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Gorf was originally released to arcades in 1981. It is a multi-screen game that puts the player's ship through five different waves, including a boss fight of sorts against a shielded mothership. One of the five screens is a take on the Namco game, Galaxian. Midway distributed the arcade version of Galaxian in the United States, but the home version rights did not carry over. As a result, home versions of Gorf had the Galaxian screen excised.
Gorf was one of the first arcade machines to feature synthesized speech via a Votrax chip. It also employed the use of lights on the bezel, which would light up behind the player's current rank. With each completion of the game's five screens, the player's rank increases. The in-game voice also refers to players by their current rank, be it "Space Cadet" or "Space Captain" and so on.
The game's creator, Jamie Fenton, went on to work on a follow-up called Ms. Gorf, but it was never released.