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Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf

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SEGA Master System
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The first game in the Strike series. A year after the Gulf War, a self-styled general named Kilbaba (Muababa in the GBA version) takes over an Arab Emirate and threatens to start World War III against his western enemy, the United States. The whole world holds its breath as the President has chosen you to destroy Kilbaba and his terrorist army before he launches a nuclear attack on the world!

You must fly a specially designed AH-64A Apache on a series of missions to rescue missing-in-action characters, destroy power plants, blow apart SCUD missiles, etc. to take out the enemy defense while trying to find out Kilbaba's plans.


Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf Lynx I lost my last life. Game over.
Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf DOS New Game Intro
Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf DOS Level 1 - Status screen info on our missing agent.
Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf SNES Approaching the coast...

Alternate Titles

  • "デザートストライク 湾岸作戦" -- Japanese spelling
  • "Desert Strike Advance" -- GBA title
  • "Desert Strike" -- SEGA Master System title
  • "Apache AHX: Desert Madman" -- Working title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

One of the Greatest games for Genesis Genesis Robbb (125)
Not good, not really bad... Game Boy Advance chromax (20)
A Genesis to SNES Standard SNES Robbb (125)

The Press Says

MegaTech Genesis Mar, 1992 93 out of 100 93
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Genesis Mar, 1992 92 out of 100 92
Pelit Amiga Apr, 1993 92 out of 100 92
Amiga Joker Amiga Apr, 1993 85 out of 100 85
Nintendo Magazine System UK SNES Jan, 1993 83 out of 100 83
Amiga Games Amiga Apr, 1993 83 out of 100 83
Joypad Game Gear Feb, 1994 82 out of 100 82
Sega-16.com Genesis Sep 07, 2004 8 out of 10 80
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) Genesis Dec, 1993 6.8 out of 10 68
PC Gamer DOS Feb, 1995 61 out of 100 61


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1001 Video Games

Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


The design of the Apache in Desert Strike is not what it really is in real life. The tail rotor in back from the game is circular with the tail blades in cased like a circle, with the wing piece placed on top. The actual military design has the tail rotor looking more simple, with the tail blades attached freely, with the wing piece placed on the bottom.

Simply, the design is more different and it is likely due to legal reasons or game design.


The game was pulled from some shelves in the UK because of numerous references to the gulf war 1990.


Before being released, Desert Strike was previously going to be named Apache AHX: Desert Madman. The name-change was probably to connect the game more with Operation Desert Storm from the Gulf War, which the game is inspired by.


The name of the madman, Gen. Kibaba, is extremely funny. In the Swahili language, properly 'Ki-Swahili,' the word kibaba means a traditional measuring container of the type used for grain -- millet, for example. You can see this in the common saying "Haba na haba hijaza kibaba," which means "Little by little the grain measuring container fills up." This is equivalent to a piece of advice to take things slowly and be patient. In other words, the madman's name is approximately "Gen. Measuring Cup."


The allied pilots shot down will attempt to evade, but if the bad guys approach, the pilots will shoot back! You can watch, but you're supposed to be rescuing them...


George Bush, president of the US at the time Desert Strike was first released, along with his wife Barabra show up in the game ending sequence.


  • Amiga Joker
    • Issue 02/1994 – #2 Best Action Game in 1993 (Readers' Vote)
Information also contributed by 88 49, Richard Daives, Ricky Derocher and Robbb

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Contributed to by Kartanym (10766), Robbb (125), Terok Nor (19350), Macintrash (2501), コナン (86883) and quizzley7 (21203)