Stellar Assault

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Stellar Assault
System(s): Sega 32X
Publisher: Sega
Sound driver: SMPS 68000
Peripherals supported: Six Button Control Pad
Genre: Shooting[2][3]

Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Sega 32X
¥7,8007,800 GM-4010
Sega Rating: All Ages
Sega 32X
$69.9969.99[4] 84509
ESRB: Kids to Adults
Sega 32X
Sega 32X
DM 139.00139.00[8] 84509-50
Sega 32X
Sega 32X
£49.9949.99[7] 84509-50

Stellar Assault (ステラアサルト), known in the United States as Shadow Squadron, is a Sega 32X space combat simulator game developed by Sega CS and published by Sega. First released in Japan in April 1995, it was later localized and brought to the United States and Europe the following June.

In February 1998, the game received an enhanced port to the Sega Saturn, Stellar Assault SS, courtesy of developer SIMS.


A coup d'état has occurred in the colonial star system of Sivos (シヴォス). The Rebel Army (反乱軍) quickly overwhelmed the star system with its military might and demanded the surrender of the Allied Forces (連合軍). When the Allied Forces refused, the Rebel Army used a powerful weapon called the Accelerator Gate (アクセルゲート) to bombard Laderia (惑星ラーデリア), the capital planet of the Allied Forces, with meteors. The remnants of the Allied Forces fleet must use its top secret Feather (フェザー) fighters to repel the rebel forces and destroy their Sun-powered Laser Cannon.


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Ship selection

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Color change

The game is a 3D space combat simulation similar to Star Wars Arcade. Players take control of either one of the two Feather fighter ships through six missions set across various sectors in outer space. Each of the two available spacecraft have their advantages and disadvantages: the Feather 1 is a highly maneuverable and fast light ship equipped with guided laser cannons, whereas the Feather 2 is a more powerful and heavier ship that relies on manual fire. Choosing the Feather 2 gives the player the option of enabling auto-pilot, which allows the computer to fly and the player to concentrate on shooting, though the computer pilot generally takes indirect paths through the missions and prolongs the length of the game. The Feather 2 can also be used in cooperative two-player games, with player one flying and player two shooting.

With the exception of some graphical effects such as explosions, the world is rendered entirely as flat-shaded 3D polygons. There are two types of enemies: fighters and carrier ships. Some missions requiring destroying both types of enemies, while others only the carrier ships must be eliminated. Before starting each mission, a tactical display shows the player's ship and all targets that must be eliminated. Both ships have circular radars that show the locations of nearby enemies during gameplay.

The player can control the tilt of the ship and fly in any direction. The ship banks with Left and Right. The vertical controls are inverted, so Down ascends and Up dives. The ships roll counterclockwise with X and clockwise with Z. The ships accelerate with B or decelerate with Y. The current speed of travel is shown as a green gauge. There are two Speed Control options available in the game options. The first method slows the ship down gradually when the accelerate button is not held down, while the second method maintains the ship's speed until the player changes it by accelerating or decelerating. Both ships are armed with laser guns, which are fired with A. The player can switch between a first-person, in-cockpit view and a third-person, behind the ship view with  MODE .

When using a standard three-button control pad, the ships roll counterclockwise with HOLD  START Left and clockwise with HOLD  START Right. They accelerate with B and decelerate with  START +B. The game can be paused with HOLD  START A+B+C.

The ships have two types of energy: weapon/engine energy (red gauge) and shield energy (blue gauge). Weapon/engine energy is expended whenever the ships fire their weapons or engage their thrusters by accelerating. Shield energy represents the ship's protective shield; if it is depleted, the ship cannot sustain any more damage without being destroyed. If the ship runs out of weapon/engine energy, all of its shield energy reserves are transferred to weapon/engine energy, meaning that the next hit destroys the ship. The Feather 1 docks after each mission to replenish its weapon/engine energy and shield energy. The Feather 2 only replenishes its shield energy after each mission, so the player must manage its weapon/engine energy carefully since they must last the entire game.

If the ship is destroyed, players can continue a limited number of times. After the game ends, a Trace option is unlocked at the title screen, which replays the previous playthrough from a third-person perspective.

There are two difficulty levels (Easy and Hard). The game includes options to view the models used in the game or change the colors of the ships.


StellarAssault 32X Feather1.png
Feather 1
The Feather 1 is a light fighter. It is weaker than the Feather 2, but it is agile and easy to maneuver, and its weapons are easier to aim.

It is armed with twin laser guns. They are semi-guided, so they home in on any targets within the targeting reticle. The laser guns are fired with A, which can be rapid-fired by holding the button.

It is also armed with guided laser torpedoes. These can be fired by pressing A twice and holding, which causes the targeting reticle to enlarge. Targets within the reticle are highlighted in a similar manner to After Burner, initially in red and then in white. Any targets highlighted in white when the player releases A have torpedoes fired at them, up to a maximum of four at a time. Targets are deselected if they leave the reticle area before the player fires the torpedoes. The weapon cannot be fired again until all of the torpedoes have met their targets. Guided laser torpedoes consume more weapon/engine energy than the standard laser guns.

The ship is equipped with a Spectral Shield, activated by holding C. The Spectral Shield envelops the vessel in an energy shield that protects it from enemy fire and collisions. The screen is tinted to indicate when the shield is active. However, using the Spectral Shield drains shield energy and only reduces rather than completely negating damage taken while it is enabled.

The Feather 1 has its weapon/engine energy and its shield energy replenished after every mission.

StellarAssault 32X Feather2.png
Feather 2
The Feather 2 is a heavy fighter. It is stronger than the Feather 1, but it moves more sluggishly, and its weapons must be manually aimed. It is the only craft available in two-player games, with player one flying and player two shooting. In single-player games, the player can choose auto-pilot mode, where the computer flies the ship while the player shoots.

It fires a single large laser with A. Its laser gun lacks a guidance system and must be manually aimed using a relatively small reticle. However, the laser is powerful and capable of destroying enemy missiles (which the Feather 1 cannot do with either of its weapons). It can also fire energy torpedoes by holding A, which causes crosshairs to close into position. After the crosshairs have locked into place, the weapon can be fired by releasing the button. Energy torpedoes drain shield energy when used.

Because the Feather 2 only replenishes its shield energy after each mission, it starts with a large reserve of weapon/engine energy. This energy must last the entire game, so players should conserve it as much as possible.


The missions incrementally move closer to the Sun in the middle of the solar system.

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Graduation Day
Destroy the two Delmmer carriers and all enemy fighters.

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No Admittance
Destroy the Delmmer carrier, two Balsark carriers, and Accelerator Gate in the center of the sector.

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Dodge 'Em
Set in an asteroid field. Destroy the two Delmmer carriers, small "booster" ships, and all enemy fighters.

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Destroy all ten carriers, a fleet of Delmmer, Balsark, Medelus, and Carvelus carriers.

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Ganeluza Grandslam
Destroy the two Carvelus flagships and the massive Ganeluza carrier.

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G.L. Cannon
Destroy the Laser Cannon in the center of the sector, which is surrounded by a ring of "slave units" and defended by a sortie of fighters. This mission has a time limit.



During development, Stellar Assault was known by the name Bullet Fighters.

The game averages at around a 20 FPS refresh rate, although palette cycling occurs at 60 FPS. Some of the performance gains (and the use of a wider colour palette than most 32X titles) can be attributed to the game's decision to use a 288x224 screen resolution (with extra borders).


Localised names

Also known as
Language Localised Name English Translation
English Stellar Assault Stellar Assault
English (US) Shadow Squadron Shadow Squadron
Japanese ステラアサルト Stellar Assault

Production credits

Main article: Stellar Assault/Production credits.

Magazine articles

Main article: Stellar Assault/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Print advert in Sega Saturn Magazine (JP) #1995-07: "July 1995" (1995-06-08)
Print advert in Hobby Consolas (ES) #46: "Julio 1995" (1995-xx-xx)


Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
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Sega Retro Average 
Publication Version Score
CD Consoles (FR)
Consoles + (FR)
Computer & Video Games (UK)
Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) NTSC-U
Famitsu (JP) NTSC-J
Fusion (US)
GameFan (US) NTSC-U
Game Players (US) NTSC-U
GamePro (US) NTSC-U
HiTech (ES)
Mega Fun (DE) PAL
Mean Machines Sega (UK) PAL
Next Generation (US) NTSC-U
Player One (FR)
Play Time (DE)
Saturn Fan (JP) NTSC-J
Sega Power (UK) PAL
Sega Pro (UK) PAL
Sega Saturn Magazine (JP) NTSC-J
Sega Saturn Magazine (JP) NTSC-J
Todo Sega (ES)
Top Consoles (FR)
Video Games (DE) PAL
VideoGames (US) NTSC-U
Sega 32X
Based on
25 reviews

Stellar Assault

32X, JP
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32X, US
StellarAssault 32X US Box Back.jpgStellarAssault 32X US Box Front.jpg
StellarAssault 32X US Cart.jpg
Shadowsquadron 32x us manual.pdf
32X, EU
StellarAssault 32X EU Box Back.jpgStellarAssault 32X EU Box Spine.jpgStellarAssault 32X EU Box Front.jpg
StellarAssault 32X EU Cart.jpg
Stellar Assault 32X EU Manual.jpg
32X, PT

Technical information

Main article: Stellar Assault/Technical information.


  1. produced by Hiroshi Aso of CS3 (1994)
  2. File:Stellarassault 32x jp frontcover.jpg
  3. 3.0 3.1 (Wayback Machine: 2013-06-19 13:31)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 GamePro, "July 1995" (US; 1995-xx-xx), page 48
  5. Electronic Gaming Monthly, "June 1995" (US; 1995-0x-xx), page 130
  6. 6.0 6.1 Computer & Video Games, "July 1995" (UK; 1995-06-09), page 68
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Mean Machines Sega, "July 1995" (UK; 1995-05-27), page 74
  8. Games World Magazin, "" (DE; 1995-0x-xx), page 78
  9. CD Consoles, "Juin 1995" (FR; 1995-xx-xx), page 130
  10. Consoles +, "Juin 1995" (FR; 1995-0x-xx), page 79
  11. Electronic Gaming Monthly, "June 1995" (US; 1995-0x-xx), page 36
  12. Famitsu, "1995-06-02" (JP; 1995-05-19), page 1
  13. Fusion, "Volume 1, Number 1: August 1995" (US; 1995-0x-xx), page 78
  14. GameFan, "Volume 3, Issue 6: June 1995" (US; 1995-xx-xx), page 16
  15. Game Players, "Vol. 8 No. 7 July 1995" (US; 1995-0x-xx), page 40
  16. HiTech, "Mayo 1995" (ES; 1995-0x-xx), page 66
  17. MAN!AC, "06/95" (DE; 1995-05-10), page 60
  18. Mega Fun, "06/95" (DE; 1995-05-24), page 88
  19. Next Generation, "July 1995" (US; 1995-06-20), page 71
  20. Player One, "Juillet/Août 1995" (FR; 1995-0x-xx), page 115
  21. Play Time, "7/95" (DE; 1995-06-07), page 110
  22. Saturn Fan, "1995 August" (JP; 1995-07-07), page 70
  23. Sega Power, "August 1995" (UK; 1995-06-15), page 58
  24. Sega Pro, "July 1995" (UK; 1995-06-08), page 56
  25. Sega Saturn Magazine, "June 1995" (JP; 1995-05-08), page 134
  26. Sega Saturn Magazine, "September 1995" (JP; 1995-08-08), page 85
  27. Todo Sega, "Junio 1995" (ES; 1995-0x-xx), page 40
  28. Top Consoles, "Julliet/Août 1995" (FR; 1995-0x-xx), page 106
  29. Video Games, "7/95" (DE; 1995-06-28), page 101
  30. VideoGames, "July 1995" (US; 1995-0x-xx), page 62

Stellar Assault

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Sega 32X
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