Virtua Cop

From Sega Retro


VirtuaCop title.png
Virtua Cop
Publisher: Sega
System(s): Sega Model 2, Sega Saturn, PC
Sound driver:
Sega Saturn
SCSP/CD-DA (18 tracks)
Peripherals supported:
Sega Saturn
Virtua Gun, Shuttle Mouse
Genre: Shoot-'em-Up

Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
JP (location test)
1994-08 ¥?  ?
1994-09Media:VirtuaCop Model2 Flyer.pdf[1]  ?

Sega Saturn
¥5,800 GS-9060
Sega Saturn
JP (Virtua Gun)
¥7,800 GS-9059
Sega Saturn
$59.99[2] 81015
Sega Saturn
US (Stunner)
$79.99[2] 81026
Sega Saturn
EU (Virtua Gun)
€59.99[3] MK81026-50
Sega Saturn
£44.99[3] MK81015-50
Sega Saturn
?F MK81015-50
Sega Saturn
DM ? MK81015-50
Sega Saturn
?Ptas MK81015-50
Sega Saturn
R$? 193056
Sega Saturn
₩? GS-9505J

Windows PC
¥8,800 ?
Windows PC
$? ?
Windows PC
US (Expert Software)
$? ?
Windows PC
€? ? MK-85043-50
Windows PC
UK (Expert Software)
£? ?
Windows PC
₩? ?

Virtua Cop (バーチャコップ) is an arcade shooter game created by Sega AM2 for Sega Model 2 hardware in 1994. It is the first in the Virtua Cop series. It was one of the first light-gun games to take place in a 3D world, as the first light-gun shooter to use 3D polygons. Sega advertised it as the "world's first texture mapped, polygon action game".Media:VirtuaCop Model2 Flyer.pdf[1]

Virtua Cop's arcade success meant it was ported to the Sega Saturn in 1995 and later to PC in 1997. The Saturn version of the game was initially bundled with the Virtua Gun, a light-gun peripheral intended for use with this game. If the user lacks a CRT television, the Virtua Gun cannot be used, and the game must be played with the normal Saturn controller. The PC version uses the mouse, and was released in North America as "Virtua Squad".

Virtua Cop was followed by two sequels, Virtua Cop 2 and Virtua Cop 3. It was bundled Virtua Cop 2 in Japan and Europe on the PlayStation 2 as Virtua Cop: Elite Edition (Virtua Cop Rebirth in Japan) on August 25, 2002 and November 29, 2002 respectively. The "Elite Edition" includes gallery extras and implementation of Namco's G-Con 2 lightgun support.

In 2004, a port was developed for the handheld Nokia N-Gage, but was cancelled by the quality control team before its release. There are very few beta units in existence.

The PC version was known as Virtua City PD during development (at least, in North America, where it would eventually be known as Virtua Squad).


A detective in the player's department uncovered an illegal gun-running operation and was able to trace it back to E.V.L Inc., a powerful crime syndicate. He compiled a large amount of evidence and was ready to take them down, but was soon discovered and assassinated by the criminals. Some of his evidence managed to make its way back to headquarters, and a special task force was put on the case. The policemen Michael Hardy and James Cools must face that organization led by Joe Fang and his followers Kong, the King, and the Boss.


Players assume the role of a police officer - either Michael Hardy, or his partner, James Cools. Played from a first person perspective view, the players must use the light gun to take down the multitude of sharp shooters who come for them. At the start of the game, the player is armed with only a pistol, but more powerful weapons, such as machine guns and shotguns, can be obtained as they progress. These weapons are hidden in breakable objects such as crates, and can be extremely useful when trying to take on the customary end-of-level bosses. There are penalties for shooting civilians.

Virtua Cop was notable for its use of polygonal graphics, which were subsequently used in both House of the Dead and Time Crisis, instead of the two dimensional sprites that were popular for previous games in the same genre. It is also notable for being one of the first games to allow the player to shoot through glass. The game's realistic graphics earned it the "Virtua" title, along with other 3D Sega games such as Virtua Fighter, Virtua Striker and Virtua Racing.



300,000 copies of Virtua Cop were sold in Japan during its first week[6].


Virtua Cop revolutionized the light-gun shooter genre with its new 3D first-person rail shooter format, including new mechanics like positional body targeting and headshots, revitalizing the genre in the arcades. It also broke new ground by popularizing the use of 3D graphics in shooter games.[7] It inspired 3D light gun shooters such as Time Crisis and The House of the Dead as well as 3D first-person shooters such as GoldenEye 007,[8] which in turn laid the foundations for console FPS games.

Production credits

Arcade version

Saturn version

PC version

Track list

Saturn version

1. [data track] ({{{time}}})

2. AM2 Logo (00:09)

3. Advertise (02:19)

4. Virtua Cop (00:53)

5. Stage Select (01:08)

6. Arms Black Market (04:11)

7. Underground Weapons Storage (03:38)

8. Gang Headquarters (03:31)

9. Kong (01:40)

10. King (02:39)

11. President (02:21)

12. Fang (02:18)

13. F I N (02:44)

14. Stage Clear (00:07)

15. Game Over (00:09)

16. Name Entry (01:18)

17. Rage (03:52)

18. Smarty (04:08)

19. Time (Not Used) (04:36)
Running time: 41:41

Magazine articles

Main article: Virtua Cop/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

GamePro US 079.pdf

Print advert in

GamePro (US) #79: "February 1996" (199x-xx-xx)
also published in:

  • GamePro (US) The Cutting Edge: "Spring 1996" (1996-xx-xx)[11]

SSM JP 19951201 1995-12.pdf

Print advert in

Sega Saturn Magazine (JP) #12: "December 1995" (1995-11-08)

Playmag FR 04.pdfPlaymag FR 04.pdf

Print advert in

Play Mag (FR) #4: "Juin 1996" (1996-xx-xx)

Playmag FR 05.pdfPlaymag FR 05.pdf

Print advert in

Play Mag (FR) #5: "Juillet/Août 1996" (1996-xx-xx)

SegaMagazin DE 30.pdfSegaMagazin DE 30.pdf

Print advert in

Sega Magazin (DE) #30: "Mai 1996" (1996-04-10)

Physical scans

Arcade version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
87 №163, p90[12]Media:CVG UK 163.pdf
100 EGM², №5, p162/163/164/165[13]Media:EGM2 US 05.pdf
82 №7, p23
60 №1, p105[14]Media:NextGeneration US 01.pdf
Based on
4 reviews

Model 2, US (P-Type)
Model 2, US (upright)
Model 2, JP (P-Type)
Model 2, JP (upright)

Saturn version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
78 №12, p68-72[15]Media:CDConsoles FR 12.pdf
87 №49, p148/149[16]Media:ConsolesPlus FR 049.pdf
96 №170, p30-33[4]Media:CVG UK 170.pdf
70 №29, p78/79[17]Media:Edge UK 029.pdf
80 №363, p33
92 Vol 4, №1, p18
98 №79, p58[2]Media:GamePro US 079.pdf
91 №38, p46/47
95 №91
91 №20, p46/47
90 02/96
100 №3, p143[18]Media:MAXIMUM UK 03.pdf
94 №40, p58-60[19]Media:MeanMachinesSega40UK.pdf
80 №14, p162
90 №59, p118/119[20]Media:PlayerOne FR 059.pdf
92 №75
93 №54, p34-36
96 №2, p70/71[21]Media:SSM_UK_02.pdf
90 №1995-12, p187[22]Media:SSM_JP_19951201_1995-12.pdf
89 №, p9Media:SnGwSISDRZK Book JP.pdf[23]Media:SnGwSISDRZK Book JP.pdf
83 №14, p64/65
Sega Saturn
Based on
28 reviews

Saturn, US
VirtuaCop Saturn US Box Back.jpgVirtuacop sat us frontcover.jpg
Virtuacop sat us manual.pdf
Saturn, US (Stunner bundle)
VirtuaCop Saturn US Box Back Stunner.jpgNospine-small.pngSaturn 80313 box-2.jpg
Virtuacop sat us nfr disc.jpg
VirtuaCop Saturn US Box Back NFRS.jpgVirtuacop sat us nfr frontcover.jpg
Jewel Case
Saturn, EU
Virtuacop sat eu frontcover.jpg
Virtuacop sat eu disc.jpg
Saturn, EU (Virtua Gun bundle)
VirtuaGun Saturn EU Box Back VirtuaCop.jpgNospine-small.pngVirtuaGun EU VC Box Front.jpg
Virtuacop sat eu disc.jpg
Virtuacop sat eu bundle backcover.jpgVirtuacop sat eu bundle frontcover.jpg
Jewel Case
Saturn, JP
Virtuacop sat jp backcover.jpgVirtuacop sat jp frontcover.jpg
VirtuaCop Saturn JP Disc.jpg
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Saturn, BR
VirtuaCop Sat BR cover.jpg
Saturn, BR (Virtua Gun bundle)
VirtuaCop Sat Gun BR cover.jpg
Saturn, KR

PC version

VirtuaCop PC US Box Front.jpg
VirtuaSquad PC US Box Back JewelCase.jpgVirtuaSquad PC US Box Front JewelCase.jpg
Jewel Case
PC, US (Expert Software)
VirtuaCop PC US Box Front Expert.jpg
VirtuaSquad PC US Box Front JewelCase Expert.jpg
Jewel Case
PC, US (Fundever)


VirtuaCop PC EU Disc.jpg
VirtuaCop PC JP Box Back.jpgNospine.pngVirtuaCop PC JP Box Front.jpg
PC, UK (Expert Software)
VirtuaCop PC UK Box Front Expert.jpg


  1. 1.0 1.1 File:VirtuaCop Model2 Flyer.pdf, page 2
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 File:GamePro US 079.pdf, page 58
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 File:SSM UK 02.pdf, page 11
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 File:CVG UK 170.pdf, page 30
  5. File:CVG UK 180.pdf, page 49
  6. File:SSM UK 03.pdf, page 7
  10. File:VirtuaC1_Saturn_JP_SSEnding.pdf
  11. File:GamePro US TheCuttingEdge 1996 Spring.pdf, page 49
  12. File:CVG UK 163.pdf, page 90
  13. File:EGM2 US 05.pdf, page 162
  14. File:NextGeneration US 01.pdf, page 111
  15. File:CDConsoles FR 12.pdf, page 68
  16. File:ConsolesPlus FR 049.pdf, page 148
  17. File:Edge UK 029.pdf, page 78
  18. File:MAXIMUM UK 03.pdf, page 143
  19. File:MeanMachinesSega40UK.pdf, page 58
  20. File:PlayerOne FR 059.pdf, page 118
  21. File:SSM_UK_02.pdf, page 70
  22. File:SSM_JP_19951201_1995-12.pdf, page 189
  23. File:SnGwSISDRZK Book JP.pdf, page 11

Virtua Cop series of games
Virtua Cop (1994) | Virtua Cop 2 (1995) | Virtua Cop 3 (2003)
Sega Saturn
Virtua Cop (1995) | Virtua Cop 2 (1996) | Virtua Cop Special Pack (1998) | Virtua Cop 1-2 Pack (1998)
Sega Dreamcast
Virtua Cop 2 (2000)
Windows PC
Virtua Cop (1996) | Virtua Cop 2 (1997)
LCD handheld game
Virtua Cop (199x)
Sony PlayStation 2
Virtua Cop: Elite Edition (2002)
Virtua Cop related media
Virtua Cop Soundtracks (1996)
Virtua Cop Official Guide Book (1995) | Virtua Cop Kyuukyoku Hon (1996) | Virtua Cop 2 Tai Terrorist Chinatsu Manual (1996) | Virtua Cop 2 Detective Manual (1997)