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Sky Soldiers

From The Cutting Room Floor
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Title Screen

Sky Soldiers

Developer: Alpha Denshi
Publishers: SNK, Romstar
Platforms: Arcade (Alpha Denshi 68000 hardware)
Released internationally: July 1988


CopyrightIcon.png This game has hidden developer credits.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.


Sky Soldiers is pretty much Time Soldiers reimagined as a shoot 'em up.

Debugging Functions

The "Manufacturer" dip switch can enable some debug features if the game is able to write to address 0x00074 in the main CPU. This isn't possible to do in the retail game, since that space is used by the exception vector table, but was probably possible in development versions. Place this cheat in MAME's skysoldr.xml cheat file to bypass that check:

  <cheat desc="Fix Debug Switch">
    <script state="run">
      <action>maincpu.mw@01710=6600</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@01F0E=6600</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@01F60=6600</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@0BA80=6600</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@0D526=6600</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@10CB6=6600</action>
    </script>
    <script state="off">
      <action>maincpu.mw@01710=6700</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@01F0E=6700</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@01F60=6700</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@0BA80=6700</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@0D526=6700</action>
      <action>maincpu.mw@10CB6=6700</action>
    </script>
  </cheat>

They're almost legible!
Set the game manufacturer to "Romstar". The score header palette will gain a pink tint, and four variables will be printed to the top-left part of the screen.

  • "Level" would be the current difficulty level, but nothing in the game seems to change that value. It worked in Time Soldiers, but someone forgot to update that function here.
  • The next four-digit number represents the camera's current position in the level.
  • The last two numbers are the Y and X coordinates of Player 2.

This also enables two debugging functions:

  • Press 1P Start to pause the game. Press 2P Start to resume.
  • Hold 1P Start + 2P Start to slow the game down to 1/2 speed.
(Debug information: Bryan McPhail (MAME Alpha 68000 driver))

Developer Credits

Satoshi Hagitani's signature message starts at address 0x00070 in the audio CPU:

Sound Board No.62FC01
Music Macro Lungeag & 
Effect Macro Lungeag & 
Adpcm Voice Out Control Program
ALPHA DENSHI CO., LTD.
By Satoshi.Hagitani 
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Graphics

Look. I'm not coming up with alt text for this image. Nope!
These graphics are from what appears to be an earlier weapon select menu.

Skip ahead to the next set. Still no! Geeze.
No palette quite matches up perfectly with this older tileset, but palette 2D is the closest match. Note the odd yellow color in the first block's cycling palette; This should actually be a darker shade of blue.

Running short on Es. Survey says!
This menu has space for two weapons that didn't make it into the final game, "Shild" and "Cyclon".

At least they got Cyclone right in this one!
There are also HUD graphics for those weapons that match the final HUD design.

Used Fixed
These colors run. Red red flags.

Flags for all six countries seen in Sky Soldiers, but the final game uses three-letter abbreviations to represent those countries. The palette for those flags no longer exists, but since they're real flags and all, it shouldn't be that hard to guess what the actual colors are, should it?

(Source: Original TCRF research)