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Space Harrier (Elite Systems)

From Sega Retro

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SpaceHarrier Amiga title.png
Space Harrier
Publisher: Elite Systems, Mindscape (US)
Developer:
System(s): Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 16, Commodore 64, IBM PC, ZX Spectrum
Genre: Shoot-'em-Up






























Release Date RRP Code
Commodore Amiga
US
$49.95[1] ?
Commodore Amiga
UK
£24.99[2] ?
Atari ST
US
$49.95[1] 11102
Atari ST
UK
£19.99[2] ?
Atari ST
FR
250[4] ?
Amstrad CPC
UK (Cassette)
£8.95[5] ?
Amstrad CPC
UK (Disk)
£14.95[5] ?
Amstrad CPC
UK (Encore (cassette))
£2.99 ?
Amstrad CPC
ES (Cassette)
? AMC-665
Amstrad CPC
ES (Disk)
? ?
Commodore 64
US (Disk)
$29.95[1] ?
Commodore 64
UK (Cassette)
£9.95[5] ?
Commodore 64
UK (Disk)
£14.95[5] ?
Commodore 64
UK (Encore (cassette))
£2.99 ?
Commodore 64
UK (Encore (disk))
£? ?
ZX Spectrum
UK (Cassette)
£7.95[5] ?
ZX Spectrum
UK (Encore (cassette))
£2.99[6] ?
ZX Spectrum
ES (Cassette)
?Ptas SEC-575
Commodore 16
UK
£7.95[5] ?
IBM PC compatibles
US
$? ?
IBM PC compatibles
UK
£? ?



The Elite Systems ports of Space Harrier (published by Mindscape in North America) are home computer conversions of the game intended for release in Western markets. They were released for the Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum across 1986, with an IBM PC port released by Mindscape in 1989.

History

Elite had originally planned to go further by releasing copies for the aging Acorn Electron, BBC Micro (on both cassette and disk) and Commodore 16 computers - start-up instructions are mentioned in the C64, CPC and Spectrum manuals, but no physical copies of the game have been found. The Commodore 16 version was also extensively advertised, having been set to retail for £7.95 in the United Kingdom and L18,000 in Italy.

The home conversions were well received, making the game a runner-up in the category of "Game of the Year" at the 1986 Golden Joystick Awards.[7]

Versions

Note: None of the Elite ports of Space Harrier include the bonus stages from the arcade.

Amiga version

The Amiga version of the game is mouse-only, complete with added auto-fire if the player holds down the mouse button. For reasons unknown, the "GET READY" sample has been re-recorded

Amstrad CPC version

On the Amstrad, Space Harrier uses "vector" graphics both for the sake of speed, and to avoid graphical overlap problems seen in other versions of the game. This version does not allow the player to shoot and destroy scenery such as trees. By the time the game reaches level five, it begins to deviate from the arcade original, failing to include some of the correct enemies and simplifying much of the scenery.

Atari ST version

Like the Amiga version, the ST version can only be played with the mouse, though this time suffers from noticeable slowdown whenever too many objects are on-screen. This is particularly apparent when a boss appears (likely peaking on stage 3's boss). The game also takes a considerable time to load - the player is forced to wait in limbo after a boss while the next level is loaded off the disk.

Unlike the arcade game, no stages have "ceilings". The game also runs in a smaller window than the Amiga version, with an added border on the right hand side.

Commodore 64 version

Elite rushed the Commodore 64 version to market in the UK against the wishes of programmer xxxx, leading to a product that, while fully playable, shows noticable signs of being unfinished. Improvements to the game were, however, put in place in time for launch in the US, with improved graphics and added floor animations missing in the UK version. Levels three and four of the UK version are swapped, and only six different levels exist in total.

ZX Spectrum version

While the Spectrum port is able to render the checkerboard flooring in full (unlike the CPC and Commodore 64 versions), there is no in-game music, and a lack of colours makes the game more difficult to see. Only a 48k version of the game was ever made - were an 128k version to exist, music would have likely been an option.


Production credits

Amiga version

  • Program: Richard Frankish
  • Graphics: M Sportouch
  • Music: Jas C Brooke
  • Copyright 1989 Elite Systems Ltd

Magazine articles

Main article: Space Harrier (Elite Systems)/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Amstrad CPC/Commodore 16/Commodore 64/ZX Spectrum print advert in
Computer & Video Games (UK) #61: "November 1986" (1986-10-15)
also published in:
  • Computer & Video Games (UK) #62: "December 1986" (1986-11-xx)[8]
  • Computer & Video Games (UK) #63: "January 1987" (1986-12-16)[9]
  • Computer & Video Games (UK) #64: "February 1987" (1987-01-xx)[10]
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Amiga/Atari ST print advert in
Computer & Video Games (UK) #82: "August 1988" (1988-07-xx)
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Amiga/Atari ST/IBM PC print advert in
Génération 4 (FR) #21: "Avril 1990" (1990-xx-xx)
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Home computers print advert in
Micromanía (ES) #23: "Mayo 1987" (1987-xx-xx)
</div>

Physical scans

Amiga version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
73 №20, p78[11]
82 №90, p55[12]
87 №17, p25[13]
85 №48, p22/23[14]
Commodore Amiga
82
Based on
4 reviews

Amiga, US
SpaceHarrier Amiga US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngSpaceHarrier Amiga US Box Front.jpg
Cover
Amiga, UK

Amiga, UK
(Return to the Fantasy Zone)

Amiga, UK (All 20 Levels)
SpaceHarrier Amiga EU Box Front.jpg
Cover

Amstrad CPC version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
88 №63, p14/15[15]
70 №100, p64/65[16]
80 №2, p127[17]
Amstrad CPC
79
Based on
3 reviews

Amstrad CPC, UK (cassette)
SpaceHarrier CPC EU Box Cassette.jpg
Cover
SpaceHarrier CPC EU Cassette.jpg
Cassette
Amstrad CPC, UK (disk)
SpaceHarrier CPC EU Box Disk.jpg
Cover
SpaceHarrier CPC EU Disk Back.jpgSpaceHarrier CPC EU Disk Front.jpg
Disk
Amstrad CPC, UK (Encore)
SpaceHarrier CPC EU Box Encore.jpg
Cover
Amstrad CPC, ES (cassette)
SpaceHarrier CPC ES Box MCM.jpg
Cover
Amstrad CPC, ES (disk)
SpaceHarrier CPC ES Box Disk.jpg
Cover
SpaceHarrier CPC ES Disk Back.jpgSpaceHarrier CPC ES Disk Front.jpg
Disk

Atari ST version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
73 №15, p44[18]
60 №83, p48[19]
85 №12, p59[20]
75 №6, p46/47[21]
Atari ST
73
Based on
4 reviews

Atari ST, US
Space Harrier Atari ST EU Box Back.jpgSpace Harrier Atari ST EU Box Front.jpg
Cover
Space Harrier Atari ST EU Disk1.jpg
Disk 1
Space Harrier Atari ST EU Disk2.jpg
Disk 2
Atari ST, UK
SpaceHarrier AtariST EU Box.jpg
Cover
SpaceHarrier AtariST EU Disk1.jpg
Disk 1
SpaceHarrier AtariST EU Disk2.jpg
Disk 2

Commodore 64 version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
46 №100, p64/65[16]
47 №59, p56[22]
Commodore 64
47
Based on
2 reviews

Commodore 64, US
SpaceHarrier C64 US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngSpaceHarrier C64 US Box Front.jpg
Cover
Commodore 64, UK (cassette)
Space Harrier C64 EU Box.jpg
Cover
Space Harrier C64 EU Cassette.jpg
Cassette
Commodore 64, UK (disk)
SpaceHarrier C64 UK Box Disk.jpg
Cover
Commodore 64, UK
(cassette) (Encore)
SpaceHarrier C64 EU Box Cassette Encore.jpg
Cover
Commodore 64, UK
(disk) (Encore)
SpaceHarrier C64 EU Box Disk Encore.jpg
Cover

DOS version

DOS, US (5¼-inch)

DOS, US (3½-inch)
SpaceHarrier DOS US Box Back 35inch.jpgNospine.pngSpaceHarrier DOS US Box Front 35inch.jpg
Cover
DOS, UK

ZX Spectrum version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
77 №38, p28
53 №74, p47[6]
85 №63, p14/15[15]
68 №100, p64/65[16]
100 №57, p36/37[23]
90 №15, p30[24]
76 №51, p43[25]
ZX Spectrum
78
Based on
7 reviews

ZX Spectrum, UK
Space Harrier Spectrum EU Box.jpg
Cover
SpaceHarrier Spectrum EU Cassette.jpg
Cassette
ZX Spectrum, UK (Encore)
SpaceHarrier Spectrum EU Box Encore.jpg
Cover
ZX Spectrum, ES
Space Harrier Spectrum ES Box.jpg
Cover
ZX Spectrum, ES
SpaceHarrier Spectrum ES Box MCM.jpg
Cover

References


Space Harrier series
Space Harrier (Dempa versions | Elite versions | Sega Ages Vol. 2 | 3D) (1986) | Space Harrier 3D (1988) | Space Harrier II (Electronic) (1988) | Planet Harriers (2001) | Typing Space Harrier (2002) | Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 4: Space Harrier (2003)
Albums
Yu Suzuki Produce Hang On/Space Harrier (1997) | Planet Harriers The Original Soundtrack (2001) | Space Harrier II: Space Harrier Complete Collection Original Soundtrack (2005)
Other Media
Space Harrier (video) (1987) | Space Harrier: White Dragon no Yuusha (1988)