From Sega Retro


Wardner MDTitleScreen.png
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Original system(s): Arcade boards
Publisher(s) of original games: Taito
Developer(s) of original games: Toaplan
Genre: Action

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
¥6,300 T-58013
Sega Mega Drive
$49.95[1] 58016

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Wardner, called Wardner no Mori in Japan and Pyros in its initial North American release, is a 1987 arcade platformer by Toaplan. Visco ported it to the Sega Mega Drive in 1991, removing Toaplan's name and publishing it in Japan as Wardner no Mori Special (ワードナの森SPECIAL). They would then license it to Mentrix Software for publication in the US as Wardner. The later developed Gods by The Bitmap Brothers shares some elements with this game.


A boy and a girl are wandering about when they get lost in the Forest of Wardner. Suddenly, a green spectre comes and kidnaps the girl, leaving the boy to find her.


A and C jump. Jumping on vines will automatically latch you onto them to climb. Down crouches; you can jump while crouch and will need to do so to collect gold treasure, which serves as a currency. B shoots fire to destroy enemies with. Defeated enemies drop money bags or orbs, which power up the main shot after you collected 15 of them. You lose a life with one hit, unless you collect a cape (absorbs one hit) or bought needle and yarn (absorbs another hit).


The game has a total of 6 stages, all of which end with a shop where powerups may be purchased.

Notavailable.svg Stage 1 - Woods
Notavailable.svg Stage 2 - Trap House
Notavailable.svg Stage 3 - Lava Woods
Notavailable.svg Stage 4 - Castle, lower section
Notavailable.svg Stage 5 - Castle, upper section
Notavailable.svg Stage 6 - Dungeon

Shop items

  • Star - wave shot
  • Moon - circle motion shot
  • Sun - long beam shot, most powerful magic
  • Cape - take one hit without dying
  • Needle & Yarn - when in possession of the cape, take another hit without dying
  • Clock - an extra 30 seconds once the timer runs out

Tips and tricks

By talking to the witch in stage 4, the timer will be reset. This can be abused to collect infinite score as certain enemies in this stage also reset. If this is also present in the Arcade version or not is currently unknown.


The game has been remixed for the Mega Drive port: Stage 2 got a new boss (was a reused stage 1 boss). Stage 3 got the Arcade version's Stage 4 boss (original stage 3 boss was also a reused boss). Stage 4 has been split up into stages 4 and 5, with new bosses added. These resulting stages also contain a few extra sections. The final series of rooms leading to Wardner has also been changed significantly, with the home port having the double amount of rooms and differing obstacles in them. The final boss had a safe spot just in front of his knee, allowing to defeat him with no effort. This has been fixed by changing his attack pattern. Various other changes exists such as different hidden bonuses, etc.

The graphical conversion left much to be desired. Parts of it, such as missing background details, world map and shop entrance graphics, can be explained by the small ROM size. Other changes however, appear to have been avoidable. Multiple stages have pig parts of the color palette unused (TODO attach Hivepal picture of stage 2 and 3 palette). All enemies aside from the floating skulls draw their colors from this limited pool. Color positions were swapped for unknown reasons, so that objects in the background appear brighter than in the foreground. (TODO attach picture of stage 1 wine and stage 3 bird statue).

Localised names

Also known as
Language Localised Name English Translation
English (US) Wardner Wardner
Japanese Wardner no Mori Special (ワードナの森SPECIAL)

Magazine articles

Main article: Wardner/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

EGM US 027.pdf

Print advert in Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #27: "October 1991" (1991-xx-xx)
also published in:
  • GamePro (US) #16bit: "16-bit Video Gaming: February 1992" (1992-xx-xx)[2]

BeepMD JP 1991-04.pdfBeepMD JP 1991-04.pdf

Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1991-04: "April 1991" (1991-03-08)

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
71 №47, p64/65[3]
75 №3, p43[4]
68 №1991-04, p30[5]
61 №, p85[6]
53 №130, [1]
84 №22, p34/35[7]
80 №11
40 №1991-04, p42
83 №17, p132[8]
43 №3, p79[9]
48 №5, p95
53 №5, p95
75 №1, p81[10]
84 №10, p70-72[11]
80 №23, p55
43 №25, p37
54 №6, p31[12]
25 №18, p68
48 №18, p68
85 №97, p42[13]
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
20 reviews

Mega Drive, US
Wardner MD US Box.png
Wardner md us cart.jpg
Mega Drive, JP
Wardner MD JP Box.jpg
Wardner MD JP CartTop.jpg
Wardner MD JP Cart Back.jpgWardner MD JP Cart.jpg
Wardnernomori md jp manual.pdf