Fantasy Zone (franchise)

From Sega Retro

Fantasy Zone is a surreal arcade game created by Sega in 1986. It was later ported to a wide variety of consoles, including the Sega Master System and the Nintendo Entertainment System. The player controls a sentient spaceship named Opa-Opa who fights nonsensical enemies in settings atypical of the traditional scrolling shooter, thus it is considered a cute 'em up.

In the game, the player's ship is placed in a level with a number of bases to destroy. When all the bases are gone, the stage boss appears; when the boss is defeated, the player moves on to the next level. There are two buttons: shoot and bomb; the normal shot is generally useful though weak, while bombs are powerful though of narrow use. One major difference between this and many other shooters is that the player can turn around and fly the other way; the screen will scroll along with the player. There is also a shop that occasionally can be accessed. The player can buy items and weapons from it using coins from defeated enemies.

The game Space Harrier, also by Sega and released the previous year, supposedly takes place in "the Fantasy Zone" as well (Space Harrier begins the phrase "Welcome to the 'Fantasy Zone'! Get Ready!"). It includes the same bright pastel color scheme, although the game scrolls into the screen as opposed to horizontally. However, this may be just a coincidence.

References in Other Games

  • In the Sega Master System game Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars, the goal of the first stage is to find Opa-Opa.
  • Intentionally making over one hundred strokes in the Sega Mega Drive game Arnold Palmer's Tournament Golf allows the player to play a short, one-screen-long version of Fantasy Zone as an Easter egg, albeit one which continually loops until the console is either reset or turned off. The Opa-Opa also appears as a cursor in some selection screens within the game.
  • In Phantasy Star Online for Sega Dreamcast (2000) Opa-Opa was a secret Mag. Mags follow you around and, when fully charged, can cast status effects on the player's character, bring them back to life, and launch powerful attacks.
  • In Phantasy Star Portable, Opa-Opa is a rare RCSM.
  • In Phantasy Star Universe, Opa-Opa appears in one of the random attacks from the cast SUV "Ascension Gift".
  • In the arcade game Planet Harriers, Opa-Opa appears above the head of the killed player while being queried on whether to continue or not. Opa-Opa is also a playable character after enabling a certain code at the character select screen.
  • Several of the enemies from Fantasy Zone II appear as attack waves for the final boss in the cult Dreamcast game Segagaga.
  • An Opa-Opa figurine is available in the capsule machines in the Dreamcast game Shenmue.
  • One of the downloadable contents for Sonic Adventure 2 on the Dreamcast using its own Internet homepage was a new Kart Racing track named Fantasy Zone, a nod to the series. Omochao was also playable for this race, driving an Opa-Opa-shaped kart (which was the first and probably last time Omochao was ever playable in any Sonic game).
  • Opa-Opa appeared as a playable character in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing.
  • One of the Gear in Sonic Riders is named the Opa-Opa, a reference to this game.
  • In Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity's 80's Boulevard course a Fantasy Zone character appears on the first jump and gives out rings.
  • Fantasy Zone's shop theme can be heard on Super Hang-On's shop screen.


The Japanese and English versions for the NES are different from each other.

There was an unreleased game in the series called Space Fantasy Zone that was to have been released on the NEC PC Engine around the year 1990 that was to have finally bridged the gap between the Fantasy Zone series and the Space Harrier series by having a gameplay similar to Space Harrier, but have the layouts of the stages to be directly based on their Fantasy Zone counterparts. Although the game was never released, a gameplay video of a prototype of the game has been found [1]

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