Space Channel 5

From Sega Retro


Sc5 title.png
Space Channel 5
Publisher: Sega
System(s): Sega Dreamcast, PlayStation 2
Peripherals supported:
Sega Dreamcast
Dreamcast VGA Box, Dreamcast Jump Pack
Genre: Action

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Dreamcast
¥5,800 HDR-0029
Sega Dreamcast
JP (Dorikore)
¥2,800 HDR-0140
Sega Dreamcast
$? 51051
Sega Dreamcast
€? ? MK-51051-50

Sony PlayStation 2
¥3,000[1] SLPM-65095
Sony PlayStation 2
€? SCES-50611

Space Channel 5 (スペースチャンネル5) is a video game for the Sega Dreamcast released in Japan on the 16th of December, 1999, North America on the 6th of June, 2000 and in Europe on the 8th of October, 2000. It was the first game to be developed by the newly opened United Game Artists studio within Sega, spearheadded by Tetsuya Mizuguchi, although the UGA name had not yet been adopted by the original Japanese release.

The game stars Space Channel 5 reporter Ulala, tasked with upping the ratings of the channel, and stopping the "evil" Morolians, who are forcing the galaxy to dance.


Space Channel 5 is a rhythm game built similarly in nature to electronic memorisation games such Simon, and video games such as PaRappa the Rapper. Throughout the game the computer shows a sequence of moves—dance steps in this case—and the player must copy them successfully to advance. Repeated failure will force the show to be cancelled, effectively triggering a game over.

Space Channel 5 utilises six different commands - Up "Up", Down "Down", Left "Left", Right "Right", A "Shoot" and B "Shoot". The Up button corresponds to the aliens raising both paws or Ulala raising both hands. Pressing Down causes Ulala to lower only her right hand as her left hand contains a microphone. When either the Left or Right button are pressed she moves her hand in that direction. The Morolians will mimic Ulala's moves so pressing the directional pad will affect them also.

The A "shoot" button is used for shooting at the Morolians or simply to perform another dance move. The B "shoot" button is usually used for rescuing hostages. There also appears to be mispronunciation of "shoot" when the player presses either the A or B button. In the manual, it says "shoot", but the Morolians say words that are quite similar to "kiss", "chin". Ulala, Pudding, Jaguar and Evila say "chu', while Fuse says "shoot" or "chu".

In between these scenes, Ulala appears to be taunting the opponent (if the player gets all the moves correct) or have messed up the dance (if the player gets incorrect moves or misses a move). Ulala is given a certain number of hearts in case she misses a move or get an incorrect move. Performing a incorrect move will cause her to lose a heart. If she loses every one of her hearts she will then hunch over and become upset, with Fuse shouting at her.



According to Tetsuya Mizuguchi, the Space Channel 5 project was born after a request from Sega to produce a game which appealed to "casual female gamers". Unaware that such a group in society existed, Mizuguchi spent much of the design phase interviewing young girls, ultimately coming to the conclusion that the puzzle genre was most suited to this demographic. However, in a bid to also appeal to a male audience as well, the game was designed to be competitive.

Space Channel 5 is primilary inspired by western culture of the 1960s, particularly a mix of fashion and espionage thriller movies such as James Bond. Its main theme, Mexican Flyer was originally released in 1965 (the same year Mizuguchi was born) by British composer and trumpeter, Ken Woodman.

Originally Space Channel 5 was said to simply be an interactive music video. Pressing buttons in time with the music would change the video, but little else would occur. Displeased by the lack of "fun", Tetsuya Mizuguchi demanded that elements inspired by the dance troupe, Stomp were implemented to liven up the gameplay. UGA's staff at the time struggled to comprehend some of the more radical ideas Mizuguchi put forward, so a pantomine was brought to UGA to lift spirits, ultimately inspiring the numerous "strike a pose" segments within the game.

Half way through production, Mizuguchi was contacted by Shuji Utsumi, who informed him that Michael Jackson was interested in taking part in the game. Utsumi had shown the star a 60-70% complete version of the game, set to be finalised within a month, and after some negotiations, "Space Michael" was put into the game. Mizuguchi and Utsumi would later found Q Entertainment in 2003.

Because the player has no control over Ulala's movement through stages, much of Space Channel 5 relies on pre-rendered backgrounds, leading to arguably more detailed visuals than what the Dreamcast could achieve in real-time.

Sequels and re-releases

Space Channel 5 was followed by a direct sequel, Space Channel 5: Part 2, and then ported to the PlayStation 2 in 2002. In the US, the PlayStation 2 port was bundled with Part 2 in Space Channel 5: Special Edition, published by Agetec.

However, apart from a Game Boy Advance adaption, Space Channel 5: Ulala's Cosmic Attack, released in 2003, the game has yet to be re-released for newer systems. Part 2 was released as part of Dreamcast Collection in 2011 (before separate releases on Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network and Steam), but the original game has not received the same treatment, presumably due to its heavy reliance on pre-rendered video. Ulala has cameoed in a number of Sega games, however, and is playable in the likes of Sega Superstar Tennis and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing.

Production credits

  • Producer: Tetsuya Mizuguchi
  • Director: Takashi Thomas Yuda
  • Art Director: Yutaka Minobe
  • Programming Director: Hitoshi Nakanishi
  • Story & Game Design Director: Takumi Yoshinaga
  • Game System Supervisor: Yoshiyuki Okitsu
  • Game Designer Unit: Takao Esaka, Mika Satou, Toshihide Ozeki
  • Space Programmers: Ise Susumu, Yuuki Hatakeyama, Ko Midoro
  • Technical Support: Osamu hori, Koji Kaifu, Satoru Takeshima, Michio Yokomizo, Kyosei Yukimoto, Keiichi Noda
  • Technical Director: Takeshi Hirai
  • Character & Background Modeling Design: Mayumi Moro, Ken Okazaki, Yutaka Minobe, Shiro Kinemura, Deen Guns Project, Jake Kazdal
  • Character Modeling Supervisor: Mayumi Moro
  • Character Modeling Unit: Ken Okazaki, Nanako Yarimizu, Chisai Abe, Shinkichi Tanahashi
  • Character Animation Supervisor: Ken Okazaki
  • Character Animation Unit: Takanori Ohnuki, Makio Kitahawa, Yusuke Kashiwagi, Jake Kazdal, Kenya Suzuki, Shigeru "Pigeon" Arkai
  • Choreographer: Nahoko Nezu, Shigeru "Pigegon" Araki
  • Motion Capture Set Up: Kenichi Suzuki
  • Visual Effects Designer: Taro Hino
  • Film Editor: Ryutaro Sugiyama, Taro Hino, Kanji Sutou, Kenichi Suzuki
  • Camera Operation Unit: Mika Satou, Kanji Sutou
  • Sound Director: Naofumi Hataya
  • Sound Producer: Yukifumi Makino
  • Sound Technical Director: Tatsuya Kouzaki
  • Music Composers: Kenichi Tokoi, Naofumi Hataya
  • Sound Effects: Takashi Endo
  • Sound Programmers: Kazumi Suyama, Yoshiaki Kashima
  • Recording Director: Fumitaka Shibata
  • Recording Engineer: Hirokazu Akashi, Yoshitada Miya, Sawako Sogabe, Syuhei Muaki
  • Trunpet: Isao Sakuma, Mitsukni Kohata, Naohito Watnabe, Masahero Kobayashi, Koichi Suzuki
  • Trombone: Yuji Shimoda, Gakutaro Miyauchi
  • Sax: Yo Shibano, Toshimichi Imao
  • Drum: Masashi Matsumoto
  • Bass: Koji Motosugi
  • Guitar: Chew-Taro Moritake
  • Chorus: Miho Fujiwara, Yoko Akama, Wornell Jones, Triad Project
  • Sctore: Hiroshi Aso
  • Recorded Coordinator: Hidetaka "Carl" Shibata
  • Recorded And Mixed At: SEGA Digital Studio
  • Special Thanks: Jun Senoue (Sonic Team USA)
  • Very Special Thanks To: Tomoko Sasaki
Mexican Flyer
  • Ken Woodman & His Piccadilly Brass (Woodman)
CG Movie Support Unit Trilogy
  • CG Movie Producer: Masaaki Taira
  • CG Movie Directors: Hiroyuki Takagai, Shinji Naka, Mika Ando, Yumiko Takahashi
Saihi Information Service, Ltd.
  • Producer: Terumi Hamamoto, Makoto Baba
Image Studio 109
  • Manager: Yusuke Aoki, Yoshiya Nagata, Hiroyuki Ishiguro, Hiroyuki Motai
Eyedentifyc Inc.
  • Manager: Toshio Shinma, Daiji Hori
  • Special Thanks: Hiroko Natori, Hironobu Kuwana, VFX Studio Loop Hole Ogawa 3D & Visual Factory
Sega Corporation
  • Localization Team: Michael Hanna, Jake Kazdal, Koji Kuroki, Shinobu Shindo
Sega Of America
  • Localization Producer: Mari N. Schaal
  • Localisation Manager: Osamu Shibamiya
  • Voices (Extra): A. J. Briones, Ray Craig, Roger Faso, Heather Hawkins, Teri A. Higgins, June Honma, Jason Kuo, Christopher Lucich, Asha Reddy, Mari N. Schaal, Robert Schonfisch, Jane Thompson, Klayton Vorlick
Sega Europe Ltd.
  • Director Of Product Development: Naohiko Hoshino
  • Producer: Daniel Lewellyn
  • Assistant Producer: Akiko Koutstal
  • European Product Marketing Manager: Jim Pride
  • European Product Marketing Execituve: Mathew Quaeck
  • Translators: Angelika Michitsch, Dave Thonpson, Caroline Ruiz,
  • Roberto Parraga-Sanchez
  • Test Manager: Jason Cumberbatch
  • Senior Lead Tester: Darren Lloyd
  • Lead Tester: Nick Bennett
  • Assistant Lead Testers: Pete O'Brien, Daniel Slater
  • Localisation Coordinator: Roberto Pattaga-Sanchez
  • Promotion Art Director: Masahiro "Magic" Kobyashi
  • Desk Support: Yumiko Mouri, Akihiko Nagao, Sayuri Yajima
  • Technical Support: Osamu Hori
  • Production Management: Hayato Watanabe
  • Special Thanks: Charles Bellfield, Peter Leichert, Peter Moore, Nobuhiko Shimizu, Shinobu Toyoda, Katsuhiko Yamada, AM R&D 9 Staff, Multi R&D Section
  • Team Pheromone: Yumiko Miyabe, Yumiko Mouri, Mineko Okamura, Sayuri Yajima
  • Technical Producer: Ryuichi Hattori
  • Executive Producer: Shuji Utsumi
  • Very Executive Producer: Sadahiko Hirose, Hisashi Suzuki
  • Very Very Executive Producer: Shoichiro Irimajiri
  • Very Very Very Executive Producer: Isao Okawa
  • Assistant Producer: Mineko Okamura, Hayato Watanabe
  • Created By: United Game Artists
  • Presented By: Sega

Magazine articles

Main article: Space Channel 5/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

GamePro US 141.pdf

Print advert in

GamePro (US) #141: "June 2000" (2000-xx-xx)
also published in:

  • Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #132: "July 2000" (2000-06-06)[2]

GamePro US 143.pdfGamePro US 143.pdf

Print advert in

GamePro (US) #143: "August 2000" (2000-xx-xx)


Physical scans

Dreamcast version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
89 №105, p108/109[3]
93 №1999-39ex, p26Media:DCM_JP_19991224_1999-39ex.pdf[4]
90 №, p33Media:Dorimaga_20021011_JP.pdf[5]
60 №81, p84[6]
73 №575, p31
Sega Dreamcast
Based on
5 reviews

Dreamcast, US
Sc5 dc us back cover.jpgSc5 dc us front cover.jpg
Sc5 dc us disc.jpg
SC5 DC US Manual Front.jpg
Dreamcast, EU
Sc5 dc eu back cover.jpgSc5 dc eu front cover.jpg
Sc5 dc eu disc.jpg
Dreamcast, JP
Sc5 dc jp back cover.jpgSc5 dc jp front cover.jpg
Space Channel 5 Sega Dreamcast Japan SpineCard.pdf
SpaceChannel5 DC JP Disc.jpg
Space Channel 5 Sega Dreamcast Japan Manual.pdf
SpaceChannel5 DC JP InlayBack.jpg
Space Channel 5 Sega Dreamcast Japan Card02.pdf
Reg Card
Space Channel 5 Sega Dreamcast Japan Card01.pdf
Dreamcast Lineup Vol 06.pdf
Dreamcast, JP (Dorikore)
SpaceChannel5 DC JP Box Front Dorikore.jpg

PlayStation 2 version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
70 №31, p101
88 №122, p125[7]
Sony PlayStation 2
Based on
2 reviews

PlayStation 2, EU
Sc5 ps2 eu cover.jpg
PlayStation 2, JP
SC5 PS2 JP Box.jpg
PlayStation 2, UK

PlayStation 2, FR
SC5 PS2 FR Box.jpg
PlayStation 2, DE
SC5 PS2 DE Box.jpg
PlayStation 2, ES
SC5 PS2 ES Box.jpg

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 (archived: 2003-08-11 00:48)
  2. File:EGM US 132.pdf, page 162
  3. File:ConsolesPlus FR 105.pdf, page 108
  4. File:DCM_JP_19991224_1999-39ex.pdf, page 26
  5. File:Dorimaga_20021011_JP.pdf, page 33
  6. File:Edge UK 081.pdf, page 84
  7. File:ConsolesPlus FR 122.pdf, page 125

Space Channel 5 logo Space Channel 5 series of games
Sega Dreamcast
Space Channel 5 Ulala The Movie (1999) | Space Channel 5 (2000) | Space Channel 5: Part 2 (2002)
Mobile phone
Ulala's Channel J (2001)
Sony PlayStation 2
Space Channel 5: Special Edition (2003)
Nintendo Game Boy Advance
Space Channel 5: Ulala's Cosmic Attack (2003)
Windows PC
Xbox Live Arcade
PlayStation 3 PlayStation Network
Space Channel 5: Part 2 (2011)
Space Channel 5 Characters
Ulala | Pudding
Space Channel 5 related media
Space Channel 5 Planet Dance (2000) | Space Channel 5 Original Soundtrack (2000) | Mexican Flyer Remix Tracks Inspired by Space Channel 5 (2000) | Space Channel 5 Mexican Flyer (2000) | Space Channel 5 Part 2 Soundtrack Volume Chu!! (2002) | Space Channel 5 Part 2 Soundtrack Volume Hey!! (2002) | Space Channel 5 Part 2 Uki Uki ★ Non Stop Mega Mix (2002) | Space Channel 5 Part 2 Moji Moji ★ Can't Stop Remix (2002) | Space Channel 5 Part 2 Uha Uha ★ Readymade Remixes (2002)
Space Channel 5 Gyun Gyun Book (2000) | Prima's Official Strategy Guide: Space Channel 5 (2000) | Space Channel 5 Part 2 Sugoku Sugoi Guide Book (2002)