aka: Subterrainia
Moby ID: 14235
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Aliens have invaded a vital subterranean mining colony. Use light-speed reflexes and total concentration to fly your prototype fighter through impossible caverns rescuing miners and blast those aliens into the darkest pits of space!

The game consists of 10 missions. Each mission takes place in a vast cavern, with interesting weather conditions. You must explore it and complete the mission objectives -- usually collecting sub parts, rescuing trapped miners, or destroying giant, epic bosses. You can also explore the levels, but keep an eye on your fuel gauge and beware the many hazards!

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Credits (Genesis version)

34 People (31 developers, 3 thanks) · View all



Average score: 77% (based on 23 ratings)


Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 15 ratings with 2 reviews)

Classic shooter for the Genesis.

The Good
Almost everything. From the awe-inspiring music of Jesper Kyd, to the powerful graphics (even at the end of the Genesis' life cycle, still among the best on the console), to the epic battles with huge and powerful foes. Sub-Terrania was a tour de force for the Genesis!

The Bad
Personally, I found the controls painful, often finding myself headed in a direction other than the one I wanted to go.

The Bottom Line
One of the best shooters of the early 1990s. And probably the best one on the Sega Genesis.

Genesis · by coldacid (550) · 2008

Very underrated gem for the Genesis

The Good
I, like many who bought this game in the 90's probably shrugged it off after 10 minutes of play and either stored it away, gave it away, or trashed it. If you ever sit down and learn to play it you might be surprised to find that it is a challenging and addicting game with a bit of a learning curve that requires practice - but when you are able to master the controls and figure out what you need to do it is a rewarding experience. What's cool about Subterrania is that it combines elements of the Desert Strike Series (ie. using strategy, a mission and a map for each level, fuel management), Choplifter (rescuing your buddies), and Lunar Lander (fighting gravity, fuel management) as well as just shooting the hell out of the bad guys using selectable guns or missiles. Excellent graphics and sound effects too.

The Bad
Subterrania is difficult, which can be overcome through practice. Mostly though, it's figuring out exactly what you need to do in order to complete missions (generally starting with Level 3).

The Bottom Line
See "What did you like about this game" above. Just get it and play it - especially if you have some time on your hands to figure out the advanced missions. Many hardcore shooting game enthusiasts may be disgruntled immediately but can learn to appreciate the games complexities and intricate, well thought out missions.

Genesis · by Mark Weber (8) · 2008


1001 Video Games

Sub-Terrania appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


A contest was held between April to July 1994 for this game. It involved the contestants playing the game on the hardest difficulty setting and after defeating the final boss, they were to take a picture of the victory screen. The prizes included one grand prize winning an all paid for week-end in New York to attend the Marvel Mega-Tour and getting a VIP tour of the Marvel headquarters and also the winner would receive a Sega Genesis CDX system. One first prize winner was to get an all paid for week-end in Los Angeles to attend the Marvel Mega-Tour and getting a VIP tour of the Marvel Films headquarters . Three second place prizes involve the winners receiving a Sega Genesis CDX system with its carrying case, a Sub-Terrania t-shirt, and three games (Gunstar Heroes, Ranger X, and Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar). Fifty third place prize winners won limited editions comic book ashcans. A hundred fourth place prize winners won their choice of either a Sub-Terrania hat or t-shirt.

Development hardware

The group that created Sub-Terrania were using their own development hardware instead of Sega-supplied. The code they submitted for final was very stable, but had a number of technical "incorrect read/writes" errors since they "hacked" a lot of their data. In the end, it all got sorted out!

Difficulty level

The game was criticized at release for its difficulty, but the game went through two rounds of difficulty reduction before it was released!

Information also contributed by Tony Van


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kohler 86.

Additional contributors: Tony Van, Alaka, Classix, FatherJack.

Game added August 5, 2004. Last modified February 22, 2023.