77a is a n64 homebrew game made by Count0. The original version was released on 28 Feb 1998, but the improved special edition was released several months later on 10 Oct 1998. It’s a 2-player artillery game where the objective is to aim and shoot the other player before they shoot you. It was made to compete in the Presence of Mind ’98 competition.

You can download the game from its download page by using the password shootoverthewall.

77a style and gameplay

The game itself is very simple. The screen is divided into two sections like a tennis court and players shoot across the field trying to hit each other. It’s kind of like a 3D version of inverse Pong mixed with Battleship and Worms.

You can move along the field in a grid-like manner using the C buttons and aim using the joystick – left/right controls the pitch and up/down controls the yaw which does seem a bit counterintuitive. The cannons can then be fired by timing the A button with a power meter.

When a shot arcs and hits the ground, it leaves an impassable crater, even if it lands in your own field. Eventually, it becomes so small that you become a sitting duck ready to be blown up. Hitting your opponent then grants a point and resets all the craters.

POM ’98 edition

The original version of 77a has a fairly basic appearance. There is no background and the graphics are pretty basic. I do like that it has a HUD that shows the angles at which your cannon is pointing, which is absent from the Special Edition.

Special edition

The special edition is a lot more detailed. The HUD now has a metallic texture to it, and the field appears to expand until the horizon. It definitely does feel a lot more complete visually speaking.

One thing that I don’t like is that they switched the visual angle indicators for text-based ones. It’s much more difficult to gauge where your shot is going to land if you have to be interpreting those cryptic numbers in the heat of battle.


On top of the base game, 77a comes with a few other ‘modes’, which is just a control display and a credits / greetz screen.

POM ’98 edition

The menu and control screen do have a very hand-drawn feel to them. The scroll is pretty basic, just a yellow font moving along a black background, almost Star-Wars-esque.


All work by: Count0

Beta tester: Per Count0

Special thanks: Dextrose, Bung, Locke, N64 MMI

Greetz: Actraiser Cam CD-Man64 Curt-Mac Datawiz Hartec Herzero Immortal Kid Kidstardust LaC Locke Mcr N64-MMI Nagra NaN Rene Saska Segmond Shroomz Silo Sino Sispeo Spock Spido Steve Titanik Twinsen Widget

Special Edition

The special edition comes with an intro screen, updated menu, controller and credit screen. It also adds a high score screen and a settings menu.



Credits – These are the guys who made it possible!

Count0 – Main coder plus some graphics and tools

Nep CML – 3D Objects, 2d Graphics, Tools

Steve – What did he do??

Frac – Ingame 2D, border graphics

Dynamix – Part of the rumble routine

Hitsound – Organizing the Summer64 Compo

Greets – Shout outs go to the following:

Warehouse – Steve, Nep CML, Cliffi

Hitsquad – Acid, JL Picard, Zero

Dynamix – Immo, Widget

Dextrose – Actraiser, Hartec

Crazynation – Titanik, Wildfire, Sispeo

Blackbag – Frac, Silo, Jovis, Shroomz, Ste, Nagra, Datawiz, Stumble

Secret Force – Kid Stardust

Nil – Nil

No Group – Cam, Sneaky, Locke, NaN, Ost C1P, Kemuri, LaC

End of scroller, restarting

Conclusion and review

I’m not exactly sure what the name “77a” is referring to. The closest I could find is this Swedish artillery from the 1960’s. Either way, this is a simple little 2-player game that can make for a hectic game of killer badminton.

The controls are a bit awkward. You can’t predict where your shell is supposed to land without either a lot of trial and error or practice because of all the different variables that come into play when calculating its trajectory. I suppose that it makes it more interesting by not being able to precisely predict where you’re aiming at any particular point in time.

What I find remarkable about 77a is that it’s one of the very few complete homebrew games for the Nintendo 64 that has gameplay which is 3D. There are others like Bike Race ’98 that are in 3D but incomplete, Nintro is 3D and complete but not a game and Twintris is complete and a game but not 3D. This one manages to get it right on all accounts, despite its simplicity. And for that it deserves a good amount of recognition.

Articles across the web

77a is a homebrewn strategy game for the N64 by Count0 where two players take turns shooting artillery projectiles at each other.
Article published on N64 Squid


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