Released in 1981, Gorf by Midway Electronics represented at the time a pinnacle in video gaming, featuring multiple missions, a pistol grip controller, and electronic speech. Gorf was released in upright, cabaret, and cocktail cabinets.


Gameplay consisted of five missions:

  • Astro Battles - Similar to Space Invaders, you were faced with three rows of enemy ships that marched back and forth inexorably, firing down at you. Main differences included only three rows of enemy instead of five, and the defense of a planetary shield instead of bunkers to shield you from incoming fire. After destroying the last enemy, the shield was lowered and you were launched into space to deal with the oncoming onslaught.
  • Laser Attack - It didn't take you long to find trouble. Just outside of Earth orbit, you encountered two small squads of ships. Each squad zipped quickly here, then away. The lead ships of each squad shot a long, powerful, and quite lethal laser beam at you. And if that wasn't bad enough, some of the ships broke off from their squad and dove at you.
  • Galaxians - With the Laser Attack obliterated, you pushed on further into space. But if you thought the Laser Attack was tough, you hadn't met the Galaxians yet. Almost exactly like the game of the same name, a large fleet of enemy ships appeared, then dove at you from various dizzying angles, releasing a withering barrage of torpedos at you. Only the quick and brave survived the Galaxians to tell the tale.
  • Space Warp - Having located the enemy flag ship, you realized that in order to reach it in time to save Earth, you must risk a space warp. Engaging you engines, you soon found yourself travelling through the tight, cylindrical quarters of a hyperspatial wormhole. Unfortunately, you also found a fleet of enemy ships lying in wait for you. These ships milled around in the center of the vortex, then one by one travelled up toward you, hugging the walls of the hole and lobbing huge plasma fireballs at you. You could either blast the incoming ship or avoid it, as its speed made it impossible for it to slow to a stop and attack you from behind.
  • Flag Ship - Having survived that onslaught, you reached interstellar space and found yourself in uncomfortable proximity to a fully shielded Gorfian flag ship. Blasting through the flag ship's shields while dodging enormous plasma fireballs was easy, but to destroy the ship required a precise shot into the reactor core of the vessel. Doubts of your ability crept into your mind, but like it or not, you had no choice. It was a matter of destroying the flag ship or allowing the Earth to be enslaved by the mechanical menace of the Gorfian Empire.
  • Once you destroyed the enemy flag ship, you advanced in rank and started the five missions over, the tasks growing more and more difficult as you advanced in rank. Starting out as a lowly Space Cadet, you advanced from there to Space Captain, then to Space Colonel, Space General, Space Warrior, and finally to Space Avenger.

    Your arsenal of ships came equipped with a Quark Laser. Though you could only have one shot on the screen at a time, you could cancel a poorly aimed shot immediately with a new shot simply by firing again. This had the added benefit of becoming an excellent impromptu forward defense against diving ships when fired rapidly.

    Technical Information

    Picture of Gorf in Upright Cabinet The upright cabinet features an Electrohome 19" Color Dual Sync Horizontal Monitor or Wells-Gardner 19" Color Dual Sync Horizontal Monitor. It also features a lit pistol grip control stick with trigger fire button. The game itself has six PCBs which comprise its motherboard. From left to right (from side of PCB rack support with the small boards on the left) they are: (2) RAM boards, the CPU board, the Pattern Transfer board, the Programmed ROM/RAM board, and the Game Logic board.

    Switch Settings

    The DIP switch block is located on the Game Logic board. The switches have the following effects:

    Left Coin Slot and Base Adjustments
    Switch 1Switch 5Switch 5
    1 Coin, 1 Player2 Bases3 Bases
    2 Coins, 1 Player4 Bases6 Bases
    2 Coins, 2 Players2 Bases Each3 Bases Each
    4 Coins, 2 Players4 Bases Each6 Bases Each
    2 Coins, 1 Player2 Bases3 Bases
    4 Coins, 1 Player4 Bases6 Bases
    4 Coins, 2 Players2 Bases Each3 Bases Each
    8 Coins, 2 Players4 Bases Each6 Bases Each
    (For Right Coin Slot and Base Adjustment Settings, substitute Switch 3 for Switch 1 in the above chart)

    Switch 2 - Not Used

    Sideart from Gorf Upright Switch 4 -

    Switch 6 -

    Switch 7 -

    Switch 8 -

    Other Things of Interest

    Space Avenger Tipsie T. Cat takes a well 
deserved rest after kicking some serious Gorfian butt!

    [At Left] Space Avenger Tipsie T. Cat takes a well deserved rest after kicking some serious Gorfian butt!

    Gorf has been so popular that it was translated to many home video game systems and computers including the Atari 2600, ColecoVision, Commodore Vic-20 and Commodore 64. One interesting thing about these ports was that they all had four missions instead of five. Due to licensing problems the Galaxians mission was removed from all ports to home systems.

    During the attract modes and gameplay, Gorf says a number of humorous things. Here are a few:

    And my favorite:

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