Rise of the Robots

From Sega Retro


RiseoftheRobots title.png
Rise of the Robots
System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Game Gear
Sega Mega Drive
Acclaim Entertainment
Sega Game Gear
Time Warner Interactive
Sound driver:
Sega Mega Drive
Psygnosis/Martin Walker
Genre: Action[1]

Number of players:
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Game Gear
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
£? T-81426-50
Sega Mega Drive
?F T-81426-50
Sega Mega Drive
DM ? T-81426-50
Sega Mega Drive
?Ptas T-81426-50
Sega Mega Drive
?PTE$ MD81426
Sega Mega Drive
$? ?

Sega Game Gear
Videogame Rating Council: MA-13
Sega Game Gear

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Rise of the Robots is a fighting game originally developed by Mirage Technologies for the Amiga and DOS-based computers and published by Time Warner Interactive in 1994, which was later ported to the Sega Mega Drive and Sega Game Gear, amongst other systems. The Mega Drive version was only released in Europe, where it was published Acclaim Entertainment.


Rise of the Robots sees the player controlling a robot called "Cyborg" fighting a series of computer controlled opponents (which can be controlled by player two in versus mode, but never player one). It is a very simple fighting game, in which one button punches and another kicks (with the Mega Drive six-button layout, this defaults to A B and C punching, while X Y and Z kick).

According to Mirage, unlike many earlier games, the computer players in Rise of the Robots will keep track of the human player's actions, and will become more successful at countering or dodging moves that are performed more than once[4]. Gameplay is also adjusted depending on how often the player hits an opponent, blocks, or fails to make contact at all[4].





The vast majority of graphics in Rise of the Robots were produced in 3D Studio[5], with many of the robots opting for "unusual" fighting stances specifically to highlight the then-cutting edge visuals[6]. Each robot has around 100 frames of animation in total, though the computer imagery meant that many of these are interpolated between defined keyframes[5].

Rise of the Robots was initially built with Amiga computers in mind, with higher resolution assets being used for an IBM PC compatible version, released around the same time. All console ports stem from these two versions of the game. A side effect of its home computing roots is that Rise of the Robots targeted joysticks with only one button, leading to a drastically reduced moveset compared to contemporary fighting games of its day.

Though the game emphasised the inclusion of a soundtrack by former Queen guitarist Brian May, only one song of his made it to the final release: The Dark, used as the title theme, though some versions also include the song Resurrection for cutscenes. Both songs were released as part of May's 1992 solo album Back to the Light. The rest of the game's music was composed by Richard Joseph.

In Europe, Acclaim Entertainment purchased the publishing rights Rise of the Robots, originally planning to launch the game simultaneously across all platforms. This plan changed, however, with the Nintendo versions appearing for Christmas 1994, and Sega versions arriving in early 1995[7].

A Sega Mega-CD port was planned to be released in October 1994 in Europe[8], and by JVC in the US for January 1995[9], but was cancelled for unknown reasons. A promotional video advertising the the version was distributed, featuring "work in progress" footage from the game (although said footage originated from the DOS version) and a VRC rating of GA. Interestingly the Mega Drive version's credits note that Antonio Argentieri programmed both the Mega Drive and Mega-CD ports.


Despite spending significant sums of money in developing and marketing the game, Rise of the Robots was met with poor reviews. Time Warner Interactive had planned for a range of merchandise including action figures, but as word spread of the game's poor performance, all of these plans were shelved.

Nevertheless, Rise of the Robots was followed by Rise 2 Resurrection in 1996, however this too failed to meet expectations.

Production credits

Mega Drive version

  • Original game by: Instinct Design/Mirage
  • Conversion by: Data Design Interactive
Data Design Staff
  • Mega Drive and Mega-CD programming by: Antonio Argentieri
  • SNES programming by: Tony Stoddart
  • GameGear programming by: Clive Townsend
  • Graphics: John Dunn, Richard Priest, Jon Baker
  • Graphic utilities: Chris Guest, Dave Pemberton
  • Animation conversions by: Dale Johnstone
  • Graphic conversions by: Tony Hackett
  • Project assistance by: Stewart Green, Adam Priest
Mirage/Instinct Design Staff
  • Produced by: Peter Jones, Sean Griffiths, Andy Wood
  • Designed and directed by: Sean Griffiths
  • Musical co-ordination: Richard Joseph, Andy Wood
  • Game soundtrack: Richard Joseph
  • Game music: Jason Page, conversions by Graham King, produced by Richard Joseph
  • Original music: Brian May
  • Set design: Kwan Lee
  • Set construction: Interactive Images
  • Senior artists: Sean Naden, Interactive
  • Character design: Sean Naden, Interactive
  • Senior programmers: Andy Clark (Amiga), Gary Leach (PC and coin-op)
  • Conversions: Gina Jackson
  • Programmers: Pete Dabbs (CDi), Keith Wood (3DO)
  • Marketing and publicity: Julia Coombs, supported by Declan Brennan
  • Distribution: Roy Campbell, Dave Cotton, Andy Wood
  • Script writing: Jim Murdoch
  • Quality control: Paul Baddeley, David Capewell, Carl Carter, Matthew Hawkeswood, Lee Salt, Thomas Wardle

Magazine articles

Main article: Rise of the Robots/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

MegaForce FR 34.pdf

Print advert in Mega Force (FR) #34: "Décembre 1994" (1994-xx-xx)
also published in:

SecretService 29 PL.pdf

Print advert in Secret Service (PL) #29: "Listopad 1995" (1995-xx-xx)
also published in:

Freak 78 IL Megason advert.png

Print advert in Freak (IL) #78 (1999-xx-xx)

VD 60 RU.pdf

Print advert in Velikiy Drakon (RU) #60 (2002-09-05)

Physical scans

Mega Drive version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
80 [13]
36 №14, p84/85
3 №64, p20
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
4 reviews

Mega Drive, EU
RiseoftheRobots MD EU Box.jpg
RiseoftheRobots MD EU Cart.jpg

Game Gear version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
{{{{{icon}}}|L}} Division by zero.
Based on
0 review

<meta itemprop="ratingValue" content="Division by zero.">

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Version Score
Game Players (US) NTSC-U
Player One (FR)
Sega Game Gear
Based on
2 reviews
Game Gear, US
RiseoftheRobots GG US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngRiseoftheRobots GG US Box Front.jpg
RiseoftheRobots GG US Cart.jpg
Rise of the Robots GG US Manual.pdf
Game Gear, EU
RiseoftheRobots GG EU Box Back.jpgNospine.pngRiseoftheRobots GG EU Box Front.jpg
RiseoftheRobots GG EU Cart.jpg

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 5650780b
MD5 e553d4ce75f106fbd75cf38a039566a3
SHA-1 646bf23a13a4c2ad249ca3cc58ff3cd3244e5dff
3MB 1994-10 Cartridge (EU)
Sega Game Gear
CRC32 100b77b2
MD5 ebcedb0b611788408d1b27171b77ad6b
SHA-1 9ba2f734eccf5b2ceefaa69cebdf7399bc9032d8
512kB Cartridge (US/EU)