Space Harrier

Arcade, Sega, 1985

“Welcome to the Fantasy Zone, Get ready!”

When I first saw Space Harrier in the Arcade it
immediately, stood out from the rest of the machines. At first glance I could
tell this was a step up in graphics, there were more colours (16-bit equalling
32,000 colours) the environment you played in was a third person pseudo 3D
shooter. It was fast, it was exciting and intense. The sound was beautiful
including a catchy soundtrack and narration which spurred you on. On top of all this the whole thing moved according to your
joystick movement. In short, my eleven year old brain was totally blown away.
Getting into the cockpit of that thing, all I could think of was Wow!. After
dropping my money in and starting, words became meaningless. It seemed years
ahead of anything else and played like a dream. You had to move fast around the
screen to avoid enemy fire as well as the many obstacles flying towards you —
it was all about finding constantly changing safe spots on the screen while
blasting your enemies to pieces. The end boss dragon bosses were iconic as was
the chequerboard floor. When a similar chequered ceiling came in after
completing the first few levels the game just got better. It was like flying
down and endless chasm. It became (and still
is) one of my favourite Arcade games of all time. Space Harrier meant the
pinnacle of Graphics and arcade technology. The many inferior ports onto the
computers and consoles of this era showed just how incredible this game was. I
played it whenever I got chance and became very good at it. Space Harrier is
one of the few arcade games which I can still complete to this day, without
throwing a ridiculous amount of credits at it.