Burning Rangers

Sonic Team take another departure from the norm and create their second game for the Saturn. Burning Rangers (BR) places the player in the environment of futuristic fire-fighting and proved that the Saturn was indeed capable of pulling off a fully 3D platform game.

The game showcased some of the best graphics seen on the system, generally keeping pace at 30 frames per second with some nice effects including the much vaunted transparency, a feature nay-sayers said the Saturn was incapable of and as such the game joins a very exclusive technical group. Adding to the graphics players were assisted with a completely voice driven navigation system.

The game was released in 1998 and unfortunately with the Saturn's demise and mixed reviews combined Burning Rangers never got the appreciation it deserved being released right at the end of the Saturn's short life. Burning Rangers was actually amongst the last few US and European Saturn releases alongside the likes of House of The Dead.

Whilst another brilliant display of programming the game still feels constrained by the Saturn hardware. There have been no updates or sequels to this game despite the pressure of many fans.

The Japanese version of the game can be found with ease on Ebay. The PAL version is more scarce.

Burning Rangers European Case
Burning Rangers European Case

Case Quote

"Sonic Team bring you the fire fighting heroes of the future...The Burning Rangers. In the life of a Burning Ranger, danger lurks around every corner, and you'll find there are many. Hazardous missions await you, the prime directive being to save the lives of helpless survivors. You will be assisted by an advanced voice navigation system but the rest is up to you. You must think fast and act quickly if you are to save the day. Scorching graphics, intense gameplay, thrills without the kills.....GO FOR IT!"

Burning Rangers VideoBurning Rangers Opening Video


Warning! Contains spoilers!

A routine mission leads to the discovery of a transmission device recalling a mysterious and unidentifiable spacecraft towards Earth. The problem is, this ship has accumulated a massive layer of debris and junk. It's course towards Earth could result in a catastrophe should it hit.

The Burning Rangers have the job to get to the heart of this debris barge and stop it before it hit's the Earth's atmosphere.

Burning Rangers Movies



Reed Phoenix






Burning Rangers is an action-platform game that will offer a good test of your reflexes. Since this is a platformer at heart there will be the prerequisite running around and jumping. In addition to this our rangers have a host of manoeuvres to assist them with their dangerous occupation.

As a Burning Ranger your primary objective is to extinguish the fires at locations where emergencies have taken place rescuing any survivors that may be trapped.

alt : Cannot see the video?

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

Aside from the fires in the game you will also have to prevail against plenty of other exploding objects such as conduits and walls plus dealing with enemy robots. In the mix will also be crystals and special objectives.

Initially, there are 2 playable characters; Tillis and Shou Amabane, both of which are rookie rangers. Both characters have different cut scenes and endings in the game. As you play, other fellow rangers will be spotted.

BR allows the use of a standard controller or the NiGHTs 3D Control Pad.

The D-Pad or the analogue stick moves your ranger around the room/s. As you run around you will automatically clear small jumps.

Button A and C are Jump.

Pressing A or C again whilst in mid-air with a direction of the D-Pad will give a quick dash in that direction.

Whilst on the ground pressing A or C with a direction will perform a quick roll (tumble) in that direction.

A back-flip is performed by pressing A or C + DOWN. This is an essential skill for evading explosions.

When underwater the D-Pad or analogue stick controls the direction of swimming whilst A or C held down are used to rise. To dive press button B.

Your character will hang on a platform if they get close enough to the edge. Pressing JUMP will allow to jump up onto the platform.

Button B is FIRE.

A single press fires a shot from your laser used to extinguish fires and destroy enemy robots.

A Charge Shot (longer burst) is done by holding down B and charging your laser. The longer the charge the bigger the blast detailed in a meter at the bottom left of the screen. Charge shots are useful for dealing with clusters of fires (wide range extinguishing).

Button Y when held down and used with the D-Pad will allow you to get a more precise view.

Buttons X and Z are used to request help from Chris whom co-ordinates communications. More info below.

LEFT-TRIGGER and RIGHT-TRIGGER rotate the view around you.

START allows you to pause the game.

Pressing A+B+C+START will return you to the title screen.

The controls for both characters are the same. A tutorial takes you through most of the information detailed above if you are the more practical type.

On the screen will be the essential information.

Time - how long the mission has been played for

Crystals - the number of Maztabaluxor Crystals held

Danger Limit Bar - shows how close the current environment is to a 20% danger limit. The green section shrinks as a 20% limit approaches.

Total Danger Limit Graph - the absolute danger level. At each 20% increment, the heat and pressure of the surroundings triggers multiple explosions.

ID Cards - some doors will need certain ID's in order to open. Cards are shown as white icons.

Charge Gauge - shows the current level of charge in the charge gun

Current Location - the name of the room or area.

Maztabaluxor Crystals

The Burning Rangers' shields and transport require crystalline energy to operate. These are therefore critical throughout the game.

They can be found lying about existing as 2 colours: red which are worth 1 energy unit and green which are worth 5 energy units. Collect them by walking at them and they will head towards you. Exploration of each area will find secret collections of crystals.

Crystals are obtained from extinguishing fires with your laser. A standard shot from your laser putting out a fire will yield a crystal (or possible several). These behave more erratically. The use of the Charge Shot does not result in any crystals.

Crystals serve 2 major functions. Primarily, they serve as the lifeline for our Rangers (just like in Sonic) by providing power to their shields. If you take a hit your collection will scatter about the place. You have several seconds to reclaim as many as you can. Pressing the Y button immediately after getting hit relays a transmission to Chris that you are ok and more importantly allows you to reclaim crystals quicker.

If you haven't worked it out, taking a hit with no crystals (and therefore no shields) will result in death.

Secondly, they are required for transporting survivors to safety. Transport of survivors is initiated simply by approaching them. The minimum you need is 5. Transporting with 10 crystals will earn you a continue.

Crystals are also worth points at the end of a mission. Those in your possession and those that were used for transports will be totalled so even if you reach the end with none those used will earn some points.

Danger Danger!

Aside from other dangers, the biggest threat will be from the fires of which there are several types:

Orange - generic fires. Will be static until they are extinguished. Worth 1 crystal.

Blue - static fires but with more intensity. Extinguished the same way requiring more shots but will reward 8 crystals. They are usually found in groups making for a nice sum of crystals.

Green - the aggressive type. These will eject fireballs at you. They yield 5 crystals when extinguished. These can be difficult to deal with and a charge shot may help avoid you taking damage to the loss of some crystals.

Pink - specific to the fourth mission. These fall midway between orange and blue fires and are static. Worth 2 crystals.

Flaming Spheres - appear in cramped sections mostly in missions 1 and 4. They are difficult to spot in the distance and will eject fireballs at you which are quite damaging. Deal with these with a spread of standard shots and collect the crystals.

Enemy-Bots - Also about each stage will be aggressive robots. Ordinarily these are worker-bots but only for unknown reasons they are now hostile. They will fire at you but can be easily evaded and then countered with a Charge Shot.

Damaged Gas Conduit - these pipes expel a jet of flame that can not be extinguished but these can easily be avoided.

Exploding Walls - explode towards you. These explosions are accompanied by a "whistle" just before. Upon hearing this perform the back flip (A or C + DOWN) to evade them.

Danger Limit - This begins at 0% and continuously rises the longer your remain playing the mission. Putting out fires make this go down but it will soon creep back up again.

The danger actually happens when the meter hits 20% increments. At this point invincible flames burst all around your ranger. Keep moving to avoid them. The higher the percentage the longer the chain of mega flames lasts.

Also the danger meter displayed will never drop below 20%; the value will have no adverse effects other than lowering your grade for the mission.


The story of the game unfolds as you progress through each stage, mostly via the intercom system.

As you go about your mission you will see your fellow rangers roaming the same area.

Although not visible they will update the team via intercom transmissions. Chris is the central hub of communications broadcasting from the safety of the Burning-Ship guiding the team to safety.

Experienced players will mostly ignore these instructions since they will usually lead you directly to the exit bypassing the majority of survivors and other items. If feeling lost, you can get a vague and detached hint from Chris by pressing the Y button.

After rescuing a survivor he/she will send you an email. These are accessed from the Options Menu.

The contents of the emails will vary from useless spam, art and others having interesting pieces about the story which is not found playing the game through. Survivors will send more than 1 message (if rescued more than once during replays) to a maximum of 3 times to a total of 108.

Claris and Elliot from NiGHTs make a cameo appearance with Claris sending a soundclip from NiGHTs.

Sonic Team members are in the mix with art and (much more useful) secret passwords except for one from Takuya Matsumoto who sends obscure poetry!

The game consists of 4 missions in total, each mission has several objectives and will have a boss encounter at the end of reasonable challenge. A short tutorial takes place before mission 1.

At the end of a mission your performance will be graded in the scale of S-D with S being the best.

The criteria will be:

When the game has been completed with either Shou or Tillis the random level generator is unlocked. This will randomly block or open doors and passageways, the position of fires and survivors and other items. It is possible in this mode to roam in new areas closed of in the default game.

When a random stage is cleared a password is given allowing revisits.

The Rangers

Background information for each Ranger: information taken out of the instruction manual for the European version of the game.

Shou Amabane

Shou Amabane

Sex: Male
Age: 21
Height: 183cm
Weight: 86Kg
Birthday: August 7

Shou was only ten years old when a Burning Ranger rescued him from a terrible blaze. The Burning Ranger who rescued him lost his life in the flames. Shou was so moved by the experience that he too yearned to join these heroes of hope.

After High School, he entered a school for fire-fighters. Graduating top of his class, he was urged to try for the Burning Rangers.

Ten years after the terrible blaze in which he almost died, Shou has achieved his ambition; he too has earned the right to call himself a Burning Ranger.

The strength of his resolve is clear in everything he does. Always sure of himself, his belief is that respect and responsibility must be earned.



Sex: Female
Age: 19
Height: 164cm
Weight: 47Kg
Birthday: Unknown

Tillis's parents perished in a fire when she was still an infant. She was raised in government facilities where she became a candidate for government experiments to produce super-strong humans. Tillis volunteered for the experiments and indeed became an extraordinary athlete, but at a heavy price of severe memory loss.

Tillis was accepted as a Burning Ranger due to her incredible physical capabilities, even under the harshest conditions. Always bright, happy, and possessing a heart of gold, Tillis is one of the most popular of the Burning Rangers.

Reed Phoenix

Reed Phoenix

Sex: Male
Age: 22
Height: 185cm
Weight: 76Kg
Birthday: January 23

Reed joined fire-fighting after graduating from high school. He joined more for the experience than out of any real desire to help people. However, once he got involved, he quickly gained a healthy respect for the business.

Reed is a cool intellectual who always looks before he leaps; he is intensely aware of the value of every life, especially his own.

Big Landman

Big Landman

Sex: Male
Age: 35
Height: 230cm
Weight: 245Kg
Birthday: April 29

Big is the eldest and most experienced of the Burning Rangers. His enormous strength and incredible sensory perception have come to the rescue of many hundreds who had lost all hope.

Big was badly injured in a terrible accident early in his career, but thanks to his iron will and unbending sense of purpose, he now operates with a body rebuilt using neuro-sil and carbo-limb implants.

Chris Parton

Chris Parton

Sex: Female
Age: 24
Height: 172cm
Weight: 52Kg
Birthday: September 10

At the age of 13, Chris's father - a first generation Burning Ranger - died on a rescue mission. Having the same compassion for human life and a great pride in her father's life and ultimate sacrifice, Chris decided to join the Burning Rangers despite her mother's tearful objections.

After joining the Burning Rangers, it soon became apparent that her razor-sharp judgement and ability to remain calm in the searing heat of the moment were talents perfectly suited to the job of Team Navigator.

Profiles taken from European Manual


Your progress through the game is saved with access to 3 save slots. There is also a password system as a secondary measure and access to the random stages. When resuming a game you can select either character. The password system does allow you to play levels with the other 4 rangers; Reed Phoenix, Big Landman, Chris Parton and Iria Klein - not a core member of the team but a character whom can be unlocked with passwords only. Note that nothing you achieve on these bonus games will be saved.

Game Options

Burning Rangers offers several options, none of them having drastic effect over the gameplay. They are:

Sound Test - listen to music from the game. The number of available samples increases as you progress through the game.

Audio - Stereo or Mono

Rescue List - Access a list of the survivors that have been rescued. By selecting a particular survivor you can read the email messages sent.

Data Select - select saved data from the Saturn's internal memory or cartridge.

A vast amount of the game's charm comes from the re-play value and this is derived from the level randomisation feature. Structurally the levels will be the same. Doors being opened or closed, corridors blocked or not, position of survivors, items and obviously the fires will be rearranged.

Entire chunks of levels will not be accessible in the default layouts as well as more survivors to be rescued.

When completed, a password will be given allowing you to revisit that particular layout.

After rescuing Neal Belmonda a second time (complete Mission 3 twice) the Burning Ship Sub Game is unlocked. It is the same as the section at the end of Mission 3.

You are controlling a burning ship through a 360o tunnel avoiding various obstacles and blasting the others out the way. The controls are:

Controls are D-Pad or analogue stick LEFT and RIGHT
Button B to fire

Burning Rangers
Burning Rangers Screenshots (Saturn)
Mission 1
Mission 1 Mission 1
Mission 1 Mission 1
Mission 2
Mission 2 Mission 2
Mission 2 Mission 2
Mission 3
Mission 3 Mission 3
Mission 3 Mission 3
Mission 4
Mission 4 Mission 4
Mission 4 Mission 4




Movie Test: MOVIETEST? Replace the "?" with a letter between A and I to play the following movies:

A = Intro
B = Mission 1 Complete
C = Mission 2 Complete
D = Mission 3 Complete as Shou
E = Mission 3 complete as Tillis
F = Shou's Ending
G = Tillis' Ending
H = Mission 4 complete as Shou
I = Mission 4 complete as Tillis

Play as Reed Phoenix:

Fallen Memory: GS4LEAD2ZU
Silent Blue: J5LEAD4XGA
Gravity Zero: 2LEAD6DHUY

Play as Big Landman

Fallen Memory: 3BIG2PBLCK
Silent Blue: VZ5BIG5PGW
Gravity Zero: J6BIG3OJYS

Play as Chris Parton

Fallen Memory: DH5CHRIS5H
Silent Blue: K3CHRIS4AS
Gravity Zero: ADG2CHRIS5

Play as Iria Klein

Fallen Memory: KB3IRIA5KF
Silent Blue: HTL2IRIA50
Gravity Zero: GHJK3IRIA2

Play Shou Amabane with BGM

Fallen Memory: G2SHOU2JKY
Silent Blue: 3SHOU5GHJK
Gravity Zero: GFGF5SHOU5

Play as Tillis with Background Music

Fallen Memory: NM3TILLIS5
Silent Blue: B5TILLIS2D
Gravity Zero: 5TILLIS4KL


It is possible to play this game using the SSF Emulator. There are some graphical glitches however.



Burning Rangers at GHZ

Another fantastic in-depth article at Green Hill Zone.


Burning Rangers at EX

A brief review from a site of anime and manga.


Burning Rangers Resources

A brief review with case scans and wall papers for download.



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