The Many Incarnations of Defender

This article is part of a series I call “The Many Incarnations of… ”, a column which will chronicle the different game titles that have been released over the years featuring a central character or theme. Pac-Man is here to provide “color commentary,” and Professor Pac-Man is on hand with interesting tidbits of trivia about each game!


The back of the flyer states “The most technically advanced video game ever created. And the most sensational!” Well, if I can't dispute that statement at least I can point out that it's not grammatically correct. What am I saying have they not heard of the legendary PAC-MAN? 

From the desk of Professor Pac-Man:
Along with Namco's Pac-Man, Defender shares the title of 'Highest Grossing Video Game of All Time'. When Defender was first shown at a 1981 Chicago Arcade Machine Trade Show, arcade industry insiders confidently predicted that both Defender and Pac-Man would be commercial flops and that Namco's Rally X would be the next major arcade success. 

Defender only managed 4 titles! They're still making titles with my name. 'Most sensational video game my yellow...'

Professor Pac-Man:
That's quite enough, Pac-Man.

I just have one more thing to say... Wocka! Wocka!


Now after reading this flyer I feel better.  After all, it states rather boldly “With Defender you thought you had seen it all with Stargate you have!” Yet, they have the nerve to wonder why they only made 4 titles! Wocka! Wocka!

From the desk of Professor Pac-Man:
Designers Eugene Jarvis and Larry DeMar left Williams and formed Vid Kidz. Williams became desperate for a new game, so the took Vid Kidz under contract to create a new game called Stargate. The name was changed to 'Defender II' right after the game had stopped being manufactured, because Williams wanted to make sure they could own the trademark on the title.

Defender Pinball

Some idiot designer says “Hey I have a great idea let's take this great video game and make it into a pinball machine!” Yeah, I tried the whole pinball scene too – didn't care much for it. I supposed the next thing the Prof will tell us is that they didn't make very many of these. Wocka! Wocka!

From the desk of Professor Pac-Man:
This title is based on the video game Defender and successfully recreates the video game's rules on a pinball table. Despite the video game shipping more than 60,000 units, the production run on this pinball title was only 369 units.


Hmmm... In reviewing this flyer I don't even see the mere mention of Defender. What a shame, but I guess after stating that  we'd seen it all what more is there?  Wocka! Wocka!

From the desk of Professor Pac-Man: When viewing the Today's Victors High Score screen you should see DEFENDER spelled out in homage to the original title. The initials DEF are in rank 5, END in rank 6 and ER in rank 7.

♪A pod has appeared at the top of the screen; They're the hardest to get, if you know what I mean. A miss, then a hit, now he's fading away; I've done all I can, at least for today. ♪  Wocka! Wocka!

* This article is only a listing of known unique game titles. It does not cover clones of released titles, nor will it list the various platforms the titles have appeared on. It is not meant to be an all-inclusive reference listing, and should be viewed only as the recreational offering it was intended to be. Game descriptions, game titles and registered trademarks mentioned herein are properties of their respective owners.