Cosmic Chasm

Vectrex Passport catalog entry for Cosmic Chasm.

Developer GCE
Publisher GCE
Release Date 1982
Genres Maze
Multi-directional shooter
Modes Single player
1-2 players alternating
Media Cartridge
ROM file


With the beginning of a new game, a map screen is shown with the player's position, as they control a ship set in a series of interconnected caverns. They must first plan out the best route in order to get to the central area in each Mission.

After several seconds, the map screen changes to a cavern that the player is currently in, which each cavern has a core in the center that is constantly growing, as well as having several Planet Protector enemies. It is usually in the player's best interest to clear out each area of Planet Protectors by shooting them, then carefully inching their way to the protective barrier by an exit in order to drill through it. Once the barrier has been disabled by the drill, the player can then fly into the next cavern and thereby gets a step closer to the central area.

The view changes from a cavern to the map screen with each cavern that they pass, showing the player's(') progress. Once the central central area is reached, the player(s) must drop a bomb at the center core, which they have several seconds in order to escape from the area before the bomb explodes. If the player does not make it out in time they will lose a ship; succeed and they will start again on a new area/Mission.

Hitting a cavern wall, core or a Planet Protector will cause players to lose a ship and the game will end when there are no ships remaining. Exiting a Mission without leaving a bomb at the central core will cause the player to lose a ship as well, along with restarting the current Mission (if they have any remaining lives left). Also when the player loses a ship without clearing out all Planet Protectors in a cavern, that cavern's full complement of Protectors are totally replaced once the player's next ship comes into play. Players have a protective shield for use in emergencies, however.


Main menuEdit

  • Choose between one or two players–button one
  • Start game–button four


  • Turn ship–joystick or D-pad
  • Drill–button one
  • Shields–button two
  • Thrust–button three
  • Fire–button four
  • Drop off bomb--down on joystick or D-pad (central chamber only)


  • Destroying Planet Protector--80 points
  • Destroying Planet Protector after first cavern--80 points + 10 for each additional cavern
  • Drilling to next cavern--25 points
  • Getting to next cavern while escaping planet--100 points
  • Completion of successful mission-1000 points


  • This was the first home game ever to be ported from the home to the arcade, which it is usually the other way around as far as ports go. This ended up being Cinematronics's last released vector game ever before filing for bankruptcy. The tempo was a bit sped up, with players being able to deploy a much larger spray of fire (on this original version, they could only fire four shots at once), the drill function was replaced by having the player shoot and destroy doors, the map was constantly displayed overhead, the game was in color, and there was a brief cutscene added for each time the player made it to a new cavern.
  • In late 2012, it became known that bassist Rudy Sarzo (who has played in the heavy metal/hard rock acts Dio, Whitesnake, and Quiet Riot, among others) had a Vectrex on Quiet Riot's tour bus, due to an ebay auction selling off the collection, one of which games included Cosmic Chasm. The package also included an original controller, a Light Pen and a letter of authenticity of ownership.


Click on the tabbers below for two reviews.


I always found Cosmic Chasm to be a fascinating game, which I borrowed from a friend of mine that had a Vectrex from back in the day until now as I play it on my Mateos Vectrex Rewritable Multigame Cart at the tail end of 2014 (and I'll have a physical copy of the cart one day as well!).

Although possibly not for everyone due to the game seeming plodding at times as you try to figure out the best route to the central core and back (and sometimes you'll have to do that in a really convoluted manner), I've never played another game like it before, due to you flying through a series of interconnecting passageways with growing central cores (kind of like the arcade game Reactor). You got a double-barreled shot motif going, but unfortunately those Planet Protectors can fit in between your shots for a bit of a challenge.

Then, interestingly, the final core doesn't move at all, giving you a pause, and then you have to get the hell out before everything...goes to hell.

Along with being plodding at times, there's really no reward for getting to the next Mission; an explosion similar to the one where you don't get out in time would've been good. However, this doesn't detract from the game too much, but without explosions, you don't really feel like you've accomplished that much. I also found it odd that an extra ship was never awarded, and not just with hitting 10,000 points or something, it could've been saved after the second or third Mission was completed.

This is quite the different game though. I'll have to agree with the below review of giving this a 7.5 out of 10 as well.

(Review by Darrylb500)


The first ever home console port to a full arcade game is believed to be Vectrex's very own Cosmic Chasm. Cosmic Chasm was so well received by the gaming public in 1983 that it led Cinematronics to make a full colour vector arcade game based on their then new 68000 board. Only around 400 arcade releases were manufactured and today the arcade version of Cosmic Chasm is a much sought after collector's item.

In Cosmic Chasm the player is the Commander and controller of a ship which has lasers, a shield and a drill. The action takes place inside a monstrous space station and as you progress from one cavern to the next your progression is displayed on a labyrinth style map. In each room there is a central core which is constantly expanding while you try and fight off the planet protectors before the core expands so as to engulf your ship.

Once your ship has eliminated all the 'planet protectors' inside a particular cavern the player needs to pick one of four or more exits so as to progress to the next cavern. Caution needs to be taken as each of the exits is protected by a force-field which will need to be drilled through to obtain access and go on.

Once your ship has reached the 'central chamber', which contains the planet's power structure,of the space station, the aim is to plant a bomb which is intended to blow up the main power supply. Next much haste must be taken as hurriedly the ship must retrace it's path through all the exits that have been drilled until the outside of the space station is reached and to victory. New levels appear in succession after each level has been blow and power supply destroyed.

Cosmic Chasm was my favourite Vectrex game as a teenager and it is definitely much more complex than many other original Vectrex game releases. It really is quite intense making for the exits after planting the bomb and some keen button work needs to be performed on the control panel to finally penetrate the alien planet. Cosmic Chasm can be found regularly on ebay for around $25 -$30. Be safe.

Score 7.5/10

Review written by Daniel Foot

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