Sunset Riders

From Sega Retro

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SunsetRiders MDTitleScreen.png
Sunset Riders
Publisher: Konami
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Original system(s): Arcade Boards
Genre: Action

Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
$? T-95026
Sega Mega Drive
£39.99[2][3] T-95026-50
Sega Mega Drive
?F T-95026-50
Sega Mega Drive
DM ? T-95026-50
Sega Mega Drive
?Ptas T-95026-50
Sega Mega Drive
$? ?

Sunset Riders is a 1991 arcade run-and-gun by Konami, ported to the Sega Mega Drive and SNES in 1992 and released only in the US and Europe in 1993. This port was heavily remixed in terms of stage layout. The small rom size likely made a true to source arcade port impossible.


You play as one of two (reduced from four in the arcade version) American Old West bounty hunters, Billy and Cormano, who seek rewards for catching bandits and saving girls. Billy is armed with a peacemaker and Cormano with a shotgun that fires rather large shots; A is used for stationary fire and B is used to fire and walk at the same time, and both can collect various weapon upgrades along the way.

Aiming is done in the traditional Konami fashion (hold D-pad buttons diagonally to move while firing diagonally, hold Up to shoot straight up, hold Left and Right to shoot straight ahead while moving, or hold Down to shoot straight ahead while crouching). C jumps; you can latch on to ledges and climb up, pressing Down+C to get back down. Down+C and either Left or Right slides. Score is measured as currency; each gold coin is worth $200, while larger red coins with dollar signs on them are worth $2000. You will lose $1000 for dying, and you die with one or two hits.

Similar to often used practise in arcades, the game punishes players who stay in same spot for far too long, as the bird will fly on top of the screen and then swoop down at you. You can jump over it.

Note that the guns are removed from the PAL box. This is also done on the SNES PAL version. A case of the Sega Europe censorship and strict German laws probably.


The game supports multiplayer for 2 players, which is less than on Arcade version, on same screen both in cooperative mode and competitive one.

To play competitive mode, just select "Versus" mode. The game will be played in few rounds, arenas changing slightly. Each player has a health bar and much lower rate of fire than in normal game, while a bird periodically coming in to drop extra items. Players have to shoot each other down in this mode.

To play cooperative mode you can either select "2 Players" mode or start the "1 Player" game and press Start on controller of the second player. Though the first method is preferable, as it doesn't take away a continue point. There is no friendly fire and continue points are shared.

However, due to bug, if both players have Six Button Control Pad (Mega Drive) then "Versus" and "2 Players" modes will not be selectable, despite being higlighted in menu. Another player can still join during "1 Player" mode play. Hold Mode button when booting up the system to switch to 3 button mode and fix this issue.

Production credits

  • Program: K.Toyohara, K.Endoh
  • Graphic Design: H.Matsuda, N.Takemoto
  • Sound Design: M.Ikariko, H.Inoue
  • Package Design: M.Yoshihashi
  • Special Thanks: I.Akada, AC Team

K.Toyohara, K.EndohH.Matsuda, N.TakemotoM.Ikariko, H.InoueM.YoshihashiI.Akada, AC Team


Magazine articles

Main article: Sunset Riders/Magazine articles.

Promotional material


SegaVisions US 10.pdfSegaVisions US 10.pdf

Print advert in
Sega Visions (US) #10: "November/December 1992" (1992-xx-xx)
also published in:
  • Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #41: "December 1992" (1992-xx-xx)[4]

CVG UK 139.pdfCVG UK 139.pdf

Print advert in
Computer & Video Games (UK) #139: "June 1993" (1993-05-15)
also published in:
  • Computer & Video Games (UK) #140: "July 1993" (1993-06-15)[5]

SegaMagazine UK 01.pdfSegaMagazine UK 01.pdf

Print advert in
Sega Magazine (UK) #1: "January 1994" (1993-12-10)
also published in:
  • Computer & Video Games (UK) #146: "January 1994" (1993-12-15)[6]
  • Computer & Video Games (UK) #147: "February 1994" (1994-01-15)[7]
  • Mega (UK) #16: "January 1994" (199x-xx-xx)[8]
  • Sega Magazine (UK) #2: "February 1994" (1994-01-10)[9]
  • Sega Pro (UK) #29: "March 1994" (1994-xx-xx)[10]
  • Mega (UK) #19: "April 1994" (1994-xx-xx)[11]

MegaForce FR 18.pdfMegaForce FR 18.pdf

Print advert in
Mega Force (FR) #18: "Juin 1993" (1993-xx-xx)
also published in:

TodoSega ES 02.pdfTodoSega ES 02.pdf

Print advert in
Todo Sega (ES) #2: "Mayo 1993" (1993-xx-xx)

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
68 №19, p112/113
80 №43, p50[13]
60 №4, p52/53
82 №9, p62/63
79 №8, p44/45
82 №1, p38
87 №16, p38/39/40
84 №7, p68-70[14]
65 №30, p98
68 №42, p42/43
87 №18, p24/25
84 №6, p36/37/38
86 №19, p70-72[15]
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
18 reviews

Mega Drive, US
SunsetRiders MD US Box.jpg
Sunsetriders md us cart.jpg
Sunset Riders MD US Manual.pdf
Mega Drive, EU
SunsetRiders MD EU Box.jpg
SunsetRiders MD EU Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, FR

Sunset Riders MD FR Manual.pdf
Mega Drive, SE (rental)


  1. File:GamePro US 040.pdf, page 199
  2. File:SegaForce UK 19.pdf, page 72
  3. 3.0 3.1 File:GamesMaster UK 004.pdf, page 52
  4. File:EGM US 041.pdf, page 8
  5. File:CVG UK 140.pdf, page 2
  6. File:CVG UK 146.pdf, page 102
  7. File:CVG UK 147.pdf, page 20
  8. File:Mega UK 16.pdf, page 2
  9. File:SegaMagazine UK 02.pdf, page 2
  10. File:SegaPro UK 29.pdf, page 2
  11. File:Mega UK 19.pdf, page 2
  12. File:MegaForce FR 19.pdf, page 2
  13. File:GamePro US 043.pdf, page 52
  14. File:MeanMachinesSega07UK.pdf, page 68
  15. File:SegaForce UK 19.pdf, page 70