aka: Project RS2
Moby ID: 7738
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Description official descriptions

Vertical shoot-em-up ported from the Naomi Arcade version. Ikaruga is more or less a sequel to Radiant Silvergun on the Sega Saturn.

Based on a two-colors system, the player has to switch between the black & white sides of his ship during gameplay. The black side is immune to black enemy bullets which it considers as a bonus and dies on impact with white enemy bullets. Your own black bullets damage white enemies twice as much as white bullets. And vice-versa for the white side. Those properties make a balance between protecting yourself well and killing enemies fast.

This aspect, combined with specific enemy patterns and a combo system makes Ikaruga an original shoot-em-up with a dose of strategy.


  • 斑鳩 - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Arcade version)

13 People (11 developers, 2 thanks)

Main Program
Character / Object Design
BG Graphic Design
Music by
Sound Effect / GM Data Edit
Sub Program
BG Graphic Design
Art Works
PC Edition Prototype / Tutorial Game Program
Special Thanks (SEGA)
Executive Producer
Presented by
  • Treasure



Average score: 86% (based on 75 ratings)


Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 142 ratings with 5 reviews)

A challenging, original arcade shooter.

The Good
Ikaruga brings a few new cards to the table. The light/dark shooting ability is something to love or hate. You have to have very careful timing with how you switch between the two. If you are in the light stage and you get hit with a dark shot, you die. If you're in the light stage and you get hit with a light shot, you gain energy, and vice versa. Even the slightest mistake in using the two could mean the end of your game. The graphics are very nice. The combo system is a challenging and interesting feature that utilizes the light/dark system. Hit 3 enemies of the same type you get a 1 on the chain counter. Hit 2 light enemies, and 1 dark enemy, you get nothing.

The Bad
This game is a challenge, and not your average challenge. An intense challenge. The boss' are rather difficult.

The Bottom Line
A very challenging, very rewarding, very fun shooter. Yet another must have for Dreamcast owners.

Dreamcast · by big_brother (6) · 2004

This is the evolution of the scrolling shooter to perfection.

The Good
It restored my faith in old school style games brought to the Nth degree on a 4th generation platform. I like shooters. I prefer shooters to RPG's. The parity concept of the attacking ships and bullets seems to add a puzzle like element to making your way through a level. You are forced into thinking and plotting because brute force and firepower alone will not win.

The Bad
A vertical scrolling shooter made for arcade style monitors has to compress itself on your TV to see everything in all it's glory. If you have a widescreen TV you find yourself playing this game that takes up a small vertical stripe in the middle of your set. This is making me think about the possibility of mounting a widescreen TV vertically because you can switch the view to horizontal but something seems to be wrong if you are actually watching it scroll sideways instead.

The Bottom Line
A vertical scrolling shooter. Level based missions with bosses. Your ship and all enemy objects have a parity of either white or black. You can change your parity at will. If you fire at an enemy that is the same parity as you it fires back when it is destroyed. But your shield will absorb enemy fire that is the same parity that you are currently set to. This absorbed energy can be release in a fury of homing missles that do excellent damage. If you destroy an enemy of the opposite polarity they do not fire back at you. The smaller ships are single polarity. The larger ships and bosses have elements of both white and black so you have to modify your attack accordingly. It is a tough learning curve. And just when you think you have it mastered it gets harder.

GameCube · by gametrader (208) · 2003

A dieing genre...

The Good
Ikaruga is a new game in a dying genre. Space Invaders has hardly seen the light since the NES and Sega Mega Drive was out. 2D games anymore, just don't cut it. A concept which is highly untrue and ignorant. Ikaruga is a space shooter, to cut it short. You control a ship that can change colour to vary effects in the game, (black and white.) Black makes white enemies easier to kill and vice versa with black, also when you are black you can suck up black bullets, same also with White. When you suck up enough bullets, you can fire a missile and take out ships nearby.

How does it clause into such an amazing game?

Easy, it's so simple. The game is designed for fast paced actions and that delivers. Ikaruga is more of Speed and Reflexes other than true tactical skills. But that is what makes it so fun. Oh, did I mention that there is also a Co-Op mode involved? Packed with speed and powerful graphics to add on to that cutting edge of pure gameplay as well as nice music that fits the scenes brilliantly too.

The Bad
However, it's not all rosy posey. To be honest, this is one of the hardest games I've ever played.(Blink and you die.) Yes, I have Gradius and I have other space shooters and this is still harder than them. The screen is also awkward, you can have a small horizontal screen or a big horrible vertical screen. Also, the game is rather small and it has a distinct lack of a storyline.

The Bottom Line
This game does not compare to anything, simply because nothing has really been done like this before. And, because of it's fast tense gameplay and true originality and inspiration this game is pure brilliance.

A very challenging, but very fun and worthwile game to say the least.

GameCube · by Exeox (38) · 2004

[ View all 5 player reviews ]


1001 Video Games

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

Replays DVD

In Japan the Ikaruga Appreciate DVD was released in 2003. It contains replays of full games played by three of the world top Ikaruga players of the time completing levels with unbroken chain combos. Scores are 32,178,600 in easy mode, 35,759,960 in normal mode, and 34,289,970 in hard mode.


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Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Bock.

PlayStation 4 added by Rik Hideto. GameCube added by Kartanym. Nintendo Switch added by A.J. Maciejewski. Fire OS added by Sciere. Android, Windows, Xbox 360 added by Kabushi. Arcade added by The cranky hermit. Xbox One added by MAT.

Additional contributors: Ye Olde Infocomme Shoppe, Caelestis, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, Rik Hideto, is_that_rain_or_tears, FatherJack.

Game added November 12, 2002. Last modified March 4, 2024.