Buck Rogers

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Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom for the TI-99/4A, is a ported version of the same game from Sega made for arcades. It is an Action, Shooter game released for the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A home computer system in the third quarter of 1983. It was released on Solid State SoftwareTM Command Module. Buck Rogers for the TI-99/4A was enhanced with verbal warnings when paired with the optional. Buck Rogers originally retailed for $39.95 (USD).

Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom
Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom Manual Cover
Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom (Front Cover) [1]
Publisher(s) Sega Distributed by Texas Instruments (TI)
Original Retail Price $39.95 (USD)
Part# PHM 3226
Format(s) Solid State SoftwareTM Command Module
Release 1983 (3rd Quarter)
Genre(s) Action, Shooter


Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom is a single-player obstacle race in which the player controls Buck Roger's spaceship, guiding it through multiple pylons. The player controls the ship by moving it left or right, moving slightly forward or backward, and speeding up or slowing down. The player also fires at alien craft with a pair of energy bolts. Play starts off in sector 1.0. In the first level, the player is required to safely navigate 9 pylons safely. With each additional level, more pylons are added to increase the difficulty. Also, in sector 1.1, alien spacecraft are introduced which the player can destroy by shooting them with his/her energy bolts. Each sector introduces new challenges. The game ends when the player loses all three lives by crashing into pylons or enemy ships, or if the allocated amount of time runs out. The score is tallied based on the overall distance traveled during the player's game.

Advertising Blurb

Front Cover of Manual

You're Buck Rogers rescuing the Planet Zoom from invading aliens. Maneuver your spaceship through towering Electron Posts. Destroy attacking Space Hoppers and Alien Saucers. Face the ultimate challenge -- the dreaded Mother Ship!

Triton Catalog - Spring 1984

In colorful 3-D, you battle to escape an alien planet. Triumph over successive dangers: fly through Electron Posts ... dodge shipcrushing Space Hoppers ... destroy the Mother Ship ... all before your ship runs out of fuel or explodes! (Speech Synthesizer and Wired Remote Controllers recommended.)


Introducing Buck Rogers

You are Buck Rogers fighting a desperate battle on Planet Zoom in the twenty-fifth century. To escape the planet, you must carefully pilot your ship through dangerous Electron Posts and dodge menancing Space Hoppers that can crush your ship. Once you escape from the planet surface, you face a swarm of Alien Saucers that protect the Mother Ship. Destroy the Alien Saucers, and then aim a direct hit at the Mother Ship. You must complete your mission before you run out of fuel, or your ship explodes!

As Buck Rogers, you can:

  • Battle aliens on Planet Zoom and in outer space
  • Enjoy colorful, 3-D graphics
  • Progress through increasing levels of difficulty
  • Control the speed of your ship and the intensity of the battle
  • Hear exciting sound effects
  • Use the keyboard or the Joystick Controllers
  • Have more fun with synthesized speech that simulates the action of Buck Rogers' adventure

Note: The optional Solid State SpeechTM Synthesizer (sold separately) must be attached to the computer to activate speech capabilities.

Beginning Your Mission

When the Buck Rogers title screen appears, press any key or the FIRE button on the Joystick Controllers to begin the game. You, Buck Rogers, are in command of your spaceship soaring over Planet Zoom. You begin your mission with three ships in reserve. Pilot your ship through Electron Posts. Then, outmaneuver and destroy the Space Hoppers. After def eating them, you automatically blast off into space, where you destroy Alien Saucers. Conserve your fuel to battle the dreaded Mother Ship! If you are victorious, you advance to the next level of play and return to Planet Zoom.

Monitoring Your Controls

The top of the screen shows vital data. Monitor this data carefully to insure a successful mission.

You see:

  • Your score
  • The fuel gauge
  • Your reserve ships
  • The number of Electron Posts you must fly through or number of enemies you must destroy to continue your mission

Monitoring Your Levels

When you destroy a Mother Ship, you advance to a more difficult level.

When you advance to a new level:

  • Planet Zoom changes color
  • The Electron Posts are spaced closer together
  • You must fly through more Electron Posts and destroy more enemies to reach the Mother Ship
  • The speed of the game increases

Soaring through Electron Posts

Maneuver your ship carefully through the Electron Posts to gain points. If you collide with an Electron Post, you lose a ship.

Shooting Space Hoppers

Space Hoppers attack from all directions. Move quickly to aim and fire at them. If you collide with a Space Hopper, you lose a ship.

Fighting Alien Saucers

Alien Saucers attack rapidly and without warning. Position your ship carefully and fire at them. If you collide with an Alien Saucer, you lose a ship.

Destroying the Mother Ship

Only a direct hit can destroy the Mother Ship. Move your ship left or right to find the best position for firing.

Commanding Your Ship

Use the keyboard or the Joystick Controllers to maneuver your ship and fire at the aliens. Raising or lowering your ship changes the speed of the game. Raise your ship to increase its speed, the rate of fire, and the speed of the aliens' attack. Lower your ship to decrease its speed, the rate of fire, and the speed of the aliens' attack. To pause during a game, press the P key. Press any key to resume play.

Controlling Your Ship with the Keyboard

Use these keys to maneuver your ship and fire at the enemy.

Press Action
(←) S Moves ship left
(→) D Moves ship right
(↑) E Raises ship and increases speed of play
(↓) X Lowers ship and decreases speed of play
Q, Y Fires at enemy

Controlling Your Ship with the Joysticks

Use the joysticks to maneuver your ship and fire at the enemy.

Press Action
Lever left Moves ship left
Lever right Moves ship right
Lever forward (toward FIRE button) Raises ship and increases speed of play
Lever backward (away from FIRE button) Lowers ship and decreases speed of play
Fire button Fires at enemy

Note: The ALPHA LOCK must be in the OFF(up) position when using the Joystick Controllers.

Continuing Your Mission

In Buck Rogers, you automatically earn points as you fly your ship on its hazardous journey. You also earn points for flying through Electron Posts and for destroying Space Hoppers and Alien Saucers. Earn an extra spaceship and a full load of fuel by destroying a Mother Ship. As your skills improve, use different strategies to defeat the enemies and complete your mission. The game ends when your last ship is destroyed.


Action Reward
Buck Rogers - Electron Posts.png Flying between Electron Posts 500 points
Buck Rogers - Space Hopper.png Destroying a Space Hopper 200 points
Buck Rogers - Alien Saucer.png Eliminating an Alien Saucer 300 points
Buck Rogers - Mother Ship.png Destroying the Mother Ship Receive an extra ship, a full load of fuel, and 10,000 points

Developing Strategy

The faster you fly, the less fuel you burn.

As your speed increases, the intensity of the aliens' attack increases.

If you do not move and fire quickly, you may run out of fuel before you encounter the Mother Ship.

Ending the Game

Your mission ends automatically when your last ship is destroyed. You may end the game at any time by pressing QUIT to return to the master title screen.

Playing the Game Again

You may play the game again by pressing

  • BACK to return to the Buck Rogers - Planet of Zoom title screen
  • REDO to return to the first level of play



External Links