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Video Game / Moon Patrol

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"Your Mission is to patrol Sector Nine and eliminate all hostile threats to you and your Moon Rover"
— Excerpt from the manual of the Game Boy Color port.

Moon Patrol is an Arcade Game by Irem released in 1982 that was licensed to Williams for distribution in North America. It was also ported to various consoles and home computers by Atari and Midway Games.

In the game you control a moon buggy that must travel between checkpoints on the moon's surface while avoiding crashing into rocks and mines, falling into craters, and being destroyed by UFOs and tanks firing shots at you.

An arcade-exclusive Spiritual Successor, Horizon, was released by Irem in 1985.

This game provides examples of

  • Checkpoint: Twenty-six of them, labeled A through Z. You earn time bonuses for reaching certain checkpoints (E, J, O, T, and Z) within a certain amount of time.
  • Endless Game: The game loops the last level indefinitely until you run out of buggies.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Your buggy takes any kind of damage? It explodes. Watch your surroundings!
  • Everything Is Trying to Kill You: There are no Power Ups or helps of any kind. If it's not flat land, it will kill you. Some of the UFOs even have special bombs that make additional craters in the surface, just to dick with you while you're fighting them.
  • Game Mod: The unreleased ColecoVision prototype version was suspected to be modded into Matt Patrol, where some of the UFOs were modded into Devo hats and flying bras.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Your buggy is... not robust. Even rolling over a tiny rock is instant death.
  • Motion Parallax: This is the Ur-Example of the trope's use in 2D video games. There is only one parallax —the far background made of bluish rocky formations— that runs at a different speed than the brown-and-green foreground where the moon buggy is.
  • Scoring Points: For shooting down UFOs, tanks, cars, and rocks; for jumping over craters, rocks, land mines, and tanks; and for reaching certain checkpoints (as explained above). Bonus points are awarded for reaching those checkpoints fast enough.
  • Shoot 'Em Up
  • Side View