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Karnov (US, rev 6) - MAME machine

Karnov (US, rev 6)
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Main data
Romset and name:
karnov Karnov (US, rev 6)
Short name:
Data East USA
Platform / Shooter Scrolling
Driver source:
Similar games:
Input / Controls
Up to 2 players (solo, 2 alternates)
Joystick 8 ways
Buttons / keys:
Cocktail, Upright
Not supported
Average user rating:
AntoPISA BestGame:
70 to 80 (Good)
MASH All-Time:
256x240@60 Hz, CRT 15kHz
Intel 8751, MOS Technology 6502, Motorola MC68000
Audio chips:
Speaker, YM2203 OPN, YM3526 OPL
First release:
Mame 0.31 released on apr-25 1998
Last release:
Mame 0.251 released on dec-30 2022
Clone of:
Not required
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Additional infos
  • History
  • Info
  • Score
  • PCB
  • Commands
  • Init
  • Driver
  • XML
  • Arcade Video game published 35 years ago:

    Karnov © 1987 Data East.

    Karnov is a 2-D, platform style game. You control Karnov through 9 scenes. Each of these scenes gives you piece of a map (except the first scene). Get all the pieces of the map and you get to the treasure. Your journey won't be easy though. You will be going through some rough environment such as towns, forests, oceans, and caves. To further make your travels a hazard, different enemies attempt to end Karnov's life prematurely and prevent him from getting to the treasure. To aid Karnov in his adventures, he has certain items that he can draw from his inventory. In addition, there are other items that can make Karnov a potent foe of those wishing to harm him. You must complete each scene in order to advance to the next scene. All in a days work of a hearty explorer.

    Main CPU: Motorola 68000 (@ 10 Mhz)
    Sound CPU: MOS Technology M6502 (@ 1.5 Mhz)
    Sound Chips: YM2203 (@ 1.5 Mhz), YM3526 (@ 3 Mhz)

    Players: 2
    Control: 8-way joystick
    Buttons: 2 (JUMP, SELECT)

    Karnov was released in January 1987.

    The main character became the famous Data East icon and appeared in many other games of the manufacturer.

    Karnov's full name is 'Jinborov Karnovski'.

    Alfa Records released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Data East Game Music - 28XA-205) on May 10, 1988.

    The US version has:
    • More enemies.
    • The ostrich in level 1.
    • The red serpents.
    • This version hurries you along if you dawdle by dropping invincible plants that fire at you and red serpents when you put up your ladder - this doesn't happen in the Japanese version.
    • When you use Boomerang or Flame, after it is used up you return to your original triple fire (in Japanese version, you go back to base single fire).
    • Some of the placements are different for the random items.

    Scoring in this game is relatively hard since there are a lot of things you can get points for. Here is the scoring table:
    GRAY ROCK GOLEM: 400 Points
    BROWN ROCK GOLEM: 1000 Points
    SMALL FLYING DEMON: 1000 Points
    LARGE FLYING DEMON: 1800 Points
    OSTRICH RIDERS: 2000 Points
    GARGOYLE: 1800 Points
    KNIGHT: 400 Points
    VULTURE: 110 Points
    STATUE (PER SEGMENT): 400 Points
    EAGLE: 400 Points
    GOLD STATUE: 5000 Points
    SPIRIT: 600 Points
    EARTH ELEMENTAL, S: 1600 Points
    EARTH ELEMENTAL, L: 2600 Points
    RED SERPENT: 12000 Points
    BAT: 110 Points
    GREEK FIGHTERS: 800 Points
    SEAGULLS: 110 Points
    SEAWEED: 1000 Points
    CLAMS: 400 Points
    SEA WARRIORS: 800 Points
    SMALL MERMAN: 800 Points
    EXPLODING OWLS: 1000 Points
    LARGE STATUE (GROUND): 1800 Points
    GREEN MONKEY: 400 Points
    TREE SPIRIT: 1000 Points
    MUMMY: 2000 Points

    • Bosses:
    MERMAN: 2600 Points
    TRAINER: 5000 Points / LION: 7000 Points
    T-REX: 12000 Points
    SCORPION WOMAN: 12000 Points
    TWO-HEADED DRAGON: 20000 Points
    WIZARD: 30000 Points

    • The Bosses: There are six different bosses you have to deal with in this game. Some of the scenes will reuse these bosses again. Sometimes you will even get more then one of the same kind of boss to tangle with either at the end of a scene or somewhere within the scene (this is especially true in the later scenes). Listed below are the bosses and a couple of tactics that you can use to defeat them. It is best to have your full firepower to tangle with these bosses instead of just using your pathetic one shot.

    MERMAN: His mode of attack is to throw water balls at you and jump around. He is one of the easier bosses to deal with.
    1) When he enters the screen, start firing on him. If your shot power is enhanced, you may be able to take him out before he has a chance to attack.
    2) If you don't take him out when he enters, be prepared to jump because he will throw a water ball at your character.
    3) Continue to jump back and forth. Fire on him when you land and you should take care of him quickly.

    TRAINER AND LIONS: This boss comes on the screen as a man holding two lions on a leash. The lions
    spit fire in addition to a claw attack.
    1) The first thing you don't want to do is take out the trainer first. If you do, the two lions will immediately attack.
    2) Go to the left side, duck, and start hacking away at the lions. It will take several shots to take one of the lions down.
    3) When the trainer and lions get about three-quarters of the way across the screen, jump over them and repeat the above from the right side.
    4) Once the lions are taken care of, take out the trainer. Again, watch out for the fireballs.

    SCORPION WOMAN: She's big and she's bad. She will usually come crawling down a wall to do battle with Karnov. She likes to spit a massive barrage of fire at Karnov.
    1) You must hit the Scorpion Woman in her torso, hitting her body won't hurt her.
    2) Every time you score a hit, she will rear up and let loose with a barrage of fire.
    3) Jump around the screen and jump over her to avoid her fire. Make sure that when you jump, she isn't reared up or you will be killed.
    4) She tends to lay a pattern of fire from top to bottom. Remember this when you are jumping so you don't jump into her line of fire.
    5) Continue to jump around her and fire and you should have this bug squashed in no time.

    TYRANNOSAURUS REX: This big old dinosaur is not only very large, it also has a very nasty breath
    weapon. Because he is so tall, it makes it even more of a challenge to hit his head (which you must do to kill him).
    1) When the Tyrannosaurus Rex (T-Rex) first enters the area, jump straight up and sent a heavy volume of fire his way. He will flash when hits are scored.
    2) The T-Rex is pretty quick so don't get yourself caught in a corner. The T-Rex will either barbeque or just stomp on Karnov. Jumping around is the key to avoid this problem.
    3) Try to jump to the far sides (left or right) so that you can get at least a couple of shots off when you jump vertically. The T-Rex will usually almost be on Karnov after the second volley.
    4) Continue to maneuver around and you will have dinosaur steaks for dinner.

    TWO-HEADED DRAGON: Besides the wizard, this is one of the most brutal bosses. His breath weapon is very nasty and so is his bite. The breath weapon can get Karnov in two ways. The first way is a direct hit. The other way is when it explodes against some object. Fragments will explode outwards and could hit Karnov.
    1) This will require you to do some very fancy maneuvering. The dragon is slow but it more then makes up for that in offensive capabilities.
    2) When the dragon fires on Karnov, watch where the shot fragments go. You must hit the heads to kill this dragon off. The best way might be to find a ledge to take shots at it.
    3) You will only have time for one shot before you have to move since the dragon's firepower covers such a broad area.
    4) Again, jump around and make your shots count. Eventually you will add some dragon heads to your collection.

    WIZARD: You will only encounter this boss once since he is the final boss. He has a nasty offensive spell and a couple of good defensive moves. The bad part of this boss is that when you enter his area, you lose all your inventory items and power-ups.
    1) Right before you enter the Wizard's area, equip the Jump/Running Shoes and Boomerang. Then enter his area.
    2) You will see three ledges (one high and two low). The Wizard maneuvers around these ledges and fires out a ring of stars. These can be tricky to avoid but it can be done.
    3) Instead, when the Wizard appears on one of the two lower ledges, fire the boomerang at him. Depending on whether the machine is set to easy or hard will determine whether the boomerang kills him or not. If it doesn't, a few more shots should finish him off.
    4) If you don't have the boomerang, be prepared for a very long fight. You must concentrate on avoiding his fire while getting shots in on him. This means constantly moving around.
    5) It will take a lot of shots to bring him down and end his magical days.

    • Below are some basic strategies for getting through the game...
    1) You will have 200 seconds to get through each scene. This means you must plan for good time management in order to have enough time to deal with the scene bosses.
    2) Remember, you can move in eight directions on the screen. Use this to your advantage to avoid an enemy's fire while taking them down at the same time.
    3) There are a lot of items that are hidden from your view (either because they are too high or because they are truly hidden). Use the Ladder and Mask at all times to get the most amount of items you can.
    4) Some areas have alternate routes. This means you will have to decide beforehand since you won't be able to backtrack to go on another path.
    5) The game scrolls along with the character which means that once you have passed an area, you cannot return to it again.
    6) Try to jump instead of walk. The reason is that sometimes items fall from the sky or ceiling making it that much easier to collect them.
    7) If you take too long in a part of the scene, indestructible seeds will fall from the top of the screen. Once they hit the ground, they become indestructible flowers that shoot fire. To avoid this, move through each scene quickly.

    • SCENE 1: This is one of the easier levels to introduce you to the game.
    1) You start off on a platformed area. Immediately collect the Ladder and move to the right.
    2) Green-Hooded Creatures will attack Karnov. Once disposed of, use the Ladder to collect the Bomb.
    3) You will then encounter a Gray Rock Golem atop a rock. The Gray Rock Golem will throw a rock every two seconds. You can destroy the rock but you get no points. Once you take out the golem, jump on the area he was and use the Ladder to retrieve the Super Fireball and Jump/Running Shoes (you can get the shoes by jumping in the same area since they will fall to the ground).
    4) Some more Green-Hooded Creatures will attack.
    5) You will see a Gargoyle in a tree. Behind it will be a Orange Sphere. Take out the Gargoyle and retrieve the sphere.
    6) Ostrich Riders will attack. After you dispose of them, use the Ladder to retrieve the three K's midway on the first building.
    7) Before the stairs, you will have to tangle with a Brown Rock Golem. The Brown Rock Golem will throw rocks any time you hit it. Again, rocks get you no points.
    8) When you get to the stairs, you will be assaulted by Large Flying Demons and a couple of Ostrich Riders.
    9) Knights will attack when you get to the top of the steps. After you dispose of them, use your Ladder to get two Bombs.
    10) About three-quarters of the way across the bridge you will be attacked by Small Flying Demons.
    11) Another Gray Rock Golem awaits you on the bridge. Behind it will be a Brown Rock Golem.
    12) After you go down the stairs, you will be attacked by a Gargoyle, Small Flying Demons, and Knights. After you have made it through them, jumping will get you a set of Jump/Running Shoes.
    13) You will be attacked by some more Ostrich Riders before you have to encounter the boss.
    14) Boss battle against the MERMAN.

    • SCENE 2: You get to navigate through some ancient ruins in this scene. The big threats are the Statues and Gold Men.
    1) This level starts you off by going through the Statues. They are five columns high with a head that spits fire. After the third Statue, use the Ladder to get the Wings and Super Fireball.
    2) After you deal with the fourth Statue, you will have to deal with the Gray Rock Golem.
    3) You will next be attacked by Eagles and Large Flying Demons. Then the Small Flying Demons will attack. After you take care of them, use your Ladder to get five K's.
    4) More Large Flying Demons block your path as you head up the mountain.
    5) At the area where a ladder goes up, you will encounter a short Statue three columns high with a head spitting fire.
    6) At the top of the mountain is a Gold Statue. It attacks by shooting a spread of fire in Karnov's direction. It cannot be hit when it is firing.
    7) After another round of Large Flying Demons, you have to deal with another Gold Statue.
    8) Knights and Small Flying Demons make this next part challenging. After you are done, use the Ladder to collect three Bombs, a Mask, Super Fireball, and three K's.
    9) Boss battle against the TRAINER AND LIONS.

    • SCENE 3: This next scene takes you through a battered forest. There are a lot of chasms
    in the ground. In addition, you will navigating through some caves.
    1) Collect the Super Fireball and move right. You will see a Gargoyle with a Orange Sphere behind it. After you defeat it, collect the sphere and use the Ladder to collect the Diving Helmet, Run/Jumping Shoes, and five K's. Use a bomb at the base of the tree to knock it down and make a bridge.
    2) When you cross over, a Spirit will release from the tree. Sometimes a Red Serpent will also attack.
    3) You will then have to jump over two chasms while being attack by Eagles. After that attack, you will have to jump over a third chasm. After the third chasm, use you Ladder to collect three Bombs.
    4) You will then see some mounds of dirt. The object is to jump from the top of one to the other. If you fall in the gap, you will be attacked by a Small Earth Elemental.
    5) Remember that Boss Merman you battled before. Well, he's back again for another rematch. Take care of him again.
    6) After the fish fry, you will encounter a Brown, then Gray Golem. Continuing on, you will be attacked by Small Flying Demons and another Brown Rock Golem. Use the Ladder after this to collect the Super Fireball and three K's.
    7) You will go through a Brown Rock Golem and Small Flying Demons. After this, use the Ladder to get another five K's.
    8) Eagles will attack setting the stage for the next boss battle.
    9) Boss battle against the TYRANNOSAURUS REX.

    • SCENE 4: This scene has you going through a cave. You won't be able to jump around as much in here due to the fact of all the chasms and small areas.
    1) When you enter the cave, you can equip your Mask to see more things to get. You can collect four K's, a Mask, Ladder, and two Bombs.
    2) Continuing onward, you must now navigate through some volcanoes. There are five in the ceiling and four on the ground. If you crouch next to the volcanoes on the ground, the lava bombs can't hit you. Time it so you can safely navigate through this area.
    3) After getting through the volcanoes, you will encounter some conveyor belts. The first one rotates to the left so be careful when you jump on it.
    4) Jump to the next conveyor belt which is rotating to the right. Turn left and jump on that one which is rotating left again. Climb the ladder and you will enter a cave with twelve K's.
    5) When you exit the cave, a Brown Rock Golem awaits. Clear him out and jump. You will either hit the second conveyor belt you jumped on or a rocky ledge. Either way, make sure you are on the rocky ledge that has the K on it.
    6) Bats will attack as you move up these ledges with K's on them.
    7) At the end of the ledge is a platform. If you go to the end of the platform, the boss awaits.
    8) Drop down off the ledges to floor level and the boss battle with the SCORPION WOMAN will occur.

    • SCENE 5: This scene takes you underwater. There are a couple of islands with things on them but the primary part is still underwater. This is also a short scene.
    1) Karnov starts from the cliff. Hopefully you managed to get the Diving Helmet. If not, your game will be finished very quickly.
    2) Right at the bottom where Karnov enters the water, there is a stack of K's. The big enemies to watch out for in this area are the Seaweed and Clams.
    3) When you get to the first island, get onto it. You will have to deal with the Boss MERMAN again (doesn't he ever give up?). Anyway, after dealing with him, get the three Bombs, Diving Helmet, Mask, Run/Jumping Shoes, and the Orange Sphere. Then go back into the water.
    4) If you choose to go under the island, you can go into the little cave to collect the K's. The Sea Warriors and Small Merman will be on the attack.
    5) This second part of the swimming has you going against Sea Warriors and Small Merman. Just watch out for the Sea Warriors because they like to throw their spears down in addition to sideways.
    6) When you climb up on the next island, you will have to deal with the boss.
    7) The boss battle has you against a TYRANNOSAURUS REX again but this isn't the only one. You will have to defeat a second TYRANNOSAURUS REX to finish this scene.

    • SCENE 6: This scene will keep you very busy. There are a lot of enemies and very few items to collect.
    1) You will be immediately attacked by Knights and Large Flying Demons. After you clear them out, Eagles and Green-Hooded Creatures will attack.
    2) After the Green-Hooded Creatures attack, use the Ladder to collect the Wings.
    3) You will now have to battle two Boss MERMAN. After you take them out, Large Flying Demons will attack.
    4) You will need to climb up this building then go across. You will attacked by more Large Flying Demons.
    5) When you come down on the other side, you will be attacked by the TRAINER AND LIONS.
    6) You will climb again and on the path with be 14 Exploding Owls. Exploding Owls are so named that when you hit them, they explode throwing shrapnel all over. Jump to avoid.
    7) After the owls, prepare for the boss.
    8) You will have to tangle with two SCORPION WOMAN to finish this scene.

    • SCENE 7: This is a short level. There are a few treasures for the taking. The enemies aren't as bad as in scene 6 but there are still a lot of them.
    1) You first will be attacked by a group of Greek Fighters along with Eagles.
    2) You next will need to navigate through the Large Statues. There are a total of five to navigate through.
    3) Next you will need to climb the pyramid. When you get to the first level with a doorway, use a bomb to blow the door open.
    4) Go in and you will be attacked by more Greek Fighters. Go up the incline and prepare for a boss.
    5) This battle involves the TWO-HEADED DRAGON.
    6) After clearing out the dragon, continue to the right and jump the gap. Climb up to the top platform. A mummy will attack. Mummies are tough creatures that turn into a tombstone every time they are hit. They can take a lot of punishment.
    7) Once you take out the mummy, go all the way to the right and a platform will extend.
    8) Go back left and prepare for the next boss before dropping into the hole.
    9) When you drop into the hole, you will be up close and personal with a TYRANNOSAURUS REX. Finish him off and head up the steps.
    10) Be very careful on this part, there are boulder traps for each step so either jump back or destroy them with firepower.
    11) Collect the fourteen K's and finish climbing. At the top of the steps, bats will attack.
    12) After that, another boss battle with another TWO-HEADED DRAGON will finish the scene.

    • SCENE 8: Another scene where things will be tough. You will be dealing with the spirits on this scene.
    1) Knights will attack you along with Small Flying Demons.
    2) You will then be attacked by a Spirit and further beyond, two Large Statues also firing on Karnov.
    3) A group of Green Monkeys will attack. After they attack, use the Ladder to get another Ladder and Run/Jumping Shoes.
    4) Tree Spirits will descend to do battle with Karnov along with a Spirit. Collect the four K's.
    5) Large Flying Demons and more Tree Spirits will attack. After that, Small Flying Demons will get in their licks. Collect the four K's.
    6) The boss battle will be another TYRANNOSAURUS REX to finish off the scene.

    • SCENE 9: This is the last scene to be completed. This area is very tough and you will be hard pressed in the time department to finish it. Don't get involved in all the little battles. Get to the Wizard as quickly as possible.
    1) Use your Ladder to collect the two Bombs, Run/Jump Shoes, Super Fireball, Mask, and a Ladder.
    2) You will then be attacked by Knights and Large Flying Demons until you get to the platform areas. Then Bats will make a brief appearance.
    3) When you get to the platforms, don't go up. Instead, jump the chasm to the right. You will be attacked by a Boss MERMAN. Although space is tight, you should take him out.
    4) You will also notice that Small Earth Elementals are spilling over the ledges. This is the desired effect so you don't have to deal with them up top.
    5) Now, go back to the right and climb the platforms. At the top of the second platform, Small Flying Demons may attack.
    6) Go to the right to the next ledge. Use heavy firepower to hit the large mounds of dirt. These will change into Large Earth Elementals. There are three of them.
    7) Keep going right. At the end of the ledge, jump to the right. You will land on another ledge. If you just drop, you will land in a pit with a lot of mummies.
    8) Take care of the two mummies from the ledge and look to the right. You will see two SCORPION WOMAN. Don't worry about them right now, just avoid their fire.
    9) Climb up the two sets of ladders and head right. At the end of the ledge, drop off. You will see a wall to the right. Fire on it and the wall opens up. Before going in, power yourself up.
    10) Enter this area for the last boss fight with the WIZARD.

    [JP] Nintendo Famicom (dec.18, 1987)
    [US] Nintendo NES (jan.1988) "Karnov [Model NES-KV-USA]"

    PC [Booter] [US] (1987)
    [EU] Amstrad CPC (1988)
    [EU] Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1988)
    [US] Commodore C64 [EU] (1988)

    • OTHERS:
    LCD handheld game [US] (1989) released by Tiger Electronics: features 9 levels.

    Edit this entry: https://www.arcade-history.com/?&page=detail&id=1263&o=2
    Informations provided by © Alexis Bousiges
    Informations provided by Contribute to the translation
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  • Informations provided by Fabricio Coroquer, revisited from the work of
    NOTICE: The short version was discontinued in November 2019
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Data updated on december 30 2022

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