Cosmic Fighter

written by Matthew Reed

Title:Cosmic Fighter
Author:Bill Hogue and Jeff Konyu
Publisher:Big Five Software
Compatibility:Model I and III, disk and tape
Advertisement for Cosmic Fighter in 80 Microcomputing

The first advertisement in 80 Microcomputing

Cosmic Fighter was loosely based on Astro Fighter, which was released by Data East in 1980.

In many ways, Cosmic Fighter looks similar to Galaxy Invasion. However, the similarities are superficial and the games are very different. Your goal in Cosmic Fighter is to shoot the aliens as they descend from the top of the screen. Unlike Galaxy Invasion, you have a limited fuel supply which is used up as you move and shoot. A gauge at the top of the screen indicates how much fuel you have left. Your ship can be destroyed either by hitting an alien or shot or by simply running out of fuel. You are not likely to run out of fuel in the earlier levels of the game, but it does becomes an increasing problem in the later levels.

At the start of the game, an alien can be destroyed with a single one shot. In the later levels, it takes two or more shots to destroy an alien.

Title screen for Cosmic Fighter

Title screen

Instructions for Cosmic Fighter


If you successfully destroy all of the aliens in a wave, then you move to the next wave. If some aliens do escape, then you still move to the next wave but your ship is positioned higher on the screen. This makes the game much harder because you have less time to shoot before the aliens can escape.

After finishing a certain number of waves, you are required to dock your ship with a space station in order to refuel. The space station emerges from the side of the screen. It’s a bad idea to try to destroy the space station; if even a single shot hits it, it will promptly destroy you.

Start of game in Cosmic Fighter

Start of game

Aliens appear in Cosmic Fighter

Another set of aliens

Once you press the D key, your ship will rise to meet the space station. The ship needs to be matched up just right or you will miss the docking area and smash against the space station. To complicate matters, a Flagship usually shows up at this point. But curiously, the Flagship doesn’t seem to want to shoot at you, instead reserving its wrath for the space station. It fires repeatedly at the station and gets in your way while you are attempting to dock. It is very difficult to shoot the Flagship because if you miss and hit the space station, the space station will destroy you.

After a successfully docking, the game continues at a higher difficulty level.

Docking with space station in Cosmic Fighter

Ready to dock with the space station

Starting again in Cosmic Fighter

Starting again, but with greater difficulty

Categories: Arcade Games, Software


Will Price says:

I loved Cosmic Fighter! I played it all the time on a TRS-80 clone.

I played it for over 12 hours a few times, but becuase it didn’t have a pause button, I had to teach my sisters how to dock with the mothership so I could use that time to run to the bathroom and/or the refrigerator!

Scott Curtis says:

Loved Cosmic fighter. With the game I had, when you broke 100,000 points a “laser” would write the word “COSMIC” across the screen with some amazing (for the time) sound effects and 3 beeps if I recall. Was this the standard release or a hack?

Ken Jackway says:

I remember Cosmic Fighter well! …and the many hours it took to rack up the great scores.

Check out my posts from a couple of years ago.

I can’t remember which game was the toughest – Cosmic Fighter or Meteor Mission.

Both were challenging (for that period of computer gaming).

Aren’t you glad we were a part of the early years of computing?

Kevin Buhr says:

Scott, the “COSMIC” easter egg was from the standard release. I owned a retail copy of Cosmic Fighter (still have the tape, in fact), and I was totally amazed the first time I broke 100,000. It was quite some time later that I reached 200,000 points and was disappointed that there wasn’t another Easter Egg.

Roger Davis says:

The 100K easter egg was so cool, but after 100K the aliens started shooting far more bullets at you, so it was much harder. BUT, I learned to survive the continuous fire, and…like Scott Buhr, I was disappointed that there was no similar surprise at 200K. “It must come at 1M” I thought. One night I played for 5.5 hours, and reached 1M points, and the only surprise there was that the score reset to 0, with the difficulty still just as high.