Game Story

We entered a Bronze Age phase. It was a necessity of finance. We had collected several Midway 8080 games: Gun Fight, Space Invaders, Clowns and Space Encounters.

The market dictates the monochrome, flaky units command a $250 — $400 price point. Space Invaders can fetch more in beautiful condition. That being the market,
Space Encounters should get more attention than it does. This was a later 8080 game and they had really hit the stride. The game play is a straight up theft of the Death Star Canyon scene from Star Wars: A New Hope. The bonus round even features an exhaust pipe shot.

The game uses the 8080 to draw, fire and manage collisions. A separate sound board is added to handle the extra sound elements: klaxons, engines and empty space. A special light panel board handles the flashing red light above the monitor and a strobe light that indicates a hit.

A very specific and difficult to reproduce gel overlay gives the game some color: Deep Blue Space, Red and yellow to make the canyon walls and bottom pop. Cardboard monitor shrouding includes pop up control panels and the bottom has a lighted indicator screen that flashes.

The control is a heavy flight yoke with integral fire button at the thumb. Speed is controlled by pushing the yoke into the cabinet or pulling up to slow down. Position is controlled by steering left and right.

Vidiot’s Space Encounters


David’s Space Encounters

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SRW’s Space Encounters

We gained fame for the previous two restorations and raised the profile of the title. That earned us another project Space Encounters. This one need some hard to duplicate parts.

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Technical Information


Space Encounters was released in 1980 by Midway. It features a monochrome raster display with a horizontal orientation.


This game is built on the Midway 8080 hardware platform. Common features an 8080 CPU on a mother board. The motherboard accepts different daughterboards for different titles. A bank of ROMs reside on the motherboard and must also be changed to change the title.

Video CPU8080Intel
Sound BoardDiscreteMidway
Light Effects*DiscreteMidway

* only in full size upright


MoveFlight Yoke1N/A2 handed steer and push for acceleration
MoveFlight StickN/A1 
FireButton11Thumb button on Yoke
Trigger on Stick
PlayerCone22Lighted Cone, Microswitch

Production Notes

At least two marquee styles were produced Black and White. The cabaret cabinet really loses some of the title’s excitement. The strobe effects and battle lighting are gone. The Full size Flight Yoke is traded for a flight stick. The impressive, dimensional art panels give way to a flat bezel.