Zero Wing is an horizontal shooter game where the player is in control of a ZIG, an escape pod released after its main ship was attacked and destroyed by the evil cyborg CATS, bent on taking over the world.
Like most games in the genre, there are three color-coded weapons: red (scatter), green (homing) and blue (lasers). Each weapon has three levels of power, and to obtain those, similar upgrades must be collected sequentially. However, what makes the game unique is the ability to use a traction beam to trap an enemy and then throw him against his peers, destroying them.
The game (more precisely, the European PAL version of it) is known for being the origin of the grammatically incorrect phrase in the English translation, All your base are belong to us, which has since become an internet phenomenon.
- ゼロウィング - Japanese spelling
Credits (Genesis version)
Average score: 65% (based on 14 ratings)
Average score: 3.2 out of 5 (based on 21 ratings with 1 reviews)
The intro was the most enjoyable part, to me. And the intro is extremely hilarious. As for the actual gameplay, control and engine were solid, and it has an attainable skill level. It certainly has an arcade-type feel for it.
The actual gameplay was really not all that memorable. I don't remember the Music, or sound Effects at all, and it doesn't seem to offer anything (with the exception of the intro) that you couldn't get in another 2D shooter.
The Bottom Line
Average. The only reason I would purchase this game is to watch the introduction. And, even then, it's not that hard to find a movie dumped from an emulator or and animated .GIF, or maybe even a .mpeg or .avi file with the intro. Honestly, the intro is what made the game famous. (or, infamous, heh, heh)
Genesis · by J. David Taylor (27) · 2003
The game was released in the U.S. in the arcades by Williams, licensed from Toaplan. It was not, however, released for the home consoles in North America The arcade version had no intro. That was first seen on the home console versions.
The infamous "All Your Base Are Belong To Us" quotes were taken from the European localization of the Sega Genesis port released in 1989. More information on the internet phenomenon can be found here.
Also, the phenomenon of this translation was already noted back when the game was released in Europe, as noted on the magazine Megatech on the May 1992 issue. Of course there are six pics from the intro, including the infamous AYB phrase and also the 'what you say!' follow up. Strangely enough, the shoot 'em up managed to get a 82% score, even though the reviewer himself says the gameplay is rather disappointing.
References to the game
- Zero Wing is referenced in the Futurama episode Anthology of Interest II. The episode consists of three shorts; one of which involves Fry asking the "what-if" machine "what if life was more like a video game." The short contains the "All your base" quote.
- Zero Wing is referenced in the 2008 video for the single Pork and Beans by American rock band Weezer, which is a collage of all kinds of Internet phenomena and YouTube hits. During the video a shot of Zero Wing's villain Cats is shown, with the accompanying "All your base" quote being replaced by "All your pork and beans are belong to us !!".
Related Sites +
All Your Base Are Belong To Us
This site has animated gif and shockwave files of the introduction sequence to Zero Wing.
All Your Smurf are Belong to Smurf!
Absolutely hilarious parody on the infamous "All your base!" line from Zero Wing and The $25,000 Pyramid! Starring Papa Smurf, Zero Wing Operator, Cats, Dick Clark's head, 'ZIG' Captain, and Balki from Perfect Strangers!
Information about Zero Wing at toaplan.com.
Zero Wing [PC]
Bitwave remastered release site
Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!
Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Satoshi Kunsai.
Game added June 7th, 2002. Last modified November 27th, 2023.