Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Planet Harriers – Part 1

I had been desperate to play Planet Harriers ever since I saw the first screen shots in Edge magazine back in 2000.  Running on Sega’s Hikaru board, the game looked stunning and had that classic bright, happy Sega look.  I loved that it was an update and pseudo sequel to one of Sega’s greatest arcade games, Space Harrier.

I had never come across the game in any UK or Japanese arcade.  Almost all Sega dedicated cabs had a UK release, and whenever I visited a new seaside town I’d check out the arcades, hoping to find Planet Harriers.  The rumoured home release for the Dreamcast and then the Gamecube failed to materialise.  My desperation to play it, coupled with the game’s elusiveness gave it a near mythical status!

In 2009 I bought the arcade PCB along with the cabinet control panel and had it shipped from America.  The seller removed the Hikaru board from the metal cage and shipped the items separately. The board is extremely fragile and if left in the cage there is a high chance of damage in transit.  With the help of Giz10p, Arcade Otaku and Shmups forums, I pieced together the Hikaru board, control panel, I/O board and power supply and connected it up to an LCD television.


It was a massive relief to see the game up and running.  I was finally able to play Planet Harriers!

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