James Pond 3: Operation Starfish

From Sega Retro


JP3 Title.png
James Pond 3: Operation Starfish
System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Game Gear
Genre: Action

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
$49.95[1] 716601
Sega Mega Drive
£44.99[2] E234SMXI
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
DM 110[3] E234SMXI
Sega Mega Drive
?Ptas E234SMXI
Sega Mega Drive
$? ?
Sega Mega Drive
R$? ?

Sega Game Gear
£29.99[4] 79158-50
Sega Game Gear
?F 79158-50
Sega Game Gear
DM 79,-[5] 79158-50
Sega Game Gear
?Ptas 79158-50
Sega Game Gear

James Pond 3: Operation Starfish (sometimes spelt James Pond 3: Operation Starfi5h, in reference to the in-game F.I.5.H. secret service), is the third and last game in the James Pond series and is a direct sequel to James Pond II: Codename RoboCod. The working title for the game was James Pond 3: Splash Gordon, a pun on Flash Gordon.

Initially programmed for the Commodore Amiga, it was ported to the Amiga CD32, Super Nintendo, Sega Mega Drive and Sega Game Gear.


Like its predecessor, the game is a platformer, this time set in space and contains elements of non-linear stage progression. The gameplay seems to be inspired by both Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario World. The Robocod suit from the prequel was completely dropped for a new system that allows to carry, throw and use objects. A new playable frog character was also introduced, although he needs to be rescued first.

The game employs a highly complicated password system, using colored symbols instead of letters and numbers.

Through clever programming the game simultaneously zooms and rotates text and logos during the title sequence, operations normally not supported by the Mega Drive.

Production credits

  • Design: Chris Sorrell
  • Main Programming: Chris Sorrell
  • Additional Programming: Alan McCarthy
  • Graphics: Sean Nicholls, Leavon Archer, Chris Sorrell
  • Music: Richard Joseph
  • Sound Effects: Richard Joseph
  • Level Design: Philip Bak, Katie Lea, Rupert Easterbrook, Gary Richards, Stuart Burrows, Stuart Green
  • In‑game Text: Martin Oliver, Chris Sorrell
  • Producer: Kevin Shrapnell
  • Associate Producer: Rupert Easterbrook
  • Game Testing: Nick Goldsworthy, Graham Harbour, David Bowry, Jamie Bradshaw, Darren King
  • Special Thanks To: Ian Saunter, Michael Hayward, all friends of Pond

Magazine articles

Main article: James Pond 3: Operation Starfish/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

MegaForce FR 21.pdfMegaForce FR 21.pdf

Print advert in Mega Force (FR) #21: "Octobre 1993" (1993-xx-xx)

Physical scans

Mega Drive version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
94 №25, p108/109/110
75 №144, p81[6]
78 №54, p61[1]
93 №11, p76/77
89 №25, p160/161
75 №2, p58/59[7]
78 №16
90 №14, p41
88 №6, p26/27
85 №23, p66-68
89 №14, p80-82[8]
90 №36, p88/89/90
87 №49, p54/55
83 №26, p36/37
91 №13, p42/43/44
83 №6, p58-60[9]
87 №25, p10/11
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
19 reviews

Mega Drive, US
JP3 MD US Box.jpg
Mega Drive, EU
JP3 MD EU Box.jpg
JamesPond3 MD US-EU Cart Top.jpg
JamesPond3 MD US-EU Cart Back.jpgJP3 MD US Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, BR

Game Gear version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
87 №44, p78
88 №31, p78/79[4]
87 №54, p100/101
76 №67, p65
Sega Game Gear
Based on
4 reviews

Game Gear, EU
JamesPond3 GG EU Box Back.jpgNospine.pngJamesPond3 GG EU Box Front.jpg
JamesPond3 GG EU Cart.jpg

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 26f64b2a
MD5 0a72b5846ff1766662809318cf000c22
SHA-1 df7fca887e7988e24ab2d08b015c6db2902fe571
2MB 1993-09 Cartridge (US/EU)
Sega Game Gear
CRC32 68BB7F71
MD5 1C88D6F7784EFB05D2548F9F903889F3
SHA-1 53790EDEE813A0A444B0369FD15672BB2A343780
512kB Cartridge (EU)


James Pond 3: Operation Starfish
JP3 Title.png

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James Pond games for Sega systems
Sega Mega Drive
James Pond: Underwater Agent (1991) | James Pond II: Codename RoboCod (1991) | The Aquatic Games Starring James Pond and The Aquabats (1992) | James Pond 3: Operation Starfish (1993)
Sega Master System
James Pond II: Codename RoboCod (1993)
Sega Game Gear
James Pond II: Codename RoboCod (1993) | James Pond 3: Operation Starfish (1995)