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Title: Frogger  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of Konami games, Frogger 2 (Xbox Live Arcade), My Frogger Toy Trials, Frogger Advance: The Great Quest, Frogger's Adventures: The Rescue
Collection: 1981 Video Games, Action Video Games, Apple II Games, Atari 2600 Games, Atari 5200 Games, Atari 8-Bit Family Games, Bbc Micro and Acorn Electron Games, Cancelled Game Gear Games, Colecovision Games, Commodore 64 Games, Commodore Vic-20 Games, Fictional Frogs and Toads, Frogger, Game Boy Color Games, Game.Com Games, Gremlin Industries Games, Handheld Video Games, Intellivision Games, Ios Games, Konami Games, Mac Os Games, Mobile Games, Msx Games, Parker Brothers Video Games, Sega Arcade Games, Sega Genesis Games, Sierra Entertainment Games, Starpath Games, Super Nintendo Entertainment System Games, Texas Instruments Ti-99/4A Games, Top-Down Video Games, Trs-80 Color Computer Games, Trs-80 Games, Video Game Franchises, Videopac Games, Windows Games, Windows Mobile Professional Games, Windows Mobile Standard Games, Windows Phone Games, Xbox 360 Live Arcade Games, Z80, Zx Spectrum Games, Zx81 Games
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia



Xbox Live Arcade cover art

Developer(s) Konami
Series Frogger
Platform(s) Arcade
Release date(s)
  • JP June 1981[1]
  • NA October 1981[2]
  • EU 1981[3]
Genre(s) Overhead view action
Mode(s) Up to 2 players, alternating turns
Cabinet Upright
CPU 2x Z80:
Z80 (@ 3.072 MHz)
Z80 (@ 1.78975 MHz)
Sound Sound CPU: Z80 (@ 1.78975 MHz)
Sound Chips: AY8910 (@ 1.78975 MHz)
Display Raster, 224 x 256 pixels (Vertical), 99 colors

Frogger (フロッガー) is a 1981 arcade game developed by Konami and licensed for North American distribution by Sega-Gremlin. It is regarded as a classic from the golden age of video arcade games, noted for its novel gameplay and theme. The object of the game is to direct frogs to their homes one by one by crossing a busy road and navigating a river full of hazards. The Frogger coin-op is an early example of a game with more than one CPU, as it used two Z80 processors.[4]

By 2005, Frogger in its various home video game incarnations had sold 20 million copies worldwide, including 5 million in the United States.[5]


  • Gameplay (Arcade Version) 1
  • Legacy 2
  • Ports 3
  • Clones 4
  • Sequels 5
  • In popular culture 6
    • In film and television 6.1
    • In music 6.2
    • Other 6.3
  • Highest score 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Gameplay (Arcade Version)

Screenshot of Frogger

The game starts with three, five, or seven frogs (lives), depending on the settings used by the operator. The player guides a frog which starts at the bottom of the screen, to his home in one of 5 slots at the top of the screen. The lower half of the screen contains a road with motor vehicles, which in various versions include cars, trucks, buses, dune buggies, bulldozers, vans, taxis, bicyclists, and/or motorcycles, speeding along it horizontally. The upper half of the screen consists of a river with logs, alligators, and turtles, all moving horizontally across the screen. The very top of the screen contains five "frog homes" which are the destinations for each frog. Every level is timed; the player must act quickly to finish each level before the time expires.

The only player control is the 4 direction joystick used to navigate the frog; each push in a direction causes the frog to hop once in that direction. On the bottom half of the screen, the player must successfully guide the frog between opposing lanes of trucks, cars, and other vehicles, to avoid becoming roadkill.

The middle of the screen, after the road, contains a median where the player must prepare to navigate the river.

By jumping on swiftly moving logs and the backs of turtles and alligators except the alligator jaws, the player can guide his or her frog safely to one of the empty lily pads. The player must avoid alligators sticking out at one of the five "frog homes", snakes, and otters in the river, but may catch bugs or escort a lady frog for bonuses. When all five frogs are directed home, the game progresses to the next, level with an increased difficulty. After five levels, the game gets briefly easier yet again gets progressively harder to the next fifth level.

Softline in 1982 stated that "Frogger has earned the ominous distinction of being 'the arcade game with the most ways to die'".[6] There are many different ways to lose a life (illustrated by a "skull and crossbones" symbol where the frog was), including:

  1. Being hit by or running into a road vehicle
  2. Jumping into the river's water
  3. Running into snakes, otters or into an alligator's jaws in the river
  4. Jumping into a home invaded by an alligator
  5. Staying on top of a diving turtle until it has completely submerged
  6. Riding a log, alligator, or turtle off the side of the screen
  7. Jumping into a home already occupied by a frog
  8. Jumping into the side of a home or the bush
  9. Running out of time

Frogger is available as a standard upright or cocktail cabinet. The controls consist solely of a 4-direction joystick used to guide the frog's jump direction. The number of simultaneous players is one, and the game has a maximum of two players.

The game's opening tune is the first verse of a Japanese children's song called Inu No Omawarisan (The Dog Policeman). The song remained intact in the US release. Other Japanese tunes that are played during gameplay include the themes to the anime Hana no Ko Lunlun and Araiguma Rascal.


In addition to inspiring numerous clones, this game inspired an unofficial sequel by Sega in 1991 called Ribbit which featured improved graphics and simultaneous two-player action.


Frogger was ported to many contemporary home systems. Parker Brothers received the license from Sega for cartridge versions, while Sierra gained the magnetic media rights. Several platforms were capable of accepting both ROM cartridges and magnetic media, thus these systems, such as the Commodore 64, received multiple versions of the game.[7] Sierra also sublicensed their magnetic-media rights to developers who published for systems not normally supported by Sierra (e.g. Cornsoft published the official TRS-80, Timex Sinclair 1000 and Timex Sinclair 2068 ports); because of this, even the Atari 2600 received multiple releases: a cartridge from Parker Bros. and a cassette for the Supercharger from Starpath. The Tomy Tutor version was directly licensed from Konami themselves, although it is not clear if they developed it.

Parker Bros. produced cartridge ports of Frogger for the Atari 2600, Intellivision, Atari 5200, ColecoVision, Atari 8-bit computers, Commodore VIC-20 and 64. Sierra released disk and/or tape ports for the C64 (which as a result ended up with two versions of the game), Apple II, the original 128k Macintosh, IBM PC, Atari 2600 Supercharger, and the above-mentioned versions for the TRS-80 Color Computer and Sinclair developed by UK-based Cornsoft. Parker Bros. spent $10 million on advertising Frogger, along with The Empire Strikes Back, larger than the $6 million marketing budget for a movie at the time.[8] Parker Brothers sold 3 million cartridges of both Frogger and The Empire Strikes Back, with Frogger alone being the company's most successful first-year product, beating the sales and revenues of Merlin, their previous best-seller.[9] Coleco also released stand-alone Mini-Arcade tabletop versions of Frogger, which, along with Pac-Man, Galaxian, and Donkey Kong, sold three million units combined.[10]

A prototype game based on gameplay elements of Frogger was developed for Sega Game Gear, but never released—presumably due to legal issues between Sega and Konami. The prototype wasn't a direct port of the arcade game, as it had additional features and redesigned levels.

Frogger disk by Sierra for PC.

Hasbro Interactive released a vastly expanded remake of the original for Microsoft Windows and the PlayStation in 1997 (in this game, Frogger is green with an orange stripe). Unlike the original, the game consisted of multiple levels, each different than the preceding one. It was a commercial success, with the PC version alone selling nearly one million units in less than four months.[11]

In 1998, Hasbro released a series of ports of the original game for the Sega Genesis, Super NES, Game com, Game Boy, and Game Boy Color. Each port featured the game with different graphics, with the Sega Genesis port in particular featuring the same graphics of the original arcade game. The Sega Genesis and SNES versions are notable for both being the last games released for those consoles in North America. Despite using the same box art of the 1997 remake, the ports are otherwise unrelated to that game.

In 2005, InfoSpace teamed up with Konami Digital Entertainment to create the mobile game Frogger for Prizes,[12] in which players across the U.S. compete in multiplayer tournaments to win daily and weekly prizes. In 2006, the mobile game version of Frogger grossed over $10 million in the United States.[13] A Java port of the game is available for compatible mobile phones.

A port of Frogger was released on the Xbox Live Arcade for the Xbox 360 on July 12, 2006. It was developed by Digital Eclipse and published by Konami. It has two new gameplay modes: Versus speed mode and Co-op play. Some of the music, including the familiar Frogger theme, was removed from this version and replaced with other music. This version was included in the compilation Konami Classics Vol. 1.


In addition to these official releases, there are numerous unofficial clones including Ribbit for the Apple II in 1981, Froggy for the ZX Spectrum released by DJL Software in 1984, Acornsoft's Hopper (1983) for the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron, A&F Software's Frogger (1983) for BBC Micro and ZX Spectrum, Solo Software's Frogger for the Sharp MZ-700 in the UK in 1984, and a version for the NewBrain under the name Leap Frog.

The 1981 Atari 2600 game Freeway is often considered a clone of Frogger, but each game was developed independently of the other, and both were released in 1981.

Pacific Coast Highway (1982), for the Atari 8-bit family, splits the gameplay into two alternating screens: one for the highway, one for the water.[14]

Preppie! (1982), for the Atari 8-bit family, changes the frog to a preppy retrieving golf balls at a country club.

Frostbite (1984), for the Atari 2600, uses the Frogger river gameplay with an arctic theme.

Crossy Road (2014), for iOS and Android, has a randomly generated series of road and river sections. The game is one endless level, with only one life and a single point given for each forward hop


Unlike the arcade version, the home versions had numerous sequels, including:

In many of the recent games (starting with Frogger: The Great Quest), Frogger is shown as bipedal, wearing a shirt with a crossed-out truck.

In popular culture

In film and television

  • In 1983, Frogger made its animated television debut as a segment on CBS' Saturday Supercade cartoon lineup. On the series, Frogger was voiced by Bob Sarlatte, and worked as an investigative reporter. Frogger was joined by two frog characters created for the series, his gruff boss Tex and his female colleague Shelly. After only one season, Frogger and the Pitfall Harry segment were replaced by Kangaroo and Space Ace. Saturday Supercade has yet to be released on DVD or streaming.
  • In 1995, a VR Troopers episode featured a usurping frog monster called "Amphibidor" that hated being called "Frogger" by Ryan, because he does not "hop across roads or rivers to avoid cars and alligators just to get home".
  • In 1998, the game was featured in the MTV Movie Awards 2003 sketch, "The MTV Movie Awards Reloaded" has the Architect (Will Ferrell) saying that, while having created Q*bert and Dig Dug, he did not create Frogger but he came up with the name for it because it was going to be called "Highway Crossing Frog". The last half of the joke is actually true - "Highway Crossing Frog" was the working title for Frogger.[18]
  • Frogger appears in the Disney animated film Wreck-It Ralph. In the second trailer for the film, he can be seen in the Game Central Station hopping away from Ralph upon seeing him.[19]
  • Frogger appeared in the film Pixels.[20]
  • In the Burn Notice episode Bloodlines, season 5 episode 2 (air date 30/06/2011), the character Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell) likens the Japanese Yakuza people trafficker Takeda to having played a game of Frogger, as he ran across busy car traffic in the road to escape his pursuers.

In music

  • In 1982, Buckner & Garcia recorded a song called "Froggy's Lament", using sound effects from the game, and released it on the album Pac-Man Fever. The song begins:
Froggy takes one step at a time
The way that he moves has no reason or rhyme
He hops and jumps, dodges and ducks
Cars and buses, vans and trucks.
  • Bad Religion has also recorded a song called "Frogger" about the traffic in Los Angeles, in which the singer claims to be "playing Frogger with my life".
  • Lagwagon's compilation titled "Let's Talk About Leftovers" featured the song from the game played on bass on loop at the end of the CD.
  • Paul and Storm wrote and performed a comedic song called Frogger! The Frogger Musical.
  • The line "Frogger bass" appears in Deee-lite's song "'Say Ahhh...'".
  • Frogger is also named in the song Abiura di me of Italian rapper Caparezza.
  • In the 2010 music video of "My Feelings For You" by Avicii and Sebastien Drums, the main character of the video is seen chasing another character through the gameplay of Frogger.[21]
  • The line "When you see me better cross the street; Frogger" appears in the song Semicolon in the 2013 album The Wack Album by The Lonely Island.


  • In 2006, a group in Austin, Texas used a modified Roomba dressed as Frogger to play a real-life version of the game. Although the group expected the Bluetooth controlled machine to be crushed on its first time across, the modified Roomba was able to get across the street 10 times (40 lanes) and survive for 15 minutes before it was "killed" by an SUV.[22]
  • Frogger is also the name given to a transposon ("jumping gene") family in the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster.[23]
  • On November 5, 2011, a live-action tribute to Frogger called Field Frogger was played at the Come Out and Play Festival in San Francisco.[24]

Highest score

On July 15, 2012, Michael Smith of

External links

  1. ^ Frogger (Konami) at the Arcade History database
  2. ^ Frogger (Sega) at the Arcade History database
  3. ^ Frogger
  4. ^ Frogger at the Killer List of Videogames
  5. ^
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  11. ^
  12. ^ Video Game News - Konami Digital Entertainment and InfoSpace Partner to Create Mobile Game Frogger for Prizes
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Konami Mobile: Frogger Archived September 29, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
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