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Video Game / Scramble

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The 1981 Arcade Game Scramble was Konami's original Horizontal Scrolling Shooter; it was one of the first games in the genre, along with SNK's Vanguard.

The player flies a jet fighter armed with lasers and bombs to fire at enemy rockets and flying saucers, trying to avoid colliding with them or the terrain. Hitting fuel tanks not only scores a few points but replenishes your ever-dwindling fuel supply. After five levels, the player flies into the base of the enemy system and destroys a target, after which the game loops with higher difficulty.

A sequel, Super Cobra, was released the same year, with the player now in control of a helicopter and carrying away a suitcase at the end instead of bombing a target. There were now ten levels before the base and the garishly colored backgrounds were slightly more textured, but otherwise the arcade versions of Scramble and Super Cobra looked and played pretty much the same.

In the west, both games were licensed by Stern Electronics for arcade distribution. Super Cobra was ported more widely than Scramble in the 1980s, but Scramble has since turned up more frequently on Compilation Rereleases of Konami's older games, including remade versions on the Game Boy Advance and Xbox Live Arcade.

Scramble was retconned into the Gradius series in Gradius Generations.note 

Tropes in Scramble and Super Cobra:

  • Airstrike Impossible: The objective at the end of Scramble is to bomb the enemy base.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Super Cobra became Konami's first video game with a continuous play feature. However, it can only be used up to a deadly 4 times per playthrough in the original Konami version; but in the Stern Electronics-licensed version, it works up to a whopping 255 times per playthrough!
  • Critical Annoyance: There's an alarm when low on fuel, although the volume isn't too loud.
  • Deadly Walls: Avoid running into buildings or hills. However, once you bomb the base in Scramble, you can sacrifice your ship and get a free replacement when the game starts over.
  • Direct Continuous Levels: Scramble is probably the Trope Maker for continuous-scrolling shooters. The end of each level opens up onto a piece of flat terrain, a short message is displayed with an accompanying jingle, and then the next level scrolls into view.
  • Drought Level of Doom: The maze starts with a large amount of fuel tanks, and there's no more after that point. This guarantees a limited number of passes to destroy the enemy base.
  • Endless Game: Once you bomb the base (Scramble) or steal the booty (Super Cobra), the game starts over with a faster fuel consumption rate.
  • Every 10,000 Points: Both games grant you an extra life every 10,000 points.
  • Moving Target Bonus: Shooting missiles down earns you more points if you hit them after they launch themselves into the air.