Propeller Arena

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Propeller Arena: Aviation Battle Championship
Propeller Arena cover.jpg
North American Dreamcast boxart. This is one of the reasons on the game's cancellation, the cover art cited similarities from the September 11 attacks despite the Towercity stage.
Developer(s)Sega AM2
Director(s)Makoto Osaki
Producer(s)Yu Suzuki
Designer(s)Junichi Yamanaka
Programmer(s)Tetsuya Sugimoto
Artist(s)Shoji Takeuchi
Composer(s)Sachio Ogawa
Tomoya Koga
Platform(s)Dreamcast (unpublished and leaked)
ReleaseUnpublished (2001)
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Propeller Arena: Aviation Battle Championship (also simply called Propeller Arena) is a video game for the Dreamcast console. It was originally titled Propeller Head Online,[1] and was to be released on September 19, 2001.[2] The game was trademarked on August 14, 2001.[3] It was developed and completed by the development team Sega AM2,[4] but the game was never officially released.[5] The release was cancelled[6] just days after the September 11 attacks,[7] citing both similarities in game packaging and design to the events of that day[8][9][10][11] as well as the Dreamcast's declining market share[12] resulting in projected low sales numbers.

The game was on display at E3 on May 19, 2001.[13] After it was postponed, they were working to change the game cover art to remove sensitive images.[14]

Hopes of a port to another console never materialized. However, a disk image of the game was eventually leaked,[15] and became a popular[16] download on many peer-to-peer networks.


In a near future, there will be an air combat tournament with planes from the WW2 era. From the game's intro:

This is coming to you from Aviation Radio Station. The year is 2045. Who thought of this? I don't know! But it's a crazy tournament of cool battles in the sky. Aviation Battle Championships begin! Proud Warriors of the world's skies gather in hopes of winning the prize!


Several pilots join the tournament, each with their own reasons.[17]

P-51 D[edit]

  • Eagle Jam: Gary Hamilton is a USAF pilot and leads a team of ancient aircraft restorers. In a time of peace, he wants to try his skill in real combat.
  • Shameless Cats: Emily Williams is an actress who enters the competition to honor her beloved late grandfather, an adventurer and pilot, who taught her to fly at an early age.

P-38 J[edit]

  • Muscle Brothers: Tim Golden is a bodybuilder and former Air Force cadet who was tricked into getting in the tournament.
  • Pizza Fat: Michael Cantrelle is the heir of a large pizza franchise, a military item collector, and a slouch. He is promised a tank by his father if he wins the prize.

Bf 109 E[edit]

  • Pengo Jets: Rally Miller is an actor, aircraft aficionado, and narcissist, who thinks his fighter will attract women even more than his jet plane.
  • 8-Bit Beat: Silver Boy is the mysterious leader of a German techno act.

Spitfire Mk. VB[edit]

  • Hex Candy: Lucy Walman is a singer in a girl band, enrolled in the tournament by her manager as a promotional stunt.
  • Golden Knife: Peter Goldsmith is a Gulf War veteran who was seen as a cheater by his peers for going after enemy planes that had already been damaged by them, and wants to prove his worth as a pilot.


Tower City,[18] the stage that killed Propeller Arena's release

Propeller Arena can be roughly described as "Twisted Metal in the skies": it is not a typical flight simulator, but a series of quick dog fight deathmatches in rather limited areas,[19] in a way similar to a multiplayer first-person shooter.

The game has four modes: the main game, Championship, which is a sequence of dogfights; Quick Battle, a single dogfight; Training Arena, a number of training missions and minigames; and Network, the online mode. Beating the game and the training missions unlocks extra characters and levels.

The game features force feedback via support for the Dreamcast Jump Pack.


The game's soundtrack, all consisting of punk rock, was prepared by both "branches" of Sega: a Japanese team (Sachio Ogawa and Tomoya Koga) had 13 songs composed and produced in-house, while an American team arranged a deal with the Fat Wreck Chords label[17] to license nine songs from the bands Consumed, Zero Down, No Use for a Name, Mad Caddies, and Rise Against.[20][21] Some of Sega's original songs were remixed as instrumental versions and reused in their 2006 sports game Virtua Tennis 3.[22]

See also[edit]

List of entertainment affected by the September 11 attacks

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "E3 2001: First Look - Yu Suzuki's Propeller Arena". IGN. 2001-05-16. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  2. ^ "News Archive - August 2001". Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  3. ^ Namedavid Ehrlich. "PROPELLER ARENA AVIATION BATTLE CHAMPIONSHIP Trademark - Registration Number 2878236 - Serial Number 76299935". Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  4. ^ "Propeller Arena". IGN. 2001-08-21. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  5. ^ "saturn-digest digest, Volume 07, Issue 258". Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  6. ^ "TGS 2001: Propeller Arena Flies Away For Good". IGN. 2001-10-18. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  7. ^ "Sega indefinitely postpones Propeller Arena". 2001-09-13. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  8. ^ "Winnipeg Free Press, Thursday, October 04, 2001, Page 67". Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  9. ^ "Traverse City Record-Eagle - News Story -". 2001-09-27. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  10. ^ "Toy Makers Editing Product Lines". 2001-09-27. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  11. ^ "Toy makers respond to parental concern by de-emphasizing violence. Category: Election Section from". The Berkeley Daily Planet. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  12. ^ "Propeller Arena (Preview)". Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  13. ^ "2001 E3 Show". Future Gamez. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  14. ^ "September 18, 2001". Gamebits. 2001-09-18. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  15. ^ "Propeller Arena Leaked « The Blog for the Sports Gamer". Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  16. ^ "Interview Glenn Wissner | SegaOnline". 2004-05-15. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  17. ^ a b "Top Guns Of The Arena - Propeller Arena Feature Week 3!". IGN. 2001-07-19. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  18. ^ "Propeller Arena - Sega's Lost Dreamcast Title? - Slashdot". 2003-12-09. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  19. ^ "Feature: Propeller Arena Retrospective". The Next Level. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  20. ^ "The Unravelling (CD) - Rise Against - Buy @ music cd store". Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Propeller Arena & Virtua Tennis 3 OST Comparison". 2013-12-17. Retrieved 2014-03-26.