Galaxy Force (video game)

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Galaxy Force
Galaxy Force flyer.jpg
Japanese arcade flyer of Galaxy Force
Developer(s) Sega AM1[1]
M2 (3DS)[2]
Publisher(s) Sega
Composer(s) Koichi Namiki
Katsuhiro Hayashi
Platform(s) Arcade, Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, FM Towns, Sega Saturn, PlayStation 2, Virtual Console, PC, ZX Spectrum, Cloud (OnLive), Nintendo 3DS
Release Arcade Mega Drive/Genesis
Genre(s) Rail Shooter
Mode(s) Single-player
Arcade system Sega Y Board

Galaxy Force (ギャラクシーフォース) is a sprite-scaling rail shooter arcade game, released by Sega in 1988 and built upon the Sega Y Board. The game which is in the tradition of Sega's successful Space Harrier is set in space. The game was ported in 1989 to the Sega Master System and in 1990 to the Mega Drive/Genesis. Later it was also ported to the Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, FM Towns, Sega Saturn and PlayStation 2 platforms.

Two other versions of the arcade game were released as Galaxy Force II Deluxe Edition and Galaxy Force Super Deluxe Edition. Galaxy Force II was also released on the Virtual Console via Sega Genesis/Mega Drive in Japan on February 3, 2009, in Europe on May 1, 2009 and in North America on May 11, 2009.[7] Galaxy Force II was released on Nintendo 3DS as part of the 3D Classics series. It was released in July 2013 in Japan and in December 2013 in Australia, Europe and North America.[8]


The evil Fourth Empire, ruled by Halcyon, begins a campaign of galactic conquest, after laying waste to almost all of the star systems in the galaxy, An interstellar organization, known as the Space Federation, launches Galaxy Force, an elite starfighter corps specializing in space combat to free the galaxy from the oppressive rule of Halcyon and the Fourth Empire. A lone fighter wages a one-man war against Halcyon and his forces.

Description from the American release:

"In this distant Galaxy exist many systems harboring life. Trade and communication have arisen between these star systems, as has a great, dark force threatening these distant civilizations. To fight this dark menace the Space Federation was formed, but has met with little success. The enemy calls itself THE FOURTH EMPIRE and has now attacked JUNOS, jewel of the Galaxy. The JUNOS star system, once so beautiful... is only ashes now. And on these ashes THE FOURTH EMPIRE is building the strongest fortress of all time, from which to complete their conquest of the galaxy. The Space Federation must end this evil menace! Thus is launched Galaxy Force, to strike a hammer blow against the forces threatening civilization. Fortunately, having done this duty of saving JUNOS people and destroying THE FOURTH EMPIRE, a combatant of Galaxy Force returned to the ship."


You pilot the interstellar fighter-ship TRY-Z through several missions on different planets, shooting lasers and missiles at attacking enemies and other objects in your way. Your ship's shield is decreasing each time you fly into something, or get hit by enemy projectiles. Once your shield is gone you are more easily damaged. When power, always counting down as you go, is depleted your ship explodes and the game is over.

There is only one type of power-up in Galaxy Force II. In certain places along each stage comes a drone carrying an upgraded missile ramp. It docks and then disappears. You are already equipped with a multi-missile launcher, but the power-up will allow you to fire even more missiles in one single shot.

The controls are analog; up, down, left, and right, plus a throttle for velocity regulation. Weapons are as before mentioned lasers (appearing rather like shiny pellets) and missiles. Aim your guns at the enemy while manoeuvering your craft with the control-stick, and as you lock onto the enemy launch missiles and / or fire your lasers to eliminate them, earning a hit-bonus for each enemy down. At the checkpoints through the mission your power will be replenished according to the amount of your hit-bonus.

Since your power is depleting in a steady rate, not depending on your velocity, fly as fast as you are able, and shoot at as much as you can to increase the hit-bonus.

There are a total of six planets which all have different characteristics:

  1. Megaleon (Man-Made world): The default starting level in the game, the first half consisting of combat in open space, slowly approaching the fortress built inside the planet. The most common enemies being enemy fighters and a space cruiser, the only obstacle is a construction site orbiting the planet
  2. Ashutar (Volcanic world): Planet with a lot of volcanic activity, solar flare-like enemies shoot from the surface, these are targetable, destroying them gives ample bonus points. the player must traverse through 2 fortresses.
  3. Malkland (Plant world): Abundant with life, this level contains many obstacles, among them is a fast growing plant the entangles your ship. The player must fly with care to avoid these obstacles. Like the planet before it, 2 fortresses must be traversed.
  4. Sara (Desert world): A barren wasteland, players must avoid tornadoes and enemy traps in half of this stage. Small mechs can pepper the player with ground fire.
  5. Orthea (Cloud world): The stage consists of fighting in the clouds, with massive formations of enemy fighters. Like the second and third stages 2 fortresses must be traversed.
  6. Hyperspace (Final): The final stage, can be accessed after completing the five stages regardless of the starting stage, this is the stronghold of the enemy forces, first half is a wormhole leading to the edge of the galaxy.

At game start you can select any of the first five planets, and continue from each of these if game over. But you cannot continue game from the last (sixth) stage. You will always need to play through all five worlds, even if you start on planet #5, before proceeding to the final stage.


Review scores
Publication Score
CVG 91% (Master System)[9]
Eurogamer 8/10 (3DS)[10]
Nintendo Life 8/10 stars (3DS)[2]
Nintendo World Report 9/10 (3DS)[11]
Sinclair User 10/10 (Arcade)[12]
Commodore User 8/10 (Arcade)[5]
Mean Machines 59% (Mega Drive)[13]
Mega 31% (Mega Drive)[14]
Publication Award
Sinclair User Shoot 'Em Up of the Year (1988)[15]

Reviewing the Nintendo 3DS version, NintendoLife commented that even though Galaxy Force II doesn't contain a single polygon, the impression of rushing through space, avoiding collisions with asteroids and dodging incoming enemy fire is so intense that it puts many modern 3D titles to shame. They deemed the game as "the culmination of M2's 3D Classics range".[2]

Popular culture[edit]

Michael Jackson owned a deluxe cabinet of Galaxy Force II which was auctioned off following his death.[16] Another famous owner of a Galaxy Force II cabinet was singer Diana Ross. Footage of the Sega Genesis port of Galaxy Force II can be seen in a Saturday Night Live commercial parody revolving around action figures and a video game based on the movie Philadelphia.[citation needed]

The TRY-Z appears as a downloadable ship for Taito's Dariusburst: Chronicle Saviours for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and PC.


External links[edit]

Galaxy Force

Galaxy Force II

3D Galaxy Force II