Space Harrier. Sega AM4 (1985) Arcade

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spaceharrier_arcadeflyer

Space Harrier was released in arcades in 1985, and while I was about 1 when this was released, I did play this a bit in the arcades in the early 90s, I don’t remember much about it so I thought I’d see if Space Harrier is fun to play now?

Story

There isn’t one, but I like to think of it as an action version of the Never Ending Story as you get to ride a white luck dragon I obviously named Falcor.

FALCOR!!!

FALCOR!!!

Gameplay

Space Harrier is FAST, I am struggling to think of a game with faster reflexes required. We are talking Through the Fire and The Flames by Dragonforce on Guitar Hero 3 fast. Ok, maybe not that fast. But you do need your twitch reflexes and a hell of a lot of luck.

You play in a pseudo 3D environment, with up/down/left/right movement like you do in Rogue Squadron/Lylat Wars, and you shoot at the enemies while trying to dodge the environmental hazards. It is fast paced and pretty hectic.

Dodging the pillars become nigh on impossible

Dodging the pillars become nigh on impossible

Difficulty

Holy shit Space Harrier is hard. It is the standard arcade bullshit to be honest, one hit and you’re dead, and there is little to no reaction time, think Metal Slug on steroids. I could only beat it because the arcade I was playing in had an unlimited credits option. If I was putting money into the machine I reckon I would have had to put 50 coins in, so unless you have an emulator/a good arcade, then it might be cheaper to buy the arcade machine then actually trying to beat it.

I'll be honest, I just like pictures of Falcor

I’ll be honest, I just like pictures of Falcor

Conclusion

There really isn’t much to say about Space Harrier, you fly around and shoot things. The game is insanely hard, and will stop being fun for many on the third level. By the 8th or 9th level it becomes unpleasantly hard, and the game drags on untik to Level 18 with such increasing difficulty it is only really possible to beat by ploughing money in.

However, I think the challenge is “fair”. It isn’t for everyone, and most people will give up fairly quickly, but if you like insane difficulty this is probably the game for you.

Oh, and the soundtrack is pretty bitchin!

Pros: Falcor!!!! The music is awesome!

Cons: Hard. Possibly the (fairest) hardest game I have played and technically beaten

68%

Back in the Day:

Space Harrier received great reviews in the 80 to low 90s region across most reviewers. However it also got some 60-70 reviews.

I LOVE YOU FALCOR!

I LOVE YOU FALCOR!

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