From Sega Retro


Rez title.png
Publisher: Sega,
Sony PlayStation 2
Sony Computer Entertainment (EU),
Xbox 360
Microsoft Game Studios
System(s): Sega Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Xbox Live Arcade
Peripherals supported:
Sega Dreamcast
Dreamcast VGA Box, Dreamcast Jump Pack,
Sony PlayStation 2
Trans Vibrator
Genre: Shoot-'em-Up

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Dreamcast
¥6,800 HDR-0178
Sega Dreamcast
€? ? MK-51192-50

Sony PlayStation 2
¥6,800 SLPM-62101
Sony PlayStation 2
JP (The Best)
¥3,000 (3,150) SLPM-74006
Sony PlayStation 2
JP (Special Package)
¥8,800 SLPM-62100
Sony PlayStation 2
$? SLUS-20344
Sony PlayStation 2
€? ? SCES-50501

Xbox 360
JP (Download)
¥800pts ? ?
Xbox 360
US (Download)
$800pts ? ?
Xbox 360
EU (Download)
€800pts ? ? ?
Xbox 360
AU (Download)
$?pts ? ?
Xbox 360
KR (Download)
₩?pts ? ?

Rez (レズ) is a rail shoot-'em-up video game developed by United Game Artists and initially released by Sega simultaneously for the Sega Dreamcast and PlayStation 2 in 2001. It was conceptualized and produced by Tetsuya Mizuguchi and built by many former members of the disbanded Team Andromeda, the Sega development team behind the Panzer Dragoon series. Mizuguchi's company, Q Entertainment, released a high definition version (Rez HD) to the Xbox Live Arcade service in 2008.

The game is notable for replacing the typical sound effects found in most rail shooter games with electronic music, with sounds and melodies created by the player as they target and destroy foes in the game, leading to a form of synesthesia, enhanced by an optional Trance Vibrator peripheral made by ASCII. Although Rez was critically acclaimed, it did not get much commercial attention, particularly in the United States where a Dreamcast port failed to surface. Working titles for the game were K-Project, Project Eden, and Vibes, and before it was given a proper name, The Sound Project[4].


The game is set in futuristic computer "supernetwork" called the K-project where much of the data flow is controlled by an AI named Eden. Eden has become overwhelmed with the amount of knowledge gathered on the network, causing her to doubt her existence and enter a shutdown sequence, which would create catastrophic problems everywhere should she be able to complete this. The player plays the protagonist hacker, logging into the K-project system to reboot Eden while destroying any viruses or firewalls that happen to inhibit progress, and analyzing other sub-areas of the network to gain access to Eden's location.

he K-Project name and much of the game's visual and synesthesia inspiration comes from the Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky, whose name is mentioned at the very end of the game credits, whereas the Rez name was inspired by the Underworld track of the same name.


Rez is a rail shooter in which the player takes control of an onscreen avatar traveling along a predetermined path through the computer network. The player cannot affect his or her movement in any way. The player targets foes by holding a "lock-on" button while moving an aiming reticule over up to 8 enemies. Once the "lock-on" button is released, the avatar fires shots that home in on each target. Failure to hit an enemy or projectile in time may cause a collision, which reduces the player's current evolution level by one and changes the avatar's form. The game is over if the avatar is hit while at its lowest possible level. At higher evolution levels, the avatar appears as a humanoid figure, while it appears as a simple sphere at the lowest level.

Some enemies drop power-up items when destroyed. Two different items enhance the player's avatar by increasing his/her "evolution bar" by one and three points respectively. Another item enables the player to trigger an "Overdrive", which releases a continuous shower of shots at all enemies on the screen for a short period of time. In some game modes, score bonus items also appear periodically.

The game consists of five main areas. The first four are divided into ten sub-sections and conclude with a boss battle. The final area contains a larger number of sections and a boss rush, in which the player must fight variations of the bosses from the first four areas. The player then goes on to the network's core to restart Eden in a final boss battle.

The final area features a variable difficulty scale, depending on the player's performance in the first four areas. According to Sega, this system was employed to make the game more accessible to casual players, while also making it more challenging for experienced players, thus potentially increasing its replay value. In addition, completing all five levels unlocks alternate gameplay modes, color schemes and secret areas.

Unlike most games, Rez contains almost no sound effects or spoken dialogue. Instead, the game is set to trance music, which plays in the background and gradually evolves as the player moves among sections. The music is enhanced by musical effects (such as trills and drums) generated by the player's actions, enemies and surroundings. Player actions are usually locked to the rhythm of the music, such that shots and hits against enemies occur exactly on each beat (as opposed to occurring in real time). Graphical elements such as the polygons that make up the player's avatar, as well as background elements, also "beat" in time with the music. In reference to these coordinated effects, Sega focused its marketing of Rez primarily on the game's qualities of "synesthesia", the association of different senses and stimuli with one another.

Production credits

Dreamcast version

  • Producer: Tetsuya Mizuguchi
  • Director: Jun Kobayashi (Mem)
  • Art Director & Lead Artist: Katsumi Yokota
  • Programming Director: Mitsuru Takahashi
  • Game Designers: Hiroyuki Abe, Katsuhiko Yamada
  • Graphic Artists: Yasuhiko Matsuzaki (Mem), Noboru Hotta (Mem), Hideaki Takamura, Jake Kazdal, Haruka Yoshida
  • Programmers: Osamu Kodera, Kyosei Yukimoto, Keiichi Noda
  • Assistant Producer: Mineko Okamura
  • Assistant Director: Yu Ohmura

  • Game Tuning Support: Sarugakucho Inc, Ryosuke Oishi, Koji Nojiri, Hiroshi Sato, Toru Hashimoto, Noboru Matsumoto, Rtsushi Miyake, Miyuki Sato
  • Technical Director: Osamu Hori
  • Technical Producer: Ryichi Hattori
  • Special Thanks: All UGA Members And Thier Families, Toru Mita, Takashi Okamura, Kojiu Kaifu, Shigeru Araki, Michio Yokomizo, Ryutaro Sugiyama, Yoshiyuki Okaitsu, Toshihide Ozeki, Takao Esaka
  • Producer's Special Thanks: Masatsuka Saki, Megumi Hosoya, Sei Ishii, Hisakazu Hirabayashi, Mitsuhiro Takemura, The Soul Of Kasumba Buore (1955-2001), Simon Jeffery, Jason Kuo
Sega Of America Inc.
  • Vice President of Product Development: Jin Shimazaki
  • Localization Manager: Osamu Shibamiya
  • Localization Producer: Klayton Vorlick
  • Lead Tester: Jordan Romaidis
  • Assistant Lead Testers: Beejey Enriquez, Chester Lee
  • Director of Marketing: Mike Fischer
  • Senior Product Manager: Rob Alvarez
  • Associate Product Manager: Cord Smith
  • Director of Creative Services: Robert Schonfisch
  • Project Manager: Angela Santos
  • CS Project Coordinator: Arianne Pitts
  • Director of Publishing: Kathy Schoback
  • Senior Strategic Relations Manager: Roxana Nui
  • Public Relations: Yasushi Nagumo, Tomoe Akama, Junji Yamazaki, Mineko Okamura, Gwen Marker, Kirsten Merit
  • Promotion Art Director: Masahiro "Magic" Kobyashi
  • Executive Producer: Tetsu Kayama
  • Created By: United Game Artists
  • Presented By: Sega

Magazine articles

Main article: Rez/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

MAN!AC DE 2002-04.pdfMAN!AC DE 2002-04.pdf

PlayStation 2 print advert in

MAN!AC (DE) #04/2002 (2002-03-06)

Physical scans

Dreamcast version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
90 №, p33Media:Dorimaga_20021011_JP.pdf[5]
Sega Dreamcast
Based on
1 review

Dreamcast, EU
Rez dc eu back cover.jpgRez dc eu front cover.jpg
Rez dc eu disc.jpg
Dreamcast, JP
Rez dc jp backcover.jpgNospine-small.pngRez dc jp frontcover.jpg
Rez DC JP Disc.jpg

PlayStation 2 version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
88 №120, p108
90 №105, p74/75
70 №13, p55[6]
Sony PlayStation 2
Based on
3 reviews

PlayStation 2, US
Rez ps2 us cover.jpg
Rez PS2 US disc.jpg
PlayStation 2, EU
Rez ps2 eu cover.jpg
Rez PS2 EU Disc.jpg
PlayStation 2, JP
Rez PS2 JP Box.jpg
Rez PS2 Disc.jpg
PlayStation 2, JP (Trance Vibrator 同梱版/Special Package)
Rez PS2 JP Box Back SpecialPackage.jpgNospine.pngRez PS2 JP Box Front SpecialPackage.jpg
PlayStation 2, JP (PlayStation 2 The Best)
Rez PS2 JP Box PS2TheBest.jpg
Rez PS2 JP disc best.jpg
PlayStation 2, UK
Rez PS2 UK Box.jpg
Rez PS2 EU Disc.jpg
PlayStation 2, IT

Rez PS2 EU Disc.jpg

External links


  4. File:NextGeneration US 81.pdf, page 37
  5. File:Dorimaga_20021011_JP.pdf, page 33
  6. File:Playbox FR 13.pdf, page 55