Birds of Prey


Developer John Dondzila
Publisher Classic Game Creations
System Vectrex
Release Date 1999 (on Vecmania)
Modes Single player only
Two players simultaneous
(on Duel Discs only)
Media Cartridge
ROM file

Birds of Prey is a clone of the arcade game Phoenix, which was included on the Vecmania cartridge (or ROM to be played on a Vectrex emulator). The cartridge also includes the fellow bottom of the screen shooters of Vector Vaders 2 The Director’s Cut, along with clones of other arcade games of Tempest, Star Wars, Missile Command, Eliminator, Breakout, Discs Of Tron, and Asteroids.

The games can be scrolled through at the main menu by moving the joystick or D-pad left and right and then chosen by pressing up on the joystick or D-pad. The main menu can be returned to by pressing three on the controller when the player is on an individual game's title screen (except for the demos).

Birds of PreyEdit

Being a clone of Phoenix, the player shoots at an assortment of birds. A shield is used for protection from attacks and can kill a bird upon contact as well. The player can still shoot but not move, and they cannot use the shield again for a few seconds afterwards.

Getting rammed by a bird or their fire will destroy the player's blaster and the game ends once the player has no more reserve blasters. However, an extra blaster is awarded at 10,000 points.

During the first level, the birds dive bomb the player. The second level is identical to the first except the player can shoot two shots at once. Levels three and four feature much larger birds that can only be shot if hit right in the middle, and the last level features the first level birds along with a mother ship that must have it's middle belt damaged enough so the player can shoot and destroy the ship itself. Once the mother ship is destroyed, the game starts over again but at a higher difficulty.


  • Start game--button four
  • Move left and right--buttons one and two
  • Fire--button four
  • Shields--button three


There is a slight graphics bug where sometimes if a bird from the third or fourth level is shot right next to a screen edge, its explosion will emerge on the other side of the screen.

Other included games (on Vecmania cart)Edit

Vector Vaders 2 The Director’s CutEdit

This is another bottom of the screen shooter that is included on the cartridge or ROM file for emulators, which is a clone of Space Invaders, where a formation of 25 aliens march from side to side while shooting at the player's laser base. Once the formation reaches an edge of the screen, they drop down a notch; if the player is hit by enemy fire, they will lose a base and the game ends when there are no remaining bases or the player gets "invaded" (i. e. the invaders make it to the bottom of the screen). An extra base is awarded at 3010 points or higher (see note below) and a high scoring U. F. O. appears overhead during a wave as well.


  • Exit to game screen--button two
  • Start game--button four
  • Move left and right--buttons one and two
  • Fire--button three

Note: Unlike how the instructions claim, the player will not receive an extra laser base at 3000 points, but over it: it will be awarded at 3010 or higher.


The player knocks a ball against a wall, destroying bricks with the ball. If the ball gets past the player's paddle three times the game is over. From level two and on each brick takes two hits to destroy.

Patriots RemixEdit

The player must defend cities against enemy missiles that rain down from the sky by positioning their cursor at targets and shooting from two bases on the ground. The player will get attacked by regular missiles, smart bombs that can evade fire, and spaceships and planes that can launch missiles of their own.

A destroyed city can be brought back with every 10,000 points until scores of over 70,000 is reached, plus there is a bonus at the end of every round for any remaining unfired missiles. The missile bases can also be destroyed as well if hit by an enemy missile. If there are no more bonus cities left after all are destroyed the game ends.


The player must destroy a floating fortress while evading sentry ships. The sentry ships will careen out of control when shot, but cannot be destroyed; the player can only shoot them and hopefully knock them against the fortress, which will temporarily destroy them (although they will reappear within seconds), and they can shoot the player in the same manner as well. If the fortress isn't destroyed after a while, its alien will emerge from it and come after the player, but if shot several times it will re-appear inside the fortress.

Colliding with the fortress or being shot by the alien will cause the player to lose a ship; after all ships have been depleted the game ends. An extra ship is granted with every time the fortress is destroyed, but with every time this is accomplished, more and more sentry ships are added to each successive level.

Rockaroids Remix: Third RockEdit

The player controls a ship that must destroy rockaroids by shooting them. Large rockaroids will split into two medium ones when hit, which will, in turn, split into two small ones. Bonus U. F. O.s can also be destroyed for big points but they shoot back at the player. Extra ships are awarded with every 10,000 points and hyperspace can be used in an emergency to send the player's ship to a random location on the screen, but they could blow up upon re-entry.

Getting destroyed upon re-entry, getting hit by a rockaroid or U. F. O. fire will destroy the player's ship and the game will end when there are no more ships remaining.

Star Fire SpiritsEdit

This game is comprised of three waves, the first of which pits the player against a horde of T. I. E. Fighter-like ships (from the Star Wars movies) and must shoot a certain number in order to advance to the next area of the game. After a certain number of these ships are hit the player starts their attack on the surface of Dark Planet.

On the surface run, the player must shoot bunkers and the tops off laser towers. Shooting all of the laser tower tops results in a bonus. The laser towers and bunkers fire at the player in the meantime (although no more laser towers will appear once they are all destroyed).

Finally, the player descends the trench of Dark Planet in hopes of destroying it. Bunkers fire from the sides and the player's photon torpedoes will fire at the target shaft automatically when the player positions their cursor over it (although there is no indication that the torpedoes have fired). If the player destroys Dark Planet, then it starts over at the beginning, but at a higher difficulty level.

The player starts with six shield units, which will drop every time a spaceship or any other obstacle collides with the player or the player is hit by enemy fire; if the player is hit when they have no more shields left the game will end.


This is an unfinished demo, being like the first level of Tempest, where the player spins around the outermost part of the level in a circular manner and shoots at various enemies that appear from the innermost part of the level. The player cannot die, there's no sounds or scoring, and the only ways to end the demo is to press reset on the Vectrex or shut the machine off.

Disc DuelEdit

This demo is a two player clone of Discs Of Tron. Two players throw discs at each other while dodging the other's shots. Players will automatically jump from one platform to the next when they move to an edge of a platform. There is no sound, the shields don't function and there is no scoring. The game can be exited by pressing reset on the Vectrex or by shutting the machine off.




Maybe I'm a little biased for loving Phoenix so much in the arcades, but so be it! After all, this game plays a little differently than the original anyway.

The birds during the first two waves don't move quite the same as on Phoenix, plus your ship fires a little slower. A bigger difference occurs with the big bird waves (three and four), where they don't take wing damage. The birds also spend too much time at the top of the screen, unlike on the original coin-op, which can take a while to get past these waves initially, but if you're able to destroy the mother ship and have everything start all over again, then the next time around they'll definitely dive bomb you more often!

And with the mother ship wave, there's already a trench up the middle to fire through (unlike with Phoenix, which you have to chip away at the conveyor belt first); however, with all the shooting going on from the ship and the small birds, it's still a challenge. And this game wasn't meant to be a port anyway.

This game is still a lot of fun to me, even with the small (aforementioned) differences (and the improvement of the glitch of dying while you still hear your shield being activated like on the original!). And with eight other games, this makes Vecmania a must have, especially since it was John Dondzila's best selling Vectrex cart for a while, and perhaps still is. You can't go wrong with this! 7/10 for Birds, 9/10 for Vecmania

(review by Darrylb500)


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