Retro Coin Op Synopsis

Hoping for another Tron-sized arcade hit, Gottlieb bought the arcade license to Krull, a 1983 sci-fi/fantasy film that was heavy on special effects and fantastic imagery. That same year, the company released the arcade version of Krull, a multi-stage action/adventure that adapted ideas, if not scenes, from the British epic.

You controlled Prince Colwyn, dashing star of the film, as he attempted to rescue his beloved Princess Lyssa and bring about the downfall of the hideous Beast who had kidnapped her. To do so, young Colwyn had to pass through five reflex-testing stages, each with a different task (not unlike the arcade’s Tron, only the stages weren’t selectable).

In the first, Colwyn had to recover the five pieces of his powerful glaive (a sort of mystical throwing star), dodging rolling boulders while running from piece to piece. The second stage played like a game of Robotron: 2084, as Colwyn rescued his countrymen from the beast’s army of laser-shooting Slayers.

The third stage had a similar feel to the second, but the screen now contained a maze of rocks that had to be navigated in order to rescue Colwyn’s soldiers and carry them to “The Hexagon.” That six-sided structure was the fortress of the Beast and the focus of the fourth stage, a Breakout-style challenge wherein Colwyn had to knock out the structure’s walls when they turned black.

In the fifth and final stage, Colwyn faced off against the Beast itself, trying to avoid its deadly fireballs, save the Princess, and chase away the Beast once and for all. Once the kingdom had been saved, the game began again, this time at a higher difficulty setting.

Krull had been a disappointment at the box office, but so had the feature film version of Tron, and that hadn’t hurt the arcade game’s fortunes. Unfortunately, the formula didn’t carry over to Gottlieb’s Krull, which suffered the same fate as its movie counterpart. The game largely vanished to the ages, surviving only in the hearts and minds (and occasionally basements) of dedicated fantasy fans.

Arcade Machine Release History

1983 - Krull

Arcade Game Sub Categories


Machine Manufacturer


Other Arcade Game Links