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After Burner

From Sega Retro

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After Burner
Publisher: Sega
Developer:
System(s): Sega X Board, Sega Master System
ROM size:
Arcade
3.19MB,[1]
Sega Master System
512kB
Genre: Shoot-'em-Up






























Release Date RRP Code
Arcade
JP
1987-07-17 [2] ¥?  ?
Arcade
EU
1987-10 Media:CVG UK 073.pdf[3] £?  ?
Arcade
World
1987  ?



Sega Master System
JP
¥5,800 G-1340
Sega Master System
US
$? 9001
Sega Master System
EU
£24.95 Media:ACE UK 07.pdf[4] MK-9001-50
Sega Master System
AU
$? MK-9001-50
Sega Master System
BR
$? ?
Sega Master System
KR
₩? GB-4340



For the sequel and the Mega Drive and home computer versions, see After Burner II.

After Burner (アフターバーナー) is a third-person rail shooter arcade game designed by Yu Suzuki and developed by Sega AM2 in 1987. The game was released in three variations: a standard upright cabinet, and two cockpit versions, one that tilts left and right, and one a rotating cockpit version.

After Burner stands as one of Sega's most successful arcade games, building on the momentum started earlier in the decade with Hang-On, Space Harrier and OutRun. It was the first game to utilise Sega X Board technology, allowing for the easy scaling and rotation of in-game sprites, producing three-dimensional graphics. It is also remembered for its then-revolutionary sit-down cabinet design, complete with a horizontally rotating seat and a vertically rotating cockpit, controlled (like the game) by the integrated analog flight stick, with the cabinet's motion corresponding to the joystick's movement.

Its analog flight-stick controls moved in all directions and measured the degree of push, a precursor to the analog thumbsticks of the N64 and later consoles. After Burner's gameplay also featured a lock-on system, which was adopted by later rail shooters such as Sega's Panzer Dragoon and Rez (Retro Gamer, №145, p28).

Gameplay

In After Burner, the player pilots an F-14 Tomcat-inspired jet through 18 levels, destroying enemies with machine gun fire and a limited supply of missiles. Similar to Space Harrier, it is an "on-the-rails" shooter - the plane will travel continuously into the screen, with players only able to adjust its X and Y coordinates.

The objective in After Burner is to survive through each of the 18 stages, usually by avoiding enemy missile fire, however "bonus" stages, which occur every six levels, require the player to dodge scenery and not crash. Shooting down enemies is technically optional, although alleviates the risk of being destroyed. The player has a limited supply of missiles which are refueled at various intervals throughout the game.

History

Development

After Burner was originally designed to have melodies play over the "After Burner/Red Out" and "Final Take Off" music tracks, but these were taken out of the final game, potentially through fears that they'd be drowned out in a busy arcade environment. Though these versions were never heard in the arcades, they adapted for the album Sega Game Music Vol. 3 After Burner in 1987 (appearing in other albums since), and have been brought back as options in later games (for example, 3D After Burner II).

Legacy

The original After Burner was released exclusively in Japan, however the western world would receive an updated version of the game, After Burner II in the months which followed. After Burner II is extremely similar in design, bar a few minor tweaks (such as a throttle control, extra levels and slight changes to the missile system), so much so that people often consider it to be a more "complete" version of After Burner than a direct sequel. Due to the similarities and shared cabinet designs and artwork, After Burner II is frequently confused for the original After Burner. A similar relationship would develop with Galaxy Force and Galaxy Force II, also produced by Sega AM2.

In its original form, After Burner was only ported to the Sega Master System, however many ports of After Burner II were released under the name of After Burner for home consoles and computers, including the Amiga (twice), Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, FM Towns, MSX, PC Engine, Sharp X68000 and ZX Spectrum.

It was also ported to the Sega 32X by Rutubo Games and went under the name of After Burner Complete.

After Burner in its original form was also released as part of Sega Arcade Gallery for the Game Boy Advance.

Critical Reception

See Physical Scans section for review scores

In Japan, the arcade game was well received. The 1987 Gamest Awards gave it the award for "Best Graphics". It was also the runner-up for Gamest's "Game of the Year" award, and also came eighth place for the "Best Speech Synthesis" award and sixth place for the "Best Ending" award.[5]

In Europe, the arcade game was also well received. Clare Edgeley gave it a positive review in the November 1987 issue of Computer and Video Games magazine, where she recommended the audience to try it out.Media:CVG UK 073.pdf[3] In the 1987 Christmas Special issue of Crash, Julian Rignall and Daniel Gilbert gave it a more mixed review. They stated, "Sega, maker of Super Hang-On and Out Run, has just released its most impressive-looking game" yet, "an aerial-combat simulation" with "colourful and incredibly fast graphics" that is "possibly the fastest 3-D yet" seen. They also praised the rotating cockpit cabinet which "rocks and rolls as the plane banks and moves" as "very impressive" but criticized the playability, specifically the plane handling and joystick feedback, and the "overpriced" cost of 50p per go (equivalent to £1.23 or $1.94 in 2014).[6] In the February 1988 issue of The Games Machine, Robin Hogg and Cameron Pound gave it a positive review, describing it as the "hottest Sega release so far".Media:TGM UK 03.pdf[7]

In North America, the August 1988 issue of Computer Gaming World praised After Burner on the Sega Master System.Media:CGW US 050.pdf[8]


Production Credits

X Board Version

The arcade version of After Burner II has no detailed credits screen, instead aliases of the developers are seen on the backs of clothing in the ending sequence:

Kio, Yu, Bo, Kim, Hiro, Asu, MK, Bin, Mr, Sada, Ken

Gallery

Promotional Material

Physical Scans

X Board Version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
82 №49, p98-100
80 №2, p104Media:PowerPlay DE 002.pdf
80 №73, p82/83Media:SinclairUser UK 073.pdf
Arcade
81
Based on
3 reviews


Master System Version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
70 №7, p51Media:ACE UK 07.pdf
76
80 №3/88, p41Media:ASM DE 1988-03.pdf
51 №1, p47
51 №4, p89Media:CGtC UK 04.pdf
90 №77, p122/123Media:CVG UK 077.pdf
60 №4, p54Media:TGM UK 04.pdf
80
81 №4, p20/21
70 №2/20
50 №3, p91Media:PowerPlay DE 003.pdf
51 №23, p40
40 №23, p55
93 №1, p18Media:SegaPro UK 01.pdf
75
Sega Master System
68
Based on
15 reviews

Master System, US
Afterburner ms us cover.jpg
Cover
Afterburner sms us cart.png
Cart
Afterburner sms us manual.pdf
Manual
SegaAdventure SMS US Poster Back.jpgSegaAdventure SMS US Poster Front.jpg
Poster
Master System, EU
Afterburner ms eu cover.jpg
Cover
Afterburner sms us cart.png
Cart
AfterBurnerSMSEUManual.pdf
Manual
Master System, EU
"no limits" variant
AfterBurner SMS EU nolimits cover.jpg
Cover
AfterBurnerSMSEUManual.pdf
Manual
Master System, EU
® variant
AfterBurner SMS EU r nobarcode cover.jpg
Cover
AfterBurnerSMSEUManual.pdf
Manual
Master System, JP
AfterBurner SMS JP Box Back.jpgNospine.pngAfterburner ms jp cover.jpg
Cover
Afterburner ms jp cart.jpg
Cart
Master System, AU
AfterBurner SMS AU cover.jpg
Cover
After Burner SMS AU Manual.pdf
Manual
Master System, AU
No barcode variant
After Burner SMS AU Cover.jpg
Cover
After Burner SMS AU Cart Top.jpg
After Burner SMS AU Cart Back.jpgAfter Burner SMS AU Cart Front.jpg
Cart
After Burner SMS AU Manual.pdf
Manual
Master System, BR
Afterburner ms sa cover.jpg
Cover
AfterBurner SMS BR Cart.jpg
Cart
AfterBurner SMS BR Manual Alt.pdf
Manual
Master System, BR (newer)
AfterBurner SMS BR Box Cardboard.jpg
Cover
AfterBurner SMS BR Cart.jpg
Cart
AfterBurner SMS BR Manual.pdf
Manual
Master System, KR

Master System, SE

AfterBurnerSMSSEManual.jpg
Manual
Games in the After Burner Series
Arcade Platforms After Burner (1987) | After Burner II (1987) | G-LOC: Air Battle (1990) | Strike Fighter (1991) | Sky Target (1995) | Sega Strike Fighter (2000) | After Burner Climax (2006)
LCD After Burner (1988)
Sega Mega-CD After Burner III (1992)
Sega 32X After Burner Complete (1995)
Sega Saturn Sega Ages After Burner II (1996)
PC Sky Target (1997)
Sony PlayStation 2 After Burner II (2004)
PlayStation Portable After Burner: Black Falcon (2007)
Nintendo 3DS 3D After Burner II (2013)
After Burner related media
Albums Sega Game Music Vol. 3 After Burner (1987) | After Burner (1990) | Strike Fighter (1991) | Yu Suzuki Produce After Burner II (1997) | Yu Suzuki Produce G-LOC/R360/Virtua Racing (1998) | After Burner Climax Sound Track (2006) | Retro Game Anthology #5 -AFTER BURNER in DREAM- (2007) | After Burner 20th Anniversary Box (2007)
FILM After Burner (video) (1987) | After Burner / Super Hang-On (1987)
  1. http://www.mamedb.com/game/aburner
  2. http://sega.jp/fb/segahard/master/gallery.html
  3. 3.0 3.1 File:CVG UK 073.pdf, page 134
  4. File:ACE UK 07.pdf, page 51
  5. Gamest, The Best Game 2: Gamest Mook Vol. 112, p. 6-26
  6. http://www.solvalou.com/subpage/arcade_reviews/76/10/after_burner_review.html
  7. File:TGM UK 03.pdf, page 71
  8. File:CGW US 050.pdf, page 47