The Steel Empire

From Sega Retro


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TheSteelEmpire MDTitleScreen.png
SteelEmpire MD JP TitleScreen.png
The Steel Empire
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Publisher: HOT-B (Japan), Flying Edge (US, Europe)
Sound driver: Cube/Noriyuki Iwadare
Genre: Shooting[1][2]

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
¥7,8007,800 T-28033
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
£39.9939.99[4] T-80146-50
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive

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The Steel Empire, called Empire of Steel in Europe and Koutetsu Teikoku (鋼鉄帝国) in Japan, is a 1992 shoot-'em-up for the Sega Mega Drive developed by HOT-B and published in the US and Europe by Acclaim-owned Flying Edge.

In the US, the game was originally set to be published by Sage's Creation under the title Battlewings, before handing the license to Acclaim.

A Game Boy Advance remake was released in Japan and Europe in 2004. Another remake was released for the Nintendo 3DS eShop in 2014. It was later ported to PC and released on Steam in 2018.


The game presents itself as an old-time war film produced by the "HOT-B Film Corporation". In the film, the future is the Steel Age, where a military dictatorship called Motorhead enslaved the human population. The only hope for freedom is the Republic of Silverhead, who managed to remain independent, and who alone has the weapons to take out Motorhead.


You control one of two Silverhead aircraft, the Striker and the ZEP-01. Striker is a military aircraft that can go fast but is somewhat weak. ZEP-01 is a zeppelin that is considerably slower but can handle much more damage. C shoots to the right, B shoots to the left, and A launches a Super Bomb, which shoots lightning upon every enemy on screen. There are weapon enhancements, much like most other shooters, however they can be leveled up by collecting emblems throughout the level to fill up your EX bar (filling it up then getting one more levels up once).


SteelEmpire MD Item1.png
Extra Lightning Bomb
SteelEmpire MD Item2.png
100 points
SteelEmpire MD Item3.png
Energy bonus
SteelEmpire MD Item4.png
Extra life
SteelEmpire MD Item5.png
Speed boost
SteelEmpire MD Item6.png
Adds outrigger planes
SteelEmpire MD Item7.png
Adds experience


SteelEmpire MD Stage1.png
Stage 1 - The Mine City of Rahl
SteelEmpire MD Stage2.png
Stage 2 - The Liedengel Caverns
SteelEmpire MD Stage3.png
Stage 3 - Sky District Zektor
SteelEmpire MD Stage4.png
Stage 4 - Gardandi Beach
SteelEmpire MD Stage5.png
Stage 5 - Dama City
SteelEmpire MD Stage6.png
Stage 6 - Germburn Fortress
SteelEmpire MD Stage7.png
Stage 7 - Lunar Space


Localised names

Also known as
Language Localised Name English Translation
English Empire of Steel Empire of Steel
English (US) The Steel Empire The Steel Empire
Japanese Koutetsu Teikoku (鋼鉄帝国)

Production credits

As the game pretends it's a film, some of the staff roles make little sense in this game. In situations where the actual role is known, it is parenthesized after the role given in the game.

  • Director: N.Yamaguchi
  • Co-Director: Y.Satake
  • Producer: A.Tomonaga
  • Executive Producer: J.Kuriyama
  • Screenplay: K.Asai
  • Based on the Novel by: Carr.H.Schitch: (ↄ)"Steel Empire" 1819
  • Music: Cube Co., Ltd.
  • Music Composer: I.Mizoguchi, Y.Kubotera, N.Iwadare
  • Special Sound Effectes: [sic] M.Hikichi
  • Re-Recording Engineer: Dougen.Sibuya
  • Production Supervisor: A.Tomonaga
  • Operating Cameramen: Y.Hirasawa, T.Suzuki
  • Location Director of Photography: (co-programmer): K.Endoh
  • Conceptual Artist: Kemono I.
  • Art Director: S.Hatsuya
  • Set Director: K.Nishi
  • Mattepainting Supervisor: V.Bestie
  • Modelshop Supervisor: S.Riot.H
  • Construction Manager: [sic] M.Yorozuya
  • Head Effects Animation: N.Yamaguchi
  • Steadicam(R) Plate Photography: K.Suganuma, N.Nakane, A.Tomonaga
  • Translation Assist: Sarah.Y
Source: In-game credits

Other credits

  • Cover Illustration: Marc William Ericksen

Magazine articles

Main article: The Steel Empire/Magazine articles.

Promotional material


Print advert in Sega Visions (US) #8: "May/June 1992" (1992-xx-xx)


Print advert in Sega Visions (US) #8: "May/June 1992" (1992-xx-xx)
also published in:


Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1991-10: "October 1991" (1991-09-07)


Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1991-11: "November 1991" (1991-10-08)


Print advert in Mega Force (ES) #7: "Noviembre 1992" (1992-xx-xx)
also published in:


Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
73 [8]
81 [9]
82 [10]
90 [11]
70 №48
79 №10, p64/65
50 №1992-02, p96
89 [12]
82 [13]
72 [14]
84 №5, p91
85 №5, p36-39
70 [15]
85 [16]
86 [17]
72 [18]
54 №33, p36
72 [19]
60 №18, p67
86 [20]
63 [21]
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
21 reviews

Mega Drive, JP
SteelEmpire MD JP Box.jpg
SteelEmpire MD JP CartTop.jpg
SteelEmpire MD JP Cart.jpg
Steelempire md jp manual.pdf
Mega Drive, US
TSE MD US Box.jpg
Steelempire MD US cart.jpg
Steel Empire MD US Manual.pdf
Mega Drive, EU
EoS MD EU Box.jpg
EoS MD EU Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, PT

Mega Drive, SE (Rental)
SteelEmpire MD SE rental cover.jpg

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 d0e7a0b6
MD5 9105a05e3e2e0ae261789fdafca676a2
SHA-1 45c0b9d85b4a8053c3f3432828626dae47022634
1MB 1992-02 Cartridge (US/EU)
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 755d0b8a
MD5 fb185d5bd814d7d51d3f15c6f20e75f3
SHA-1 7ff88050ae9b2f12afe80432781ba25aa3a15e1c
1MB 1992-12 Cartridge (JP)
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 e5517b77
MD5 65585e683767e2255fbcc0103130b313
SHA-1 00109e6de5b823525b3ba519222fecc4e229f6d1
1MB 1992-02 Page
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 097f6440
MD5 ae43c175914d53406aec1361caf810db
SHA-1 948c7dbfc37ad5504d9cfd12567a79e6323cc014
1MB 1992-03-13 CD-R disc[22] Page