Rambo III (Mega Drive)

From Sega Retro

For the Sega Master System version, see Rambo III (Master System).


RamboIII MDTitleScreen.png

Rambo III
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Publisher: Sega
Licensor: Carolco
Sound driver: pre-SMPS Z80
Genre: Shooting[1], Action[2]

Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
¥5,5005,500 G-4010
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive

Rambo III (ランボーIII) is a Sega Mega Drive overhead run-and-gun game developed and published by Sega. Based on the titular 1988 action film Rambo III, it was first released in Japan in October 1989, and is notably one of the first movie-based games released for the system.


Rambo sets out on a dangerous journey to Afghanistan in order to rescue his former commander and his longtime best friend, Colonel Sam Trautman, from the hands of an extremely powerful and ruthless Soviet Army colonel.


The game is an overhead run-and-gun played as the soldier John Rambo. He moves in any direction with the D-Pad. He can move and backtrack through the stages freely. He fires his machine gun with C. The machine gun has unlimited ammunition. If fired while moving, it fires in the direction that Rambo is running; if fired while standing still, it sweeps from side to side. Rambo is also equipped with three secondary weapons, which are switched with A and used with B.

Enemies fire slow-moving projectiles that can be dodged. Some enemies lob grenades or set timed bombs. Rambo loses a life if he is hit by enemy fire. He can also be blown up by his own bombs. He revives immediately with a brief period of invulnerability if the player has extra lives remaining. The game ends if the player runs out of lives. The player is given an extra life for completing a mission without losing a life.

After some of the missions, the perspective switches to a view behind Rambo and fights helicopters or tanks. He is armed with a bow and arrow, which is aimed with the D-Pad and fired with A, B, or C. Holding the fire button charges the attack. Rambo can take cover behind rocks or other obstacles.

Most missions involve reaching the exit, but some of them have other objectives that must be completed first. The player receives bonus points for completing a mission under certain time thresholds.

There is a two-player mode where players take turns playing each mission. There are four difficulty levels (Easy, Normal, Hard, and Hardest).


Rambo III MD, Weapons.png
Survival Knife
Rambo can kill enemies in melee range with his knife. Enemies killed in this manner are more likely to drop items. The player is also awarded bonus points for each enemy killed with the knife; the amount of points awarded increases for each enemy killed (until Rambo loses a life or the stage ends).
Rambo III MD, Weapons.png
Bow and Arrow Explosives
Rambo fires an exploding arrow with his longbow. Holding B charges the arrow for a more powerful explosion. Explosive arrows are effective at destroying armored enemies such as tanks. This weapon has limited ammunition.
Rambo III MD, Weapons.png
Time Bomb
Rambo drops a bomb with a 5-second countdown timer, which does damage in an area when it explodes. Bombs are useful for destroying vehicles, watch towers, and barricades. This weapon has limited supply.


Items are sometimes dropped by enemies. They disappear if not collected.

Rambo III MD, Items.png
Bow and Arrow
Increases Rambo's Bow and Arrow ammunition by 5.
Rambo III MD, Items.png
Time Bomb
Increases Rambo's Time Bomb stock by 3.
Rambo III MD, Items.png
Gives the player an extra life.


Rambo III MD, Stage 1.png

Rambo III MD, Stage 1 Boss.png

  • Rambo III MD, Stage 1.png

  • Rambo III MD, Stage 1 Boss.png

Infiltrate Enemy Lines!
Map: 1️⃣ 

Rambo III MD, Stage 2.png

Rescue Secret Agent!
Map: 1️⃣ 
Rambo must rescue all of the hostages before the exit opens.

Rambo III MD, Stage 3.png

Rambo III MD, Stage 3 Boss.png

  • Rambo III MD, Stage 3.png

  • Rambo III MD, Stage 3 Boss.png

Get to the Arsenal!
Map: 1️⃣ 

Rambo III MD, Stage 4.png

Blow Up all the Enemy's Weapons!
Map: 1️⃣ 
Rambo must blow up all of the enemy weapon stores and helicopters before the exit opens.

Rambo III MD, Stage 5.png

Rambo III MD, Stage 5 Boss.png

  • Rambo III MD, Stage 5.png

  • Rambo III MD, Stage 5 Boss.png

Penetrate the Fortress!
Map: 1️⃣ 

Rambo III MD, Stage 6.png

Rambo III MD, Stage 6 Boss.png

  • Rambo III MD, Stage 6.png

  • Rambo III MD, Stage 6 Boss.png

Rescue Colonel Trautman!
Map: 1️⃣ 
Rambo must locate and free Colonel Trautman.

Production credits

Though the game does not include a staff roll, two initials can be found in the game's levels. "ASO" can be found in Mission 4, likely referring to Hiroshi Aso. "Y.S" can be found in Mission 6, though it is unknown who this could be referring to.[6]


Magazine articles

Main article: Rambo III (Mega Drive)/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1989-09: "September 1989" (1989-XX-XX)
Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1989-09: "September 1989" (1989-XX-XX)
CG GR 3 Mega Drive advert.jpg
Print advert in Computer Games (GR) #3: "Ioúnios 1990" (1990-xx-xx)
Print advert in ACE (UK) #37: "October 1990" (1990-09-xx)
also published in:
Print advert in Mean Machines Sega (UK) #11: "September 1993" (1993-07-30)

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
{{{{{icon}}}|L}} Division by zero.
Based on
0 review
Sega Retro Average 
Publication Version Score
1700 igr dlya Sega (RU)
Aktueller Software Markt (DE)
Beep! MegaDrive (JP) NTSC-J
Computer Entertainer (US)
Complete Guide to Consoles (UK)
The Complete Guide to Sega (UK)
Console XS (UK) PAL
Cool Gamer (RU)
Computer & Video Games (UK)
Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) NTSC-U
Entsiklopediya luchshikh igr Sega. Vypusk 10 (RU)
Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide (UK)
Famitsu (JP) NTSC-J
Joystick (FR)
Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming (UK) PAL
Mega Drive Fan (JP) NTSC-J
Mega (UK) PAL
MegaTech (UK) PAL
Mean Machines (UK)
Mean Machines Sega (UK)
Pixel (GR)
Power Play (DE)
Raze (UK) PAL
Sega Power (UK) PAL
Sega Pro (UK)
Sega Pro (UK) PAL
Sega Saturn Magazine (JP) NTSC-J
Tricks 16 bit (RU)
User (GR) NTSC-J
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
29 reviews

Rambo III (Mega Drive)

Mega Drive, JP
RamboIII MD JP Box.jpg
RamboIII MD JP Cart.jpg
Ramboiii md jp manual.pdf
Mega Drive, US
RamboIII MD US Box.jpg
RamboIII MD US Cart.jpg
Ramboiii md us manual.pdf
Mega Drive, EU
RamboIII MD EU Box.jpg
RamboIII MD EU CartTop.jpg
Rambo III MD EU CartBack.jpgRamboIII MD EU Cart.jpg
RamboIII MD EU ManualFront.jpg
RamboIII MD EU ManualBack.jpg
Manual Back
RamboIII MD EU pcb.jpg
Mega Drive, PT
RamboIII MD PT cover.jpg
Mega Drive, SE (rental)

Mega Drive, AU
RamboIII MD AU cover.jpg
Mega Drive, BR
RamboIII MD BR cover.jpg
RamboIII MD BR Cart.jpg
Rambo III MD BR Manual.pdf
Mega Drive, KR
RamboIII MD KR Box.jpg
RamboIII MD KR carttop.jpg
RamboIII MD KR cartback.jpgRamboIII MD KR cart.jpg

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 2232f03d
MD5 a5904e2515d2d0a402a83de41bcb4c26
SHA-1 ece53156a43fe14597a44f36a4e65e13cfc6d9d5
256kB 1989-07 Cartridge (US/EU/JP)
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 4d47a647
MD5 d0140fde92f051cde0b986b854f28e99
SHA-1 e337e618653830f84c77789e81724c5fc69888be
256kB 1989-08 Cartridge (US/EU/JP) Rev A


  1. File:RamboIII MD JP Box.jpg
  2. 2.0 2.1 https://sega.jp/history/hard/megadrive/software.html (Wayback Machine: 2020-07-20 09:51)
  3. Computer Entertainer, "December 1989" (US; 1989-12-18), page 14
  4. ACE, "October 1990" (UK; 1990-09-xx), page 51
  5. Mean Machines, "November 1990" (UK; 1990-10-29), page 63
  6. https://tcrf.net/Rambo_III_(Genesis)
  7. https://sbtransr02.wixsite.com/kazuhiko-nagai/my-works-1 (Wayback Machine: 2021-04-10 08:56)
  8. Computer & Video Games, "October 1990" (UK; 1990-09-16), page 122
  9. 1700 igr dlya Sega, "" (RU; 2003-03-10), page 184
  10. Aktueller Software Markt, "Januar 1990" (DE; 1989-1x-xx), page 64
  11. Beep! MegaDrive, "February 1990" (JP; 1990-01-08), page 72
  12. Computer Entertainer, "December 1989" (US; 1989-12-18), page 12
  13. Complete Guide to Consoles, "Volume IV" (UK; 1990-11-xx), page 34
  14. The Complete Guide to Sega, "" (UK; 1991-05-xx), page 49
  15. Console XS, "June/July 1992" (UK; 1992-04-23), page 133
  16. Cool Gamer, "9" (RU; 2002-10-13), page 167
  17. Computer & Video Games, "January 1990" (UK; 1989-12-16), page 123
  18. Electronic Gaming Monthly, "January 1990" (US; 19xx-xx-xx), page 16
  19. Entsiklopediya luchshikh igr Sega. Vypusk 10, "" (RU; 2003-10-08), page 122
  20. Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide, "" (UK; 1993-11-18), page 81
  21. Famitsu, "" (JP; 1989-xx-xx), page 1
  22. Joystick, "Octobre 1990" (FR; 1990-xx-xx), page 98
  23. Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming, "January 1993" (UK; 199x-xx-xx), page 94
  24. Mega Drive Fan, "March 1990" (JP; 1990-02-XX), page 63
  25. Mega, "June 1993" (UK; 1993-05-20), page 21
  26. MegaTech, "Xmas 1991" (UK; 1991-12-06), page 42
  27. Mean Machines, "November 1990" (UK; 1990-10-29), page 60
  28. Mean Machines Sega, "October 1992" (UK; 1992-09-xx), page 140
  29. Pixel, "Ioúnios 1990" (GR; 1990-xx-xx), page 134
  30. Power Play, "2/90" (DE; 1990-01-25), page 66
  31. Raze, "January 1991" (UK; 1990-11-29), page 66
  32. Sega Power, "October 1991" (UK; 1991-09-05), page 54
  33. Sega Pro, "March 1992" (UK; 1992-02-20), page 33
  34. Sega Pro, "April 1993" (UK; 1993-03-11), page 66
  35. Sega Saturn Magazine, "September 1995" (JP; 1995-08-08), page 87
  36. Tricks 16 bit, "Tricks Sega Gold 800 igr" (RU; 1998-03-20), page 21
  37. User, "Dekémvrios 1990" (GR; 1990-1x-xx), page 66

Rambo III (Mega Drive)

RamboIII MDTitleScreen.png

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Games based on movies starring Sylvester Stallone for Sega systems
Sega Master System
Rambo: First Blood Part II (1986) | Rocky (1987) | Rambo III (1988)
Sega Mega Drive
Rambo III (1989) | Cliffhanger (1993) | Demolition Man (1995) | Judge Dredd (1995)
Sega Mega-CD
Cliffhanger (1993) | Demolition Man (1995)
Sega Game Gear
Cliffhanger (1993) | Judge Dredd (1995)
Rambo (2008)