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Fantasy Zone

From Sega Retro

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Fantasy Zone Title.png
Fantasy Zone
System(s): Sega System 16, Sega Master System, MSX, Nintendo Famicom, Nintendo Entertainment System, TurboGrafx-16, X68000, Virtual Console
Publisher: Sega,
X68000
Dempa,
Nintendo Famicom
Sunsoft,
Nintendo Entertainment System
Tengen, TurbografX-16/PC Engine NEC (US), NEC Avenue (JP)
Developer:
Genre: Shoot-'em-Up






























Release Date RRP Code
Arcade (System 16)
JP
¥? ?
Arcade (System 16)
US
$? ?




















Nintendo Famicom
JP
1987 ¥5,300 SS8-5300
Nintendo Entertainment System
US
1989 $?  ?
PC Engine
JP
1988-10-14 ¥4,900 H49G-1001
TurbografX-16/PC Engine US 1989-11[2] $? TGX020017
Sega Master System
JP
¥5,000 G-1301
Sega Master System
US
$? 5052
Sega Master System
US
(Rerelease)
$? ?
Sega Master System
UK
£19.95[3] MK-5052-50
Sega Master System
FR
?F MK-5052-50
Sega Master System
DE
DM 79 41002
Sega Master System
ES
?Ptas MK-5052-50
Sega Master System
AU
$? MK-5052-50
Sega Master System
KR
₩? GB-1301
Sega Master System
TW
NT$? G-1301



MSX
JP
¥? ?
X68000
JP
¥7,800 ?



Wii Virtual Console
JP
¥500[4] pts ?
Wii Virtual Console
US
$500[6] pts ?
Wii Virtual Console
EU
€500[7] pts ?



Fantasy Zone (ファンタジーゾーン) is a side-scrolling shoot-'em-up by Sega, originally released in 1986 for Sega System 16 arcade hardware. It is the first entry in the Fantasy Zone series, a franchise that would be supported by the company in the late 1980s but largely abandoned by the mid-1990s.

Gameplay

Fantasy Zone stars the sentient being "Opa-Opa", a spaceship tasked with saving the "Fantasy Zone" from an army of invaders orchestrated by an unknown force. It is similar to Williams' 1980 arcade game Defender, in that the player can move both left and right across an endlessly repeating playfield, though makes a number of changes and additions to keep the game unique. Rather than simply destroying enemies, Opa-Opa has to eliminate eight "bases" across each level before being presented with an end boss, where horizontal scrolling is clamped.

Opa-Opa has two firing modes - a pair of twin lasers which fire ahead, and a bomb which curves downwards to hit ground targets. Weapons and engines can be upgraded through the use of in-game shops, represented by balloons which appear at the start of the level. Yellow balloons also allow the player to switch weapons, assuming they have bought more than one.

Unusually for shoot-'em-ups of the time, Fantasy Zone opted for vibrant pastel-coloured worlds and joyful music rather than the traditional "space" setting of previous attempts. It is often dubbed as the first "cute-'em-up" as a result. Despite this, Fantasy Zone is known for being an extremely difficult game, as the slow moving camera and swarms of enemies quickly lead to "bullet hell" scenarios.

Enemies

FantasyZone Moocolon.png
Moocolon
FantasyZone Quili-Quili.png
Quili-Quili
Simple enemies which move backwards and forwards across the screen, sometimes in pairs. They are spawned by the bases of Plaleaf.
FantasyZone Sourtham.png
Sourtham
FantasyZone Bottaco.png
Bottaco
FantasyZone Thaya-Thaya.png
Thaya-Thaya
FantasyZone C-Soul.png
C-Soul
FantasyZone Asworm.png
Asworm
FantasyZone Botellyn.png
Botellyn
FantasyZone Chamba.png
Chamba
Bat-like creatures spawned by the bases of Tabas. They simply fly upwards.
FantasyZone Coulon.png
Coulon
FantasyZone Goro.png
Goro
FantasyZone Onyamma.png
Onyamma
FantasyZone Bont.png
Bont
FantasyZone Poyon.png
Poyon
FantasyZone Shatboo.png
Shatboo
FantasyZone F-Zab.png
F-Zab
FantasyZone Squel.png
Squel
FantasyZone Floweye.png
Floweye
Spawned by the bases in Dolimicca, these enemies lock on to Opa-Opa's Y position and attempt to collide with him.
FantasyZone Jerry.png
Jerry
FantasyZone MF.png
M.F.
FantasyZone Billian.png
Billian
FantasyZone Recal.png
Recal
FantasyZone Pata.png
Pata
FantasyZone Unknown.png
Unknown
This enemy is dropped by the bases of La Dune - it wanders along the floor, occasionally jumping to fire a shot. It is absent from the Master System version of the game, so its name is not yet known.

Base

FantasyZone Plaleaf Base.pngFantasyZone Tabas Base.pngFantasyZone LaDune Base.pngFantasyZone Dolimicca Base.pngFantasyZone Polaria Base.pngFantasyZone Mockstar Base.pngFantasyZone Pocarius Base.png

Bases differ in design depending on the level, but all have the same function. They are the only static enemies in game, the only enemies to show up on the radar and are the primary target for Opa-Opa. Bases produce other enemies, typically weaker types such as Quili-Quili or Chamba. They will also fire at the player if Opa-Opa has had engine upgrades, making them a serious threat. Bases are the only enemies in game (aside from the bosses) which require more than one hit - the "damage" being shown on in the circle located in the centre - blue indicates full health, which changes to cyan, green, yellow, orange and finally red before being destroyed.

A base does not disappear from the screen when destroyed like other enemies - the wreckage is left on the map and can be seen even during the boss fights.

Stages

FantasyZone Plaleaf.png
Plaleaf (Planet of Greenery)
Long ago, far away in space there existed a "fantasy zone" where a couragous hero called Opa-Opa (the player) fought in a valiant cause to rescue the "fantasy zone" from its enemies.

Plaleaf is the easiest stage of the game, and so shouldn't put up much of a challenge. Compared to later levels, the amount of enemies on screen is small (and most follow set patterns, so they can easily be avoided), so a decent player shouldn't need any upgrades to succeed.

Enemies seen in this level include Moocolon, Quili-Quili, Sourtham, Bottaco and Thaya-Thaya.

FantasyZone Plaleaf Boss.png
Plaleaf Boss
The boss, is also fairly simple. It tries to lock on to your Y position and fires a flurry of green bullets at you, though watch out as they sometimes rebound of the left hand side of the screen too. The weak point is the mouth.
FantasyZone Tabas.png
Tabas (Planet of Fire)
Tabas predictably ups the difficulty, though can just about be overcome without spending money on weapon upgrades.

Enemies seen in this level include C-Soul, Botelynn, Asworm, Chamba and Coulon.

FantasyZone Tabas Boss.png
Tabas Boss
The boss, regularly featured in cover artwork, does require some skill to overcome, however. It attacks Opa-Opa by erupting, causing fireballs to rain down on the player. Luckily, everything is a target, so the only concern is dodging the attack.
FantasyZone LaDune.png
La Dune (Planet of Sand)
By this point, the game will start to crush novice players, as the number of enemies vastly stats to increase. It marks the introduction of the "Goro" enemy - one that locks onto your screen position and will keep firing at you until you destroy it. This means, unlike previous stages, you can't run away from your problems in the hopes they'll disappear while off-screen.

Enemies seen in this level include Goro, Pata, Onyamma, Bont and Poyon.

FantasyZone LaDune Boss.png
La Dune Boss
La Dune's boss can also be tricky. The player needs to destroy each of the laser cannons located on the left hand side, though once most of them are out of the way, the boss will start to chase you. Predictably you have a much higher chance of survival if you've upgraded your engines at this point.
FantasyZone Dolimicca.png
Dolimicca (Super Planet)
Dolimicca is, surprisingly, an easier stage than La Dune, thanks to its decision to put all of its bases on the ground. This means if you arm yourself with the right weapon, you can scoot along the floor and wipe out several bases very quickly. That being said, the game still throws out a number of tricky enemies that you'll need to deal with, and by now, everything will start firing at you.

Enemies seen in this level include Shatboo, F-Zab, Squel and Floweye.

FantasyZone Dolimicca Boss.png
Dolimicca Boss
Dolimicca's boss is a typical "bullet hell" opponent. Opa-Opa has to destroy both arms, which swing about launching bullets all over the screen. Much like Tabas, the trick is to avoid enemy fire rather than concentrating shots, though the boss' body is invulnerable to attack.
FantasyZone Polaria.png
Polaria (Planet of Ice)
Polaria is a typical ice stage, and packs on even more pressure to assure the player runs out of lives.

Enemies seen in this level include Jerry and M.F. Sourtham, Bont and Coulon also return.

FantasyZone Polaria Boss.png
Polaria Boss
It's more masses of bullets when it comes to the boss, which consists of various different sizes of snowman. You have to destroy each column in order, starting with the smallest, though as you progress, the size of the bullets also increases.
FantasyZone Mockstar.png
Mockstar (Planet of Clouds)
There's nothing particularly remarkable about any of the later stages in Fantasy Zone - they just throw out different assortments of enemies. By this point, the player will suffer if he or she has not upgraded their engine.

On a side note, the music played on Mockstar's stage is used in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, as Opa-Opa's "All-Star" theme.

The only new enemy to be introduced is Billian. The rest, Jerry, Asworm, Botellyn, and Squel, come from earlier levels.

FantasyZone Mockstar Boss.png
Mockstar Boss
Mockstar's boss is perhaps the cheapest in the game, as it comes into view from six different angles, increasing the chance of you being destroyed before you've even seen what's going on. The objective is to shoot the eye while it spins around at increasing speeds.
FantasyZone Pocarius.png
Pocarius (Planet of Water)
Though it appears to be more inviting, Pocarius is the hardest level in the game. It becomes impossible for the average man to avoid the number of bullets, even if the arcade operator has put the game on "easy mode".

Recal is introduced as an enemy here, though C-Soul, Pata, Poyon and M.F. also return.

FantasyZone Pocarius Boss.png
Pocarius Boss
If by chance the player does succeed, he or she will be greeted by one of the hardest bosses. Though it doesn't attack, it will attempt to teleport on top of Opa-Opa, which means it's a case of "avoid, shoot, avoid, shoot". But once again, speed is proportional to damage, so in order to overcome this one you need fast reactions and the ability to fire rapidly. On a home system, it's the perfect example of how a turbo controller could come in handy.
FantasyZone Salfar.png
Salfar (Planet of Evil Spirits)
The final stage, Salfar as Opa-Opa duel with all the bosses he has encountered in the game so far, before the final showdown with the end boss. It's the only stage in the game that forces you to enter the shop - a smart idea as it's the last chance you'll get to use it.
FantasyZone Salfar Boss.png
Salfar Boss
FantasyZone DragonLand.png
Dragon Land
Dragon Land is a secret stage, exclusive to the Sharp X68000 version of the game. To access it, the bases in Plaleaf need to be attacked and destroyed in a certain order (from left to right, according to their positions on the radar). Doing so will drop the letters "H", "A", "R", "R", "I", "E", and "R", and when collected you'll be taken to this stage after Pocarius.

Dragon Land is based on Space Harrier, and features enemies, music and a boss from that game (though everything is altered to work with Fantasy Zone's sideways perspective.

FantasyZone DragonLand Boss.png
Dragon Land Boss

History

Legacy

Fantasy Zone was popular enough to see several ports to home consoles, though most remained exclusive to Japan. The watered down Sega Master System port is perhaps the most famous, as Fantasy Zone was one of the console's most highly rated games. Two of the more processor-intensive bosses were replaced in the SMS version - Dolimicca's boss, which now resembles a fish, and Mockstar's which resembles a turtle. The Master System version has since been released for the Wii's Virtual Console service.

Sega would later release a near-perfect port of the game for Japanese Sega Saturns. The Saturn port has a karaoke mode, with vocals added to the tracks, and a replay mode.

The game was ported to non-Sega consoles too. MSX, X68000 and TurboGrafx-16 ports were handled by Pony Canyon, Dempa and NEC Avenue respectively. The game was brought to Nintendo's Famicom by Sunsoft, but strangely Tengen also ported it to the NES for sale in North America. The Famicom and NES ports are both different, despite being made for what is essentially the same console. Previously, Tengen merely edited the Sunsoft versions and released the edited ROMs overseas; this may have had something to do with the decision to make Fantasy Zone from scratch. Nevertheless, both ports were done by Japanese companies (Tengen contracting to a group called Pixel, who outsourced (parts of?) the sound to Masaharu Iwata). There is also an unofficial Sharp MZ-700 port.

Most home ports of Fantasy Zone greatly reduce the quality of the graphics, going so far as to remove backgrounds from boss fights altogether. The Master System version also removes the "radar", allowing the user to see where bases are placed on the map. Others, such as the NES port, reduce the number of bases in across the level, and drop the number of enemies in order to maintain a decent framerate.

The Sharp X68000 port, however, is almost perfect, and is also notable for devoting a secret stage to Space Harrier (also set in the "fantasy zone"). Contrary to popular belief, the Game Gear game often known by the same name is a completely different game.

The game was re-released twice as part of the PlayStation 2's Sega Ages 2500 series in Japan. Volume #3 of the series sees a remastered Fantasy Zone with 3D modes and four extra levels. This version was brought to the western world through Sega Classics Collection. It was later included in Volume #33 of the same series, along with the rest of the franchise, as part of Fantasy Zone Complete Collection. This version also includes an enhanced version of the Sunsoft Famicom port, named Fantasy Zone Neo Classic.

In 2014, the arcade version was converted to 3D and released for the Nintendo 3DS as 3D Fantasy Zone: Opa-Opa Bros.. It was later included in the Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives compilation. The Master System version was also converted to 3D and included in Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives 2 as a hidden bonus game. This version also adds new audio for the FM Sound Unit, which the original did not support.[8]

Fantasy Zone was followed by Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa-Opa, a similar game which was not released in arcades.

Production credits

Master System version

Source: In-game credits (JP) [9]


MSX version

  • Programmed by: Ultre Man, Push Fukazawa Pop, Boss Hiroyuki, 4:30 no Yuichi, Kobayashi Sensei, Opa-Opa Takano
  • Designed by: Ge Ge Ge no Terazou, Kid, Tėt. 004
  • Music by: Syuuta Cyan 30
  • Directed by: Mr. Kumabe
  • Special Thanks to: Tacky Cyan, Takecyan Man, Nakakohzi.P.Creep!©, Yukimi Papa
  • Produced by: Pony Canyon / Sega


Famicom version

  • Program: M.Nomura, A.T, Mac, S.Yamada, K.Ishihara
  • Design: Kaz.Sugiura, K.Sakoh, Y.Iwata, H.Kagoya
  • Sound: N.Morota
  • Special Thanks: K.Sada, N.Kodawa
  • Directer: K.Yoshida
  • Presented by: Sunsoft


X68000 version

  • Director: Koji Tsuchida
  • Programer: Toru Nakagawa (Tonbe Nakagawa)
  • Music Composer / Arranger: Ken-ichiro Isoda
  • Music Programer: Kazumi Nasu
  • Drums: Matsuo Sagara
  • Boot Graphic: Koji Tsuchida (G-Row R-Ma), S. Senoo (Senoko)
  • Demo Play: Mia Makada
  • Debug: Hiroaki Goto (Gorry), Yoshinari Karakama, Tsutomu Inoue


TurboGrafx-16 version

  • Producer: Shigenobu Nanbu
  • Director: Toshio Tabeta
  • Assistant Director: Kouji Matsuda
  • Programer: Bit'S-Masas.
  • Graphic designer: Bit'S-Tadashi Sou, Toshio Tabeta
  • Rescorer: Yukihiro Too
  • Assistants: Takashi Ozama, Kaoru Murohoshi
  • Special thanks to: Noriyuki Watanabe, Hiroshi Fukuda, Takako Aoki, Yoshiko Ikeda
Source: Manual creditsMedia:Fantasy_Zone_PCE_HuCard_JP_Manual.pdf[10]


Hints

Magazine articles

Main article: Fantasy Zone/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

FantasyZone System16 JP Flyer.pdf

PDF
System 16 JP Flyer

Physical scans

Master System version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
87 №1, p55[11]
87 №4, p96[12]
90 №79, p122/123[13]
91 №8, p12[14]
81 №9, p11[15]
100 №23, p56
95 №2, p55[16]
Sega Master System
90
Based on
7 reviews

Master System, US
FantasyZone SMS US cover.jpg
Cover
FantasyZone SMS US cart.jpg
Cart
Fantasyzone sms us manual.pdf
Manual
Master System, US (rerelease)
FantasyZone SMS US cover2.jpg
Cover
FantasyZone SMS US cart2.jpg
Cart
FantasyZoneSMSUSRereleaseManual.pdf
Manual
Master System, US (demo)

FantasyZoneSMSUSDemoCart.jpg
Cart
FantasyZoneSMSUSDemoManual.pdf
Manual
Master System, EU
FantasyZone SMS EU cover.jpg
Cover
FantasyZone SMS EU Cart.jpg
Cart
FantasyZoneSMSEUManual5L.pdf
Manual
Master System, EU ("No Limits")
FantasyZone SMS EU nolimits cover.jpg
Cover
FantasyZoneSMSEUManual5L.pdf
Manual
Master System, JP
FantasyZone SMS JP cover.jpg
Cover
FantasyZone SMS JP cart.jpg
Cart
FantasyZone SMS JP Manual.pdf
Manual
Master System, TW
FantasyZone TW spine.jpgFantasyZone TW cover.jpg
Cover
FantasyZone SMS TW cart.jpg
Cart
Master System, AU
FantasyZone SMS AU cover.jpg
Cover
FantasyZone SMS AU cart.jpg
Cart
FantasyZoneSMSAuManual.pdf
Manual
Master System, DE
FantasyZone SMS DE cover.jpg
Cover
FantasyZoneSMSDECartridgeBack.jpgNotavailable.svg
Cart
FantasyZoneSMSEUManual(DE).pdf
Manual
Master System, KR
FantasyZone SMS KR cover.jpg
Cover
FantasyZone SMS KR cart.jpg
Cart
Master System, MX

FantasyZone SMS MX Box Back.jpg

Master System, Benelux Union
FantasyZone SMS BX Box front.jpg
Cover

Mega-Tech version

Mega-Tech, ??

FantasyZone MegaTech Cart Back.jpgFantasyZone MegaTech Cart.jpg
Cart

MSX version

MSX, JP
FantasyZone MSX JP Box Back.jpgFantasyZone MSX JP Box Spine.jpgFantasyZone MSX JP Box Front.jpg
Cover
FantasyZone MSX JP Cart Top.jpg
FantasyZone MSX JP Cart Back.jpgFantasyZone MSX JP Cart Front.jpg
Cart
FantasyZone MSX JP Manual.pdf
Manual

NES version

NES, US
FantasyZone NES US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngFantasy Zone NES US Box.jpg
Cover
Fantasy Zone NES US Cart.jpg
Cart
FantasyZone NES US Manual.pdf
Manual
NES, JP
Fantasy Zone NES JP Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngFantasy Zone NES JP Box Front.jpg
Cover
Fantasy Zone NES JP Cart.jpg
Cart

X68000 version

X68000, JP
Fantasy Zone X68000 JP Box.png
Cover

TurboGrafx-16 version

TurboGrafx-16, US
FantasyZone TG16 US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngFantasyZone TG16 US Box Front.jpg
Cover
FantasyZone TG16 US Card.jpg
Card
FantasyZone TG16 US Box Front JewelCase.jpg
Jewel Case
PC Engine, JP
Fantasy Zone PCE HuCard Back.jpgFantasy Zone PCE HuCard Spine.jpgFantasyZone PCE JP Box Front.jpg
Cover
FantasyZone PCE JP Card Back.jpgFantasyZone PCE JP Card.jpg
Card
Fantasy Zone PCE HuCard JP Manual.pdf
Manual

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Master System
 ?
CRC32 0FFBCAA3
MD5 3A1DFAD2CEA111D0DBFB4A545BF3F87E
SHA-1 B486D8BE0CF669117E134F9E53A452BF71097479
128kB Cartridge (JP)
Sega Master System
 ?
CRC32 5FD48352
MD5 E4497D344386A9FE0826E6D166E0F2B3
SHA-1 5162CD4923CDCAD66FEE0AA18D5E63FCF5259C00
128kB Cartridge (TW)
Sega Master System
 ?
CRC32 65D7E4E0
MD5 FED8690EE5FB895C09CAA8E2B879EBD6
SHA-1 0278CD120DC3A7707EDA9314C46C7F27F9E8FDDA
128kB Cartridge
Nintendo Entertainment System
CRC32 10119E6B
MD5 8471E1EE89C218A4CFC3B94FB506CEA4
SHA-1 1854E0A1FDEBEF05ED303CA85E9A4CC2849254C5
128kB Cartridge (JP)
Nintendo Entertainment System
CRC32 0FFDE258
MD5 FA5DCC5882D8BB1C209F7C75D23C50C9
SHA-1 27D25B95DD212854571BC8F5A083F84825631331
128kB Cartridge (US) (Unl)
PC Engine
 ?
CRC32 72CB0F9D
MD5 9F3078E85B7604F5DF6D858DEA879696
SHA-1 9DFC979FDF65D6425504AFF68DC80E83C69E7B40
256kB Card (JP)
PC Engine
 ?
CRC32 E8C3573D
MD5 0C5FC299491C50C2D2F532308597A159
SHA-1 7C419163D860691DFEA9720639921190E20E3C97
256kB Card (US)

External links

References

Necretro-round.svg
NEC Retro has more information related to Fantasy Zone.


Fantasy Zone
Fantasy Zone Title.png

Main page | Comparisons | Hidden content | Magazine articles


Books: Fantasy Zone Ura Manual (198x) | Fantasy Zone Kanzen Kouryaku Guide (1987) | Family Computer Game Hisshou-hou Series 43: Fantasy Zone (1987) | Fantasy Zone Hisshou Kanpeki Hon (1987)
Videos: Fantasy Zone (1987)

Opa-Opa Fantasy Zone series of games
Arcade
Fantasy Zone (1986) | Fantasy Zone (redemption game) (1998?) | Fantasy Zone II DX: The Tears of Opa-Opa (2008) | Medal de Fantasy Zone (2012)
Sega Master System
Fantasy Zone (1986) | Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa-Opa (1987) | Fantasy Zone: The Maze (1987) | Galactic Protector (1988)
Sega Game Gear
Fantasy Zone Gear (1991)
Sega Mega Drive
Super Fantasy Zone (1992)
Sega Saturn
Sega Ages Fantasy Zone (1997)
Java 2, Micro Edition (J2ME)
Fantasy Zone (2003)
Sony PlayStation 2
Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 3: Fantasy Zone (2003) | Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 33: Fantasy Zone Complete Collection (Fantasy Zone II DX: The Tears of Opa-Opa | Fantasy Zone Neo Classic (2008)
LCD handheld game
Fantasy Zone (2009)
Nintendo 3DS
3D Fantasy Zone: Opa-Opa Bros. (2014) | 3D Fantasy Zone II Double (2014)
TurbografX-16/PC Engine Space Fantasy Zone (Unreleased)
Fantasy Zone related media
Music
Fantasy Zone Ultra Super Big Maximum Great Strong Complete Album (2008)
Book
Fantasy Zone Ura Manual‎ (198x) | Fantasy Zone Kanzen Kouryaku Guide‎ (1987) | Family Computer Game Hisshou-hou Series 43: Fantasy Zone (1987) | Fantasy Zone Hisshou Kanpeki Hon (1987) | Fantasy Zone II Kanpeki Hon (1989) | Fantasy Zone Isei Kara no Shinryaku-sha (19xx)
VHS Video
LaserDisc
Fantasy Zone (1987)