John Elway's Quarterback (NES)

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John Elway's Quarterback
John Elway's Quarterback - NES.jpg
Platform: NES
Year: 1987
Developer: Rare, Ltd.
Buy: Amazon

John Elway's Quarterback is an NES adaptation of the Leland arcade game Quarterback (ARC), but it was also ported to MS-DOS, Commodore 64. The NES conversion was handled by Rare.

The NES version received many negative reviews by critics. Some of the criticisms included poor controls, dull graphics, and little to no music.


John Elway's Quarterback - NES - Title Screen.png

The title screen.

John Elway's Quarterback - NES - Team Select.png

Selecting a team.

John Elway's Quarterback - NES - Gameplay 1.png

Playing a game of football.

Issue - Screenshots.svg

This page needs more screenshots.



John Elway's Quarterback comprises of a few tunes. Most of them are just short jingles that play during certain events in the game. However, it should be verified whether or not these were originally used in the arcade game. The only known song shared with the arcade version is the Team Select music, which was written and composed by Sam Powell. The NES version's audio was handled by David Wise, who had to learn the music by ear. He then entered a series of hexadecimal numbers as notation into Rare's audio driver.


# Title ComposerArrangerProgrammer Length Listen Download
01 Title Screen David WiseDavid WiseChris Stamper 0:11
02 Team Select Sam PowellDavid WiseChris Stamper 1:40
03 End of Quarter David WiseDavid WiseChris Stamper 0:12
04 Halftime David WiseDavid WiseChris Stamper 0:10
05 End of Game David WiseDavid WiseChris Stamper 0:11
06 Touchdown Tommy WalkerDavid WiseChris Stamper 0:01
07 It's Good David WiseDavid WiseChris Stamper 0:01
08 No Good David WiseDavid WiseChris Stamper 0:02
09 Safety David WiseDavid WiseChris Stamper 0:02


(Source: Arcade credits, verification from David Wise; game lacks credits.)

Because this is such an early title for the NES, there are no staff credits. We have contacted David Wise who has confirmed working on the music and sound for all of Rare's NES games. According to Wise, Chris Stamper programmed the sound driver. There are no credits, since most NES Rare games had no credits at all, possibly preventing staff poaching.

The arcade version's credits can be accessed by waiting through the title demos.

Game Rip





Download 2 KB

The NSF file only contains the nine songs and no sound effects. The recording was made in VirtuaNSF. Ripping NES music is a very arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site.


  USA.svg   USA
John Elway's Quarterback - NES.jpg
Title: John Elway's Quarterback
Platform: NES
Released: 1989-03-??
Publisher: Tradewest

Quarterback Platform - ARC.png
John Elway's Quarterback Platform - ARC.png • Platform - A2.png • Platform - A2GS.png • Platform - C64.png • Platform - CPC.png • Platform - NES.png • Platform - PCB.png • Platform - ZXS.png
John Elway's Team Quarterback Platform - ARC.png
All American Football Platform - ARC.png
Pro Quarterback Platform - GEN.png • Platform - SNES.png
Troy Aikman's NFL Football Platform - GEN.png • Platform - JAG.png • Platform - SNES.png
Notable Songs Team Select
Notable Personnel Sam Powell • David Wise • Raymond Genovese • Eric Hammond • Rob Atesalp
Notable Companies Leland • Rare • Tradewest • Mastertronic • Shadowmasters Design