Joust (video game)

Joust is a classic arcade game by Williams Electronics, released in 1982.


The player assumes the role of a knight with a lance, who sits on the back of an ostrich. He fought waves of computer-controlled enemy knights. The enemy knights have three different speed and agility levels and sitting on giant vultures. The screen is largely static, it only consists of five platforms in the air, some of which go around on the screen, the base platform and the lava pit below.

The very simple control of the game is a factor in his appeal. A joystick can be moved left and right, and a fire button as " flutter button" moves the wings of the bird once. The birds are pulled by gravity down. To stay in the air, the fire button must be pressed rhythmically.


Each wave begins by enemy knights emerge from one of the four spawn points. In order to defeat a knight, the player must touch this, with his lance must be vertically higher than the other knight's lance. If an enemy knight was defeated, appears a Riesenei and falls down and bounces around. The player must touch the egg and thus destroy, where he gets extra points; when the egg remains lying, it will hatch and another, makes fuller knight will appear and continue to fight against the player.

A wave is made ​​when the player destroys all enemy knights and eggs. If too much time passes at a wave, the dreaded Pterodactyl will appear from the edge of the screen and fly around until the player touches, this loses a life, or until the player turned the shaft, or until the player defeats the Pterodactyl by he just hits him with a spear in mouth or buttocks, which is particularly difficult.

Two players can play Joust, and each player gets points for defeating the enemy knights, and also for defeating his human opponent. Interaction is possible by agreement between the players, but they can kill each other by accidental contact anyway.

A Lavatroll inhabits the lava pit at the bottom of the screen; if a player or enemy knight flies too close to the lava whose hand appear and pull the knight in the lava. Players can free themselves by repeatedly and rapidly press the fire button from the handle.


A "bug " in the program design was a strategic advantage for the players. On the right side of the screen two platforms are located so that a higher and slightly extends over the other. When a bird is running in the race on the lower of the two platforms, then the bird touches the top and stopped. However, if the player his bird controls so that the abdomen as low flying over the platform, so that the legs are not "extended", then bouncing off the bird the platform along and slips through the gap between the two platforms, where he top of the platform appears. Skillful players have that fact established itself as a game strategy advantage; a player could suddenly show up under the platform and surprising land on a knight. Game developer John Newcomer mentioned in interviews that this game design blunder was so popular that it was decided to make him aware of the game and thus as a permanent feature.


Joust series

  • Joust (1982 )
  • Joust pinball machine (1983 )
  • Joust 2: Survival of the Fittest (1986 ): Joust 2 added a " Transfiguration " button, so that the player was between Strauss and Pegasus switch. Because Joust 2 has been published in the decline of the golden age of arcade machines reached it is not nearly the success that had the Joust, and is now considered a collector's item.
  • Joust X: An updated version of Joust for home consoles was planned in the 1990s but not published.
  • Joust keychain ( 1998): Tiger Electronics created a handheld adaptation Joust as part of their Extreme Chain Series.
  • Joust of the film: John Newcomer said in interviews that he intends eventually to make a film based on Joust.

Joust Clones

  • Dragonhawk (1983 ): This Commodore 64 game by Creative Software is a side-scrolling Joust clone.
  • Balloon Fight (1986 ): The NES game developed by Nintendo has an inspired by Joust gameplay.
  • Text-based Joust (2001): to create as part of a trend of computer programmers, text-based video games based on popular games Joust was adapted by Jennifer Earl.
  • Flapping (2002) ( original named as JoustPong but renamed due to legal reasons. ) JoustPong combines the classic video game Pong with the " flutter " feature of Joust, creating a very complex game was created with a simple one-button control. Game developer Kirk Israel created originally JoustPong for Windows and later wrote Java and Palm OS versions. Created with the help of a network of programmers and designers and drove Israel recently Flap - ping for the Atari 2600.
  • Joust 3: Revenge of the Lava Troll (ca. 2003): Created by iteration Games Joust combines 3 elements and graphics of Joust and Joust 2 in a scrolling adventure game.
  • Joust: XBox Live Arcade, released to play in HD for the XBox 360 with the possibility of another person via the Internet on XBox Live. Price is 400 Microsoft points ($ 5).
  • In January 2006, a game similar to Joust was released based on the SpongeBob SquarePants episode Dunces and Dragons at Nickelodeon 's.

Back story

There is no backstory. The design was inspired by medieval duels. However, the game never explains why the player seemingly stuck in the lava pit, nor the identity of the enemy knights, nor the nature of the existing creatures.


Joust was ported to the NES, Sony Playstation, Sega Saturn, Nintendo 64, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, PC, Xbox 360, BBC Micro and Palm OS as well as Atari 's own 2600, 5200, 7800, Atari 800, Lynx and ST.

The Atari 2600 port is extremely simplified due to the hardware limitations. The Game Boy port, bundled with a Defender Arcade Classic No.. 4, is not exactly close to the original. The slightly better Game Boy Color port is also bundled with a Defender Arcade Hits. The Atari ST port is an almost perfect realization of the game.

In July 2000, Midway licensed Joust along with other Williams Electronics Games at Shockwave as a Shockwave Arcade Collection for use in an online applet to demonstrate the power of the Shockwave web content platform. The reaction was carried out by Digital Eclipse. She is currently free applets available to play in Shockwave Web.

Digital Eclipse continues ported Joust, packed with five other Midway games, including Robotron and Defender, as Arcade Greatest Hits: Midway Collection 1 for Sony Playstation, Sega Saturn, IBM PC and Nintendo 64, and with four other games as Midway Arcade Classics for Palm OS. An Arcade Greatest Hits: Midway Collection 2 disc was later released for the Playstation, which included Joust 2.

The most accurate by far and well documented Joust port is available in the Midway Arcade Treasures, a compilation of arcade games that are available for the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox consoles as well as Windows XP version. Midway Arcade Treasures includes concept art, promotional items and an interview with John Newcomer. It also includes Joust 2.

Joust was made available for download at Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade service at the start of Xbox 360. It is also available on PlayStation Network for the PlayStation 3.


The source code of Joust in the Atari 7800 version was in closing Sunnyvale Atari 1996 in physical form along with Dig Dug, Centipede, Robotron: 2084 and available eight games. Reconstructed by the Atari Museum and later released.