• After months of hard work, here is the release of Irem’s R-Type* pico-8 port, featuring 4 stages in a 32kb cart.

In addition, there are:

  • 30 enemies with most attack patterns and weapon replicated (albeit simplified)
  • 3 HUGE bosses
  • 3 force types with 2 levels of power
  • 60 fps action with arcade-style graphics
  • Awesome 5 tracks soundtrack by the great Damien Hostin (YouryKiki) based on Masato Ishizaki's original score. Listen to the OST on Spotify

Hope you enjoy it and please, give me some feedback on performance, especially on lower-end machines.


🅾️ button to shoot, hold to charge the beam ❎ to detach/recall the force sphere or hold to auto-fire. The force can be positioned in front and behind, has 3 powers up levels and can be used defensively too, absorbing the small enemy bullets.

(I strongly suggest to play with keyboard or pad as on the phone it might be a bit harder)

Version 1.4 Released

  • Fixed fsign bug reported on April,11
  • Fixed stage 2 music bug, boss music plays again if coming from stage 1
  • Added score recap at stage clear
  • Token reduction
  • Optimized sprite rotation
  • Picodraw cached string to table conversion
  • Fixed bug in detaching cargo in stage 3
  • Improved collision bounding boxes in soem cases
  • Beam draw improvement

Version 1.2 Released

  • Stage 4 (2 new enemies and 1 new boss, originally stage 8 in arcade) NOTE: stage 4 boss cannot be damaged with normal bullets, you need to use the beam or a force weapon
  •  soundtrack available on https://soundcloud.com/youry-kiki/sets/r-type-pico8
  •  swapped fire buttons
  •  increased special weapon damage
  •  added different explosion for missiles
  •  fix autofire too fast with force weapons
  •  fix autofire firing force while holding button down
  •  fixed circle beam/missiles gfx
  •  fixed missiles explosion drawn twice
  •  missiles only seeks forward as in arcade
  •  misc. fixes/improvements to better match arcade version

Version 1.1 Released

  • changes: auto-fire, see instructions. 
  • fixed shooting/sounds after death, thanks
  • fixed problems with music cues/checkpoint restarting and enemy removal(stage 3 mainly) after player death 
  • fixed missiles not resetting after player death
  • fixed excessive beam damage due to being stuck in some situation where a bg tile was behind an enemy

What’s missing compared to the arcade (mainly down to token limit):

  • Option power up (little spheres flying above and/below the ship)
  • continue screen/high score tables/name entry.
  • The power-up capsule enemy has no landing or walking state
  • No 1-up

Development Notes:

The idea for this came as a way to expand and improve the background graphic system of my previous Masters of the Universe game with scrolling, meanwhile implementing more functionality in picodraw as explained here. I am pretty satisfied with the technical results and picodraw now evolved a lot with the addition of cloning groups and sprite support. Programming the game was a fun “old times” experience since I had no idea how the original worked and had to keep playing on M.A.M.E. trying to understand enemies patterns, but got a bit tedious at time, while fighting token limits to implement them, specially near the end.

Thank you

The following contributions taught me some incredible techniques that allowed me to complete the game

@sparr/ @Felice for their fillp extension that allows object coordinates fill patters, without this I wouldn’t even have tried as the jittering was really annoying,

@freds72/ @paranoidcactus for their Journey to poom article showing me the invaluable “properties factory” function that I adapted to my needs and saved me at least 3 times when I overshot token limits

@ElGregos for his snake tweetcart, showing me a simple way to implement a more complex movement for the second boss

Without the above, the game would have been way more limited

*R-Type is a side-scrolling shoot'em up game, and the first game in the series. It was originally released in July 1987 by Irem for the Arcades, with ports to home consoles and computers in the following years.

PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux, HTML5
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(12 total ratings)
Made withPICO-8
TagsArcade, Demake, PICO-8, Retro
Average sessionA few minutes
InputsKeyboard, Gamepad (any)


Download NowName your own price

Click download now to get access to the following files:

rtype_raspi.zip 2 MB
rtype_osx.zip 3 MB
rtype_linux.zip 741 kB
rtype_windows.zip 981 kB

Development log

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Good work on the port.

x and o for the fire and detach/recall keys? wat? they are on complete opposite sides of the keyboard.

(1 edit)

no, those are pico-8 key symbols (criss and circle) keyboard keys are z and x. Thanks for the heads up, i added it to the description

ah okay, that's my bad then.  would have been a hilariously abstract control scheme if true though.