Side Pocket (ARC)

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Side Pocket
Side Pocket - ARC - Flyer - EU.jpg
Platform: Arcade
Year: 1986
Developer: Data East
This page is for the arcade version. For other games in the series, see Side Pocket.

Side Pocket is a billiards simulation game by Data East and released in 1986.

The game alternates between a game of Eightball and Nineball. In each stage, the player must sink each ball within the number of tries allowed. The better the player does, the more tries they are given. After a few stages, the player is given the chance to play in the bonus stage, where the player must sink a ball in a specific hole. They are awarded extra points if they successfully do so. The game is also capable of two-player competitive play.

The game has some pretty revolutionary features for its time. For example, the player can hit any part of the cue ball itself at any angle they wish. Additionally, the game shows the player's hands and arms on the cue stick; a feature that didn't need to be there, but adds to the realism. However, the game doesn't do a very good job with the ball physics, as even hitting the balls at full strength feels like your just hitting a bunch of rocks that barely move when they're hit.

The game was released for a bevy of platforms at the time, including the Game Boy, Game Gear, NES, Genesis, and SNES. However, each featured tweaks to all the assets of the game including graphics, music, and gameplay.


Side Pocket - ARC - Title Screen.png

The title screen.

Side Pocket - ARC - Side Pocket.png

Playing a game of billiards.

Side Pocket - ARC - Pocket Magic.png

The bonus round.

Side Pocket - ARC - Clear 2.png

Stage Clear.

Side Pocket - ARC - Game Over.png

Game Over.

Side Pocket - ARC - Name Entry.png

Entering a name for the high scores.


Side Pocket doesn't offer much in the way of music. There are only a few songs in the entire game. The main theme, Side Pocket, can get a little aggravating after extended play. However, there are a couple of neat songs like the Pocket Magic and Name Entry songs, which sound like a full-fledged jazz band. The NES version of Side Pocket used some motifs from the main theme of this game and the Game Boy version used a couple songs from this game as well.

Track titles were taken from the VGM rip. The VGM rip credits Emi Shimizu for the music, but the tagger, dissident93, explained that he added her as the composer since he assumed both the Arcade and Genesis soundtracks (the latter which Emi composed) had the same music. Azusa Hara and Hiroaki Yoshida worked for Data East around this time. However, Hara passed away. Yoshida should be contacted to see if he composed, or knows who composed the music. Michiya Hirasawa was also credited in Data East games around this time, so he may have also been a possible composer.

Conversely, the VGM rip track Clear 1 doesn't appear to play in the game. Perhaps it was originally intended as a stage clear theme at one point, based on the sound of it. Whenever a normal or bonus stage is cleared, Clear 2 always plays.


# Title ComposerArranger Length Listen Download
01 Side Pocket UnknownMichiya Hirasawa 1:22
02 Clear 1 UnknownMichiya Hirasawa 0:04
03 Pocket Magic UnknownMichiya Hirasawa 1:30
04 Clear 2 UnknownMichiya Hirasawa 0:06
05 Game Over UnknownMichiya Hirasawa 0:07
06 Name Entry UnknownMichiya Hirasawa 0:43


(Source: Game's ROM; Game lacks credits.)

The game has no credits, and the developers did not sneak their names in the high scores. However, the game's sound CPU has a few hidden messages, one of them being the alias of the sound programmer, Michiya Hirasawa, who did sound programming for several Data East games around this time. It is unknown if Hirasawa also composed the music as well, as most of his credits were only for sound programming. However, another Data East arcade released around the same time as Side Pocket titled Shackled (ARC) credits Azusa Hara and Hirasawa for music composition, while Tatsuo Yamaguchi is listed as the sound programmer, so Hirasawa may have also written the music. A musical comparison should be made with other games Hirasawa composed.

Game Rip







Audio Devices

The game uses the YM3526 for music. Clear 1 also makes use of the YM2203, and is the only song in the game to do so.


  Japan.svg   Japan
Side Pocket - ARC - Flyer - Japan.jpg
Title: サイドポケット (Side Pocket)
Platform: Arcade
Released: 1986-??-??
Publisher: Data East
  EU.svg   EU
Side Pocket - ARC - Flyer - EU.jpg
Title: Side Pocket
Platform: Arcade
Released: 1986-??-??
Publisher: Data East