Fantasy Zone II Review

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Sega couldn’t get enough of Opa-Opa in the first Fantasy Zone, so they decided to produce a sequel in 1987 for the Sega Master System. Fantasy Zone II added warp tiles, larger levels, and hidden secrets. Fantasy Zone II was one of the first games I ever played as a child. I spent many hours sitting in front of the TV playing it’s brightly colored graphics. It gets real weird in this Fantasy Zone II review.

Fantasy Zone II Plot: 

Opa-Opa is the main character in the Fantasy Zone series. He defended the Fantasy Zone which is a section in space from the invading army led by his father in the first game. It’s been ten years since the first battle of the Fantasy Zone, and now a new invading army is back. 

Defeating this army won’t be easy, as Opa-Opa must fight through eight worlds, each with sub-levels in them. Clearing out the enemy bases will open up the warp tile to the boss. In the end, Opa-Opa faces the commanding ship of the enemy army which turns out to be himself? Fantasy Zone is just a cute shooter, but Sega really wanted to inject it with a crazy story. After defeating your evil twin by shedding tears onto him (yes, I’m serious) Opa-Opa flies off with his father. Confused? So was I! Sega recognized that players would be so they wrote an in-depth story explaining the game after you beat it. It’s a unique story and I suppose I give them credit for trying to incorporate it. Bonus points for the Fantasy Zone II review.

“With the riddle of “Who is the enemy’s mastermind?” Further deepening, the war comes to an end. Peace will once again be restored to the Fantasy Zone.”

Space Year June 29, 6226. 

“Who was the mastermind leading the enemy forces that so closely physically resembled Opa-Opa and fought with the same functional weapon?

It was in reality, Opa-Opa’s other-self. Due to the emotional stress brought about as a result of war during his childhood, he developed a dual personality of virtue and vice, unknown even to himself. Only his father was aware of this fact. 

Splitting into two separate beings, he became in addition to his role as the hero, the enemy’s mastermind, thus because of the paternal bond existing between them, his father had no alternative but to assume the role of their leader. 

Now, as a result of Opa-Opa’s courageous victory, the evil being that dwelled in him had been destroyed. Deeply moved, Opa-Opa can no longer contain his tears, which as they fall, signify his return to the sole path of righteousness. 

Opa-Opa vows that never again will war occur.”

So this cute little spaceship you’ve been playing as has been dealing with serious emotional and physical stress since a child resulting in him splitting, yes quite literally splitting his physical self in half so his evil urges could separate into another version of himself. That evil version led the attack on Fantasy Zone. 

While I enjoy elaborate stories with in-depth plots, I think a simple “An evil army has invaded the Fantasy Zone. Fight back and take out their commander!” would have sufficed. 

Fanasy Zone II Gameplay: 

There are a few things you’ll notice right away between the first and second Fantasy Zones. The first is the introduction of the warp tiles. Killing enemy bases will make them drop money, sometimes even dollar bills which is another new feature but some enemy bases cover-up warp tiles that will warp Opa-Opa to other sections in the world. It’s required to defeat all the bases in the world. With the inclusion of this feature, Fantasy Zone II becomes more than double the size of the original Fantasy Zone. 

I found the bosses to be slightly easier than the original Fantasy Zone. Many times, I didn’t need a special weapon like the laser beam or wide beam to defeat them. Using the Twin Shot was just as effective. I thought you’d be able to keep a special weapon as your main weapon after collecting all the engines, similar to the first game. That was not the case to my disappointment in my Fantasy Zone II review. I have to say though that I got a chuckle after purchasing the twin big bombs. Dropping them down on opponents, the bombs are painted like the American flag. USA! USA! USA! Remember, this was made in Japan, so they certainly respect the power of the American army giving it a nod with those bombs. 

The levels become increasingly difficult and around world six it really ramps up. Enemies shooting at you is the least of your worries as they fly around so fast you’re more likely to be kamikazed by them than shot down. Some enemies are drawn to you like a bug to the light, and they’ll constantly fly around you just waiting for you to make a mistake. 

To help you combat the enemies are cloud shops found throughout the world. These were my safe havens during my Fantasy Zone II review. Some are hidden, you’ll have to shoot them constantly to make them appear. I also found a hidden clock but I didn’t know what it did. Let’s take a look at the bosses you’ll face in Fantasy Zone II. 

Boss #1 – A wooden log that floats backward. He’s not the danger, it’s the tiny logs floating toward you that you have to navigate through while shooting him. 

Boss #2 – This totem pole boss looks like the mustache version of Freddie Mercury who spews hammers at you. You’ll have to shoot everything except his head to defeat him. 

Boss #3 – A giant eye encased around ice. He floats around the screen occasionally firing at you. 

Boss #4 – This guy looks like a Chinese dragon that you’d see at a festival. He flies around the screen shooting fire at you. He’s pretty tame. 

Boss #5 – A big face that puffs up doesn’t sound too dangerous. Just make sure to kill him before he starts zooming around the screen. 

Boss #6 – This boss reminds me of an accordion. You’ll have to bomb or shoot all the levels of him. 

Boss #7 – The spinning face, screw this guy. I hate him so much. It took me at least thirty attempts to beat him during my Fantasy Zone II review. His face is on a pole and spins around faster and faster shooting balls at you. He’s near impossible to beat. 

Boss #8 – Like the first Fantasy Zone, you’ll face off in a snake mini-game. After killing the head of the snake a few times you face your evil twin self. 

You’ll have to face all eight in a boss rush just like the first Fantasy Zone. 

Memories:

Growing up with nothing but a Sega Master System until the fourth grade, I played my fair share of Fantasy Zone II. It drew me in as a child with its colorful graphics and happy go-lucky enemies. I was pretty young but I was able to make it to the fourth world. I never could get past it, but I put the time in. It’s one of the games that is vividly engrained into my memory. Beating the game today after not playing it for over 20 years and completing my Fantasy Zone II review was strange. 

Fantasy Zone II Review Score: 

Fantasy Zone II adds a few gameplay elements that make the sequel worth playing. The worlds are larger, the enemies tougher but the story is just too much for me. Keep it simple with small shooters like this.  

Fantasy Zone II scores a 6.7 out of 10. 

What would you write in your Fantasy Zone II review? When do you remember playing Fantasy Zone II for the first time? Did you like it better than the original? Who was the toughest boss you faced? Let me know your thoughts and memories, I’d love to read them! 

If you want to own Fantasy Zone II you can purchase a preowned copy of it for the Sega Master System on eBay for $70. 

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