It seems Sega intended Fantasy Zone
and Space Harrier
to be interconnected, as both titles take place in the same universe ("the Fantasy Zone") and have crazy character designs. In 1991, NEC Avenue took the next step and combined both games into one Super CD game for the PC Engine CD/Turbo CD called, Space Fantasy Zone
The game is visually impressive in screen shots but a little jarring in motion.
The game plays exactly like Space Harrier
with a few exceptions. Opa Opa starts with only one life but this is bolstered by a shield meter. When the meter runs out it's game over. Shooting enemies give you gold, while taking out whole waves of enemies produces more money. The stages are separated by a visit to the power-up store called, "Weponalds". The power-ups mirror what you would expect out Fantasy Zone
with choices such as speedups, power shots, extras weapons, shields, bombs and options. Those who have run out of money can always order a free smile.
Weponald's is a nice spin on McDonald's and a good way to manage upgrades before the next stage
The graphics are bright and colorful and mirror the games that inspired it. The PC Engine does it's best but can't handle scaling as smooth as it could be, resulting in something that is close to Space Harrier 2
for the Sega Genesis. The title theme is a great combination of the main themes for both games, but there rest of the score is underwhelming.
I love the opening theme and I wish the rest of the tracks followed suit. Space Fantasy Zone
is a fun game that is a bit on the short side with only nine levels. It's a shame it never saw release as it would have made a great addition to the PC Engine library. It is rumored that Sega who was set to release their own CD add-on around time killed the project. It is fortunate for gamers that this game was leaked online, so PC Engine owner's of today can enjoy this game. Be careful when looking for this game as fans have created bootlegs of what they think the package should have looked like, and you can easily find this game on the Internet.
It's a shame this game was never released but if you search hard enough you'll be able to find it