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Ristar (Genesis)

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Title Screen


Also known as: Ristar the Shooting Star (JP/KR)
Developer: Sega
Publishers: Sega (JP/US/EU), Tec Toy (BR), Samsung (KR)
Platform: Genesis
Released in JP: February 17, 1995
Released in US: February 16, 1995
Released in EU: February 17, 1995
Released in KR: 1995
Released in BR: 1995

AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
EnemyIcon.png This game has unused enemies.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

ProtoIcon.png This game has a prototype article
PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article

Ristar is an action-platformer starring (*ahem*) a star creature with grabby arms who headbutts his adversaries. Apparently, just straight-out punching them wasn't an option.

To do:
Detail the differences between the August and September revisions.


Read about prototype versions of this game that have been released or dumped.
Prototype Info
Read about prerelease information and/or media for this game.
Prerelease Info
Regional Differences
American Ristar is more hardcore than American Kirby!

Debugging Functions

Free Movement Mode

The world is square.
Use the Pro Action Replay (PAR) code FFE50B:78 to enable a free movement mode. Hold A, B, or C to move faster.

To exit this mode, turn the code off and press Start.

Old Stage Select

Back in my day, stage selects were just white text on a black background, and we liked it that way!
An older, text-based stage select is still in the game. Use the following Game Genie codes and press Start to access this menu.

NOTE: The font used on this stage select was removed from the international versions. The stage select still works, but no text is displayed.


Press A and C to navigate left and right respectively.

Slow Motion

The Pro Action Replay (PAR) code FFFE05:08 will enable a slow motion feature. With this code on, gameplay will move at half-speed.

Please be aware that upon completing a stage, the game will freeze. It's likely that when this was actually used for debugging, it could be flipped on/off through a button press to prevent this kind of thing from happening.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Room

I like to flip uʍop-ǝpısdn

Room 20 is unused in the final game, and would have been used somewhere in Round 6-2. It would have featured an interesting gimmick that appears nowhere in the final game: Gravity flipping! Note the reversed tiles at the top of the screen, and the upside-down gem chamber.

Those pipes, which only appear in this room, are using incorrect color values. That color space was reclaimed by the stage's red and yellow background layer after this room was scrapped.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Placeholder Screens

Four placeholder screens remain in the game. They all consist of a simple descriptive message on a black background.

Like the early stage select, these use a font only found in the Japanese version.

Screen Hex Offset Use Screen Hex Offset Use
RistarTempOpeningDemo.png 0x00DEE6 (JP)
0x00E48C (INT)
Game Intro RistarTempGameOver.png 0x00E0AA (JP)
0x00E640 (INT)
Game Over Screen
RistarTempRoundCard.png 0x00E446 (JP)
0x00E9EE (INT)
Round Title Card RistarTempClearDemo.png 0x00E53C (JP)
0x00EAD4 (INT)
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Graphics

This article is a mockup for a newer, better article.No memes please. I'm really feeling it! Graphics for an early game HUD, back when the game was still called Feel!
This is exactly how they appear in the ROM, so it's likely these were only meant for mock-up images.
The exact palette for these tiles is unknown; the final Ristar palette doesn't quite fit.
I can't be collected for mad points, sorry.
These rotating gems were implemented (kinda) in the July 1st prototype's Bonus Areas, then removed.
They used the Bonus Area's palette, which was fine when each Bonus Area shared the same colors.
When each Round got its own separate Bonus Area palette, the crystals were quickly removed.
Round 1
Please don't eat bombs, it's not like in the cartoons.
Certain bushes in Round 1-1 are explosive berry bushes. The berries never get quite this large.
Go back to Sonic 2.
Why did you touch this? Did you want to lost health?
This caterpillar would appear in Round 1-2. Just crawling around, getting all spiky, shooting stuff.
Round 5
Icy whales have snowholes.
This icy hole, which can be seen in early screenshots, would blast Ristar with freezing-cold snow.
Round 6
Not that cartoony.Where are its googly eyes?OH NO laser chaser! A strange saucer-like enemy for Round 6-1 that seems to be anchored to the ground.
It has animations for moving around on the floor and firing a thin laser.
But what does it do?
Machine and pipe graphics that would appear in the Round 6 boss hallway. Theoretically.
You can't spell trubble without it.
At one point, Uranim may have thrown screws, springs, and whatever this thing is as well.

Early graphics for every treasure from Round 1 to Round 4 are still in the game's graphics. The early graphics are mixed in with round-specific graphics, while the final treasures are sequestered later in the ROM.
The early treasure graphics also use palettes specific to the round they're found in, while the final treasures share the same two-palette set.
The password screen at the end of the game shows every treasure the player has collected. It would be impossible to load the correct palette for every treasure if the early graphics were used. This might be what necessitated the change.

Early Final
RistarTreasure61Early.gif RistarTreasure61Final.gif

An early version of the Golden Screw is also in the game. The only round that loads the correct palette for the early sprite is Round 6-2, but the final treasure is found in Round 6-1.

(Source: Original TCRF research, Ristar Cluster)

Unused Sounds

Sound ID Sound Comments
A simple sproingy sound.
One of many unused "thud" sound effects.
This could have been used when entering the bushes in Round 1-1.
More rustling, possibly to be used when enemies exit a bush.
Sounds like something that would be played for freezing Ristar.
A timer? Something frigid? Maybe a frozen timer. Nah, that's stupid.
A harsh metallic clang.
This sound was used for the parachute bombs in Round 5-2 in the June 1st prototype.
More unused sounds akin to explodin'.
A dizzying noise, mayhaps. It's hard to tell what these are sometimes.
Just some light tapping. There aren't any woodpeckers in this game, but...
Sounds like a tossing sound. Is it? You decide.
This comes after the tidal sounds of Round 2-1, so it might be related to that in some way.
Used in the prototype for Uranim's laser projectile. This was replaced with a voice sample.
Again, this was used in the prototype (for hitting Uranim) and was replaced with a sample.
The final sound in the unused Uranim set, this was used when Uranim started to charge his laser beam.
Both of these sounds are used for something destructive, so they might have been used for Greedy's castle collapsing.
This sound plays indefinitely, and the only place it would fit is in Greedy's castle as it's breaking apart.
Bubbling sounds, in all likelihood intended for Ristar's underwater breathing.
These sound like sped-up versions of the bubble-grabbing and underwater timer sounds from the Genesis Sonic games.
This buzzer sound might have been used before the "Oww!" voice sample was put in the game.
The only unused voice sample. It's laughter. Uheh uheh.
This is the only of four noise that the native of Round 5 that's unused. He's clearly freaking out in this one.
These sounds are borrowed from Sonic 3. They're not in the July 1st prototype, and they're not used in any version.
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Text

Hex Offset Text Comments
0x007ECA (JP)
0x007EE4 (INT)
This would be displayed on the gameplay demo in older versions of the game.
However, neither the July 1st nor the July 18th prototypes use this string.
(Source: GoldS)
0x057428 (JP)
0x058374 (INT)
The July 1st prototype of Ristar had an option to set the number of starting lives.
(Source: GoldS)
0x05DDC3 (JP ONLY)
  - CAUTION! -
      V O L T !!
These are the three last lines in memory for the ending credits.
In the July 1st prototype, "Volt" is used in the game's header as the international name.
Volt is probably Sega of America's first attempt at coming up with a localized name.
It's possible that a password or button combination could have triggered this text.
(Source: Ristar Cluster)


Round 7

Round 7 has a title screen and stage name, but the actual game goes straight to the gameplay. Unlike every other Round in the game, the background in Round 7-1 uses both background layers. One of the background layers is taken up by the title border, which is probably why this title card was cut.

The "Next Round" screen also has graphics for Round 7, where it's called "Castle of Greedy" rather than "Castle Greedy". It's similarly unused, since there's no Star Handle or height bonus at the end of the stage.

Sound Off

According to a table in the Sound Theater, the "SOUND OFF" option is supposed to knock the brown bird off its perch. However, since the sound code it's looking up (C0) is the same one triggered by the B Button, this doesn't work as it should. Use the Game Genie code DMXA-LHTK(JP)/DM6A-LH1F (INT) to fix this bug.

(Source: Original TCRF research, Ristar Cluster)

Revisional Differences

To do:
Actually find out what's different.

Two different versions of the US/Europe ROM exist: one made in August, the other made in September. An easy way to tell which version you have is to look at the checksum at $18E: the August version has a checksum of $7554, while the September version has a checksum of $7F4D.