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Satan's Hollow is a 1982 shooter arcade game from Bally Midway. The player uses a moveable gun at the bottom of the screen to shoot gargoyles flying around the top of the screen. The gun is also used to gradually build a bridge and thereby advance to the next level.

After completing each level, a white pennant is placed on a stack on the side of castle in the background:

Screenshot of Satan's Hollow showing nine white pennants

There is room for only nine white pennants, so after earning the tenth white pennant, all the white pennants disappear and a red pennant is placed on a stack on the top of the castle. The game then continues as before, with a white pennant being awarded at the end of each level:

Screenshot of Satan's Hollow showing one red pennant

Judging from the size of the white stack, it looks like there is room for only six red pennants. I've played the game for a long time but have never been able to amass six red pennants. What happens when you win the seventh red pennant? Does the game end, or do you start a new stack of pennants of a different colour?

Does the game, in fact, have any ending at all, or do the levels continue indefinitely?

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    Based on a link to high score records, the game seems to have an end, with the winner and the last entry (speedrun) having +Cleared! mark. However, the videos are paywalled. – antimo Apr 4 '16 at 10:17
  • One of the screenshots there also confirms my suspicion that a third stack of pennants is started. I wonder how many levels there are in total. – Psychonaut Apr 4 '16 at 10:58
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While searching for a definitive answer, I decided that finding a high scores list might be able to answer this question. I managed to find this thread, which is congratulating a player on beating the previous world record:

Satan's Hollow

  1. Ben Falls - 7,839,315 <~~~~ new MARP record!
  2. gastrainga - 3,327,260

There is a link to another site that apparently has videos of the world record plays here. The comment on the top score (mentioned in the thread) indicates that he managed to score a ridiculous 789 flags before reaching a game over.

Another comment in the thread indicates that while this is the current MAME Action Replay high score, the world record lies somewhere in the 40 million range:

Looking at the TG scoreboard it looks like the score to chase is just over 40 million.....but due to the way Satan's Hollow scores, Ben might actually not be that far off.

Another person referenced the fact that this "Ben" has high scores at the Barcade in Brooklyn, NY. If this is true, then his high scores are indeed documented here. Impressively, the high score on Satan's Hollow is even higher than the "just shy of 11m" referenced in the thread:

Satan's Hollow 16,543,350 BEN

While these scores seem absurd, I found second reference to the 40m score in this article:

In the end, my high score was right around 36,000. That puts me just... 43,050,000 points shy of the world record high score. But I've got a good feeling about this next quarter...


Based on all of this, I think it is safe to say that Satan's Hollow is, indeed, an endless game.

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    In two years no one has come up with any solid proof that the game has an ending, so I am tentatively accepting this answer. If someone can post another answer showing a video or screenshot of the ending screen (even if it's just a bug-begotten kill screen as in Pac-Man) then I would of course be happy to switch. – Psychonaut Apr 3 '18 at 6:36

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