Date added: 2014-09-30
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Space Harrier (スペースハリアー Supēsu Hariā?) is a third-person rail shooter game, released by Sega in 1985. It was produced by Yu Suzuki, responsible for many popular Sega games. It spawned several sequels: Space Harrier 3-D (1988), Space Harrier II (1988), and the spin-off Planet Harriers (2000).
Space Harrier was originally made for the arcades, and later saw ports to many home game systems. Space Harrier's release on the Sega Master System is notable, as there were two versions: one was just like the arcade, while the other, entitled Space Harrier 3-D was actually a sequel.
It was one of the first arcade games to use 16-bit graphics and Sega's "Super Scaler" technology that allowed pseudo-3D sprite-scaling at high frame rates, with the ability to scale as many as 32,000 sprites and fill a moving landscape with them, along with 6144 colors on screen out of a 98,304 color palette. It also introduced a true analog flight stick for movement, with the ability to register movement in any direction as well as measure the degree of push, which could move the player character at different speeds depending on how far the stick is pushed in a certain direction. The game was also an early example of a third-person shooter; it was influenced by the earlier 1982 Sega game Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom, and Space Harrier in turn influenced later 3D shooters such as Nintendo's Star Fox/Starwing in 1993.