From Sega Retro
|System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Virtual Console, Nintendo Switch Online, Steam, Android, iOS|
|Developer: Sega CS M2|
|Sound driver: SMPS 68000 (modified)|
|Number of players: 1|
Ristar, released as Ristar The Shooting Star (リスター・ザ・シューティングスター) in Japan, is a Sega Mega Drive action platform game developed by Sega CS and published by Sega. Released in early 1995 to positive reviews, it was one of the final first-party Sega games released for the aging 16-bit platform.
- 1 Story
- 2 Gameplay
- 3 History
- 4 Versions
- 5 Downloadable content
- 6 Production credits
- 7 Digital manuals
- 8 Magazine articles
- 9 Promotional material
- 10 Artwork
- 11 Physical scans
- 12 Technical information
- 13 External links
- 14 References
In Ristar, we follow the story of a far away solar system, Valdi, that was corrupted by an evil tyrant called Greedy. Greedy forced the leaders of each of the seven planets the system is composed of to work for him, enslaved the people and kidnapped Ristar's father. Desperate, they make a plea for help. It is answered by Ristar The Shooting Star, a tiny humanoid yellow star with long, elastic arms. To free the population and liberate his father, Ristar must fight Greedy's minions throughout every planet, restore the leaders and eventually fight Greedy himself.
In the Japanese version of the game, the story is different. Ristar's father is never mentioned, and instead the plea for help is answered by the Star Goddess, Oruto, who creates Ristar to fight Greedy and restore happiness to the Valdi system.
At first glance, Ristar has basic platforming skills as he can jump about his own height with or (by default), and cannot look up or down. Ristar's main ability, and the core mechanic of the game, are his stretchy arms. To kill enemies, the player must grab them with Ristar's arms with , and after releasing Ristar will headbutt the enemy. This is the only way to eliminate enemies as jumping on them will not work. Ristar's arms can also be used for many other purposes, such as climbing walls, swinging across poles and even finding bonuses (health points, 1UPs, etc.) by stretching them into tiny breaches in walls (the player may also find them by headbutting certain sections of certain walls). A very important aspect of this ability is to ride Star Handles to perform a Meteor Strike, which is used to move from one location to another without having to walk as well as take out enemies. While performing a Meteor Strike, Ristar can change his direction mid-flight on Normal difficulty, but cannot on harder difficulties.
In levels with water, Ristar has the ability to explore underwater without needing to breathe. He can also swim underwater with ease in all eight cardinal directions, and can use his arms to swim faster with or . His grabbing ability is just as effective underwater as it is on dry land.
The game has a simple health system: the player starts with 4 or 2 stars (depending on the difficulty selected), the max number of stars is 4. Every time Ristar is hit, the player will lose one star. There are situations where they'll lose all their health, but these are rare. The player may replenish health by collecting items. Ristar also has a very basic life/continue system: once the player loses all of their lives, they'll be taken to a continue screen where they can choose to keep going with the game or give up. The player may earn more continues by clearing the Bonus Stages quickly.
Earning points comes mainly from toppling enemies (generally awards 100 points) and Yellow Jewels. At the end of an area, the player can use a Star Handle to exit the area with as much altitude as possible for a bonus of up to 20,100 points. After defeating a boss, the player is awarded points based on secrets found, and how much the player takes damage (the fewer times they are hit, the better the bonus). Extra lives are awarded for very 30,000 points earned.
|Little Star / 1UP|
|Awards the player an extra life.|
|Little Star (grey)|
|Appears only in Round 3-1. Can be used as a decoy to set off traps safely.|
|Restore Star / Life Item (ライフアイテム) (yellow)|
|Restores one star to Ristar's health.|
|Restore Star / Life Item (ライフアイテム) (blue)|
|Restores up to three stars to Ristar's health.|
|Yellow Jewel / Score Item (スコアアイテム)|
|Worth between 100 and 1,600 points, depending on how hard it is to reach.|
|Ristar can swing from these to perform Meteor Strikes. Hold or depending on which direction Ristar is swinging in, then release .|
Note: the level names were changed when brought to the West.
|Round 1 - Planet Flora/Neer|
|Planet Flora is the first level of Ristar, and is a generic grassland/jungle trope, with lots of vegetation similar to the flora found in Sonic games. It is pretty easy and mainly about getting used to the controls. The second area includes a darker jungle setting.
Riho, the boss of Flora, is also easy to defeat. He will be possessing the planet's elder, making him attack Ristar with wind spells. Ristar has to attack the elder multiple times to shake Riho off so he can attack him.
|Round 2 - Planet Undertow/Leatow|
|Planet Undertow is the aquatic ruin level where nasty fish foes are abound. This planet gives the player the opportunity to try out Ristar's underwater swimming abilities, though they should be aware that it's rather tricky to grab things here. The background in the first area, like in Planet Flora, is a bit lighter than in the second area, which is made of a totally submerged series of tunnels filled with enemies that must be defeated in order to move on, with little to no sections of dry land.
The boss here is Ohsat, a hammerhead shark who mainly resides in the background to hammer pillars, and periodically swim to the foreground to attack. This is when the player can attack him.
|Round 3 - Planet Scorch/Onaclove|
|Planet Scorch follows the archetype of the fiery industrial world and is considerably harder than the previous planets. The second the player lands on the planet they'll face a rain of flaming meteors which only goes away a few seconds after. Scorch also requires a high level of mastery of all the basic skills (jumping and grabbing). There's a mini-boss involving a memory game at the end of the first area. The second area has lift systems that will require the use of Ristar's arms to operate, and sections where mooks will detonate bombs and destroy the terrain.
The boss is Adahan, a mole inside a robotic exoskeleton. His attacks will involve using his claws to attack Ristar directly or to send sand waves at him. After inflicting a certain number of hits, he will destroy the ground and have Ristar fall down a long shaft, taking the fight to freefall.
|Round 4 - Planet Sonata/Neuos|
|Planet Sonata is considered by many players the most creative stage in Ristar—even one of the most original stage to ever appear in a platform game at that time. Sonata revolves solely around music and the level is vastly decorated in a musical theme: grabbing poles are flutes and, handholds are trumpets and enemies even launch dangerous musical notes at the player. The first area (which takes in a strangely futuristic background) is made of four sections and in each of these sections there's a very singular objective: deliver metronomes to the songbirds in order to advance through the level. The mini-boss consists of toppling three mechanical bird heads. The second area is much more related to disco/dance, especially the background music, though apparently it takes place in some kind of dark castle or chamber.
Awaueck, a giant hawk, is Sonata's boss. It will take out the bird that is singing on the perch and fill the theater with its dreadful tone-deaf singing. The player must knock it off the perch in order to attack it, while watching out for its divebomb and feather attacks.
|Round 5 - Planet Freon/Elykiki|
|Planet Freon is an ice planet. The first area is child's play, with lots of spinners and slippery floors. Throughout all of this area, Ristar will be closely followed by a strange alien who he'll fight at the end in a peculiar snowball fight. The second area is nowhere as easy and consists mostly of swimming around in near-frozen water.
In the boss area, the strange alien who stalked Ristar during the first area will actually aid him in defeating Itamor—this is done by hurling bowls of hot soup provided by him into Itamor's mouth. Itamor attacks by tossing frozen treats at Ristar, and will periodically freeze him solid with his icy breath, then proceed to suck him up and chew on him.
|Round 6 - Planet Automaton/Rewope|
|Planet Automaton, a mechanical world populated by robots, is a mixed bag: the first area is incredibly challenging with many spikes to swing over, and a section with no gravity that the player must swim through—it is also somewhat similar to mechanical levels in Sonic games like Scrap Brain Zone and Metropolis Zone. The second area is far less difficult, and instead involves the player finding crystals to power teleporters that will transport them to different rooms, each with their own puzzles to solve.
Automaton's boss is Uranim, who will attack with various fighting moves and projectiles offered to him by Inonis, Greedy's right-hand man. Attacking him enough times will make him collapse, and the player will then have to avoid Inonis' claw and make it attack Uranim to inflict damage.
|Round 7 - Castle Greedy|
|Castle Greedy is where the last fight with Greedy happens, although the player will still have to go through another mini-boss before him inside his spaceship.|
|In Bonus Stages, found by locating special Star Handles in each area of a Round, the player will have one minute to attain a treasure chest and collect its treasure; the first Bonus Stage is very easy and consists of only one Star Handle, but they eventually get more and more bothersome. The player only has one try for each Bonus Stage. Also, completing them very rapidly will award the player one free continue. The items in the treasure chests are useless themselves, but if the player collects enough of them, they will reveal secret passwords at the end of the game.|
Ristar allows the player to input codes in the options menu, which can result in different styles of play, among other things. If a code is not 6 letters long like SUPER, then any character can be added after the password and it will still work. SUPERB is a very common example.
The game reveals four, six-letter passwords after the ending depending on how many treasures the player has collected. Super Hard password gets revealed if the player beats the game on Hard difficulty no matter how many treasures they have.
|MAGURO||"ONCHI". Onchi Music mode and credits music in sound test.|
|MUSEUM||"BOSS". Boss Rush mode.|
|ILOVEU||"RD.SEL". Stage select.|
|DOFEEL||"ATTACK". Time Attack mode for bonus stages.|
|SUPER||Super Hard mode.|
There a number of hidden passwords too.
Connections with Sonic the Hedgehog
Ristar's gameplay alone has garnered it lots of comparisons to the early Sonic games. The most significant link between Ristar and Sonic is the fact that Ristar was built on the Sonic the Hedgehog engine, including the level engine and music engine. Another strong link to Sonic was the prototype design of Ristar, named Feel — the character had a striking resemblance to Sonic, being a spherical yellow and black "rabbit," and even had identical shoes. Ristar also performed cameos along with other Sega characters in Shenmue, Segagaga and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing.
Ristar was re-released in 2002 (JP, NA) / 2003 (EU) as part of the Sonic Mega Collection on the Nintendo GameCube and in 2004 (JP, NA) / 2005 (EU) as part of the Sonic Mega Collection Plus on the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox. To play Ristar in the GameCube edition, the player must play Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Flicky, Blue Sphere, and Knuckles in Sonic 2 30 times each; in the Plus edition, they must be played 20 times each.
- Main article: Ristar/Changelog.
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|Language||Localised Name||English Translation|
|Japanese||リスター・ザ・シューティングスター||Ristar The Shooting Star|
|Title and description||Links||Releases|
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- Game Planner: Akira Nishino, Takeshi Niimura
- Chief Designer: Takumi Miyake
- Character Designer: Yuji Uekawa
- Planet Designers: Koki Mogi, Kazuyuki Iwasawa, Mikiharu Ooiwa
- Character Voice: Eriko Hanada
- Music Composer: Tomoko Sasaki
- Sound Programmers: Hiroshi Kubota, Junya Kozakai
- Boss Programmer: Hiromasa Kaneko
- Player Programmer: Shigeru Yoshida
- Enemy Programmer: Naomi Hirai
- Effect Programmer: Takuya Matsumoto
- Project Director: Atsuhiko Nakamura
- Art Director: Yukio Sato
- Manual Director: Hiroyuki Mitsui
- Manual Designer: Yukiko Yahagi
- Manual Writer: Chieko Nakamura
- Test Players: Norihiro Sekine, Haruyuki Hashimoto, Hideki Yokaichiya
- Special Thanks to: Osamu Hori, Kenji Morita, Naofumi Hataya, Masashi Ogata, Naoko Hamada, Toshiko Arisaka, Rica Terajima, Ryoichi Hasegawa
- Producers: Hiroshi Aso, Makoto Oshitani, Yoji Ishii, Minoru Kanari
Note: Osamu Hori may have either been the lead programmer or his code on Honoo no Toukyuuji: Dodge Danpei was used as a basis for Ristar's (Pyramid Magic needs to be checked).
- Main article: Ristar/Magazine articles.
Sega Forever icon
|Sega Retro Average|
|Mega Drive, PT|
ROM dump status
- Sega of Japan Virtual Console pages: Mega Drive
- Nintendo catalogue pages: US, UK, AU
- Ristar on Steam
- Ristar on Google Play
- Ristar on iTunes: US, UK
- Ristar Cluster fansite (archived)
- https://sega.jp/history/hard/megadrive/software.html (Wayback Machine: 2020-07-20 09:51)
- Google Play (com.sega.ristar) (Wayback Machine: 2020-05-15 01:59)
- Computer & Video Games, "March 1995" (UK; 1995-02-15), page 100
- Mega, "January 1995" (UK; 1994-12-30), page 32
- Games World Magazin, "" (DE; 1995-02-17), page 12
- http://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/ZqzRfRFTsBIJoxoUDFh8Tl-jtChfM5a9 (Wayback Machine: 2010-11-22 23:52)
- http://www.nintendolife.com/games/megadrive/ristar (Wayback Machine: 2017-06-07 23:36)
- https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Virtual-Console-Wii-/Ristar--278722.html (archive.today)
- https://www.nintendo.de/Spiele/Virtual-Console-Wii-/Ristar--278722.html (archive.today)
- https://www.nintendo.co.jp/wii/vc/software/01.html (Wayback Machine: 2017-11-23 05:03)
- http://vc.sega.jp:80/vc_rister/ (Wayback Machine: 2007-02-09 19:33)
- http://www.nintendo.com.au/index.php?action=catalogue&prodcat_id=41&prod_id=19763&pageID=4 (Wayback Machine: 2012-04-03 02:16)
- https://steamdb.info/app/34312/ (Wayback Machine: 2019-11-08 23:10)
- http://steamdb.info/app/34312/ (Wayback Machine: 2013-05-22 19:12)
- http://steamdb.info/app/34312/ (Wayback Machine: 2019-11-08 23:10)
- Google Play (com.sega.ristar) (Wayback Machine: 2017-08-21 19:09)
- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ristar/id1249354397?mt=8 (Wayback Machine: 2017-08-21 19:14)
- https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/ristar/id1249354397?mt=8 (Wayback Machine: 2017-08-21 19:15)
- File:Ristar md us manual.pdf, page 12
- File:Ristar md jp manual.pdf, page 9
- Google Play (com.sega.ristar) (Wayback Machine: 2020-05-15 01:59)
- Google Play (com.sega.ristar) (Wayback Machine: 2019-12-02 01:21)
- Google Play (com.sega.ristar) (Wayback Machine: 2019-04-18 00:43)
- Google Play (com.sega.ristar) (Wayback Machine: 2018-11-06 03:42)
- Google Play (com.sega.ristar) (Wayback Machine: 2018-08-16 17:28)
- Google Play (com.sega.ristar) (Wayback Machine: 2017-10-08 17:22)
- APKPure (com.sega.ristar) (Wayback Machine: 2018-08-16 17:30)
- https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ristar/id1249354397 (Wayback Machine: 2020-06-30 00:06)
- https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ristar/id1249354397 (Wayback Machine: 2019-09-29 11:54)
- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ristar/id1249354397?mt=8 (Wayback Machine: 2019-05-12 17:19)
- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ristar/id1249354397?mt=8 (Wayback Machine: 2018-11-06 03:42)
- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ristar/id1249354397?mt=8 (Wayback Machine: 2018-09-17 00:41)
- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ristar/id1249354397?mt=8 (Wayback Machine: 2017-10-29 02:02)
- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ristar/id1249354397?mt=8 (Wayback Machine: 2017-09-07 01:21)
- https://itunes.apple.com/fr/app/ristar/id1249354397?mt=8 (Wayback Machine: 2018-11-06 03:40)
- https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/ristar/id1249354397?mt=8 (Wayback Machine: 2018-11-06 03:40)
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- 1700 igr dlya Sega, "" (RU; 2003-xx-xx), page 189
- Consoles +, "Janvier 1995" (FR; 199x-xx-xx), page 92
- Cool Gamer, "9" (RU; 2002-10-13), page 170
- Computer & Video Games, "February 1995" (UK; 1995-01-15), page 66
- Electronic Games (1992-1995), "May 1995" (US; 1995-0x-xx), page 72
- Famitsu, "1995-02-24" (JP; 1995-02-10), page 1
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- Mean Machines Sega, "February 1995" (UK; 1994-12-30), page 60
- Next Generation, "March 1995" (US; 1995-02-21), page 103
- Player One, "Février 1995" (FR; 1995-0x-xx), page 68
- Sega Magazine, "January 1995" (UK; 1994-12-15), page 88
- Sega Power, "March 1995" (UK; 1995-01-19), page 50
- Sega Pro, "February 1995" (UK; 1994-12-29), page 40
- Sega Force, "3/95" (SE; 1995-06-20), page 12
- Sega Mega Drive Review, "2" (RU; 1995-xx-xx), page 109
- Sega Saturn Magazine, "March 1995" (JP; 1995-02-08), page 130
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