Zero Wing

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Zero Wing Title.png

Zero Wing
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Publisher: Toaplan (JP), Sega, Retro-Bit
Developer:
Original system(s): Toaplan System 1[1]
Sound driver: Cube[2]
Genre: Shooting[3][4]

















Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
JP
¥8,000 (8,240)8,000e[5] T-40023
Sega Mega Drive
EU
1138-50
Sega Mega Drive
UK
£39.9939.99[6] 1138-50
Sega Mega Drive
SE
(Rental)
Sega Mega Drive
AU
Sega Mega Drive
US
(Retro-Bit)
$44.9944.99[8]
Sega Mega Drive
EU
(Retro-Bit)
€39.9939.99[8]

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Zero Wing (ゼロウイング) is a Sega Mega Drive horizontal shoot-'em-up game developed by Toaplan. A port of the developer's 1989 arcade title Zero Wing, the game was first published in Japan by Toaplan themselves in May 1991, was brought to Europe by Sega in July 1992, and saw a modern worldwide re-release by Retro-Bit in October 2020. Zero Wing is notable for being one of few Mega Drive ports developed by Toaplan themselves, and for the poor English translation of its opening cutscene spawning one of the earliest internet memes, All your base are belong to us.

Gameplay

A and C fire the player's weapon. While the game has an autofire option, a higher firing rate can be achieved by manually tapping the button. B fires a suction beam that will pull certain enemies towards the player ship for use as a shield, and can which be later launched forward to destroy other enemies.

Like other Toaplan games, Zero Wing defaults to the Easy difficulty setting.

Power-ups

Some enemies will drop power-ups when destroyed; the first power-up dropped per life will always be options to further assist the player ship.

  • Red: Spread shot
  • Blue: Laser shot
  • Green: Homing shot
  • Orb: Bomb (fired with B)
  • Speed Up: Increases ship speed

Levels

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Natols

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Legrous

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Pleades

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Aquese

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Submarine Tunnel

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Barracade Zone

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Bellon

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Gerbarra

Endings

The Japanese version of Zero Wing features 32 hidden endings.[9] The first three endings can be acquired by beating each of the respective three difficulty settings. The remainder must be seen by beating the game again; upon every successful completion, the game will advance to the next ending. By reaching the final ending, the code for Zero Wing's debug menu is revealed.[10]

While many of the endings consist of out-of-character discussion between the villain CATS and the actual player, the will eventually devolve into what appears to be a developer rambling about his favorite foods, singing lyrics from folk songs, and making bad puns.

Legacy

The infamously poor translation of Zero Wing's English releases has seen the game become the star of community parody. A line in the game's introduction, All your base are belong to us, was heavily featured in a fan music video for the song Invasion of the Gabber Robots by The Laziest Men on Mars (the song itself being a cover of Zero Wing's Open Your Eyes.) This video, compressed and heavily shared in the early days of the internet, gave rise to one of the first modern memes.

Production credits

Zero Wing Original Staff
  • 68k Side: T.Ota, H.Furukawa
  • Z80 Side: T.Uemura
  • Graphics: S.Nakaoka, N.Ogiwara, M.Hayashi, S.Nito
  • Music: T.Uemura, M.Yuge, T.Tomizawa
© Toaplan 1991.
Source:
In-game credits


Magazine articles

Main article: Zero Wing/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Logo-pdf.svg
Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1991-03: "March 1991" (1991-02-08)
also published in:
Logo-pdf.svg
Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1991-05: "May 1991" (1991-04-08)
also published in:
Logo-pdf.svg
Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1991-06: "June 1991" (1991-05-08)
Logo-pdf.svg
Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1991-07: "July 1991" (1991-06-08)
also published in:

Collector's Edition (Retro-Bit)

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
{{{{{icon}}}|L}} Division by zero.
Based on
0 review
Sega Retro Average 
Publication Version Score
1700 igr dlya Sega (RU)
80
[14]
Aktueller Software Markt (DE)
72
[15]
Beep! MegaDrive (JP) NTSC-J
80
[16]
Console XS (UK) NTSC-J
77
[17]
Computer & Video Games (UK)
93
[18]
Entsiklopediya luchshikh igr Sega. Vypusk 7 (RU)
40
[19]
Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide (UK)
87
[20]
Famitsu (JP) NTSC-J
70
[21]
Games-X (UK)
92
[22]
Hippon Super (JP) NTSC-J
60
[23]
Hobby Consolas (ES)
86
[24]
Joypad (FR) PAL
90
[25]
Joystick (FR)
86
[26]
Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming (UK) PAL
72
[27]
Mega Drive Fan (JP) NTSC-J
66
[28]
Mega (UK) PAL
70
[29]
Mega Force (FR)
80
[30]
MegaTech (UK)
82
[31]
MegaTech (UK) PAL
82
[32]
Mean Machines (UK)
91
[33]
Mean Machines Sega (UK)
91
[34]
Player One (FR)
79
[35]
Play Time (DE)
68
[36]
Sega Power (UK) NTSC-J
100
[37]
Sega Power (UK) PAL
88
[38]
Sega Pro (UK)
78
[39]
Sega Pro (UK) PAL
77
[40]
Sega Force (UK) PAL
86
[6]
Sega Opisaniy i sekretov (RU)
66
[41]
Sega Saturn Magazine (JP) NTSC-J
75
[42]
Supersonic (FR)
85
[43]
Tilt (FR)
80
[44]
Video Games (DE)
67
[45]
Sega Mega Drive
79
Based on
33 reviews

Zero Wing

Mega Drive, JP
Zerowing md jp cover.jpg
Cover
ZeroWing MD JP CartTop.jpg
Zerowing md jp cart.jpg
Cart
Zerowing md jp manual.pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, EU
Zero Wing MD EU Box.jpg
Cover
ZeroWing MD EU Cart.jpg
Cart
ZeroWing MD EU pcb.jpg
PCB
Mega Drive, SE (rental)

Mega Drive, AU

Mega Drive, (Retro-Bit)

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 89b744a3
MD5 5f4f2fb8c7b8c50efbc6eed57ce3dae3
SHA-1 98335b97c5e21f7f8c5436427621836660b91075
1MB 1990-08 Cartridge (EU)
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 7e203d2b
MD5 9647d8ec9183f3ec9f944d5ea49a99a9
SHA-1 fad499e21ac55a3b8513110dc1f6e3f6cdeca8dd
1MB 1990-08 Cartridge (JP)

References

  1. https://www.system16.com/hardware.php?id=966&page=1#19118
  2. http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/Mega_Drive/Genesis_Sound_Engine_List
  3. File:Zerowing md jp cover.jpg
  4. 4.0 4.1 https://sega.jp/history/hard/megadrive/software_l.html (Wayback Machine: 2020-07-02 23:21)
  5. Beep! MegaDrive, "May 1991" (JP; 1991-04-08), page 16
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Sega Force, "July 1992" (UK; 1992-06-xx), page 72
  7. 7.0 7.1 https://store.strictlylimitedgames.com/products/toaplan-shooters-collectors-edition-genesis-mega-drive-preorder (Wayback Machine: 2021-05-31 21:12)
  8. 8.0 8.1 File:TSCE Toaplan Press Release.pdf, page 2
  9. https://legendsoflocalization.com/zero-wing-had-32-weird-secret-endings-in-japan/
  10. https://legendsoflocalization.com/zero-wing-had-32-weird-secret-endings-in-japan/#ending-35
  11. Mega Drive Fan, "March 1991" (JP; 1991-02-08), page 99
  12. Mega Drive Fan, "May 1991" (JP; 1991-04-08), page 42
  13. Beep! MegaDrive, "August 1991" (JP; 1991-07-08), page 16
  14. 1700 igr dlya Sega, "" (RU; 2003-xx-xx), page 349
  15. Aktueller Software Markt, "November 1991" (DE; 1991-10-11), page 139
  16. Beep! MegaDrive, "May 1991" (JP; 1991-04-08), page 29
  17. Console XS, "June/July 1992" (UK; 1992-04-23), page 137
  18. Computer & Video Games, "August 1991" (UK; 1991-07-15), page 60
  19. Entsiklopediya luchshikh igr Sega. Vypusk 7, "" (RU; 2001-xx-xx), page 291
  20. Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide, "" (UK; 1993-11-18), page 118
  21. Famitsu, "1991-xx-xx" (JP; 1991-06-14), page 19
  22. Games-X, "21st-26th June 1991" (UK; 1991-06-21), page 36
  23. Hippon Super, "May 1991" (JP; 1991-04-04), page 42
  24. Hobby Consolas, "Agosto 1992" (ES; 1992-0x-xx), page 48
  25. Joypad, "Juin 1992" (FR; 1992-05-1x), page 158
  26. Joystick, "Juillet/Août 1991" (FR; 1991-0x-xx), page 182
  27. Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming, "January 1993" (UK; 199x-xx-xx), page 95
  28. Mega Drive Fan, "August 1991" (JP; 1991-07-08), page 123
  29. Mega, "June 1993" (UK; 1993-05-20), page 21
  30. Mega Force, "Mai 1992" (FR; 1992-05-05), page 76
  31. MegaTech, "May 1992" (UK; 1992-04-20), page 32
  32. MegaTech, "June 1993" (UK; 1993-05-20), page 93
  33. Mean Machines, "July 1991" (UK; 1991-06-29), page 74
  34. Mean Machines Sega, "October 1992" (UK; 1992-09-xx), page 143
  35. Player One, "Mai 1992" (FR; 1992-05-10), page 70
  36. Play Time, "(8/9)/92" (DE; 1992-07-08), page 94
  37. Sega Power, "October 1991" (UK; 1991-09-05), page 55
  38. Sega Power, "August 1992" (UK; 1992-07-02), page 34
  39. Sega Pro, "April 1992" (UK; 1992-03-19), page 41
  40. Sega Pro, "April 1993" (UK; 1993-03-11), page 68
  41. Sega Opisaniy i sekretov, "14000 Opisaniy i sekretov" (RU; 2003-03-11), page 236
  42. Sega Saturn Magazine, "September 1995" (JP; 1995-08-08), page 85
  43. Supersonic, "Mai/Juin 1992" (FR; 1992-xx-xx), page 6
  44. Tilt, "Septembre 1991" (FR; 1991-09-xx), page 53
  45. Video Games, "7/92" (DE; 1992-06-24), page 46
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Zero Wing

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