Codex Gamicus

The Namco System 1 arcade system board was first used by Namco in April 1987 and was a major enhancement to the previous Namco System 86 arcade system board. Due to its release date, it was originally called Namco System 87 according to the Namco Museum series.

Yokai Douchuuki was the first game to use this board. The game's name translated to English as "Supernatural Creature Traveller's Journal" and was later renamed "Shadowland" for anglophone territories. Two months later, they released Dragon Spirit, which was one of the most difficult vertical scrolling shooters ever seen for its release date. This was followed by Blazer in July, which was one of the first games to use an isometric perspective, Quester in September, which was similar to Arkanoid but the only difference was that it had better graphics, Pac-Mania in November, and Galaga '88 in December. Towards the end of the year, Namco developed a 16-bit arcade system board - the more powerful 68000-based Namco System 2 system board.

Namco System 1 specifications[]


  • Main CPU: Motorola 6809 @ 1.536 MHz
  • Sub CPU: Motorola 6809 @ 1.536 MHz
  • Sound CPU: Motorola 6809 @ 1.536 MHz
  • MCU: Hitachi HD63701 @ 1.536 MHz


  • Video resolution 288×224 (horizontal) or 224×288 (vertical)
  • Variable-sized display window
  • 24-bit RGB palette
  • 3 scrolling 512×512 tilemap layers (64×64 characters)
  • 1 scrolling 512×256 tilemap layer (64×32 characters)
  • 2 fixed 288×224 tilemap layers (36×28 characters)
  • 127 variable-sized sprites (up to 32×32) displayed at once


  • Yamaha YM2151 FM sound chip
  • Custom 8-channel wavetable stereo PSG
  • 2-channel DAC

List of Namco System 1 arcade games[]

fr:System 1 (Namco)