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[1] ¥?  ?
1994-09Media:VirtuaCop Model2 Flyer.pdf[2]  ?

Sega Saturn
¥5,800 GS-9060
Sega Saturn
JP (Virtua Gun)
¥7,800 GS-9059
Sega Saturn
$59.99[3][4] 81015
Sega Saturn
US (Stunner)
$79.99[3][4] 81026
Sega Saturn
EU (Virtua Gun)
€59.99[5] MK81026-50
Sega Saturn
£44.99[5] MK81015-50
Sega Saturn
?F MK81015-50
Sega Saturn
DM ? MK81015-50
Sega Saturn
?Ptas MK81015-50
Sega Saturn
R$? 193056
Sega Saturn
₩? GS-9505J

Windows PC
¥8,800 ?
Windows PC
$? ?
Windows PC
US (Expert Software)
$14.99[7] ?
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[2]


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[9].


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.[10] 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,[11] which in turn laid the foundations for console FPS games.

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.


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 Saturn Virtua Cop was of the first games to use the Sega Graphics Library, and a one-level demo was first demonstrated at '95 Tokyo Toy Show in June 1995[12].

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). The PC version uses the mouse instead of a light gun.

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.

Production credits

Arcade version

Source: In-game credits

Saturn version

Source: In-game creditsMedia:VirtuaC1 Saturn JP SSEnding.pdf[14]

Source: US manualMedia:Virtuacop sat us manual.pdf[15]

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)[16]

SSM JP 19951201 1995-12.pdf

Print advert in

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

SSM JP 19951208 1995-13.pdf

Print advert in

Sega Saturn Magazine (JP) #13: "1995-12-08" (1995-11-24)

SSM JP 19951222 1995-14.pdfSSM JP 19951222 1995-14.pdf

Print advert in

Sega Saturn Magazine (JP) #14: "1995-12-22" (1995-12-08)

SSM JP 19960112 1996-01.pdfSSM JP 19960112 1996-01.pdf

Print advert in

Sega Saturn Magazine (JP) #15: "1996-01 (1996-01-12, 26)" (1995-12-22)

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)

Hyper AU 034.pdf

Print advert in

Hyper (AU) #34: "August 1996" (1996-xx-xx)
also published in:

  • Hyper (AU) #38: "December 1996" (1996-xx-xx)[17]

HobbyConsolas ES 051.pdf

Print advert in

Hobby Consolas (ES) #51: "Diciembre 1995" (1995-xx-xx)

Physical scans

Arcade version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
87 №163, p90[18]
100 EGM², №5, p162-165[19]
82 №7, p23
60 №1, p105[20]
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[21]
87 №49, p148/149[22]
96 №170, p30-33[6]
70 №29, p78/79[23]
75 №78, p40[24]
80 №363, p33
92 Vol 4, №1, p18
98 №79, p58[3]
91 №38, p46/47
95 №91
91 №20, p46/47
90 02/96
90 №51, p70-72[25]
100 №3, p143[26]
79 №1/96, p34[27]
94 №40, p58-60[28]
80 №14, p162
90 №59, p118/119[29]
92 №75
93 №54, p34-36
96 №2, p70/71[30]
90 №1995-12, p187[31]
89 №, p9Media:SnGwSISDRZK Book JP.pdf[32]
83 №14, p64/65[33]
94 №9, p84-88[34]
Sega Saturn
Based on
31 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
VirtuaCop SS jp manual.pdf
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. Amusement Machine Show 1994
  2. 2.0 2.1 File:VirtuaCop Model2 Flyer.pdf, page 2
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 File:GamePro US 079.pdf, page 58
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Press release: 1995-10-30: Sega unleashes exclusive lineup of arcade hits for Sega Saturn
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 File:SSM UK 02.pdf, page 11
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 File:CVG UK 170.pdf, page 30
  7. Press release: 1998-09-08: Experience The Ultimate In All-Out Action With New Titles From Expert Software's Sega PC Collection
  8. File:CVG UK 180.pdf, page 49
  9. File:SSM UK 03.pdf, page 7
  12. File:SSM UK 01.pdf, page 44
  14. File:VirtuaC1 Saturn JP SSEnding.pdf
  15. File:Virtuacop sat us manual.pdf, page 14
  16. File:GamePro US TheCuttingEdge 1996 Spring.pdf, page 49
  17. File:Hyper AU 038.pdf, page 72
  18. File:CVG UK 163.pdf, page 90
  19. File:EGM2 US 05.pdf, page 162
  20. File:NextGeneration US 01.pdf, page 111
  21. File:CDConsoles FR 12.pdf, page 68
  22. File:ConsolesPlus FR 049.pdf, page 148
  23. File:Edge UK 029.pdf, page 78
  24. File:EGM US 078.pdf, page 40
  25. File:HobbyConsolas ES 051.pdf, page 70
  26. File:MAXIMUM UK 03.pdf, page 143
  27. File:MegaFun DE 1996-01.pdf, page 34
  28. File:MeanMachinesSega40UK.pdf, page 58
  29. File:PlayerOne FR 059.pdf, page 118
  30. File:SSM UK 02.pdf, page 70
  31. File:SSM JP 19951201 1995-12.pdf, page 189
  32. File:SnGwSISDRZK Book JP.pdf, page 11
  33. File:UltimateFutureGames UK 14.pdf, page 64
  34. File:UltimaGeneracion ES 09.pdf, page 88

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)