game Cover
game HuCard
©Sega 1986
©NEC Avenue 1988
Release : 1988-10-14 (¥4900)
HuCard (2 Mbits) H49G-1001
Shooter / Horizontal

American Version
Released in America as
( TGX020017)
Fantasy zone is a side scrolling shooter by NEC Avenue, conversion of Sega's classic arcade game originally released in 1986. The player takes control of a cute little flying ship called Opa-Opa and his mission is to restore peace to Fantasy Zone and to find out who is behind the evil invasion that has torn apart the land. Fantasy Zone actually borrows some core gameplay mechanics from Atari's Defender and Opa must destroy a given number of 'bases' in each stage in order to proceed to the boss. Opa can use two types of weapons - the first one is a standard vulcan-twin-gun that fires quickly and decimates enemies, the second one is a powerful bomb that can only be dropped downwards. Defeated foes drop coins that the player can collect to purchase upgrades in various shops hidden inside red floating balloons. There, Opa can purchase goods such as speed boosts (big wings, jet engine, turbo engine...), extra lives, upgrade its main weapons (wide beams, laser beams, 7 ways shots...) or his bombs (twin bombs, smart bombs...). New weapons, however, have a time limit and need to be purchased again at a higher cost.
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Fantasy Zone - Arcade game Fantasy Zone was an arcade game originally released by Sega in 1986 (picture on the right). It was later ported to countless home systems, such as the Sega Master System (1986), Famicom (1987), MSX (1987), PC Engine (1988), Sharp X68000 (1989) and Sega Game Gear (1991). A sequel called Fantasy Zone II Opa-Opa no Namida was released in 1987 and was also ported to several home systems of the time such as Sega Master System (1987), Famicom (1988), MSX (1989). This sequel introduced new features such as "warps" and a sort of life bar - surprisingly, the arcade game used a cut-down version of the original hardware and didn't look as good as the first episode. Two spin-offs followed and took the franchise on radically different paths - Opa Opa (aka Fantasy Zone the Maze in the west) was a maze-like game influenced by Pac Man and released for the arcades and the Sega Master System, and Galactic Protector was a shooter where Opa Opa had to protect planet Earth by spinning around it. Various other games exist in the series - Fantasy Zone (Sega Game Gear, 1991), Super Fantasy Zone (Megadrive, 1992) and the unreleased Space Fantasy Zone (PC Engine CDRom²). Interestingly, two compilations were released for Sony's Playstation 2 - Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 3: Fantasy Zone came out in 2003 and included a 2D/3D makeover, and Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 33: Fantasy Zone Complete Collection was released in 2008 and featured most of the early Fantasy Zone games and an 'enhanced' version of Fantasy Zone II Opa-Opa no Namida (this port can be seen as an homage to the original game and to the way it would have looked if Sega had taken advantage of their arcade hardware back in 1987).

Teaser text from the American version:
An evil force has overcome this beautiful land of awesome colors and peaceful people. Plundering Golden Rubicom coins, your enemy is an intergalactic band of thieves. Armed with cannon and bombs, you must recover the stolen coins to buy expanded powers. But be careful! The alien Super Boss waits in ambush. restore order to the Federation or kiss the galaxy's favorite vacation place good-bye!

Game Staff (Copied from the game's manual) :

Shigenobu Nanbu

Toshio Tabeta
Assistant Director
Kouji Matsuda

Bit's MASAS.

Graphic Designer
Bit's-Tadashi Sou
Toshio Tabeta
Yukihiro Too

Takashi Ozama
Kaoru Murohoshi
Special Thanks To
Noriyuki Watanabe
Hiroshi Fukuda
Takako Aoki
Yoshiko Ikeda

©SEGA 1986
©NEC Avenue 1988


Fantasy Zone manual Fantasy Zone Turbografx 16 manual
Click on picture to enlarge

During the game, pause (by pressing Run) and press I once, II twince, up 3 times, down 4 times, right 5 times and left 6 times. Unpause the game and you are now invincible. You must repeat this tip for every new stage though.

Fantasy zone is an incredibly fun shooter. The first thing that strikes the eyes are the surreal (yet imaginative) graphics. It's not for everyone, granted, but if you like candy and marshmallow graphics (if this does make any sense) then Fantasy zone is right for you. Fantasy Zone can be best described as a Defender on LSD... it is fairly unique and don't be fooled by its cute appearances - you have here a tough shooter hidden beneath a 'façade' of brightly colored scenery and enemies. The sweet exterior definitively hides a devious interior and the game will be pretty hard on you. Additionally, Opa Opa comes with a sort of inertia and you have to anticipate your next move in order to fly him where you want. You get used to this feature after a while tough, but it never really became second nature to me. All in all, Fantasy Zone is really fun to play and has aged remarkably well, although the level do seem a bit repetitive... oh, and the game's ending is quite a surprise, but I won't spoil it here!

Here is another gem for the PC Engine system, technically polished, colorful with an excellent soundtrack - as long as cotton-candy is your cup of tea though ^^ but if it is, then the game is a treat. One dark spot, however, is the high difficulty level and the lack of continues (which is a plague common to a many PC Engine games...), but cheating (pause -pause -pause ^^ and the cheat code) and perseverance can get you to see the end of this one, and believe me, this is totally worth it !

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