Codex Gamicus

Elevator Action (エレベーターアクション, Erebētā Akushon) is a 1983 arcade game by Taito. It debuted during the "Golden Age of Arcade Games". Innovative in gameplay, this game was fairly popular for many years. The musician was Yoshino Imamura. The game was followed by a sequel, Elevator Action II (also known as Elevator Action Returns).


The player assumes the role of a spy who infiltrates a building filled with elevators. He must collect secret documents from the building and traverse the 30 levels of the building using an increasingly complex series of elevators. The player is pursued by enemy agents who appear from behind closed doors. The player must outwit them via force or evasion. Successful completion of a level involves collecting all the secret documents and traversing the building from top to bottom. In the lower floors of the building, the elevator systems are so complex that some puzzle-solving skills are needed.

The game cabinet was a standard upright. The controls consisted of a 4-way joystick and two buttons, one for "shoot" and the other for jumping and kicking. The graphics are extremely simple, 2D color graphics. The maximum number of players is two, alternating turns.


The player assumes the role of Agent 17, codename: "Otto", a secret agent for an unspecified organization or government. As Otto, the player must "acquire" (steal) a series of secret documents from a tall building which Otto enters from the roof. Each room with a document is indicated by a red door. Otto must traverse the building's numerous levels via a series of elevators and escalators while acquiring the documents. After retrieving all the documents, Otto must escape via the getaway car in the basement of the building and thus progress to the next level of the game. As the player progresses through more levels, the enemy agents will begin to shoot more frequently, their bullets will travel more quickly, and they will begin to take evasive action to avoid being shot, either going down to a knee to avoid high bullets or dropping into a prone position to avoid bullets at a lower level, and they will sometimes shoot from this position as well.

While there is no visible timer, the player does not have unlimited time with which to complete each round. At some point, the game appears to enter into a hurry-up mode, as evidenced by the background tune changing to something with a quicker beat, giving the impression of time running out. The enemy agents become more aggressive, as if the game were being played at an even higher level. The last characteristic of this mode is that the elevator response to commands deteriorates somewhat; an up or down command is likely to experience a small bit of lag, making it difficult to get or keep the elevator moving to avoid enemy fire, which can be problematic, especially toward the bottom level.


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