Retro Coin Op Synopsis
Secret agent men were all the rage in 1983 arcades. Spy Hunter may have been the most famous of the bunch, but many Bond wannabes held a special place in their hearts for another master of international intrigue: Agent 17, star of Taito’s Elevator Action.
The game opened with a signature spy film maneuver: Agent 17 fired a grappling hook toward the top of a building, then slid down the wire to infiltrate. Inside, 17 took a series of elevators and escalators down toward the bottom, stopping along the way at every red door in the building. Inside these doors were secret documents, necessary for Agent 17 to complete his mission. Once every document was gathered, our hero moved down to the bottom floor, where a getaway car sat waiting for a thrilling escape.
Obviously, the bad guys weren’t going to let their secret documents be carted off without a fight, and several black-suited spies were assigned to that very task. Popping up from behind closed blue doors, the counter-agents fired off pistol rounds in your direction. Luckily, your character knew how to duck, and he also had a sidearm of his own.
For up-close combat, Agent 17 could kick the baddies with his jumping ability, or crush them with an elevator, which your character controlled once he was inside. And with a little luck and good timing, 17 could even shoot the ceiling lamps on each floor, sending them down onto the bad spies’ noggins for a long-range K.O.
There was no set time limit to the game, but if Agent 17 dawdled, an alarm would go off, more enemies would appear, and the elevators would be harder to control. As the game went on and Agent 17 moved from one building to the next, the alarm would go off sooner and sooner, making this poor agent’s life even more dangerous.
One of the more memorable platform games of the early 80’s, Elevator Action scored big with its spy theme and clever gameplay. Agent 17 went into retirement, but the lure of espionage was too tempting for Taito to resist. In 1994, the company released a long-awaited sequel, Elevator Action Returns. Now with three different secret agents and several stages of play, the game brought 90’s graphics and gameplay to the 80’s classic. Agent 17 would have been proud.
Arcade Machine Release History1983 - Elevator Action
1994 - Elevator Action Returns