Gunstar Heroes (ガンスターヒーローズ) is a wild and fun Treasure run-and-gun for the Sega Genesis.
Gunstar Heroes Images
|# of Players||1-2|
|Release Dates||September 10th, 1993 (JP)
September 9th, 1993 (NA)
September 1993 (EU)
|Release Prices||¥ 6,800 (JP)
|Product IDs||G-4103 (JP)
|Rating||CERO A, Suitable for All Ages (JP)
VRG GA, E (NA)
PEGI 3 (EU)
Gunstar Heroes Overview
Gunstar Heroes (ガンスターヒーローズ) is a legendary run-and-gun from Treasure for the Sega Genesis and Mega Drive. The development team had just been founded by ex-Konami members. Their first game ended up becoming one of their most… well, treasured.
Gunstar is a crazy run-and-gun where the action never stops. Enemies just fly at you from every direction and a new gimmick ends up being introduced constantly. It’s a fresh experience the whole way through and ends up being highly replayable due to the constantly changing gameplay and scenery.
In addition to picking up and utilizing multiple different weapons, you can combine them together to form unique projectiles and patterns. You also have melee attacks at your disposal, including being able to throw enemies, body slams, and more.
The two-player mode is a blast with a friend. You can even throw your buddy around and annoy the piss out of them.
Gunstar Heroes (ガンスターヒーローズ) is a 12 track arranged soundtrack published by Pioneer (Catalog # PICA-2001) in Japan on October 27th, 1993 for ¥ 3,000.
Gunstar Heroes Sound Collection is a 59 track collection of music from Gunstar Heroes and Gunstar Super Heroes. It was published by Scitron Digital Contents (Catalog # SCDC-00470) in Japan on November 11th, 2005 for ¥ 2,625.
Gunstar Super Heroes (ガンスタースーパーヒーローズ, and Gunstar Future Heroes in Europe) is a sequel released for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance in 2005.
Ports & Remakes
-Developer M2 ported the game to the Game Gear, where it was published by Sega (Product ID # G-3349) in Japan on March 24th, 1995 for ¥3,800. The game loses some items in translation but features a new jet pack level and the ability to ride one of the walking robots.
You can download a PDF of it’s manual here.
-A Windows port was released as Sega Game Honpo Gunstar Heroes (セガゲーム本舗 ガンスターヒーローズ) in Japan. As it’s name implies, it was part of the Sega Game Honpo line. SGH was a video game rental service for Japanese PC owners. You would pay a monthly subscription fee and have access to so many games. They were essentially ROMs emulated by what is rumored to be the Gens emulator.
A physical release of this “port” made it’s way for the game on December 17th, 2004 (JAN # 4516647008614) and could be purchased for ¥2,000. It came with just an instruction sheet and not much for a fan to enjoy but the DVD cover.
–Gunstar Heroes was included in Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 25: Gunstar Heroes Treasure Box (SEGA AGES 2500シリーズ Vol.25 ガンスターヒーローズ ～トレジャーボックス～) for the Japanese PlayStation 2. Released on February 23rd, 2006 by Sega for ¥ 2,500, the compilation was developed by M2. A few versions of the game are playable. The prototype for the game when it was still known as Lunatic Gunstar is included on the collection.
The compilation was eventually released as a downloadable title named as Gunstar Heroes: Treasure Box on the Japanese PS3’s PSN service.
-Various emulated versions of the game have been released for iOS, Playstation 3, Steam, Xbox 360, and the Wii Virtua Console.
-In 2015, Sega published the M2 developed remake 3D Gunstar Heroes for the Nintendo 3DS.
Gunstar Heroes was a surprising hard sell to Sega. Initially, many Producers at the company passed on the game until Mac Senour tried it for five minutes and was sure it would be a success. He discusses the game’s development process in this Sega 16 interview. A few interesting bits are below.
Sega-16: You were the producer on Treasure’s first Genesis title (and its first game overall), Gunstar Heroes, and you mentioned that you took it on after all other producers had turned it down. Why do you think they passed on it? What made you so sure it would be a hit?
Mac Senour: Not just all the producers, all of the associate producers as well. 12 people looked at it and passed before it got to me. If I didn’t pick it up, he was going to be rejected. I played it for five minutes, maybe less, and threw the controller on the floor and said “this is game of the year.” Every one in earshot laughed.
The reason was made very clear to me. Gunstar had small characters. We had just published, or were about to publish, World Series Baseball with a HUGE batter. All the games were showing off something the developers of Spider-Man had discovered, a way to make double high sprites. Gunstar didn’t use this and so the others passed. I saw it as something different. I have to say I made only one real change: there’s a boss in a military uniform, and in the original version he was Hitler. I asked them to remove the mustache or change the character.
Sega-16: The game started a long relationship between Treasure and Sega, which published all of the group’s Genesis games (McDonald’s Treasure Land Adventure, Dynamite Headdy, & Light Crusader). How highly regarded was Treasure at Sega?
Mac Senour: I left right when Gunstar went to manufacturing, so I can’t comment about Treasure. I know the first game – that won game of the year at two magazines – was lightly manufactured because of a lack of faith in the game. Gunstar was hard to find for this reason. Taz for the Game Gear had the same issue, marketing ordered just 63,000 copies. It went on to sell 1.1 million.
Shiryu made a FAQ for the game which you can grab here.
Here‘s a guide specifically to the Hard / Expert Mode was written by F. Peyalo.
BPGalway wrote a guide to the Timeron’s Challenge and it’s messages which you can get here.
Cheats & Secrets
Rotate the Logo
Hold Down on the first controller before the logo appears and then you can rotate it.
Undocumented Special Move
Press Back, Down/Back, Down, Down/Forward, and then Forward (half circle forward motion) and Shoot to do a standing slide.
Game Genie Codes
|AJBT-AA5R||Master code, must be entered|
|AL4T-AA3A||Protection against most hits|
|AAJT-CAFA||Protection from falling off screen|
|HX6T-BAKN||Vitality-up worth much more|
|BDTT-CAF6||Start with lightning weapon instead of force|
|BXTT-CAF6||Start with chaser weapon|
|CDTT-CAF6||Start with fire weapon|
|691T-AGGJ||Start stage 1 with 999 vitality instead of 100|
|691T-AGGL||Start stage 2 with 999 vitality instead of 120|
|691T-AGGR||Start stage 3 with 999 vitality instead of 140|
|691T-AGG0||Start stage 4 with 999 vitality instead of 160|
|691T-AGHT||Start stage 5 with 999 vitality instead of 180|
|691T-AGHW||Start stage 6 with 999 vitality instead of 200|
|AM2T-AA4N||Always have 999 vitality(infinite vitality)|
Cool Character Creator
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Special Thanks / Sources
-Header artwork by BG87.