Sega 3D Classics for 3DS: The Rundown

The games, the extra features, the physical exclusives and some of the little tweaks and upgrades you may have missed.

How's your end-of-life 3DS shopping list looking, folks? The announced closure of the Nintendo 3DS (and Wii U) eShops has encouraged many of us to dive into those back catalogs to identify and secure as many novel and interesting games as possible, before they're rendered literally or virtually impossible to acquire due to scarcity, exorbitant after-market prices or general unavailability; it's also taught those of us who took the plunge that we're already closer to that bleak future than one might have presumed us to be.

That being the case, highlighting, outlining and recommending must-haves and curios from these vast libraries is the least we here at Retronauts can do to help — in fact, it's such a negligible contribution that I hadn't yet made an effort to, y'know, do it, but rest assured, that's changing, starting with this rundown of Sega's 3D Classics series of stereoscopic 3D remasters of classic games from their arcade and console catalog. 

Sandwiched between the latter wave of Sega Ages 2500 anthologies and the more recent Sega Ages reissue series for Nintendo Switch, the Sega 3D Classics series consistently challenged the notion of marrying classic games to new experiences and innovative technologies and served to establish the global reputation of emulation artisans M2, both individually and via their continuing and successful relationship with Sega that not only spans digital reissue initiatives but has gone on to fuel more ambitious projects like the successful Sega Genesis Mini, and between the games released on the eShop, the bonus games exclusively released as part of the compilations, the games that never left Japan and the mostly-undocumented tweaks and enhancements made to certain games in certain formats, they warrant and deserve more of a rundown than the paragraph summation they might otherwise receive in a broader write-up, so here we are.

As always, if you have any questions or queries, leave them in the comments below (unless they involve complaints or jabs about Altered Beast, in which case, begone).


What new features are offered by these conversions?

Standard features generally include button configs, sound tests, save states and local wireless, multi-copy multiplayer support where applicable, as well as increasingly elaborate (and silly) original credits sequences. Additionally, Genesis games offer either standard dot-by-dot or faux-CRT screen settings, "fall-in" or "pop-out" stereoscopic 3D settings and options to emulate the FM sound balance of either the first- or second-generation Genesis hardware, whereas the arcade titles typically offer dipswitch settings for game difficulty and other in-game values like lives and game timers, as well as a replay feature, music/sound effect volume sliders, ambient environmental arcade audio and screen options that include wide-screen and/or stretch-to-fit options where applicable. On top of those standardized features, there are per-game extras that you'll find listed below.

Are there any games in this series that aren't rehashed Genesis games?

A little under half of the titles featured in the Sega 3D Classics line are Genesis games, and that percentage is even lower if you factor in the games exclusive to the compilations. Of the non-Genesis games included in this series, several have not been ported anywhere else since this release, and a few were ported for the first and only time as part of this series (as of now, anyway). Not every pixel-art Sega game is a Genesis game!

Aside from stereoscopic 3D, how do these versions differ from the equivalent, more recent Sega Ages versions for Nintendo Switch?

The Switch versions tend to adopt and/or expand upon the extras introduced with the 3D Classics versions, so those of you who cannot or do not care to experience the stereoscopic 3D effect might better be served by the Sega Ages versions. That said, a few of the arcade games in the 3D Classics line feature a virtual moving arcade cabinet display option that is not present in the equivalent Sega Ages version.

Is stereoscopic 3D really that big of a deal?

Yes, ya knucklehead — at a minimum, it offers a fresh way to experience a familiar game, and in many cases is significantly and genuinely improves the playability of a particular game, to the point where it's hard to go back to playing the game in regular ol' 2D.

Can I play/buy the Japan-only games/collections on my non-Japanese 3DS?

Not officially, no, but there are plentiful community-made options for acquiring and playing region-locked 3DS games that I urge you to investigate on your own time.

Are the Japanese collections pricey or hard to find?

As with many 3DS games, the prices have spiked significantly over the last year or so, but all three collections can be purchased digitally, so if you're strictly looking to buy them for the exclusive content and aren't fussed about owning a physical package, they can be had for reasonable prices.

What's a "fukkoku", anyway?

In this context, it means "reproduction", essentially.


3D Space Harrier

  • Original release: 1985, arcades
  • Also available as part of the Sega Ages Switch series, on the Astro City Mini and playable within various Yakuza games

What's this? Sega's classic, oft-imitated into-the-screen fantasy shooting game, and an obvious pick for the first entry in the 3D Classics series — the ability to genuinely judge the depth of enemies and obstacles makes the Harrier's proximity-based auto-tracking shots much easier to master.

3D Classics features: A virtual tilting cabinet display mode with various cabinet frames, analog, digital and touch-screen control options, virtual bounding-box settings for the Harrier's movement, rapid-fire options, a stage select feature and the implementation the "HAYA-OH" boss, originally created for specific home versions.

Stand-alone or collection? If you like stereoscopic 3D, then the Fukkoku Archives compilation version is the one to play: that version was given a significant facelift to bring the 3D effect up to the standards of later games in the series, with more depth and more layers of 3D per sprite.

3D Super Hang-On

  • Original release: 1987, arcades
  • Also available on Xbox via backwards-compatibility (Sega Vintage Collection: Alex Kidd & Co.) and playable within various Yakuza games

What's this? Out Run's leaner and meaner motorcycle-based racing game, perhaps best remembered internationally for its early Genesis port; the port's RPG-lite mode isn't present here, but this version adds enough enhancements to allow most players to beat the game without the upgrade system, or just to enjoy a high-speed stereoscopic 3D experience.

3D Classics features: A bottom-screen display that shows the record lap times for each stage on each course, the ability to start from any of the odd-numbered stages reached previously, the option of either the sit-down or ride-on cabinet versions of each game, additional extra-low difficulty settings that go so far as to make it impossibly to collide with other vehicles, an unlockable "world course" featuring all 48 stages and a new ending, and the ability to play with gyro controls synced to the virtual tilting of the screen for a more immersive experience.

Stand-alone or collection? Again, the collection version's the way to go: as with Space Harrier, Super Hang-On was given a major stereoscopic touch-up when it was added to the Fukkoku Archives 3 FINAL STAGE collection.

3D Sonic the Hedgehog

  • Original release: 1991, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
  • Also available on everything, everywhere, anytime, and there's a new version coming sometime this decade as part of the Sonic Origins collection

What's this? I think it has something to do with that Jim Carrey movie.

3D Classics features: Implementation of Sonic's Spin Dash move, which you may have forgotten wasn't present in the very first game; you can also access the level select by default, without having to enter a cheat code. 

Useless fact: The new implementation of the Spin Dash featured in this conversion has a quirk where Sonic is still vulnerable to damage while charging a Spin Dash, an inaccuracy that was maintained with the Sega Ages version.

3D Altered Beast

  • Original release: 1988, Sega Genesis/Mega Drive (port of the arcade version)
  • Also available via the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pass, on smartphones via Sega Forever and on every Genesis collection you can think of

What's this? The face of the Genesis' launch era, just as fun now as it was almost 35 years ago; the 3D Classics version was specifically built upon the Genesis version and not the original arcade game, due to the Genesis' ports additional parallax layers being a better fit for stereoscopic 3D.

3D Classics features: A "Random Form" mode which, as the name implies, randomizes the final transformation of the player-character on each stage, letting you take on stages and bosses with forms different from those typically prescribed for each stage. (This mode is based on a cheat code present in the original Genesis release.)

Useless fact: For a brief moment, the Japanese announcement of 3D Altered Beast drove a bewildering amount of people to change their profile pictures to the image of the bear from the full-screen transformation sequence. Aren't memes fun?

3D Ecco the Dolphin

  • Original release: 1992, Sega Genesis/Mega Drive
  • Also available via the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pass, on Steam via Mega Drive/Genesis Classics and on the Genesis/Mega Drive Mini

What's this? The premier dolphin-based sci-fi adventure of the early '90s, now sporting stereoscopic 3D visuals and a handful of options to allow the average player to see the game's many wild twists, which were otherwise hidden behind several sheer cliffs of intense and unforgiving difficulty.

3D Classics features: A "Super Dolphin" mode which confers invincibility, unlimited oxygen and the ability to destroy enemies on contact. You can also elect to play the Japanese version, which sports many changes that also help alleviate the difficulty, with the trade-off that you may not be able to read any of the (occasionally crucial) text.

Useless fact: The developer interview conducted for 3D Ecco the Dolphin was the only one missing from the Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives MANIAX interview anthology book, owing to a now-settled legal dispute over the ownership rights to Ecco the Dolphin.

3D Galaxy Force II

What's this? AM1's colossal showcase for their Y Board sprite-scaling hardware, which was distributed both via a deluxe rotating cabinet and a more standardized upright cabinet, subject to various admirable but ultimately unsatisfying versions throughout the '90s and finally done justice via a Sega Ages 2500 remaster. The 3D Classics version builds off the foundation of the PS2 version and reaches new levels of playability via stereoscopic 3D visuals, which make dodging enemy attacks and navigating the high-speed end-of-stage tunnels infinitely easier than in versions past.

3D Classics features: Detailed control settings including inverted movement, various lock/hold settings for the shot/accelerator and the option to use a Circle Pad Pro (or New 3DS' c-stick) as a throttle; virtual moving cabinet displays based on two different cabinet architecture, corrections to certain music errors present in the original game and, via hidden commands, options for increased energy/shield power, a 2D-fixed cursor and more. What's more, the game's standard mode uses remastered assets from the PS2 version that feature transparency effects and other changes to assist with playability, but an unlockable arcade-authentic version is also included.

Stand-alone or collection? The 3D Classics Collection/Fukkoku Archives 2 version is subtly enhanced in one way that most people might not even notice on their own: due to the CPU power required to handle stereoscopic Y Board emulation, the initial stand-alone version of 3D Galaxy Force II used streamed music rather than authentically emulated chiptunes, but the further-optimized version contained in the collection was able to implement emulated music.

3D Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master

  • Original release: 1993, Sega Genesis/Mega Drive
  • Also available on Switch via Nintendo Switch Online Expansion pass, the Genesis Collections for PC & consoles and the Genesis Mini

What's this? The second Genesis/Mega Drive-exclusive Shinobi outing, and the one typically favored (or seen to be favored) by international players due to its flashy later-era graphics and more technical, ninja-like move set; the stereoscopic effect doesn't necessarily make a huge difference in terms of raw playability, but it sure looks neat.

3D Classics features: The ability to start from any stage in the game (taken from an old cheat code), as well as the ability to map context-specific actions to dedicated buttons (again, taken from an old cheat code).

Useless fact: The routines written to enable the extended control scheme seem to have been inadvertently carried over to the recent versions of Shinobi III included on the Genesis Mini and elsewhere, causing the unintended side-effect of breaking the six-button controller cheat on those platforms. Oops!

3D Streets of Rage

  • Original release: 1993, Sega Genesis/Mega Drive
  • Also available on Xbox via backwards-compatibility (Sega Vintage Collection: Streets of Rage), Genesis Collection for PC and consoles and smartphones via Sega Forever

What's this? The first entry in Sega's classic urban brawler trilogy, which recently returned to the spotlight thanks to Lizardcube and Guard Crush Games' sterling revival; this first might strike some as a little plain when compared to its sequels but the more modest visuals definitely do not indicate lesser game design or challenge, and the 3D Classics version offers yet another example of stereoscopic visuals enhancing the playability of a classic genre.

3D Classics features: The ability to start from any stage in the game, as well as a "Fists of Death" mode that, shockingly, allows you to kill enemies with a single hit.

Useless fact: The menu screen music for the stand-alone version of 3D Streets of Rage technically features an arranged tune by Manabu Namiki... that is to say, he made a minor edit to the tune so that it'd loop smoothly, but that still counts.


3D After Burner II

  • Original release: 1987, arcades
  • Currently exclusive to 3DS

What's this? Yu Suzuki's famous Top Gun riff, which received many contemporary home conversions in its day but is rarely reissued nowadays due to the expense of licensing the aircraft designs; this version's another no-brainer showcase for 3D stereoscopy, and adds a lot of engaging new features even for those who play exclusively in 2D.

3D Classics features: A bevy of granular control options, including touch-screen controls, arcade/home-style movement operability and support for the Circle Pad Pro/New 3DS' C-stick; visibility enhancement toggles for transparent smoke effects and a fixed 2D-plane reticule; granular difficulty options including a super-easy mode that increases the lock-on range of the reticule, a stage select, a virtual moving cabinet display based on several different cabinet designs, the ability to select music from different revisions of the game and an option to automatically activate certain secret content from the original game, as well as a brand-new "Special Mode" that drastically arranges the game in the image of the decades-later sequel, After Burner Climax.

Useless fact: The new Special Mode was designed by none other than Hiroshi Iuchi, the mastermind behind shooting games like Ikaruga, Gradius V and Radiant Silvergun.

3D Fantasy Zone: Opa-Opa Bros.

  • Original release: 1986, arcades
  • Currently available as part of the Sega Ages Switch series, on the Astro City Mini and inside various Yakuza series games

What's this? Sega's beloved free-scrolling cute-em-up, known by Sega fans and non-Sega fans alike due being ported to a plethora of non-Sega platforms in its day. M2 had already ported this game several times prior to the 3D Classics series, so this particular port represents the culmination of all their ambitions and know-how up to that point — they've since pushed it even further with the Sega Ages Switch version, but some might prefer the dual-screen setup.

3D Classics features: As indicated by the subtitle, there's a new mode that lets you play as Upa-Upa, the Luigi to Opa-Opa's Mario, who is able to freely switch weapons using the touch screen and consumes coins as ammo. Additionally, this version also includes a "coin stock" which persistently records all the coins collected during each run and cumulatively unlocks extra bonus settings, a bottom-screen radar, a stage select, granular rapid-fire settings and the hidden implementation of some extra secret bosses based on the original bosses from the Master System port.

Helpful tip: The Sega Ages Switch version of Fantasy Zone rebalanced most of these new features to be easier and/or more forgiving — the hidden bosses aren't as tough, many of the bonus settings are unlocked by default, Upa-Upa's mode drops more coins and requires less coins for each weapon, etc — so if you're looking for a more challenging experience, the 3D Classics version may be the one for you.

3D Out Run

  • Original release: 1986, arcades
  • Currently available as part of the Sega Ages Switch series and inside various Yakuza series games

What's this? The quintessential blue-skies arcade driving game, a little less Ferrari-fied but no less fun; many would consider this version superseded by the newer Sega Ages release, but that version doesn't pop out of your screen, does it?

3D Classics features: A few granular control options related to gear-shifting, as well as a touch-screen control option; two new, hardware-authentic radio tunes courtesy of Manabu Namiki and chibi-tech, additional "tuning" options to enhance the speed and operability of your car, access to the "old" Japanese track layout and the "new" international track layout, a super-low difficulty option that removes traffic and a specific volume slider for the engine noise, as well as a few virtual moving cabinet displays based on various cabinet designs, a feature not present in the Sega Ages Switch port. Additionally, the standard mode is upgraded to 60FPS and includes several bug fixes, but an authentic, warts-and-all 30FPS version is also unlockable.

Stand-alone or collection? Certain advanced gear-changing techniques in the standalone version are compliant to the Saturn port but not quite arcade-accurate, so they were further refined and corrected for the version included on the Fukkoku Archives collection.

3D Fantasy Zone II W: Link Loop Land

What's this? M2's what-if arcade sequel to the original Fantasy Zone, originally released as a bonus feature for the Fantasy Zone Complete Collection and authentically developed on vintage Sega arcade hardware; being that M2 themselves made the original game, the 3DS version is a genuine native port and not emulation, which allowed the team to significantly expand upon the original version with features and extras not originally possible on the System 16-based arcade board.

3D Classics features: The core game has been thoroughly adjusted and retuned for the 3DS' max resolution, with much of the prologue text displayed on the second screen; additionally, most of the extras added to the 3D Classics version of the original Fantasy Zone are also present here, including the persistent "coin stock" system for unlocking extra features, the stage select, optional base markers and granular rapid-fire settings. The biggest new feature added to this version is "Link Loop Land", an endless score attack mode with brand-new mechanics, music and scoring systems, as well as additional playable characters than can be unlocked by clearing the various endings in the main game.

Stand-alone or collection? The differences may be imperceptible to many, but the 3D Classics Collection/Fukkoku Archives 2 version of Fantasy Zone II W made some subtle scoring and balance changes to address potential counter-stops and general lame scoring strategies in Link Loop Land.

3D Thunder Blade

  • Original release: 1987, arcades
  • Currently only available via Sega 3D Classics for 3DS

What's this? AM1's perspective-switching helicopter shooting game, which had the unfortunate distinction of being most played overseas via its rushed and severely-compromised Mega Drive launch conversion, Super Thunder Blade; this 3D Classics version is not only the first and only arcade-accurate reissue ever produced but, through both the implementation of stereoscopic 3D visuals and the significantly arranged Special Mode, manages to bring out the unrealized potential of what was once considered a rather throwaway game.

3D Classics features: A variety of granular control options for both the behind-the-back and overhead sections, including touch controls, Circle Pad Pro/New 3DS C-Stick support and several gyro control options that seek to emulate physically moving a throttle, with optional virtual cabinet movement; there's also a stage select, an extra-low difficulty setting that removes environmental collisions and the optional implementation of BGM that features more refined arrangements than both the original arcade version and the later soundtrack release. Most importantly, 3D Thunder Blade includes a new "Special Mode" that rearranges the game as a more aggressive and forgiving shooter, implements unused content and extra details only provided outside of the game and adds a brand-new final stage, created from scratch for this port.

In memoriam: Much of the technical groundwork for the Sega 3D Classics series was driven by by former M2 programmer Akira Saitou, with the production and release of 3D Thunder Blade in particular — a game for which there was very little demand, to the point where it was treated as a recurring joke during the promotional cycle for the series, and one that was given an inordinate amount of extra attention, even by M2's usual standards — can be primarily attributed to his devotion and passion for preserving the arcade classics of times past. Sadly, Saitou died of brain cancer in 2016, aged just 43, but his legacy can be felt in projects like the Mega Drive Mini and the continuing Sega Ages series, and his colleagues continue to uphold his spirit to this day. Rest in peace.

3D Streets of Rage 2

  • Original release: 1992, Sega Genesis/Mega Drive
  • Also available on Nintendo Switch via Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pass, Xbox via backwards-compatibility (Sega Vintage Collection: Streets of Rage), Genesis Collection for PC and consoles, smartphones via Sega Forever and on the Genesis/Mega Drive Mini

What's this? The second and most beloved of the classic Streets of Rage trilogy and Genesis reissue staple; the 3D Classics version of the original Streets of Rage served as a proof-of-concept for the natural advantages of playing a classic belt-scroll action game in stereoscopic 3D. but the 60FPS performance and vastly more detailed graphics of the sequel let you appreciate the effect in all its splendor.

3D Classics features: A "Rage Relay" mode that limits the player to just one life with each of the four characters, with characters automatically switching upon death, as well as a "Casual Mode" will allows all enemies to be defeated with one knockdown. Additionally, the one-hit-kill "Fists of Death" mode returns as an unlockable feature, and the stage select is available as a standard option.

Useless fact: For many years, composer Yuzo Koshiro had claimed that the voice of Blaze was produced by a female acquaintance, but around the time of 3D Streets of Rage 2's release, he revealed that Blaze's voice was indeed his own, manipulated via the then-new AKAI S1100 sampler.

3D Gunstar Heroes

  • Original release: 1993, Sega Genesis/Mega Drive
  • Also available on Nintendo Switch via Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pass, Genesis Collection for PC and consoles, smartphones via Sega Forever and on the Genesis/Mega Drive Mini

What's this? The spectacle-filled run-and-gun sidescroller that put Treasure on the map; the original game was packed with faux-3D effects that seem almost purpose-built for stereoscopic 3D, and the other additions to this conversion help ensure that less experienced players can see everything the game has to offer.

3D Classics features: A "Gunslinger" mode that lets you access the full arsenal of weapons and character abilities at any time via various button combinations, as well as a "Mega Life" mode that doubles your HP and an unlockable "Mega Shot" mode that doubles the strength of your weaponry. (Gunstar Heroes' boss fights differ quite significantly on harder difficulty settings, so these measures are not just meant as general helper features but also to allow people to experience a lot of flashy content that they might otherwise miss.)

Useless fact: Many of Gunstar Heroes' backgrounds are drawn with a faux-3D perspective that was surprisingly tricky to translate into true stereoscopic 3D, so current M2 employee and original Gunstar Heroes background artist Hiroshi Iuchi was consulted about the original intent of many of the stage graphics; unfortunately for the team, his answers tended to boil down to, "I drew this twenty years ago and I don't remember why I drew it that way".

3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2

  • Original release: 1992, Sega Genesis/Mega Drive
  • Also available on everything, everywhere, anytime, and there's a new version coming sometime this decade as part of the Sonic Origins collection

What's this? I'm not sure, I haven't yet seen the sequel.

3D Classics features: A "Ring Keep" mode that starts the player with 10 rings and halves the amount of rings dropped after taking damage, an unlockable "Super Sonic Mode" that starts Sonic with all seven Chaos Emeralds and 50 rings at the beginning of each act, and the option to enable the level select menu by default.

Useless fact: In order to convincingly apply stereoscopic 3D effects to the backgrounds of the special stages, the team was forced to reconstruct each special stage out out polygons with reference to the pre-rendered 2D background data, output the three-dimensional data map and overlay it onto the 2D graphics.

3D Puyo Puyo 2

  • Original release: 1994, arcades
  • Also available on Switch via Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pass, as well as the Astro City Mini

What's this? Compile's massively popular and heavily influential falling-block puzzle game; the stereoscopic 3D enhancements are very slight and offer very little incentive to play this version over the many, many other versions of Puyo Puyo currently available, but at the time, just getting an unadultered Puyo Puyo game in the west after so long felt like a victory in and of itself.

3D Classics features: A new super-easy difficulty setting, and toggles/settings for game systems like offsetting and margin time.

Stand-alone or collection?: The stand-alone digital version, released only in Japan, contains an extra mode that lets you face every opponent in the game in one unbroken run, but that mode or very similar equivalents are present in the Sega Ages Switch version and most other ports, including the Super Famicom version available via Nintendo Switch Online, so I wouldn't lose much sleep over not having access to that version.

3D Power Drift

  • Original release: 1988, arcades
  • Currently only available via Sega 3D Classics for 3DS

What's this? Yu Suzuki's rollercoaster-esque kart racing game, which received many contemporary ports to many platforms that were absolutely unequipped to accurately recreate the Y Board's advanced sprite-scaling functionality, with the eventual Dreamcast port being the first one to get within the ballpark; as with 3D Galaxy Force, the stereoscopic 3D conversion removes a lot of the ambiguity that came with using layers of 2D graphics to simulate 3D structures, and more broadly, it helps to put a spotlight on an interesting divergent approach to early 3D gaming.

3D Classics features: A new super-easy difficulty setting, granular settings for gear changing, several different steering options with varying degrees of auto-assist and a virtual moving cabinet display option. (The networked multiplayer cabinets for Power Drift ran on what was essentially different software to the standard single-player version, and so that functionality is not included in the 3D Classics version.)

Stand-alone or collection?: Again, the Japan-only stand-alone version has some exclusive extra content, but in this case, it's worth pursuing: a Special Mode in which all the drivers are replaced with characters from other Sega games (including oddball picks like "the flagman from Out Run" and "the big spinning dodecahedron from Space Harrier") and the music replaced with arcade-compliant medleys from famous Sega arcade games.


Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives (Japan-exclusive)

Which stand-alone games are included? 3D Space Harrier, 3D Out Run, 3D Fantasy Zone, 3D Shinobi III, 3D Ecco the Dolphin and 3D Bare Knuckle (Streets of Rage).

Which exclusive games are featured in this collection? New stereoscopic 3D conversions of Space Harrier 3-D and Out Run 3-D, quasi-original Sega Master System games designed to work with the Master System's 3-D Glasses, which used active-shutter LCD screens to simulate a primitive three-dimensional effect. Each game has a "Helper Mode" option that significantly reduces their hellish difficulty, as well as some Master System/Mark III-style screen borders and the option to emulate the FM Unit for FM music where applicable.

How do I access all the games? They're all available from the jump.

Sega 3D Classics Collection (worldwide outside of Japan) / Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives 2 (Japan)

Which stand-alone games are included? 3D Sonic the Hedgehog, 3D Altered Beast, 3D Galaxy Force II, 3D Fantasy Zone II W, 3D Thunder Blade, 3D Power Drift and 3D Puyo Puyo 2..

Which exclusive games are featured in this collection? New stereoscopic 3D conversions of the original Master System version of Fantasy Zone 2: The Tears of Opa-Opa, as well as the Master System port of the first Fantasy Zone and the original Master System game Maze Walker (another 3-D Glasses title). In addition to "Helper Mode" toggles, screen borders and optional FM Unit support for FM music, the two Fantasy Zone games also include a base radar function; additionally, SMS Fantasy Zone's FM music was produced from scratch for this reissue.

How do I access all the games? SMS Fantasy Zone is a bonus unlockable game, but the unlock method differs between collections: Fukkoku Archives 2 requires save data from the first Fukkoku Archives, whereas 3D Classics Collection simply requires you to enter the extras menu and tap the bottom-left corner of the touch screen.

Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives 3: FINAL STAGE (Japan-exclusive)

Which stand-alone games are included? 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2, 3D Super Hang-On, 3D After Burner II, 3D Bare Knuckle II (Streets of Rage 2) and 3D Gunstar Heroes.

Which exclusive games are featured in this collection? New stereoscopic 3D conversions of the arcade version of Turbo Out Run (with near-identical extra features to 3D Out Run), the Mega Drive/Genesis version of Thunder Force III (with an implementation of the Saturn port's "Kids Mode"), the arcade version of Alien Syndrome (which includes an extra-easy option, various rapid-fire settings and unlockable stage select) and the Mega Drive/Genesis version of Columns (which doesn't offer any significant new features, but the 3D's real purdy), as well as two historically-significant, stereo-3D-compatible SG-1000 games: Yuji Naka's Girl's Garden and Yu Suzuki's Champion Boxing, both of which have been upgraded with smoother scrolling and various SG-1000/Mark III screen borders (which also designate hardware-authentic altered game palettes).

How do I access all the games? Most of the games can be freely accessed, but Girl's Garden requires save data from Fukkoku Archives, and Champion Boxing requires save data from Fukkoku Archives 2.


Alongside the 3D Classics came a selection of menu themes based on specific games (Space Harrier, Fantasy Zone), various Sega arcade and console hardware and, in Japan, the three Fukkoku Archives collections themselves. There's no elegant way to list you to individual store listings for any or all of these themes, so I implore you to click the embedded above — the bottom category of videos shows the international themes, which differ slightly from the Japanese versions; Japan got both variants, but the rest of the world just got the one set, for the most part. (I'm partial to the international Dreamcast theme, which features the PSO lobby music.)