Out Zone

Out Zone
Out Zone
Developer(s) Toaplan
Composer(s) Tatsuya Uemura
Platform(s) Arcade
Release date(s)
Genre(s) run and gun
Mode(s) 1-2 players simultaneously
Cabinet Upright
CPU 68000 (@ 10 MHz), Z80 (@ 3.5 MHz)
Sound YM3812 (@ 3.5 MHz)
Display Raster resolution 240×320 (Vertical) Palette Colors 2048

Out Zone (アウトゾーン?) is a 1990 arcade game by Toaplan and distributed in the US by Romstar.

Out Zone is a run and gun, in which the player controls a soldier who must fight his way through seven increasingly difficult levels. At the end of each level a boss must be defeated before the player can progress any further. Taking place in the year 2097, mankind is invaded by an alien race and it is up to cyborg soldiers controlled by the player to destroy the invasion force.

This game was followed up with Fixeight in 1992.


As a vertical-scrolling run and gun, the player fights enemies on foot, moving upward through the stage. Since forward movement is not automatic, the game imposes a time limit in the form of an energy bar that slowly drains as time goes on. If the bar empties completely, you lose a life. It is refilled when you pick up "E" icons or complete a level. The energy bar does not represent health, as touching one enemy or bullet will immediately cost you one life. After dying, you reappear at an earlier point in the level.


You can use one of two main weapons, and switch between them by picking up "C" icons. The semi-automatic forward gun shoots forward no matter which way you move, but shoots three bullets in a slight spread each time you press Fire. The all-direction laser fires in whatever direction you're moving, and creates a sweep of bullets as you change direction. It fires rapidly, so you only need to hold down the Fire button. Each weapon is useful in certain situations, and you will often have to switch based on the configuration of enemies.

The two main weapon can be upgraded by picking up to two "P" icons.

Several special bonuses are available as different colored "SP" icons. Two special weapons can really change the face of the game:

  • Super Burner (yellow SP icon) : a directional, limited range super power weapon. Very destructive, but forces the player to move close to the enemies. It is thus risky to use against end-of level bosses,
  • Super Ball (pink SP icon) : a terrific weapon! A destructive energy ball circles around the player (and continues to circle around the player if the fire button is held down), then rushes up the top of the screen, unaffected by walls. Your best choice in any situation!

The other special bonuses are:

  • 1UP (red SP icon)
  • Speed UP (blue SP icon) : very interesting in the second half of the game, the increased speed can prove dangerous in some of the maze/platforms parts
  • Shield (pale pink SP icon) : will protect the player against a direct enemy shot, won't prevent losing a life by falling down a hole or running out of energy
  • Energy Extend (green SP icon) : extends the energy bar and re-fills it completely

In desperate situations, you have a supply of bombs, used by pressing the Bomb button. These destroy all minor enemies and bullets on the screen, and severely damage larger foes, but does not make you invincible for any period of time.

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