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Space Harrier

aka: 3D Space Harrier, Sega Ages: Space Harrier
Moby ID: 1434
Arcade Specs

Description official descriptions

Run… fly… dodge those obstacles, but return fire on wave after wave of attacking aliens. Armed with a really big gun, you have to defend yourself against the alien hordes using your wits to navigate around the screen. But watch out for those end of level bosses!

Originating in the arcades, Space Harrier is a third-person rail shooter with pseudo-3D graphics, set in the same world as Fantasy Zone. The lone titular hero fights aliens with a fireball-launching cannon, which can also be used to transform the hero into a flying rocket. The protagonist is constantly in motion, but the speed of his movement can be regulated by the player.


  • 3D スペースハリアー - Japanese Nintendo 3DS spelling
  • スペースハリアー - Japanese spelling
  • 스페이스 해리어 - Korean spelling

Groups +



Credits (Arcade version)

8 People

US Product Manager



Average score: 69% (based on 56 ratings)


Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 164 ratings with 4 reviews)

Perfect Translation of an Old Game

The Good
Space Harrier is a classic coin-op arcade game, which brought us into the surreal Fantasy Zone with lots of simple, fast paced, science fiction action. While previous adaptations of the game had been made for the home consoles, this was the first perfect adaption of the original arcade game.

The Bad
Think about this for a moment. You have just spent a fair amount of money getting the Sega 32X. You bought the special adapter for your television set and spent all the required time hooking the device up without breaking anything. After going through all of this, how excited are you going to be that for an extra $60 - 70 you now own a perfect translation of an arcade game made in 1985? Space Harrier is a classic arcade game, and had it been on a compilation of classic arcade games, I would probably be kinder, but as a stand alone title it hardly justifies the investment needed to play it.

The Bottom Line
Space Harrier for the 32X is a perfect translation of a 1985 coin-op arcade game. This is both a blessing and a curse. It is a classic Sega game, which certainly belongs on a compilation along with other 1980s Sega titles. The flip side is that the game is no longer cutting edge and it patting yourself on the back for being any to make a perfect translation, on your next generation system, of a old game is setting yourself up for disaster. If you have the Sega 32X and can find this game at a reasonable price, you will certainly enjoy the game, but the folks who shelled out big bucks to play the game back in 1994 got hosed.

SEGA 32X · by ETJB (428) · 2010

An OK conversion of yet another Sega classic.

The Good
Ahhhh...my friend, the Space Harrier. To me, it's a classic. I popped many quarters into the arcade version in my youth, and then came the amazing (for the time) 3D playing field, with its high speed scrolling, nicely animated enemies, fast, frantic gameplay, and wonderful music score. Space Harrier was one of the forces that turned me into a huge Sega fan, no doubt about it. They could crank out some excellent games in the arcade, but once in a while you have to question their home ports. The PC version is a pretty decent port, but it still isn't perfect. Let's check it out, shall we?

First off, let me explain the premise of the game. You are the intergalactic hero known as the Space Harrier, who has been sent off to the Fantasy Zone to free it from some evil alien race headed by WiWi Jumbo, who oddly enough looks more like a voodoo witch doctor than an evil alien commander. So you're given a giant laser cannon with which you can blast your enemies, but that's not it. Oh no. See, our friend Space (that'll be his nickname for this review) also has the ability to run at superhuman speeds, as well as leap into the air and fly like a majestic eagle, allowing you to dodge low shots, as well as take out enemies that are flying at you from above. Because Space is constantly moving and running, there's no way to stop, and the enemies don't care; they'll just keep on coming straight at you, either trying to shoot you down or ram into you. There are also natural obstacles, like trees, boulders, shrubs, and towers, but don't worry! You can shoot them down if you wish! If you make it through the stage, you then have to battle a Boss Dragon in order to move on. It's a simple gameplay formula that works quite well, and the game makes for some fast paced fun. The PC version manages to capture all that fun and makes for a good conversion from a gameplay point of view. Control is very simple: move and fire. That's it. Graphics are decent for EGA/VGA, and you can easily identify your enemies and obstacles.

The Bad
Not very much, but there are a couple of things.

First, the sounds STUNK. I'm sorry, but even if it is the technical limits of the time, the sound just was not any good. Also, the game seemed a little slow...not as bad as the Sega Master System version, mind you, but it was still a little annoying once in a while. Sorry, but I'm a Space Harrier purist; I NEED to have that frantic pace in order to play. For that, you can get the original arcade version under emulation, the Sega 32X version, or the arcade-perfect (and Japanese only) Sega Saturn version.

The Bottom Line
I love Space Harrier to much to ever dismiss it. Although the PC version is not the best port around, when I was younger and the family still had an old 286 computer, this made for a wonderful way to play Space Harrier at home. Besides, who could resist the adventures of ol' Space, with his "take it like a man" attitude about ramming into trees and rocks, and his wacky enemies and their dead-set "KILL SPACE" mentality? Space Harrier is a classic for years to come!

Oh, and you've gotta love the death cry: "AAAAAAAAAAOOOoooooo......GET READY!" Long live Space!!

DOS · by Satoshi Kunsai (2021) · 2001

Faithful Arcade Translation.

The Good
When it first came out in the arcade it was extremely colorful and hypnotic and Trippy. After all it does start with "Welcome to the Fantasy Zone". It had a great 3D feel to it. The earlier Sega home versions were OK but they lacked all the color and detail. The 32x version brought it all together. It's simple enough to learn right away. And the graphics changes in each level make you want to play more, at least to see the end bosses.

The Bad
Back when it was released the pallet color cycling to simulate movement was innovative. They could have improved a little with the 32x version. And the levels where there is a ceiling above you as well as the floor below you is almost an overload of scaling and scrolling.

The Bottom Line
You are a guy running or use your jet pack to fly straight into the screen in a futuristic landscape. Shoot everything. Avoid things you can't destroy like huge rocks on the ground or certain things shot at you by the enemies. Get to the end of the level to find a boss. Figure out it's weak point and pound it good. Don't worry, you can fly as much as you want and shoot as much as well.

SEGA 32X · by gametrader (208) · 2006

[ View all 4 player reviews ]


1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Space Harrier appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Missing ports

Space Harrier was advertised for the Commodore 16/Plus 4 computer, and the (multi-platform) manual also had loading instructions for BBC and Electron computers. For reasons unknown, those ports never did appear.


Space Harrier originally mentioned that it took place in the Fantasy Zone just as the game of the same name, (remember the "Welcome to the Fantasy Zone! Get Ready!" intro?) and many have claimed that the games take place in the same universe considering the similarity in graphic design. While SEGA never made any official statement they did try to capitalize on the similarities with Space Fantasy Zone. An unreleased Fantasy Zone sequel for the PC Engine CD was developed that used the pseudo 3D gameplay of the Space Harrier series but used Opa-Opa and his gang of cute characters and levels.

It is unsure why the game never got released, but several beta copies have been leaked and you can easily find them around the net and run them with an emulator.

Super Scaler technology

First Sega game to come out that used "Super Scaler" technology.

Game Art Beyond

In 2018, Space Harrier was selected as one of the biggest classics on the Commodore 64 by the creators of the C64 graphics collection Game Art Beyond. Space Harrier was honoured with a high resolution title picture in a special C64 graphics format called NUFLI, along with a new C64 SID interpretation of the Space Harrier (arcade level 1) theme, which is much longer than the conversion originally done for the C64 port in 1986.

Information also contributed by Zovni

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Related Sites +

  • AtariMania (Elite, FR/DE/UK, Atari ST)
    For Atari ST: game entry database; downloadable release; game packaging; advertisement; manuals; magazine reviews; additional material.
  • AtariMania (SEGA, USA, Atari ST)
    For Atari ST: game entry database; downloadable release; game packaging; advertisement; manuals; magazine reviews; additional material.
  • CPC-Power (in French)
    For Amstrad CPC: game database entry; game packaging; manual digitalizations; goodies; advertisement; magazine reviews; downloadable releases; additional material.
  • CPCRrulez (in French)
    For Amstrad CPC: game database entry; advertisement; game packaging; downloadable releases; additional material.
  • DOSBox, an x86 emulator with DOS
    Compatibility information page about the original game and its DOSBox versions.
  • Hall of Light
    For Amiga: game database entry; digitalised manuals; game packaging; screenshots; additional material.
  • Lemon 64
    For Commodore 64: game entry database; advertisement; magazine reviews; music; documentation; cover art; additional material.
  • OC ReMix Game Profile
    Fan remixes of music from <em>Space Harrier</em>.
  • SMS Power! (Game Gear)
    For Game Gear: releases info; credits; box text; additional material.
  • SMS Power! (Master System)
    For Master System: releases info; credits; box text; additional material.
  • Sega8bit, a Master System fan site
    For SEGA Master System: artwork; releases; additional material.
  • The Arcade Flyer Archive
    for Arcade: digital repository for advertisement flyers
  • The International Arcade Museum
    for Arcade: extensive information about the arcade game machine.
  • The Tipshop
    For ZX Spectrum: a central archive for all Spectrum and SAM games hints, tips, cheats, maps, hacks and pokes.
  • World of Spectrum
    For ZX Spectrum: downloadable releases; additional material including – cassette inlay, advertisement, instructions; remakes links; player reviews; magazine references; magazine adverts.
  • ZX-Art - online archive of pixel art and 8-bit music
    For ZX Spectrum: music, credits, pixel art. Artist's graphics artwork.

Identifiers +


Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Macintrash.

Sharp X1 added by Trypticon. NES added by Max Tikhonov. Commodore 64 added by PCGamer77. Nintendo 3DS added by Michael Cassidy. Nintendo Switch added by Rik Hideto. PC-6001 added by Infernos. Atari ST, Amiga added by Rebound Boy. TurboGrafx-16 added by RKL. ZX Spectrum added by Martin Smith. Arcade added by Pseudo_Intellectual. SEGA Saturn, SEGA Master System, Game Gear added by Satoshi Kunsai. Sharp X68000 added by Terok Nor. Amstrad CPC added by Игги Друге. FM-7 added by Unicorn Lynx. SEGA 32X added by quizzley7. PC-88 added by j.raido 【雷堂嬢太朗】. Wii added by samsam12.

Additional contributors: Satoshi Kunsai, chirinea, Robbb, Игги Друге, Thomas Thompson, Rik Hideto, Malte Mundt, FatherJack, ZeTomes, Harmony♡.

Game added May 13th, 2000. Last modified October 21st, 2023.