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RoboCop 2 (Arcade)

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Title Screen

RoboCop 2

Developer: Data East
Publisher: Data East
Platform: Arcade (Caveman Ninja hardware)
Released internationally: 1991
Released in JP: March 1991[1]

AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
DevMessageIcon.png This game has a hidden developer message.
CopyrightIcon.png This game has hidden developer credits.
DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
PiracyIcon.png This game has anti-piracy features.

A game based on the 1990 sequel to the blockbuster film about the titular mind-conflicted robotic law enforcer. Unlike Data East's previous RoboCop arcade game, this one has convenient instant direction-changing shooting controls and co-op gameplay (where the second character is weirdly another RoboCop instead of Anne Lewis).

Debug Functions

Version Info

Hold 1P Start + 2P Start before the game boots to see this version info screen.

Crash Handler

A standard handler for all exception vectors is built into the game. To trigger it, just crash the game somehow. Be creative. Think outside the robobox.

Stage Select

After starting a new game, the game checks Dip Switch 3-8 ("Game Over Message") and is supposed to send the player to a stage select if that dip switch is set, but there's a branch opcode at the start of the subroutine that effectively dummies this out. Put the following code in robocop2.xml to reactivate this feature:

  <cheat desc="Enable Stage Select">
    <script state="run">
    <script state="off">

Press 1P Up/Down to select a scene, and press 1P Button 1 to warp to that scene.

Display Debug

The game actually tries to run a display debug subroutine every frame during normal gameplay, but the developers put an rts opcode at the start of the subroutine to disable it. Put this code in robocop2.xml to reactivate it:

  <cheat desc="Display Debug (Main)">
    <script state="run">
    <script state="off">

STAGNO and SCENUM should be self-explanatory. BKXPOS is the current camera X position for the stage; BKYPOS and BKZPOS would be the Y and Z positions, but they're always 0x100 and 0x000 in this game. The X/Y/Z coordinates for both players are displayed on the right.

There's a second display debug for the game's bonus stages, but the code is completely unreferenced in the final game. Put this code in MAME's robocop2.xml cheat file to add it back in:

  <cheat desc="Display Debug (Bike)">
    <script state="run">
    <script state="off">

In this case, BKZPOS is the player's current position on the stage, HANDLE controls how the car or bike turns, SPEED is the current scrolling speed (Actual value in pixels is SPEED / 100), and the unfortunately named FAGAPO is an offset that the game uses to control how the road turns and bends.

Camera Debug

Like the display debug, this is technically called every frame, but is dummied out by an rts opcode at the start of the subroutine. Place the following code in robocop2.xml to reactivate it:

  <cheat desc="Debug Functions">
      <item value="0x21EC">Camera Debug</item>
      <item value="0x2244">Weapon Debug</item>
    <script state="run">
    <script state="off">

Use 1P Left/Right to move the camera, and hold 1P Up/Down to stop the camera from scrolling. This works a lot better if 2P is the only one playing. Be aware that screen locks override this debug function.

Weapon Debug

Press 1P/2P Button 3 to cycle between the Cobra Assault Cannon, Bazooka, Gatling gun, and the default Auto 9. This will also give the player(s) 999 ammo where applicable. No code references the weapon debug subroutine, but the code above will replace the camera debug with the weapon debug.

There's one additional tool: Press 1P/2P Button 1 to decrease the player's health bar by 1 unit.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Copy Protection

RAM addresses 0x18C000 to 0x18C7FF are reserved for the game's copy protection chip. Shortly after booting, the game checks if address 0x18C504 is equal to 0x0084. If it isn't, it displays the above screen and prevents the game from booting further.

To trigger this bit of copy protection, place the following code in MAME's robocop2.xml cheat file and reset:

  <cheat desc="Trigger Copy Protection">
    <script state="run">
    <script state="off">
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Location Test Screen

Put this code in MAME's robocop2.xml cheat file and beat any stage to see a screen from a location test version of the game:

  <cheat desc="Enable Location Test Screen">
    <script state="run">
    <script state="off">

Once the text finishes being typed out on-screen, RoboCop will thank you for your cooperation (You're welcome) and the game will reset.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Areas

Scene 00 (Intro Stage 1)

All of the US and Euro / Asia sets start you off in the street, attempting to stop the crime in progress at Nick's Guns. However, the Japan set (0.11) includes two extra scenes that give a rundown on the events of the first film and lets the player go through the movie's climax.

However, the scene data is still in the other sets and the story text has even been fully translated! Use the above stage select code and select Scene 00 or 01 to play them.

The first scene is very short and mainly exists to let the player(s) get a handle on how the game works...

Robocop2ArcScene00 1.png Robocop2ArcScene00 2.pngRobocop2ArcScene00 3.png
...and to show how powerful RoboCop really is. Guy's just flipping guards and exploding doors like it's nothing.

Scene 01 (Intro Stage 2)

This scene takes place in the OCP boardroom and features a boss fight against an ED-209.

Robocop2ArcScene01 1.png RoboCop 2 (Arcade) JP Extra Stage-03.png
At the start of the fight, RoboCop will use his visual systems to pinpoint the boss's weak point. The fight itself is a neutered version of Stage 4's ED-209 fight; this version can't shoot rockets.

After defeating ED-209, the first movie's ending scene will play out.

Scene 0A

A very short scene that takes place in a sewer system. This would be placed in-between the parking garage and factory sections of Stage 3.

This stage seems to have been abandoned very early in development. The only object is a pipe that breaks off and swings back and forth, electrifying the nasty sewer water when it gets too low, but the electricity doesn't actually do anything at this point.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Items

There are two pickups that were coded but were never placed in any stage proper. Put the following code in robocop2.xml to change the life pickup in Stage 1-1 to one of the unused items.

  <cheat desc="Change Pickup in Stage 1">
      <item value="0x8005">Max Life</item>
      <item value="0x8006">Stopwatch</item>
    <script state="run">
    <script state="off">

While the normal life pickup only heals 10 HP, the max life pickup brings the player back to full health.

The "200/100 Seconds" settings could've been made fair with these around.
This stopwatch pickup should give the player more time, but there's no code to handle that so instead it does nothing. Oh well.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Graphics

RoboCop2ArcHeadLeft.png RoboCop2ArcHeadFront.png RoboCop2ArcHeadRight.png
Small front and sides-looking graphics of RoboCop's head are found amongst the game's font. Note that the front-looking RoboCop head seen on the player's HUD is not the same one seen here.

Early Final
Robocop2ArcPlayerMarkersEarly.png Robocop2ArcPlayerMarkersFinal.png

Early, less chromatic versions of the 1P/2P player markers.

The weapon icons are supposed to have a 10-frame flashing animation, but only the first frame is used in the actual game.

Early Final
Robocop2ArcHitButtonEarly.png Robocop2ArcHitButtonFinal.gif

An early version of the "HIT BUTTON" prompt in a more comic book-like impact style.

Early Later
Robocop2ArcShotOld.png Robocop2ArcShotNew.gif

Unused "SHOT!" prompts, available in both old and new style graphics.

A wagglin' indicator for one of those top fire button joysticks. You know the ones. The game instead uses a different, traditional joystick graphic in non-Japanese sets.

A pristine version of RoboCop's police car. In the final game, this car only shows up once, smashed up, and on fire at the beginning of Stage 1.

A strange version of the nuke vat at the end of Stage 3 with outlines around the main vat and cracks. These graphics appear about 2/3 of the way through the object graphics ROM, while the final vat graphics are at the very end.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Audio


Put this code in robocop2.xml and change the music in Stage 1 (Scene 03) to an unused track:

  <cheat desc="Change Stage 1 Music">
      <item value="0x09">Unused Track 1</item>
      <item value="0x15">Unused Track 2</item>
    <script state="run">
    <script state="off">
ID Track

09 seems to be rejected stage music; it's worth noting that Stage 1 and Stage 2 share the same track. 15 is a more sedate piece that might have been used for a continue or name entry screen.

Sound Effects

Put this code in robocop2.xml to replace the "RoboCop" clip on the title screen with a different sound effect or PCM sample:

  <cheat desc="Change Title Screen Sound Effect">
    <parameter min="0x1B" max="0x76" step="0x01"/>
    <script state="run">
    <script state="off">
ID Track

Not much to comment on here. Sound 2A would fit in well for collecting a life pickup, which normally produces no sound at all.

PCM Samples

ID Track Notes
RoboCop: You are under arrest.
RoboCop: Your move, creep.
RoboCop: Drop it!
Unused enemy grunt 1
Unused enemy grunt 2
Unused enemy grunt 3
Unused enemy grunt 4
Unused enemy grunt 5
???: Murphy.
Digitized beep
Digitized creek

The first three lines were used in the first RoboCop arcade game, though the clips here are of higher quality. There is a "Murphy" clip in the first game too, though the one in RoboCop 2 is new and sounds like it was recorded with a different actor.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Text

Attract Mode Text

ID Text ID Text ID Text ID Text ID Text

These labels for attract mode screens were most likely used on placeholder screens before everything was properly implemented.

Placeholder Intro Text

Strings 3C to 41 are simple placeholder strings -- "MESSAGE 0", "MESSAGE 1", etc. -- that were used in the intro cutscene before the proper text was written. Put this code in the usual place to see 'em:

  <cheat desc="Placeholder Intro Messages">
    <script state="run">
    <script state="off">

Sector Clear Text

ID Text ID Text ID Text

Yet more placeholder strings; these were used in lieu of actual end-of-stage cutscenes.

Intro Stage Outro

ID Text

Text for a screen that was cut from non-Japanese sets. Read on for more information.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Developer Text

Labels for some of the game's music and all of the game's instrument samples can be found in the audio CPU.


0x2102 bgm1.bgm
0x21F6 bgm2.bgm
0x412E bgm6.bgm
0x5870 boss1.bgm
0x5E5D boss2.bgm
0x638E boss3.bgm
0x698B boss4.bgm
0x7157 cont.bgm
0x75A0 demo.bgm
0x7A98 elev.bgm
0x7F63 clear.bgm
0x81DF over.bgm
0x84CC end.bgm
0x9A98 bgm0.bgm


Text starts at 0xCA36.

e_piano e_piano2 pia_5th pia_at pia_hi1 pia_hi2 pia_seq pia_syn piano_1 piano_2
piano_3 piano_4 piano_5 piano_6 piano_7 piano_8 pia_casio pia_gt hiseqx seque
badbell belflute bellsyn belviola chaimer kinkon toybell abc cheap kira1
kira2 metalsyn analogue flution flution2 gira hamowire soundtrack soundtrac2 synclavi
clav_1 delayer masked melody percle readcal spaces synther tremolo tubasyn
wavewire wire analogue2 tomita voice1 voice2 voice3 voice4 voice5 voice6
voice7 voice8 voice9 accordion 3 celest_1 celest_2 e_organ1 e_organ2 e_organ3 e_organ4
hammond_1 hammond_2 impact_org organ_1 organ_2 organ_3 organ_4 soften organ_v1 organ_v2
esn_org ob_organ1 ob_organ2 sx_organ waveorgan porgan_1 porgan_2 porgan_at harpsi ginginlead
lead maskedlead syorgan1 syorgan2 marimba_1 marimba_2 marimba_st melody_at mokkin_at s_xylo
vibra_1 vibra_2 vibra_3 xylo_1 xylo_2 koto shami_1 shami_2 e_guitar1 e_guitar2
grassharp guitar_1 guitar_cx bright_dis clavsitar hard_g hardy_1 hardy_2 hardy_3 hardy_4
hardy_5 low_dist a_bass a_bassx afr_bass bright_wb w_bass analog_b1 analog_b2 analog_b3
analog_b4 syn_b1 syn_b2 syn_b3 syn_b4 syn_b5 syn_b6 syn_b7 syn_b8 syn_b9
syn_b10 thick_b bassclavi bright_b1 bright_b2 dx7_b e_bass1 e_bass2 e_bass3 e_bassx
pick_b1 pick_b2 pick_b3 ricken_b rr_bass log_bass mokugyo_b casio_cym ride_symba hr_snare
meka_dr1 meka_dr2 meka_drm3 metalhit1 metalhit2 noise_sd noise_sd2 snare waterclap bd_tom
bowlhit smallbowl b_drum afr_drm1 afr_drm2 baribari gamran steeldrum1 steeldrum2 steeldrum3
steeler at_clari fagot fue piccolo1 sht_brs syn_oboe trp_1 trp_2 trp_3
trp_4 brs_1 brs_2 crystal hard_brs 5th_brs1 metal_brs opl_brs1 opl_brs2 opl_brs3
rise_brs slow_brs wave_brs wave_brs2 5th_brs1 5th_brs1 bell_brs delay_brs vivi_brs bassoon
brk_sax cheap_horn hard_horn hi_sax hornsect sax_1 sax_2 sax_3 soft_sax softuba
syn_brs1 syn_brs2 syn_sax cembalo_1 cembalo_2 solovln_1 solovln_2 solovln_3 violin_1 violin_2
violin_3 violin_4 5th_str lane distrings hi_str orchstra strings syn_str1 syn_str2
syn_str3 pizz_1 pizz_2 vioboe bass50 bass60 bass70 bass80 bassd80 harpsi5
harpsi brass1 brass2 brass3 brass3 brbass
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Regional Differences

Attract Mode

Exclusive to the Japanese version is a fourth gameplay demo taking place on the intro stage's ED-209 boss fight.

Intro Stage

As mentioned previously, only the Japanese set lets the player play through the intro stage without cheats or hacks.

Robocop2IntroStageEnd.png Robocop2TitleAnim.gif
And, one year later...

There's one difference even if the intro stage is re-enabled in other sets: After the stage ends, a screen of text is displayed followed by an animated title screen.

Button Prompts

International Japan
Yeah, shake that stick like you mean it. Takahashi Meijin clears this in half a second.

At the end of the first section of Stage 1, the player has to stop a pick-up from running them over. In the US and Euro/Asia versions, the game tells the player to use the joystick and the buttons, but the Japanese version displays "Hit Button" instead of a moving joystick. Despite this difference, the game behaves the same across all versions - moving the joystick and pressing the buttons will work.

A similar section in Stage 3 where the player is trying to pry themselves off a giant magnet uses the "Hit Button" prompt in every version of the game, but the joystick is exclusive to non-Japanese sets.

Secret Credits

Credits Background Only
Robocop2ArcSpecialCredits1.png Robocop2ArcSpecialCredits2.png

Version 0.11 (Japan) of the game has an additional set of scribble-like credits if you manage to beat the game with just one credit. These credits are scrolled on top of a still image of RoboCop 2 from the film that is otherwise unused.

While the images are semi-transparent in the game, the transparency has been removed in these images and replaced with black for ease of reading. Some of the names refer to parts of the staff that worked on the game; these have been filled in when possible based on the endgame credits and other sources.

(Source: Translations by GlitterBerri, with annotations by Foxhack)