Game Story

Picked this up from a former collector who advertised on rgvac. We rented a truck and some help and made our way to his house. 3 hours and hundreds of dollars in help, food, gas and rental fees later we had a garage full of projects.

This one looked a mess. Paint was sanded away. Wood fill had been attempted and abandoned. The power system was hacked up. The monitor art and shroud were stacked neatly nearby. It was complete but not working.


Technical Information


Defender was released in 1981 by Wiliams. It is one of several games developed by Eugene Jarvis and launched his company Vid Kidz that would produce many more titles for Williams. It features a color raster display with a horizontal orientation at Standard resolution (320×256).


This game is built on the Vid Kidz hardware platform. A Motorola 6809 central processing unit handles the graphics and gameplay, while a Motorola 6800 microprocessor handles the audio.

Video CPU6809Motorola
Audio CPU6808Motorola
Audio DACHC55516Motorola
DisplayK4600Wells Gardner


AltitudeJoystick122 way, unique to Vid Kidz titles
FireButton12Red, Leaf Switch
ThrustButton12White, Leaf Switch
ReverseButton12Red, Leaf Switch
HyperspaceButton12White, Leaf Switch
Smart BombButton12Green, Leaf Switch
StartButton22White, Leaf Switch

Production Notes

Most of the domestic cabinet feature a silver door but later cabinets were released with the more standard black powder coat doors. The side and front art are a red and yellow scheme. Some prototypes and very early cabinets featured a blue art.

Defender is one of the most profitable arcade titles released grossing over a billion dollars.

It was licensed to Taito for Japanese distribution.