From Sega Retro
|System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Nintendo Switch Online|
|Publisher: Toaplan (JP), Sega, Tatsujin|
|Original system(s): Toaplan System 1|
|Sound driver: Cube|
|Number of players: 1|
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 titular 1989 arcade game Zero Wing, it was first published in Japan by Toaplan themselves in May 1991, and was brought to Europe by Sega in July 1992.
Zero Wing is notable for being one of few Mega Drive ports developed by Toaplan themselves, and for the infamously poor English translation of its opening cutscene, which spawned one of the earliest internet memes, "All your base are belong to us".
Set in 2101, the game follows the signing of a peace treaty between the United Nations and the alien cyborg CATS (キャッツ). However, CATS breaks the covenant and takes control of the Japanese space colonies. The protagonist Trent leads a ZIG space craft, which had managed to escape from the mothership destroyed by CATS, with the aim to defeat enemy forces, avenge the mothership and its crew and liberate the Earth.
The game is a science fiction-themed side-scrolling shooter where players assume the role of Trent taking control of the ZIG space fighter craft through eight increasingly difficult stages, each with a boss at the end that must be fought before progressing any further. The stage design has a particular emphasis on navigating narrow passageways. The ZIG is moved in any direction with the D-Pad. It fires its weapon with or . Rapid-fire is enabled by default, though a higher firing rate can be achieved by manually tapping the button or using a rapid-fire controller. There are three types of weapons in the game, which are switched by collecting colored items. Collecting the same item successively upgrades the weapon strength; collecting a different weapon maintains the current weapon strength.
The ZIG is equipped with a tractor beam (. The beam grabs most enemies and holds them as a shield against enemy fire. Enemies can be used to ram other enemies or thrown at other enemies by pressing again. Larger enemies weigh down the ZIG and make it more difficult to maneuver. The ZIG can also find bombs that attach to it in a similar manner but which explode after being thrown. Additionally, the ZIG can acquire two options, small drones that mirror its weapon, to assist it. Options are invulnerable and can also be used to ram enemies.), which can be deployed with
The ZIG is destroyed when it collides with an enemy or surface or absorbs enemy fire. It respawns at a predetermined checkpoint with the base weapon and without any options or speed increases. The game ends if the player runs out of lives but can be continued if there are credits remaining. The player is awarded extra lives at certain point thresholds. The game has three selectable difficulty levels (Easy, Normal, and Hard) and defaults to the Easy difficulty setting.
As with previous titles from Toaplan, the game loops back to the first stage after completing the last stage, with the difficulty increasing. There are 35 different endings for each time the game is successively completed.
|Vulcan Shot (バルカンショット)|
|Initially equipped. Starts as a standard horizontal shot but grows into a conical spreadshot as it is leveled up.|
|A fast-firing, penetrating laser that increases in size and power as it is leveled up.|
|Homing Missile (ホーミングミサイル)|
|Homing missiles that increase in size and power as they are leveled up.|
Items can be collected by flying over them or by grabbing them with the ZIG's tractor beam.
Weapons and speed upgrades award 5,000 bonus points if already at max level. There is also a chance of earning an extra life or even a "10UP" when collecting an item at max level.
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 (itself a cover of the game's song "Open Your Eyes") This video, compressed and heavily shared in the early days of the web, gave rise to one of the very first modern internet memes.
The meme was addressed by Toaplan's Tatsuya Uemura (the game's programmer and composer) and Masahiro Yuge (composer) in interviews during the 2010s. He stated the poor English translation in the Mega Drive version was handled by a member of Toaplan in charge of export and overseas business.
- 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.
- Main article: Zero Wing/Magazine articles.
|Mega Drive, AU|
- Main article: Zero Wing/Technical information.
NEC Retro has more information related to Zero Wing
- File:Zerowing md jp cover.jpg
- https://sega.jp/history/hard/megadrive/software_l.html (Wayback Machine: 2020-07-02 23:21)
- Beep! MegaDrive, "May 1991" (JP; 1991-04-08), page 16
- Sega Force, "July 1992" (UK; 1992-06-xx), page 72
- https://topics.nintendo.co.jp/article/1bbb22fd-9a6b-4d8b-8554-c55c3874e49b (archive.today)
- @NintendoAmerica on Twitter (archive.today)
- @NintendoEurope on Twitter (archive.today)
- @NintendoUK on Twitter (archive.today)
- @NintendoAUNZ on Twitter (archive.today)
- https://pixelatedaudio.com/out-zone/ (Wayback Machine: 2019-10-23 23:09)
- https://retro-bit.com/toaplan-shooters/ (Wayback Machine: 2021-05-15 18:27)
- Mega Drive Fan, "March 1991" (JP; 1991-02-08), page 99
- Mega Drive Fan, "May 1991" (JP; 1991-04-08), page 42
- Beep! MegaDrive, "August 1991" (JP; 1991-07-08), page 16
- 1700 igr dlya Sega, "" (RU; 2001-xx-xx), page 349
- Aktueller Software Markt, "November 1991" (DE; 1991-10-11), page 139
- Beep! MegaDrive, "May 1991" (JP; 1991-04-08), page 27
- Console XS, "June/July 1992" (UK; 1992-04-23), page 137
- Computer & Video Games, "August 1991" (UK; 1991-07-15), page 60
- Entsiklopediya luchshikh igr Sega. Vypusk 7, "" (RU; 2001-xx-xx), page 291
- Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide, "" (UK; 1993-11-18), page 118
- Famitsu, "1991-xx-xx" (JP; 1991-06-14), page 19
- Games-X, "21st-26th June 1991" (UK; 1991-06-21), page 36
- Hippon Super, "May 1991" (JP; 1991-04-04), page 42
- Hobby Consolas, "Agosto 1992" (ES; 1992-0x-xx), page 48
- Joypad, "Juin 1992" (FR; 1992-05-1x), page 158
- Joystick, "Juillet/Août 1991" (FR; 1991-0x-xx), page 182
- Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming, "January 1993" (UK; 199x-xx-xx), page 95
- Mega Drive Fan, "August 1991" (JP; 1991-07-08), page 123
- Mega, "June 1993" (UK; 1993-05-20), page 21
- Mega Force, "Mai 1992" (FR; 1992-05-05), page 76
- MegaTech, "May 1992" (UK; 1992-04-20), page 32
- MegaTech, "June 1993" (UK; 1993-05-20), page 93
- Mean Machines, "July 1991" (UK; 1991-06-29), page 74
- Mean Machines Sega, "October 1992" (UK; 1992-09-xx), page 143
- Player One, "Mai 1992" (FR; 1992-05-10), page 70
- Play Time, "(8/9)/92" (DE; 1992-07-08), page 94
- Sega Power, "October 1991" (UK; 1991-09-05), page 55
- Sega Power, "August 1992" (UK; 1992-07-02), page 34
- Sega Pro, "April 1992" (UK; 1992-03-19), page 41
- Sega Pro, "April 1993" (UK; 1993-03-11), page 68
- Sega Opisaniy i sekretov, "14000 Opisaniy i sekretov" (RU; 2003-03-11), page 236
- Sega Saturn Magazine, "September 1995" (JP; 1995-08-08), page 85
- Super Gaming, "Fall 1991" (US; 1991-xx-xx), page 8
- Supersonic, "Mai/Juin 1992" (FR; 1992-xx-xx), page 6
- Tilt, "Septembre 1991" (FR; 1991-09-xx), page 53
- Video Games, "7/92" (DE; 1992-06-24), page 46