperfect
Graphics emulation: Good
Save states: Supported

In MAME since version: .007

The MAME driver of this machine is: astrocde.cpp - Read the code

 Tech info 
 Hardware of this machine:
  • CHIPs [Show details]

    Z80 ("maincpu")cpu 1789772 Hz
    Speaker ("upper")audio
    Speaker ("lower")audio
    Astrocade ("astrocade1")audio 1789772 Hz
    Astrocade ("astrocade2")audio 1789772 Hz
    Votrax SC-01 ("votrax")audio 720000 Hz

  • Screens [Show details]

    This machine uses a single screen:
      Graphic type: Raster
      Screen orientation: Vertical
      Resolution 352 x 240 @ 60.054442 Hz

  • Number of players: 2P Alternated
  • Controllers [Show details]

      Joystick [8 ways]
      Joystick [8 ways]
    Number of buttons: 1

  • Dip-switches [Show details]

    Default settings in bold
    Service ModeOff
    Coin A2 Coins/1 Credit
     1 Coin/1 Credit
    Coin B2 Coins/1 Credit
     1 Coin/1 Credit
     1 Coin/3 Credits
     1 Coin/5 Credits
     Foreign (NEED ROM)
    Lives per Credit2
    Bonus LifeNone
     Mission 5
    Free PlayOff
    Demo SoundsOff

  • ROMs (8 of the machine set, 1 of various devices) [Show details]

    Referred to MAME version: 0.181

    NameSizeCRC32SHA1StatusIn romset
    gorf-a.bin40965b348321 76e2e3ad1a66755f1a369167fdb157690fd44a52 good gorf
    gorf-b.bin409662d6de77 2601faf12d0ab4972c5535ffd722b03ecd8c097c good gorf
    gorf-c.bin40961d3bc9c9 0b363a71d7585a4828e08668ebb2999c55e02721 good gorf
    gorf-d.bin409670046e56 392214cc6ed4155bfe022d36f0f86c2594a5ab57 good gorf
    gorf-e.bin40962d456eb5 720fb8b48e20c1fc281d8804259016c3c5364a07 good gorf
    gorf-f.bin4096f7e4e155 9c9d6d3bfee6556dc7a01de81d6148dd02f04fc9 good gorf
    gorf-g.bin40964e2bd9b9 9edccceea5af015275582553ed238c40c73d8f4f good gorf
    gorf-h.bin4096fe7b863d 5aa8d824814ee1c30eaf0044da78d3aa8220dcaa good gorf
    sc01a.bin512fc416227 1d6da90b1807a01b5e186ef08476119a862b5e6d good votrax

    :  PARENT Machine
    :  CLONE Machine
    :  BIOS
    :  Device


Gorf (c) 1981 Midway.

The player's goal is to defeat the Gorfian Empire and safeguard the future of mankind. Gorf is a single screen shoot-em-up in the classic "Space Invaders" mould, the prime difference being that Gorf offers 5 distinct levels of shooting action. The levels are as follows :

* Mission 1, Astro Battles : The first mission is more or less a straight clone of "Space Invaders", set against a sky-blue background. The player is protected by a glittering parabolic forcefield, which is gradually worn away by enemy projectiles. The forcefield also works in BOTH directions and therefore it must momentarily deactivate in order for the player's ship to fire out. To advance to the next mission, the player must destroy all the invaders.

* Mission 2, Laser Attack : The other missions are all set in space. In this mission, the player is faced with 2 formations each made up of 5 enemies. The formations are cross-shaped, and at the bottom of each formation is a single laser gun. The laser guns fire a long, dangerous yellow beam at regular intervals. At the same time, the other enemies may break formation and attempt to divebomb the player. Destroying a laser gun causes the corresponding formation to break apart. To advance to the next mission, the player must destroy all the enemies.

* Mission 3, Galaxians : This mission is a clone of "Galaxian". The player is faced with a swarm of galaxians, which continually divebomb and shower the player with deadly projectiles. To advance to the next mission, the player must destroy all the galaxians.

* Mission 4, Space Warp : A wormhole is situated in the middle of the screen out of which enemies ships emerge - one-at-a-time - and spiral outward at increasing speed; whilst growing larger and flinging fireballs at the player. The Space Warp level would have an influence on Konami's superb "Gyruss", released 2 years later. To advance to the next mission, the player must survive a number of these enemies.

* Mission 5, Flag Ship : The final mission is a 1-on-1 confrontation with the alien Flag Ship itself. The Flag Ship is one of the earliest examples of the 'boss' enemy in mainstream video games. It is equipped with its own forcefield, through which the player must blast in order to get a clean shot on the ship. It is also armed with a powerful fireball weapon. The player's weapon has a minor effect on the Flag Ship's hull, and can only blast off tiny pieces of it. This adds to the player's problems, as stray pieces of hull can destroy their ship. These pieces can be destroyed with a single shot. The only way to destroy the Flag Ship is to hit the glowing reactor at the heart of the ship, either by first blasting away the hull to expose it, or by managing to fire a shot directly into the tiny vent that leads to the reactor.

Each time the Flag Ship is destroyed, the player advances in rank. Initially, the player begins with the rank of Space Cadet, before moving on to Space Captain, Space Colonel, Space General, Space Warrior, and finally Space Avenger. The player's spaceship is equipped with a Quark Laser which allows the player to cancel a poorly aimed shot and fire another shot.


[Upright model] [No. 873]

Gorf upright arcade units came in a blue and grey dedicated cabinet with sticker sideart of several spaceships locked in battle.

Bally Midway Astrocade hardware

Main CPU : Z80 (@ 1.789773 Mhz)

Sound Chips : (2x) Astrocade (@ 1.789773 Mhz), Votrax SC-01

Control : 8-way 'flight yolk' controller with a trigger


Released in February 1981, Gorf was the first game ever to show multiple scenes.

Gorf has achieved the status of 'true status' and became legendary for its groundbreaking, yet almost unintelligible speech.

This game featured some early speech synthesis that was done in a similar manner to that in "Wizard of Wor" (Gorf and Wizard of Wor ran on nearly identical hardware). Here is a list of the humorous phrases Gorf says throughout the game (Gorf calls you by your current rank, denoted in these lists by [rank]) :

Attract mode :

1) Insert Coin!

2) I am the Gorfian Empire.

3) Long Live Gorf!

NOTE : Move the joystick any time during the attract mode to trigger the speech.

Ready to play mode :

1) Long Live Gorf!

2) Push a player button.

Mission start-up :

1) Prepare yourself for annihilation, [rank]!

2) You will meet a Gorfian doom, [rank]!

3) Survival is impossible, [rank]!

4) You cannot escape the Gorfian robots!

5) I am the Gorfian Empire!

6) I am a Gorfian consciousness.

7) Gorfian robots...Attack! Attack!

8) Robot warriors, seek and destroy the [rank]!

9) My Gorfian robots are unbeatable!

10) Gorfians take no prisoners!

Player loses a ship :

1) Got you, [rank]!

2) Bad move, [rank]!

3) Some galactic defender you are, [rank]!

4) Another enemy ship destroyed!

5) Your end draws near, [rank]!

6) Ha ha ha ha!

Player loses last ship :

1) Too bad, [rank]!

2) Bite the dust, [rank]!

At game over :

1) Gorfians conquer another galaxy.

2) You cannot escape the Gorfian Robots.

3) All hail the supreme Gorfian Empire!

4) Try again; I devour coins!

Player destroys Flag Ship (and advances in rank) :

1) Nice shot! You have been promoted to [new rank]!

2) For hitting my Flag Ship, you have been promoted to [new rank]!

3) In the Gorfian chronicals, you have been promoted to [new rank]!

4) Next time will be harder, but for now you have been promoted to [new rank]!

NOTES : These phrases may not be easy to hear over the loud explosion of the Flag Ship. The Rank lamp on the bezel moves over to the next rank as soon as Gorf begins speaking.


Have you ever noticed that GORF is FROG spelled backwards? Seriously, GORF is an acronym for 'Galactic Orbital Robot Force'.

The game's creator, Jay Fenton, designed a sequel to Gorf called 'Ms. Gorf', but it was never released. Jay Fenton underwent a sex change and is now known as Jamie Fenton.

A Star Trek tie in was originally planned by Midway, but when the first movie fell flat, the Enterprise sprite was reused as the Gorf Flag Ship.

Todd Rogers holds the official record for this game with 653990 points.

A Gorf unit appears in the 1982 movie 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High' and in the 1983 movie 'Joysticks'.

An upright Gorf unit appears in the 38 Special music video 'Caught Up In You'.


Astro Battle :

Space Invaders (all) : 50 points

Destroying Gorfian robot distributing Space Invaders : 300 points

Mystery Saucer : 100 points

Back and Forth Saucer : 300 points

NOTE : If you hit a Space Invader when it is being launched from the Gorfian robot, you get 100 points.

Laser Attack :

Laser Ships : 300 points

Escorts for Laser Ships : 100 points

Galaxians :

All Galaxians not attacking : 50 points

Yellow Galaxian attacking : 60 points

Blue Galaxian attacking : 80 points

Red Galaxian attacking : 100 points

Galaxian Flagship : 300 points

Space Warp :

Enemy fighters : 100 points

Flag Ship :

Each hit : 20 points

Escorts : 100 points

Destroying a piece of debris : 150 points

Destroying Flag Ship (and advancing in rank) : 1000 points

Gorfian robots (appear randomly) : 300 points


* The action starts immediately as soon as you start your game. The first sight that will greet you are the Space Invaders. From that point on, the action will be non-stop with the only things changing are your rank and the difficulty of the enemies. Also, there is an interesting quirk in the game. If your ship hits a displayed score (after destroying some enemy), your ship will be destroyed. So avoid flying into scores. Also, you can only have one shot up at a time. This, though, can be countered by the fact that you can prematurely end a shot and fire another thus saving yourself a lot of time and perhaps your ship.

* Due to Gorf's limited hardware not being powerful enough to move the game's colourful sprites around easily, it's possible, on the Astro Battles screen, to slow the last two invaders down to a crawl; simply by repeatedly firing. On the Laser Attack screen, if you shoot all the enemy ships EXCEPT for the laser shooters, you can sit forever on the far left hand side of the screen. Useless, but interesting all the same.

* Astro Battles :

1) Fire immediately when the mission starts. You may get lucky and hit the Gorfian robot distributing the Space Invaders. Also fire at the invaders as they are being distributed for more points.

2) Instead of the normal 11x5 grid of invaders, you only have to deal with an 8x3 grid.

3) Instead of buildings to protect your ship, you now have a shield dome over you. It briefly disappears when you fire, but the invaders have to cut through it with their lasers.

4) Remember, you have a lot of maneuverability in your ship (i.e. you can go up and down) so it should be easy to avoid the invaders bombs.

* Laser Attack :

1) Your first priority should be the laser ships. Wait until they have fired and send a shot right up their laser cannon.

2) The escorts tend to make random movements so be wary of them coming at you from all directions.

3) As you advance higher in rank, everything speeds up accordingly.

* Galaxians :

1) Try to shoot the Galaxians when they are setting up to get the score for attacking Galaxians.

2) At first, only a couple will come down. After a while, though, the Galaxians attempt to swarm all over your ship. Since they each fire 3 shots apiece, this can present a particularly deadly situation.

3) Keep moving. There is no safe place (not even the corners).

4) At later ranks, it isn't uncommon for a whole bunch of Galaxians to attack your ship at once.

5) If you can, try to hit the Gorfian robot that sometimes bounds over the top of the Galaxians.

* Space Warp :

1) This is the mission that tends to kill off most players. You will see a black hole with dots in it. These dots represent the number of fighters you have to deal with coming out of the black hole. As a Space Cadet, you only deal with 12 fighters. From Space Captain onward, it will be 16 fighters.

2) Fighters leave fast or slow and rotate around the hole. In addition, they will also fire at you. It will take some fancy maneuvering to avoid both the fighter and the shot it fired.

3) Some fighters go around so fast, you just have to try to keep out of its way.

4) Sometimes fighters will launch a slow shot from the side of the screen. Watch out for these shots.

5) In the later ranks, it will take all of your skill to survive since everything moves very quickly on this mission.

* Flag Ship :

1) The Flag Ship will fly back and forth slowly. It will descend then ascend as it completes a back and forth movement.

2) There is a shield around the Flag Ship you must cut through to hit it. The Flag Ship can fire through the shield at you.

3) On the later ranks (starting with Space Captain), the Flag Ship is escorted by two Gorfian robots.

4) Plan your shots so you can expose the reactor. This will mean cutting through a little bit of the ship to accomplish this. Watch out for the debris you create since it is as deadly as the Flag Ship's laser shots. If you feel really daring, hit the debris for extra points.

5) After you have stripped the ship away from the reactor, a well-placed shot should obliterate the Flag Ship.

6) Again, in the later ranks everything moves much faster.


1. <a href="http://www.arcade-history.com/index.php?page=database&lemot=gorf%20[">Gorf</a> (1981)

2. Ms. Gorf (1982)


Executive producer : Dave Nutting

Game concept / Designers : Dave Nutting, Jay Fenton

Video programmer : Jay Fenton

Audio programmer : Scot Norris

Added program support : Rick Frankel, Bob Ogden

Electronics designers : Jeff Frederickson, Dave Otto


NOTE : Due to licensing difficulties, the 'Galaxians' mission is omitted on most home ports.

* Consoles :

Colecovision (1981)

Atari 2600 (1982)

Atari 5200 (1983)

Atari XEGS

* Computers :

Commodore VIC-20 (1982)

Commodore C64 (1983)

BBC B (1983, Doctorsoft)

Acorn Electron (1983, 'Gorph' - Doctorsoft)

Commodore Amiga (1993, "Gorf", Towerbyte Software) : Includes Galaxians level.

Sinclair ZX-Spectrum (2004, "B.A.R.F." - Dinu Cristian Mircea)


Game's rom.

Machine's picture.

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

Jamie Fenton's website; http://www.fentonia.com/bio

Giochi Simili

Warning: information in history.dat can differ from the ones present in the rest of the page (taken from MAME) as they come from a different source

Information on gorf

0.07 [Nicola Salmoria, Mike Coates]

Artwork available

Samples required


- Colors washed out in the 'Astro Battle' (Space Invaders) section of Gorf. MAMEBase (ID 02682)


- 0.146: hap fixed Gorf and clones exit with autosave on.

- 0.145u4: Hooked up Votrax properly to Gorf. Currently disabled by default, but can be enabled by turning off USE_FAKE_VOTRAX in astrocde.h.

- 0.136u3: Tafoid fixed the 'Bonus Life' dipswitch for Gorf and clones. It's state was inverted.

- 0.135u2: Volker Hann added clone 'Gorf (program 1, with German Language ROM)'.

- 9th July 2008: Mr. Do - Fixed the colors on the Gorf bezel. Some sections that were white should have actually been gray. I probably had a faded source.

- 0.125u2: Chris Law added new samples for Gorf and updated the sample volume. Download samples at http://www.mameworld.info/samples/wav/gorf.zip

- 0.123u6: Mr. Do added internal artwork for Gorf.

- 0.123u3: RansAckeR added DIP locations and improved dipwitches in Gorf.

- 0.115u2: Aaron Giles corrected speaker locations and placement for Gorf. Added missing mux to Gorf's audio, which controls speech versus sound effects during the game. Aaron Giles fixed recently introduced bug in Astrocade driver relating to collision detection. Changed visible area to 240x352.

- 0.115u1: Changed Z80 CPU and 2x Astrocade clock speeds to 1789772 Hz, palettesize to 512 colors and VSync to 60.054442 Hz. Added 'Speech' dipswitch.

- 0.111u6: Aaron Giles changed Gorf to use HOLD_LINE instead of PULSE_LINE for scanline interrupts. The timing is still off, but the game runs now.

- 10th December 2006: Mr. Do - Thanks to the loan by Vintage Arcade Superstore, Gorf artwork is now sharper than ever, thanks to a fine vector job by Zorg.

- 8th October 2006: Mr. Do - Aaron Giles has been purchasing and scanning stuff, that Ad_Enuff cleans up and converts for MAME. This week, we have Gorf artwork. I also added in the light effects.

- 0.106u10: Aaron Giles updated Gorf to support the new artwork system.

- 0.104u6: Removed Custom sound.

- 0.96u1: Fixed lower/upper Astrocade sound/speaker and Samples volume (because of the 0.93 Sound System update).

- 0.88u2: Frank Palazzolo support stereo in Wizard of Wor, Robby Roto, Gorf and Professor PacMan (Sounds great now!!).

- 1st November 2002: Phil Stroffolino improved the Gorf colors.

- 24th May 2002: Zsolt Vasvari added support for the lamps in Gorf.

- 0.37b7: Added samples (a - emperor.wav).

- 29th March 2000: Nicola Salmoria fixed the Astrocade hardware star and sparkle generators.

- 0.36b7: Added Custom sound.

- 27th June 1999: Mike Coates modified Gorf to be rotated correctly (vertical).

- 7th June 1999: Mike Coates fixed Gorf title screen.

- 0.34b4: Emulation of the Astrocade sound chip (Extra Bases, Gorf, Robby Roto, Space Zap and Wizard of Wor) [Frank Palazzolo]. Kevin Bales improved speech in Gorf. It now plays speech 100% accurately except for the missing samples. Added 2x Astrocade sound.

- 0.31: Alex Judd added clone Gorf (Program 1). Added better speech in Gorf (MAME Gorf voice samples v1.0: Kevin Estep (Original Machine samples and recording) and Alex Judd (Sound driver and sample manipulation)). Known issues: Colors are wrong in cocktail mode.

- 0.28: Mike Balfour added high score saving to Gorf.

- 0.27: Mike Coates improved again the Gorf driver. It's now (sort of) playable. Control: Arrows = Move around and CTRL = Fire. Known issues: Speed of invaders/galaxians/scrolling text is too fast. You can crash into the background (i.e. on the warp screen).

- 0.26: Mike Coates improved Gorf (which is still unplayable).

- 0.07: Added Gorf (Midway 1981). Game doesn't work, colors are wrong and missing sound. This game runs on the same hardware as Wizard of Wor, but doesn't work yet. It boots, shows some text on the screen and that's all.


- The evil Gorfian Robot Empire has attacked. Your assignment is to repel the invasion and launch a counterattack. You will engage various hostile spacecraft as you journey toward a dramatic confrontation with the enemy flag ship.

LEVELS: 5 (endless)

Other Emulators:

* WINGORF (Single Arcade Game Emulator)

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