From Sega Retro


R-Type title.png

System(s): Sega Master System, Virtual Console
Publisher: Sega
Licensor: Irem
Original system(s): Arcade boards
Developer(s) of original games: Irem
Peripherals supported: FM Sound Unit
Genre: Shooting[2], Arcade[3]

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Master System
¥5,8005,800 G-1364
Sega Master System
Sega Master System
Sega Master System
£29.9529.95[7] MK-9002-50
Sega Master System
Sega Master System
Sega Master System
Sega Master System
Sega Master System
Wii Virtual Console
Wii Virtual Console
ESRB: Everyone
Wii Virtual Console
PEGI: 7+
Wii Virtual Console
OFLC: General (G)
Non-Sega versions

R-Type is a Sega Master System horizontal shoot-'em-up game developed by Compile and published by Sega. It is a port of the highly-influential 1987 Irem arcade game R-Type. It was first released in Japan in October 1988, and is considered a relatively faithful conversion for the era.


The Bydo Empire, aliens from another dimensional plane, are preparing to invade Earth. The Earth Defense League has deployed the R-9, a top secret spacecraft, to counter-ambush the enemy in their own dimensional plane.


The game is a side-scrolling shooter composed of several stages, with a boss enemy at the end of each. The player controls a small spacecraft called the R-9 and must navigate terrain and fight enemies using the various ship weapons. The player's spacecraft moves in any direction with the D-Pad. It is equipped with a main gun, fired with 1. A more powerful gun called the Wave Cannon can be charged by holding 1. The Wave Cannon destroys larger enemies in fewer hits and penetrates through targets.

During the game, the player can obtain an auxiliary device called a Force, which resembles a glowing orange ball. The Force appears after collecting a weapon upgrade and can be attached to the front or back of the R-9. It can be detached with 2 to fly freely. Likewise, it can be called back to the R-9 with 2. The Force initially fires a pulse beam when attached, but it can be upgraded by collecting another weapon upgrade to provide one of three different powerful weapons. It can be upgraded another time by collecting another weapon upgrade, which further empowers its weapon. When detached, the Force instead fires a secondary set of guns concurrently with the R-9's main gun, even if the Force is at a distance from the spacecraft. The Force fires simultaneously with the main gun or the Wave Cannon. The Force has a secondary use as a shield; it is completely indestructible and can block most things fired at it, as well as damage or destroy enemies on contact.

The R-9 is destroyed after taking one hit from an enemy or by colliding with terrain. The player starts over from the beginning of the stage without any power-ups after losing a life. If the player runs out of extra lives, the game ends, but it can be continued as long as the player has credits remaining. The player is awarded extra lives at 50,000, 150,000, 250,000, 400,000, and 600,000 points. The player's score and extra lives are only shown after completing a stage.


Items are sometimes left by enemies after they are destroyed.

R-Type, Items.png
Reflecting Laser Force Unit
Shoots three laser beams ahead of the Force, one straight ahead and two at 45-degree angles, which ricochet off surfaces that they hit.
R-Type, Items.png
Anti-Air Laser Force Unit
Shoots tall, ring-like energy waves from the Force.
R-Type, Items.png
Anti-Land Laser Force Unit
Shoots fireballs directly above and below the Force, which roll along terrain that they hit.
R-Type, Items.png
Speed Unit
Increases the movement speed of the R-9.
R-Type, Items.png
Twin Missile Unit
Arms the R-9's weapons with twin homing missiles. Missiles continue to fire while the R-9 is channeling its Wave Cannon.
R-Type, Items.png
Bit Units
Supplements the R-9 with a power sphere, up to two. The first Bit collected hovers above the ship, while the second Bit hovers below. Bits are invulnerable and can destroy enemies by touching them. They also fire pulse beams if the Anti-Air Laser is equipped.
R-Type, Items.png
Augments the R-9 with a Force, which provides support fire and can be attached to the front or rear of the spacecraft or fly freely alongside it. The Force flies in from the left side of the screen after collecting a weapon item. It can be leveled up twice by collecting further weapon items.


R-Type, Stage 1.png

R-Type, Stage 1 Boss.png

  • R-Type, Stage 1.png

  • R-Type, Stage 1 Boss.png

The Bydo Empire's Frontline Base
Map: 1️⃣ 

R-Type, Stage 2.png

R-Type, Stage 2 Boss.png

  • R-Type, Stage 2.png

  • R-Type, Stage 2 Boss.png

The Bydo Caves
Map: 1️⃣ 

R-Type, Stage 3.png

R-Type, Stage 3 Boss.png

  • R-Type, Stage 3.png

  • R-Type, Stage 3 Boss.png

The Mega Battleship
Map: 1️⃣ 

R-Type, Stage 4.png

R-Type, Stage 4 Boss.png

  • R-Type, Stage 4.png

  • R-Type, Stage 4 Boss.png

The Terrible Mechanical Cells
Map: 1️⃣ 

R-Type, Super Stage.png

R-Type, Super Stage Boss.png

  • R-Type, Super Stage.png

  • R-Type, Super Stage Boss.png

Super Stage
Map: 1️⃣ 
This is a hidden stage accessible from the previous stage.

R-Type, Stage 5.png

R-Type, Stage 5 Boss.png

  • R-Type, Stage 5.png

  • R-Type, Stage 5 Boss.png

The Underwater Caves
Map: 1️⃣ 

R-Type, Stage 6.png

R-Type, Stage 6 Boss.png

  • R-Type, Stage 6.png

  • R-Type, Stage 6 Boss.png

The Warehouse Labyrinth
Map: 1️⃣ 

R-Type, Stage 7.png

R-Type, Stage 7 Boss.png

  • R-Type, Stage 7.png

  • R-Type, Stage 7 Boss.png

The Eroding City
Map: 1️⃣ 

R-Type, Stage 8.png

R-Type, Stage 8 Boss.png

  • R-Type, Stage 8.png

  • R-Type, Stage 8 Boss.png

The Bydo Empire Home Base
Map: 1️⃣ 



The Master System version of R-Type was brought to the Wii's Virtual Console service in 2009. It is seen as an odd move, as a superior port to the TurboGrafx-16 had been available since 2006. This did not last long; it was removed from Virtual Console on 30 September 2011 in the US[13] and 18 October 2011 in Japan[14] presumably because Irem had been losing a lot of money at the time[15].


At the time of release, the Master System version of R-Type was one of the most accurate (and complete) home ports of the game and the easiest to get a hold of. It is technically superseded by the PC Engine version released earlier in the year in Japan; however, in this instance, the game was split into two parts due to the cost needed to manufacture higher capacity HuCards, and would not come together as one product until 1989.

Sprites in the Master System version are smaller than their arcade counterparts (and are smaller too relative to the scenery), and when too many on-screen can lead to flickering and slowdown which is less apparent in its original form. Nevertheless, virtually all the enemy patterns are retained, although the numbers are decreased in high volume areas for performance reasons. The level layouts are sometimes artificially lengthened or shortened to try and manage this workload further while balancing the differing sizes of the graphics.

Incidentally, the PC Engine version's approach to the smaller screen resolution is to introduce vertical scrolling, ensuring part of the playfield is obscured at all times.

Bosses are fought against a solid colour background (echoed in other Master System shoot-'em-ups such as Fantasy Zone). Some graphical effects have also been removed; for example, when player shots hit scenery there is no longer an explosion or flash as is seen in the arcade original.


Magazine articles

Main article: R-Type/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Print advert in Computer & Video Games (UK) #90: "April 1989" (1989-03-16)
also published in:
Print advert in Pixel (GR) #66: "Máios 1990" (1990-xx-xx)
Print advert in Pixel (GR) #74: "Fevrouários 1991" (1991-xx-xx)
Print advert in Cumhuriyet (TR) #1991-12-29 (1991-12-29)

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
{{{{{icon}}}|L}} Division by zero.
Based on
0 review
Sega Retro Average 
Publication Version Score
Complete Guide to Consoles (UK)
Complete Guide to Consoles (UK)
The Complete Guide to Sega (UK) PAL
Console XS (UK) PAL
Computer & Video Games (UK)
Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide (UK)
Games Preview (DK)
Hobby Consolas (ES)
Micromanía (segunda época) (ES)
Mean Machines (UK)
Mean Machines Sega (UK)
New Computer Express (UK)
S: The Sega Magazine (UK) PAL
Sega Power (UK) PAL
Sega Power (UK) PAL
Sega Pro (UK)
Sega Pro (UK) PAL
Sega Pro (UK) PAL
Soft Today (DK)
Software Gids (NL)
User (GR) PAL
Zzap! (IT)
Sega Master System
Based on
24 reviews


Master System, JP
RType SMS JP Box Back.jpgNospine.pngRType SMS JP Box Front.jpg
RType SMS JP Cart.jpg
Master System, US
RType SMS US Box.jpg
Rtype sms us cart.jpg
Rtype sms us manual.pdf
AfterBurner SMS US Poster Back.jpgAfterBurner SMS US Poster Front.jpg
Master System, EU
RType SMS EU Box NoR.jpg
R-Type SMS EU Cart.jpg
Master System, EU (Sega®)
RType SMS EU Box.jpg
Master System, SE

Master System, SE (Rental)
RType SMS SE rental cover.jpg
Master System, CZ (Datart)
RType SMS CZ Box Front.png
Master System, AU
R-Type SMS AU Cover.jpg
R-Type SMS AU Cart Top.jpg
R-Type SMS AU Cart Back.jpgR-Type SMS AU Cart Front.jpg
R-Type SMS AU Manual.pdf
Master System, BR
RType SMS BR Box.jpg
RType SMS BR Cart.jpg
Master System, KR

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Master System
CRC32 bb54b6b0
MD5 9e5507d51ac6f24c702a52a7abce0d3c
SHA-1 08ec70a2cd98fcb2645f59857f845d41b0045115
512kB Cartridge

External links

  • Sega of Japan Virtual Console pages: Master System
  • Nintendo catalogue pages: AU


NEC Retro has more information related to R-Type
NEC Retro has more information related to R-Type I
NEC Retro has more information related to R-Type II
NEC Retro has more information related to R-Type Complete CD
  1. https://www.mtwo.co.jp/development/retrogame-2/#tab-2
  2. 2.0 2.1 https://sega.jp/history/hard/segamark3/software.html (Wayback Machine: 2020-11-14 21:32)
  3. File:RType SMS EU Box NoR.jpg
  4. Computer Entertainer, "January 1989" (US; 1989-01-21), page 12
  5. File:BristolEveningPost UK 1989-03-31 Page 21.jpg
  6. File:BristolEveningPost UK 1989-04-07 Page 85.jpg
  7. 7.0 7.1 ACE, "April 1989" (UK; 1989-03-02), page 60
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 http://www.nintendolife.com/games/mastersystem/r_type (Wayback Machine: 2017-07-07 06:38)
  9. https://www.nintendo.fr/Jeux/Console-virtuelle-Wii-/R-TYPE--278678.html (archive.today)
  10. https://www.nintendo.co.jp/wii/vc/software/10.html (Wayback Machine: 2018-03-05 23:33)
  11. http://vc.sega.jp:80/vc_ms_rtype/ (Wayback Machine: 2009-05-24 02:37)
  12. http://www.nintendo.com.au/index.php?action=catalogue&prodcat_id=42&prod_id=19900&pageID=4 (Wayback Machine: 2012-03-28 01:32)
  13. http://i.joystiq.com/2011/09/28/r-type-being-removed-from-virtual-console-on-sept-30 (Wayback Machine: 2011-10-01 20:03)
  14. http://vc.sega.jp/vc_ms_rtype/ (Wayback Machine: 2009-05-24 02:37)
  15. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/36029/Troubled_Irem_Pulling_Titles_Home_Lounges_From_Japanese_PSN.php (Wayback Machine: 2011-09-22 06:41)
  16. New Computer Express, "April 1, 1989" (UK; 1989-03-30), page 9
  17. Computer & Video Games, "May 1989" (UK; 1989-04-11), page 84
  18. New Computer Express, "April 15, 1989" (UK; 1989-04-13), page 7
  19. ACE, "May 1989" (UK; 1989-04-06), page 68
  20. Computer & Video Games, "June 1989" (UK; 1989-05-16), page 89
  21. ACE, "June 1989" (UK; 1989-05-04), page 76
  22. ACE, "November 1989" (UK; 1989-10-xx), page 144
  23. Complete Guide to Consoles, "" (UK; 1989-10-16), page 69
  24. Complete Guide to Consoles, "Volume IV" (UK; 1990-11-xx), page 105
  25. The Complete Guide to Sega, "" (UK; 1991-05-xx), page 60
  26. Console XS, "June/July 1992" (UK; 1992-04-23), page 144
  27. Computer & Video Games, "March 1989" (UK; 1989-02-xx), page 95
  28. Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide, "" (UK; 1993-11-18), page 151
  29. Games Preview, "7 1989" (DK; 1989-xx-xx), page 41
  30. Hobby Consolas, "Octubre 1991" (ES; 1991-xx-xx), page 81
  31. Micromanía (segunda época), "Febrero 1990" (ES; 1990-0x-xx), page 34
  32. Mean Machines, "April 1991" (UK; 1991-04-01), page 88
  33. Mean Machines Sega, "October 1992" (UK; 1992-09-xx), page 135
  34. New Computer Express, "March 11, 1989" (UK; 1989-03-09), page 47
  35. S: The Sega Magazine, "March 1990" (UK; 1990-02-01), page 31
  36. Sega Power, "February 1991" (UK; 1991-01-03), page 49
  37. Sega Power, "October 1991" (UK; 1991-09-05), page 59
  38. Sega Pro, "March 1992" (UK; 1992-02-20), page 63
  39. Sega Pro, "July 1992" (UK; 1992-06-18), page 31
  40. Sega Pro, "April 1993" (UK; 1993-03-11), page 72
  41. Soft Today, "April 1989" (DK; 1989-03-23), page 14
  42. Software Gids, "Mei/Juni 1990" (NL; 1990-05-xx), page 35
  43. User, "Dekémvrios 1992" (GR; 1992-1x-xx), page 52
  44. Zzap!, "Settembre 1991" (IT; 1991-xx-xx), page 69


R-Type title.png

Main page | Comparisons | Maps | Hidden content | Magazine articles | Reception | Bootlegs

Books: Sega Game Attack Manual Book R-Type & Kujakuou (1988)

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