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Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf

From Sega Retro

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DesertStrike MDTitleScreen.png
Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf
System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear
Publisher: Electronic Arts (US/EU), Electronic Arts Victor (JP),
Sega Master System
Sega Game Gear
Domark
Developer:
Sound driver:
Sega Mega Drive
custom (Brian Schmidt)
Genre: Shoot-'em-Up, Simulation (both are listed on the box; Sega of Japan master list only lists Shoot-'em-Up)






























Number of players: 1
Official in-game languages:
Sega Mega Drive
  • English
  • 日本語
  • Sega Master System
    Sega Game Gear
  • English
  • Deutsch
  • Français
  • Español
  • Release Date RRP Code
    Sega Mega Drive
    JP
    ¥8,900 EM20010
    Sega Mega Drive
    US
    $49.95[1] 702201
    Sega Mega Drive
    EU
    (EA Classics)
    €? EAX02401038I
    Sega Mega Drive
    UK
    £39.99[3][4] E224SMXI
    Sega Mega Drive
    FR
    ?F E224SMXI
    Sega Mega Drive
    DE
    DM 110 E224SMXI
    Sega Mega Drive
    ES
    ?Ptas E224SMXI
    Sega Mega Drive
    AU
    $? ?
    Sega Mega Drive
    BR
    R$? ?
    Sega Mega Drive
    KR
    ₩? GM8083JT



    Sega Master System
    UK
    £29.99[6][7] MK 29010-50
    Sega Master System
    FR
    ?F MK 29010-50
    Sega Master System
    DE
    DM ? MK 29010-50
    Sega Master System
    ES
    ?Ptas MK 29010-50
    Sega Master System
    PT
    ?PTE$ MS29010
    Sega Master System
    AU
    $? ?



    Sega Game Gear
    US
    $39.95[8] ?
    Sega Game Gear
    UK
    £? T-88068-50
    Sega Game Gear
    FR
    ?F T-88068-50
    Sega Game Gear
    DE
    DM ? T-88068-50
    Sega Game Gear
    ES
    ?Ptas T-88068-50
    Sega Game Gear
    IT
    T-88068-50
    Sega Game Gear
    PT
    ?PTE$ GG88068



    Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf, called Desert Strike: Wangan Sakusen (デザートストライク 湾岸作戦) in Japan and better known simply as Desert Strike, is an isometric-projection shoot-em-up by Electronic Arts released for the Sega Mega Drive in 1992, and subsequently ported to other platforms. It is the first game in EA's so-called Strike series of isometric shoot-em-ups.

    Story

    A terrorist named General Kilbaba violently takes over a small Arab emirate and plans a major nuclear strike, to which the president of the United States orders a helicopter (A Super Apache as named in game) team in the Special Forces (US Marine Corps in the Master System version) to intervene. You are in control of one such helicopter.

    Gameplay

    Missions are mostly intertwined with each other. For example blowing up a radar station will in return make you harder for enemies to hit you. Failing one of missions usually results in game over.

    You are also given co-pilot that will assist you with your mission. These pilots have varying degrees of skills with marksmanship and winch control. Reading their dossiers will usually give you a rough idea about their skill levels. 5th pilot Valdez is missing and can be found in first mission. He is near the north-western part of the map nearby a crashed F-14.

    Your helicopter has limited ammo and fuel. It also has limited armor. Without ammo, you can attack enemies. If fuel depletes, your helicopter will eventually crash and you will lose life. If armor reaches zero you will also lose a life. Ammo and fuel can be recovered by acquiring ammo boxes or fuel drums respectively with your winch. Armor can be recovered two ways : either find an Armor Repair (very, very rare. In later levels map don't even show their locations) or by rescuing people and dropping them off near a friendly landing zone. Each rescued person will increase the armor by 100 points. Be careful though as power ups can be destroyed and prisoners can be killed. Each level also has extra lives but these are, again, very difficult to find.

    You are required to return to your home base (usually the frigate you take off from at the beginning of each level) when you complete or fail the level. There are total of 3 lives. Losing all of them will end the game.

    Game contains 5 levels with different missions, with some of them having time limits.

    Desert Strike also has a password system.

    Mega Drive

    Each of the game's four levels is a separate mission with different objectives. To complete the objectives, you are given ammunition of varying power levels (shot by pressing A (Hellfires and Jink), B (Hydras), or C (Guns), listed in order of decreasing power). Though the game uses an isometric projection, the control behaves more like a full 3D game, where using Left and Right rotates your chopper, Up moves you forward in t he direction you're facing, and Down moves you backward. Hitting Start allows you to access a map, a summary of the mission, and mission status.

    Master System

    Due to limitation of buttons on Master System's control pad, control scheme is somewhat different than Mega Drive version. Pressing both 1 and 2 fire Hellfire, while holding down 2 is need for strafing. Pause button is the status screen.

    History

    Development

    According to Desert Strike's original design document (dated 1990-06-18), the game was originally titled Beirut Breakout, being based on the then-ongoing Lebanese Civil War[9] . It was later advertised as Apache AHX: Desert Madman.

    Release

    Desert Strike's similarities with the Gulf War caused controversy at the time of release, thought to be glorifying Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Reportedly some Gulf War veterans in the US openly burned copies of the Mega Drive game in public in protest[10].

    Versions

    Localised names

    Also known as
    Language Localised Name English Translation
    English Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf
    English (US) Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf
    Japanese Desert Strike: Wangan Sakusen (デザートストライク 湾岸作戦)

    Production credits

    Mega Drive version

    By Mike Posehn (implying he is the creator)
    • Programming: Mike Posehn
    • Game Design: Mike Posehn, John Manley
    • Art: Paul Vernon, Gary Martin, Amy Hennig
    • Sound and Music: Rob Hubbard, Brian Schmidt
    • Technical Director: Carl Mey
    • Producer: Richard Robbins
    Source: In-game credits (title screen roll)


    Master System version

    Desert Strike is a Trademark of Electronic Arts
    • Desert Strike Presented by: The Kremlin
    • Programmed by: Michael A Carr (The Magi)
    • Graphic Artists: Matthew Hicks, Mike Adams
    • Music Composed by: Andy Taylor
    • Sound Effects by: Michael A Carr
    • Original Game by: Mike Posehn, Paul Vernon and John Manley
    Copyright 1992 Electronic Arts
    All Rights Reserved


    Magazine articles

    Main article: Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf/Magazine articles.

    Promotional material

    Main article: Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf/Promotional material.

    Physical scans

    Mega Drive version

    Sega Retro Average 
    Publication Score Source
    89 №55, p42-47[11]
    83 №6/92
    68 №1993-05, p22[12]
    80 №, p83[13]
    85 №7, p100-103[14]
    92 №124, p22/23[15]
    92 №15, p74/75[16]
    68 №33, p26[17]
    68 №1993, p46[18]
    68 №1998, p85
    65 №228, p40
    84 №32, p44[1]
    100 №44
    93 №7, p28-30[19]
    85 №5, p4/32/33
    91 №5, p26-29
    40 №1993-04, p44
    86 №10, p46-49[20]
    93 №6, p94-96[21]
    90 №24, p120/121[22]
    90 №5, p91
    84 №4, p81[23]
    86 №23, p79
    94 №1, p65
    93 №3, p18-21[24]
    94 №18, p56
    94 №17, p18-21[25]
    89 №20, p62/63[26]
    82 №6/92, p144/145
    92 №4, p62/63[27]
    91 №29, p16-19
    92 №6, p60/61[28]
    93 №18, p65
    91 №11, p34/35[29]
    90 More...[30]
    82 №6/92, p45[31]
    Sega Mega Drive
    85
    Based on
    36 reviews

    Mega Drive, US
    DesertStrike MD US Box.jpg
    Cover
    DesertStrike MD US Cart.jpg
    Cart
    DesertStrike MD US manual.pdf
    Manual
    Mega Drive, US (cardboard)

    DesertStrike MD US Cart Cardboard.jpg
    Cart
    Mega Drive, EU
    DesertStrike MD EU Box.jpg
    Cover
    DesertStrike MD US Cart.jpg
    Cart
    Mega Drive, EU (Classic)
    DesertStrike MD EU Box Classic.jpg
    Cover
    DesertStrike MD US Cart.jpg
    Cart
    Mega Drive, JP
    Desertstrike md jp cover.jpg
    Cover
    DesertStrike MD JP CartTop.jpg
    DesertStrike MD JP Cart.jpg
    Cart
    DesertStrike MD jp manual.pdf
    Manual
    Mega Drive, AU

    Mega Drive, BR
    DesertStrike MD BR Box.jpg
    Cover
    DesertStrike MD BR Cart.jpg
    Cart
    Mega Drive, KR
    DesertStrike MD KR Box.jpg
    Cover
    DesertStrike MD KR carttop.jpg
    DesertStrike MD KR cartback.jpgDesertStrike MD KR Cart.jpg
    Cart
    Mega Drive, SE (Rental)
    DesertStrike MD SE Box rental.jpg
    Cover
    Mega Drive, FR

    Desert Strike MD FR Manual.pdf
    Manual

    Master System version

    Sega Retro Average 
    Publication Score Source
    89 №28, p144[32]
    89 №27, p106
    92 №14, p104/105[7]
    79 №38, p114[33]
    92 №2, p109[34]
    90 №7, p70/71[35]
    90 №6, p26/27[36]
    92 №49, p106-108
    93 №26, p62/63
    Sega Master System
    90
    Based on
    9 reviews

    Master System, EU
    DesertStrike SMS EU Box.jpg
    Cover
    DesertStrike SMS EU Cart.jpg
    Cart
    Master System, AU

    DesertStrike SMS AU Cart.jpg
    Cart

    Game Gear version

    Sega Retro Average 
    Publication Score Source
    70 №54, p200[8]
    82 №28, p115[37]
    91 №39, p116[38]
    88 №27, p60
    90 №2, p36[39]
    62 №4/94, p112[40]
    Sega Game Gear
    81
    Based on
    6 reviews

    Game Gear, US
    DesertStrike GG US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngDesertStrike GG US cover.jpg
    Cover
    DesertStrike GG US cart.jpg
    Cart
    Desertstrike gg us manual.pdf
    Manual
    Game Gear, EU
    DesertStrike GG EU Box Back.jpgNospine.pngDesertStrike GG EU cover.jpg
    Cover
    DesertStrike GG EU cart.jpg
    Cart

    Technical information

    ROM dump status

    System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
    Sega Mega Drive
    CRC32 67a9860b
    MD5 6f37f036c8de2bf78d11079cd2424370
    SHA-1 d7e7d8c358eb845b84fb08f904cc0b95d0a4053d
    1MB 1992-03 Cartridge (US/EU)
    Sega Mega Drive
    CRC32 1e740145
    MD5 414a548a2ab68a8e4840359c08b24ab9
    SHA-1 9e01c6c45670e2950242facfba6c5b79052550ed
    1MB 1993-04 Cartridge (JP/KR)
    Sega Master System
     ?
    CRC32 6C1433F9
    MD5 DF89AA1EBC5F42DB21FB8D12D9E78511
    SHA-1 E6181BAEF80ECC88B3EB82A46CF93793F06E01F1
    512kB Cartridge (EU)
    Sega Game Gear
     ?
    CRC32 3E44ECA3
    MD5 A5D8F63BDA80B2D0CF587655A389AE4C
    SHA-1 3BB092B14C650C5FFD0370E6870878282B3D04F4
    512kB Cartridge (EU)
    Sega Game Gear
     ?
    CRC32 F6C400DA
    MD5 ECFCB1F193AB20547E3DC1F4304EF21E
    SHA-1 80B91BDF20605D940401738202C473DF632D0765
    512kB Cartridge (US)

    References

    1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 File:GamePro US 032.pdf, page 46
    2. File:GamesMaster UK 047.pdf, page 11
    3. File:MeanMachines UK 17.pdf, page 21
    4. File:CVG UK 128.pdf, page 30
    5. Sega Power, "March 1992" (UK; 1992-02-06), page 11
    6. File:SegaForceMega UK 07.pdf, page 71
    7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 File:MeanMachinesSega14UK.pdf, page 104
    8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 File:GamePro US 054.pdf, page 206
    9. Retro Gamer issue #45
    10. CU Amiga, 1993-04
    11. File:ACE UK 55.pdf, page 42
    12. File:BeepMD_JP_1993-05.pdf, page 24
    13. File:SSM_JP_19950901_1995-09.pdf, page 85
    14. File:ConsolesPlus FR 007.pdf, page 100
    15. File:CVG UK 124.pdf, page 22
    16. File:CVG IT 15.pdf, page 74
    17. File:EGM US 033.pdf, page 26
    18. File:EGM US BuyersGuide 1993.pdf, page 46
    19. File:GamePower IT 07.pdf, page 30
    20. File:HobbyConsolas ES 010.pdf, page 46
    21. File:Joypad FR 006.pdf, page 94
    22. File:Joystick FR 024.pdf, page 120
    23. File:Mega UK 04.pdf, page 81
    24. File:MegaTech UK 03.pdf, page 18
    25. File:MeanMachines UK 17.pdf, page 18
    26. File:PlayerOne FR 020.pdf, page 62
    27. File:SegaForce UK 04.pdf, page 62
    28. File:SegaPro UK 06.pdf, page 60
    29. File:Supergame BR 11.pdf, page 34
    30. Supersonic, "Mai/Juin 1992" (FR; 1992-xx-xx), page 4
    31. File:VideoGames DE 1992-06.pdf, page 43
    32. File:ConsolesPlus FR 028.pdf, page 124
    33. File:PlayerOne FR 038.pdf, page 114
    34. File:SegaMagazine UK 02.pdf, page 110
    35. File:SegaForceMega UK 07.pdf, page 70
    36. File:SegaMasterForce UK 06.pdf, page 26
    37. File:Joypad FR 028.pdf, page 115
    38. File:PlayerOne FR 039.pdf, page 116
    39. File:SonicMag FR 02.pdf, page 38
    40. File:VideoGames DE 1994-04.pdf, page 108


    Strike games for Sega systems
    Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf (1992) | Jungle Strike (1993) | Urban Strike (1994) | Soviet Strike (1997)