The Stratovox Marquee

Stratovox Marquee

Stratovox - Video Games Speak Up


Sunsoft/Taito 1980

Videogames Sound Off

Speech comes to videogames in Taito’s 1980 release of Galaxian knock-off Stratovox, developed by Japanese game development house Sunsoft under the title Speak and Rescue. The point of the game is to try and prevent the abduction of planet colonists by marauding aliens, who for some reason have chosen a sombrero as their choice of ship design. Speech synthesis requires massive amounts of memory to execute, and the hardware used to emulate the male human voice is a full 1.5 MHz chip (about half the speed of the the Z-80 running the rest of the show), but the alien taunts and pleas from kidnapped colonists are still highly distorted and limited to four phrases. Cries of “Help me!” come when an alien grabs one of your men, who then congratulate you with a “Very good” if you mange to shoot his captor. Shouts of “Lucky!” accompany each colonist saved during the tally at the end of a screen, and a very Arnoldesque “We’ll be back!” is said when an alien is destroyed. While I remembered playing this game at my local arcade as soon as I fired it up in MAME, it appears to be rather rare, and not a particular success for Taito in North America. logo_stop


Sources (Click to view; inert links are kept for historical purposes


The Arcade Flyer Archive – flyers.arcade-museum.com/?page=home
Stratovox – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratovox
Farmington Daily Times, “Pinball’s Electronic Wizardry”, by George Johnston, pg. 3, Jan. 1981
Looking Forward to It, by Stephen Elliot, pg. 106, macmillan 2004

Comments >>

  1. avatarChristopher keller

    I have one of these stratovox games wth cabinet and glass everything seems n working order sound coin slots work u can even play but the screen won’t come on..i. sure this is a original unit number plate on rear door matches the in side .. it who and how do I fix or diagnosis the screen problem. .my boys still play Iit but we’d love to see it..

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