Zero Wing

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a game by Toaplan
Genres: Flying, Shooting Games
Platform: Sega GenesisGenesis
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 4 reviews
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Rail Shooter
Zero Wing
Zero Wing
Zero Wing
Zero Wing
  • Manufacturer: BALLY/MIDWAY

Similar in style to R-Type, this vertically scrolling shoot-'em-up is packed with lots of heart-pumping action.

Download Zero Wing


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.

Game Reviews

While shooters are being emphasized by Sega, the few that will be coming out will be spectacular! Features like - 8 meg, elaborate multi-leveled backgrounds, huge bosses and tons of weapons and power-ups, Will be the standard fare in the new generation of shoot-em-ups! In other words - Zero Wing!

Zero Wing is a video game released and published in 1989. The game is a side-scrolling shoot 'em up arcade game, developed by Toaplan and released on the market by Taito. The story follows the main character, a lone hero, who tries to save the universe from an evil force.

The game was ported to the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis by the same Toaplan in 1991. Sega ported it as well for PC in 1991 in Europe and in 1992 in Japan.

The character had to shoot all his enemies, as in other scrolling shooters, and also avoid being hit by enemy fire. At the end of each level there is a tough task, fighting against boss enemies. There are eight levels in the game.

The player has several ways to attack: using the main cannon (scatter-shot, lasers, homing missiles), grabbing an enemy using a tractor beam and releasing it at another enemy, releasing a spherical front shield (which has to be collected in advance) or can also hit smaller enemies with orbital cannons.

In the game the player can encounter power-up ships, which once they are defeated, leave behind power-ups the player can pick. The power-ups are red weapons, blue, green weapons and speed-up items. Each of the main weapons has three power levels, which can be increased by collecting the same weapon again and again. Level 4 for weapons can be reached as well, if the player detonates an object that would yield another bomb power-up.

The game was ported on some other platforms. After the PC by Naxat Soft and the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis releases, the home console of the game was also released in North America by Williams Electronics. The story of the game expands in the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis version, with Toaplan, the developer, adding an introductory cut scene. Unfortunately the translation from Japanese to English was very poor, resulting in sentences as “All your base are belong to us” or “Somebody set up us the bomb”. The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis version was not released in North America.

The game was not very popular when released. It is actually rated as the seventh worst video game, with the focus being on the translation. Sure, the text couldn't have make such a big different, but it did in Zero Wing's case. The soundtrack was praised and reviewed as “some of the best 16-bit rock music you'll ever hear”.

Honest Gamers offered the game a poor 4 out of 10 rating. While critics on GameSpot offered a rating of 4.3, users considered the game deserves 8.1. Users on IGN rated the game with 8.5. With such a big difference between the critics and the users, we might ask ourselves how poor the critics were back then when having to “feel” the players' opinions.

Zero Wing is a "shoot 'em up" arcade game developed by Toaplan. Like other shoot 'em ups of the time, it featured no real plot except to distinguish that the player is a lone hero who will save the universe from an evil force. As per other shooters, the aim of the game is to shoot all enemies that appear on screen and avoid getting obliterated by lasers, crashing into enemies or into foreground scenery. There are mid-level and end-of-level boss enemies that stay with the player until they are defeated.

The music and graphics are pretty much what you would expect from any given arcade shooter originating in the late '80s. Nice, clean sprites and mindless, adrenaline-pumping beats. Overall, Zero Wing plays more like R-Type than anything else, with a leisurely rate of scrolling.

The reason for Zero Wing's popularity beyond its release as an arcade and video game is due to the additions made to the European Mega Drive version. To expand on the game's plot, an introductory cut scene was added to the game. This introductory scene was translated to English from Japanese rather poorly for the European release, because of the European version being rushed, resulting in dialogue such as "Somebody set up us the bomb," "All your base are belong to us," and "You have no chance to survive make your time." The introduction does not appear in the arcade version.

Snapshots and Media

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Screenshots