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The Federation of Intergalactic Powers is under threat by gigantic fortress spaceships which have suddenly appeared and destroyed nearby civilization. When conventional defense tactics fail, the Federation looks to find a specially selected person, Hal Bailman and equip him with a special "Lightship". His mission will to be to fly through the defenses of the eight known Air Fortresses and dock at the airlock. Then he must travel through the fortress in only a spacesuit to find and destroy the central core. Once the central core is destroyed, Hal must then quickly find the emergency lightship and escape before the fortress explodes.

The game is made up of two parts. The first part is a side-scrolling shooter on the surface of the air fortress where you must avoid various flying enemies and try to destroy as many waves as possible. This lasts until you dock with the airlock. Once docked, you walk the inside of the Air Fortress at your own pace. Hal is equipped with a jetpack rather than a jump as well as a blaster weapon and a more powerful bomb weapon. Any movement or firing you do consumes energy which is regenerated by standing still. Your goal is to blow up the core and find the escape ship before explosion.

Power-ups to increase Energy or Bombs can be found in each part of the game. Additionally, Super-bombs (clear screen of enemies) and Invulnerability can be found while flying the lightship.


Air Fortress NES Firing a bomb weapon at the core
Air Fortress NES A portion of the game's story
Air Fortress NES Landing and dismount
Air Fortress NES A very blue part of the level

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Alternate Titles

  • "空中要塞 AIR FORTRESS" -- Japanese spelling
  • "Air Fortress: Kuuchuu Yousai" -- Japanese title

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User Reviews

Those space ice cream cones are tough! Multimedia Mike (20636) 4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars
AIR? More like SPACE. Alex Baumfull (6) 4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars

Critic Reviews Mar 23, 2012 16 out of 20 80 Oct 12, 2020 7 out of 10 70
Play Time Jun, 1992 69 out of 100 69
8-bit Central Retro Gaming 2012 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
Video Game Den May 09, 2012 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
Game Freaks 365 2005 5.7 out of 10 57 Jan, 2011 C 50
Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library 2016 2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars 50
The Video Game Critic May 14, 2000 C 50
The Game Hoard Jun 08, 2021 3 out of 7 43


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Shoddyan (14354) added Air Fortress (NES) on Jan 11, 2004
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