Ikari Warriors on the Commodore 64

Ikari Warriors, first released in 1986, was SNK’s first true Arcade hit in the United States. Its controls and two-player mode set it apart from other top-down shooters, such as Commando.

In Ikari Warriors, the players controls Ralf Jones and Clark Steel.

Players take control of Ralf and Clark, and fight through enemy units to try and save the village of Ikari.


The player takes the role of commando-like warriors named Ralf (red) and Clark (blue), who must try to reach the village of Ikari.

Enemy units attempting to kill the player include tanks, enemy soldiers and helicopters. A number of power-ups along the way help the player achieve victory.

Players must proceed from the bottom of the screen upwards, towards the village of Ikari. Trying to prevent them from reaching the village are enemy soldiers and other units.

Along the way, players may commandeer enemy tanks and helicopters (NES version) to help fight their way through the enemy personnel.

The tanks are immune to enemy bullets, but have a limited supply of fuel and will sustain damage when it runs out or the tank is caught in an explosion, taking the player with it unless he can exit the tank and get clear before it blows up.

The helicopters have two different weapons, a spread gun and a cannon, and may fly over water.

Rotating the joystick changes the direction the character faced independent of the direction the character was moving, as controlled by pushing the joystick.

This gives the player freedom to attack or walk in eight different directions. No shot is fired from directly in front of the player; the warrior uses the machine gun in his right hand, and throws grenades with his left.

If a player character takes too long moving up screen, the computer starts using “call for fire”. A red spot appears below him; this is tracking fire to speed up the game.

A good game, I preferred Rambo for gameplay but I did think this was better than the C64 version of Commando.

Interesting Information

There are two different C64 conversions of the game. The US version was done by Quicksilver. The European version was done by Elite.

The European version has improved graphics, sound, and gameplay. It uses the upper and lower screen border and does not use the whole horizontal resolution to imitate the vertical look of the arcade.


When the intro shows the plane crashing, reset the machine and enter the following:

POKE 50291,181 – Infinite Lives
POKE 9085,0 – Infinite Bullets
POKE 9292,0 – Infinite Grenades


ikari warriors screenshot
ikari warriors screenshot



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