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The year is 2058. Following an event known as the Awakening, magic has returned into the world. Native American shamans and elves reclaimed a vast area known as Salish-Shidhe, located around the free city of Seattle. A small team of shadowrunners - mercenaries working for powerful corporations - is brutally attacked in the wilderness. The massacre is captured in video and broadcast in the news. One of the slain shadowrunners, Michael, had a brother named Joshua. Arriving in Seattle, Joshua begins to investigate his brother's death. He must find out who killed Michael, and what was the nature of the shadowrun job he was carrying out.

Shadowrun is an action-oriented role-playing game based on the pen-and-paper RPG by FASA. It is entirely different from the SNES adaptation of the same license. In the beginning of the game, the player selects a character class for Joshua, choosing between a samurai, a decker, or a gator shaman, who specialize in combat, cyberworld, and magic, respectively. The game is fairly open-ended; the player navigates Joshua through predominantly urban overhead areas, talking to characters and gathering information.

The player can hire characters to join the party; however, only one character can be directly controlled by the player. Combat is action-based; characters can use melee weapons, firearms (with expendable ammunition), or cast magic. "Karma", an equivalent of experience points, is awarded for killing enemies and completing quests. Karma points can be allocated by the player manually to increase the character's parameters.

Certain characters can also enter the Matrix, a virtual network accessed through cyberterminals. Matrix navigation is done from over-the-shoulder third-person view. The player can upgrade and customize Joshua's cyberdeck, allowing him to hack through encrypted systems more easily and store data obtained from the Matrix. Nodes and ICs will try to protect the data, attacking the virtual representation of the character and trying to force him to log out of the system.


Shadowrun Genesis Opening Cinematic - Surprise Ambush
Shadowrun Genesis Random events offer different choices, all which could be the "right one" to give you the advantage.
Shadowrun Genesis Shadowrun's Sega screen
Shadowrun Genesis Computer systems can be filled with different nodes. Here's a map of one system obtained by accessing the CPU

Promo Images

Shadowrun Magazine Advertisement

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User Reviews

Fantasy, science fiction and good gameplay. Timo Takalo (58) 4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars
Take all the great stuff from a RPG game and put it in one Genesis get this. Mango Man (5) 4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars

Critic Reviews

RPGFan Jan 21, 2001 93 out of 100 93
Just Games Retro Sep 20, 2013 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Mean Machines Jun, 1994 83 out of 100 83
Video Games Jun, 1994 81 out of 100 81
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) Jun, 1994 40 out of 50 80
GamePro (US) Jul, 1994 4 out of 5 80
Mega Play Magazine Jul, 1994 80 out of 100 80
Mega Fun May, 1994 78 out of 100 78
All Game Guide 2007 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
Game Players Jun, 1994 62 out of 100 62


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Easter egg

The event date given in the opening cinematic (January 31) is the birthdate of the game's producer/designer Tony Van.


On "Extraction" missions, in which you must help a person escape from a company they no longer wish to work for, sometimes the name of the person you must extract is Alan Turing. (This is true for the Genesis version of the game only.) Alan Turing was a legendary real-world pioneer in the field of computer science around the time of World War II. In more recent times, he was notably fictionalized in Neal Stephenson's novel Cryptonomicon.


Some of the bars in the game have a German rave style music track with a voice sample that says "schattenlauf." This loosely translated from German is "Shadowrun."

SNES version

Sega sub-licenced the Shadowrun IP from Data East. Due to a number of factors, the Genesis version was completely different from Data East's SNES version and contrary to the popular belief is not a sequel.

Information also contributed by Adam Luoranen
Tony Van (2855) added Shadowrun (Genesis) on Jun 08, 2002