From Sega Retro
|System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Virtual Console, Nintendo Switch Online, Steam, Android, iOS|
|Developer: Sega CS1 (early development) Sega CS3 (later development) M2|
|Sound driver: SMPS 68000 (modified)|
|Number of players: 1|
Ristar, released as Ristar The Shooting Star (リスター・ザ・シューティングスター) in Japan, is a Sega Mega Drive action platform game developed by Sega CS and published by Sega. Released in early 1995 to positive reviews, it was one of the final first-party Sega games released for the aging 16-bit platform.
- 1 Story
- 2 Gameplay
- 3 History
- 4 Versions
- 5 Downloadable content
- 6 Production credits
- 7 Digital manuals
- 8 Magazine articles
- 9 Promotional material
- 10 Artwork
- 11 Physical scans
- 12 Technical information
- 13 External links
- 14 References
In Ristar, we follow the story of a far away solar system, Valdi, that was corrupted by an evil tyrant called Greedy. Greedy forced the leaders of each of the seven planets the system is composed of to work for him, enslaved the people and kidnapped Ristar's father. Desperate, they make a plea for help. It is answered by Ristar The Shooting Star, a tiny humanoid yellow star with long, elastic arms. To free the population and liberate his father, Ristar must fight Greedy's minions throughout every planet, restore the leaders and eventually fight Greedy himself.
In the Japanese version of the game, the story is different. Ristar's father is never mentioned, and instead the plea for help is answered by the Star Goddess, Oruto, who creates Ristar to fight Greedy and restore happiness to the Valdi system.
At first glance, Ristar has basic platforming skills as he can jump about his own height with or (by default), and cannot look up or down. Ristar's main ability, and the core mechanic of the game, are his stretchy arms. To kill enemies, the player must grab them with Ristar's arms with , and after releasing Ristar will headbutt the enemy. This is the only way to eliminate enemies as jumping on them will not work. Ristar's arms can also be used for many other purposes, such as climbing walls, swinging across poles and even finding bonuses (health points, 1UPs, etc.) by stretching them into tiny breaches in walls (the player may also find them by headbutting certain sections of certain walls). A very important aspect of this ability is to ride Star Handles to perform a Meteor Strike, which is used to move from one location to another without having to walk as well as take out enemies. While performing a Meteor Strike, Ristar can change his direction mid-flight on Normal difficulty, but cannot on harder difficulties.
In levels with water, Ristar has the ability to explore underwater without needing to breathe. He can also swim underwater with ease in all eight cardinal directions, and can use his arms to swim faster with or . His grabbing ability is just as effective underwater as it is on dry land.
The game has a simple health system: the player starts with 4 or 2 stars (depending on the difficulty selected), the max number of stars is 4. Every time Ristar is hit, the player will lose one star. There are situations where they'll lose all their health, but these are rare. The player may replenish health by collecting items. Ristar also has a very basic life/continue system: once the player loses all of their lives, they'll be taken to a continue screen where they can choose to keep going with the game or give up. The player may earn more continues by clearing the Bonus Stages quickly.
Earning points comes mainly from toppling enemies (generally awards 100 points) and Yellow Jewels. At the end of an area, the player can use a Star Handle to exit the area with as much altitude as possible for a bonus of up to 20,100 points. After defeating a boss, the player is awarded points based on secrets found, and how much the player takes damage (the fewer times they are hit, the better the bonus). Extra lives are awarded for very 30,000 points earned.
|Little Star / 1UP|
|Awards the player an extra life.|
|Little Star (grey)|
|Appears only in Round 3-1. Can be used as a decoy to set off traps safely.|
|Restore Star / Life Item (ライフアイテム) (yellow)|
|Restores one star to Ristar's health.|
|Restore Star / Life Item (ライフアイテム) (blue)|
|Restores up to three stars to Ristar's health.|
|Yellow Jewel / Score Item (スコアアイテム)|
|Worth between 100 and 1,600 points, depending on how hard it is to reach.|
|Ristar can swing from these to perform Meteor Strikes. Hold or depending on which direction Ristar is swinging in, then release .|
Note: the level names were changed when brought to the West.
|Round 1 - Planet Flora/Neer|
|Planet Flora is the first level of Ristar, and is a generic grassland/jungle trope, with lots of vegetation similar to the flora found in Sonic games. It is pretty easy and mainly about getting used to the controls, with the first area ending in a mini-boss against a large serpent. The second area includes a darker jungle setting, with trees that Ristar can knock over to form a bridge.
Riho, the boss of Flora, is also easy to defeat. He will be possessing the planet's elder, making him attack Ristar with wind spells. Ristar has to attack the elder multiple times to shake Riho off so he can attack him.
|Round 2 - Planet Undertow/Leatow|
|Planet Undertow is the aquatic ruin level where nasty fish foes are abound. This planet gives the player the opportunity to try out Ristar's underwater swimming abilities, though they should be aware that it's rather tricky to grab things here. The background in the first area, like in Planet Flora, is a bit lighter than in the second area, which is made of a totally submerged series of tunnels filled with enemies that must be defeated in order to move on, with little to no sections of dry land.
The boss here is Ohsat, a hammerhead shark who mainly resides in the background to hammer pillars, and periodically swim to the foreground to attack. This is when the player can attack him. Each time Ohsat is attacked, one of the corks in the holes will be knocked loose, draining the water and creating less swimming room for both Ristar and Ohsat.
|Round 3 - Planet Scorch/Onaclove|
|Planet Scorch follows the archetype of the fiery industrial world and is considerably harder than the previous planets. The second the player lands on the planet they'll face a rain of flaming meteors which only goes away a few seconds after, and traps that will necessitate the use of decoy statues. Scorch also requires a high level of mastery of all the basic skills (jumping and grabbing). There's a mini-boss involving a memory game at the end of the first area. The second area has lift systems that will require the use of Ristar's arms to operate, and sections where mooks will detonate bombs and destroy the terrain.
The boss is Adahan, a mole inside a robotic exoskeleton. His attacks will involve using his claws to attack Ristar directly or to send sand waves at him. After inflicting a certain number of hits, he will destroy the ground and have Ristar fall down a long shaft, taking the fight to freefall.
|Round 4 - Planet Sonata/Neuos|
|Planet Sonata is considered by many players the most creative stage in Ristar—even one of the most original stage to ever appear in a platform game at that time. Sonata revolves solely around music and the level is vastly decorated in a musical theme: grabbing poles are flutes and, handholds are trumpets and enemies even launch dangerous musical notes at the player. The first area (which takes in a strangely futuristic background) is made of four sections and in each of these sections there's a very singular objective: deliver metronomes to the songbirds in order to advance through the level. The mini-boss consists of toppling three mechanical bird heads. The second area is much more related to disco/dance, especially the background music, though apparently it takes place in some kind of dark castle or chamber.
Awaueck, a giant hawk, is Sonata's boss. It will take out the bird that is singing on the perch and fill the theater with its dreadful tone-deaf singing. The player must knock it off the perch in order to attack it, while watching out for its divebomb and feather attacks.
|Round 5 - Planet Freon/Elykiki|
|Planet Freon is an ice planet. The first area is child's play, with lots of spinners and slippery floors. Throughout all of this area, Ristar will be closely followed by a strange alien who he'll fight at the end in a peculiar snowball fight. The second area is nowhere as easy and consists mostly of swimming around in near-frozen water.
In the boss area, the strange alien who stalked Ristar during the first area will actually aid him in defeating Itamor—this is done by hurling bowls of hot soup provided by him into Itamor's mouth. Itamor attacks by tossing frozen treats at Ristar, and will periodically freeze him solid with his icy breath, then proceed to suck him up and chew on him.
|Round 6 - Planet Automaton/Rewope|
|Planet Automaton, a mechanical world populated by robots, is a mixed bag: the first area is incredibly challenging with many spikes to swing over, and a section with no gravity that the player must swim through—it is also somewhat similar to mechanical levels in Sonic games like Scrap Brain Zone and Metropolis Zone. The second area is far less difficult, and instead involves the player finding crystals to power teleporters that will transport them to different rooms, each with their own puzzles to solve.
Automaton's boss is Uranim, who will attack with various fighting moves and projectiles offered to him by Inonis, Greedy's right-hand man. Attacking him enough times will make him collapse, and the player will then have to avoid Inonis' claw and make it attack Uranim to inflict damage.
|Round 7 - Castle Greedy|
|Castle Greedy is where the last fight with Greedy happens, although the player will still have to go through a few additional challenges before him inside his spaceship. The first is a short climb up through a platforming section, followed by a fight against Inonis in a mech armed with a boomerang, turrets and a plasma cannon. Attacking the mech enough times will shut it down and force Inonis to repair it, making him vulnerable to attack.
The final battle against Greedy begins with Greedy summoning floating turrets to attack Ristar, then will deal with the little star himself by teleporting around and shooting projectiles from the air. When hit enough times, Greedy will pull his cape back and begin creating black holes that will instantly kill Ristar if he gets sucked into them, as well as firing lightning bolts into the ground. To avoid being sucked in, Ristar will need to hold on to an enemy.
|In Bonus Stages, found by locating special Star Handles in each area of a Round, the player will have one minute to attain a treasure chest and collect its treasure; the first Bonus Stage is very easy and consists of only one Star Handle, but they eventually get more and more bothersome. The player only has one try for each Bonus Stage. Also, completing them very rapidly will award the player one free continue. The items in the treasure chests are useless themselves, but if the player collects enough of them, they will reveal secret passwords at the end of the game.|
Ristar allows the player to input codes in the options menu, which can result in different styles of play, among other things. If a code is not 6 letters long like SUPER, then any character can be added after the password and it will still work. SUPERB is a very common example.
The game reveals four, six-letter passwords after the ending depending on how many treasures the player has collected. Super Hard password gets revealed if the player beats the game on Hard difficulty no matter how many treasures they have.
|MAGURO||"ONCHI". Onchi Music mode and credits music in sound test.|
|MUSEUM||"BOSS". Boss Rush mode.|
|ILOVEU||"RD.SEL". Stage select.|
|DOFEEL||"ATTACK". Time Attack mode for bonus stages.|
|SUPER||Super Hard mode.|
There a number of hidden passwords too.
Connections with Sonic the Hedgehog
Ristar's gameplay alone has garnered it lots of comparisons to the early Sonic games. The most significant link between Ristar and Sonic is the fact that Ristar was built on the Sonic the Hedgehog engine, including the level engine and music engine. Another strong link to Sonic was the prototype design of Ristar, named Feel — the character had a striking resemblance to Sonic, being a spherical yellow and black "rabbit," and even had identical shoes. Ristar also performed cameos along with other Sega characters in Shenmue, Segagaga and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing.
Ristar was re-released in 2002 (JP, NA) / 2003 (EU) as part of the Sonic Mega Collection on the Nintendo GameCube and in 2004 (JP, NA) / 2005 (EU) as part of the Sonic Mega Collection Plus on the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox. To play Ristar in the GameCube edition, the player must play Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Flicky, Blue Sphere, and Knuckles in Sonic 2 30 times each; in the Plus edition, they must be played 20 times each.
- Main article: Ristar/Changelog.
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|Language||Localised Name||English Translation|
|Japanese||リスター・ザ・シューティングスター||Ristar The Shooting Star|
- Main article: Ristar/Downloadable content.
- Main article: Ristar/Production credits.
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Mega Drive Mini 2 US manual
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Mega Drive Mini 2 EU manual
- Main article: Ristar/Magazine articles.
Sega Forever icon
|Mega Drive, PT|
|Mega Drive, CZ (Datart)|
- Main article: Ristar/Technical information.
- Sega of Japan Virtual Console pages: Mega Drive
- Nintendo catalogue pages: US, UK, AU
- Ristar on Steam
- Ristar on Google Play
- Ristar on iTunes: US, UK
- Ristar Cluster fansite (archived)
- @motekin on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2021-06-05 20:10)
- based on producers Minoru Kanari (1992) and Yoji Ishii (1993)
- based on producers Makoto Oshitani (1993) and Hiroshi Aso (1994)
- https://sega.jp/history/hard/megadrive/software.html (Wayback Machine: 2020-07-20 09:51)
- Google Play (com.sega.ristar) (Wayback Machine: 2020-05-15 01:59)
- Mega, "January 1995" (UK; 1994-12-30), page 32
- Games World Magazin, "" (DE; 1995-02-17), page 12
- http://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/ZqzRfRFTsBIJoxoUDFh8Tl-jtChfM5a9 (Wayback Machine: 2010-11-22 23:52)
- http://www.nintendolife.com/games/megadrive/ristar (Wayback Machine: 2017-06-07 23:36)
- https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Virtual-Console-Wii-/Ristar--278722.html (archive.today)
- https://www.nintendo.de/Spiele/Virtual-Console-Wii-/Ristar--278722.html (archive.today)
- https://www.nintendo.co.jp/wii/vc/software/01.html (Wayback Machine: 2017-11-23 05:03)
- http://vc.sega.jp:80/vc_rister/ (Wayback Machine: 2007-02-09 19:33)
- http://www.nintendo.com.au/index.php?action=catalogue&prodcat_id=41&prod_id=19763&pageID=4 (Wayback Machine: 2012-04-03 02:16)
- https://store-jp.nintendo.com/list/software/70010000046986.html (Wayback Machine: 2021-10-26 03:04)
- @NintendoAmerica on Twitter (archive.today)
- @NintendoEurope on Twitter (archive.today)
- @NintendoUK on Twitter (archive.today)
- @NintendoAUNZ on Twitter (archive.today)
- https://steamdb.info/app/34312/ (Wayback Machine: 2019-11-08 23:10)
- http://steamdb.info/app/34312/ (Wayback Machine: 2013-05-22 19:12)
- http://steamdb.info/app/34312/ (Wayback Machine: 2019-11-08 23:10)
- Google Play (com.sega.ristar) (Wayback Machine: 2017-08-21 19:09)
- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ristar/id1249354397?mt=8 (Wayback Machine: 2017-08-21 19:14)
- https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/ristar/id1249354397?mt=8 (Wayback Machine: 2017-08-21 19:15)
- File:Ristar md us manual.pdf, page 12
- File:Ristar md jp manual.pdf, page 9
- Google Play (com.sega.ristar) (Wayback Machine: 2020-05-15 01:59)
- Google Play (com.sega.ristar) (Wayback Machine: 2019-12-02 01:21)
- Google Play (com.sega.ristar) (Wayback Machine: 2019-04-18 00:43)
- Google Play (com.sega.ristar) (Wayback Machine: 2018-11-06 03:42)
- Google Play (com.sega.ristar) (Wayback Machine: 2018-08-16 17:28)
- Google Play (com.sega.ristar) (Wayback Machine: 2017-10-08 17:22)
- APKPure (com.sega.ristar) (Wayback Machine: 2018-08-16 17:30)
- https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ristar/id1249354397 (Wayback Machine: 2020-06-30 00:06)
- https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ristar/id1249354397 (Wayback Machine: 2019-09-29 11:54)
- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ristar/id1249354397?mt=8 (Wayback Machine: 2019-05-12 17:19)
- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ristar/id1249354397?mt=8 (Wayback Machine: 2018-11-06 03:42)
- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ristar/id1249354397?mt=8 (Wayback Machine: 2018-09-17 00:41)
- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ristar/id1249354397?mt=8 (Wayback Machine: 2017-10-29 02:02)
- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ristar/id1249354397?mt=8 (Wayback Machine: 2017-09-07 01:21)
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- Sega Visions, "May 1995" (US; 1995-xx-xx), page 51
- Game Players, "Vol. 8 No. 5 May 1995" (US; 1995-0x-xx), page 57
- 1700 igr dlya Sega, "" (RU; 2001-xx-xx), page 189
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- VideoGames, "March 1995" (US; 1995-02-xx), page 67
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