Star Cruiser

From Sega Retro


StarCruiser MDTitleScreen.png

Star Cruiser
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Publisher: Masaya
Original system(s): JP Home Computers
Genre: Adventure[1]

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
¥7,300 (7,519)7,300e[2][3] T-25063
Project Egg
¥880880 NCS0042
Non-Sega versions

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Star Cruiser (スタークルーザー) is a 1990 adventure game for the Sega Mega Drive by Arsys Software, published by NCS. It is a port of Star Cruiser, which was previously released on various Japanese home computers, including the PC-8801 and PC-9801 in 1988 and the X68000 in 1989.

It is a mixture of the action RPG and first-person shooter genres, with the graphics presented in real-time 3D polygon graphics.


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Upon its original 1988 release, Star Cruiser was an ambitious and innovative game years ahead of its time. The game's innovations included fully 3D polygon graphics (including nearly all objects, enemies, and backgrounds, with the exception of distant horizons that were pre-rendered), true first-person shooter gameplay (anticipating the likes of Wolfenstein 3D and Doom), gameplay mechanics such as strafing, fusion of the first-person shooter and RPG genres (anticipating the likes of System Shock and Deus Ex), real-time 3D first-person movement (unlike earlier first-person games which were pre-computed), 3D open-world exploration across a large game universe (spanning several star systems), 3D space flight simulator segments for exploring outer space with six degrees of movement (and fighting enemy spacecraft), a crosshair to target enemies (both on ground and in space), and a portable computer built into the player character's power suit that has various uses (such as displaying an automap and radar). The game had a large open-world game universe, allowing the player to explore over 30 planets across four star systems, making it the earliest example of a fully 3D polygon open-world game.

The game also emphasized storytelling, with an epic sci-fi space opera storyline set in the 27th century, plot twists, character dialogues with NPCs (who have their own background stories), anime style dialogue portraits for characters, visual novel style first-preson cutscenes, animated cutscenes rendered using the game's 3D engine, and a chiptune soundtrack composed by Toshiya Yamanaka using FM synthesis (later released as a seperate original soundtrack CD).


Star Cruiser runs on a 3D polygon engine previously used by the 1986 Arsys Software role-playing shooter Wibarm. While Wibarm only used the 3D engine for exploring indoor environments and presented it in a third-person view, Star Cruiser used the 3D polygon engine for the entire game and presented the view entirely in a first-person view.


No version has been officially released outside Japan. An English version, retitled Star Quest, was set to be released in North America by Namco in 1994 (being previewed at Winter CES 1993 and Summer CES 1993), but was cancelled for unknown reasons (presumably due of dated 3D graphics). An English translaton beta patch was released at ROMhacking in September 2016,[5][6] followed by a complete translation patch in November 2016.[7]

A sequel, Star Cruiser II, was released for Japanese home computers in 1992.

Production credits

  • Producer: Keiichi Onogi
  • Assistant Producer: Keisuke Yasaka
  • Director: Osamu Nagano (Arsys)
  • Game Designer: Tux.Yoshimura (Arsys)
  • Scenario Writer: K.Y (Arsys)
  • Chief Programmer: Nekogeinin (Arsys)
  • Programmer: Seiichi Ikiuo (Arsys)
  • Graphic Designer: Ryo Yoshimura (Arsys), Biopark Matsuo (Arsys)
  • 3D Designer: 3D-Editor Kun (Arsys), Jua. Yamashita (Arsys), Ryo Yoshimura (Arsys), Biopark Matsuo (Arsys)
  • Title Designer: Ryo Yoshimura (Arsys)
  • Music Composer: Toshiya Yamanaka (Arsys)
  • Sound Effect: Toshiya Yamanaka (Arsys)
  • Map Designer: Tux.Yoshimura (Arsys), Biopark Matsuo (Arsys), Ryo Yoshimura (Arsys)
  • Special Thanks to: Naotaka Taira (Arsys), Yasuo Fuku (Arsys), Shinichi Ito
  • Manager: Keiichi Onogi
  • Executive Director: Yasumasa Shirakura
Star Cruiser
©1990 NCS Corp.
©1988 Arsys Software, inc.
In-game credits
Star Cruiser MD credits.pdf

Digital manuals

Magazine articles

Main article: Star Cruiser/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1990-11: "November 1990" (1990-10-XX)
Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1990-12: "December 1990" (1990-11-08)
Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1991-01: "January 1991" (1990-12-08)
also published in:

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
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0 review
Sega Retro Average 
Publication Version Score
Beep! MegaDrive (JP) NTSC-J
Famitsu (JP) NTSC-J
Hippon Super (JP) NTSC-J
Joystick (FR) NTSC-J
Mega Drive Fan (JP) NTSC-J
Sega Power (UK) NTSC-J
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
6 reviews

Star Cruiser

Mega Drive, JP
StarCruiser MD JP Box.jpg
StarCruiser MD JP CartTop.jpg
StarCruiser MD JP Cart.jpg
Starcruiser md jp manual.pdf

Technical information

Main article: Star Cruiser/Technical information.


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Star Cruiser

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