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Topple Zip
Box artwork for Topple Zip.
Release date(s)
Family Computer Disk System icon.png
Family Computer Disk System
System(s)NEC PC-8801, NEC PC-9801, MSX, MSX2, Fujitsu FM-7, Family Computer Disk System, Sharp X1
TwitchTopple Zip Channel
YouTube GamingTopple Zip Channel

Title screen.

Topple Zip is a game developed and published by Bothtec for a variety of popular Japanese home computer and console formats in the mid 1980s. It was originally published in 1986 for the NEC PC-8801 and the MSX, and was later ported to a number of other systems. It was made available for play on the Family Computer Disk System through a "Disk Writer" kiosk, where customers could bring a disk and load it up with the software desired in exchange for a fee. As such, there is no box for the FDS version of the game, although it came with paper instructions.

Topple Zip is a vertically scrolling shooter that is also labeled as a race game. The player pilots an air craft and flies in competition against several computer controlled craft. In addition to firing upon your opponents, you may ram into them (and they may ram into you) and dislodge a power-up from them which you can then shoot and collect. There are eight distinct scenes, each of which contain a number of warps which link to other scenes. How the scenes connect is random on each play through. The goal is to locate the key which is necessary to access to warp which leads to the eight and final scene, collect it from whichever scene it is hidden inside of, and access the eighth scene before any other competitor.

Topple Zip has the distinction of being known in Japan as the first game which comes with hardware protection. In order to limit piracy, a physical device known as a "protect dongle" had to be attached to a computer system in order to permit the game to run. The game even went so far as to detect the remove of the dongle in the middle of game play, and suspend the game until the dongle was returned.


Power ups are found by shooting the little blue and yellow capsules that are seen from time to time throughout each scene. In addition to the capsules which are planted in a scene, more may be ejected from opponent craft by ramming into them. Some items, particularly the radar, can only be obtained from other craft.

Title Description
3-Way Shot Fire bullets in three directions forward
Missile Fires a heat seeking missile that targets the nearest opponent.
Smoke Screen If enemies are hit, they are wrapped in a cloud and remain immobile.
Mine Deposit a Mine behind your ship which strikes enemies behind you.
Radar Allows you to see what scenes each warp will take you too. Quite essential.
Key Required to access the warp which will take you to scene 8 and the end of the game.

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