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Box artwork for Astro Warrior.
Astro Warrior
Year released1986
System(s)Sega Master System
ModesSingle player
Neoseeker Related Pages
LinksAstro Warrior ChannelSearchSearch

Astro Warrior is a video game developed and manufactured by Sega for the Master System in 1986.

The game was released as a stand-alone game, as a Combo Cartridge with Hang-On and a Combo Cartridge with Pit Pot. There are no differences in gameplay between them, except the game ends after you beat Belzebul the third time on the Hang-On/Astro Warrior double cart. The other versions cycle infinitely.

In Brazil, Tec Toy released the game as Sapo Xulé: S.O.S. Lagoa Poluida (translated as "Smeely Feet Frog: S.O.S. Poisoned Lagoon"), where the player's ship was altered to look like a cartoon ship piloted by Sapo Xulé (a Brazilian comic/cartoon frog character), and the background was recolored green so that the levels resembled a swamp. The game was released in 1995.

The game is a basic top down shooter that was common at the time, similar to Zanac for the NES. The game plays through three zones with a boss at the end of each. Astro Warrior's three zones each have many different kinds of enemies that attack in various patterns. The stages themselves have no obstacles. Like most shooters, learning the enemies' patterns and how best to deal with them is the key to success.

Also as important is collecting power-ups, which can be accomplished by shooting at targets on the ground. These power-ups are vital to the game, as it is almost unplayable without them, especially the speed-ups. Without speed-ups, your ship moves far too slowly to avoid enemy fire. The other power-ups include a stronger laser weapon and two Gradius-style options.



Start screen.

Astro Warrior is a simple game in that all you do is fly around and shoot. There are enemies to shoot and also power-up blocks in the background. Most enemies shoot at you, so you need to dodge their fire, and if you run into an enemy, it also destroys you. There is no health in the game; one hit destroys your ship and you only get three lives, although you can earn up to four more lives at a rate of one per 50,000 points. The controls are simple:

  • Neutral dpad: Moves your ship around in any direction.
  • 1 button and 2 button: Both buttons fire your weapon.

The game constantly scrolls, which means your ship appears to be moving forward (up the screen) whether you move or not. You can move from side to side and front to back. Gameplay consists of destroying enemies and power-up blocks, dodging enemy fire and reaching the end of the level where a boss fight ensues. There are three zones to beat, after which the game loops and you replay the zones going slightly faster and with more enemies. The zones will loop indefinitely, except on the Astro Warrior / Hang-On Combo Cartridge, which ends after the third iteration.

AstroWarrior startship.png
Starting ship
AstroWarrior tripleshotship.png
Triple shot ship
AstroWarrior lasership.png
Laser beam ship


As you go through the game, the enemies get harder and faster, so it is important to collect the power-ups and speed-ups as you get them. The come directly down the center of the screen, and are somewhat hard to see amidst a lot of exploding enemies and enemy fire. To gain power-ups, you must shoot out the power-up blocks in the background. After a certain amount of blocks have been destroyed, a power-up will be sent out for you.

You start out shooting a single bullet from the front of your ship. Successive weapons power-ups will upgrade your weapons and also change the form of your ship. These power-ups look like the form your ship will take. After the Laser Beam upgrade, you can earn two follower drones, which shoot the same type of ammo your ship uses and follow your movements.

Image AstroWarrior tripleshot.png AstroWarrior laserbeams.png AstroWarrior copydrone.png AstroWarrior copydrone.png
Name Triple Shot Laser Beams Drone 1 Drone 2
# of Blocks 24 48 72 96
Description Fires 3 bullets in straight parallel lines. Fires dual lasers in straight parallel lines. A small block fires bullets that match the player's ammo. Same as Drone 1.
AstroWarrior speedup.png

Interspersed with the weapons upgrades are speed-ups, which are necessary to be able to avoid the increased enemy presence and rate of fire.

# of Blocks 12 36 60 84 108 120

After the 120th block, if you don't already have it, you'll get the Laser Beam upgrade every 12 power-up blocks. Once you have the Laser Beam upgrade and are over 120 blocks, no more upgrades will appear. Every time you die, your block counter is set back to zero and you begin collecting weapons upgrades and speed-ups again from the beginning.

Galaxy Zone[edit]

Galaxy Zone wall.
Zone Info
Power-up blocks 159


AstroWarrior zanoni.png

Asteroid Zone[edit]

Asteroid Zone wall.
Zone Info
Power-up blocks 131


AstroWarrior nebiros.png

Nebula Zone[edit]

Nebula Zone wall.
Zone Info
Power-up blocks 116


AstroWarrior belzebul.png

Enemy list[edit]

As expected, the enemies get tougher as you go along, requiring more hits from regular weaponry and shooting at a heavier rate of fire and moving faster. In addition to the normal enemy characteristics, they also become more dangerous after beating the three zones. From that point on, you may see differences in the number of enemies and how they attack.

Enemy Order Seen Points First Attack Second Attack
AstroWarrior batship.png 1 100 None. Flight of six in a row. Hit the first one to explode all. Shoots intermittent fireballs.
AstroWarrior plasmaball.png 2 100 None. Sets of four or eight travel lazily down the screen. Each shoots a fireball until killed.
AstroWarrior greencross.png 3 100 None. Moved back and forth in place. Shoots intermittent fireballs.
AstroWarrior purpleorb.png 4 100 None. Four in a horizontal line come halfway down the screen, circle around then break up. Shoots intermittent fireballs.
AstroWarrior greenjumper.png 5 200 Comes down in vertical rows, then jumps from bottom of screen to your ship. N/A
AstroWarrior firewheel.png 6 200 Comes in from top and sides of screen, stays in fixed position and shoot a fireball. Shoots more fireballs.
AstroWarrior fireballs.png 7 100 Waves of 12+ come down toward your ship. N/A
AstroWarrior icicles.png 8 100 Slowly falls straight down the screen. Shoot one side and the other quickly drops down. Shoots fireballs in toward the center of the screen.
AstroWarrior greensaucer.png 9 200 Comes down the side of the screen farthest from your ship then releases a vertical wave of fireballs. Releases more waves.
AstroWarrior bluebomber.png 10 100 Comes down in patterns of four to six, makes a sudden maneuver left or right when it reaches the bottom. Shoots a fireball while maneuvering.
AstroWarrior spacespider.png 11 200 Spread out in a line across the screen, falls down slowly. If it reaches the bottom, attempts to ram your ship. N/A
AstroWarrior browndropper.png 12 100 A horizontal row of eight, moves quickly down the screen. Faster rate of movement.
AstroWarrior wallslider.png 13 100 Slides up and down the sides of the screen shooting fireballs at you. Faster rate of fire.
AstroWarrior yellowjack.png 14 200 Groups of six to eight follow each other down in a zig-zag patter shooting fireballs. Faster movement and faster rate of fire.
AstroWarrior invincibleorb.png 15 N/A Bloom all across the screen and move slowly down. These are impenetrable. Faster downward movement.
AstroWarrior multipletriangle.png 16 200 Groups of three or four quickly begin to multiply in random directions across the screen. Faster rate of multiplication.
AstroWarrior steelball.png 17 200 Horizontal rows of two followed by three come down and shoot two fireballs diagonally downward. Shoot a second volley of fireballs.
AstroWarrior Greenspinner.png 18 200 These come down a couple at a time and release small glider that circle them, which take an additional shot to kill. Shoots fireballs as well.