SEGA Master System
Fantasy Zone
alt : Fantasy Zone ThemeFantasy Zone Theme (Plugin Required)

Fantasy Zone is another cult classic SEGA title. It is the horizontal shooter on an acid trip - at least that's the impression.

It was originally an arcade game released in 1989. The conversion to the Master System gave the system ones of its most remembered titles with its retina burning bright graphics, bizarre imagery, catchy music and solid gameplay. There were a few minor changes but it was very faithful.

The game is a minor hit among the fans of shoot'em ups and bigger hit for fans of SEGA's beloved 8-Bitter so much so that it was revamped in 2004 on the SEGA AGES 2500 Series of games.

There are 3 more games in the franchise: Fantasy Zone II: The Tears Of Opa-Opa, Opa-Opa/Fantasy Zone: III: The Maze both on the Master System and Super Fantasy Zone on the Mega Drive.

Fantasy Zone European Case
Fantasy Zone European Case

Case Quote

You start out by building your own spaceship. Then take off for the Fantasy Zone. Fly through screen after screen of perilous worlds. As you try and bring peace to a troubled universe.


The once peaceful planetary system called the Fantasy Zone has fallen into chaos following from the collapse of the interplanetary monetary system. An invading Menon army is taking this opportunity to build a base.

Your mission is to destroy the invading minions and restore order to the Fantasy Zone.


Long ago, far away in space, there existed a "Fantasy Zone" where a courageous hero called Opa-Opa (the player) fought in a valiant cause to rescue the "Fantasy Zone" from its enemies.

In the space year 6216, the interplanetary monetary system collapsed, causing all of the planets to become panic-stricken.

According to an official inquiry made by the space guild, someone is leading the Menon planet forces, using them to steal the foreign currencies of the other planets, and with the funds, construct a huge fortress in the "Fantasy Zone".

To put an end to their ambitious plans, Opa-Opa promptly takes off for the "Fantasy Zone" where....


Opa-Opa (the player) has now destroyed the invading army and restored peace to the "Fantasy Zone".

However, he has mixed emotions because his long lost father was the chief of the enemy forces.

One burning question that will remain with him until his dying days....."Was my victory really worth the price I had to pay?"



You control the hero of the game; Opa-Opa - a little spaceship with wings. The gameplay for Fantasy Zone has some nuances compared to the typical shoot'em up. Rather than just shooting down waves on coming enemies, the player can scroll the screen left and right (rather than being pushed) and there is a specific goal of destroying all of the enemy bases before being able to confront the boss. Plenty of shooting creatures takes place in-between.

During this cash needs to be collected left behind by the bases and enemies destroyed. Bases become stronger in each following round.

alt : Cannot see the video?

Video is shamelessly embedded from Youtube. All credit to the video owner. No infringement intended.


The controls for the game are fixed.

The D-Pad moves Opa-Opa around the screen. You can scroll the screen left or right. You can walk across the floor by landing. The speed in which you can move around depends on which upgrades you have bought for your ship. By default you are outfitted with small wings which are the slowest.

Buttons 1 fires your primary weapon and Button 2 fires your secondary/bomb weapon. Default weapons are twin shot and single bomb.

The onscreen display will show you how much cash and the previous top (most) amount that has been collected. The weapons that you are currently using are in the centre. The top line (shot for example) will be your primary weapon and the bottom will be what bombs you are carrying.

To the right will be the amount of lives you have represented by little Opa's and the round that you are playing on. You die when you either touch an enemy or hit by one of their projectiles. Your ship will explode in to a collection of stars that scatter across the screen. Whenever you die you loose any upgrades that you have purchased. It tends to be lethal when reversing direction.

As enemies and bases are destroyed they deposit cash which is used in the shop to upgrade your ship with new engines and weapons. Smaller enemies deposit less money and bases more represented by larger coins, however, during the course of each round the bases will drop less cash as time progresses. Bosses drop the most in an explosion.

The following coins have these values:

Huge Coin worth $10000 only seen after Round 5.

Big Coin worth $1000

Small coin worth $100


When you collect $2500 in a round the shop will appear. This will be a red floating balloon. The shop icon will float around the screen for a short amount of time before flying off. If this happens you have lost your opportunity for upgrades for that round.

To enter, move Opa-Opa onto it. In here you can purchase upgraded weapons and engines as well as extra lives. The list is:

Ship Upgrades
Big Wings

Big Wings - Slightly faster than the default small wings.

Jet Engine

Jet Engine - A considerable jump in speed from big wings.

Turbo Engine

Turbo Engine - Quite fast. Probably the best balance between speed and control.

Rocket Engine

Rocket Engine - The fastest but sometimes could be difficult to control.

Laser Beam

Laser Beam - Fires a narrow highly concentrated beam of energy. Hold down Button 1 for continuous fire. Very powerful but limited spread.

Wide Beam

Wide Beam - Fires a wide bolt of energy. Not particularly powerful but has a decent range.

7-Way Shot

7 Way Shot - The best weapon. Fires shots 7 directions at once and is pretty powerful especially when all 7 shots are concentrated on one target.

Twin Bombs

Twin Bombs - You can drop 2 of your standard bombs instead of one. A cheap but effective upgrade.

Fire Bomb

Fire Bomb - When it hits a target, breaks in to 2 fireballs which scroll in opposite directions across the screen destroying everything it encounters. Good for floor targets.

Smart Bomb

Smart Bomb - Destroys all enemies on screen except bases in a flash.

Heavy Bomb

Heavy Bomb - Drops a 16 Tonne weight directly from above destroying everything in it's path.

Extra Lfe

Extra Ship - Extra Life.

New weapons such as laser beams will only last for 15 seconds once equipped.

When having bought more than one weapon upgrade then a yellow balloon with SEL on it will appear. Here you can reassign your weapons. Useful for kitting yourself out prior to a boss.

Select Weapons

Each time you purchase an item in the shop its price will increase for the next time you want to buy one. Inflation! When you purchase a special bomb, whenever it is used you will default back to single bomb.

When you encounter a boss the screen will darken and the music will change. Each boss is huge in comparison to other enemies and the area will be locked ergo no scrolling/escaping.

Each boss has a particular weak spot to target as opposed to just opening fire on it. You will know when you are doing damage as it will change colour. Red indicates close to destruction.

After a period if the boss has not been defeated it will lunge towards you from which there is no escape!

When a boss is destroyed it will evaporate into a large collection of coins in which you have a few seconds to collect as many as you can before proceeding onto the next round.


In total there are 8 rounds to complete, 7 regular rounds and a final boss round where you will fight all 7 bosses and then the final boss.

Fantasy Zone Screenshots

Round 1 - Plaleaf

Fantasy Zone Round 1 Fantasy Zone Round 1 Fantasy Zone Round 1 Boss

Round 2 - Tabras

Fantasy Zone Round 2 Fantasy Zone Round 2 Fantasy Zone Round 2 Boss

Round 3 - La Dune

Fantasy Zone Round 3 Fantasy Zone Round 3 Fantasy Zone Round 3 Boss

Round 4 - Dolimicca

Fantasy Zone Round 4 Fantasy Zone Round 4 Fantasy Zone Round 4 Boss

Round 5 - Polaria

Fantasy Zone Round 5 Fantasy Zone Round 5 Fantasy Zone Round 5 Boss

Round 6 - Mockstar

Fantasy Zone Round 6 Fantasy Zone Round 6 Fantasy Zone Round 6 Boss

Round 7 - Pocarius

Fantasy Zone Round 7 Fantasy Zone Round 7 Fantasy Zone Round 7 Boss

Round 8 - Salfar

Fantasy Zone Round 8

Cheats and Tips

Infinite Weapons

If you buy all of your engine parts (big wings, jet engine, turbo engine, and rocket engine) then any weapon upgrades you purchase will never run out!

Cheap Extra Lives

If you wait through all the demos, the prologue will come up on the screen. During this press the D-Pad Up and Down at least 50 times (i.e., at least 25 times in each direction) and start the game. After doing this, the first shop you enter (even if you have reset the game a few times) will offer as many extra lives as you can afford (maximum of nine) for $1,000 apiece. Since you will only be able to buy two in the first round, wait until the second (or third) round to enter the shop, when you will be able to buy all nine.

Defeat bosses quicker

After a few plays, you may be able to time when weapon upgrades will run out so that you have a few seconds against the boss. Any weapon above twin shot is mega powerful in comparison and will make easy work of them. Alternatively use the Infinite Weapons Cheat.

Easy Defeat Boss in Round 3

This boss can be a little tricky to defeat with just twin shot. The quickest way to defeat it is to buy a heavy bomb, take position underneath and drop. It will eliminate most if not all of the laser guns in one shot.

Quick Round 4

In Round 4 all of the bases are on the floor. If you buy a Fire Bomb in the shop, deploy it on the floor and walk so that the fireball stays on the screen it will quickly eliminate all of the bases for you.

Other Versions

Original Arcade Version

Fantasy Zone was originally an arcade game released in 1989 based on SEGA's System16 Arcade Board. It can be played with a System 16 Emulator and the latest versions of MAME.

Fantasy Zone (Arcade Version)
Fantasy Zone (Arcade Version) Fantasy Zone (Arcade Version)

It was also ported to the Saturn in 1997 under the SEGA Ages brand.

It has also been included as an unlockable game in the Mega Drive Ultimate Collection for Xbox 360 and PS2.

The Master System version and Fantasy Zone II were released on the Nintendo Virtual Console in 2008.

Fantasy Zone Gear

This original instalment (rather than a port) was released for the Game Gear in 1991 and followed the story of Opa-Opa Jr.

Fantasy Zone Gear (Game Gear)
Fantasy Zone Gear Fantasy Zone Gear Fantasy Zone Gear

A host of new weapons helped to expand the gameplay a bit, and boss battles now allowed you to shoot freely in any direction.

It has graphics that were superior to the Master System, however, there was also the issue of the more narrow field which causes many irritating deaths.

Space Fantasy Zone

A lost game from the era was developed for the PC Engine Super CD. It essentially is a merging of Fantasy Zone and Space Harrier. The levels and the enemies are taken from both games.

It was not a SEGA title and ultimately never released though it has since been leaked on the net for people to see.

Space Fantasy Zone (PC Engine) Space Fantasy Zone (PC Engine)

Space Fantasy Zone (Prototype) (PC Engine)

Some videos can be found at


SEGA AGES 2500 Series Vol 3

After a 15 year rest Fantasy Zone was released for the PS2 in Japan in 2004 as part of the SEGA AGES budget remakes.

The graphics and sound are extremely close to the original but more importantly so was the gameplay which made it easily one of best of the SEGA AGES titles at the time.

There are four new rounds and some forward scrolling bonus stages added which occur when a boss is defeated (possibly a nod to the unreleased Turbo version).

New features include an Extras Mode allows the replaying of rounds that have been cleared previously and an image gallery which allows viewing the models in the game and are unlocked.

Unlike the majority of the SEGA AGES 2500 Series, this title was released in Europe and the US as part of the SEGA Classics Collection.

It has also been re-issued in Vol 33 Fantasy Zone Complete Collection which has every version of every game in the series with the addition of a special System16 remake of Fantasy Zone II.

Fantasy Zone (SEGA AGES) Fantasy Zone (SEGA AGES) Fantasy Zone (SEGA AGES) Fantasy Zone (SEGA AGES)

Fantasy Zone (SEGA AGES)


Fantasy Zone 2: The Tears of Opa-Opa

This sequel was released in 1987 and only for the Master System. It keeps the basic gameplay though it feels much slower. It does sport some of the best graphics on the system.

It is a somewhat rare title to find.

Fantasy Zone 2
Fantasy Zone 2 Fantasy Zone 2

Fantasy Zone 3: The Maze

Another Master System exclusive and breaking with traditional gameplay this was a Pac-Man style game with the characters from Fantasy Zone.

Fantasy Zone 3: The Maze
Fantasy Zone 3: The Maze Fantasy Zone 3: The Maze

Super Fantasy Zone

The only version of Fantasy Zone for the Mega Drive was released in 1992. It kept the gameplay of the original but had new rounds, enemies and weapons.

In this game the forces of Dark Menon have returned again only this time much stronger.

Super Fantasy Zone (Mega Drive)
Super Fantasy Zone Super Fantasy Zone

This game also contains the music from the arcade original accessible through the sound test for some reason. You can listen to it here.

Opa-Opa Theme from Super Fantasy Zone (MP3) Opa-Opa Theme from Super Fantasy Zone


Perfect! Play it with Dega or KEGA Fusion Emulators. You can download these from the Master System Emulators Page.

Misc Info


An overview of the entire Fantasy Zone Trilogy

A review of the Virtual Console Release

A good Master System fan site with reviews of games. You can find a review of Fantasy Zone here.

Master System SEGA!

Back to SEGA Master System Feature

Back to SEGA Main Index

Top of Page Sitemap Homepage

Return to Homepage

Return to Sitemap

Return to Top of Page

Valid XHTML 1.1