Games-db.com homepage: The Game Database Computer Console Arcade Pinball Handheld Traditional
Message Board
Platforms Overview
Games-db / Arcade /

Q*bert (US)

Database Areas


Site Areas

Submit Data
You are a game expert?
You are interested in
sharing your knowledge?
Submit your data here:

Top contributors

Q*bert (US)

| 1982

Release type:
Units produced: Gottlieb
Controls/Input Device: Control(joy4way)
Number of Players: 2
More Creator:
More Coder/Software:
License from/Copyright:
SoundMix: Mono
More Graphics/Artwork:
More Music/Sound:
Acting Talent involved:
More Machine Details:
More System Details:
Game Awards Nominations:
Game Awards Won:
Title a.k.a.:
Avg. Playtime:
Similar Games:
MAME folder name: qbert

Display: raster 256x240 @ 61.42Hz (61.42 pixclock)
Sound: 1 channels

Emulated in MAME via driver gottlieb.c:
Status: good; Emulation: good
Graphic: good; Sound: good; Color: good
Palette size: 16; Savestate: unsupported

qb-bg0.bin with 4096kb
sha1:12aa6df499eb6996ee35f56acac403ff6290f844 crc:7a9ba824
qb-bg1.bin with 4096kb
sha1:5bb67e333255c0ea679ab4312256a8a71a950db8 crc:22e5b891
qb-fg0.bin with 8192kb
sha1:807d16459838f129e10b913890bbc95065d5dd40 crc:2f695b85
qb-fg1.bin with 8192kb
sha1:f7f26b879aa8b964ff6311136ed8157e44de736c crc:224e8356
qb-fg2.bin with 8192kb
sha1:06894a1474c79c1274efbd32d7371179e7e0a661 crc:f69b9483
qb-fg3.bin with 8192kb
sha1:ae16087a6ceec84551b5d7aae4036e0ed432cbb7 crc:dd436d3a
qb-rom0.bin with 8192kb
sha1:7f8f66d1e6a7905e93cce07fc92e8801370b7194 crc:8e318641
qb-rom1.bin with 8192kb
sha1:ca6acdef1c9e06b33efe1f0a2df2dfb03723cfbe crc:55635447
qb-rom2.bin with 8192kb
sha1:4cfc5d52dd6c82163e035af82d6112c0c93a3797 crc:fe434526
qb-snd1.bin with 2048kb
sha1:8b7d03fbf2ebaa71b3a7e2f636a0d1bb9b796e43 crc:15787c07
qb-snd2.bin with 2048kb
sha1:09d8053e7e99679b602dcda230d64db7fe6cb7f5 crc:58437508
Mameinfo.dat entry:
0.37b10 [Yochizo]


- 0.147u2: hap fixed clone Omega Fighter Special. The game fails to boot or finish post. After showing bad rom errors, the game resets.

- 0.147u1: Fixed maincpu rom loading.

- 0.122u7: Fixed gfx1/2/3/4/5 rom loading.

- 0.89u3: Changed Z80 CPU2 clock speed to 5MHz.

- 0.37b10: Yochizo added 'Omega Fighter' (UPL 1989) and clone Omega Fighter Special.

- 21st November 2000: Yochizo fixed some graphics bugs in the Omega Fighter / Atomic Robo-kid driver.

- 8th November 2000: Yochizo sent in a driver for Omega Fighter and Atomic Robo-kid.

- 25th April 1999: Dumped Omega Fighter Special.

LEVELS: 8 (restarts once)

Other Emulators:

* FB Alpha


* Raine

Recommended Games (Star Force):




Night Star (DECO Cassette)

Nova 2001

Star Jacker

Stunt Air


Star Force

Alpha Mission / ASO

Alpha Mission II / ASO II

Astro Warrior (Mega-Tech)

Mission 660


S.R.D. Mission

Truxton / Tatsujin

Tatsujin (Tourvision PCE bootleg)

Truxton II / Tatsujin Oh

Blast Off

Blazing Lazers

GunHed (Tourvision PCE bootleg)

The Next Space

Omega Fighter

Super Star Soldier (Tourvision PCE bootleg)

Lethal Thunder


Strike Gunner S.T.G


Explosive Breaker

Final Star Force




Nebulas Ray



Viper Phase 1

Fever SOS

Mars Matrix: Hyper Solid Shooting

Romset: 2016 kb / 8 files / 457.8 zip

Credits Mameinfo and Mametesters Project Robert J. Rabgno et al.
History.dat entry:
Q*bert (c) 1982 Gottlieb.

The object of the Q*bert game is to change the color of the top of the cubes to the Destination color indicated at the upper-left corner of the screen (below Player 1's score) by hopping onto them. When all the cubes in the pyramid have been changed to the Destination color, the screen will advance to the next round, with the player-controlled Q*bert character starting back on the top cube. At the beginning of each Level, there will be a short demonstration cycle with Q*bert hopping around four cubes to explain to the player the play action of each Level. Each level consists of four Rounds. The current level number and round number is displayed at the upper-right corner of the screen (below Player 2's score in a 2-player game).

The game play starts with Q*bert appearing at the top of the pyramid. The joystick will move Q*bert from cube to cube by hopping in any of four diagonal directions. Q*bert can move anywhere on the pyramid, but jumping off will kill him. Hopping on the rotating disk will take Q*bert back to the top of the pyramid. In the first two Rounds of play, Q*bert will have to avoid touching the red and purple balls. These deadly objects drop randomly onto the second-from-the-top level and bounce downwards. The red balls will fall off the bottom, but the purple ball will stop at the bottom and hatch into Coily, the snake which chases Q*bert. To destroy Coily, lure him to the edge, then jump unto a disk. The disk will take Q*bert back to the top and Coily will fall off, awarding 500 points and clearing the board of all other 'nasty' characters.

Starting at the 3rd Round of play, other 'nasty' characters come into play. The green characters or objects are safe to hop onto and will award points. All other 'nasty' characters are deadly to touch. In the third Round the red balls will stop falling, but two purple characters named Ugg and Wrong Way will appear at the lower portion of the pyramid and travel sideways and upwards (Ugg is the one with the snout moving from right to left on the right sides of the cubes, and Wrong Way is the one with the big eyes moving from left to right on the left sides of the cubes). They will not chase Q*bert, but will move randomly to get in Q*bert's way. In the third Round and every Round after, based on an internal timer, a green ball will appear and bounce down from the top of the pyramid. Hopping Q*bert onto the green ball will award 100 points, and freeze all the characters on the screen for a few seconds, but 'Q*bert' will still be able to move to complete the color changes.

During the 4th Round of play, two green characters named Slick and Sam will appear, based on the internal timer (Slick is the one wearing shades; Sam does not wear shades, otherwise their function is identical). They will drop onto the second level from the top and hop randomly downwards. If they hop onto a cube that Q*bert has already changed the color of, the cube will change to a different color to thwart Q*Bert. Hopping Q*Bert onto Slick or Sam will stop them and award 300 points.

Throughout the remaining Rounds, all the characters and objects will appear in random combinations with increasing speed.

To add variety to the game, the disks will change positions every Round, and in the higher Levels the number of disks will change.

During Level 2, the play action will increase in difficulty from changing the cubes to one color, to changing the color of the cubes twice. This mean: that each cube would have to be hopped on twice to change the pyramid to the destination color, completing the Round.

Starting at Level 3 and for all remaining Rounds, and Levels, the play action will become more difficult. The object remains to change the cubes to the Destination color, but if Q*Bert hops on any cube, that cube will change color. So even if the cube has already been changed to the Destination color, it will change again.

Here is a rundown of how all the colors change :

Legend :
S - Starting Color
I - Intermediate Color
D - Destination color

LEVEL 1 : When Q*bert jumps on S or I, it changes to D. When he jumps on D, it stays at D (NOTE : During the 4th round, when Slick/Sam jumps on D, it changes to I).

LEVEL 2 : When Q*bert jumps on S, it changes to I. When he jumps on I, it changes to D. When he jumps on D, it stays at D.

LEVEL 3 : When Q*bert jumps on S, it changes to D. When he jumps on D, it changes back to S. Q*bert must start again.

LEVEL 4 : When Q*bert jumps on S, it changes to I. When he jumps on I, it changes to D. When he jumps on D, it changes back to I. Q*bert must start again.

LEVEL 5 : When Q*bert jumps on S, it changes to I. When he jumps on I, it changes to D. When he jumps on D, it changes back to S. Q*bert must start again.

LEVELS 6-9 : Same color pattern as Level 5. The difference is the increased speed of Q*bert and the 'nasty' characters.

There are also bonus points awarded at the end of each round for successfully completing the round. The bonus for the completion of the 1st round is 1000 points. This Bonus will progressively increase each Round by 250 points to a maximum of 5000 points at Level 5.


Game ID : GV-103

Main CPU : I8086 (@ 5 Mhz)
Sound CPU : MOS Technology M6502 (@ 894.886 Khz)
Sound Chips : DAC, Votrax SC-01

Players: 2
Control : 4-way joystick (diagonal)


Q*bert was released in October 1982.

Licensed to Konami for Japanese distribution (February 1983).

Inspired by artwork by M.C. Escher who was an artist that Jeff admired. Ron Waxman came up with the idea of Q*bert changing the color of the cubes. Q*bert's name originated by the combination of 'Cube' and 'Hubert', but the 'Cube-Bert' was changed to 'Q-bert' to make it more unique. The concept game was called 'Snots and Boogers' and then '@!#?@!' (which many of the programmers and Gottlieb VPs said would be impossible to get anyone to say) before the final version was called just 'Q*bert'. Slick and Sam were a play on the phrase 'spick and span' with Sam being named after co-worker Sam Russo. Rick Tighe came up with the idea of adding the pinball hardware which generated the very mechanical KA-CHUNK when Q*bert falls off the pyramid.

A Votrax SC-01 speech synthesis chip is used to generate the incoherent speech of Q*bert swearing, Slick and Sam (high pitch) and Wrong-way and Ugg (low pitch). The only true speech ever generated is Q*bert saying 'Hello, I'm turned on' when the game is first powered up and 'Bye Bye' after entering your initials at the end of a game.

Approximately 30000 units were produced by Gottlieb.

Several early cabinets were produced with '@!#?@!' on the marquee.

Bob Gerhardt holds the official records for this game in 'Marathon' setting with 33273520 points on November 28, 1983.

Tom Gault holds the official records for this game in 'Tournament' setting with 1,895,565 points.

A slightly different version known as 'Mello Yello' was programmed for promotion of the Mellow-Yellow softdrink, but it was never released to the market.

As well as being a huge commercial success as a game, Q*bert also provided revenue from its many tie-in products. Toys, games, and other products bearing the hero’s likeness all sold well. There was even a Q*bert cartoon; Saturday Supercade was a CBS cartoon series which featured a number of different segments starring various video game characters. In addition to the characters from the game, the Q*Bert segment featured Q*tee (Q*bert's girlfriend), Q*bit (his little brother), and others.

Such was the character's popularity at this time that Gottlieb assigned pinball designer, John Trudeau ("Creature From the Black Lagoon", "Congo"), to devise a Q*bert pinball. It was called "Q*bert's Quest" and Trudeau created an innovative design pattern that should have sparked arcade goers to try it. Remarkably, the table was a commercial flop. Released in March 1983, a paltry 884 machines dribbled out of the plant and further convinced management that pinball was indeed experiencing desperate times.

A Q*bert unit appears in the 1983 movie 'Koyaanisqatsi - Life out of Balance'.

Parker Brothers released a boardgame based on this videogame (same name) in 1983 : Object of the game is to be one of the 'NOSER ELITE' by removing more pegs from the pyramid than your opponent (Peg plugged into cube = Starting color; Peg removed from cube = Destination color).
One player takes on the role of the hero, Q*bert, who must make his way around the pyramid trying to remove as many pegs as he can. A second player controls the 'nasty' characters out to thwart Q*bert.

The main characters make an appearance on the 2012 animation movie "Wreck-It Ralph" from Walt Disney Animation Studios.


Changing a cube to the Intermediate color : 15 points.
Changing a cube to the Destination color : 25 points.
Catching the Green Ball : 100 points
Catching Slick/Sam : 300 points.
Luring Coily off pyramid : 500 points bonus.
Completing a round : 750 points + 250 points x round number.
End of round bonus : 50 points per teleport disc remaining.


* Control Panel Instructions :
Goal : Change the tops of all cubes to a new color by hopping onto them.
Joystick moves 'Q*bert' from cube to cube. Hopping onto a disk will take you back to the top.
All green objects are safe to hit. All other objects are deadly.
Destroy the snake by leading him to the edge, then jumping on a disk.
Stay on pyramid! Only jump off to use a disk.

* A big part of the game is waiting to see where 'nasty' characters are going to jump. You need to make sure you always time a jump at the same time the 'nasty' characters jump, so you can always have a clear path to a new square.

* Since the game only has nine levels, if you can master Level 9 then you should be able to play indefinitely since Level 9 repeats once you reach it and the game doesn't get any harder.


1. Q*bert (1982)
2. Q*bert's Qubes (1983)
3. Q*bert 3 (1993, Nintendo Super Famicom)


Designed and programmed by : Warren Davis
Video graphics by : Jeff Lee
Cabinet graphics by : Terry Doerzaph
Audio by : David D. Thiel


* Consoles :
Magnavox Odyssey 2 [US] (1983)
Philips Videopac G7000 [EU] (1982)
Sega SG-1000 [JP] (1982) [Model OM-G001]
Colecovision [US] (1983) [Model 9800]
Mattel Intellivision [US] (1983) [Model 6360]
Atari 2600 [US] (1983) [Model PB5360]
Atari 5200 [US] (1983) [Model 9500]
Atari 7800 [US] (unreleased prototype, - "Bentley Bear In Q*bert")
Atari XEGS
MSX [EU] [JP] (1986) [Model RC746]
Nintendo NES [US] (February 1989, Ultra)
Nintendo Game Boy [EU] (1992) [Model DMG-P-QT]
Nintendo Game Boy [JP] (January 14, 1992) [Model DMG-QTJ]
Nintendo Game Boy [US] (February 1992) [Model DMG-QT]
Sony PlayStation [US] (November 30, 1999) [Model SLUS-00904]
Sony PlayStation [EU] (2000) [Model SLES-02214]
Nintendo Game Boy Color [US] (September 25, 2000) [Model CGB-BQTE-USA]
Sega Dreamcast [US] (November 30, 2000) [Model T-40403N]
Sony PlayStation 3 [PSN] [US] (February 22, 2007)
Sony PlayStation 3 [PSN] [EU] (May 18, 2007)

* Computers :
Atari 800 [US] (1983) [Model 1120]
BBC Micro [EU] (1983)
Commodore VIC-20 [US] (1983)
Commodore C64 [EU] (1983)
Commodore C64 [US] (1983) [Model PB1550]
Commodore C64 [US] [EU] (1983, "Hexpert")
Tandy Color Computer [US] (1983, "Cuber")
Tandy Color Computer [US] (1983, "Cubix")
Sinclair ZX-Spectrum [EU] (1983, "Pogo" - Ocean)
Amstrad CPC [EU] (1984, "Er*Bert" - Microbyte)
Texas Instruments TI-99/4A [US] (1984) [Model PB1620]
BBC B [EU] ("R*THER" 1984 - Acornsoft)
Memotech MTX512 [EU] (1985, "Qogo")
Tandy Color Computer 3 [EU] (1987, "Pyramix")
Amstrad CPC [EU] (1987, "Crazy Er*Bert" - Alternative Software)
Commodore Amiga [EU] (1992, "Q.Bic" - CodeMasters)
PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] [US] (November 14, 1999)
Apple Macintosh [US] (October 2001, Mac Soft)
PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] [US] (2005, "Q*bert 2005")

* Others :
VFD handheld game [US] (1983) released by Parker Brothers.
Mobile Phones [US] (June 13, 2003)
Apple iPhone/iPod [US] (July 28, 2009; "Q*bert Deluxe [Model 325065512]")


Edit this entry: http://www.arcade-history.com/?&page=detail&id=2094&o=2

Licensed from Alexis Bousiges under a CC Attribution 3.0 License
cheat.dat entry:
00000000 0D00 00000003 FFFFFFFF Infinite Lives
00000000 008A 000000E1 FFFFFFFF Green ball freeze endless
00000000 0085 00000080 FFFFFFFF No Enemies

Credit Pugsy's MAME Cheat file