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Astro Invader

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Title Screen

Astro Invader

Also known as: Kamikaze (JP)
Developer: Konami
Publishers: Leijac (JP), Stern Electronics (NA)
Platform: Arcade (Konami Z80-based hardware)
Released in JP: May 1980[1]
Released in US: June 25, 1980

GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

Astro Invader is a game about defending Earth from enemy forces. Watch out for invaders, UFOs, and Heartbreakers.

Version Differences


Konami Stern
AstroInvaderArcTitleK.png AstroInvaderArcTitle.png

Konami's version is called Kamikaze, and is missing a copyright year on the screen.


Dip Switches

  • In Kamikaze, one coin is worth one credit. Astro Invader adds three more settings through dip switches: 1 Coin / 2 Credits, 2 Coins / 1 Credit, and 3 Coins / 1 Credit.
  • To make room for the new coin settings, a few options had to be removed:
    • In Kamikaze, the player can start with 3, 4, 5, or 6 lives depending on dip switch settings. Astro Invader removes the 5- and 6-life settings.
    • Kamikaze has four extra life settings: 5,000 points, 10,000 points, 15,000 points, and 20,000 points. Astro Invader removes the 5,000- and 15,000-point settings.

Main Game

Konami Stern
AstroInvaderArcPlayfieldK.png AstroInvaderArcPlayfieldS.png
  • The mothership can hold up to 100 invaders at once in Kamikaze. This was doubled to 200 invaders in Astro Invader.
  • In Kamikaze, there are six launch pads on each side for holding invaders. This was reduced to five launch pads in Astro Invader. Consequently, the remaining launch pads take less time to fill up.
  • Invaders will also fall to the left / right of the red markers in Kamikaze. These aren't launch pads - invaders will pass right through them. Those lanes were covered up in Astro Invader.
  • The UFOs in Kamikaze will always spawn below the yellow rectangle in the middle of the playfield. In Astro Invader, they can also spawn below the red rectangles on the left and right sides of the screen.
Konami AstroInvaderArcElecK.png
Stern AstroInvaderArcElecS.png
  • The width of the invaders' shock wave was greatly reduced in Astro Invader. In the original game, it takes up almost half the width of the screen!
  • In Kamikaze's 2-Player mode, the game instantly switches between players after one player's death animation finishes. Astro Invader adds a 128-frame delay before the gameplay starts up again.


Konami Stern Notes
AstroInvaderArcMothershipK.png AstroInvaderArcMothershipS.png The mothership's nameplate changed between publishers. Stern's nameplate seems a bit more detailed.
The invaders have two extra frames of animation in Kamikaze. Those frames weren't taken out of Astro Invader; rather, those frames were replaced by duplicates of other frames.