Inspired by Searching for video game like Xevious but with more interesting bosses, I'm resuming my search for a video game I played once or twice sometime around 1990, at an arcade in Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts. I made a strong effort to track down this game 10-15 years ago without success.

The graphics were very reminiscent of Time Pilot '84, and like that game it was all-direction scrolling shooter.

You piloted a small spaceship and were trying to destroy a large thing, either a base, or a large ship or creature (I think it had a somewhat organic look). The base or whatever was flying or hovering over the ground, which may have been a barren moonscape, but I might be mixing that up with another game.

The interesting thing was that the 'base' or whatever was sort of a 'network', consisting of nodes branching to other nodes. Some of these were just worth points while others were weapons that fired at you. If you managed to fly in 'deep' (your ship was 'higher' than the base thing) you could destroy a parent node and all the child nodes would explode too.

I believe there were also flying enemies that attacked you while you tried to do this. I don't remember whether your ship had more than a single weapon - there may or may not have been another weapon used against the 'nodes' rather than the flying enemies, like Xevious or Time Pilot '84.

It does have some similarities to games like Boskonian or Last Mission.

  • Is it possible that you shot air enemies, but bombed ground enemies?
    – K Mo
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 16:16

3 Answers 3


Second attempt at identifying this game.

Vanguard II

From www.hardcoregaming101.net

You not only have to fight airborne enemies, but also ground targets, which are bombed with the aid of a crosshair …

In each stage you fly over an elaborate orbital installation, with lots of buildings and connecting joints. The targets each time are the power pods, which provide the station with energy. Cutting off a section’s power supplies causes the whole area to break down, which makes it a lot safer to traverse as the local anti-air turrets blow up with it. Only after destroying the allotted number of pods it becomes safe to take on the central core ...


Screenshot 1 Screenshot 2 enter image description here

You can see the ground in last image is very moonscapey.

  • I'm pretty sure that's it. Awesome, thanks!
    – LAK
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 16:39
  • Glad we got there eventually. For reference, I found this by googling "games similar to Bosconian".
    – K Mo
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 16:46
  • Nice. When I looked many years ago, I probably skipped over Vanguard II because I'm familiar with the original Vanguard, and knew it wasn't the right kind of game.
    – LAK
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 16:53

Sounds like Bosconian.

You had to fly around in a spaceship and destroy enemy bases. These bases had a core and six linked canons. The canons could be destroyed separately to the bases they were linked to.

Occasionally the cannons would release enemy ships.

Looked like this:

Bosconian screenshot.

According to Wikipedia, the game was released in 1981.

  • I love Boskonian and I thought about mentioning that the unknown game had some similarities to it, but that's not it. Good thought, though!
    – LAK
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 15:13

Possibly Data East's Last Mission.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Good thought, but that's not it - in fact I suggested Last Mission as the answer to the question that reminded me to post this question :-).
    – LAK
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 15:14
  • Did the screen rotate or was it Time Pilot style multidirectional scrolling?
    – Alan B
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 15:17
  • Multidirectional scrolling like Time Pilot, etc.
    – LAK
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 15:18

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