Gunstar Heroes

Gunstar Heroes
Download Gunstar Heroes and experience the explosive run-and-gun action of this classic title! Fight through relentless waves of enemies, save the world, and become a true hero. Lock and load, and play now!
a game by Treasure
Genres: Action, Arcade Classics, Shooting Games, Platformer
Platforms: Sega GenesisGenesis, GameGear
Editor Rating: 8.8/10, based on 6 reviews
User Rating: 7.5/10 - 4 votes
Rate this game:
See also: Retro Games, Gunstar Games
Gunstar Heroes
Gunstar Heroes
Gunstar Heroes
Gunstar Heroes

If you're itching for classic side-view shooting action, Gunstar Heroes wants you. But be advised: This Genesis action/adventure game is an assault on your senses as well as your trigger finger.

Better Dead than Red

The planet Gunstar has the Red blues. Colonel Red, a vicious dictator, has stolen four Mystical Gems, which can revive a long-dead, planet-killing robot. The Gunstar twins are out to retrieve the Gems and cream the Colonel.

Gunstar Heroes is chaos in a game. Colonel Red's droid horde comes charging at you on land and in the air from both sides of the screen. The Gunstars fight through a spaceship/shooter stage. The bad boss 'bots run the gamut from weird, Erector-set rejects to teeny, tiny, mechanical terrors. You select four difficulty levels, where even Easy is nasty hard.

You need superior firepower to survive, and the game obliges nicely. Periodically an Electronic Duck flies in to drop four energy weapon power-ups. You can use two separately or combine them into one awesome blaster. There are ten combo weapons possible.


  • In Stage Four, you can make a stronger throw with the dice if you catch and throw it before it stops bouncing.
  • You can snatch bad guys, robots, and bombs out of the air and toss'em. Time a jump and hit B.
  • Force with Lightning and Double Force are strong weapon combos, especially at the end of the game.

3 Killer Controls

The real stars of this thumb-buster are the outstanding controls and the character moves. In addition to the energy weapons, each Gunstar has an easily accessible hand- fighting repertoire: a flying kick, a sliding kick, a throw, and a body slam. They can block attacks, fire weapons 360 degrees, and climb handover hand. During the mining cart sequence you can even down.

  • You can rebound off the sides of the screen to jump a little bit higher.
  • Run with the Duck! Sometimes you can score an extra Vitality.

Eye Strain, Ear Grain

The game's graphics wage their own battle against good and evil... but good ultimately prevails. The character sprites aren't very sharp, and during the riotous two-player contests, you're hard-pressed to distinguish your Gunstar from your friend's. Although slowdown is infinitesimal, blocks of pixels sometimes disappear from your sprite during heavy fighting. On the other hand, there are some truly creative stage designs. For example, one imaginative stage is a board game, where you roll dice, move to a square, and warp to a boss challenge.

The sound effects pack a power punch. Crystal clear gun blasts and explosions will rock your house.

'Star Quality

This game doesn't blast open new territory, but it soups up a standard shoot-out game with murderous action, excellent controls, and imaginative game design. Gunstar Heroes is a certified Genesis gun star.

Download Gunstar Heroes


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Game modes: Single game mode

Player controls:

  • Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
  • Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
  • "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
  • "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
  • "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)

Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Just recently, Sega of Japan showed one of their latest creations: Gunstar Heroes. It is a colorful action quest for one or two players. It looks great, and could make it to these shores.

Gunstar Heroes is about a group of heroic warriors devoted to maintaining peace throughout the galaxy. The whole adventure spans across the universe, and takes place on some pretty wild areas. Gunstar Heroes is very light-hearted, with cartoony graphics. Don't get me wrong, this game is great for players, because there is a lot of strategy to be found here. With the added bonus of being able to have two players compete simultaneously, this game really rocks. Gunstar Heroes looks very impressive.

Gunstar Heroes: arguably the best run-and-gun action game for the Genesis and Mega Drive. So it comes as no surprise to see that it has been remade for the Game Gear. Other than the fact that this will be a one-player game, little else should be lost in the translation from the wickedly great 16-Bit original. (Although Treasure, the people who made the contra series for the Nintendo systems and the original Gunstar, are not doing the actual translation, they are keeping close check on Sega's efforts.)

Gunstar Heroes is a great game no matter which system it's on. The challenge is nonstop and the action is relentless. Look for loads of power-ups and lots of enemies to blast. If you haven't checked out the great 16-Bit version, then you definitely don't want to miss this one.

  • Manufacturer: Sega
  • # of players: 1 or 2
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Available: October 1993
  • Number of Levels: 7
  • Theme: Action

Two little guys with a lot of firepower must retrieve four precious gemsthat have awesome powers in this cross between Contra and Mega Man! One or two can play along as you must run, jump, shoot, and fight hand-to-hand to find the gems!


The first part of this stage scrolls horizontally. Keep moving to the right, only stopping to pick up power-ups and other items the bird drops on the ground.

  • A tough Red Guard will meet you here and you can't continue until he is destroyed. Grab him and throw him repeatedly against the sand bag pile, then move on.
  • This Mid-Boss is a tree that drops bombs and uses a giant inchworm to help him. Keep shooting upward, moving only to avoid harm.
  • A another Red Guard will fight you here. If you have a homing weapon,$ first throw him upward onto the tree above. Then use your weapon and he will stay up high but never touches you.
  • Jump up the pyramid quickly, step-by-step. Don't bother with shooting enemies and getting icons here - they will only do you harm and slow you down.
  • Bravo Man is the Boss at the top! Although he is big he is easy to defeat: use homing weapons if you have any, or sliding kicks to destroy him.
  • Now you must go down the other side of the pyramid. Don't go too far up or down (off the screen), it will do you damage. Shoot the falling enemies, but jump the shots of the shooting guard who will slide down above you.
  • This is a quick horizontal run. Dodge the slow-moving arms and look out for the bee hives.
  • Pinky Roader and her mechanical robot is the Boss of this stage. Try and slip under one of the machine's legs when it walks, then shoot upward at its belly. Beware, though, it will retaliate with mace-arms that can be avoided.


Using your trusty mine cart, travel horizontally and vertically through this stage! To switch from top to bottom (or side-to-side) press jump twice rapidly! 1) Look out for soldiers and bomb venders. 2) Strike from above and below. 3) Wait for these horizontal fences to stop, then jump over them. 4) Shoot the three sleeping guards on the train and you will move to a horizontal track. 5) The red Great Soldier will use his own troops as weapons and throw them at you! Keep shooting him and the train blows up.


  • Here you must climb upward with the scrolling. Face left and stand where the pipe meets the platform and shoot up. Clear the enemies off, then jump to the level above.
  • A flying yellow guardian soldier will attack with flying kicks - use a homing weapon if you have one. If not, grab him and throw him on the ground!
  • Shoot these generators to get icons.
  • Dispose of this Mid-Boss easily by jumping on top of its foot. When it jumps up, grab the horizontal rope, and stand on it. Point your weapon downward and blast away - it won't touch you!
  • Jump on the wing of this plane and battle the Red Great Soldier! Here he will fly around and drop bombs. Dodge the explosives and retaliate with throws or gunfire.
  • Captain Orange is the Boss here and he wants to pulverize you! He is too unpredictable to use a pattern, so try and keep your distance and keep shooting him. However, if he grabs and slams you, you will flicker - this is your chance to grab him and do the most damage you can: by throwing him off the wing! He will return, but this diminishes his vitality meter the most!


  • Quick horizontal run here. Blast the enemies, but watch for the pits - falling into them does much damage!
  • The second part of this stage is the dice room! Pick up the die and throw it to advance! Some of the rooms are actually helpful (like the Weapon and Item rooms) some rather difficult (like the crossed-out gun square where you can only fight hand-to-hand). Another square to look out for is the Way Back. This will take you to the Start, but you will pass the squares you've already completed!
  • Black is the Boss, and he attacks with a two-legged walker. His method of attack is determined when he rolls his dice (for example, a two means he will use a flame attack). Keep your distance and blast away!


This is the longest horizontal stage in the game! Soldiers will attack you from every direction! Watch the giant flying saucers that attack from above. They can be grabbed and chucked off-screen! The boxes usually contain Heart power-ups; use the slide attack to destroy them. The enemy walkers can be destroyed with a few hits.


Here you will take to the stars in your spaceship! If you are in Two-Player Mode (A), one person will fly the ship, the other will control the gun that circles around you! The jump button will give a quick speed thrust, and you gather icons the same as you would on other levels. There are several mounted guns on the Empire's ship and you will be attacked by enemy ships as well. You will go around the ship first, then straight toward the front (map below)!


This is the last stage, and all your enemies are watching you on a video screen! Watch them exit the room one at a time to fight you!

  • Here you will be opposed by a giant two-legged Gatling gun! Duck for cover and keep shooting it: however, keep a good distance, its guns may suddenly turn on you at an angle! When it will be destroyed, the driver will come at you holding the gun. He is simple to defeat: duck and shoot and he will be gone in no time!
  • Pinky returns! Here with a giant mechanized crab! It will first charge you with its huge claw - Use jump kicks or diving attacks to get over it! After a few of these it will begin shooting bubbles: get on the far opposite side from it and keep shooting. It will go boom in no time.
  • Orange is back again and now he has a vertical fireball! Stay on the level above and keep shooting as he slowly approaches below, only moving when he gets close enough to flame you. 4) This is an elevator with Black in a flying craft for a passenger! He will launch long poles with harmful white orbs on them that spin as they descend. Keep them away by shooting them in the middle.
  • Green is the last Boss here. At times he will block your fire and even retaliate by throwing knives! Use slide attacks, jump kicks, or diving attacks to knock him off his feet, and all the fire-power you can to destroy him!
  • Manufacturer: Sega
  • Machine: Genesis
  • Theme: Action
  • Release: 1993

People say:


This cart represents the fact that the Genesis can still beat out the competition! This has got to be one of the most intense carts to date, providing non-stop blasting and hand-to-hand (that's right) combat thrills that will strain your abilities to the max! There are plenty of levels, all of which are truly original and are an absolute riot to play through! Add the fact that it is two-player and you have a fantastic winner!!


This is one of the best looking carts I've seen from Sega in a while. The animation is slick as can be and the use of multiple sprites to form Bosses is extremely well-done. The music is good plus the sound effects are explosive. Definitely one of the most intense games I've seen on the home video game scene. Great game play, two-player simultaneous action and nonstop intensity from beginning to end.


This game kicks @$$! Offhand, I can't think of another game that offers a blend of action and shooting like this one! The weapons are cool with enough variety and the levels are huge a plus filled with detail. Then there's the Bosses. Once you fight these beauties, you'll wonder why game companies never did this before! There's nonstop enemies and plenty to shoot at. It looks like the Genesis can still kick butt!


Every once in a while, a game will come right out of nowhere and take you completely by surprise - so much that'll take you a while to recover. Gunstar Heroes is such a game. This is one of the most intense and complex carts to hit the Genesis ever! Fighting hand-to-hand as well with guns (with more than their share of fire-power) will keep you on the edge of your seat! With killer music and graphics, this is a real winner!

Gunstar Heroes is a video game developed by Treasure and published by Sega in the last quarter of 1993. The game was released for Sega Mega Drive/Genesis for the first time, but was later on ported to GameGear, thanks to M2, and 13 years later was released for PlayStation 2 as well. In the latest years the game has been made available for Nintendo Wii, PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade due to its increased popularity in the 90s.

The game is rated as a side-scrolling shooter, with the player controlling a character who has four weapons to choose from. They can be combined so the player gets a total of 14 possible unique weapons. The gameplay is a side-scrolling one, with the player being able to grab and toss enemies, but also to perform sliding and jumping attacks. He can perform long-range skids as well.

The life of the character is calculated different than in other games in the genre. There are required several hits for a player to die, but by dying only once the player will have to continue from the start of the level or to end the game. There is no number of limited tries, a player can do it as many times as he wants.

The player can choose to control Gunstar Red or Blue, who are two twin brothers trying to protect the planet. Gunstar Yellow is the sister of the first two characters, giving them short briefings on the levels. Professor Brown became too old to fight, so he is now the mentor of Red and Blue, helping them along their missions. Gunstar Green is the older brother of the twins, who works for the Empire. Grey is the leader of the Empire, and wished to reshape the planet to his desires.

The stories of the European/American game and the Japanese game are a bit different. In the Western story, the Gunstar Dynasty protected the planet Gunstar 9 for a long time, but now it's time for the main character to save the planet from different destructive forces, such as androids or evil geniuses.

The Japanese version, which is considered the original one, finds out character close to the end of the world. An evil organization wants to destroy different planets, but the main character the player has to control needs to stop the evil plans.

The game was received really well, with the Electronic Gaming Monthly offering the Best Action Game award in 1993. Not only the critics appreciated the game, but also players all over the world. The game received very good feedback over the time, and this is also one of the reasons why two years ago it was developed for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network.

Snapshots and Media

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Screenshots

GameGear Screenshots

See Also

Viewing games 1 to 7