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Steel Empire
Box artwork for Steel Empire.
Publisher(s)Flying Edge
Distributor(s)Flying Edge
Release date(s)
Globe.svg 1992 (Sega Genesis icon.png)
Globe.svg 2004 (Game Boy Advance icon.png)
System(s)Sega Genesis, Game Boy Advance
Mode(s)Single player
PEGI: PEGI 3.png Ages 3+
Neoseeker Related Pages
TwitchSteel Empire Channel
YouTube GamingSteel Empire Channel
For the Amiga, DOS and Atari ST game, see Cyber Empires.

Steel Empire (Empire of Steel in Europe) is a side-scrolling shooter. Originally developed by HOT-B under the title Koutetsu Teikoku, it was brought to Europe and North America in 1992 by Acclaim's label Flying Edge. A remake featuring technical upgrades saw the light in 2004 for the Game Boy Advance in Japan and Europe.

The player can choose to fly the Striker Plane or the Z-01 Zeppelin to combat enemy fighters through seven progressively harder levels, each containing a boss character at the end, which must be defeated in order to advance to the next level. The levels also feature less powerful mini-bosses, which appear about halfway through a level.

Steel Empire is notable amongst shooter games for its unique aesthetic designs. Mostly low-tech in nature, the game's environments are heavily stylized, with a steampunk theme to the technology. Steam power, propeller-based aircraft, and dirigibles play a large role in the makeup of the game's graphics.


It is the age of steel, Mammoth battleships cruise the skies. Armored locomotives carry cannons the size of railway cars. Invincible fortresses float on air...and military might rules the day. The Motorhead Empire has conquered and enslaved most of the world.

Only one hope remains... The Republic of Silverhead. Their Z-01 Zeppelin flying ship launches lethal aerial-mines. Their Striker airplane fires armor piercing missiles. Their Lightning Bomb will reduce Motorhead's flame-shooting juggernauts to crumbling hunks of burning metal.

Enter a future that might have been. It's time to wage the war of the Steel Empire!


Steel Empire is a fast-paced scrolling shooter. Gameplay is linear in that the player is restricted to flying in only one direction, and the player will meet enemies in a predesignated order. However, unlike many scrolling shooters, Steel Empire allows players to fire from behind as well as ahead.

Ammunition is unlimited and players have the ability to collect level powerups, which increase their firepower strength from level one to level 20. These and other powerups may be collected by flying into them.

Players are given a certain number of "lives" and "continues". If a player loses a life, his craft simply reappears where it was destroyed. If the player loses all of his lives, then he must spend a "continue" and restart at the beginning of the level. Firepower level data is retained however throughout the course of the game. When all continues are expended, the game is over.

Table of Contents



Power-ups take the form of small, floating circular-shaped icons containing the following:

  • B: Extra Lightning Bomb. This powerful bomb, when launched, will annihilate every minor enemy on the screen, and cause much damage to the larger ones.
  • O: Pair of mini-ships that stay next to you, allowing a wider range of fire. They will remain with you until you lose a life.
  • Heart: Small filling of the "vital" bar.
  • L ((Ex) - on the U.S. version): Level points. Collecting these will raise your firepower level up to a maximum of 20.
  • S: Adds 1,000 points to the player's score.
  • 1-UP: Extra life

Power-ups can be obtained by blasting enemies. Some may be found just floating around. Blasting a mini-airship yields six power-ups, usually "L" or "S".