Insector X

From Sega Retro


Insector X Title.png
Insector X
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Publisher: HOT-B (JP), Sage's Creation (US), HiCom (KR)
Licensor: Taito
Original system(s): Arcade boards
Genre: Shoot-'em-Up

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
¥6,800 T-28023
Sega Mega Drive
$? 47036
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
₩? GM4001HG

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Insector X (インセクターX) is originally a 1989 side-scrolling shooter developed and published by Taito. HOT-B ported for the Sega Mega Drive on the following year, with HOT-B themselves publishing it in Japan and the Sage's Creation unit publishing it in the US. It is a port of the 1989 arcade title of the same name, which appears to have been meant as a followup to Cloud Master.


The game has the insect-like main character, Kai, going through a number of nature-based and cave environments. The player can collect a variety of powerups and weapon upgrades to defeat oncoming enemies and bosses. The plot is fairly simplistic and ultimately involves defeating the dark ruler queen, freeing the insect world from her power.



The game has a strange history. HOT-B were originally contracted by Taito to produce a game called Insector X for arcades. The Family Computer port is entirely credited to Taito, but the Mega Drive port is almost entirely credited to Hot-B, with a small mention on the back of the US box being the only exception. Our best guess is that HOT-B bought the rights to Insector X in 1990 and produced this Mega Drive version. A similar situation seems to have happened with the otherwise unrelated Fire Mustang.

The port itself has an even stranger premise. The original arcade game used cute graphics with cartoony expressions, as does the Family Computer port. This Mega Drive port, on the other hand, has an almost complete aesthetic overhaul, now with a more serious player character and enemy force, and a completely replaced soundtrack. At the same time, most of the basic mechanics are the same, and enemy patterns are almost identical.


The final retail version comes in 'June' and 'July' builds; differences are and release information is unknown.

Magazine articles

Main article: Insector X/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

InsectorX MD US Flyer.pdf

US flyer

SegaVisions US 02.pdf

Print advert in Sega Visions (US) #2: "October/November 1990" (1990-xx-xx)
also published in:

BeepMD JP 1990-09.pdfBeepMD JP 1990-09.pdf

Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1990-09: "September 1990" (1990-08-XX)

BeepMD JP 1990-11.pdf

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

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
47 [3]
74 [4]
77 [5]
68 №109, [1]
78 [6]
80 [7]
74 [8]
70 [9]
80 [10]
80 [11]
95 [12]
90 №18, p66
81 No results[13]
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
13 reviews

Mega Drive, US
InsectorX MD US Box.jpg
InsectorX MD US Cart.jpg
Insectorx md us manual.pdf
Mega Drive, JP
InsectorX MD JP Box.jpg
InsectorX MD JP CartTop.jpg
InsectorX MD JP Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, BR
InsectorX MD BR Box.jpg
Insectorx md br manual.pdf
Mega Drive, KR (Hi-Com)
InsectorX MD KR Box.jpg
InsectorX MD KR carttop.jpg
InsectorX MD KR cartback.jpgInsectorX MD KR Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, KR (Samsung)
InsectorX MD KR cover Samsung.jpg

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 70626304
MD5 77574085187602bf50dd1167da389f60
SHA-1 4f4ecff167d5ada699b0b1d4b0e547b5ed9964d5
512kB 1990-07 Cartridge (US)
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 9625c434
MD5 ae4322417c5827364837d04a2952facb
SHA-1 204351b97aff579853cdba646b427ea299b1eddf
512kB 1990-06 Cartridge (JP/KR)


Insector X
Insector X Title.png

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