Xenon 2: Megablast

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Xenon2 Title.png
Xenon2 SMS Title.png
Xenon 2: Megablast
System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System
Publisher: Virgin Games
Sega Master System
Image Works (first release)
Genre: Shooting

Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
£34.9934.99[2][3] T-70076-50
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Master System
Sega Master System
(Virgin Games)
Sega Master System

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Xenon 2: Megablast is a scrolling shoot-'em-up developed by The Bitmap Brothers and The Assembly Line and published by Image Works (and later Virgin Games) for a variety of systems including the Sega Mega Drive and Sega Master System. It is the sequel to 1988's home computer game Xenon, which was also the first game by Bitmap Brothers.

The game was notable for its soundtrack, an arrangement by David Whittaker of the 1988 song Megablast (Assault on Precinct 13) (which is also where the game's subtitle comes from), originally from British group Bomb the Bass. Megablast theme is based on the theme song of the 1976 film by John Carpenter, Assault on Precinct 13 (or more specifically, the 1983 disco version), with samples from the 1969 song You Can Make it if You Try by Sly & the Family Stone.

While North America and Japan got some of the other versions of the game, the Sega versions remained exclusive to Europe.


The game is a typical vertical shoot-'em-up: move around the screen with the D-pad and shoot with A, collecting credits dropped from enemies which can then be spent in a shop in exchange for weapon upgrades. Your ship continuously moves upwards, however it is also possible for reverse for a short period of time (as some of the forks in the road lead to dead-ends).



According to Mike Montgomery from the Bitmap Brothers, 32X and Mega-CD ports were considered, but no publisher could be found.


The Sega Mega Drive version is the more faithful port of the game, although there is heavy slowdown and sprite flickering. The color palette is also overly saturated, with too much blue and green compared to the grays of the original. The final stage (mechanical world) is completely missing from the game.

Re-creating the Megablast theme on the Amiga was considered a substantial technical achievement in 1989, as while parts of the song were stripped out (most notably the introduction), the majority of the song remains in-tact (albeit with some slight differences due to using Amiga-generated waveforms for the instruments). This includes the samples, which although are heard at a lower quality than the source material, made Xenon II one of the first games to faithfully re-create a commercial song with non-expanded Amiga hardware.

However, despite this being one of the main selling points for Xenon II, the Mega Drive version omits all sampled audio, leaving a purely synthesized tune with gaps where the samples used to be. It also plays slightly too fast.

The Sega Master System version omits player bullets during heavy processor workload, several bosses have been removed and the final stage is also missing.

Magazine articles

Main article: Xenon 2: Megablast/Magazine articles.

Promotional material


UK print advert


Mega Drive/Master System print advert in Computer & Video Games (UK) #132: "November 1992" (1992-10-15)


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


Master System print advert in Game Power (IT) #2: "Gennaio 1992" (199x-xx-xx)

Physical scans

Mega Drive version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
53 [9]
59 [10]
65 №13, p60
82 [11]
50 №14, p50
52 №33, p201
72 №5, p95
45 [12]
88 №1, p65
82 [13]
82 [14]
76 [15]
66 [16]
86 №12, p42/43
86 №18, p68
82 [17]
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
16 reviews

Mega Drive, EU
Xenon2 MD EU Box.jpg
Xenon2 MD EU Cart.jpg
Xenon 2 Megablast MD EU Manual.pdf
Xenon2 MD EU pcb.jpg
Mega Drive, AU

Mega Drive, SE (Rental)

Master System version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
88 [18]
94 [19]
90 №1, p24-26
80 №33, p26
66 [20]
78 [21]
86 №19, p190
84 [22]
12 [23]
41 [24]
87 [25]
85 [26]
89 [27]
Sega Master System
Based on
13 reviews

Master System, EU (Image Works)
Xenon2 SMS EU Box Imageworks.jpg
Xenon2 SMS EU Cart Imageworks.jpg
Master System, EU (Virgin Games)
Xenon2 SMS EU Box Virgin.jpg
Xenon 2 (Virgin) SMS EU Cart Top.jpg
Xenon 2 (Virgin) SMS EU Cart Back.jpgXenon2 SMS EU Cart Virgin.jpg
Xenon 2 (Virgin) SMS EU Manual.pdf
Master System, AU (Image Works)

XenonII SMS AU Cart.jpg
Xenon 2 SMS AU Manual.pdf

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Master System
CRC32 5c205ee1
MD5 1f1ce1d74c416f2b85cc3f24d316f9e3
SHA-1 72cb8a24f63e9e79c65c26141abdf53f96c60c0c
256kB Cartridge (EU)
Sega Master System
CRC32 ec726c0d
MD5 27fba4b7db989c663dda11c255cf49f3
SHA-1 860cff21eff077acd92b06a71d859bf3e81fe628
256kB Cartridge (EU)


  1. 1.0 1.1 MegaTech, "August 1992" (UK; 1992-07-20), page 20
  2. Mean Machines, "February 1992" (UK; 1992-01-27), page 50
  3. Sega Power, "March 1992" (UK; 1992-02-06), page 36
  4. Sega Pro, "November 1991" (UK; 1991-xx-xx), page 9
  5. Sega Power, "September 1991" (UK; 1991-08-01), page 16
  6. Sega Pro, "November 1991" (UK; 1991-xx-xx), page 39
  7. Raze, "April 1991" (UK; 1991-02-28), page 16
  8. Hobby Consolas, "Noviembre 1992" (ES; 1992-xx-xx), page 10
  9. Beep! MegaDrive, "August 1992" (JP; 1992-07-08), page 26 (28)
  10. Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide, "" (UK; 1993-11-18), page 118
  11. Hobby Consolas, "Enero 1993" (ES; 199x-xx-xx), page 78/79 (78)
  12. Mega, "November 1992" (UK; 1992-10-15), page 66
  13. Mean Machines, "February 1992" (UK; 1992-01-27), page 48-50 (48)
  14. Sega Force, "2/92" (SE; 1992-11-19), page 15
  15. Sega Force, "May 1993" (UK; 1993-04-01), page 81
  16. Sega Power, "March 1992" (UK; 1992-02-06), page 36/37 (36)
  17. Zero, "October 1992" (UK; 1992-09-xx), page 61
  18. Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide, "" (UK; 1993-11-18), page 163
  19. Game Power, "Gennaio 1992" (IT; 199x-xx-xx), page 34/35 (36)
  20. Hobby Consolas, "Abril 1992" (ES; 1992-xx-xx), page 161 (153)
  21. Joypad, "Octobre 1991" (FR; 1991-09-17), page 110
  22. Mean Machines, "October 1991" (UK; 1991-09-27), page 78-80 (78)
  23. Player One, "Janvier 1992" (FR; 199x-xx-xx), page 95
  24. Player One, "Juillet/Août 1992" (FR; 1992-07-10), page 134 (130)
  25. Sega Power, "November 1991" (UK; 1991-10-04), page 20/21 (20)
  26. Sega Pro, "November 1991" (UK; 1991-xx-xx), page 38/39 (38)
  27. Sega Pro, "July 1992" (UK; 1992-06-18), page 31

Xenon 2: Megablast
Xenon2 Title.png

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