[[quoteright:248:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/qbert.png]]

''Q*bert'' is a 1982 arcade game published by Creator/{{Gottlieb}}, created by Warren Davis and Jeff Lee. In ''Q*bert'', the player maneuvers the eponymous character around an isometric pyramid-like structure of tri-colored cubes. Q*bert's purpose is to hop around the tops of these cubes, changing every square to a specific color (e.g., from blue to yellow).

The "changing the cube colors" idea came quite late in game development. Davis and Lee had implemented the pyramid level and enemies, but were unsure of what the Q*bert's goal would be. It was Ron Waxman, vice president of engineering at Gottlieb, who suggested having the cubes change color when the player landed on them.

Q*bert is harassed by an assortment of enemies. "Coily" the snake appears at the top of the pyramid inside a purple ball, bouncing toward the bottom of the screen. Once he hits the bottom row of cubes, the snake springs out from inside, hopping around in pursuit of the little orange hero. Red balls also appear at the top of the pyramid, bringing bouncing death if they collide with Q*bert on the way down.

Other threats come from "Ugg" and "Wrong-Way," a purple pig and gremlin team who bounce along the side of the cubes. Additionally, Q*bert has to deal with "Slick" and "Sam," two green creatures who turn cubes back to their original color when they hop on them. Q*bert can eliminate Slick or Sam by jumping onto them.

Aside from some strategic hopping, Q*bert's only defenses are the spinning discs at the side of the pyramid and the green balls that bounce across the squares. The discs provide a quick escape, floating Q*bert back to the top of the pyramid as Coily jumps to his death in pursuit. The green balls freeze the enemies, giving Q*bert a free run of the pyramid for a limited time.

''Q*bert'''s use of sound was one of its most distinctive features. The game's sound board contained a Votrax speech synthesis chip, but according to David Thiel, who created the sounds for the game, the chip's output was so poor that some words were not understandable. In frustration, he programmed it to produce random phonemes, and discovered that the result sounded like an [[StarfishLanguage alien language]]. This randomized speech, played at different pitches, became the voices of Ugg, Wrongway, Slick, Sam, and Q*bert himself. Sometimes if you're lucky, you'll get a cuss word from random babble. The only actual word that remains is "Bye-bye" whenever you get a GameOver.

Dedicated upright cabinets for ''Q*bert'' contain a pinball "knocker" (a solenoid that creates a knocking sound) inside the cabinet whenever a character falls off the pyramid, simulating the sound a character might make if it actually fell to the bottom of the cabinet. In some units, this sound is created by a bean bag inside the case rigged to fall. This resulted in more of a "thud" than the distinctive "pop" created by the knocker-equipped cabinets.

''Q*bert'' was one of the characters featured on ''SaturdaySupercade''. The game has a follow-up called ''Q*bert's Qubes'' and an unreleased sequel called ''Faster Harder More Challenging Q*bert'', a case of InWhichATropeIsDescribed. A home sequel, ''Q*bert 3'', was later released for Super NES. In 2012, Creator/{{Disney}} released ''Film/WreckItRalph'' which gave Q*bert a prominent role in the film.

Of the many, ''[[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/qbert_crash.jpg many]]'' home ports of ''Q*bert'', the MSX and NES versions were developed by {{Konami}}. The MSX version, however, starred a different-looking Q*bert with a long tail instead of a long nose; its gameplay was based on ''Q*bert's Qubes'', but it was perhaps more valued for the [[OldSaveBonus bonuses it gave to other Konami games when the cartridge was plugged into the second slot]].

Legendary [[InstrumentalHipHop turntablist]] DJ Qbert got his name from this series.

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!!''Q*bert'' provides examples of:
* AnimatedAdaptation
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: To an extent. Of the game's moving objects, anything green is safe to touch.
* DamnYouMuscleMemory: The non-standard joystick - all diagonal moves instead of up/down/left/right - can take some getting used to.
** It gets worse if you switch from playing the arcade version to the home version where all the diagonal moves are mapped to left, right, up, and down on the control stick.
* {{Determinator}}: Coily
* TheEighties
* [[HappyFunBall Happy Fun Red Balls]]
* IsometricProjection
* {{Jerkass}}: Slick and Sam, undoing all your hard work.
* LuckyCharmsTitle
* PinballSpinoff: ''Q*Bert's Quest,'' also by Gottlieb, released in 1983.
* ReptilesAreAbhorrent: Coily
* SpeakingSimlish
* SymbolSwearing: Whenever Q*bert gets hit by something.
* TheUnpronounceable: Some early versions of the game shipped with "@!#?@!" as the game's actual title. Needless to say, this was quickly changed for obvious reasons.
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