Zero Wing

From Sega Retro


Zero Wing Title.png
Zero Wing
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Original system(s): Arcade boards
Genre: Shoot-'em-Up

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
¥8,000 T-40023
Sega Mega Drive
£39.99[1] 1138-50
Sega Mega Drive
?F 1138-50
Sega Mega Drive
DM ? 1138-50
Sega Mega Drive
?Ptas 1138-50

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Zero Wing (ゼロウイング) is a 1989 arcade shoot-'em-up video game developed by Toaplan, and ported to the Sega Mega Drive in 1991 for Japan and Europe release. It is one of the few Mega Drive ports developed by Toaplan themselves.

It has a very different-sounding arrange of the original arcade soundtrack, focused around the popular Cube sound driver.


A and C shoot. B fires a suction beam that will trap enemies, allowing the ship to grab certain enemies. Letting go of B launches the enemy at high speeds, allowing you to destroy other enemies with it. Some heavy ships will pull the player ship down.

Enemies drop powerups when destroyed; the first powerup per life will always be subships that shoot with you but do not have the suction beam. The collectable items are:

  • red: spreadshot
  • blue: laser
  • green: homing shot
  • orb: strong bomb that can be releases by pushing B
  • speedup

The game has an autofire option, but a much higher firing rate can be achieved by rapidly tapping the buttons or using an autofire controller. Like a lot of other Toaplan games, this game also strangely defaults to the easy difficulty instead of normal


While there are no gameplay differences between the arcade version and its ports, the Mega Drive port added an in-game storyline with cutscenes. This is all well and good, but the English translator chosen was the kind of guy who "thought" he knew English. Long story short, the English introduction is ridiculous to the point where "ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US." has become a meme that is far more popular than the game itself ever will be.

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

BeepMD JP 1991-03.pdf

Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1991-03: "March 1991" (1991-02-08)
also published in:

BeepMD JP 1991-05.pdf

Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1991-05: "May 1991" (1991-04-08)
also published in:

BeepMD JP 1991-06.pdf

Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1991-06: "June 1991" (1991-05-08)

BeepMD JP 1991-07.pdf

Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1991-07: "July 1991" (1991-06-08)
also published in:

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
93 №117, p60-62[5]
80 №1991-05, p27[6]
75 №, p83[7]
70 №133, [1]
92 №9
60 №1991-05, p42
86 №11, p48-51[8]
90 №9, p158[9]
86 №18, p182[10]
72 №5, p95
70 №9, p23
82 №5, p32-35
91 №10, p74-76[11]
79 №20, p70/71[12]
100 №23, p55
88 №33, p34
78 №6, p41[13]
77 №18, p68
86 №7, p70/71[1]
85 More...[14]
80 №93, p53/54[15]
67 №7/92, p46[16]
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
22 reviews

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


NEC Retro has more information related to Zero Wing.