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Vanguard (SNK)

| 1981

Release type:
Units produced: SNK
Controls/Input Device: Control(joy8way), Buttons(4)
Number of Players: 2
More Creator:
More Coder/Software:
License from/Copyright:
SoundMix: Mono
More Graphics/Artwork:
More Music/Sound:
Acting Talent involved:
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Game Awards Nominations:
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Title a.k.a.:
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MAME folder name: vanguard

Display: raster 256x224 @ 61.25Hz (61.25 pixclock)
Sound: 1 channels

Emulated in MAME via driver rockola.c:
Status: good; Emulation: good
Graphic: good; Sound: good; Color: good
Palette size: 64; Savestate: unsupported

sk4_ic07.bin with 4096kb
sha1:ff953962ebc14a28cfc96f8e269cb1e1c188ed8a crc:6a29e354
sk4_ic08.bin with 4096kb
sha1:1944f229481328a0635fafda65054106f42a532a crc:302bba54
sk4_ic09.bin with 4096kb
sha1:b4762b40c7ed70d4b90319a1a30983a41a096afb crc:424755f6
sk4_ic10.bin with 4096kb
sha1:31571a560dbe300417b3ed5b114fa1d9ef742da9 crc:54603274
sk4_ic13.bin with 4096kb
sha1:3f705fb6a410004f4f86283694e3694e49701af6 crc:fde157d0
sk4_ic14.bin with 4096kb
sha1:922621c23f33fe756cb6baa12e5465c4e64f2dda crc:0d5b47d0
sk4_ic15.bin with 4096kb
sha1:375bc6f7e15564d5cf7e00c44e2651793c56d6ca crc:8549b8f8
sk4_ic16.bin with 4096kb
sha1:45aaf315a62f37460e32d3ba99caaacf4c994810 crc:062e0be2
sk4_ic51.bin with 2048kb
sha1:3f20b59ce1954f65535cd5603ca9271586428e35 crc:d2a64006
sk4_ic52.bin with 2048kb
sha1:251b24d60083d516c4ba686d75b41e04d10f7198 crc:cc4a0b6f
sk5_ic50.bin with 2048kb
sha1:b99e4ea07292a0eabaa6098037c92a5678627cec crc:e7d4315b
sk5_ic51.bin with 2048kb
sha1:4e9ccb055919c8acf5837e062857647d5363af60 crc:96e87858
sk5_ic6.bin with 32kb
sha1:9b2d1dfb3270a562d14bd54bfb3405a9095becc0 crc:7dc9d450
sk5_ic7.bin with 32kb
sha1:ddf44f74a20f10ed976c434a885857dade1f86d7 crc:ad782a73
sk6_ic07.bin with 2048kb
sha1:3d44a0232d7c94d8170cc06e90cc30bd57c99202 crc:2b7cbae9
sk6_ic08.bin with 2048kb
sha1:d9033188068b2aaa1502c89cf09f955eded8fa7a crc:3b7e9d7c
sk6_ic11.bin with 2048kb
sha1:8b51934229b961180d1edb99be3a4d337d37f66f crc:c36df041
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

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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:
Vanguard (c) 1981 SNK.

Vanguard is a scrolling space shooter (some levels are horizontal, some are diagonal, and some are vertical). Shoot down enemies with your laser. Keep a close eye on your ever decreasing fuel gauge, luckily each enemy that you destroy will add to your remaining fuel. Find the energy pods to be temporarily invulnerable; the energy pods will also increase your fuel level. At the end of each level you must defeat a boss that is guarded by two moving force fields with holes in them. The computer will announce the name of the each zone using some nifty early 80's synthesized speech. The different levels include Mountain Zone, Rainbow Zone, Styx Zone, Rainbow Zone 2, Stripe Zone, Rainbow Zone 3, Bleak Zone, and the City of Mystery.


Main CPU : MOS Technology M6502 (@ 930 Khz)
Sound Chips : Custom (@ 930 Khz), (2x) SN76477 (@ 930 Khz)

Screen orientation : Vertical
Video resolution : 224 x 256 pixels
Screen refresh : 61.25 Hz
Palette colors : 64

Players : 2
Control : 8-way joystick
Buttons : 4
= > [1] Fire Left, [2] Fire Right, [3] Fire Down, [4] Fire Up


Vanguard was released in July 1981 in Japan and put SNK on the map in North America.

Vanguard is the first color game from SNK and it was one of the first shoot-em-ups with an 8-way directional fire.

The starting music is inspired by the 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture' soundtrack (release date is 1979), and later became the theme song to the 1987-1994 television series 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'.

The music that plays when you get the power-up is 'Vultan's Theme: Attack of the Hawk Men' from the 'Flash Gordon' soundtrack.

A Vanguard unit appears in the 1982 movie 'Jekyll & Hyde... Together Again'.


Mist - Bouncing starship : 70 points
Harley - Fighter : 50 points
Helm - White UFO : 80 points
Amno - Pink UFO : 100 points
Base I, II, III - Buildings : 100 - 400 points
Garine - Bouncing aliens : 100 - 400 points
Barrier - Energy barrier : 800 points
Kemlus - "C" shaped worms : 100 - 400 points
Romeda - Arrow shaped ships : 100 points
Gond - Boss at end of round : 1,000 - 8,000 points


* When you start the game, your fighter will be at the left side of the screen. Keep in mind, this is a scrolling game. This means you can go no faster then the right side and no slower then the left side. You can, however, vary your speed in-between by pushing the joystick back and forth. The biggest key in getting through this game is learning how to use the joystick to speed up and slow down because you will sometimes be put into some very tight areas that will require precision joystick control. Here are some strategies for getting through them. There is no break between the areas, but you can pretty much tell what area you are in by the landscape and/or the enemies.

MOUNTAIN ZONE : This zone is pretty straightforward. The mountain is wide enough for you to maneuver out of harms way.
1) There should be no reason that you can't go through both areas energized. The energy stations are abundant in the mountain zone.
2) The Harley's like to group up in packs of five or six. They will fire on you and an occasional Harley will break from the pack to try to ram your fighter. They usually stay on one level and don't move around a lot. Very easy to evade.
3) The Mist's are a different matter. They move around all over the area and they are rather difficult to hit. You will have to use your lasers from different sides very effectively.

RAINBOW ZONE : In these zones you will be going diagonal up or diagonal down. The first part only has three aliens while the second part of the zone has six aliens moving up and down.
1) On the diagonal up parts, get your fighter in between the second and third aliens during the first part. Reverse this on the diagonal down parts.
2) On the second part, you will have to get in between the fourth and fifth aliens. You may have to use your top laser to clear out the alien above since the top three alternate with the bottom three. Reverse this on the diagonal down parts.

STYX ZONE : There are no energy stations in this zone so you will have to do some quick maneuvering and firing in all directions. This area also narrow significantly. Use the same tactics from the Mountain Zone.

STRIPE ZONE : You only have to deal with ground targets in this zone. This, though, is the problem since those targets are clustered very close together.
1) You should be able to go through this area energized since energy stations are abundant in the lower parts of this zone.
2) If you aren't energized, make sure you decided quickly to go high or low. If you go high, you deal with bases and Garines (bouncing aliens). This can be rough if you mistime it. The bottom has more targets but you must destroy the barrier. You do this by destroying the upper or lower stand that fires it up.
3) This zone lasts a while but the pattern remains the same.

BLEAK ZONE : You will be going up instead of sideways. The scrolling now is you can't go faster then the top of the screen or slower then the bottom of the screen.
1) Enemies on this screen are actually pretty easy to get through. Just stay in the middle and keep firing. The Romeda may give you trouble since they like to fire left diagonal shots.
2) If you go into the debris left from the Kemlus, a backward 'C' will surround your fighter and you will get 1090 points. You can do this three times. After the third time, if you try this, your fighter will be destroyed.

CITY OF MYSTERY : This is for all the marbles. There are many hazards to avoid as you try to take out Gond.
1) First, as you enter there are lasers to your left and right. You must quickly get into the second part. Gond is protected by two layers that have openings. These openings line up for only brief moments. Try to take shots through this opening.
2) After a short amount of time, walls will close behind your fighter. You only have a limited amount of time because there are five walls and if they close before you take out Gond, you lose your fighter.
3) The only good thing is if you fail to take out Gond, you advance to the next round. Of course, you don't get the bonus for Gond.
4) After you make it through each set of cave one and cave two, the action gets faster.


1. Vanguard (1981)
2. Vanguard II (1984)


NOTE: To see ports released in North America, please see the Centuri entry.

* Consoles :
Atari 2600 [JP] (1983)


Edit this entry:

Licensed from Alexis Bousiges under a CC Attribution 3.0 License
cheat.dat entry:
00000000 00BE 00000008 FFFFFFFF Infinite Lives
00000000 00A0 00000003 FFFFFFFF Infinite Energy Effectively Invincibility but you can't shoot and so you can only kill enemies by crashing into them

Credit Pugsy's MAME Cheat file