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N.Y. Captor

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Title Screen

N.Y. Captor

Developer: Taito
Publisher: Taito
Platform: Arcade (Taito N.Y. Captor hardware)
Released internationally: October 1985

DevMessageIcon.png This game has a hidden developer message.
CopyrightIcon.png This game has hidden developer credits.
PiracyIcon.png This game has anti-piracy features.

Taito's first target shooter. There's a bunch of bandits and bullets and bonuses and balloons and you shoot them all. Well, ideally.

One anagram of N.Y. Captor is "Apt Crony". Coincidence?!

Anti-Piracy Features

There are two different piracy flags in the game. When either flag is set, the text "DEAD COPY" will flash at the bottom-right corner of the screen.

The first flag is set when the "TAITO" part of the copyright string is altered. The game saves an encrypted version of the string to RAM and then performs a checksum on that string when the player shoots the Monsta holding balloons. If the checksum doesn't add up to 20, the first piracy flag is set, which will trigger the following gameplay tweaks:


  • Bonus stages 1 and 3 will act as they do in Shot 28: All sliding targets are replaced by Miss Chack'ns, each of which give 2,010 points when shot.
  • Hits at the end-of-bonus tally will go from being worth 500 points a pop to 59,630(!) points.
  • The beer cans in bonus stages 2 and 3 will fly in a wider arc. They normally start out at 3.4 pixels/frame vertically, 1 pixel/frame horizontally, while the modified values are 2.4 pixels/frame vertically, 2.6 pixels/frame horizontally.

The second flag takes a lot longer to trigger. The subroutine at 0x7D83 will gradually check ROM addresses 0x0000 to 0x4000, one byte at a time, with each byte added to E2CE in RAM. The following actions will trigger this subroutine:

  • Spawning in a stage.
  • Shooting any legitimate target or hot spot.
  • Spawning an enemy in an apartment stage while the screen is scrolling.
  • Killing a terrorist by dropping a lamp on them.
  • Spawning a moving bottle in a bonus stage.
  • Awarding points at the end of a skyscraper or bonus stage (Once per 500 points).
  • Getting a perfect hit bonus (Once per 10,000 points)
  • Any time a beer can falls in a bonus stage (Twice per frame).
  • Any time one of the moles fully buries into the ground (One to four times).

After reaching the end, the result of E2CE is stored in the second piracy flag, E2C7, which should be 00 if the checksum is correct. If the second piracy flag is set to a non-zero value, the following gameplay tweaks occur:

  • The game will enter Free Play mode.
  • Players will start out with 53 lives.
  • The stacks of bills bonus item, which is normally found randomly while shooting solid brick wall tiles in the apartment stages, will now always appear between one and four shots.
  • The "Hi Score" text will always flash, even if the player doesn't have a high score.
(Source: Original TCRF research)

High Score Easter Egg

Trying to put the name "SEX" in the high score list will overwrite the name with three lips and play the Monsta & Balloons jingle.

While this type of name substitution is standard practice for Taito, this also triggers something extra: The bonus stage in Shot 4 will be replaced by the all Miss Chack'n bonus stage from Shot 28.

Hidden Credits

Multiple instances of the programmers hiding their names in the code. Wily programmers. The first is in the main CPU at 0x07F83:

  @ 1985 TAITO CORP.
   programmer  ICHIRO FUJISUE
   programmer  TAISUKE KOUNO 
   7.Oct,1985 12:21          

A second, shorter message is near the start of the subCPU at 0x001F:


The longest message, at 0x7B48 in the subCPU, even has ASCII art of an earlier title!

     ****  *    ***   *       
    *     *    *  *  *        
   ***** ***  *  * ****       
      * *  * *  *  *          
  **** *  * ****  *           
           ****  *  * ***     
          *     *  * *   *    
        * *** *  * *   *      
       *   * *  * *   *       
      ***** **** *   *        
     N.Y. CAPTOR  STAFF       
Programmer   Ichiro Fujisue   
Programmer   Taisuke Kouno    
mudan copy wo kinzuru.        
     @ TAITO CORP. 1985      !

"Mudan copy wo kinzuru." roughly translates to "It's forbidden to copy without permission".

(Source: Original TCRF research)