Sky Skipper

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Sky Skipper is an action arcade game developed by Nintendo R&D1 and released exclusively in Japan in 1981. Two years later, in 1983, an Atari 2600 version was released in North America by Parker Brothers. On July 19, 2018, the original arcade release of Sky Skipper was ported to Arcade Archives by Hamster, making it the first time when this version received an international release.


The Wonder-Kingdom has been conquered by a bunch of gorillas, and the king and his family has been captured. A lone pilot takes on the task to save them. Arming his plane with bombs he has a simple plan; knock out the gorillas and use their down-time to pick up the royal family with the plane. It's not an easy task though. The gorillas are armed with bombs on their own, and a shortage of fuel in the kingdom forces him to work quickly.


  • Mr. You!: The main protagonist. He sets out to save the royal family.
  • King's Family: Made up of the King, the Queen, the Joker, and each suit of playing cards (Spade, Heart, Dia, and Club) in the form of an animal.
  • Gorillas: The enemies featured in Sky Skipper. They have taken over the Wonder Kingdom and are holding the royal family captive.


Gameplay screenshot

In Sky Skipper the player must navigate a plane through the Wonder Kingdom to save the royal family. This is done by dropping bombs on the gorillas, which will stun them and release a number of prisoners. These will jump up and down, and by flying into them they are saved. Each prisoner is connected to one or more specific gorillas, so one must find the correct one to bomb. Gorillas eventually get up again, and the prisoners are thus locked back up if they have yet to be saved.

There are several dangers to consider when flying. Crashing into a wall or a gorilla costs a life. Some gorillas even jump, trying to hit the plane. There are also a number of clouds, which when passed through makes the plane lose altitude quickly. The same effect is caused if the plane is hit by a bomb thrown by a gorilla, or the smoke that is left behind. Finally, the plane also has a limited amount of fuel, and if it runs out the plane crashes. Fuel is also lost when hit by a gorilla's bomb. Luckily the player can refuel the plane by flying into a flag at the starting point. This can only be done once though.

The game supports alternative play for two players.


  • Bombing a gorilla: 10 points
  • Saving the king: 500 points
  • Saving the queen: 400 points
  • Saving the joker: 300 points
  • Saving any animal: 80 points

Each time an animal is saved additional points can be received if the last four ones saved follow these conditions:

  • Same suit: 400 points
  • Same color: 150 points
  • All four suits: 100 points

Upon completing a stage bonus points can be received for the following:

  • Fuel save: Up to 3000 points, depending on the amount of fuel left
  • Flag: 2000 points, received for not having refueled at the flag

Upon reaching 15000 points, the player is awarded with an extra life.


A cameo appearance of Sky Skipper characters in Game Boy Camera

With Donkey Kong's release overshadowing Sky Skipper, it failed to gain any larger popularity. Because of this, it has rarely been acknowledged by Nintendo. Nonetheless, Parker Brothers saw enough potential in the game to release it for the Atari 2600 in 1983. Due to hardware limitations, the Atari 2600 version is very basic and leaves out many of the game's features.

In 1998, characters from Sky Skipper make a cameo appearance in the Game Boy Camera's Link menu. The screen show shows the King and Queen of Wonder Kingdom and the Club Frog. The "Print" option is contained within a speech bubble said by the queen while "Transfer" is contained within a speech bubble said by the Club Frog. The king is rotated at an angle that makes it appear as if he is flying.