Sewer Shark

From Sega Retro

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SewerShark title.png

Sewer Shark
System(s): Sega Mega-CD
Publisher: Sony Imagesoft
Developer:
Genre: Shoot-'em-Up

















Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega-CD
US
T-6201
Sega Mega-CD
EU
T-93015-50
BBFC: PG
Sega Mega-CD
DE
DM 119.95119.95[7] T-93015-50
Sega Mega-CD
FR
T-93015-50
Sega Mega-CD
PT
CD93015
Sega Mega-CD
UK
£39.9939.99[4][5] T-93015-50
BBFC: PG
Sega Mega-CD
BR
Non-Sega versions

Sewer Shark is a Sega Mega-CD shooting game. It relies heavily on full-motion video.

The game was a launch title in North America, and later on in the console's lifespan, Sewer Shark was distributed as a pack-in game with the Mega-CD console in certain regions.

Story

The game takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where environmental destruction has forced most of humanity to live underground. The player takes on the role of a rookie pilot in a band of "sewer jockeys," whose job is to exterminate dangerous mutated creatures to keep a vast network of sewers clean for "Solar City," an island paradise from which the malicious Commissioner Stenchler gives his orders and critiques.

The player's "Back Seat" (copilot), Ghost, evaluates the player's performance throughout the game, while a small robot named Catfish scouts ahead and gives directions. The player is also in communication with Falco, a female jockey who believes that there is a hidden route to the surface.

Gameplay

Sewer Shark, Recharge Station 1.png

Sewer Shark, Recharge Station 2.png

Recharge station

The game is a rail shooter that uses full-motion video gameplay backdrops. The player pilots a customised "sewer shark" vehicle named the Hole Hawg through a series of sewer tunnels (called "tubes"). The player is tasked with cleaning up the large sewer network by shooting various creatures. Despite being labeled as the "sewer jockey" (pilot), the ship mostly flies itself, leaving the player to shoot "ratigators" (mutant crosses between rats and alligators), bats, mechanical moles, and other sewer denizens. The player aims the targeting reticle with the D-pad and fires the ship's "Gatling gun" with A (which can be held for continuous fire).

Along the way, Catfish gives the player directions by announcing the next three tube jumps using clockface directions (twelve for up, three for right, six for down, and "niner" for left). The tube jump indicator at the top of the screen indicates when the player is approaching an intersection by flashing an arrow green. The player can commit to turning in that direction by pressing B and then the direction of the jump. The arrow flashes yellow to confirm the turn, and the Hole Hawg automatically makes the jump when the tube approaches. If the player takes a wrong turn or misses a turn, the Hole Hawg eventually hits a dead end and crashes, ending the game. Wrong turns and missed turns are indicated by the arrow flashing red in the tube jump indicator. Directions are randomized and must be taken in order. Later in the game, Catfish is replaced by the "crazy-looking thing," which the player must visually chase through the sewers.

The Hole Hawg cannot be damaged, but it has a limited amount of energy, which depletes slowly during flight and while firing. This energy can be partially replenished at recharge stations. Ghost announces when a recharge station is approaching, and they are indicated by two lights on the ceiling of the tube. The lights correspond to the entrances to the station: one light is green (representing the open entrance) and the other light is red (representing the closed entrance). The player must jump into the open entrance to recharge the Hole Hawg. Jumping into the closed entrance incurs no penalty but does not charge the ship. If the ship runs out of energy, it crashes and the game ends.

Enemies are a mixture of creatures baked into the full-motion video and sprites overlaid on the screen. Shooting down creatures contributes to the player's score (depending on the "weight" of the creature). At certain times, Ghost or Stenchler interrupt the player to give direct feedback. If the player is doing well, they are allowed to continue and are occasionally given a promotion in the form of a new callsign (progressing from Dogmeat to Ratbreath, Exterminator, and finally Beachbum, each accompanied with a change of music). Poor performance eventually causes the game to end.

When the player progresses deeper into the sewers, the ship encounters pockets of hydrogen must be detonated to pass through safely. The HUD has a gauge underneath the player's callsign that indicates the hydrogen level; when it turns red, Catfish can fire a flare to detonate the hydrogen with C.

The game features numerous short full-motion video cutscenes that break up the action and progress the plot. All in-game music is generated by the Sega Mega Drive's audio chips, as opposed to higher quality Red Book audio.

Characters

Sewer Shark, Characters, Ghost.png

Ghost

Sewer Shark, Characters, Catfish.png

Catfish

Sewer Shark, Characters, Falco.png

Falco

Sewer Shark, Characters, Commissioner Stenchler.png

Commissioner Stenchler

Callsigns

Sewer Shark, Ranks, Dogmeat.png

Dogmeat
Enemies consist of ratigators and bats.

Sewer Shark, Ranks, Ratbreath.png

Ratbreath
Scorpions are added as enemies, which rob the ship of energy if the player fails to shoot them down.

Sewer Shark, Ranks, Exterminator.png

Exterminator
The player now chases the "crazy-looking thing" through the sewers rather than receiving directions from Catfish. Mechanical moles are added as enemies, which ram into the ship and end the game if not shot down.

Sewer Shark, Ranks, Beachbum.png

Beachbum
Zerks are added as enemies, which are small fireflies that fly at the Hole Hawg and sap its energy on collision.

History

Development

As with Night Trap, Sewer Shark was originally intended for release on Hasbro's cancelled Control-Vision (codenamed NEMO) console, a system that used VHS cassettes as opposed to ROM cartridges. Digital Pictures subsequently picked up the rights to bring the project to the Mega-CD.

On the Control-Vision, Sewer Shark, like Night Trap used four separate video streams which are read simultaneously, allowing for the game to react without the need for noticeable loading of data. To achieve this on the Mega-CD, all of the footage was compressed using a bespoke video codec, meaning most of the game is viewed with a border. Night Trap uses similar technology, as does the later produced Prize Fighter.

Release

In North America, 100,000 copies of the Mega-CD game were sold prior to being packed-in with the console[9].

Legacy

Following its Mega-CD launch, Digital Pictures ported the game to the 3DO platform for release in 1994. While gameplay remains largely unchanged, the 3DO version renders at a higher resolution in more colours, bringing the footage closer to the intended VHS quality.

Production credits

  • Cast:
    • Ghost: David Underwood
    • Stenchler: Roberty Costanza
    • Falco: Kari G. Payton
    • Girl Friday: Stevie Sterling
    • Voice of Catfish: Robert Weaver
  • Production Coordinator: Craig Boyajian
  • Tunnel Music Composed by: Mark Mothersbaugh
  • Tunnel Music Orchestrated and Arranged by: Mark Miller
  • Incidental Music Composed by: Tom Ferguson, Jay Ferguson
  • Sound Effects: Jason Scher, Mark Miller
  • Sound: Robert Weaver
  • Motion Control Puppets: Chiodo Bros. Productions
  • Effects Supervisor: Peter Donen
For Apogee, Inc
  • Executive Producer: Bob Shepherd
  • Producer: Jo Ann Knox
  • Production Coordinator: Geri Robert
  • Staff Production Coordinator: Michael Yost
  • Assistant Director: Harry Wypich
  • Director of Photography: Bob Collins
  • Assistant Camera: Gary Andertin
  • Gaffer: Bob Jason
  • Key Grip: Mark Kuramoto
  • Script Supervisor: Morgan
  • Chief Model Maker: Tom Pahk
  • Prototype Engineer: Mike Sorensen
  • Sound Mixer: Susan Chong
  • Boom Operator: Eric Carr
  • Home Economist: Barbara Gray
  • Stylist: Debbie Shine
  • Production Designer: Jack McAdams
  • Casting: Sandra Merrill
  • Production Assistants: Jeff Fridlund, Holly Fernandez
  • Production Accountant: Debbie Nikkel
  • Bookkeeper: Adele Zager
Additional Crew in Hawaii
  • Production Coordinator: Hunter Johnson
  • Production Assistant: Loke Lani Lau
  • Electrician: Jim Rosel
  • Best Boys: Jim Takahashi, Phil Miller
  • Grip: Roger Thompson
For Editel, Inc.
  • Optical Supervisor: Roger Dorney
  • Editorial Supervisor: Dennis Kelly
  • Editors: Michael Jackson, Peter Beyt, Tom Sing
  • Assistant Editor: Joe Bateman
  • Paintbox/Harry Designer: Vikki North
  • Film to Tape Colorist: Lyle Hellman
  • Assistant Colorist: Earl Williams
  • Product Manager: Rich Robinson
  • Tester: Nathan Rose
  • Chairman of the Board: Martin Erlichman
  • Legal Counsel:
    • Business Affairs: Barry Tyerman, Armstrong & Hirsch
    • Intellectual Property: David Hayes, Fenwick & West
  • Additional Programming: Steve DeFrisco, Ken Soohoo
  • Testers: David Pier, Matt Kellner
  • Production Assistants: Dena Maheras, Malia Lewis
  • V.P. Engineering: Mark Klein
  • Director, Computer Graphics: Lode Coen
  • Computer Graphic Animation: Cuyler Gee
  • Interface Design: Joshua Solomon
  • Production Accountant: Anne Flautt Read
The events and characters depicted in this photoplay are fictitous. Any similarity to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
Ownership of this interactive U-Direct™ motion picture is protected by copyright, patent, and other applicable laws. Any unauthorized duplication, distribution, or exhibition of this interactive U-Direct motion picture could result in criminal prosecution as well as civil liability.
Filmed in Hollywood, California and on location at Sunset Beach, North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii.
Sewer Shark, Ratigator, Zerk, and Crazy Looking Thing are trademarks of Hasbro, Inc.
U-Direct is a trademark of Digital Pictures, Inc.
Portions © 1992 Sega
© 1992 Digital Pictures, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Source:
In-game credits
Sewer Shark MCD credits.pdf
[10]

Digital manuals

Magazine articles

Main article: Sewer Shark/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Logo-pdf.svg
Print advert in Sega Visions (US) #10: "November/December 1992" (1992-xx-xx)
also published in:
Logo-pdf.svg
Print advert in Electronic Games (1992-1995) (US) #5: "February 1993" (1993-01-12)
also published in:

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
{{{{{icon}}}|L}} Division by zero.
Based on
0 review
Sega Retro Average 
Publication Version Score
1700 igr dlya Sega (RU)
50
[15]
Consoles + (FR)
93
[16]
Computer & Video Games (UK)
46
[17]
Computer & Video Games (UK)
83
[4]
Computer + Video Giochi (IT)
46
[18]
Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) NTSC-U
70
[19]
Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide (UK)
78
[20]
GameFan (US) NTSC-U
86
[21]
Game Power (IT)
55
[22]
GamePro (US) NTSC-U
100
[23]
GamesMaster (UK)
85
[24]
Joypad (FR)
86
[25]
Joypad (FR) PAL
81
[26]
Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming (UK) PAL
92
[27]
Mega (UK) PAL
56
[28]
Mega Action (UK) NTSC-U
82
[29]
Mega Action (UK) PAL
82
[30]
Mega Force (FR)
70
[31]
Mega Fun (DE) NTSC-U
61
[32]
Mega Fun (DE) PAL
63
[33]
MegaTech (UK) PAL
87
[34]
Mean Machines Sega (UK) PAL
82
[35]
Player One (FR)
55
[36]
Score (CZ)
82
[37]
Sega Power (UK) PAL
28
[38]
Sega Pro (UK) PAL
75
[39]
Sega Zone (UK) NTSC-U
77
[40]
Sega Force (UK) PAL
92
[41]
Tricks 16 bit (RU)
60
[42]
VideoGames Shopper (UK) PAL
32
[43]
Video Games (DE) PAL
68
[44]
Sega Mega-CD
71
Based on
31 reviews

Sewer Shark

Mega-CD, US
SewerShark MCD US Box Back.jpgSewerShark MCD US Box Front.jpg
Cover
SewerShark MCD US Disc.jpg
Disc
Sewershark mcd us manual.pdf
Manual
Mega-CD, US
(console pack-in)

SewerShark MCD US Disc PackIn.jpg
Disc
SewerShark mcd us packin manual.pdf
Manual
Mega-CD, US
(console pack-in; alt)

SewerShark MCD US Disc PackIn Alt.jpg
Disc
SewerShark mcd us packin manual.pdf
Manual
Mega-CD, EU
SewerShark MCD EU Box Back.jpgSewerShark MCD EU Box Front.jpg
Cover
Sewer Shark MCD EU Disc.jpg
Disc
Mega-CD, UK
SewerShark MCD EU Box Back.jpgSewerShark MCD EU Box Front.jpg
Cover
Sewer shark MCD UK Disc.jpg
Disc
Mega-CD, PT
SewerShark MCD PT front.jpg
Cover
Mega-CD, BR
(console pack-in)

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega-CD
 ?
CRC32
MD5
SHA-1
489,947,472 CD-ROM (EU) T-93015-50
Sega Mega-CD
CRC32
MD5
SHA-1
489,594,672 CD-ROM (US) T-6201

References

  1. https://groups.google.com/g/rec.games.video/c/t63LTpWyXjU/m/EdrXniIVej8J
  2. VideoGames & Computer Entertainment, "December 1992" (US; 1992-1x-xx), page 36
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sega Zone, "May 1993" (UK; 1993-04-08), page 54
  4. 4.0 4.1 Computer & Video Games, "July 1993" (UK; 1993-06-15), page 107
  5. Mega, "April 1993" (UK; 1993-03-18), page 43
  6. Select Round, "Octobre 1993" (FR; 1993-xx-xx), page 2
  7. 7.0 7.1 Video Games, "9/93" (DE; 1993-08-25), page 43
  8. Video Game, "Outubro 1993" (BR; 1993-xx-xx), page 6
  9. Game Players, "Vol. 6 No. 11 November 1993" (US; 1993-1x-xx), page 22
  10. File:Sewer Shark MCD credits.pdf
  11. Electronic Gaming Monthly, "December 1992" (US; 1992-xx-xx), page 206
  12. Sega Visions, "February/March 1993" (US; 199x-xx-xx), page 78
  13. Electronic Gaming Monthly, "February 1993" (US; 199x-xx-xx), page 89
  14. Sega Visions, "February/March 1993" (US; 199x-xx-xx), page 2
  15. 1700 igr dlya Sega, "" (RU; 2003-03-10), page 201
  16. Consoles +, "Décembre 1993" (FR; 1993-1x-xx), page 166
  17. Computer & Video Games, "April 1993" (UK; 1993-03-15), page 20
  18. Computer + Video Giochi, "Aprile 1993" (IT; 1993-xx-xx), page 96
  19. Electronic Gaming Monthly, "December 1992" (US; 1992-xx-xx), page 34
  20. Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide, "" (UK; 1993-11-18), page 124
  21. GameFan, "Volume 1, Issue 3: January 1993" (US; 199x-xx-xx), page 10
  22. Game Power, "Maggio 1993" (IT; 1993-0x-xx), page 50
  23. GamePro, "February 1993" (US; 1993-xx-xx), page 60
  24. GamesMaster, "May 1993" (UK; 1993-04-19), page 26
  25. Joypad, "Mars 1993" (FR; 1993-0x-xx), page 62
  26. Joypad, "Décembre 1993" (FR; 1993-1x-xx), page 122
  27. Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming, "April 1993" (UK; 1993-xx-xx), page 48
  28. Mega, "April 1993" (UK; 1993-03-18), page 42
  29. Mega Action, "July 1993" (UK; 1993-06-17), page 18
  30. Mega Action, "Christmas 1993" (UK; 1993-12-02), page 52
  31. Mega Force, "Décembre 1993" (FR; 1993-12-10), page 124
  32. Mega Fun, "11/92" (DE; 1992-10-xx), page 32
  33. Mega Fun, "01/94" (DE; 1993-12-22), page 78
  34. MegaTech, "April 1993" (UK; 1993-03-20), page 36
  35. Mean Machines Sega, "April 1993" (UK; 1993-03-26), page 78
  36. Player One, "Décembre 1993" (FR; 1993-1x-xx), page 154
  37. Score, "Prosinec 1994" (CZ; 1994-12-01), page 44
  38. Sega Power, "July 1993" (UK; 1993-06-03), page 44
  39. Sega Pro, "June 1993" (UK; 1993-05-13), page 56
  40. Sega Zone, "June 1993" (UK; 1993-05-xx), page 50
  41. Sega Force, "May 1993" (UK; 1993-04-01), page 86
  42. Tricks 16 bit, "Tricks Sega Gold 800 igr" (RU; 1998-03-20), page 226
  43. VideoGames Shopper, "January 1994" (UK; 1993-xx-xx), page 44
  44. Video Games, "2/94" (DE; 1994-01-26), page 43


Sewer Shark

SewerShark title.png

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