From Sega Retro

Akira MD TitleScreen.png

System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Mega-CD
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Black Pearl Software
Licensor: Kodansha, TMS Entertainment
Planned release date(s):

Sega Mega Drive
Spring 1994[1], 1995-02[2]

Sega Mega-CD
Spring 1994[1]

Status of prototype(s): Mega Drive prototype discovered and released
Sound driver: GEMS
For the unreleased Sega Game Gear version, see Akira (Game Gear).

Akira is an unreleased Sega Mega Drive and Sega Mega-CD video game based on the 1988 film of the same name, developed by Black Pearl Software and scheduled to be published by THQ in Spring 1994.[1]


Akira is one of the more notable video game absentees of the early 1990s, as when THQ acquired the license, it sought to publish numerous versions for a wide variety of consoles, all of which were cancelled (an Amiga (and Amiga CD32) version was released by a different publisher in 1995, and the Japanese Famicom received a tie-in back in 1988). Though a cross-platform strategy was put in place during the early days, the Game Gear version became an entirely different project, as did a Super NES version. A Game Boy game was announced but is thought to have been scrapped very quickly, leaving this version for the Sega Mega Drive and an assumed port to the Sega Mega-CD.

Akira on the Mega Drive combined numerous different video game genres, from 2D platforming, beat-'em-up segments, Road Rash-style motorcycle battles, isometric shooting and even stages played from a first person perspective, as well as containing numerous cutscenes inspired by film on LaserDisc. The Mega Drive version saw the most coverage by the gaming press, having been demonstrated in a noticeably unfinished form at Summer CES 1994. It is not thought the Mega-CD version was ever shown, however numerous publications of the era confused the Mega Drive and Mega-CD versions, possibly suggesting journalists had been briefed the two were very similar.

Most Akira projects were hampered by internal problems at THQ, including disagreements in project management (and in some cases, a lack of understanding of target video game platforms), resignations of key developers and a higher priority given to other titles. The differing projects were not closely co-ordinated, and were handled by separate teams under the management of THQ.

A prototype of the Mega Drive version was eventually found by Matsuda[3] and dumped by drx in 2019. The prototype was streamed on Twitch and released on Hidden Palace on December 25th, 2019, as the first release of the Holiday 2019 releases.

Magazine articles

Main article: Akira/Magazine articles.

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 6d32d468
MD5 ff78730a97d6e38a9c34ce8cf6f63bdb
SHA-1 27dbe96f5478e37e48817fb48a7a06c10f603090
2MB EPROMs Download.svg (1.1 MB) (info)