Classic SEGA Music: Space Harrier Theme


Space Harrier is the 1985 pseudo-3D third-person rail shooting game developed by SEGA-AM2 on the System-16 arcade hardware under the supervision of Yu Suzuki who would become one of the most successful and revered people in the industry. Unusual to many of his later games, Space Harrier is designed in the unique “Fantasy Zone” setting where many of the objects and enemies the player must face are nonsensical or mythical beings.

Today we will be listening to what is considered the main theme of the game.

Where it is heard:

This song is initially heard on Moot, the first planet of the game but is used on many levels later on in the game. Usually it is used for the stages based around open fields with giant mountains or structures in the background. This is fitting in that the song is designed with a heroic, but lighthearted and uplifting pace. This is furthered by the supportive announcer that shouts encouraging words out your way such as “You’re doing great!” that the Space Harrier series is known for.

Other versions:

SST Band – Live

The famed SEGA Sound Team Band plays a wonderful rendition in front of a large audience. Most of them would continue to have extremely successful careers designing arcade game music for SEGA, H. and Takenobu Mitsuyoshi especially. This video is available on their DVD.

Piano version

This version is a much slower and relaxed piano variation that still does the song justice. It was included in the SEGA Piano Nocturne CD.

SEGA AGES 2500 version

This was the remixed theme used for gameplay in the SEGA AGES 2500 release on the PlayStation 2. It keeps the same upbeat and heroic theme, but introduces a techno-trance beat commonly used for raves. The game was also available outside of Japan in the SEGA Classics Collection release with a group of other SEGA AGES 2500 releases.

Master System version

This version plays on the considerably weaker Master System hardware, but retains the style and sensation the arcade version was known for. The video posted is from one of the Japanese boot screens that starts when the player has not inserted a game into the game console.

Bayonetta version

This variation is used in a section late in Bayonetta nearing a conclusion. Though designed in a fairly unorthodox approach, this version still keeps it’s heroic themes along with the empowering female presence of the game. It was made by H., who also remixed the AfterBurner and OutRun songs featured in the game.

Fan remixes: classicsegamusic

Performed by Slow News and uploaded by YouTube user nomen.

Electric guitar version by YouTube user yuta1785.

Piano rendition done in the original tempo by YouTube user yukimatsuri.

Unique bass/synth version by YouTube user maelz.

Space Harrier‘s theme is easily one of the best known songs SEGA has in their vast history and has been remixed hundreds, if not thousands of times since it’s creation. It has been featured in everything from Shenmue to Super Monkey Ball and is included in almost every genre of games known. While it has not had any new releases story-wise since 1988’s Space Harrier II, the franchise has gone on to become one of SEGA most ported games of all time, with everything from dozens of computer conversions to mobile phone releases and everything in between. It may not be much longer until we are all once again welcomed into the Fantasy Zone.

4 Responses to “Classic SEGA Music: Space Harrier Theme”

  1. Pao Says:

    Most of those are really BRILLIANT!!!

  2. bruno Says:

    My favourite has to be the Master System one.

  3. juanchobb Says:

    fantastic review. Thank you and SEGA, greetings from Argentina!

  4. JandeSF Says:

    Ah, they don’t make music like this anymore. This has been my favorite version for a long time:

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