Heavy Unit: Mega Drive Special

From Sega Retro


HeavyUnit MDTitleScreen.png
Heavy Unit: Mega Drive Special
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Publisher: Toho
Original system(s): Arcade boards
Publisher(s) of original games: Taito
Developer(s) of original games: Kaneko
Genre: Shooting[1]

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
¥6,400 (6,592)6,400e[2] T-27013

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Heavy Unit: Mega Drive Special (ヘビーユニット メガドライブスペシャル) is a 1990 Sega Mega Drive shoot-'em-up developed by Kaneko and published by Toho exclusively in Japan. It is a modified port of Kaneko's 1988 arcade shoot-'em-up Heavy Unit.


Humans have developed an artificial planet, "Le Tau," which is being attacked by aliens, and only the Heavy Unit transforming ship can stop them.


A and C shoot; rapidfire is an option. B drops a bomb, which you have an unlimited supply of but must collect as a powerup. Among the various powerups is one, labeled T, that transforms your ship into a mecha and back, which plays identically, except its bombs will home in on enemies. The ship has a spreadshot, while the mecha is power oriented.

There is a strange option called "control", it effects whether the ship/mecha has inertia or not ("organize" means inertia is activated).

Tips and tricks

  • The big head monster in stage 1 can be exploited for infinite score. This is exclusive to the Sega Mega Drive port, as the arcade version auto scrolls past the boss. The game lacks a score table
  • The Password option is used to enable cheats:
Password Effect
TOMOYO Credit increase 99.
OHNUKI Invincible
LOCATE Display stage scroll position
SOSITE Stage select
  • Hidden Message: In option menu, Bx100


Heavy Unit: Mega Drive Special features the same amount of stages as its arcade counterpart but with partially modified enemies placements and behaviors. Stage 2 has now an underwater theme and an added raster scroll effect. Unlike the arcade release, the game also doesn't loop after finishing it.

Magazine articles

Main article: Heavy Unit: Mega Drive Special/Magazine articles.

Promotional material


Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1989-11: "November 1989" (1989-XX-XX)


Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1990-11: "November 1990" (1990-10-XX)


Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1990-12: "December 1990" (1990-11-08)


Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1991-01: "January 1991" (1990-12-08)
also published in:

HeavyUnit MD JP PrintAdvert.jpg

Print advert

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
55 [4]
44 [5]
75 [6]
63 №119, [1]
81 [7]
88 №1, p59
30 №1991-01, p42
75 [8]
27 №5, p92
85 [9]
60 [10]
79 [11]
78 №18, p66
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
13 reviews

Mega Drive, JP
HeavyUnit MD JP Box.jpg
HeavyUnit MD JP CartTop.jpg
HeavyUnit MD JP Cart Back.jpgHeavyUnit MD JP Cart.jpg
HeavyUnit MD JP Manual.pdf

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 1acbe608
MD5 6b60e70252280b1cc22d80cb4c70d54a
SHA-1 198e243cc21e4aea97e2c6aca376cb2ae70bc1c9
512kB 1990-09 Cartridge (JP)


NEC Retro has more information related to Heavy Unit.